25th July, 2004 Volume 11, Issue 2
doomed so long as a
Airlines with their head in the skies advertised some time back that this
tiny island will show what peace is to the whole world! Do they ever think
that so long as there is a maniac at the helm of affairs: doing the most
undemocratic acts that would leave Zimbabwe in the shade, even eat dirt if
power can be retained or usurped, spend as if there is no tomorrow, tell the
most glaring lies to deceive the masses, smile at them as if butter would
not melt in the mouth, have around the most hypocritical people who they
jolly well know that what is going on is total ruin of this country yet put
on a fa‡ade that they are gentlemen of honour and are sincere.
they got a conscience that tells them that they are the scum of the earth
for being supportive of a leader who is rotten to the core?
is now up to the educated to change their attitude of burying their heads in
the sand and pretend that if they ignore things, they will go away. Sri
Lanka is doomed as long as the cronies (except a very few) dominate the
political scene, holding elections every other year, grab as much as they
can when they can when they get elected, thwart justice, hoodwink the
public, promote all their friends and relatives into high positions, acquire
as many state vehicles as possible.
then have the same set of unsuitable people doing work for which they are
unfit by all standards, perpetuating crime and fraud at the highest level.
How many murderers (who have got away because of their position) and
criminals (who again have escaped justice because the system is impotent to
convict them since their appointments are by the grace of those whom they
grovel to) are mocking at the legislature and sitting in parliament?
E. de Mel
fault is not in our stars!
state TV informs us daily of the lucky times tomorrow and when to watch out
for Rahu, the spoiler. There is a tendency now-a days to rub in what is 'un-Buddhistic.'
When the Buddha urges us to be self-reliant, even to the extent of
mitigating the effects of past bad karma, why is it being dinned into us
that astrology/nekath rules over our fortunes and misfortunes?
in nekath leads naturally to charms and mantharas. The best proof that
charms and mantharas are baloney is the number of those who have been blown
to smithereens, with charms and mantharas obtained hot-hot from the swamis,
rishis, and soothsayers of India.
spite of everybody knowing this, what an exodus there is across the Palk
Straits to obtain more! Our parliament opens to an auspicious time, even
jolts to a sudden, unexpected halt to accord with the auspicious time given
by the seers. Elections are fixed, ribbons cut, lamps lit, oaths taken,
papers signed, poojas performed and coconuts smashed before shrines, all to
the tune of nekath.
result is a country, so ravaged by the bad governance of nekath addicts,
that it is now careering towards self-destruction. Could true Buddhists have
brought it to such a pass?
of worsening the depressed mind-set of the Sri Lankans, the state TV should
replace the skit with some pithy sayings, extolling courageous independence,
emphasising that the fault in not in our stars. The Buddhist texts abound
with get up-go-do-it yourself calls. Who will want to know what time rahu is
due to strike, if he has heard and understood the Buddha-word.
behaves righteously in deed, word and thoughts in the morning, noon and
evening time, surely a happy morning, noon and evening will be theirs!"
hath no fury like a 'convict' beaten
above phrase, although freshly coined suits an Australian down to his dirty
bootlaces. I am talking of Aussies connected to the cricketing fraternity
and those who jump on the bandwagon, to bask in the reflected glory such as
the highly unpleasant and controversial John Howard. Otherwise, how on earth
could anyone explain the mass hysteria and words of hatred and malice, which
emanated from every Australian worth his salt in cricketing circles and
those such as Howard once Muttiah Muralitharan broke Courtney Walsh's world
record before every Australian's pet poodle Shane or is it Shame Warne.
action may or may not be legitimate but the fact remains that the apex body
of world cricket, the ICC has had no problem with it for the past so many
years despite the conniving methods of several Australians (who else?) and
envious stooges such as Bishen Bedi to sensationalise matters. In this
context, it seems ridiculous that an old problem has once again been dragged
out, with Muralitharan on 527 wickets. Clearly, the issue of Murali, a
little Sri Lankan, sitting on top of world cricket's bowing honours list
rankles quite a few Australians and their colonial masters, the Englishmen.
we are at it, lets also ponder awhile about the deeds of Warne, Murali's
closest challenger, whose shameful resume outside of cricket reads thus -
Took prohibited drugs, allegedly popped in to his mouth by his doting mum,
played the role of a 'weatherman' to accept money from a notorious
bookmaker, which matter was swiftly swept under the carpet by the holier
than thou Australians with a ridiculously small monetary fine.
also made lewd and obscene phone calls and sent text messages to women in
three different countries - England, Australia and South Africa (what a role
model), he also took money from an organisation to quit smoking, then puffed
to his heart's content on the sly and when caught on camera by a teenager
tried to assault him.
