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.
|Whom to follow, traffic lights or traffic
We seem to have umpteen number of traffic cops on
the roads these days practically one every few yards specially in
the mornings and in the evening. They are being trained very well to
wave the hands to quicken the traffic. Watching them doing this duty
perfectly gives a lot of insight into the mentality of these
Some will keep waving them even when the vehicles are bumper to
bumper and cannot even move an inch – wonder whether this waving
motion actually speeds up the traffic at all. No one has done any
study on this but someone at the top had decided this has to be done
and – so be it – the practice goes on, whether fruitful or not!
The other amusing action is the attitude of the traffic police at
the traffic lights. They just stand at the middle of the road and
direct traffic quite contrary to the traffic lights. At some places
these traffic cops are not quite visible and the motorist may not
even realise that there is a traffic cop there and may accelerate
when a green light is on only to find he has to brake suddenly. It
is amazing we don’t have many accidents at these places! Either the
traffic lights must be followed or the traffic cops – when both act
contradicting each other it is quite confusing. A few cops just
stand and watch and come into the field only when necessary, the
The traffic from Wellawatte towards Mount Lavinia is very light
in the mornings and very heavy in the evenings. The opposite lanes
are hardly busy. Why not utilise one lane on the opposite lane to
ease the congestion of traffic? In the mornings one lane on the land
side can be cordoned off with traffic cones and used to allow the
traffic towards Wellawatte and in the evenings vice versa.
Similarly, the action of the cops at the bollard at the Waidya
road junction in Dehiwela for motorists to take a U turn, to turn
into the side lanes, says a lot of about the intelligence of the
officers. There are some officers who will think and let the
motorists take a U turn if the oncoming traffic from Mount Lavinia
is light. There are some even if that lane is empty will keep waving
their hands (their trade mark) asking the motorists to move on, to
turn only at the Dehiwela junction – adding more to the snail pace
moving of the vehicles, not realising they are contributing
unnecessarily to the traffic jam. No talking or reasoning is
allowed. Only a bark to say move on!
Many a time the actions of the cops are totally unwarranted. Simply
because they don’t think – it is as if they just do what they do, as
if, they have to do something - anything! Or is it the feeling of
being powerful to stop/direct vehicles as they wish for no reason at
It is good to have the traffic cops but they should act with a
little wisdom and reasoning. They should be taught to think and act.
Not just take their duty like a robot without rhyme or reason.
Dr Mrs Mareena
|Fish but at a price
there is a busy fisheries harbour at Beruwala and an abundant catch
of fish is brought to the ashore daily, still the consumers have to
buy the fish at exorbitant prices.
The Fisheries Corporation Centre operates in the Beruwala harbour
premises has always insufficient stocks of fish while the private
vendors have ample stocks even to deliver to various distant areas
This is obviously due to the manipulations of the private fish
vendors in cahoots with the corporation employees.
Unless the Ministry of Fisheries takes any remedial measure, the
ordinary consumer will not be able buy fish at reasonable prices.
C M Kamburawala
|Big credit card discounts, a
I am writing this letter to advise all
credit cardholders particularly housewives who are gullible to dirty
tricks employed by the promotion of various supermarkets and outlets
by using particular credit cards. All those gilded advertisements
indicating big discounts is a huge farce which has gone unchecked by
any decent authority in government or private sector. As to why
there has been no authority either controlling or regulating the
lies of these hawks is incomprehensible in this modern age.
If ever you see an advertisement promoting discounts from 5 to 50%,
you can be sure that the 50% discount would be for some faded old
balloons or some useless items.
Before you do your shopping, check as to what exactly is entitled to
what discount or you will be saddled with a meagre discount or no
discount at all because they all cover these up under ‘Conditions
Apply’. It is always the poor sales girl or the cashier at these
supermarkets and outlets that bear the brunt of the wrath of the
customers. I have personally witnessed many angry customers berating
these poor girls at the counter. In fact, I myself have been annoyed
and have confronted them about this kind of robbery perpetrated by
so called respected private sector companies.
So beware, especially during this season of these predators, who
will brew everything possible to entice you part with your credit
cards for purchases you do not want for which you have to pay
enormous interests to the banks.
|Time to regulate private hospital charges
I recently channeled a consultant at a leading private hospital in
Colombo 5 and obtained my appointment. A day or two later, I
realised that I had a prior engagement from which I could not get
out of, and decided to postpone e appointment by days.
The reason I had to postpone it by seven days is because the
consultant was due only once a week! However, to my utter disbelief,
the channeling counter demanded an additional Rs.300/- for making
the change. The irony is that they would accommodate me without the
additional charge but would list me as the last patient on the day.
