Gus Mathews of England and Lanka
Thank you all for your condolences. Rajeewa was a good friend. When I last saw him in January, he was rather subdued and not his usual ebullient self. It didn’t strike me that he was depressed, but one never knows what lurks behind the mantle of normality.
Rajeewa & Sanjeewa Jayaweera on tour in Vietnam in 2019
As the letter he left with his brother explains he had a debilitating medical condition. In addition he was going blind with glaucoma and possibly AMD (advanced macular degeneration) — there is no cure for this so far. He was also separated from his third wife recently. This all adds to a depressed state of mind.
The question one asks is “why in Independence Square and not at his home.” Knowing him as I do, I can only guess his mindset. He did not want his maid to find him dead at home as her loyalty was beyond reproach and he rewarded her with a million rupees. Secondly, he loved walking to Independence Square from his home most evenings.
His grandfather and father drilled into him a patriotism and a love for Sri Lanka as I have intimidated before, I share the same love for Sri Lanka as Rajeewa and maybe this is why we became friends. He also wanted his body to be found quickly. As a patriot of Sri Lanka what better place to die than Independence Square.
I am grieving for the loss of a very good friend. We both shared a passion for Sri Lanka. I learned a lot about the politics of Sri Lanka from one with inside knowledge.
ammi & thathi … supplied by Sanjeewa
Rajeewa’s father was a career diplomat and was the ambassador to Germany and due to this he attended university in Germany. His uncle Neville Jayaweera was a top civil servant and his crowning moments were as GA of Jaffna during Srimavo’s time and then later as Director General of Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation.
So, as you can perceive, he hails from a well-respected family whose service to Sri Lanka was exemplary.
I am certain the speculative vultures will be circling around attempting to pin the cause of his death to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Some SL media outlet and their Diaspora readers will try every trick in the book to link GR to his death. His writings were no threat to GR and the innuendos that pour out from the enemies of Sri Lanka will see no end. Currently there are a plethora of conspiracy theories on ‘Facebook’ with many playing an amateur detective to pin the blame on the President. The Daily Mirror too has got the story completely wrong with speculative comments from its readership: see http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Man-found-dead-at-independence-square%3B-suspected-suicide/108-189910
To scotch the rumours Rajeewa’s private letter to his younger brother was made public by an official as there is a general election within a few months and the government does not wish to spend its energy on rumours and innuendos. However, the inquiry into his death is proceeding its usual tortuous pace.
I shall take no note of these speculative comments. Suffice to say I shall miss a dear friend who was excellent company and a font of knowledge on the inner workings of the state of Sri Lanka.
* RRW: “Remembering Rajiv Jayaweera: An Outstanding Analyst and A Sturdy Administrator,” 15 June 2020,
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