The sudden cancellation of President Mahida Rajapaksa’s address to
Oxford Union on the part of Oxford Union was undiplomatic and
unfriendly. Having invited an important guest, to address the Union on
its own initiative and then suddenly deciding to cancel the event
because of some expected protest of a rebel group is indeed unethical.
This almost amount to inviting a guest and then unlatching the domestic
dogs and frightening the guest off the turf. What a sad tradition that
Oxford Union created on this occasion, for itself and darkening its
esteemed image, so well-known, all over the World, facilitating free
speech and democratic values in public life.
As the evidence related to this incident now begin to reveal the
Thames Valley Police under whose jurisdiction the Oxford Union building
and its surroundings come for its law and order police duties, has
failed miserably its bounden duty and mission. It is said that British
police is tough and serious in its police duties, but gentle in handling
situations. Given this image of the British police, it is almost
impossible to imagine, how and why a band of “foreign born” terrorist
group was allowed to disrupt a public event in the University of Oxford
and sour the good relations built and sustained between Sri Lanka and
Oxford University for many years.
This is no doubt a sordid affair and we do hope that authorities in
UK would not take this lightly, as it can have other ramifications most
unwarranted for both countries and their people.
For generations Sri Lankans have joined this prestigious university
and were inspired by its teachings of philosophy, politics and economics
to formulate policy and practice in Government, business and
professions. Many Sri Lankans leaders and professionals have drawn
heavily from the liberal teachings from the famous university dons at
Oxford, Cambridge and London and have maintained very cordial
relationship with them.
All this should not be allowed to blot out because of a band of mad
‘bulls’ being allowed to operate within the precincts of this almost
sacred, seat of learning, in pursuit of terrorist missions. The group
spoilt the day for Oxford Union and it would no doubt go down, as one
big black mark in the history of Oxford Union.
A recent happening in November 2010 in Sweden raised a considerable
number of eyebrows and gave food for thought in the Scandinavian
political arena and the ripples still continue above the surface.
The event was the resignation of Mona Sahlin as the party leader and
the chairman of the Social Democratic party.
Sweden went to the polls in the autumn of this year and Sahlin had,
as the leader of the Social Democrats hoped very much to regain power
and thereby become the first elected woman Prime Minister in the
Instead, the party was resoundly defeated at the hustings with the
worst possible election result suffered in their entire history. Soon
after, the internal political bickering within the party began in
earnest and Sahlin was made the scapegoat for what happened. Sahlin who
had been elected as the party leader since 2007 did what any normal and
self respecting politician in the circumstances would do.
She decided to say thank you and quit in order to allow someone else
to take over and try and revive the fortunes of the party. In Sri Lanka,
the much heralded UNP party convention is scheduled to take on December
12, and perhaps the time has now finally come for Ranil Wickremesinghe
to take a leaf out of Mona Sahlin’s book and finally quit as party
leader after so many electoral and other defeats too numerous to be
Regretably, there is no doubt, that should be the convention ever
allowed to take place, he will,because of the type of person he is
devoid of all traces of humility and self respect somehow manage to
cling on to the party leadership inspite of the clearly abundant fact
that no one wants him and what he stands for any longer. Only Time will
give us all the answers.
This refers to the notice published by the Public Utilities
Commission in the Daily News November 24, 2010 on the proposed tariffs
commencing from January, 2011.
It was proposed in the Budget Speech of a 8 percent increase in
tariffs on certain customer categories including householders except for
the first 90 units. However, it will be observed from the table shown
below that the proposed increase is much more than 8 percent specially
in the case of consumers between 90 to 180 units.
Among them there may be middle class householders in urban areas who
use utility items such as a refrigerator, fan, an iron and the
consumption likely to exceed by some units over 90 which will result in
increase bills and which will have a far reaching impact on their cost
of living. In the circumstances I wish to request the President who is
also the Minister of Finance, Power and Energy and the Public Utilities
Commission to confine the increase at 8 percent as proposed in the
Budget. With the revised tariffs the future of the fuel adjustment
Charge should also be clarified.
I recently channelled a Consultant at a leading Private hospital in
Colombo 5 and obtained my appointment. A day or two later, I realized
that I had a prior engagement from which I could not get out of, and
decided to postpone the appointment by seven days. The reason I had to
postpone it by seven days is because the Consultant was due only once
weekly. However, to my utter disbelief, the Channelling Counter demanded
an additional Rs 300/- for making the change.
The irony is that they would accommodate me without the additional
charge but would list me as the last patient on the day. This is clearly
another instance of the manner in which these so-called ‘wolves in
sheep’s clothing’ continue to fleece the public.
There are so many complaints from the public about the manner in
which these hospitals operate and sadly there is no help to the public
from anyone and they continue to bear the brunt of these unethical,
unjustified charges. Its no wonder that all these hospitals claim to
have realized huge profits at the end of the year. Yet, they advertise
themselves as ‘paragons of virtue’ whereas their hearts are akin to
Surely it’s time for the Health Ministry to look at these ‘operators’
with some concern. But for the mess they are in, any sensible person
would prefer to visit a Govt hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, they
have no choice but to be fed to these ‘wolves’.