As a Tamil diaspora from India and knowing a lot of Sri Lankans on
both sides of the conflict, it is common consensus amongst many that the
biggest threat to the Tamils in Sri Lanka are the LTTE themselves.
They claim to represent the Tamils but in all reality, just their own
interests. They seem to have brainwashed a number of their supporters
and what’s more perplexing is the fact that some of the Tamil youth who
have never set foot on the island seem to fall for this unattainable
cause without reason.
It is dialogue that resolves conflicts and not violence.
But, for peace to prevail in Lanka, the LTTE has to be eradicated.
More Sri Lankan Tamils should speak up against this outfit of thugs
that claim to represent them and dash their radical views.
No Tamil from Sri Lanka that I know will agree that the LTTE
I have visited Lanka many times and the Tamils there seem to prosper
just as their other ethnic brothers and sisters.
Yes, there needs to be dialogue soon and a quick end to the violence,
but for this to be possible, the LTTE has to completely destroyed
once-and-for-all. And more over, why not Prabhakaran send his own
children to the front lines than hiding them overseas? Talk about a
Here’s hoping for lasting peace, prosperity, equality and freedom for
all in a united Sri Lanka.
I write with reference to our Ambassador in Italy writing to the
Vatican and clarifying facts with regard to erroneous reports about the
conflict in Sri Lanka.
We need to applaud our Ambassador for contradicting and correcting
some reports which as far as I am aware, none of our other Ambassadors
who represent our country abroad have done.
When they are appointined to represent our country they should read
the local newspapers and correct false propaganda or misconceptions
which are reported instead of which majority of them don’t even bother
to read or clarify facts even when it is brought to their notice.
If all our Ambassadors did what Warnakulasuriya has done, then our
country would benefit from having them in these important positions. It
would be good if our Ambassadors in countries like Canada, USA,
Australia, UK and Europe would follow his example, the false propaganda
spread by the terrosit organisations and others would not be as
effective. Wake up Ambassadors and do the right thing for our country.
Adversity is like the period of winter when leaves, buds, flowers and
fruits have their birth. We have experienced the truth of this wise old
After the tsunami on December 26, 2004 many buildings were put up in
the Southern Province by foreign donors.
By the Western side of the Colombo-Galle Road at Ahungalla junction,
the most expensive building providing an auditorium costing over Rs.
22,600,000 is being put by the Lions Club donated by Thailand
counterpart. This building is being constructed in the small playground
of Rajapaksha College.
Simultaneously with the start of this construction, the venerated big
Bo-tree here was provided with a spacious enclosure for Pirith and alms
ceremonies and also parking space for over 20 hiring three wheelers on
the approval of the school development committee.
This playground has a history of providing the villagers here with
sweet potatoes cultivated by the students during the food scarcity
adversity period of the 2nd World War from 1939 to 1945.
The presently venerated Bo-tree as a plant was planted by a father of
a student in commemoration of the start of the sweet potato plantation
It also has to be known that the students converted this land of
about three roods from a shrub jungle to a playground in 1935/36.
The end of war in 1945 gave the use of the playground after levelling
the sweet potato cultivation, until the school was provided with a big
playground in 1985; since when the use of this small playground reduced
sharply. But fortune has dawned in full with the donation of the
auditorium which will be completed by June this year.
Adversity of the food scarcity during the second world war and the
aftermath adversity of tsunami has paid well for past and present
students of Rajapaksha College who are also owners of the playground by
virtue of the right of use for over half century.
It is heartening to note that the Minister Dullas Allahapperum is
taking measures to improve the state of railway transportation in the
He has already imported new compartments from China and has hopes to
import more in the future.
It is not only the increase in the number of compartments and engines
that is needed.
Maintenance of the existing compartments in good condition too is
essential to improve passenger safety and comfort. I list below a few
points which may help the railway become a more passenger-friendly
General cleanliness - Interiors of the compartments need cleaning at
least twice a week.
This cleaning should be done on the floors, in the toilets, on the
fans and on the seats and windows.
Canteen facilities - These should be made available in all long
distance trains. Presently some of the long distance trains do not have
Defacing interiors of compartments - It has become a regular practice
to use interiors of railway compartments to put up posters of election
candidates during times of elections.
Other advertising materials too are sometimes displayed in the
trains. This practice should be completely prohibited and railway
security officers should be authorised to remove all posters and any
other material defacing the interiors of compartments.
Malfunctioning doors and windows - In older compartments, some of the
doors and window shutters have become defective due to absence of proper
maintenance. There are defective fans and light fittings too. These
could be repaired regularly, if routine maintenance work is carried out.
Are there routine maintenance schedules in place already?
Passenger safety - In the past, there have been reports of crimes
being committed in railway compartments.
These include stealing of fans and light fittings and criminals
operating in trains robbing passengers of jewellery and other valuable
There should be improved patrolling of security officers in all
trains if possible in collaboration with the police.
Maintenance of cleanliness in and around railway stations. At most
railway stations, it can be observed that garbage material like used
paper cups and shopping bags lying in the yards.
It is the passengers who are responsible for this littering and
therefore they should be requested not to litter the railway yards.
Garbage collection boxes should be installed in all the compartments
with notices requesting the passengers to use these.
Station Masters too could be requested to keep the stations in a tidy
There is plenty of potential for the railway services to be improved
and to attract more passengers to make it a popular mode of inexpensive
With never ending upward price revisions imposed on passengers by
private bus operators, it will be prudent for the authorities to focus
on making improvements in railway transport to make it a competitive
service for the benefit of the ordinary traveller.