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|Whether ‘the better side won’
|Even before the warmth of the rousing welcome extended to our
cricket team on their return sans the world cup has died down, it
may sound rather unpatriotic, treacherous and uncharitable to make
even a little critical comment regarding them. However, if one is
not a fanatical cricket fan, we begin to wonder whether our
captain’s comment soon after the match that ‘the better side won’ is
correct? Or was the triumph of India due to the lackadaisical,
half-hearted approach to the game shown by our Team Captain
downwards? (TV viewers like us felt that our team was playing in a
target-less exhibition game rather than in the World Cup Final). Or
if our captain’s body language while in the field was any
indication, did some mischievous extraneous factors control our
captain to play a docile role?
Where was that Kumar Sangakkara, who used to rather loudly direct
his fielders, pat them every now and then to energise them and used
to indulge in a bit of sledging even in an ordinary ODI? Why was
Kulasekera, who eventually emerged as our worst performer with 64
runs and no wickets, permitted to continue bowling as much as 8.2
overs when he was being regularly thrashed to the ropes?
This match was also to be a farewell game for our cricket legend
Murali, the all-time great in both forms of the game. In fact, our
cricket-loving President in a message before the Team left for India
had stated that we should win the Final as a tribute to Murali.
However, Murali was treated as almost as a forgotten bowler, and was
seen constantly racing down the field to prevent the hits to the
ropes when Kulasekera was being mercilessly thrashed. When Murali
who was treated almost as a ‘filler’ was given the ball late in the
game despite his valiant efforts to ‘dry’ the ball (which by then
was well soaked having rolled along the ground which had become
quite slippery with the evening dew) wasting much energy he could
not manage his magical deliveries. On that historic day as a fitting
tribute to this legend, who has written our country’s name in
letters of gold in the world of cricket, shouldn’t he have been
given the opportunity to bowl the first over although normally a
spin bowler is not made to open the attack?
All these doubts have been further strengthened after seeing the
expression on our captain’s face when Dhoni and Yuvaraj Singh were
joyously embracing one another after smashing the winning hit in
that revealing picture that appeared in the ‘The Nation’ on Sunday 4
(P16). Could a losing captain wear the happy expression that adorned
the face of our captain in that moment of immeasurable sadness to
millions of game enthusiasts in the country who placed implicit
faith and trust in our Team. May I ask you dear Editor whether the
Foreign Minister of Pakistan also had Sri Lanka in mind when he
advised the Pakistan Team on the eve of their match with India not
to indulge in any form of match-fixing.
C D Mirando
By D S Joseph
It is a bright sunny day as I get off the 101 bus in front of the
Fort railway station. The traffic is congested but in this part of
the city, it’s venial. I am set to make some purchases along with a
friend from India
It is Winston Churchill who said, “The maxim of the British people
is business as usual.” That is an understatement when you enter the
busy markets at Pettah.
Commodity markets have been in existence since the Sumerian
Civilisation in Mesopotamia.
The bazaar in Pettah is probably as old as the city of Colombo
itself. There are two areas in India, Ahmednagar and
Thiruvanathapuram (Kerala) where you find two markets called Pettah!
Retail trade is a vital element in any metropolis. You cannot be
rapid as you walk along the pavements.
We make our first stop to browse for some DVDs. The selection of
English, Tamil, Sinhala, Hindi and an assortment of foreign language
movies is so vast. This is supplemented by a range of music DVDs.
My attention is drawn to a man with unkempt hair. He has
innovatively hung many sunglasses and spectacles on his shirt, for
sale! Yet, another man follows behind, covered in leather and
My friend is looking for shoes. The little kiosks specialising in
footwear are even selling branded shoes at very competitive prices.
We cross the road and walk into the area commonly known as the World
Diligent traders have their own vernacular phrases, enticing you to
buy. The stalls with transverse beams are juxtaposed with clothes
from casual to elegant, with no provision though for a fit-on room.
