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|Using Trade as a political weapon is crass blundering stupidity.
A savage, barbaric practice of villainy and inequity. The West
meaning the European Union too in years gone by sucked the lifeblood
of Africa, Middle East and Asian countries using the gun to get them
fall in line.
Still traces of the wild, uncivilised, barbaric
desire to suppress other people lingers on. It has not fizzled out
as seen in Afghanistan. Civility in their relations with the
coloured races is yet to dawn as seen by the gaffe of Prince Phillip
at a reception at Buckingham Palace. Cloistered royalty that was
responsible for the backwardness of the inhabitants of its numerous
colonies believe that cannibalism still exists. History books in
Britain have blotted out, the cannibalism of the British. Australian
Aborigines use the boomerang to hunt and not spears! The boomerang
is still a mystery to the West. Since Papua, Borneo and the other
islands won independence, their economies have grown sans British
exploitation, leaving behind their past cannibalism, which Britain
was fortunate to jettisoned years earlier, thanks to the wealth that
rolled in from its colonies.
The LTTE was a manifestation of the Western propensity to grab lands
and proselytise to win over the subject populace. The LTTE was
initially fostered by the Norwegians.
Indian Estate Tamils cautiously avoided falling into the trap
laid by Norway. Soon the West joined for its nefarious needs,
pretending as is their wont, to be good Samaritans. The European
Union condescendingly offers the GSP + concession, if Sri Lanka
obediently adheres to the Human Rights standards set by the West. It
commenced with the Sri Lankan soldiers that suppressed the 27 year
battle with the LTTE that warred for a separate sovereign Tamil
State within sovereign Sri Lanka, being accused of rape of Tamil Sri
Lankan females, by no less a person than the roving Secretary of
State to the American President Obama When that canard was debunked
as an unfounded accusation the EU has stepped in with an
investigation of Sri Lanka’s Human Rights status. It raises the
probability of the probe being a crafty cover of its own HR record
of pillage and plunder down the ages. Portugal, Holland and Britain
ransacked and ravaged Sri Lanka. Robbing and carrying away valued
artifacts of a 2500 year civilisation. Even the jewel studded throne
of the last king of Kandy was spirited away to be proudly showcased
in a museum depicting their prowess in subduing other nations. A
Now the EU, savagely gives Sri Lanka a “Fair Chance” to “Redeem
itself”. The EU even promises ample time and opportunity to respond
and remedy the situation, thereby arriving at a level which will
permit the EU to reconsider the grant of GSP+ concessions. A haughty
savage pronouncement. The EU is at liberty to do as it pleases! Sri
Lanka refuses to be savaged. Sexual assault and rape by the US and
EU fostered by its leaders remain a slur on those countries. Is it
an attempt to blacken Sri Lanka that the savage report has been
prepared? Sri Lanka has no Oliver Twists as rising capitalism in
Britain had. Police violence and torture, if it does exist is not
Government sponsored. It is a recurrent problem the world over.
Guantanamo points to the USA. If underage children labour, it is
against the Lankan Labour Laws and may be resorted to by the hapless
poor Sunknown to the State. All children of school going age receive
free education. Using trade to savage a developing country is
grossly unethical. The Mahinda Chinatanaya for the development of
Sri Lanka will not have ‘poor’ but all citizens will be a satisfied
lot. The bad dream of Western exploitation will peter out and Lanka
will reign as an Asian economic tiger, with the assistance of its
friendly countries. The West is welcome to trade with Sri Lanka with
no strings attached. Press Freedom which is a quandary to the West
was freely permitted and still is but its journalists cashing in by
furthering the terrorist cause, the State, conscious of the
worldwide harm that being done to Lanka keeps fair surveillance, and
that is being interpreted by its enemies as suppression of the
|Negligence of the Healthcare Authorities
|Ashathi Wasana Prematilake, an eighth grade student of
Minuwangatte M.V. in Wariyapola is reported to have died following
her being administered with the rubella vaccine. In March, this year
Peshala Hansanee, a student from S. Thomas’ Balika Vidyalaya in
Matara also died under similar circumstances. The disciplinary
action against the medical officer whose negligence had led to
Peshala`s death was initiated only after Ashathi Wasana`s death,
that`s seven months after that tragic event. It seems to us that the
infamous Ministry of Healthcare has conducted such a thorough
investigation into her death that it has taken seven months for them
to bring the culprit to the book. While we sincerely congratulate
the Ministry of Healthcare on its latest success (assuming that the
doctor in question is not a scapegoat) we are simply curious whether
there is a relationship between the start of disciplinary action and
Ashathi Wasana`s death. We learn that Minister of Health Nimal
Siripala de Silva has ordered a comprehensive, impartial
investigation into her death but we also remember he did quite the
same thing upon Peshala`s death.
Now it has transpired that Peshala had died of ‘anaphylaxis’, a
severe allergic manifestation, happening only in cases of one in ten
million. The healthcare officials, we know, have long been given to
quoting statistics, particularly when they want to show it to the
public that they are not to blame. Perhaps, they do not know that
statistical parameters are merely estimations arrived at subject to
various limitations and can rarely present the true picture. I
grant, however, that there is no alternative to it. But, it is not
very ethical for them to cloak up their negligence in statistics
which may console the unsuspecting public.
