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DateLine Thursday, 18 October 2007

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Government Gazette




Security Forces deserve praise

The Security Forces should be highly commended once again for detecting and destroying yet another floating warehouse, for the benefit of the country.

Needless to mention that the country under their protection is safe and secure, for which they deserve the admiration and gratitude of all peace loving people of our country.

The continuation of the war also depends on the quantity and quality and nature of arms and ammunition available for same.

Hence the liquidation of such material being made available, would cease the desire in engaging same without success, thereby finding alternative ways of achieving what is being fought for. Instead, what is essential is a negotiated permanent settlement, for it to be a lasting one with no disputes thereafter.

However, when considering the recent achievements of the Security Forces, one wonders why it was not possible earlier.

A pleasant experience with London Transport Board

I desired to travel a short distance, by a London Transport Bus, in the City of London, with a view to see and enjoy the transport system, prevailing in this highly developed country.

I walked to a nearby bus halt and inserted a Pound 2.00 coin, being the fare, in a roadside ticket machine, installed at the bus halt to obtain the ticket to travel to my destination. But surprisingly, I did not get the ticket, I anticipated. Hence, once again, I inserted another coin of the same value, expecting at least my second attempt would be successful.

Alas! This too was a failure, perhaps due to a defect in the ticket machine. Then I noticed a telephone number painted on the ticket machine, indicating whom to be contacted when the machine is defective. So, from the bus halt itself, I dialled the relevant number from my mobile phone and informed the officer who answered the episode I faced.

This officer was very apologetic and asked all the details about me including the place where I stay in London. Further, he was so kind that he enquired whether I had sufficient money for the bus to reach my destination. I answered in the affirmative, thereafter he directed me to walk to the next bus halt which was a little away and board the bus, inserting the coin in the ticket machine which I did and reached my destination.

To my pleasant surprise, within two days I received a letter from the relevant authorities thanking me for informing them about the problem I experienced with their roadside ticket machine, conveying their apologies for the inconvenience caused and enclosing two coins of two Pounds each, pasted on the letter, being the money I lost in their ticket machine.

Further, in their letter once again they had thanked me for bringing this matter to their attention and apologising for the inconvenience caused.

I greatly admire their prompt action, the immense courteousness shown in their letter, repeatedly apologising and making good the loss, I incurred. In fact, with the receipt of this pleasant letter, I completely forgot all the inconvenience I experienced above.

I ask myself, whether we in Sri Lanka also could follow such a splendid example, when we come across similar situations in our day-to-day lives - prompt action, courteousness, making good the loss.

Is a General Election round the corner?

There is a rumour created in the minds of the public by some politicians that the next general election is round the corner. As far as I am aware according to the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the next General Election should be held in 2010.

These politicians who are clamouring for a premature General Election have given a large number of promises to the people, who attend their political rallies, that they will fulfil, if they come into power.

Some of these promises are that they will bring down the present high Cost of Living.

(a) by bringing down the prices of petrol, kerosene, oil, diesel and gas

(b) by reducing the price of bread;

(c) by bringing the price of all imported milk products;

(d) by bringing down the prices of essential food items such as rice, sugar, vegetables, fruits, potatoes, dhal, fish, meat etc.

(e) that they can reduce the bus fares and train fare;

(f) that they will increase the salaries of all public servants and

(g) that they can bring down electricity and water bills, when they come into power.

I am not a member of any political group and to date, I have never got any favours from any politician even when I was in Government service.

I am not an authority on the present Constitution, although I have read the Constitution once.

I have been attending a large number of political rallies organised by the UNP, SLFP, MEP, LSSP, Communist Party and JVP. I have listened to political speeches given by great statemen such as D. S. Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake, Dr. N. M. Perera, Dr. Colvin R. de Silva and Philip Gunawardane: I also have attended political rallies in which S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, Rohana Wijeweera and Sir John Kotalawala spoke, during my school days, and undergraduate days.

During that time most of the people who did politics, unlike these days, were educated and disciplined and their primary motive in doing politics was to serve the masses and not to use their political power to become rich.

During the Parliament sessions, all of them behaved as gentlemen and co-operated with the Speaker during Parliamentary procedures.

I am at a loss to understand how these politicians, led by the Leader of the Opposition, can come into power Constitutionally before 2010.

Of course if the present ruling party is defeated in Parliament e.g. during a Budget debate, the present Government can be forced to have a premature General Election.

It is noteworthy that unlike in UK, we have a written Constitution and in Sri Lanka, there is no political tradition of defeating the Government by having political rallies in Colombo and suburbs.

As far as I am aware, only a small percentage of the voting public attend these political rallies and a significant percentage of people who attend these rallies do not vote for the party organising these rallies.

I would be very grateful to the Leader of the Opposition or any of his supporters or any other reader, if he or she could enlighten the public as to;

(a) how these politicians who are anxious to have an early election can reduce the present high Cost of Living if and

(b) how they could legally force the present ruling party to have premature General Election before 2010.

The majority of the present day Sri Lankan voting public is mature and highly educated politically and they are tired of false promises given by the selfish politicians who organise political rallies.

A person or persons can cheat some people all the time, all the people for sometime, but not all these people all the time.

Moratuwa Traffic Police

Reference Prof. Tissa Kariyawasam’s letter, I too had a terrible experience at the Moratuwa Police Station, although it was many years ago. My driving licence was taken on an unfair allegation by a traffic police officer of this station.

I went to the SP Moratuwa of that time and he heard my story and agreed to turn my court case into a spot fine. When I went to the police station with the SPs orders, the OIC got very angry that I had gone above him and ordered me to stand at attention in the corner of his office for half an hour.

Being an educated, familied man I had to suffer this indignity for half an hour in the corner of this man’s office.

However, not even a month later, I saw in the newspapers that this OIC was the victim of one of his own men, whom he harassed to the extent where this officer shot him with his official weapon in this very office where I was abused.

This was the same police station where Eardley Perera was assaulted by a gang of police officers, years ago. I have forgiven, but never forget this incident.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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