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.
|The General and the
|The General apparently gives instantaneous responses to numerous
issues without much thought and perhaps thinks later of its damage
and makes a bold attempt to rectify the grave injustice created with
rectification attempts. On an earlier occasion he spoke of this
country belonging to the Sinhalese and that the minorities should
live according to the wishes of the majority and antagonised the
minorities. Perhaps he had no intention of engaging in politics and
made such a statement. And now he has dropped a hydrogen bomb by
revealing battlefield secrets causing physical dangers to the two
brothers of the President. The later denial statements have no
effect and the country, even if he wins, [an impossible mission]
will be accused of war crimes by the USA and many other countries.
Newspapers revealed that the Government is consulting the
Attorney General to institute legal action. If such a decision is
made, the Editor of the Leader Publication should be made a party to
the action, as the Editor in the interest of the nation should not
have published the accusation being aware of the damage that will be
caused to the nation and to the Rajapaksas and to another
distinguish Army Major General. The Editor should have known that
the statement was to gain a political advantage and did not mind
sacrificing the Rajapaksas. For numerous reasons the dislike for the
Rajapaksas was growing in effect to his favour, when he made a
thoughtless statement and lost all hopes of a victory.
Voter sans a party
|Advisory to newspapers
years past, national newspapers understood its place in society.
Papers imparted news to the nation, and were receptive to the
opinions of readers, freely airing news and views in their papers,
if requested by the contributor. Papers disseminated knowledgeable
articles, for which readers were grateful. There was an amiable
Now publishers and their editors are displaying aloofness and
waywardness that make them appear politically partisan rags.
‘Letters’ and ‘Opinion’ space has dwindled to almost nothing.
Contributors are requested to give their full names, addresses, NIC
numbers and even telephone contact numbers. Another paper mirrors
the shrinkage of ‘letters’ to trifling tripe by removing or
‘editing’ contributions thereby distorting the message. Papers and
editors talk down to the Nation, discontinuing its two-way role. A
leading newspaper press was set on fire and its editor murdered,
probably for biased one-sway reporting and publishing. The
readership will welcome a change of heart with an emphasis on what
is good and beneficial to the Motherland, taking it forward on all
roads, to excellence and distinction, transcending the puny, putrid
bias of politics.
|The Presidential Election - the don’ts
|With the Presidential Election around the corner, I suggest the
following ‘don’ts in the election campaign.
1. Public servants engaging in the election campaign - Public
Service regulations prohibit public servants, especially in the
staff grades, from engaging in political activities. It is salutary
that it should apply to all grades of public servants. I read a
press statement issued by a Ministry Secretary criticising one of
the presidential candidates. By doing so the Ministry Secretary
breached administrative regulations. The President should discipline
the Ministry Secretary and stop the rot.
2. Public property - Vehicles, buildings, public service
machinery and State media being used for party political propaganda
activities. The Government should strictly prohibit public property
being used for political activities. A close watch should be
maintained and documented to take disciplinary and legal action
against the culprits.
3. The State media should not be partisan and should give equal
coverage and publicity to all candidates alike. The Elections
Commissioner should stand firm on that and act on complaints without
fear and favour and that should be prompt.
4. Use of false propaganda and mud slinging as election strategy
should not be resorted to. In fact, the President has urged not to
engage in mud slinging. Those words should be put into action. But
mud slinging continues unabated.
5. Banners, hoardings, cut-outs and posters and plastering of
walls of public and private buildings should be prevented. It has
already been started.
Posters are being pasted to cover the rival candidates’ posters,
what indecency, what uncultured approach? The Police should take
prompt action to stop that. The Elections Commissioner should apply
the law to the very letter of it.
6. Politicians in power acquire ‘bravery’ through such political
power and use such ‘bravery’ against political opponents. It is no
doubt cowardice and thuggery. That needs to be negated. The Police
should be alert and act against those who break the law without fear
or favour. Discrimination and favouritism should be avoided in
enforcing the law. The political leaders and the political party
hierarchy should take the blame for such thuggery.
