The electoral district of Moratuwa and its municipal limits start
near the headquarters of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board
along the Galle Road.
The following matters will therefore have to be highlighted for
corrective action by the Western Provincial Council and the Department
of Local Government and Public Administration.
Lady Catherine Model Town which is at Katubedda, Moratuwa carries as
its address Lady Catherine Model Town, Ratmalana.
This has resulted in the letters having this address first getting
sorted to the Mt. Lavinia Post Office before they are delivered, causing
unnecessary labour and an additional day for delivery.
Residents in its environs in order to get a building plan approved
have to go to the Moratuwa Municipality where their rates and taxes are
paid. If they need the services of the police, they came under the
purview of the Mt. Lavinia police housed in Ratmalana, which is a
different electorate serviced by the Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Municipal
The Ceylon German Technical Training School situated along the Galle
Road, Katubedda has its address in the telephone directory as Galle Road
Mt. Lavinia which is absurd.
Even its affairs are divided between the Postal and Municipal
services of Moratuwa and Mt. Lavinia.
Ironically, institutions on the opposite side of the Galle Road, the
Industrial Development Board and the Colombo South Transport Board have
Moratuwa addresses and their affairs are within the purview of the
Moratuwa Post Office and Police.
Even though there are District and Magistrate Courts in Moratuwa,
actions initiated by the Mt. Lavinia police will therefore be handled by
the District and Magistrate Courts of Mt. Lavinia.
However the Divisional Secretariat of Moratuwa handles all related
matters of the entire electoral district and all telephones in the
Katubedda area are prefixed with the Moratuwa dialing code 264.
Before the situation gets more chaotic, it is up to the authorities
concerned to do away with any age old demarcations and take corrective
action before we experience any disputes akin to those in Jammu/Kashmir.
It is hoped that sanity will prevail and that all administrative
affairs of Katubedda will be brought within the Moratuwa electoral
MERRIL T. M. DE SILVA
Well I hadn’t, till a few days ago when this came up in the press and
the electronic media.
This is a zoo in Armenia where one of our cherished possessions, a
nine year old female elephant -Asokamala - from the Pinnawala orphanage
is to be sent in the near future. I was curious about this zoo after I
read about it in the press.
The internet came to my rescue and this is what an Armenian himself
by the name Christian Garbis had to say in 2005 after visiting this zoo.
“When we entered I did not expect the dismay that I witnessed. The
zoo, which is Government controlled, is run down and the poor animals
are not living well at all.
We first went to see the bears and what I saw was upsetting but not
as shocking as what I would see later. The zoo has three bears that are
not in bad shape, but the ground of the area in which they reside was
almost completely covered by their own excrement.
“There were few clean places for them to sit and as a result their
fur was a bit soiled. The water that was provided for them to swim in -
which was clean compared to other areas of the zoo - was littered with
plastic bags and popcorn.
“Many of the animals were clearly sick and malnourished. The
ostriches totally ignored the large tub of rotten apples and bits of
bread given them to eat. The foxes in their pens were thirsty, pacing
back and forth or curled up in a corner. We saw no water laid for them,
although a slab of rotten meat had been thrown into one of the pens that
had been ignored.
“One thing I noticed that really disturbed me is that almost all the
animals stand and sleep on concrete or asphalt, which are in turn
covered in their own feces.
There is no grass or anything organic for that matter for the
ostriches or other birds to walk on. And one area that contained swans
had only a small pool of standing water about ten feet long and three
feet wide for them to swim in, which was completely filthy with green
muck and litter, as were all the water pools in the zoo.
There are even two hippopotamuses who do not dare venture into their
own swimming place, also very small, as it is unfit for bathing. Both
were baking in the sun, and I don’t understand how they survive with no
“I also noticed that several trees have been cut throughout the zoo,
so now there is virtually no shade for many of the animals that need it.
Some of the slopes that line the zoo boundaries have been completely
voided of their greenery, so now there is only sand and rocks. Many of
the animals are clearly not being cared for at all.
The llamas have dirty, matted coats that need to be tended to, and
the one seemingly confused elephant, which for some reason has a chain
winding around its front right foot, is covered in dust and dirt.
“I asked the guy ripping tickets at the gate why the animals are
living so miserably, whereby he responded, “People are living miserably
too. Didn’t you know that?” I don’t know what kind of an answer that is,
seeing that animals in captivity are wholly dependent on the human
caretakers to provide for them.
But I know that his peculiar mentality, undoubtedly shared by nearly
everyone working in that zoo from what I saw of the place, is not going
to turn around.
Since the zoo is Government controlled and it can obviously not
properly fund the zoo (admission is a mere 150 dram or about 35 cents)
for whatever reason, it must be either shut down or privatised.
It is unfair to these defenceless animals that they be subjected to
such disastrous conditions. And I don’t know why the local
representative of the World Wildlife Foundation doesn’t do anything
about what’s happening - it makes no sense at all.
“Ariga mentioned to me today that when it comes to animals, Armenians
are only good at raising their slaughtering pigs and sheep. In a country
where driving over dogs is considered a sport, I don’t expect that
cruelty towards animals en masse will ever be overcome here.
Just by the way I have seen horses and other farm animals being cared
for in villages, I know that there needs to be widespread education
about animal protection in this country, but I have no idea what
children are being taught regarding that.”
This clearly shows what this zoo is like. Is our ‘Asokamala’ going to
be sent to this hell hole? Don’t our authorities have an iota of love
for these defenceless animals? For whose benefit is this going to be
done? I think the general public would want answers to these questions.
The Minister had said that he had got the approval of the Cabinet for
this. This is even before knowing the ground situation of this zoo. I
guess this is typical Sri Lankan style.
Our neighbouring India has totally banned the export of elephants
from their country a couple of years ago, due to extreme public
protests, when it was revealed that two elephants have died mysteriously
in this same zoo.
Are we prepared to take this cue from India?
Dr. A. N. Dharmawansa
As a resident of Koralawella, Moratuwa, who has to put up with the
indiscriminate use of loudspeakers at all hours of the day and regularly
at around 4.30 a.m. I will be profoundly grateful to any Government who
completely bans the use of loudspeakers in the open.
I am not sure why this public menace continues unabated. It is a sad
reflection on our society which has no respect for the comfort of others
and the law. Nuisance values have no place in religion.
Continued exposure to these loudspeakers is a sure path to deafness.
The only way in which to avoid these loud noises is to completely
insulate oneself, which means air conditioning, which is expensive, not
available to all and environmentally damaging. If our neighbouring
countries have had the courage to ban the use of loudspeakers why cannot
May I exhort the Government to take immediate measures to afford the
general public relief by banning such noise levels and removing these
offensive and damaging pieces of equipment from our society.
D. M. Balasuriya