We were friends.
Mr. Premadasa though he did not trust people very easily, was extremely loyal to those he trusted. I remember an incident in the seventies. We went to Bandarawela for some political meetings. Tilak Ratnakara and Aloysius Mudalali were also with us. Usually at meetings Mr. Premadasa would be on the platform while the rest of us would be canvassing the crowd attending the meeting. On this occasion Tilak Ratnakara and Aloysius Mudalali were telling me about an experience they had with Mr. Premadasa only a short while ago. They had found out the wrong-doings of a mutual friend and they had warned Mr. Premadasa about this man. Mr. Premadasa had however defended him. These two were very unhappy about that. They felt that if Mr. Premadasa ignored their warnings and their advice when he was only a member of Parliament, he would do so even more once the UNP is in office and he is a senior Minister. Since I knew that the information they relayed to Mr. Premadasa was correct, I thought I should take up this matter with him later on. That night we were staying at the Ella Rest House. He and I used to share a room on these trips and before going to sleep we would spend some time just relaxing, talking about this and that. That night I told Mr. Premadasa about this incident. I still remember his reply: "Sirisena tell them (Tilak Ratnakara and Aloysius Mudalali) that even if someone complains to me about them, that is how I would respond. When a man is not there to defend himself, I will defend him. These are my friends. If some one criticises them in their absence, it is my duty to defend them". That was the man. He would never criticise you behind your back; whatever he has to say, however harsh the criticism was (and often it would be stinging) he would say it to your face. It was a good quality, though some people misused it for their own purposes.