|Monday, 12 April 2004|
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Since May, 2003 the general public are eagerly awaiting the outcome of a very valuable proposal of an Indo-Lanka ferry services for multi purpose business education, seeking expertise medical treatment, visiting places of religious worship and the increase in the passenger traffic are the main ingredients for the high flying charges which have sky-rocketed beyond an average means to would be travellers to and from Colombo-Chennai.
In this connection I wish to remind that the final draft of an MoU which was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers here has been forwarded to the counterpart of the Indian Government and are awaiting the approval of this service oriented Passenger Ferry Services to be operated between Colombo - South India. But nothing have materialize upto date, due to some reasons or other by some interested parties in this very valuable and most welcoming news to all would be travellers to and from both ends.
However vessel was nominated and a reasonable fare was fixed at Rs. 7000 for return journey, travel time of six hours to and from Col-Tuticorin and a very attractive baggage allowances of 75-100 kilos on board was announced re the news item in DN of May 30, 2003 under the captioned "Indo-Lanka Ferry to begin crossings shortly".
It was a most encouraging news item to boost our Trade and Tourism alike as there are many advantages which demand a step forward but hardly realised.
However, it is hoped canvassing and other shady dealings by interested parties in this regard, should not be encouraged from both ends. It is time that both governments take concerted effort on a higher level towards the implementation of this much awaited Indo-Lanka Ferry Services which is presently floating in the Indian Ocean for want of a destination either to Tuticorin, Cochin or any other Southern Port convenient for both sides, which otherwise have been only a dream come true.
Until such time, the ferry services become a commitment and reality, it is with great pride and pleasure that I wish to recount my experience I had with three of my friends Yehiya Moulana, Mr. Nazimudeen and late Mr. M.S.A. Salam during the 1961 era, the age old mode of transport system by Ceylon Government Railways to Talaimannar Pier and by steamer (mv Goshen) to Dhanashkodi.
Thereafter a very interesting and exciting journey by South Indian Railwasy across the long Pamban Bridge (which is no more existing) and reach Madras should be organised by interested entrepreneurs.
I am sure the State Shipping Corporation of both countries be given due recognition for the successful implementation of this very valuable Passenger Services for the small scale Import and Export Traders as well as the would be travellers to suit their purses.
The travelling public are eagerly awaiting the whistle, call sign of the Sri Lanka Pilot three long and one short blast to echo, around the Passenger Jetty in the very near future.
M. I. M. MUDASSIR - Colombo 10
I have read with utter disgust the proposal and approval of the so-called "Fast Track" facility for Business Class passengers arriving at the BIA.
I wonder if whoever approved this scheme, had any notion of the discrimination that is perpetrated to the rest of the passengers by this move.
In most airports of developed or developing countries, separate immigration counters facilitate locals returning to their countries while others or "aliens" are subject to separate counters.
"Express" counters are also available but these are not the exclusivity of "Business Class" passengers but those that the airline facilitates to frequent flyers etc. be it Business or Economy Class.
Therefore, this ill-conceived idea is a fragment violation of the Sri Lanka Economy Class passengers' rights and is certainly discriminatory of such a passenger and should be either done away with immediately or the facility made available only to locals travelling on any class.
Nowhere in the world does a country violate the rights of its citizens so much as Sri Lanka does.
R. de Silva - Dehiwala
Baddegama Ratnagiri Mawatha is in a disrepair state. Although the other roads in the Pradeshiya Sabha area have been repaired well, this road has been neglected for a long time. Any MP has not paid any attention to this road. Both sides of the road have been broken. Potholes can be seen in some places. This road was repaired in 1990. It is a matter for a great regret that even the venerable Samitha thera has turned a deaf ear to this road.
At night the whole of Ratnagiri Mawatha is in darkness. No street lamp has been fixed.
We as innocent people emphasise that it is necessary to make this line a three-phased one before street lamps being fixed. Though the responsible people of this area have complained to the relevant authorities they haven't heeded. Children find it difficult to read books at night because of poor light.
Why don't the politicians repair this road?
DILIP ROHANA - Baddegama
Large piece of Happiness
2 lbs of Merriment
100 per cent Health
A cup full of Friendship and Brotherhood
4 table spoons of Seriousness
Pinch of Temper
2 cups of good sleep
Confidence to taste
Watch your health. Remove tobacco marks and alcohol stains as much as possible. Add happiness and merriment, strain Wealth through a funnel and add to it. Add the cup full of Friendship and Brotherhood while using the whisk of Tolerance.
Add Seriousness and Sleep and Temper them. Sprinkle little Confidence.
Keep in moderate oven of Satisfaction.
