I refer to the article published in the Daily News of recently under
the caption ‘Writing the date - correct way,’ written by Dr. Janaka
Ratnasiri. I agree with Dr. Ratnasiri. I agree with Dr. Ratnasiri that
there does exist considerable confusion in the manner of writing the
date in the correct way.
This has, undoubtedly, arisen from the fact that the English system
of writing a date is different from the Sinhalese system and the
resultant indiscriminate use of both these systems by different
individuals with differing educational backgrounds.
In order to clarify this position, I would like to make reference to
the relevant Sri Lanka Standard CS 104 (1971).
The Sri Lanka Standard for writing of Calendar dates in ‘all-numeric’
form is an adoption of an ISO recommendation which has been prepared ‘to
obviate a confusion arising from misinterpretation of the significance
of the numerals in a date written with numerals only’.
The occasions on which an all-numeric date might be used have been
examined and the advantages of using the descending order, (i.e.)
year-month-day, have been found to outweigh those of the ascending order
(i.e.) day-month-year and, therefore, the Sri Lanka Standard specifies
the writing of dates of the Gregorian Calendar in all -numeric form,
signified by the elements year, month and the day in the sequence -
Further, all numeric dates should be expressed exclusively in Arabian
numerals i.e. using only the digits 0, 1, 2, ...........9 and all -
numeric dates should consist of 4 digits to represent the year
(with the possible exception, that two digits may be used where no
possible confusion arises from the omission of the century).
However, 4 digits should be applied specifically in correspondence
and for documentation purposes to indicate clearly that the ascending
order is used. Two digits must be used to represent the month and two
digits used to represent the date, which would mean 01, 02 etc. For
single digit months and dates.
Further, in an all- numeric dates a hyphen should be used as a
separator between the year and the month and between month and the day.
For example, the fourth of February 1948 should be written as follows :-
The International (ISO 8601) Standard uses the Gregorian Calendar for
the identification of Calendar dates and the date written in full will
be in the reverse order to the ‘all-numeric’ written date i.e. Tuesday,
the First of January of year 2008 should be written as follows :-
‘Tuesday, 01 January 2008’ not (01st January 2008)’.
An abbreviation is permitted when so desired and should read as
follows :- ‘Tue. 01 Jan. 2008’
In the abbreviated form, the first three letters of each day of the
week are used and the first three letters of each day of the month are
I trust the above which is in conformity with International Standards
in this regard will clarify the currently prevailing confusion in
writing the date. I do hope all Commercial Banks will take note of this
I would like to congratulate Premasara Epasinghe for enlightening us
on slaughter of cattle.
The slaughter of cattle is done in the most inhuman way according to
Epasinghe’s experience. This is supposed to be a Buddhist country. It is
our responsibility to educate the public as to how cattle are
Educating the public could be done through politicians who have a
captured audience and the media at their hands. All they need is a
political will to do so. One of those politicians is our Speaker W. J.
M. Lokubandara who is a strong advocate of this subject.
Cattle help the people in Sri Lanka in many ways. We use cattle to
plough the paddy fields, use it as a mode of transport (bakki karatthe),
provide us with nutritious milk to nourish the nation’s children, etc.
In Canada and the USA animals are not even seen on the road unlike in
Sri Lanka. They are kept on farms and the people know that they are
considered a product and at the end well packed and displayed in
They do not use cattle like how we use them here. Further the
slaughtering of cattle is done with the minimum pain caused to the
animal. This does not mean it is the right thing to do to kill any
animal. At least, they do it in the proper manner.
One other problem is stealing of cattle to slaughter. I am very
pleased to note that the President has taken stern action to deal with
these scrupulous people by increasing the penalty.
It is interesting to note that IGP Victor Perera has shown an
interest in raiding illegal slaughtering houses. One of the things that
you could do is to refrain from eating beef but this is a free market
economy where everybody has a choice to eat what they want. I hope and
pray that they will make the right choice and save the cattle.
On Galle Road in front of the Roxy Cinema at Wellawatte, a huge hole
appeared sometime back and was repaired. Later another crack appeared
close to this area which has been barricaded and kept for almost two
This is at a busy intersection where Ramakrishna Road joins Galle
Road at the traffic lights. Since there is a petrol shed here too, the
traffic flow criss crossing is pretty heavy.
There is a good possibility of the road collapsing around the
barricade due to the heavy traffic- so what are the authorities waiting
It is time such things are attended to immediately without
procrastinating -without waiting for a calamity of vehicles unexpectedly
falling into a huge pit.
It is greatly distressing and alarming to observe that the pavement
along Galle Road, Dehiwela area is being freely and conveniently
monopolised by vehicle owners for parking purposes thus totally
disregarding the acute inconveniences being caused to the pedestrians,
to whom it is meant for.
This chaotic situation is being allowed to perpetuate with complete
impunity. It is really a pity to note that the pavement is being
illegally shared by pavement hawkers and vehicle owners thus leaving no
other alternative to the pedestrians but to step down to the main road
taking the risk of getting knocked down by fast moving vehicles.
Will such a callous situation receive the immediate attention of the
police and the local authorities concerned for very early remedial steps
to save the pedestrians from such a menace?
A lot of consultant doctors in our country charge different rates
without a proper standardisation due to personal reasons forgetting the
fact that most of the patients who come to see them can hardly bare this
One instance is when I was at a leading private hospital in Colombo,
and I noticed that the amount(doctor’s fee) said Rs. 750 per the
consultant and Rs. 150 for the hospital (Total - Rs. 900). This reputed
ENT surgeon has increased his amount from Rs. 500 to Rs. 750 just like
that from January 1, 2008.
The patients seek private channeling only for the purpose of gaining
individual attention for them. But the so called ‘consultants’ should
not take advantage of this and make use of the opportunity.
The Government of Sri Lanka and the Minister of Health should take
every necessary measure to regulate the rates.
We salute the Health Minister’s decisions with regard to the
betterment of the whole health sector of this country and I sincerely
hope this would be read by him and suitable measures taken to prevent
this type of ‘loot’ taking place at private hospitals and the so called
consultant doctors in a very neutral way.
Dear consultant doctors, please have a little bit of humanity towards
the innocent people who come to see you.