travails in excelcis
Every time I get into a bus, the music is on most of the time. It’s
not just good music that relaxes your mind to face a busy day at work,
Just imagine a person, in the morning, getting into a bus that is
fully-packed who manages to get just enough leg space to stand having to
undergo the cacophony of loud baila music ripping your eardrums, while
at the same time trying to manipulate your position in the bus without
having to undergo the embarrassment of falling onto somebody’s lap? One
has to go through it to know the feeling. It is sheer hell.
This happens daily on bus routes nos 107, 260 and 176 and those poor
commuters who travel daily in these buses have to go through this
torment like a prayer everyday.
With all this harassment comes the driver’s hectic driving. Brakes are
applied haphazardly which can throw a person standing at the end of the
bus to the lap of somebody seated in the centre. It would be a rare
thing to find somebody who travels daily in one of these three bus
routes not to have undergone such pyrotechnics.
On the 107 Elakanda bus route, the conductor keeps screaming right into
your ears; “Hendala, Wattala, Peliyagoda, Stadium,” and then in the same
breath “Kotuwa, Kotuwa” while all the time baila music blares its full
It is just sheer hell travelling in these buses. The commuter is at the
mercy of these “bullies” who callously disregard the discomfort faced by
the commuters, most of whom are on their way to office or school.
The crowd inside the bus can be easily tolerated but not the music.
Recently some very good laws were enforced by the traffic police; to
fine drivers who let commuters travel on foot-board and also those who
keep the buses too long at a stop. This move is highly appreciated but
is there any law to stop buses blaring some horrible music which the
commuter has no option but to hearS unless he or she is deaf.
Is music a necessity for a driver who is supposed to keep his full
attention on the road? Isn’t it a possibility that his attention could
be diverted, thus putting the life of the commuter at risk?Isn’t this a
good reason for the traffic police to impose fines on buses playing loud
music? The other day, the music was far too loud. Nobody had the guts to
tell the driver to reduce the volume. There were many who were grumbling
and cursing the driver but no one would dare tell him or the conductor
to reduce the volume.
Having had enough of it I managed to signal the conductor to reduce the
volume. To pacify me, he just touched the volume knob but did not reduce
the volume and then gave me that, “who are you to tell me.” The journey
was horrible. When I got off the bus I had a severe headache.
This letter is a sincere plea to ask the authorities concerned to bring
a law forbidding these private buses from playing loud and uncouth music
for the sake of the commuter who has no other way of transport and who
would like a peaceful bus ride even if he/she has to stand on one foot.
Over to you Minister Fowzie!
Hospital business - patient vs shareholder
Being a specialist medical practitioner, the times are many when I am
compelled to recommend treatment abroad to my patients when certain
facilities are not available here. I know that a number of them who
could not afford even India had the consolation of knowing Apollo was
available for them.
With the ownership changes, that opportunity they had is gone. I request
the GMOA and BOI that brought in this prestigious hospital to Sri Lanka
to use their influence to prevent this happening.
What we must remember here is that it is first, a hospital and only
secondarily, a business entity. Therefore, the usual company owing laws
should not be blindly followed in this instance. It is also the duty of
the Health Ministry that licenses the hospital, to see that status quo
does not change. After all, hospitals are set up primarily for the
welfare of patients and not for a few shareholders to make money.
If the Health Ministry cannot run their own hospitals properly with all
necessary and latest equipment, they must at least protect the hospitals
that are able to do so at a reasonable and affordable price instead of
allowing them to fall into hands of unscrupulous businessmen.
Dr. Chandra Fernando
Darrel Hair at it again
Mr. Darrel Hair is at it again, this time against Pakistan. It does
not take long for anyone to identify this man who has a tainted past and
a disgrace to the game of cricket.
An interesting fact is that this man is only involved in controversies
that surround Asian countries. So I hope the ICC and its match referee,
Ranjan Madugalle, would see to it that justice is done rather than
defend this racist in the face of mounting criticism that he is not
suited to be in that elite panel.
