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Saturday, 8 May 2010

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Sri Lanka - more than conquerors of terrorism

Sri Lanka a sitting Lotus closest to the International Trade and Energy Maritime Highway in the Indian Ocean is more than just a conqueror of terrorism. A new maritime 'Great Game' is emerging in the Indian Ocean between the West and China. Until about the recent World Financial Downturn the Indian Ocean was dominated strategically and militarily by the Western Alliance.

In 2009, the Saudi exports of Oil to the USA fell below one million barrels per day for the first time in over two decades while oil sales to China has surged to over a million barrels a day during the same period doubling from the previous year according to the EIA. Oil flows are shifting from the West to East and heading to markets in Asia.

Gone are the days when Saudi Arabia was an American story reflecting the Geopolitics of Oil in a globalized world with the rise of India and China.

The falling dependence of the USA on Saudi Oil is a concern for the Kingdom whose oil interest are guaranteed by the USA according to a Persian Gulf Oil expert.

With the completion of stage one of the Hambantota Harbour Complex before the end of 2010, the Janus like geography of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean is making the resplendent island the gateway to the entire Asia-Pacific region/Eastern Hemisphere.

Sri Lanka in this situation becomes an important pawn in the new maritime great game that is emerging in the Indian Ocean. The Hambantota Port also creates a logistics fulcrum for China to take it oil via the Bay of Bengal to a new oil terminal in Burma and sent to mainland China by an underground pipeline thereby by-passing the congested straits of Malacca which takes various cargoes into the South China Sea.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa like the famous sculptor Michael Angelo has chiselled out the under-valued chunk of Marble (Sri Lanka) to look like the great statue of King David. The Mahinda Chintana will not only alleviate poverty but also lift the socio-economic wellbeing of Lanka and also be a Mascot and Beacon to the rest of Asia.

With 40 years of political acumen behind him MR has the 'silver bullet' for the economic prosperity of Sri Lanka and the nation building program on 'fast track'.


Visitors are imprisoned

All prisoners are not criminals while some criminals are yet to be imprisoned.

Last Poya day I visited the Welikade Prisons to see a prisoner. Having responded to their official requirements I was asked to be in the crowded waiting room, which is like a cattle shed. It was virtually about 10x25 feet with lower roof, dirty walls, gloomy (no lights at all) no fans for a little comfort and a tap over a sink, a sink not better than a public lat. Babies clinging to their mothers, crying and screaming due to heat and inconvenience.

After standing for over two hours I was able to see my man as only 10 or 12 visitors are allowed at a time after a thorough check.

Should those who visit the prisons be imprisoned temporarily?

In most State institutions' situations like this or some other could be seen as the man on top does not make it a point to inspect every corner of the institution at least once in a way assuming that it is the duty of lower officials. He should know it is he who could pull up his 'depending lower officials' who are mostly responsible for negligence, shortcomings etc.

Institutions 'lokkas' should drop the feelings of 'inferior complex' and do the needful to maintain the good name of their institution.


Democratic Socialist country

Sri Lanka is a good example of a Democratic Socialist country. The Government is elected by a Democratic Election and the Parliament is a Democratic Parliament.

The public and the private sector exist side by side and compete with each other to serve the consumer.

The best of hospitals in the country are Government, but there are good private hospitals as well. The best of schools are Government schools like Royal College, Visakha Vidyalaya. There are good private schools also like S. Thomas' College and Ladies College.

The largest Banks are Government ones like the Bank of Ceylon, People's Bank. There are private banks too like Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank and Hatton National Bank. This is the situation with most industries and enterprises.

Sri Lanka is a Democratic Socialist Country. In 50 years all the countries in the world will be Democratic Socialist Countries.


No post office at Nugagoda and Delduwa

People living in Nugagoda and Delduwa in the Kalutara District are very much inconvenienced and worried due to non-availability of a sub-post office or at least an agency post office.

I have on several occasions highlighted this problem prevailing in this area thorough the newspapers both in English and Sinhala, but no steps have been taken by the authorities up to date.

Residents of these two villages are forced to walk or travel to the Waskaduwa post office or the Moronthuduwa post office passing several miles, for their requirements, facing much troubles and inconveniences.

I suppose the Government will surely earn a good income if a post office or sub-post office is set up at Nugagoda or Delduwa, while these residents are also much benefited.


Street Lights along Parliament Road

The main road from Borella to Parliament is a major road in the city which has the capacity for six lanes (three on each side). Yet it is amazing that in the night not a single light is switched on along this major road except a small area near McDonalds on the Parliament Road.

Motorists have to battle in pitch dark - even passing the Parliament up to Pelawatta junction - in the night. This is highly dangerous as most of the times motorcycles and three-wheelers go on the middle of the road in the dark without any taillights on. Authorities should ensure that those responsible for switching on lights on this road discharge their duties for the sake of safety of all road users in the night.


Deserving award

The newest Derana Dream Star Upekha Nirmani deserves the prizes awarded. She is an asset to the field of music and is a versatile singer who has shown her singing prowess singing any type of song whether it is a classic, light, hipop or opera type etc., rarely can be seen in graded singers. Being just a 18-year-old she has already proved her talent today many of the mushroomed singers don't have. She should be given all the encouragement and every support she needs.


II

Thanks to Derana TV a new star is born. First we must be grateful to the organisers for giving us this wonderful entertainment for the past few months.

All the contestants were excellent. It gave us immense joy and love for these youngsters who are our stars of the future.

Watching one contestant leave at the end of each week, really brought tears to our eyes too, as it did to all other contestants, except the one who left.

Upekha Nirmani deserves special mention as she has become the dream star at the young age of 18, and contesting with two others who were also excellent.

 

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