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Sihinayaki Re’with youngest Guest twenty three year old Sumeera Gunasekera born abnormal – by Sunil Thenabadu

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Sunil Thenabadu“Sihinayaki Re”….is a very trendy television programme telecast on every Sunday night over the Sri Lanka Rupavahini channel for two hours or more beyond mid night which has a tremendous viewer enthusiasm and which reached the 300th program on the 13th February 2022 as an uninterrupted series program. The guest is a predominantly a prominent personality, head of a government department, famous singer, actor ,doctor. lyricist  or it could be a successful reputed business magnate.But today was young Sumeera Gunasekera a deformed child born grown up in homes/ 

The program is produced by Jayamini Illeperumagamlath and her team while the presenter is the skilled, acclaimed, accomplished Mahesh Nissanka, who via his ability to pierce into the hearts of the guest has made the ‘Sihinayaki Re’ program spellbound and nail biting. The guest has the option to choose 10 songs. The guest has to justify the reason for selecting each song of his selection. A lot of spade work necessitates to be geared up by the production team with the guest before the program as it is telecast mostly ‘live’. Owing to the incredible curiosity and enthusiasm shown by viewers locally and internationally.The ‘Sihinayaki Re’ was performed for expatriates in Oman,London, Kingdom of Qatar , USA. Sydney and Melbourne states in Australia. 

Sumeera Gunasekera with a deformity was the guest, the youngest at twenty three years old for the  three hundred and second  popular Sihinayaki Re program courtesy of Prime Group, The guest Sumeera was familiarised as a person who had brought up by himself will select ten songs of his choice appropriately related to incidents that had occurred In his life to date. The singing duo too were very young vocalists Pasindu Bomiriya and Ishini Avishka Bandara. 

The program begun with a common musical jingle of a cradle song. .When the presenter astute Mahesh Nissanka asked Sumeera what he felt he said many things but one image was blurred. It was clarified as probably may have  been his mother but he had been too tiny to recall her lullabies. When presenter asked from where to begin the dialogue Sumeera said he is not the only abnormal child there are so many even with major deformities., but to miss parents when he was not used to breath in and breath out is a question itself.. But Sumeera had been looked after by a lady who is now old whose  character is held in high esteem about her he still salutes said will elaborate more as the program progresses. Sumeera added that he lives today because of the sacrifice this lady made to bring him up.  

Sumeera had been born to a young mother whose age was only fifteen years which Sumeera had discovered after reading a letter she had written. She had been in school playing about like other girls. His father after knowing he was a deformed baby while in the Balangoda Base  hospital on December 3rd year 1999, had deserted his mother whose whereabouts are also not known until today. According to a letter written by Sumeera’s  mother the father had also deserted him citing the reason he cannot give him a name as he is born deformed. .Mother after bringing him up for two years had deserted him handing him over to a children’s’ home, Her whereabouts too unknown to date. Sumeera’s abnormality is that his right hand is only up to just beyond his elbow is a weak hand unable to make use of much.. Virtually he is handicapped with only one hand. Sumeera is not blaming his mother as she perhaps had opted to take the appropriate decision at that moment. Several people had blamed Sumeera for not been curious in searching his mother.He added that that there is a buried story which his does not want to unearth. He had said that he had not seen his mother it is only an imaginary picture that is etched in mind. There had been instances that perhaps a bit foolishly stands in front of a mirror portrays creating an imaginary photo of his mother. Thinks of the father also would have been shaped like him.The sister in the Church care had shown a photo of his mother giving it a value. Sumeera said there is a saying that the mother who brought him up is better than the mother who created him, but he has some doubt whether she still lives or not. 

The first he had selected he confessed it was dedicated to himself also as he likes Sunil Edirisinghe as a vocalist “Sadakalika Nowu Lokaye Sadakalika Premayak”.This song strikes him as he is a person who finds love and who lives within the passion. From the lyrics he remembers the lady who looked after him and in the second verse he remembers how he lived in homes., boardings, temples rehabilitation centres.He added cannot recollect a period he had lived at a place for a long length of time.He had gone all over in search of eternity but never found the love he anticipated.But he stressed that was thirsty for it.He said as he wished to listen to his program later on had selected this song been a bit selfish.Sumeera reiterated that his search for love continued nonstop  for intimacy He had received sufficient love and fondness from many like the lady who brought him up and nuns in the churches. Sumeera says he get a number of sms messages to his in box about the mother, but nothing had proved fruitful. The guest seat at the Sihinayaki Re is not offered to a person of my stature. Getting the opportunity is a blessing in disguise to Sumeera but did justice to the position offered.Sumeera was full of admiration to Sister for bringing up.She is now ageing at 93 years old. However, as Sumeera had seen her very attractive when young feels sad about her condition in life. Even in school for parents day Sister used to come to school when some were pessimistic to know whether Sister had children.The second song Sumeera dedicated to Sister.”Mathakaya Asurin Sihiyata Gannata” of Indrani Perera which he was paying homage to sister who looked after and brought him up. Sumeera when inquired about his mother from the Sister it was added that she was fair, sweet and small made having his features. Sumeera loves to recollect such memories of his mother and believes she had breast fed him milk.There had been several young children whose parents had deserted them. He quipped that no one had any hatred towards them.Sumeera had been one among  the rest more talkative and intelligent condemns the saying that all criminals and drug distributors are orphans which is the accepted norm but Sumeera totally rejects that accusation. Sumeera has reiterated that he has a huge respect for the name’ AMMA’ .He affirms that he is very fortunate to have got the affection of many mothers like to be fed, to clean faeces and his other obligations. He also believes that he may have been put to sleep to the tune of so many lullabies or cradle songs.In this context Sumeera considers there cannot be another child been so fortunate. This mothers song Sumeera dedicates to all mothers in the planet. 

