5th October, 2003 Volume 10, Issue 12
Middle and lower income groups on verge of despair
We are a
group of citizens/pensioners from the middle and low income groups who
unfortunately have all along voted for the UNP and at no stage of these long
years have we asked or received any special concessions such as loans,
houses, land etc. The government along with their ministers bureaucrats have
brought us to the verge of despair.
ridiculous tax debited on our deposits interest which has now been slightly
lowering of the interest rate by the Central Bank which benefits the
corporate companies and multi-nationals to obtain loans but reduces the
interest on our fixed deposits as most of us are not in receipt of pensions
but have invested our hard earned money after years of work.
Commerce Minister’s scheme of 24 hour Sathosa outlets lit up like
carnivals. Can the lower income groups and the poor patronise these shops at
night? Where is the transport? Only Pajeros, Volvos and Benz owners could do
Parliamentarians getting Rs. 15 meals. One such meal would feed a poor
family for a full day. Their double chins, bulging waistlines when seen on
TV are an insult to those who voted them to power.
comes Thilanga Sumathipala with his lopsided tariff structure for phones.
Higher tariff for poor income groups and concessions to the rich. Doesn’t
he realise that the phone for the former is not a luxury but essential? At
times calls are made only to the family doctor, hospital, undertaker, or
family members in emergencies or for an ambulance – a sick friend,
birthdays and anniversaries. Or when their utilities, like water or
electricity need urgent repairs.
of them have ID facilities but are rarely used. Here again only to inform
family members abroad of an illness, death, or urgent problems at home. They
have no time for idle chatter and long gossipy calls to socialites.
Invariably the higher income group users’ bills are paid for by their
companies, government etc.
government and the PM trying to eliminate from society and this world this
particular class of lower income citizens who braved inclement weather,
intimidation etc. to cast their vote?
the Prime Minister please give his immediate attention to these grievances
or else neither the senior citizens nor their progeny will be alive to enjoy
his long promised peace.
of Senior Citizens ,Colombo
Tamilselvan, the Machiavellian political wing leader of the Tigers appeared
on TV and echoed the GOSL spokesman G.L.P. that no camps have been set up by
the Tigers after the MoU. He added sarcastically that the Sihala Urumaya
and the JVP should take over the functions of the SLMM.
same Tamilselvan in his letter dated February 13, 1995 wrote to K.
Balapatabendi, secretary to the president during the Kumaratunga – LTTE
peace talks of 1994/95 as follows:-
accusation that the LTTE is constructing new camps and conducting a massive
recruitment campaign in the Eastern Province in preparation for a major
military offensive is totally unfounded. You will agree that political
cadres should enjoy the liberty of carrying out political work among our
April 19, 1995 the political work and ceasefire ended abruptly without any
prior notice. LTTE frogmen sank two naval gunboats inside Trincomalee
harbour, murdering 12 naval personnel.
39 days that followed, the Sri Lankan security forces and the police, caught
unprepared, martyred 264 of its members and 125 were wounded with additional
civilian deaths of 57 and nine wounded adding to the carnage. Two AVRO
aircraft were also destroyed.
years in time is too short a span to qualify as ‘history’ for the 19th century cliché
about ‘repetition’ to be applicable, but collective Sinhala memory being
only about a piteous two weeks, is it any wonder that the re-play of the
charade with the same villainous liars calling the shots, has not alerted
the government of the day nor the people to rise as one to save the nation.
Perera, Colombo 5
is the SU suicide squad?
months back the leadership of the Sihala Urumaya went on record as
having pledged to establish a ‘suicide squad’ comprising patriotic
citizens to counter the threats from the suicide squad of the LTTE. This has
since passed by but nothing appears to have transpired nor has anything been
heard about it.
they are finding it difficult to recruit volunteers. If that is so, it will
be the responsibility of the leadership of the SU to uphold this glorious
pledge of theirs, by they themselves showing the way forward and enrolling
as the founder volunteers. This would no doubt motivate other patriots to
join them in this noble deed to lay down their lives for the sake of the
country and the people.
made this pledge to the public, it would be a slur on the credibility of the
leadership of the SU if they have decided to go back on it.
such an eventuality, considering the degree of patriotism displayed by the
leadership and members of the SU, it would be a complete let down by them in
the face of the public.
industries – boon or bane?
The BOI and
the government are very proud of the investors they have attracted to the
country, but have we compared the advantages of some of these investments
with the disadvantages? Recently a large number of Indian metal industries
have been started in our country in different industrial zones like Horana,
Mirigama, Avissawella etc. These industries have brought in little
investment and employment but a whole host of environmental problems.
Indian government, realising the danger of these industries has become very
strict in the enforcement of environmental laws and courts have closed a
number of polluting industries in India. It appears that these industries
are shifting to Sri Lanka knowing that we are willing to accept any industry
whatever the pollution it brings. Sri Lanka had hardly any metal industries
and we felt that our environment (air and drinking water) was free of metal
contamination. Why are we risking this?
government seems to be turning a blind eye on environmental pollution.
