9th February 2003 Volume 9, Issue 30
Day as is commonly known. Whether this day truly symbolises love is in doubt
as 'Valentine's' has become yet another highly commercialised event all over
the world. After the hectic festive season, it is Valentine's Day that sees
shop windows once again decorated, this time with almost anything
symbolising love, and commercial establishments are focused on earning a
quick buck. Flowers (red roses), jewellery, chocolates and almost every gift
item is twisted to suit the occasion and in some cases so is the price - a
single red rose which could otherwise be purchased for Rs. 50 skyrockets to
Rs. 150 or above during this period. Hotel's are also quick to capitalise on
the event, organising dances with various theme. Well, as all the
commercials go on to show, it's all for love or at least in the name of
is it? What about just one decade ago, when Valentine's Day came and went
with hardly a mention of the event here in Sri Lanka? Did people not love
each other or know the meaning of love? Isn't love supposed to be
unconditional and eternal, therefore, if we love someone, should it not last
forever? Unlike earlier, with Valentine's, much attention is drawn to love
and its meaning is harped on till the day comes to an end. Has all this
attention on love created an impact on society? Has infidelity, divorce and
domestic violence reduced because of the prominence given to this emotion,
love? Has society learned to love without making war?
these questions add up to one question - is Valentine's Day really important
to show our loved ones how much we love them?
a housewife in her 40s told The Sunday Leader that she had no idea what
Valentine's Day was till recently. According to her, it is through
commercials that she found out that the day is to symbolise love. "When
we were young, we had no day specified for love," she said. But did
they not know what love was? According to Nalini they knew that true love
was eternal and that meant so much more than giving each other gifts and
saying 'I love you,' just for one day. "Unlike today, where having an
affair with someone seems so easy, we knew that love was something special
and you cannot run around loving everyone."
went on to explain that at a time when Valentine's Day was a non event in
this country, people knew to love each other without any jealousy and would
always come to help anyone in need unlike today. "Today, if you see
someone in trouble down the road, it is very rare that you find someone
offering a helping hand. This was not the case those days." Nalini
feels that Valentine's Day is mainly aimed at enticing young ones to spend
money for no reason at all. According to Nalini, she feels that Valentine's
Day does not really serve any purpose except fatten the wallets of
everyone shared these views. Young ones found Valentine's Day to be quite
significant. According to Natasha (name changed) meeting her boyfriend does
not happen frequently as they are both schooling, but on this day, they make
it a point to at least meet for a few minutes. She went on to say that they
give each other gifts so that every time they see it, they will remember
each other, adding that Valentine's Day gives them a chance to say how much
each person means to the other as they don't often get a chance of doing so.
Gihan also shares the same sentiments as he too makes use of this day to
tell his girlfriend how much she means to him. As for giving gifts, he feels
that the gift shows how special she is to him.
newly married couple, Michelle and her husband feel that Valentine's Day is
a good thing in some ways. According to Michelle, she and her husband are
both working and they sometimes have no time to do something special for
each other. Come Valentine's Day, they both take time to do something
special for each other to show them how much he/she means to the other.
"Today, life is hectic and in a way having a day specially for this
purpose could be good as you somehow take time to show your loved one that
you care," Michelle observed.
in domestic violence
look at whether all this prominence given to love has made any significant
changes in relationships and society on the whole, The Sunday Leader spoke
to an official from Women In Need who said that there has been an increase
in the number of domestic violence cases. She went on to say that awareness
and publicity given to such cases has made others come out with their
for extra marital affairs, both men and women indulge in them, while it is a
more common phenomena among men, the official said. Speaking of divorces,
she said that there has also been a significant increase in the number of
divorce cases. "People tend to take legal sanctions than earlier,"
she said. The reason for all these problems as she pointed out was the fact
that couples don't work on their marriages and they don't seem to have time
for each other. As a result, people find it easier to go from one
relationship to another without any consideration given to children, who
happen to be direct victims of such actions.
official went on to say that all this hype about Valentine's Day is just to
lure the young ones and a gimmick by businessmen to earn a quick buck. All
this hype and attention on love has not made any change in people.
Matrimonial problems are on the rise with divorces being common in society.