Serve the Dish with Reliable Sauce.
RICHMOND WIJESEKERA - Bentota
Various articles have appeared in the newspapers recently on the above subject; particularly, the inhumane methods of slaughter; but nothing concrete appears to have been done to rectify this tragedy.
In other countries, the method mostly in use is to 'stun' the animal unconscious before it is slaughtered; thereby making the animal immune to any feeling of pain. This method, unfortunately, is not in use in Sri Lanka.
There are a large number of so-called 'staunch' Buddhists in this country who regularly visit the slaughter houses to get an animal released on payment of a fee. They, no doubt, feel elated that they have done a meritorious deed; but do not forget that their act is like a drop in the ocean; when there are thousands and millions of other animals awaiting to be slaughtered.
The so-called release of these animals for a fee is a farce, because, most of these animals can come back to the slaughter house. I say this because these animals are invariably handed over to a temple or a poor family. The poor, when in urgent need of cash are prompted to sell the animal back for slaughter.
S. A. - Dehiwala
It is appropriate to state that the downfall of the mighty UNP is due to the fact that they lacked the vision of a national heritage which is so ardently treasured by the majority.
Their consummate corrupt practices recently culminated in the passage of legislation granting an Amnesty to drug barons, contraband dealers, kasippu kings and even separatists and enabling such anti-social elements to launder their ill-gotten wealth for their mutual benefits.
DR. JAYATISSA GAMPATI HATTOTUWE - Borella
One aspect the new Government should focus their attention to, is with regard to the running of private educational institutions in this country. There is one instance where a niece of mine who is teaching in a High School was to get married and submitted her leave application for a couple of weeks leave. She was promptly summoned by the Directress, who very politely and more kindly told her to submit her resignation, as she may need a long vacation.
In another time, when a member of the staff applied for no-pay leave to help her husband who was contesting the general election just concluded, she too was requested to submit her resignation.
It has been noted that the administrators are very, very reluctant to grant leave, as much as they get these poor teachers to work after school and more on holidays too without any additional remunerations.
This attitude of the administrators amounts to total disregard for basic human right and also callous disregard to women's right enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
K. MOHAMED - Colombo 10
It is my view that television programs must be designed to exhibit values of Sri Lankan culture, whether Sinhala or Tamil, and to stimulate viewers, specially the youth to appreciate such cultural values. It is unfortunate that this is not so today. Most programs, particularly some tele-dramas are of poor standard in this regard.
Even Sinhala news broadcasts have many English words mixed in the Sinhala news presentations. Good examples are the use of the words 'run up to polls', 'crime watch', etc. that are used daily. Sinhala news broadcasters must use Sinhala words only.
Some presenting certain music programs are the worst culprits in this regard. They use a mixture of English and Sinhala words, which make us sick to watch. Further, their attires are very shabby and does not fit to our rich culture. Naturally I switch off such programs since I am aware of the vocabulary of such broadcasters.
Words such as 'umba, palayan, waren, guning and bung' are used extensively in many tele-dramas as if all the Sri Lankan youths use these words liberally. Most commonly even women actors overuse these words, which is disgrace to our culture.
Today such words are bravely used on the TV screen stimulating our younger generation to adopt this language in large scale. It is a shame that nothing is done about it either by the politicians or by the media cult. I wonder whether our newspapers too, will copy this TV-culture in the days to come!
I hope that the politicians who boast to clean up the media take steps to ban the use of such a slang language on the TV and radio.
DR A. S. ABEYRATNE - Kandy
The last time, engineers were recruited to Public Service was in 1998 and for six years so many engineers in service would have retired or resigned from their jobs. All these vacancies have not been filled and the younger generation of engineers has been denied entry to public service.
Lee Kuan Yew then President of Singapore in his address on Good Government has stated "Singapore must get some of its best in each year's crop of graduates into government. About getting good men to serve in government? How does a country get its best and its brightest to govern? How does it ensure, that only the most capable, the honest and the uncorrupt do so?"
This applies equally well to Sri Lanka which was ahead of Singapore 50 years back but now well below it. It is necessary that the cream of the younger generation of engineers be absorbed into the Public Service, so that the development activities of the Government is well conceived, planned, designed, estimated and implemented.
For the past two years the Government had been finding it difficult to post qualified engineers to various positions in remote areas not only in the North East but also in North Central, Uva and Sabragamuva Provinces. The problem in North East is really acute with so many rehabilitation projects being undertaken but without sufficient engineers in Public Service to man them. I trust that this will catch the attention of the authorities and action will be taken to recruit engineers to public service immediately not only to serve in the North East but other provinces too.
V. REGUNATHAN - Jaffna
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