My friend complains to me that the prices are not veracious. A fat
brother is seated amidst a pyramid of bags, which one can, as he
claims, use for school, office, adventure and overseas travel.
Being an avid reader, I walk into the bookstalls (both new and
second-hand) where an unpretentious elder has for sale even old
Gazettes and periodicals from authors who are now on the other
We stop to refresh ourselves with a fruit juice. This is made with
such speed and dexterity by a man who has silver rings on all his
My friend buys a small screwdriver - This particular shop has all
the gadgets from electrical to garden tools.
We proceed towards Main Street, which is a bargain hunters’ paradise
where they also specialise in “ever-silver ware.”
A mystic looking man attired in orange is selling bracelets to ward
off evil spirits and invoke good luck. I think that this exercise
was totally mendacious.
Our final round is at the vegetable markets where they also sell
We pass a stall where there are live hens and ducks and even a
turkey. The man behind the counter promisingly sharpens his knife!
We are somewhat tired as we board the train to Dehiwela.
At Pettah, traders from all ethnicities and religions live and do
business together, giving a new meaning to Integrated Communities.
I’m very thankful to my beloved father, who has shopped here for
more than four decades and thereby instilled in us the right
attitude in spending our money wisely, whilst teaching us the finer
points in bargaining.
A shopping experience in Pettah will also help you understand the
reality of life and the boundary between wants and needs.
|His contribution to Buddhist
a time when Sri Lankan children were deprived of Buddhist education
due to Western religions being forced upon them, Sri Sumangala Maha
Nayake Thera together with Col. Henry Steel Olcott and Srimath
Anagarika Dharmapala established the Vidyodaya Pirivena and started
many Buddhist schools in many parts of the country like Ananda,
Mahinda, Dharmaraja to save our future young generation.
He established the press, Lankapahana in Galle in 1862 for printing
Buddhist literature. The Ven. Thera was born on January 20, 1827 at
Hikkaduwa. He was baptized and named Niculas. He received his higher
education from the Parama Dharma Cetiya Pirivena, Rtmalana.
The Maha Nayake should be remembered as the pioneer of Buddhist
education in Sri Lanka, and his contribution to Buddhist education
The Ven. Sri Sumangala Maha Nayaka Thera passed away on April 29,
We should be very grateful to the Maha Nayake Thera for establishing
the Buddhist Privena, Vidyodaya and first Buddhist schools and
regard him as the pioneer in Buddhist education in Sri Lanka.
V K B Ramanayake
|Thorny Side of Life
Everyday has a depressing story to unfold
Making us feel like the runt of the litter
Reminding us that life not beer and skittle
Wars, riots and environmental destruction
Unleashed by those ferocious animals
Masquerading on this planet as human beings
Wallowing in a mire of deception and hatred
Sable backdrop painted by an invisible enemy
Ruthless monster known as ‘mother nature’
Metamorphoses into countless shapes
Quakes, floods, bush fires and cyclones
There to offer only spine-chilling stories
Leaving a trail of destruction behind
Not caring for those with tear scalded eyes.
|Electricity bill payment
|Instructions for payments by cheques are not clearly mentioned
on the reverse side of the monthly electricity bills, i.e. in whose
favour the cheques should be drawn, where other monthly bills from
the National Water Supply and Drainage Board and Sri Lanka Telecom
clearly indicate on this matter.
So many consumers find it very difficult whenever they come to pay
their bills at the Electricity Board. I appeal to the Chief
Accountant of the Ceylon Electricity Board to amend the monthly
bills in future before sending them to the consumers through their
A K Gnanakanthan
|In the service of workpeople
for 92 years
|Ninety-two years of dedicated service to the workpeople as at
today is the proud record of the International Labour Organisation
or ILO as it is better known.
When the foundation stone was laid to the headquarters building of
the ILO in Geneva, a scroll was placed with the foundation stone
which read in Latin:
‘If you wish for peace, cultivate justice’
It is this principle that the ILO has upheld since its formation in
1919. In fact, the ideals and principles of the ILO have remained
the same as those advanced and defended by the Labour Movement
throughout the world. The emergence of this world body and the
impact it has had internationally is a fascinating story.
