by Anila Dias Bandaranaike, Ph. D.
My father, Sam Wijesinha from Getamanne, a village in Hambantota District, took pride in his Southern heritage. He knew D.M. Rajapaksa (DM), his brother, D.A. (DA) and their families well. Sam was Secretary General of Parliament for almost two decades till 1981, and the first Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman) for 10 years thereafter. He worked closely with several political leaders during that time. Always courteous, he respected MPs who worked for the betterment of the people they represented.
According to Sam, DM was the first Rajapaksa to enter politics. In his D.A. Rajapaksa Memorial Oration of 2005 (Sunday Observer, December 25, 2005), He said that in 1944 when he was seated with DM at the Royal-Thomian cricket match, watching his son, George, bat, “DM was in an expansive mood and I asked him about his school days. He said they were exciting times with Sir Ponnabalam Arunachalam leading us, how his speeches attracted big crowds …. Then he said how it was sad the way our people let him down, not giving him a place in the Reformed Legislative Council of 1920. That was the beginning of our present ethnic troubles, he thought. It was around this time that he seriously reflected upon politics and went back to the village to take part in public life…” and “….start a lifetime of dedicated service.”
He said “DM represented the people of the Hambantota District …from March 7, 1936…