This is clearly another instance of the manner in which these so
called ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ continue to fleece the public.
There are so many complaints from the public about the manner in
which these hospitals operate and sadly, there is no help to the
public from anyone and they continue to bear the brunt of these
unethical, unjustified charges. It’s no wonder that all these
hospitals claim to have realised huge profits at the end of the
year! Yet, they advertise themselves as ‘paragons of virtue’ whereas
their hearts are akin to rotten apples!
Surely, its time the Ministry of Health looked at these ‘operators’
with some concern. But for the mess they are in, would any sensible
person prefer to visit a government hospital for treatment?
Unfortunately, they have no choice but to be fed to these ‘wolves’.
R de Silva
|Pedestrians at risk without zebra crossings
As part of the accelerated development programme (Your tax rupees at
work) of the city of Colombo, Galle Road - from Bambalapitya to
Colpetty – one will not fail to notice that there is a hive of
activity on account of the renovation being in progress. This is
handled by the Municipal Engineer’s Department under the direction
of Mahinda Rajapaksa as mentioned in the metallic board installed at
the Bambalapitya junction.
One day, when walking down this road after lunch from Bambalapitiya
junction towards Colpetty, I noticed four mini boards hung from the
gantry close to Lindsay Girls’ School. The four boards with the
narrations, in order, were Bus Lane, Traffic lane, Traffic lane,
Merging lane. The “Bus lane” board was on the seaside and the
“Merging lane” on the land side. I have doubts whether all the
drivers and riders will see this. Therefore, I hope the ME
Department /Road Development Authority/the Municipality or the
authorities responsible, paint broken white lines demarcating the
four lanes for the benefit of the motorists plying on this road.
Now, the road is wider than it was with the centre island removed
and in the absence of zebra crossings I see people crossing all over
the place risking life and limb inconveniencing both motorists and
themselves. I suggest that traffic cops be stationed at a few points
to help the pedestrians to cross the roads until such time the zebra
crossings are painted.
Democrats been there, dawn that!
Codename: Mother may I.
Mother, may I step up or step down?
The world’s my barrack
Black flags for the rest.
Irene De Silva
E W Balasuriya
Great sports promoter of Kandy
Last year in April, Kandy lost one of its most versatile
sportsmen, sports benefactor, and philanthropist and above all a
gentleman of the highest calibre, E.W. Balasuriya. Many seem to have
forgotten the past glorious moments of Kandy rugby, but there are
still a few who remember the part played by late E.W. Balasuriya,
his invaluable services for sports in Kandy.
E.W., as he was popularly known, was a great lover of cricket and
represented his school. He first played for Dharmaraja College,
Kandy and later for Ananda College Colombo as an opening batsman.
He is the person who founded the Kandy Lake Club rugby team which
later was changed to Kandy Rugby Football Club [KRFC] in view of the
rugby’s top administrators stopping Kandy Lake Club from playing
professionals in the team. E.W.’s Kandy Lake Cub was one of the
finest sports organisations outside Colombo in the early days,
adding rugger to there numerous other sports activities. At that
time they played cricket, hockey, and also had iron sports.
Kandy Lake Club was founded in 1962, and this club reached great
heights in sports. In 1963, it took up rugby and played in the “B”
division. Some of the sports enthusiasts who backed and supported
the club at rugby were Col. Stanley Ratwatte, Dr C.D.L Fernando, Dr
Dago Gunawardene, Dr J.C. Blok some of the names which came to my
mind. And the first rugby coach was Col. Sydney Ratwatte. Maurice
Perera, National Iron Sportsmen Niyas Majeed led the first rugby
side, the team was formed with products from St Anthony, Trinity, St
Sylvester, Vidyartha and St Pauls. Except the Trinitians, rest of
them had never played rugby at that time. In 1966, they became he
“B” division champions.
Vidyartha’s T.B. Wijasinghe led the side in a few games and later
was pulled by CR & FC. Farook Dole took over the leadership and led
the side to become the champions. In 1967, he played for he first
time in the “A” division playing the very first game in the “A”
division against the defending champions Havelocks SC. They held
them to a 3 all draw at Havelock’s Park, the second game was against
CH & FC, that game was played at Maitland Crescent and that too
ended in a 3 all draw. Then in the second round beat Haveocks SC at
Nitawella. In their very first year of “A” division they were placed
third in the league behind Havelocks SC and CR & FC. In 1970, a sad
day to Kandy Lake Club came with a knockout blow from the rugby
authorities of that time for playing professional players in the
Later in 1971, E.W. formed Kandy RFC which played in the “A”
division up to 1973. Then on a suggestion made by late Dr K.B.
