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World Affairs








Pathetic Olympics coverage by Rupavahini

Anyone who had the misfortune of watching Rupavahini’s coverage of the recent weightlifting event in the Olympics would have known why the station is suffering such poor viewer ratings. Simply put, it was a joke! Why these stations bid for such events and ruin the coverage confounds me!

No one had a clue as to what was going on with Vidanage (one of our very few medal hopes), thanks to the interruption of ‘hourly news,’ and as if that was not enough they featured a long winded interview with a politician, interrupting the live telecast even further.

There is no better way to kill audience interest and loyalty than give Rupavahini or ITN a live telecast of this nature. All the good work they do is completely ruined by politicians or pandering to ruling politicians.

Frank Gunesekera


"And then they came for me"

It was with a great sense of sadness and remorse that I read the above titled article in The Sunday Leader of August 17. I am a citizen of Australia, having emigrated here from Sri Lanka after the 1983 July riots. I do not wish to delve into the past. As far as I am concerned, I have forgiven all those who perpetrated and orchestrated the crimes of looting and burning my home with the help of the electoral list to identify the homes of the minority community.

Ever since I settled down in this wonderful land, I have been reading and closely following the situation in Sri Lanka. To think that my country of birth which at one time was known as the "Pearl of the Indian Ocean," has now been reduced to the state of "The Peril of the Indian Ocean," is very sad indeed.

Sri Lanka has not solved its ethnic problem which has gone on for the past 30 years. But now it has sown the seeds for major religious chaos. While reading the article, I could not help thinking what Lord Buddha would have to say, if he were to visit Sri Lanka and see for himself what cruelty and chaos his own followers are responsible for at this time.

They are persecuting the Christians mainly with the intention of making them embrace Buddhism. Is it possible to win people with these cruel and harsh methods?

Lord Buddha’s teaching is based on Ahimsa — non violence. The very people who should be preaching and practising non-violence, including Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thero and Ven. Galagodatta Gnanasara Thero, are responsible for instigating innocent and ignorant people into committing these grave crimes on the Christians and their churches, and trying to introduce unfair laws – e.g. denying Christian government servants their pension rights — in addition to other unfair acts. What is the President and the other political leaders doing? Are they supporting and giving their blessings to these people in the name of Lord Buddha?

If the government and the Buddhist people wish so keenly to make Sri Lanka a Buddhist country, everybody from the President downwards must live out Buddhism to the full extent and set an example by leading a life of non-violence and follow the noble paths set by their great teacher, Lord Buddha.

I am reminded of a story which goes thus. The Sun and the Wind met one day. The Wind challenged the Sun as to who could make the man walking on the road, remove his jacket. When the contest began, the Wind blew hard and then harder on the man; and the man clung to his jacket with all his strength. When the Sun began its task, it shone on the man gently. The more it shone the warmer the man felt, and he took off his jacket of his own accord. This is proof that every human being reacts and responds to tender, loving care (TLC). May this be a ‘thought for the day’ to all those who read this.

I would also like to give a message to the Christians who face these challenges, as well. Pray the prayer of intercession in Mathew 5: 44-45 — "Love your enemies; bless them that curse you. Do good to them that hate you. Pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven."

Rose de Sammy


Ranil must not budge

After watching a TV news item one day last week about some UNP MPs, namely Johnston Fernando, Lakshman Seneviratne and Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena questioning the leadership of the party, I decided it was time somebody put the record straight. All what some MPs do after an election defeat is put the blame on party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and challenge his leadership. Let it be said that the UNP lost Ratnapura because of the person who was put in charge of the campaign — S. B. Dissanayake — who is also supposed to be the party’s national organiser.

The party lost Anuradhapura because the MPs there felt insecure and did not support Janaka Perera. If these people worked hard the UNP would not have lost the poll. These people are from the area and it is their responsibility to see that the party wins.

