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|Western hypocrisy on human rights issues
The US and the European Union are on the act of attempting to
convince the world that they are the protectors of human rights and
other countries should grovel at their feet and obey their dictates.
The record of some of the EU countries and America on so-called
human rights is horrible - their past is stinking.
They robbed other countries of their treasures and fattened
themselves with ill-gotten wealth, suppressed the freedom of the
peoples of Asian, African and South American countries, colonised
and exploited those countries, resorted to plunder, violence and
killings - barbarism was the hallmark in the early times and slavery
was their business.
Millions of Jews were murdered; Vietnam and Cambodia were ruined;
the dropping of second atomic bomb on Japan was inhuman.
The invasion of Iraq and the lies spread to justify the invasion and
killing of Iraqis is a crime against humanity.
They think that the monopoly of bombs of mass destruction, arms and
ammunition should remain with them. They talk of democracy in
Myanmar and freedom of Tibet but do not talk about handing over
Falklands Islands and Taiwan to the countries they belong. What
They want others to adhere to UN conventions and principles, but
they go against them as they want as in the case of Kosovo. Who are
the godfathers of terrorism? Who armed and sustained Saddam Hussein,
Osama bin Laden and Prabhakaran?
It will not be long for America and the West to face retribution for
their sins and Bush and Blair have expedited the process.
Upali S. Jayasekera
|It’s just not cricket…
governing body of world cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC),
has laid a lot of emphasis in the recent past on the spirit of the
However, there had been several unsportsmanlike incidents reported
while the gentlemen’s great game of cricket was played, particularly
at international matches.
To elaborate further and facilitate this concept, the recent Test
matches played in England involving visiting teams were named as the
‘spirit of the game’ Tests.
Even after this new concept, many ugly incidents were reported to
the ICC by the respective ICC appointed elite umpires and match
referees. Instant action by way of suspension from matches, very
high fines, forfeiting match fees etc were enforced on players found
guilty of misconduct.
The question that comes to the mind of a knowledgeable cricket
follower is that appropriate action had not been taken properly
against some who were found guilty and that only a few who had been
found guilty were penalised.
It is a question that needed to be addressed as to why those who
had committed offences were not penalised having allowed to escape
scot-free. Why is this inconsistency?
All will agree that gone are the days when batsmen who used to walk,
instead of waiting for the umpires verdict, especially when they
were well aware that they had nicked to the keeper may be with the
thinnest of edges.
Also, it is quite common for the keeper to appeal confidently along
with the bowler and the close infielders when the ball had not
nicked, but the umpires had upheld some appeals to the delight of
The latest Randiv’s no-balling saga which is much in the news is
debatable. Several followers of the game had expressed views in this
regard. When so many such similar incidents had happened during
matches why did (1) Randiv go to such a low level in apologising to
Sehwag by visiting the Indian dressing room? (2) Why did our foolish
SLC authorities apologise to the ICC?
In this same series, why was not Rohit Sharma not reported for
dissent by not walking back immediately when ruled out LBW? Why was
Yuvraj not penalised for retaliating furiously at some spectators
when he was called ‘water boy’?
It was revealed in an Indian TV channel that Dhoni had refused to
practice on a track that had uneven bounce and they confessed that
as a consequence Dinesh Karthik injured his hand.
It was all buff, as the latter played in the ODI that followed
immediately. Ishant Sharma on his follow through after hurling
bouncers muttered to our batsmen by approaching them very closely on
All these incidents are not within ‘the spirit of the game’ as spelt
out by the ICC.
In the context of the above ‘the spirit of the game’, the concept of
the ICC is totally flouted and it should no longer be called so.
It has to be changed to read as the game should be played to the
‘rules of cricket’.
|Democracy and egalitarianism
was only after May last year, when the ruthless LTTE was
exterminated in this country that general conditions of peace
Prior to that, the people were on tenterhooks for nearly three
Where previous governments failed to bring the LTTE to its knees,
President Mahinda Rajapaksa accomplished a feat that eluded his
President Rajapaksa, despite various obstacles and protests from
within and outside Sri Lanka, at critical stages made full use of as
it were the dictatorial powers that were latent in the Constitution
of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (1978) in order to
achieve the duel objects of governing the country and defeating the
LTTE within five years of his assuming duties in November 2004 as
executive President. That stands to his thumping credit.
In that regard, our tribute is also due to former President J R
Jayewardene, who spearheaded the enactment of the constitution of
1978 with the creation of a powerful executive presidency.
Now that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been re-installed in power
by the electorate for an additional term of six years from November
2010, the people expect him in his wisdom and acumen to review all
political and governing establishments.
In other words, it will be judicious for him to rationalise the
gamut of the structures and their processes by mercilessly chopping
waste, bribery, corruption, indiscipline, dead wood and
vindictiveness in ministerial, deputy ministerial and official ranks
both at the central and provincial levels.
In that regard, the fearless and discerning citizens will most
probably extend their unstinted co-operation.
