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Monday, 7 January 2013

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Flyover bridge at Panadura

The foundation stone for the construction of a Flyover Bridge at Panadura on the Colombo - Galle Road was laid by the late Highways and Road Development Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle on March 31, 2008 just a few days before his tragic death. The work commenced but abandoned after some time, the reasons of which are unknown. Even the foundation stone which was embedded on the wall of the Hindu Kovil opposite the Balika Vidyalaya, Panadura has since been removed by the RDA. This action on the part of the RDA is a matter for concern at a time when much development work is in progress in the country especially on roads. Had the minister lived, he would have no doubt ensured that the work on the bridge was completed by now.

As gratitude and as a mark of respect to the late Minister and in order to ease the traffic congestion on the particular stretch of the Colombo - Galle Road at Panadura, I wish to request the President and the minister concerned to intervene to restore the foundation stone and re-commence early the work on the bridge for which the residents of Panadura will be grateful.


Courteous bus crew in JQ 3310

I wish to record my personal thanks to the driver and conductor of 'Vihanga Express' bus No. JQ 3310 on route 120 - this being one of the most crowded and nerve-wracking routes. However on Sunday, December 30, travelling from Katuwawala to Colombo Campus, I experienced a peaceful bus trip which needs mentioning. The driver drove at a reasonable speed throughout, did not overtake or sound the horn unless essential and braked carefully ensuring that passengers did not get thrown from their seats. The conductor was also courteous and considerate to passengers boarding and alighting. In all, it was a thoroughly professional attitude and one which needs recognition.

These are the days of reckless maniacal speedsters, four and two-wheeled, who overtake on both sides of the road totally disregarding the safety of pedestrians who are blasted out of the way and causing even elderly people to run for their lives. The truly dreadful state of the sides of the highways where there are no pavements only water-filled drains and broken, rock-strewn paths, means that people cannot walk, cross the road in safety or even be sure they can arrive back home unhurt.

This points to the prevalence of the 'me first' attitude of 90% of road users and the necessity of providing safe, comfortable public transport manned by properly trained and qualified drivers in well-maintained vehicles. I hope that the current wave of 'luxury living' with well-planned pavements, proper storm drains and other enviable amenities can be provided to those living outside central Colombo. In particular, Maharagama is in urgent need of proper pavements, feeder roads, markets and general civic refurbishment in view of the tremendous increase in housing and commercial areas.


G.C.E. O/L Science paper leak

It is very unfortunate that questions pertaining to Science has been leaked and that 19 marks will be awarded to all the students, since it was not the fault of the students and that they should not be penalised. But the negative effect of this solution is that students who are not that proficient in Science may qualify to gain admission to the Science stream for the G.C.E A/L. I would like to suggest that schools should conduct a special examination in Science to ensure that students who are eligible to follow the Science stream only are enrolled for this particular stream.


Is the Bible true?

Apropos, the article by Shenali Waduage in your issue of 29th December 2012. In the last paragraph of the said article it has been stated that the Bible itself must be proved to be true. This will therefore lead to the question whether Jesus Christ, who is the cornerstone of the Christian faith, is true. If the Holy Bible is not true then logically Jesus Christ is not true; and to say so is an indictment on the Christian faith. According to what we understood from the said article, the Bible is to be used as a tool to prove day to day material things. However, the Bible is not to be used in such away. I quote by memory excerpts from the then Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev. George Carey when he addressed the 180th annual meeting of the Ceylon Bible Society held at the Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour at Bauddhaloka Mawatha Colombo on 7th December 1992.

"The Bible is the adventure of God with man. Every chapter, line and verse has been studied, analyzed commented and even criticized, but it is still the world's best seller".

The following passages from the Holy Scripture, is appropriate to be quoted. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" 2 Peter Ch. 1 vs. 21. In verse 16 of the same chapter it is written, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye witnesses of His glory".

Every predication made in the Holy Bible has come true. Jesus Christ during his earthly ministry said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away". St. Mathew Ch. 24 vs 35. Signs of the end of the world were given by Him in St. Mathew Ch. 24 but its specific date is not known to anybody as told by Jesus in Acts Ch. 1 vs. 7 "It is not for you to know the times and seasons which the Father has put in his own power". We saw the foolishness of men who predicted total darkness and the end of the world in 2012 but those who believe in the Holy Scriptures will never be fooled. "You study the Scriptures because you think that in them you will find everlasting life" said Jesus as found in the Gospel of St. John Ch. 5 vs. 39. The Holy Bible has stood the test of time.


Too many holidays

A reader has lamented that the Christians are not having enough holidays when the Buddhists are having so many. This is an amazing

expression indeed! It is not as if the Christians are expected to go to work! All of us irrespective of race, religion or caste, get all the superfluous holidays in Sri Lanka. Not only the intended holidays but the days before and after too. Sri Lankans are known to be lotus eaters and to add to it we have an unprecedented number of holidays not found in any country in the world. We even get lieu leave for holidays falling on Sundays. Actually we all have to agitate for lesser holidays. We should get together to improve the condition of our country instead of blaming all the evils on the government.

We cannot get much done in our government offices as the officers are on leave - either paid leave or no pay leave on days before and after holidays.

We Muslims prefer to cut down our holidays. According to our Prophet Mohamed, may peace be upon him, there are only two celebrations in Islam - the two festivals. It is enough. Let's have these two holidays. He never celebrated his birthday nor anyone else of his family nor his companions nor even the great Imams of olden days. Actually most of the Muslim madrasas continue to work on Poya days since the syllabus cannot be completed otherwise.

It is time we Sri Lankans re-evaluated what the earlier politicians brought in as rules for their own petty political gains. Instead of making the people work for betterment, they made many many holidays giving a false sense of piety. We all know that very few of the so-called religious holidays instill piety in our people. Rather they are wasted days and the end results are multifarious.

We are training our children to be lazy and pretentious and no wonder even the syllabuses in the schools are not covered in time. Tuition classes are galore. Drinking alcohol and eating meat doubled. Office work suffers. Since the parents are at home on holidays, even the childrens' studies get disrupted due to parties and outings.

If we make up our minds, we can make this country of ours a better place for ourselves and our children. It is up to us.

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