My home was attacked, vandalised and burgled– Kalutara District SLPP MP | Sunday Observer

My home was attacked, vandalised and burgled– Kalutara District SLPP MP

8 January, 2023
Lalith Varna Kumara
Lalith Varna Kumara

The fateful May 9, 2022, will go down in history as a dark day in this country’s political history. The reputation of the country has also been severely tarnished as a result of the actions of some people who took to the streets in the name of Aragalaya and abused citizens’ democratic rights while terrorising the country. There is no doubt that that day harmed not only the private properties of public representatives but also many public properties. There was a disturbance in the political morality of the country, even in the mind of a small child. The destruction of the homes and properties of over 70 people’s representatives and the death of one Member of Parliament in a brutal manner on the road is sure to cause grief in the hearts of every citizen who respects democracy in this country for a long time to come.

Lalith Varna Kumara, a member of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Kalutara District Parliament, joined us this time to reflect on the fateful event that occurred on May 9.

“As former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa announced his resignation on May 9, I went to Temple Trees around 9.00 that morning to congratulate him.”After that, I left that place and went to attend a wedding ceremony in the afternoon. By that time, it was past 8:00 p.m. From around 8:45 p.m. to 9 p.m., I was called by a group of people around my house, who told me that a group of people was coming and attacking my house. Shortly before that, a few people near Agaloya Denikade called me and told me that a group of people came towards my house shouting my name.

The thugs attacked the MP’s house and caused a lot of damage. The MP said that, luckily, none of his family members were at home when the mob attacked the house.

“Luckily, when the group came and attacked the house that night, nobody was in our house. I went home two or three days after that incident. I thought about my safety. I don’t know who carried out the attack. But my neighbours and the party members were not among them. I came to know that among the people who came, there were people from Botalegama, Denikade, and Bulathsinhala. Those people had broken about 15 of my house’s windows and doors. Not only that, but they also stole all the belongings in the house. They stole two laptops, a big camera, and two smartphones from my office room. After assessing the loss, the amount was estimated at Rs. 150 000. It was a very unfair assessment. That’s why I didn’t look into it further.”

Regarding the incident on May 9, Member of Parliament Lalith Varankumara does not regret the loss of his house and property. Regarding the failure of any responsible officer to take responsibility for his own security as a Member of Parliament

“When I found out that a group of people was coming to attack my house that day, I informed General Pussella of the Army in charge of this province about an hour before the incident, but no safety measures had been taken anywhere.” After that, I called the official phone number of the police station OIC and informed him about this. Then they said that a group of officers had been sent in a jeep, but no one had come. After knowing that the group had come and attacked the house when I called the official number of the OIC again, the acting officer said that there was no way for the police officers to even come out of the jeep.

Many people accuse the members of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Front-line Socialist Party (FLSP) of igniting the fire of the violence that broke out all over the country. MP Lalith Varankumara expressed his opinion about it.

“As far as I have come to know, people from the JVP and the Front-Line Socialist Party have come to attack my house.” But I did not go to find out more about it because I did not want to hear about it. My house has been damaged. The loss cannot be reversed by knowing who did it. It will not be lost. That’s why I somehow repaired the broken house as much as I could. I still couldn’t fix the broken windows. The pain I have is that this is not a house that I built after becoming a politician. Before joining politics, I did good business. That’s why I don’t want to do politics by stealing public money. But the people were misled because of the illusion that the violent people had created that all 225 public representatives were thieves. That’s why our property was also destroyed in this way.

When asked if that event was strong enough for him to give up politics, he said:

“It must be said clearly that there was no such boredom or frustration because these are not unfamiliar things to us. We faced this kind of terror in 1988 and 1989. The life of one of my brothers was also taken by that terror. I have been in politics since the beginning. We have the strength to bear things like that. When we were young, our mother was abroad for a long time. Therefore, we are used to the strength and endurance required to face difficulties in life. Therefore, we do not make these kinds of problems, worries, and challenges a bane in life, but we should give up politics because of those things.”

“I am happy to be appointed as a Member of Parliament. But under the current situation in the country, I am sorry that I did not get to do something significant for the people as a Member of Parliament. Looking at it from that point of view, I had the opportunity to do a lot of service during my time as a member of the Provincial Council. Some people say that the Provincial Council is a white elephant. Despite the fact that my name was implicated, I was able to do a lot of work for the Bulathsinghala electorate while serving in the Provincial Council. Looking back on my political life, I feel great happiness and self-satisfaction about those things. The greatest wealth is the self-satisfaction obtained through public service.

“Many people accuse the politicians, but no one talks about corrupt officials.” Even when politicians are accused of stealing, they refuse to sign a voucher or a cheque. All of that is done by the officials. If you expect a country and government free from corruption, fraud, and theft, politicians and officials should also be honest. “People should understand this reality.”

Member of Parliament Lalith Varna Kumara also emphasised the responsibility of the citizen who respects democracy.

“The habit of most people in our country is to oppose anything, whether it is good or not.” They accept any lie that someone tells about it. Furthermore, no matter how much we have done for the people over the years if one of their requests cannot be fulfilled at the same time. After that, they not only get angry with that public representative but also vote for someone who broke into politics and send him to Parliament. This thing is like a cycle; it goes round and round. The same thing happened on May 9. But we don’t switch parties for our personal gains. “I will continue to serve the people as much as possible and engage in politics.”