The unprincipled political and obnoxious ethnic and religious
approaches and attitudes will have to be transcended.
May the powers that be not fail in their in endeavours for serving
in a labour of love manner the prolonged suffering of the masses of
|Nailed woman and lessons to
The recent news about the nailed woman is - to say the least -
atrocious. But, have we wondered what we are going to do about it?
That is other than shouting about Saudi.
Saudi, of course, since it is a Muslim country comes under fire. But
we must realise, it is not the country which did the nailing - but a
person there. It does not mean the country is promoting it. Not that
Saudi Arabia always is right. No country is.
But the problem is totally ours - the Sri Lankans. How long - or
how many Ariyawathis will it take for us to realise sending women to
work abroad is not fruitful? That it is detrimental to the family
specially and to the country as a whole? A long long time indeed,
for it has not sunk in after thousands of cases of abuse, injustice
As long as a society does not value its mothers, does not
recognise the importance of their presence in the family and turn
them into simple money making machines, we would be having many more
Somawathis and Wimalawathis coming back with - not just nails - but
much more cruelties inflicted upon them. But then do we care? Except
perhaps a few letters to the media, a few horrified conversations in
common places - and then we will move on. More Somawathis and
Wimalawathis will keep going and more will be returning maimed - but
life will go on in our paradise island undaunted!
|The right way to rein in
More than 90% of crimes are related to the consumption of liquor,
according to a police report.
Kassippu is consumed popularly amongst the low income groups.
At one time, Sri Lanka was among the countries with the highest
number of boozers.
The Mathata Thitha programme is supposed to have brought down the
number of heavy drinkers and liquor sales have dropped since 2006.
President Rajapaksa was elected to office on November 27, 2005. He
did not come empty-handed but had a blueprint of a plan I, now named
the Mahinda Chintanaya.
The plan was put into operation in 2006 with the President taking
The number of heavy boozers has dwindled but illicit liquor still
flourishes along with a noticeable increase in the rate of crime.
Are the two phenomena related, is a pertinent question.
Has not the World Bank noticed an improvement in the GDP and per
capita income in Sri Lanka? The Central Bank too has noticed a rise.
Are not the figures significant and related to the Chintanaya? The
IMF has confidently lent money, because they have noticed a rise in
the economy. The money was lent despite the ravings of the
opposition and its leader. The third tranche of financial help was
doled out recently.
Pressing and urging the government to stamp out illicit liquor is
misplaced. Rather, why not press the government to bring down prices
of all alcoholic beverages. Arrack is a Sri Lankan product, so is
beer. Reduce taxes and stipulate a price reduction. Those strata of
society that imbibe kassippu will relish a change to arrack and
beer, for it will be within their reach and their purse. They will
be elated and overjoyed to switch over.
The government should have a closer look. The money spent on the
ever increasing cadre in the Police and Excise Departments, and on
rehabilitating alcoholics free at state hospitals; on curbing the
use of narcotics and illicit beverages will surely be saved,
compensating for the reduction in prices of liquor.
Will not such action bring about a change in the overall outlook of
the wine-bibber who will cast aside the poisonous kassippu and
resort to the socially accepted arrack and beer? There are locally
produced VSOP arrack, gin and brandy too. Wine will soon come from
the North. Then will not the addiction to kassippu subside and
indulgence in a more reputable beverage swell.
With that change will not the back of the kassippu mudalali and
the trade be broken? The structure, apparatus and the tentacles of
the trade will dissolve and reduce to nothing unable to raise its
head. The nexus between the politicians, law enforcement authorities
and the kassippu mudalalis will come to naught. An all-out war as is
believed necessary will be proved dispensable. Alcoholism would
However, an abstemious society will remain a Utopian pipe dream; but
a decorous, cultured society will show up with the success of the
‘Mahinda Chintanaya’ plan. Like winning the war against terrorism
the Chintanaya will help in ridding Sri Lanka of drugs and
Coming down hard on the illicit trade is myopia for the
far-sighted Chintanaya will bury drunkenness, and in its place give
life to social drinking where both men and women will sit together
sipping a drink, to plan the onward march of our motherland. Crime
is the result of economic want.
With more money that the Chintanaya will bring to the individual,
resorting to crime will prove unprofitable. The moral fibre will
change, while alcoholic beverages will earn revenue to build Sri
Lanka as the awaited Asian Wonderland. A Mathata Thitha programme
could produce an Al Capone as it did in the US with the enforcement
|Dejected depositors banking on
My daughter deposited two fixed deposits of
Rs.50,000 each with now defunct F & G Property Developers (Pvt) Ltd
with the sole purpose of supplementing my meagre pension with the
interest accrued from it monthly.
My husband is a retired army officer who has no other income other
than the pension.
He is 68 years old and needs additional money to meet medical
Since December 2008, we have not received any interest.
I recently wrote to the Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka, and also went to
their office in Kollupitiya believing that they were appointed to
resolve this issue.
I was told that they are not in any way linked to F & G Property
Am I never going to get my interest and capital?