According to the official, the feeling of love for another should not be
special only for one day, but always.
to Attorney-at-law Farman Cassim, divorces are definitely on the rise. He
went on to say that when compared with two years ago, there has been at
least a 30% increase in the number of divorces with the main allegation
being infidelity. The reasons for these divorces as Cassim pointed out were
the busy life-styles of working married couples, which end in them having
disagreements; infidelity and love marriages where the couple gets married
all these the result of true love? Looking at all these, one wonders whether
people actually understand the meaning of joie de vivre and whether they
really know what true love is. All this attention given to love during the
first two weeks of February does not seem to make any difference as true
love only seems to be limited to one day of the year - Valentine's Day.
about the other 364 days? Isn't love important then? We seem to be living
like robots with eyes wide shut, following any colourful event that is
thrown at us to grab our attention. It is now time to open our eyes to see
and understand what true love is all about.
politics of saying it with flowers
fragrance of a red rose has never had more significance than during the
month of February. With Valentine's Day a week away, flowers (especially red
roses) are once again in great demand. As each year goes by, the number of
red roses ordered by florists increase in number and price.
despite the great demand for roses and flowers during the season, many of us
would love to receive a red rose on Valentine's Day. A flower blooms and
then dies just like the life of a human being, but those few treasured hours
of having a red rose close to your heart is an unforgettable experience.
you were to walk the streets of Colombo the number of florists you come
across would be unimaginable. The reason being the thriving flower business.
In Sri Lanka while a wide range of flowers are used for many functions, for
the celebration of Valentine's Day, roses sell by the dozens.
despite the vast floral arrangements and designs offered by many upmarket
florists, the shops down Deans Road still seem to be popular among their
customers. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Suranga Sanjeewa from Mahinda
Florists said, "our business was the first to commence operations down
Deans Road. However today there
are so many big and posh flower shops all over the country."
to Wimal Shantha most of their flowers are brought from Nuwara Eliya,
Diyatalawa and Bandarawela. However they do import roses from Holland and
Singapore as well. While a good quality red rose would cost Rs 50 here, for
those who prefer the cheaper ones a variety at Rs 30 is available. The
Singapore roses of white, light pink, peach, off white and yellow on the
other hand cost Rs 75 per flower.
as the end of January nears and the beginning of February comes these roses
shoot up to an exorbitant price of Rs 150 to 300 per flower. "We have
no choice but to increase our prices as our suppliers jack up the
prices" Samantha Susantha said.
to Shantha, Sanjeewa and Susantha the demand for roses picks up only during
the Valentine season and in May and June when these flowers are required for
flowers are supplied by Mascons Company which is why they can be kept for a
week. However if a customer wants a rose decorated in ribbon, wrapping paper
and with a sprig of Baby's Breath the cost is more" Sanjeewa said.
to Sanjeewa last year they had sold 500 red roses on Valentine's Day.
"This year we plan to order around 1000 flowers as the demand has
increased" he said.
do good business with our customers, but people from the big flower shops
say our flowers are not good. How can that be when our flowers are delivered
by the same people who supply for the prominent flower shops in the country
as well," Shantha asked.
Jayasiri Flora around 1000 red roses are expected to sell this year. Even
though competition is high at these shops, since there are a number of them
in a row, these flower sellers rely on their regular customers for their
owners of Jayasiri Flora also own Silani Flora (Pvt) Ltd. Dhammika Gamage
with 23 years service in the flower business says Jayasiri Flora is over 40
years old. "We cater to foreign designs in flowers and even assemble a
single rose or a bouquet during the Valentine season on customer requests.
though the government stopped the import of flowers from abroad they had to
recommence operations as the supply of flowers in the country is not
sufficient," Gamage said.
to Gamage the best way to preserve a rose is to put it in cold water and cut
a little part of the stem.
Florists on the other hand had a fair supply of roses long before
Valentine's Day. Despite their shop being situated in a small area, up
market clients come to them quite often for flowers. "We are expecting
good sales this year too" an official from Jayaratne Florists said.
from the Deans Road flower shops Supreme Orchid, Shirohana and Summer
Flowers will have a wide range of red and lighter coloured roses.
