Vesak: Hypocritical Event
Going past the fish and meat counter at the supermarket on Vesak day, I found a notice “NO meat will be sold today as it is Vesak” The meat counter was empty.
However, the adjacent fish counter was full of various types of fish killed, cleaned and displayed tantalisingly.
Salmon was also available.
100gm of this cost a day’s wage for an average wage earner!
What hypocrisy is this?
Do fish not have life?
It appears that it is permissible to kill fish, display them on supermarket shelves.
Could they be sold to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Moslims?
But no meat can be displayed or sold on Vesak and other poya days!
This country is indeed a very hypocritical country!
The same goes for alcohol.
Those who like a tipple, stock up well before Vesak or other Poya days.
Dr. Asoka Thenabadu
Shopping Precinct Or Army Hospital
It was reported in your recent issue that a plaque recently erected in the old Dutch Hospital building in the Colombo Fort says ‘…The Shopping Precinct at old DUTCH HOSPITAL of Colombo Fort, restored under…’
The thrust of your comment was about the questionable use of the honorific ‘Hon’. I have no quarrel over the use of the honorific. Observances of norms and protocol have been jettisoned a long time ago. Some time back there was a controversy over the use of the title ‘doctor’ by all and sundry and a committee headed by the Prime Minister was appointed to lay down guidelines. But it all ended liked all committees with no outcome. Hence there is no way how the use of a commonplace adjective like honorable can be controlled.
My issue is about the sloppy use of English, particularly in a publicly displayed plaque. It speaks of a restoration. To restore is to bring back something to what existed earlier. In this instance, what is the item that has come out of the restoration? A hospital — or a shopping precinct? As far I know there has been a hospital and if what has been done is a restoration the outcome should be a hospital. What is there now is a shopping precinct. Then what had been done were not restoration but a modification and refurbishment.
B. N. Senaratne
Punishments At School
The Second Term has commenced and students are once again getting used to the routine of attending schools scattered in various parts of the country. From morn to eve, even at weekends, it is a struggle for many a student. Travelling to and from school, missing meals, attending tuition classes are their perennial tasks. The set up in this country is such, at the present moment, that a reasonable inference is that when these children grow up to be men and women, they certainly will not be physically fit and mentally stable to run the country than those holding the reins of administration now.
In addition to their woes, school children are exposed to inhuman, cruel treatment at the hands of some of their teachers. This is a daily occurrence and the local press, just last term carried reports of abuse amounting to severe injuries in most cases; inflicted on innocent, helpless students by individuals claiming euphemistically to be Teachers? When in fact, they happen to be incorrigible sadists, sex perverts (even wearing ochre robes) and protestors. To every case reported, over a dozen go unnoticed or publicized, making people aware of the grave harm inflicted on these children for the most part of their early teens and childhood. On partial investigations made, two aspects have emerged – one, teachers who do not know their subjects cow their pupils down by substituting thuggery for knowledge, two creating a sense of fear in the school among the pupils as being tough and therefore whatever they do or say should be above questioning. Schools are not holy precincts exempt from the applicability of the law. Unfortunately, there is no code of procedure in this regard. In these connections, it is said that there are regulations teachers should observe in dealing with alleged offences. These are dead letters and justly so because despite trials that miscreant probably delights in giving vent to their uncontrollable inflated egos. The sooner the authorities take meaningful action and have the teaching profession cleansed of these undesirables; it will be advantageous to the citizens of tomorrow.
R. L N. de Zoysa