"Some persons come to politics and disappear. Nobody talks of them. But memories of Dharmasiri Senanayake are still in our hearts even 12 years after his death because of the service he gave to the country," President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
The 12th death anniversary commemoration of former Mass Media, Tourism and Aviation Services Minister Dharmasiri Senanayake was held at Temple Trees yesterday.
The President addressing the ceremony stated that the late Senanayake was friendly and honest and worked for the party and the country with dedication. He was cordial and never hurt anybody, he said.
"We, Therefore, loved him really", the President said. "He, as a student union leader, active member of the Communist Party and General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party worked with dedication.
"He was loyal to the party leadership. Whenever he was given a task, he had the ability to accomplish it at his best, he said.
"It is our duty to commemorate political leaders who dedicated their lives for the country and the party," he said.
"Dharmasiri Senanayake functioned as the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, and as chairman in 1970s. When we were engaged in a political campaign for a by-election, we were surrounded and attacked by those who speak on democracy and legal supremacy now, the President said.
"He never gave up the party and he was committed to fulfill his duties for the leaders of the party.
He had the courage and strength to face any challenge on behalf of his political leadership. I see him as the best chairman of the Tourist Board," he said.
Sri Lanka Freedom Party General Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said the character of the late Senanayakewas exemplary for all politicians.
He never earned money, wealth and status. He loved the people and stood for them.
He was a man of the era and a well mannered character in the SLFP party history.
Senior Minister Dew Gunasekara said Dharmasiri Senanayake played a prominent role in bringing down the 17 year UNP rule and establishing a democratic socialist oriented government in 1994 in his capacity as the General Secretary of the SLFP.
"The late Senanayake entered Parliament by winning the general election in 1989 from the Kegalle district and became the Minister of Mass Media, Tourism and Aviation Services in the 1994 People's Alliance government, he said.