We Sri Lankans should all be happy that all ethnic groups in the
country together worked towards gaining Independence to this country in
1948. After Independence successive Governments implemented various
development programmes utilising foreign aid and grants from foreign
countries to develop the economy and other infrastructure facilities.
However, if we look back and assess the progress of development for
nearly sixty years after Independence, can we be satisfied with the
economic development during this period so as to give a better quality
of life to the majority of the population in Sri Lanka.
To a certain extent the economy was affected due to the ethnic
problem which too remains unsettled up to now.
All political parties should be responsible for the present
situation. The best option available for all political parties and the
people of Sri Lanka irrespective of party politics and ethnicity is,
without blaming each other to intelligently and genuinely look at
solving this grave problem forever to develop the economy so as to give
a better quality of life and peace to all Sri Lankans.
We know all Tamils do not want a separate country and are not
terrorists. Some Tamils who live in Northern and Eastern Provinces are
forced to support LTTE to prevent any harassment to their life from
Tamils and other ethnic groups who are outside these two provinces
live harmoniously with the majority Sinhalese. Therefore the need of the
hour is to isolate those terrorists by building up confidence among all
Tamils who want a peaceful life in the future.
The solution offered should be a balance one acceptable to all ethnic
It may not be possible to strike at 100 per cent acceptability to
all. We need to view the seriousness of this problem and commit ourself
as patriotic citizens of this country in solving this problem forever.
If the LTTE is not willing to accept the solution offered and accepted
by majority of Sinhalese,Tamils and Muslims, if necessary with a
referendum, the best option available is to go all out to defeat the
This would give all peace loving Sri Lankans an opportunity to usher
peace to Sri Lanka.
Therefore, all political parties should give the leadership to the
rest of the population in offering a very reasonable solution without
viewing this problem for gaining any political advantage or any
They need to understand the fact that, whatever party which comes to
power in this country would not be able to rule this country as happened
all these years.
That will be a disastrous situation all Sri Lankans will have to face
in the future.
ASOKA NAVARATNE –
Certain media, both print and electronic, have gone to town about the
Government’s insensibility towards the suffering of the hoi polloi,
highlighting the rate at which the Cost of Living is rising. The
beleaguered Trade Minister, on the other hand has waxed eloquent on how
the galloping local prices are inextricably linked to global price hikes
In this context, it cannot be gainsaid that the country is at present
in a de facto war-footing which necessitates an extra-heavy burden on
Despite billions being spent to root out terrorism, the Government is
hell bent on continuing with its development strategy, embarking on
road-building projects, a new port in the South, the Weerawila Airport,
Norochcholai Coal Power plant, building of thousands of houses and
giving a shot in the arm for agricultural pursuits.
The Opposition and Government critics have to acquiesce to the fact
that no Government would want to caught unpopularity by haphasardly
jacking up prices and placing extra burdens on the poor.
The prices of milk powder and crude oil have sky-rocketed in the
global markets due to a plethora of unforeseen reasons. So, we Sri
Lankans who have been weighed down by these giant price hikes cannot
dismiss the Trade Minister’s explanations as a terminological
According to newspaper reports, the Government is planning to form a
company to import essential items of food to reach the consumer through
2000 cooperative stores spread throughout the country.
However, belated this move is, it is undoubtedly going to have a
salutary effect in circumventing the unscrupulous manipulations of the
traders who have willy nilly benefited from the tax relief given by the
State on essential food items with the intention of lightening the
burden brought about by aspirating Cost of Living.
As we are aware, this country had savoured the benefits of the
cooperative system, until despicable humbugs started throwing their
weight around to rattle and unsettle matters. Managers of the
cooperatives connived with the trading ‘scum’ to engage in back-door
transactions to make a mockery of the entire cooperative concept.
So the Government cannot be complacent that everything will be
tickety boo and go on smoothly. Stringent measures ought to be taken to
bring the delinquent staff to book and give them deterrent punishment.
The patriotic millions of this country have borne their trials and
tribulations with incredible fortitude and equanimity giving the
Government the green light to continue its relentless thrust against
Therefore, the Government on the other hand should evince reciprocal
gratitude to the people by reducing wanton waste, extravagant spending,
prosecuting the errant fraudsters who had deprived this poor country of
billions of rupees.
