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Thursday, 23 June 2011

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A Sri Lankan identity - the enduring challenge

Your inspired and excellent editorial in the Daily News dated June 8, 2011, espousing the urgent need for Sri Lankan identity should be readily appreciated by every right thinking person born and bred in our fair island home and no less by those who have made Sri Lanka their adopted home.

The Sri Lankan identity is the golden thread that firmly binds each and every one of us, irrespective of one's social standing or belonging to a particular creed or born into a different ethnicity or adhering to a chosen political ideology or philosophy. May I take the liberty of quoting in toto your well analysed opening paragraph of the above mentioned editorial.

"A political solution signifying a common Sri Lankan identity - this is and was the seeming insurmountable challenge. Over the past 25 years and more, no other issue, perhaps, has invited more feverish and exhausting hair splitting locally, than this question of evolving a common Sri Lankan identity. The seminar hours spent over it painfully interminable. The papers, documents and publications brought out over the issue mind boggling proportions. Yet agreement over what should constitute a Sri Lankan identity or a definition of the concept seems to be deftly eluding the grasp of the local public."

The reason for my quoting in full the opening paragraph of your edifying editorial is because you have expressed in no uncertain terms as to the sheer urgency and absolute necessity and the multiple benefits that will accrue to the badge of the National Identity and consequently nullify the seeming insurmountable foggy cobwebbed ideas in this regard. It is a matter of bread and butter to the ordinary folk. But it is of paramount importance to the legal fraternity, and cannot be tampered with.

In this regard we can look up the especially to the United States of America where people from various countries belonging to different nationalities have migrated and having obtained citizenship, enjoy all the facilities of the American government, although they retain their ethnicity. They are fully fledged Americans. We in Sri Lanka have three major communities, the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims and a fair sprinkling of Burghers and Malays. All of them have been happily welded together as their ancestors were, forming the fabric of the Sri Lankan population.

Sadly this situation was shattered in the recent past. However, with the cessation of the 30 year brutal war, we are now hopeful of a brighter and happy future and should press the government to forge the Sri Lankan Identity as a priority by legalizing it to be included in all legal documents.

Ben Corea


Rapidly spreading dengue epidemic

When dengue was rapidly spreading in year 2004, I recollect having listened to the SLBC morning news reading that the Korean government was prepared to make a gift of a certain bacteria chemical to the Sri Lanka government to enable us to eradicate the highly spreading dengue epidemic at that time. It was mentioned in the same news that there was a delay in getting that Korian gift, since our own Malaria control campaign and mosquito coil producting multi-national companies were against that gift and were vehemently objecting to it.

It was substantiated by the editorial of a national daily on June 23, 2004.

In view of the present day highly spreading dengue epidemic I would request the Health Minister to get in touch with Korian Government to get this gift of bacteria chemical to bring the present situation immediately under control, and then to carry out the cleaning and supervision of individual houses and punish and prosecute them for keeping unhealthy compounds or gardens irrespective of position and party politics.

D E Abeyweera

Kelaniya

 

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