We were in awe
In your presence
That feeling was tangible
When you walked into a room
It was real
We felt priviledged to walk behind you
As you entered a room
Confident that you would make
Absolute sense of any given situation
We were proud
When you stood at a podium
We hung on every word
Wrote them down
Collected them in scrapbooks
Referred to them for work
For everyday life
We felt humbled
By the access you provided
For the inclusiveness with which you approached things
Although you knew the answer already
You guided us to give that answer
And took pride when we got there-albeit –a little late
You treated us like treasures
Each to be nurtured with a different skill
You placed value in our differences
And brought forth the best in us
You encouraged us to pursue our talents
Outside our work
Wanted us to be successful
And your joy and pride at each of our little successes
Was clear
In rare moments we saw you weak, troubled, accused
Having done no wrong
No politicians skin to save you
The newspapers shredding your dignity
With scant disregard for the harm it would cause
You refuse advice to leave the country
And are shot dead by a LTTE sniper
It’s the 12th of August 2005
Things are about to change for the worse

Sashikala Premawardhane

P.S. This is written with sincere apologies for using the late Minister’s name as is instead of The Hon Lakshman Kadirgamar PC, MP. as it should be.

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