Posted on July 11th, 2019

Mario Perera, Kadawata

I refer to the comment made by Dr. M.D.P.Dissanayake regarding the article titled: PHILIP GUNAWARDENE, SWRD, WIMALA WIJEWARDENE, RANIL, RUWAN AND LAKE HOUSE

Dr.M.D.P.D.writes: Mrs B made a tremendous contribution….she had a great minister…who held more than half of ministerial portfolios….

That ‘tremendous contribution’ was totally negative. She brought the country to total ruin, impoverishing it beyond measure.

Indeed she made the entire nation eat ‘ala, batala, magnocca’ statutorily twice a week. There was no food for the people. Restaurants were empty. No milk even for newborn children. The transport system was in tatters keeping commuters waiting in queues for endless hours often under heavy rainfall. So was the medical system. The required medicines were not available. The same situation prevailed with regard to schools and universities with no books or reference material available.

She introduced abhorrent foreign exchange laws putting people in chains, even tying them with chains to their hospital beds for their slightest violation. Going abroad was the prerogative of the ultra-rich, like her children. For all practical purposes Sri Lanka became an ‘iron curtain’ country, holding in the poor, the impoverished, the dissidents, and the politically oppressed. All this was well brought out in the film ‘SAGARAYAK MEDA’.

She and her party became so detestable that at the 1977 election the SLFP won only 8 seats…so much for Mrs B who the learned Dr. says ‘made a tremendous contribution. Her crash to the ground was so ruthless, that it snuffed out her political life.

Yes Dr.D, the SLFP during her tenure as PM had, as you have rightly mentioned, only two power wielders: Mrs B and her ‘great minister’. Mrs B, as Dr.D unintentionally shows, destroyed democracy. It was she who brought ‘family rule’ to its apex point in the country’s modern history. She tried to impress on the world stage, especially as the leader of the non-aligned movement. The non-aligned conference under her leadership was a display of her personal glory and power, and was also intended to influence the general elections which were round the corner.

But the people, forced to live on empty stomachs with absolutely nothing to hold on to, whatever the domain, made her bite the dust. Her ‘great Minister who held more than half the ministerial portfolios’ lost his seat. Newspapers stated that when his defeat was announced, he was so distraught that he left the scene leaving his wife behind.

Mrs B, for all her ‘tremendous contribution’ never made it to the political stage again. It was a lady tottering with age and morally downcast, on a wheel chair and suffering from dementia, that was made Prime Minster by her daughter.

Dr.D, mentions Catholic action as being responsible for the attempted coup and for SWRD’s death. How Catholic were the military men involved in the coup is anyone’s guess, but does he not know that the murderers of SWRD were Buddharakitha, Somarama and associates? Where does Catholic action come into that picture?

Yes Mrs.B, took over the Catholic schools and nationalized every private sector venture. Present day developments in the field of education and the service sectors do not lead to a glorification of her hasty decisions. She pulled down everything at a moment’s notice, more in a display of personal vanity than political acumen, but nothing of substance arose from that destruction.

Mario Perera,



  1. Dilrook Says:

    She was the most courageous Lankan leader without a doubt. Shae had many good policies too.

    However, her shortcomings are too many. She totally ruined the economy with absurd economic policies. Worse, these harsh economic restrictions only applied to the Sinhalese. Jaffna could import anything from South India which made a new filthy rich Tamil business class. Some of them were ruined by the open economy. Other than normal goods, this highly developed illegal import channel (which the government, the police and the navy knew but were not told to stop) started importing weapons, narcotics, Tamils, etc. It spelt disaster for the nation.

    Tamil terrorism was on the rise but she intentionally disregarded it as she had already killed 20,000 Sinhala youth. She was unwilling to kill Tamil youth as courageously she killed the others.

    Although some Christian schools with Sinhala majority students were taken over, Tamil Christian schools were set free. Even Christian schools with Sinhala majority students with a considerable Tamil student population were allowed free. Funnily, towards the dying stages of her regime, out of total desperation, Felix gave away free Bibles at churches!

    Jaffna University is one of her achievements. It was build in the wrong place endangering the Buddhist heritage of the north. It became a breeding ground of Tamil racism.

    One of the most disastrous things she did was the ending of the British monarchy and started the Constitution making gimmick. Although symbolically it was good, what it really did was to replace Britain with India, a fantastic supreme court (Privy Council) with a heavily politicised local court, the only Constitution with wide ranging support with a narrow Constitution which in reality reduced the power of the majority and allowed India to exploit the island.

