We thank President Mahinda Rajapaksa for agreeing to the request by
the Jathika Hela Urumaya to establish a new Government Department for
Animal Welfare. It is reported that President Rajapaksa had agreed to
this during recent discussions with the leaders of the JHU about torture
and cruelty to animals.
We thank the JHU and the new Secretary in charge of Police Affairs,
H. M. G. B. Kotakadeniya for taking up this issue with the President.
This is a groundbreaking decision on the part of the President,
because although representations in this regard have been made to all
previous national leaders they failed to give due consideration to such
We are glad to note that this decision is in keeping with the
President's policy as declared in Mahinda Chintana, which states in the
section on "A land in harmony with nature - 'I consider cruelty to
animals a disgrace on humanity. I therefore propose to amend without
delay, the outdated laws on prevention of cruelty to animals".
It has taken nearly 60 years since independence for a leader of this
country to realize the need to change an archaic law of the colonial
era, and bring in traditional Buddhist values towards the treatment of
It is reported that President Rajapakse will visit India next week at
the invitation of the President of India. It will be the first official
visit abroad of the new Sri Lankan President. No doubt there will be
several issues the President will discuss with the Indian leaders during
his short stay there.
Under cultural exchanges between the two countries, we consider this
a suitable occasion for the President to discuss the subject of
compassion to animals with the Indian leaders. We say this because India
has thought this subject important enough to be included in the
Constitution of India, which states under the section on Fundamental
Duties that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to "have
compassion for all living creatures".
India is also the first country in the world to have established an
Animal Welfare Board to implement the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Act, advice the government on amendments to this law and on policy
formulation in respect of animal welfare. The President's meeting with
Indian leaders will be an opportunity to seek Indian assistance and
guidance in the setting up of the Department of Animal Welfare in Sri
Lanka, proposed by him.
This will be in keeping with the message of compassion for all living
beings brought here from India by the Arahat Mahinda, which has been the
inspiration for today's Mahinda Chintana.
One cannot minimize the impact that assistance in the sphere of
compassion for animals and animal welfare will have in further
strengthening cultural ties between Sri Lanka and India.
President, Sathva Mithra
My wife has been a regular patient who calls over at Durdans for
consultation. With much difficulty, last July, I made an appointment
with a Professor. The date was fixed on July 26, 2005 and the
appointment number 1 was given. Unfortunately on July 25, a bereavement
occurred in my family circle, and my wife was not in a position to call
over at Durdans to keep this appointment.
Therefore, I informed the accountant of Durdans regarding this matter
in the morning of that day (26/07/2005), and I was assured that, with
the occurrence of the Professor that evening, after the day's
consultation was over, another date could be fixed for my wife, and the
new date would be intimated to me the following morning.
However, the accountant did not give me a satisfactory reply on the
following day, but two days later, I was informed that, nothing could be
done, as they were reluctant to talk to the Professor regarding
postponements or cancellation of appointments, fearing reprimand by him.
However, I was made to understand that the consultation fee amounting to
Rs. 500 had already been paid to the Professor, and that neither could
it be refunded, nor any other date be given.
This was the second such incident that I experienced with the same
professor at the same hospital, a couple of years back, when the
consultation fee was Rs. 300.
In that instance, several days ahead of the date of the appointment,
I requested for a postponement of the appointment, due to unavoidable
circumstances, but neither cancellation/postponement of appointment nor
refund of the fee, was allowed. Therefore, I had to pay another Rs. 300
(+ hospital charges) and make a fresh appointment. However, now I have
decided not to consult this greedy professor again.
Does this Professor have a clear conscience to accept hard-earned
money of poor patients without even seeing them?
L. J. M. WARNAKULASURIYA,
If LTTE refuses to meet the Government in an Asian country as the
Government proposes, why not try a satellite video link from Vanni to
Colombo, so that Mahinda and Prabhakaran can have a direct dialogue, in
This is just a thought, to bring two parties, who wouldn't bend on
their convictions, on an equal footing.
The appointment of Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, as the new Army
Commander, at a crucial stage in Sri Lanka's history at a time the
country needed a dynamic leader, and a man of action of his calibre,
boost the morale of the men under his command. His elevation to the high
post, is certainly justified. He is a battle hardened officer, who has
proved his potential, against the ruthless terrorist outfit, the LTTE.
He has made it quite clear to them, that he is prepared, to resume
field level talks, between the military, and their terrorist
organisation, to calm the situation, created by the recent killing of
fourteen Army personnel, which is a step in the right direction.
If they fail to respond to his call, I presume he has counter moves,
to cope with such a situation, he has a lot of field experience. He has
made it quite clear that the Ceasfire Agreement has many flaws, which
got to be rectified immediately. His views on Thamilchelvam's
contention, that the CFA needs no revision or review, is a myth to him.
It is obvious to any sane person, that it has been cast, much to the
advantage of the LTTE who still carry on its killing spree, unabated
under the cover of the CFA, the recent killing of Army soldiers is a
case in point.
