Soon after receiving the invitation, he used to get all his stooges and visit those countries in the style of the southerners visiting the homes of their relatives. In the meantime, there used to be a group that would find out ahead which country Mahinda would go to next, get a booking in the same flight or a previous flight and book hotels at their own expense and try to show that they were accompanying the country’s president.
What they used to do was to go ahead of Mahinda, make an appearance at the airport or the hotel lobby when he arrives and show their faces to him. A well known Muslim businessman who suffered from this illness once got to know that Mahinda was to go to Uganda. He spent out of his own pocket and went there ahead of Mahinda. He waited for hours at Entebbe airport, which is even less busy than Katunayake. Therefore, he got the opportunity to meet Mahinda face to face. Going in front of him and making a very low bow, he greeted him, ‘Good afternoon, Your Excellency!’ Mahinda turned to him and was taken by much surprise. He was so surprised that he uttered for even all his bodyguards to hear, “Ammata hudu, mey thambiya monawada yako mehe karanne? (What this Muslim man is doing here?)”. He kept looking at him for around a minute. His MSD men told him, “Sir, he is our man.” He said, “That is correct, Yakko. But, what is he doing here? I can understand if it was London or New York. But, this is Uganda.”