crime spree that is traumatising society
are the crimes that have gone unsolved
Putting aside the insecurity created by the
frequent political violence, the war, and
the ghostly white vans and kidnappings,
there are many brutal killings taking place
on an almost daily basis in all corners of
the country, so much so that Sri Lankans are
finding it harder to cope by the day.
With the north and east
unsafe due to the war, the insecurity
due to terrorism has hit Colombo, much
harder than before.
If one thinks the south is
safe, it is now said to be the foremost
breeding ground for underworld criminals in
A man's finger was cut by a
robber who tried to steal his wedding ring.
He died of excessive bleeding. The Mayor of
Hikkaduwa was shot dead two years ago. Let
us not forget the lives that are snatched
away every year by reckless bus drivers, and
other drunken drivers.
Some say it is because crime
rates have soared in recent years while
others blame the media for the coverage
given to these stories.
Sri Lanka, as a whole, has
become an insecure place to live in, and it
didn't happen last night, or on the day
Mahinda Rajapakse was elected president -
contrary to popular belief.
Anyone could be a victim of a
claymore attack, or a brutal killer on
personal revenge. Someone may attack you
while robbing you, or else a reckless
private bus driver would knock you down on
The question in mind is 'have
criminal offences been on an upward trend?'
Little or no faith
The public has little or no
faith in local authorities taking
appropriate action on criminals resulting in
many victims looking to alternate means of
revenge. There is a surge in crime
in many parts of Sri Lanka while the
increase of reported cases of incest is also
of particular concern.
Awareness is a key component
in reducing these crime rates and the public
must be educated on how to be alert to their
surroundings as well as the importance of
reporting the crimes.
Apart from providing legal
assistance to victims, especially women and
children, authorities also need to take
prompt and appropriate measures to offer
psychological help to those who are
traumatised by certain criminal acts such as
rape and assault.
And yet, officials remain
cautious of commenting on the crime scene in
Many claim that there was a
significant drop in the crime rate in
Colombo, attributing this to the tightened
security, army checkpoints and random house
checks being conducted by the police and the
security forces in the city and the suburbs.
Not brought to light
Apart from a few high profile
cases, the number of reported crimes has
reduced due to the efforts of the armed
forces and the local police according to
authorities who stress that the public
should be more vigilant about their
surroundings and should inform the police or
any local authority of suspicious looking
vehicles or people.
However, trust between the
people and the police is deteriorating,
despite the police urging the public to
provide information even to an officer they
may trust because according to the police,
many crimes such as rape and assault are not
reported to the law enforcement authorities
because victims are either afraid or ashamed
to bring the incident to light.
2008 see better treatment
of animals in Sri Lanka?
Central Province, Tikiri Kobbekaduwa
at a KACPAW sterilisation clinic
By Risidra Mendis
Cruelty to animals has
been a subject much talked about for years.
But the extent to how far cruelty can go
when it comes to animals was revealed in May
2007 when three dogs were taken from the
Kandy Association for Community Protection
through Animal Welfare (KACPAW) allegedly by
a Professor of the Veterinary Faculty,
University of Peradeniya on the pretext of
Polly, Wussie and Perry
— all in excellent health were taken from
the KACPAW shelter by one of the
professor’s lab assistants.
According to the
Secretary, KACPAW, Champa Fernando the
professor had then paid another veterinary
surgeon to cut up these innocent dogs.
"Polly’s adrenal glands and kidneys
were removed and she died a slow and
agonising death while Wussie’s pancreas
was ripped out. The veterinary surgeon who
removed Wussie’s pancreas was unaware that
he had damaged her bile duct and obstructed
it. Perry the third dog had two huge
incisions requiring 32 sutures but no organs
were removed from her. The sad part to this
gruesome story is that it has never been
revealed what the true purpose of these
surgical procedures was," said Champa.
