I went to the Ratmalana Divisional Secretariat this week to obtain my
vehicle revenue licence. The counter is open only at 9.00 a.m. Hence as
in previous years I went to the office by 8.45 a.m. hoping to be at the
top of the queue, as the issue of licences usually takes at least
I had not obtained an application form, and I was rather annoyed that
no forms had been left outside for applicants to fill as is the usual
As soon as the counter was open, all rushed in the order they had
come, I was third in the queue, and I was surprised to find that we had
only to hand over the required documents without any application form.
The female officer at the counter merely accessed the data which had
been stored on the computer, and the applicants were asked to hand over
the license fee to her.
There was no separate shroff to accept the money. Within just about
two minutes the licence was processed and printed on the printer.
Thereafter, it was passed down to the next officer who checked the
licence, signed it, and handed it over to the applicant immediately. The
whole process took less than three minutes.
As a former senior State officer I must congratulate the relevant
authorities for this huge leap forward from the earlier procedure where
the records had to be checked with the vehicle file and processed
manually, which was a tedious and long process. I hope other divisional
secretariats too have introduced this computerised procedure.
Unfortunately though other operations of the Motor Commissionerâs
Department like issue of driving licenses and registration of vehicles
are also supposed to be computerised, delays in these services continue.
If these operations too could be similarly streamlined and expedited,
much of the present corruption could no doubt be eliminated.
Issuing a ticket in a public travelling vehicle (a bus, coach or a
train) confirms the entitlement of a seat of a passenger.
Nowadays, it has become a habit that the passengers wouldnât mind
travel by standing in these vehicles depending on their need to travel
I wish to bring to passengersâ notice that there are more things you
have to think of when you travel in a public transport. Many people who
need a seat are not getting the opportunity to get a seat. May be they
are not strong enough to struggle with other crowd to get inside
immediately when the bus or the train arrives.
Especially old people, pregnant mothers, disabled people etc.
As Sri Lankans, we are well recognized throughout the world as more
hospitable people than any other country. So, why wonât we think of
start practising it within the country itself?
When you get into the bus, if there is a vacant seat, always be kind
to offer it to a more needful person than you.
We all should be having our own esteem as we are strong enough. The
running for a seat has become a usual happening from a recent history. I
feel itâs not because they are weak, but to compete with others and to
What you get ultimately by getting a seat? It is different issue if
you have a heavy bagages or a child accompanying you, then you really
need a seat to travel comfortably.
We all have to practise offering the seat to somebody else if you see
a person who really in need of it. There are some situations that a few
mothers carry their children who are able to walk and travel well
One day when I was travelling in a bus a family (mother, father and
the child) got into the bus.
The child was about 8 years old. The father was carrying the child
and nobody offered a seat as it was clearly seen that this child could
stand and travel.
Then the child asked his father loudly âFather you said somebody will
offer a seat. But nobody has done it so farâ.
Then the father was very ashamed and all looked at each others. There
are situations that sometimes mothers ask the child to sit and mother
keeps standing in the buses/trains. There are two disadvantages in this:
1. The child will get used to sit while the parents are standing.
Itâs a bad habit to be allowed to practise.
2. Asking your child to sit will automatically make him/her to lose
his/her confidence. You should convince your child that he/she is strong
enough and not a weak person to run for a seat and sit.
There is another thing I would like to remind the mothers who carry
children and get into the buses in the office crowd, up and down
travelling times or into long distance travelling buses. Please try to
avoid these times when you plan to travel unless it is really urgent.
The passengers in the above said buses are put into difficulties when
you try to travel in those public transport services.
Office people are really tired after work or in the long distance
travelling buses, people get seats with a great difficulty as they canât
stand and travel long hours. So, try to avoid these times.
I am wondering why AJN is worry about suicide? (Reference DN May 18)
Human life is a sad and worry unit of its beginning to the end. There is
no reason to seek othersâ permission for one to end the sufferings of
You have rightly understood that we should not disturb others for our
sufferings more than they can take. At the end they also have to go
through the same sufferings as all others.
Until you can live with happiness itâs worth to live. Thatâs if our
body can permit us.
The majority of the Government owned vehicles are used for unofficial
work because the relevant Logos (Government and institution) and the
name of the Institution are not properly displayed on those vehicles.
Therefore, users can easily misuse the Government owned vehicles
using Government fuel and money.
Sometimes fuel costs and vehicle maintenance costs would be
unbearable costs to the institutions. Also, when fuel costs are concern,
it is a drain of foreign exchange reserves of the country.
As a controlling method to minimise the misusing State owned vehicles
and to save Taxpayersâ money for development purpose of the country, the
authorities of the Government must instruct to the heads of government
institutions to display both logos (Government and institution) very
clearly on all Government owned vehicles.
If this rule becomes effective, some Government officers would give
various reasons against to the logo displaying on vehicles provided to
them since they are the officers who highly misuse the Government owned
Suranganie Fernando, who wrote to the Editor (DN April 17) under the
caption âSelling paradise isle dreamâ and drew attention of the Chairman
Tourist Board, Renton de Alwis, about Oogling at females by male
population inside Sri Lankan resorts, which she highlighted as âquite
offensive, unsettling and threatening,â can at least be happy now that
her valiant point through the Daily News has gained good ground.
It is evident that her suggestion has gone via the Chairman of the
Tourist Board to the heights that matter and consequently the Minister
of Tourism and Minister of Defence have taken swift and remedial action
to re-establish the New Tourist Police Division under the theme
âPrevent, protect and delightâ.
The initial establishment of a Tourist Police in Sri Lanka was the
brainchild of the late President R. Premadasa during his tenure as Prime
Minister at a time when whole flood of foreign tourists swamped the
golden beaches of down South of Sri Lanka.
It was a phase when female, white, shapely bodies started sunbathing
in the nude inside star hotel compounds and walked in G-string bikinis
along the Galle Road, particularly in the Hikkaduwa area, while the odd
white male muscular pieces of humanity started to scout for boys for
sexual pleasure, which in turn enticed the some of the young and local
folksâ eyes and turned the whole act into a pied piper scenario.
With the passage of time, the Tourist Police activities seemed to
have subsided for unknown reasons.
However, the latest move by the Minister of Tourism and Minister of
Defence is highly commendable and certainly a step in the right
direction not only to safeguard foreign tourists from unacceptable
behaviour by the local men folk, but equally to preserve Sri Lankan
values by ensuring that âwhiteâ men and women tourists are not allowed
to behave reprehensively or expose themselves indecently, for a few
foreign exchange they bring to the country, which would affect our
centuries old cultural and traditional values drastically.
DR. TILAK S. FERNANDO