|Monday, 2 February 2004|
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It is seen that the Banking fraternity are offering the public more than one saving scheme in respective banks to arouse their interest to have business with them.
In saving Schemes the quantum of interest offered on deposited amounts became the principal criteria and here such rates are generally of the fluctuating nature depending on the dictates of the Central Bank and the Government.
The present day low interest dished out by both National and Commercial Banks is seen as a result of this pressure brought on them by these authorities.
In such a scenario it has to be appreciated as timely and relevant for the National Savings Bank to have initiated a scheme whereby the dependents of a depositor of funds with them receives thrice the quantum of deposit standing to his or her credit at the time of his or her demise, subject of course to the laid down limits.
But the unfortunate and tragic part of this bargain is that a depositor of funds on this account automatically disqualifies his dependents from this benefit the moment he jumps the biblical span of 3 score years plus ten and still continues to be alive, willingly or unwillingly.
There is no mercy even if such a depositor has been in continuous business with the Bank from a tender age to the time of his demise, his offence here is to have overlived the Banks mandate at the time of his or her death - what a harsh dispensation!
How, and what was behind this thinking of the NSB to differently treat its flock in this arbitrary manner cannot be imagined or understood other than an instance of misdirection.
It is hoped that wiser counsel would prevail and guide the management to lift this restriction on the aged in the spirit of a National Bank - here, a creation of the public themselves unlike other National and Commercial Banks in the country.
U. Wirasinha - Kohuwala.
I refer to a news item and a photograph published recently where a member of a Medical Association in Sri Lanka accepting a donation of Rupees One Million from a Multi-national Drug Company.
Why do these companies offer such large donations to doctors? Apart from cash donations, pharmaceutical giants offer various types of gifts, foreign trips and sponsor dinners, lunches, cocktails etc., in five star hotels.
In return, they expect the recipients of these benefits to prescribe expensive medicines, imported by them, to their patients.
Cost of donations and other perks offered to doctors are added on to the prices of medicines and unfortunately, the poor patients pay for these donations, when they buy so called high quality medicines.
Most of the patients who go to doctors and get prescriptions for expensive brand name medicines are not aware of this side of the story. In their innocence, most patients believe that higher the amount they pay for medicine, higher the efficiency of the medicine.
It is time the Sri Lanka Medical Council, which has disciplinary control over doctors, take a firm decision to ban doctors from accepting money and other perks from Multi-nationals. Doctors in Sri Lanka are an affluent lot who can conduct themselves without running after Drug Companies.
The Ministry of Health on the other hand, could encourage the SPC and the private sector to import good quality cheap generics and subject them to strict quality control.
Quality Control Laboratories could be established at provincial level, so that any low quality drug could be subject to quality control tests. If this becomes a reality, no accusations will be made against doctors. Patients too will be immensely benefitted.
Since Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948, Sri Lankans may have not witnessed a ceremony similar to the signing of MoU between Sri Lanka Freedom Party and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna which took place at BMICH on January 20, 2004.
Signing of the MoU is historic in every respect. Both parties have agreed to eradicate bribery, corruption, nepotism etc. and dedicate themselves honestly and sincerely in building up a New Sri Lanka in which all citizens irrespective of race, cast or creed could lead a peaceful and happy life.
Of course, everybody will welcome such a move with open arms.
If the alliance is to achieve all what is said in the MoU they should enforce discipline on their members irrespective of the person's popularity or position.
T.J.V.S. - Ja-ela.
The morals of the Army and Police are at a very low ebb. It is due to political interference and unwarranted meddling. Now is the time to revive and revitalise and bring the forces shipshape.
Our boys are competent and highly patriotic and efficient too. May the salary increase be an incentive.
LTTE has smuggled arms despite MoU truce, ceasefires etc. child soldiers and Tamil Nadu youth are also absorbed into the army. Beware get ready to face any challenge. Not that I wish it there is a war let it be a war to end all wars.
We have waged battle games in the past and our precious youth have been sacrificed on an insane altar of war.
Now let it be a real war. No one in his senses will want a war as six to seven lakhs of Tamils are in Colombo suburbs and all parts of the South today live in peace and harmony. Thousands gainfully employed.
So why disturb the peace? Tamils in the North and East are also better now.
They have everything they need live and let live. let there be peace arrive at peaceful solution, donations and aid will flood the country.
First priority is peace. No sane nation will give aid or donations when there is open conflict, as that aid and donation can be used for terrorism too.
CARL NANAYAKKARA - Kalutara.
The problem ministries in terms of people inconvenience now are Health, Transport and Education to some extent to name a few.
People have no option but to ask President to take over and transform them into people friendly and effective ones since there are no elections to select otherwise.
There are sleeping ministries only preparing feasibility report!
I am sure people will endorse President's decision if she takes over these ministries too.
K.U. PUSHPAKUMARA - Pitakotte.
When you own a dog you are faced with a legal responsibility as well as moral ones.
Generally keeping dogs does not present problems to public, unless the owners allow it to become a nuisance to public by letting their dogs to stray.
If all dog owners and the concerned officers were responsible then the problem of stray would be curtailed to minimum.
Historically a charge for keeping dogs was first levied in Britain as far back as 1796 to raise the revenue.
In general, in UK, every dog over the age of six months has to be licensed.
In USA the law regulating dog ownership are so many and so complex that each state has the power to make the regulations pertaining to dog ownership.
In USA, all dogs are compulsorily licensed at the age of four months. In some countries dogs have been outlawed. In the Peoples Republic of China, the tax on dogs rose so sharply, that only a few were able to have dogs.
This year in China the registration fees for dogs fell from 5,000 yuan (600 dollars) to 1,000 yuan (120 dollars). It's also a practice to fine the owners of unregistered dogs as high as 2,000 yuan (240 dollars). While other countries have their laws, Sri Lanka too has its own laws.
"The registration of dog ordinance" was first introduced in Sri Lanka in 1901. The ratification of the ordinance for the last time was done in 1961.
According to the Ordinance (7), "the occupier of any house or premises where any dog or dogs are kept or permitted to live or remain, shall be liable to pay the registration fees for such dog or dogs, and in default of such payment shall be liable to the penalties incurred by persons keeping unregistered dogs, unless the said occupant can prove to the satisfaction of the magistrate." There is a clear law on registration of animals.
The ordinance (4) also provide that the concerned authority to do this job is the Local Authority.
While most Municipalities and Urban Councils show much anxiety using the Rabies Ordinance (4) (all stray dogs to be seized) to round up strays and destroying them, in the first instance they have failed to enforce, the Registration of Dogs Ordinance.
By not enforcing the Registration of Dogs Act and using the Rabies Ordinance 4 to catch the strays is a clear violation of the law.
May I request to the Minister of Local Government to enforce the registration of dogs act mandatory. As a first step municipalities should register all dogs over 4 months which should be made mandatory.
Secondly a pre-requisite of rabies vaccination certificate before issuing registration would be a beginning to control stray menace and rabies.
DR. A. NANDAKUMAR - Hatton.
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