list is endless. This is an individual for all his cricketing skills, who is
in clear need of psychiatric help. Compared to him, Murali is almost an
angel and all he has done is bowl and take wickets according to the rules
laid down by the ICC and not the Australians.
a poser for Sri Lanka Cricket and its cricketers in general. Why is it that
they run to Australia at the slightest hint of a toothache? Aren't there men
and material with similar or better skills than Australians to handle
medical or scientific matters in other countries?
for once unite and keep our dignity while shunning the biased Aussie
cricketing fraternity, for their mud slinging campaign against one of our
this witch-hunt for Fr. Rector?
read with interest a newspaper report about an injunction and warrant issued
by the District Court of Colombo on Fr. Rector in a case filed by two old
boys of St. Joseph's College. Reading further, I was dismayed to discover
that the huge song and dance is only over the fact that an annual general
meeting was held without being preceded by the usual Holy Mass.
think to myself 'For God's sake, give the man a break.' He has in his tenure
as rector, taken St. Joseph's College from strength to strength. Fr. Rector
has left no stone unturned to improve the image of St. Joseph's as a major
player in the fields of academics, sports and the arts. He has moulded the
students not only by ensuring that they are given an all-round education,
but also as young men who will fit into society academically, socially and
culturally - sons that Mother Lanka will be proud to call her own. More than
that, Fr. Rector has conducted himself with dignity and integrity and has
always led by example.
to the two old boys responsible for seeking legal intervention to have an
annual general meeting preceded by Holy Mass, I say, get over it and stop
your witch-hunt - channel your energies into worthwhile projects like
community and social service for the youth. Stop making a mountain out of a
mole hill and appreciate what Fr. Rector has done for St. Joseph's. Life is
too short to dwell over petty things - concentrate on the bigger picture!
an expenditure of over Rs. 800 million on the last general election,
parliament has met four times. On three occasions there was pandemonium.
it was during the election of the Speaker. One deputy minister sat on the
ballot box preventing the casting of votes. The masses at the election
behaved very much better than most of the elected representatives.
the next occasion the same deputy minister carried the mace, and there was
mayhem in parliament.
punishment should be meted out by the Speaker to the members concerned who
behaved in this most unruly manner whether they be in the opposition or in
the government. The guilty should be debarred from attending parliament for
three months. It was not this kind of behaviour that was expected by the
people from the MPs elected to the supreme legislature of the country.
According to media reports, the well of parliament resembled the aftermath
of a cyclone.
Prime Minister, Speaker, Leader of the Opposition, Leader of the House, the
Chief Whip and all party leaders should meet and see that they come to a
consensus among principal parties for conciliatory governance with speedy
policies to lessen the burdens of the people.
dramas with state media playing centre stage
earlier had 'Operation Brief Case' and more recently we saw 'Operation 113'
- both of which ended in total failure. But hold your breath; now, with the
new media minister having identified the "real enemy" there is
bound to be more to follow, with the state media playing centre stage.
thing that emerges from the drama enacted in parliament on June 8, is that
this country can boast of some very talented super-stars who could well be
used for the production of a real thriller and box office draw, at a time we
lack some good entertainment.
already have on hand an actor of sorts, with some experience, who showed us
that the role of a street fighter comes to him quite naturally. Then, there
is the character whose track record is as dark and gloomy as the deep ocean,
of which he is quite familiar with from his dubious past, to readily play a
fitting role. For a scene depicting taxi driver warfare, we don't need to
look too far to pick a suitable player also with an abundance of experience
in the field.
most talented of the lot is the one born and blessed with the inherent foxy
snout to play the lead role, if someone should write a suitable script which
may be headlined 'Who stole the mace?' Of course, the required cameraman is
readily available with state-of-the-art high tech equipment at his disposal,
complete with five star coiffure and designer clothing etc, etc. And, to cap
it all, the state media will give the necessary publicity provided the UNP
will be torn to shreds in the course of the dialogue included.
fellow Sri Lankans, we can look forward to some great dramas, by a cast hand
picked by our own selves. And the good news is that, we don't have to visit
Lionel Wendt for this entertainment. Just watch your TV monitors on days
that parliament sits - which also may not be too often so that you won't be
to entire medical staff
was Monday, June 14, when the fourth blood count revealed that my
granddaughter, Sanuli, 8, was suffering from dengue haemorrhagic fever. Her
PLT count had dropped to 37. As advised by our family physician, Dr. Sarath
Paranavithane, she was rushed to Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital.
time was around 11 a.m. and the hospital was crowded for admission of mostly
dengue patients. It was God's mercy and grace that my good friends, Dr. (Mrs)
Ruwani and Dr. Asoka Moragoda came to my assistance to get my granddaughter
admitted as soon as possible. Only then I knew that my granddaughter's
condition was very serious. Her life was on the borderline - she was in a
state of 'shock.' The doctors said if we delayed another half an hour to
admit her, it would have been fatal.
thank God for the prompt attention given to my grand daughter by all the
doctors, sisters and nurses of Ward 1 under the care of Dr. (Mrs) Rani
Wasala - consultant paediatrician of the hospital. If not for their caring
hands and prompt attention today, we would have lost the little angel, God
gave us. She was given 18 bottles of saline.
