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Dr. D. Nesiah returns Deshamanya title and medal
Published Date: 08/11/2018 (Thursday)

By Ananth Palakidnar

In a show of defiance, former civil servant and former Jaffna Government Agent Dr. Devanesan Nesiah has returned the country’s second highest National Award, the `Deshamanya’ Award along with the medal and the citation certificate to President Maithripala Sirisena saying that he was disappointed over the latter’s blatant flouting of the country’s 70-year-old democracy in the recent weeks. 

 
85-year-old Dr. Nesiah is a civil servant who served as a Government Agent of Jaffna from 1981 to 1984. He is the son of Jaffna-based educationist K. Nesiah.

Dr. Nesiah was one of the 10 recipients of the Deshamanya award, which was awarded to him at the National Awards ceremony which was held after 12 years in March 2017 in Colombo.    


Dr. Nesiah who is presently domiciled in Melbourne, Australia has sent a letter yesterday (7) to President Sirisena confirming of the returning of his Deshamanya Award along with the medal and the citation certificate.


The letter sent by Dr. Nesiah to President Sirisena is as follows:  
“I write as a loyal citizen of Sri Lanka and a proud recipient of the great titular honour of ‘Deshamanya’ that Your Excellency saw fit to confer on me in March of 2017. My children, grandchildren, other relatives and close friends gathered from three continents in celebrating the award and the Presidential recognition of my services to our great nation.


I barely knew you earlier but my family, friends and I were greatly elated when you were elected President. That elation and hope, Your Excellency, has given way to disappointment over your very blatant flouting of our 70-year-old democracy, in recent weeks.


As a loyal and patriotic Sri Lankan, I see no alternative but to regretfully return the ‘Deshamanya’ medal and certificate that you awarded me. I am currently overseas and will make arrangements to return the medal and certificate to your office, when I come back to Sri Lanka.


Your Excellency, my decision isn’t one that I’ve taken lightly, or in haste. To always act in accordance with my principles is a burden that I’ve embraced with pride for nearly 60 years, since I first enrolled as a cadet in the Ceylon Civil Service. My long career in the civil service, was often stymied under both United National Party and Sri Lanka Freedom Party regimes for my refusal to compromise my values.


Since I can no longer take pride in the title of ‘Deshamanya’ that you’ve conferred on me, I have no option but to return my treasured medal and certificate.”
 

Source: Ceylon Today

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