Imthiaz Bakeer Markar’s Thought-Provoking Book Sithamu Sparks Discourse and Reflection

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB)Member Imthiaz Bakeer Markar is a seasoned campaigner who, like other politicians before him, has found a powerful way of expressing his thoughts on politics through the written word. In his latest book Sithamu, Markar, realising that his gift for writing can create a healthy discourse in society when it comes to political issues, expresses his views on politics in a thought-provoking manner.

Daily News attended his book launch at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute last Friday, which was attended by many political leaders and other guests. The book generated great interest even at its launch. The event was attended by Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa.

Outspoken, vociferous, and charismatic Journalist Tharindu Uduwaragedara, Senior Journalist Chandana Sooriyabandara and Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Studies at the Open University of Sri Lanka, Dr. Athulasiri Samarakoon spoke at the event. The book was published by Godage Publishers.

Political affiliation

Imthiaz Bakeer Markar’s family has always been affiliated with politics for a very long time. Indeed, he is a politician who has many friends in Parliament due to his affable manner. There are strong bonds between the Markar family and many in politics. His father was a powerful political figure. An old boy of Ananda College, Imthiaz Bakeer Markar is a man who won the admiration of his peers. This relationship is based on trust and loyalty.

The book written by Markar is indeed a labour of love. Markar has always stood for unity and equality in Sri Lanka. Being a politician, he has been outspoken on issues he feels passionate about. He has always wanted to give something back to the country that he loves dearly. All of this was revealed by the son of Imthiaz Bakeer Markar who spoke first. People travelled long distances to be a part of the book launch.

Markar has always respected all religions and ethnicities. He has always stood for what is right, as explained by Senior Journalist Chandana Sooriyabandara. This is why the book was penned by Markar. This is because he feels strongly about these issues.

This book is actually a reflection of society. Indeed, the attendance of so many political heavyweights, indicates that he is a man who has undoubtedly won the admiration of those not only in his own party but in other parties as well. The presence of Buddhist monks at the book launch also indicates that he is well thought of by the Buddhist clergy. The warmth with which he is greeted shows that he is a man who is respected by all.

Silver-tongued Senior Journalist Chandana Sooriyabandaracalled Markar a man of integrity and a man of noble character. “This book discusses political and social issues. Markar is a man who does not compromise his principles. This book is worthy of being read. He is a man of vision, and this is self-evident when you read this book. He has outlined the way forward for Sri Lankan society through his insightful columns on politics contained in the book. He is a man of ethics, and he is courageous. He is a man of service and compassion. Our children will one day transform this country. Because this country needs to be rebuilt.” Sooriyabandara’s comments are undeniable.

The SJB Parliamentarian Markar had a cordial chat with Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. The mutual respect they had for each other was evident. There is a cliché saying that there is nothing in the world that isn’t politics. From the cradle to where we are now, it affects every aspect of our lives. Ultimately it is not the figures we quote when making a speech that counts. It is how we touch the hearts of others when making a speech. Just read this book and find out for yourself how beautifully it is written.

Political core

Dr. Athulasiri Samarakoon commented that politics is at the core of our society. The columns in the book are gems of knowledge. Samarakoon clearly felt that politics is central to our existence. “But what is politics? This is a topic and theme that we need to deliberate on. We need to think of this over and over again. Because here past and present matter. We have to look back at the past for ideas and then discuss these ideas in the present context. Politics is a global phenomenon. It transcends boundaries.

Markar in this book examines the many facets of politics. It examines the various forms of Government. It prompts the reader to think and analyse. There is no society without politics. Politics is essential. So, we need to think or more appropriately rethink. This is how we need to journey into the future. In his book, Markar attempts to explain to us his vision. Politics and leadership go hand in hand. Do we have a philosophical answer to the scourge of violence in the world?

When people are denied their rights, they agitate, and rebel. We saw this demonstrated in Sri Lanka, with the Aragalaya not too long ago. Here again, the dynamics between the rulers and their subjects come into focus. The answer to this is that we need to watchdog Democracy. We need an educated youth to take up politics. If this does not happen, then the future will indeed be gloomy. This is why the book is timely and relevant. The youth must come forwards and determine the fate of our country.”

Sentiments for motherland

Imthiaz Bakeer Markar MP, in his address, expressed his pleasure at seeing so many of his supporters there, who have travelled long distances to see him.

“This book is a result of my conscience and what I felt in my heart. The columns in this book have been formed by my intellect. I thought to myself – What is the state of my homeland? What is the state of the world I live in? We cannot change the world. But we can all contribute to the betterment of this world. This is something we are all trying to do. I believe in standing up for what is right and what is fair. I believe in compassion, harmony and loving-kindness. We can all try and fight the negative forces in society. Forces that want to harm us, turn us against each other and sow the seeds of discord. That is why I have penned my book Sithamu. We need to fight for freedom and come out of the quagmire we are stagnated in. We are so lucky to live in a beautiful country like Sri Lanka, but we are the ones who have ruined this idyllic existence. That is why we need to rethink. That is why we need to think. So let us talk and have a discourse. Let us cooperate and collaborate. Let us work with each other.”

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