Galadari Hotel has also made special arrangements to create the kind of
bouquet you would want on Valentine's Day. Irrespective of the size or type
of flowers needed, the bouquet can be completed if 24 hours notice is given.
to give child soldiers
playing war games for real will soon be able to have their childhood back as
UNICEF sets in motion an action plan to save the children affected by the
armed conflict and children taken by the LTTE
to train and used in war.
will be involved in the transit centres that will be established. In these
transit centres, displaced children will take refuge and wait till their
parents are traced. Children who have been trained for war and who have
actually 'fought the war' will take a break till they are given back to
their families, and back to their childhood.
children will have access to their parents and unaccompanied children would
be traced. While the family tracing occurs, UNICEF will provide these
children with schooling, vocational training and health care and
psychosocial care as needed.
LTTE has agreed that UNICEF would have access to these centres.
can be no peace without investing in children and there are too many
negotiations that do not involve women and children," observed
Excecutive Director, UNICEF, Carol Bellamy, on her visit to Sri Lanka
last week. Bellamy also noted that the main UNICEF office in Colombo headed
by Ted Chaiban and other UNICEF offices elswhere in Sri Lanka have been
doing an "excellent job."
are many issues related to children and to the peace process. Education and
rebuilding of schools in conflict-affected areas need to be done,"
stressed Representative and Head of UNICEF in Colombo, Ted Chaiban. Chaiban
also pointed out that a school in Palali with zero attendance now showed an
attendance of over 700 children.
hopes to set education in motion once again by giving children in
war-affected areas and areas bordering these regions' books, uniforms and
more importantly by rebuilding their schools, providing drinkable water and
establishing acceptable sanitary conditions.
ought to be allowed to play, to have a childhood and an education,"
were points that both Bellamy and Chaiban stressed on.
duo spoke of their concern about children who
are continuing to be sexually exploited, abused and employed; and
spoke of UNICEF's commitment to make life better for the child by ensuring a
proper education and nutritional status.
executive director also said that she is pleased to note that Sri Lanka has
been polio-free since 1993. Bellamy also stated that parents and families
can report any case of child recruitment to UNICEF in Colombo or their field
offices in Jaffna, Mallavi, Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Trincomalee. Todate the
LTTE has returned about 350 children who have joined the LTTE to their
families since November 2001.
is encouraged that these children are no longer involved in armed
combat, however there remains 730 reported cases of child recruitment
on the UNICEF coordinated data base which are yet to be resolved," said
a UNICEF source.
senior UNICEF officers participated at a recent press briefing on the issue
and among them was Dr. Hiranthi Wijemanne, senior programme officer of the
UNICEF office in Colombo.
bear the wounds, but we don't see the wounds. Children don't understand why
they can't go to school and why they cannot run across the field, that they
once did - they do not understand about landmines - was Bellamy's touching
summing up of the situation of the children traumatised by the armed
developed the economy
as the south returned to normal the situation in the north began to
deteriorate, I suggested to Mr. Premadasa that once the IPKF leaves we
should get the army to occupy those areas to prevent the creation of a
security vacuum. But Mr. Premadasa said that if we send the army into those
areas, it could lead to misunderstandings with the Tamil people and the LTTE,
in the event of something going wrong. During this time the negotiations
with the LTTE were going on and Mr. Premadasa was very keen on ensuring
attempt to find a negotiated solution to the war/ethnic problem began with a
discussion with EROS when Mr. Premadasa was still the PM. I arranged it
through Ganeshalingam and it took place in the Mayor's House. Later when Mr.
Premadasa went to London he met some people who were connected to the LTTE.
This was just before his candidacy was announced. One reason for this flurry
of effort was the elections and our need to win the votes of the north east.
We also had discussions with Vardharaja Perumal as well. At all these
meetings the need for peace was discussed.
the relationship between Mr. Premadasa and the EPRLF soured very soon. The
problems were created by Perumal's close association with India and the
formation of the Tamil National Alliance by the EPRLF. Mr. Premadasa was not
anti-Indian. But he did not like the fact that India was trying to intervene
in our internal affairs and to dictate terms to us. He had strongly opposed
the airdrop and the induction of the IPKF. When he asked the IPKF to leave
it was because he understood that the presence of the IPKF was one of the
main factors helping the JVP to destabilise the south. He wanted to restore
normalcy in the South by neutralising/weakening the JVP. He also regarded
the EPRLF's close association with India as a continuation of the attempt by
India to intervene in Sri Lanka. Perumal became a problem because he was
encouraging India to intervene. Mr. Premadasa felt that Vardharaja Perumal
was an Indian 'puppet.' And when the EPRLF made a Unilateral Declaration of
Independence Mr. Premadasa was very angry. Since Perumal had the backing of
the IPKF his UDI was a serious problem. These factors made Mr. Premadasa
build up a rapport with the LTTE. And when Mr. Premadasa invited all
political parties and organisations including the JVP and the LTTE to attend
the All Party Conference, the JVP refused but the LTTE agreed.
