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Vultures, hyenas, leeches in the health sector?

It is indeed a commendable task where as a sector from the Health Sector Unions mainly the Health Services Trade Union going on strike for the benefit of their co-workers. Yes, if they win this, it will be feather in their caps another victory for their pals.

It is not to win but to get more of what they already get and other Government servants don't.

At who's cost may I ask, they have turned into vultures, hyenas and leeches now preying on innocent sick people who are trying to live another day. So, to fill a belly they do not mind killing another?

Is this our culture, our great heritage and what we call a multi-ethnic and religious country or a Sinhala Buddhist country following the teaching of the Buddha? Did they forget King Buddhadasa, the one who even operated a cobra?

While the state is making every effort to resolve this matter taking into consideration all commission reports and representations made by the various Ministries, organisations and other Trade Unions, it is the worst thing the health workers could do to victimize the patients who they consider do not have a right to live. Well some leeches do not know quantity from quality and sometimes just burst with too much.

It is over to you HSTU to know how much you are going to suck from the sick and for whom you are winning this because one day you too will be a patient and who will fight for your right?

As the Association Protecting Patients Right in Sri Lanka, (APPRISL) we will do our utmost to help the victims of this crime committed the noble professional health workers.

We will join hands with other Human Rights activists to bring justice to the victims.

DAVID R. S. MULLER, President, Association Protecting Patients Rights in Sri Lanka

BoI website

Who is in charge of the BoI website? Does he/she ever access the site to see what is there?

Click on the topic 'Return to Sri Lanka' and what do you find? The title 'Elderly abuse' stares you in the face.

Is this what you can expect to find when you return to Sri Lanka?

The 14th East China Fair 2004 is three months out of date - no doubt the fair is over. INTRAD 2003 ended with the month of November 2003 but is still on the site.

Regaining Sri Lanka with a message from former Secretary to the Treasury, Charitha Ratwatte is still on the site though the Government has changed and policies are different. The RFP of mini hydro-power is also outdated and a speech on 'Repositioning Sri Lanka' is still prominent on the site.

Who is in charge of the BoI promotional effort and why is he/she continuing to project the image of the former Government? Could it be that the person is one of the former government's lackeys, intent on subtle destabilisation of the promotional effort?

If the maintenance of the BoI website has been 'outsourced' for some princely sum, then let us hope that there is a penalty clause which can be invoked for failure to carry out the maintenance work. It is, after all public funds that are being used for payments to the highly paid lackeys of the last Government and the companies to whom they have given this type of contract.

P. J. SILVA, Colombo 12

Drinking at public places

The Inspector-General of Police has opened his eyes towards the menace of drinking at public places and is contemplating action to curb it. It is heartwarming and an appreciable act towards public welfare and safety.

No traveller would ever miss groups of persons drinking and dancing by the sides of highways during weekends, holiday seasons and even on normal days. They dance to the bone cracking noise of the 'music' of their choice, suitably backed up by the 'spirit' of alcohol.

Their postures remind us of rheumatic patients and some of them pitiably fall to the ground like epileptic patients vomiting the excess booze! A truly ugly sight polluting the beautiful island of Mother Lanka.

Are we to consider this behaviour as their 'fundamental right' - just simply merry making acts or a public nuisance.

Regrettably, this bad behaviour is fast spreading among young boys and girls who do not hesitate to open 'bottles' during get-together wherever it may be.

Authorities must define what is a 'public place'. It should be not only parks, beaches and recreational grounds but also cover all areas where people wish to pass through or stay at leisure.

Noticeably, one would never witness this kind of drinking in public places in any other Asian country and would certainly lead visitors to this island to believe this is also part of 'Sri Lankan culture'.

K. A.S. HYDER ALI, Gampola

Parliament then and now

Members of Parliament during its inception belonged to highly respected families, well educated, owning large extent of lands and held in high esteem by the population. They spent their wealth for the advancement of the country and the poverty stricken and were not avaricious to rob its resources. In the passage of time their progeny were moulded to continue politics maintaining respectable standards.

Subsequent elections enticed another class of society who had accumulated wealth through unlawful methods, were uneducated with no decent family background, and through thuggery, intimidation and extremist support were able to secure seats, using the vast amounts of money available at their disposal. Their indecent behaviour in Parliament has spread to our schools, Universities and other Institutes of Higher learning resulting in the utter chaos that is prevalent now.

These are the nauseating features that should be eliminated by up-grading the quality of contemporary political behaviour in our country.

In order to arrest this degenerate trend, it is imperative that some basic qualities be laid down for those who take to politics, such as qualifications, character and honesty. If these are not there our nation building enterprise will never be an elusive dream.

S. J. NEWTON FERNANDO, Nugegoda

Court procedures

Having a keen interest in court cases, it is regretted to note that Courts adopt procedures that are archaic, if not, irksome, annoying, stupid and at times most irrelevant. They are most of the time beneficial to the legal fraternity than to the clients. A recent issue of a bail application is a case in point.

A bail application is made under the able guidance of the learned attorney on the presumption all supporting issues are in place and the application will be taken up for hearing on the next date, if not, before which should be the case.

When the case is taken up for hearing, it is observed, though not necessarily a bail application only, various issues are raised viz:

Jurisdiction to entertain the application

Referred to A. G.'s dept.

Application not made within the prescribed time, etc., etc.

A case is taken up for hearing on the premise that all facts compiled are in order to proceed with Court action according to proper Court procedure. The client is not bothered about Court procedures in his desire for Court remedy, neither is the client conversant with legal procedures hence the retention of an attorney. Why should the client suffer, if his attorney is not fully conversant with legal procedures?

Court is a place for hearing a case. It cannot compare itself to that of a Constitutional Court. It is not a forum to discuss the legal validity of the document presented. It is not surprising that clients are subject to trauma, mental torture and humiliation when they find that legal issues of the application are being discussed rather than the purpose of the application.

Several cases of similar situations can be cited. In fact, it is seen in all cases reported in the print media.

Could these be the reasons for a fair number of cases lying in cold storage for a final decision?

For a contrasting simple example - a leave application form (public or private institution) stipulates conditions which the applicant readily signs for approval. The application is made on a format that has a legal recognition. Approval or rejection of the purpose on that application is what matters. Validity of the format is not the applicant's concern.

N. B. MELVILLE PERERA, Kohuwala

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