Mirigama industrial zone is located in a residential area and polluting
industries should not have been approved there. The Avissawella industrial
zone, because of its location upstream to the NWSDB intake point of Colombo
water supply was also supposed to have only low polluting industries. Then
why are these metal industries being located in these areas?
monitoring these industries and ensuring that they are not polluting? Are we
waiting for the Colombo city water supply to be irreversibly polluted with
toxic metals before we take action? Just for a little investment are we
willing to risk the Kelani river, a major source of drinking water, becoming
Perera, Colombo 4
is the country that matters, not portfolios
a newspaper report, TULF MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam (GP) has said he was
the happiest man because the PA/JVP talks about an alliance between the two
parties went bust. There is no gainsaying the fact that he has every reason
to be jubilant.
only GP, but every pro-Eelam politician and bankrupt Marxist in the
pay of NGOs most vociferously promoting the cause of Eelam and the
consequent division of the country, will say alleluias a hundred times and
more to celebrate the occasion. As a matter of fact, it was the bankrupt
Marxists, who had no social or political base to reckon with, first
encouraged Eelam by poisoning the minds of the Tamils with such cheap
political slogans as, “one language, two countries – two languages, one
country” etc., whereas even in India, the “traditional homeland of the
Tamils,” the official language is Hindi. Article 343 of the Constitution
of India states – “The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in
the Devanagari script.” So much for the language jargon.
on alliance talks have, according to reports, fallen apart on trivial
matters such as the question of portfolios. This is a very lame excuse on
the part of the SLFP, because it had, when it wooed the SLMC, no problem
with the portfolios. They got all what they demanded. The country is in
peril. Eelamists, helped by our own slogan-mouthing traitors, backed
by racist Tamil parties and advised by briefless barristers, are well on the
way to writing the deeds for two third of the country which ironically they
do not own, whereas a section of the rightful owners are openly quarrelling
how not to save what is legitimately ours.
SLFP wants an alliance with the JVP whose declared policies on the
country’s unity, sovereignty and integrity are clear as crystal, it is
nothing but right that they be given their due share in the matter of
portfolios etc. For the SLFP, the unity, integrity and the sovereignty of
the country should be more important than portfolios that are not worth a
tuppence, comparatively speaking. Without a country there will be no
politics, nor portfolios, no nothing for that matter.
begins at school
experience my husband and I had, prompted me to write this in order to keep
the public informed. It was during the fourth week of July, as we were
driving down Baseline Road towards Kirulapone that the incident took place.
buses full of kids, boys around 11 years of age were on the parallel lane.
Their pastime was to throw stones on the vehicles on the next lane. Well, a
few did hit our vehicle as well. A windscreen does not come cheap these
days. We managed to overtake the bus and get close to the driver’s end and
during a brief stop at a traffic light, got the details of the school.
school was Kalutara MV. Armed with this information, I called on the
principal of the school a few days later. The person at the other end stated
that the principal was busy and he was in charge of administration and
wanted to know the reason for my call, upon which I stated the incident. He
did admit that kids from all classes were going on trips those days. He
wanted to know the exact number of the bus in order to take action and
before I could make any other comment, he slammed the phone on me.
the purpose of my call was not with the intention of making a police entry
but to make a simple disciplinary comment to the kids and make them aware of
the implications of such behaviour.
this is the state of the schools and the behaviour of the kids who come out
of them, it explains a great deal about the state of our universities and
the youth who come out of them.
to you Mr. Principal!
out the ethnic issue
Sri Lankans (Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and other races) take pride in
saying that we are the descendants of great kings who ruled this country,
the fact remains that we are also the descendants of a subject race for more
than two or three centuries that took orders from foreign masters like the
Dutch, Portuguese and finally the British prior to our gaining this
so-called independence. My candid opinion, although several may disagree
with me is that we never fought and won independence. Independence was
thrust on us.
Britishers, having lost their hold on India, our great neighbour in 1947,
showed little reluctance to grant independence to Sri Lanka the following
year, 1948, the island being a dot in the Indian ocean.
trace the history of this country since 1948 to date will be a waste of
space and also my time. It would be like searching the barber saloon
backyard for anything useful.
were signed several times to be abrogated before the ink dried up “God
only could save the Tamils” were the final words uttered by one
Velupillai’s son, S.J.V. Chelvanayakam who tried his utmost holding the
“dove” in his hand.
to put everything on God, another Velupillai’s youthful son, Pirapaharan
releasing the ‘dove’ took the ‘gun’ instead in his hand.
issue has now been internationalised. While some friendly countries are
trying to sort it out with good intentions yet some others are looking at it
with an eagle eye from the top of the mountain.
how I could sum up. Let your readers be jurors and give their verdict.
P.C.P. Gnanadurai, Uduvil
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