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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

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Protecting depositors of finance companies

The Government has presented a Finance Bill in Parliament to regulate Finance Companies. As an accountant I recommend that the following be included in this Bill to safeguard the depositors’ money:-

1. If a Finance Company is unable to pay the deposits of an investor, each and every Director should be disqualified from being a Director of any company for a period of five years.

2. Every Finance company should have a professionally qualified accountant of a recognized accountancy body as the Chief Financial Officer. In the event of a collapse of the company the accountant should be reported to the professional accountancy body in which he or she is a member. The professional body should be required to conduct an inquiry and cancel the membership of the member concerned if found guilty.

3. Every Audit report of a finance company should carry a statement, “In our opinion the company has the resources to refund the deposits of the investors in the normal course of business.”

4. When a finance company collapses the auditors should be reported to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standard Monitoring Board. The Institute and the Board should be required to conduct a joint inquiry. If found guilty the practising certificate of the audit firm should be cancelled.

If such legislation is introduced it would be a deterrent for incompetent persons to even think of starting a Finance Company. However, it is extremely unlikely that these proposals will receive favourable consideration as the audit profession is well protected in Sri Lanka unlike in other countries. Protecting the audit profession is more important to authorities concerned than protecting the poor depositors. Considering the influence the profession has with the authorities concerned the depositors are not surprised.

The auditors had given a clean Audit reports for most Finance companies which collapsed and they have got away scot free. So the depositors should sue the auditors of Finance companies which have realised as it would send a strong message to audit firms issuing audit reports without disclosing the true position of the company.

Concerned depositor


Breakdown of water service

There was a breakdown of the water service at Matale which made the residents of the town area run helter-skelter in search of water. Some residents got down water by private bowsers paying fantastic amounts of money and other means while the others was waiting anxiously to get their supply of water through the pipeline as there was no alternative.

The reason for the breakdown as I heard was due to the motors installed at the pumping station going out of commission. One of the motors had gone out of order about a month ago but the personnel in the pumping station did not deem it necessary to have same repaired and continued the pumping process with the remaining two motors. These two motors also went out of commission obviously due to overuse and the entire pumping process came to a grinding halt leaving the townfolk high and dry.

When the pumping system went out of commission the Water Board did not have the courtesy to inform the residents about the breakdown. The Water Board could not be contacted on the telephone either as their phones were all the time engaged.

The Water Board should have taken steps to keep the residents informed of what was happening instead of keeping them in suspense. It would have been its duty of find ways and means of giving relief to the citizenry in consultation with the Matale Municipality.

It is encumbent on the Matale Municipality too to assist the Water Board in a crisis such as this as the rate payers pay the Municipality by way of rates for providing amenities such as water, scavenging, lights etc.

When a breakdown of the service occurs in future the Water Board should take immediate steps to have

(a) Water bowsers to supply water to the residents

(b) Spare motors to be used in an emergency

(c) Maintenance done regularly to ensure smooth functioning

(d) Separate Section for inquiries equipped with additional telephones

It is fervently hoped that prompt action will be taken by the Water Board to avert disruption of the services in future.

R M L Ratnayake

Matale


Brutal ragging should be prohibited

The Buddhists of the whole world are planning to hold the noble event of 2600th anniversary of Buddha’s Enlightenment this year. Buddha preached a very great and meaningful doctrine for both human beings and deities. All those who followed those noble teachings practically gained eternal bliss. He pointed out that we can enjoy that very noble bliss by dispelling craving, hatred and ignorance

But unfortunately, today most Buddhists seem to have become mere Buddhists only by birth. They are not practising Buddhists. Today, even the university students harass their junior brothers and sisters who study in Sri Lankan universities through various sorts of tortures and harassments in the name of “ragging”.

Recently, it was revealed in the newspapers that a Buddhist monk of the Bhikku University of Anuradhapura was harassed severelly by ragging and that victim has been admitted to the General Hospital of Anuradhapura for immediate medical treatment. Bhikkus being ragged by their fellow Bhikkus are reported to be in a critical condition.

This state of affairs is very pathetic and tragic in every respect. Under these circumstances, venerable Vice Chancellor and the administrative committee of the University have taken steps to close the university indefinitely.

Today, newspapers constantly report us the amount of all kinds of violence, crimes, murders, rape cases of women, frauds in our country. Therefore, fostering our future generation spiritually has become a timely need.

Today, media reveals the fact that even the students who study in higher grades of urban leading schools too are involved in various anti-social and violent activities. In order to save the future citizens of this country from this unfortunate situation, all religious dignitaries should make the teachings of their founders of religion closer to their followers as far as possible.

Therefore, all the Dhamma schools should take steps to teach practical moral values and encourage their students to put the teachings into practice genuinely. The Dhamma school education should not be limited only to pass various exams.

We all should be committed to create a future generation filled with noble human values within this noble mother Sri Lanka. As President Mahinda Rajapaksa always points out, no nation will prosper in economic development alone without spiritual uplift. Human beings will behave like beasts if their hearts are not touched with noble religious teachings.

S M Anupama Priyadarshanie,

Faculty of Humanities,University of Kelaniya.


Grand master programme on Sakthi TV

Every Saturday and Sunday the above programme is telecast over Sakthi TV. I participated once in the programme. The subject for the role play was Louis the Braille. It is a well known fact that he is the inventor of Braille a worldwide system used by the blind and visually impaired people for reading and writing. He became a well respected teacher at his institute. He was admired and respected by his pupils.

