Mayantha Dissanayake - The Emerging Leader
I had the opportunity of meeting Mayantha Dissanayake, the younger son of the Late Gamini Dissanayake of Sri Lanka a few weeks ago. Since then I have been meeting him and have had the privilege of discussing various political issues with him in regard to the forthcoming Provincial Council Elections in the Western Province as he is the Organizer for the United People’s Freedom Alliance. I have been closely associated with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the Peoples Alliance and the United Peoples Freedom Alliance but I have not met anyone like Mayantha Dissanayake before who has impressed me. Mayantha is a decent, well mannered, dignified, strong willed and dynamic personality with his choice of powerful and reassuring words even those who need comfort, solace and protection would be at ease.
We have addressed several meetings together and I was deeply impressed by his humility and self confidence. He is a replica or a manifestation of Gamini Dissanayake. I knew his father as a friend of my father. They were colleagues in Parliament on either side of the divide. I met Gamini Dissanayake when he attended my father’s funeral on the 17th of January 1994 a few months prior to his assassination. I remember Gamini Dissanayake having had the same or similar disposition and the words of comfort was so sincere. Mayantha’s disposition and his choice of words shocking were very similar words of assurance when I experienced an attack recently by some people who did not approve of my patriotic attitude and my concept of patriotism. Soon after the incident he kept calling me and made the necessary security arrangements and enhanced my security.
Recently at the launch of the Sri Lanka Patriot Newsline , he expressed his personal support for me at the forthcoming Provincial Council Elections. Mayantha is an asset and strength to His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka, the SLFP and the UPFA. The UPFA should give him more recognition and authority to train some politicians of their conduct in public. Mayantha has the same cool tempered disposition as his father. Each time my phone rings and he speaks the vision that appears in my mind is Gamini Dissanayake. I am proud to know him. I am sure all who have come into contact with him will agree.
Mayantha is also a powerful Orator in both Sinhala and English. His eloquence is par excellance. He has the acumen to calm the rough seas and storms of politics. He is expected to contest at the next Parliamentary General Elections. I have no doubt he will win and be an able Cabinet Minister like his father who is a legend.
Mayantha’s talents should be attributed to his parents. Mayantha can get his message across in a three minute interview or on an off-the record briefing to the journalist-the arguments that he sets out had been fermenting in his mind bottled up over a period of time and as such the words that flow is like vintage wine.
The crux of his successful oratory is the bond of empathy between him and the audience. The greatest talent a politician can have is the ability to convey sincerity. On the spur of the moment with chosen thoughts which flows as words most appropriate for the moment. Every word uttered by him is as powerful in its intellectual and moral force.
Some believe there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills. Yet many of the world's great movements of thoughts and action have flowed from the work of a single man.
A young monk began the Protestant reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World and thirty two year old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal.
These men moved the world...few have the greatness to bend history itself...It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.
Each time Mayantha has stood up for me and others like me , he stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues...Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. Mayantha has manifested a deep concern for humanity. His intellectual brilliance coupled with his dynamic linguistic skills would enable him to be what Gamini Dissanayake aspired to become.
Mayantha is a Patriot. He is a gentleman and above all he possesses all the qualities of a Leader.
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