Let us sing a song of praise for those could have deserted Sri Lanka
at any time in the past thirty three years for more salubrious climes
but chose to remain in their Motherland and face the grey-dark times we
Let us sing our song primarily for our soldiers, sailors and airmen
who faced the terror let loose upon them and fought bravely, desperately
what was once considered an unwinnable war against the world’s most
vicious terrorist outfit, led by the arch-friend, now annihilated. And
for the officers who led from the front, many of whom died like heroes
in that cruel conflict.
Let us sing for the doctors, nurses, teachers, all professionals who
faithfully practised their disciplines, fearless in the face of terror
unparalled the world over. Who did not flee to greener pastures and sell
themselves for money and safety of a sort.
Let us sing anthems of praise for the religious dignitaries who lived
their missions in spite of threat of death and branding as traitors by
some; whose duty was to save all souls, howsoever depraved and sinful.
Let us hail those who endeavoured to make peace in our resplendent
land of Lanka, bring warring people together and set hearts and minds
attune to eradicate hatred, jealousy and meanness from our souls.
Blessed indeed are the peacemakers.
Let us take pride in those farmers and cultivators in the Northern
and Eastern climes who continued to sow and reap their crops even on
blood spattered fields, providing food for the masses.
Let us praise those ‘ordinary’ families who lived under the harsh
heel of terror, saw their loved ones killed, their young son spirited
away to replenish the forces of vituperative hatred against the people
of Lanka, of whatever ethnic persuasion, who resisted the terror
unleashed upon them. The people who, brick by brick, had built over
countless generations two of the most splendid and magnificent cultures
in human history; now our priceless Sri Lankan heritage.
Let us praise all those politicians of any party, elected by the
people, who attempted to talk peace, to make peace with a foe who had
long lost the spark of humanity, who aimed to crush their opponents
under his brutal heel.
Let us praise the man who was elected by the majority of our people
as President of this island with its rich and unique tapestry of
history, who when his overtures for a peaceful and just settlement of
dark rebel demands were rejected, did not hesitate to go to war to
vanquish Sri Lanka’s enemies in her own borders - and won. He did what
was his prime duty, without fear or favour and carved his name with
pride in ages to come.
We who love our Motherland and stayed with her in her years of grief
and sorrow will not be forgotten when these days are sung of in the
sagas of bards who will rise in the future to recall these historic
MAUREEN SENEVIRATNE - Colombo 5
I was surprised to read the front page news item ‘Crack down on Babul
sellers in estate sector’ (July 30) because there is no reformative
measure by any authority or the religious mission to put an end to daily
liquor drinking habit of the estate workers.
How can we stop children of estate workers taking drugs while the
latter keep consuming liquor in front of their children ? Naturally,
these children take to liquor and other drugs - babul etc. without any
restraint by their elders. Therefore, something must be done to reform
the parents of the estate children and prevent them from consuming
Babul sellers are businessmen without any ethics and they are hell
bent on making as much money as possible by selling anything that
attracts the customers. What is now needed is the restraint on drug
taking by both parents and children. May I suggest to the religious
mission to go to the misguided estate workers’ residences and persuade
them to follow better habits and to keep away from evil habits like
Even the Police in collaboration with social reformers should launch
educative awareness programs in the schools and the religious centres of
the estates to put an end to threat posted to the child population by
M. Y. M. MEEADH - Kandy
Your reader’s letter titled ‘Ombudsman for Financial Institutions’
(July 14) seems very timely in the context of the almost irretrievable
situation in the country resulting from much more than deposit
mismanagement by non-bank financial institutions. While the three-mega
financial institutions mentioned there, Golden Key, Sakvithi and Okanda
have been making sensational news, particularly the first institution
under the celebrated Ceylinco Consolidated banner, there are lesser
organizations causing more misery to the helpless non-affluent
When the Ceylinco Golden Key case was being examined by the Courts it
sensed the Ceylinco cancer had spread over a score of other institutions
of the group whose assets could be manipulated by the Golden Key
management and the Courts almost banned their activities. There have
been other institutions where innocent depositors like pensioners not
aspiring to double their money overnight, had deposited their gratuities
etc, to get a little better interest, often for their escalating daily
expenses and medical bills etc.
One such institution, again using the magic word Ceylinco is the
Ceylinco Investment and Realty Ltd (CIR), which though may not be
connected with the Golden Key scam itself, but still becoming an asset
to the Ceylinco Consolidated, is now a liability to the innocent
depositors and has been put under the control of Lankaputra Development
Bank by the Central Bank.
What Lankaputra has come out with the paltry amounts to be doled out
to the depositors to, someday in the future, pay back the deposits. Most
of the elderly depositors may not live to get their money due to the
long time they have to wait to get back the capital and the interest
they have virtually lost, or finding difficult to exist or face health
deterioration due to the lack of the money for nutrition, medication
etc, or simple stress and heart attack from this shock.
Some decisions taken by Lankaputra is shown to have been after
discussion at a meeting with representatives of the depositors, but no
individual depositors in general, even those with seven figure
depositors of their life’s savings have been informed of such meetings.
However, these terms of measly refunding etc, said to be on agreed
decision in absentia made at such meetings have been sent to the victims
asking them to comply with dangerous terms to obtain the dolings.
Whether the Central Bank had approved these shocking solutions is
doubtful again. For this danger to emerge from a Central Bank registered
institution, one wonders whether this registration with the Central Bank
is only eyewash. From the insignificant figures of refund the Lankaputra
is announcing one cannot believe how a Central Bank registered financial
institution went to squander depositors’ money so blatantly under the
nose of the CB.
The Golden Key etc, dodged the CB regarding registration etc, but not
the CIR. Not only for the investors of Golden Key etc, but also, and
more, of Ceylinco Investment and Realty, and may be other less
unscrupulous financial institutions, the CB should be held responsible,
for quite frequently the CB has been publicizing names of Financial
Institutions that are safe for depositors (not speculators), which
included CIR. The said mega scams became public many months ago, but
news of further scandals are still appearing regularly in the media,
putting the population in fright of a terrorism of a different nature.
The big investors like of the GK (apparently not complying with
Monetary Board requirements) could take the CB to courts, but most
simple depositors like in the CIR, if they go to courts many have to
foot the bills and starve to death. In such situations whether even a
Super Ombudsman referred to in your reader’s letter can help is a big
question. Perhaps all that machinery is not necessary, if the CB had (or
will have in future) one top executive to continuously carry out a
strategic monitoring function dedicated and personally, using modern
Unless the CB accepts the liability and first meets at least half of
the depositors’ money that has come under the magic wand of the
different financial frauds and take more concrete and responsible action
to recover its share and the balance half of the victims, the CB and the
Government cannot extricate themselves from their indirect contribution
to this non-isolated financial criminal activity.
Such thoughtful measures will not only redress a party indirectly led
into the investment dangers by the CB, but also give confidence to the
public that would otherwise not part with their savings for circulation
for the country’s economic activity and prosperity for the future.
The President has very commendably started ridding the country of
several socio-economic vices. Apparently this financial mafia still has
to receive his attention. In some of the said mega scams names of
political, commercial and even philanthropic individuals have been shown
to be victims, but they were affluent citizens.
The innocent victims of institutions like the CIR are largely
helpless sufferers. It appears only the President, as the country’s
Minister of Finance, with the CB under that ministerial purview can help
these helpless victims partly of Central Banks doings or misdoings.
Arya Subasinghe - Buthpitiya