joined 'carrion crows' looting corpses
tsunami and its devastation have brought out the worst in the
worst of our hoodlums. We have constantly been hearing, since
the disaster, horrible tales of looting of property, theft of
property, theft of jewellery from corpses, fingers and ears
being cut off to get at rings and ear rings, and even the sale
of corpses. Stories of rape of refugees and spiriting away of
little children too, are surfacing.
human vultures were quick to gather and make capital out of
the disaster. Like carrion crows, they organised themselves
and were busily engaged in their gruesome activity. What was
most nauseating about it all was the reported involvement of
police personnel whose allotted task was to prevent what they
actually promoted and participated in. Eye witnesses in the
Wellawatte area described how a body of reserve policemen were
involved with a gang of IRCs in the looting of beach side
restaurants on that fateful Sunday.
our police force seems to have sunk to a deplorable level
where it has become common for the supposed enforcers of the
law to become perpetrators of the vilest crimes. Recourse to
complaints only result in harassment and abuse.
it any wonder that the vilest of criminals now rule the roost
in the country.
vultures set to strike
aid being used for party propaganda?
am appealing to all foreign donors who are willing to extend
their hand for the reconstruction of our nation and
rehabilitation of our unfortunate brethren after the tsunami
havoc not to trust any of our politicians whatever their
political party, creed or position may be. All our politicians
from the very top to the bottom who had been in power and who
are in power cannot be trusted at all, especially when it
comes to large scale foreign funding.
is the ideal setting for political vultures to strike. I am
ashamed as a Sri Lankan to make this statement but the
diplomatic community in Colombo know that it is the reality
here. Perhaps there may be a handful of honest politicians but
their henchmen who trail them are dishonest and will look for
ways and means to make a fast buck by hoodwinking their
understand already some politicians in power are begging the
diplomats in Colombo to release part of the aid coming from
their countries to these individual politicians on the pretext
of helping the people of their electorates. The irony is some
of these politicians represent upcountry areas where their
electorates are hundreds of miles away from the sea. Already
there are reports that a certain political group is using
disaster aid for party propaganda by displaying banners and
party badges on the clothes of their workers, obviously having
the next election in mind. For that matter there may be a
large number of public servants with authority who are also
waiting to strike while the iron is hot.
wish to make an earnest appeal to all donor countries and
agencies not to leave their monetary donations in the hands of
our politicians and expect everything to go right. No, it will
never happen in our country. If they want to ensure that every
pound, euro or dollar that they have generously parted with is
properly utilised without going into the pockets of our
politicians, their henchmen or dishonest bureaucrats, please
make arrangements for the sake of our country and unfortunate
people that you form your own monitoring committee to watch
the disbursement of your funds.
your wake up call, Madam President
is your wake up call, Madam President. The country was going
to the dogs and nothing was done to put things right. This is
similar to the destruction of Sodom and Gommorah which is now
the Dead Sea.
have now to wake up and take heed. You have been given a
splendid chance to take notice and rise above petty
differences and personal ambitions. You can ride the crest of
the tidal wave by cleaning up all the malpractices of the
have openly admitted that the country is corrupt, naming the
judiciary, police and ministers who were robbing the country
left, right and centre. You allowed the underworld to reign
supreme and these underworld elements were having your
ministers etc., in their payroll. The funds that are pouring
in from all around the world are sufficient to build this
beautiful country back to its pristine glory.
not allow any minister or any politician who has had the
slightest element of suspicion to be in charge or handle the
vast sums of money that are pouring in. Clean up the politics
and politicians of this country lest the remedy be worse than
the disease. This is the moment presented to you to reach the
position of a stateswoman. Do not allow politicians or others
who have blotted their copy book to handle the cash that is
up the wonderful beaches we are blessed with rather than allow
the beaches to be turned into lavatories. They are our tourist
poor people forecast that in a few months the politicians and
henchmen will end up as multi millionaires. Don't allow the
vast financial help to be squandered. Use all the decent and
honest politicians from whichever party and clean up the rot
once and for all. The country stinks of corruption. Even the
dead people are being robbed and some are robbed by the police
who are the custodians of law and order.
present situation is an underworld's paradise. Yes, Madam,
rise above all these and ride the crest of the tidal wave.
