Sri Lanka is an agriculture-oriented country and we have to provide
adequate support which will result in self-sufficiency, employment etc.
to our people.
I quote below three rules which need to be followed to stimulate
It is very important that agricultural societies, research
institutions etc. educate the farmers with regard to:
a) Type of product suitable for the particular land and the season.
b) Utilisation of proper fertiliser (natural or artificial)
c) Modern methods of ploughing, sowing etc.
d) Easy methods of harvesting, transporting and proper storage.
It should be noted that scientific approach to agricultural methods
is very important to introduce new methods which are beneficial to
farmers. We have to gather the information and transfer to our people.
For eg: In India, they have introduced an instrument to be used by
fishermen (GPS system) which will warn them of stormy weather conditions
Further, this instrument will also help them to assess the quantity
of fish available in a particular area of the sea.
Loans should be made available at concessionary rates of interest
without much formalities.
Recently I was pleased to hear from a leading Banker that farmers of
a particular province always settle their loan instalments on time.
This is a culture developed through the cordial relationship
maintained by the Bank with its customers. i.e.: Banks and other
Financial Institutions could be considerate and relax their rules
whenever the farmers fail to settle the instalments due to poor harvest,
bad weather conditions, reduced marketability of the produce etc.
It is very important that the products fetch a good price. We are all
aware that when the production is high, the demand goes down and the
farmers are compelled to sell below their cost. In India, there have
been instances where farmers have committed suicide when their products
cannot fetch a reasonable price.
Therefore, it is the duty of the Government to provide adequate
facilities to the farmers to maintain the market for their produce.
The following methods are suggested:
(a) Provide proper and adequate storage facilities for the produce
(b) Purchase the excess products and keep as a buffer stock to be
used during shortage.
c) Arrange to export products that are in excess.
The above rules could be adopted not only for agriculture, but for
the fishing and poultry industries as well.
I presume the relevant authorities will take necessary action in this
S. R. BALACHANDRAN, Council Member, The National Chamber of
Commerce of Sri Lanka
It warmed my heart about what happened at the Bank of Ceylon branch
For a while I felt free of the things which sickened me about Sri
Lankan society such as corruption, inefficiency and bureaucratic
indifference to the needs of the public.
Not only was I shocked, I was ever so pleased at the exceptional
devotion to duty of the Bank Manager and the Officer-in-Charge of the
safe deposit boxes.
I have a safe deposit box at the Bambalapitiya branch of the Bank of
Ceylon where I keep some jewellery. I went there a few days ago and
brought some jewellery home.
I was amazed to receive a telephone call from the Manager who told me
that I had absentmindedly left the drawer of jewellery unlocked and
outside on a shelf instead of locking it up.
I was asked to come the next morning and when I went there I was told
by the Manager that they had not opened the drawer, that they had sent
it to the basement for safe-keeping.
The Manager and the Officer-in-Charge of the safe deposit boxes had
taken the trouble to contact my bank at Thimbirigasyaya and obtain my
The jewellery was intact. These officials are examples of exceptional
honesty and dedication to duty.
I wish to thank them sincerely for the trouble they took to keep my
jewellery safe and find out my telephone number from another bank.
N. G. - via email
For a long time the vehicles used in Sri Lanka were manual type gear
systems. Therefore the driving test was conducted exclusively on this
type. Because the testing officer had to examine how an applicant for a
driving licence test could control the vehicle using clutch and gear.
To see how an applicant picks up and start off, change gear to get
into the high speed again to reduce speed etc., is very essential.
The most important thing is to see how an applicant could control a
vehicle on a gradient without allowing it to roll back and to start off
Now the majority of new vehicles imported are mainly auto type and
the drivers get used to driving this type very soon. A little experience
would be sufficient to learn the intricacies of an auto type vehicle.
But both the foot and hand brakes should be maintained in a high
efficiency level. There is not much procedure to be learned in driving
an auto except more care has to be done in the usage and maintenance of
But to undergo the driving test, applicants have to produce a manual
type vehicle only. In this context applicants have to change their
vehicle and appear for the test and again get back to the auto type, if
they had to use their own vehicle.
This procedure becomes inconvenient for the applicants because they
had to pay and learn to drive a manual type.
If they are owning an auto type vehicle and intending to use it,
there is no necessity to produce a manual type only for the test.
So, it is for the CMT to decide whether this procedure is essential
or not, as it becomes inconvenient for new driving applicants.
Still if necessary after testing on an auto vehicle an endorsement
could be made on the driving licence to indicate that competency is only
for Auto type vehicles, until such time comes when almost all private
cars would possibly be of auto type.
This endorsement is necessary because there is a technical point
which has to be safeguarded, if any mishap happens like a fatal accident
while driving a manual vehicle by a driver possessing only an auto type
At present with changing times, a majority of ladies and the younger
crowd use the auto type with ease and comfort.
This would help many private car owners to save time and expenses.
B. G. JIRASINGHE - Narahenpita
Thoughtless action on the part of planning authorities in Kandy who
have taken into consideration only the aspect of traffic congestion in
making the old and new Peradeniya Roads one way have immensely
endangered the lives of schoolchildren.
There are nearly eight schools situated along the Old Peradeniya Road
and now the children are compelled to cross the rail track as well as
against speeding vehicles (virtually three to four lanes with overtaking
three-wheelers and motorcycles) either on their way or from school.
In addition, children after tuition classes and other workers
(specially women folk) who return after sunset have to trek across
by-lanes which at times are the abode of undesirable characters. It is
the same for those leaving home early.
The sick and the infirm residing along the two roads have to walk
long distances risking the rail road and the traffic either from home or
on their way depending on the placement of their residences.
A most popular private nursing home is also situated along the Old
Peradeniya Road and those in need of urgent medical assistance or those
who find it difficult to trek will face numerous difficulties, or else
pay through their noses for three-wheelers which have to take a longer
route to reach the relevant destinations.
Until such time better by-roads or overhead bridges are constructed
effective controlling of the parking of vehicles would have achieved the
same objective, rather than risking the lives of schoolchildren and
Already since the implementation of the scheme, there has been two or
three accidents which also had claimed a life.
C. M. DE VAS GUNASEKERA - Kandy