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Saving fuel

The cost of petroleum based fuels are supposed to be going up again and yet again. It is an essential commodity very much under the control of oil cartels pre-empting everyone else.

Albeit the political perverts are trying to find fault with the present Government and the Minister concerned, even while the TV world news bulletins announce day and night the exact situation. Even USA has had to increase their fuel prices after 30 years.

Nevertheless our Government can save millions of forex money, if the authorities make an effort to cut down waste of fuel used by various vehicles belonging to State.

Ministries can begin by setting an example and introduce austerity measures to the plethora of departments, corporations, institutions, boards, commissions, etc.

On any road, even in distant towns, one can see vehicles belonging to State organisations running about happily with only the driver.

At times we can see vehicles parked at most ungainly and irrelevant places. Such caprices should be checked by appointing people's committees empowered for the purpose, comprising of honest, learned, retired Government servants or the like.

Heads of State organisations or even the minister would not be able to keep tab on such misdemeanour because they are under obligation to most of their staff. But the people's committees can report directly to the Presidential Secretariat.

Such measures should be adopted in the security forces and police as well. Senior officers should be brainwashed and made responsible to minimize the use of vehicles.

Naturally, this would be very sensitive and irritating to the officers above the junior ranks. But it is time they realize the plight of their motherland.

We as a nation must think of ways to save even a cent wherever possible.

If the use of fuel can be lowered, the millions of money so save can be effectively used to subsidize the public transport costs, the power generation costs, development and construction costs and above all, the cost of living.

Manual interference of automated traffic signals

I read with interest Denzil de Silva's letter on the confusion caused by Traffic Policeman by operating their own signalling system disregarding the Traffic signals.

I fully endorse his views and it's my experience that this episode takes place at a most every Traffic signal ex: Vajira Road, D.S. Senanayake Junction, Borella etc.

These hardworking police officers without realising the gravity of these mistakes and the ensuing chaos which has a chain reaction stress themselves unnecessarily without being in the sidelines and nabbing the wrong doers.

They cannot be blamed as it is the responsibility of the superior officers to train and direct these untrained innocent officers.

The higher officers should go in civvies during peak hours and see for themselves the chaos created by instructing the motorists to ignore the Traffic lights. It is no longer "Red says stop and Green says go" and sometimes it's utterly confusing and also dangerous to follow these wrong instructions.

Motorists would now observe with satisfaction the installation of the Traffic lights at the Devi Balika roundabout and what a change it has made with orderliness and discipline and also relieving Police officers from this hard labour.

These officers could be gainfully employed to nab the law breakers and especially the speeding private buses and their blaring horns.

Another roundabout that needs automated signalling is the complicated Thummulla Junction.

Let's start the discipline, technology and productivity etc. from the streets of Colombo which will undoubtedly save a fair amount of fuel wasted at traffic jams.

Aksharaya

I am extremely thankful to Prof. Lorna Dewaraja, Indrani Iriyagolle, Eileen Siriwardene, Clodagh Fernando, Jezima Ismail, Sivanandini Duraiswamy for the joint article in favour of the ban of this film Aksharaya.

I myself read many of the articles with regard to this ban and was considering to write about my displeasure about a very few so-called distinguished people who claim this is wrong and that it is against the freedom of expression.

The joint commitment and the excellent writing skills and the fact that the above belong to all the communities of this country reflects the fact that 99per cent of the population of this country including the people in the uncleared areas of the North and East do share the same opinion as yourselves.

It must also be commended that we still have some right thinking politicians in this country and hope that this will encourage the minister not to give in to illusive pressure tactics of some of these so-called veteran film makers and a handful of their mentally sick followers.

Time wasting seminar speakers

Having attended two seminars on two consecutive days on May 3 and 4, I was so disappointed to find that the persons from a revenue department who made presentations had absolutely no idea about time control.

It is absolutely essential that a speaker should not only know his subject but must treat the other speakers who are to follow him and the audience as well with respect, by delivering his presentation within the time allotted.

It is all the more surprising that the persons who spoke in a dilatory manner came ready with Power Point (PP) material but went on to mumble their way quite regardless of the fact that they greatly exceeded the times allotted.

The duty of a presiding person is not merely to introduce each speaker but to ensure that the speakers are managed with dynamism and tact; they should not be allowed to poach on the times allotted to the other speakers.

In stark contrast with the performance of the uncontrolled speakers, I was struck by the speed, clarity, conciseness and articulation of the gentleman who spoke on May 4 on the currently contemplated amendments to the Companies Act.

He finished his talk well within the 30 minutes allotted. That was quite an object lesson to the other speakers. There is no point in PP, if you cannot keep to the point and speak within the time allotted.

Finger printing, not welcome

I write to applaud the decision of His Lordship, the Anglican Bishop of Colombo not to participate in the Bishops' Conference in England over the requirement for finger printing to enter Britain.

My husband and I have received our postgraduate training from the British Royal Colleges and Universities. We are extremely grateful for the excellent training that afforded us and the many British friends we have made in this process.

We have attended academic conferences in Britain and profited greatly.

However, since the introduction of the finger print requirement, we have declined invitations to Britain, as in this country, being finger printed is repugnant to us as it is associated with criminals.

It is quite possible that unwelcome visitors will somehow creep in despite regulations.

We recently visited the United States of America. We were received with courtesy at the Embassy and visas were granted expeditiously without finger printing.

 

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