Mr. Premadasa became the President a private meeting was held with Anton
Balasingham and Yogi at the Sucharitha Hall. This was just before the
commencement of the public negotiations. The first meeting between the LTTE
and the Sri Lankan government took place at the Hilton. I was a member of
the government team. I remember that there was a pattern in these
discussions; Balasingham used to remain silent while Dilip Yogi read out
from a prepared statement about IPKF atrocities. The LTTE did not present
any political demands. A.C.S. Hameed was our spokesman. The President told
us in advance to let Hameed do all the talking. So this used to go on. After
every round we were supposed to issue a joint communiqu. Hameed used to say
that he would attend to that as well. He monopolised everything.
remember Foreign Secretary W.T. Jayasinghe once told me: "Don't believe
these people. They are trying a fast one." I told this to Mr. Premadasa.
He said: "Sirisena, this is the old way of looking at problems. Don't
worry. I will settle everything." He was very confident that everything
would work out in the end. Anyway I was not happy with the way the
negotiations were progressing (or rather not progressing) and after the
first few rounds I stayed away.
Yogi and some of their people even visited the Mahiyangana Gam Udawa of
1989. Mr. Premadasa was thrilled about it. I took them around at Mr.
Premadasa's request and showed them all the development work we were doing.
They seemed very impressed.
think what Mr. Premadasa was trying to do was to buy time. He was trying to
keep the LTTE talking while slowly introducing reforms such as instituting
the pradeshiya sabha system. That way the north and east would have had a
group of elected leaders and it would have been possible to give the people
everything they needed for a decent standard of living - such as houses,
electricity, water, jobs. This is what he meant when he said: "Eelam
era ellam kudutharei" (Not Eelam but everything else).
felt that once the basic needs of the people are looked after and they were
given a measure of self-government, eelam would become irrelevant. The armed
struggle would become unnecessary. The LTTE problem would be solved
automatically, without having to wage a war. But for these reforms to work,
peace on the ground and time were needed. So that was what he was trying to
do with the negotiations. Unfortunately he underestimated the LTTE; I think
they knew what he was trying to do and that was why they resumed hostilities
unilaterally, despite all his attempts to prevent it.
could not really fathom Mr. Premadasa on the subject of the LTTE. He was
very upset when the war broke out. He felt that the LTTE had let him down.
After hostilities broke out, Mr. Premadasa came to the conclusion that a
negotiated solution with the LTTE was not possible. I remember that when the
Indians carried out the operation which killed Kittu, he was happy; we were
in India at that time. But on the other hand he did not believe that the
LTTE could be defeated militarily. Nor did he want to do so. He never
believed in war and that was why he was unwilling to unleash the military on
the JVP. I think that was a weakness on his part because as
head of state he could not afford such an attitude. It was that
attitude which killed him eventually. Because even after the resumption of
hostilities he still believed that the LTTE would not do anything to him
personally. After all he was willing to compromise and there was also his
anti-Indianism. Therefore he felt that at a personal level the LTTE was no
threat to him. He was wrong.
the war half-heartedly was not a weakness limited to Mr. Premadasa. I think
it is a result of our democratic system. Anyone who is the leader of the
country would always have the possibility of negotiations in mind. This is
because the majority of the Tamil community are unarmed, peaceful civilians;
they may sympathise with the armed separatists; they may even help in some
ways; but still they are non-combatants and citizens of this country. Any
leader of Sri Lanka will have to think about this group, rather than about
the LTTE. Any leader would want to satisfy these people; or at least not
antagonise them too much. So the result is that irrespective of which party
is in office and who the president is, the war will be fought
half-heartedly. After all it is not a war against some invader from outside;
the enemy is from your country, part of your people, your voters. If you do
not think that way then even genocide becomes possible.
still during Mr. Premadasa's time there were considerable successes on the
military front. We cleared the whole of the Eastern Province. The war was
planned by the military. Mr. Premadasa was not interested in those plans and
there was no political interference. He did not play politics with the war.