Champa explained that
Wussie, owing to her pancreas being removed
and bile duct being obstructed, developed
jaundice and diabetes, and needed constant
care and expensive medication until she died
on December 8, 2007, after six months of
suffering as a diabetic. "She lived
this long thanks to the intervention of
three eminent medical personnel and the
expertise of the veterinary clinicians of
the Clinical Department, Veterinary Faculty,
University of Peradeniya," she added.
According to Champa when
Wussie developed jaundice, on the advice of
heart surgeon Dr. Lakshman Dalpathado,
KACPAW had Wussie scanned by a radiologist.
Radiologist, Teaching Hospital Peradeniya,
Dr. Badra Hewawitharana had agreed
unhesitatingly to scan Wussie. The scan
revealed that Wussie’s bile duct was
obstructed. "She recommended that
KACPAW requests a medical surgeon to
supervise the veterinary surgeons in
clearing this obstruction, a common
operation done in human beings, but not so
common in dogs," Champa explained.
KACPAW’s request for
help to eminent surgeon Prof. Channa
Ratnatunga of the Department of Surgery,
Medical Faculty, University of Peradeniya,
was also acceded to, unhesitatingly. On June
21, 2007 in a historic operation which saw
medical and veterinary professionals working
together, Prof. Ratnatunga assisted in the
surgery by veterinary surgeon Dr. Aruna, who
cleared Wussie’s bile duct in a three hour
operation at the Veterinary Faculty along
with the expertise of Professor Indira Silva
and Dr. Niranjala de Silva, senior
clinicians, Clinical Department, Veterinary
after the operation was provided by KACPAW
under the strict instructions of Prof.
Inquiries into unethical
and inhumane veterinary practices
KACPAW reported the
actions of the two veterinarians to the Sri
Lanka Veterinary Council (SLVC). "The
SLVC has completed its investigation and
should be publishing its findings soon. So
we may learn why Polly and Wussie had to
suffer and die," says Champa. KACPAW
also requested an inquiry from the
University of Peradeniya. Higher Education
Minister, Prof. Viswa Warnapala has also
requested for an inquiry.
More than six months
after the "surgery" (which both
veterinary surgeons have admitted to in
writing) the University of Peradeniya has
still not made any public statement. But the
Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University
responded to an enquiry from the Governor,
Central Province by saying that a Committee
of Inquiry was "in the process" of
finalising a report. He wrote,
"Meanwhile, I wish to inform you that
pending the outcome of the inquiry, the
university has taken steps to issue
guidelines specifying the procedure to be
adopted in using animals for experiments
with a view to avoiding the occurrence of
such incidents in future."
The SLVC has also said
"the council is seriously thinking
about formulating a set of regulations which
will clarify ethics in professional
veterinary care and responsibilities of
These veterinarians who
were responsible for the gruesome deaths of
these innocent dogs still continue with
their practice despite the cries of animal
rights activists. The only consolation left
for those who fight on behalf of animals’
rights and their welfare is the new Animal
Welfare Bill that has been gazetted as a
Private Member’s Bill by MP Ven.
Athuraliye Ratana Thero.
"This Bill is the
only hope left to protect animals from being
subjected to such cruel ordeals as the
perpetrators of cruelty on animals most
often get away with their crimes,"
animal rights activists claim.
KACPAW was set up in 1999
and has been at the forefront of campaigning
for humane rabies control. Due to its close
association with the Health Ministry and the
Veterinary Faculty at the Peradeniya
University and strong support from the
Governor, Central Province, KACPAW has been
able to carry out practical measures as well
as acting as a pressure group.
KACPAW’s work over the years has been
nationally recognised and has perhaps
inspired many other groups to address the
issue of stray dogs in different parts of
the country. KACPAW will continue its
sterilisation and public awareness
programmes in 2008 and hopes that this year
will be a better one where innocent animals
will not be subject to cruelty and torture.
dietician and I
Last month I was warded in a
class one hospital. Not only the hospi-tal
but also the specialist in whose charge I
was and his team were superb. The nurses
were simply wonderful. They were a dedicated
lot, concerned about each patient, well
trained, full of manners,
kind and friendly. In short they were
the embodiment of Florence Nightingale
herself. The wards were clean, spick and
span and well maintained. Any patient would
be comfortable and feel at home in the
But my confrontation was with
the dietitian who gave me a formidable list
of 'don'ts' -
of the food items I should not take.
