Heroic efforts of Minister Sarath Weerasekera | Sunday Observer

Heroic efforts of Minister Sarath Weerasekera

1 August, 2021

The effectiveness of a Minister matters for the quality of the Government. A list of Ministers could be assembled of which makes an effective Minister, but so much is individual and related to the personality of the Minister.

Minister Sarath Weerasekera, is a retired naval officer. He embraced politics and the voters warmly welcomed him by giving him a massive number of votes which I believe is the largest number of votes received by a candidate in the district of Colombo.

The voters placed their trust and confidence in Minister Weerasekera particularly given the stance that he adopted against the LTTE and the action he took to defend Sri Lanka at the UNHCR Sessions in Geneva.

His patriotism has to be admired and appreciated rather than criticising his views on matters concerning his responsibility as Minister in charge of the Police and obligation and responsibility he has to fulfill on behalf of the government.

In relation to the controversy surrounding Minister’s Weerasekera’s handling of Hansi Piyumali and the elderly woman arrested at the protest recently, he told Parliament that he was carrying out an order of the Director General of Health Services regarding the banning of protest at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic virus is spreading at the rate of knots.


When the Minister in charge of the Police is ordered to carry out the instructions of the Government, which in this case is the Director General of Health Services, he is bound and is obliged to carry out such orders in the interest of the well-being of the country as a whole. We have seen in the past in Sri Lanka how protests have turned violent.

However, the spreading of the corona virus is more dangerous than a few protestors behaving in a violet manner. Protestors will not care or listen to any kind words or offerings by the Police to adhere to the laws of the country, what else could the Police do when protestors refuse to accept their advice or warnings, the Police are left with no choice but to arrest such protestors as per the instructions of the Government.

The manner in which the Police handled the protestors is not something unusual to be seen in Sri Lanka or the rest of the world. We have seen such happenings throughout the world in countries where democracy is at the highest particularly in the Western world.

The actions of the protestors have caused serious concerns not only to the protestors but to the Police personnel themselves of contacting the Covid-19 virus.

The Police personnel who risked their lives in line of their duty should be appreciated as they considered maintaining law and order and carrying out orders given by the Government in the interest of the public as a whole is more important to these Policemen than risking their lives of mingling with probably Covid infected protestors.

If any of these Policemen are infected with Covid-19 virus the blame should squarely be laid at the feet of the protestors. Similarly, if any of the protestors contact the virus via the Police who were compelled to come in bodily contact with the protestors it is their own seeking as they invited the virus for themselves by participating in the protest.

There are other ways the public should look at Minister Weerasekera. The criticisms against Minister Weerasekera for a trivial matter is not something which Minister Weerasekera should be embarrassed about. It is far more important for Sri Lankans to look at Minister Weerasekera’s performance particularly his personal struggle with those who tarnish the image of Sri Lanka at the UNHCR and at other platforms.


Weerasekera’s love for this country has been exhibited by him in no uncertain terms and isn’t this more important to Sri Lankans than playing political games with a Minister who cares for all communities to live in Sri Lanka as one rather than be divided.

The lack of knowledge or deliberately lacking knowledge by those who criticise Minister Weerasekera for his handling of the situation of Hansi Piyumali and the elderly lady that was arrested whilst protesting has to be looked at in different perspectives.

Hansi Piyumali may be personally known to Minister Weerasekera. Whether she was known or not known is not the question, Hansi Piyumali has every right to call the Minister in charge of the Police and seek assistance to her predicament.

The comments on social media does not consider the humanitarian mindset of Minister Weerasekera in immediately ordering that Hansi Piyumali and those arrested be allowed to have their clothing and basic requirements.

Instead of appreciating the Minister’s sense of humanity those who post comments on social media and even comments made by some Parliamentarians within Parliament have tried to depict his humanitarian understanding as a “love tangle” between the Minister and Hansi Piyumali. This type of rhetoric is not justified, unwarranted and baseless.

With regard to the treatment of the elderly lady and the other female that was arrested for violating the order of the Government banning protest due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is stupid for those who criticise the Minister for adopting different views for Hansi Puymali and that of the elderly lady.

No one can expect the Minister to provide clothes and basic needs for a person who is on the verge of being arrested and loaded onto a bus.

On the other hand this elderly lady in particularly should ask herself was she was right in participating in a protest that has been banned by the Government due to the Covid-19 pandemic when knowing very well that people of her age (over 60’s) are extremely vulnerable to contacting the virus.


Sarath Weeraskera’s job is 24/7 job as he has to struggle a constant stream of Government business, along with his role as a Parliamentarian all under the gaze of the media and the public.