This song Sumeera dedicates to a girl whom he had met and commenced a serious relationship two years ago but had to bring to a standstill. Both Sumeera and the girl had been closely attached. He relates that the relationship had begun nicely and ended too in the same vein at the  same venue at the Bodiya in a Buddhist temple. The first day he had met her had stroked her head when a few hairs had come out which Sumeera had preserved showed them kept safely as a souvenir. The duo had offered a ‘pen kale’ and vouched and then after two years had ended in the same pattern.The decision had been taken as the girl’s parents were not happy as Sumeera had a  deformity, has no parents also as he was following Christianity having been brought up in Church also how he reads the society is different .Sumeera believes to end a relationship one need not commit suicide, hang from a bar or jump on to a train. Sumeera says the manner two could end love affairs will teach some stories for many. Sumeera thinks his mother may have sent this girl to him to learn some lessons before maturity.The next song Sumeera dedicates to the girl with whom he has had a relationship, Chandana Liyanarchchi’s “Boho Dura Oba Ya yuthuya” a passionate wish to her. Sumeera’s suggestion to all who were unable to sustain their relationships need to express feelings through a poem. 

The next song selected by Sumeera was the song sung by Nanda Malini “Dasamasak Ma”.Sumeera quipped that when he observed some blanks in his birth certificate he was fuming.But later he had got convinced that there are more catastrophes in many peoples life than the defect on his birth certificate which was considered a minor incidence..Sumeera had affirmed that according to his mother she had left him in the children’s home and told she will bring his birth certificate which she never brought or seen later..Sumeera’s advice for all parents is to be well equipped before bringing of a child is thought of. 

Sumeera conveyed that when a child is handed over to a home in a different district which is a rule..He quipped that a birth certificate  is essential for applying for an identity card and other matters .Sumeera added he had come to occupy the seat not to represent himself but to cry for the Children in homes and those in the deformed sector.After passing eighteen years they face constraints in entering to seniors life.The entire  children population  in homes there had been many injustices they had to face. To navigate over them.He related a story of a pregnant mother in the prison.The child had been born in the prison , the place of birth had to be stated as prison.One student had to face a situation after coming third in the university entrance stating she has no permanent residency status. Sumeera  pointed out one girl was deprived of entering university as she had no permanent address.Sumeera had personally taken this girl  when she had come third in the district in her second shy,Sumeera had even accompanied her to the University grants commission but had been of no avail .Most children in homes are transferred to other homes after some period ,this experience Sumeera too had faced.The student from Kegalle had brought a grama sevaka certificate from Kurunegala..The authorities had questioned why this discrepancy. So after eighteen years they become puzzled and mystified about the individual future of them .Sumeera said he is representing all and speaking to the national television for authorities to understand the constraints faced. He made a plea to the related authorities to have a separate system to be formulated.This was a plea from Sumeera to rescue all who leave children’s homes..The presenter Mahesh Nissanka was speechless on hearing this misfortune could be termed as a calamity, did say that the authorities would intervene as this programs is watched by millions locally and internationally. Through these series of programs many such issues brought to light and resolved 

The next song selected was that of late Visharada Neela Wickremasinghe’s song” Bodhiya Viharaye” .Sumeera says the entire lyrics of the song are scattered on his mother’s catastrophe. He reiterated that before a child is planned there are so many issues to be faced are sorted out should be thought of at least a thousand times.This songs hurts Sumeera uttered when listening to the lyrics.  This song had been a demanding ringing tone too according to Sumeera This song  hurts the feelings of the children in homes is heard several times perhaps on a daily basis. 

