On a recent rare visit to Colombo I was amased to see the positive
transformation of a squalid and dirty city to the Garden City it once
The trees were neatly pruned, walls, railings and buildings freshly
painted, pavements hoardings removed (I hope on a permanent basis), and
those awful pavement kiosks demolished.
Pavement kiosks attract loafers, thugs, pickpockets and kudukarayas
looking for prey. They hang around footloose and their disreputable
appearance give the impression of a city with an urban population with
nothing to do but just laze around smoking cigarettes and eating
plantations. They also obstruct pavements and make it difficult for
persons with real things to do to walk comfortably.
I fervently hope that those awful hoardings do not return to clutter
pavements and obstruct pedestrian traffic. It is also time that all
hoardings, whether they are on pavements or inside the premises of
buildings, are banned. City dwellers should not have advertising of
products forced in them.
The scenic beauty of the city has been ruined by such hoardings. They
obscure nice buildings, gardans and trees. In fact, trees and branches
of some old trees have been lopped to make way for these ugly hoardings.
As for the removal of unauthorised structures (pavement kiosks and
shanties), I can only comment Well done. How on earth can those shanty
dwellers subject their families to such disgusting living conditions?
Imagine bringing up children alongside railways tracks. Don’t these
men have any sense at all? Many of these people are engaged in nefarious
activities and subject decent, law-abiding citizens living in their
neighbourhood to robbery, thuggery and unhygienic sights.
I hope that all this will not be a once and for all facelift, but a
beginning of a new lease of life for Colombo and that the Colombo
Municipal Council will continue with the good work.
LINDA VAN SCHAGEN
- Mount Lavinia
Motorists, especially those who use private cars have to bear high
costs all-round; petrol oil, licensing, servicing etc. taxes are added
to all these. Fuel Emission Test but why not be reasonable. It’s 4
minutes and Rs. 650 they say in advertisements, we are poorer by that.
All modern gasoline vehicles are now fixed with a ‘Catalyst’ in the
exhaust system which is why car manufacturers advice the use of petrol
types 90 or 95, sans lead. “Leaded gasoline can damage the catalyst,”
says my Nissan manual Page 4.3.
This equipment burns the Co2 to help reduce pollution. These vehicles
have no polluting emissions. So F.E.T. authority, could you please say
why all vehicle owners are put to this test? I suggest they exempt
vehicle owners whose vehicles are made to run on unleaded 90 and 95
gasoline. The licensing authority can take a decision when licences are
- Colombo 9
I was really shocked to come across in the editorial of Thinakaran of
June 30 that a vice principal of a leading school in Trincomalee was
forced to breathe his last due to heart attack as a result of
intolerable protest against his assumption of the post.
It is crystal clear from this editorial that both teachers and the
students of that school were diametrically opposed to that late vice
principal’s continuation in his new capacity. However, a power hungry
group of conspirators in that school seem to have hatched a plot against
this dedicated teacher betraying the noble profession of teaching.
It is disheartening to hear that humanism was completely lacking
among those rival teachers who provoked the innocent minds of the
students against another noble teacher. None was ready to offer him a
drop of water when he was about to die of heart attack. Whither was the
noble character of a teacher?
From a bio engineering stand point, females are easier to breed.
You probably know that all vertebrate embryos are inherently female.
We all start life as females. It takes some kind of added effect -
such as a hormone at the right moment during development - to transform
the growing embryo into a male.
Any comments on this subject from experienced medial doctors please.
PREMALAL DE ABREW
The right to strike is an archaic notion that originated in America,
where workers were killed by disgruntled employers in their attempt to
extract long hours of work for a pittance in pay.
The reaction of the worker was to withhold his labour. The employer
reacted by the use of thugs wielding spiked clubs and knuckle dusters.
The workers after a long drawn out struggle, legally won the right to
strike and withhold their labour until an amicable settlement was
In this enlightened age striking work and stoppage are an
anti-national act, which militates against the economy and the citizens
of the country. In a dictatorship it is certainly acceptable. When the
employer, be it the Government or private entrepreneur, is prepared to
discuss the problems of the worker, striking work is incongruous, and
militates against the country and its people, by disrupting the economy.
The President met the Trade Unions that were humble enough, to be
present at his invitation to Temple Trees, when he initially offered
them an increase of Rs. 1000 despite the Government’s involvement in the
suppression of an insurgency, which has hopes of taking over the
entirety of the country under its rule, and simultaneously developing
the long neglected economy through a fool proof plan named the Mahinda
The LTTE is known to disburse largesse in copious amounts to
susceptible Media and Trade Union leaders. As the filthy lucre glitters
the two fall victim and get submerged and swamped.
Banning strikes will see a violent reaction by the Unions and failed
political parties that seek to make use of the worker to pull their
cadjunuts out of the fire. The worker is helplessly neutral for he is
the loser in pay and prestige before the employer.
As that trend and atmosphere prevails, the path of wisdom is to ban
strikes by statue, whilst providing ample space for discussion and
arbitration. Such action will cripple the political Opposition that
seeks to make use of the worker in achieving its goals.
The Opposition will then learn to help the Government in ruling and
not obstruct and obfuscate at every turn, displaying an anti-national
stance, that plays into the hands of the insurgency. If strikes are
banned the phrase ‘victimising the striker’ will cease.
The legitimatisation of strike action should be withdrawn if the
country’s economy is to move up. The State interfering in the private
sector salaries is inadvisable. Laying down a minimum wage will be
The entrepreneur is the best judge of his relations with his
employee. Ill-treat the worker, and to his consternation he will not
have anyone working for him. He will have to close shop. The Trade Union
Ordinance should be repealed, and re-enacted having withdrawn the right
When the country was ruled by foreigners, the mass strike served Sri
Lanka well. That was the handle with which we beat the British out of
Sri Lanka. In the Sovereign Buddhist Republic of Sri Lanka, striking is
a retrograde, anti-national act.
The NLDB is fast opening milk selling centres in various places.
Unfortunately, sugar is mixed in all the milk jars thus depriving
diabetics the opportunity of drinking some good milk.
The heads of the NLDB should look into this matter and instruct their
staff to provide two milk containers one with sugar and the other
without sugar for the benefit of all consumers.