Colombo - A city without modern public
The city of Colombo must be one of the few places in the world where modem and
hygienically maintained public toilets are not available for the use of the
thousands who trek to and live in this city.
Of course, the Colombo Municipality will argue that there are public toilets of
the CMC but it could be easily seen that these toilets are ancient, ill kept,
unhygienic and the average person shuns using these.
So where do they go when the public wish to ease themselves?
Colombo is a fairly green city with many trees and parapet walls and many are
the instances when we see men urinating against them much to the embarrassment
of persons going past - specially women and children.
Furthermore, Sri Lanka is being promoted as an excellent tourist destination-But
where do the tourists too go when they want to ease themselves when touring
Colombo city? Your guess is good as mine!
It could be argued that setting-up modem and well maintained public toilets is
costly and subsequent maintenance costs are high. However, if Colombo is to move
away from a primitive system - bold decisions will have to be taken by the
Since toilets are connected to hygiene and capital outlay is high, it is
proposed that the authorities call for funding from the World Health
Organisation or similar community related donors to set-up modem and hygienic
toilets initially in Colombo and suburbs.
Thereafter, the maintenance of these toilets could be handed over by tender to
the private sector in order to maintain the toilets to hygienic standards. We
have seen persons from many cleaning and janitorial services organisations
cleaning public roads and streets effectively and successfully. Perhaps such
organisations may bid for providing public toilet maintenance services for a fee
which could be charged from the users. Such a project will, no doubt, contribute
to uplift the health standards in the city and suburbs where urinating and
defecating under trees and other areas will not occur and will raise the image
of the country as a health conscious nation. This project could thereafter be
taken to the remaining cities around the country which would be a boon to the
public and result in higher standards of hygiene amongst the people.
I hope this letter catches the eye of the government, health, tourism and local
New Year wishes 2009
Amidst the din of crackers, temple and church bells chiming
Another year dawned with great promises enchanting
Letís be heroic to feel ďWeíre the architects of prosperityĒ
Letís break bonds of lust for short lived power in glory.
Letís insist on a pilgrimage of peaceín harmony,
No matter how unattractive Ďtis for human anatomy
Letís make a sincere thought to remove every obstacle
To achieve destination not just by a mere miracle
Letís end fuelling revenge on Ethnic groups
Not allow wounds continue to fester or stealthily root
Letís not close our eyes on human tragedies in any part
Forgiveness, togetherness should root in every heart.
Letís end sniping, be more polite to each other
With new resolutions, claim, serene, delightful sans bother
The magic political solution yet to be a reality
Letís tread on the pathway of prosperity, shed vanity.
Letís embrace virtues of tolerance, unity faithful
For promoting mutual trust, a land bountiful
Letís work in giant strides in brotherhood gallant fare
Scatter seeds of friendship, mutual respect everywhere.
With the dawn of a New Year in great hopeĎn cheer
Letís leave behind traumatic bitter experienceĎn fear
Mankind be endowed a sense of patriotism, less tears
Let each of us be an instrument of PEACE so dear.
Kumari Kumarasinghe Tennakoon
The latest political marriage between the United Peopleís Freedom Alliance and
the National Freedom Front is in the news and is facing criticism. Such
political marriages are nothing new in our country.
Janatha Vimukthi Perumana
The Janatba Vimukthi Peramuna, under its founder leader made advances to the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam but the proposal was dropped as the horoscopes
did not match.
The JVP later settled to Ďliving togetherí with the SLFP during the time of the
former President but that did not last long and they parted due to misbehaviour
on the part of the JVP as alleged by the former President. A second marriage too
turned to be a failure.
The JVP thereafter turned to the UPFA under the present President but the
marriage did not last long due to disagreements between the two partners and the
marriage had to be dissolved but not before a child was conceived which came to
be named NPF after birth. The baby has been disowned by the JVP but a DNA test
may prove otherwise.
As a last resort the JVP started flirting with the UNP but the advances were
spurned by the latter due to the lack of know-how in regard to the procedure
that could have been adopted to break-up otherís families using the JVP.
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress
The SLMC tied the nuptial knot with the SLFP and the UNP, changing partners at
intervals, as suited the times and political climes and had been marriages of
convenience resulting in close family members of the SLMC renouncing family
Ceylon Workersí Congress
The CWC changed marriage partners at opportune times with an eye on power and
comfortable living. The reason for the marriages failing could have been due to
Jathika Hela Urumaya
The JHU which went to Parliament to salvage the country from the sinners and
make the country a paradise has now found that they have been dragged into
deeper sin and that the political marriage with the UPFA has lengthened their
sufferings in Samsara.
SLFP and UNP
The affluence of the SLFP and the UNP attracted males and females seeking love,
care and comfort and both parties were content Ďliving togetherí with them as
long as the relationship suited them, and as long as the home fires kept burning
and house-keeping was facilitated.
Upali S. Jayasekera
Dress of school children
Numerous views have been expressed with regard to the dress for children in
schools. Private schools have their own designated dress and Government schools
up to about 1980 also had a uniform dress but after that a religion related
dress of wearing a cap for boys and a headdress for girls have been introduced
with the approval of the 1980 Ministry and the Department of Education.
Though as claimed as a Ďtraditional dressí the evidence in use before 1980 in
all parts of the country cannot justify the claim. It is only a Middle East
dress sense. But politicians will not stand to reason, they decide on the voting
capacity. As such the past students should, without being silent, bring pressure
on the Government and the Opposition that the old customs and the standard dress
should prevail and the past students and that the parents of the present
students should be consulted.
And if the Minister of Education is still adamant, the only alternative is to
request that the headdresses be worn only up to the gate of the school and it
should not be worn in the premises and in the classrooms. But the Muslim ladies
and specially the Lady Muslim Minister who attended schools before 1980,
irrespective of the decision should tell the public the dress they wore to
Jayasekera - 01.11.2008
The first of November dawned a very sad day for me - I lost a dear sister-in-law
- a gracious lady who bore her debilitating illness for many years with patience
and fortitude. She had a ready smile through all her pain and always showed how
much she cared for us her family - how much our welfare meant to her. She was an
example to all of us. To me she was, and will always be ĎMother Courageí.
I dedicate this poem to her, with love.
To Ganj with love
Today the link snapped -
The golden bond that held us close
They told me on the phone that you had gone ≠Ė
For you, an end to pain
For me, a grieving heart.
You were always there,
For me, for all of us
Consoling in times of tears,
Sharing laughter -
In our times of cheer
The love you spread around
Cherished by all of us
Youíve gone now -
And left a void so very hard to fill
Farewell. I say with love,
Youíll live in many hearts,
Iíll long remember you,
My heart is with Sus, her husband, Gihan and Manomi her children and their
families, her sisters, her brothers, her extended family. I know they will face
their irreparable loss the way she would have wanted them to - with courage and
Dear may your wanderings in Sansara be short and may you attain the
Supreme Bliss of Nibbana soon!
Verna L. de Silva.