Some intense government activity is currently focused on reforms of
our country's private sector employees' pension scheme. The goal of this
activity as expressed by a number of policy makers, is to draft a plan
that is comprehensive, and will ensure that the pension scheme is both
available and acceptable to all private sector employees.
Since the number of those people who live with vision loss is
expected to rise exponentially over the next few years, not to mention
our military veterans who have incurred multiple disabilities through
their war action, the Blind Citizens' Front has joined with other
blindness organizations to call for the inclusion in the welfare
programme legislation of provisions that will address the unique needs
of people who are blind, and vision impaired, at least to those over 50
years of age, unemployed, and without a monthly income.
BCF specifically, is urging the two-third majority in parliament
including the Buddhist clergy to establish an unambiguous policy of
welfare reform to cover individuals experiencing vision loss at least to
address their healthcare needs. A pension for the blind, and quality and
affordable healthcare are two of the most vital elements in living
independent, productive lives.
Since 1994 to date, none of these issues has been adequately
addressed either by parliament or national regulatory authorities. We
believe that the advent of a national discussion on public employees'
pension scheme and other issues, has given us a great opportunity to
improve and changed this trend for the betterment of the society as a
We need men of intellect and understanding at the highest level, men
with the practical will to initiate fair policies to assist the under -
privileged to guarantee a decent standard of living, so that they could
live useful and happy lives.
Certain persons are trying to confer on President Mahinda Rajapaksa
various degrees and titles.
Some are even trying to make him look like an Emperor. But the
President is wise enough not to be led up the garden path.
Sri Lanka is a very tiny dot in the Indian Ocean. Demonstrations are
being held denouncing Sri Lanka in countries whose governments are
hostile to us over the LTTE issue.
Earlier TV channels showed war scenes and also clips of the
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe distributing leaflets in the
streets and holding demonstrations, followed by clips of Ravi
Karunanayake speaking in Parliament espousing the "Alimankada Pamankada"
We have heard the story of 'The Emperor's New Clothes' by Hans
Christian Andersen. The emperor in his vanity parades the streets to
show his subjects his new clothes. However the President is tough and
realistic unlike the emperor who wore no clothes.
The Sinhalese are in the majority only in this country and a minority
in all other countries.
The Tamils who are all over the world are a bigger community.
Therefore we should treat the Tamils brothers and sisters with respect
and give them their due rights as enjoyed by the Sinhalese.
This will soften the attitude towards our people in foreign
Now that the terrorists have been annihilated, we should not
hereafter think that all Tamils are terrorists.
Since gaining independence we live as a single nation - Sinhalese,
Tamils, Muslims and Burghers.
The one and only ruler President Mahinda Rajapaksa who on arrival
from a foreign conference knelt down and worshiped the motherland which
Now all including the Leader of the Opposition must give a helping
hand irrespective of differences to rebuild the country and make it
The Sri Lanka police recently set up a Special Unit under the
Criminal Investigation Dept to investigate into complaints of unlawful
or criminal misappropriation of property. On setting up the special
unit, wide publicity was given on the scope and functions of this unit.
There was a tremendous response from the public and many sought the help
of the Special Unit and have obtained relief and advice.
With monotonous regularity, reports and letters are carried in the
print media of inefficiency and indifference of some public
institutions. While wide publicity is afforded to adverse observations,
regrettably appreciation of commendable and exemplary service is rarely
conveyed. Recently, experiencing a courteous and efficient service at
the new Special Unit, I feel obliged to convey the appreciation of the
exemplary service. When I visited the Special Unit to lodge a complaint
in respect of a very intricate and complicated fraudulent transaction, I
met the Director of the Special Unit. Despite his heavy work schedule
and with many persons waiting to meet him, he granted me a patient
hearing. After considering the salient aspects with meticulous care he
advised us as to the course of action to be pursued.
The manner in which he handled the case was exemplary, and abundantly
and manifestly he demonstrated a remarkably high degree of proficiency
and commitment. His advice was invaluable and I was impressed by the
high sense of dedication to duty and the cordial and friendly manner he
The staff at the Unit despite some constraints of space with the
numerous callers, were very courteous and friendly. It is quite evident
that this Unit has been well organized and the staff enthused to serve
the public in an exemplary manner.
This special unit is a credit to the police force.
A few days back, I was standing on platform No. 2 at the Maradana
railway station to board the Chilaw express train which leaves at 4.50
A tourist family (parents with 2 kids) was near me, the father with
two empty bottles in hand walking up and down looking for a bin to dump
the two empties. He then came to me and said "Is this Sri Lanka? Why do
not the government or railways look into these? Where can we throw
these? Why is it very dirty in the station?"
I could not answer, just said that these things happen. Further
questions he asked were,"What has happened to the roof of the new
overhead bridge? Why are they not announcing in English? How can we
understand?" Then I showed him the dustbin on platform 4, he put the
bottles in the bin and came back to me and said "Thank You".
Since a lot of tourists now travel by train, the Railway
administration should look into these matters. I was too ashamed to
answer these questions. This for the attention of GM, Railways and the
Visual communication by morse and semaphore is not outdated as it is
still in use internationally by ships in wide open sea.
Morse and semaphore communication in English introduced to scouts
here, smoothy prevailed in use from the very beginning in 1912 to about
1956. Then there was no mobile phone as now. Sadly, visual communication
was no more seen as a proud exhibition even at the scout centenary
celebrations. A former Scouts Commissioner Camillus Fernando, took
initial steps to promote these methods among scouts, but there is no
further action after he retired.
There is a Sinhala version book on the semaphore methods published by
the Cultural Affairs Department available for sale.
This book has been approved by the Education Publications Commission
as a school library book as useful for scouts.
The Ahungalla Rajapaksa College scouts are active with the use of
these methods with the help of the above book.
Some people abandon their pets on roads, and as a result those
animals suffer because of human cruelty. In many western countries there
are pet rescue centres, where abandoned pets are handled by local
authorities with kindness and compassion.
Animal welfare organizations in Sri Lanka, which is a Buddhist
country, should take steps to rescue these pets which are abandoned by
people without a heart.