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DateLine Thursday, 10 July 2008

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Government Gazette

TUs’ responsibility

President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a pertinent observation when he told a Trade Union delegation from the Customs that they were able to pursue with their struggles, agitations and raise salary demands only because of the efforts of the Security Forces battling terrorism in the North.

Inherent in the President’s remark was that there has to be a country intact in the first place if the workers are to engage in an occupation let alone demand salary hikes. This task of keeping the country together is being carried out in earnest by our valiant Forces by successfully keeping at bay the forces striving for its separation.

The message of the President was that Trade Unions who have the luxury of agitations should cotton on to this factor and act with a sense of responsibility.

We hope that those who are planning today’s general strike would spare a thought for our Armed Forces but for whose heroic deeds the country would have plunged into disintegration.

Today amidst a laissez faire culture spawned by high commercialism and a liberalised society we hardly spare a thought for the sacrifices made by the valiant men on the battle field. These war heros are taken for granted by the elite who have no time to indulge their thoughts on events and happenings outside their rarefied enclaves.

Too often we come across events and incidents that smacks of callous regards towards the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces fighting a ruthless band of terrorists seeking to dismember the country.

This is not confined to Trade Union campaigns alone. True, life should move on and the public cannot be expected to be wearing glum expressions to empathise with the soldiers on the battlefield.

However, we should strive to balance our priorities and strive for moderation. There is a need to do away with unnecessary tamashas in the South that take on a carnival atmosphere. There are certain entertainments that border on vulgarity completely lacking in sensitivity towards the blood sacrifices made by our heros on the battle front.

In this respect the ban imposed on late night musical shows by the Minister of Environment although for a different reason namely containing sound pollution has had a positive effect curbing unbridled revelry incongruous with the ground situation.

Now that the Security Forces are on the verge of accomplishing their mission the need of the hour is unity. This can be communicated to the men on the battle field only through a proper appreciation of their sacrifices, by providing them ample morale support and empathising with their sacrifices. Nothing less would suffice.

Spin sensation

At a time the Army is making much headway in the battlefield it would no doubt have warmed the cockles of our fighting men to know that one their tribe was going great guns on a different field.

We are of course referring to the new kid on the block Ajantha Mendis who helped Sri Lanka clinch the Asian cup by his mesmerising spell of spin bowling, a feat which would be the talking point in cricketing circles in the days to come.

While his colleagues were battling the enemy with guns and tanks the diminutive bowler got the better out of his opponents by a mere tweak of his wrist in a more subtle manner using guile and cunning to fell his opponents.

Sri Lanka cricket certainly has come up with a more than adequate replacement to ageing maestro Muttiah Muralitharan.

Equally the Lankan Army could well lay claim to another feather in its cap to follow in the victories achieved in the arid jungles of the Wanni by coming up with another winner in the form of Second Lt. Mendis of the Artillery Regiment who would no doubt serve the cause of the Motherland with the same dedication and fervour as our valiant heroes on the battle front, in the days to come.

It would not be out of place here to also mention of deeds of the that evergreen prolific wielder of willow Sanath Jayasuriya who defied age and critics to notch up a match winning century that help secure the Cup for Sri Lanka.

Both these cricketers have one thing in common. Their humble origin prove that nothing can stand in the way of genuine talent and perseverance. Theirs is also a typical tale of rags to riches which shines as a beacon to all those who wish to aspire to great heights irrespective of their pedigrees or social background.

They were aptly feted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony at Temple Trees yesterday to congratulate the victorious team. Our cricketers have certainly given all Sri Lankans something to smile about even amidst the present difficulties endured by the country on many fronts.

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