Mangala is the only national level political leader in Sri Lanka who can smoke a cigar in public. After Sir John Kotelawala and SWRD Bandaranaike, Mangala was the only politician to publish photographs of smoking cigars. Mangala is a real man.
Now Mangala is no more. Mangala is the most influential man in Sri Lankan society who has died due to the Covid 19 up to now.
Mangala in Political Waves
Mangala Samaraweera is a political man. He was an operator of unexpected political upheavals. Mangala was one of those who brought Chandrika to Sri Lanka in 1993 and made a significant contribution to the 1994 political upheaval. Chandrika’s government was in parliament with onevote majority. It was Mangala who gave maximum support to Chandrika to maintain the government with one majority vote in Parliament till the year 2000. After joining the opposition in 2001, Mangala played an unexpected game to regain power. Mangala was behind the operation to form an alliance with the JVP. Mangala’s alliance won and Mangala made a huge contribution to the presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa. It was Mangala who intervened to get the support of the JVP for Mahinda Rajapaksa. The arrival of Sarath Fonseka, who has provided political strength to the opposition, including the United National Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, is also one of Mangala’s political games. Mangala’s role in the 2015 upheaval is no secret. In this way, Mangala played a crucial role in the decisive political upheavals that took place in Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2015.
Mangala is exceptionally talented as a cabinet minister. He is capable of working with people. Mangala is a true master at managing officers properly, giving them due place and respect.
As the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, he led a progressive transformation in the telecommunications sector in Sri Lanka. He was able to transform Sri Lanka into a commercial world by overcoming the challenges of bureaucracy by turning telecoms into a public-private partnership.
He is a brilliant foreign minister. He gained considerable prestige in the international community as Minister of Foreign Affairs. After Lakshman Kadirgamar, Mangala Samaraweera is the most talented and famous Foreign Minister Sri Lanka has ever produced. There was no political interference in the foreign service during Mangala’s tenure. Talking to the writer about Mangala’s death, a senior Foreign Service official said that if Mangala had been the Foreign Minister after the war victory, he would have been able to reverse many of the problems in Sri Lanka. His friendship with the most influential states in Sri Lanka is remarkable. The United States, the European Union, Great Britain, and India won him over to Sri Lanka. He had their main diplomatic friends. Samantha Power, who attended the event which was held to mark his 30-year political career, said that Mangala was the only reason she had to travel 8,000 miles to Sri Lanka without having to leave home or work because of her book essay. Mangala also excelled as a Finance Minister. After the 1950s, it was Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera who was able to prepare a budget with a surplus in the primary account.
Mangala challenged to the challenges
Mangala has been a challenging politician since joining the SLFP in 1983. Mangala entered politics as an opposition activist during the most challenging period of the 1980s, not in an era that was comfortable for opposition activists. Mangala fought against the forced youth disappearances that took place at the time. The Mother Front formed under the leadership of Manorani Saravanamuttu was established at Mangala’s house. It was politically supported by Mangala and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mangala stood up against enforced disappearances until the end of his life.
Mangala continued to oppose Sinhala racism and honestly led the Sudu Nelum movement. Mangala stood firm for national unity and reconciliation. Mangala was brave enough to say publicly that Sri Lanka was not a Sinhala Buddhist country.
Mangala was also able to be open about her sexual orientations. His political life was also colored like a rainbow. He believed in the secular state. Mangala has always won from the Matara district when his sexual orientations and secular life are being attacked from all sides. Although his sexual orientation was a problem for the lying new middle class in Colombo, it was not a problem for the real subordinate people of Matara.
Mangala not subject to Sinhala Buddhist domination
Mangala never auctioned off racism for his political opportunism. The dominant Sinhala Buddhist culture in Ceylon attacked all the leaders who tried to rule with an advanced universal mind. Although Mangala could not escape the attack, Mangala did not flee in fear of the attack. Faced them. It was Sinhala-Buddhist hegemony that ousted Sir John Kotelawala, the Prime Minister who had a clear vision of Sri Lanka who had served the economic development of Sri Lanka. Despite coming to power under Sinhala-Buddhist supremacy, it was Sinhala-Buddhist supremacy that later ousted Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike, who sought to build the nation by recognizing the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka and proposing a solution to the Tamil people. Sinhala Buddhist supremacy attacked Chandrika and Ranil, who believed in devolution. Mangala Samaraweera was also attacked by Sinhala Buddhist hegemony. Mangala was able to stand firm in the face of those attacks. In addition, Mangala said that this country was not a Sinhala-Buddhist country when Sinhala-Buddhist hegemony came to the forein the Political arena after the Easter attacks. Mangala did not hesitate to sharply criticize the monks for inciting ethnic hatred. The double gem story was a very creative mockery of the ruling Buddhist monk.
Mangala who believed in the liberal economy and Liberal culture
Mangala believed in the liberal economy. Worked for it. He was not afraid of foreign investment. After all the challenges, Mangala did not hesitate to carry out the necessary liberal economic reforms. An example of this is the unique reforms he made in the field of telecommunications. It was Mangala who changed the era of having to carry a letter from a politician to pick up a phone and made the phone a tool of the common people. Today, Sri Lanka has the highest telephone usage in Asia. He believed in liberal culture and worked for it. Although Mangala cannot be said to be an unparalleled liberal, Mangala believed in a liberal Sri Lanka. According to Ranil Wickremesinghe, he had a firm view of Sri Lanka. Someone who worked for it.
A person who is reliable to all political camps and the international community and who can unite them
Mangala had developed a level of human connection that could lead to an open discussion with any political camp. That is why the politically sensitive opposition camp fears the Mangalas new moves. He can coaliate unexpected people. Unexpected political camps can be coaliated. First of all, he had the ability to go ahead and spin the political revolutions. Mangala is a close friend of the minorities. Mangala was also admired and respected by minority parties. Mangala had the potential to add minority parties to national political upheavals. Mangala’s association with the influential international community was remarkable and instrumental in making his political aspirations a reality. The international community believed in Mangala. Mangala is one of the few Sri Lankan politicians who has won the trust of the international community. None of the current leaders of the opposition have all these capabilities.
Mangala is no more now. Even without him, the sun will rise tomorrow. No politician has been able to fill Mangala’s political gap in that way. But there are people who can work hard to make Mangala’s goals and vision a reality. But it has a long way, not a short way. The path to building the liberal country that Mangala believed in has become a challenging one as well as a long one. Mangala’s death has led the people to look back at Mangala and Mangala’s advanced policies. It should not be too late to make Mangala’s end a start. A group with a sincere desire to build a secular liberal Sri Lanka with the peace and reconciliation that Mangala believed in will be able to fill the vaccum left by the opposition politics that has now emerged.The things are lining up to bring about the political feast that Mangala was looking forward to.What is needed is long-term action.
Dulan Dasanayaka – [email protected]