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Can LTTE be trusted?

When one recalls the umpteen number of atrocities with their magnitude committed by the LTTE during the past two decades, the tyranny that they have imposed on their own people, (apart from the ethnic cleansing they often resort to), the inhuman treatment, meted out to innocent Tamil children, and the occasions that they have abandoned negotiations etc., the pertinent question arises as to whether they could be trusted.

Furthermore, the leader of the outfit, a mini Adolf Hitler, is wanted by the Indian Government in connection with the assassination of its Prime Minister, while carrying a 200 year jail term imposed by Sri Lanka's courts.

Under these circumstances, will this man ever join the country's political mainstream and transform himself to a democratic leadership, ensuring all fundamental freedoms to his people?

The situation would have been different, however, had he been in good behaviour, at least in the recent past.

This so called leader, far from being a politician, is only bent on destruction of life and property.

History records that such groups end up with their hierarchy killing each other and the survivors ultimately taking cyanide.

It should therefore be abundantly clear that it is a mere waste of time attempting to tackle him in a democratic manner through negotiations.

The former President took great pains for devolution of power to minorities ignoring the LTTE, because they were not amenable, and our irresponsible Opposition sabotaged her efforts.

It is now up to the Leader of Opposition, who once expected to take cover behind the International security net, to join the President in a patriotic manner and strive to overcome the existing impasse by devolving maximum possible power to the minorities, in consultation with all amenable political leaders.

While permitting the LTTE to engage themselves in unharmful politics in Government controlled areas, the Security Forces will have to ensure that the military wing of the LTTE is securely kept at bay until such time that the Tiger problem, which has become the sole impediment in resolving the ethnic issue, could be finally sorted out.

G. G. J, Pita Kotte.


Paying income tax outside Colombo

The limited liability companies, situated out of Colombo, should pay income tax only to Bank of Ceylon, Metropolitan Branch, Colombo.

It is very inconvenient for those outside Colombo to go to Colombo personally or send by post in advance all the remittances.

But, if it is delayed by even one day, they have to pay 10 per cent penalty on every quarter payment.

Moreover, if they send the payments by post, there are instances that the receipts were misplaced. Sometimes they have to pay twice the same tax with additional penalty up to 50 per cent.

But at present, the Value Added Tax (VAT) payment can be made outside Colombo to twenty Bank of Ceylon branches which are authorized to collect the payments.

Therefore, I have made several requests to higher authorities of the Inland Revenue to rectify this and allow the tax payment outside Colombo Bank of Ceylon as VAT payment.

But there is no positive response.

I do hereby request from Ministry of Finance to please make it convenient for public to pay income tax easily in their hometown.

M. S. M. UVAIS, Kandy.


The banning of 'Da Vinci Code'

The Catholic Bishops of Sri Lanka should be commended for the steps they took to brief President regarding the blasphemous fiction 'The Da Vinci Code' (DVC), and all Christians should thank the President for the bold decision he took to ban the film. It is the duty of the Bishops to safeguard the faith of the people.

They have done it effectively and therefore, even though some may throw brickbats at the Bishops, they can rest assured that the Christian Community is grateful to them.

Author Dan Brown admits that his 'DVC' is fiction. But, the film does not indicate that it is fiction, and so, the viewer could come to the wrong conclusion that this a true story.

We all know that the impact of a film is very much greater than that of a book. Therefore, the Bishops and the President have done the right thing.

In a letter to the Editor, S. Katthriarachchi (SK) of Paiyagala mentions about 'the true freedom of expression'. The true freedom of expression does not give the licence to distort the truth and write books (produce films) that cause much pain of mind to others.

SK also criticises the Bishops by stating that they have "taken a large step backwards" and raises the question "Is it not better to give these believers and the youth the freedom of choice to choose whatever belief they wish to, as they advocated in the arguments against the Bill opposing unethical conversions".

Surely, we must give the believers and the youth the freedom of choice to choose what they think is right. Sadly, SK has missed the point. The book and the film 'DVC' attack the very basic belief of all Christians (i.e. the Divinity of Christ) by cooking up a story (fiction).

How can anyone classify such fiction as truth? SK should know the 'DVC' is fiction and not the truth about Christianity.

Therefore, requesting the President to ban the film, is not 'a huge step backwards', but the right step taken by the Bishops to safeguard the faith of the Christians. As regards religious beliefs, it has to be mentioned that each person has the right to come to know the teachings of the different religions and then make a decision.

That right, as the Bishops and other Christian leaders pointed out in their submissions against the Anti Conversion Bill, is a fundamental human right and is totally different from the so-called right to see the 'DVC' which is a downright falsification of the Doctrine of the Christian faith.

Some Human Rights Activists as well as the Free Media Movement too seem to be agitated over the move to ban the film.

Have they forgotten the rights of every human being who follows a particular religion? Have Dan Brown and Columbia Pictures, the right to hurt the feelings of the Christians through a fictitious story? Isn't the distortion of a religious belief through a fictitious story (or film) a gross violation of the rights of those who profess that particular religion? SK asks the question "What about the freedom of the majority who wish to see the film?" Well, what about the freedom of the minority whose religious beliefs have been falsified through fiction? Isn't it the so-called 'freedom of the majority' that is mainly responsible for the present ethnic conflict which has so far claimed the lives of more than 50,000 Sri Lankans?

Trust that SK, the FMM and the Human Rights Activists will accept the rights of the Christians, and also have the intelligence to differentiate between religious truths (i.e. the doctrines of religions) and a 'cooked up' defamation of Jesus Christ whom we Christians adore as the only true Son of God and the Saviour of all mankind.

JAYALATH SILVA, Colombo 8.


Supporting the Government

The Leader of the opposition has a big responsibility to support the Government in power in finding a suitable solution to this on-going brutal war where innocent people are getting killed for the sins of dirty politicians of this country who were in power after 1956.

It is they who plunged this country into a situation as at present. The present Government is the wish of the majority of the people of this country.

He should understand that is democracy and the leader of the opposition cannot blame the people for their choice leaving aside dirty power, hungry politics.

He should come forward and give his fullest support to the government in power like a gentleman to solve this burning issue in view of Kebithigollewa savage LTTE attack of innocent people including small children.

D. E. ABEYWEERA, Kelaniya.


'Please Mr. Minister'

'Please Mr. Minister' column on June 21 was great. DN should continue to work more in this area to emphasize on the importance of these values. Economic development should not be achieved at the expense of the great cultural values that SL can be so proud of.

The role of the leaders is important to lead the people as the people have given the mandate putting their trust and confidence.

Perhaps the minister could look to models like Japan or Singapore.

YOOSUFF ALI, via email.

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