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.
|Awake! Awake, Mother Lanka,
|Mother! Oh, Mother! Your infants, your flesh and
blood, our Nation’s flesh and blood are being
salvaged from sewers, stray dogs feed on their
flesh. The sea engulfs their innocent bodies to be
fed on by the fish of the ocean. That is what
newspapers reveal to the Nation, daily. Many more go
unreported, but Mother Lanka sleeps, badgered and
assailed by prudes, both weak-kneed leaders and
those of the religious fraternity.
This is a letter to Sri Lankan leaders and the
priesthood of all religions. All have a sacred duty
to protect our mothers. Their blood is also the
blood of our Nation that it shed to regain the
independence from the western blood suckers. Show
our mothers that their flesh is a valued possession
of our Nation. Our Nation fed on the breast-milk of
its mothers. Sri Lanka, since ages past is a Great
Nation. Let us honour our women, our mothers. Permit
and legalise abortion, or see our infants, Sri
Lanka’s flesh and blood desecrated. Do not
criminalise our sisters and mothers. They are the
mothers of our Great Nation! Legalise Abortion!
I. L. P. Samarasinghe
|Could the President have done better?
|My answer is yes. Immediately following the end of the war, the
President made a stirring speech, most welcome, where he said inter
alia, there are no minorities, we are all one. He should have
followed it up immediately thereafter by removing the Emergency laws
and allowing the freedoms as envisaged in Chap VI of the
Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
The prolonged war caused untold misery and irreparable damage. It
commenced because of the folly of the narrow language policy brought
to win an election. 32 years later wisdom dawned. The 16th Amendment
passed on 17.12.1988 gave pride of place to Tamil as one of the
National and Official Languages. But implementation of same has gone
by serious default. Tamils/Muslims qualified in the Tamil Language
should have been appointed to Government Offices, Courts, Police
stations, Post offices, Gramaniladhari services etc. This has not
been sincerely and seriously dealt with. Take for example the
Tamils/Muslims appointed in August 2001 as Tamil typists and
translators by the then Minister of National Integration and
Manpower Athauda Seneviratne with much fanfare and wide publicity in
the media including the electronic media. They still remain casual
employees for the past eight years and their services are ‘not to be
extended beyond 23.12.2009’, a decision of the Cabinet of Ministers
according to letters issued by the Ministry of Constitutional
Affairs and National Integration headed by DEW Gunasekera, under
reference CAN/NI/0l/03/2007 dated 23.12.2008. The Public Petitions
Committee, Parliament of Sri Lanka appears to think otherwise,
according to letter dated November 8, 2009 (ref COM 2006/9555)
conveyed to the Min CA & NI.
There is too much haggling over the issue of the National
Identity Card to the detriment especially of the estate sector
upcountry Tamil community. The ignorant Gramaniladharis still insist
on the Birth Certificate in every case. The provisions in the Grant
of Stateless Persons Act No.39 of 1988, clearly specifies in section
4(1) that an affidavit will suffice. It is time the Registrar of
Persons studies this law and issues written instructions. If
necessary he can seek advice from the Attorney General.
No doubt, certain meaningful steps have been taken. But that is
not enough. The all important matter is for the President to prove
to the minorities that they have equal rights in all matters as
enjoyed by the majority and remove the genuine fears that still
justifiably exist. There is time between now and January 26, 2010 to
do so. Then the President can romp home.
|Stop election violence
|Even before the common opposition candidate and the present
President had handed over the respective nomination papers to the
Elections Commissioner, there had been a spate of pre-election
violence taken place. These have been reported in the print and
electronic media. The worst incident reported so far is the brutal
attack on the state television crew of the Independent Television
Network while covering the UNP convention at Welisara. The spokesman
for the UNP totally denies their involvements in this incident. In
addition, reports have revealed that several party offices have been
burnt during the past few days. Fortunately no lives were lost
during these sporadic attacks.
