Majority of employees of State corporations, including
mercantile/banking sectors in general, save their monetary proceeds i.e.
EPF, ETF, Gratuity Payments etc. received on their retirement at
commercial and savings banks for the evening of their life.
Hence, they have to contain themselves with interest paid by the
respective bank on their deposits. Unlike Government pensioners, they
are unable to voice their grievances in harmony.
In the event of falling the rate of interests paid on their fixed
deposits, these elderly people have no option than to suffer silently,
while payments of the State service pensioners continue unaffected.
Furthermore, their payments are increased from time to time to
commensurate with the rising cost of living.
In fact, an ex Government servant receives a monthly payment equal to
the salary he drew when he was in service, whereas the income of private
sector employee who had contributed to EPF/ETF throughout his career is
less than 40 per cent of his previous remuneration per month.
Although the elders saving scheme introduced by the NSB a few years
ago is a very munificent innovation, current rate of interest (11 per
cent) paid on this deposit is not adequate against the brunt of rising
cost of living.
In this context, it is evident that the Government should see the
possibility of increasing the rate of interest paid on the above saving
scheme which is exclusively meant for elders, at least by 2 per cent for
the benefit of thousands of hapless Senior Citizens who are solely
dependent upon the interests paid on their fixed deposits.
Since these pensioners do not get sufficient money to make their ends
meet, they are compelled to seek employment at private organisations
even after retirement, thus depriving the opportunities for young people
We often hear about woeful tales of senior citizens losing their
entire assets when they deposit money at unreliable financial
institutions with the hope of getting a higher monthly income.
It is happy to hear that the present Government is planning to
introduce a magnanimous pension scheme for the benefit of the
self-employed personnel as well as who are engaged in various trades.
It is a prime obligation of the State to equally treat every segment
of elders who have rendered their services to the country in their
earlier part of life.
Trust the Government will seriously think over this acute problem,
and take early remedial measures to enable thousands of these grieved
elders to keep their heads above water.
R. M., Kalutara.
It is not surprising that the film 'Da Vinci Code' has been banned by
President Rajapaksa, and not permitted to be shown even on TV Channels.
It is very rightly so, as the film as well as the book attempts to
destroy the basic beliefs in Christianity.
Christians have always held as sacred the life of Jesus Christ, and
have adored and revered him for centuries as their God and Saviour.
His death on the Cross has been upheld as the greatest sacrifice
anyone can make for those who followed Him. Independent observers all
over the world have never hesitated to pay tribute to Jesus Christ for
his sense of dignity and never failing mercy amidst the cruel sufferings
he was enduring on his three hours on the cross.
He hardly faltered in the mission. He was sent by His father to lay
down his life for those he loved in order to win their salvation. In
different ways, the world has paid its own tribute to Jesus for his
unparrelled sacrifice on the cross.
Even the soldier at the foot of the cross, soon after Jesus died, did
not hesitate to pay his own tribute - his own acknowledgment of Christ
as God when witnessing the events that took place after the crucifixion
exclaimed - "Truly this was indeed the Son of God".
What the film and book are attempting to do is to bring discredit to
Jesus Christ - to lower his great image - to lower him in the eyes of
his followers. The film and book refers to Jesus Christ as having
married Mary Magdalene and having children.
Almost the whole Christian world has been immediately up in arms
against the producer for bringing up something outrageous and unworthy -
unbecoming of the producers - to attempt to take away from Jesus Christ
the holiness, the greatness of his life and also that He was God.
The producers attempt to get away from the outrage and the blasphemy
they committed by saying this was a story - one of fiction. This was
hardly an explanation for the grave insult - the grave wrong - they have
done to the Christian world - the ridiculing of Jesus Christ.
The producers must understand that Christianity is a Way of Life for
the Christian. He has down the centuries accepted Christ and his
teachings. The lives of Christians have been built on the basic beliefs
they have accepted and endured for centuries. It has been a part of the
They have seen the power of Jesus Christ in their living - his
blessings - his graces - all of which have been experienced by the
Christian in his living. For the Christian, Jesus Christ is the Way, the
Truth and the Life - He is the author of life - the beginning and end of
It is therefore unfortunate that the producers of both the film and
book should have attempted to cast unworthy aspersions on the beliefs of
Christians by attempting to ridicule the image of Jesus Christ. The
production has been built up on the pure imagination of the producers.
It does not have even an iota of acceptable evidence to prove their
grave allegations that Jesus Christ had married Mary Magdalene and even
had a son. It is even the producer's imagination virtually running riot
in a desperate attempt to present something to justify his grave
MAURICE LORD, Colombo.
I refer to the letter by Shelton Pieris on the above subject
published in the Daily News of 8.5.2006. Shelton Pieris refers to the
large number of insects killed by farmers to protect their cultivation.
In ancient Sri Lanka there was always a reserve close to the
cultivation especially for birds to feed on. The birds got used to
eating what was on the reserve, leaving the crop in the farm safe.
There was, however, no similar means of controlling insects but even
today no farmer tills the land on a Poya day, in order to save the
insects being killed at least on that day.
In any event, basically, it is all in one's mind. I spend a few
minutes daily in saving the lives of ants on my desk and elsewhere too.
I also feed them with little crumbs of biscuits. I must be trampling on
many ants when I walk.
Here, if I hurt the ants , it is not with intention. I used mosquito
mats earlier, but now I don't. I switch on the fan when I go to sleep
and the fast blowing drives away the mosquitoes.
I am a total vegetarian and this land blessed by nature and the
compassionate thoughts of the Buddha towards all living beings, I would
urge others too with compassion and kindness in their minds towards all
living beings to do the same.
ANANDA DHARMAPALA, Kelaniya.
It was a senile disorder again that made me seek treatment at the
Therapeutic Unit of the Kalubowila Hospital and in there, was to see the
courteous and committed service that the Para Medical Officers render
the traumatised that call over for treatment.
Good mannered and dedicated service, which is a rarity in the public
service today, should not be allowed to go without being written about,
hence these few lines in the form of an appreciation.
The striking phenomenon is the arrangement that is in place for the
patients not to feel frustrated, neglected or overlooked, for they,
almost immediately, come under a care of a therapist who personally
observes that the required treatment which differ according to the
nature of the trauma is rendered and regulated be it an exercise,
massage, heat or light or other natural force.
These officers without exception are an ever-smiling and a benign
team with that balance of temperament - a desired excellence that make a
therapist what he or she is.
It would be a fair comment to say that the supervising officer is an
epitome of discipline and example with his amiable presence, keen
observation, directing his staff and maintaining an exemplary
co-ordination - thus sustaining the principle that human resource
management surpasses all the other physical resources in an organisation.
U. WIRASINHA, Kohuwala.
One of the main reasons for bringing back the time difference to 5
1/2 hours is that the Government felt schoolchildren should not wake too
early and grope their way to school in the dark.
Now by bringing the school starting time from 8.00 a.m. to 7.30 a.m.
the situation will continue. I am surprised that it did not occur to the
Olitha Gunaratna, via email.