President Maithripala Sirisena’s daughter Chathurika Sirisena who recently released a book on her father spoke to the Rivira Group on her inspiration, her father, and many issues surrounding President Sirisena.
Q: How did you get an idea to write a book?
When my father was the Health Minister he received an award as the Best Health Ninister from the Hayward University. My mother had a wealth information about my father and she preserved them carefully.
There were serious death threats to my father from the LTTE. I have mentioned them in my book. I really wanted the next generations know them.
My father is a voracious reader and he had a good collection of books. I on the sly read them because my mother always wanted me to return them to the proper place because my father always look for them.
One day I stumbled upon my father’s diaries. I was curious to find out what my father had written on the day of my birth. It created great impression in my mind as now I am also a mother. That day I determined to note every worthwhile incident in my life. Over the time it is exhilarating to read what have written about us. It is how I started maintaining a diary.
When my father entered into presidential fray in 2015 as the common candidate many of our friends and supporters to whom my father helped deserted us but many strangers made friends with us. Many rallied around us and supported in many ways including financially and well in other means. It was great moral boost. It inspired me to write about these incidents, so, next generation read them.
Several of us got together to make this book a research effort rather than mere a book recording the past. I wrote this as a novel how a daughter sees her father because I wanted to describe the real life incidents. In addition, I thought it would help younger general to emulate.
My father has 11 siblings and my father is the eldest. I too is the eldest in the family. I had a pleasant childhood. I was grown up with my grandmother. I grew up in the countryside with many pleasures like swimming, playing in the paddy fields, enjoying wild berries. Those thing I never forget to mention in thebook.
Q: What are other interesting things mentioned in the book?
Not only my biography many political incidents faced by my father are mentioned in the book. Many are the stories recorded in book hardly known to others.
Q : What did your father say when he found out that you were writing this book?
I started writing this without telling him. However, my mother knew about it. Yet, when I was investigating certain facts and the precise timeframes in relation to certain events, he came to know about this. One day he called me and asked, “Chathu, why are these people asking for my details.” Then I told him that it was I who was seeking the information. Then he asked me for what. I said that I had to collect these details and keep. It was only after I finished writing the book that I told him. Afterwards, I asked him about certain conversations, incidents and timeframes that I had forgotten about. Therefore, he came to know about the book.
Q : We know that it was a goal of the people to elect your father as the President. This became successful. However, there were certain aspects which the people had expectations on in electing him. Now, several years have passed in his tenure as the incumbent President. Do you think that those expectations were fulfilled? This is a relative matter. Do you believe that what has come to fruition is enough?
No. I am not satisfied about it. My father must give this country what the people who voted for him demanded. On the day that my father leaves his post after fulfilling the said expectations as a magnificent and triumphant statesman, I hope that I will be fortunate enough to write a second book about the justice meted out to this country.