If you turn to the pages of a book on Ceylon History to refresh your
memory, how some of the Kandyan Chiefs betrayed the last king of the
Kandyan Kingdom to the British, Kandy was inaccessible to the foreigners
and the British were looking out for a traitor who will lead them to
Kandy. During this time Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe had become very
unpopular and hated by the people for putting the Ehelepola Dissawe's
family to death in a cruel manner, as Ehelepola Dissawe was absconding.
However that was the rule of that time.
Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe - The last King of Ceylon
Some Kandyan Chiefs were aspiring to become the King of the Kandyan
kingdom and sought the help of the British to overthrow the king and
make one of them, the king. The British promised to make one of the
Adigars, the king of the Kandyan Kingdom, but actually the British had
sinister ideas to capture the Kandyan Kingdom and be the masters of the
whole island. According to a plan of one of the Adigars, who was very
eager and anxious to be the king, apprehended.
The king and queen who were hiding in a villager's house. They were
brought chained before the British and the treatment was not befitting a
king and queen. They were subsequently deported to Mauritius. Thereafter
the British ruled Ceylon by their policy of divide-et-impera (divide and
rule). Thus British took over the Kandyan Kingdom. The retired army
commander has betrayed the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and
Brigadier Shavendra Silva, who were at the war front along with the
other Army Personnel facing the LTTE face to face.
The British took the Kandyan chiefs, only for a ride and this time
the retired Army Commander will take the UNP, JVP and the MC, for a
ride. If by some misfortune of the people he becomes the Executive
President. He relinquished his post of Chief of Staff as his request for
more powers and an increased army of 100,000 was turned down by
President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Such a person who was not satisfied with the existing powers of the
Chief of Staff, will be renounce, the existing executive powers of an
Executive President, delegate them to en Executive Prime Minister, and
be satisfied just to remain as a figure head. Definitely no, and it will
be worse than the agreement the Opposition Leader had with Prabhakaran
when he was Prime Minister, for peace and ceasefire to enable
Prabhakaran to prepare for war.
How can the Leader of the Opposition if he becomes Prime Minister get
a two third majority in Parliament to amend the Constitution for this
purpose or will be just take three executive powers of the President, in
the manner he took them when Chandrika Kumaratunga was Executive
President. She did not delegate the powers to the Prime Minister.
About the accusation made by the retired Army Commander and the
Leader of the Opposition that President Mahinda Rajapaksa's family
members holding important top posts. There is absolutely nothing wrong
in it. He has taken family members, as he can trust them one hundred
percent. He must have trustworthy people. In the olden days our ancient
kings, appointed their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters and even
their uncles to important top administrative posts.
A former Prime Minister, late S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike was
assassinated by enemies who posed as 'friends'. A former Prime Minister,
Sir John Kotalawala, immediately on assumption of office as Prime
Minister, said 'Oh save me from 'friends'. President Mahinda Rajapaksa
had to be careful of the known enemy. Now he has to be careful of
unknown enemies who come as friends.
People who know Ceylon History, may remember how king Yasalalaka
Tissa lost his life.
This king and the palace gate keeper had the same features and as
there was no difference in their resemblance, even his palace staff who
moved so closely with the king could not differentiate between the king
and the palace gate keeper. One day king Yasalalaka Tissa wanted to have
some fun with his palace staff and his subjects. So he got the
gatekeeper to sit on the throne and he took the gatekeeper's place. The
palace staff and his subjects were paying obeisance. Thinking it was the
king. It was actually the king who was at the gate. After a short while
the gate keeper's sudden greed for power was so great, that he forgot
his former position and ordered his executioners to execute the gate
keeper, who was actually the king. Very often people forget their former
The Leader of the Opposition and the former Army Commander may
remember the poem 'If you can dream and not make the dreams your master,
if you can think and not make thoughts your aim, if you can meet with
triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same.'
The Ceylon Government Railway was conceived in the 1850s and it is a
legacy of British Rule. The first train ran on December 27, 1864 from
Colombo to Ambepussa. Since then the Sri Lanka Railway network has been
expanded to nine rail lines which are Main Line (Colombo to Badulla),
Matale Line, Coast Line (Colombo to Matara via Galle), Kelani Valley
Line, Puttalam Line, Northern Line, Batticaloa Line and Trincomalee
Line. The Railway has a route network of 1,640 km but the entire network
has not been utilised at present. Sri Lanka Railway accounts for around
5 percent of total transportation carrying about 98 mn passengers per
annum. Rail transport is more advantageous because of the low unit cost
of passenger and freight transport, least environment cost, provision of
speedy services and reduction of urban traffic congestion.
The end of British Rule brought independence to the country and since
then Sri Lankans had a lot of opportunities to develop the country's
railway system. But question arises whether we can be satisfied with
what we have achieved during the last 60 years in rail transportation.
Almost everybody feels that we are far behind, compared with many
countries in Asia. Every government has paid little attention to rail
transportation without considering the economic benefits that can be
generated through rail transport.
