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|Debate on abortion
|The article in The Nation Eye page 2 of February 7, 2010 prompts
me to record my observations on how or why the author is promoting
the criminal act of abortion:
1. What is abortion?
It is the illegal termination of a pregnancy or simply said, causing
the death of a pulsating living human entity known as a foetus.
2. Who seeks abortion?
Invariably, the fairer sex whether spinsters or married are the
victims of clandestine involvements resulting in the animal instinct
overriding normal rational behaviour and being coerced or seduced by
glittering promises even of wedded bliss and star spangled castles
in the air.
When usurped, cry “foul” and worry about the social stigma of
bearing an infant out of wedlock. Here then are the materials where
the abortionist reaps a bountiful harvest in catering to these
Why should mankind move to mitigate such actions?
Wrong doers must suffer the consequences of their misdeeds.
Legislature must hand out severe detrimental punishment. The print
media can be instrumental in deterring rapists, if such people are
pictured in print.
The author questions whether “The right of the mother too is
violated, if she is not allowed to take a decision about her own
body. Perhaps she does not see the woods because of the trees.
Illegal abortion has nothing to do with the mother’s body but is
the termination or death of another living being tantamount to
The mother’s body may be termed: “A victim of circumstances” of her
own sensualities and vagaries. If cohabiting was ecstatic then the
mother’s right is to bear the consequences and not jeopardise the
infant in her womb.
However, it certainly is a strategic move to combat unsafe
abortion if the four inter-related activities given as collating,
developing, translating and assisting in the development of
programmes and policies can take root.
I do not agree with the autosuggestion of “many religious
extremists” being brought into the fray. All clergy whether
Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu or Muslim will speak of good and identify
that which is evil so that people may follow the precepts of
I am of opinion that Frances Kisling has been quoted out of
context, qualified by the authors own interpretations.
Gender based violence, intimidation and harassment of women should
be addressed at a different forum to determine means and methods of
intervention and detrimental punishment for rapists; which, if
severe enough, will remove the requirement of illegal abortions.
The print media regularly reports that young school going
children are victims of rape.
Parents of these unfortunates should take the blame for negligence
in having failed to execute their duties in safeguarding their
offspring. Until and unless parents act with responsibility and
protect their children they will end up being victims of rapists.
A. I. de Valliere
|Absurd law kills life
|A guy lies on the highway or pathway victimised by some
unfortunate incident, unconscious or unable to move himself
apparently needing medical attention. A crowd gathers, watch the
victim for themselves in his serious condition and murmur something.
Yet, nobody ventures to save him by dispatching him to the nearest
state hospital. Private hospital will never admit such cases as they
will be forced to involve with the relevant or different departments
Because the person who sympathetically attends to save a precious
life will be interrogated by the law enforcing authorities in such a
way that he would feel that he took a passing snake into his
possession. Sometimes he has to attend the courts too while he is
having his own problems to solve. Employers will show no mercy to
their employees in attending to others’ matters by granting leave
Owing to this pathetical reason such victims have succumbed as
they were not immediately rushed to the hospital.
As the existing law relevant to this sad situation averts a citizen
to help a fellow citizen at the time of the latter’s battle with his
life. It is time that the Ministry of Justice nullifies this
ludicrous law - a law that penalises a person who volunteers to
assist a victim struggling with his life.
I published a letter on this matter requesting the authorities
concerned to focus their attention to this in an English Daily in
the year 1989. But after over 20 years I have to publish this letter
due to the following reason.
Like in Sri Lanka, in India too such laws exist and as such nobody
lends a helping hand to those who are dying on the roadside. This
has been a great concern to the people there. People have died on
public roads without being taken to hospital by anybody for fear of
the law that compels the do-gooder to confront various problems.
