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Letters


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.

 

Useful tips about the law

I really don’t think our local cops are aware of these rules. Especially rule (11)

1. A single cop cannot stop you on the road. He must be accompanied by another one.
(It’s prohibited and you are not supposed to stop either.)

2. A single cop cannot seize your driving license.

3. Only a ‘Traffic Control’ cop has the authority to request anything more than your NIC when you are behind wheels.

4. A single traffic cop never can press charges against you.
He must have a witness if he does so.

5. That’s why you always find ‘two’ cops together.

6. Police is a peace controlling force. Not an armed force. They are prohibited by law to carry anything more than a baton. (But due to the prevailing war, they are issued guns by a Supreme Court ruling.)

7. So, if a cop pulls a gun on you, you can sue him.

8. If a cop claims that you are drunk, you have the full right to ask for a ‘balloon test’.
If they do not have it in their possession on the time of your request, you can go.

9. Only traffic cops have the right to stop any moving vehicle. (That’s why you find at least one normal cop in every checkpoint even though they are manned by the army)

10. Cops cannot enter your home or work premises without a court order. You have the fullest right to ask for it, if they try to enter and also deny their entrance if you ‘feel’ like it.

11. A traffic cop cannot seize your driving license until he fully states the crime you have committed and the relating penal code violation. If he is unsuccessful in stating them, you can go free.

12. If a traffic cop seizes your licence by force and ask you to come to the police station to collect it. Do not go! Lodge a complaint directly to the Police Commission or the Provincial IGP.

You can get the cop sacked for his misconduct and unruly behaviour.

13. (For girls), if a cop asks for your identifications and (if you think he’s doing it on purpose to harass you) you can deny his request. He cannot arrest you. You have the right to request for a female Police Officer.

14. (For girls), if you are asked to be body checked it’s your right to get it done by a female cop. If they don’t have one present, deny their action.

Dr Mrs Mareena Thaha Reffai
Dehiwela

 

“Scarecrow technique” to prevent graffiti on walls

Further to my letter on the above subject, I wish to add that when I was passing St Bridget’s Convent, I noticed that the newly painted boundary wall of the school has been defaced. Even the wall of Muslim Ladies’ College, Bambalapitya has not been spared. A leading Colombo boys’ school’s name has been painted in bold, black letters on the wall. One can see down Dickman’s Road, words unprintable in a newspaper have been scrawled on the wall.
To overcome this problem, I saw yesterday that Visakha Girls’ School has come out with an excellent brainwave. I found a couple of mini-boards, hand painted, fixed to the grey painted wall with the drawing of camera and beneath it the following text – ‘Surveillance camera installed’. This “scarecrow” technique, which could have been the idea of the Principal or a teacher or a parent of this particular school, seems to be effective because it has kept the vandals away in the same way the scarecrow keeps the birds and other animals away. Other schools could either adopt the above technique or come out with other alternative methods to keep the walls neat and tidy.

Mohamed Zahran
Colombo 3

 

The national problem

It has been stated - and stated well - that the test of a majority in a community is their capacity to look after the minorities in their midst. Going by that yardstick recently Attorney Gomin Dayasiri and also retired Ambassador K. Godage writing in our papers have openly stated the case in favour of the minorities. This augurs well for national reconciliation.
In this context, it will be good if the Government of Sri Lanka prepares the groundwork to take steps to solve our decades old problems.
To borrow a phrase from South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, we Sri Lankans are “a rainbow people.” Each community in our midst has tremendous potential to develop our country in the right direction.
This was the dream that our first Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake had when he stated the qualities of each community in our land. May today’s leaders appreciate this thinking and work towards National Reconciliation!

Sydney Knight
Colombo 3

 

Unauthorised fish stalls

Unauthorised fish stalls erected by fish mongers in the mid of the Maggona town make a great nuisance to the public.
Most of the vendors sell their fish under unhygienic conditions too.
The public of the area made several complaints to the Beruwala Pradeshiya Sabha regarding this health hazard but it hasn’t taken any step to curb this menace.

