prescribed brand name drug is the doctor’s choice
governed by his principles. He hesitates to
prescribe by a generic name to prevent the
pharmacist from dispensing a branded drug of his
choice. Marketed generic named drugs are extremely
Prescribed brand name drugs
not available locally are extorted from overseas.
The many unregistered drugs are evidence of this
genuine prescription demand for them. The drug
authority dares not conflict with doctors.
Registered brand name drugs containing the same
generics are available, but the preference is for a
Will the law and medical
contest even end in a pyrrhic victory for the former
and a moral victory for the latter? The question is
conduct of Mayantha D and London High Commissioner
Good God! Was the
blasphemous expression that escaped my lips when I
saw the front page pictures of young Mayantha
Dissanayake, the younger son of my friend and
college mate, the late Gamini prostrating himself
not before God but before President Rajapakse and
for what? Merely because he was appointed the
organiser for Colombo West.
What would he do if and
when he is appointed a minister? I forbid the
thought for my stomach churns and I would puke at
the mere thought. The spirit of my friend Gamini,
bless his soul, may have surely screamed in pain at
Surely Srima should have
advised young Mayantha not to demean the memory of
his late beloved father. This is sad for the country
for if the leaders of tomorrow have no self-respect
what hope could we have for the country? It is
indeed a shame.
Shame is also the word I
wish to use to describe another instance of a
figurative prostration through the medium of a
letter sent by the Sri Lanka High Commissioner in
London to Minister Bogollagama published in your
The High Commissioner has
indulged in such cheap, flagrant flattery, which
calls into question her integrity. She ingratiates
herself exhibiting a certain servility wholly
unbecoming of a government official. It does appear
from the letter that she is obviously flattering the
Minister in order to stay on for another four years
after she finishes her term.
If she can ingratiate
herself in such a manner in a letter, I would have
to think of what she would do to please the Minister
when she meets him personally — kiss his feet?
Little wonder that the
President has announced that he intends to cleanse
the Foreign Service — the sooner the better. Have
people who value self respect and dignity
representing the country.
R. de Alwis
As a Sri Lankan, it made me
squirm with embarrassment to see the front page
photographs in your esteemed journal last Sunday, of
the late Gamini Dissanayake’s younger son,
Mayantha, grovelling on all fours before President
Rajapakse in order to get his appointment as SLFP
organiser for the Colombo West electorate.
The people of Colombo West
will, no doubt, in the fullness of time, have an
opportunity to express their opinion on young
Dissanayake’s perfidy. That will be when he gets
his comeuppance (or, if he keeps worshipping the
President, a corporation chairmanship). His father
must today be turning in his grave.
Gamini was a man of great
honour and courage who — had not his life been cut
short by a terrorist bomb —would have gone on to
be a truly great president of Sri Lanka. He never
scraped and grovelled at anyone’s feet: even in
his darkest hours of persecution, he held his head
up high. It is a pity that neither of his sons can
hold a candle to him.
As so often is the case
when parents hold high and important jobs, the
children are neglected and grow up with the values
of the domestic staff, and not those of their
illustrious progenitors. It is to his credit that
President Rajapakse, himself clearly taken aback by
young Dissanayake’s unscripted genuflection,
declined to engage the latter in conversation after
his display of servility. I watched this footage on
television, and although Dissanayake clearly tried
to chat up his benefactor immediately after licking
the presidential toes, he was summarily dismissed by
a regal wave of the hand, like the vassal he is,
even as the next candidate was summoned. What next: serrappu
soup, a’la A. J. Ranasinghe?
It is not as if Mayantha
Dissanayake has a good example to follow in his
pompous and self-important brother, Navin, either (I
keep wondering what he has to be pompous and
self-important about!). I read in the papers last
week how Navin was offering unsolicited advice to
the UNP, in whose ranks he included yourself,
calling you a novice. Well, Sir, I see from The
Oxford English Dictionary that a novice is ‘One
who has entered a religious house and is under
probation.’ Fat lot this upstart knows about
novices, and the little he does, he probably learned
while picking apples in Australia.
