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|Term on Security Council far
I do not know why since 1961, Sri Lanka
has not been a non-permanent member in the United Nations Security
Council. Sri Lanka has been a non-permanent member of the UN
Security Council only once, i.e. from 1960 to 1961. When you compare
with the other SAARC countries, if I am correct, India has been on
the Security Council six times, Pakistan four times and even Nepal
According to reliable sources, Sri Lanka had tried several times
since 1961, but had invariably withdrawn in favour of either India
or Pakistan and in 1995, in favour of South Korea. It was reported
that Sri Lanka withdrew in favour of South Korea after accepting the
promise of 10,000 jobs for Sri Lankans in that country. Offering of
10,000 jobs would have been attractive at that time when there was
unemployment but serving a two-year term on the Security Council
would have brought Sri Lanka far more significant and valuable
benefits specially during the 30-year war with LTTE terrorists.
Since then, I do not think Sri Lanka had ever announced its
candidature and started a campaign. It is high time that Sri Lanka
should immediately announce its candidature and mount a campaign
when the next non-permanent Security Council seat for South Asia is
vacant as it would be advantageous for us specially when there is a
panel appointed by the UN Secretary-General to probe accountability
issues in our country during the end of the separatist war in May
Hope the Minister of External Affairs will make a note of this lapse
and definitely announce and mount a campaign for Sri Lanka’s seat in
the non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council when the
next opportunity arises.
CM de Silva
|Plight of poor pensioners
The pensioners are the senior citizens of this country, most of whom
had rendered an honest and a dedicated service to this country
during their period of office for the promotion of development and
maintenance of services. However, it was observed from the last
budget that they have been shabbily treated and they are unable to
make an impact on the government to win their demands.
Most of the pensioners entirely depend on their pension to maintain
themselves and their families. With the increasing cost of living,
they find it extremely difficult to meet their commitments. Most of
the pensioners are sickly due to their old age and have to spend a
substantial percentage of their pension to meet medical expenses
Some of the pensioners and retired persons who have their committed
pension funds and provident funds in fixed deposits of banks are now
getting less and less income through interest receipts as the Bank
Rate is falling very frequently.
Although the Central Bank policy is to promote the share market by
attracting private savings, most pensioners and aged retired persons
are not capable of investing intelligently in the share market as
there is an element of risk involved. I, therefore, make a humble
appeal to the authorities concerned to make a reasonable rate of
increase to pensions and also to remove the anomalies prevalent in
the pension structures.
|Agriculture Centre serves no
The Agriculture Centre at Halkandawila,
Payagala has become a white elephant due to the callous attitude of
The farmers of the area are facing immense difficulties when visit
there to obtain the services of the office. Especially, the
fertiliser distribution is not done properly in due time. Hence the
farmers have to buy the required quantity of fertiliser from the
black market at exorbitant prices.
The farmers have made many complaints to the higher authorities
regarding this sad situation but no remedy is forthcoming.
|Trees painted in psychedelic
Would you believe if anyone tells you that
there are trees growing in Sri Lanka, whose trunks are not of the
usual colours - brownish black or blackish brown - whatever you may
opt to, to describe it? I have noticed in a garden of a palatial
residence down C. W. W. Kannangara Mawatha, Colombo 7 the trunk of
the huge tree there has been painted milky white and so is the
colour of this residence.
In another place down Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 4, a tree trunk
has been painted yellow. I saw the trunk of a tree painted purple in
yet another place. The colours, I noticed, that had been chosen are
the once that are on the buildings facing/adjoining these trees so
that it is in sync with the background. Some of the trees had
designs painted on it. That is, the tree trunk painted in one colour
and circles painted in another around the protrusions or rather the
nodes, to use the proper botanical term.
I don’t know whether I’m wrong when I say we, Sri Lankans can outdo
other nationalities when it comes to creativity!
|The beggar’s lesson
The year was 1958. I was a final year medical student; the value
of one cent was respectable then compared to its value today.
A beggar squatting on a pavement begged of me for some money. I gave
him one cent! This is what he told me. “Mister, plug your back with
this coin, then you can save all what you eat too! “
That day, I learnt a great lesson in life. If you gift or give, for
God’s sake give properly and adequately or do not give or desist
from giving at all.
Dr WB Wijekoon
|First world’s facebook
The legitimacy….of backroom back-stabs
Between knaves and knights
Of evil secrets and threats?
Re-shuffle….a worldly step.
