I refer to the statement by Herr Heidi Wieczorek-Zeul of the German
Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development to the effect that
Germany has officially frozen any new aid projects in Sri Lanka in a bid
to put pressure on the Government and the LTTE to get back to peace
You will observe over the last six months, the Government has always
been willing to resume peace talks but it was the LTTE who was evading
it with silly and vague excuses. We will not be surprised that if the
LTTE withdraws from peace talks that is now being scheduled to have it
on October 28 and 29, 2006 in Geneva.
I am certain that every Sri Lankan will be with me to lodge our
strong protest of your appalling statement quote "there cannot be a
military solution to the conflict between the Sinhalese and Tamils".
We are surprised that such a statement has come from a learned
minister like yourself. Firstly, let us get the facts right. This is not
a conflict between the Sinhalese and Tamils as you think. This is a
conflict between a legitimate Government and a terrorist outfit like
your Government and the Red Brigade.
There are more Tamils living in the South along with the Sinhalese
and the Muslims than in the North. How can a majority of Tamils live
with the Sinhalese if there is a conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese.
The present Government comprises of many Tamil Ministers and Deputy
Ministers. Please refer your embassy and inquire as to how the Tamil
population is spread countrywide.
Further, let's think that as you said that there is a conflict
between the Sinhalese and Tamils. Then, can you explain why the LTTE
keeps on killing their own Tamil political leaders and other ordinary
Tamils who oppose it.
Secondly, your statement also mentions "Government and the Tamil
areas". There is no place called Tamil areas in Sri Lanka except some
areas predominantly habited by Tamils.
In Germany, you get Turks, Polish and other European nationalities
clustered in certain areas and do you call them Turkish areas and Polish
areas etc.? I am sure you will not say that in Germany. It may be that
your country is sincere in trying to help Sri Lanka.
But be mindful that Sri Lanka is a proud nation who would not like to
dilute its sovereignity to a fistful of dollars or Deutschmarks.
As a responsible Minister of a responsible Ministry, we would urge
you to get your facts correct before you make your statements or
MALIN ABEYATUNGE, Australia, via email.
In response to Yasas Bandaranayake's comments (DN Oct.14) on my
article (DN Oct 11), I do not dispute with expatriates' financial
strength in making an exorbitant payment to obtain dual nationality. but
in certain quarters, I regret to say, that it is seen as a money
spinning exercise, discriminatory and worst being having to 'buy back'
one's antecedents for money!
The present Immigration Law in Sri Lanka dictates that 'all ex-Sri
Lankans' now holding foreign citizenship or Sri Lankans qualified for
grant of Citizenship of a foreign country seeking to regain one's
nationality back (birthright) "should have contributed to the
socio-economic development of Sri Lanka".
In addition to submitting applicants' original Sri Lankan birth
certificates, marriage certificates and their parents' birth
certificates, etc., aspirants have to show 'how Sri Lanka would benefit'
if applicants born to Sri Lankan parents were granted Dual Citizenship!
Another vital requirement in the present law is that applicants
should produce either documentary proof of one's academic attainments,
which should be a degree from a recognized University as a minimum, or
original of the documentary proof (Deeds) of one's assets such as lands
or other immovable properties in Sri Lanka worth Rs. 2.5 Million or
above, and a copy accompanied by a valuation report of the same and
Alternatively, minimum of one year's Fixed Deposit of an amount not
less than Rs. 2.5 Million. Applicants over 55 years of age are exempted
from educational and financial requirements.
The bottom line is that every Sri Lankan expatriate living abroad
need not be a university graduate and/or may not even be able to comply
with compulsory financial requirements imposed by Law.
In such a scenario should such 'ex-Sri Lankans' be barred from coming
back to their roots to enjoy a sense of belonging and to walk about
freely with their heads up in their mother country as opposed to
foreigners who are allowed entry on resident permits by showing millions
in terms of converted foreign exchange into Sri Lankan rupees? This is
seen in certain Sri Lankan circles as downright discrimination against
their own people.
Some even are amazed why an eminent Sri Lankan expatriate Lawyer has
not seen this as a violation of basic human rights and has not knocked
on the doors of the Human Rights Courts in Strasbourg so far?