The grandmaster without deep thinking announced that Louis Braille was a social worker. I think it might not have struck in his vague idea that he was a well respected teacher. Do intellectuals and scientists skip in their work I cannot say. I cannot say it is lack of deepthinking, vagueness or oversight. This action of the Grandmaster, can it be compared to the action of Sri Issac Newton, the famous scientist who had 2 pet cats. He made a big hole for the big cat to have access in his room and another small access in another room for the smaller cat to move about. Later it struck him that even the small cat could move about easily through the big hole. I wish the action of the grandmaster is to be enlightened to the readers.

S A Masilamany

Kalutara town

The precincts of the Kalutara Town are congested and made busiest with increasing traffic movements and over-crowded public in the day time.

This condition has worsened due to ill-timed town planning of the Kalutara UC.

After the removal of pavement vendors and their illegally constructed selling stalls so recently, the motorists, trishaw drivers and hiring lorry drivers have used to park their vehicles along the main street causing much hindrance to the pedestrians.

There are no, proper car-parks or a private bus stand allocated in the town and no protective fences also erected for the safe walking of the public.

Though there is a super highway in the middle of Kalutara town on Galle Road, the cyclists are not to be permitted, ride on this highway.

So, a new town-plan must be adopted with the collaboration of RDA with immediate effect for the well-being of townsfolk, by Kalutara UC.

C M Kamburawala.


Our Cricketers are our “Heroes”

Let us congratulate for the magnificent performance displayed by our cricketers, almost throughout the tournament. Although they did not win the world cup, their overall performance throughout the tournament was well above the winning team. In the finals, it is always the luck that comes on your way, this time Indians were lucky to play the finals in their soil, with a massive supporting cheering squad, while our cricketers were under tremendous pressure to achieve their target. Even at the Finals they showed their superiority at certain stages over their opponents, but unfortunately things did not turn favorably at the end.

It is not all reasonable to criticize the players, who were less successful at certain stages in the final match against India, and instead, we must look at them with much gratitude and pride, how they preformed at the previous matches, and the valuable contribution they made for the Sri Lanka team to qualify for the finals.

So, our Dearest cricketers, for us you all are the best cricketers with sportsmanship in the world.

And your overall performance was superb, and you all were not humiliated in your game at any event like others. So, nothing to get demoralized, maintain the same momentum you all had at the beginning, and we sincerely wish that you will do much better in the next world cup and reach the pinnacle.

Mangalika Wijetunge

Mattegoda


Sacrifice of heroes

Peace and tranquillity dawned on the country because of the supreme sacrifice of the fallen heroes. The country just finished a period of celebration and joy staging the cricket World Cup without the fear of bombs and destruction. The celebratory image to be seen worldwide . However there are families and friends in deep sadness and pain whose dear and near have sacrificed their lives for us to enjoy this fun and peace. There are many stories of valour and heroism by our forces saving the country and is there any more tribute to him and the forces than naming the new tower as Aladeniya Communication Tower Kokavil.

Being named after the politicians constantly and I am sure the whole of Sri Lanka will call upon Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to start a process in naming the places and buildings in the North and East that led to significant war victories after these fallen unsung heroes.

C. Seneviratne

Kent


Dearth of Engineers in Sri Lanka

This has reference to a letter appeared last week in this column. In Sri Lanka there are various kinds and categories of Engineers.

Out of them except the degree and diploma holders others may not have followed any full time or part time course in engineering or done any course work but they possess excellent hands on experience which the degree and diploma holders may not possess.

In big companies they were branch managers or head of departments and did their work satisfactorily.

In a big company the Electrical Engineer was from Cambridge University but when designing lighting or illumination for tea or rubber factories they never considered any recommended illumination levels for various sections of the factory like rolling room, withering area,dryer room or sifting room but the electrical engineer or foreman instructed the draughtsman to indicate some light fittings in the drawing based on their experience and signed by the electrical engineer.

Only calculation required by the State Plantations Corporation was for voltage drop in cables which was submitted with the drawing. They never asked for calculation of lux levels. Graduate engineers may be required only for some jobs only and not for all. Has anybody including Central Bank, got any record of specialisation, fields of work?

S Sripadmanaban

Colombo-05.


Thugs who harass motorists

There is a lot of talk about extortionists at the Peliyagoda Fish market complex, which the police have done a superb job to eradicate this menace.

What about the extortionists/thugs operating around Hospitals, Temples, Churches, Sugathadasa Stadium car park, Old St John’s Market, etc., who demands money for parking of vehicles, from motorists.

Why do not the Police take stern action against these thugs, who harass the motorists, by demanding money, for parking.

Concerned Motorist


Renovation of govt. flats

The Government taking action to renovate Government flats is a commendable move. Such flats from outside give an ugly look in the city. Therefore, once in two years, at least the external parts of the flats should be white washed if sufficient funds are not available. A nominal charge may be made in this regard. Minister Weerawansa says (DN 7/4) that ‘no action has been taken by previous Governments to renovate the flats’.

I take this opportunity to inform the Minister that State Engineering Dept. at Peliyagoda appears to be a mini jungle with all sorts of weeds, plants, trees etc grown and had been apparently not visited by any relevant Minister for several years.

It is also full of scrapped iron, broken concrete items strewn here and there and is an eye-sore. Undoubtedly it is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Such is the state behind the high walls.

Nazly Cassim

Colombo 13

 

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