The dangers and the consequences of the withdrawal of the GSP+ has
surfaced again, this time coupled with the caption '17th Amendment
implementation will protect country from global flak: Karu' published in
several newspapers. There have been many articles by several experts
explaining the flaws in this 17th amendment which has got into the
Constitution without much thought or any discussion by our incompetent
legislators. The fact that the legislature is an elected body of persons
who are responsible to the people, by this amendment wants to hand over
the appointment of certain important commissions to private individuals
who are not answerable to anybody.
The recent victory in the UNHRC in Geneva was won because of the
support of the civilised nations. But those nations that moved to
condemn our valiant Security Forces as war criminals and having failed
in their efforts, are now resorting to economically destabilize our
country in several ways including the withdrawal of the GSP+. They have
now brought up yet another issue, the resettlement of the IDPs.
Minister Prof. Peiris as reported in the news media has met the
leaders of the EU countries to explain the factual situation with the
resettlement of the IDP's and persuade them not to use this GSP+
concessions to destabilize the Sri Lankan economy at this time when we
have just cleared the country of 30 years of terrorism, considered as an
invincible force by the civilised nations and when the government are
doing all it can to resettle the IDPs as speedily as possible who are
temporarily housed in camps at great cost to the country.
Is it the position of these 'civilised' nations that the government
should allow these displaced citizens of this country who has been
suffering under the jackboot of the LTTE all these years and ran away
from the human shield of Prabhakaran to the safety of our Security
Forces, should be released without any care for the pregnant mothers and
infants or their livelihood. If they were living happily under
Prabharakan, why did they run away with only a few belongings with their
children into the safety of the Security Forces as we all saw on
television. What about those had core terrorists who may be heroin
addicts introduced to drugs by Prabhakaran to keep them tied to the LTTE,
now hiding in these camps agitating to be allowed to go free and start
their terrorism again.
At one time the apparel industry was threatened by the withdrawal of
the Quota System by the USA. But our skillful industrialist with their
business resilience overcame this threat and it appears that today
business with the USA has in fact increased. Due to the economic
situation in the USA a slight drop in exports have to be expected.
We are told that the apparel exports brings in over three billion
dollars but nearly 70 percent of this revenue will have to be paid for
importing the raw materials necessary to produce these goods. Thus the
net foreign exchange revenue is not what matters so much but the extent
to which the employment that may be affected if the GSP+ is withdrawn.
Our far-sighted businessmen did not start their industries hoping for
the preferential treatment for their export products. This GSP+ may have
helped them initially to compete in the EU countries and established
themselves as producers of quality products.
The publicity given to the closure of some apparel manufacturers is
certainly not due to the withdrawal of the GSP+ as this facility is
still in existence. They may have closed down for other reasons. There
is no point except for political reasons for spreading panic among the
people that the withdrawal of GSP+ 'will cause immense hardships and
misery to all people'.
What we industrialists went through to keep our manufacturing
businesses without going under, when in 1978 the economy was suddenly
liberalized and the flooding the market of the products we manufactured,
at dumping prices of poor quality imported products, without giving us
time even to refurbish our plant and machinery and compete was a
nightmare to say the least. But we survived without laying off a single
employee. So will the apparel industry survive GSP+ or not.
Our Government is taking all constructive steps to combat money
laundering with strict instructions issued to banks, finance houses,
insurance companies etc. to inform the relevant authorities about
material transactions made by their customers. There was a time where
account holders' consent was necessary to give such information other
than on orders from the Courts or the Department of Inland Revenue.
However this has been overruled now due to security reasons and it
becomes duty of account holders to explain income and payments appearing
in their statements.
I suggest the following steps be taken by all customers to clear the
doubts if raised by the relevant authority.
a. check the monthly statement regularly and identify the debits and
credits with records maintained by you.
b. Since any person could make remittance to another person's
account, all unidentified credits in the statements be checked and
details be obtained from the bank. If it is remitted directly to the
bank the receiving bank have the details. If a cheque has been deposited
by another person at the counter the collection bank could obtain
details from the payment bank.
c. In the case of unidentified debits there is a possibility that
your signature had been forged by the culprits and you not only lose
money but also face legal problems if the transaction was used for
illegal purpose. Therefore please obtain clarification early.
d. When remitting money to others on request made by your relations
whether they are abroad or in Sri Lanka obtain a letter from them in
support of the request and if possible the reason also (please note that
these types of details are not necessary if you are making statutory
payments like Income Tax on behalf of others).