What is the present position of the company?
Do I have to join the Association of Depositors of F & G Property
Developers (Pvt.) Ltd?
I was told that some other company is managing the property of F & J
Property Developers and I am keen to know the company and its
address so that I can write to them.
Those who committed this massive fraud are said to be free and enjoy
themselves with this ill-gotten money whereas the poor depositors
are suffering. Is this justice?
I hope the authorities will look into our plight and afford some
A desperate depositor
|Garbage heaps enrage residents
I find the by-road (tarred) adjoining High Level road between
Wattegedera road and Elhena road littered with pieces of paper,
polythene bags (some with garbage), empty liquor cans, small plastic
This by-road is the access way to business establishments (Cargills
Food City), pharmacies, dispensaries and other shops.
It is used by so many people right throughout the day and night. It
is also poorly lit.
The government, led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is keenly
combating, as a matter of urgency, (as so many lives have already
been claimed by the deadly disease of dengue) to eradicate this
Do the health authorities of the Pradeshiya Sabha inspect the roads
and see that the dirt and garbage bags removed promptly and daily.
Another fact is that the sides of the by-road are grown with lots of
weeds which have not been cut and removed as had been done earlier.
Sometimes garbage matter is burnt by the labourers of the PS.
This is highly harmful to the environment as polythene bags and
plastic empty bottles are also burnt in the process.
Over to the Health Minister, Pradeshiya Sabha health officers and
the chairperson of the Pradeshiya Sabha (personally) for prompt
V K B Ramanayake
|Priest Samuel Patrick Rajaratnam
He led the Tamil chant beautifully
On World Cancer Day - February 4, 2010 - with its slogan ‘Cancer
can be prevented too’, SP as we called our very much loved colleague
in the ordained ministry was called Home.
SP joins the many who have died because of this terminal illness.
I first met SP when I as the director of our Cathedral Institute had
to meet him since he sought ordination in the Diocese of Colombo.
This meeting with SP led to the Bishop’s Ministerial Advisory
Committee (MAC) seeing him.
We discerned that SP had a sense of vocation.
It was our recommendation that he shall go to our ecumenical
Theological College for formation. At that point SP wanted time to
reflect on his life/vocation etc., this he was granted.
In the meantime, we had a new Bishop. SP was seen by him and the
rest is SP’s story as a member of the ordained ministry, as a
Non-Stipendiary Minister (NSM). By the time SP began his formal
training as a NSM I had moved from the Cathedral. However, being one
of the Examining Chaplains, I was invited by those responsible for
activities to teach SP and his batch Liturgy and Worship. Looking
back to those classes I wonder as to who taught whom and who learnt
what and from whom. SP was a good student, very keen to learn and he
brought to the class his life’s lay experience of being a faithful
member of his parish church in Polwatte.
SP walked the talk for he certainly was a jewel in the crown of the
area of Gospel and Culture. With his God-given gift of music he led
worship in a very relevant manner. He had a good voice and led the
Tamil chant beautifully. He also composed music, words etc.
Of the three in his batch, he was the only one who did the practical
assignment I had set the class as part of Liturgy/Worship.
Despite his very responsible work at Senok and the need to take care
of his wife, her mother and also his sisters, SP made time for
Polwatte. SP never ever said ‘no’ to work. From Monday to Saturday
morning it was at Senok. The weekend was for Polwatte. SP also took
weekday services and Bible Studies.
SP was full of life. He always had a smile and a word for all those
whom he met in church. By invitation I was part of the Polwatte Team
for months in the 2006 - 2008 periods. SP was a great team man. He
always appreciated something well done.
During those years at Polwatte, I suffered from depression and SP
was a wonderful friend in need. He was always keen to make certain
that I was happy in my cottage and that I had a good meal etc. I
found it hard to accept SP’s illness. SP’s ordained ministry was
only from 2006. But as a lay person he was a servant of God in his
home parish of Polwatte.
Since he was by profession an Accountant he was used by his church
in this area too. He also served this church as a Youth Chaplain. SP
was a good Pastor, a very keen student always willing to learn. He
had his own inner life. On Sundays at Polwatte he was there long
before the time of the Service to be still and know that there is a
God. He was also proficient in all three languages.
SP I am sure that when you slipped into that deep sleep never to get
up again you would have heard those words “Well done SP”.
Not only will Polwatte miss you. But all of us of the community of
the Ordained also, for you were a very caring person.
Shirani and her mother and SP’s sisters will always be in our
thoughts and prayers.
May your portion SP this day be in peace and the dwelling in the
May you rest in peace and rise in glory!
|Motorists and pedestrians facing risk
|The main tarmac road from Galle Road to the Katukurunda junction
towards the Kalutara Wagoda general hospital is in a very bad state
of disrepair and almost impassable due to the past deluges.
Motorists, ambulance drivers and pedestrians are facing risks daily
and sometimes it leads to many accidents too.
The public wonder why the authorities concerned are insensitive, and
turning a blind eye to this grave situation.
C M Kamburawala