House that my grandfather built was attacked - Anupa Pasqual | Sunday Observer
May 9 terror:

House that my grandfather built was attacked - Anupa Pasqual

20 November, 2022

It can be said May 9 2022 was a dark day in Sri Lanka’s history. Among the politicians affected by the events of violence on the day was Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Kalutara district MP and State Minister of Social Empowerment Anupa Pasqual.

Attending the farewell event held for former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on the day, Pasqual denies he had any connection to the incident that took place at the Galle Face Green Aragalaya grounds.

“Neither do I condone what took place,” he said, adding that following the event he returned to his home in Matugama.

“By evening I heard a group was plotting to attack my house. I then left for an estate owned by me. I even took steps to send my parents and wife away from home to a secure location.

A group had attacked my house thereafter.

Fish tank

Everything inside was destroyed including the fish tank,” he said.

Pasqual says the house attacked by the group was his ancestral home located in the Matugama Town.

“It is around 120 years old. It was bequeathed to me by my father who got it from his father. I believe it was built by my great grandfather. There were a lot of antiques that could not be repaired nor bought for any amount of money. I am still perplexed as to why my ancestral home was attacked. I have never earned through politics and have no need to do so. I am a qualified professional and earned my living through work. I entered politics to serve the country through my knowledge,” he said.

According to him, the case relating to the attack on his house is yet to be taken up. He said those arrested by the police in connection are members of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and the Frontline Socialist Party. The State Minister said he did not request compensation from the Government for the damage to his house.

Own funds

“I repaired it with my own funds. Luckily it was not set on fire. Though my house was damaged extensively it did not leave me disillusioned about politics because this was nothing new. I have faced violence during the period of 88-89. I am more determined than before and will not become weak due to these incidents. I will oppose what is wrong and condone what is right while remaining in the party. I have no intention to become independent.” he said.

Pasqual commenced his political journey as a student of the University of Colombo in 1980. “We had to fight many groups as students. On one hand we had to face off with the Government to protect student rights while on the other hand we had to fight against the Independent Students Union. We had to fight against these groups even while facing death threats,” he claimed.

According to him, the Independent Students Union at the time believed the LTTE were a revolutionary group and stood for them. “But we were able to build a strong force against this group that was dominating our universities at the time and they were defeated. I became the President of the student union created by us. I have always stood for nationalistic principles. I spoke up for the country through the Yuthukama Organisation,” he said.

He said he joined politics to embark on introducing a new political culture influenced by his uncle, former MP and Minister Daya T. Pasqual who was part of the revolution in 1956. “He was also the founder of the Matugama Ananda Sastralaya and several other schools.

He earned nothing from politics and even used his own assets for the benefit of the society. I came to politics from such a clean political background. I was influenced by my uncle as well as Prof. Nalin de Silva,” he said.

The son of Government servant Basil and homemaker Seetha, Anupa was the youngest of five. According to him even as a child he identified himself as a true patriot.


“My mother instilled a sense of patriotism and nationalism in us at a young age. She taught us stories of kings and recited poems of Ven. S. Mahinda Thera. I studied at the Panadura Sri Sumangala Vidyalaya. Seeing the status of Migettuwatte Gunananda Thera almost every day only heightened these feelings,” he said.

Following his university education, having received a degree in chemistry, Pasqual joined the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) as a Senior Environmental Officer. During his work at the CEA, he contributed his knowledge to the Northern Province Waste Management Project, Projects on Organic Fertiliser Production and Cultivation as well as the environmental expert of the Colombo Wastewater Project and the Central Expressway.

In 2020 he entered Parliament from the Kalutara district receiving 97, 777 votes. Pasqual, who is currently serving as the Minister of State for Social Empowerment, has planned many measures for the development of his subject area, some of which are already in place.

“I think it is important to eliminate mental poverty in people. I think the welfare model does not work for our country anymore. Instead we must create an entrepreneurial State. We cannot overcome this economic crisis with a citizenry that expects handouts,” he said.

While noting the economic crisis did play a part in the incidents that took place on May 9, Pasqual says former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his Government alone cannot be blamed for the situation. “The former President worked hard to combat Covid-19. The Samagi Jana Balawegaya and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna that continuously called for lockdowns must also be blamed for the crisis.

They created misconceptions about the crisis, incited the people leading them to behave violently. The property of public representatives was damaged. Public property was damaged. Public funds will have to be utilised to rebuild these. These are funds that could have been utilised for public welfare. This will only lead to an increased burden on the people. They could have carried out a peaceful struggle but instead they resorted to violence,” he said.


“The country needs youth that works hard. Not those who are engaged in a struggle expecting the Government to provide them with jobs. If everyone works together we can overcome this crisis. A period of terror caused by a wrong ideology cost sixty-thousand lives in this country. That should not happen again. The youth should understand this reality. It should be the responsibility of the youth to study well, do a good job and serve the country with that knowledge to improve themselves and the country.” he added.