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DateLine Tuesday, 13 January 2009

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A dream come true

“The dream of all Sri Lankans - Malays, Burghers, Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalese has come true”. It was President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s dream too - according to him. The liberation of the LTTE defacto capital Kilinochchi by the Armed Forces signals the end of the road to the armed rebels. They are literally being cornered and nothing seems to work for them.

The very difficult thrust into the rebel held areas in the Vanni by the Armed Forces were successful due to the magnificent political leadership given by the President and the excellent tactics and strategies adopted by the commanders and commanding officers of all Armed Forces and Police.

Of course, the execution of the plans were carried out boldly and courageously by heroic soldiers, sailors, airmen and police constables who were led from the front by their respective officers. Some were wounded and some sacrificed their lives.

The most dangerous terrorist group in the world - the so-called Tigers have been defeated by the Armed Forces in their own den.

That is a remarkable victory indeed. Many ceasefire agreements and peace talks were of no avail. Now peace has to be consolidated in the north as it was done in the east. Who could do that? Only President Rajapaksa.

He is the only political leader to publicly declare several times, even speaking in Tamil at the U.N. headquarters in New York that Sri Lanka belongs to all communities. He repeatedly made peaceful statements mentioning all races by name.

He sounds genuine and pragmatic. Those were also Prabakaran’s words at the beginning of his presidency. No other political leader was concerned so much about the minority races and religions and gave them their due recognition. He is the shining example of a good politician and leader - the need of the hour.

It is unfortunate that there isn’t any other Government politician or officer who could stand up to the golden qualities of their leader. Just one person has turned the tide. Not only his dream, his vision of a peaceful and united Sri Lanka has come true. Not only history, geography too will bear testimony to this great event.

A joy in living

Over 40 years ago, living in Tissamaharama, in the village of Polgahawelena, I saw the beauty of the countryside. I lived among the very poor and I recall with love and gratitude, how they lovingly sold me their milk powder which was rationed at that time, to feed my infants. I still lament over it. Snakes and Polongas roamed freely everywhere and we mortals had to be sure we didn’t tread on them. How well the deities above protected us.

It was a ritual everyday to light the oil lamps to keep around the house, as there was no electricity at that time. Eventually when it did come, it couldn’t surpass the beauty of the oil lamps and the glow that came from it.

Late in the night precisely at 12 midnight, tea, biscuits and buns had to be prepared to be taken to the Kamatha where the folk were busy doing threshing or winnowing.

Now in the eventide of my life and back in the city, I remember with happiness the past events.

So, a thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Water bills

I refer to the letter in the Daily News of January 6 by Auslam Weerasinghe(AW). With apologies to AW, the workings for 30 units will indicate the appalling state of the scheme.

A. W. breakdown for 31 units For 30 units

Units 1-10 @ 1.25 p.u. 12.50 10 X 1.25 12.50

Units 11-15 @ 2.50 p.u. 12.50 5 X 2.50 12.50

Units 16-31 @ 60 p.u. 960.00 15 x 30 450.00

Sub total 985.00 s.t. 475.00

Vat @ 15% on above 147.75 vat 15% 71.25

Fined charge (f.c.) 50.00 F.C. 50.00

Vat on F.C. 7.50 Vat on F.C. 7.50

For 31 units 1,190.25 For 30 units 603.75

If a person ‘over shoots’ by 1 unit, the charge is an additional Rs. 586.50 (1,190.25-603.75)

In this connection I wish to quote from the letter I wrote on ‘electricity tariffs’ in the Daily News of October 8, 2008.

I hope this letter catches the attention of Public Interest Litigation experts to take up this issue and to include the Water Board too for their Blocks and Tariffs.

All Sri Lankans should learn Sinhala and Tamil

Citizens of Sri Lanka as two major groups should learn Sinhala and Tamil as a link between the two linguistic groups.

At least, everyone in Sri Lanka should know how to communicate with one another. If a Sinhala person cannot understand Tamil spoken by a Tamil or Muslim, he is put into embarrassment in personal contacts.

A similar situation arises when a Tamil or Muslim who cannot understand Sinhala spoken by a Sinhala person.

A housemaid who goes to the Middle-East easily picks up colloquial Arabic within a short period of her service under an Arab Master or Mistress. When she comes back to Sri Lanka, she displays her proficiency in spoken Arabic.

Then, why can’t a Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim man or woman pick up either Sinhala or Tamil to communicate with one another for social, cultural and personal relationships?

May I appeal to all citizens of Sri Lanka to become well acquainted with both languages to enjoy the equal status and freedom in country.

Reports belong to patients

Reference letter ‘Reports belong to patients’ the reason why some doctors do not want to part with the reports, may be, to prevent patients consulting other doctors, which in the long run may result in the doctor, who prescribed the tests, losing his patients.

That is, to prevent loss of his/ her clientele, some might be adopting the above ruse.

What we, as patients, can do in the future is to take photo copies before we submit the reports to the doctor.

Let me also take this opportunity to thank the doctor for apprising us, regarding our rights and hope that similarly professionals in other fields also do the same, so that we the common man, are not taken for a ride.

Unique new year greetings

With the dawn of the year 2009, the news broadcast which soothingly crept into the ears of every peace-loving person, be he Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim or from any other community, excelled all other new year greetings communicated between the dearest of hearts.

It was the news of our valiant forces’ determined effort which came to fruition when the believed-unconquerable Kilinochchi was captured. Despite many a discouraging element but guided by intelligent and experienced mentors, our bravery-instilled sons in the warfront trekked to achieve this goal.

Today we are in a position to exult in our victory which was brought to us solely due to the tactful strategy of our heroes. Brave sons, your names together with those of the others who did not yield until death, will be indelibly written in the annals of history of Sri Lanka.

May the Triple Gem bless you and protect you during your accomplishment.

Intensify cultivations to the maximum

Development of a country relies mainly on the above as well, which should be correctly and fully implemented to achieve same.

Accordingly, all arable lands should be identified and utilized to the maximum, generating more avenues of employment, thereby achieving added revenue to the country.

In addition consolidating all vacancies in the available plantations should also be undertaken introducing minor crops where possible, giving added crops and revenue from the same extents of land as before.

This is what the country needs to achieve development and prosperity, thereby providing adequately to feed all her people.

To achieve the above successfully, water becomes an essential requirement which should be stored when available.

Let’s hope that the Government and the private sector together would contribute adequately towards achieving the above goal, preventing us from being dependents in the future.


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