Going through the list I found I had only
one option left - wind and water. It's not
surprising, for when I get up in the morning
or after my post prandial siesta, I feel
dizzy as if I am floating in air - true to
my diet - a Hobson's choice!
This is not the end of it.
When I wanted a certain food item, the
dietitian raised an objection. "Oh! No.
It has too much energy," she said. Pray
what would it do to me? Make me hop around
and jump and leap along the hospital
corridors amusing the nurses? That too at
three score and ten plus years! What a
ghastly sight it would be!
So many vegetables, fruits and
other forms of food were banned because
those are supposed to contain an element
called potassium. All these fruits and
vegetables were taboo for poor me.
I was at the end of my tether
when I asked the boy who brings meals why a
certain item was not served and he said it
has potassium. I flared up and asked him
whether he has seen potassium. He didn't see
'k' but he saw stars at my outburst.
The young text book dietitian
seems hardly aware that food taken with
displeasure does no good to the system while
what is eaten in a happy frame of mind is
beneficial to the person.
Neither does she seem to know
there are different categories of patients.
Those who are scared and having fear of
death who will eat the most unpalatable food
if it is the only thing good for them; and
there are those independent type who have
the dare devil attitude to reject such food
even under threat of death. The psychology
of the patient should best be considered.
In our home, and our
family are usually, the rebellious,
defiant ones who'll brave anything in the
world to have their way. I belong to the
latter category of patients. I get a
devilish delight in eating just what is
denied me - I will survive - I know.
This element potassium is so
vicious that at the slightest opportunity it
will throttle the patient.
This monster of an element is
around to devour helpless patients. Aren't
there any valiant knights among the medical
staff to vanquish this menacing dragon of an
element potassium and save the poor patients
I hope by this time you would
have guessed the vicious
element - also called element
'k' is for potassium - that is the
dreaded chemical that plays havoc in a
patient's system and life.
And so the diet chart is
hanging on the wall facing me, like the
Sword of Damocles warning me of the
potassium that hints on the transience of
good health and life itself.
the quality of care for women
By Fathima Razik
The Sri Lanka College of
Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (SLCOG) has
as its mission for the year 2008 to 'Improve
the quality of care for women,' declared by
its 22nd president - Dr. Rohana Haththotuwa,
consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist,
and chairman, Ninewells CARE Mother and Baby
Hospital. He is also the chairman,
Reproductive and Endocrinology Committee of
the AOFOG and treasurer South Asian
Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
The new president was inducted
by the outgoing president, Dr. Lakshman
Senanayake on January 13. President, Royal
College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists,
and Professor and Head, St. George Hospital
and Medical School, London, Professor S.
Arulkumaran was the chief guest on the
'Why is it deemed necessary to
focus on improving the quality of care?' was
the question posed to Dr. Haththotuwa.
Commenting, he said that the
definitions of quality have been defined as:
'The quality of technical care is the
application of medical science and
technology in a way that maximises its
benefits for health without increasing its
risks,' and '.the proper performance -
according to standards of interventions
known to be safe, affordable to society, and
that have the capacity to produce an impact
on mortality, morbidity, disability and
Explaining the reasons, Dr.
Haththotuwa said that developing countries
tend to concentrate on caring for the large
numbers of patients who seek treatment and
in Sri Lanka we need to improve on the
existing quality of the care provided to
mothers and babies. "Quality is
considered expensive but we need to meet the
demand for quality care that patients
expect," he said. The benefits of
quality care are the health status, quality
of life and patient satisfaction among other
benefits. The social and economic benefits
would include the most efficient use of
resources and also a higher national
Elements of quality of care
include access to care, broad range of
appropriate technologies, counselling and
information to meet the needs of patients,
technically competent service delivery,
respectful interpersonal relations,
appropriate follow-up and provide or offer
links to RH services.