Despite this lack of support the UNP voters rallied round "outsiders" Ranjan Ramanayake and Janaka Perera, giving them the highest number of preferential votes which shows that the people have lost faith in the MPs. All what these MPs do is blame Ranil without doing any work to win elections.

Should not the national organiser, be asked to step down because it is his job to organise the campaigns and deliver victory to the party? His record so far has been dismal.

If they think the UNP is weak because of Ranil, they are dead wrong. The voters have shown this by increasing the party’s vote base in the two provinces. If the UNP is weak it is because of the MPs who are obviously not up to the mark.

If not for the despicable UNP MPs who crossed over, this government would not be there today. Do you think UNP supporters will ever vote for these 30 Judases who spat on their faces? Or for that matter, even SLFPers? No way! Come the next election they will be thrown straight to the political dustbin. What the UNP must do is get more young blood and win back voters’ confidence like what happened with Ranjan and Janaka.

The UNP must amend its constitution to prevent MPs crossing over to another party or else, the voters should have the opportunity of taking legal action against the MPs because they blatantly cheat the voter by supporting the party the voter is opposed to. These cross-overs should be stopped and the party constitution should be amended to ensure this.

It looks as if these MPs have forgotten the vote base that Ranil has. Can anyone challenge the 4.8 million votes (mind you without the votes in the north east) that he got last time? Do you think any of these so-called ‘reformists’ could obtain so many votes? If not for the alleged Mahinda-Tiger deal to stop the people in the northeast from voting, Ranil would be the president today.

We have some good UNP politicians, but they are too young for leadership. The government will offer millions to buy up UNP MPs, and these scoundrels think that the UNP voters are fools to believe their cock and bull stories about all the good things that Mahinda is supposed to be doing. In a way it is good to get rid of these traitors and go for new faces like Ranjan and Janaka who are attracting huge support.

Contrary to the thinking of some of the seniors in the UNP I strongly feel Ranil is a strong leader. These people including the ambitious national organiser cannot have their way with Ranil and that is the reason why some of these people run to Mahinda.

Some others do Mahinda’s bidding from within the party and call for Ranil’s ouster. They think that they can make him dance according to their music. When that does not happen they speak of the need for "reforms."

It is high time that Ranil made use of the powers vested in him by the party constitution and took control of the party. It is my strong belief that he is the only ‘clean’ leader right now, who can take our country to the next level. 

Sudu Banda, Kohuwala

Lost and found

A reader from Mabole, Wattala has written to us that a National Identity Card bearing No.567311678 with a purse belonging to ‘Mary Jacyntha Devadas’ has been found and that all efforts made to trace that person through the post has failed. He has said that the person concerned could contact 077 6691934 and claim the purse and NIC.

Ashamed to have the same name

Recently I met a friend of mine in Kurunegala after many years. His name is Mervyn Perera. After exchanging greetings, he told me that he is quite ashamed of his first name ‘Mervyn.’ It took a few seconds to co-ordinate my thoughts and I burst out laughing. He told me that the name had been brought to a very low level and that most parents will not name their new born boys with this name for a long time — not as long as this politician is alive and kicking, wildly.

He also told me that whoever gave a ‘doctorate’ to this politician, and also the highest authority who protects this man in spite of all his pranks must be called to explain their actions.

S. Fonseka


How do politicians become rich overnight?

I read in a recent edition of The Sunday Leader that a minister who is from Beruwela has not declared his assets. I am personally aware that he has ‘achieved’ much after he became a politician.

All his businesses — like operating private buses and shops — are allegedly run by his wife who is drawing a salary from the government with government vehicles provided to her, her relatives, and even step children, to run around. The family allegedly owns more than three houses. Overseas trips are undertaken with the entire family in tow. How can a ‘new’ minister become so wealthy overnight?

How is it that he allegedly burned down a Christian church (Assembly of God) in the district when his wife and in-laws are all Christians? Two innocent officers attached to the Bribery Commission who probed his activities have been transferred. All these things are done with white collar workers’ money who pay taxes from their salaries for everything including consumer items. Where is justice?