He has not even had the
guts to contest the last two elections, having
cringed and grovelled at Ranil Wickremesinghe’s
feet and got his father-in-law to lobby for a place
on the National List for him.
Who is this upstart ‘novice’
that he should be on the national list in preference
to party seniors like Tyronne Fernando and Tilak
Marapone? What has he done for the country, or for
that matter, the two electorates that he fled?
And the one time he did
contest, if I remember right, he came last in the
very electorate in which his father for decades
romped home far ahead of the rest of the field. And
rather than being grateful for the completely
undeserved place he got on the National List, he is
now trying to tell his grandmother how to suck eggs
(or is it how to pick apples?).
Both these spoilt young
brats could take a lesson from Sajith Premadasa who,
like his father, has his feet firmly planted in his
southern electorate, which he cares for with
unreserved dedication. Sajith and Navin began their
political careers at about the same time, and it is
refreshing to see how mature Premadasa has become,
in contrast to Dissanayake.
I was amazed to see it
stated in last week’s papers that Dissanayake’s
defection from the UNP was because his grandfather,
Andrew, was (for a few years) an SLFP MP. His father
was not even mentioned. Gamini has been erased from
the record, as the family licks around pastures new
on the lawns of Temple Trees cashing in on the
credit Gamini built up by looking after Basil
Rajapakse in his down-and-out days with commendable
If these puppies are no
good for anything else, fair enough that they should
take to politics, be it of whatever colour. But let
them first win an election and then start
pontificating. No one cares if they make fools of
themselves, but those of us who respected their late
father cannot help noting that this pair of upstarts
is not one bit a chip off the old block.
It is completely in
character that one of them should beg for a free
lunch on the national list while the other should
make a fool of himself trying to win Colombo West
and not the Mahaweli districts, Kotmale, Kandy or
Nuwara Eliya, where their father’s memory still
attracts affection bordering on reverence. There’s
no room for spoilt city brats there. The whole UNP
should breathe a sigh of relief that these two
clowns have finally fled its ranks.
lack smiling and gentle people
It is indeed sad that
whilst other countries in the region are making
rapid strides economically, our country is
retreating in every sphere. From the time of one’s
arrival at the airport visitors/citizens are
confronted by airport staff lacking the soft skills,
which are becoming increasingly important for the
country, if we are to attract tourism and
investment. Where are those smiling, gentle people?
aggressiveness of the country’s citizens is
permeating into every fabric of society. For
instance the other day, I bought tickets for a Hindi
movie from a cinema near the sea. It was with great
difficulty that I was able to park the car after
pleading with a policeman that I would be out of the
cinema as quick as I could, not an uncommon feature
I therefore rushed off to
the car without re-checking the tickets. However,
when buying the tickets I had twice mentioned to the
ticket seller the particular show that I required. A
fracas ensued when the double booking was discovered
at the show and instead of trying to find an
alternative solution to a mistake that had been made
by the staff, one office executive insisted that we
rebuy tickets after promising that alternative seats
had been found.
Admittedly, I lost my cool
and harsh words were used by me followed by a string
of abuse hurled by the executive concerned. I showed
my anger and the man then tried to hit me and had to
be held down by three staff members!
Where is our country
heading? Are we not collectively responsible to
ensure justice and fair play?
Praveena de Silva
has no water
The residents of
Thalawathugoda area have not had water for the past
three days. On the street where I live, residents
have finished the water that was in their overhead
tanks, and are now in a desperate situation.
I have tried calling
officials at the Water Board, and I get the
impression that they are just ‘passing the buck.’
The best response that I got was ‘you must be
living on top of a hill, (and consequently) you must
not be getting water!
As I write this, unwashed
dishes are piled up in my kitchen. My toilet
cisterns are empty. This morning I used bottled
water to brush my teeth. By the way being a Sri
Lankan, I am used to washing my bottom after using
the toilet. But this morning it was dry-clean only!
