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DateLine Tuesday, 5 August 2008

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Government Gazette





Water powered car

The entire nation should feel proud of the unique achievement of young Thusara Edirisinghe for his successful experiment in running a motor car on plain water that is easily found everywhere.

It is encouraging to learn that he has travelled to Anuradhapura and back using three litres of water. It has been reported that the Prime Minister who met this talented youth at Temple Trees has extended the fullest support of the Government to this venture.

The Government certainly has a duty to act fast as it has been reported that several foreign companies have approached the inventor to buy the technology. In the past, there have been several reports of various talented inventors of Sri Lanka coming up with new discoveries in various fields.

It is however unfortunate that most of them have ultimately gone into oblivion. Neither the relevant Government authorities nor the private institutions in the related fields have come forward to assist and promote such ventures.

They simply have died a natural death. Numerous such flowers have bloomed and withered away in the wild uncared for.

Let not the same sad fate befall this wonderful invention of Thusara who is destined to become a national treasure especially in the present context when the entire world is reeling under the fuel crisis.

It is also important to provide him adequate personal security as there can be threats to his life from numerous vested interests, both foreign and local.

- Dehiwala

Origins of the Sinhala race

The articles on the beginnings of the Sinhala race are very insightful and interesting (DN July 11 and 28).

These are very balanced, legitimate and rational views, together with acceptable historical facts and legendary beliefs which give the origins of the glorious heritage of the Sinhala race.

It is a relief that these articles can bequeath a better perspective on reality to the newer generation of Sinhalese.

However, it is embarrassing to see that the few preceding generations would rather dwell in the fairy tale and folklore of legendary beliefs to substantiate their existence.

With each race in our land disgracefully using ancient disputable documents of mythical sagas, one wonders if this is not the ultimate origin of racial conflict in our nation.

It all goes to show the level of malevolence passed around by Nazi ideologies, which even today has a drastic and adverse effect on sensibilities - each race and caste, especially in our land, scrambling to prove a superiority over each other.

It is also obvious that ever since the advent of the British in our land, the psychology of their divide and rule policies were well employed to create divisions between our races - much to their amused contempt.

Every race has its own folklore of supernatural (cum technical) flying structures either across land masses or directly to the moon and stars.

Each race has its legends about a great and powerful beast which gave life to its own humankind. Consider the tales of the ancient American Indian, Ancient Chinese and Ancient African.

The difference is that there is a greater and absolute realisation that these tales are merely creations of the ancient mind, or if there is some doubt that these stories might indeed be authentic, they are totally unnecessary to the progression of the life as it is known now, and for its future generations.

DNA studies to establish the origins of races and eventual racial amalgamation cannot, and will never be an exact science. It can be equated to the study of astrology, but at more menacing levels.

Its readings can only suggest possibilities and speculations, but rather like the study of finding proof of a universal creator, will keep going eternally backwards in progeny.

DNA studies will never take into account effects of historical ramifications of mankind due to the use of the gun to control and destroy, among all its other depravities.

Furthermore it can be misused and manipulated by controlling forces intent on only protecting its own niche of social inhabitants.

It seems that higher intelligence and IQ quotas belong to those who precisely used their intelligence for the greatest of human warfare.

These very high intellect beings on the other hand have shown a very little evidence into producing the great philosophies of religious and cultural beliefs, but only used copied structures to contort and use as an excuse for killing and massacring.

In the chronicles of history, it has been seen that when the better of mankind realised the enormity of their thoughts and actions, these enhanced beings decided to live in peace and bonding, leaving aside the over stimulation and the over-stress of their senses to produce societies of equanimity.

The Sinhala race with its philosophies and religion should thus feel proud of its generations of yore, of which its heritage was somehow destroyed and mutilated by the uninsightful and unimaginative forces of foreign rule. It’s not too late to turn back the clock.

- U.S.A.

Why not smile?

Recently my daughter went with a friend of mine to get her identity card. Since she was born in England, the procedure included visiting many more officials than otherwise.

When she returned, rather dejected, she had one question: why are all these officials so morose? Why do they have to be so lackadaisical and so unhelpful?

They could not be bothered to help the people. It was not only to her, but to everyone who comes there. Aren’t these officials supposed to spend their time on people all day? Then should they not be well experienced when it comes to people’s relations?

The lack of eye contact, the complete apparent apathy to the people’s cases, the disgruntled almost condescending behaviour and grumpiness was evident in all the ‘important’ officials, from the Grama Sevaka upto the Assistant Commissioner of Immigration.

