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Increasing the capital requirement of Banks

IT has become so evident that most of the people in Sri Lanka detest accepting changes in their job, politics, or any other innovative environment etc. As such there were as usual certain criticism when Central Bank of Sri Lanka announced the increase of the capital requirement of the banks.

If you look at it in a prudent way it has to be much appreciated that, it is certainly going to strengthen the banking sector in Sri Lanka, mostly advantageous in the international trade which is now most needed.

The increase in the capital requirement from Rs. 500 million to Rs. 2,500 million may be a considerable shake for the small scale banks, but if you look at it in a different view, ie. with the stabilising the US Dollar now at around Rs. 100 per dollar the prevailing capital requirement is only US $ 5 million which gives a very poor reflection in the banking environment in the international trade.

When the capital requirement is enhanced to the proposed need, automatically the strength and the recognition of the banks will also increase. In addition bank charges such as confirmation charges etc. on LCs on imports will also be reduced, and importers even can negotiate for unconfirmed LCs, when the risk factor of the banks get reduced.

It is indeed laudable that some banks are already even over the required limit and they are already in the competitive strategies with international trade.

We being Sri Lankians should hope that at least a few banks in our country strive and reach the level to be within the best 100 banks in the world, which would yield advantageous to the country.

Today naturally most of the depositors resort to higher interest rates with the very high inflation rate prevailing now, with the new banks who offer innovative facilities, but with high risk. The new proposal will safeguard the depositors to a more healthy situation.


The President's response

THE country must gratefully appreciate the manner in which the President responded to the call made by the Maha Sangha to reconsider the controversial JM issue, and her assurance to the Prelates that she will not take a final decision without a formal consultation with the Maha Sangha.

By responding to the crisis in this manner she has not only clearly displayed her commitment to basic principles of Democracy, but also shown her stature in statesmanship, rarely found in most of our political leaders.

This episode bring to my mind the comparable situation that prevailed immediately after the signing the CFA by the then Prime Minister, who is presently the Leader of the Opposition.

As reminded in one of the recent newspaper Editorial Columns, the CFA was a document prepared by Norwegian facilitators in consultation with the Tiger Terrorists and the PM. I do not recollect whether there were any consultations with any responsible group, in the preparation of the CFA lease alone the Maha Sangha.

But what I clearly remember is the Joint Protest Memorandum signed by the Mahanayake Theras', that included the Late Ven. Madhihe Pannaseeha Mahanayake Thera regarding the CFA.

Although copies of this memorandum were freely distributed, it never reached its destination (the print media). The widely whispered information about its fate was that instructions had come from the top to desist its publication in the newspapers. This was a clear possibility at that stage, because the then regime had a stake in the entire media.

Let us not forget this episode in the current situation when a set of hypocrites were going around the country staging dramas to ridicule the incumbent Head of State camouflaging their own past deeds.


Courage of a stateswoman

I fully agree with your editorial. We had two statesmen of the past Sir Wilmot Perera, and Edmund Samarakoddy (who mentioned in Parliament in June 1960, to Sirimavo, "You are doing an injustice and humiliation to a minority with a proud history of their own and if the Jaffna man does not retaliate he is not worthy of the salt he owns".

This was after the assault by the Army and Police on the peaceful Satyagraha in Jaffna. I happened to be in University at that time and mentioned to my Sinhalese friends if we (Tamils) were in the majority I don't think any of us would have made this statement. A lot of people blame S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike.

He too would have been worshipped as a statesman if he had the same courage as his daughter to implement the BC Pact, which even India was not in favour as the Indian states would have clamoured for the same model of Govt. Further Singapore (Lee Kwan Yew) knew the only threat to his development was Ceylon at that time.

Another one who qualifies for statesmanship at present is Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne, who voted against the condolence for JR introduced by Mayor Ganeshalingam, stating that JR was responsible for burning the Jaffna Library and therefore he voted against it, in fact the solitary vote.

Hope a new era would dawn and most if not all of us who are living in step motherly countries would return to their loving mother country and redeem the lost paradise. I congratulate you on the editorial.


Fabrication of documents for school admission can be easily stopped

WHO says that school principals should not be held accountable for not being able to verify the accuracy of documents submitted for Grade 1 admissions.

Furthermore, why does the President waste the time of PSD officials to verify the authenticity of these documents? All this is a very simple process. But the processing of admissions has to be advanced by a couple of months. Read the following letter, which appeared in two daily publications and a Sunday paper two years ago:

"The submission of falsified documents for school admission continued purely because there is no genuine desire on the authorities concerned to put a stop to this. All what is required is to publish the details of the selected students in a booklet and make it available to the public.

The parents of the rejected children will do the needful. In the event, a parent is able to prove that another parent has submitted falsified comments then the former should be eligible to have his child admitted.

The qualifying criteria for admission should be dispensed with, as long the documents submitted by these parents are authentic.

Under this scheme a parent from Mahiyangana submitting an application to Royal College Colombo supported by genuine documents can have his child admitted by exposing another parent who has submitted falsified documents. Call it admission under 'Rewarding Honesty Scheme'.

This entitlement should be valid throughout the period during which a child with falsified comments is schooling. It might take a year or two for someone to prove falsification of documents.

Every Grade 1 application form, at leat to government schools should carry a declaration 'in the event my child is selected and subsequently proved that any of the documents submitted herewith are falsified I am aware that my child can be sacked from school at anytime and furthermore my child will be disqualified from admission to a university'.

Inclusion of this clause in itself will be a deterrent for submission of falsified documents. The university clause may take a couple of decades to be approved but the rest could probably be implemented by the school administration with the approval of the Ministry of Education.

There will be a cost involved in printing a booklet containing information on the annual intake of Grade 1 students, for which the parents can be asked to contribute in common when submitting applications.

A nominal fee can be charged for issuing photocopies of documents requested by another parent for verification of validity. Within 5 years of implementation of the above, falsification of documents for school admission will be a thing of the past. We Sri Lankans are very good at whistle blowing.

Living at Hendala I often wonder how my neighbour got his child admitted to Royal College. Of course he is stinking rich. Anyway I am not complaining, as my daughters are not eligible for admission to Royal. All in all the fact of the matter is no school administration wants to put a complete stop to this crime.

C. B. GALLAGE - Hendala.

'Aprasanna' Colombo

THE Mayor of Colombo came in with promise to make the city a pleasant place to live and work. Unfortunately what has taken place during his tenure in the office? He and his Deputy are at loggerheads; His commissioner is under investigation; He is the Admiral whose ships are going in different directions and sinking.

To show he is doing something he got the dogs to his residence. The city has gone to the dogs. What about the rights of the rate-payers? The city is a stinking mess. The Mayor should walk around.

The officials and the managers of the private sector firms are all playing the same game helping each other.

I understand that some of the CMC officials are multi-millionaires.

The hoardings that come up are not without the blessings of the officials.

Otherwise why isn't there a programme to get rid of them as soon as they are put up?

Our windows are covered by these hoardings reducing sunlight and ventilation. The sewer lines are overflowing. Playgrounds are neglected. Where are the health officials and the planning officers who are said to be highly qualified?

It is time a decision is taken by the authorities once and for all to rectify this situation and I hope we will have a Mayor who not only promises but also delivers!

R. SENEWIRATNE - Colombo 5.



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