The plan was to gradually move up, clearing one area after the other and
finally take Jaffna. That way the LTTE could have been cornered with no
place to retreat to. That was why we first cleared the Eastern Province and
put the STF in charge. That way gradually the LTTE would have got bottled up
in Jaffna. After that it would have been easy to defeat them. In the
meantime we would carry out development work and political reforms in these
areas, giving the people a decent standard of living and a measure of
self-government. He also encouraged the strengthening of Tamil alternatives
to the LTTE by providing assistance to and working closely with former Tamil
militant groups that had entered the democratic process.
and democracy, that was his plan. That way we would have been able to make
the Tamil people give up their support for the LTTE and for eelam. And that
plan was working. We even managed to have local government elections in the
East. There was a Presidential Mobile Service in Vavuniya. Several garment
factories were in operation as part of the 200 Garment Factories Programme.
It was also during this time that the Wanni service of the SLBC was
inaugurated for our troops in the east. Immediately after an area is
liberated we would move in and build houses for the people in the area.
Initially Mr. Premadasa wanted 1000 houses to be built in three months in
the liberated areas. By the
time they were completed he was dead.
think in the last years Mr. Premadasa's plans were falling into place and
his strategy was beginning to work. That was probably why the LTTE expedited
the situation in the south returned to normal Mr. Premadasa began
implementing his developmental blue print. He wanted to create something
Premadasa inherited a country in ruins. But in less than a year he turned
things around. He did not impose more burdens on the people; he did not ask
them to tighten their belts. His idea of development was helping people to
live. He developed the economy by developing the people.
the years Mr. Premadasa had developed a vision for the upliftment of people
of all races, religions, classes and castes. He felt that we have to help
the people and that it was only by helping the people that we can build the
nation. He may have started his political life as a nationalist but along
the way he began to prioritise the people. In fact he felt that the people
are the nation, and it is only by being pro-people that you can be a real
Premadasa always felt that the most dependable allies were the poor,
downtrodden masses. He used to say all the time: "my strength lies with
the people." But he also believed that people of all classes are
To be continued next week
at what cost?
is a price on almost everything in life and even in death there are monetary
costs involved, and they are relatively high.
the prices have not changed with the increases in the price of everything
else, the cost of dying is still high.
into consideration that a person's bread and butter are expensive these
days, death, which is unpredictable, sure cannot be avoided and a funeral
will invariably have to take place at whatever cost.
into account all the necessities that come along with a burial such as the
embalming, coffin, flowers and other needs or wants of a family.
to The Sunday Leader officials from funeral parlours explained what the
trend is these days.
leading funeral home in Colombo city explained that they carry out the
funeral service according to the requirements of the family.
charges have not increased that much they said adding that they also cannot
give a rough estimate because each funeral varies.
parlour will even order flowers, the chairs and put an obituary notice in
the papers on behalf of the family if requested.
director of a funeral parlour said "Obituary notices can cost from Rs.
3000 to Rs. 13,000 so it is difficult to give a set figure."
are not selling a product, we are marketing a service, it is like going to a
doctor where beforehand you can't tell how much the treatment will
in rural areas, in Colombo city the funeral rights are a more personal
issue, so the scenario is very different - it being done according to the
deceased person's wishes or of the family's.
trend that seems to have caught up is that more people prefer to be cremated
rather than buried. This is because many people "don't visit the graves
as often as they used to before. With a cremation the ashes can even be kept
at home. Some people even put the ashes into the sea according to the wishes
of the deceased.
the rural areas many people don't own their own graves unlike in Colombo
where families keep reserved graves with a maintenance fee being paid to the
these reserved places the graves invariably have a tombstone. However for
other unreserved graves these will be re-dug after about three years for
another dead body. In the
Borella Kanatte 90% of the graves are owned by families who pay a
maintenance fee for these places.
are cases where even if a family finds it difficult to accommodate a big
funeral they still want one and have a big funeral at whatever cost.
to funeral parlours outside Colombo city, The Sunday Leader found that many
offer "funeral packages."
packages' are also offered by Colombo funeral parlours but accommodate
changes at the families' request.
funeral parlours outside Colombo observed that although the price of a
"funeral package" has not increased people are spending more on
the medium packages rather than the expensive packages unlike before.
is no increase in the price it is the same old rates that are offered."