The new commander's vision is to strengthen the vital military
intelligence unit, which has lost some of its key officers, at the hands
of the brutal LTTE. He is determined to safeguard his troops at any
cost, and stamp out terrorism in a manner he knows best. If this
rustless organisation continues in the same vein, he is confident that
the Sri Lankan Army has the capability to crush the aggressor. Let's
hope his vision will be a reality.
He is also aware that there are many corrupt officers in the Army and
is hell-bent on weeding them out. They only have a demoralising impact
on the morale of the Army.
The much respected General is a modest man, who loves his country. He
is not one who could be carried away, by the pips and medals on his
uniform, he is a man made of sterner stuff, he has the credentials, to
give a new dimension to the Sri Lankan Army.
All peace loving people in the country look up to you, to bring an
end to the terrorism that has stalked this peaceful country for over two
decades. Enough is enough. All peace loving Sri Lankans wish you General
all success, in the tough task, that lies ahead of you. We are confident
that you and your troops have the potential to meet such a challenge
successfully. They say fortune favours the brave, in that aspect you'r
certainly not lacking.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the newly elected president of the Islamic
Republic of Iran during his short time in office has created quite a
stir in the international political arena by his forthright
President Ahamadinejad in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly on
September 17 warned that the U.N. was being undermined by the
unilateralism of the U.S., which had only its own selfish reasons for
the policies it was trying to pursue with U.N. legitimacy. The U.S.
responded by walking out.
Ahmadinejad also insisted that Iran is doing no more than what it is
entitled to do under the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT); it is pursuing
a peaceful nuclear power programme, and it has no intention of pursuing
nuclear weapons which are, in any case, contrary to the Islamic
principles which guide Iran's policies.
He also called for the U.N. to establish a committee to investigate
which countries had given Israel the technology to develop nuclear
weapons despite their NPT obligation. This speech was well received
around the world and Ahmadinejad was greeted by cheering crowds at
Tehran's Mehrabad airport on his return to Iran on the following day.
The second occasion for Ahmadinejad's outspokenness came at a
conference in Tehran titled 'The world without Zionism' October 26 where
he forthrightly said that Israel is a tumour and must be wiped off from
the map of the world. This statement horrified Israel and the western
countries. Israel demanded that Iran be expelled from the world body.
More recently at a meeting of the Islamic Conference Organisation
held in Mecca on December 8, Ahmadinejad questioned the authenticity of
the Holocaust and wanted Israel as a whole to be relocated in Germany
and Austria, as these two countries were believed to have persecuted the
Jews. This caused an outrage in Europe and Israel.
President Ahmadinejad on all three occasions was not just shooting
his mouth off. His pronouncements had substance because he was divulging
unmitigated truths that were well hidden by the propaganda of the
western media. Earlier Muslim leaders with the exception of the Iranians
never had the courage to be outspoken against the U.S. and Israel.
Ahmadinejad who is exposing Israel and her supporters is modest and
humble, simplicity is a hallmark of his character. These qualities have
endeared him to the masses. Ahmadinejad is a genuine fruit of the
Revolution with impeccable revolutionary credentials. What distinguishes
Ahmadinejad is his lifestyle, his down to earth demeanour, his record of
selflessness from the tumult at the war front to the turmoil of the
traffic in Tehran.
He has a track record of rendering service to the people both as
Governor of Ardebil Province, and as Mayor of Tehran. He had earlier
been a commander in the Revolutionary Guard Corp, and served for many
years at the war front.
In his two years as Mayor of Tehran, he transformed the city. Immense
Landscaping work has been done throughout the sprawling metropolis, so
that it now resembles a huge park. The traffic gridlock has been
eliminated with a careful calibrated policy that regulates flow into the
Even in dusty South Tehran, where the poor reside, there has been a
massive tree plantation programme. Parks have sprung up everywhere and
potholes have bee repaired. As Mayor, he did not shy away from donning
the orange uniform of a sweeper and joining the city crews in cleaning
He continued to drive an old Peykan instead of going around in a
Mercedes, as has become the habit of some officials in Iran. His door
was always open to the poor, while he sunned the rich who are adept at
wheeling and dealing and manipulating high officials for personal gain.
The Iranian people are overjoyed with the performance of President
Ahmadinejad, whenever he appears in public crowds throng to see and hear
him. His appearance at this crucial time in Iranian politics has in no
small measure stopped the divisive trends that were gaining ground. His
words are in consonance with what the Iranian Revolution has stood for
and stands for.
It is very appropriate for the President to appoint Dallas
Alahapperuma for the vacant position of the late Lakshman Kadirgamar and
not Chandana Kathriarachchi as requested by former president.
That brings respect to late Mr Kadiragamar too. Educated and
dignified people should be in the Government and not henchmen again.
Kamalika Sudharshini Wadood,