The launching ceremony of the English translation of the book titled ‘Gotabaya’, and ‘Paathalayo’ a Sinhala novel based on real underworld episodes authored by Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) was held to coincide his 59th birthday at the Kularathne Hall in Ananda College, Colombo last evening (Sep 6).
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa accompanied by first lady Ayoma Rajapaksa, graced the book launching ceremony as the Chief Guest.
Defence Secretary’s novel 'Pathalayo' is an outcome of real underworld incidents in which he was directly involved in curbing the underworld during the past few months. Meanwhile, the English version of the book titled 'Gotabaya' was launched yesterday following the last year’s publication of its Sinhala version.
So far he has penned seven books including the most famous ‘Ranamaga Osse Nandikadal’ later translated as ‘Road to Nandikadal’. ‘Kadol Aththu’, ‘Uththara Devi’ and ‘Gotabaya’ Sinhala version were the other books.
Defence Secretary presented the first copies of the books to the Chief Prelate of Sri Kalyani Samagri Dharma Maha Sanga Sabha, Most Ven. Iththapane Dhammalankara thero including Maha Sanga, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Laly Kobbekaduwa and Manel Wimalaratna during the session.
Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga delivering the keynote speech said “Kamal has brought out in a very simple but a powerful way, who Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) is, among the 21 chapters of his well-written reader-friendly book while disclosing rather emotional happenings”.
He said, "Gotabaya is about a quintessential politician, an inspiring leader and more than anything else he is an exemplary personality and a great human being for whom I have the highest regard.”
Weerathunga brought a few famous quotes on leadership and said GR presented to the country a clear vision but different from any earlier one which ‘Prosperity and Splendour’ to the country.
“He has already challenged many established practices because some of them are archaic and did not suit the modern time. A grand dream doesn’t become a significant reality without a team effort, solid trust, strong relationship, deep competence and individual accountability”, he said.
While mentioning the President’s leadership on battling the COVID-19 Pandemic, he said President Rajapaksa had enabled everyone who could contribute and stood behind motivating them all the time.
“I have seen how he motivated the troops during the war against terrorists”, he said. Finally, we Sri Lankans have collectively found the leader who makes the life of every Sri Lankan citizen safe, peaceful and prosperous”, Weeratunga said.
Mentioning his previously authored books, Maj. Gen. Gunaratne said a recoded number of people lined up to buy the famous book ‘Road to Nandikadal’ at the time it was initially launched.
Introducing the newest volume, ‘Paathalayo’, he said unlike other books he authored, ‘Paathalayo’ contains a unique native terminology which only the underworld is conversant with.
Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa, Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardene, Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, State Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government Dr. Sarath Weerasekara, State Minister of Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal, and Public Sanitation Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda, Western Province Governor Marshal of the Air Force Roshan Goonetileke, Presidential Secretary Dr. PB Jayasundara, Defence Ministry’s Seva Vanitha Unit Chairman Chithrani Gunaratne, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne, Air Force Commander Air Marshal Sumangala Dias, Acting Inspector General of Police Chandana Wickramaratne, former Military Commanders, Senior Officials of Security Forces and other invited distinguished guests were present at the occasion.