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|Is the law equal to everyone?
The law is something that must be fair to everyone. It is the same
to every child, teenager, and adult in the country. The Policeman is
the person that upholds the law irrespective of their titles and
positions and is respected by everyone in this country.
Now, when a certain law is newly enforced, it is the
responsibility of all the police stations to enforce it throughout
the country on the same day, in same manner. However, it seems this
is not the case. A recently enforced law caused mopeds with pedals
to have helmets, license and registration. I have obtained my
learners permit and displayed the “L” board on my moped bike, and
obtained insurance. However, I have not obtained my registration as
there is a lack of documents as my bike was replaced for a defective
one, the available documents back then are no longer relevant to
obtain such as these bikes were sold as no more than toys. However,
I have always worn my helmet. On my way to Colombo, I was stopped by
a police unit and was fined for driving a bike without
But when I took it up with others who I know and ride the same
bike they just laughed at me, as they were never caught or fined.
This is because they ride their bikes in other parts of Colombo
which for some reason the law is not enforced. These people say to
me “See, you respect the law too much, that why you get the bad part
of it!” There is slight problem when trying to argue this point
after what happened to me. Shouldn’t the law be glad that I’m
displaying “L” (learning) boards after having ridden my moped for
two and a half years for 18,000 km in the Colombo City?
There are kids ridding these moped pedal bikes at maximum speeds
of 50 KM/h, this is something to note as there is argument on this
with people as they think the sound of the bike means speed. If you
go over 50 KM/h on a pedal moped, you will blow the engine. They
ride it without the helmet, insurance, or registration, while I have
to leave my bike home and watch them through a window of a smelly
bus full of people squashed together. How can I open my mouth and
say: “The law is equal to everyone”. Also “real” pedal mopeds cannot
climb even small hills without using the pedals to pedal them up, so
there is a doubt as to if they even classify as a motorcycle.
Even in other countries the licensing requirements are less for
mopeds as they provide safe transport for many teenagers below the
licensing age. And seeing the high transport costs as well as
uncomfortable overloaded, smelly public transport, the mopeds should
be a good solution to many teenagers and adults. However, everything
is a two-way sword, people must have the freedom of selecting the
way they want to go, who’s to say public transport is safer than a
moped? I propose that instead of trying to classify mopeds as
motorcycles, new regulations should be put in place to bring in
insurance schemes and flexible registration systems for mopeds.
There are people that say teenagers ride like crazy! I ask you,
who’s to say every teenager rides like crazy? And who’s to say
adults don’t ride like crazy? Everything is a two-way sword. It’s
just depicted in the way people want to see it.
Even though the media in the country ramps around A-Z talking
politics, they are not forcing on these issues. The media in this
country has clearly forgotten what its responsibilities are and what
they are supposed to publish thus have lost the attention of many
educated people in the country. While they attack other political
individuals without any problem, articles like these are considered
‘controversial’ and never published.
I ask any media (website, paper, TV, radio), who remembers the true
meaning of media to publish this.
|Sportsman’s unsportsmanlike behaviour
When I was browsing the Internet recently, I came across a news item
wherein it was reported that Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has
been reprimanded for damaging a television set in the dressing room
after being dismissed against Zimbabwe. He has to forego 50 % of his
match fee for causing this damage said this particular news release.
I strongly feel that he should have been stripped of his captaincy
and debarred from playing for a couple of years in international
tournaments in addition to imposing a heavy fine by way of
punishment. These cricketers are role models for many a youngster
and therefore, in order that these sportsmen do not behave unruly in
the future, the International Cricket Council should consider
implementing similar punishments with immediate effect.
– Mohamed Zahran
|The batsman and the umpire
Two approached the gates of heaven
An umpire and a batsman:
Asked the porter of the umpire
“Did you give him out when not out?”
Confessed the umpire: “I did cheat a time or two
I apologise for it is true!”
The batsman cried, “Hurl him into hell”
He gave me out six times in all!
“I regret my sins” the umpire wept
An earthly fly flew in my eye”,
He was accepted his sins forgiven
And fitted too with angel wings!
The batsman stamped and cursed and fumed
But the porter said the final word;
“When I played cricket down below
He gave me out when oft not out,
A repentant sinner now, so what?”
|J William Aiyadurai was a former
Trinity Lion having captained the cricket team for two successive
years in 1928 and 1929.
His 100 birthday falls this year. He died on March 1998 at the ripe
old age of 89 years.
He was a prolific writer who used to contribute poems and short
stories to various papers and a former journalist at the ANCL, Lake
House and Times of Ceylon.
Fabian David, attorney-at-law
He gave leadership to social work
March 6, 2011, its going to be three months since Fabian had left
all of us.
Mahendra Fabian Winston David LLM, attorney-at-law, who is known as
Fabia was born on July 1, 1946 in Sri Lanka. He passed away on
December 6, at the age of 64 in London after suffering from an
illness. Fabian went on his last journey leaving behind all of us.
My son and myself being away from all relations and most of friends,
it’s not easy to cope with the loss of the husband and father to us.
