Since 1989 every year in the month of November, before a specific
date a decree signed by the President leaves the Presidential
Secretariat to the Government printer to be gazetted.
This is to give the annual lease of life to the North-East merger.
Not much publicity is given to this missive but it has the effect of
legitimising the merger of our Northern and Eastern provinces which from
the outset was not legal.
One of the preliminary conditions for the merger was the surrender of
arms which the terrorists held as at July 1987. Nothing of the sort has
taken place up to this day and even the proposed referendum in this act
of legislation has not taken place.
One wonders whether it is legal or not and this annual gazette
notifications appear to give it a semblance of legality.
It has been reported that this year too this gazette notification has
been published. I have not seen it but if it has not been gazetted this
merger ceases to exist and the North and East remain separate provinces.
The circumstances under which the merger took place is well-known and
now fears are expressed by the timid and pessimists that a demerger will
result in war. There is a significant difference between waging war,
threatening to go to war and sporadic isolated incidents at check points
The LTTE is nowhere near a war because they are not capable of one.
They are truly threatening a war which could be a day dream but they are
performing isolated attacks to show they have little steam left in them.
While no one wishes a war and the LTTEs are furthest away from it and
do not want it, war is unlikely. With new faces and new attitudes one
hopes the same old record will not be played in our peace process.
Setting up of an authority to reduce the harm from tobacco and
alcohol use is a long overdue step. The proposal for legislation was
presented to Parliament many years ago, but not implemented due to loads
of influences. Lagging the proposed legislation behind for years have
allowed several thousands of people to die in vain.
The necessity for such legislation is not only for medical reasons.
Sri Lanka who became a party to the Framework Convention on Tobacco
Control (FCTC) of the World Health Organisation by already ratifying
this health treaty is bound for appropriate legislative enactment of its
The provisions of FCTC refer to legislation to control promotion of
tobacco use to minimize its harm. This global health treaty approved
these provisions based on the evidence of the vast health damage that is
being caused due to tobacco use, especially in the form of smoking. Many
developed countries have prohibited promotion of alcohol and tobacco.
Though it is very often highly glamorized and highlighted that alcohol
consumption would improve health, there is no scientific proof to that
Therefore, the entire society interested in the welfare of the
population should give in their strong support to this proposed
legislation in the form of a private bill. It is evident that the
economic and social harm caused due to use of both alcohol and tobacco
is at large on poor community.
Therefore the burden on the Government and the society on their
falling sick and causing death will be more. If you make your
contribution to support this legislation, it will certainly save several
thousands of lives. This legislation is to prevent untimely death and
We should strive hard to go hand in hand with the rest of the world,
especially with the developed countries in taking every measure to
protect the lives of our own fellow beings from this menace and to
With the Cost of Living reaching stellar heights and the common man
struggling to exist, it would be a good idea if the government could
introduce weekly pay, like in many advanced countries.
This would obviate the necessity of employees obtaining money at
exorbitant interest rates from money lenders. Friday of every week could
be pay day.
If such a scheme is implemented there would be a marked improvement
in the attendance at offices. It would also encourage employees to work
more efficiently and reduce their indebtedness to a great extent.
J. T. Mirando,
Before the Local Government elections the old Town Councils should be
elevated to the rank of Urban Councils.
The former Town Councils were absorbed into Pradeshiya Sabhas thereby
denying the rate payers of the areas from enjoying the enhanced benefits
of an Urban Council administration.
Former Town Councils like Wennappuwa, Nattandiya, Madampe and
Kalpitiya in the Puttalam District which have become big towns, and
raising them to Urban Council level needs immediate attention by the
Ministry of Local Government.