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Tuesday, 16 March 2010

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Elections propaganda and environment pollution

A few days ago, I saw three large photographs of a leading party candidate for the Parliamentary Elections pasted prominently on a parapet wall close to my residence. When I passed this area the following morning, I noticed three larger photographs of an Opposing Party candidate pasted over the three photographs pasted earlier. The following morning I noticed the photographs had been torn off, and pieces of paper strewn all over the place, provoking the feelings of any sensitive person.

Minister Champika Ranawaka’s directive to the local authorities to make arrangements to recycle polythene and other degradable materials that will be used by candidates for the General Election campaign has to be admired as a laudable proposal.

Candidates for the forthcoming Parliamentary Elections have commenced displaying their photographs printed on expensive paper. Exhibiting attractive photographs is appropriate in selling cosmetics or in selecting a beauty queen and not for the election of representatives to the supreme legislature of the country.

The use of expensive printing paper, involving large amounts of funds is disastrous. The quantity of paper used at a Parliamentary Election may be sufficient to print schoolbooks for the country’s entire student population for one year.

I wish to propose an environment friendly, rational method to meet the needs of all parties. It will also eliminate rivalries among the electors as well as the candidates. Immediately after the conclusion of nominations, the respective Returning Officers of the districts can collect the relevant details of each of the candidates. The essential information will be as follows:-

1. Full name, address and telephone no:

2. Educational and professional qualifications:

3. Experience in social and political activities:

4. Assets and liabilities of candidate and his/her spouse:

5. Fields of interests and proposals for local/national development:

6. Any other relevant facts:

The above information compiled into a book can be printed by the respective Returning Officers and distribute among each of the households through the Gramaseva Niladhari. The cost of publication and distribution can be recovered from each of the candidates through the political party or group.

If the above scheme can be implemented, the candidates will not have the need to carry out their propaganda campaign throughout the length and breadth of the electorate. The cost for each candidate can be greatly reduced. At a glance, following benefits will accrue:

a. Details of each candidate will reach each household,

b. Cost of propaganda will be minimal,

c. Interparty and intraparty rivalries can be eliminated,

d. Environment pollution caused by the propaganda material can be completely eliminated,

e. Each of the electors will be educated about the candidates and will be able to use his/her vote constructively,

f. Good Governance can be achieved.

It is hoped that these proposals will receive due consideration of the Government and the Commissioner General of Elections.


Songs of praise

It is my humble opinion that all schools in Sri Lanka should hold a competition to get children to write songs of praise for the President and the Armed Forces.

It is due to the correct political leadership and gallantry of our President and the Armed Forces that we are free of terrorism today. The virtues of our great leader are:

1. Kindness

2. Fearlessness

3. Removing opponents out of the way

4. Speaking the truth

5. Caring for family


Correct journalism

I am a long-standing reader of the Daily News. In fact it’s the only newspaper that I think has quality reporting and articles in circulation in Sri Lanka today.

Many other papers write malicious articles without finding out facts and are influenced by politicians.

I wish to pay tribute to the staff of the Daily News for keeping the Sri Lankan public well informed and free from political bias.


Pensioners ‘Life Certificate’

I am a pensioner living in England. It cost me 20 Sterling Pounds to get my Life Certificate certified by a professional who has a seal of his profession. I even have to pay the same amount to our family doctor to get the Life Certificate certified. There is nothing free in the UK.

The cost of posting this Certificate will cost 1.50 Sterling Pounds. Therefore, the total cost is 21.50 Sterling Pounds, which is equivalent to Rs 4,350 approximately. If this holy letter is lost in post or misplaced by the clerk, how much will it cost. So out of a pension of Rs 11,500, I have to set aside Rs 4,350.The balance I get is Rs 7,150.

The Pension’s Department Director should think that we are living in a Computer Age. Since all offices of the Divisional Secretaries are equipped with modern computers, the Director should be satisfied with a scanned copy of the ‘Life Certificate’ rather than an original paper Certificate. Even some banks in Sri Lanka accept scanned copies of applications for withdrawals instead of written letters.