7. Race, religion and caste are the last resorts of the
scoundrel. Stooping to such low levels at the hustings should be
8. The Sangha should not be brought into the fray. Bhikkhu
Parliamentarians and other such political Bhikkhus, whoever they may
be, should not be accommodated on political platforms and they
should not be listed for political discussions in the electronic
media. Their ‘Vedi Bana’ should not be aired.
9. Newspapers should not publish political speeches and articles
that are inimical to the interests of national unity, peace and
10. Damaging political party offices, assault on political party
supporters by rivals should be stopped. It is the responsibility of
the law enforcement officers to stop it and bring the culprits
before the law. Police inaction should not exist.
11. Threats and violence should not surface in the election
campaign. Such unruly behaviour is a shame on our culture and
Will these requirements be ensured to make the Presidential Election
democratic and free?
Upali S. Jayasekera
|Powers of the presidency - ‘off or on’
|One of the debates on is whether the powers of the presidency
should be clipped or not. I am an ignoramus on many political
I would only wish to know was there or was there not a case, where a
minister’s wife, charged with committing the murder of her
ministerial husband’s paramour, given a full and fair trial by the
Supreme Court was adjudged ‘guilty’ and sentenced to the supreme
penalty, in the absence of hanging, sentenced to life imprisonment,
was later freed and let loose with a complete, pardon by his
Excellency using his presidential powers. If such things can happen,
sentence to the guillotine the utter injustice and dangers such
powers of the presidency!
At the earliest!
M. M. Lafeer
|Bhikkus’ threat against General Fonseka
|I heartily endorse what Upali S. Jayasekera had said in his
letter where he says it is a matter for the General Fonseka to
decide and the voter to decide to whom to vote. What are the grounds
on which the Buddhist monks say that Gen. Fonseka should not
contest? Is it that they want corruption, thuggary, waste to rule
which has become the tool of politicians, as repeatedly reported in
the newspapers. Is the Buddhist clergy condoning the hoots and
misbehaviour at Kelaniya Holy Temple, engineered by a notorious
politician, who has been accused of several such incidents, No Rev.
Sirs, there is more to it. Have we not read in the newspapers where
plane loads of Buddhist priests taken to Singapore, Malasiya, China,
Thailand for reasons better known to those sponsors of the
government, with funds of the people.
We expect the Buddhist clergy and also the clergy of other
religions to guide us, keeping away their personal feelings and
favours they get. Else the Buddhists will split and so will the
Buddhist monks taking political sides.
It is very disheartening that a well respected, learned Buddhist
prelate of a Rajamahaviharaya in Bellanwila too has voiced this
sentiment, thus bringing down his exalted position.
|Champika’s double standards
|Our Minister of Environment Champika Ranawaka, known to shoot
his mouth off regularly, has once again done so - this time on the
climate change confab in Copenhagen.
The Minister is disappointed that nothing will come out of it. I
like to ask the Minister what has come out of his own environmental
projects such as Vehicle Pollution, Garbage Disposal, Illegal Mining
and Logging among many other problems here at home! Zilch! All we
see and hear are verbal diarrhoea.
There was a time recently that the Minister went underground when
confronted with an embarrassing issue involving the Government
including the kidnapping of baby elephants. His silence was
deafening. Now after a lapse, he has emerged again this time to take
on the rest of the world. I would suggest that the Minster talk less
and do more at home before pointing the finger at others outside the
|Danger of consuming alcohol
|Under Bacchanalian influence, one can not only make Dr Jekyll a
Mr. Hyde as mentioned in the letters to the editor by Dr Mareena
Reffai, but also indulge in major sins and that’s why Prophet (Sal)
referred to alcohol as the mother of all sins.
reminds me of an incident that late Mashood Aalim (May Allah grant
him Jannathul Firdous), an Islamic scholar of repute, use to
narrate, wherein consumption of alcohol leads a person to commit all
the sins. The narration goes something like this.