The peons ironically were much nicer and offered smiles and words of sympathy over the longevity of the process of getting an ID, while their higher-ups remained with faces drawn with dissatisfied frowns and responded quite rudely, accompanied with grunts and waves of hands.

The women were not any more sympathetic. Possibly these officials were having bad days, (all of them? not likely) as all of us do many a time at work, but does that give them the right to take it out on the people who come for their aid, the people for whom they are paid to serve?

One official, made a mistake concerning a document, and thus caused my friend and my daughter to return to his office again, so that he may amend it, he did not so much as offer an apology; simply nodded vaguely without even looking at them, no eye contact made, and even went so far as to yell saying they should get back in line, despite his own error.

I must say the offices of most of them could be maintained better. When I happened to go to a Grama Sevaka, I found him sitting in a small part of a room without a fan, where the rest of the room was filled with boxes and what not, and the people have to queue up in the narrow doorway.

He kept shouting and scolding as if he was doing them a favour. The hall outside was huge and empty.

Why not sit comfortably in the hall, give the people numbers, make them sit and see them pleasantly? If one does not like his job he should give it up without making himself and others miserable. The public has no option but to bear up all the ignominies as there was no way the matters could be got done through any other means.

In a land where the people on the road are so friendly, the Sri Lankan smiles what brought us back from England, and where brochures to the tourists boast of excellent hospitality and wonderful service and bright smiling faces, it is quite a paradox to see such putrid and disorganised conditions in Government offices.

It is quite an ordeal to go through an entire day with all the people around you behaving quite rudely and to be treated as though you are the dirt under people’s shoes.

Why don’t these officials learn the art of the simple smile? By simply smiling, they will make a world of difference; the system will be tolerable, if not moving faster- the customers will be happy and the officials will make it pleasanter for themselves as well. It is a far better solution, than to cause frustrations and ruin people’s days with such incredibly non-hospitable service.

Please smile - it does not cost you a cent but it brightens up other’s life.

- Dehiwela

No drinking water

The people in Ihala Manaveriya in the Puttalam District are badly inconvenienced for want of drinking water and the Rantharu Samurdhi Society in the area has made a number of representations to the Divisional Secretary without success.

The people in the area appeal to the Divisional Secretary to repair the only tube well which has been defunct for the past two months. They also request the authorities to send them a water bowser to the area at least once a week.


New system of side drains of roads

Mahinda Chintana in the aspect of highway reconstruction and carpeting along with the side drain construction deserves a great commendation from all road users and transport commuters.

As a consequent of the latest system of road repair and drain construction, there is a great advantage from preservation of the main roads. The rains and floods will rarely damage the roads because of the new system of road making. The roads will be protected from the overflow of the water.

Let Mahinda Chintana benefit all the new projects in the country.

- Kandy

Reduce weeding cost

To reduce weeding cost on coconut and rubber plantations, both mature and immature establish pureria covers. This cover is very easy to establish, and once introduced, spreads very fast smothering all weeds, thereby giving a fresh and pleasant appearance to the plantations.

However, once fully established, requires to be kept under control to prevent same from being a hinderance to routine works on these plantations, mainly those connected with the harvesting of crops.

Accordingly, to keep the above covers under control at all times, I recommend rearing sheep at a ratio of ten to fifteen animals for a twenty-five acre estate.

With the introduction of animals for the above purpose there would be an additional income while shrinking expenditure on weeding achieving a duel advantage for the owner, thereby eliminating the engagement of labour and machinery for controlling same which is very costly.

- Kurunegala

English crash course for our cricketers

This is my reply to someone whose heart is said to have sunk when Ajantha Mendis called for a Sinhala interpreter. In 1979 I watched the Wimbledon Women’s Tennis final between US star, Chris Evert and the Czechoslovakian, Martina Navratilova. Martina won the match.

At that time she could not speak a word of English. She only spoke Czech and through an interpreter answered the questions asked by the BBC Sports Editor.

She did not feel ashamed for not being able to converse in English language and no Czech expatriate in the UK moaned that his heart sank in disgrace.

Also in 1985, I witnessed the Wimbledon Men’s final between German teenager Boris Becker (17) and the South African, Kevin Curren.

Becker won the men’s title and spoke in German through an interpreter. In that case, too, no German heart sank in disgrace for not being able to master the English language.

Even now, there are many foreign footballers playing for UK Clubs earning millions of Sterling Pounds but speak only their mother tongue, not English. No one laughs at them nor recommend crash courses for the players to learn English.

Only in Sri Lanka, does the Sinhala man think that it is a disgrace if one could not speak in English. That is sheer ‘heena manaya’ (inferiority complex).

This pathetic servility to the white master’s language is the bane befallen our Sinhala race.

- London


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