The Sunday Leader

A President With A Jumbo Ego

By Imaad Majeed

Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Performing Arts Theatre, Mahinda Rajapaksa College Homagama, Rajapaksa with Namal at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Rajapaksa at Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Harbour and Mahinda Rajapaksa’s name in English, Sinhala, Tamil and Chinese on the foundation stone

In a country which prides itself on being ‘A Land Like No Other’ Sri Lanka has set yet another precedent. By passing local council rules and regulations, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has seen fit to name buildings, a cricket stadium, a school and a port after him showing scant regard for local authorities to actually approve these name changes.
More recently the impressive new performing arts theatre has been named after the President – and if that is not bad enough, at the entrance you find a large mugshot of Rajapaksa. On the foundation stone, of which there are two, his name is found, not just once but four times, in English, Tamil, Sinhala and even Chinese! Making sure it is shoved down the throats of this nation irrespective of whether we find it offensive or not.
In the instance of the naming roads etc., after individuals, there is due procedure to be followed. First a proposal is made by a counsellor, if it is seconded it must then go before the local council committee, and subsequently brought to the attention of the departments concerned. If all parties agree it will then be published in the local media for anyone who sees fit to object. None of these procedures was observed in the cases mentioned above, with each instance being handled by their respective ministries, ignoring all accepted procedures.
The following of due procedure and naming convention is a matter of principle. It is when the masses come to a consensual agreement to remember  the services rendered to the country by an individual, that anything of this sort should take place. Homage is not the pet ego of any individual, but is expected to be paid to show respect, usually after the person concerned is dead.
In Colombo it is not uncommon to  find streets named after individuals who have made a significant contribution to the country. From Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, to De Soysa Circus, many of the more commonly used roadways have been named after such persons to pay homage to their memory. D. S. Senanayake College, named after the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, was named so after his death. Looking back at past presidents, there have been many instances where buildings were to be named during their tenure. In the case of the Keththarama cricket stadium, Ranasinghe Premadasa vehemently opposed the use of his name. It was named after him following his assasination. Both J. R. Jayawardane and Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge refused to have buildings named after them during their time in power, ignoring requests of those around them who wished to glorify their names, although there is a road named after Kumaratunge in Battaramulla.
However, though this is the norm there have been exceptions. Tyronne Fernando had the De Soysa Park cricket stadium named after him while he was still alive, as was done by Stanley Tillekeratne when a connecting road in Nugegoda was named Stanley Tillekeratne Mawatha.
When it comes to Mahinda Rajapaksa, since his re-election in 2010, the President has gone on to write his name into the Mahawamsa, and subsequently make sure his name is flouted freely in the South. In his hometown in Hambantota there is the Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Harbour. While there has been much criticism over the actual usefulness of the port, the fact remains that it serves the purpose of glorifying Rajapaksa’s name. One does not have to look far to find another. The Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, also in Hambantota, is yet another instance where the President decided (a decision entirely at his discretion) that his name must be inscribed on stone. There is more. Post tsunami, a pavilion at the Galle International Stadium was also named after him and called the Mahinda Rajapaksa Pavilion. Then there is the Mahinda Rajapaksa National School in Homagama.
Mahinda Rajapaksa has also succeeded in stifling dissent on the issue. When The Sunday Leader tried to speak with numerous people in relevant  Authorities and obtain their comments on the issue they all steadfastly refused.  Colombo Mayor A. J. M. Muzammil, and Chairman of the Urban Development Authority, Janaka Kurukulasuriya, both shied away from commenting.

30 Comments for “A President With A Jumbo Ego”

  1. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) (aka Megalomania)

    According to the World Health Organization, Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is described as, “A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behaviour), need for admiration, and lack of empathy that begins by early adulthood and is present in a variety of situations and environments.”
    In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following symptoms:

     Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

     Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

     Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).

    Rarely acknowledges mistakes and/or imperfections.

     Requires excessive admiration.

     Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.

     Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

     Lacks empathy: is unwilling or unable to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.

     Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.

     Shows arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitude.