embalming, coffin and burial or cremation is all included in these
expensive package with a coffin made with mahogany or teak would cost around
Rs. 100,000 and a medium will cost Rs. 65,000 to 75,000. But even for a
cheaper price a funeral package can be obtained.
are spending less on funeral expenses because they can't afford to pay more.
for many funerals outside Colombo people prefer to be cremated rather than
buried as the pit will be re dug in a few years.
cremation costs Rs. 2000 to Rs. 2500 and is more expensive than burying
because of the gas used and the entire process costs a lot of money.
burying of a body will cost around Rs. 1300 to Rs. 1500, as the grave will
Colombo however the cost of burying and cremation are the lowest when
compared to outstation places says the Chief Medical Officer of Health,
Colombo Municipal Council, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam.
the Colombo burial grounds a cremation will cost Rs. 900 but in Kandy a
cremation costs Rs. 3250 and in Galle it will cost Rs. 3000.
have the cheapest cremation charges says Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam who is in
charge of the CMC owned burial grounds.
gas going up in price and the overheads being high we are running at a loss
but as a policy we are running a service, so it is up to the political
leadership if the prices are to be increased, we cannot change it."
cost of flowers and wreaths have gone up in price by about 5% because there
has been bad weather in the hill country for the last two or three months.
to owners of flower shops down Deans Road they say that now people are
buying less wreaths than earlier.
used to buy about three wreaths. They tend to buy only one wreath now, this
is with local orchids, which costs between Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1250.
size wreaths will cost about Rs. 600 to Rs. 850 with mixed flowers.
increasing cost of living is making people be careful with their money, even
in the event of a death.
fever is rising...
fever has once again gripped the nation. From today, everything else takes
second place. It is cricket, lovely cricket all the way. But is it?
the game that brought the country its highest sporting accolade, also
created herd animals, whose overriding motto is .for a few a dollars more?
the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 in progress right now, cricket fever is at an
all time high and while Sri Lanka isn't as obsessed with cricket as
countries like India, Pakistan and West Indies, it is slowly but surely
becoming a way of life here too.
2003 World Cup tournament, which will run for 44 days ending with the
showdown scheduled for Sunday, March 23, in Johannesburg will have a record
number of teams participating this time around.
42 matches scheduled to be played it is doubtful that people will pay much
attention to work or anything else with the cricket fans glued to their TVs
for hours on end.
cricket is a major industry in countries like India and generates huge
amounts of money through sponsorships and such, in Sri Lanka cricket is
still to reach that level.
are treated like gods and can do no wrong in cricket crazy countries where
little boys dream of becoming world class cricketers. Even in Sri Lanka boys
can be seen playing cricket all over the place in the evenings. A passion of
many, watching the game seems to be a national pastime.
captain of the Sri Lanka cricket team, Arjuna Ranatunga, speaking to The
Sunday Leader said that while the following by the general public is always
there for the cricket team, if you take a player involved in match fixing,
they don't get the same treatment from cricket lovers.
said that as far as he is concerned, the support shown towards him by the
public was huge and that especially during tough times like when he was
dropped from the team, they really supported him.
always felt that I was a part of them because of the way the cricket loving
public encouraged me to get into the side and the way they looked after me
during tough times. Even when the political issues came up, they really
never had a problem with the public following. I always felt that there were
people waiting to see us doing well and it keeps you going. The expectation
can put pressure on players but it didn't affect me. I always felt I had to
give something back by doing well."
someone comes to me with a proper policy, I will listen and if I have gone
wrong, I will correct myself. Even if I did something wrong, people did not
criticise me but were keen on getting the truth from me."
on how cricketers are treated in Sri Lanka, Gihan, an ardent cricket fan
said "The cricketers play for the country while also doing another job.
Cricket is not their profession. They get a huge salary from the board - the
best get about Rs. 6.6 million and the lowest about Rs. 1.5 million per
year. They are not professional cricketers unlike in countries like England.