Now I am packing my bags to
move in with relatives.
It is ironic that it was
just a month ago that this country had severe floods
and landslides where several people lost their
lives. Looks like we can’t even manage our water.
Or is it political bungling that has resulted in
this? What are our officials doing? Do they care?
What is this country coming to?
Mad as Hell
the "redoubtable gentleman politician"
Recently I read in an
English daily the above description of Karu
Jayasuriya, and I thought of asking the writer to
find out from a good English teacher the definition
of a ‘gentlemen,’ leaving aside — ‘redoubtable’!
Here is a man who rose to this position in the party
due to one who can be graded a real gentleman —
He says his relations with
Ranil Wickremesinghe are very cordial. If that is
so, how come he resorted to the lowest tactics to
undermine Ranil’s position by even going to court
— thank God, without success. Is this history
repeating itself? This recalls to memory JR taking
Dudley to court.
Of course the coward he is,
he did not have the guts to come forward, but like a
seethala hora used a shameless senior member and
two golayas to do the dirty!
Second Generation UNP
women are luckier!
A reply to the friend Down
Under who sent a verse ‘Men Are Superior’
Only a woman can enjoy the
happiness of motherhood, own the greatest name ‘mother’
we always remember.
No one in trouble ever says
Only a woman can feed a
baby from her own milk not from what is bought from
Women are not guilty of
polluting the environment! boasting ‘I can do it
Men wait in attendance to
open doors for women but only waiters for men
You do not say ‘father
country’ but it is always ‘mother country’
You do not get a ‘father
tongue’ but it’s always the ‘mother tongue’
Women can enjoy the long
relaxation of idle shopping not a nerve racking one
A woman can use any perfume
and be sweet smelling like a flower without being
Fraternity can be
questionable but maternity never!
Can a man be happy without
Remember why God created
Eve for Adam!
Stop this silly canvassing
Both are lucky and happy to
have each other.
to take charge
(Continued from last
Thirdly, the political
Some of these might
actually be possible to attempt given the SLFP-UNP
MOU (if it survives) and the fact that the JHU, TNA
and JVP posture as very moral parties, and these
ideas are likely to have the support of the TULF.
All will have widespread public support, I think!
I would hope that some of
the politicians might try in a small way to start
trying some of these measures and create momentum in
1. Expel (i.e. the party to
withdraw from parliament, provincial council or
local body, any minister, MP etc. thought to be
involved in bribery, nepotism, corruption, giving
appointments on family, religious, ethnic or grounds
other than merit, giving patronage and shelter to
the drug and illicit liquor trade and similar acts,
crossing over in parliament, etc. Given the nature
of the constitution and proportional representation
everyone from the President to the lowest MP can be
replaced without an election; so the fear that
parliament or other elected body might be almost
empty, need not be there. In particular I think the
President can send out of ministerial or official
posts any such person without that person going to
court. The public will support such moves.
2. Avoid taking into a
party those who cross-over.
3. Recognise the right of
all Sri Lankans to be equitably governed — the use
of language, translation etc. to be done in a fair
manner. All Sri Lankans must feel that the
government is for them.
4. Stop being an employment
or housing agency for friends and relatives.
5. Do not interfere in
police activities (arrest of criminals, stopping
illicit timber felling, gemming , the brewing of
illicit liquor etc), transfer systems, or any other
public body. The parties should expel those who
interfere in the working of government departments.
6. By action make clear
that a culture of impunity in the forces or police,
or any terrorist organisation as regards rights
issues is unacceptable. All Sri Lankans must feel
that the police and army are for them and the
security forces must set by their actions exemplary
Finally what about
Those of you who have
looked at the 1990’s youth commission report or
have looked at the history of terrorism elsewhere
might well agree that if we act in such a way as to
prevent future terrorist leaders and organisations
emerging, the present problems will be reduced in
due course, in that terrorism will not be necessary
and public support will vanish. The pressure to
settle matters by negotiation will increase as the
credibility of all parties, and the type of scenario
after peace comes, will all be much better.