Unbound And Unafraid                                                                       Unbound And Unafraid                                                                       Unbound And Unafraid                                                                       Unbound And Unafraid                                                                      Unbound And Unafraid                                                                      Unbound And Unafraid                                                                       Unbound And Unafraid


Home

News

Politics

Issues

Spotlight

Defence

Parliament

Focus

Economy

Letters

World Affairs

Serendipity

Thelma


Business

Review

Sports

Letters

 


Thuggery has become a way of life

This is an actual situation my wife and I faced last Thursday, March 13 around 7.40 a.m. We had dropped our son at school in Havelock Town and were on our way to our office in Nugegoda. We usually take the Polhengoda Road and then take a left turn at the Kirulapona Cemetery and take the old road to Nugegoda avoiding High Level Road.

When we were approaching Siebel Avenue Junction I noticed a blue coloured trishaw behind us coming at a high speed. A few metres ahead I had to suddenly apply the brakes due to the car in front suddenly braking perhaps because of some obstruction in front. I heard the trishaw too braking behind me with its wheel screeching. On looking back I noticed the trishaw coming to a halt at an angle almost knocking the vehicle which was going in the opposite direction.

I was enjoying the morning breeze having my shutters down and I was able to hear the trishaw driver shouting. I stopped for a few seconds and had a look at the mirrors and since no one had been hit or injured we proceeded along the route.

It was when I was taking the left turn at the Kirulapona Cemetery that I noticed that this trishaw was coming behind me at break neck speed trying to overtake me. Due to the heavy traffic both ways and since the road was narrow he just could not overtake my car though he tried his best.

Just before the railway crossing he abandoned his trishaw and came running behind my car banging on the sides threatening me to pullover and shouting to the onlookers that I had knocked down a child and was getting away. By then I had put up my shutters and locked all the doors and this fellow was banging on the windows trying to break and get into the vehicle.

The traffic was so slow that I could not move faster and he grabbed a huge stone and stood in front of the car leaving me no choice but to stop. He used filth on us and got us to reverse to a side lane after which I got down and confronted him face to face.

When I inquired from him what his problem was, he abused and threatened both of us in filth claiming that I hit his trishaw and that his child got thrown away, and demanded that we follow him to the place of the incident. He also was shouting to the onlookers and claiming that this was a hit and run case, making sure no one came to our rescue.

At this moment my wife dialed "119" and seeing this he shouted and said that he would kill us even later if we tell the police and he took a snapshot of the car with his mobile phone. He also dialed a few numbers and gave some instructions.

By now it was clear to us that this fellow was trying a fast one on us, but without any other choice I agreed to go to the place of the incident and followed him  thinking I could find a getaway through Siebel Avenue.

 Traffic was very heavy towards the city and he was marching in front abandoning his trishaw. It was only later that we realised that his trishaw had a flat tire. By this time my wife had dialed "119" and they informed us that there were police officers manning the junction near the Kirulapona Cemetery and to go to them direct.

We were much relived to see the police at the said junction and with their help apprehended the fellow and took him to the Kirulapona police station. When the culprit realised that he had been cornered he pleaded with us not to take him to the police.

If we had not come across any police personnel and if the trishaw did not suffer a flat tyre the matter might have ended differently. The prompt attention given by police on emergency number "119" should be commended.

Special mention has also to be made of police officer Moragoda, who incidentally is from Kurunegala police and had been called up for special duty in the city. He quickly analysed the situation and apprehended the culprit.

These are organised gangs who are operating not only in the city but also in the suburbs trying to extort money from motorists by cornering them.

I would like to warn drivers of vehicles not to use narrow roads and always keep the doors of their vehicles locked and the shutters up whenever possible.

Janak Mutucumarana


Meat eating by Buddhists

In a recent letter to an English daily on 'Religion and Non-vegetarianism' Tuan Riza Rassool of USA quoting the Gauthama Buddha from the Book Of Discipline, Volume 4, Page 125 and Verses 5-30 and 5-31 of the Manu Smurti (the law book of the Hindus), and the Complete Works Of Swamy Vivekanandha, Vol. 3, Page 536 justifies the eating of meat by Buddhists and Hindus.

I would be glad to hear the views of learned Buddhist and Hindu religious authorities/teachers in Sri Lanka on this controversial question of meat consumption, for the benefit of Buddhists and Hindus. I give below my own views/observations on this matter.

