When we celebrate Independence in Sri Lanka we are talking about
being independent from colonial rule since 1948. Of course it is great
not to be under the yoke of a foreign power but to be self-governing
after so long and also having been subjected to other foreign countries
trading in our valuable commodities.
Every year when we celebrate Independence, we tell ourselves - that
we need to do a great deal for ourselves for the common good. This is
true because we can now steer our own course independent of a foreign
ruler demanding or subtlety taking more than a pound of flesh for their
gain and our loss. At the same time, we have to admit that over the
years, we have also gained in many ways though perhaps at the cost of
the erosion of our traditions and culture.
We need to remember that as time marches on, a society cannot remain
static and it is not only a strong human force that can overtake and
overrun another but also other forces that are not human but equally
strong and dominating e.g. the economic, life styles, information,
knowledge, sadly internal strife and many other factors and forces which
influence the course of human cause and effect.
Therefore, in order to be really proud of being independent, I feel
that we need to look upon ourselves with pride as Sri Lankans on an
equal footing in a common domain that is fair to all, irrespective of
our pluralism of ethnicity and religion which add to the variety of
other great values we have inherited so far.
The focus must always be on the human and the humane from which we
must never seek independence and instead live and let live, with equal
human rights to individuals of all ethnic and religious groups, large or
small, endeavouring to achieve harmony among all through the values of
truth, transparency, justice, equality among all, so that we can be the
worthy human face reflecting the beauty of Sri Lanka.
Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) charges Rs 63,400 (sixty three thousnd
four hundred) for a supply line, from a Samurdhi recipient living in an
underdeveloped area in a shelter hardly a house) of 200 square feet. The
cable length is only eight metres laid in soft soil off Kalyani Road,
Pamankade, Wellawatte. The applicant requested it for four bulbs and one
plug point but the CEB cable is 30 amp capacity – more than treble what
CEB arranges for Samurdhi to give a loan of Rs 30,000 repayable
monthly at Rs 600 for five years. She had to find Rs 33,400. However the
money was paid by her and no details of the installation cost were given
to her. The estimate states, it is based on ‘standard conditions’ of CEB.
Prices of material ex-Colombo shops ascertained by me are:
8 metres 2.5mm 4 core amoured cable (more than enough for a 15 amp
load) Rs 4,200.
One single phase metre Rs 3,350. One fuse box Rs 400. Total Rs 7,950.
We know of 4 phase 30 amp overhead connection from 70 metres away given
this year in Wellawatte (anticipated monthly bill Rs 10,000) was
estimated by CEB at Rs 75,000 as against Rs 63,400 for this!
The ‘overhead charges’ undisclosed in the estimate CEB must be
The ‘standard conditions’ of CEB estimates must be changed to avoid
causing such misery.
Recently when I visited Hatton town on a Saturday, I was surprised
that it resembled a ghost town with all shops including pharmacies
closed and there were only a few people on the road.
On inquiry I was told that the Shop Act was being rigidly
In this connection my observations and suggestions are as follows:
I believe the implementation of the Shop Act is to ensure that the
shop employees get their legitimate off days weekly, and not to
inconvenience the general public.
As a mutual solution my suggestion would be to keep the shops open on
all days of the week. Allow offdays to those who require it during the
week and those who do not avail the offdays in a week, could be allowed
to accumulate same to be taken later in the year or paid for in lieu.
A register could be maintained for this purpose which could be
periodically checked by the law enforcing officers and the shop owners
who fail to adhere to this suggestion be charged in the Court of Law.
In this manner, the shop employees get their offdays or paid,
therefore the customers could visit the town and make their purchases
and the shop owners would not lose their business on such days.
Station Road Dehiwala is a busy road and only a part of the road has
pavements. Buses and three wheelers occupy the road in addition to
street vendors and they are allowed to park near the Galle road
junction. This causes traffic jams. The chaotic condition of the Station
Road can be observed during rush hours; morning, school closing times
and in the afternoon.
There is no bridge over the Mahaweli river on the Koladeniya -
Agaraoya road in the Ambagamuwa (Ginigathena) Divisional Secretariat
Division in the Nuwara Eliya District.
As a result the villagers of Agaraoya, Koladeniya and Nagollagama
travelling on the Koladeniya-Agaraoya road daily cross the river by
wading in the water with great difficulty.
Therefore the affected villagers appeal to the Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya
Sabha to take steps to meet their long felt need of a bridge across the
Mahaweli river on the Koladeniya-Agaraoya road for their travelling
I happened to pass the above shed on Jan 18, 2012 and had a glance at
the shed. At that time the main gate was half opened which is not
normally done. I was surprised to see the state of the locoshed, as it
was not second to a cattle shed. There were dusty locomotives, M2, M4
and a diesel which was visible, like cattle waiting for slaughter.
According to my knowledge the M2 locomotive has served us for more
than 60 years and still it's in use. I think some repairs were going on
in a shabby way. Two secondary batteries, (I suppose they are nickel
cadmium batteries which are expensive and are normally used in
locomatives ) were just kept out on the sandy ground nearby which was a
real surprise to me.
Ragala and Nildandahinna public toilets in the Walapane divisional
secretariat area are in a deplorable state.
Residents appeal to the Walapane pradeshiya sabha to repair these
toilets with immediate effect.
There is no English teacher at the Kalaweldeniya Vidyalaya in the
Hatton Educational Zone. As a result, students are in a quandary.
The affected students appeal to the education authorities concerned
to take immediate steps to appoint an English teacher for their school
which has been without an English teacher for the past years.
Despite so many letters appeared about “under pass at Kadawatha” in
newspapers, some of them justified the fact that we only need an 'at
grade intersection' at above location, not an under pass (grade
separated intersection. Political authorities like always, discarded the
professional advices, and got their aspirations some more or other
achieved, spending 100+million rupees. Now the project is completed but
closed for mobility.
A letter published in Sep 2007 in the Daily News on the same issue
has been quantitatively justified considering the estimated traffic
volumes at the end of economic life, that we need only an 'at grade
intersection' not an under pass for the next 20 years period.
Conclusions he had drawn are valid and even obvious today, when you
observe the level service of A3 at Kadawatha at peak times.
He has further stated a very valid decision support principle, i.e.
all sectors of a country could equally be benefited provided the
interventions are optimum and are commensurate with country’s earnings
to afford it.
In that context, could RDA economically justify which investment is
optimally viable for majority either the Kadawatha under pass or the
approach road to Kelani Siri bridge?
Please make use of this wonderful tool and keep the Under Pass open.
Bank customers are greatly inconvenienced when Banks close for
business without adequately informing the general public of their
intentions. On February 10, I personally had to rush to ATM machines of
three different Banks located in three different places to obtain money
that I urgently required for the week end. At the entrances of all these
Banks, there were many customers who had come for their banking needs
and they were disappointed by the inconsiderate actions of the Banks.
I am aware that employees are entitled to an extra days holiday in
lieu of any statutory holiday which may fall on a weekend and this
applies to bank employees as well. However as this extra holiday is
taken at the discretion of the institution concerned it is only proper,
courteous and respectful for important institutions like the Banks to
adequately inform the customers of their intentions. A half sheet notice
stuck on a Bank wall or door cannot be considered as adequate. Most
customers do not visit the Bank on a daily basis and hence will not get
the opportunity to read the notice.
If public institutions such as the Water Board and the Electricity
Board can advertise in the newspapers and notify the general public in
advance of any impending interruptions to their services it is time that
the Banks realized that they too owe a similar courtesy to their