|Thursday, 5 February 2004|
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Now that the Govt. has decided to hold Provincial Council Elections during the first week in April 2004, nominations will now be called from members of all political parties who wish to contest the Provincial Council Elections 2004.
This reminds me candidates who sent nominations prior to Independence in 1948, were well educated.
Many were professionals, a majority of them used their own wealth to uplift the masses and assist the economic development of the country. They were honest freedom fighters who sacrificed everything. Some even served prison sentences under the colonial masters.
However in the past five decades our country has had to face several problems, perhaps due to the wrong type of candidates, being elected to Provincial, Municipal and Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas and even Parliament.
The first thing they promote is their kith and kin for jobs, making appointments and placing square pegs in round holes and nothing is done thereafter, also recommend unsuitable persons as Justices of the Peace. Some of these politicians do not have any basic educational qualifications, only money and gun culture.
Today, to be elected to any Council or Parliament you need not have any basic educational qualifications and age limit, whereas in the public and private sector you need to have some minimum educational qualifications and age limit for any employment, and also a certificate from the Grama Sevaka and Police clearance.
What the people want today is peace and stability in the country, so that they can go on with their normal work peacefully and develop the country for future generations.
To achieve this, the hierarchy of all political parties in the country should select suitable candidates to these Councils and Parliament with at least the following qualifications, if the country is to go forward.
i. Candidates selected should have the minimum educational qualifications G.C.E. (Advanced Level) we have plenty of them in the country.
ii. Good knowledge of the three languages Sinhala, Tamil and English.
iii. Professionally qualified persons in all fields to develop the country.
iv. Character certificate either from the Temple, Church, Kovil or the Mosque of the suitability of the candidate to hold high office in any of these Councils or Parliament in the country.
v. Declaration of the assets and liabilities of the candidate.
Plus points may be given to professionally qualified persons in the selections, as these persons need not require the services of the underworld thugs to campaign, as people will elect the best suitable qualified person.
F. A. RODRIGO SATHIANATHEN - Kelaniya.
There is a village or a little town in the Southern part of the Thirukonamalai (Trincomalee) district, which borders the Mattakalappu (Batticaloa) district in the Eastern province (now a part of the North-East of the island) called Moothoor.
But for centuries, it's been erroneously called Muttur in English, like Jaffna, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Galle, Kandy, Kegalle, Kernigalle, etc. (this is almost a residue of the Anglization of names by our colonial rulers.
This is misleading, particularly to a foreigner, if he or she wants to locate the area by their indigenous names.
It's high time we change these names and replace them with the traditional names. If Bombay can call itself Mumbai, Calcutta as Kolkatta, Madras as Chennai, Peking as Beijing, Gold Coast as Ghana and the like, why cannot we change these names to the original ones, so that they have a place in the changing world maps.
I am a Lankan Tamil. I desire change of names in English of my beloved Tamil speaking areas of our little island to be called Yaalpanam (Jaffna), Mattakalappu (Batticaloa), Thirukonamalai (Trincomalee), Moothoor (Muttur), for instance. Moothoor in Tamil means ancient village. Muttur in Tamil means a place of gems.
So it's a misnomer to call a fishing and rice producing area as a place with gems.
The Ministry of Home Affairs or whatever should look into this please. It is one way of winning the support of indigenous people in the respective areas to genuine and sincere moves to bring about harmony and peace among our war-ridden populace.
Even the spelling of Tamil (as pronounced in that language) is spelt as Tamil in English. Although it is spelt that way in the international parlance, at least among us we can use the spelling as Thamil.
I hope I don't sound a too ambitious language visionary! But periodical changes are good if it could bring positive results.
K.S. SIVAKUMARAN - USA.
An article under the above heading appeared in the press on 10-1-2004, written by a foreigner, W.C. Seal of Leicester, U.K.
He says in Sri Lanka tourists have reported some of the cruel ways in which dogs are treated and also says that the dogs could help people in many ways and therefore should be regarded and treated as "Man's best friend'.
He says that Dr. Perera of Negombo has been sterilizing dogs to reduce the number of strays. While appreciating the good work done by Dr. Perera, I would like to inform the local and foreign public that we in Kandy have started a pilot project with the Kandy Municipality where we do not kill dogs.
