‘People’s Governor’ remembered on January 1 | Daily News

‘People’s Governor’ remembered on January 1

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa called the late Alavi Moulana as People’s Governor in appreciation of his dedicated services to the common man.

His 89th birth anniversary falls on January 1. Moulana passed away five years ago and left a vacuum, which was never filled by subsequent leaders of the Muslim community. Still many think that his presence at this time would have solved many community problems that emanated in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moulana is remembered by people from all walks of life on his 89th birth anniversary for his amiable qualities and for his unbiased services to the people irrespective of faiths or classes.

During the vote of condolence following the demise of Moulana, Parliament met to pay its tribute to the late Alavi Moulana, who was Governor for more than 13 years. There were not less than 20 speakers recalling their intimate association with him. Late Moulana, as we all know, risked his own life to serve the oppressed working class. Even his distinguished position as a Governor, did not deter him from moving with the working class.

He used to move with ministers and rub shoulders with workers, who respected him as their own comrade. This made the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to fondly call him ‘People’s Governor, ‘Comrade Governor’ or 'Andukara Sahodaraya'. Among them were legislators such as Ranil Wickremesinghe, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Dinesh Gunewardena, Udaya Gammanpila, Seyed Ali Moulana, and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. Udaya Gammanpila and Vasudeva Nanayakkara made the most emotional speeches. Nanayakkara made an appeal to the Colombo Municipal Council to rename the ‘Lipton Circus’ as ‘Moulana Circus’ and he stressed that late Moulana richly deserved that honour.

Once on a different occasion, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Moulana has been rendering yeoman services for the betterment of the working people. President Rajapaksa was addressing Jana Prasadini, a felicitation ceremony to mark the 80th birthday of the Western Province Governor and senior vice president of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Moulana at the Temple Trees. Moulana was conferred the Jana Prasadini title, at that felicitation ceremony held under the patronage of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who said: "Alavi Moulana is a trade unionist and has been an urban councillor, MP and Deputy Minister, Minister and a Governor. Whatever position he held, he never forgot the working class community and always fought for their rights."

Despite his status, he was always in the forefront when it comes to staging protests to safeguard the rights of the working class. Seeing Alavi Moulana participating in trade union activities at Lipton Circus or in front of the Fort Railway Station is a common sight to all of us. He had a unique ability to build cordial relations with the people.

When a dispute was reported at a workplace, the name of Moulana automatically came to mind since he had a marvelous ability to overcome such tense situations. He had an extraordinary ability to lead and organise people towards a set goal. SLFPers will always remember the services rendered by Moulana with utmost gratitude and respect. The SLFP was proud of Moulana for his uninterrupted services to the party. He dedicated his time to obtain the maximum benefit for the working class. Therefore, SLFP members will never forget the great services and pivotal role played by Moulana. He was one of the few who stuck to one party, the SLFP, since its very inception in 1956.

Moulana was well acclaimed for employing alliterations in his daily conversations and was very witty in replying people with his humorous rhetorics. “Every junction there is a function,” “God gives and forgives and man gets and forgets.”

When he met this writer, he said: “You are a journalist of repute, no one can refute.” Another quote from Moulana is “We meet, greet and retreat.” Finally, he retreated and he is no more but the legacy he left behind will remain forever.