Let's not get our issues mixed up. Undoubtedly patriots, whether they
are within or outside the country, will always contribute
enthusiastically to save our motherland at the hour of need if and when
appeals are made.
It is also unfortunate that no one talks about the Defence Fund these
days which was once operated actively from Bank of Ceylon and Central
Bank, yet playing an unusual dormant role at present!
I therefore, feel that it would be quite appropriate to analyze this
whole dual nationality issue on a wider sense by inputting all the
relevant and prevalent data and suggestions into the 'Mahinda
Chinthanaya' computer and see what results it would bring, because we
all, as Sri Lankans, love our country.
Dr. Tilak S. Fernando
Reference the article in the Daily News of October 6 that the
Government has allocated funds for the development of the Irrigation
sector which is the second highest expenditure next to defense.
But with my experience in the on-going Walawe Left Bank Irrigation
Project, I would like to highlight the below mentioned points so, that
the Government can take some action to reduce or stop those unnecessary
events. Otherwise the purpose of those massive projects will be lost due
to unnecessary events in the projects.
1) Robberies taking place in the Walawe Project area are unbelievable
because the project is to benefit of the area farmers but thieves in the
area are robbing many items of the irrigation infrastructures. Some
items had been stolen after been handed over to the client too.
Many control gates are being robbed by unknown people in the area and
the client is paying the contractor for re-fixing the missing control
gates. If there is no proper security system in place, the payments for
re-fixing the control gates would be endless.
The necessity therefore has now arisen that the Government should
provide security of the Irrigation infrastructures.
2) Regret to mention that about twenty three newly built school
buildings with a new playground in the Walawe Left Bank Project are not
being used by the Education Department up to now but these school
buildings were ceremonially opened a year back.
All buildings are deteriorating day by day and nobody looks into this
waste of money. My suggestion is for the Education Department to start
these schools with at least 100 students so that the buildings would be
maintained with human presence.
3) During the opening of Package 4 (Last Package of the Walawe Left
Bank Project which was started at the beginning of 2005) contracts, the
opening plaques were not mentioned with the names of the Japanese
funding bodies but this project was funded by the Japanese Government.
It is regrettable to mention that after the opening of the plaques
and following complaints made by the invitees (Japanese), the fixed
plaques had to be removed after the ceremony and replaced with new ones
which included the names of the Japanese Funding bodies.
Unfortunately on the second occasion, some additional plaques were
fixed on the back in addition to the modification of the opening face
which included the Japanese name and that also came crashing down due to
the poor quality of fixing by some close friend of the consultant staff.
4) Some officers prepare bills and arrange payments for contractor's
work done of which the quantity of excavated material mentioned as rock,
but, actually it is soil at site.
In short, the certifying officers are getting money from the
contractors following the approval of such bills by the team leader and
the Project Director.
This happens for years, as with every excavation in the canals in the
project, so that the contractor and the preparing officer would be
making more money as the rate for rock excavation is higher than the
On one occasion, these findings were brought to the notice of the
team leader by a senior engineer who is verifying the bills, but nothing
had happened to stop this practices because the person who prepared the
bill was one of the senior persons in Mahaweli Projects and known to
every body as an undercutting person.
I remember the above types of bribery had happened in a lot of
Government departments many years back and finally disappeared up-to
some extent with the curtailment of those departments.
But it is true that bribery is still taking place and those events
functioning by some stagnated senior persons on a monopoly basis. Since
the project is funded by Sri Lanka and Japan, we should avoid such
things happening in the projects and we should use all allocated money
for the project activities and not to one person's pocket.
S. BANDARA, Piliyandala.
The pedestrian crossings along the Galle-Colombo main road in
Ambalangoda have been erased as a result of the new pie-mix carpet which
was re-laid recently.
The crossings opposite the Central Bus Station 'Daily Fair' and the
one near the heart of the town are two places where we find pedestrians
crossing the road at all odd times of the day.
Senior citizens and those who patronise the 'Daily Fair' are at a
great risk as they continue to cross the main road at places where the
crossings were in existence.
The three-wheel drivers, motorcyclists and some private bus drivers
do not give way to the pedestrians even when they see them crossing the
I hope this letter would draw the attention of the authorities
concerned to get the markings in place, before some serious accident
LIONEL L. LEANAGE, Ambalangoda.