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DateLine Wednesday, 23 January 2008

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Government Gazette




Road encroached - inaction by authorities

In Wellawatte on the Colombo side of the Dehiwela Canal, there is a road that runs along the canal. It is Veluwanarama Road from Pamankada end passing Hampden Lane and Rajaguru Sri Subudhi Road at the Galle Road end.

When many years ago, the canal was dredged and cleared with Japanese funds, the canal bank was fenced with mesh to prevent any encroachments that would erode the canal bank and block the free flow of water.

The canal was intended to improve drainage of rain water in the Colombo city and Parliament area. The road joins Galle Road, Hampden lane (future extension of Duplication Road) Pamankada Road and Highlevel Road. The road was to provide a by pass for traffic moving into and out of Colombo, so as to reduce the traffic congestion.

Many motorists used this road in the past. Now the road users are reducing because of unchecked squatters backed by drug dealers.

The canal and the fenced in area is haphazardly maintained by the Land Reclamation Board by occasional dredging and repairs to the vandalised mesh fences. This has worked except for one blatant encroachment. By the bridge that joins Vihara Lane to Saranakara Road, a Buddha Shrine is being constructed.

This is on the canal bank inside the fenced area. Other builders will soon follow the precedent. Additionally, at the nearby roundabout by the bridge, a Bo-tree is planted and regularly watered and tended by a man. No State authority dare stop these - the UDA, Colombo Municipality, Land Reclamation Board and the Wellawatte police. The intention is to block the road and make a Vihara.

This is a well thought out plan by a well-known drug dealer who is behind the scene. Only Presidential action could save the road.

The road alongside the canal connects Pamankada Road, Hampden Lane (in future to be the extension of Duplication Road), and Galle Road.

This road along the canal is a very useful road for vehicular traffic using any of these three roads to move from one to the other. In the morning and evening there was till recently, much free flowing traffic along these roads. Now fewer slow moving vehicles are using this roadway.

Veluwanaramaya Road is narrowed by the houses of squatters. Rajaguru Sri Subudhi Road is similarly narrowed. Many of the constructions have cement walls, cement floors, electricity supply and TVs. Some have painted CMC assessment numbers genuine or otherwise.

There are trishaw repair workshops and welding workshops, drug and kassippu retailers. Some squatters have removed parts of the tarred sections of the roads. All this would not have occurred, if the entire width of the roads along the canal was tarred and made into a broad roadway.

Instead of which only a narrow part was made into a tarred road, leaving the rest of the land bare for squatters to come.

The road users look to the President to intervene and have the squatters cleared and the tarred road widened to prevent squatters coming again.

Mount Lavinia

Shortcomings in healthcare education

As a medical professional and Quality Improvement Advisor to Healthcare facilities preparing for JCI accreditation and frequent visitor to hospitals in urban and rural Sri Lanka as well as having once been a patient at a 'prestigious' hospital in Colombo; I can state without reservation that the whole healthcare sector requires a very major examination with respect to accountability in the deliverence of high-quality healthcare to patients in all clinical settings.

Trained nurses due to no fault of their own, lack morale support, guidance, accountability and frequent quality in-service education given the dynamic process of clinical practice and patient care.

Unsafe practice and gross negligence in many situations, of an adherence or understanding of standard precautions in the prevention of infection, importantly hospital acquired infection which is widespread in hospitals. Many hospitals and MD operated clinics, particularly in rural areas are just filthy, many to the extent of being quite unfit for purpose.

The prescribing and dispensing of pharmaceuticals is haphazard, unethical and unsafe in many instances, lacking acceptable labelling and sound patient instruction. Understanding of the fundamental principles (along with commensurate equipment)required to save lives in emergency situations is not readily in evidence.

Pre-hospital care with expedient response by trained personnel carrying emergency packs and medications in suitably equipped ambulances does not exist, except to a very fortunate urban minority with status or wealth. How many seriously ill or injured meet their demise purely due to a lack of, often simple, but critical interventions, without ever seeing the hospital emergency room.

The majority of hospitals have no protocols, policies or procedures, even the lack of basic handwashing by medical staff is appalling. Caring and compassion and a focus towards all patients as human beings is markedly lacking, and in the private sector the cash till reigns supreme.

There is a dire need to create a healthcare culture of safety. There is a need to promote a culture that overtly encourages and supports the reporting of any situation or circumstance that threatens, or potentially threatens the safety of patients or caregivers and that views the occurrence of errors and adverse events as opportunities to make the healthcare system better.

Healthcare is a right of the individual and it is the responsibility of a civilized society and every Government to ensure that all its citizens have equal access to quality healthcare facilities incorporating evidence based, best practice.


Holy Bible - the Voice of God

Your correspondent in his article of your issue of January 15 refers to many inaccuracies in Sister Marji Fernando's article of December 12 which he tries to correct according to his understanding of the Holy Scriptures.

So it is his contention that the voice of Jesus is not the voice of God and an error often repeated is to call Jesus as God. The gospel of St. John starts as follows "In the beginning was the word.... and the word was with God, and the word was God..... And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us".

To all believers, St Paul in his first Epistle to the Corinthians Chapter 2 vs 5 says "that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God". So to all those of faith, Jesus was God himself taking the form of man not having an earthly father but born of Virgin Mary.

The virgin birth is one point that shows the divine nature of Jesus. In St. John Chapter 10 vs 30, Jesus said "I and my father are one". The paradox of Jesus is something that cannot be fully comprehended by us mortals with small brains.

Biblical prophesies which have been fulfilled are too numerous to mention here, but the prophecy about the coming of the Holy Spirit about which the writer has mentioned has to be touched upon.

This is a prophecy found in the book of Joel Chapter 2 vs 28, "I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh...." which was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit about which Jesus also spoke before His ascension sat upon each of the disciples as found in the book of Acts Chapter 2. Jesus did speak of the spirit of truth and not a successor in human form which will be called the spirit of truth.

In the second epistle of St Paul to Timothy Ch 3 vs 16 we read that "All scripture is given by the inspiration of God," so how could it be assumed that the words of God comprise less than five per cent of the whole Bible.

Other prophecies as found in the book of Daniel Chapter 12, and St. Matthew's gospel Chapter 24, are getting fulfilled in the present times. As found in the same gospel Chapter 24 vs 4, Jesus said.

"Take heed that no man deceive you and he also said as found in the same gospel Chapter 28, "Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world".

Merril T. M. de Silva,


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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