Maithree Wickramasinghe has been our classmate from Grade 01 at Musaeus College – we are the batch of 1980.
Maithree is an academic globally respected and recognized for her contribution to various academia, including gender studies. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maitree_Wickremasinghe
She has never taken part in politics although her husband has held the post of PM from time to time. She focused on building a career of empowering others through her work and is one of Kelaniya University’s most senior academics widely respected and held in high esteem by the university.
In politics and in leadership, her role has always been at his side, elegant and discreet ; ever the erudite scholar, she never flaunted her status or her prowess as an academic whenever she faced the public in the role of the PM’s wife.
The photos shared are from the tea party held in honour of our former Principal Ms C K Abeyratne at Maithree’s invitation. Almost all of our batch and others known to her from school days came for this function. Maithree was the gracious hostess and the classmate we have always known.
She has been recuperating from a serious illness since of late and has been recovering at her home, the private residence of the PM.
They broke into her home on Saturday night – young men who didn’t know much beyond being consumed with hatred – ransacked it and set the place on fire. Her dog was found dead.
The library she and her husband had lovingly built and nurtured over the years – one of the finest in Colombo – burnt into the night. It had many rare manuscripts and books and was worthy of being a national library.
Colombo skyline was lit up with a symbol of a tragedy that is yet to come in full. Their home had been bequeathed to the Royal College, the PM’s alma mater. But that night, it was reduced to ashes.
Burning a home is not just setting fire to brim and stone – it is also destroying a person’s memories built over the years, mementoes, cherished objects and hundreds of other precious things that can never, ever be recovered.
It is difficult to understand how the recovering patient that she was, had to be moved in haste. Undoubtedly, it would have caused her great anguish and pain too. I learn from reliable sources that she is in considerable stress at the moment and understandably so.
There is a video circulating that the fire was started by the PM himself – not only is it childish to assume so but it clearly shows that the security personnel are moving the books as flames lick the premises – you can see the smoke rising.
There are other accusations of the govt sponsored individuals starting the fire – but the news coverage last night clearly shows youth being encouraged to climb the fence and get in, cheered on by others watching. This needs a proper investigation and letting law enforcement deal with the perpetrators.
They came for the Jews, I didn’t stand up because I was not a Jew – Pas. Martin Niemoller’s famous words ring out, when they came for me, there was none left to speak out for me.
Our collective thoughts and prayers are with our dear friend tonight. May she recover from this and grow stronger in knowing that there are people who know who she truly is and is not afraid to say it.
We are not afraid to call out wrong when wrong is seen – may we have access to enough wisdom to know that our country is facing one of its darkest moments in recent history. And that we need all the prayers and thoughts to help us overcome this.
May God bless Maithree richly – may she be comforted, healed and restored. With all our love, your classmates – Musaeus College.