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Tough times for City Fathers

At the time of writing this editorial, the fate of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) appeared in the balance with speculation that the country’s premier local body is to be vested in a Commissioner.

It is doubtful whether bulk of the ratepayers in the City would care very much if the incumbent administration was thrown out on its ear given the shoddy state of affairs in the running of its affairs. The writing was on the wall though when an independent group sponsored by the UNP got elected.

The imbroglio that followed saw the opposition staking a claim for the hot seat lending itself to intrigue and manoeuvre which relegated the ratepayers to mere bystanders in the unfolding drama.

The result was accumulating garbage, neglected roads, damaged drains, flooded roads and a rise in the cases of dengue to which the incumbents who comprised a motley band amateurs with no experience in any form of civic administration had no answers.

Whatever decision is taken, the Government should ensure that the changes contemplated should not relapse into the status quo or a mere changing the pillow for a headache.

Measures should be taken for a full revamp of the CMC structure not only to see to it that the citizens of Colombo are properly served but also to regain the status once enjoyed by Colombo as the Garden City of Asia.

While on the topic it must be stressed that a mere beautifying the city is not the remedy for the multifarious problems that beset the city capital.

There is much to be done in the form of housing and infrastructure not only to meet the demands of city dwellers but also for the benefit of the staggering one million floating population that throngs the city on a daily basis.

The Government should not shy away from pumping the maximum resources to upgrade the City from its present parlous plight for fear of being accused of favourable treatment to Colombo a la Colombata kiri gamata kekiri. After all, it is the commercial capital which mirrors the well-being or otherwise of a State.


Bedi’s doosra

Bishen Bedi has done it again. It appears that he has an obsession with Mutthaiah Muralidharan. One can understand peer jealousies in any field of endeavour and sport is no exception - especially when the Sri Lankan spin wizard has almost quadrupled the wickets haul of the former Indian great.

Bedi clearly carries a chip on his shoulder vis-a-vis the exploits of the smiling assassin who is on the threshold of being the highest test wicket taker in the world.

One notes that with every improved performance Murali had been at the receiving end of barbs thrown at him by Bedi.

The cricketing world was least prepared for his outbursts this time around. After branding Murali a chucker and cheat in his previous comments the turbaned tweaker of yesteryear has called Murali a Monster if reports quoting him are correct.

We are not comparing here the relative merits of the two spin greats who plied their art generations apart.

We are not unaware that as with any endeavour or discipline, sports too derived the advantage of encroaching modernisation.

Cricket is no exception and it is not fair to compare the deeds of different players of different vintages. But Bedi has violated an unwritten rule practiced by all the purveyors of the same art in this gentlemen’s game.

Bedi has forgotten that he and Murali are in the “spin bowlers club” and no cricketer in the present or past has heaped abuse or calumny on one of his ilk.

Through his conduct Bedi has disported himself as a spoil sport.

We urge Murali to forge ahead with single minded purpose the goal of breaking the world record in the forthcoming tour Down Under where the whole sordid saga began.

How ironic it is that it is the same country that tested and cleared him of all charges. What more proof does Bedi need.

Kethesh - A true internationalist

Kethesh Loganathan was one of those ‘best minds’. He was above all else a committed, engaged intellectual. He was indubitably one of the sharpest analytical intellects, one of the finest Sri Lankan minds of his day.

Full Story

Ajith Samaranayake: Multi-faceted journalist

The untimely death of the renowned and respected English journalist, Ajith Samaranayake, one time Editor of the Sunday Observer, The Sunday Island and Friday and the Managing Editor of the Lake House English newspapers, is a great loss to Sri Lankan journalism, both English and Sinhala, whose wide readership benefitted very much from his broad knowledge couched in his own style of writing and those who wished to take up to journalism as a career.

Full Story

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