The next song selected was of vocalist Sunil Edirisinghe “Issara man giya pasela arila” reminiscing  the beauty of the village observed going to school from the children’s home. Sumeera had attended the village schools and also international schools. Once he was transferred to a school in Kurunegala where the village beauty was well demonstrated. The school was Ibbagamuwa Hangamuwa Maha Vidyalaya.Sumeera took the opportunity to recollect the teachers and all male and female students. Though he was tempted to climb trees to pluck fruits he was reluctant as the school uniform would get dirty as the mothers in homes were particular about keeping the school uniforms in trim condition.  He believes he remembers people not by names but by the places they lived for instance Sumeera said when one talks of “Sihinayaki Re”. what comes to mind is Mahesh Nissanka.The two brothers who brought mangoes to school, he addressed them as ‘Amba Malli” and Amba Aiya” lived in an estate looked after by father and mother,but strangely forgotten after the mango season. The duo had more knowledge on agriculture than the master in charge was Sumeera’s gauging. .Sumeera added the strange thing is that the brother duo were not at all intelligent were classified as ‘Nasarani”  brothers who were punished in class..Sumeera was inquisitive to know whether the two were looking after the plantations or qualified and occupying some responsible positions in society. He said he could have gone to locate them if the names of the two were known. Sumeera enjoyed the walking journey to school passing the amazing flora.  The lyrics of the songs depicts the birds, vegetation,, with it  the pleasant environment. At this juncture presenter Mahesh Nissanka requested to narrate his telephone number as many such issues could be resolved, Sumeera telephone number was spelt out he added would become useful for many to locate him. Mahesh interrupted and said if Sumeera’s mother calls what he would do, he said will ask for her location and sprint there to meet her. Sumeera said even the previous night someone given him an “Arthel” saying Amma is on line.He believed someone was ‘biting’ him. Sumeera said he has a distinct manner in identifying him the guy without the hand. Before the next song Mahesh asked him whether he repented for his deformed hand.Sumeera said of course yes as sometimes he goes in front of a mirror to confirm to self that if the hand was intact he would have been a smarter person though still looks smart at present.At that moment he affirmed he has many plastic hands, said he came sans them as he wanted to display he was a handicapped person. Sumeera had preferred to be his usual self without artificial gear to be very honest. Sumeera said he has many hands wear them as he wishes, in that sense he added he is more accomplished than Mahesh with more hands of course in a much lighter vein but fake.When small he had been nicknamed as ‘atha kota’ ‘abba gathaya” etc but now it is not a concern at all to Sumeera. What he believes now to remember him as Sumeera on what he preaches. Mahesh said that would happen tomorrow morning. The next song selected was “Wana sewpawan” sung by Chandralekha Perera.After the song Mahesh questioned Ishini Avishka whether race, religion is a barrier to a marriage to which she said no for true love as they have come to conclusion about their qualities ,other family issues .Mahaesh asked whether she has proof she said she is already a lover. As her father a retired warrant officer in the Air Force asked about  who are born deformed. She said there is no barrier as such to them too.Mahesh asked as her father is also a Airforce officer who took part in the cruel war would he allow you to marry an ex servicemen who is deformed. To which Ishini added it is not relevant to her as she has already found her partner. 

After a break before the seventh song Mahesh quipped that there are many questions, he wanted to ask Sumeera but as this is a reputed media he was reluctant to ask some of them that too edited questions would be asked. Mahesh asked how Sumeera thrives  to live, he added he works for a reputed institution in which he is the ‘branded ambassador’ as well as the only deformed and youngest such ambassador in the annals of our history. In addition, studies to be a draftsman engineer in a reputed institution also to enter the media field is under studying. When Mahesh asked what areas in the media field would you like to touch, Sumeera added he initially investigated the internet then touched the newspapers and the social media platforms. He also stressed the importance of working in a radio channel to get rid of the fear of talking though a microphone. Thereafter he intends coming to the television which is his ultimate dream to show his face.Sumeera has a deep thinking to see a deformed person reading news. Sumeera challenged Mahesh that to be a complete person has one only got to possess all parts of the body like hands legs etc.In this context Sumeera boldly said he wants to break this faith. He further stressed that we could do even Mahesh’s role according to his own pattern and inimitable style. Sumeera added he had targets had already touched many dreams.He had triumphed over these dreams with the aid of his mates around him.He quipped that he had dreamt many dreams even the manner Mahesh presents this famous program .Sumeera was confident that in the near future he would show his success for sure ,vouched for it.The next song the eighth was “Pandarin Iskoleta” by Harshana Dissanayake..After this song Mahesh commented about the importance of cattle for agriculture. A great novel had been published in India termed ‘Gora’ translated to Sinhalese should be useful to all of us. 

The next song was ‘Gilem Obe Guna sung by WD Amaradewa.  Sumeera advised all to relax at a Bodhiya which all need to get used to. Sumeera has the habit of sitting on the sand once was reading the bible which was seen by a seminarian monk who had added ‘Ha Bibelayak’. Sumeera advised to go to the ‘Bo Maluwa’ at about ten pm to relax.The results one could derive  would be to unprecedented heights.  

The last song selected by Sumeera Gunasekera was ‘Pansale Palliye’ by Edward Jayakody and Charitha Priyadarshini Pieris.. He addressed the audience representing his generation of deformed personnel and children were brought up in Homes.He added that after seven decades of Independence the progress is not at all favourable , with people faced with many constraints many trying to migrate not to return back.Daily the problems are aggravating no one seems to take responsibility each person palms the responsibility to others.The advise of Sumeera is for every young generation is to endeavour to do something to our country. 

This episode of Sumeera Gunasekera  perhaps as the youngest person to occupy this vital seat as guest was very useful to people of all ages.The writer is domiciled in Brisbane who is a huge fan of “Sihinayaki Re”.As the program was watched was adamant and pleased to write about the program to publish in my BLOG 

Sunil Thenabadu

e mail [email protected] 

WhatsApp 0061444533242 

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