by Mike Andree
When Giuseppe Verdi wrote the lyrics and composed the music of ‘la donna è mobile’, for his opera ‘Rigoletteo’ and it was sung by the famous ‘Raffaele Mirate’, it became an instant hit.
The very next day, the whole of Venice, including the gondola boatmen and thereafter the whole of Europe, was singing this internationally famed operatic masterpiece.
The words, in Italian, were beautifully written and it was a challenge for every major tenor to sing them with the power and grace of Raffaele Mirate.
‘La donna è mobile, Qual piuma al vento, muta d’accento e di pensiero. A empre un ambabile, leggiadro vis, pinto o in riso, e menzogenro’, meaning ‘Woman is fickle like a feather in the wind, she changes in voice and thought, always a lovely, pretty face, in tears or in laughter, she’s untrue’.
Hirunika Premachandra, the young Visakhian, who stepped forward to avenge the death of her father, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, would not succumb to any pressure. She expressed her displeasure at the manner in which the investigations were being conducted, but finally relented.
She was present in Court on every occasion the case was called and made no bones about expressing her thoughts to the camera crew waiting eagerly to capture her on film. She was the centre piece of anti-government rhetoric, news and vulgar, sensational false media reports, which made her the centre of attraction. Sarath Fonseka had lost his appeal and the media was dying for an anti-government personality. Lo and behold, in came Hirunika.
Every fortnight, there was a galaxy of photographers, paparazzi, media men looking for sensational news and to capture Hirunika’s beauty and her anti-government verbiage. At a time that the opposition, led by people like Ranil Wickremesinghe, failed to make news and was responsible for creating a negative image, the ‘Hirunika’ factor was indeed an inspiration for those men who found that the public was happy that there was at least one person who was not afraid to given vent to her thoughts, though it may have hurt the high and mighty.
The bosses of those media establishments found their TV ratings dropping with the opposition in disarray and no one watching news till ‘Hirunika’ arrived. She was interviewed by those Television Stations and they found that the audiences they catered to, mostly the Colombo anti-Government types, found a new attraction in Hirunika.
As time went by, almost all politicians in the opposition were attracted to the Hirunika factor as they found that with her film star-like beauty ‘Hirunika’ could be the future attraction for them to unite the discredited and divided opposition.
When a Magistrate refused the only request her Counsel made, so far in the case, to issue a warrant to arrest Duminda Silva, she had the audacity to walk out of the Magistrate’s Court building and dash coconuts requesting the Gods to intervene and issue one.
That ridiculed the judicial system and scandalized the Court. She may have been informed that the very Magistrate’s Court she scandalized had no jurisdiction to hear the case as the contempt did not take place in front of it.
When she complained to Court saying that her life was threatened and there was an attempt to assassinate her, everyone, including the Court, took serious notice of it and wanted the CID to investigate.
Though she was never a party to the case, the Magistrate ordered the investigation. In fact she had not received any threat from anyone, but a tabloid newspaper, to increase its sales, published a news story which was obviously planted and had absolutely no truth.
She was successful in creating an uproar in the minds of the public, who believed that the government or their agents were trying to eliminate her. What they did not realise was that she was neither a witness nor had she made any statement to even identifying the body of her father, to the CID and killing her would not serve anyone’s purpose, but would damage the reputation of the government.
She, on several occasions, made statements implying that the CID, the investigators and the Courts were not performing their duties due to the pressures from the authorities.
Before dashing coconuts she said “I am the person who will take this case forward. If I am killed this case would die an unnatural death. Still, no warrant has been issued to arrest the main suspect. It is a very sorry state of affairs. To whom could we appeal? Now we have no alternative but only to appeal to God to issue a warrant. I am saddened by what is happening. If it goes on like this I told you that I will bring people to the streets. I have done so.”
She had directly accused the government and no one else. She was the uncrowned queen of the opposition media institutions, financed by those opposed to the government. She has proved that she was more intelligent than many who blindly followed her. She was chaperoned by a President’s Counsel, out of the Airport, carrying her bags like an obedient servant.
On another instance she was seen at a farewell party organized by the High Court Lawyers’ Association to bid farewell to three judges, including Justice Warawewa and Justice Perera. She was neither a lawyer nor a member of the High Court Lawyers’ Association, but was taken to the farewell by a President’s Counsel. When the Judges took exception, the President’s Counsel had to leave the party and take her along with him.
When Chandrika Bandranike Kumaratunga raised her fist and saluted the thousands, who had gathered for the funeral of the much loved Vijaya, she made a vow to form the United Socialist Alliance and fight both the UNP and the SLFP. But, within few months she joined the SLFP, won the elections and established a commission to inquire into the death of Vijaya Kumaratunga, which was nothing but a political circus.
By that time a thorough investigation was done by the CID and the man who had killed more than 17, including Vijaya, was arrested and investigated by Chandra Jayewardene, DIG CID. Vijaya was murdered by the murderous JVP-DJV gang. He was assassinated by Lionel Ranasinghe alias Gamini.
The exercise of that commission was to exonerate the JVP and implicate R. Premadasa and the UNP. She happily received the report of that commission when she knew without doubt who had killed her husband. That helped her during the famous ‘Parivasa Anduwa’. At the insistence of Mangala Samaraweera she joined hands and formed a government with the murderers of her husband.
That was not strange as after the assassination of SWRD Bandaranaike, Sirimavo wept and told the public that her husband was killed by Somarama, but the virtual killer was N. M. Perera. Yet, she joined N. M. Perera and formed a government. Such was the political expediency at that time.
Is Hirunika any different? She is now with the government declaring that she had never decided to form or support a joint opposition, which was divided and had no appeal to the masses.
She got on stage at Polonnaruwa and not only spoke but sang some songs in support of the political party and supported the Leadership of Mahinda Rajapaksa. She has forgotten the fact that she was the only witness, who had made a statement giving the version, that her family wanted to implicate Duminda Silva.
Others who followed her like their guardian angel, dashed coconuts and were seen shivering with frenzy in front of the Court house, would soon realise that the guardian angel had faulted them and reneged on the promises she gave them.
Internationalising the case would involve her making a statement against the very government she decided to support at Polonnnaruwa.
Statements clouded in deception reneging on the principle stand will not stand the scrutiny of the people, other than those elderly men who fell for those childish manoeuvres and wanted her to save them from the unfortunate predicament they had fallen into, which reminds one of that famous song by Amarasiri Pieris ‘Mamai obe viyapath Bambara’. Courtesy: The Island