To the question, 'What can
SLCOG do to improve quality of care?' Dr.
Haththotuwa, replying, said that he firmly
believed SLCOG could play the following
roles in improving quality - that is in
advocacy, training, continuing professional
education, setting standards of care,
monitoring and supporting supervision,
partnership with other professionals and in
regulation and accreditation (an area which
needs further discussion).
Elaborating on a few areas he
said that Sri Lanka should be proud that we
have the lowest maternal mortality rate in
the South Asian region. But this masks the
high maternal mortality rate in certain
districts like Nuwara Eliya. So we need to
concentrate more in these areas to improve
the health services provided.
Also post partum haemorrhage
continues to be the leading cause of
maternal deaths. In this regard he stressed
that we should introduce drugs such as
Mesoprostol which is very effective and easy
to use in controlling PPH. Dr. Haththotuwa
also highlighted the need to reduce
preventable deaths due to unsafe
abortions. During the last 10 years it has
been the third highest cause of maternal
deaths in Sri Lanka.
As indirect causes of maternal
deaths account for about one fourth of the
deaths he said that we should seriously
consider sub-speciality training for
obstetricians in medical disorders
Concluding Dr. Haththotuwa
said that he firmly believed that SLCOG
should aim to ensure high quality care for
patients by improving standards and
influencing policy and practice in modern
medicine. The college must sets standards
for clinical practice, define and monitor
medical education and training programmes
for postgraduates, support doctors in their
practice of the specialty, and advises the
government, public and the profession on
Let us then hope that the Sri
Lanka College of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists will achieve its desired goal
in the year 2008 - that of improving the
quality of care provided to patients.
disorder on the increase
By Nirmala Kannangara
It is disheartening to note
that the number of mental dis-order patients
has alarm-ingly increased over the past
decade and psychol-gists and counse-llors
are of the view that it may be related to
the growing socio problems in families apart
from the familial trend for mental
"Years ago, 90% of the
mental illnesses were due to familial trend
but the present state of socio dilemma has
resulted in many people being depressed and
traumatised, and the figure is increasing
alarmingly," a consultant psychologist
at the Mental Hospital, Angoda, on the basis
of anonymity told The Sunday Leader.
Women and children most
According to the consultant
psychologist, social problems have become
the main reason for the present increase in
mental disorders and 75% of such patients
are women who have failed to cope with their
Meanwhile Dr. A.J. Fernando of
the Mental Hospital in Mulleriyawa told The
Sunday Leader that high depression too can
lead to mental disorders. "When it
comes to children who cannot cope with their
studies and are
depressed then that too can lead to
mental disorders," added Dr. Fernando.
However she further said that
post partum psychosis - a condition some
women go through soon after delivering a
baby could also lead to mental disorders,
especially if they are isolated from their
"If such mothers do not
get support and attention from their
families they can end up being mentally
depressed. However, such conditions can be
treated successfully. On the other hand if
such conditions are ignored then it can lead
to long term depression," added Dr.
Elmo Lewis of the Sahana
Foundation told The Sunday Leader that those
who were affected by the tsunami have been
referred to counsellors as they have
undergone severe trauma.
"Soon after the
devastating tsunami we took charge of 13
orphaned children and later, the Hambantota
and Karapitiya hospitals sent 18 more
depressed young girls and boys to this
foundation. At first they did not show any
signs of mental illness but gradually they
appeared strange. Some Norwegian doctors who
were assisting us diagnosed that since these
children had undergone much trauma and they
were mentally ill. Out of the 17 school
going children at the Sahana Foundation only
two wanted to continue with their studies
and the rest were reluctant to go to school
as they were not in a proper frame of mind
to follow lessons," added Lewis.
