|Thursday, 4 July 2002|
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On September 5, '94 I handed over the relevant documents to the RMV for the transfer of ownership of motor car 15 Sri 4614. The RMV having accepted the documents issued a receipt on form CMT 52.
During this period of seven years I met the Deputy Directors, Head of Sections, the Subject Clerks on numerous occasions. Several written representations were made to the commissioner, successive ministers, secretary to the ministry and finally to her Excellency the President, but these were of no avail as all these representations finally end up with the Subject Clerk.
Predecessor of the present commissioner to whom I made representations finally requested me to furnish an affidavit mentioning the contents to be embodied. When I handed over the affidavit he made an endorsement instructing the issue of a duplicate transfer book. Nearly two months passed and I contacted the Subject Clerk and questioned why the duplicate book has not been issued. His evasive reply was that he would attend to the matter.
When I invited the attention of the RMV once again he requested me to send a photocopy of their receipt issued to me. This too was sent by registered post on October 15, 2001.
The licensing and insuring the vehicle during this period was done with the help of the endorsements obtained on the relevant forms by the Deputies. But this too has been deprived during the current two years and I am thus exposed to risks. I am deprived of any chances of selling this vehicle in these circumstances.
K.P. DE SILVA, Panadura.
For heavens sake forget about reviving SLTB. I have long memories of transport before nationalisation by Late Mr. Maithripala Senanayake, subsequent CTB/SLTB and JR's reformation. Hats off to Late JR !
CTB/SLTB enabled all the ministers and officials involved to dump on public all sorts of buses mounted on truck bodies-Tata and Leyland included.
These provided rough and uneconomical service to passengers, more and more money for abovementioned VIPs and their candle holders, ready source of money for Trade Union Mudalali's, captive victims for arrogant and illiterate employees, all riding on the back ok of innocent public. After JR's reform only we saw real buses like ROSA's etc and a tamed SLTB employees. Follow the path set by European State Transport monopolies which offer the public best service with least cost.
V. Anandasivam , via-e-mail
The front page news item (27/06/2002) 'Gemunu Wijeratne steps down' tells quite a tale. So far Mr. Wijeratne has not contradicted the contents. Therein Mr. Wijeratne proves with figures what the public and law enforcement authorities always suspected. In Mr. Wijeratne's own words "about 4000 drivers were ignorant of road rules" and that "some bus owners were also employing drug addicts as drivers".
No doubt the public, aware that such maniacs drive recklessly unaware of road rules and in the absence of any officials taking "precautionary steps" the enraged public let loose their disgust, anger and frustration by destroying the buses.
What did Mr. Wijeratne do? He justified and encouraged the drivers to stay off paralysing the services on the High Level Road.
It is suggested that the law enforcement authorities along with the Attorney General investigate the statements by Mr. Wijeratne, for his role as the President of the Association for employing such people, for taking action to paralyse an essential service and violating Human Rights of the Public transport users and prosecute him for such offences. We have a right to demand such action because Mr. Wijeratne himself chides the public for "ignoring shortcomings of the relevant officials".
Mettananda Wijekulasuriya , Polgasowita.
Train travellers from Panadura to Colombo Fort, Maradana are greatly inconvenienced due to the frequent delay of office trains in the morning.
After the 8.20 am train to Colombo Fort the next scheduled train is due at 8.55 am which arrives from Kalutara. But this is a (always late) train which reaches after 9.15 am and daily announcements are being made of the delay. No attempts seems to be taken to normalise the train service.
It will be a great advantage if another train is introduced from 8.45 am for the benefit of office workers. The train which terminates at 8.20 am from Moratuwa to Colombo Fort could be extended upto Panadura which will benefit passengers from Panadura to Colombo Fort.
Also the train which terminates from Mt. Lavinia at 9.00 am to Colombo Fort could be extended to Moratuwa, which are minor adjustments of scheduled trains without introducing additional trains.
The transportation of wooden and steel furniture with wet paint in office trains mainly from Egoda Uyana, Koralawella and Moratuwa stations are also a daily hindrance to commuters. If arrangement, are made for the transportation of furniture after the office trains or in goods trains, charging a normal fee which will being an additional income for the Sri Lanka Railways.
The reduction of compartments and cancellation of trains are also frequent occurrences which should be avoided for the betterment of train services. The frustrated commuters are expecting a quick change from the existing arrangements
which has deteriorated the train services.
M. S. C. Weerasinghe , Panadura
Wildlife conservation has no political or national boundaries.
Nelson Mandela, as patron of the Peace Parks foundation, sponsored the formation of Transfrontier Nature Reserves in Southern Africa. These reserves sometimes encompass land belonging to many countries, which were at war with each other.
Joint management plans were devised to run a conservation area as a single ecological unit, and tourists who enter one park may now pass freely into another park and back again, thus increasing traffic and revenue to both areas.
Peace Parks were proposed a century ago, in Africa. They could be considered as high risk but high reward proposals.
The National Peace Council could initiate a pilot project at the Wilpattu Game Sanctuary. Wilpattu has an area, which includes Anuradhapura, Puttalam, and the Wanni. Sustainable development could be encouraged around the park, then people living there would take an interest in the park. It is the community component that is the key to the long term success of a peace project.