1.         According to Saivism a main off shoot of Hinduism - the religion and philosophy of those who believe that God Shiva is the Supreme Being- the slaughter of animals for food and sacrifice is totally taboo.

2.         The Lankavatana Sutra eloquently denounces non-vegetarianism in no uncertain terms. Any thought, word or deed that directly or indirectly results in the destruction of life is surely contrary to the spirit of Buddhism where much emphasis is placed on purity, non-violence, compassion and respect for life.

3.         Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, which need not necessarily be always correct.

4.         Let me humbly state that God is the Almighty supreme judge to judge all our actions in the world - whether they be right or wrong.

Finally let me conclude by saying verb-sap, the Latin abbreviation for verbium sapienti, which means 'a word to the wise is enough.'

Prof. M. Sivasuriya

Colombo 8


Why hostand reward aconvicted murderer?

The print and electronic media recently highlighted the highest in the land felicitating and giving a cash reward to Maradankadawala Yakadaya who was convicted and jailedfor the murder of a Sub-Post Master,decades ago in Maradankadawala, in theAnuradhapura District.

What more humiliation to the poor family of the Sub Post Master,  who died at the hands of this murderer. The irony was that some were even trying to project this man as another Robin Hood or Saradiel.

It appears that according to the Chinthanaya, recognition is accorded to thugs, murderers and rogues in society. These hoodlums including the corrupt are attracted to the leader as a magnet.  For instance all those crossersover from a major political party are a clear case in point.

It should be remembered that the highest in the land is the person empowered to ensure law and order in the country.  Ifsuch a person disregards all rules of decency and sensitivities, what is the message given to the countrymenincluding the youth in their formative years?

What he should have done when Maradankadawala Yakadaya came to see him with some dubious 'magic portion' was not to have rewarded him, but to have him thrown outof his palace saying he has no time for convicted murderers and that he had matters of more national importance to attend to.

I am compelled to highlight this unethical act in casethe younger generations are misled into believing that the Maradankadawala Yakadaya is famous only because he was strong in physique and not a convicted murderer of the North Central Province.

My sympathies are with the families of the victimSub Post Master who was killed when he found Yakadaya robbing the sub post office.

Themiya L.B.Hurulle

Anuradhapura


Killing of Israeli school children

Regardless of our personal opinions on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, it is never acceptable to target civilians, and it is inhumane to celebrate the deaths of any civilian killed in combat, especially children.

The majority of those killed in Gaza were militants who have fired almost 8000 rockets at Israeli towns since the Gaza withdrawal. These militants operate and carry out attacks from civilian areas virtually making innocent Palestinians a human shield.

Attacks aimed at militants are not equivalent to gunning down innocent children in schools. Israel targets who they claim to be terrorist leaders or associates. Hamas fires rockets without even caring whom it hits -Jews or Muslims. It makes no difference to them. That is what makes them terrorists. This should be a simple enough distinction for us to understand.

Name a single instance where the Israel government initiated killing of Palestinians without the provocation of Palestinian proactive violence. Name a single instance where there is evidence of Jews dancing in the streets because of the death of an innocent Palestinian.

Peace cannot be had until the blame game stops. The crux of the matter is that Israel is a country for the Jews and all Arabs must realise and respect that.

Rich Arabs nations have victimised the Palestinians for years. They do nothing but blame Israel for their plight. So much for Muslim brotherhood. Its time the Palestinians realise that they are on their own and its in their best interest to have peace with their prosperous Jewish state. They are the best neighbours they could have.

Brindley Jayatunga


Paying lip service to Media Freedom

Addressing the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Ruhuna Kala Haula, the President is reported to have said, "the government is firmly determined to create an environment where media and individual freedom and individual rights are strictly protected and respected."

As against these words we have the infamous Rupavahini episode where action seems to be taken against the Rupavahini personnel involved in this incident but not the perpetrators. Consequently we have several attacks made on the staff of Rupavahini.

After the treatment - a well deserved one - meted out to the thugs who entered the Rupavahini Corporation office and manhandled an official, an Asst. Director of Rupavahini was assaulted with an iron rod last week, bringing the total number of attacks to four.

Inspite of the President's assurance, a newspaper had reported on March 17, that the house of a Lakbima journalist had been ransacked by an unidentified gang the day before. It appears that his wife had interviewed the despicable character involved in the Rupavahini episode.

Isn't it obvious as to who is behind all these attacks and that there is a powerful person protecting him?