According to Lewis most of the
children scream in their sleep due to bad
dreams and some do not wish to go to the
beach whereas some still prefer to go to the
beach to see whether they could trace their
"Some of the children who
have lost all their family members still
prefer to go to the beach to trace their
kith and kin. They are still of view that
their parents, brothers and sisters would
return and are eagerly waiting to see them.
It's so touching to see how these children
react whenever they see strangers as they
imagine that they are their family
members," he said.
However Lewis further stated
that according to psychologists if the
counsellors fail to convince the reality of
human life to those who have lost their
parents' love and affection, the possibility
of curing these innocent children are remote
and they would end up spending the rest of
their lives in mental hospitals.
Meanwhile sources from Women
in Need (WIN) told The Sunday Leader that
the number of women who suffer from
traumatic conditions due to harassment from
their husbands, fathers and male family
members are also on the increase.
Abuse by husbands
According to them although WIN
has been able to save many women who need
support still there are cases that had to be
referred to psychologists as their mental
state is beyond the counselling that they
offer. "In most cases we talk to both
the parties and settle the problems
amicably. But there are some instances where
any form of settlement is beyond the
counselling that we provide and such cases
are referred to doctors. Many of them are
for mental illnesses," added the
However the sources further
stated that according to the information
they receive from such traumatised women it
is husbands and fathers who are addicted to
alcohol and gambling that are the main
reasons for such conditions.
"It's really pathetic to
note that most wives are harassed by their
husbands under the influence of liquor.
There are some who lose money by gambling
and then harass their wives. Ultimately it
is the wife who has to pay the price for the
husband's sins," added the sources.
Referring to the
severe trauma that a lady from a well
to do family faced, the source from WIN said
that the husband who was in the travel and
tourism trade had assaulted his wife
regularly for no apparent reason.
"According to their only child the
father who comes only during the weekends
had first started mistreating his mother and
then had gradually started to assault her
for no reason. Once the son had followed his
father and found that he was going to a well
known club in Colombo to gamble. Although
the mother and the son have tried to stop
him from gambling the assaults and fights
have never stopped but had in fact
increased. Finally the son who was doing his
A/L's at that time wanted to intervene but
it was too late. Her condition worsened and
she was admitted to the Mental Hospital in
Angoda. For the last three years she has
been in hospital and the son is desperately
looking for ways and means to get his mother
- whom he is very devoted to, cured at any
cost," added the sources.
Meanwhile according to the
Social Services Department tsunami victims
suffering from mental disorders have
increased in the past three years.
"Those who have lost
their children too are undergoing severe
depression and young girls who were given in
marriage at a tender age while at tsunami
camps too are reported to be depressed due
to the numerous socio problems," said
Social Service Department sources.
According to them marrying off
underaged children living in tsunami
camps has caused much mental trauma, and
depression among war widows too is
alarmingly on the increase.
feeling of being secure
All this talk about security and how
safe we are, got me thinking
about some frivolous aspects of it. It’s
always better to smile at situations.
Anyway, recently, I was alone since Caveman
had departed on a Very Important Unavoidable
Assignment. I had the whole bed to roll
around as much as I wanted. This part of it
I love, and also I can watch movies until
Anyway, I was suddenly awoken by a loud
growling noise. My goodness, I thought
sleepily, now we have been invaded by a dog!
Since I am almost blind without my contacts
on, I blearily dragged myself out of bed and
cautiously poked my head out of my room. Lo
and behold, the noise was coming from our
front verandah. Then it dawned on me that it
was our security guard snoring thunderously.
He actually woke me upstairs with the
racket! Anyway, I was relieved, since I didn’t
feel like facing an angry dog, especially in
my sightless condition. I went back to
The next morning, as I woke up, I was
giggling by myself. Anyone who spied me
would have had serious doubts about my
sanity. This was because I remembered
another young, pleasant faced guard. Every
evening, as he came on duty until we went to
bed, he would be scribbling away furiously
in a notebook. Caveman brought this to my
attention saying, "See how hardworking
these young people of today are! Instead of
wasting his time, he’s studying."
