I read the other day in a magazine that the largest ethnic group in
London was mixed race children. Could this not be the future for the
countries of the world, Sri Lanka in particular where warring factions
are making life difficult for the ordinary citizen.
I mean ordinary citizen because there are those who are making much
money, and they do not want this mayhem to end.
Mixed marriages are not something new to this country. It is already
there in our beautiful country everywhere.
As a panacea for the present ethnic crisis, and to unite the two
factions on either side of the line divide, marriages between the
different races will have to be encouraged.
The religious leaders, those others revered in our country, and most
of all, the politicians of all hues and cries are the ones who could
make this a real success.
Needless to say, much political will and statesmenship is required to
push this forward. Will our leaders go for it? To think back in time, up
to the 1950s, the medium of instruction in schools was English.
The students of different races were all together and they got on
well with hardly any thought of ethnicity. Should this be continued
without the politicians interfering, we probably would have not had the
communal riots which had erupted now and then.
Our life as a community would definitely have been better than what
it is today. With the huge sums of money siphoned off for the war and
the related expenditure, our country as a whole is behind in much needed
development compared with our neighbours.
The begging bowl we shamelessly stretch around the globe could be
avoided and a Sri Lankan abroad will be much respected individual.
Should we do not do something about this?
All airline passengers usually take for granted that they will be
travelling in one of the classes they booked. This assumption is wrong
by many thousands of rupees.
To start with the prices quoted by the airlines are different on
different days. They vary on a daily basis. On top of this, there are
many categories within each class with different prices.
The racket I decry is that even if you paid a higher price to get an
Economy Class ticket, you will get the same service as another customer
who got the same Economy Class ticket at a lower price.
In the airline I looked as I could be paying Rs. 106,000 extra, but
will not be getting anything extra as compared to the passenger who got
the same economy class ticket at the lowest rate of Rs. 69,000.
The prices I am commenting on here are for Return ticket to London
inclusive of airport taxes.
This particular airline had three categories in the Business Class
(BC). The highest BCL class was quoted a price of Rs. 292,000, the
second highest BCA was quoted at Rs.208,500, and the third BCD was
quoted at Rs.167,300.
No matter what price you paid you will be given the same service and
the same glass of low grade champagne. Nearly Rs. 125,000 extra between
the highest and the lowest prices, but the deceived passenger gets
nothing extra for this extra outlay.
No, you will not get a glass of vintage Bollinger either for the
extra Rs. 125,000. Is this not a swindle?
The Economy Class (EC) of this same airline has six categories with
six varying prices. The highest ECB fetched Rs. 175,000, middle range
ECQ was quoted at Rs. 84,800 and the lowest (6th) was quoted at Rs.
Almost all airlines, I am assured by my travel agent, operate this
system of differential pricing.
In my view, this is unconscionable extortion from trapped airline
passengers as they have no option but to buy the ticket at the quoted
Mind you, most airlines fly to London with empty seats.
They consider it extraordinary if they manage to get a plane with 80
per-cent of the seats filled.
I did try to book an EC ticket two months and five days before my
intended day of flight to London in the airline I am commenting on.
I chose this particular airline because of the departure time suited
me and also because there was no long waiting time in the Middle-East
airport. At the time of my inquiry, I was told that all seats were
already booked on that particular day of my intended flight.
This was unbelievable given the Sri Lankan habit of doing things
always at the last moment. When I made my date of departure flexible on
the availability of a seat, then I discovered from the travel agent that
seats could be obtained at different prices which are higher than the
normal advertised price of each class in the airline.
One can see clearly that the airline is forcing the passengers to buy
tickets at higher prices by maintaining that all seats are booked long
before the date of flight.
This, I believe is, at best unfair trade practice, and at worst
fraudulent and deserve investigation by our Consumer Affairs Authority.
I hope they will investigate this racket.
This refers to Ananda Wijetilakeâ€™s letter on July 26 on the above
caption. As the letter was open-minded, I thought to express my
There is no difference between CCS and SLAS. Civil servant was the
top level post during the colonial period under the British.
Now that post has been changed as SLAS officer. They are not
They are only executive posts. There are many executive posts in the
private sector too. It does not mean an honourable officer. â€˜Ceylonâ€™ has
been changed into Sri Lanka.
According to the new Constitution of 1972, under late Prime Minister
Sirimavo Bandaranaike Government, â€˜Ceylonâ€™ was changed to Sri Lanka.
That is only a substitution.
There are many instances such as Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka
Broadcasting Corporation and so on.
Your next point is â€œI am Sir, your obedient Servantâ€™, This is an
old-fashioned in todayâ€™s letter writing. We usually omit slangs, idioms,
bombastic phrases and obsequiouses.
Even the format of a letter has been changed â€˜English is a living
This saying has been expressed by eminent linguists. The most
important factor, of course, a letter should be clear, short, and easy
All unnecessary terms, phrases, have been fallen into oblivion.
According to the instructions given in the application form to sit
the GCE (O/L) Examination in December 2007, the private applicantâ€™s
signature must be certified by the Grama Niladhari and only by them.
The problem is that Grama Niladharis are never in their respective
offices. So that they can never be found. The prospective candidate has
to do a witchhunting to catch him. If anyone in the Examinations
Department ever went to meet a Grama Niladhari, he would know this.
They are in the field or with the Divisional Secretary so they say.
Even the doctors and other health workers have attendance registers, but
the GN does not, and cannot be located. They have no fixed times that
one could meet.
I rustified with a niece of mine for a week to get at the Grama
Niladhari. I understand that this is worse in the villages.
Imagine the position of a person employed; he/she will have to take
leave for one week to get at the Grama Niladhari.
These heads of departments who do not have a head or a brain bring
the President, the Minister and the Government to disrepute.