|Wednesday, 25 February 2004|
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Certain candidates for the impending Parliamentary Elections have already commenced displaying their photographs printed in expensive printing paper. This type of propaganda is relevant in selling cosmetics or in selecting a beauty queen and not for election of representatives to the supreme legislature in a country.
Attractiveness in a photograph has no value at all in electing a representative to Parliament and this seems to be tomfoolery.
I wish to suggest for the attention of the Commissioner of Elections and the political parties to obtain bio-data of all candidates on the conclusion of the nominations and publish the same in a special supplement in newspapers.
The bio-data shall necessarily indicate, among other information, the educational qualifications, professional attainments and experience, details of community services rendered and the details of assets and liabilities of each candidate.
The information referred to above will be of immense value to the voters who are keen to exercise their franchise in a responsible manner. If the above suggestion is implemented, the cost of unnecessary expenditure incurred in printing of photographs, posters and cut-outs can be avoided. More than anything else, spoiling of walls in public places and the environment hazards can be eliminated to a very large extent.
In its wisdom DN carries an appeal to citizens to re-use polythene bags as it would halve the number of bags being used, and possibly halve the amount of litter as well. While thanking DN for this reminder it would be pertinent to ask whether this appeal has had its desired effect.
It has not. It is evidently clear that the reason for this growing litter menace is due to the use of these ubiquitous bags that has strangled every nook and corner of the environment and the broader expanses of the countryside as well. This is only one side of the story.
Take the polythene strung up on every lamp and telephone post, and on trees and across the highways. No political rally is complete without these flags and streamers displaying party colours and now with fresh elections coming up, the polythene menace would escalate and perhaps throttle us in the process.
Further no funeral is complete without flags and streamers. In the years gone by environment friendly 'Gokkola' was used for decorations, but with the advent of polythene 'Gokkola' has become a dirty word today.
In short, all Sri Lankan events are celebrated with polythene and amazingly no one is responsible in cleaning the mess after the events are over.
Environ pollution it appears is a passionate Sri Lankan past time more popular even than cricket. Garbage filled polythene bags are thrown indiscriminately on highways, by-roads, drains and in every conceivable space available choking the environment with rotting garbage and fouling the very air we breathe.
This indeed is a tragic pointer to the litter mania that has overtaken the country.
Showing callous disregard for the environment and a contemptuous disregard towards civic responsibilities - the nation, helped on by its citizens marches on through piles of garbage and sili-sili bags. So be it.
D. C. Nugawela,
It is reported in newspapers that many organisations had appealed to the leaders of political parties to act with high sense of responsibility and commitment when selecting suitable law-abiding candidates for the forthcoming general election.
They must ensure that they nominate candidates worthy of representing people. In the past main political parties have nominated candidates with criminal background and persons who had been accused of bribery, corruption, misuse of public property, nepotism and abuse of power.
However in the past some of the educated candidates with high integrity and later on turned to be most corrupted and dishonest persons when they were appointed as ministers according to paper reports. This is the reality.
Perhaps leaders may find it difficult to select candidates with high integrity and calibre for obvious reasons. However it is upto the leaders to choose the most suitable candidates who could contribute to the development of the country and not the self.
They should abide by the laws of the country and refrain from using public resources and honour the rights of citizens to choose their representatives without fear and intimidation.
Sri Lanka has been an Agricultural country from time immemorial and Trade Zones should not be allowed to supplant our coconut and other agricultural lands. For over two thousand four hundred years, the people have lived contentedly without any Trade Zones, and merely in order to placate the insatiable greed of western ndustrialists, our fertile lands should not be sacrificed and our environment polluted.
If industries were to proliferate at the present rate, our air would become greatly polluted and we would have to even import oxygen to breathe!
It is time we put an end to this madness and learn to live contentedly within our means. Sophistry would only breed further sophistry, bringing in its wake an endless chain of problems.
As Oliver Goldsmith warned, "Ill fares the land to hastening ills a prey where wealth accumulates, and men decay."
J. C. Boange,
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