I gazed at him in respectful admiration.
Then he told me to make a flask of coffee
for him every night, since he was occupying
himself so usefully every night. This went
on, until suddenly, the battery of the car
had been removed and taken from right under
his nose. "This is a miserable job.
When the whole world is sleeping, he has to
be up. He must be exhausted after all his
cramming and must have dozed off for a few
minutes, poor chap," said Caveman
In two weeks, there was a repeat
performance of the same thing. He had gone
off duty, and so didn’t know the battery
had been removed, because the thief had even
closed the bonnet and until Cavemen tried to
start the car up, we didn’t find out about
it. Then we told the maid we’ll have to
tell him not to study so much, since it was
exhausting him so much.
She started laughing so hard, she was
doubled up and quite hysterical. When we
asked her what was so amusing, she informed
us that he was writing love letters far and
wide to several unsuspecting females. How
did she know this, we asked her. Miss
Meddlesome Mattie said she had been dusting
(a very unlikely story) his desk and chair,
and came across these missives. They were in
We had given him the newspapers to read
so he could occupy himself. One of these was
a women’s magazine, that advertised
pen-friends. So, to our amusement, we read
how he portrayed himself as an executive,
the manager of a factory, a businessman and
several other positions that he probably
would have thought more prosperous sounding
than his present occupation. In one letter,
he had set up an appointment to meet an
university student in Peradeniya! When we
checked the date, we found it coincided with
the time he was supposed to be at home,
Security guard robbed
That evening, Casanova got a good talking
to by Caveman. He continued there for a
while, then one morning, when he awoke
(obviously he had been sleeping) his desk,
the flask and torch had all been carried
away. And guess what, ha! This time they had
not bothered with the bonnet, the battery
removed once more a few feet away from him.
Caveman thundered that he could have been
carried away asleep as well! He cried and
begged and pleaded not to be sacked, that
this neighbourhood was terrible, there were
too many thieves etc. So he stayed until one
day he had not turned up for work and the
reason given was, he had the hiccups! Out he
I suppose they are human and it’s
difficult to stay awake, but another one
took the cake. After horning loudly, and
banging the car door near him, Caveman
removed his spectacles, cap and ID whilst he
snored. That morning we were woken up at 5
a.m. by the shrill ringing of the doorbell
to hear about his loss.
— Honky Tonk Woman
Next Generation next generation
France is looking good right now. Last week, a
international survey rated eighteen major
Australian cities as being in the top 50
cities in the world with the least
affordable housing. Perth was one of them,
Sydney another and Mandurah just south of
Perth topped the Australian eighteen.
This week, after Wall Street
closed for a public holiday, the Australian
Stock Exchange followed the lead of the
Asian and European markets and lost 147
billion dollars in investment in eighteen
The fear is that world
economic growth is going to fall moved along
by the United States and Europe, Asia and
Australia are going to have to figure out
how to cope with it in order to avoid
another Great Depression incident.
Technically on that note, what
must go up must come down. The last economic
crisis save that of the oil price
escalation, was in 1998 with the Asian
Economic Crisis unless you count the
internet start up fiasco. There has to be a
global economic bust sometime in the near
future and the oil price hike seems to have
merely shortened the timeframe.
The problem is that with all
this going on, I keep asking myself why I
live here. Other committments aside, in the
long term, it does not seem to be a feasible
option. I will be renting for much longer
than I should be and it will probably take
me forever to get any kind of decent wage
that will effectively counter the cost of
Housing and the economy are
now sore topics amongst my friends. We are
all at that age, finishing off college,
starting work and if you are like some of my
friends, settling down, getting married and
The reason why prices are
suddenly so high in Perth is because that
though the mining gold rush has been around
since 1880, the last decade or so saw a huge
boom in the industry. This meant that there
were suddenly a lot of jobs that had great
benefits and stupendous salaries.
