World Affairs








Impose ban on loudspeakers

We very much welcome the ruling of the Supreme Court to ban loudspeaker use between 10 p.m and 6 a.m. This ruling however does not appear to have had any effect on the religious sector, especially the Buddhist temples that continue to blare pirith over loudspeakers in the wee hours of the morning.

 I am a devout Buddhist and live in a highly residential area adjoining a temple. The loudspeaker nuisance emanating from the temple has been a bane to me and my family as well as those in the neighbourhood. Most residents though they feel bitter about the whole thing do not want to complain either due to the respect they have for the temple or their fear of the monks.

The question arises as to why we should respect a place (the temple) or the monks when they do not respect human rights or the welfare of the residents in the neighbourhood.

 Are the monks so selfish as to not think of the children who need to concentrate on their studies, sleeping infants, the sick etc? It is simply impossible to have a conversation without having to speak in raised voices!

 It could be understood if the loudspeakers are used on special occasions such as katina, poya days, etc. But as it is, the residents have to put up with this nuisance on a daily basis.

It would be a relief to be rid of these noise-polluting instruments. Besides, a radio is a part of almost every household; and any person wishing to listen to pirith as in the past, can continue to listen to the radio within the walls of ones own premises without causing any hazard to the neighbours.

 My initial complaint to the police about our neighbouring temple seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Wouldn’t it be appropriate to remove all the loudspeakers from religious places and issue permits for use only on special occasions?

R. Fernando

Lessons to be learnt in Sri Lankan politics

Politics has made Sri Lanka the laughing stock of the world. Honesty, patriotism and dignity seem to be words banned in Sri Lankan politics.

I remember my late father-in-law who contested the general elections in 1960/1965/1970 and the 1975 by-election representing Mulkirigala electorate on the UNP ticket and finally won in 1977.  In 1983 he was not given nomination by the UNP for no fault of his.

After his nomination was rejected he used public transport to return home and continued to use public transport until his demise. Adding insult to injury he was remanded simply for supporting the SLFP candidate in that election. He supported the SLFP candidate because he was not given nomination from the UNP, a party for which he sacrificed his whole life. But the person who was nominated from the UNP was a total stranger — not even a member of a village council.

The UNP has to learn hard lessons if it needs to come back to power. The UNP must not forget the people who have been with it even in defeat. They are the true UNPers. They do not join the governing party for greed of power.

Today the true UNPers are still with the UNP while those who crossed over to the UNP for personal gain, and opportunists, elected by the UNP voters have joined the government simply for perks and positions.

I hope the leadership of the UNP will accept this fact and be cautious in giving nominations for future elections.

Son-in-law of a former UNP MP for Mulkirigala

Rule the umpires out

Umpires play hell once in a way ruining the image of a country, robbing records held by players and ICC member countries.

When we were in a winning position in the second test, within reach of the target set by the Aussies, umpire Rudi helped the white skinned players by giving a wrong decision. Even in the first test Sanath had to leave the ground due to poor umpiring.

What is the use of having a third umpire and a match adjudicator? If a doubtful decision is given the third umpire should correct it immediately and recall the batsman, or if the third umpire also is ignorant the match adjudicator must step in to correct the situation.

If players are fined, the umpires must also be subjected to removal, fines etc. for wrong decisions. SLC should ask ICC to change the existing rules and insist that all umpires should seek the assistance of the third umpire to get a correct decision.

When athletes and tennis players are tested for the use of drugs and are found guilty their medals are withdrawn even after many years. Marion Jones is a case in point. We should play cricket, not just obey the umpire if he is deaf or blind. Sanga is a gentleman who plays good cricket. He did not even discuss the issue, but said, "it’s all over." That is the quality of Asians.

Rudy robbed Sanga’s double century and helped the Aussies to win the second test. Sanath was also a victim — if not, he would have added more runs enabling the team to avoid an innings defeat.

This is not cricket Rudi! Once Ian Botham said that they play against 13 in Pakistan. In Australia we had to play against 12.

Kanchana Perera

A cowardly act

I wish to join the thousands who condemned the recent dastardly arson attack on your newspaper press thereby attempting to prevent the duty you so well perform by the people, and also causing a huge financial loss, inter alia

I being one of the thousands of your loyal and ardent readership was relieved to see The Sunday Leader smiling in the newstands last Sunday nevertheless!

 Although all know that this cowardly act is the result of The Sunday Leader’s fearless pursuit of bringing the truth to the doorstep of the people the perpetrators fail to realise that the light shone by the Leader group cannot be diminished by such cowardly acts!  I know this for sure because the Leader group has survived many such previous attacks and violent threats.  

