|Tuesday, 28 December 2004|
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Protests to pledge solidarity towards politician S.B. Dissanayake, who is jailed for insulting the judiciary in disparaging terms in an attempt to get political malaise and publicity, donning a short-sleeved banian, not keeping the dignity of a political leader of a district must go hand in hand with discipline.
If the law of the country is to be respected, especially by the law makers. This type of organised march normally causes many damages to life and property, especially of the state, thereby the people themselves who take part and other poor innocent onlookers will have to foot the Bill.
Today enough of lawlessness is rampant, unchecked or unrestrained in action or performance and this type of march will only cause perhaps if unchecked loss of prestige for an MP and thereby he becomes a ruffian.
We have enough of uproar and indiscipline in the Parliament, that also by the elected representatives of the people. MP Maheswaran is today a lawbreaker in the House followed by his other henchmen. The seat and post of Speaker of Parliament is attacked with missiles; the MP becomes a tuppence worthless thug.
The leader of the party should take action against his errant MPs, instead of being a passive onlooker, and when the leader himself will take part in this march at some stage, how can he check his party gangs and indiscipline in the party. There is enough of unrest in universities strikes by various sections of the society.
Where are we heading for? Shah Rukh Khan's musical performance was bombed and pandemonium followed with loss of lives and injuries to many and loss of property.
Therefore people's representatives please buck up and set an example to students and others of the society at large. incredible things are happening in our once peaceful island, the pearl of Indian Ocean.
V. K. B. RAMANAYAKE - Maharagama.
SBD was a voracious speaker. He spoke so much, so that he ultimately put his foot in his mouth. What he spoke as he continued to speak, did not matter to him.
Oblivious to the repercussions he continued to speak. He lived for the moment and was very fond of his henchmen who cheered him on.
If he spoke intelligently with reserve decorum and norms as a responsible minister of state he would have been an asset not only to his party but also to the entire country.
He was a very good friend and helped all his close associates and kith and kin lavishly. some took him for a ride. The poor man is held responsible for the loss of billions of rupees. How hath the mighty fallen.
Major S. Mervyn Dunuwille - Andiambalama.
December 25, the Christmas Day, is the birthday of Jesus Christ, the prince of peace. But some say that as long as they have money they have Christmas. Is it true? What do they mean?
The happiness of Christmas is felt in the true sense of the word especially by children but why not by adults? Can you guess why? For adults Christmas can be just another day in the calendar.
For a good Catholic it should not be so. He will not be born in Bethlehem in a crib again. But he will definitely be born somewhere in this world. Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is born and sacrifices Himself in the Holy Mass we offer daily.
Our hearts should be cribs for Him forever. What good fortune if He will be born in our hearts at least on a day like Christmas! For that to happen we must create a peaceful atmosphere in our hearts.
St. Joseph knocked at the doors of Bethlehem begging for a shelter for Virgin Mary to deliver her baby. But now Jesus Himself will knock at our hearts. Do we believe in it? It is better to be prepared because we don't know when he is going to knock at our hearts?
We clean our houses, buy new clothes, prepare various tasty dishes. But, do we clean our hearts to celebrate Christmas? We must pay attention to our spiritual cleanliness. This can be done by ourselves alone. How can this be done?
If the venomous snakes of jealousy, envy, malice, hypocrisy, hatred, craze for slinging mud and character assassination enter our seething minds and churn in those boiling cauldrons how can such humanity show love and kindness, carry out positive thinking, speak a few pleasant words of cheer and goodwill or at least give a few friendly smiles when the hearts are full of poison. It will make us sick.
As long as such demons haunt our hearts, we can never shelter our Lord Jesus Christ. Will Jesus knock at such hearts?
Christmas comes to the bazaar at the end of November. It is only the little children or infants who do not know why the pioneers of the commercial world embrace and welcome Christmas. For most people this is an opportunity to waste their hard earned money put by throughout the year in a matter of hours of shopping or feasting.
Those strangers to charity suddenly spend magnanimously during this season in which they expect the advent of Jesus Christ the Redeemer of the poor. Its a pity that most Christians, especially the rich do not seem to understand the reality of Christmas.
Christmas is not just a season for eating and drinking and enjoying abundantly. In most instances worldly preparation will not allow them to think for a moment of their spiritual life. Why don't we realize that Christmas is a feast of sacrifice, sharing and caring.
