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Politicians cross over for self-interest

It is very sad what is happening in Sri Lanka politics in the last few decades. Candidates nominated by all political parties to contest Parliamentary Elections, Provincial Councils, Municipal Elections, etc. and the people cast their votes in confidence that their candidates and the party elected to form a true transparent government will deliver the goods and help the people to lead a normal and peaceful life and take the country forward. But they have now become overnight opportunists.

There is no stability in the country, whenever the government is facing a small majority in Parliament. The government offers ministerial posts and other perks to the members of the Opposition to strengthen the ruling party to cross over in Parliament and to stay in power ‘Mukku- Karayo’ to make hay whilst the sun shines.
Early 2009, Karu Jayasuriya with 17 UNP MPs crossed over to the government in power. If these opportunists had an iota of self-respect they should have resigned.

It is very unfortunate that the late President J R Jayewardene abolished the By-Election Law from the Constitution. In a future amendment to the Constitution, the By-election Law should be reintroduced. This will, no doubt, enable the Members of Parliament, if they wish to cross over, they can first resign their Parliament seat and seek re-election under any party he or she wishes to cross over.
Karu Jayasuriya and his bandwagon betrayed the UNP by crossing over to the government having given nomination to return to Parliament by the UNP, the people are aware the reason for crossing is that the Bribery Commission was supposed to make investigations after the media gave publicity in the newspapers against these members.

In the last four decades, the people and the political parties were accusing at each other that bribery and corruption is on the rise. During the time of President
J R Jayewardene Government, he appointed a Bribery Commission and more than 4,000 persons were to be charged, but sadly only two or three were inquired, but with the dissolution of Parliament this Bribery Commission of Inquiry also just faded away.
Also four decades ago, Sri Lanka was far ahead of some countries in the South Asian region and even the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan sent his officials to Sri Lanka to learn how Sri Lanka climbed the ladder in a short period of time.

We, Sri Lankans, have short memories and we are to be blamed for all problems prevailing in the country today, due to lack of civic consciousness, the public who thought it is best to confine themselves only to the duty of casting their ‘votes’ thereafter not interested in demanding that the candidates whom they elected kept their election promises and also to remind them that they were not given an open mandate by the so called sovereign people of the country to cross over as their wish.

It appears that these politicians are not• interested in taking the country forward and to its economic development, but only concerned with the perks they can get including the pension after five years, and also seek jobs for their kith and kin and their henchman thereby placing square pegs in round holes.
These opportunists, who deserted the parties, should not under any circumstance be re-admitted to the party nor given nomination at any future elections.
It reminds me prior to pre 1948 Independence the candidates nominated for Parliamentary Elections were honest men/women who spent their own money for the uplifting of the masses, and fought for the Independence of the country.
Fred Rodrigo Sathianathen


A dangerous manner of celebration

It is a pity that our country still has not come up with better mode of celebration than lighting firecrackers. Notwithstanding the danger it poses, the waste of money and the pollution it causes, we seem to be going on and on with it regardless.
Though the death of a person in the fire that gutted the fireworks factory is regrettable, the owners must think whether this is the sign by the God that this is not a rightful way of earning. This is just method of burning money while posing danger to the limbs and life of people.
Hope in future they will reinvest their money in a more humanitarian business which will profit the nation and humanity.
Dr Mrs Mareena Thaha Reffai


The Iron Cross

On my wall there hangs an iron cross this day
It reminds me always of you, my gentle saviour
At times I experience failure and dismay
Consequences of my own selfish behaviour

I often complain of things I have lost
Or about dreams that never came out right
The actions of this world seem so unjust
Sometimes, I’m too weak to stand up and fight

Today I’m reminded how you bowed your head, in pain
In total surrender and genuine humility
So that souls like mine, salvation would gain
You give radiant hope to all humanity

Thank you gentle Jesus for your sacrifice
It really means so much to me
The next time I’m lead to my weakness and vice
I know you will rise and fight alongside me

