Ex-president, MP Mahinda Rajapaksa gave a very meaningful speech during his ongoing visit to Pakistan, his media unit said yesterday. That was said to be a significant statement, and the Pakistanis had well received it with rounds of applause.
Seeing that, a colleague of ours recounted an old story. It happened four to five years ago. The then president Mahinda Rajapaksa was the chief guest at the annual awards ceremony organized by the leading business magazine Business Today. On the previous day, his script writer Dr. Sunimal Fernando wrote the speech, got it typed and handed the copy to Mahinda Rajapaksa, saying, “Aney Sir. This is unlike any other speeches. This is attended by the best businessmen in the country. Therefore, read this at least once now. Or else, a big disgrace will happen.” “Hari, Hari, Ban,” so saying, Mahinda Rajapaksa folded it and put it into a file.
The following day, he readied himself for the occasion, looked for and found the speech, put it into his pocket and left for the ceremony. After the chief guest was invited to deliver his speech, he took the document he was given and started reading it. After finishing the first page, he could not find the second and only the third was there.
Without troubling himself, he carried on with the third page. Those in the audience looked at each other in askance. Without taking any note of them, Mahinda Rajapaksa finished his speech and sat down. But, no one asked if any page was missing.
Before the media asked him, Mahinda told them, “See, I say, what has happened. Our Dr. Sunimal last night gave me the speech. I was sleepy. I did not look and just put it into a file. The man has forgotten the second page. I was shamed.” And, he placed the blame for his mistake on his script writer. Later, the organizers found the missing page and published his entire speech in the next issue of the magazine.