For the past six months dogs caught and brought to the dog pound are fed, looked after, sterilized and vaccinated against rabies and eventually given to kind homes.
This whole project at the moment is funded by one Edith Zelweger from an organization in Switzerland. Local volunteers help in this movement. Recently a local organization called "Save our Friends" (SOFA), has been formed to carry on this humane work. The dog pound has now been fitted up and turned into a transit home.
I as the President of SOFA appeal to local and foreign animal welfare organisations and animal lovers to contribute towards this worthy cause. For further information, please contact - 074-470861.
DR. C. GODAMUNNE - Sofa.
Metal sheds are installed in two public areas, in Mt. Lavinia and Ratmalana. These sheds have now proliferated in and around Colombo, and are now spreading fast. These have been approved by the various Local authorities. These sheds are not only inconveniencing the public but also becoming an eyesore.
These sheds are now used for expanded activities including bringing up families, and provide an ideal base for drugs and other illegal activities which is normally conducted in hiding, but now inside a licensed den authorized by the Local authorities.
Now comes the million dollar question. Have the UDA and the RDA given permission? How has the UDA overlooked this glaring looming catastrophe? Waiting to happen.
The UDA is going about bringing down unauthorized structures and not giving approval for constructions not suitable in their views, but are living in bliss, and as I understand from the UDA no permission has been granted for these sheds.
WALTER FERNANDO - Ratmalana.
It is big news for some time now for the past few years regarding American and British justice towards Iraq, viz., Saddam Hussain, the President and Head of State of the great people of Iraq where culture flourished when the Americans were barbarians and un-civilised. Iraq's civilisation is thousands of years old where-as the Americans came as a nation only a few years ago.
It was heart rendering to have seen in the newspapers when Saddam Hussain was manacled and seeing crawling from inside a dungeon, where he was kept confined after his capture by the so-called civilised and the world's No. one power.
Power has corrupted and made them insane.
There are allegations of him amassing mass scale human destruction weapons and poisonous gasses. But when the UNO monitors searched after digging up the hideouts some 40 miles away from where Saddam Hussain lived, they have officially reported that some old in-effective old bombs have been discovered, perhaps, which were buried due to their ineffectiveness.
The people are with Saddam Hussain and one could witness protests being staged everywhere daily against the Americans.
In Sri Lanka we had a perfect justice system and we know how the great king of Sri Lanka did justice by Tamil King Elara after he was beaten in combat with King Dutugemunu. The king's edict is that all must remove their head coverings before approaching and passing the grave of King Elara.
Iraqi's are great friends of Sri Lanka and we have a very flourishing trade with them especially tea.
The Allied forces could not capture Hitler or Mussolini as they were matching opponents. But the innocent Iraqi's are harassed and subdued with weapons not by strength of power as King Dutugemunu did.
Americans and Britishers accuse Saddam Hussain of grave crimes, the alleged reason for fighting against Iraq. If as alleged Saddam Hussain has committed such crimes, why not try him before a World Court of Justice. That is reasonable and the world at large will accept such judgement.
The No. one power should have a fair justice system towards the Iraqi's especially Saddam Hussain and try him for the alleged crimes and show the world that they are correct in subduing Saddam Hussain and capturing him.
Americans should not insult their father of the nation, that great patriot Abraham Lincon.
Therefore hand over forthwith President Saddam Hussain to the UNO to be fairly tried before a World Court of Justice.
V. K. B. RAMANAYAKE - Maharagama.
We have our parental home which was left for the two of us by our parents when they died. This property is in a highly residential area, where the new Municipality rule is that land cannot be divided under twenty perches.
Our parents' last wish was that we should not sell this land but for the two of us to build our houses. But we are unable to keep up their last wish as this land cannot be divided into two as it is less than forty perches.
Land prices have shot up so much that no one can afford to buy or have twenty perches unless you are filthy rich.
Both of us were trying to build two homes as per our parents last wish but the Municipality refuses saying we cannot divide but we can build flats. We can't afford to build flats but just want to build two houses for us to live. But it's only a dream.
I'm sure if our parents knew that this rule was coming in they would have divided it then.
But it is very unfair of the Govt. and the Municipality to bring in this rule penalizing only some people and others get away building their palatial homes. We can't dream of having even six perches if not for our parents.
F.M. - Colombo 5.
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