• For the Love of the Sport

    Those who know me and my two brothers know well how deeply we love the sport of rugby.

    Having begun playing around the age of six, we played during school, during college, captained university teams and finally represented Sri Lanka internationally. In addition to enjoying the game, in recent years, we also tried to do whatever we could to elevate the sport in Sri Lanka for younger generations that will follow us in the years to come. In this effort, we brought down internationally-acclaimed rugby players to Sri Lanka and worked to get access for our players to obtain playing experience abroad.

    In all honesty, we simply enjoyed playing the game. And as we began to reach the final stages of our sports careers, we felt like we should try to give back to a sport that had given us all so much. I think and hope that these efforts would have made at least a small contribution to the development of the game.

    Today, we’re incredibly saddened to see that the bitter, vengeful politics that took over this country after elections earlier this month, have even made its way to the sports sector. Just a few days ago, my brothers – Rohitha and Yoshitha – were both informed, by telephone, not to attend rugby practice. No reasons were given. They were just asked not to come.

    Not wanting to tarnish the sport through any potential conflict, we took a decision to simply respect the request and not question the decision regardless of how unjust it seems. Though deeply hurtful, we felt this would be the best decision we could make at this time.

    For some, rugby was also a part of politics. But for the three of us, it was the sport we loved.

    On behalf of both of my brothers and myself, I want express our deepest gratitude to all those who supported us during our rugby careers. I think you all know how sincerely we loved the game. And if given the opportunity, we will never hesitate for a moment to contribute to the development of the sport in any way that we can.

  • Baseless Allegations

    Dear supporters and friends,

    As you may have already heard, certain individuals are coming after me with a vengeance, trying to implicate me in a number of alleged wrongdoings. We expected this. Those who are older than I am will remember well that this is the usual fate that members of the SLFP must suffer whenever we lose elections. It has happened in the past, and the same is happening this time also.

    I want to tell all my supporters that these allegations have no basis. More than being angered, I am saddened. While we never claimed to be perfect, we always had the best interest of the country and the Sri Lankan people in mind. This is true not only of Mahinda Rajapaksa but of us as his children as well. We were brought up to take responsibility for our actions. As such, if I have done any wrong, I am fully prepared to face the consequences. However, I am certain of my innocence with regard to the outrageous allegations that have been put forth against me.

    As a politician, coming after me is OK because I have the strength and support system to face it. But unfortunately, I’m not the only one. Many of our strong supporters – ordinary citizens – from around the country have also undergone various types of harassment. Most of these individuals didn’t break the law – they only supported Mahinda Rajapaksa, and they are being punished for that choice.

    I appeal to the new President to take measures to safeguard our supporters around the country and to take action against those who are carrying out this harassment. I hope he will remember that these supporters of Mahinda Rajapaksa were once strong supporters of his as well, so please ensure their safety.

    We welcome the new government’s initiatives of “good governance,” but we make a strong appeal not to allow certain individuals misuse this initiative to fulfill personal vendettas under the guise of “good governance.”