1 was full of dengue patients. It was so overcrowded that beds had to be
shared. My grand daughter was there for one week and through this time I saw
how these doctors, sisters and nurses worked round the clock morning, noon
and night very patiently with a pleasant smile on their faces cheering up
the worried and anxious mothers and the sick children like ministering
angels from above.
owe a 'big thank you' for saving not only my grand daughter, Sanuli's life
but all the helpless children who were under the care of the medical staff
of this ward. I thank God for the miracle healing and bow my head to this
hospital for having such dedicated doctors, sisters and nurses who take good
care of the helpless patients who come to them, irrespective of caste, creed
beloved wife Kamala passed away on May 6, 2003 and less than two months
later, on June 25 my close friend of over 50 years, Karu died leaving me
even more bereft and lonely. I first got to know B.J. Karunatileka (known by
his older friends as Karu and by more recent acquaintances as BJ) in 1950 as
a fellow hosteller in the Wesley College boarding when we were both around
14 years of age.
1955 I lost contact with him when I entered the University in Peradeniya and
he took on employment as a medical rep at J.L. Morisons. We resumed our
friendship in 1960 when I had passed out and began working at Lever Brothers
as a management trainee. From that time until his demise in 2004 we were the
closest of friends. We had our share of joys and sorrows. His wife Cynthia
died after a long and traumatic battle with cancer in July 1992 leaving him
a broken man. Unfortunately I was living abroad at the time of Cynthia's
death and could not provide Karu comfort and consolation in his time of
need. It took Karu several years to overcome his grief but he did eventually
return to normalcy.
the course of our association Karu and I also shared many happy experiences.
One annual event that brought our families immense pleasure was the holiday
we spent with our schoolmate and buddy Clinton Rodrigo and his charming wife
Yvette. At that time Clinton was the monarch of all he surveyed from his
spacious bungalow on North Meddekumbara estate in Watagoda. The comfort of
Clinton's bungalow and Yvette's graciousness; good food and drink and the
salubrious upcountry climate made those holidays wonderfully memorable.
There were many other times of joy and laughter that we spent together which
I now recall with nostalgia.
formal academic education was confined to GCE 'O' Levels but he educated
himself very thoroughly in the university of life. He was well informed and
well read and his general knowledge was only surpassed by that of his son
Nalin who won every public general knowledge competition held in Sri Lanka,
including the Dulux contest and the Mahaweli quiz! In fact the legendary
Gamini Dissanayake is said to have admitted that Nalin knew a lot more facts
about the Mahaweli Scheme than he did as the pioneering Mahaweli minister.
in addition to his prodigious knowledge was also a good writer and an
eloquent public speaker. Karu's competence is clearly demonstrated in the
fact that he rose from the modest rank of medical rep to the position of
Joint managing director of J.L. Morison Son & Jones.
and I had many common interests. We served as committee members of the
Havelock Sports Club for many years and as president in successive years.
Those were the halcyon days of the Park Club when defeat at rugby was a rare
occurrence! We were both also committed marketing professionals and though
we worked in rival business organisations we did our best to promote the
cause of marketing through our association with the Sri Lanka Institute of
were loyal old Wesleyites and both served as vice presidents of the OBU. We
both loved Western classical music and English literature. However, in
temperament we were poles apart. I have always been a reserved person. Karu
on the other hand was very much of an extrovert and in addition to Havelocks
he was a prominent member of Bloomfield, Capri, and the Old Wesleyites
Sports Club. He revelled in club life and camaraderie. In his school days he
was affectionately referred to as 'Puller' because of his tall stories. Even
as an adult, Karu was a raconteur with a zest for relating yarns with more
than a measure of exaggeration. Karu once told me that he was a late
developer and didn't start talking till he was five years old! He made up
for this lapse because he rarely stopped talking in later life!
had a very generous disposition. He spent a great deal of his time and money
on charitable causes. During the latter part of his life he was actively
involved in Helpage and despite failing health made regular visits to the
Helpage office and assisted director. Wijewantha with numerous
administrative and operational tasks in a totally honorary capacity. Above
all, Karu was a wonderful friend and a truly upright human being. He
belonged to a rapidly disappearing breed of gentlemen with old school
values. In the memorable words of the 14th century English poet Geoffrey
Chaucer - "He was a verray, parfit gentil knight."
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