In his clarification Dr Karunarathne has mentioned that acadamics of
the universities of Peradeniya and Cambridge who gave him certificates
of distinctions must also be loones (reference DN March 10).
Yes, there is some truth in it. Let me clarify this. In Sri Lankan
society, people generally respect and recognize titles or letter added
before or after the name like Dr, Proc, Prof, or BA, MA, B.Sc, M.SC,
P.hD, D.Sc, etc., because, majority of the Sri Lankans are still respect
the academic achievements and consider those titles or labels added to
the name as a measure of the integrity, honesty, decency and
trustworthiness of the individual.
I came across Dr. Karunarathne in 1970s when he was a member of the
academic staff of the Faculty of Engineering in Peradeniya University
and I was also a student in the same faculty.
He was supposed to teach mathematics to the engineering students. But
he never did his job right.
Instead, he abused his position and freedom as a lecturer in the
faculty of engineering which is considered a very respectable position
among the student community as well as in general public to confuse
people by spreading false and harmful political ideologies to gain cheap
popularity specially among young people.
He encouraged students to fight with the university administration
for studentâ€™s demands promoting violence, sabotage and vandalism.
He acted as an important catalyst in instigating student unrest by
student union creating strikes and unwanted disruptions to the peaceful
academic life in the campus.
He did not know or deliberately ignored to recognise that the
university is another place for learning and not to govern the country.
He was a real headache and a troublemaker for the peaceful existence
of the entire Peradeniya Campus at that time. He still try to abuse his
titles and the names of the academic institutions for his advantage to
achieve his cheap political objectives. I do not know how many decent
Sri Lankans will listen to this man to day.
He is a real danger to the entire nation and a disgrace to the
academic institutions that he claimed to have obtained distinctions.
Ariyadasa Yapa - Canada - Via email
The Ceylon Electricity Board is cheating the helpless consumers by
adding 15 per cent VAT on to every bill, which was withdrawn at the last
yearâ€™s budget proposals by the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa as the
The Parliament approved the withdrawal of this tax from January 2007,
but in the bill for January too, 15 per cent VAT has been added, causing
a heavy burden to the consumers already gripping with a high Cost of
The electricity rates were also increased last October increasing the
unit charge and the fixed charges making electricity a luxury, although
it is an essential commodity in civilized countries.
The fixed charge was increased from Rs. 50 to Rs. 240 for those
consuming more than 300 units.
With modern cooking methods 300 units is a basic for middle-class
Further, the 15 per cent fuel surcharge imposed when fuel prices
increased last year has not been removed although the authorities
undertook to do so.
When inquired from the Area Electricity Engineer he informed that he
has hitherto not been instructed to waive off the 15 per cent VAT charge
by the General Manager of the Board.
This is an unethical, arbitrary and a fraudulent charge on about 8
million consumers in the country.
The Board has failed to collect revenue from consumers in the North
and East although they are going to give more connections. The LTTE
terrorists are collecting all the Board Bills. The GM should be jailed
for these frauds. The Consumer Affairs Authority should look into this.
There is massive corruption in the Board employees earning treble
their pay through overtime and there is no discipline.
The GM was given Rs. 25,000 per month as additional allowance and the
employees are asking for more hikes in their wages.
The Minister described the Board employees as a set of lotus eaters.
The Minister of Power and Energy should muscle his energy and stop
the fraudulent charges and refund the excess levied on each bill.
DR. A. ARUMUGAM - Colombo 5
I write with deep sadness following the death of a dear friend on
January 17, 2007 who had a caesarean operation at a private maternity
She had a healthy pregnancy and a very cautious nine months. Only
burden was a growth in the womb, commonly known as â€˜fibroidâ€™, and which
is not uncommon amongst pregnant women but not considered a threat to
life (I am assuming that the diagnosis and judgment was correct).
The baby and the fibroid were removed in a single operation on an
epidural. Thereafter, the mother and the baby were united during which
moment God had granted her the blessing to caress, cuddle and feed her
son she had proudly nurtured for nine months.
The doctors may have done their best; but what did go wrong that took
away the life of a young and healthy woman who enjoyed motherhood for a
very brief period and was pronounced dead approximately five hours after
the delivery of a healthy baby?
What is the medical opinion in such a case?
Should the medical profession be silent on this case or act in the
interests of society?
What has the hospital, doctors and the team who performed the
operation got to say?
Was the hospital equipped to handle this case?
Was the epidural administered in the correct dosage and in the right
Was there an omission on the part of the team to detect any internal
damage to the patient?
Is there an authority empowered to facilitate an inquiry and take
appropriate action or should we put it down to fate and act of God?
How can we find out the verdict of the JMO, whose report is usually
not made public. There is so much secrecy surrounding the inquiry that
even family members are kept in the dark.
The police are legally bound to prevent such information being
released even to the kith and kin.
This quietness was well observed when the hospital could not release
the patientâ€™s record even after days following the incident.
The reply from the hospital staff was that the records were removed
by the doctor, presumably from the premises. What is the moral/ethical
implication of this act?
The deceasedâ€™s family has a legitimate right in knowing the sequence
of events that led to her death, and I hope the management of the
institute will act responsibly and come forward with a detail and
accurate statement, at least to ease the pain and anxiety borne by the
family of the deceased.
S. P. - Kottawa
I read the letter by R. Perera of Kelaniya (DN Feb. 27) and totally
agree with its contents. I had a similar unpleasant experience at the
Indian High Commission a few years ago which I reported to the Daily
News. At that instance I had no alternative other than giving up my trip
The most funny thing is, Indian travellers who visit Sri Lanka are
granted visa on their arrival at the B.I.A. (or any other port of call)
but Sri Lankan visitors are not given that opportunity vice versa.
Sri Lanka and India had been tied up with strong bilateral
relationships for many years and even are leading members of the SAARC
Singapore is a country where they grant a visa for Sri Lankans on
their arrival and I read in the Daily News that Malaysia is also going
to adopt the same procedure.
B. G. â€“ Nugegoda
I refer to the recent articles by Dr. Mareena Thaha Reffai on the
subjects on meat consumption and pre-marital sex. (Reference DN March
02) I disagree with her thoughts on these subjects.
I am not a Buddhist, but Sri Lanka is a predominantly a Buddhist
country. Therefore, we need to respect the sensivities of the majority
As most Buddhists do not consume meat, even legislation to ban meat
consumption should be considered. Buddhism teaches kindness to all
beings including animals.
As regards to pre-marital sex, I feel if a man can marry only one
wife and remain faithful to her it is important. Whether there has been
pre-marital sex is of less importance.
Dr. Ajith Tissera - UK - via email