Colombo is the largest city and the commercial centre in Sri Lanka.
It is a busy and vibrant city with a resident population of over seven
million, with a few hundred thousand visiting almost daily. Everybody
knows that the Colombo Municipal Council is the local government
authority responsible for the administration of the city with an area of
over 3729 hectares in size. The 'City Development Strategy of Colombo'
was formulated in the year 2000 with a ten year perspective and the
strategic vision of developing it as a 'Model City in Asia' where people
could enjoy quality living, acquire optional capacity and opportunity
for creation of wealth for the well-being of all to sustain and improve
their environment. One of the major strategies was to improve the level
of food hygiene within the city of Colombo.
Food Act No. 26 of 1980 as amended by Act No. 20 of 1991 regulates
and controls the manufacture, importation, sales and distribution of
food. Accordingly, the Colombo Municipal Council becomes the food
authority and the Medical Officers of Health, Food Inspectors and Public
Health Inspectors are the authorized officers to maintain food safety
and hygiene promotion in the Colombo city.
A few months back, the Public Health Department carried out routine
examinations of drinking water and food samples taken from eating houses
in the city. A food safety and hygiene promotion programme was developed
by the Public Health Department of the CMC and was implemented in 2002.
Under this programme some eateries and food stalls in the city were
assessed by the Public Health Inspectors.
However, there are thousands of eateries big and small where
inspections should be carried out on a regular basis. For this purpose,
the food safety and hygiene promotion programme of the Colombo Municipal
Council should be developed to achieve its objectives. Also, a training
programme for cooks of the Kotthu Rotti cadre should be launched without
HARSHI NADIE PERERA
There is a long-standing unresolved discrepancy between pension
payments drawn by senior retirees and those by recently retired persons.
The former category of pensioners claim that they have been subjected to
discrimination by the current method of paying pensions. They have been
subjected to a disadvantage of having to receive a lower pension,
compared to what the latter group gets. This incongruity of the pension
payment scheme impacts badly the very existence of the pensioners who
feel left out. Some mechanism should be implemented soon to liberate
this pension disparity.
Prostitution seems to have become a flourishing trade in recent years
with rooms in lodging houses being rented in every town across the
country. In fact these rooms are brothels disguised as private lodgings.
Operators of this particular trade lure girls from villages promising
them employment in factories, and these girls faced with economic
impoverishment, easily fall prey to their deceptive game. If this
practice is allowed to continue, it would entail a huge public health
risk. Society would run the risk of being exposed to the killer epidemic
Sometime ago a number of school children were accused of watching
pornographic videos. The existing ignoble climate of indiscipline in
public life is such that before long school children would be tempted to
patronize such lodgings and the so called massage parlours. This
eventuality of tomorrow's students might be a very real possibility.
It has been seen that the overall discipline in this country has
begun to sink. If the current noisome situation is to be brought under
effective control, the authorities need to act now.
Reference the news item appearing in the Daily News of June 19, 2013
under the caption ‘Be lenient on young couples’, every right thinking
person will agree that minister Dullas Alahapperuma has spoken well on
humanitarian grounds, on a very poignant point in our society. According
to the newspaper report, he had delivered this message at a conference
held where Officers-in-Charge of Police Stations and media personnel of
Matara and Hambantota Districts were present.
It is not unnatural for young people to fall in love and to express
their feelings towards each other wherever and whenever they meet.
Of course these young boys and girls would prefer the sea-beach,
parks and places where pleasant natural surroundings are found and
disturbances are less.
To humiliate and harass them and specially for law enforcement
officers to arrest them in such situations, cannot be considered fair.
The stark truth is that many older law-enforcement officers conveniently
forget their own youthful days and frown upon innocent young boys and
girls, and try to put them into embarrassing situations.
As the minister had stated, law-enforcement officers should first
think of their young days and act in a lenient manner towards the not so
matured young people. A friendly approach, and advice to them in more
refined and decent ways would surely yield better results. They could be
advised to refrain from going to the extremes as schoolchildren, and
their parents could be watchful.
Nowadays we hear of many unpleasant incidents of innocent fair sex
members being waylaid and harassed by unscrupulous characters.
Law-enforcement officers should invariably act promptly in such
instances to bring the culprits to book in the larger interest of the
I wish to commend the Transport Minister and the Railway authorities
for introducing second class carriages in office trains for those who
wish to travel paying a higher fare. However sadly, passengers with
second class tickets are often harassed by those holding third class
tickets while wrongfully travelling in second class compartments.
This is very commonly seen in the Polgahawela train that leaves
Colombo Fort at 4.40 pm and still worse in the morning train that leaves
Gampaha for Fort at 6.53 am (Fouzie Train). It is very difficult to
travel even standing in these morning trains, leave alone seated.
A friend of mine recently narrowly escaped being assaulted by
passengers in this Colombo bound train. The reason was that he
accidentally stepped on the foot of one of the passengers, who had been
blocking the corridor, while trying to find his way into a second class
The offender was with some youngster friends who were clinging onto
the foot boards and passing remarks on girls and ladies walking
alongside the rail track. They were even blocking the corridors of the
particular train. They probably were a lot undergoing vocational
training courses in some institution, for all were uniformly attired in
black trousers and white shirts.
It is a great injustice to those who have paid the higher fare to be
denied travel in the relevant compartment. Making announcements at
stations that it is a punishable offence to travel in second class
compartments holding third class tickets is a joke. The law should be
I hope the relevant officials would take remedial action and ensure
justice to those who pay the double the fare.
E. DE MEL email