As I look at the iron cross this night
I know that I’m not here alone
In my darkest hour you are my guiding light
Until, I make it to your eternal home.
D S Joseph


Restaurant’s name insults Buddhists

Have you heard of a restaurant by the name “Greedy Buddha”?
Well, there is one on Wandsworth Bridge Road, in Fulham, England. It was earlier revealed that there was a chain of liquor bars/restaurants named “Buddha Bars”.
This is not only a shocking insult to Sakyamuni Gotama Buddha, the Greatest Teacher who have the noblest doctrine unequalled in man’s history, but also to the Buddhists throughout the world. The use of such insulting name underlines the low mentality and uncivilised mannerism of the owner of the restaurant. It is surprising that the local authorities in England have turned a blind eye to the restaurant being run under the nauseating name. Pity them all, is what I could say.
In our country, such insults to faiths will never be allowed. Perhaps that’s the difference in culture.
Upali S Jayasekera


Prescription for landlord-tenant tussles

Letters continue to appear from time to time in the daily newspapers, similar to the one below, wherein a landlord requests that the Rent Act which is tenant-friendly as it is, should be repealed, I would like to inform the readers of your newspaper the Islamic Ruling and also share with them my personal suggestion (what appeals to my conscience) for the legal luminaries to consider in revising the existing Rent Act.
According to the Islamic edict, it is incumbent on the tenant to handover the premises if and when the owner requires it, irrespective of what is stipulated in the Rent Act. And if the tenant refuses to do so, he or she is doomed as the punishment in the Hereafter is very severe. This is, as per one of the hadees (sayings) of our Prophet (PBUH). Given below are the relevant hadees and the commentary regarding same.

‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said to Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman, may Allah be pleased with him, who was disputing with some people over a piece of land, “O Abu Salamah, beware of seizing land unjustly because the Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him said, ‘Whoever seizes unlawfully a hand-span of land, a collar of seven lands will be around his neck (in the Hereafter).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Commentary: This hadees tells us that even a minor injustice to anybody in this world can cause great trouble on the Day of Resurrection.

My suggestion for a solution to the landlord–tenant tussle is to get the market value of the property and the tenant pays 50 % of it to the landlord or vice versa. If this is not possible due to both the landlord and the tenant being unable to foot the bill, then the property has to be sold to a third party and the proceeds from the sale to be shared equally. This, in my opinion, is the ideal solution, in particular, for a tenant who has been the occupant for a long time and unable to part with the property as he /she is already eking out a hand to mouth existence.
Mohamed Zahran


Nation is suffering, rogues are laughing!

A stunning statistic that has been revealed in Parliament recently is that a whopping Rs.40m has been spent for the construction of a road stretch of 1.7 kilometres in a Pradeshiya Sabha area of Kurunegala District.
The deputy minister who had given the information had justified the expenditure saying that there could have been many culverts and bridges on this stretch of road. The MP who sought the information had stated that he knew the road and that there were no bridges or culverts.
The Speaker had merely asked the deputy minister to ‘look into this and do the needful’!
But the Speaker, the deputy minister or even you will not be able to trace the rogues into whose pockets this 40m has gone. The matter ends there. The nation is suffering, the parliamentarians are happy and the rogues are laughing!
Edward Gunawardena


Detention camp, a hellhole

The detention camp run by the Department of Immigration and Immigration in Mirihana, Nugegoda is another hellhole in the country. Most probably it seems to be a concentration camp with barbed wire fences around and under heavy police surveillance.
This detention camp was established in the late fifties in our country to the detain persons suspected or charged with offences under section 45 (1) (a) – (22, 16 of 1955) of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act 1956 (Amendment) and Legislative Enactment Act. In the early period, the camp was in Slave Island, Colombo 2 and later shifted to the present location in Mirihana, Nugegoda Police Station’s premises.
The detainees here have to suffer a lot who are arrested till their cases are heard. There are no basic facilities provided to these poor inmates who have to suffer indefinitely in inhuman conditions.
The Controller General of Immigration and Emigration can get a first-hand experience of the camp if he makes a surprise visit to this place.
C M Kamburawala


