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Readers please note it is essential that all letters to the Editor carry the full name and address of the writer, even if it has to appear under a pseudonym. This applies to all email letters as well.



Spelling simplified!

Recently, on my way to office, I saw a newly installed name-board in one of the by-roads in close proximity to Colpetty Junction with the name painted as ‘Kernal T. G. Jayawardene Mawatha,’ whereas it should have been ‘Colonel’. I hope that the Municipality or whoever is responsible will redo the board with the correct spelling. Pasting a small piece of digitally printed vinyl sticker with the correct spelling, I think, is the easiest way to do the change.

Another by-lane down R.A.De Mel Mawatha, Clifford Lane is spelt ‘Cliffed Lane’. I know that one can ignore this mistake being a proper noun but not the former.

Amusing TV musicals

With Sirasa initiating the first musical TV programme, all TV stations have introduced varying and entertaining programmes providing the young and the amateur singers and dancers an opportunity to display their talents and one channel had provided the opportunity to children below 12 years and these programmes satisfy those persons who are disinterested with te1e-dramas.

On Sunday, April 12, the writer was watching Rupavahini Sri Lanka Life, a programme that in addition provides an opportunity to two instrumentalists. Of the panelists for a long time all were known, not personally, except Ruwan Werasekara, but his comments and observations proved that he possessed a remarkable knowledge on music and a skill to comment with distinction and in a pleasing manner. On the same day during the period the advertisements were telecast, to get over the boredom shifted channels to observe Ruwan Weerasekara singing with a girl who made proud of her presence on ITN ‘Studio One’ programme and forgetting Sri Lanka Life telecast was fortunate to have listen to Ruwan singing with a highly talented girl in Sinhalese, Russian and Spanish. More than the singing, the display on the violin was truly exceptional with the Orchestra of Mahes Denipitiya and Friends in Fusion providing the support.

Such programmes should be advertised in advance, though there may not have the same appreciative TV listeners as for tele-dramas, yet, the limited appreciative listener is qualitative conscious and with a depth of admiration.

Aristotle in his book The Politics has expressed numerous thoughts on music and to quote one such expression; “Amusement is for the purpose of relaxation, and relaxation must necessarily be pleasant, since it is a kind of cure for the ills we suffer in working hard. As to civilised pursuits, there must, as is universally agreed, be present pleasure as well as nobility, for happiness consists of both these. Now, we all agree that music is among the most pleasant things, whether instrumental or accompanied by singing.”

Thus desire to request ITN to re-telecast the programme with prior notice for the listening pleasure of those who missed it. Unfortunately in our country locally produced DVDs or VCDs are costly and beyond the purchasing power of the majority. As such the State TV Stations should undertake the DVD/VCD production and sell with low margin of profit.

Recent innovation not complying with Buddhist principles

Leader of the Opposition was 60 years on March 24 and a religious ceremony was conducted at the Gangaramaya Temple in the presence of a large gathering. In addition to the offering of flowers, he was invited to wrap a new siura on the branch of the Bo-tree. This is a very recent temple innovation and often it is the privilege of a politician to wrap a siura in the branch of a Bo-tree.

Could a learned Bhikkhu or a lay Buddhist academic, but not an atheist, explain the significance of the new innovation, as it does not reflect the Dhamma or the Buddhist principles on which Buddhists conduct their daily life. For Buddhists it is a demeaning and a misguiding act and hurts the feelings of most Buddhists though, at the temple the illiterate women, in particular, will shout Sadhu, Sadhu and Sadhu. The temple located close to tourist hotels is an attraction to foreign tourists, some of whom have read books on Buddhism, will be surprised at a dogmatic practice.
The inquiry is not intended to humiliate the Leader of the Opposition during an election time and the temple that has made an enormous contribution in many spheres of activity. To keep the spirit of Buddhism alive, temples should conduct simple functions without ceremonial attachments, which are bound to misguide the laypersons. The two quotations below should reveal the purpose of the inquiry and anticipate an honourable and honest and unbiased response.

“During the lifetime of its founder, Buddhism was not an organised religion. But after the death of Buddha his spiritual teachings gradually developed into an organised religion. No organised religion can exist without, at least, some dogmas. The growth of these dogmas, I believe, was responsible for relegating the simple truths of Buddhism to the background. In this, I am not referring to the emergence of the simple and beautiful rituals of Buddhist worship.” Martin Wickramasinghe lecture on ‘Reason and Intuition on Buddhism’.

“For the removal of ignorance a strict morality is essential. Sila and prajna, good conduct and intuitive insight, are inseparably united. The Buddha does not speak of codes and conventions, laws and rites. The way to be happy is to have a good heart and mind which will show itself in good deeds. Simple goodness in spirit and deed is the basis of his religion. He detaches the perfect life from all connection with a deity or outside forces, and teaches man that the best and the worst can happen to him lie within his own power.” Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, thinker and philosopher and former President of India. Lecture, ‘Gautama The Buddha’ first published in 1945 and Reprint by Maha Bodhi Book Agency, Kolkata in 2008.



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