The World Bank and the Asian Development bank have suggested stakeholder schemes in their wild life conservation plans.
The National Peace Council could participate in an honorary capacity in these schemes, with the NPC district committees as ground observers. The Peace Parks proposal could be introduced through the Ministry of Environment.
Elmo Alles Colombo 3.
Recent television exposure about the multi storeyed complex being in distress sounds alarm bells. The coverage showed vertical cracks running the major part of the building and horizontal cracks in several locations. This does not augur well for the occupants who were removed from slums in the hope of a better habitat. Nor does it speak much of the design and construction of a building that was only opened with much fanfare in November 2001.
The TV cameraman showed the anguish, in the faces of the settlers who live in the complex not knowing if it will collapse and entomb them in situ. Collapse of buildings make big news when caused by earthquake or sabotage as witnessed in September 11th last year in New York. But when it is a creeping danger with cracks widening and spreading and a leaking roof, the inmates have no choice except to bale out or stay put and pray or curse the people who had a hand in this evolving tragedy.
The builders should analyse the causes for buildings to fail within six months of inauguration, especially after it had a slab collapsing even during construction and rumour was due to low grade of cement. Project proponent should have been alert to introspection and sought the cause before rushing in to completion before the last December elections.
Recent media exposure will make people think what the planners, designers, architects, engineers and contractors are doing? Many other questions pop up. Was the building given a certificate of completion as to being fit for occupation by a set of people who had been fed on hopes to enable clear the slum? Will they be vacated again from higher levels they now occupy?
Both designers and contractors are responsible for the safety of a structure they build. They should understand the principles of reliability and loading conditions. Correct design is the first step in building and using the structure safely.
S H C DE SILVA, Past President IESL
I was able to read these transport problems in Sri Lanka every now and then since the induction of the open economy in Sri Lanka and thought of writing few lines about it. "Our beloved country is a developing country and has economic problems", this is the common answer our politicians normally give when there is a problem whatever area in Sri Lanka. I think this not an economic problem, this is related to management and law and order problem.
Most of the vehicles running on our roads are not maintained properly, not driven by the experienced drivers, poor discipline of the bus conductors and the bad road conditions. If we need to develop a country, the law and order of that country has a paramount importance. Why not we impose and implement a law to check the warranty of fitness of the vehicles making the issuing party responsible for the mechanical failures, I have seen many vehicles, buses with broken rusty footboards, poor break performance, warn out tyres etc in Sri Lanka. These are not suitable for our roads. But for money, these vehicle owners jeopardize the lives of the public. For issuing the warranty of fitness certificates authorities can charge a fee which can be used to implement the system.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka is far behind the modern technology. You can generate money from the system itself. Above all, Sri Lanka needs good managers with a vision, many I assume have not seen or don't know the today's technology.
SJ New Zealand
The Government had granted approval for the operation of private provident fund associations in accordance with the rules and regulations laid down by the Labour Department. In the case of funding operation the following rules are to be strictly adhered to: (1)The balance due from the Company has to be paid to the Association before the end of the following month.
(2) The Association could invest in Government Securities.
(3) Investments could be made in other companies with the approval of the Company's Board of Directors. However, the Association should not-
(a) grant loans or invest monies in the business; or securities of the parent Company; or
(b) invest in any other company in which the parent Company has an interest otherwise than as a shareholder whose shares are quoted. I fully agree with these rules and regulations as funds belonging to Company employees have to be strictly monitored. However, it should be noted that these regulations were made as far back in 1948.
Issue of Commercial Paper is a funding operation which came to the market after 1990. According to the Central Bank regulation,only a few reputed Companies (approx. 50) which have net assets more than Rs. 100 M are authorized to issue Commercial Papers.
If these Commercial Papers are counter signed for authentication by a Commercial
Bank, they fetch a ready market. The said Commercial Bank could either sell these Commercial Papers in the money market or keep in its custody and demand payment from the issuer on maturity. When sold in the money market, the subsequent purchaser/s of the Commercial Paper could demand money from the Bank at the time of maturity whereas the bank will collect same from the issuer.
Therefore, Commercial Papers issued by reputed Companies duly endorsed by a Commercial Bank are considered as guaranteed investment.
Purchase of Commercial Papers in the money market cannot be considered as an investment in the company issuing same or as a loan granted to the said company, because they are purchased from a Commercial Bank who guaranteed repayment. In the circumstances, approved Provident Fund Associations should be authorized to purchase Commercial Papers issued by the parent Company or by any other reputed Company endorsed by Commercial Bank.
Usually, Commercial Papers returns are better that those from Treasury Bills or from Bank deposits. Therefore, Commercial Paper operation gives a better income to an approved Provident Fund Association.
In the circumstances, approved Provident Fund Associations should be authorized to purchase Commercial Papers issued by the parent Company or any other reputed Company with due endorsement by a Commercial Bank.
I hope the Minister of Finance will grant approval early so that members of approved Provident Fund Associations (i.e. employees of the Company) would benefit.
S. R. BALACHANDRAN , Council Member The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka.
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