    As a result, her SLFP lost power for 17 years and people didn’t want her back in any decision making position. Her son Anura, Lasantha and Ponnambalam were arrested by the IPKF in 1988 when they came from LTTE controlled areas after a failed bid to get LTTE support for the election. This further ruined her chances in 1988. Another candidate would have easily won.

  2. Mario Perera Says:

    The key name with regard to the massive smuggling business the Tamil business and youth indulged in is Velvettithurai. Post Mrs B attempts to stop it only amplified the disaster. It was like cutting the ground from under the feet of the Tamil rich and powerful. Velvettithurai became the most virulent cradle of Tamil militancy against the government. The militancy snow-balled into the Tamil nationalistic movement ending in a call for the Separate State. It was in Velvettithurai that Amirthalingam and others made their famous war declaration.

    Mrs B and her ‘great minister’ later suffered the deprivation of their civic rights. Newspaper cartoons then depicted Mrs. B with one foot chained to a massive iron ball. No doubt these were exceptional steps, but they nevertheless go to illustrate the exceptionally disastrous nature of her rule and wielding of power. Their civic rights were later restored. For Felix that came practically on his death-bed.

    A for the JVP movement, it was the result of Mrs.B’s broken promises and of the LEFT turning RIGHT, thereby deserting the village youth to whose well-being it was pledged. All this left the youth with no other avenue but resort to violence. The blood-bath that followed forever destroyed the ‘mother’ image that Mrs B held out for the youth.

    Mario Perera, Kadawata

  3. Naram Says:

    On the plus side she understood the power of the working class organizations of the CP and LSSP and the contribution from their leaders historically and what is available then in the world scene.

    She had double standards – while discussing land ownership limits in the Cabinet she arranged that her own brood had parcels of land transferred immediately. She dissolved the lft pact and rudderless analysis proved to be a disaster and the following election saw her brand wiped out and she lost citizenship rights too following an investigation.


    Dear Mario Perera,
    It is clear the reference made to Catholic Action by me did upset you considerably. Two Bandaranaike Regimes did bring the basic rights of Sinhala Buddhist to its rightful place. Majority Sinhala Buddhist were ignored by UNP governments prior to 1956, replica of what Ranil is doing now. Yes, Sirimavo failed mniserably in agriculture, not only we were asked to eat Tapioca, but she also set up JANATHA CDMMITTEE to set up bakeries and make bread and deliver in wheel barrows to houses each morning, disre.garding health issues. But they also did introduce State Industrial Corporations Act, Mahaveli Development as a long term strategy.

    Catholic Action worked heavily against these two governments. Late L H Meththananda, P De S Kularatne have produced dossiers of evidence to substantiate the facts. Stanley Zoysa, the Finance Minister of SWRD cabinet, Dicky Soysa, Sydney Soysa, cleverly used corrupt buddhist monk of Kelaniya Temple, in close association with Wimala Wijewardene.

    Please have a look at the names in the list of Final Year Results of Ceylon University in all Faculties, Institute of Chartered Accountants, Surveyor General Examinations, Chartered Secretaries, pre and post 1956. Please have a look at the list of Permanent Secretaries in all Ministries pre and post 1956. Please analyse these names into Religion and Race. What percentage of Sinhala Buddhists as against others?

    The revolution undertaken by two Bandaranayake Regimes, deserve full credit, as against eating Tapioca for a short period.

    Ranil, once again a born Catholic, is reinventing the wheel and protecting the rights of minorities and keeping majority freedom fighters behind bars.

  5. Mario Perera Says:

    Dear Dr.Dissanayake,

    You write: Stanley Zoysa, the Finance Minister of SWRD cabinet, Dicky Soysa, Sydney Soysa, cleverly used corrupt buddhist monk of Kelaniya Temple, in close association with Wimala Wijewardene.

    The de Zoyza gentlemen you mention never practiced the Catholic religion in the course of, at least, their adult lives. Dicky de Zoysa even assaulted the French parish priest of Ragama who had refused to give a Catholic burial to his uncle. With that act he was literally EXCOMMUNICATED, which means officially expelled from the Catholic Church. Yet he finds a place in your list!

    It does not bother me in the least to see ‘Catholic action’ being reviewed, criticized, and condemned. The stand out feature of my contributions to Lankaweb is my disinterestedness in the Catholic organization. Yet judging people as being supporters and promoters of a religion by their names and cultures, and their schools or colleges is unfortunate and erroneous. With your superior education, you would no doubt agree with me I presume.