He was a student of St Anthony’s College Wattala and the Colombo Law
College. When he was a teenager, Fabian became a fan of Elvis
Presley and started imitating Elvis’ ways.
Fabian’s parents’ wishes were him to go through his father’s
footsteps and to be a lawyer even though he had a liking for the
engineering field, he selected legal career. He came from a family
He passed out as a lawyer and took his oaths on March 6, 1974. His
mother’s wish was Fabian’s son to follow the same route so that her
grandson would be a lawyer of the fourth generation.
A few months after Fabian passed out as a lawyer, he met with an
accident and he had a fracture in his leg due to which he was
bed-ridden for almost two years. Since then his life pattern
changed. He gave up practising Criminal Law and switched to Civil
Law. His hobbies became reading, listening to music and news
programmes. He took interest in watching sports programmes too.
I met Fabian in the latter part in 1970’s and I could say I was
really impressed by his looks and he was smartly dressed. He was so
particular about his clothes. Even the staff at his office complex
used to call him smartly dressed lawyer and he was really popular
among the staff. Fabian loved cracking jokes and was popular among
lawyers and friends for his humour. One of his hobbies was
We got married on April 15, 1978. Our only child, who is a son,
named Niroshan. He passed out as a graduate from the University of
Greenwich doing his BSc. in Computer Science.
He didn’t push his son to follow his footpath but made his son
select the career he wanted. So, the son selected computer field
which was his liking but now after his father’s death he wanted to
do Law so that he could follow his father’s field as well as he
could fulfill the grandmother’s wish of becoming a lawyer of the
Fabian had a very fluent knowledge of the English Language and also
General Knowledge. Most of his colleagues came to him for any query
in English grammar or definition. Even Fabian was my Master in
English as I never miss to consult him in all my writing.
We became members of a voluntary organisation and organised many
humanitarian projects for the less fortunate. We cooperated with
other organisations to build a guest house for a Buddhist Priest at
Madu Road Junction which was later destroyed due to the war.
Fabian and myself built a shrine to St Jude in 2004 April on the
request of Rt Rev Rayappa Joseph, Bishop of Mannar, which too had
been destroyed due to the war. The opening ceremony was conducted by
his Lordship and the Guest of Honour was SF Commander of Vavuniya at
When Fabian was the Club President, he did social work donating
spectacles for the needy and also he organised a number of medical
camps arranging doctors and medicine to enable the poor to get
medical treatment. He donated wheelchairs for the disabled. He
helped children in remote areas with school items. Most of these
projects were done with the coordination of the Sri Lankan Army.
One of the historic projects he did was organising a blood donation
camp in Jaffna in 2004. On the request of doctors, blood donation
camp was organised with the help of the Jaffna Commanding Officer.
At that time, there was a shortage of blood in the hospitals in
Northern Peninsula, and Sri Lankan Army was promptly accepted to
collaborate with us to help the blood donation camp. They selected
the venue as Sinhala Maha Vidayala in Jaffna. More than 500 Army
personnel took part in this camp. It was a memorable project as
armed personnel of the majority community donated blood for the use
of the minority community in the North. It has been a great pleasure
for me watching Fabian giving the leadership to these projects.
Fabian came to the UK in 2004 and got through his Masters in Law and
while studying for PhD in Business Administration he got sick and
since then all my efforts and time were concentrated on him.
He had a fall which caused a spinal code injury to his neck which
made him house-bound. But he used go to mass and receive holy
sacrament daily. On his burial day, the priest Rev Fr Richard, who
conducted the Holy Mass, said Fabian was resting in God’s kingdom
and said every time he conducted the mass would see him in the
church. It was a great relief to hear him saying so.
When he complained about his vision, I thought to how many people
Fabian had donated spectacles. When he was going to church in a
wheelchair, I remembered that he had donated wheelchairs to the
disabled who were unable to get a wheelchair. He helped the poor to
get medical treatment free. Thank God he was able to get free
medical assistance after his accident
I prayed daily for Fabian’s recovery. I expected him to get back to
normal with Gods blessing. When he got sick I asked God to reduce my
lifespan and give those years to Fabian and make him live a little
longer. Now he had gone, I pray to God: “Oh God! why did you take
Fabian away from us, when we tried hard to keep him with us. I am
begging you to take Fabian into your kingdom and to give him eternal
life and happiness. Please God don’t make him suffer any more as he
had suffered enough. I can have peace of mind only if I could know
that he is happy and suffers no more.”
Sisira leaves a blazing
are things one can say and things one cannot say about a friend.
There are things that can be said in private and not in public.
There are things that can be said at a specific moment in time but
never before or after. Today, I sit and write about my friend,
Sisira Mendis, because the time is right to say out loud what needs
to be said about this extraordinary officer of the Sri Lanka Police.
Sisira retired from service a few days ago. Retirement is as good
a landmark as any for a man to look back on his life and reflect on
the vague, indeterminate, relaxing and awesome foreboding called the
‘future.’ It is a good moment for someone like me who has known
Sisira for more than two decades to give voice to my memories
holding nothing back, fearing the censure of a modest man or being
worried about embarrassing him.
