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DateLine Wednesday, 21 March 2007

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Curb brutal killings

According to Kingley Rodrigo PAFFEREL Chairman, certain political parties were involved in the drive to tarnish the image of the Government at the Human Rights Conference in Geneva.

The President had already ordered the Inspector-General of Police to submit a special report before mid-March, on the bodies found in the two different places, namely Pamunugama and Tirappane.

It is a known fact that when there is a war, there is a free flow of weapons in the country. Also the LTTE sells arms and ammunitions to the underworld. After dissolving the Karuna cadres, some of the weapons had gone into the hands of the underworld. When there is a war, crime escalates.

This is history. Most of the crimes are committed by the LTTE and the underworld. The recent recovery of eight bodies at Wilpattu Park had been definitely committed by the LTTE.

There is no question about it. Inquiries made into the bodies found at Muthurajawela in Bopitiya Police area had now been traced as the bodies of youth belonging to the Karuna faction. They are the bodies of six youths who were attempting to leave the island in search of greener pastures.

ANANDA JAYASENA
Boralesgamuwa

Harassment of housemaids

Remittances from migrant workers are one of the largest sources of foreign income earners for Sri Lanka.

Other than professionals and persons who go overseas for more highly paid jobs, the majority of this income is generated by the women who go to the Middle East. The rapid escalation in torture, harassment, rape and abuse of these women have been increasing unabated.

These women sell, pawn their little belongings to go as house maids for a better tomorrow for their families. But in most instances they face absolute hell.

Recently the print and electronic media has been highlighting numerous cases. Quite a number of these women are bedridden or scarred for life. Why has nothing been done about this? These sadistic, mentally deranged Arabs should not be allowed to continue this treatment and get away scot free.

All complaints to the various Sri Lankan missions have fallen on deaf ears. For a few Riyals/ Dirhams most authorities in these diplomatic missions do not care.

ROSHANTHA FERNANDO
Nawala

Non-collection of letters

For some time now, the pillar box located at Nalagasdeniya in Hikkaduwa near the Nalagasdeniya Pirivena, along the Hikkaduwa - Baddegama main road is not functioning due to some reason or the other. The pillar box is situated at a central location as it serves a large number of rural residents living in this area.

The villagers living in Punchi-Patana area who were using this pillar box to mail their letters are badly placed since they have to proceed about 2 kms, to post their letters at the main post office.

I think another pillar box along Patana - Narigama Road has also met with the same fate. I think the Post Master at Hikkaduwa should inform those responsible in the Postal Department (Southern Division) and get these pillar boxes repaired or replaced with new ones without delay.

LIONEL LEANAGE
Ambalangoda

Railway station platforms should be numbered

Moratuwa is an important railway station on the Coast Line with an island platform, in addition to the main platform which houses the station building where the ticket counters, parcels office and the administrative office is housed.

The island platform is connected to the station building by an overhead bridge. Several important express trains and terminating trains proceeding to Colombo and beyond are admitted to this platform.

When announcements are made over the public address system, a few minutes ahead of the arrival of the trains from either direction, the passengers have to move on to the respective platforms to board the trains.

It happened to be on the main platform recently to board the Kandy-Matara express train. I observed that a family which consisted of the father, mother with a child in her arms and another girl of about ten years, looking up and down when an announcement was made that the Matara ‘Express’ was coming on to platform number ‘One’.

The family appeared to be from a rural area who may not be regular train travellers. The father came to me and enquired to which platform this train would come. I informed them that this train would be admitted to the platform where we were at that time.

Since foreigners too entrain at this important station, it would be convenient and helpful to the passengers, specially to the tourists and those from the outskirts of Marotuwa who come to this station to travel by train, if the platforms are numbered clearly.

L. L.

Islam and vegetarians

Neil Perera in his article ‘Vegetarians and major world religions’ has vaguely tried to indicate that Islam frowns upon, if not forbids eating meat of animals. He had quoted an unknown unheard of ‘great sufi’ to support his view.

The truth is quite to the contrary. There is no beating around the bush about allowance for eating animal flesh in Islam. The Qur’aan is explicit about this matter Chapter 6 of the Qur’aan is named Al An’am (The Cattle). In this chapter, verse 142 Allah says: “Of the cattle are some for burden and some for meat.

Eat what Allah has provided for you...” Further in verse 145 Allah says, “Say: (O Mohammed)I do not find in the Message received by me any (meat) forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be dead meat, or blood poured forth, or the flesh of swine, for it is an abomination - or what is impious (meat) on which a name has been invoked other than Allah’s.”

This is why Muslims eat only Halal meat, which means the animal is slaughtered while pronouncing Allah’s name and strictly according to Islamically prescribed manner. He had quoted Surah 2, verse 172 speaking about dietary laws similar to those of Judaism. Not so.

Actually verse 146 of Surah 6, says: “For those who followed the Jewish law, we forbade every animal with undivided hooves, and we forbade them the fat of the ox and the sheep except what adheres to their backs or their entrails, or is mixed up with a bone. This in recompense for their wilful disobedience; for we are true in our ordinances. All these are allowed for Muslims.

Allah created everything in the world for the service of man; He says in the Qur’aan in Surah 16, verse 5-7: “And cattle He has created for you; from them you derive warmth and numerous benefits and of their meat you eat, and you have a sense of pride and beauty in them as you drive them home in the evening and as you lead them forth for pasture in the morning, and they carry your heavy loads to lands that you could not otherwise reach except with souls distressed; for your Lord is indeed most kind, most merciful.’ In Surah Hajj (22) He asks us to sacrifice cattle during the pilgrimage and to feed the poor.

As an expiation for breaking rules of pilgrimage too, slaughtering animals and feeding the poor is ordered. Thus Islam is very clear on this matter. Animals with certain exceptions are allowed as food for man and at time like pilgrimage is compulsory to slaughter them and feed the meat to the poor.

As Mr. Neil says Allah does instruct us to eat clean, healthy food (2:172) But, just because today people do not take care to prepare healthy food, which include vegetables and meat together, one cannot change the laws of Allah. If any Muslim wants to, he can avoid eating meat, but no one can say Islam forbids or frowns upon eating meat.

This in no way contradicts the kindness to be show to living animals which is encouraged greatly in Islam. It is like tending and growing plants, and when necessary cutting them down, and eating them too if necessary. Both are living things and we are given the permission to use them with wisdom.

DR. MAREENA THAHA REFFAI
Dehiwela

Pension voucher

The monthly pension voucher issued to every pensioner and widow was conveniently done away with by the authorities.

The monthly pension voucher giving all the particulars of the pension and allowances and the monthly deductions such as the PSMPA and the GOBA is a requirement under the Pensions Minute and is a fundamental right of every pensioner. This was done away with for no plausible reason.

The pensioners have been protesting against this move from the time it was stopped. Number of letters have been appearing in the daily newspapers on this matter. Ultimately the protest letter by Nanda Nanayakkara of Panadura (Reference DN March 01) to the President on Janauary 12, 2007 appears to have had the necessary effect.

The letter of the Secretary to the President conveying the decision of the President to restore the pension voucher to the Secretary Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs and to the Director of Pensions dated February 05, 2007 has had no response up to now from either of them as to the date from which this Presidential order is to be implemented.

The pensioners would like to know from the Director of Pensions as to when he proposes to implement this order.

M. B. M. ZUBAI

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