Need equal attention to rural schools

A news telecast recently showed the Minister of Education inspecting Royal College and announcing that his ministry would certainly attend to the necessary repairs of the college. Good, facilities have to be provided to children.
Private TV channels have shown enough village school buildings badly damaged specially leaking of roofs. In some cases without teachers being provided for years though the minister boasts high of his services. The ministry does not care to repair such shortcomings until they are repeatedly telecast.
But in Colombo, repairs to
the Royal are to be effected immediately.
The ministry could utilise the money of the intended repairs of Royal to the badly needed village schools. Parents of Royal students are affluent and could meet the cost. After repairs the minister would appear on the stage to get garlands.
Based on so many incidents appearing in the media, it appears the Zonal Education Departments are corrupt, so are most
principals, and in Colombo the ministry officials seem to be slumbering and the relevant minister damages the microphones wherever he goes addressing in high tone about his services for education. He mistakes masses to asses. What people watch on TV is truth. No tuition to the nation, keep it for your politicians, please.
Nazly Cassim



Caroline Peiris (nee Kiriella)

A tribute in memory of third month remembrance

A significant milestone in life an exemplary nonagenarian
Ninety-four years, devout Buddhist, a humanitarian
Regardless of reward meritorious deeds with a touch of dignity
Rare calibre dedicated, understanding lady, unquestionable integrity.

Nostalgic memories engulfed in many a sincere heart
Par excellence you performed, incredible many a heavy part
It’s sad to recall how you sprinkled genuine love ‘n true admiration
A devoted grandmother lost to the next generation.

Numerous benefactions at Rajamaha Viharaya Kotte, in absolute silence
Well known to Naga Viharaya, Maliban Aramaya close to her residence
One of the founder members of Vajira Lama Niwasa at Pagoda, in compassion
For decades yeoman service, unique ways, lady with a deep vision.

Each day with courage you left lasting impressions
Never knowingly failed a funeral, social duties, warm mannerisms.
Memories of happy days flash across many a mind
They leave such heart burns unbearable of an undying kind.

Popular among friends as “Sally Nona” a good host lavish hospitality
A chief dayaka in most temples varied religious many a necessity
Loving mother of two sons ‘n three daughters, ready to help in need
Blessed with eight grandchildren, amiable grand ma, ever forgiving indeed.

She hardly missed a poya day considered so holy, to observe sil
Indomitable courage, tremendous enthusiasm, foes to envy, nil
Visited sacred venues of worship (atamasthana) times innumerable
May your sansaric sojourn be peaceful in every way considerable.

The mammoth crowd that thronged to pay her last respects
Ample testimony of your considerate ways of untold aspects
You have enriched guided, many in the long way
With maternal affection, exceptional care in a pleasing way.

Though bed ridden for a brief period organised religious activities honestly
Aluthnuwara Rev. Anuruddha chief incumbent of Rajamaha Viharaya visited her oftenly
To chant pirith, blessing her quick relief, but breathed her last peacefully
Lived a contended simple life, dedication, commitment, hallmarks of service cheerfully.

To Chandra her beloved husband I extend my deepest sympathies on this inconsolable occasion
The vacuum made by Sally Nona’s serene departure is irreplaceable
Sally Akka your legacy of spiritually’ll live forever encased in loving hearts
Myriad of memories wrapped in maternal love’ll never part.

By virtue of countless meritorious deeds performed
May whatever you wished for certainly be attained
Never be hampered by whims of unkind karma in sansara
May you Sally akka attain the ultimate supreme bliss, Nirvana.

Kumari Kumarasinghe Tennakoon




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