Doesn’t anybody check on politicians’ assets and how they become super rich overnight? Where will these people end up?

Susantha Perera



I.A. Cader

My Dad, a man for all seasons

My father the late I.A.Cader was a man for all seasons. Twenty nine years after his demise his memory stands vivid in our minds. A product of Mahinda College, Galle and St. Peter’s College, Colombo, Dad hailed from Talapitiya, Galle and was born on January 5, 1917

A lawyer by profession, he later took to politics and indulged in the gem trade too. He was a Member of Parliament for Beruwela, Deputy Speaker and Senator as well. Retiring from politics in 1977 he was assigned a diplomatic posting as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Egypt.

How he combined politics, his profession, social activities and family was truly amazing. He sported an extraordinary charisma which made people of all ages to be drawn towards him. He loved children and for us his daughters he had a deep affection.

As a member of the Wakf Board he had to travel extensively to far off places. This did not hinder him making it an official cum leisure jaunt. As usual he bundled us into his amazingly expanding ‘Zodiac’ to the wild and exotic places.

Dad was an extremely generous person. He instilled in us the need to be charitable; and most of all to be ‘honest and truthful.’ He despised those who lied to achieve their goals. His constant advice to us was ‘Whatever your dealings, be truthful and be honest.’ These words are etched in our hearts and are strictly adhered to, although we live in a world full of such elements.

His love for his kith and kin was another unique aspect to his character. When his only sister was widowed with three young children, he moved in as a shield and protector. He always visited his relations and gave them companionship, security and advice. He was a tower of strength to them.

During his tenure of office as Member of Parliament, his constituency saw many development activities. The fisheries harbour in Beruwela and the Maggona market stand to his credit. Father nursed his electorate with genuine fondness and his constant weekend visits included us as well.

Dad’s contribution to his party the SLFP was immeasurable. Loyal to the core he stood by the government of the day in 1964 when many crossed over for monetary gain. He was staunch until his demise in 1979. He was of a very rare calibre indeed, considering the standards of politics today. He was returned to parliament as member for Beruwela on two occasions; in 1960 and 1970. He served for 11 years in this capacity. Dad’s home was a haven for anyone who sought refuge, it was open to all.

Dad was unique in character. He played many parts in his life and in all of them he achieved distinction. As a trusted lawyer many turned to him for justice and advice. He didn’t turn away any one for monetary gains.

He quoted extensively from Shakespeare, Rabindranath Tagore and ‘Avvayyar.’ His favourite poem was IF by Rudyard Kipling.

He detested untruths and dishonesty. Parliamentarians of yore often had to dispose of their assets for their upkeep, and electoral activities. They did not receive the perks enjoyed by parliamentarians of today.

Father had a powerful voice and could sing a variety of songs — an asset, which I inherited. Singing his favourite songs Mona Lisa, Autumn Leaves and This is My Song to him had a soothing effect. He rendered ‘ghazals’ in a voice that was deep and eloquent. His rendition of Rosemary was absolutely awe inspiring.

Islam ran deep in his veins. He imparted Quranic stories of prophets, anecdotes and sharia. His personal Quran which my younger sister possesses has many markings to show the importance of certain verses.

Angling was one recreation he found peace and solace in. He was a member of the Angler’s Club and would make trips to the breakwaters in the port at dawn.

We are indeed proud of our Dad who left a lasting legacy to us his daughters. A soft hearted person, his purse opened readily to assist the less fortunate. Warm and gentle, a rare breed he was better known as ‘Adham’ to his wide circle of friends and to his relations.

We his five daughters salute our dear father who was a rare personality, an advisor, philanthropist, exemplary politician, a friend, a father and a grandfather.

May Almighty Allah grant him Jennathul Firdous. Ameen.

Liqa Cader Faaiz


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