In the above context, it is
inevitable that these incidents are conclusive evident to a terrific
forerunner for things to come. The present Commissioner of
Elections, Dayananda Dissanayake was the most ideal successor to his
predecessor Chandranada de Silva. The latter was not relieved of his
duties until a suitable person was found. The present Elections
Commissioner has been an impartial and a very strict disciplinarian
who performed his duties to precision without any bias. He has
conducted several past elections successfully without fear or favour.
He may have received accolades, reverence and bouquets in abundance
for conducting these elections in fair and impartial manner. It is
he who could suggest to our Police and the Forces to implement
stringent laws to curb violence initiated by unscrupulous elements
during the crucial days ahead. The layman would like to see an end
to these ugly incidents before it goes out of hand. The culprits
should be brought to book and punished severely. The intensity of
the election and the momentum is increasing day by day and it is my
fervent hope that the main candidates too advise their supporters
not to resort to violence but to canvass for the candidate of their
choice in a gentlemanly and appropriate manner.
|Savage attack on an unarmed boy
|I still have not got over the shock, shame and pity I got on
seeing in the media the brutal attack on the unarmed boy,
Sivakumaran, by two men identified as policemen while the boy was in
the waters in the sea and begging the policemen not to attack him
and his body drowning in the waters. The two trained policemen
unable to apprehend an unarmed young man with their physical prowess
but had to assault him with clubs so as to cause him to die is a
shame on the police force.
Let us face the facts. Had a Police
Commission been there, those two policemen would have thought twice
and more before they did what they had done and probably wouldn’t
have done it. It is not only those two policemen but almost all the
police personnel feel that they can do any wrong and get away with
it. There are many instances where the policemen have gone beyond
their limits and had done unlawful and cruel acts with impunity.
So, don’t blame those two policemen alone. Blame also those who
are responsible for this situation.
In the meantime, I would suggest that large posters with the
photographs of the two policemen attacking the unarmed boy who was
begging of them for mercy and his body going under water be
exhibited at every police station as a reminder of one of the heroic
deeds of the police force!
|‘Ceylon Police’ still exist
|You believe it or not, the “Ceylon Police” still exists in the
Galle harbour precincts.
The police station building near the main entrance gate at the Galle
harbour has the police emblem with the above wordings very legibly
Even foreign visitors disembark at the Galle harbour quizzically
look at this old building.
High ranking police officials and politicians in the Southern
Province might have visited this place so many times for official
purposes but would not have paid any attention to this out dated
wordings which have been in use since the British era.
whether someone wants to preserve this colonial building as a
historical one for posterity.
C. M. Kamburawala
|Pope on exorcism, miracles and bogus heavenly
had been news reports and letters from readers, of the alarming
occurrences of two innocent, ignorant women who attended a ‘Heeling
Prayer Meeting’ conducted at Viharamahadevi Park, whose lives could
have been saved if only the organisers allowed them to be taken to a
hospital for treatment, when they developed symptoms of freak
nature. This has roused Buddhists who felt that these ‘Healing
Prayer Meetings’ are a ruse to convert Buddhists to Christianity.
This fear has the concern of Pope Benedict XVI as well who also
claims “that Catholic faithfuls are lured out of Church and into a
disobedient “cult” because instances of private revelations continue
to multiply with new cases reported around the world every year.
Therefore, it is considered opportune and necessary to bring to the
notice of all concerned the action taken by Pope Benedict XVI to
issue guidelines in a book titled ‘Vademecum’ to ascertain the
claims of such organisations or persons. His guidelines as reported
in ‘World Review’ copied from the Telegraph Group London 2009 by
Simon Caldwell of 14.01.09 says:
“When a claim of heavenly apparitions occurs, the local Bishop
will need to set up a commission of psychiatrists, psychologists,
theologians and priests who will investigate the claims
The first step will be to impose silence on the alleged visionaries
and if they refuse to obey then this will be taken as a sign that
their claims are false.
