Dr. Devansesan Nesiah, an honorary civil servant who brought a tremendous service to the country awarded with the National Honours (Deshamanya) by President Maithreepala Sirisena, is writing to the President that given the annoying grief caused to this country’s democracy of 70 years only in a matter of couple of weeks, he wishes to hand over his award back.
Dr. Devansesan Nesiah is a civil servant who has served this country since 1959. On March 2017, he was awarded with the National Honours by President Maithreepala Sirisena.
Dr. Nesiah, writing an open letter to the President on November 7, 2018, rejects his honorary title as follows.
Below is quoted from his letter to the President.
“…My children, grandchildren, other relatives and close friends gathered from three continents in celebrating the award and the Presidential recognition of my services to our great nation.
I barely knew you earlier but my family, friends and I were greatly elated when you were elected President. That elation and hope, Your Excellency, has given way to disappointment over your very blatant flouting of our seventy year old democracy, in recent weeks.
As a loyal and patriotic Sri Lankan but I see no alternative to regretfully return the 'Deshamanya' medal and certificate that you awarded me. I am currently overseas and will make arrangements to return the medal and certificate to your office, when I come back to Sri Lanka.
Your Excellency, my decision isn’t one that I’ve taken lightly, or in haste. To always act in accordance with my principles is a burden that I’ve embraced with pride for nearly 60 years, since I first enrolled as a cadet in the Ceylon Civil Service. My long career in the civil service, was often stymied under both UNP and SLFP regimes for my refusal to compromise my values.
Since I can no longer take pride in the title of 'Deshamanya' that you’ve conferred on me, I have no option but to return my treasured medal and certificate.
Dr. Devanesan Nesiah