R Rajamahendran, Chairman of Sri Lanka’s Capital Maharaja Group, which manages Sirasa and MTV television and radio media channels passed away unexpectedly at a private hospital last Sunday. He was 78 years old. He had died of Covid-19 according to reports , despite getting both shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine .
Raja Mahendran was born on May 19, 1943 and went to Royal College in Colombo. He had started working at the Maharaja Organization at 16. He had run the group from 21, after his father’s death. Despite his Group offices being burnt in 1983 and Sirasa television bombed to the ground in 2009 by government led goons. Raja Mahendran remained Combative and blunt.
He was a man who believed that it was up to you to Control your destiny, or someone else will, therefore be candid with everyone. He lived this ideology to the last despite the brickbats and abuse he got from powerful politicians. Their power and positions meant nothing to him .
He took them on openly with out any fear when they screwed up or failed to meet their commitments. For him his word meant everything, unlike the many businessmen/tycoons we find today in Sri Lanka’s private sector, who shift at the drop of a hat to make money or to wield influence .
His crusades against special interests and corruption in politics gave him broad appeal to all kinds of people. There are many stories of how he helped people and friends, especially when they were in difficulty, or without employment or money etc, once again unlike many of the business people who walk the corridors of power.
His untimely death will certainly have huge political consequences.
The country will certainly miss his presence and the vacuum that has been created by his death will not be easy to fill by anyone in a hurry. We should be grateful for his service to the country. May he Rest In Peace.