The warning given by the United States to the LTTE that it will pay a
high cost if it resumes war is indeed timely. A war is finally a war
between economies, and without doubt the Sri Lanka Government can
outlast even the vigorous efforts by the LTTE, including the misplaced
support of the Tamil diaspora.
During World War 2, Winston Curchill sent a message to the Japanese
not to enter the war, saying that the steel production of the Allies
(including the US) far exceeded that of Japan and Germany, and that the
Allies will finally prevail.
The warning was not heeded and we all know the outcome, and a
megalomaniac Hitler who was boasting of a thousand year Reich committed
suicide in his bunker in a short while.
Today we have another megalomaniac Prabhakaran, boasting of an
independent Tamil Eelam on the basis of a potty little illegal state he
now runs, which no one recognizes. All tyrants’ history shows have one
When Israel was first formed on an illegal basis shiploads of Jews
arrived from all over the world. Where are the shiploads of Tamils? Yes
they come to Wellawatte and chose not to go to Tamil Eelam, to live
under a tyrant.
The Government must carry-out a census and show the extent of Tamil
influx to Colombo, how many businesses are run by them to demonstrate to
the world that this is a free country. The only restricted area to all
communities is Tamil Eelam.
Prabhakaran should take a leaf out of Banda Aceh, for the sake of his
people, and negotiate an acceptable peace.
They laid down arms, signed a peace treaty, and will soon govern
their own land after elections. The problem perhaps is who will vote for
Prabha the tyrant.
N. S. WIJESINGHE
When he was besotted with Ann Boleyn, the l’affaire that eventually
resulted in the break away of England from the Vatican empirical
monolith, King Henry VIII broke tradition visiting the home of Cardinal
Wolsey in an attempt to persuade him to legitimise his proposed bigamous
Upon seeing the King in his estate in that tradition-soaked England
of yore the Bishop exclaimed “Your Majesty! I am afraid my humble home
cannot withstand the weight of the joy of your personal visit.” Those
were glorious times of monarchs, die-hard tradition etc. where the visit
of the monarch to the home of a commoner was a thing not even to be
More to our times and home - after many centuries and departure from
much of what was considered ‘stiff-necked tradition’ we are told a major
political faux pas was committed by President Mahinda Rajapakse when he
visited, surreptitiously it is suggested, ‘India House’ - the official
residence of the Indian High Commissioner Nirupama Rao for a tete-a-tete
with that enfant terrible of local politics Arumugam Thondaman -
threatening to form a hot alliance with the fangled paws of the North.
The event has been made out to be a local political time-bomb with
many stories in many dimensions on this single issue.
Of the uncharitable ones was that Nirupama Rao was trying to
establish to her colleagues in New Delhi, her predecessors here and the
establishment in India she had scored one over all of them - by getting
the Sri Lankan President to commit the sacrilegious act of coming to her
The question that arises to us ordinary mortals is - did President
Mahinda Rajapakse depart from established protocol or time-honoured
diplomatic tradition by visiting the home of a foreign diplomatic head
in his home turf?
While, it may be true generally Heads of State do not visit the homes
of diplomats as a matter of course such visits, nonetheless, are neither
extraordinary, unheard of, or lacking in propriety. In relationships
between heads of diplomatic missions and the Heads of State in which the
mission is located, the relationship itself can fall into several
Some of them strictly official - conforming to all the paraphernalia
associated with diplomatic etiquette. Others remain somewhat relaxed
where the relationship between the two are exceptionally warm where even
calling each other by first name is routinous. And, still others where
the personal relationship and inclinations between the two are very
Although the relationship between President JRJ and the celebrated
IHC Dixit was tumultuous yet, in the personal domain between these two,
it would appear the mutual relationship was not as acrimonious as widely
believed. One learns from close circles the relationship was strong to
the extent JRJ preferred to endearingly called Dixit as ‘Mani’ as few
would this volatile man.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe enjoyed an excellent relationship
with former IHC Gopalakrishna Gandhi and India, where he honoured the
latter by visiting Bangalore to attend Gandhi’s daughter’s private
Ebullient President Chandrika, visited India House - as she has the
homes of some other Heads of Mission - to illustrate her personal esteem
to them and the countries they represent.
Michael Moore, the maker of that hit documentary ‘9/11’ tells of the
visits of incumbent President George Bush to the home of the Saudi
Ambassador in Washington and reverse courtesies.
