The new proposals by the Minister of Transport to permit school
children to travel free in buses has to be greatly applauded.
The present school hours are from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the buses that
ply from about 7 a.m. to 7.45 a.m. are fully crowded with people who go
for employment in private institutions and also for their own work with
no seating accommodation for same.
During this period it will be extremely difficult for any person to
board a bus in between the starting point and its destinations.
I have experienced this daily in the mornings in my area.
In crowded buses of this nature at present schoolchildren undergo
immense hardships travel with bags full of books on their shoulders and
also with bottles of water in their hands with no seating accommodation.
According to the new proposal of the Minister there will be an
increase in the number of schoolchildren to travel by bus. It will also
be boring for them to decide on their destinations in crowded buses as
some schools are away from the main road along a small road or a path on
either side of the main road.
If the Hon'ble Minister could make arrangements to ply special buses
only for schoolchildren during the above period and also from 2 p.m. to
2.45 p.m. the problem could be solved.
I write to you so that my fellow citizens, flying on our much
publicised, national airline, SriLankan Airlines will be aware of the
trials and tribulations that could beset them whenever they used our
airline. I give below the details.
My daughter arrived in Colombo from London, flying SriLankan Airlines
on 20th March 2006. My granddaughter did likewise on 31st March 2006,
the counterfoil of her boarding pass and baggage check ticket safe in
She checked in at Heathrow, was assigned seat No. 34, boarded the
craft, was shown her seat, which she took.
A little later a hostess asked her if she could relinquish her seat
to a teenage girl, who wished to sit with her parents. This girl had
also been allocated seat No. 34. My granddaughter readily gave up her
seat and was given one by the hostess, which was one that is usually
kept free for the crew members and was situated at the very back of the
craft, by the toilets.
My daughter and granddaughter were scheduled to leave for London
together on the same flight both seats having been booked earlier and
On the afternoon of 13 April my daughter called the SriLankan
Airlines office for reconfirming her's and her daughter's seats (just in
She was told on the phone, by a SriLankan Airlines person that her
seat was OK, but her daughter had been taken off the flight as they had
no record of her having 'Shown up in Colombo'!!
You can imagine our consternation and disbelief on hearing this when
this 'no showing up' person was right beside us by the telephone.
Somewhere between Heathrow, (having boarded the plane) and Colombo a
passenger had vanished!
We were then asked to be at SriLankan Airlines office the next
morning on April 14th, Sinhala New Year's day. I accompanied my daughter
and granddaughter and we were there at 9.45 a.m.
After a wait of 2 1/2 hours, during which time the person dealing
with tried to help us.
She could not get my granddaughter on the original flight which was
on 15th April. They suggested a flight on the 16th, which was unsuitable
as my granddaughter, a doctor of Psychology in a London hospital had to
be at work on the 17th morning.
Finally she was put on the early morning flight on the 15th which was
all they could do for her and which we were constrained to accept in the
As a result of this carelessness and inefficiency on the part of the
employees of SriLankan Airlines, my husband and I aged 90 and 80
respectively had to make two trips to Katunayake airport - one at 9 p.m.
on the 14th and the other at 9 a.m. on the 15th.
All this inconvenience and expense should have been spared us. No
word of apology was forthcoming let alone financial compensation, which
we do not expect. No one expending so much time and money should be put
through such an ordeal - no one at all, infact.
I totally agree with Dr. Mareena Thaha Reffai. (April 17). This is
sometimes irritating, coz, some of our Sri Lankans treat Whites like
they (whites)are royalty.
I once walked into a star classed hotel. The guy at the reception did
not even bother to look at me, but a little later when a foreigner
walked in, this guy stood to welcome him as if he's Santa Clause
bringing him all his toys which he asked.
One more place where something like this happened is at a wadiya on
the beach. A friend of mine went with some foreigners to dinner. Of
course he had not made any reservation. When he walked in, the owner
said that there are no tables, but as soon as he saw the foreigner his
These people who treat their fellow citizens should realise that we
don't get the same reception when we arrive in European countries etc.
And it's our own people who will be there to at least show them around.
Norway is most interested in the long stretch of the territorial
waters of SL - stretching as far down as the Antarctic. The reason is
their interest in deep sea oil and whaling.
This is very clear with their recent outbursts at the New Zealand
government who is taking a hardline towards whaling around the Antarctic
and New Zealand.
Also, if considering the depleting natural resources of fish around
Norway and their eagerness in harnessing the oil rich ocean stretches
that belong to SL.
Ranil Wickremesinghe must take the full responsibility for letting
the LTTE roam free with assistance from Norway, all over the island and
for letting up a bogus peace agreement entered into without working out
any modalities with the SL government or any consultations with the
Furthermore, the military was made to look thieving rogues by
exposing sensitive military information such as the famous information
leaks of military intelligence.
Ranil's mayhem plans as usual has led the country to a major security
threat which forces the lives of the ordinary public, whether Tamil or
This is the result of the Norway engagement which has to be viewed
seriously. Norway must step down and this is very important for a
genuine peace for SL.
The above article (April 25) caught my eye and I'd like to
congratulate the author and the Daily News for expressing the majority
of "Sri Lankans' opinion on the ongoing war and the savage acts cursed
upon this country by the LTTE.
As a peaceloving and a loyal countryman, I'd like to make some
suggestions on how the press can implement a national and an
international state of resistance of the LTTE.
Please imply more and more of articles of this nature, exposing the
real LTTE, making the readers realize, and hopefully make a decision on
how to eleminate this threat.
And I'm sure that if you, one of the main mass media in the land, can
make a difference.
If we were to fight the LTTE and at the same time respond to their
attacks, we need to ignore the international pundits who force us to
have a dialogue with LTTE, (when they themselves do not believe in
having dialogues with terrorists), and concentrate target killings, just
like some countries do.
This will discourage and demoralise the LTTE and we should begin with
the LTTE political and military heirarchy, as soon as possible.