The advantage of the scanned copy is:

It reaches the destination without fail.

It is not alterable as it is electronically copied.

It is quick and instant.

The sender is quite sure that the Divisional Secretary has received it.

The only thing is that the computer operator has to retrieve and print it.

Secondly, I know some of my friends who had worked in the UK and live in Sri Lanka, who get their pension from the Pension’s Department without the Life Certificate. When the pensioner dies, his spouse writes to the Pension’s Department in the UK and the spouse gets the pension as she is entitled to her husband’s pension.

Where as in Sri Lanka the pensioner has to suffer the cast iron rules and regulations before he gets his pension. The Pension’s Department Director should not think that the pension is a gift or a Christmas present, but as a entitlement of the pensioner. The pensioner has contributed during his life long carrier and he is entitled to get it easily.

Therefore, I would suggest to do away with the Life Certificate, as it is not suitable to present day society. Furthermore, most of the pensioners are honourable and responsible persons and most of them had been appointed by the PSC. By doing away with the Life Certificate, the workload and the running cost of the Department will be less.


Much ado about nothing

It is duty bound that Crimes reported to the Local or Military Police be recorded for appropriate action. The pros and cons of statements were weighed and authorities took the retired General to protective custody not as a prisoner.

With passage of time the case will be heard and Independent Judiciary alone will decide according to the law whether to free or punish the offender. “All’s well that ends well” if he is acquitted.

The Opposition Leader rushing to Temple Trees to seek a pardon from the President to release the ex-Army General besides being corporal works of mercy a mischievous twist knowing that the President cannot interfere with an independent judiciary. ‘Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.’

A General Election is at hand. Party contestants are busy howling to woo voters. The General’s episode is the bait to catch votes. You cannot fool all men for all time. Dogs bark at the wrong tree the saying goes; similarly, Goose cackled to save the City of Rome is history.

In the context, those that take up to streets to bark at Temple Trees and Goose that cackle demanding the impossible release from the President is calculated mischief to upset ‘the apple cart’ of good governance.

Lucifer revolted against Almighty God - Prabhakaran revolted against the President of a sovereign State. Both were annihilated from the face of this earth never to raise the ugly heads.

“In the broad field of battle

In the bivious of life

Be not like dumb driven cattle

Be a hero in the strife.”


Just a clown

Sarath Fonseka’s trick - the excuse of fasting as a result of the withdrawal of his usage of a mobile phone to ring his daughters just goes to show what we all knew in advance - how very childish and totally immature the man really is.

After having entertained vain and unattainable ‘dreams’of being able to defeat the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa on January 26, 2010, Fonseka has now, no doubt aided and abetted by his friends both in the Western world and in Sri Lanka as well commenced a new ‘trick’- that of wailing from the rooftops with regard to the withdrawal of the use of the mobile telephone facilities that were granted to him as a goodwill gesture.

This man who thinks of himself as the reincarnation of some of the great international generals of the past is nothing but an arrogant megalomaniac and a totally spoilt brat whom the Sri Lanka Government has treated far too leniently compared to others who might have found themselves in the same situation as Fonseka finds himself at this moment pending trial.

Tired of his antics, one really hopes that the Army tribunal will get on with his court martial with the least possible delay, and in the meanwhile, let him continue with his fast which is yet another JVP backed scam to try and gain the sympathy of the SL general public similar to the one pedalled by the self appointed ‘genius’ of the JVP, Somawansa Amarasinghe under the heading ‘computer jilmart’ which turned out to be nothing but a damp squib and coming after Fonseka’s crushing defeat.

Sri Lanka should indeed consider herself most fortunate and thank the powers above for the fact that Sarath Fonseka failed so miserably and utterly in his bid to be elected President.


Necessities of female education

A piece of writing I read was on the utmost importance of female education that I wish to share with readers.