In the words of that great man Don Bradmen, “It was the worst example of
umpiring that I have witnessed, and against everything the game stands
for.” This he said after Muttiah Muralidaran was no-balled by Darrel
Hair in December 1995.
Enough is enough.
LTTE should take responsibility
The Mawil Aru annicut incident has created many new problems in this
country. If the LTTE had not created the Mawil Aru problem, many
hundreds of lives could have been saved. They are the ones who should be
blamed for all the sufferings and loss of lives that is taking place at
The Mawil Aru annicut problem was a creation by the LTTE to divert the
attention of the armed forces and to capture Muttur but that was a
failure for them. Next they tried to capture the North but that, too was
a failure. The LTTE is now frustrated and seeks to divert the attention
of the people from the North and the East they killed Kethesh Yoganathan,
the deputy chief of the government peace secretariat. Next they attacked
the Pakistan High Commissioner to create something big in Colombo. The
armed forces should be on alert about this.
The Mulaitivu incident where sixty youth got killed in a jungle camp
from aerial bombings by the Sri Lanka Air Force. The LTTE first said
they are school children in uniforms. Others say a different story. We
don’t know what is true. Because of this incident it has said it will
It was the LTTE that brought Rajapaksa to power. Everybody knows this.
Now, why are they blaming him? Even if Ranil was in power, the LTTE
would have acted in the same manner. They called him the cunning fox. By
their actions and speeches for the past 25 years the LTTE is making the
Tamil people more and more desperate.
As long as their leader is in the Wanni bunker and as long as his family
is in London, he will never achieve Tamil Eelam. It is better for him to
go and join his family and leave the Tamils alone.
A citizen from Vavuniya
Who is our real enemy?
A question we need to ask ourselves is who really is our enemy? The
recent escalation in violence is viewed by many from different angles.
Tragically people are not thinking as Sri Lankans.
The UNP is quick to remark that the period of the CFA created a “no
war”, “no violence” and “no checkpoints” situation. True… but it did
also pave the way for the terrorists to nicely travel throughout the
country and carefully plan how they would strike next. Now with the
likelihood of rough times ahead the decision to enter into a war
situation lies in the hands of the Government and no one else. Not the
men in robes or any other party.
We have gone through three wars and each war was followed with a
“return to the negotiation table” and another stalemate situation
creating puppets out of our armed forces. Negotiations are good so long
as both sides want to negotiate and reach a compromised solution. But
when the perpetrator is resolved in his bid to create a separate
homeland what purpose do negotiations hold and most importantly for
whom? Negotiations have provided only an interim period of “volatile
peace” despite any proclamations made by the Nordic peace monitors
No one wants to advocate war but then we have come to a period where we
need to really question who our enemy is.
The 1988-89 period saw the surfacing of the JVP revolt which was
answered with a simple strategy by the late Ranjan Wijerate; identify
the enemy and destroy him. No foreign nation ever stopped it and even
the Sinhalese wanted these rebels completely annihilated from society.
The task done, years later the JVP had to change its stance and give up
the strategy of forcibly coming into governance.
Another thing that we need to remember is that there must surely be a
great difference in what Prabakaran wants and what the men domiciled in
the Western world holding foreign passports, want. We are more than
aware that Prabhakaran has corrected the infamous theoretician
Balasingham, about some matter of fact remarks made without prior
consultation with the LTTE supremo. The LTTE living in foreign shores
have a different agenda and it is definitely different to that
propagated by Prabakaran. But both cannot do without the other and find
themselves complimenting each other.
Having gone through over 20 years of a very dangerous game of give and
take it has only led to thousands sacrificing their lives in vain and
enough is enough. It is time for the Government to tell its people what
it plans to do.
An all-out-war if it must happen means that the people are in for some
rough times ahead. People must be prepared for this. However, the
Government and its ministers must realise first that whatever happens,
it should not mean rough times for the people and luxuries still for
them. The Government must first show leadership through example then
they will surely receive the respect of the masses.