The visionaries will next be visited by psychiatrists, either
atheists or Catholics, to certify their mental health and verify
whether they are suffering from conditions of hysterical or
hallucinatory character or from delusions of leadership.
The third step will be to investigate the person’s level of
education and to determine if they have had access to material that
could be used falsely to support their claims.
The fourth is to see if the visionaries and their associates stand
to gain financially from making their claims.”
It is hoped that all other orthodox religions will follow Pope
Benedict XV1 approach and set up a commission including atheists as
The visionaries who refuse to face these tests should be considered
deceivers, fraudsters and brought before the law for punishment.
Please save the innocent, ignorant from these quacks - Fanatics,
Katadiyas and Thovil Karayas.
G. A. D. Sirimal
|The President recently laid the foundation for the Southern
Airport at Mattala in Hambantota, a district that needs priority in
development and he immediately after becoming the President as
priority development projects announcement were made for the opening
of the Southern Airport at Weerawila, development of the Hambantota
Harbour and the commencement of a new airline Mihin Air reflecting
After the foundation was laid for the Weerawila Airport the people
of the area, the farmers in particular, raised objections but the
preliminary work was carried out incurring an expense over Rs. 50
million according to newspaper reports before abandoning the
But at the recent foundation laying ceremony at Mattala, the
President stated that the venue was changed considering the
objections of the farmers and that he and the government was guided
by the principle to change a decision without cling on to an
original decision in the public interest. A political statement to
appease the crowds and critics that had gathered and win their
sympathy but reflected that the Weerawila site close to Yala
sanctuary had been originally decided without a proper and adequate
study of the suitability affecting the environment and the loss of
cultivable land of farmers resulting in the people or tax payers
having to incur Rs. 50 million.
But in these areas people need land for cultivation and they
desire ownership, thus if the government had initiated work on the
airport that was commenced at Wellawaya by a previous government the
people of Mattala or Hambantota could have had the privilege of
owning land for cultivation or for housing. The demand for land is
greater with the increasing population of the district. Even at
Mattala only a few persons of the Hambantota District will have
employment opportunities, most of the technical persons will be from
Colombo and a few other areas and mostly persons who could work and
communicate in English. Even the government of the former Lady
President did not commence work at Wellawaya as the foundation had
been laid by the UNP Government, it is such policies of all
governing parties that the development and the progress has been
affected. If the President after abandoning Weerawila had shifted to
Wellawaya instead of Mattala, he could have claimed, though it was
an UNP project, in the general interest he had the courage and the
vision to re-commence the abandoned project.
From about 1960 to 1975 the development of the district was
hampered because of the economic policies observed by the then
governments and during this period to telephone Colombo or any other
place in the morning from Hambantota District a prior booking had to
be made with the local telephone exchange and if one was fortunate
the connection would be received in the evening of the same day
otherwise the connection was on the following day. President as a
young first MP was new to politics during that period and the person
who could have contributed to develop the district who had a
thinking mind was minister the late George Rajapaksa, but for his
early death. And now that the present President has the opportunity,
he should promote agricultural projects and small and medium scale
industrial projects creating opportunity to young unemployed persons
in order to improve the low standard of living of the majority
living in remote villages of the district.
Infrastructure development with buildings and road development is
necessary but the people are aware of the reasons that politicians
are more concerned about infrastructure development than promoting
manufacturing or processing industries. Provincial Councillors are a
hindrance and are obstructionists than promoters and supporters of
persons desiring to commence industries. Walter Elkinsans thoughts
reflect the concern, “if the whole of an increase in output is
devoted to building up a country’s military strength or putting up
monumental public buildings with which to impress the population and
foreign visitors, then that is not economic development.” - from the
book ‘An Introduction to Development Economics’. India’s small scale
manufacturing and processing projects during the same period [1960
-1975] provided many employment and income generating opportunities,
and those products are now available in our shops.