Salaries that were spent in
Perth when the miners came back from their
shifts in the mines in the interior of the
state. Suddenly there were more people
spending more money on land and housing and
suddenly the middle class income bracket
found themselves unable to match the prices
offered at auction for housing they would
have been able to afford three years ago and
had to settle for renting places. This then
meant that though the number of places
offered on rent increased slightly, the
number of people renting them increased and
the middle class income bracket became
cashed up renters, outdoing those like the
students or low wage earners who then ended
up having to try very hard to find a place
in their price range just to rent. So people
like me now find that buying a place is way
out of our reach even with a full time job
and that finding a place to rent is
immensely tough. And nobody seems to have
any clue how to fix the situation.
"I'm sick of renting, so
we are looking for a house." one of my
friends told me the other day. The only
house she can afford however is part of a
new development out in the nether regions of
new suburbia, right next to a sprawling
suburban mall and other houses and
supposedly a new school but precious else.
She will have to make an extra long commute
to work everyday and anywhere else unless
the State government finally finishes the
new railway line which runs past the suburb.
And she also has a child on the way that is
going to be a big drain on her time and
money. I think she is very brave because on
top of everything else, she will have a
hefty mortagage to pay off. But as she told
"I can't wait for the
rest of the world and my government to wake
up and realise I exist before trying to live
the rest of my life - I'd die before
conditions were what I would want them to
She has a point. But once
those committments have been made and the
bust comes, what are any of us going to do?
"I need a job now. I've
been living like a pauper for the past five
years and I want to enjoy my life."
Another friend told me, when we were
discussing his choice of employment and why
he was keen to take up the offer.
"Does the money matter so
much?" I asked him.
"It's the first and best
offer in terms of money." he replied.
"I won't have enough money for rent and
bills and to enjoy myself otherwise. Doing
anything here costs money."
It does. An average concert
ticket costs anywhere from $80 to $120 to
$200, an average theatre ticket is $60 to
$80. Dinner for two is $60 and up. Going out
to a night club will cost you $10 to get in
and then $8 and up for a beer and $12 and up
for a cocktail and that's not counting a $50
cab fare to get back home unless you manage
to last the distance till six in the morning
when you can catch the first train back for
$3.50. The cheapest mobile credit will be
$20, the cheapest international calling card
is $10. Beef is around $16 per kilogram,
shellfish like prawns and crabs is around
$25 per kilogram, chicken and fish are
usually $10 to 12 per kilogram. With a
grocery budget of $100, you can see where
the money goes.
Wages haven risen by 5.7% in
the past year in Western Australia according
to a Federal Treasury paper released last
week. But I am sure it will be nowhere near
enough to match the cost of living. The same
paper warned that there is no future for
growth in the state unless we get a lot of
migrants. That basically means that any
chance of wages going up by much is shot to
Again, I have to ask myself,
apart from any educational committments I
might have, what the hell am I doing here?
My sarcastic jab at France in the beginning
was halfhearted. European countries are
going through reforms of all sorts and
Kosvo's trying to declare independence and
with Europe so nervous about how the pound
and the Euro are going to react to anything
negative happening at Wall Street, I don't
think much of being able to live there at
But I can't come home either.
As an Arts graduate, as a woman and as an
outspoken individual on certain matters, I
highly doubt there is a niche anywhere in my
own country for me. I would have to live
with a glass ceiling, with people not paying
attention to me because of my gender, with
having no voice, with having to defend
myself and worry about other people's
insecurities and that's assuming I can find
employment in the first place. I know I
won't be happy stuck behind a desk in an
office somewhere but that's no doubt where
I'll be placed.
Because I am such a delicate
flower. Yes I was being sarcastic again.