There will not be another chance for you to realise your
political ambitions and the time has come for you to do things
cleanly, honestly and with dignity.
of Anura - another disaster in wake of tsunami
write to take objection to your report published on page 21 in
your issue of January 9 titled "Anura still on
are suffering from a great disaster which rolled in from the
ocean to our shores in the form of a tsunami and now we have
another in the form of Anura rolling in from abroad to add to
the devastation. What a catastrophe we face as the Minister is
back to dispense the tsunami aid to the residents of
Attanagalla in outdoing his illustrious sister.
was perplexed by your comment that this eminent Minister of
our government was not in the country, as I was subjected to
viewing a quiz programme on the ITN TV channel run very
efficiently by the government, in which a group of school
children were quizzed about their "general
knowledge" on the greatest leaders of this country who
shared the common end name starting with the big letter B.
my sight is not impaired, I could assure you that I did see
the not so energetic Anura B, the Minister in question, seated
in the "VIP Gallery" with his other sister who is
better given to charity, admiring the intelligence of these
school children, who were possibly given the answers before
questions were put to them in order that they may come up with
the right reply every time. The programmme was of such high
calibre it would have surely put the president of North Korea
to our Minister with the large profile, the touring one. After
all, he is in charge of getting foreign tourists to Sri Lanka
and to get them, you must be abroad because all foreign
tourists live there and not here.
Lanka as a whole should prevail upon the White House, that as
a part of its tsunami relief package we the citizens of this
land be granted a special aid package in which our Minister of
Tourism be given permanent residency in the USA as this would
be a meaningful step in preventing further disasters in Sri
imagine his return and the able sister now aiming to amend the
constitution under which this illustrious Minister with the
last name with a capital B stepping in as President! While the
destruction by the tsunami was limited to the coastal belt, to
be subjected to having another B as the president, would
surely be a complete disaster that will put an end to this
nation. We may be out of danger from another tsunami in the
future but we will have no end of school children being
quizzed on ITN about the great doings of the B's.
am writing to confirm various news items reported by the print
and electronic media that the JVP is exploiting the disaster
situation to the full to achieve their political goals.
was a member of a medical team which was travelling to a
number of villages off Hikkaduwa area to render medical
assistance to the displaced persons housed in refugee camps. I
observed that some of the camps in areas around Batapola,
Meetiyagoda are completely controlled by members of the JVP.
They display huge party banners at the entrance to these camps
and JVP members who work in these camps carry their party
emblems on their clothes which state 'JVP organiser.' In fact,
according to the information I gathered from there, I
understand that they do not allow medical teams going from
Colombo to enter camps maintained by them other than their own
selected teams of doctors.
is quite obvious that the JVP is making the best use of this
opportunity for party propaganda using material donated by
volunteer organisations as bait. Are they trying to make hay
as the tsunami tide has receded?
fierce flaw howled
tandem lusted a frothy sea
the frailty of man and beast
sang no elegy
caressed by a gentle breeze
gloats over bloated bodies
man beholds in awe
a placid sea
together they do conspire
unleash terrible calamities
Mass R. Usuf
of PM commended
behalf of all citizens of Sri Lanka, here and abroad, I wish
to convey our deepest gratitude and appreciation of the
outstanding part played by the Prime Minister in the hour of
grief and shock. He was in the thick of all relief activities
in all areas since he is the Prime Minister for all Sri Lanka,
not just any common or garden MP rising above race, caste,
religion and his own constituency.
a person is a born leader and an example to all. He even
risked a trip to uncleared areas with the absolute conviction
that his genuine benevolence will protect him. May the
blessings of all religions be upon this outstanding son of Sri
case: why did not police object to bail?
Bogollagama, wife of a cabinet minister is given bail' runs
the headline in a newspaper. One immediately wonders whether
there is a different set of laws when it comes to a
politician. An ordinary citizen would not have been sent on
bail on a charge of this nature. Here, the wife of a cabinet
minister is before court, but due to lack of vital evidence by
the police - the medical report - and also because there was
no objection by the police, the accused, Deepthi is allowed
bail. One wonders whose instructions the police were carrying
out in not objecting to bail.