W. R. de Silva

Dehiwela

 Appreciation

A.K.Padumasena

It was a real shock to hear about the sudden demise of Anguru Kankanange Padumasena after a brief illness on February 2.  I had very closely associated Padumasena for nearly two decades, initially as a colleague at the Bank of Ceylon and then as ex bankers.

Although we had been in service from the '60s, we came to know each other well only when we were assigned to the Western Provincial Office York Street, which was the first of its kind to be established in keeping with the government's concept of decentralising the country's administration.

Padumasena hailed from a very respectable family in Matara. He received his primary education in Matara and came to Colombo for his higher education. He initially opted for a career in Teaching and was attached to the Tutorial staff of Wesley College for a few years before joining the Bank of Ceylon as a junior clerk in the year 1963. Prior to being promoted to the officers' grade he had served in several departments and branches of the Bank of Ceylon.  He once told me that his tenure at the Haputale Branch was really memorable.

He married rather late in life, as he was more interested in looking after his mother although there were several brothers and sisters in his family. One condition that he set for his intended spouse was that she should be agreeable to look after his mother. His wife Soma was born in Malaysia and still she has links with her relatives there. Padumasena and Soma have since made several visits to Malaysia for important family occasions such as weddings etc.

Padumasena was known as 'Padume' to his colleagues and friends.  He became a very popular officer in the Bank during his tenure as the Manager of the Regent Street branch, which more or less catered exclusively to the employees of the General Hospital. He knew almost every member of the hospital staff from the Medical Superintendent down to the attendant. He was assigned to this branch before Channelled consultations of specialist doctors became popular.

Padume was a humble and soft-spoken person. He was unassuming and was calm and collected at all times.  He possessed an exemplary character and performed his duties impartially and to perfection. He was punctual. His pragmatic approach and pleasing disposition towards his subordinates and clients were some of his outstanding qualities.

Bank customers had easy access to him and he being a flexible person listened carefully to their requirements and strove as far as possible to grant their requests. He abided by the rules and guidelines given to him as Manager, to precision. He never exceeded his delegated authority. Whenever he did exceed his powers he always made it a point to bring it to the notice of his superiors. He possessed 'PR' in abundance and above all he was a real gentleman.  Simply put, he was a man of virtue.

After a few years at Regent Street branch he was posted as the Manager of the Milagiriya branch.  There too, he worked tirelessly to meet the requirements and needs of the clients as well as the institution.

He retired from Bank's service in December 1994 upon reaching his 60th birthday with an unblemished record.

'Padume' had a vast circle of friends both in the bank and outside. After his retirement and while I was still in service, we were in close touch having had a close rapport and understanding. We attended weddings, funerals and other functions together. I was a close family friend of his and quite often we used to visit BRC - his club - for a small drink and a chat. He never missed funerals of his relatives and friends in Matara. He always made it a point to attend funerals of brother officers and friends. 

He was a very devoted husband and also a faithful father to his only daughter Sweeni  a qualified Accountant.

His demise is an irreparable loss to his wife, his only daughter, son-in-law, grand daughter and his family members.

May he attain the supreme bliss of nibbana.


S.R.Kanaganayagam

S.R. Kanaganayagam  had been our family lawyer and so it was natural that I should go to him the day before I decided to commence my legal practice in Jaffna. I was dressed in the then traditional Jaffna Muslim dress of sarong, shirt, shawl and fez cap.

When I told him of my intention, he exclaimed, "Aday, tomorrow is an auspicious day with a lot of weddings. You should start your practice tomorrow itself."  I asked him how that could happen when I had not received a brief. He said, "there is no problem; you just wait."

A short while later, some clients came to prepare a case for the next day. He pointed to me in my non-lawyer costume and said, "he is a new advocate; you will be privileged to give him his first brief."

They gave him a currency note for my fee which he put in his drawer and pulled out a Rs.10 note (this was in 1946) and gave it to me. I presume that he had substituted the Rs.10 note for a note of a smaller denomination. He was a great believer in Astrology and had foreseen my future. His son is President's Counsel K. Kanag-Iswaran.

M.M. Abdul Cader

Retired Judge of the Supreme Court

 

 


©Leader Publications (Pvt) Ltd.
24, Katukurunduwatte Road, Ratmalana Sri Lanka
Tel : +94-75-365891,2 Fax : +94-75-365891
email :
editor@thesundayleader.lk