Irene De Silva
|A great personality
He was the
father of the Sri Lankan nation
Don Stephen Senanayake was his name
He studied at St Thomas’ College
Though he was born in Botale village
He was not a diligent student
An his brother, Fredrick brilliant
Left school in grade eight
In boxing and wrestling, he showed his might
Took a keen interest – in planting
Attending to his father’s estates – visiting
Joined the temperance movement of his brother
Ceylon got rid of alcohol later
There were riots in nineteen fifteen
British rulers imprisoned D.S. soon
In riots Stephen was not involved
Though other Buddhist Sinhaha leaders found
He was interested in social welfare
Took to politics with very much care
First took place in the Legislative Council.
Later he was elected to the State Council
He was the Agriculture and Lands Minister
Colonisation he attended to with no motives sinister
In nineteen forty-six he founded the UNP
A very good organiser, of the party, was he
Became the Prime Minister in nineteen forty-seven
Got independence in forty-eight through negotiation.
He fell down while riding a police mare
On twenty second March in fifty-two – an incident normally rare
In the heart of Colombo on Galle Face Green
Many, in the morning, may have seen
Came from a village and reached great height
He died at the age of sixty-eight
D. S. our Prime Minister, never we forget
Who loved and developed the country – with might.
(References from “KIDS” section of the Nation Newspaper)
|Ex-MPs enjoy special pension privileges
A government servant has to work for ten years to qualify for a
pension, but has to wait till after the completion of the age of 55
years to draw the pension.
An MP, on the other hand, is eligible for a pension after just five
years of being an MP and can draw the pension immediately after that
period i.e., he need not wait till he is 55 year of age to draw the
pension. While being a pensioner, he can contest once again and come
back as an MP and enjoy all the perks enjoyed by an MP. He is also
entitled to a parallel increase in the pension every time the
sitting MPs get salary increases where as government pensioners get
no parallel increase in the pensions when government servants are
granted salary increases. Very often they don’t get even what is due
All this creates a big anomaly and discriminates against government
pensioners who are thus denied equal rights guaranteed by the
Constitution. Will the Pensioners’ Associations or some other public
interest group such as an NGO step into seek legal redress?
Eulogy to past president of IPM
Joined Mineral Sands Corporation in 1970, graduate trainee,
After graduation at University Peradeniya, taught at Educational
Institute, in determination.
Bandula, an energetic robust worker soon turned administrative
Couple of years later promoted in Palmodai Factory as a Personnel
Hailing from a respectable family “Prathapasinghe’ deep down South.
Met lifetime partner Lalitha Tennakoon from Kandyan hills, then a
After sometime joined Oils ‘n Fats Corporation as Personnel Manager
Bandula next joined National Savings Bank as Asst. General Manager.
Later appointed as Deputy General Manager of the bank
To join Volanka Ltd as Personnel Manager, disgusted Bandula left the
Left Volanka, turned freelance consultant in Industrial Relations
Functioned as Inquiring Officer in domestic disciplinary inquiries
in various organisations.
In 1959 best A/L student at Richmond College Galle, Gold Medalist
With loyalty ‘n integrity held numerous positions in Private ‘n
Public sector organisations
Within a short period became a pillar of strength to chosen field
Overflowing zeal, zest to reach high standards, ways rather mild.
Bandula’s involvement at IPM reveals illustrious career in Human
Served as one of the early members of Institute in the Council of
Chief organiser of all seminars, funds raising activities in
Introduced novel resources, far-sighted Bandula full of genuine
IPM became his second home, Suntel Medal in 2005, stalwart in
His creative unmatched abilities, gifted brilliance, no limitation
Among his friends ‘n colleagues well respected in the MR fraternity
Loving father, devoted husband, true friend, family life wrapped in
As he wished his body handed over to Medical Faculty, Colombo
Self-made Bandula’s departure at 68 after a brief illness, a deep
Some policies introduced by him at IPM hounoured ‘n still followed
For his strict code of discipline, creative abilities, he’ll be
Remembering March 25th 2011 your first Death Anniversary
I offer this tiny tribute as a token of friendship in sincerity.
Indeed a man of unfailing patience, transparent genuine generosity
Never gave up obstacles to reach desired goal colleague trustworthy
To his beloved wife Lalitha, loving daughter Indika, Sathyajith his
I extend my deepest sympathies, on this profoundly inconsolable
Only the actions of the past smell sweet and blossom in the dust
Follow your father’s sterling qualities for future, to truly just.
By virtue myriad meritorious deeds perfectly performed
May whatever you wished for in Sansara be attained
Never be hampered by whims of unkind Karma in Sansara
Bandula may you attain the Supreme Bliss of Noble Nirvana.
Kumari Kumarasinghe Tennakoon
|Charles Henry De Soysa
He was one of the wonders of God
The commemoration of Charles Henry de Soysa’s 175th birth
anniversary falls on March 3, 2011. It was commemorated as usual by
his descendants and the hospitals and schools he built for the
nation. The students and staff, both past and present of both Prince
and Princess of Wales Colleges always remember and revere their
founder who did his best to ensure that the youth of his hometown
would have the priceless gift of a good education.
