|Thursday, 29 August 2002|
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The ethnic riots of 1983 should never have happened. It just evaporated all that was supposedly pious of a two thousand year old Buddhist Sinhala race. A race that was renown the world at large for ahimsa, according to the tenets of Buddhism.
Yet, what matters basically is where we are today and how do we proceed tomorrow. The constitutional crisis between the executive and the Parliament I guess is the penultimate act; Armageddon. One could not possibly concede that the incumbent UNF is not without blame. For they and they alone created the Monster of an Executive with all powers, and Its' past is as repugnant as that of the PA in the past seven years. Yet the constitutional crisis of today has brought to focus the key issues facing the south.
The Sinhala race itself is under threat of extinction if the present Peace is allowed to be derailed. The self interest of the executive and the party it represents has to be curtailed and defeated only because the inefficiency and callous waste in the past seven years lost valuable territory to the LTTE on the one hand and weakened the economy in the south on the other. Ironically it seems the executive is less concerned that billions of public funds were wasted on armoured vehicles and luxuries to one self and lackeys to be bothered about a country in serious peril.
The LTTE or the LiTTlE boys has by no means been the saviours of the Tamil people either. The Northern Tamils know that. They also know that they are not worthy representatives of their people but they grudgingly accept that the LTTE has been their vanguard against what they perceive as the defence to the legitimate right to equality and self respect. No question about that.
Under the circumstances the lifespan of the LTTE as a democratic party would necessarily be short lived with the advent of peace. Provided they are competent to change their spots. The Tamil Diaspora nor the Intellects would not I believe accept the brigands as the rulers of their race in the long term. They have no choice at present.
We the average men who are 'apolitical' has also no choice other than to support the Peace process. They should know what they are doing. Let's wish them all good luck - Not only for the Sinhalese but for all communities including the Tamils to live in Peace in One Sri Lanka.
G. MAHEN P. SIRIWARDENA , Colombo 5.
Many articles have appeared in the media re the poor bus services in the Dematagoda, Maligawatte and the adjoining areas. However no action have been taken in this regard and as a result the travelling public are greatly inconvenienced without a proper bus service to Pettah/Fort.
Some years ago we have had the facilities of two bus services Route No. 153 and 132 Kotte-New Jetty and Kiribathgoda-Mawara mandiya respectively along Borella, Baseline Road, Maligawatte (turn off from Samantha) Panchikawatte, Pettah, Fort and reaches New Jetty. And the other Route No. 132 were past Kelaniya, New Bridge, Baseline Road, Maligawatte, Maradana, D. R. Wijewardena Mawatha, Fort, Galle Face Centre Road, Galle Road and reaches Mawaramandiya passing the Zoological Garden which was a very popular service patronised by all office workers to and from Pettah/Fort as well as the school children alike.
M. I. MOHAMED MUDASSIR- Colombo 10
The following practice is usually adopted by an importer when clearing a shipment:
(1) Collect negotiated original documents from his Bank.
(2) Submit the original Bill of Lading (duly endorsed by his Bank) to the local shipping agent and obtain the Delivery Order.
(3) Proceed with clearing arrangements.
When negotiation of documents is delayed by the Supplier or when shipments arrive at the destination well ahead of the documents (due to short sailing distance), the importer has to clear the consignment on a shipping guarantee issued by his bank.
This shipping guarantee is issued by his Bank on the basis of manually signed advance invoices, packing list and copy of Bill of Lading submitted by him. In addition he has to submit a letter of indemnity to his Bank who will issue the Shipping guarantee authorizing the local Shipping Agent to issue the Delivery Order to him, on the undertaking that they (the Bank) will submit the original Bill of Lading to them (Shipping Agent) immediately on receipt.
The guaranteed value is equivalent to 300% of the CIF value of the shipment and the Bank recovers charges from the importer computed on this value. About one year ago, Banks expressed their dissatisfaction to issue this guarantee, although they are continuing to issue this guarantee. In addition, the freight forwarders of the Supplier has to send a fax to their local shipping agent in Sri Lanka instructing them to issue the Delivery to the importer when he submits the shipping guarantee documents.
On arrival of the original negotiated documents the original Bill of Lading is submitted to the local shipping agent who will return the guarantee issued by the Bank for cancellation together with the Letter of Indemnify issued by the importer.
Though this is a troublesome, time consuming & expensive procedure, the importer has no alternative if he wishes to clear his consignments on time without demurrage.
However there is a manner in which this problem can be solved. Instead of the usual Bill of Lading, a "Sea Way Bill" is issued (a clause could be inserted in the respective L/C permitting "Way Bills"). Once this procedure is adopted, the Shipping Company in the supplier's country will advise their local agent in Sri Lanka through electronic media that it is in order for them to release the Delivery Order to the consignee.
Accordingly, the supplier could send the advance documents with a copy of the "Way Bill (non negotiable) by courier to the importer and he will obtain endorsement from his Bank on these documents and proceed with clearing arrangements. In accordance with the L/C terms if it is a sight bill the Bank will retain a margin to remit the funds to the supplier's bank on arrival of the original negotiated documents. If it is a usance L/C the Bank will remit the funds on the due date after arrival of the negotiated documents. The charges recovered by the Bank for this procedure is very nominal and the importer could also avoid the troublesome procedure involved in clearing consignments on a shipping guarantee.