The recent development approach called the 'Mahinda Chintana' a
ten-year development framework (2006-2016) has stressed the importance
of operating the railway as a commercial entity by operating on a
competitive basis and developing business areas with public-private
At present most of the flagship projects on rail transportation
included in the Mahinda Chintana have been achieved or steps have been
taken to start them - eg: Extension of the coast line up to Kataragama
and upgrading and double tracking of the Colombo-Matara railway line
have already been started and preliminary steps have been taken for
development and extension of the Kelani Valley line up to Hambantota via
Ratnapura and Embilipitiya and construction of a new rail line from
Kurunegala to Habarana via Dambulla.
Also rehabilitation and reconstruction of rail lines from Vavuniya to
Kankesanthurai and Medawachchiya to Talaimannar Pier will commence soon
with the assistance of China and India. Steps will be taken for the
electrification of suburban railway lines as indicated in the 'Mahinda
Addition of 15 numbers of diesel multiple units and 100 compartments
to the service last year reduced the inconvenience faced by commuters to
However this is not enough for the establishment of a modern, safe,
comfortable and efficient transport system for the future. Considering
the advantages over the other modes of transport systems, government
must focus on increasing the passenger share of rail transport from five
percent to at least 25 percent in 2020. Double tracking of the entire
rail network while increasing the number of carriages and locomotives
will increase the frequency of trains operating and avoid delays.
The Railway has large extents of unutilized land which do not
generate sufficient income. To increase the value of the land it is
necessary to use these lands for the establishment of industries and
business purposes such as construction of shopping complexes, housing
complexes and leasing lands at competitive prices.
Rebuilding of all the Railway Stations with luxury shopping
complexes, eating houses complexes, and introduction of modern
technology in every aspects of the transport will also bring the Sri
Lanka's transportation above the level of the other countries in the
There is a strong need to improve all the platforms in railways
stations up to the length and the height for the convenience of rail
passengers. Introduction of modern signalling systems, telecommunication
systems, e-ticketing systems and raw materials for sleeper production
will improve the quality of the service.
There should be an integrated approach with the participation of all
responsible authorities for this purpose. Lack of research in the
transport sector is the main obstacle for development of the sector. To
identify the suitable technologies for rail and other modes of
transportation, a well-equipped research institution shall be
established under the Ministry of Transport.
It is disheartening to observe that senior citizens most of whom are
on retirement from public or private service are disregarded by the
youths and the middle aged in buses and public places. Once I noticed a
young van driver taunting an elderly person while he was walking along
the side of the main road. That young driver passed some indecent
remarks on that respectable feeble senior citizen.
The driver who condemned such an aged person did not think of his
aged father or grandfather who too could be treated badly by another
Apart from this harassment to senior citizens some youths do not
offer a seat to the standing, aged person while travelling in the bus.
Sometimes, that aged person may fall down due to faint inside the bus.
Even then, only a few will be sympathetic to the physically disabled
elderly men or women.
Therefore, may I appeal to the chairman of the Transport Board or
private bus company to reserve seats to the aged senior citizens in the
As an active national guide lecturer, I wish to see the industry
boom. Sri Lanka need more rooms in Kandy, Nuwara Eliya even Colombo.
Also most of the vehicles, we all utilize to transfer the guests are old
and obsolete. The coaches vans and cars have to be luxury and
comfortable. I hope duty concession given to vehicles to be allowed to
be imported by the licence guides and tourism related companies. Also a
cable car system is welcome at Hatton Upcountry area. This will be a hit
among local Sri Lankan and foreign tourists.
Dengue an illness that could be fatal has risen again. It is now on
the increase and claims lives from different parts of the island.
According to the statistics this year the highest number of deaths have
been reported from Kandy district. The health officials have already
warned that amount of victims would rise if necessary action against
dengue is not taken by the authorities and the general public.
Causative organism and vector:
Dengue is caused by a virus. This virus could be commonly found in
all tropical parts of the world especially in the urban areas. The virus
is transmitted by vector mosquitoes named Aedes aegypti and Aedes
albopictus. The mosquitoes that transmit the dengue virus could be
easily recognized by the black and white stripes on their abdomen and
white spots on their legs. During a blood meal the mosquitoes ingest the
virus to their bodies from an infected person. This virus could be
transmitted to another when mosquitoes bite. They usually bite during
the daytime - be it in the morning or evening. These mosquitoes are
usually seen in dim areas. The female mosquitoes lay eggs in clean
torpid waters, for instance inside flower vases, old tires, drains, and
coconut shells etc. The eggs may survive for over one year.
Types of dengue and the symptoms
Mainly there are two types. They are Dengue Fever (DF) and Dengue
Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF). The symptoms of Dengue Fever (DF) are high
fever, Headache, rashes on the body, muscle and joint pains, nausea and
vomiting. These symptoms may occur within five-seven days after a bite
of an infected mosquito. The medical researches have found out that only
a small percentage develop Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever. This is a crucial
stage since it may lead to severe bleeding of the internal organs. The
symptoms of Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever are similar to those of Dengue
Fever but also include severe stomach pain, enlargement of the liver,
brown or black coloured vomit or faeces and bleeding from nose and gums.