His unsurpassed record of philanthropy reaching out to the
landless, the homeless, fields of education and health all prove
that he was a visionary far ahead of his time.
What would our revered ancestor have thought of the world we live in
today? I have no doubt that he would have reached out to his fellow
beings in distress and done what he could; using his own resources
to give them relief. Nurtured in discipline and Christian
principles, he thought of service to the community, and to the
individual; purely in terms of human need.
As his great granddaughter, I look back on Charles Henry’s
example as an inspiration with a great deal of pride. It is
interesting to note that his philanthropy was mainly in the fields
of religion, agriculture, education and health. His era, although
infinitely more genteel and refined than ours, was a time when bias
and prejudice dominated most minds. But narrow peripheries were
simply non-existent with him and he reached out to whoever was in
need irrespective of caste, race or creed or whether his help was
appreciated, misunderstood or misinterpreted. This record is still
Great Grandpa Charles Henry was reputed to be the wealthiest
Ceylonese of his time who lived in an era of gracious living,
elegance, gentility, peace and contentment. He inherited wealth,
which he worked hard to increase although he could have lived in an
ivory tower; serene, inviolable and far removed from less fortunate
beings and reality. His business acumen and astuteness took him into
new fields and he was one of the first Ceylonese to venture into
planting coffee and tea.
The coffee crash did not affect him as all his eggs were not in
one basket. He owned 74 plantations and several valuable residential
properties. His success enabled him to ship his own tea to markets
abroad. He was the first Ceylonese banker and a founder member of
the Ceylon National Congress.
As descendants of this great man, we are reminded of him almost
daily. His statue stands tall and erect at De Soysa Circus; many
roads that we live on are named after him as he once owned the land
these roads stand on. Alfred Place, Alfred House Gardens, Charles
Place, Charles Way, Charles Circus are among these. There are still
standing some beautiful houses which once were his or built by his
sons on land given to them by him. Lakshmigiri, Samanela (which now
houses the British Council), College House, ‘Morven’, the Deaf and
Blind School Ratmalana, Ward 8 of the De Soysa Hospital for Women,
which is part of the original hospital donated by him to the country
the Golf Club, N’Eliya and a Clubhouse in Kandy. It is up to us
to do what we can to see that these beautiful old houses are
maintained and not pulled down. They are national treasures. The MRI
was gifted by the De Soysas’ to the nation, as were the hospitals of
Lunawa, Panadura and Marawilla. He gifted several acres to the
government to build Alfred Model Farm. This area has been sold and
named Model Farm Road. It is sad that what remains of palatial and
historic Alfred House no longer belongs to the family.
My father once wrote that his grandfather’s life read like an
incredible fairytale. I recall that as a child I would never tire of
hearing about his banquet for the then Prince of Wales when he
visited our country. I was told that the entertainment provided that
night were three separate items in all three languages; English,
Sinhala and Tamil which again proved his vision far ahead of his
He never sought publicity or fame for his generosity, unlike the
present when much fanfare and publicity herald acts of charity. He
used his own money for charity and didn’t cheat anyone of theirs’.
His standards were very high in demanding punctuality, integrity,
discipline and dedication but his own life too, was a shining
example of all this which was easy for his employees to follow..
Among the many legends related about him is one that ten percent of
his vast income was used for contributions to all religions, while
the rest went towards development of his empire of interests. His
largesse to one and all was wide and varied and reached out to all
parts of the country. This includes gifting paddy fields and houses
to 100 poverty stricken farmers in Walapane, building several
churches and temples, Hindu kovils and Tamil schools in Jaffna. All
these were built and endowed by him.
His philanthropy reached outside Sri Lanka too. The Great Ormond
Street Hospital for Children in London, Brompton Hospital, Royal
Free Hospital, Victoria Chest Hospital, the hospital for accidents
to Dock labourers, all benefited through his generosity. My father,
while doing an internship at the Great Ormond Street Hospital, was
pleasantly surprised to see his grandfather’s name on a plaque,
stating his generosity.
When we look back in retrospect at Great Grand Pa Charles Henry’s
life, it is indeed astonishing that he was a man who transcended all
barriers in his life. He was not merely a philanthropist, not merely
an entrepreneur but was something much nobler than all this. His
foresight was remarkable which make him a phenomenon not only in his
time but beyond it too. He was undoubtedly one of the wonders of
God, our creator. His greatest possession was his modesty, his
greatest gift was philanthropy and his greatest occupancy was
service to God and man. Sri Lanka badly needs men of this calibre
‘The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.’ - Longfellow
Ilica Malkanthi Karunaratne