    The man from Hotel de Temple Palace seems to have all of the above symptoms. The only other leader who came closest to him in Narcissistic personality disorder was the late PresiDunce Premadasa. All we can do is watch and wait as the comedy about the wonder of Asia unfolds…

  2. shantay

    These are not big issues…all we have to do is to erase these signs of megalomania someday and wipe the slate clean

  3. Gemba

    We are in 2012.. Still the war criminals are roaming around scount free. Hoping that god will save us atleast in 2012

  4. abdul hamid

    So what? Mahinda Rajapaksa as President of Sri Lanka has done more than what Jayawardene, Premadasa and Kumaratunga ever did. And you as a journalist appears to have forgotten it (conveniently for the sake of a few ‘prominent’ headlines) HE WON THE WAR ON TERRor. iN MY BOOK HE CAN NAME THE WHOLE DASH COUNTRY AFTER HIM, AS NOW i CAN GO ABOUT IN THE FULLKNOWLEDGE THAT i WONT COME BACK HOME BLASTED UP IN A CLUSTER BOMB OR WHATEVER BOMBS THEY HAVE NOW. So lets have BALANCED reporting. Hope you are around next week as to believe you guys then you should disappear in a white van?

  5. Eddy

    The only thing he(Mahinda) should name after him is, his own tombstone!! He should take a cue from the past Presidents who refused to use their name on plaques/stones in naming roads, stadiums, etc: when they were still alive!! To me he is the worst President this country ever had, egoistic, unreliable,and dishonest!! These type of people never learn or look around them to see how petty dictators bite the dust, they always forget and are blissfully unaware of their own destruction, till it visits them!! Then “Bingo” they vanish like a puff of dust!! That’s the way of our Lord savoir!! Please save Sri Lanka, “Land like No other”

  6. rohan


    • Ma-Rout-Ti

      Exactly – so it does not matter at all.. anyone remember the number of times the airport has been named, renamed and re-renamed ?

      Who cares… ?

  7. Johanne Goonesekara

    The emergence of the third instalment of the LTTE will end this thug’s corrupt reign. Prabkaran maybe dead (that is what u pple say), but there are so many others to take over. Be prepared.

  8. Motta Rala

    What Moronic ways we hace in this shallow headed leader with very crooked and corrupt agendas…Apart from a mega ego, he and his cronies, some of whom are not fit to even walk thru’the doors of our parliament, are deliberate crooks and shpuld be put behind bars for thieving and plundering from our country’s funds.Utter disgrace….a low level, never reached before.

  9. P.L.J.B.Palipana

    Please rename the NELUM POKUNA as Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumarathunga. 90% of the credit should go to her name.

    • Ben Hurling

      Nelum Pokuna is a great name. As it is.

      Do not ruin it by naming it after corrupt, power hungry leaders such as MR or CBK.

      CBK family is already occupying the public space way too much on this tiny Island. Airport, BMICH and a huge statue at Galle Face Green to name a few.

      Dedicate Nelum Pokuna to honest and hard working ordinary Sri Lankan man and woman.

  10. Sisira

    Big deal? Don’t we have more improtant issues than how to name roads and buildings? Someone must write a petition to Obama on White House website about this buring issue in Sri Lanka.

    • paul

      A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

      Meaning “What matters is what something is, not what it is called”.

      Origin “From Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, 1600″:

  11. Kolaveri kola kenda dynasty song (sung to the tune of the kolaveri di song)

    yo boys i am PresiDunce singing song
    kola kenda song
    one family song
    why this kolaveri kola kenda family dynasty
    why this kolaveri kola kenda family dynasty
    rhythm correct
    why this kolaveri kola kenda family dynasty
    why this kolaveri……dynasty
    Elder brother-u Speaker-u Speaker
    Younger brother-u Goat-u Goat-u
    Youngest brother-u 10% commission-u
    Country going to dog-u dog-u
    coming colour not good-u good-u
    why this kolaveri kola kenda family dynasty
    why this kolaveri kola kenda family dynasty
    Lot of money Swiss Bank-u Bank-u
    Family set for life-u life-u
    My future bright-u bright-u
    Country future dark-u dark-u
    why this kolaveri kola kenda family dynasty
    why this kolaveri kola kenda family dynasty
    Raja pa pa paan raja pa pa paan raja pa pa paan
    sariya vaasi
    first lady maama ready
    ready 1 2 3 4
    whaa wat a change over first lady maama
    ok maama now tune change-u
    kaila glass
    only english….
    hand la glass
    glass la kola kenda
    hand la kiribath

    this kola kenda song for family-u
    my country people-u don’t have choice-u
    why this kolaveri kola kenda family dynasty
    why this kolaveri kola kenda family dynasty
    why this kolaveri kola kenda family dynasty
    why this kolaveri kola kenda family dynasty
    family song
    Almost everyone can understand this song…
    anyway here is the meaning for the title of the song
    Kolaveri – Killer rage or Murderous Rage.