While watching Indian news on their TV channel, I learnt about
their Supreme Court annulling such laws thereby letting anyone to
volunteer to take any victim to the nearest hospital and thereafter
relieved of his responsibility and the state authorities to make
their own investigations. Though late, a welcome decision to save
I strongly feel our government will consider what has been stated
here and give the opportunity to the people to save the life of a
human being struggling for his life as in India.
|Scribbles on walls
my son at Zahira College, I was passing T. B. Jayah Mawatha aka
Darley Road where I saw on the parapet wall the following text in
Sinhala viz. “generalwa vahaa nidahas karanu” ( release the General
immediately). And further down the road, I saw posters on the same
wall and most of it were partly torn and disfigured. This letter is
not a request to the government to release the General or otherwise,
but to inform those scribbling on walls, poster-pasting to desist
from doing so, as it is an eyesore. With the General Election
scheduled to be held on the April 8, 2010, one can expect graffiti,
posters and et al appearing on bus halts, walls, overhead bridges
and every nook and corner. Hope the government will bring in
stringent legislation by way of fine or imprisonment or both on the
culprits for spoiling the beauty of the environment.
|Stones in kidney
|S. R. Balachandran [Island 27.01.10] has documented symptoms to
identify the presence of stone formations in the kidney and the key
reasons for stone formations. In the Western medical treatment, the
last option after drug and other applications will be the removal of
the stones by surgery. But the writer is aware of an Ayurveda
Physician in Kalutara South who has cured many patients with the
dropping of the stones with the out flow of urine after the
application of his own home made medicine.
Ayurveda Physician P. B. Samarasena, No. 98/A, Old Road, Kalutara
South has cured Dr Arthur C. Clarke according to the written
testimonial given by him and other letters given by several Western
Medical Practitioners of the treatment and the cure without surgery.
Writer is also aware that he is a pupil of the Ayurveda Physician
late P. A. Odiris Perera who several decades ago cured with the
dropping of the stones of many patients including a foreign Viennese
Medical Specialist who was attached to the local hospital.
Thus, for stones in the kidney and for prostrate problems, those who
are willing to trust the Ayurveda treatment without subjecting to
immediate surgery could consult the Ayurveda Physician
P.B.Samarasena. He could be contacted on Tel. Nos. 034-2224409 or
034-2236782 (residence telephone).
|Give priority to the rural sector
|I whole heartedly agree with Malin Abeyatunga (Nation of January
31, 2010) that the President should be more grateful to the rural
sector and uplifting their living standard should be treated as the
priority number one.
One mistake that the United Front Government. (1970-1977) did was to
give priority to people who voted against them when giving jobs in
banks and corporations. The final result was that the people who
earlier voted for the UF Government and the opposition people who
benefited from the government defeated the UF Government.
The war took 30 years. It is foolish to think of obtaining support
from Tamils and Muslims at least for another 30 months. The Sinhala
saying is “Thiena Hakura Rakagenna”.
|The morning after.....
My body lies over the ocean
My body lies over the sea
Incarnation in creativity
Rich..... in history.
Irene De Silva
85th birthday of Sakuntala
|Most senior SLFP woman member
December 16, was the 85th birthday of Sakuntala Tissainayagam, a
direct descendant of King Sangili Kumaran, the last King of Jaffna.
She was born on December 16, 1924. She is the daughter of the late T
C Rajaratnam C.B.E., O.B.E., lawyer and statesman, founder member of
the United National Party and Chairman of the C.W.E and the Chairman
of the Ceylon Malayan Tobacco Company and the Chairman of the Ceylon
American Mission. Her elder brothers were the late Justice T.Wanam
Rajaratnam, former Judge of the Supreme Court and SLFP National List
Member of Parliament and the late T.J.Rajaratnam, High Court Judge.
She is the widow of C.R.Tissainayagam, a Civil Engineer who was
later the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Highways. Her only
son Mohan Tissainayagam is the Managing Director of International
Distillers (IDL), a classical music enthusiast who has sponsored Art
in Sri Lanka. Her eldest daughter Devika is married to
Dr.Vaithiasegeram who has a medical practice in New Jersey.Her
younger daughter Menaka is married to Dr Mahan Selvaratnam.
Sakuntala had her early education at Uduvil Girls School and
graduated in Arts. Possessed with a pleasing personality and strong
willed, she administered her estates with a firm dominating smile
whilst expressing a soft tone in her speech which is never declined.