There is another type called Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS). In this
case the fever of a patient with Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever may suddenly
drop but the patient may feel rather ill followed by the symptoms like
coldness and paleness of body, drowsiness, acceleration of breathing and
pulse rate etc.
The medical information says dengue virus may cause in the drop in
the platelet count. Platelet are responsible in clotting the blood and
they repair the damaged blood vessels. In an infected person the
platelet count is a useful measure of diagnosis. Other diagnosis may
comprise the presence of specific antibodies to dengue virus.
The Medical officers advise that the dengue suspects should be given
rest. The children with fever should be kept away from school. They
should be given plenty of fluids to drink. If Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever
is suspected, the victim should be taken to the hospital immediately for
intense medical care.
Prevention of dengue is better than cure. Hence there are many ways
of preventing the disease. Vector control is one of the most convenient
ways. The vector mosquitoes could be controlled biologically or
physically. Biological control measure is using parasites or pathogens
to destroy the stages in the life cycle of mosquitoes. This includes
destroying of larval stages of mosquitoes by introducing fish species
into the water bodies. The fish would feed on larvae and life cycle is
disrupted. This is a widely used control measures.
Physical control is the eradication of all possible mosquito-breeding
sites. The mosquitoes may breed in drains, discarded cans, tins,
buckets, pots, vases, tires, coconut shells etc. and in stagnant water
bodies like ponds, pits and the like. The frequent water flow should be
allowed in drains. The water in flower vases, pots, kept indoors should
be changed frequently or few salt crystals should be added.
Personal protection which is prevention of being bitten by mosquitoes
is important too. This includes wearing long garments so the arms and
legs are less exposed. Mosquito repellents too could be used. The
repellents make the human body less attractive to mosquitoes as they may
hinder the mosquitoes sensory reception.
We must always focus on keeping our surroundings, schools,
workplaces, homes and gardens clean and free of garbage. This is an
effective way of preventing this deadly disease.
Community as a whole should draw attention towards the cleanliness of
our environment. It is praiseworthy to note that island wide anti-dengue
campaigns are now in progress. These should be widened under the
guidance of Health Ministry, Public Health Inspectors, Government
Institutions in order to carry out the alertness of the disease to all
segments of the society.
All citizens of this country who belong to the category of those who
love this country should consider the following reasons as to why they
should vote for the President.
1. I have spoken to many people and most of them say that they will
vote for SF not because of anything else but because the Rajapaksa's
have robbed the country. Among the things they have robbed are the
Apollo hospital, all the mansions, all the hotels, all the estates, any
building that is big, any business that is thriving etc. etc. However,
when asked to prove these false allegations they fall silent. No man is
guilty until he is proved guilty. Likewise I challenge the so-called
rumourmongers to come out with concrete evidence, documents to prove
that the above allegations are true.
Therefore in the absence of concrete evidence I think this is all
based on malicious rumours started by our local Gobells and I will pin
my hopes for a better future on our President.
2. The people of this country has a very short memory and added to
that they are gullible to believe any dirty story that gets circulated.
They have forgotten how our President gave the political leadership to
the war without which we would never have won it anyway. Also the fact
that most of us lack in gratitude for this one person who made it
possible for us to walk free in our land, without fear and stand tall
and proud to call ourselves Sri Lankans in the face of all the
harassments and insults we had to suffer from the Western powers.
3. The massive development projects that has been initiated by our
President is a fitting tribute to a man who has done so much for the
country and who still has a long way to go to bring our country to one
of the best in Asia. So let us all rally round him and give this man
that opportunity for the sake of the future generations.
4. Having listened to all his speeches I have noticed that never once
has he slung mud at his opponent but he has always spoken in decent
language, outlining his programs etc.
5. Who else should we vote for other than the President, who has
proved beyond all doubt that he is one person who has never betrayed our
country to the foreign forces who are waiting to destabilize our country
with the help of traitors like the UNP, JVP and Mangala Samaraweeras.
6. While UNP leader went round the world convincing everybody not to
give us the GSP plus, did he ever given even a small thought that this
would affect the poor workers of these garment factories. SF then states
that if he comes to power he will restore this. How can this happen
unless he too has corroborated with those who did everything to stop the
GSP and come to some agreement with the EU that should he come to power
they would give back the GSP, provided he dances to their tune.
7. The great betrayal of our country and our forces plus the secret
agreement that SF has made with the TNA to give back the Eelam, merge
the North and East, reduce the army, reduce the intelligence unit, and
free all LTTE suspects is enough reason for me to decide not to vote for
a man who has betrayed our country to this extent.
8. It is a known fact that SF's reasons to contest the election is
based on personal hatred, personal vendettas and his greed for power and
not because he loves the country before himself.
9. His questionable arms deal also smacks of corruption and nepotism
- a fact that he says he will eradicate if he comes to power. Based on
this he should then prove that he is above corruption.
10. The last fact is that SF is a power hungry, greedy and
vindicative man, who if he ever comes to power will turn this country
into another Uganda or Hitler's Germany or Polpot regime.
Therefore do we want such a man as SF or a man who loves our country
and who stands tall in the face of tremendous false accusations but yet
never utters a single word of mud at his opponent. Facts speak for