I met him, as I said, 20 years ago through his wife Sharmalee, who
was at the time one of my colleagues and a dear friend. We have been
very close ever since that first meeting and Sisira has never been
too far from my thoughts even if circumstances put physical distance
He was DIG-Narcotics when he retired, but was and always will be
known as a ‘CID person,’ having spent around 35 years in that sphere
of police work, holding in turn the posts of Deputy Director,
Director and Deputy Inspector General.
Sisira is not the only senior police officer I have known and
associated with closely. Sisira is not one to ask and I am not one
to tell, so he might not know of the warm, endearing, respectful and
admiring terms that his colleagues, superiors and subordinates use
to describe him. They only reaffirmed what I already knew: that he
was a driven, passionate human being, possessing exceptional skills,
hailed quite rightly as a man of discipline, integrity and a
wonderful work-ethic and as such, a rarity not just in the Sri Lanka
Police but in the country as well.
Much has been said about Sisira’s prowess in the police force and
how he distinguished himself in that field; so I would like to dwell
instead on the human being I am privileged to know.
As a person who spent a few years in the media industry, I can say
without hesitation that friendship with a man of his stature would
be considered an asset by anyone interested in gathering facts and
information. This was not the case though with Sisira. He never
divulged unnecessary information, not even amongst those he
considered intimate associates. His first and last point of
reference in everything he said and did was his responsibility to
the police and the need to do justice by his position. He never
compromised himself because he knew this would damage his employer
and the institution he loved and dedicated his most productive years
I remember him hanging up on me once when I called him on his
He was driving and rattled out the following words: ‘I will call you
back…there are cops on the road!’ He did call me back. I teased him:
“You are a rare policeman Sisira. You are DIG/CID. You could have
easily picked up the call and talked to me. You could have said ‘I
will call you back’ but needn’t have said ‘there are cops on the
road.’ I will never forget his response. ‘As a senior policeman, I
should not insult subordinates and I should always respect the law.’
Those words epitomise Sisira Mendis through and through; his
profound sense of honour and conscientiousness at all times, never
bending the rules for reasons of convenience.
Sisira never put himself in a position that would compromise his
integrity, even in a matter of perception. If someone wanted to meet
him for some ostensibly social purpose, Sisira would invite the
person to the Senior Police Officers’ Mess, because in that
environment, he would be in control. He would foot the bill. Always.
He was a rare professional of exceptional quality. His word was his
bond and he never promised what his ability and his integrity did
not permit him to deliver. Here was a man who walked the line
unafraid; Truth and Justice were his raison d’etre and simplicity
the sine qua non of his existence.
We live in times when political loyalty is the bottom line. This
is true of all sectors of the public service. There are officers who
align themselves with one or another of the political parties. They
leave themselves open to be used as tools and indeed they are more
than happy to oblige. Sisira was in a class by himself. He was not
arrogant. But he was not interested in being a foolish hero either.
He did his job, making sure that the law was fairly interpreted and
One recalls a different era when a parent would be proud to have a
son in the Police and so too a child whose father was an officer.
Times have changed and now there is as much pride as there is
embarrassment and sadly, probably more of the latter. It is people
like Sisira Mendis who keep hope alive and give stature to an
institution that ought to stand much taller than it appears to
In all the years. I have known him, I have understood that Sisira
sets a great store by friendship. His loyalty to his friends is
beyond question; beyond reproach. He would put his own hand in the
fire for you, even if the whole world was against you, yet Sisira
believed you were in the right. I know this through personal
experience. He saved my life. Justice was important to him and while
he would stick his neck out to defend you because you were right, he
would never venture to defend you if he felt you were in the wrong.
He would stand beside you and ensure you did not feel isolated and
abandoned, but would never support what he felt was an erroneous
decision or wrongful course of action, especially if the law was
somehow compromised in the process.
We all retire. In this vein, I am reminded of the wise words of
Shakespeare’s tragic hero Hamlet: “If it be now, ‘tis not to come;
if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will
come: The readiness is all.’ Sisira was always ready. There are a
few public officers we wish were excused from
retirement-regulations. Sisira is one of them, but that would be
beyond the bounds of his humble and rational thinking. Those of us,
who know him, know better. During his illustrious tenure of service
to the nation, Sisira has acquired such a wealth of knowledge on all
things human and the intricacies of running an institution and
managing human resources efficiently, that there is no doubt that he
leaves the Sri Lanka Police hopelessly impoverished in the wake of
I am no clairvoyant so I don’t know what life after the police
would be like for Sisira Mendis. I am certain of a few things,
however. I know that Sisira will remain an honourable human being
and a man who will undoubtedly continue to serve, with distinction,
any organisation or community that is privileged to next count him
among its ranks.
Speaking strictly for myself, as far as I am concerned, Sisira has
not retired and never will. Friendships don’t have expiry dates
outside of those imposed by the laws of nature. Fate brings us
together, friendship keeps us close. I am richer for having the
privilege of his friendship. For that I am grateful.
Krishantha Prasad Cooray