I suggest that all importers obtain clarification from their Bankers and the relevant local shipping agents and adopt this procedure of "Way Bill" which will assist in easy clearance of their shipments.
S.R. BALACHANDRAN,- Council Member, The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka.
Reading, the well researched and analytical article of Dr. U. P. de S. Waidyaratna in the Daily News of August 13th, one cannot but agree with his views on the dismal situation of our Research and my reference here is to the Agricultural sector. He has quoted facts & statistics that show the funds provided by our governments for the past several years, although not so lucrative, yet have given us hardly any results.
The reason is not far to seek. It is mainly due to the lack of policies that should have been enunciated by the Apex Policy determining bodies which have been set up for the purposes. Perhaps the rice breeding, programme may be one of the few successful ones. The tea, rubber, coconut research headed by their own directors appear to need much more direction. Reading the Annual report, a good part of this research stuff seem to be deployed on the evaluation of decade old experiments which show no results. The undersigned was a member of Policy Forming Committee headed by the Secretary of the Ministry, but several sessions were wasted on attempting to formulate a procedure for interesting candidates for a postgraduate vacancy.
If a census is taken of all the scientific staff employed in all government departments, institutions, state corporations engaged in agricultural activities, their placements and subsequent results, it will, surely, be a revealing document. Meanwhile, the government should enlist the help of a foreign scientific institute to obtain one or two of their respected personnel to come here and prepare a basic restructuring report which could be discussed with the heads of our own research bodies - ideally, the Central Agricultural Research Institute of India or perhaps from Isreal or China which have advanced far in Agriculture. This should be done at the highest level from the H'ble Prime Minister's office, perhaps, his Secretary to the Treasury (Charitha Ratwatte) as mentioned in the Article should take the initiative.
PERCY UDALAGAMA , Colombo 8
Foreign titles like Honourable the Minister of Sport and the Right Honourable the Prime Minister by the English commentator were used incorrectly at the first day's grand show of the 14th Asian Athletic Championships, 2002, Colombo.
The late Prime Minister of the common man, Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike, abolished these foreign titles; including the much coveted "Sir" soon after he assumed duties as Prime Minister. His father, Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike, was the first to be conferred by the King of England the K.C.M.G. - Knight Commander of the order of St. Michael and St. George. Our two Right Honourable Prime Ministers were our First Prime Minister, Don Stephen Senanayake and Sir John Lionel Kotelawala.
India's First Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, also abolished these foreign titles soon after Independence.
Only Privy Councillors were entitled to the use of Right Honourable, the gaily coloured garb, the sword, and the letters P.C. after their names. The privy Council is a body of eminent persons selected by the sovereign of England and fit to advise him or her.
This Council included several leading lawyers of England. When we were a British Colony, we were entitled, if we could afford, to appeal to the Privy Council in our legal suits. This now has been taken over by the Appeal Courts.
Prior to 1956, even Members of Parliament were addressed as Honourable the Minister..... Now they are best addressed as Member of.... and the Minister for..... It's best that our mass media and Editors of our newspapers pay heed to this Correction.
Let me conclude with Mark Antony's famous oration over the body of Julius Caesar "And they are all honourable men".
Gerry Vaidyasekera , Potuhera,
The Upcountry is starved of a playground for the youth to take part in sports, especially soccer.
There is no grounds I think, except for volleyball in the upcountry in between Nawalapitiya and Nuwara Eliya.
At Nawalapitiya the Jayatilleke Park is situated in a valley at the end of the Nawalapitiya town. It was set up by R. E. Jayatilleke, former minister and ILO representative of Sri Lanka for a number of years, while he was a teacher at Anuruddha College and in local politics.
The grounds proposed by me can be located between the school steps and the Ayurvedic institution in Talawakelle and could have a hard pitch wicket for cricket and national team players could practise here. The weather is like in England and South Africa in this region. So let the Cricket Board, the Minister of Sports and the Parliamentary and Local Govt.
representatives of the area take this up as a priority project and complete it before next year so as to enable our team to have practise here and get acclimatized to cold weather.
V. K. B. RAMANAYAKE , Maharagama.
There seems to be much publicity in the media for alleged inadequacies of university academics, especially at the Faculty of Engineering, Peradeniya. I wish to share with the readers an interesting experience that I had over two years ago.
It was a Friday after a public holiday during term. I was at home in Colombo for the holiday, and had purchased on Thursday the ticket for travel by Inter-City train to Peradeniya. My wife took me by car early in the morning to the Fort Railway Station, noticed one of my academic colleagues waiting for a bus, and stopped for him. After he got in, she inquired from him whether he had purchased his ticket, to which he said no. Then she asked him whether he intended taking the bus if he could not go by train. He said that he would not but return home (in Colombo). She asked him if he had no classes, to which he responded that he had two but would get someone else to take them, or cancel them.
My wife perhaps wondered why her husband, who had no classes, was so daft as to travel to work on a Friday, only to return for the weekend, but that's her problem.
PROFESSOR S. SIVASEGARAM , Peradeniya
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