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Alarming increase of kidney patients

When we read through the daily papers, we come across two to three kidney patients daily appealing for donation of a kidney and as well as for financial assistance towards their operations since the amounts involved for kidney transplants are very large and beyond one’s means.

The latest addition to this category of patients according to a recent newspaper report was a doctor and he too has appealed for early donation of a kidney together with financial assistance to save his life. Today not only adults but also schoolchildren are getting caught to this deadly disease. I remember having read in another daily paper that there are nearly 5,000 infected kidney patients in the North Central Province alone.

This is an alarming situation in this country today. Nobody seems to be taking any interest on this pathetic situation. This has spread to schoolgoing children as well.

While reading through the press reports of these kidney patients what actually worries me is not the colossal sums of money involved towards these operations, but why at present in Sri Lanka such large numbers are subject to kidney ailments. We have not heard of this in the good old days in this country.

The disease is daily on the increase. No one seems to be bothered or taking any interest to ascertain the real cause for this daily increasing fatal disease. Could any food we consume at present be the root cause for this ailment? Has anyone thought of this? It is a fact that today we are consuming all sorts of poison whether we eat fish, vegetables or fruits.

Traders want to become rich overnight at the expense of the consumers. Our health authorities are not taking any action against these traders to safeguard our consumers.

Also our market is flooded with all sorts of instant food items produced by multi-national companies operating in this country, whose only motive is earning a quick buck at any cost.

Towards achieving this end the same multi-national companies have monopolised almost all the channels of electronic media with their eye-catching advertisements throughout the day and the people who watch any interesting programme on a TV channel go mad with them being repeated over and over again.

For some of these advertisements on TV channels the authorities of private channels employ our innocent children and ruin their education and cultural background.

What the parents of such children expect is cheap publicity. The companies who advertise in that manner, I presume, may be thinking that we are all fools.

They would have not heard that ‘Good wine needs no bush’!

For certain ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure etc. doctors diagnose the cause behind them and advise the people how to avoid such disease or to control them.

In the case of daily increasing fatal kidney disease involving colossal sums of money towards their operations, as far as I know no doctor has taken the trouble to ascertain the cause and to advise the people how to avoid them.

They only diagnose the disease and recommend treatment.

Is it because the doctors are crazy for big money? Is that the reason for eminent doctors not to do any research work on this deadly disease? This is a very pathetic situation in this country.

I appeal to our eminent doctors and to the Ministry of Health to take a serious view of this ailment in this country and to carry out some research work immediately on this subject with the help of our Medical Research Institute at least to save our school going children, then it will be a blessing for our people.

D. E. Abeyweera Kelaniya

 

Savings and investment

I refer to the letter from G. H. I. de Zoysa, (Oct. 6) and I wish to confirm the following:

Gold Coins: At present, gold coins known as English Coin and Middle East Coin are available at authorised jewellers. Central Bank does not mind gold coins, but decides only the gold prices. I admit that gold coin operations are concentrated in Colombo, but I am aware that some authorised dealers have branches in our stations as well. Some jewellers also make local coins with engravings.

Treasury Bills: At present, there are three types of dealings, Treasury Bills, Bonds and REPOs. In the case of Treasury Bonds, which has a maturity period of more than one year, is available only at a minimum value of Rs. 5 million. Though Central Bank had published the Colombo address of the dealers, due to the availability of islandwide network operation, you could purchase them from any bank in Sri Lanka.

Tax Deduction: The Department of Inland Revenue has instructed the Banks and Finance Houses to accept the declaration from the deposit holder that his total income (including interest income) is less than Rs. 300,000 to grant exemption from withholding tax deduction.

If his total income is between Rs. 300,000 and Rs. 600,000 the deduction rate would be 2.5 per cent only. If his income is more than Rs. 600,000 or no declaration is given, the rate would be 10 per cent.

In addition, if he is a Senior Citizen, that is, if he reaches the age of 59 on April 1 of the year assessment, then, he is entitled to a further Rs. 200,000 exemption, provided the deposits are made in Government Banks. Treasury Bill income is exempted from tax without any limit.

In passing, I would like to mention here that several concessions/facilities are made available to our people and you should obtain proper advice to secure maximum and safe income.

S.R. Balachandran - Council Member of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka

 

Photocopies of survey plan

This is in reference to the answer published in ‘OPA at your service’ Column on October 2 to a question raised by S. Gamage of Moratuwa.

According to the general system followed in Sri Lanka, a photocopy of a Survey Plan distinctly differs from a photocopy of any other normal document. The Survey Plan is a document very accurately drawn up to scale.

This is quite different to the Land Survey Plans prepared in most other developed countries where the picture is merely a sketch of the particular land parcel, with no scale, provided as a guidance to read its measurements which are all given in a digital format.

Hence due to possible distortions that could creep in to a photocopy or the prevailing possibility for an interested party to fraudulently introduce new data/delete some of the data conveniently, we fully agree that photocopies of survey plans should not be made use of to prepare a certified true copy of a plan.

The usual method adopted in the Survey Department is to retain with them the original copies of all its survey plans which are very systematically filed with them and issue certified photocopies of those plans to all outside agencies with an endorsement that those photocopies are only for reference purposes and should never be used to superimpose or re-demarcate any boundary. The certification is to provide authenticity and the endorsement is to prevent any others making use of the photocopy as a certified true copy.

Under the UDA Land Sub Division Regulations the Local Authorities are expected to approve all the new sub division schemes. For this purpose they might request for the previous plan or plans to assertion the history of that particular land parcel.

It is only for reference purposes and not for taking any measurements on the plan which they are not expected to do so. Therefore a photocopy if available should be sufficient for that purpose. A professional surveyor need not go out of the way to prepare a so called true copy from the photocopy.

