’’The last time Father talked to me was the day before he died’’ - Sajith gets candid down memory lane

"It was April 30, 1993. At the time I was engaged in my research in masters degree at the University of Maryland, Washington, US. That day a rather unorthodox thing happened. I am a good worshiper in gods including the God Katharagama. Everywhere I go, I carry their pictures. The pictures of these gods hanging in my room suddenly fell down and smashed. I didn't care that much. Moments later, my Father called me, asked me how I am doing, told me to stay safe and hung up. He used to do that twice or thrice every week."
That being said, Mr. Sajith Premadasa reminisced his experience of one of the darkest times in history that completely changed his life 27 years ago in a candid interview.
"My Father was a little man who had the courage to endure various pressures and hardships, from a very small place, to become the first citizen of the country - the President. My Father was the first and only person who came to the leadership of the largest party in Sri Lanka, the United National Party, which had been taken over by the Elite. There were endless occasions in which we heard about plotting against Father in the Party since the day he started politics. But neither could stop him. However, I must add - I have a fair criticism on some of the flaws and weaknesses even my Father committed in the use of power. I humbly acknowledge them. Not only is it humbly acknowledged, but I am also giving in my level best to amend them. But comparatively, Father was a good leader who knew his people's heartbeats. The crown fell from Father was returned to the Sri Lankan Elite; it remains the same to this day."
Premadasa Jr, who was only 26 years old at the time, was first informed about the news of his father who was murdered at 12.42 pm on May 1, 1993 at a May Day rally in Armor Street, Colombo by Dr. H.R. Samarasinghe, Mr. Ranasinghe Premadasa's personal doctor.
"I got a call early in the morning from Father's doctor, I was told that Father was gravely ill and will be taken for an emergency surgery. I woke up and began thinking. We didn't have breaking news then, or WhatsApp messages, Social Media. Even mobile phones were limited. 15 minutes later Dr. Samarasinghe called again and said Father's situation was critical. I was prepared to hear anything I may have to. Around half an hour later the doctor called and said they tried their best but couldn't save him. Then he handed over the phone to my Mother."

Although it has been 27 years since the death of Mr. R. Premadasa, his son, Sajith Premadasa, remembers the film-framed event by event version of the story to this day. 
"My Father was a good practical man. His ability to grab something is uncanny. He was a jolly good fellow who adored humour. People in general are led to believe that our Father was not funny but stern. That's not the case at all. My photography teacher was my father. I learned to jungle exploring during leisure time from my Father. One time we went to Buttuwa Bungalow in Yala Forest for a holiday. It was quite a creepy place. The Bungalow was located in a structure of what it would appear as a bunker. Even animals could sneak in. We were accompanied by Mr. Evans Cooray, one of Father's closest friends. When Father became President, Uncle Evans became his News Secretary. That day in the afternoon I heard Father was creeping out Uncle Evans by telling stories of bears. In the evening I heard Father saying, "We chose the wrong place Evans. We should be sleeping as soon as possible, because bears could crawl around the place." Uncle Evans was always a sleepyhead when he is fallen into his bed. Father, waiting until he was full asleep, tied him to his bed from two bed sheets on the chest and the legs, I saw. In the night, Farther together with a couple of others groaned like bears do. Then he knocked on Uncle Evans door and said, "Evans, the b
ears are here, we're gonna run. Come quick!" Then Uncle Evans was screaming with fear, "I can't get up, help me!" These were the kind of jokes Father used to do.  
That day on May 01, Uncle Evans's life was saved as he moved away from Father, who was at the march, to answer a phone call that came from England." 
I returned form Washington alone for my father's funeral through Bonn, Germany. From Bonn, I was accompanied by another. He was a close friend of Father. He was the then Sri Lankan Ambassador for Germany Mr. Karu Jayasuriya. He accompanied me to Sri Lanka and on our way eased me by talking with me about Father."
Mr. Sajith Premadasa's brief conversation with us in the most candid interview about the sorrows and the darkest times of his life was then concluded.

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