For her, the role of lifestyle is her son. Her son, according to
her, could do no wrong. Her son was always right. She would be
furious with anyone who would contradict her son.
Sakuntala has been a social worker, a silent friend who is available
to anyone in distress. She has helped so many from Avissawella where
her father started his practice and the Canal Row in Wellawatte
where her father had a mansion.
Anyone in that area would know her as ‘Engineer Nona’ as her husband
was an engineer. The ‘Engineer Nona’ was a close associate of
Sirimavo Bandaranaike. In fact, Mackie and Barnes Ratwatte
(Mrs.Bandaranaike’s brothers) had often visited the Tissainayagams
at 22, Canal Lane, Colombo 6 during the turbulent times experienced
by the Bandaranaike family. Until the 1983 riots she lived with her
family at No.22, Canal Lane, Colombo 6. When her house was attacked
by the mob, she voluntary opened the doors of the house for the mob
to take everything. The house was later sold and given to charity to
the very mob that attacked her house. When she was queried as to why
she did it she said they need the money more than we do. She now
lives with her son at Queens Road, Colombo 3. She has been blessed
for her charity. She is the most Senior SLFP woman member alive.
Giving is a placid kind of river
In which one bathes to exercise the heart.
Underneath the smile of the giver
Lies deep an unsuspected sunken treasure
In channels far too changeable to chart.
Charity is like an unsung anthem
Harmonising everything we see.
A gift can be a work of silent witness,
Remembrance, reverence, unsought forgiveness,
Intention, labour, time, philanthropy.
The worth is measured only by redemption,
Yielding nothing but the grace to be.
Dr Levins T.C.Rajaratna
|The Dr P. R. Anthonis I knew
An exceptional surgeon with modest ways
|I had the privilege of getting to know the late Deshamanya Dr P.
R. Anthonis personally, when I took my father for medical treatment
in the mid 1990s. Incidentally, my father and Dr P. R. Anthonis were
almost of the same age being in their mid 80s during that period.
Amazingly, Dr Anthonis was looking so much younger for his age. I
wish to relate an incident when my father was in need of urgent
medical treatment, Dr Anthonis advised me to take my father direct
to Ratnam’s Hospital so that he could call over no sooner a special
function which he was to preside, was over. When he rushed to the
hospital and met us thereafter, the first thing he mentioned in an
apologetic manner was, “I am so sorry for being late, I just could
not get out of the function earlier than this” and he rushed towards
my father. It was close to mid-night and to my surprise, he lifted
my father from the bed and asked me to give a helping hand to get
him over to the operating table, to attend to the urgent medical
treatment, without making any attempt to call for an attendant. This
proved not only his confidence as an outstanding doctor both
physically and mentally fit at an age of 85, but also his genuine
desire to attend to a patient in distress, and also his exemplarily
quality of humility and sincerity.
Born on January 21, 1911, his academic achievements were of par
excellence and he still holds the record of obtaining the highest
number of prizes at St Peter’s College as well as at the Medical
College Colombo. In 1945, he proceeded to the United Kingdom where
he was successful in the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons
of England, passing both primary and final examinations in the first
sitting, thereby not only creating a record at the Royal College of
Surgeons but also became the youngest Fellow of the College.
Further, Dr Anthonis’ contributions to the nation as a whole are
most outstanding. He was Chancellor of the University of Colombo
from 1981 to 2003 (longest served Chancellor), conferred the highest
National Honour, Deshamanya in 1986 and then bestowed with the
title, Vishwa Prasadini. The College of General Practitioners of Sri
Lanka presented Dr P.R. Anthonis the ‘Pride of the Medical
Profession of Sri Lanka Award’ in 2005, the highest award one could
achieve in the medical career in Sri Lanka.