Counsel, Daya Perera, hammered the weak bowling of the police
for the required sixer. Of course, he surely used his skilled
court craft - the years of experience - to get Deepthi out on
bail. Was this fair? One wonders whether it was morally right
for senior counsel to ask for bail when there is a murder
charge. Daya Perera could well say he has a right to defend
his client, as he rightly did, and that this is not a matter
of conscience. Perhaps in the courts, conscience is left at
what was the police doing? Did not the police realise that
they had to produce the vitally important medical report, and
whatever evidence that was necessary to support the charge.
How often has the police objected to bail when the evidence is
not fully there. In this instance it went the other way about.
To add insult to injury not only has the police not produced
the required medical report but has also not objected to bail
- bail for an alleged murderer. The people have no confidence
in the police today.
wonders what the Police Commission has to say about the
behaviour of the police in this case. Because of their failure
to produce the medical report, etc. an alleged murderer is
allowed bail. What will the Chairman of the Police Commission,
Ranjit Abeysuriya, another great criminal lawyer, have to say
about this? It is time he took stock of what the police is
doing today - it is time he brought them to book.
was on January 31, 1905 that my father, the late Rev E.O.P.
Welikala (fondly known as Ossie) was born in the village of
second son of the late Rev. Don Louis Welikala, a pioneering
missionary of the Church of Ceylon and a reputed Sinhala
scholar and Dona Catherina (nee Colombage), he chose to follow
in his father's footsteps choosing the humble vocation of
priesthood, serving humanity - friends, church, society and
country with idealism, dedication, enthusiasm and a
practicality which I was privileged to observe from close
quarters as his eldest son.
by his faith and high ideals he loved and accepted people for
what they were. He put his faith and ideals in what he did for
others a few of which I recall as they stay vividly in my
was the Vicar of St Andrews, Gampola from 1945 to 1949. I
remember the devastating floods of 1947 which rampaged Sri
Lanka submerging Gampola, covering the bridge over the
Mahaweli on the Nuwara Eliya road. He could not swim. However,
with a group of a few dedicated volunteers he constructed
makeshift boats made from the trunks of banana trees and went
on the swirling waters rescuing stranded people, most of who
were on the swirling waters rescuing stranded people, most of
who were on the rooftops of their homes.
homeless were housed and fed in the vicarage premises. A flood
relief organisation was formed which included Sir R.S.S
Gunawardena, Badiudin Mahmud (later minister of education) and
other leading citizens of Gampola. At the inaugural public
meeting an attempt to attack Mahmud was made whereupon my
father who was on the stage physically restrained the
attempted attackers risking his own safety. Fear was something
unknown to him.
1949 to 1966 he was the Vicar of All Saints Church, Galle and
Rural Dean for the Southern Province. The communal riots of
the 1950's saw his character come to the fore again. Displaced
Tamil families (mainly professionals) were temporarily housed
in Southlands College, Galle Fort. Anti Tamil sentiment and
fear stalked Galle. The refugees had to be fed. He went round
the town collecting food and water for them. This was frowned
upon by the mobs who told him that if this was done by anybody
else they would have forcibly stopped it. This did not bother
him. He carried on regardless doing what he felt was right.
was a friend to all. I know of countless people who turned up
in our house seeking his help in their time of need. In
illness, death in family, prison, he was present to give a
helping man. It there was a death in a family he would
personally handle matters, go to the registrar's office to get
the death certificate, help with funeral arrangements etc,
apart from giving spiritual comfort.
many of the leading parishes in Colombo wanted him, he
continued to serve the Southern Province where he, apart from
managing the church, managed the church schools, orphanages
and lands. In the last years of his ministry he continued at
Talangama where his father ministered. He was always supported
by my mother Milfred (daughter of the late Mudaliyar
Wickramaratne and Mrs Wickramaratne) in his work. She was an
ideal priest's wife.
father was one of a rare breed who could move with rulers and
the humble and poor. He was a true patriot who lived his life
in practical, simple ways with love for his fellow beings. He
passed away in 1971 fighting his last illness bravely. His
life was an inspiration to us all. May his example light
generations to come. As we celebrate his 100th birth
anniversary today with a thanksgiving and remembrance service
at All Saints Church, Galle he is blessed with his children,
grandchildren and great grand children.