In our Journey towards achieving the status of ‘Asian Miracle’, it is
imperative that we make optimum use of our limited power and energy
resources. Towards this end, we have to start by promoting usage of
alternate energy sources and at the same time cutting down on wastage.
For this purpose a genuine political will is required. I invite the new
Minister to consider the following proposals.
Since Industries consume a major portion of electricity, firstly, the
government should aggressively promote the ‘now- defunct’ system of
giving financial concessions to those medium and large-scale industries/organisations
using their own sources of power instead of the heavily subsidized
national grid. An effective promotional campaign could re-energize this
scheme with creative industrialists going for alternate energy sources.
Secondly, as both government and private sector offices are
large-scale consumers of electricity, the government must make a clarion
call on all of them with a special request to Trade Unions to; a) Make
use of Day-light as far as possible during office hours.
b) Prohibit use of lifts up to at least first three floors (Where
relevant) with provision for emergency facilities for needy.
c) Discourage use of air-conditioners and ceiling fans.
d) Where possible, allow employees to perform assignments from home
for payment of a special allowance, as extended office hours entail not
only payment of over-time but also additional electricity, water and
other unproductive costs.
e) Suitable Incentive Schemes should be launched to encourage
employees to cut down on electricity wastage in offices, (uncontrolled
use of electric kettles, Immersion heaters and Ceiling fans) so that
results and progress could be seen and felt by all concerned.
To state the least, these measures are fundamental for achieving the’
Power-hub’ target of the Government.
I came across a photograph published on the front page of a national
daily where two children aged three and four, who had been ordained as
Samaneras were playing with two toy cars at the New Year celebrations.
The Buddha suggested that no child be ordained as a Samanera without
the consent of the child’s parents, after the issue arose as a result of
King Suddodhana’s protest over Prince Rahula being admitted to the
In the case of the two children in the photograph, their father had
handed them over to be ordained as Samaneras as the mother had gone to
the Middle East seeking employment. The mother apparently sought
employment abroad to bring up the two children and have them educated.
Hence, whether the mother’s approval had been obtained to enter the two
children to the Sasanaya is doubtful. The father will now be free to go
his own way even using the remittances from the mother.
Then again, children under ten years cannot make decisions on their
own as they have no ability to properly understand issues. It is
therefore not proper to admit such underage children to Bhikkhuhood.
The fact that the two Samaneras were seen playing with toy cars
proves the point that they are still not fit to be Samaneras. Even in
other religions such underage children are not forced into priesthood.
In the past, there was a process of admitting a boy of 10 to 15 years
to a Buddhist temple as an Abiththaya, a trainee for Bhikkhuhood, to
learn the basics for entering the Sasanaya and after a few years ordain
the Abiththaya as a Samanera if he agrees to be in robes. The
continuation of such procedure seems salutary.
On the other hand, whether there is no illegality in the ordination
of the two under-age children needs examination. The Sangha Nayakes,
Buddhist organisations and child protection societies should step in to
sort out the issue.
Cabinet approval to increase the basic pension by 25 percent from
January 2010 was granted on December 16, 2009. Pensioners were made to
understand by the Sri Lanka Ex-servicemens’ Association that the total
payment including the arrears will be paid along with the pension for
But it is much perturbed to mention that upto mid March 2010 the
Gazette notification relevant to the approval has not been finalised by
the authorities. Due to the reason, the pension increment which was
approved five months ago is yet to be received by the pensioners who
discharged an invaluable service to the country undergoing immense
The new Trade Minister should see that no bread sellers sell their
bread at their own optional prices.
They should not be allowed to talk about the quality, size and weight
of their bread and thus increase the price.
The price of bread should be the same throughout the country.
In any price increase of any food items or other commodities it is
the traders who bring discredit to any Government as they are hardly
The war has been won and now the elections has been won and the best
gift Sri Lanka has received just after elections is that Bollywood’s
International Indian Film Academy awards ceremony is scheduled to be
held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in June.
I personally feel the coin is spinning in the correct direction
towards our nation, since the main curse that had plagued our country
for nearly 30 years has been totally eradicated, we stand today with
great pride and confidence breathing the fragrance of peace which we
toiled to achieve. We should always be grateful and pay tribute to all
those who toiled and laid down their lives for the sake of our nation.
The time is ripe to get everything moving in the correct direction, as
the Miracle of Asia will not be too far if we get our act together. The
time has come to shed all our differences, and especially all Sri
Lankans living here and abroad should gather together as one team for
the sake of our country.
We should all support President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ambition of
creating a better tomorrow in achieving a prosperous Sri Lanka. I
conclude by mentioning that the time has come for Ranil Wickremesinghe
to shed all differences and work together with President Mahinda
Rajapaksa or else he will be a registered and a fully fledged life
member of the Opposition, who will very soon find his name inscribed in
Gold letters in the Guiness Book of World Records!