It is true that it is troublesome for genuine people to follow this
procedure. However, due to the present situation you have to bear the
difficulties and cooperate with relevant authorities when inquiring into
It would be appreciated if the DIG Motor Traffic or The Commissioner
of Motor Traffic will look into the dilemma motorists encounter when we
are to pay a fine and collect our Driving Licence from the Police
I had to encounter when I was charged on the Gampola, Kandy highway
when I had overtaken driving my car a Three Wheeler which was plying on
a very low speed probably 10-20 KMH, presuming that it was going to halt
I had overtaken on a Single Line, however I had known that the Traffic
Police was just a few yards away. My justification to the Police Officer
as to why I had overtaken was of no use instead I was charged, anyway I
had to accept my offence and surrender my Driving Licence (For the first
time) and received a document of proof for the Licence received. I was
really misguided by the Police officer attached to the Kandy Police that
I pay a fine of Rs.550 at any Post office with the Document provided,
but later it was known that I should first collect the fine document
from the Police station the Police officer decides and then pay the fine
at the post office and then return to the latter Police Station and
collect the driving licence.
In fact all this hassle could be really avoided saving the precious
time, expenses etc of any Motorist who ever is involved in spot fines
violating driving rules. I would like to emphasize the following to the
DIG Traffic or the Commissioner of Motor Traffic on behalf of the
thousands involved in driving vehicles in Sri Lanka.
1. Spot Fines is welcomed for whatever the charge is based. But an
offer or choice to be given to the person concerned to pay the fine at a
Police Station convenient to him or her.
2. As at present e.g. if a spot fine is imposed on a motorist at
Trincomalee who's a permanent residence is Kandy, he/she has to get back
to Trincomalee to pay the fine and get back the driving licence, what a
'disgrace' The time, expenses etc involved going all the way to the
Police Station concerned is agonizing considering the present days Cost
3. In my case too my closest Police Station was Gampola (where I
live), Peradeniya and then Kandy but instead the Police officer
instructed me to go and pay the fine at the Dawulagala Police far away
from my hometown and collect my Driving Licence. Isn't this absurd. Is
The Ambalangoda Post Office has run short of stamped envelopes for
over one month. The Agency Post Office is also not having these
envelopes. A large number of people who call over at this PO are being
turned away with the stock reply, 'Out of stock'. I do not know whether
it is the same situation in the outstations too.
These envelopes are very handy and is of good quality, with
attractive advertisements on their flaps. The authorities concerned
should take note of this, and supply the Post Offices with an adequate
supply of these printed envelopes to avoid shortages in the future.
I write to find out whether there is an accepted method of
maintaining proper accounts, or whether the systems adopted defer from
industry to industry or from organization to organization.
I am aware, certain establishments maintaining accounts and
procedures quite contrary to the accepted AR and FR regulations
applicable. However the above positions have never been challenge by any
responsible authority who is empowered to do so. Needless to mention
this situation deprives the country of the actual revenue she is
entitled to, while those responsible continue to operate as above
deliberately or through ignorance, not been detected and corrected by
the law. The above position is further aggravated by the absence and
non-maintenance of proper records and documentation supporting the
income and expenditure.
Accordingly, this position benefits the giver, more than the
receiver, which position should be corrected by enforcing the law of the
land to give to Ceasar, what belongs to him, which is necessary for the
development and sustenance of the country.
All those who are eligible should be required to pay their dues in
full, for which maintenance of proper accounts should be made
compulsory. As far as I am aware, if you expect someone to give what is
due to you without your asking for it, you will never get it.
I refer to above titled letter by S.S.B. Subramaniam (August 29)
whatever he has said in his letter is quite relevant and important as
far as the boys and girls under the age of 18 years are concerned.
Teenagers include the boys and girls who belong to the age group of 19
years too. In such cases, those who are of 18 years and above are
considered to be adults in a legal sense since they are eligible to
exercise voting rights.
Therefore, Subramaniam's use of the term, 'teenagers' needs an
explanation of the age group. He could have used the phrase 'the school
going children' to limit the use of 'taboo' of Adults Only Films.
However, I would like to add some of my practicable suggestions to be
considered by Education Minister Susil Premajayantha who has ruled that
teenagers should not watch Adults Only films. I think the Minister may
have limited his prohibitive rule to those who are below the age of 18
years. Since those who are of 18 years and above are legally treated as
In my view, may I verify from the Education Minister whether the
Government has made any legislation to control the Internet Cafes open
to all adults or youngsters, schoolchildren who are addicted to use of
Internet services - obscene plays - blue films. The owner of the
Internet Cafe does not prevent anyone from using the Internet facilities
- whether adult only films or another immorally corrupting websites.
It is high time that the Government should bring all the Internet
Cafes under their control and cancel the licences, if the schoolchildren
are allowed to use blue films etc.
Just as the Minister of Tourism Development Faizer Musthafa suddenly
inspected a squalid tourist hotel and cancelled the licence forthwith,
the Education Minister himself should make a surprise inspection of
Internet Cafes and theatres to check whether the schoolchildren are
allowed to watch Adults Only films or blue films.
Another relevant point to bring to the notice of the Education
Minister is that the commercial advertisements depicting half naked
beauties exciting the feeling of adults and non-adults.
What drastic action can the Government take to check the commercial
advertisers who corrupt the public with obscene way of advertising. The
same case is in the TV advertisement too.
The posters found in front of business enterprises have nude pictures
of females. The cinema theatres have kept posters with half naked
actresses to attract the youngsters too.