Once a woman invited a pious man to commit adultery and this man
refused. Therefore, he was given three options – either to commit
adultery with her or to murder her offspring which she got from her
previous husband or to consume alcohol which she had in her
possession. If he didn’t comply with any of the above requests, she
was to accuse of him of rape. This pious man thought that consuming
alcohol was the least harmful of the above sins and got intoxicated
after consuming it. Consequently, he not only committed adultery but
also killed the child. Over to the devotees of Dionysius to ponder
before they go for the next booze!!!
|His good deeds linger in our
|God gave us a precious gift on August 10, 1974 and decided to
take it back into his fold on October 19, 2009. This is the story of
the beginning and end of our darling Shehan.
Born to Shamala and James Louis, being the first boy in the
Rajakariar family, Shehan was the apple of the eye. He was tenderly
cared by his parents and grandparents and grew up to be a handsome
young man. Having had his preliminary education at D. S. Senanayake,
he joined HNB Bambalapitiya and later served at NTB Kotahena. When
he joined NTB he least expected that he would end his life journey
too there. He was a very kind-hearted concerned boy loved by all.
Simplicity was his forte. This was confirmed by one of his
colleagues who said, ‘Shehan was a very popular guy in office. He
was kept in high esteem from the janitorial staff to the top
management. It was his simplicity which attracted all’. This was
evident from the crowds which came in large numbers to pay their
last respect to him. His death is a great loss not only to his dear
mother Shamala, his young wife Rajika and baby son Shevan, but to
all who were near and dear to him.
Until he got married, his life
was the office in the morning and St Lawrence Church in the evening.
The words spoken by St Lawrence church parish priest at his funeral
service as a testimony to his life. He loved pets and a maestro in
breeding fish, birds and dogs. His Boxer, a many times prize winner
was his pride. He was a non-smoker and a non-drinker and being so
careful lost his life early. I used to wonder, at least, if he drank
a little he could have prolonged his life.
Shehan, a patriotic Sri Lankan never liked the idea of leaving
the shores of his motherland. He used to tell me and my sister who
are his aunts, ‘do not worry about your future I will be there to
look after you both’. These words were a great strength to both of
us since we do not have children and looked upon him as our son. He
gave us this assurance and now he is no more. He looked after his
mother, wife and child with a sense of responsibility, love and care
and was an adorable son, husband and father. He was a very
intelligent boy with an analytical mind and though he was 35 years
younger to us, we always sought his advice. His specialty was
financing. Where managing the finances was concerned he was a
wizard. He was a very methodical person with a very bright future.
He was looking forward to moving into his new apartment. Every week
he visited his apartment with his wife and baby and since the
elevators were not installed he used to climb six stories carrying
his baby and he never complained of any discomfort or pain. You
wonder why God decided to take such an adorable young life without
any warning. Never gave a chance for anyone to give proper
treatment. Like a clock stop working he just ended his life. A nun
who attended the funeral wrote in the condolence book, ‘God found
the fruit is ripe and decided to pluck it’.
Did Rajika and little Shevan ever dream that Shehan who dropped
them in the morning and went to work will never return home? No
words were spoken, he suddenly decided to bid farewell to all. When
her little son ask the mother, ‘Where is dada’ she pacifies him ‘He
has gone to heaven’ and the next question posed by the baby is, ‘He
will come tomorrow?’ For how long are we going to give this answer,
God has to decide. He blessed Shehan with a loving wife and child
but spared him only six years to enjoy his married life.
In life he excelled as a loving, tender and dedicated son, husband
and father to Shamala, Rajika and little Shevan and a great
companion to his relatives, friends and colleagues.
God had called him away from this world and offered him a safe
place in his kingdom. We know the Good Lord will protect and keep
him in his loving and tender care. A blooming flower has been nipped
in the bud and we know God has a reason for it, which we cannot
understand. For all the good deeds Shehan has done, he will save a
place for him in his paradise, where there shall be neither pain nor
Let the Heavenly Father give courage and guidance for his grieving
mother and young wife to continue with their life and extend his
loving arms to Rajika and give her strength to raise their baby son
as a loving, caring and tender mother.
Though dear Shehan has left us, the good deeds he had done will
linger in our hearts.
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine
upon him and may his soul rest in peace!