I say so because it has been established that the vaccine had
been administered to Peshala despite her mother`s letter that the
child was allergic to milk products. Because the medical officer had
ignored this information, Peshala had to pay with her life. The
cause of Ashathi Wasana`s death is yet to be established. However,
it is obvious that, as in the first case, the vaccine had been
administered to her despite her mother`s letter stating that she
(Ashathi Wasana) was allergic to pineapple, beef and pork. Again, we
suspect it was negligence on the part of the MOH that caused her
untimely death. While it is necessary that a comprehensive
investigation be conducted and the culprits be punished, the
healthcare authorities must realise that it cannot restore the dead
to life. Therefore, we call for the healthcare authorities to act
with caution, care and responsibility.
Also, because of this second death, the parents will be more
apprehensive about having their children vaccinated against rubella
and the like, which may possibly hamper the progress of the national
immunisation programme; should it happen, it could lead to the
outbreak of many epidemics that would involve dire consequences. So,
steps should be taken to allay the parental apprehensions and
reassure them that the tragic incidents like these will not be
repeated. Also, the medical officers who are found guilty of
criminal negligence should be severely dealt with. Apparently, there
is yet another aspect of this problem: the All Ceylon Government
Medical Officers` Association (ACGMOA) has questioned quality of the
vaccine administered to this child. The vaccine in question is said
to be without a date of manufacture and a thermo seal. We wonder if
it is not mandatory for the manufacturers of these vaccines to
mention the date of manufacture and the date of expiry and seal it
safely. If it is not, we believe, it should be made mandatory. One
death is bad enough. But, things have grown worse with the second
death. The healthcare officials need to ensure that there will not
be a third death due to the same cause.
Faculty of Business Studies and Finance
|Take care of your health
|The top five cancer causing foods are:
1. Hot dogs - Because they are high in nitrates. The Cancer
Prevention Coalition advises that children eat no more than 12 hot
dogs a month if you cannot live without sodium nitrate.
2. Processed meats and bacon - Also high in the same sodium nitrates
that are found in hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats which
raise the risk of heart disease. The saturated fat in bacon also
contributed to cancer.
3. Doughnuts - They are cancer causing double trouble. First they
are made with white flour, sugar, and hydrogenated oils, then fried
at high temperatures. Doughnuts may be the worst food you can
possibly eat to raise your risk of cancer.
4. French fries - Like doughnuts, French fries are made with
hydrogenated oils and then fried at high temperatures. They also
contain cancer causing acryl amides which occur during the frying
process. They should be called cancer fries, not French fries.
Chips, crackers, and cookies - all are usually made with white flour
and sugar. Even the ones whose labels claim to be free of trans-fats
generally contain small amounts of trans-fats.
Brain damaging habits
1. No breakfast - People who do not take breakfast are going to have
a lower blood sugar level.
2. Overeating - It causes the hardening of the brain arteries
leading to a decrease in mental power.
3. Smoking - It causes multiple brain shrinkage and may lead to
4. High sugar consumption - Too much sugar will interrupt the
absorption of proteins and nutrients, causing malnutrition and may
interfere with brain development.
5. Air pollution - The brain is the largest oxygen consumer in our
body. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the
brain, bringing about a decrease in brain efficiency.
6. Sleep deprivation - Sleep allows our brain to rest. Long-term
deprivation from sleep will accelerate the death of brain cells.
7. Covering the head while sleeping - Sleeping with the head covered
increases the concentration of carbon dioxide, and decrease
concentration of oxygen that may lead to brain damaging effects.
8. Working your brain during illness - Working hard or studying
while sick will lead to decreases in effectiveness of the brain as
well as damage the brain.
9. Lacking in stimulating thoughts - Thoughts are the best way to
train our brain, lacking in brain stimulation may cause brain
10. Talking rarely - Intellectual conversation will promote the
efficiency of the brain.
The main causes of liver damage are:
1. Sleeping too late and waking up too early are the main cause.
2. Not urinating in the morning.
3. Too much eating.
4. Skipping breakfast.
5. Consuming too much medication.
6.Consuming too much food containing preservatives additives, and
7. Consuming unhealthy cooking oils. As much as possible reduce
cooking oil when frying, which includes even the best cooking oils
like olive oil. Do not consume fried foods when you are tired,
except if the body is very fit.
8. Consuming overly done foods also adds to the burden of the liver.
Veggies should be eaten raw or half cooked. Fried veggies are to be
finished in one sitting. Do not store.
We should avoid these bad health habits in order to be healthy.
V. K. B. Ramanayake
|TAX IMPOSITION ON ELDERLY PERSONS
|A letter captioned ‘Pensioner Senior Citizen’ appeared in three
newspapers, Island, Sunday Nation and Daily Mirror requesting the
Finance Ministry and the Tax Department to allow the concession
granted to exempt from income tax payment on interest earnings up to
Rs.200,000 from any type of deposit account maintained in any bank
approved by the Central Bank. The exemption is currently enforced on
interest earnings up to Rs.200, 000 from special deposit accounts
maintained only in state owned banks.