  12. kudu

    they both know better LOL

  13. tony


    • S.A.

      Yes, exactly. How many easily pronounced road names are being changes without any procedure or any approval of the masses who are living in those areas. Maradana area is infested with Buddhist names. Mostly tongue twsiting names. This is done in a forcible manner to show the power behind the Majority Tribal Mindset “CHAUVINISM”. Like the Buddha statues being installed every corner of a free space in state property, just to show their bully power.

      When ketwalamulla road was renamed Haleem Ishak mawatha, a stalwart who served the SLFP as long as he lived, was vandalised the sign boards by the Tribal Mindset Goons thus showing their disapproval. Thugs rules.

      Another dumb mistake made the educated and the uneducated CMC authorities is the name of a road being written in singlish “MAWATHA”. Who heck wants to learn a few bit of sinhala transliterated in English as “Mawatha”?

      I mean, can’t these dumbos call a Road- a Road, a Street- a Street, a Lane- Lane???? Instead of propagating their childish “Chauvinistic” mind????

      If it is a must, then let them call everything in their foolish way when writing in English, such as:

      Builldings – in English writing Bildima or Godanegilla.
      Bank of Ceylon – Lanka Bankuwa
      President – Janadhipathithuma
      Ministers- Manthiriwaru (or with another suitable name according to their actions)…etc.

      So, let the next generation be a GOB generation like what we have now. Electing every underworld fella to represent the educated and the un-educated masses of this country. Even visiting foreign nations representing our CHEE-LANKA thus displaying our DONKY-ness to the world.

      WHAT A WONDER OF ASIA….(Still we’re backward by 80-100 compared with Singapore, Europe, US and even Middle Eastern standards)

      • S.A.

        Another dumb mistake made BY the educated and the uneducated CMC authorities is the name of a road being written in singlish

        WHAT A WONDER OF ASIA….(Still we’re backward by 80-100 years compared with Singapore, Europe, US and even Middle Eastern standards)

        President – Ladies & Gentlemen This is the Janadhipathithuma of Shree Lanka …….Samoohanduwa. Then you can print something in English translation and give as handouts to delegates at the UN and other venues.

    • Ma-Rout-Ti

      what law is that ?

    • paul

      You must be living in Utopia Tony. Just look around the world – Over 90% of the place names are those of persons.

      I would have agreed if you said “AFTER A LIVING PERSON”

      • @paul

        The politicians are the ‘Living Persons.’
        Most of their loyal subjects are just zombies and they have been zombies for the past 63 years… :D

  14. Sri

    Why not re-name SL as “Rajapaksapura” after the Enlightenned One. Sadly for want of a rider the earlier kingdom has been lost.

  15. Lt. Lakmal

    Only a despotic megalomaniac like MR will go around naming everything after his name, when true buddhists know that such is impermanent. A country of yokums to keep voting for these pariahs.

  16. Dhathusena

    In this idiots land it’s a painstaking wait to see a leader with a decimal of an ounce of a brain.We are sick of these corrupted goons.Oh lord,when can we see the light as the end of the tunnel seems to be never ending.Sad and pathetic situation.

  17. Sarah

    Did you know that he has acquired a title which was only used by a king? Saw this in the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. In the memorable trees section.
    What a jerk.

  18. At this moment I remember something I read in the past, that it has been proved time and again that when a person thinks he is invincible his end is near. Power and pelf generally give a false sense of security and it is natural to get carried away by their trappings. In fact a person who becomes successful and influential in the world becomes more and more vulnerable. All worldly attainments are only transient in nature and no one can enjoy them always. So it is important to cultivate humility and humane values and not become inflated with ego by one’s achievements. Moreover, it is also necessary to remember that whatever one enjoys is due to divine grace and not attribute success to one’s effort alone. Unless such an outlook is developed consciously one can easily succumb to ego.
    “Dangerous consequences will follow when politicians and rulers forget moral principles. Whether we believe in God or karma, ethics is the foundation of every religion.” — Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama quote.

  19. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t our legislative capital named after good old JR, and that during his tenure?

  20. Raju

    I cannot believe the jealousy directed towards current government. All previous government should feel ashamed that they could not do half the economic development the current administration is doing. Changing names as one has suggested an easy thing to do. That is famous for some people to take credit for work done by others. Yes, with the power of unjustified media blast this government will have to come to an end some day. But with this kind of criticism it will not be easy for any future government to conduct business.

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