From footpaths to expressways
Until a couple of years ago conditions of our
main roads were not far different from what they were in the 1960s
owing to the increasing volume of vehicular traffic. Sri Lanka
incurred an annual loss of around Rs. 200 billion due to faulty road
systems, a survey conducted by the Moratuwa University a few years
ago revealed. This problem however will not disappear until the
planned network of expressways linking the country’s major towns and
cities are completed.
Fathers and sons (or daughters)
My friend Shanthi Abeywickrama asks me, ‘was
your mother proud of you?’ I think all parents are proud of their
children, but parents don’t always say it out loud because parenting
is a life-long vocation and as such no parent would pass out blank
cheques to their children, who might very well cash them at
inopportune moments. Maybe it’s a South Asian thing. There is
affection. It is shown. A pat on the back. A word of encouragement.
All this is there. Still it is rare for parents to go overboard with
praise. That they do in private. To other people. Not to the child.
Health effects of cigarette smoking:
Killing the fire
Use of tobacco is the chief preventable cause of
deaths worldwide. The culminative number of deaths due to the use of
tobacco for the 20th Century was 100 million. Of the 1.1 billion
current smokers in the world 70 percent are in developing countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) attributes four million deaths
per year to tobacco, this is about one in 10 of all adult deaths. By
2020 annual deaths due to smoking is projected to rise to 8.4
million per year, 70 percent of these deaths will be in the
developing world. Half a billion of the world’s population alive
today will be killed by a smoking related disease, half of them will
be between 35-69 years.