C. M. Kamburawala
Payagala

 

Appreciations

Prof. (Dr) Stanley Wijesundara

Vice Chancellor of University of Sri Lanka

It was almost twenty years ago the tragic death took place in the university College library room, Thurstan Road, Colombo 3 of Prof. (Dr) Stanley Wijesundara sending shock waves amongst the university community in entire world due to JVP / DJV insurgency in 1989.
He was the Vice Chancellor of University of Sri Lanka, Colombo. He hailed from a very outstanding Kandyan family in Kandy. He was educated at Dharmaraja College, Kandy subsequently Ananda College, Colombo 10. He excelled in his academic studies, sports and extra-curricular activities and scouting. He entered the University of Ceylon then along with Dr Nath Amarakoon.
Prof. (Dr) Stanley Wijesundara got through his BSc (Cey.) MSc (UK), DSc (UK) and PhD (UK) very sucesfully and worked as Lecturer, Dean of the Faculty of Science and subsequently he functioned as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Lanka, Colombo. His students are found in world over in Science disciplines in their careers.
He was married to the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Wijewardane of Miriswatte Walawwe, Kamburupitiya, Mrs. Anoja Wijewardane Wijesundara, sister of Upali P.Wijewardane - a business tycoon of Asia. He has very well educated two sons and two daughters who are serving the community well particularly by his two sons Dr Roshan Wijesundara MBBS (UK), MD (UK) and specialist, and Shalitha Wijesundara LL.B (UK), LLM (Yale), attorney-at- law.
May he be born among us till he achieves Nibbana in his journey in Sansara!

Capt. L. B. Lanka Wilbawe Jayaratne
Mrs Iranganiedevi Seneviratne Jayaratne
Weligama

 

 G. P. J. SILVA JP

Remembering Seeya on his birth centenary

There are grand-dads, grandpas, grandfathers and Seeyas all over the world; but our dearest Seeya was undoubtedly unique in many ways. Born on March 7, 1910 he would have been 100 years of age today, only if he lived; but he passed away after a brief illness bravely borne – just 40 days short of completing four score years and ten!
Our Seeya was married to Piyaseeli Archchi and they were fortunate to have lived together to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary on November 5, 1998. However, Piyaseeli Archchi who completed 80 years of age predeceased Seeya on May 24, 1999.
We consider ourselves very fortunate to have had Seeya’s influence at least during our early years and we are certain that what he taught us has helped and would in the future too help us to mould our character and mindsets with regard to attitudes and values. Amongst the many lessons Seeya taught us which we cherish very much are getting up early in the morning and going to sleep early, not to waste food, being methodical and organised, good manners, punctuality and time management, respecting elders etc. Special mention should be made on the advice to us “to be thrifty”. He always believed in “saving for a rainy day”. We would never forget what he told the two of us – first cousins - as he got into the car when he left home for the last time to enter Durdans Hospital for a surgery. He said “akka should always look after nangi”; “akka and nangi should behave yourselves well until I come back”; At that moment, whoever thought that he would never again return home alive?
We have heard that Seeya was full of courage, determination and enthusiasm. His motto was “I CAN AND I WILL”. He feared no one and had on many occasions taken the challenge to stand up for “What was right” against all odds and had emerged victorious. The lesson he taught everyone by setting an example was “If you are in the right, fear no one” and his message to everyone was “Always stand up for your rights.”
Seeya was an extremely caring and devoted father to our fathers – the two brothers, Kumar and Ruwan – and has done so much for them. While all three families lived together as an extended family, our Seeya was too much attached to both of us and very much concerned about our safety in our behaviour while growing up, so much so, that he did not want us to have a single fall when we were trying our level best to stand up and walk during our tender years. Even thereafter, when we were attending montessori/nursery he used to drive us together with our mothers to and from these lessons as our fathers were heavily involved with their daily routine at the bank and the hotel.
Known among our relations as Jeeva Seeya, Jeeva Bappa/Mama, Jeeva Aiya etc., and as Jeeva or Jeeves among friends of his age, he was loved by all of them. They all came to him for advice, counselling, guidance and help. He was also welcome at anytime in all their homes to have a chat, talk, enjoy and have fun as he could relate positively with friends and relations of all ages. Seeya had faith in vedic astrology and whenever relations visited him they wanted him to predict their future according to the planetary transits.
We must admire and pay special tribute to Seeya for being a role-model looking after parents and parents-in-law, his mother (Mirisse Archchi) and Piyaseeli Archchi’s mother, both residing at his residence as extended families - giving them the best care and attention. In fact, with regular medication Mirisse Archchi was fortunate to live to celebrate her 100th birthday on November 29, 1989.
Seeya was also very humane and practised loving kindness “Ahimsa” towards all living beings. We have been told that once he was instrumental in curing a sick Buddhist Monk at Sri Dharmakeerthyaramaya (Polwatte Temple). Together with the able assistance of Dr Lakshman Weerasena, this monk who was physically disabled for several years was put on his feet again. His loving kindness “Ahimsa” was extended to animals, birds and insects too. Another rare feat was with the assistance of Dr Chinniah, Veterinary Surgeon, to bring back the eye-sight of a stray kitten which was born blind.
Our Seeya was interested in motor cars and attending to them was one of his pastimes. Seeya had obtained his driving licence in 1939 and was in the driving seat for a record 60 years. In his motoring-life spanning six decades ,he had been the owner of several motor cars of many makes and models. It was surprising that he suddenly gave up driving on the very next day after Piyaseeli Archchi passed away. During the only seven months he lived thereafter, our fathers drove him wherever he wanted to go while he sat on the front seat of the car.