Sangakkara, one time President of Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union,
E.W. amalgamated Kandy RFC with Kandy Sports Club and played under
one banner from 1974, they sported the Kandy Sports Club rugby
[White jersey with the red Lion Logo] and wore the Kandy RFC
stockings [Red and Black striped].
In 1975, E.W. became the President of the Kandy Sport Club. Trinity
Rugby Lion Iswan Omar was appointed to lead Kandy Sports Club in
1975 having earlier captaining the KRFC in 1972 under the Presidency
of E.W. Balasuriya. The team had a good season under difficult
conditions with the competitors. However, this side qualified to
play in the Clifford Cup Knock Out - Semi Finals at Havelock Park,
lost to Sri Lanka Air Force S.C. late in the second extra time by 3
points. Then again in 1986, he became the President once again and
this time, the team went up to the semi-finals of the R. Premadasa
trophy tournament and lost.
He gave a big hand for cricket; in the 1960s, Kandy Lake Club had a
top class cricket side, and was also good in hockey and
Although E.W. Balasuriya is no more his memory will remain forever
in the minds of all those who knew his value, qualities and above
all his sportsmanship. He will not be forgotten by the rugby loving
public of Kandy. It is very difficult to find such an all-round
sports promoter, who had the highest regard, respect for sports
promotion in Kandy. It was he who organised the first cricket Test
match at Trinity College Grounds, on a request made by late Gamini
|My Mother Emma Kumarasinghe
Eulogy in memory of fifteenth year death anniversary
Remembering dear angel, my mother, your fifteenth death
In obeisance I offer this humble eulogy for a lady truly exemplary
Old good Spherdian faithful to alma mater she says a blessing
She hailed from a respectable Kandyan family from Gampola so
Countless benefactions at Dematagoda Mallikaramaya, Borella
In youthful zeal prominent dayaka punctual in sun or rain was she.
A loyal devout Buddhist unquestionable boundless integrity
Helped the needy generously expecting nothing, purely for charity.
Like a fountain quenching thirst, to me she was in disguise a deity
Guiding star, radiating values with a ray of lucid dignity
When troubles thicken in heavy or mild matters of adversity
She took us under her wing, wiping tears consoling in undisturbed
Soaring in your humble heart Forgiveness togetherness
Imprinted in the sounds of time your straightforward righteousness
We recall how your lovingly wholeheartedly nurtured ten of us to be
We owe you that unfailing gratitude as it should be.
Virtuous minstrel angel with glowing super maternal love
I still feel your unstrained smile greeting me, symbol of unmatched
Extraordinary great grandma lost to the next generation
Your tenderly, graciously, sprinkled genuine appreciation.
Through fields of memory I recall your monumental tolerance, true
An angel on earth, embodiment of simplicity since my happy childhood
Each day with courage you left us lasting unshaken impressions
Par excellence you performed seven stages of effortless life,
epitome of warm mannerisms.
‘Emma’ affectionately addressed by my loving father his only
She was the driving force of his noble teaching profession.
Forever enthroned in my heart soft spoken spiritual lady
May your sansaric sojourn be free from hindrances in every way.
Dasa masa urekathwa - Posethi uddikaranang
Ayudeegjan vassasathan - Mathupadan namamahang
- Kumari Kumarasinghe Tennakoon
|Ronali Mendis de Silva
She was keen
to work with children
Ronali succumbed to a massive heart attack recently. She was
married to a Baptist Minister Heshan de Silva. Ronali has left
behind not only Heshan and others but also her children, the
youngest being two months old.
I first met Ronali soon after she left Bishops College as a member
of the Bishops Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC). I still vividly
remember that interview she faced as a person seeking ordination in
the church and she was very keen to work with children. Therefore,
we sent her to Hambantota to do fieldwork. It was then that she met
Heshan and married him. The rest of Ronali’s life was confined to
the Baptist Church as a spouse of a Baptist Minister.
I kept in touch with them because Heshan was one of my Pilimitalawa
students. It was only a few days before her death that we at a
Pilimitatawa past teachers’/ past students’ lunch that we referred
to Ronali’s new baby. And subsequently I met them briefly when
So, it was certainly a shock to learn that she had suffered a heart
attack at her grandmother’s thanksgiving service at which Heshan had
We shall always thank God for Ronali and her very brief life and
ministry. Heshan and the family and the others can certainly be rest
assured of our love and prayers always.
May her soul rest in peace and rise in glory! Amen.