The Swiss government in 1880 proposed that an international treaty
on factory legislation be agreed upon but there was no immediate
response from other European governments. However, 10 years later,
in 1890 representatives from twelve industrial nations met in Berlin
at which conference certain international standards on employing
persons were set. The Berlin Conference suggested that children
under 12 years should not be given employment or made to work and
women and boys under 14 years should not be made to work in mines.
Other proposals were accident insurance and safety and health
regulation. These recommendations or proposals were, however, not
acted upon underlying how labour was treated at that period of time.
In 1896, another similar conference was held in Brussels attended by
those who were interested in labour welfare but that conference too
had little impact on the introduction of labour legislation by
governments. What is however significant is that the Brussels
Conference laid the ground for the emergence of the International
Association of Labour Ligislation in 1900. This Association which
established a secretariat naming it International Labour Office was
financed from contributions made by governments and interested
persons. This International Labour Office set up in Basle is the
forerunner to the present ILO.
The International Association of Labour Legislation held two
conferences in 1905 and 1906 in Berne at which two conventions
prohibiting the use of white phosphorus in manufacturing safety
matches and prohibiting night work for women in factories except in
small establishments were adopted. The adoption of these two
treaties was the beginning of common international responsibility
for labour legislation affecting work life on a world basis. The
work of the Association was halted in 1914 with the outbreak of the
First World War.
After the First World War, at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919,
with the formation of The League of Nations, the International
Labour Organisation was established under the provisions of the
The League of Nations ceased to function with the intervention of
the Second World War but the ILO continued its activities from
Canada and returned to Geneva at the end of the war and became more
representative. As at today, there are 184 member states including
The ILO is thus older than the United Nations itself and is a
Specialised Agency of the world body.
Upali S Jayasekera
|Eulogy in memory of Shri
Sathya Sai Baba
The most prominent Spiritual Hindu Guru, Bhagawan Shri Sathya Sai
Baba so charismatic.
Transformed millions of lives gone beyond animal level, his Dharmic
Passed away due to cardio- respiratory failure, three weeks in
For a miracle, devotees congregated worldwide in different places,
with special prayers virtually.
Known endearing as ‘Swami’ almost by all devotees across the globe
His noble service to mankind beyond comparison, integrity needs no
Always dressed in saffron coloured long robes, with Afro style
Conducted myriad charitable schemes from his Ashram Puttapathi,
Outstanding indomitable, spiritual figure India produced this
Born to kindle loving kindness sans discrimination, to all humanity.
Major spiritual guru, educator, philanthropist, cultural icon in
An inspiration to people of others faiths, not only in his
He declared his present life as reincarnation of Shirdi, former holy
man in India
Then popularly known Shirdi Sai Baba of Maharasta, Nothern state in
He built an empire of schools ‘n centres worldwide that spread His
To lead human community to the path of Peace, taught the lesson of
humanity ‘n reverence.
Devoted great deal of attention, time, to matters pertaining to
healthcare and education
His super speciality hospital with eleven operation theatres free
service in dedication.
Curing ailments beyond capabilities of mainstream medicine with
His contribution in the field of education, healthcare, single
individual feature remarkable.
Devotees in 178 countries, 1,200 Sai centres in 114 countries no
85 year old phenomenal personage, with a sixth sense, selfless
service, unwavering dedication
Followers believe he possessed supernatural powers to conjure
objects from thin air
Visit devotees in dreams, cure terminal illnesses, remember past
lives, not just nightmare
Operated drinking water schemes, universities for males ‘n females,
a museum, a planetarium
Thousands of prayer centres across the globe to stir innate divinity
in man to the maximum
Eight years later He’ll appear as PREM SAI millions of devotees
By virtue of countless benevolent contributions to mankind May this
wish be attained
Kumari Kumarasinghe Tennakoon