The IDB or such other institute should undertake a study of
possible products and initiate the propaganda function as was done
for the first SMI project in 1980 onwards in collaboration with the
NDB. Hambantota is the main voter base of the President and as the
sympathy on war success will not stay in people’s minds too long, so
policy changes are desired.
|Al Haj M.F.Razook Amirdeen
|A well known religious and social worker
|By the sad demise of Al Haj M.F. Razook Amirdeen, the famous
Kandy sportsman, promoter, social and religious worker at the age of
79, the Muslim fraternity has lost a distinguished leader.
The late Al Haj Razook Amirdeen as he was popularly known was the
son of the late M. I. Amirdeen of Kandy who was a famous figure
during his days. They lived at the end of Trincomalee Street, now
known as D.S. Senanayake Veediya.
He received his education at St
Sylvester’s College where he excelled in football, athletics and
boxing along with people like M.E. Marikar (the late Razooks’s
cousin), M.P. Shabdeen, R.P. Wijesiri, C.Thiagarajah, W.M. Jaffer,
and D.Labroy. It is said that he was a fine footballer and played as
After leaving school, he went to Colombo for employment, and later
became a top businessman and was the Chairman of the F.F. Forwarding
In Colombo, he was housed at Pannipitya Road, Battaramulla, where
he was a famous figure and everyone knew him, he was a popular
person, and did a yeoman service to the area.
It was he who along with the area MP, Buddhadhasa, put up a football
ground and also he gave his fullest support to construct a Muslim
mosque and the burial grounds at Battaramulla. He was also involved
with the old Zahirians, that is where his four sons schooled, and
his elder was at St Peter’s and played rugger for his school and his
second was a fine boxer. These two died long ago.
Razook Amirdeen was well known for his social and religious work
and he treated all religions alike.
He was the founder member of several Muslim organisations and had
organised several Thablique Jamthas in Colombo. He was of a very
high Arabic stock and was well known for the exemplary manner in
which he recited the Holy Koran at religious functions.
His Janaza took place at the burial grounds at Battaramulla which
was erected by him. The crowd that attended his funeral was ample
testimony to his popularity.
He leaves behind five children, a daughter and four sons, and
several grandchildren. Two of his sons, the ruggerite and the boxer,
and his wife passed away before him.
“Wa Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Illahi Rajoon.”
|Toiled to help our society
|“He who lives an ideal life on Earth
Would be a man of divine worth.” - Thiruvalluvar
With the unexpected demise of S. Senthilnathan, our community has
lost a rare human whose integrity none doubted. Two thirds of his
lifetime was dedicated to Bank of Ceylon (BoC) where he had served
for four decades with an unblemished record of service. He was on
the verge of retirement when death embraced him on September 20,
It was in the mid-seventies, I worked with him at the Haputale
branch of BoC. All the bank staff as well as the customers loved and
respected him well because of his good character - and his simple
pattern of life and living. His thoughts, words and deeds were good
and he did what he said.
Hailed from a pious and respected Hindu family, he had his
education at Alaveddy Arunodhaya College in the North. BoC welcomed
him no sooner he had completed his college studies, and appointed
him as a junior cashier. Due to hard work and enthusiasm, he had
been promoted from time to time and reached the grade of ‘Manager’
at the time of his death.
At one time, when staff feared to work in Jaffna due to war
situation in the North and fled to safer areas, he did not flee, but
stayed in Jaffna in the midst of numberless grief and torments. He
had helped the customers of BoC and the society at the time of need,
and won the hearts and minds of all.
It is very unfortunate that we have lost a kind-hearted person who
had toiled for BOC and helped our society at the time of need. A
golden heart stopped beating and made the working hands to rest,
which engenders grief to us.
His demise is a great loss not only to his family, but also to his
relatives and friends. He leaves behind his fragrant memories.
May his soul attain Moksha!
K. K. Arumainayagam