Enough is enough: Let Mihin Lanka rest in
A weekend English newspaper has reported
that attempts are being made to revamp the
President-backed bankrupt Mihin Lanka
Airline which has already swallowed up over
Rs.3.5 billion of the tax payers' money.
Surely the President and his coterie of
advisors must be out of their minds to try
to put Mihin Lanka back into the skies
spending more of the taxpayers money.
The report said the Treasury is to dole out
the money for the dry lease of two
second-hand aircraft to put Mihin Lanka back
It is well known that this government has
squandered depositors' monies in the state
banks to run the airline, which only served
to boost the egos of the President and his
It is also known that the directors of the
airline are paid a monthly salary of more
than Rs.400,000 each for them to live in
luxury when the common man has been starving
because of the many price increases imposed
by the government on the pretext of rising
world prices. However it is now clear the
real cause of all the problems has been the
corruption that is taking place at all
levels in government and Mihin is a prime
Even the monies in the Employees' Provident
Fund have not been spared by the government
in its efforts to boost the egos of the
President and his cohorts.
This set of rogues is the greatest curse
that has befallen this country. It is said
that God when he wants to destroy a man,
first drives him mad.
The President's men must surely be wanting
to spend further monies on the airline for
them to make more money. The President by
turning a blind eye is letting the country
run to ruin.
Why are the opposition and religious
leaders, especially the Mahanayakes keeping
quiet without telling the President that
enough is enough?
Why appeal against the death penalty?
An English national daily of May 16 carried
an article which said that a Sri Lankan
national had been given the death penalty by
the Kuwaiti government for possessing drugs
worth more than Rs.10 million. It went on to
say that the Sri Lankan Bureau of Foreign
Employment would appeal against the death
Why, oh why, would they want to do that?
Shouldn't they ask for it to be implemented,
with torture in advance for such a grave
crime? Imagine the number of families, youth
and lives this amount of drugs would have
destroyed if delivered?
Imagine how long this culprit could have
been doing this and how much of damage he
would have done specially to the youth who
are the commonest victims of drug addiction.
How much of heartache would have been caused
to the parents, to the wives and to the
children of these victims?
Drugs are worse than murder for murder kills
a person swiftly and that's the end of the
story. But drugs kill the person slowly,
painfully, and shamefully and he lives a
life neither dead nor alive, and those
around him suffer with him even more.
Being a counsellor I know the pain and the
tears felt by the family while trying to
rehabilitate and cope up with a drug addict,
especially a youngster who also wants to get
out of it, but even with maximum effort
Anyone who is associated with drug
trafficking or promoting it amongst the
public must be publicly given the maximum
punishment - irrevocable death penalty.
If the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau
tries to save this criminal from the death
penalty, they will be sending a message to
all drug traffickers that they can get away
with it just because they are Sri Lankan.
This also gives a bad impression of Sri
Therefore the Sri Lankan Foreign Employment
Bureau should make sure that this man is
given the death penalty with no interference
whatsoever irrespective of whether he's a
Muslim, Sinhalese or Tamil.
Not only that, let's hope that Sri Lanka
would follow suit as well and bring in the
death penalty for this crime if not for any
Let this be a lesson to anyone who has any
association with drug peddling.
Dr. Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai
The rising cost of living
Cost of living everyday is rising to a dizzy
Forcing everyone to be in a sad plight;
High prices of goods and services are on the
Latest addition to it is our own local rice.
Every food item has gone up in price,
Which is a burden to the suffering masses;
Every one struggles hard every day,
To enjoy a square meal a day.
Tastily cooked protein rich meat and fish,
Is absent in many people's daily dish;
From humble worker to staff officer are
Because living costs daily are soaring.
Imagine the price of fuel and firewood,
Milk powder, and infant milk food;
Think of rice, bread, coconut, vegetables
Reduce all these food items, the housewives
When water, electricity bills and transport
People are affected but do not have any
The party in the opposition says there is a
But in this government, we will face a
The poor and the salaried classes are
To reduce living costs was this government's
Everyday, it has become a battle for
There is insufficient money for one's
Working people always urge a salary
As purchasing power of money is on the
Everyone's hope and relief is a big wage
If not, they would warn, they will resort to
M. Azhar Dawood
Cannot spot fines bepaid
on the spot?
The traffic police impose 'spot fines' for
road traffic offences. Although these are
called spot fines, the fine is not paid on
The motorist has to surrender his licence to
the traffic policeman on duty who issues a
receipt. This receipt has to be taken to the
area police station during working hours and
a 'fine sheet' has to be obtained which has
to be taken to a post office to pay the
After payment one has to return to the
police station and submit the payment
receipt to obtain the licence. This process
takes several hours and an employed person
usually has to obtain leave from work to go
through this process.
