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DMMC and deplorable Dehiwala roundabout

The sidewalks and pavements of our many highways and roads are veritable stretches of much cursed misery and foot-cramped drudgery, putting ones powers of patience and concentration to the utmost of endurance and tests.

Take 'the garland of stones' shaped Dehiwala roundabout and the four pavement stretches concentric to it - not a step or stride, not one, could ever be taken with any measured ease on them - apart from the ever - present gaps in the paying, most stones are broken halves due to bad masonry (supposed and made to withstand simple and light human weight and possibly an errant trishaw) - this broken up half-in/ half-out positioned stones at jaunty and unwary angles also has its amusing aspects - simply imagine the many hails of "hiya and hellos' flung across by criss - crossing pedestrians from imperceptibly and perilously placed pivoted footings on the numerous gaps and defective 'see-saw' paving stones strewn about.

When will the PRDA who are supposed to be responsible according to a DMMC engineer revealed to the press some time back, end all this melodrama and indifference on almost ten year old dilemma (rubberized metal was strewed on the surface in camouflages right round the roundabout areas mentioned 2-3 years back before the last Presidential election.

Many more are the headaches and shortcomings of this busy important hubbub:

1. Even the thicker concrete slabs over the drains are broken with plenty of blockages rats and mosquitoes with added stench abound.

2. The traffic lights are in confusion.

3. Buses to Mt. Lavania invariably stop on pedestrian markings adding to the chaos.

4. Just imagine an inadequate 3-4 pavement from the roundabout to Arpico with people invariably on leap-frog situations with the much traversed bus movements.

5. Makeshift vendors structures on most roads of Sri Lanka even some from pavement shops (extensions) are most risky as they are allowed eye contact level construction.

Hope Dehiwala will have a huge sigh of relief soon.


Pavements for pedestrians or vehicle parking

The Nawala Road pavement at Nugegoda is allocated for the parking of buses and lorries day and night. You find buses even double parked, forcing pedestrians, schoolchildren, young and feeble to use this very busy main road, risking their lives.

What has happened to the laws of this country and the authorities responsible for enforcing them?

Police and the local authority, Kotte seems to be turning a blind eye to this high handed act by the private bus crews? Whatever it is high time police took action to remedy this irregular situation.

There is a large open space down Nawala Road, where lorries park with loads of sand, bricks and tiles for sale.

Why not make use of this place to park buses, during idle-times without causing congestion and inconvenience to the public? Doesn't this, solve the problem for all?

There are 'No Parking' signs too along this road, no one cares and no action taken. What happened to those parking attendants, on this road? Why don't the Council employ them any more?

It gives them employment as well as an added income to the Council.


Gallant sailor

The sailor who detected the parcel bomb at the Anuradhapura weekly fair, thereafter taking action to prevent same from blasting is to be rewarded. This confirms that his above action has been highly acknowledged and appreciated, for which those concerned should be admired.

By his action, he has proved to others in the Forces in particular and the public in general that their duties and responsibilities do not confine only when they are on duty, but while out of duty as well. In attending to the above exercise, he has definitely risked his own life, while saving the lives and limbs of many others, for which they in return should be greatfull to him for their survival.

This young man is a typical soldier who has the eyes of an eagle and bravery of a lion, to whom the entire nation should be grateful to, encouraging others to act likewise specially under the prevailing situation.

He should be proudly and publicly acknowledged as one who has given a real meaning to the concept of 'Api Venuven Api' not by mere words but by action, which he has been fortunate to live to see.


'Sacrifice' with consent

T. Wickremesinghe's letter titled 'Sacrifice' with consent published in a daily newspaper January 11, illustrates vividly the dictum 'brevity is a virtue'.

I agree with him in 'toto' with his statement that animal sacrifice is barbaric and should be 'banned'.

It would have been even better if he had worded his statement as follows: ''animal sacrifice (which involves the cruel slaughter of 'innocent' animals'') is barbaric and should be avoided by all (right thinking) Buddhist and Hindus since 'Ahimsa (compassion) and Metta (loving kindness) constitute the 'cardinal tenets' of these two major world religions. It is futile and unnecessary to drag followers of other religious faiths into this issue.

If only we Buddhist and Hindus adhere to and practice with reverence both 'Ahimsa and Metta' this alone would significantly minimise the 'suffering' and agony of so many 'harmless'/ innocent animals in Sri Lanka as a consequence of their 'slaughter for either food or sacrifice for a religious purpose'.

Many Hindus have in the past been performing and a few till even today continue to perform/offer 'animal sacrifice' in temples hoping (wrongly of course!) that this 'meritorious' act would please the 'Gods' who in turn would grant their desires/ 'wishes'.

Nothing could be further from the truth. This practice is today condemned by all right thinking Hindus both in India and Sri Lanka and animal sacrifice has now been 'banned' in most Hindu temples/shrines the world over.

Although I am in unison with Wickramesinge that 'sacrifice' needs the consent of the animal concerned, it is unfortunate that no animal can do so, even if it wants to, because God (the creator) has endowed this attribute; the faculty of speech, only to the human species by which he/she can 'express' or 'convey' his/her feelings on any matter.

Even if animals had been blessed with this attribute by the Creator, it is almost certain that no animal 'forcibly' and/or cruelly taken for slaughter/sacrifice for man would give its consent for this purpose - rather it would pose this question to him: "Why take poor me? Why not 'sacrifice' one of your kith and kin?"


What to eat

The letter by S. Peiris titled 'What to eat' is an eye opener for everyone who is trying to ape the Western way of consuming food.

All the fast food, etc. is now known to be bad for our health and America and Australia are trying hard to make their people consume 'Our kind of food' i.e. pulses, fruit, vegetables, nuts and all things harvested from the ground. Of course, a certain amount of fish, meat and dairy produce is also necessary.

This is the food that our grandparents and parents gave us to eat and not the junk food given nowadays to the children growing up.

As a person who has travelled widely of late and have researched into these foods, I feel it is time the Government advertised the ill effects of junk food and make our people realise that the food we consumed long ago is the best food of all for our health.

To build a healthy nation should be of paramount importance now.

 

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Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
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