The 26 year old Sri Lankan Friendship Association of British Columbia
proudly presented the 62nd Independence Day celebrations as a tribute to
our Motherland on February 6, 2010. ‘The Sri Lankan heritage in relation
to its Independence’ was the best chosen theme of the day where the
whole ceremony with the events brought to its limelight with the
participation of a large crowd of Sri Lankans in BC.
Coincidently the event was held in a Portuguese Cultural society’s
hall reminding us that there were also Dutch and British who were there
from whom we gained our Independence 62 years ago. There were fabulous
patriotic songs and dances very well organised and performed that
depicted our rich Sri Lankan culture in its diversity to a great deal.
The songs in Sinhala, Tamil and English brought everyone to feel the
unforgotten unity and the cordiality. The slides shown made history
alive recalling so many memories.
There were stalls run by the members of the association who provided
a variety of fantastic foods and sweetmeats that brought the taste of
our regular Sri Lankan style. It was very touching to see that everyone
irrespective of language, creed or status convoked together to enjoy the
evening which was also its ultimate purpose.
Enormous sums of foreign exchange are being brought into Sri Lanka
through the channels of the Passport Office.
Hardworking Sri Lankans toil in the Middle East under severe stress
and hardships to contribute to this effort.
Many expatriates such as myself bring in considerable amounts of
Dollars, Pounds and Euros every year into the country.
Additionally tourists, NGOs, students and others contribute to these
The funds that the country earns by means of these resources are
utilized for the development of Sri Lanka and the welfare of the local
Considering these factors, why does the Government not provide
adequate and more conducive facilities to all those participants who
contribute to the coffers of the Central Bank.
Annually, I have to visit the central passport office in order to
extend my Resident Visa. This is an experience I dread and can do well
without. In a nutshell may I enumerate the failings of the present
1. The location of the office is in a very congested area of Colombo
and most unsuitable for the purpose.
2. The building itself was not designed to be a passport office.
3. Its capacity is totally inadequate to cater for the increased
volume of visitors to the complex.
4. The present parking facilities are not able to accommodate the
volume of traffic, hence parking on the surrounding roads results adding
to more congestion in the area.
5. Entry into the building has now degenerated into a third class
6. No facilities are provided for elderly and disabled persons to
reach the first floor where lifts are available.
7. Around 1030 hrs each morning, gaining access to the building is
similar to being in a rugby scrum. The place is an absolute mayhem.
8. No separate entry and exit facilities have been provided. Just a
one free for all on one stairway.
9. Why are there no lifts on the ground floor? In my opinion a
colossal design failure.
Surely those persons who try to boost the economy of the country
deserve better first class facilities and not be treated as third class
citizens, who are a nuisance to the authorities.
May I suggest that a high powered delegation visit the complex around
1030 hrs in any morning and see for themselves the atrocious conditions
that prevail and the hardships that people undergo.
With all the foreign money that is generated through the passport
office, I would recommend that a completely new state-of-the-art
building be provided within the next few years.
In the meantime the Provincial Secretariat should be empowered to
deal locally with all matters pertaining to passport applications and
visas and thereby alleviate the existing congestion and mayhem.
It is hoped that next year when I visit the passport office, steps
would have been implemented to drastically improve the existing
This pattern of lies was created by the ex-LTTE and the NGOs because
of their vested interest and was believed by the international committee
to politically supress Sri Lanka and its Government. This conspiracy was
getting worldwide support until the defeat of the LTTE. Now the pattern
But lies is the media way of expressing.
These should be seriously viewed and people should be charge and
imprisoned. Otherwise the damage is done without remorse and no one
cares of the offence.
This lazy and sleazy kind of journalism must be identified and action
The overseas Journalist knows that they can be deported are not
worried but will do the damage and sent another journalist. All these
methods have to be stopped.
I agree in toto with the writer ‘A.T., Colombo 2’ on the facts
surfaced by him under the caption ‘Let us learn from them’ in your
journal on December 23, 2009 which speaks of discipline of pedestrians
and vehicle users, availability of public toilets etc. in other
countries as against Sri Lanka.
It is indeed an eyeopener for authorities to take note of the said
facts to remedy the lacking situations. In fact our country needs
strictest rules and regulations which should be implemented without fear
or favour and levy on the spot fines on offenders.
As regards lack of public toilets in the city, it’s a pity that no
action has been taken hitherto although Governments and Local
Governments come and go without paying any heed to this human necessity.
This I believe is an area which has been very badly neglected over the
years by whoever was in power.
I have seen for myself that even in India-New Delhi, there are public
toilets on pavements at short intervals with basic facilities. At
present one has to go to a hotel and partake a meal or so at a cost to
use a toilet, the sanitary condition of which may not be that
satisfactory. The general public, especially the females, are very badly
inconvenienced and embarrassed when waiting for long hours with the urge
to answer the call of the nature.
