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The much hailed Peace talks aimed at ending two decades of bloody ethnic conflict that has cost more than 60000 lives, brought high hopes of driving the country into an era of peace and prosperity following the then Government and LTTE signing a Ceasefire agreement in February 2002.

The common feeling is that the LTTE successfully exploited the Norway brokered ceasefire to tighten its grip in the North and East, after signing the ceasefire agreement.

The entire country whole-heatedly welcomes the peace moves in the hope of a peaceful Sri Lanka where all communities could live in harmony. But hopes were faded as the LTTE suspended the Peace talks unilaterally in February 2006 and continues to violate the ceasefire agreement that triggered off a vicious cycle of violence including the shut down of Mavilaru sluice gate that deprived the people's basic needs of using water for their day today activities.

The Security Forces were compelled to drive an offensive mission to safeguard the country's national security and as a result ended up with capturing Sampur that was used to attack the naval base and harbour at Trincomalee.

As the LTTE is experiencing a humiliating defeat their real fire power has been destroyed by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces which has compelled LTTE political wing leader S.P. Thamilselvam to agree to a political solution to the ethnic crisis unconditionally.

Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka demanded that the LTTE lay down their arms before entering in to a political solution.

This is not the first time that the Sri Lankan Government has urged the LTTE terrorists to lay down their weapons and enter in to a peaceful settlement to find a political solution to the crisis.

Unfortunately the Government and the people have lost their faith in the LTTE as they have gone back on their word on many occasions.

For example I wish to state that before the Indian Peace Keeping Forces withdrew in March 1990 the LTTE leadership has agreed to lay down their weapons and come for Peace talks. There was an official ceremony held for surrendering their arms to the Government officials in Jaffna under the supervision of the IPKF.

In fact everybody trusted the LTTE leadership and thought the Government and the LTTE would be able to find a constructive method to finish this crisis sooner or later.

But soon after the IPKF left the country the LTTE drastically destroyed all hopes for a peaceful solution and attacked Eastern province police stations and Armed Forces personnel for no valid reason.

These kinds of acts are not new in the LTTE leadership and questioned their trustworthiness. During this bloody conflict many lives and millions worth of property have been destroyed.


Holy month of Ramazan

The Holy month of Ramazan commences on September 24, 2006, with the sighting of the New Moon.

It is during the holy month of Ramazan the Muslims throughout the world observe the obligatory fasting for 30 days.

All Mosques, Thakkiyas and Zaviyas are making arrangements to conduct special 'Tharaveeh Prayers' and Hisbh Majlis (Recital of the Holy Quran) in the night throughout the month as usual.

It would be appreciated if the Government, would make the arrangements to provide an uninterrupted supply of water, electricity and food as the water supply and electricity are interrupted in certain areas causing much hardship to the people to prepare their food and electricity needed in the nights for conducting special Tharaveeh Prayers at Mosques.

The Government need not send any additional food stuffs for the Ramazan fasting as Ramazan is not feasting, but uninterrupted food supplies to the market at affordable fair prices, would be much helpful to the people who observe the fasting. If the Trade Ministry could open the Budget shops in areas where predominently Muslims live this would be a great help.


Cables of Cable TV

The CBN Sat had made an open appeal to the President, to intervene to direct the authorities to grant a licence to operate the CBN Sat transmission which was shut down on June 6.

The CBN Sat in its appeal to the President had stated that the shut down had inconvenienced a large number of viewers, but they have not stated the great inconveniences caused to many people as their employees had caused extensive damages to the roofs of the residential houses sometimes late at night while the inmates are fast asleep.

They are unaware of the damages caused to the roof until a shower of rain comes and the entire roof starts to leak causing great damage to the household appliances.

Even if one sees them working on the roof, it is not possible to talk to them as they appear to be persons belonging to the underworld. Before any permission is granted the authorities should strictly enforce regulations that these cables should not be fixed on the roofs and electrical posts and separate posts should be used for the cable line.


'Importance of being a good friend of the US'

Reference article titled 'Importance of being a good friend of the US' in DN Sept. 19, I am glad at least some are writing the facts.

Sadly, they are published only in the English papers, which have a small audience. They need to publish this in the Sinhala papers too to get the general population aware of world affairs.


Throwers of brickbats or bouquets

When things go awry and not as we would desire it, many of us resort to hurling brickbats at the source of such an offence. But in fairness when occasions arise to hand out bouquets we are tardy.

Many in the public service, treat the public who go to them for assistance in a disgruntled manner, but when citizens are handed out dedicated service, we remain dumb which is unfair, for a word of appreciation is deserved for such officers.

Most pleasant was my surprise, when after undergoing a cardiac operation at a Colombo Hospital, I applied to the President's Fund for any part of relief on the Rs. 600,000 expended by me.

I received a response which stressed, that the very originals of the hospital receipts should be appended and I was clearly told that no photocopies in lieu of the original receipts would be considered.

I am now 80 years of age and in the evening of my life, with nightfall not far away and I had misplaced the 'Originals' and was told that without the originals, the sum of Rs. 175,000 decided to be granted would simply not been paid. After much trouble I managed to trace the original bills.

Finally in this connection there was a Senior Additional Secretary of this Presidential Unit, a lady, who displayed such courtesy and more than that such a degree of concern that I thanked that in our public service we had such shining lights serving in such high positions endowed with a human touch and when the public come across such officials automatically it's a plus point for the Government in power.

Much as I would like to mention this lady by name I feel I should not cause her any embarrassment by mentioning her name for from what I know of her she would not like it and hence mention her initials - C. A.


Self-hypnotism

Reference the letter titled 'self-hypnotism in Daily News Sept. 19 by A. F. from Ethul Kotte.

Self or externally induced hypnotism is a situation where one's brain wave frequency is lowered to lower Alpha or Theta levels. This is identical with the dream seeing semi-sleep state.

Some books and CDs give instructions for self-hypnotism but there is a potential danger akin to this practice.

Once a person lowers his brain wave frequency level without being conscious of it, many undesirable effects may result.

This will not happen when hypnotism is induced by an expert where the subject's mind is under the expert's 'control'.

Brain wave frequency is lowered during meditation too but the person who meditates is conscious of the object being meditated upon. If not, brian wave frequency will not be lowered. Therefore, there is safety in built into the practice of meditation, except where the wave frequency is lowered too fast, like in 'pranayama' and some 'kasina' types of meditation.

The only remedy, I would recommend is to advise this victim to immediately stop his self-hypnotism and consult an experienced counsellor.

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