ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 43

He paid the penalty for his honesty and courage

Sujith Prasanna Perera

It was six years ago that the precious life of Sujith Prasanna Perera, Customs Officer was snuffed out senselessly by an assassin’s bullet.

This brave and courageous public servant acted according to the dictates of his conscience fighting valiantly against corruption.
Sujith was my neighbour at Kiribathgoda when I lived there before my retirement from public service. We became close friends more so as we came into constant contact in the sister Departments viz. Customs and Immigration. We shared our lives together at Katunayake and Ratmalana Airports and at the sea ports of Colombo harbour and Talaimannar (both Talaimannar and Ratmalana are out of commission now) on long hours of arduous and continuous duty with a sense of camaraderie.

I had heard that Sujith was a fearless investigator dedicated to and committed to his job. Yet among his colleagues and associates he was always softspoken and gentle. He was the embodiment of a perfect, serene human being.

His altruism and bonhomie brought him a host of friends. He was ever conscious of the less fortunate and often reached out to offer a helping hand. His life manifested a deeply felt attitude of concern and care for his fellow human beings.

I am personally aware that he was a live-wire of the Student Christian Movement through which he served humanity. He had helped those in dire circumstances financially and otherwise. I have also heard that he offered a house to a friend who was deprived of a dwelling.

Sujith had to pay the supreme penalty for being an honest and upright public servant attempting to complete the job that he was entrusted with. He was certainly a perfectionist. Recently, I came across an account of the particular case in Victor Ivan’s book titled “Queen of Deceit” wherein Sujith’s investigative prowess is highlighted. He had also seen the then Deputy Solicitor General and had been sent to the United States on an investigative mission to uncover a massive smuggling racket. He was zealously at it just before he was killed.

Sujith was a remarkable human being with sterling qualities and a superb detective, which is a rare combination. I shall always remember his hospitality whenever our families met.

Sujith’s young and innocent wife Angela and baby Ayesha are living under the care of Angela’s parents. We can only offer them our deepest sympathies and pray for their well-being. In the midst of life we are in death. Let us console ourselves and wish eternal rest to Sujith.

By Nanda Nanayakkara

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.