In those places, their job is cricket. The Sri Lankan cricketers are treated
well enough. If they think about what they get paid and do not concentrate
on the game because they get paid big money anyway, it's wrong. They must
play well, that's what is important."
a university student said, "People really feel it when the team
performs well or does not perform. When cricket is on, even students cut
school to watch the matches. They might as well make cricket the national
sport. The cricketers are treated well enough. They should also be made
professional cricketers without doing other jobs because then they can focus
on improving as a team."
year old Indra is actively involved in her cricket crazy grandson's life and
takes him for cricket practice on a regular basis. With him talking non-stop
about cricket she feels that cricket teaches children how to move about with
others and deal with defeat well. "Cricket teaches children to be less
selfish and encourages team spirit. In the schools, there is quite a lot of
interest taken in cricket. Schools, parents and children take a lot of
interest in the game and as a grandmother I have to undergo torture by
taking my grandson up and down for practices and sitting for hours during
the matches. When the Sri Lankan team wins I am happy otherwise it's no use.
They should be treated well but not like gods. There is enough attention on
cricket and on the cricketers as it is."
or otherwise, the jury is out. If the team returns with the cup or even gets
close to it, they will be treated like heroes. If they fail dismally, heads
will start rolling, but only till the next big victory.
is the great big national addiction.
- the bitter truth
is the generic term used to identify simple carbohydrates which includes
monosaccharides such as fructose, glucose or galctose and disaccharides such
as maltose and sucrose (white table sugar). When fructose is the primary
monosaccharide in your diet the glycemic index registers as healthy since
this simple sugar is slowly absorbed from the gut and then converted into
glucose in the liver and helps to get a gradual rise and fall of blood
glucose levels. If glucose is the primary monosaccharide consumed, the
glycemic index will be higher and less healthy for the individual as glucose
is pumped across the intestinal wall directly into the blood stream.
Glycemic index of foods such as pulses, oats pasta and granary bread is low
as these are slowly absorbed and these achieve a better post prandial blood
the blood glucose level is too low, the person feels lethargic and can cause
clinical hypoglycemia. When the blood sugar levels are too high, this
creates diabetic health problems.
1997, American Diabetic Association considered 126mg of glucose/dl or
greater to be diabetic and less than 110mg/dl is considered normal. The
Paleolithic diet of small amounts of whole grains, nuts, seeds and fruit is
said to have generated blood glucose levels between and 90m g/dl. Obviously
today high sugar diets are having unhealthy effects.
blood glucose may initiate yeast overgrowth, blood vessel thickening
(arteriosclerosis), heart disease and other health problems.
far as I am aware, majority of cancer patients in Sri Lanka do not get
scientifically guided nutritional advice in view of (a) the large number of
cancer patients in the Cancer Hospital and cancer clinics, (b) due to the
shortage of medical personal and (c) due to severe shortage of dieticians in
Sri Lanka. The cancer specialists have hardly any time to devote to these
patients nutrition and they are told "just eat."
patients may have a better outcome if they control the cancer preferred fuel
namely glucose. If the cancer growth can be slowed down, the patient can
allow his immune system to reduce the bulk of the tumour mass to catch
up to the disease. Controlling one's blood sugar levels through diet,
supplement exercise, meditation and prescription of drugs when necessary can
be one of the most crucial components to a cancer recovery programme.
1931, Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, Germ Otto Wartburg first discovered
that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared
to healthy cells. The crux of the Nobel thesis was that malignant tumours
frequently exhibit an increase in an aerobic glycolysis whereby glucose is
used as fuel by cancer cells with lactic acid as the by-product compared to
normal tissues. Thus there is this acidic pH in cancer tissues, and overall
physical fatigue from lactic acid build-up.
guidelines currently state "Eat only a moderate amount of
sugar." Sugar is a major contributor to obesity. Sugar consumption has
increased by approximately 50% in the past decade during which time obesity
and diabetes have also risen. Growing obesity reflects a fall in energy
output and increased intake of energy (etiology, complications and
management of obesity will be discussed in a future article)
in children correlates strongly with intake of sugar and sweetened drinks.
Each additional serving of sugar sweetened drink per day increases the risk
of obesity by 60%. Thus advising a reduction in sugar intake may be a useful
public health measure where diabetes and obesity are concerned. Consume only
moderate amounts of sugar and foods and beverages containing added sugar.
consumption has increased by approximately 50% in the past decade and
obesity prevalence has doubled during the same time.
is the result of genetic predisposition acting in conjunction with
environmental factors. Energy expenditure has fallen as a result of the
increasing sedentary lifestyle.
low fat products are energy dense because they have a high sugar component.