“Two little cousins growing up in your arms
Learnt ABC and Nursery Songs
What you taught with care we value so much
And we shall live up to them no matter what

The life you led was Simply the Best
With courageous thoughts in your chest
If there’s a will there’s always a way
How true these words you used to say

Thinking back we really must say
We miss you a lot on your Birthday today
For in our lives you have played a very special part
And Memories we will treasure and keep deep in our hearts.

Ten Years have passed without you
But the good times we had keep recollecting you
Although you are ‘gone’ we will always be together
As Your Spirit will live on each of us Forever

We wish you contentment in every way
May the Blessings of the Triple Gem be with you we always pray
To reach the ultimate goal of Nirvana Bliss
You are sure to find the way without a miss!

Our beloved dearest Seeya, We sadly miss you very much!

Today, on your 100th birth anniversary, and always we wish you contentment and happiness wherever you are and may you practise Dana, Seela, Bhavana and reach Nirvana!

Gayani and Ruwangi Punchihewa
Loving only grandchildren

 

Tribute

(Mrs) Lucky Mendis

Loving, caring and praying Mom

My mother’s name is Lucky Mendis. She is truly an amazing lady. She is a true friend to many - both young and old, and is always ready to lend a helping hand or an attentive ear to anybody in need. Many marriages too have taken place owing to Ammi’s match-making efforts.
She is a rare housewife among her generation in that she is well-read and conversant with any topic, be it current or historical.
Ammi is extremely fond of all the domestics who work for her. So much so that she is their confidante, custodian and counsellor.

She is also a very compassionate soul, who works tirelessly for people who are in need, some of whom she hardly knows. Her latest project in this regard is a thalassemia patient; a child residing off Kurunegala whom she had acquainted through a janitor she had met at the Sigiriya Museum.
She has been a very supportive wife to my father over the past 41 years, often coming out with words of wisdom. I would like to call this kind of wisdom the sixth sense given by God especially to mothers. Ammi has definitely been behind the success of my father.

She is also an adoring grandmother to my three teenage kids - Vihanga, Vineshka and Lihan and spoils them rotten. Ammi is ever ready to make them chocolate biscuit pudding (which is a frequent demand) among others, at the drop of a hat. She is also their chaperone, companion and watchdog.
Ammi treats my wife Vinu not as an in-law but as her own daughter. At times when minor arguments occur between the two of us; Ammi is always ready to take Vinu’s side irrespective her being right or wrong.
Last but not least, Ammi has been a wonderful mother to me over the past forty years. She has been a loving, caring, self-sacrificing and a praying mom.

I’m a teetotaller, thanks to Ammi’s constant ‘brainwashing’ and her steadfast prayers. She always readily prays for me whenever I request her for prayer, and will pray unceasingly until her prayers are answered.
I was a sickly child until I was 14 year of age, constantly falling ill with wheeze attacks. She has never ever complained about staying up with me for hours on end, once even in hospital; or for having to sacrifice going for parties and functions, to stay at home with me.

Giving me ‘Perera & Sons’ Swiss rolls to eat when I’m ill, is a practice she still continues.
I bring to mind with fond memories Ammi’s self-composed songs which she sang to me when she fed me during my small days, to lure me into eating vegetables. I sometimes wonder whether it was the gallons of ‘liver soup’ I drank during my childhood that has contributed towards me joining the over 100kg club!
Ammi never fails to make her fabulous chocolate cake on all my birthdays.

Although I have hurt her and broken her heart many a time (like most adolescents and young adults), Ammi was always quick to forgive me and give me a second chance to put things right. She is such a Great Lady that she even apologised to me on the day of my wedding for any hurt(s) she had caused me. I have yet to come across a parent apologising to a child in that way. This statement made me burst into tears which was a sorry (and rare!) sight, to see the groom all teary eyed during the ‘going away’.

But this shows and speaks volumes of Ammi’s noble and selfless qualities.
Finally let me conclude by saying that having my mother living next door to my home is one of the greatest blessings I have received, and I hope and pray that God will allow us to enjoy her company for many more years.
I thought it appropriate to share these thoughts on Mother’s Day, when my Ammi is quite hail and hearty, rather than share this with others posthumously.
God Bless you Ammi. I love you loads.
From your ever adoring and loving son, Lasantha

 

 

 

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