Goodbye and farewell darling Shehan, until we meet again in
Aunty Puvi Domingopillai
|Centenary birth anniversary of
late M.A. LATIFF
|Donated his wealth for
well-being of the poor
weeks back was the centenary birth anniversary of late eminent and
popular lawyer of the Supreme Court, Notary Public lawyer M.A.
Latiff. He was a Quazi of Kandy and the Justice of the Peace for the
whole island; he is one person who discharged his duties to the
entire satisfaction of all communities until his demise in 1966.
The first Prime Minister of our country late D.S. Senanayake
appointed late Latiff as the arbitrator of the Co-operative Society,
and Chairman of the Rent Control Board. He was also one of the
members of the Kandyan League along with late ministers Hector
Kobbekkaduwa and T.B.Tennakoon.
Late Latiff functioned as the life
President of the Katukelle Jumma Moosque, where he initiated
numerous projects for the uplifting the Mosque and its environment.
He was also President of the Central Province Moors’ Association and
the Muslim League. He was a live wire and life President of the
Thareeqathun Naqshabandiya. After the demise of his beloved father
Mohamood Alim Sahib whom was ordained as the first Khaleefa of the
Thareeqa in Sri Lanka by his Holiness Qurasahni Moulana (Rally)
during his visit to Sri Lanka
Late Latiff was one of the founder members of the Kandy Thableek
Ja’math of Central Province and one of the two pioneers of the Kandy
Ahadiyah Movement and was instrumental to issue handouts about Islam
to be understood easily in question and answer form in overall parts
to each and every student who attended classes on Sundays.
During his time he was a well known philanthropist who was
selfless in his generosity and gave major part of his wealth and
earnings for charity and well-being of the poor. He was a devout God
fearing Muslim, believing and acting more in the true spirit of
Islam. He followed the injunction “Trust on God but tie the camel
Late Latiff was married to Kadija Hanim of Kalutara South with a
strict Islamic back ground and the lady always a source of
encouragement in his endeavours. His beloved parents were Mahmood
Alim Sahib (Khaleedathun Naqshabandiya) and Ummu Habeeba. His
younger brother who predeceased him late M.A.M. Muhsin was also an
eminent lawyer of the Kandy Bar.
He hailed from a lawyer family and most of them were top lawyers
and old boys of Zahira College, Maradana and Sri Lanka Law College.
During late Latff’s school days he was adjudged as Mr Zahira.
Still people in Kandy who knew his good qualities talk about him.
May the Almighty Allah grant him Jennathul Fridhouse!
Hafiz Marikar (MMC)
|Rendered a yeoman service
|The commemoration of 12th death anniversary of the Most
Venerable Rajakeeya Panditha Poththewela Pannasara Maha Nayake Thero
of Sri Lanka Ramangnya Chapter falls on December 29, 2009.
This venerable monk was the eleventh Maha Nayake Thero of the
Ramangnya Chapter and had been in this high post nearly eleven
He was born on October 23, in a rural village by the name
Poththwela in the Hambanthota District and on June 22, 1928, he
entered the novitiate of a Buddhist monk in his village temple. He
completed his education at Balagalla Saraswathie Pirivena and
ordained as a Bikkhu in the year 1935. Subsequently he returned to
his own village at Poththewela and inaugurated Jinaraja Maha
Pirivena in the year 1945. Later in 1964, it was affiliated to the
Vidyalankara University. Being the principal monk of this Pirivena
he did a distinguished service to the advancement of Pirivena
Besides, this erudite monk devoted much of his precious time to
start a few schools to uplift the education of poor children of
remote areas in the Hambantota District. At present these schools
are taken care of by the government and have been developed.
Poththwela Priest, before coming to the Maha Nayake rank in the
Ramangna Chapter, he held high posts on many occasions.
On March 26, 1986 he was elected the Chief Maha Nayake and
affirmed in it unanimously by the Executive Committee of the Sanga
Sabha which was assembled at Payagala Dharmagupta Stula Maha
Viharaya of Ramangnga Chapter.
Since then, this prelate rendered a yeoman service to the poor of
this country irrespective caste and creed.
In fact, his excellent service will never fade away in our minds.
May he attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana!
C. M. Kamburuwala