Colombo - A city without modern public toilets

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 relevant authorities.
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 government authorities

Lakshman Bandara
Colombo 03


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


Political marriages

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 ties.

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 dowry problems.

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.

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
Colombo 4


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 school.

Past Student



Ganjali 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 equanimity.

Dear may your wanderings in Sansara be short and may you attain the
Supreme Bliss of Nibbana soon!

Verna L. de Silva.




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