The cacophony to remove Gotabhaya Rajapaksa from the position of
Defence Secretary has found yet another advocate in Sagala Ratnayaka the
little sacred cow of the UNP.
The Government needs to take careful stock of what is going on right
below its nose. The removal of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is not the main issue
though some sections of the media have donned their sanctimoniously
righteous camouflage kit and joined the âremove Gotabhayaâ bandwagon.
The attempt to remove Gotabhaya not from the position of Defence
Secretary but from the face of this earth, came first from the LTTE. The
abortive attempt on the Defence Secretaryâs life was a very clear
indication that the LTTE considers him to be the most potent threat to
The LTTE failed, Gotabhaya emerged unscathed, stronger and more
determined than ever to eliminate the scourge of terrorism from our
To perceptive observers, it would be quite obvious that what the LTTE
could not do with their suicide bombers, is now being done by those
holding proxy for the LTTE terrorists. The issue is not Rajapaksa
Junior, but that of downright acts of treachery that are being
perpetrated in the name of media freedom.
Never in the history of democracies in peril has an opposition acted
in this manner and wanted the removal of those fighting to safeguard the
Sovereign State. Had someone other than Gotabhaya been effectively
spearheading the operations against the LTTE the traitor lobby would
have been just as active. There lies the problem.
We, as a nation had to wait for a Norwegian to come and tell us of
the duplicity practised by the Norweigian Government in their quest to
support the separation of the country.
The authorities are looking for traitors within, but they donât seem
to take action when the facts are staring them in the face. Who gave the
LTTE the most modern and sophisticated radio transmission equipment? Who
gave arms to the LTTE?
By agreeing to the terms of the CFA, who gave the LTTE terrorists a
clearly defined area to be controlled by them? Who permitted them to
bring equipment through the national airport to prosecute the war
against the nation?
The Rajapaksa Presidency needs to take stock of the enemy within. A
commission needs to be appointed immediately to recommend to the
Government the action that should be taken against those who perpetrated
these acts of treachery.
Did they act in violation of the constitution? Did their actions
dilute the State and assist the enemy? President Rajapaksa is the
politician to the manner born, but even he must by now realize that the
main roadblocks to peace are the enemy within and Velupillai Prabakaran.
All military operations will result in progress until these twin evils
are removed from our land.
The editorial on âTime to end road lawlessnessâ is most opportune. (DN
April 12) Driving conditions in Sri Lanka are most chaotic. Having
driven since 1960 in Sri Lanka and in several countries, I find our
motorists especially bus, lorry and taxi drivers are the worst - for
their rude, reckless driving, impatience and lack of courtesy.
I came to Auckland last year and had been driving with the licence
obtained in Sri Lanka. The use of these licences expires after one year
of arrival. They have to be converted into a local full licence. I
relate my experience for Sri Lanka to emulate.
The conversion was a rigorous experience, with eye, theory and
practical tests. On handing over the application with the fee to the
Agent of the Land Transport Safety Authority, on proper identification
an eye test is done.
Then having been photographed, your signature is obtained to be
imprinted on the licence. You then sit the theory test based on the
latest Road Code. Here you should be successful in at least 32 of 35
questions posed to appear for the practical test. A similar fee has to
be deposited again and an appointment obtained.
Till then, a temporary licence is issued with conditions endorsed
such as driving with lenses on and accompanied by a supervisor with two
years driving experience in New Zealand.
Imagine a person with nearly five decades of driving experience being
endorsed with these conditions! Well these are the rules in New Zealand.
On reporting for the practical test, the examiner checks the identity,
signature and the vehicle for the currency of motor licence, warrant of
fitness, indicator and brake lights, wipers and horn.
He then joins you on the test run consisting of three stages viz
basic confirmation drive test; Detecting and responding to driving
hazards in built-up areas and detecting and responding to driving
hazards in higher speed zones.
The entire test takes approximately an hour; when the examiner
observes the use of mirrors, position on road, braking, head checks,
signal use, speed control, gap selection and search for hazards. You
should pass the first stage to move into the other two stages.
If you fail Stage 1, you need to make a new appointment to resit the
test, at another time. To pass the practical test, you should achieve at
least 80 per cent of âYesâ scores in examinerâs assessment form. On
returning to base, the examiner will give you a feed back on your
On being successful, he will issue a restricted licence for 21 days;
to be carried in person, while driving. Your full licence will be posted
within two weeks.
Their efficiency was so high, that I received my licence in three
days. The test was to weed out the illiterate, the reckless and the
corrupt from driving vehicles and endangering the other road users.
In his letter of March 30, 2007 Mr. Gunalal poses the question on
educating the public on road use and manners. May I bring to his notice
that an NGO called Marga Mithuro was set up in 2001 to strengthen road
safety and discipline (Daily News of April 12, 2002) with a grant of Rs.
6.6 million from the Japanese Government.
It was to be administered by a 15 member elected Board, inclusive of
six members from the Police, Department of Registrar of Motor Vehicles,
Road Development Authority, Colombo Municipality, Automobile Association
and Colombo Motor Traders Association respectively.
Marga Mithuro was expected to draw up a Public Awareness and Training
Programme to promote efficiency in traffic management and discipline
among road users and create a suitable environment for safe driving on
This programme was to be implemented through television, radio,
newspapers, public awareness seminars and workshops. Mr. Gunalal could
wake up âMarga mithuroâ from their deep slumber and trace the fate of
the Japanese grant for public knowledge.
P. LUCIAN FERNANDO
After reading Tuan Riza Razoolâs beautifully researched article -
Buddhism and Science - a response (DN April 19) I feel that a few more
words on the subject may not be out of place.
As modern science provides better and essential tools of human life
to the point of being indispensable, more and more followers of world
religions have become tolerant of the effects and conclusions of modern
science. This is indeed a comforting sign.
There are two streams of scientific inquiry evident today: One is the
pursuit of relationships and interaction between physical phenomena and
materials. The other is the pursuit of conditions that fit into
âTheoriesâ. The mechanics of how scientists conceive their âtheoriesâ
has not been fully understood.
Some venture so far as to say that those scientists are âgivenâ an
insight into knowledge that pre-existed. Thus far, âscientific theoryâ
is vaguely understood as cosmic knowledge that is acquired but without
Buddhists understand Buddhaâs reference to cosmology - not as an
absolute concept, but as a continuance of the process of being - âSamsaraâ.
Agganna Sutta in Digha Nikaya was spoken by the Buddha to two monks who
came from Brahmin families. Throughout His dispensation, He stresses to
the two monks âDhamma is the best thing for people - in this life and
the next as well.â
The dispensation includes an attack on pretentions of the Brahamins.
If taken as a Buddhist Book of Genesis, there is no creator god. There
is also no absolute begining, but one of eternally recurring âbeginingsâ
in Samsara, and following the laws of dependent origination, âPaticca
Samuppadaâ. On many occasions, the Buddha refrained from dicussing the
finiteness or otherwise of the world.
It is good news that the duty on petrol has been removed on the
instructions of the President. According to the news item, this duty is
Rs. 20 per litre of petrol, which is almost one-fifth of the total cost
of a litre of petrol to the consumer. (Reference DN April 20).
With the supposed removal of this duty, will the customer benefit by
reducing the cost to him by an equal or equitable amount?
N. D. Kotte