Appreciating a big and exemplary job done by a small man of our time. MS Themis the only politician who returned his pension and rejected the concept of pensions being paid to politicians by JR in1977.
Posted on November 3rd, 2017

Sudath Gunasekara Mahanuwara.

MS Themis silently died last year unsung an unheard and his mortal remains were interred at Kanatta attended by his only daughter, granddaughter, a small group of family members and friends. The usual votes of condolence and flatteries sung in Parliament in respect of those who have not done a scent worth thing for the country were not heard. Even his death passed unnoticed other than to the funeral parlor staff as our daughter in Colombo whom we asked to pay our respect as we were unable come down due to ill-health told us.

But his name remains immortal in the annals of history in this country as the only MP who refused to receive a pension and refunded it back. I am personally aware of what he said and did as I was the one who drafted the letter to the Speaker at his request at his home. This small man therefore in my opinion remains a legend in the political history of this country, shame for all other politicians who not only get a pension for no service done to the country or people but for deceiving the people and robbing public money, by way of princely salaries and various other allowances, perks and benefits like official bungalows, vehicles, foreign jaunts at public expense culminating in robbing the nation’s coffer, the Central Bank with impunity.

In the good olden days we have heard of politicians like CWW Kannangara, MD Banda, PB Wanninayaka and even Bandaranayakas who sacrificed everything they had in the name of service to people. In fact it was Bandaranayaka the founder of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party who once said ‘Minisage Parama Yutukama Minisata Sevaya Kiriimai .But can you seven dream to see a single politician of that caliber around you today. For them it is an all-time secure job plus a fraud and a mega javarama only. You need to get elected or nominated only once in life time. After that everything is set for ever for seven generations. Can you ever imagine such things happening in a country where some older generation of politicians died as paupers; where the foundation of social fabric is woven and mauled on Buddhism and where the state craft was founded on the golden principles of Dharmasokian ethos of statecraft.

Almost all people in Sri Lanka know MS Themis who was elected in 1956 as the third MP for Colombo Central under the MEP Land slide victory under the visionary leadership of SWRD Bandaranayaka. They also know him as an ex postal peon who was sacked by the then UNP Government for fighting for the rights of working class in the Postal Department.  He was an embodiment of the common man in Parliament, Bandaranayaka the visionary had in his mind when he decided to open the doors of Parliament to true representatives of the people.  But how many in this country know the magnanimous gesture he made as a politician by returning Rs 20,190.31 cents in 1993. 09.15. MS Themis set the   rhythm for the new generation of politicians in 1956, a welcome departure from the old fashion politics of privileged towards real representative democracy.

Let the example set by MS Themis be an eye opener to all present day self-centered parasitic politicians created by JR in 1977 by Passing the Pension Act No 1 of 1977 enabling even those (living then) who had served in the State Council and further who founded an entirely a new political culture where politics became a shameless mega fraud the politicians since then have become highway robbers of public funds and treacherous traitors of the Motherland causing misery and doom in place of peace, prosperity and sanity to its people and the country at large.

2 Responses to “Appreciating a big and exemplary job done by a small man of our time. MS Themis the only politician who returned his pension and rejected the concept of pensions being paid to politicians by JR in1977.”

  1. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Themis was elected as the third member from Colombo Central three-member parliament seat, having beaten Dr. M. C. M. Kaleel of the UNP by a mere 46 votes into fourth place. Then in 1959 he resigned from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and left the government along with Philip Gunawardena to form Mahajana Eksath Peramuna(MEP). At the General Election held in March 1960, the MEP obtained only 10 parliamentary seats. He lost his seat. In 1965 MEP join hands with the United National Party and form a government under the leadership of Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake . Apparently he left politics at that point.

    Then in 1973-74 I have seen him at Eastern Paper Mills corporation head office at union place Colombo He was a frequent visitor to the office for bulk purchase of Stationary for his company Royal Mailhouse Pvt. Ltd,

    This time I saw him not as a politician, but as a successful entrepreneur who had an expensive bungalow at Albert Crescent, Colombo 7 and travelled always in his luxury 8 cylinder Cadillac car.

    Starting from telegram messenger on a salary of Rs. 20 a month to become a successful entrepreneur he must have taken his capabilities very seriously during these last few years.

    This is how he manged to buy his first car He said”My supporters said that I needed a car to carry out my political work more effectively. Unfortunately I didn’t have the money. Still, many people came forward to help me out.” Themis remembers with much gratitude S.W.R.D Bandaranaike’s contribution of Rs. 250: “He gave what he could.” Prof. G. P. Malalasekera had sent him Rs. 200 from Russia. S. Nadesan’s contribution was Rs. 500. In this way, he managed to collect the Rs. 8,000 or so that he needed, most of the money coming from people who appreciated his record of service.

    At that time, he was brutally criticised for abandoning his political visions he had earlier and I can remember, then he was willing to pay back salaries he received from the parliament. Ultimately he paid that money after 34 years without taking into consideration depreciation of the money during these 34 years.

    As far as I know He was not entitled for pension payment,

  2. Senerath Says:

    First ‘bloody assault’ in SL Parliament history – Anti Corruption Front
    Thursday, May 5, 2016 – 01:00

    Chamikara WEERASINGHE

    Tuesday’s brawl by legislators recorded the first “bloody fight” in Sri Lankan Parliament, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE,) Executive Director, Keerthi Tennakoon said yesterday.

    Tennakoon said so while dwelling on the history of brawls and fistfights in the Parliament of Sri Lanka at a press conference organised by the Anti-Corruption Front at the CSR, Colombo.

    “This is the result of the government’s lethargy to take appropriate action against corrupt elements in Parliament who use their MP privileges as a shield to cover up their corrupt deeds,” he alleged.

    “On very rare occasions, one will find that lawmakers had gone wild at Parliament premises and traded blows at each other,” Tennakoon said.

    “The first such incident recorded in Sri Lankan Parliament was the fight that had taken place between members Philip Gunawardena and Sir John Kotalawala, in which the former had attacked the latter on the corridor of the Parliament.” In another brawl that broke out in 1956, MP Sir John Kotalawaa had lunged forward and pressed Colombo Central member M. S. Themis against a wall for calling him, “Hello John”. S. W. R. D. Bandarnaike had said about the incident that even he would not address Sir John by his name.

    Tennakoon pointed out that some parliamentary fights occurred due to misunderstandings, such as the one that occurred between members Dudley Senanayake and Maithripala Senanayake during the debate of Banadaranaike assassination in Parliament.

    He remembered how Rambukkana MP and Social Services Minister Ashoka Karunaratna lay blows on Valapone MP P. B. M. Herath over some cast-related remarks exchanged in Parliament during 1965-1970 government.

    It was a case of Goliath attacking a small-made man, he said.

    The two ministers of the same government had a fisti-cuff in Parliament for the first time in 1974. The fight took place between Health Minister W. P. G. Ariyadasa and Industries Minister S. K. K. Suriyarachchi.

    Tennakoon said, MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara was attacked by a group of MPs including MP Gamini Lokuge when Nanayakkara tried to run away with the Maze and some of those members are in the current Parliament.

    He also remembered how former Parliamentarian Mervyn Silva and a group caused serious injuries on Jathika Hela Urumaya MP Ven. Koplonnawe Sumangala thera in the House.

    “This is the most terrible incident to have been reported so far,” he said.

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