THE comments made by Nadira Goonetilleke, on Susanthika Jayasinghe,
in the Social dialogue column of the Daily News of September 13 are apt
She is probably the only Sri lankan athlete at present, who has a
good chance of winning a Gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, good health
permitting. Why is she in particular, as well as other promising
athletes and sportsmen and women from other sports except cricket given
so little support?
Nadira has hit the nail on the head, when she attributes such
indifference to in built prejudices among our people and the attitudes
fostered by the die hard colonial mentalities, which even after almost
60 years of Independence, has still not died in Sri Lankan society.
In any other country these very factors, would have given her added
stature, especially the fact that she was able to almost single handedly
overcome almost insurmountable odds to reach her present global status.
The support she needed should have been extended to her from the very
beginning, when her potential began to manifest itself. Apart from the
financial help, even coping with the stress which the fame her athletic
prowess brought her and her close-knit family should have been extended
to her and to those she cared for.
How could she train and run with a carefree mind if she felt her
parents and immediate family were in dire need?
Officials in the Sports Ministry should have made it their prime
concern to set aside their petty one upmanship and trivial rivalries to
extend their full support to foster Susanthika’s unique talent.
The Corporate Sector too, who are quick to get on the band-wagon when
a game like cricket is concerned and shower them with more ‘goodies’
than they can even begin to cope with. While those in other fields of
sports have to be content with meagre handouts.
Of course, it is a different story, when a sportswoman like
Susanthika, makes it at International levels, then everyone wants to
bask in her reflected glory and sponsor her.
The unpalatable truth is that she and other potential athletes of her
calibre need support and encouragement, from the very start...when they
are not sure from where their next proper meal is coming from and when
they do not have even proper running shoes to run a race.
I WISH to commend you on your editorial of October 12 on ‘Eliminating
smuggling’ of cigarettes as it drew the attention of the readers to a
‘burning’ question. Illicit tobacco trade is a global problem needing a
It is estimated that the loss to Government revenue is $US 40 to 50
billion annually. It also undermines public health policy and is a
recognised source of revenue to criminality and terrorism because
smuggling of tobacco is found to be inextricably linked to criminal
In a report commissioned by the World Bank, it was estimated that in
the year 2000 between 6 per cent and 8.5 per cent of global cigarette
consumption, which is nearly 7 trillion sticks, was smuggled. The 6 per
cent estimate was based on import and export statistics and was mainly
an estimate for large-scale smuggling.
The 8.5 per cent estimate was based on estimates of smuggling
(bootlegging and large-scale smuggling) as a percentage of 1995 domestic
sales by using different sources.
Article 15 of the WHO framework convention on tobacco control, the
first public health treaty of which Sri Lanka is a signatory, provides
general obligations on parties to combat the problem such as developing
a tracking and tracing regime, licensing, counterfeiting, monitoring and
collecting data on cross-border trade in tobacco products etc.
At the recently concluded conference of parties held in Bangkok there
was unanimous agreement to negotiate a protocol and Sri Lanka should be
playing a major role in developing an effective protocol to combat this
The negotiations under the auspices of the World Health Organisation
will commence in the early part of 2008.
OLCOTT GUNASEKERA –
President, Sri Lanka National Federation on Smoking or Health
IT IS heartening to read a news item appearing in the Daily News of
the 13th instant giving an assurance by the Minister Senaratne that
there won’t be any shortage of cement in the near future and that the
price would remain at the existing level.
Contrary to this assuarance the talk of the town is that the prices
would sharply increase by the end of this year. Already some traders
charge more than Rs. 700 per bag. We would like to know what action
would be taken to nab the culprits and keep the prices at the approved
Congratulations to the Society of Government Pharmacists’ executive
officials in Sri Lanka for their mounting efforts to raise the curtain
on the 50th anniversary celebrations of Government Pharmacists Service
in Sri Lanka and on their paramount efforts to bring down the curtain to
a successful conclusion recently at the postal auditorium.
It became a very significant episode where the old and the young
pharmacists met and shared their thoughts on the advancement and
strengthening of pharmacy service in the health sectors, both in
Government and private.
The young executive officials of the Society of Government
Pharmacists were on their toes to extend hospitality to their seniors
and retired Government pharmacists who graced the occasion in large
numbers as special invitees.
Memory lanes were very active among the older generation of the
pharmacists’ service who had contributed immensely to the profession
from its inception in 1957.
The legendary, first Government pharmacist on Sri Lankan soil S.
Kandasamy was bestowed with a special award by the Minister of Health
It was a heartening moment when he was honoured on the stage in front
of a spellbound capacity crowd filled in the auditorium.
A host of other retired members (pharmacists) who served the society
of Government pharmacists too were honoured with special medals in
recognition of their immense services to the sick population and to the
society of government pharmacists.
A. SIVASANTHIRAN, (Ex-Secretary SGP) -
Attention of Police Headquarters has been drawn to the letter of
W.P.H. Kollupitiya (DN Sep. 27) who believes that he had been wrongfully
booked for speeding on the Galle Road, Colombo in January this year.
We thank him for the information provided. This is the first time
that this Headquarters is made aware of the complaint and we will be
going into it even though it relates to an incident eight months ago.
Motorists are welcome to clarify any matter with the Traffic
Administration and Road Safety Division of the Police Headquarters at
2nd floor, Mihindu Mawatha, Colombo 12. They can also be contacted on
telephone numbers 011-2324984, 011-2421111 Ex-237 or 011-2431718.
Thank you for the support you give for making our roads safer.
LUCKY PEIRIS - Senior Supdt. of Police, Director/Traffic Admin. &