    As you know, in those gone by days Catholic education held sway in the country. Most top notch people of this country received their education in Catholic schools. Typical examples are the Bandaranayake ladies, all educated at what was, and probably still is, the foremost girls school of Colombo: St.Bridget’s. President Premadasa was educated at St.Joseph’s. St.Thomas’ is a Christian educational institution. Royal of that time was imbued with Christian culture. The list of rulers and legislators educated in these schools is without end. Even today the rush by Buddhists for admission to Catholic schools is overwhelming. If the school is the predominant feature for support and promotion of Catholic action, then most leading Buddhist figures of that time would qualify for that status. Even Migettuwatte Gunananda Thera is the product of a Catholic school. So was Anagarika Dharmapala.

    It is normal that people promote ideologies in keeping with the cultural and educational backgrounds. they even influence their political ideologies. Deducing religious affiliations and religious motivations from such situations is illogical.

    With kind regards to you.

    Mario Perera, Kadawata

  6. Randeniyage Says:

    Interesting debate stained by the statement “It is clear the reference made to Catholic Action by me did upset you considerably.”.
    A personal attack by the loosing party. Typical of our people. Why not argue based on facts and figures and the argument of the other party instead ?

    My childhood was spent mainly under Mrs. B. I do remember hardships of not able to buy sufficient rice, no sugar, forcing us to go to “pandam karayo’s house” to get morning bread loaf , served by dirty hands.

    Even though politics destroyed CTB, bus travel was much better than that in 2014 ( last time I took public transport for a test). By that time we had good roads benefiting the NEW RICH only.

    By the time her time ended in 1977, as a youth , I did not hesitate to vote Mr. Dharmishta ( another big liar). But I voted against UNP in the next by election came within 6 months because within months I knew this man was cheating people. However, even he was incomparably better than current mob. I can only cry for the current Mahajanaya.

    I am totally against blaming organized religious groups or racial groups for the weakness of majority so called “Sinhala Buddhists”. Surely minorities may have unjustifiable demands but it is the HUGE CORRUPTION of the majority ruining the country.

    Who is going to THIRUPATHY ? Catholics ? ( I mean not as accompanying wives)

    When Sinhala Buddhists leaders have ZERO FAITH in their religion, can we blame minority religious groups for that ?

  7. Dilrook Says:

    As at now 93% of Sinhalese are Buddhists and 7% are Christians. If not for the false association of Sinhala with Buddhism, even Muslims and Hindus will be proud to call themselves Sinhala. Rightly or wrongly they are ashamed to be associated with Buddhism in any way. Should we alienate the only other religious group that ban together as Sinhala?

    A great deal of jealousy is still there against Sinhala majority Christian schools that held sway for a very long time. It caused self harm to the island nation.

    There is no resistance against international schools!

    Also strange that Sirima didn’t take over her St. Bridget’s Convent to government. Her youngest daughter Chandrika was just finishing her studies at school then. Why was that?

    Even stranger is the total silence of those noisy and jealous sections against Madrassas. May be they have finally met their match.

    We will soon see a showdown between two extremist groups in Sri Lanka. As with all showdowns in this blessed island it too will be bloody, unfortunately.

  8. Randeniyage Says:

    It is extremely stupid to bring centuries old invasions as example to prove threats to Buddhism.
    Currently, threats to Buddhism ( as a religion) comes from within. Such threats are non-existent. USA not going to invade Sri Lanka and make it a Christian country or even a secular state, nor India would make it a Hindu state.

    Foremost is the threat from “Mithya Drushtika” political heads who go and see nominal heads of Buddhist Temples (who themselves are “Mithya Drushtika” to some extent) with a “Palathuru Wattiya” and “Atapirikara”. It is exactly the same as going to Thirupathy.
    Secondly, minority Muslims getting together with these political heads will ensure their population is increased and Sinhala population decreased, in addition to “town grab” and “village grab”, “Palaath grab has already taken place.

    Thirdly various “new arahants(or Buddhas)” arising suddenly and their popularity attracting those political heads and money to destroy Dahmma with subtle variations which normal people cannot grasp. We recently saw the most popular heads quietly sitting in an assembly celebrating a birthday of such a new Buddha.

    It is ironic that so called Buddhist are unaware of the fact that a “Pacceka Buddha” who was alive just before Price Siddhrta was born attained “parinibbaana” purposely at the time of his birth.

    Even if the Buddhism is gone from Sri Lanka, Buddhism will survive in other countries.

  9. Randeniyage Says:

    Ours is the only country with a race called “Muslims”. How can it be ? Muslims is not a race.
    It is due to two reasons , one because the religious group united to thier advantage and two, because those who married the people with Muslim faith were expelled form the Sinhala race.

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