In the absence of a certified true copy of a plan, all reference could be made with the help of a photocopy, if it appears to be not tampered with. If a photocopy is also not available, a better alternative is for the professional surveyor to do a fresh survey and draw up a new plan and with the help of the title deeds to make any possible endorsements on the new plan to meet any requirements, of the client, other than any re-demarcation of an old boundary.

M. Kaluthanthri Colombo District Licensed Surveyors’ Association

 

Worshipping teachers

Recently a Muslim mother said her child’s teacher was offended that this mother prevented her daughter from worshipping the teacher by falling at her feet.

In Islam, worship is very special - it is reserved only to Allah the creator and to nothing else that is created. When we use the term la ilaha illallahu - the utterance which makes one a Muslim - we are giving a pledge that we will not worship anything other than Allah.

Allah orders us in Sura Ar-Ra’d (The Thunder)

13:36 Say: “I am commanded to worship Allah, and not to join partners with Him. Unto Him do I call, and unto Him is my return.”

Here worship means what is in mind, what is said by the tongue as well as what is done by actions. The mind must totally accept that only Allah is worthy of worship; and the mouth should not say even for a joke that one worships anything else. Even in a casual song one cannot depict anything other than Allah to be the object of worship.

When it comes to actions, all types of actions from bowing with the head to anyone/anything, holding the hands together as in saying ‘Ayubowen’ or ‘Vanakkam’, or falling down at the feet of anyone or any statue, or created being/object is forbidden.

Worship by action also means accepting Him alone as one who has the right to set the rules and regulations of life and following His orders to the hilt.

Any action of worshipping anything other than Allah, by the heart, mouth or by action is considered the greatest sin in Islam which will never be forgiven by Allah and those who do so will abide in hell forever.

Allah says in Sura Al-Isra (The Journey by Night)

17:39 These are among the (precepts of) wisdom, which thy Lord has revealed to thee. Take not, with Allah, another object of worship, lest thou shouldst be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected.

I remember when my son was admitted to Grade One of D. S. Senanayake College long ago, there was a habit of the students worshipping the principal and teachers. When we explained to Mr. Alles, the erudite Principal at that time, about this principle in Islam he ordered that no Muslims student should be asked to worship the teachers.

This in no way should be considered a disrespect to the teachers. Islam gives very high place to teachers, whether they are Muslims or non Muslims, we have to show them great respect, obey them and assist them in any way we can.

It is essential that the teachers as well as the parents realise this fact, for this is the very basis of Islam. Everything else is secondary to it.

If anyone wants a translation of Quran in any language to verify these facts please call Almuslimaath on 2736577.

Dr. Mareena Thaha Reffai, Dehiwela

 

Breaking news?

The term ‘Breaking News’ is often used in the electronic media as well as on mobile phones to announce any sudden news of bomb explosion or other catastrophe.

I wonder whether ‘Break in news’ will be the more appropriate phrase as the sensational news item is interposed in the running programme.

On the other hand, the use of the term ‘Breaking News’ seems to connote to disrupt order or to make or effect by forcing or pressing.

Will readers comment on the above view point?

CR Wattala

 

An egg a day is safe to eat

I refer to articles written by Dr. D.P. Athukorala in the Daily News on October 20 as ‘An egg a day increases risk of death’. This article appeared after a study by Luc Djousse and J. Michael which was published in the April 2008 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests an association between high egg consumption and all-cause mortality in male physicians.

The researches did note that there was no relationship between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease risk which has been shown in number of previous studies.

The reference made in this publication was only about mortality in the physicians. But the researches have shown that the men who ate the most eggs were older, fatter, ate more vegetables and less breakfast cereals and were more likely to drink alcohol, smoke and less likely to exercise all factors that can effect to one’s death. To my opinion the author only titles their paper ‘Egg consumption in relation to cardiovascular disease and mortality’: The Harvard Physicians Health Study.

An accompanying editorial which appeared in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition April 2008 Vol: 87 799-800 by Dr. Robert Eckel has clearly mentioned that Harvard Physicians Health Study suffers from lack of detailed dietary information that may confound the interpretation, such as patterns of dietary intake of saturated fat and trans fats.

In Dr. D.P. Atukorala’s message he talks about 215mg of cholesterol present in an egg. His figures are correct, but the message is wrong. Recent research has shown that the dietary cholesterol has only a small effect on the serum cholesterol. As such if the serum cholesterol has to increase by eating eggs, one has to eat four eggs a day for four weeks, and lower doses have undetectable effects.

Years of research have concluded that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease.

In fact a 9500 subject followers study published in the Medical Science Monitor earlier this year concluded that eating one or more eggs per day does not increase the risk of coronary artery disease or stroke among healthy adults.

A review of over 30 years on research on eggs published last year came to the same conclusion that eating eggs daily does not have a significant impact on blood cholesterol or heart disease risk.

Recent research studies also show that eggs are an excellent source of choline.

Choline intake has been related to a decrease in plasma homocysteine levels a risk factor for heart disease as well as are reduction in inflammatory markers, also a risk factor for heart disease. Eggs also contain the anti inflammatory/anti-oxidant lutein, which has been shown to be associated with a slower progression carotid artery intimal thickening, another marker for atherosclerosis. Researches have also shown, eating eggs does not significantly alter the ratio of LDL/HDL cholesterol, which is recognised as a better indicator of heart disease risk than an individual cholesterol number or LDL, cholesterol number.

Adding an egg a day to the diet has more beneficial effects on heart disease risk than one would predict from the use of a single surrogate maker. Eggs are an excellent source of nutrients.

Healthy individuals should not avoid an egg a day.

Dr. Allagamuthu Nandakumar Veterinary Surgeon Hatton

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