Moreover sugar enriched beverages are a major contributor to total energy
study published in Lancet showed the importance of the form in which sugar
hazards of refined foods like sugar
food is poor food. Reducing dietary fat intake is not the most effective
method of weight loss. Reducing carbohydrates is a better option although
high fat diets have been implicated in obesity.
ideal diet to prevent heat disease (I.H.D) is based on complex carbohydrates
and not on simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates include fruits,
grain, vegetables and legumes (beans) in their natural form and sugar found
in complex carbohydrates are absorbed slowly, thereby helping to keep the
blood sugar level constant and so they do not stimulate your body to produce
excessive amounts of insulin. In contrast simple carbohydrates, sugar and
other concentrated sweetness like honey and alcohol which your body converts
to sugar are absorbed rapidly causing your blood sugar to rapidly increase.
In response your body secretes insulin to lower blood sugar levels to
other effects of insulin
regulating your blood sugar level, insulin stimulates the secretation of
lipoprotein lipase which is an enzyme that increases the update of fat from
your blood stream into fat in your body's cells. As a result when your body
produces more insulin you are more likely to convert the dietary calories
into body fat. In other words, consuming a lot of sugar gives you a double
whammy: you can consume virtually unlimited amounts of sugar calories
without getting full and sugar stimulates your pancreas to produce insulin
which increases the conversion of these calories into body fat.
also stimulates a liver enzyme, HMG-COA that causes your liver to make more
cholesterol. This is the same enzyme that drugs like lovastatin, simvastatin
and atorvastatin are designed to inhibit. Because of this, eating too much
of sugar may increase your blood cholesterol.
insulin may enhance the growth of smooth muscle cells which in turn clog up
your arteries. People with high levels of insulin have higher rates of heart
attacks - insulin may also increase stress levels.
many years of overproducing insulin, some people become insulin resistant
causing them to secrete even more insulin to compensate in a vicious cycle.
These people tend to have high triglycerides and low HLD levels. This
condition is linked to higher rates of heart attacks.
has been found that people become more insulin sensitive when they follow a
vegetarian diet based on complex carbohydrates. Adult onset (Type II)
diabetics usually are able to reduce and in some cases to discontinue
insulin injections when they follow a vegetarian diet (of course under the
supervision of their family physician) and reduce the ravages of diabetes on
the eye, kidney, heart and the nerves which can be reduced if people can
normalise their blood sugar.
complex carbohydrates are not the same. When complex carbohydrates are
refined, they behave like simple sugars. When whole wheat flour is refined
into white flour, the bran and the fibre are removed and these refined
complex carbohydrates are absorbed more quickly provoking an insulin
response. So if it is possible, change whole white bread, whole wheat pasta
and polished white rice to whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread and to
kekulu hal or parboiled rice.
white flour pasta and white rice are all right if consumed in moderation
especially when consumed with vegetables and other complex carbohydrates
such as legumes and fruits.
refined sugar (both white and brown) causes your blood sugar to rise
rapidly. In response your pancreas begin to churn out insulin causing your
blood sugar level to fall rapidly. As your blood sugar level begins to fall,
the pancreas begin to stop secreting insulin but not fast enough so your
blood sugar level may dip even lower than it was when you started and when
this happens you may feel tired and run down. There is a good remedy for
that feeling - more sugar and the vicious cycle goes on and you develop
obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus and so on.
simple sugar, sugar found in complex carbohydrates (starches) are all right
and due to slow absorption from the intestine, complex carbohydrates do not
induce the pancreas to secrete high levels of insulin.
At the Royal Infirmary of Bristol, England, scientists gave normal subjects, meals of apples, sauce and apple juice. This study published in the Lancet found three important facts:
is linked very weakly to heart disease if at all. The problem with sugar as
I mentioned earlier is that it is often found in company with fat: cakes,
puddings, pies and so on. Sugar also provides 'empty calories' and promotes
consumption of sugar should be limited. Use of sugar should be allowed but
not encouraged especially in children. Sri Lankans (like people in the more
developed countries where majority of people don't drink tea or coffee with
sugar) should get used to drinking tea and coffee without sugar. Better to
eat sugar than fat, but only in limited amounts. You will feel better if you
reduce the consumption of sugar. A little goes a long way.
Dr. D.P. Athukorale
Publication (Pvt) Ltd.
410/27, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07
Tel : +94-75-365891,2 Fax : +94-75-365891
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