The light of the Leader continued to shine, and shine did it more brightly!  The Sunday Leader, after such ill-intended ventures, commenced a mid week newspaper The Morning Leader and I hope very soon a daily will be born.

 The glory lies not in never falling; but in rising after every fall!  Likewise, The Sunday Leader has grown stronger after all attacks and threats against it, and I have no doubt whatsoever, that The Sunday Leader will grow much stronger in the days to come and the light shone by it will not only brighten up the dark skies of media freedom in Sri Lanka, but also will be the leading light of the freedom of expression in Sri Lanka. 

 My best wishes for a prosperous future.

A loyal reader

Keep up the good work

It is with deep sorrow that I write this on hearing the immoral action of setting The Sunday Leader press in Ratmalana on fire. I have had relatively very little experience on contemporary Sri Lanka. But the few months I spent in Sri Lanka earlier this year revealed that our society has degenerated so rapidly and I was wondering whatever happened to the moral fibre of our society.

State sponsored terrorism against ordinary members of the public happens daily with absolute impunity. There is no law and order on our roads and the general public is treated by the state organisations with utter disrespect.

Your journal as well as a few others show courage in informing the public about what goes on in spite of these barbaric actions. Irrespective of whether this act was state sponsored or not, please keep up the good work.

Any person with some common sense can guess whose work this is.

With best wishes to The Sunday Leader.

Don B. Wijetunge, MB, FRCS

Hats off to the Leader

I salute the editor and staff of Leader Publications on their courageous stance for truth, justice and freedom. May God grant you all and your families protection and strength to survive the satanic forces of this corrupt regime.

 Rev. S. J. Emmanuel


Lady Elina Jayewardene

Memoirs of a just, caring and endearing personality

The demise of Lady Elina Jayewardene (nee Rupasinghe) occurred on November 17 – barely a month prior to the celebration of her 95th birthday. I must emphasise that I never failed to observe September 17 and December 15 each year — the dates on which late President and Lady Jayewardene celebrated their birthdays — to meet and greet them.

I do not wish to elaborate on the late President Jayewardene and his unmatched success academically, professionally and politically. To say that Lady Jayewardene was the unseen strength behind his incredible success is certainly not an over assessment. However, she shunned the political and public limelight and kept as low a profile as she possibly could — fulfilling her duties as wife and being a loving and devoted mother to her only child Ravi.

It is with a deep sense of nostalgia that I reflect upon the life of Lady Jayewardene through my association with her son, Ravi, which began when I was 10 years old.

Ravi and I received our education at Royal College, Colombo. I travelled daily with Ravi to school and back in his car. Our friendship, which blossomed throughout the entirety of our academic careers, brought about and ensured a very close relationship between the two families, and it is with a deep sense of nostalgia that I reflect upon her life and the impression her gracious personality left on me.

Elina Jayewardene carried the mantle of ‘First Lady’ of our nation with distinction, and decorum and aplomb. She was an extremely charismatic and modest person who despite her gentle manner possessed a strong personality.

Lady Jayewardene embarked on and was the founder and driving force of the ‘Seva Vanitha Movement’ and, as a result, the beneficiaries from this organisation are numerous.

No doubt, the memory of this magnanimous deed will linger in the hearts of many Sri Lankans who have derived benefits from this worthy endeavour. Absolute honesty and worshipful ideals are extremely rare, however much you search.

But, Lady Jayewardene stuck to her ideals, set high standards and believed in truth, and thereby achieved her goal in serving the needy. Sri Lanka has lost one of her illustrious daughters — a modest, amiable, yet humble, lady.

As a human being Lady Jayewardene rates high as a woman of honour, integrity and discipline. Her greatest attribute was the love and respect she had for all people, be they rich or poor, adult or child. She impressed me as a person with immense humility.

Evidence of her popularity and deep affection was portrayed by many and this was clearly and amply displayed by the vast gathering both at ‘Braemar’ and those who assembled at the cemetery to pay their respects and bid her goodbye.

To re-iterate once again I must confess that the physical sensation that brings about the pain of losing a caring, endearing and gracious person becomes more manageable with the advent of time, but it never leaves all together which, in effect, is an experience difficult to come to terms with.

Her light may be extinguished but her spirit will live on in her family members — they are special people who will continue to make her proud.

A thought that crossed my mind was probably the same thought which struck most, if not all, who received the sad news of her demise and graced the funeral ceremony, viz. the awesome reality that Lady Elina Jayewardene had passed from our midst into the realms of glory.

Words could never describe Lady Jayewardene adequately, however much I may try. She was a colossus in her time. I will miss her, but never forget her, as she will always have a very special place in my heart.

In conclusion, I wish to add that Lady Elina Jayewardene was without doubt one of a kind — a lady in every sense of the word.

God Bless her !

Clarence Welikala



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