President John F. Kennedy honoured the Indian Ambassador in
Washington by visiting the latter and, in returning the courtesy, Pandit
Nehru was an admirer of the academic brilliance of US Ambassador to New
Delhi Galbraith - where they often met outside official matters.
Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori has been a guest of Indian
Ambassadors in Lima, according to reports in the ‘Time’ magazine.
Cultivating a friendly and personal relationship with Heads of important
missions in their countries by the local Head of State, after all, went
on to strengthen the depth and texture of their mutual relationship.
Heads of diplomatic missions are patriotic citizens of their country
and it is for them to choose the opportunities to augment relationships
between their country and the Head of State of the country they are
There does not appear to be manuals or established convention laying
down in strict terms the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ either to Heads of States
or to diplomatic heads in their regular interaction - other than
If President Mahinda Rajapakse chooses to smoothen the nerves of an
agitated Thondaman and they decide in concert the most appropriate
rendezvous of the day, for their own reasons and convenience, would be
India House - Nirupama Rao may have not stood in the way.
To apportion to her sinister motives or designs on this score will be
grievous injustice to this well meaning, gentle lady whose desire to see
Sri Lanka regain her tranquility and composure is now well-known.
After all, both Rajapakse and Thondaman are hard-boiled political
leaders capable of rational thinking and well versed in avoiding
pitfalls - no matter man or woman-made.
On the subject of India House, the late senior Thondaman recalling
those difficult days of 1987-89 reminisces in his book ‘Out of Bondage’
how Athulathmudali and he helped avert armed conflict between the two
countries, where breaking protocol, India House had helped Sri Lanka
maintain peace largely because of Thondaman’s personal equation with the
Indian High Commissioners.
When calamity strikes us, either man made or natural, it is India
that we rush to seek aid and solace. India, in our perception, may have
her own faults in our relationship with her.
Differences with India in the past we have had and this is not
unusual for two countries sharing a neighbourhood going into the
millennia. It will be in our interest to structure a cordial and
mutually beneficial relationship with her.
Sri Lanka Telecom advertised vacancies on two occasions and on both
occasions, my son applied as he had the required qualifications.
On the first occasion (2002), his admission card for the written test
was sent two days after the date of the test having posted only on the
previous day (His Index No. on this occasion being 173). On the second
occasion (2005), he never received the admission card for the written
test, which is compulsory for selection.
Although my son made written representations to the Chairman he was
not entertained by either the Chairman or the CEO or any other
responsible officer. To date no response has been received.
I am wondering whether there is any purpose in getting foreign
collaborators to manage our enterprises when they do not care a twopence
for the fundamental laws and practices of this country. The CEO does not
seem to care for any grievance submitted to him.
Neither has the Chairman any spare time or patience to look into
complaints and take corrective measures. He is always too busy, if he is
in office his secretary says so. The day when the private Telecom
companies will overtake SLT will not be very far as things are going
SLT is very clever and over anxious in introducing new IT systems and
new bill formats at huge expense to the customers, who will have to
ultimately foot the bill but lags behind in every other public relation
A customer can hardly reach the Reception Desk Officers as any call
to them through 4 - digit numbers terminate on a recording and
thereafter, one will hear that all the Customer Service Officers are
Even if one waits for a couple of hours, they will never comeback to
you. Corruption seems to be rampant in the Personnel and Administration
Departments or else how come these malpractice go on regardless.
Does the authorities expect every grieved person whose fundamental
rights are violated to go for fundamental rights cases which are almost
beyond the reach of most of the litigants.
Why not Government consider denationalizing the Telecom?
G. B. RAJAPAKSE
Dr. Kingsley Heendeniya should be congratulated for his letter (DN
Jan.2) under the heading ‘Fishing for private practice,’ regarding the
private practice of doctors.
There was a time when the doctors were held next to God by the
people. That was when students paid for their education and became
doctors. But today doctors have lost that place in the eyes of the
They are also classed as persons who do things only to enrich
themselves by whatever means. They seek their assistance only because
they have no other alternatives and the doctors make capital out of it.
It is an irony that doctors who paid for their education did
dedicated service and were held in high esteem in society and the
present doctors for whose education the people paid have become low in
the eyes of the people by their avariciousness and being vultures.
Of course, all the doctors are not like that. But those who are like
that make others also to be considered like that. That is the pity.
Let us hope that the medical profession will jointly pull itself up
and become a shining example to other professions as well.