Until his demise, the late Deshamanya Dr P.R. Anthonis was a
member of the Board of Governors of the Colombo YMBA. He became a
member of the Board of Trustees of the Bambalapitiya Vajiraramaya
Temple. Being a neighbour to the Vajirarama Temple, he immensely
contributed towards this valuable Buddhist institution well known
for the propagation of Buddhism worldwide. As a matter of
appreciation and gratitude for his outstanding services to the
nation and to the Vajirarama Temple Bambalapitiya, we, the Board of
Trustees, obtained his consent to award scholarships to bright and
deserving GCE AL students of five schools in the neighbourhood of
Vajirarama Temple under ‘Deshamanya Dr P. R. Anthonis Scholarship
Awards’. He most willingly accepted our request. The Board of
Trustees was successful in awarding 150 of scholarships awards in
two years amounting to over Rs 1.00 million. Some of the key
sponsors included Deshamanya H.K. Dharmadasa and Dr Lohitha
Samarawickrama, Deshamanya Emeritus J. B. Dissanayake and Prof T.
Hettiarachchi, two former Vice Chancellors of the University of
His simplicity and modesty in spite of achieving such high
standards in academics, Noble Profession as the best Surgeon in Sri
Lanka and his invaluable services to the University Administration
and other various associations for several decades, did not change
him, and was still the humble person ever willing to help any person
in need of assistance irrespective of his or her social standing.
Even with rapid modernisation of the automobile industry, he still
preferred to use his Morris Minor until his demise, setting an
example how one could be happy and have a crystal clear mind, if one
acts according to his conscience and firmly stand by principles and
ethics in life.
Incidentally, even at the age of 98, he was carrying out
complicated operations very successfully. In his last wish, it is
also understood that he had made a special request to make his
funeral arrangements as simple as possible. This is how he lived his
entire life being humble and simple until his demise at the age of
99 years and 11 months.
The Late Dr P.R. Anthonis in his sansaric journey has no doubt
accumulated much good Karma in previous births which gave him the
opportunity to live such a precious life with outstanding services
to the society. The late Dr P. R. Anthonis did set an exemplarily
example not only to the persons of his noble profession, but also to
all others whom he knew, being a unique citizen of Mother Lanka of
the present era.
May he attain Nibbana!
|The Reverend Fr. Dalston
with great ecumenical vision
Death has taken away from us our ecumenical friend Fr. Dalston.
Before I had the great joy of meeting him I had learnt about his
academic achievements. As students at the University of Peradeniya
we were aware that Fr. Dalston had obtained a First Class Pass in
his BA (Cey.) doing a General Degree. The rest is history about this
wonderful Priest of God.
Although he was at Ampitiya as Rector and I was in the Anglican
Diocese of Kurunegala till 1989, I did not really get to know him.
It was when I had to move to Colombo that I struck a friendship
with Fr. Dalston. His brother Ray who adorned our Foreign Service
was my neighbour at Bauddhaloka Mawatha. So I was introduced to Fr.
Dalston when he was at Mattakkuliya. From then onwards till his
death I kept in touch with him.
I do not consider myself a theologian but Fr. Dalston taught me
to think theologically and invited me to work with him in the Sri
Lanka Association of Theology (SLAT). Thus I got to know him very
Although our two Churches left the Western Catholic Latin Church at
the same time, with the English Reformation and the Counter
Reformation, the two Churches had a number of issues dividing them.
However, Fr. Dalston’s discipleship was such that he was prepared to
break the rules and participate in Anglican and ecumenical acts of
As the Dean of our Cathedral in Colombo I was thus able to invite
him not only to preach the Word of God but also to co-celebrate and
preside at the Eucharist with me. On all those occasions I invited
him to give the formal blessing. Such was Fr. Dalsoton’s ecumenical
He was also a regular participant at the Annual May Day Mass of the
Christian Workers Fellowship, (CWF). In this, he followed the
example set by that great Bishop Leo Nanayakkara.
As I read his obituary in the newspapers I went to Kohuwela to say
my farewell to this great friend. I was sad not only in that I’ve
lost a friend but in a sense he was alone in that Chapel for there
was no one to keep vigil.
However, thank you Fr. Dalston for your ecumenical vision. We shall
miss you in this age of division.
May he rest in peace and rise in glory! Amen!