It is the height of selfishness for men, who fully appreciate in their own case the great advantages of a good education, to deny these advantages to women.

There is no valid argument by which the exclusion of the female sex from the privilege of education can be defended. It is argued that women have their domestic duties to perform, and that, if they were educated, they would bury themselves in their books and have little time attending to the management of their households. Of course it is possible for women, as it is possible for men, to neglect necessary work in order to spare more time for reading sensational novels.

But women are no more liable to this temptation than men, and most women would be able to do their household work all the better for being able to refresh their minds in the intervals of leisure with a little reading.

Nay, education would even help them in the performance of the narrowest sphere of womanly duty. For education involves knowledge of the means by which health may be preserved and improved, and enables a mother to consult such modern books as will tell her how to rear up her children into healthy men and women, and skilfully nurse them and her husband when disease attacks her household.

But according to a higher conception of women’s sphere, women ought to be something more than a household drudge. She ought to be able not merely to nurse her husband in sickness, but also to be his companion in health.

For this part of her wifely duty education is necessary, for there cannot well be congenial companionship between an educated man and an uneducated wife, who can converse with her husband on no higher subjects than cookery and servants’ wages. Also one of a mother’s highest duties is the education of her children at the time when their mind is most amenable to instruction.

A child’s whole future life, to a large extent, depends on the teaching it receives in early childhood, and it is needless to say that this first foundation of education cannot be well laid by an ignorant mother. On all these grounds female education is a vital necessity.


The Bible quote

Everyone must obey the state authorities, because no authority exists without God’s permission and the existing authorities have been put there by God. Whoever opposes the existing authority opposes what God has ordered; and anyone who does so will bring judgement on himself.

Romans 13.1, 2

The will of the Lord Alone is Always carried out.

Lamentations 3.37


Care and attention

Having been under treatment for bowel disorder for sometime, I was directed by my family Physician (a Consultant himself) to a Medical Consultant who happens to be a Professor in his field of specialty. During his busy schedule the Professor accommodated me as an urgent case probably as a mark of respect for one of his seniors - the referee. After going thro’ my medical reports and examining me and realizing the gravity of the condition, he requested me to avail myself for a test early in the immediate following morning (a Saturday) prior to beginning his scheduled day’s work.

Inside the clinic prior to the test I had a chat with the Professor.

His opinion was that it was a cancerous tumour with big growth which requires a immediate course of treatment. My position was that it has to wait 2 1/2 months in silence.

He took great pains to explain to me the clinical and medical position of such a delay giving me the probabilities that could arise during that period which would anyway cause dilemma in the minds of the studious children.

After spending nearly an hour in discussion the Professor got me committed to meet him in two weeks. He requested me to get a Biophy Test and a CT Colonogram and bring the reports.

On that day I agreed to let my immediate family members including my two children know about the actual situation and the planned course of action, and also to take my two children to meet him as soon as possible.

The day I along with my wife and children went to meet the Professor, he greeted us very cheerfully and made my two children at ease first by inquiring about their studies and their future plans, etc. and gradually diverted them to their father’s illness.

After explaining them the present position, he boldly opened the platform to them inviting them to ask any and questions regarding their father’s medical treatment and future prospects after the completion of treatment.

It took over two hours for all three of them to clear the air and come to the conclusion that his proposed course of action has to be followed and it has to be started forthwith. The Professor on that day spent 2 1/2 hours of his channel consultation time on behalf of this one patient.

His commitment and devotion towards his patients is amply displayed in this episode. When I went up to him to say ‘Thank You’ for spending such a long period of his Consultation Time for my sake, the Professor humbly said, “That is a part of our duty, Gamini.” Tears came to my eyes. I only could not give him a warm hug.

This Professional is Prof. Kemal Deen. I salute you Professor. He is an example to the Medical Profession, and an Icon to the budding Medical Professionals. I thank Dr P.T. de Silva, for directing me to Prof. Deen.

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