We hear reports of unutilised aid going back to the donors and
computers worth millions brought down for educational purposes lying
dust covered in go downs on the grounds that they are substandard in
Therefore, the quicker the Government takes to exterminate terrorism
in this impoverished nation, the better it will be for the Punchi
Singhos, Karunawathies and millions of others who are counting the days
for this moment when they could breathe free and easy again.
BANDULA M. ABEYEWARDENE –
According to the news report in the Daily News of November 26, there
is a significant welcome drop in the sales of alcohol and cigarettes.
Further according to this news report it is due to the stern
regulatory measures taken by the Government on public advertisements and
scenes in films and teledramas depicting the consumption of liquor and
There is another area which is of serious concern to the public i.e.
the murders and killings of all sorts reported every evening in the late
evening TV news and the daily papers. Therefore, shouldn’t scenes
depicting killings and murders by poisoning, knifing, shooting and
contract killings shown in our teledramas and films too, be banned.
These only give ideas to the sick, idle and warped minds and the
hooligans with no occupation. I am sure we have enough and more writers
capable of writing good decent film scripts and teledramas without these
They should be encouraged to do so, and Government should initiate
action to ban these scenes from films and teledramas as we are now
confronted with a grave problem.
The final solution may be to take that hard and bold decision to
activate the death penalty, even for a limited period until we bring
this problem under control, without giving shelter to the killers in our
jails; after all being Buddhist or religious does not mean turning a
blind eye to all these killings that are taking place daily in all parts
of the island at the expense of the innocent public who should be
safeguarded and protected by the Government.
With reference to the letter published recently I completely disagree
with the statements made by Ranjith Chandrasekera on the heading, ‘Sound
pollution and religion’.
He has stated that there is no obstruction to Muslims for their
freedom to practise Islam without the use of loudspeakers and that the
disturbance and irritation from the noise made from time to time five
times a day causes health hazards, which is certainly untrue and false.
I trust that he has thus commented without going into the subject deeply
or not realising the purpose or gravity for which they are done.
Certainly, there is no connection between Islam and loudspeakers but
unlike in other religions, Muslims should perform their prayers five
times a day at prescribed times. Owing to the involvement of people in
several activities, they may not be aware of the correct prayer time.
The loudspeakers are made use of only for the purpose of reminding
the correct prayer time and this message will not last for more than
five minutes. I am sure that the people will be able to bear up for this
five minutes which means twenty five minutes out of twenty four hours
which is quite negligible.
Apart from this, I will be failing in my duty if I do not point out
to you that I had heard several times the comments made by non-Muslims
appreciating the early morning call for prayer.
They have praised that it definitely makes them aware of the time and
makes them easy to get up in the morning.
Further, I wish to mention that I fully agree with the comment made
by Meedhu from Hemmathagama that Mosques had been built in Muslim
villages or at places where the majority of people are Muslims. As such,
non-Muslims are hardly affected by the use of loudspeakers for twenty
five minutes during twenty four hours.
Chandrasekera also has gone to the extent to state that the use of
loudspeakers, first started by the mosques about two or three decades
ago and has queried how Muslims had practised their religion earlier
without the use of loudspeakers.
In this connection, I wish to state that the population of the
country has gradually increased and at the same time the cruel deeds and
crimes are increasing day by day. So, during this era when everyone
should try their utmost to make the people follow one religion or other
and divert the people from doing bad deeds, it is not proper to obstruct
any person in religious performances where the results will be crucial.
Further, I wish to comment that when Sri Lanka achieved Independence
from the British, it was clearly stated that the people of Sri Lanka
belonging to the four races namely, Sinhala, Tamil, Burgher and Muslim
should be allowed to perform their religious activities peacefully
without any hindrance or obstructions. This act had been definitely
contrary to that statement.
So, as Muslims, let us all hope that this law be amended as soon as
possible enabling us to wake up in the morning and perform our prayers
at the proper time.
HAJI SEYYID H. MOULANA -