If the offence was committed in an area far
away from the usual residence of the
motorist, even if it is 100 kms. away, the
licence holder or his/her representativehas
to visit the area police station to complete
this process which may even take a whole day
or even more.
This cumbersome procedure is often exploited
by corrupt traffic police officers. Knowing
very well the harassment motorists have to
undergo in this process, theyoften
bookmotorists for minor and trivial traffic
infringements.Many motorists often
unwillingly bribe the police officer to
avoid the cumbersome fine payment procedure.
The government should therefore implement
without delaya procedure where a motorist
can make cash payment for the fine on the
spot and obtain a receipt for it. This is
the only way that bribery and corruption in
the traffic police can be stopped and the
harassment caused to motorists lessened.
The moderates must come together to defeat
Sri Lankan diplomacy in the United Kingdom
has met with unprecedented success over the
lastyear or so. This is chiefly the result
of thehard work done by theSri Lankan
Unlikethose before them, these officers
havenotgiven way to theloudest or the most
aggressive voice or used extremism to fight
extremism, as taught by the greatteacher
that "hatred shall not cease with hatred."
In this aspect the present Ambassadorhas
found a formula to engage with thesilent
majority of the moderate Sri Lankans living
in the United Kingdom be they Sinhalese,
Tamils or Muslims.
She has opened the door to the moderates and
extremists alike, giving everybody a chance
to be heard. This is the key to the success
of British diplomacy.
LTTE front organisations are nowfinding it
hard to have low profile fund raising events
as moderate Sri Lankans who eschew violence
come forward to voice their concern. Apart
from the exposure of the credit card racket;
arrest of leading LTTE figures and exposing
the bankruptcy of the so called Sinhala
nationalists are a few of the successstories.
Under her leadership she has renounced
extremism and extremist elements - a bold
move when the government she represents
relies on the support of the JVP and JHU for
its survival. She is indeed a credit to
WhatSri Lanka needs today is neither
Sinhalapatriots, nor Tamil or Muslim
patriots, but Sri Lankan patriots.We Sri
Lankans in the United Kingdom have
understood this need and groups such as the
CPUSL are active in promoting the need for
everyone in our country to think that we are
Sri Lankans as much as the British,
Americans and Germans collectively identify
themselves as British, American and German
Where moderate Sri Lankans from the UNP,
SLFP, Muslim Congress, EROS etc., have all
come together to renounce violence and
demand from all parties to enter into a
negotiated settlement to end the conflict in
Sri Lanka, it is very clear that peace can
be achieved in Sri Lanka by negotiation than
by fighting and killing each other.
We the members of CPUSL therefore sincerely
feel that disruptive forces such as the LTTE,
JVP and the JHU stand in the way of peace.
But it is a matter of consolation that
moderate Sri Lankans, in Sri Lanka as well
as outside, far out number these three
groups put together.
Therefore it is time to take the London
diplomatic endeavour as the benchmark and
strive to muster the voice of moderate Sri
Lankans, locally andabroad and say enough is
We Sri Lankans being peace loving by nature
surely can sort out our problems by
discussion while respecting the rights of
others to hold their own views.
CPUSL Working Committee Member
Did the truth slip?
The much-hyped Eastern Provincial Council
elections are over and Pillayan has already
been sworn in as the Chief Minister. The UNP
and SLMC are saying the election was grossly
undemocratic. The UPFA is saying the
election was totally democratic. We, the
general public, are clueless as to the
However, I think Pillayan made everything
clear during the speech he made at the
swearing-in ceremony. He said thathis
victory was not a normal one, but a
I think, in a democratic country, a normal
election victory is democratic and nothing
less. What did Pillayan mean when he said
that this victory was not 'a normal one'?
Remember Sri Lanka is after all a democratic
country! Did the truth slip? Was it a slip
of the tongue?
Sundarie Wignaraja (nee Vaithianathan)
Sundarie is no more but her memory will live
I have known Sundarie from 1952, the year I
married, and I always have admired her charm
Though being the daughter and
daughter-in-law of illustrious parents and
parents-in-law, the late Sir Kandiah
Vaithianathan and Lady Vaithianathan and the
late Dr. Wignaraja and Mrs.Wignaraja, her
lineage sat lightly on her.
She was a good mixer and showed caring for
the less fortunate.
Being nurtured in a pious background she was
religiously bent. Her father was the
managing trustee of the Thiruketheeswaram
Temple in Mannar and her parents-in-law were
staunch worshippers of Lord Ganesh. They
have a shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesh built
adjoining their residence.
Sundarie was lucky to have a devoted husband
in Dr. Ponna Wignaraja, who with their
children cared for her diligently till the
end of her days.
"Mangala Giri" their ancestral home is
bereft of its charming queen. So, Good Bye
May your soul reach the supreme bliss of