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OPA President Dr. Hilary Cooray in his speech at the unveiling of the photograph of Vidya Nidhi H.H. Subasinghe, the 24th President of the OPA said that: Subasinghe started his professional carrier in the Survey Department first as a Government Surveyor and later promoted as an Asst Superintendent of Surveys.
He retired prematurely to take up an appointment overseas. He joined the National Consulting Bureau of Libiya as a consultant and served in that capacity for five years.
He said on his return to Sri Lanka in 1986 he took an active interest in the affairs of his institute, the Surveyors Institute of Sri Lanka. He served as Senior Vice President for six years and at the end of six years he was elected to the post of President of the Surveyors Institute of Sri Lanka. He served in this capacity for two years.
During the period he held office in the Surveyors Institute he involved himself in the activities of the OPA too. In 1989, he was elected as the General Secretary and he continued in that post for three years and each year being returned uncontested.
He was then elected as a Vice President and held this post for seven years. In 2001 he was elected as General Secretary for a second spell and served for one year. He served as President of the OPA in the years 2004-2005, Dr. Cooray said.
Subasinghe is a recipient of National Honours. He was honoured with Vidya Nidhi conferred on him by the President in 2005. In the 200 years of history of Surveying in Sri Lanka he was the 3rd surveyor to receive such honours.
The OPA President thanked Mr. Subasinghe for the contribution made during the past 20 years to the OPA and said that it was an honour to be invited to unveil his photograph in the OPA auditorium.
Questions and Answers
Central Bankâ€™s Role on Financial Deposits
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka publishes the names of licensed Commercial Banks and Finance Companies who are entitled to obtain deposits from the public. If one of these Banks/Finance Companies fail will the Central Bank ensure to pay the depositors?
T. de Silva, Moratuwa
According to Central Bank sources, the Central Bank will only supervise in order to maintain the soundness of these Institutions. They cannot guarantee the repayment of any investment. Limited to advisory role only.
Uniflow Traffic in the City
Whilst I appreciate the implementation and the benefit of uniflow in the city. There seems to be some sudden surprise changes causing great difficulty to motorists.
For instance at times traffic from Thummulla along Bullers Road is not allowed to cross Duplication Road in order to turn right (Towards Colpetty) on Galle Road, when or how should one plan for such sudden changes.
Dinesh, Colombo 5
According to the City Traffic Police, traffic from Thummulla Junction going towards Galle Road to proceed to Colpetty or towards Milagiriya is allowed to cross R.A. De Mel Mawatha (Duplication Road) on Bauddhaloka Mawatha (Bullers Road). Only very rarely the crossing is not allowed due to security reasons.
Two days ago, the CDN reported an observation by a Scientist, that excessive fluoride in drinking water has caused discoloration of teeth in children and severe bone problems in adults and even leading to osteoporosis. This is particularly so in the North Central Province.
We see toothpaste ads asking people to use toothpaste with Fluoride!
Shouldnâ€™t the Ministry of Health take action at least now to stop the distribution and sale of toothpaste with Fluoride, particularly in areas where ground water contains excessive amounts of fluoride-more than on ppm?
L.B.U. de Silva,
The Sri Lanka Dental Association has requested all the Manufacturers of Fluoridated toothpaste to refrain from marketing this toothpaste in areas where the fluoride content of ground water is high. They have also requested them to market toothpaste which does not contain fluoride.
One of the leading manufacturers of toothpaste when contacted by the OPA confirmed that they market a non-fluoride variant of their toothpaste in such arrears, and the usual fluoride variate distribution is restricted in such areas.
Income Tax- Joint Interest
Note: Although your question was answered on 12th April 2007 we have updated information on this subject. Part of the question was on whether you could declare full interest from a Joint account only to your wife for the Tax Year 2006/07.
J.H.R. Fernando, Wattala
Our reply was that 50% of the interest has to be declared by each one of the Joint Account Holders for Tax Year 2006/07.
However, for the Tax Year commencing 1st April 2007 (i.e. 2007/2008) the Joint Account Holders can instruct the Bank of such part of the interest to be apportioned to each individual. Also for your information as well as for the other readers, for the tax Year 2007/08 no withholding tax will be deducted by Bank if a declaration is made that the total income including interest but excluding exempt income does not exceed Rs. 300,000. Further if it exceeds Rs. 300,000 but does not exceed Rs. 600,000 Tax will be deducted at 2 1/2% from such interest for the year of Assessment 2007/2008. Readers should get in touch with your Bank immediately in order to make the necessary declaration and benefit from this.
OPA annual sessions
I understand that the theme for the OPA Annual Sessions 2007 is â€śSri Lankans Reawakening Sri Lankaâ€ť. Similarly, every year important topics have been deliberated. My question is whether this is just an intellectual exercise or is there any benefit to the nation and the public in the form of recommendation to the government authorities. If the latter is correct has there been any implementation of the recommendations.
Rohan Fonseka, Panadura
â€śSri Lankans Reawakening Sri Lanka as Paradise Isleâ€ť certainly will be an intellectual exercise in the initial stages.
The OPA is overwhelmed by the spontaneous response of eminent â€śintellectualsâ€ť who have volunteered to help draft the policies which, we as Sri Lankans believe, ought to be the â€śidealâ€ť policy framework, considering the physical and human resources that Sri Lanka is blessed with.
We are very conscious of the stark fact that the current policies, if there are any, are being interpreted/misinterpreted at will, to suit individual whims and fancies.
Whereas drafting sub-optimal policies, purportedly to maximize the benefits to one particular sector is relatively simple and straight forward, the most difficult and important aspect of this â€śintellectual exercise will be to make these polices consistent with each other, by adopting a systems approach.
There will necessarily be a considerable amount of â€śgive and takeâ€ť to make these consistent. This will be done in 2 stages, firstly in July 2007, the policies of four groups of Ministries, having a strong co-relation with each other, will be reconciled, one with another, for consistency.
Thereafter in August 2007 the reconciled policies of the four groups will be, reconciled with each other, and a draft policy framework prepared for presentation at the Annual Sessions on 14th and 15th September.
With the benefit of the comments, observations, criticisms and suggestions made at the Annual Sessions, the Policy framework will be reviewed and revised before mid-October and placed before the general public for their observations, criticism, suggestions and ultimate acceptance.
In the meantime â€śAction Plansâ€ť will be developed and the finalized integrated policy framework will be presented to the elected representatives of the people for acceptance and implementation.
The benefit to the nation will be directly proportional to the extent to which our elected representatives are willing and able to accept and implement these policies.
It is respectfully submitted that this is not intended to be â€śjust an intellectual exerciseâ€ť. Individuals like you, will help keep us on track and not permit this exercise to degenerate into â€śjust an intellectual exerciseâ€ť.
The OPA solicits your support and the support of all Sri Lankans who are willing to give priority to the interests of the nation over their personal interests.
Please send in your questions
The Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA) will cover questions in all professions and subjects of common interest to the public in the â€śDaily News OPA at Your Serviceâ€ť page every Thursday. Please make your question brief.
Questions can be directed to the OPA on e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 2559770 or write to the Professional Centre, 275/75, Prof. Stanley Wijesundera Mawatha, off Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7.