Why can’t the politicians in authority who keep on yelling breaking
their throats on public platforms speaking about the welfare of the
needy, set apart some funds and provide some public toilets in the city
limits at least to start with? Towards the maintenance of these toilets,
I do not think anyone would grudge to pay a small fee. I sincerely hope
that some action will be taken in this regard at least now especially
with a General election in the offing.
Why not ask the Canadians to help Sri Lanka to train some of our
teachers in teaching English as a second language. These people do it
very well, in a very short period too, with all immigrants who come here
without a word of English.
An example is the Tamils who come here in flocks, inclusive of the
Tiger agents, who start speaking as if it is their mother tongue. The
language is beautifully spoken in Canada, unlike the British and the
Australians. Why not give it a try and make some friends in this
These people are very friendly also, unlike other English speakers.
These people do not know very well about us and they easily get mislead
by others like Britishers, Australians and Americans and also by the
LTTERs. That is why a lot of Tamils are employed at the High Commission
in Colombo, from Janitor, security person, counter clerk, visa officer
and so on, mostly LTTE supporters, to carry on with the British ‘divide
Our Motherland is an ancient country with a history surpassing the
King Vijaya era of the 6th Century BC to the times of King Rawana who
ruled about 6,000 years ago and stretches far beyond to the dim past.
This emerald island was never enjoined with the Indian Sub-continent
but stood as an independent land mass throughout the ages with her
shores perennially washed by the waves of the Indian Ocean.
It is evident. It is obvious. Our Nation is rising from the ashes of
the war heralding a bright future for all of us.
Everyone individually and collectively should first of all shed the
communal difference to ensure the unity of objectives in this nation
The Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malays, Burghers must continue their
racial diversity in light vein but should not cause a social barrier or
segregation barring the harmonious interaction or unity which our Nation
is in need of as never before in the annals of her long history.
When it comes to history, there was an ancient civilization in Lanka
like the in case of Peru and Aztecs of Mexico. Those humans of antiquity
known as Yaksha and Naga people were the native inhabitants of Sri Lanka
in BC 543 when the Sinhalese arrived with Prince Vijaya from the city of
Sinhapura in India.
With the passage of time people of the Yaksha and Naga communities
got absorbed with the Sinhalese community assuring the national harmony
and integration which are prerequisites for peace and development of
their Motherland valid for all times.
According to John M. Seneviratne’s The Story of the Sinhalese
published in 1930, from the time of King Pandukabhaya (BC 437-BC 407)
intercourse between Lanka and India (Jambudipa) had steadily increased
and thousands of Indians had come to settle down in what proved to be an
hospitable soil and a brisk trade had been established.
The traders were mostly Tamils. Whether these Tamil people of the
present era with roots in the North could be the descendants of Tamils
of the dim past is not worth bothering with erudition.
There is no way to check whether these Tamils in general are the
descendants also of the original inhabitants of Lanka. In this
enlightening era it is primitive to expose one’s race which is just like
the skin that covers one’s body at every occasion when the Sri Lankan
nation is striving to bury such differences and ensure contentment
happiness of each and all.
Being the citizens of one country it is most appropriate to indulge
in one emotional expression of belonging to Sri Lanka as your Motherland
instead of some others calling her as their homeland. If there are Sri
Lankan Tamils who consider this country as their homeland and Tamil Nadu
(India) their Motherland, then I don’t think a Passport and a visa are
required to enter that country. If the entire Diaspora regardless of the
ethnic divide could converge as one group of emigrants from their
Motherland that should augur well for a brighter and prosperous Sri
Senior citizens of the calibre of Sambandan should now change their
stance in politics and win the hearts of all communities as matured
leaders who have witnessed and experienced the woeful events in the past
thirty years. Sri Lanka is a blessed country. Let’s all live a good full
life in this country.
It is disheartening to find in hospitals and medical channelled
centres that the doctors, nurses and other officers lack the trilingual
skill to communicate with the patients who visit for medical service.
Sometimes, the Tamil speaking patients find it difficult to tell
description of their diseases in Sinhala. As a result, they are not
properly diagnosed and effective medicines are not prescribed.
Isn’t it advisable for all practising doctors and nurses to pick up
Tamil spoken language with the good intention of rendering medical
service to innocent, uneducated patients who only know their mother
tongue - Tamil.
I found to my surprise that the Sinhala speaking doctors did not
desire to speak in Tamil with the patients who know only Tamil. The same
case was with the Sinhala speaking nurses.
It is also disheartening to find that the officers in the hospitals
and medical centres insist on filling certain documents only in Sinhala
- not in English or Tamil. This compulsion is the violation of the
linguistic right of Tamil speaking people in Sri Lanka.
Therefore, may I appeal to the President to take effective measures
to implement the Government’s Language policy - equality of opportunity
to use mother tongue in all official documents.