For reasons of personal convenience many retired persons over 70
years of age maintain accounts in private banks and that mainly
because the state bank branches are overcrowded for no fault of the
banks, but that some persons place a higher degree of confidence in
state banks because of the direct involvement of the government. The
concession is a windfall to pensioners drawing a pension below forty
thousand and where the only other income is from the interest earned
from deposit accounts. For pensioners not dependent on their
children or receiving an income from business investments, the cost
of living, cost on private medical consultation and charges on
reports and drugs, and three-wheeler travelling charges for medical
consultation being on the high side, for senior citizens over 59
years as defined by the Tax Authorities all possible concessions
should be granted to relieve them from financial constrains.
The Secretary to the Finance Ministry could allow the concession
for the period 2008 to 2009 with a Gazette notification and a
publication in all newspapers in all three languages. Senior
citizens are paid 1% more on the published rates for deposit
accounts but some banks the additional 1% is not paid for those who
request for monthly interest payment and for low deposit accounts.
But pensioners desire monthly payment of interest with the
additional 1% irrespective of the amount of the deposit. The 1% of
interest over the prevailing rates should be increased to 3% for the
2009 to 20 10 tax period for senior citizens.
And for the period 2009 to 2010, the government should consider
to increase the tax free allowance to Rs.450,000 from the present
Rs.300,000 considering the costs and expenses to an average family.
And for pensioners over 70 years of age with only the pension income
below Rs.45,000 and the interest income from deposit accounts or
without a pension lives only on the interest income, payment of
income tax and withholding tax from deposit accounts maintained in
any bank could be exempted and the revenue loss is marginal.
If a pensioner or a mercantile employee drawing a monthly income
of about Rs.25,000 to Rs.300,000, has to pay income tax and those
who drawing a monthly income from the government over Rs.25000 need
not be exempted which deprives an income to the government.
|DILAPIDATED OVERHEAD BRIDGE
|The overhead bridge across the railway line proximity to the
Maggona railway station, which is almost 100-years-old, is now in a
dilapidated condition and on the brink of collapse.
This bridge situated on the main way, leads from the Galle road to
the most ancient St Mary’s Catholic Church and its parish villages
at Maggona. Thousands of devotees, school children and commuters use
this road daily.
The residents of this area made appeals to the relevant authorities
to renovate this bridge as soon as possible but to no avail.
|Viji Weerasinghe of Royal College
|A gentle man and gentleman
is two years since Vijitha Weerasinghe, the esteemed and respected
“elder statesman” of Royal College left us. Tempus fugit – as he
would have said. He was fond of saying that. He was associated with
Royal for over 70 years, first as a pupil, then as a teacher and a
Deputy Principal and finally as the Vice President and Advisor of
the Royal College Union – the old-boys’ arm of the Royal College. We
who were taught and guided by him disagree – he will be associated
with Royal until the last breath of the last Royalist taught and
guided by him leaves the face of this earth.
He was a unique man –
lean and hungry looking, when we came to know him – but no
conspirator like the other well known character described thus. On
the contrary, he was a gentle-man and a gentleman with a kindly
disposition who liked classical western music, good quality tobacco
and a quiet small drink on his own in the evenings, listening to his
beloved western classical music. He had that rare ability to walk
with kings and keep the common touch. He was a vast storehouse of
knowledge regarding English language and Literature, Latin and the
History and the lore of Royal College. In his younger days, he had
been an orchid enthusiast with a reputation for scientific growing
of orchids – sought for advice by many others in the field. Despite
the slings and arrows of life he exuded joie de vivre!
Vishunusharman, the ancient pundit from King Sudharshana’s court
would have had a man like him in mind when he said
Kavyashastravinodena kalo gachchathi dheematham
Vyasenena cha moorkhanan nidraya kalahena va
(Wise men spend their time in the study of enjoyment, of sciences,
literature and poetry: fools in vice, sleep and quarrels)
After his retirement from College in 1997 at the age of 70, he
immediately took up duties at the Royal College Union as its
Advisor, while being a Vice President of the Union. Series of my
predecessors had the good fortune of having him as the resident
éminence grise; gently guiding them when required, smoothening
ruffled feathers when needed and occasionally belling the cat too!
Many Principals of the College sought his advice and guidance –
including the present gentleman who readily credits Weerasinghe for
the assistance he gave him. I had this advantage only for about
Very soon after my election in July 2007 to the august post that
I hold, he passed away, on October 31, 2007. It was and is an
irreparable personal loss to me. With the 175th anniversary of the
College next year and a series of events planned for the occasion
his advice and guidance would have been a great source of strength
to me. His mere presence would have given me strength as the
presence of a father gives strength and courage to a son. I know
that this is not only true about me – many who bore office at the
Royal College Union unhesitatingly will say so. Even those
non-Royalists who came to work with him have this glowing feeling
May he flourish – wherever he is.
M Rizan Nazeer
Royal College Union