Sri Lanka’s Mass Media Min Decries Vandals Who Torched His House Amid Escalating Protests

As anti-government protests continue for over a month, Sri Lanka crept into a “state of anarchy” with vandals damaging public property and setting ruling SL Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) lawmakers’ homes on fire. Among the 8 ministers was Sri Lankan Minister of Mass Media Nalaka Godahewa whose house demonstrators set ablaze on Tuesday. Taking to Twitter, Godahewa decried the riot mongers, stressing that he had built his abode with the hard-earned money working as a professional for 28 years.

A PhD holder, Godahewa is a corporate executive who became a member of Parliament and a Minister in the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s cabinet about 18 months ago. He has 28 years of professional experience in a wide range of public and private sectors. He formerly served as the chairman of the Sri Lankan Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA).

I entered parliament only 18 months ago. Before that for 28 years I had worked as a professional to earn a living for my family.The violent mobs burnt down my house. Some will be happy seeing this, some will be sad and some will not even care. — Dr.NalakaGodahewa(PhD,MBA,BSc.Eng(hons),FCIM,FCMA) (@GodahewaNalaka) May 11, 2022

Godahewa’s tweet came shortly after he expressed discontent over the pro-government politicians who tried to block Mahinda Rajapaksa from resigning. “We wanted the cabinet dissolved. It was agreed last week that PM would resign as his resignation means that the entire cabinet gets dissolved. Why did some stupid politicians block that from happening and engaged in a stupid act today that unleashed this disaster?” he wrote in a tweet. Previously, on the announcement of the step of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan Minister had called on the cabinet to take the situation as an “opportunity to form a Unity government as proposed by many.”

Throughout his recent posts, Godahewa often lashed out at agitators for “misguiding people” in an attempt to “deviate the attention” elsewhere. “We must accept the reality. Without political stability, there is hardly any room for economic recovery.”

Civil unrest intensifies in Sri Lanka

The silent and peaceful protests that began early in April turned to violent bloodshed after pro and anti-government protestors clashed on Tuesday, resulting in severe injuries of over 200. Consequently, armed police forces deployed in the wake of a “state of emergency” fired live bullets leading to the death of 8 protestors.

For the unversed, Sri Lanka has been reeling under a crippling economic crisis coupled with political turmoil. A severe shortage of food, fuel, and other basic supplies followed by the inaction of the ‘Rajapaksa clan’ has led simmering discontent among 22 million citizens in the island nation to bubble. Protestors from several sections of the society, including Buddhist clergy members, have joined the anti-government rallies calling for an immediate step down of the Rajapaksa administration. Weeks after ignoring the calls, on May 10, Mahinda Rajapaksa finally tendered his resignation to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa after protests had already turned chaotic.

(Image: AP/@Dr.NalakaGodahewa/twitter)

Desk Team