Teaching has been suggested as
an option but I have no interest in that
because if I succeed in it, I will be the
most hated teacher simply because I'd insist
the children have manners and because I'd be
frustrated that I am not allowed to teach
them anything more than what they are
supposed to regurgitate at the examinations
and I don't support that method of learning.
It looks like I am stuck here
but perhaps on the bright side, with very
little money in the bank, I might come out
lucky after a global economic crisis. I have
nothing much to lose and it will be easier
for me to get a step up and survive than for
those who own assets and have to watch them
devalue and their lifestyle depreciate
Maybe this time my grass is
greener. I have always wanted to be in Paris
after the Depression and World War I,
watching a country try to survive, just
because I think it's something people should
think about and remember. Maybe Perth and
Fremantle in 2020 will be just as
interesting. Maybe if Australia survives a
global economic crisis, it will be the next
global power, the next land of plenty, the
next London with the streets paved with
Now that is a scary thought.
- Marisa Wikramanayake
life is better in prison
IN PRISON...you spend the majority of
your time in an 8x10 cell. AT WORK...you
spend most of your time in a 6x8 cubicle.
IN PRISON...you get three meals a day.
AT WORK...you only get a break for one
meal and you have to pay for it.
IN PRISON...you get time off for good
AT WORK...you get rewarded for good
behaviour with more work.
IN PRISON...a guard locks and unlocks all
the doors for you. AT WORK...you must carry
around a security card and unlock and open
all the doors yourself.
IN PRISON...you can watch TV and play
AT WORK...you get fired for watching TV
and playing games.
IN PRISON...you get your own toilet.
AT WORK...you have to share.
IN PRISON...they allow your family and
friends to visit.
AT WORK...you cannot even speak to your
family and friends.
IN PRISON...all expenses are paid by
taxpayers with no work required.
AT WORK...you get to pay all the expenses
to go to work and then they deduct taxes
from your salary to pay for prisoners.
IN PRISON...you spend most of your life
looking through bars from the inside wanting
to get out.
AT WORK...you spend most of your time
wanting to get out and go inside bars.
IN PRISON...there are wardens who are
AT WORK...they are called managers.
It was many years ago since the
embarrassing day when a young woman, with a
baby in her arms, entered the butcher’s
shop and confronted him with the news that
the baby was his and asked what was he going
to do about it?
Finally he offered to provide her with
free meat until the boy was 16. She agreed.
He had been counting the years off on his
calendar, and one day the teenager, who had
been collecting the meat each week, came
into the shop and said, "I’ll be 16
tomorrow." "I know," said the
butcher with a smile, "I’ve been
counting too. Tell your mother, when you
take this parcel of meat home, that it is
the last free meat she’ll get, and watch
the expression on her face."
When the boy arrived home he told his
mother. The woman nodded and said,
"Son, go back to the butcher and tell
him I have also had free bread, free milk,
and free groceries for the last 16 years.
Then watch the expression on HIS face!"
What marriage really means
Marriage is not a word. It’s a
sentence, a life sentence.
Marriage is very much like a violin;
after the sweet music is over, the strings
Marriage is love. Love is blind.
Therefore marriage is an institution for the
Marriage is an institution in which a man
loses his Bachelor’s Degree and the women
gets her Master.
Marriage is a thing which puts a ring on
a woman’s finger and two under the man’s
Marriage certificate is just another name
for a work permit.
Marriage requires a man to prepare four
types of "RINGS"
-The Engagement Ring
-The Wedding Ring
Married life is full of excitement and
- in the first year of marriage, the man
speaks and the woman listens.
- in the second year, the woman speaks
and the man listens.
- in the third year, they BOTH speak and
the NEIGHBOURS listen.
It is true that love is blind but
marriage is definitely an eye-opener.
Getting married is very much like going
to the restaurant with friends, you order
what you want, and when you see what the
other fellow has, you wish you had ordered
that. It’s true all men are born free and
equal, but then some of them get married
There was this man who muttered a few
words in the church and found himself
married. A year later he muttered something
in his sleep and found himself divorced.