There is a decline in our spiritual awareness. We waste money on useless foibles, fireworks, gambling or 'Dinner Dances', etc. We address lame excuses, 'we enjoy', but we are deaf, dumb and blind to our duties and responsibilities.
How long will it take to realize this is folly and nothing else? Aren't we deceiving ourselves? If we can hear and see poor children crying for new clothes, food, toys, etc. and feel for the poverty stricken parents who have been exploited by the rich and lament heart broken, being unable to make their children happy: if we can help in realizing their dreams at least on Christmas Day it will be a happy day for us all. If this commercialized world realizes this harsh truth from the mirage they create they will also enjoy the spirit of Christmas.
Do you accept the fact that those who are poor in spirit will have Christmas forever? Many people pay much attention on the word 'poor' and omit the word 'spirit' and think that they refer to the financially poor.
Can't rich man be poor in spirit? If the man is rolling in wealth is it a hindrance to be poor in spirit? If a person is poor in sprit he should be able to control his desires and give priority to his needs more than his wants and lead a simple life.
Some believe that the rich has 'Christmas forever'. While some say, 'If we have money we have Christmas always.'
That means Christmas is happiness on what we gain from material wealth? If our ambition is to lead a happy life our hearts should be pure and filled with positive attitudes. If we can trust God and believe that nothing happens without His knowledge and everything is possible through Him, our hearts will be joyful.
If the hearts are filled with joy and this is reflected through faces full of smiles and through the pleasant words, it will then be Christmas forever. This happiness cannot be achieved through food, drink, new clothes, gambling or 'Dinner Dances.' How long will it take for man to realize this harsh truth?
AJITH PERERA - Wennappuwa.
* For the goods that you purchase insist on a receipt - this will ensure that you could change the item later, if not satisfied.
* When purchasing packaged food items, even if you are in a hurry, look for the expiry date.
* Read the details on the label of the packaged food items. Do not buy packeted food items which do not have details of its constituents.
* To ensure quality look for the certification of quality given on the label.
* Even from your best friend insist on the Guarantee card for the relevant items.
* When purchasing items from the pavement vendors too insist on a receipt.
* Do not be fooled by the attractive packaging material used, this will only mean more garbage for you to get rid of.
* Do not be lead by the TV advertisements, they are only after your money.
* Do not be fooled by personalities used in the advertisements. They too appear and say the things that they say for money.
* Buy goods which have the prices marked on them.
* Select your items after looking at the options and comparing as all consumers have the right to choose. No shop keeper can throw you out for taking too long to decide.
Always expect a friendly service. Do not accept rudeness by shop attendants. The shop owners and their staff survive because you buy their goods. So, to be happy customers insist on a friendly respectful service. Happy shopping this season, if you encounter difficulties write to us immediately or call us.
Dr. Ajantha Perera - Chairman, Association for Consumer Action, 252, Galle Road, Colombo 3 email@example.com, 2575659.
I read N. de Silva's letter on 'Senior Citizens' Rights'. The letter was thought provoking and gave some very valuable hints to be followed by the National Health Service. His experiences were really food for thought.
This reminds me of another incident which I witnessed and worth recording. Sri Lanka with a big bang commemorated Elders' Day on October 4 and on the day following what I saw was something shameful, stunning and very contrary to how elders or senior citizens were to be helped and treated.
I was at the Colombo Fort Railway Station and a train bound for Mirigama on Platform No. 1. The time was evening.
The train was fully crowded, bursting at its seams, so to say. The train was about to leave while both young and old were trying to board the already crowded train.
A senior citizen, may be in his early or late seventies came by but being unable to board the train appealed to the guard to give him some accommodation in his cabin.
There were a few already inside but this poor man was simply refused by the guard, who ordered him to go forward and find a carriage, which he eventually did not do so.
At the same time a much younger person made a forceable entry into the guard's cabin, while the guard himself looked on unable to realise what had happened. The older man went his way, perhaps to board another train.
I was rather ashamed of what had happened, but was reluctant to speak on behalf of that unfortunate person, to the guard, who himself was on the brink of getting old.
Perhaps, I thought, he will suffer the same fate when he retires and become a senior citizen.
In today's context there is absolutely no respect towards the elders from the younger generation. These are quite evident in trains, buses and in every conceivable place.
Respect for elders should be inculcated into the minds of the young at an early age. The fault at present is in the upbringing and only time will tell whether there will be a change in the hearts and minds of the young for the better. Just nominating an Elders' Day isn't enough.
J. ROSAIRO - Wattala.
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