Ministers are highly important to the Government, yet it is surprising how little the public and those who make baseless allegations and comments against a Minister of the caliber of Sarath Weerasekera understand what the Minister actually does.

Minister Sarath Weerasekera as a Minister has a clear vision and a set of objectives, the ability to pursue such priorities without being bogged down in the details of administration, a willingness to listen, take advice, and wider political skills of communication and understanding of the media.

The Minister has exhibited his patience and character of a person who would not be perturbed by baseless and unwarranted comments on social media or within Parliament in the face of adverse criticism of his actions.

The attributes of understanding are clearly seen in Minister Sarath Weerasekera the manner in which he handled the adverse comments and criticisms leveled against him which I reiterate is baseless rhetoric.

Sarath Weerasekera is a Minister who has discharged his duties honestly. His prime objective is to implement the laws of Sri Lanka which from time to time are promulgated by the Government.

Minister Weerasekera’s contribution to the country is much more than those who criticise him on social media and within the Parliament.

Those who post comments on social media may have no clue of Minister’s Weerasekera’s achievements while being in the Navy and regularly attending UNHCR sessions on his own initiative and defending Sri Lanka.


When the Yahapalana Government co-sponsored the 30/1 Resolution at the Geneva UNHCR sessions, Minister Sarath Weerasekera attended the Human Rights Commission on his own initiative and submitted documents and the rebuttal prepared by local patriotic intellectuals proving that all war crime allegations leveled against the Sri Lanka troops were false.

From 2017, he constantly attended UNHCR sessions in Geneva and challenged the false allegations of the pro LTTE NGO’s. In March 2019 in a speech at the UNHCR Minister Sarath Weerasekera sought an apology from the United Kingdom for atrocities they committed in 1818 and return all the Ola leaf books they looted from Sri Lanka.

Out of the 225 Parliamentarians, only Sarath Weerasekera opposed the 19th Amendment in Parliament. He also opposed the singing of the national anthem in Tamil as it violated the Constitution.

Minister Weerasekera’s decision to oppose the 19th Amendment in Parliament finally proved to be the right decision taken by him with the passing of the 20th Amendment because all members of Parliament who voted for the 19th Amendment turned their backs on the 19th Amendment and voted for the20th Amendment.

Minister Sarath Weerasekera is not only a highly decorated Naval officer, he is also a film director. He directed his first film “Gamani” which is about an LTTE terrorist attack of Gonagala in 1999. This film won 17 Derana and five OCIC Film Awards which included Best Director, Best Script Writer, and Best film of the year.

Minister Weerasekera also received the following awards.

1. Rana Sura Padakkama

2. Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya

3. Uttara Seva Padakkama

He was awarded the Rana Sura Paddakkama for volunteering and landing Army Commandos in LTTE controlled Pooneryn in broad day light with minimum casualties and rescuing 400 soldiers.

He was awarded the Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya and Uttara Seva Padakkama for a long and distinguished service in the Navy.


Some of the high ranking posts held by Minister Sarath Weerasekera when he was in the Navy.

1. First Commander Fast Attack Craft

2. Commander Officer Surveillance ship Edithara

3. Commander Northern Naval Area

4. Commander Southern Naval Area

5. Commander Eastern Naval Area

6. Director General Operations and Chief of Staff of the Navy

7. Commander Northern Naval Area during the “unceasing wave operations”

8. Bringing the MBRL’s to KKS harbor during midnight which were used to deter terrorist advance to the Jaffna Peninsula.

9. LTTE carrying weapons to the country were destroyed in mid seas during his tenure as Director General Operations at Naval Headquarters.

Shouldn’t we Sri Lankans be proud of this officer and a gentleman who is now the Minister in charge of public security?

How many of those who post comments on social media were born when Minister Weerasekera was defending the country which he has displayed with greater honour, character and determination which has enabled all Sri Lankans to enjoy the democratic rights we are entitled to enjoy and live in peace which would not have been a reality if the war had continued.

The heroic efforts of Sarath Weerasekera helped to bring Sri Lanka to normalcy. However, it is regretful that the good work done by heroes are soon forgotten and petty trivial matters such as the criticism of the Minister for his handling of the protestors is something which seem to be more important to those who criticise him.

In Parliament it was stated that Minister Weerasekera provided “make up” and other facilities to Hansi Piyumali and did not afford the same to the elderly Lady.

This is what is called” political expediency”, to criticise a Minister who has contributed immensely to the country even at the risk of his own life, much more than those who criticise him.

Criticism of Sarath Weerasekera by people on social media and some Parliamentarians are not warranted. These people and Parliamentarians are trying to be “people pleasers”.