I would like to acknowledge the excellent service by the Immigration
and Emigration Department in Colombo.
I went to the Immigration and Emigration Department on April 10 to
get my passport renewed. There were hundreds of people waiting to be
The officials and other workers served the people non - stop, having
come very early to office. They were polite, kind and helpful and
patiently served the crowd. Mothers with babies and elderly people were
given priority and an officer clearly explained what the applicants must
do at each stage.
All that was required was the cooperation of the applicants, who
numbered several thousands before noon.
The same day service to obtain passports was efficient. I collected
my passport at 11:30 am having handed the application around 8am. I saw
the Immigration and Emigration Controller General approached by a never
ending stream of people who sought his advice on various matters and he
attended to all of them, one by one. The passport renewal form was very
user friendly as the information required was only the basic. The
services in the building for the public, including the physically
handicapped, too are well thought out.
Perhaps a bigger building for this department would be a good idea,
given the large number of people who seek the services of this
What one does in public really shows their true character. That way
it is sad to note that we, Sri Lankans are probably at the rock bottom
when it comes to road manners, except of course a very few.
The other day I was driving towards a roundabout when a van with a
smart driver, probably well educated, cut across my vehicle though
driving from the right I had the right of way.
This is of course no surprise nowadays, the more expensive the car,
the more educated one looks you can almost expect the more aggressive
behaviour, as if to say “Who do you think you are to overtake me?” But
what followed was a surprise. Behind him was a three wheeler and I
hesitated that he would follow suit taking advantage of my hesitation.
But, though he looked humble, simple, probably not much educated, he
stopped and gestured me to drive on.
Now where does the education come in? Is it a bigger car, better
dress or even certificates of qualifications? Not really; it is your
behaviour, your respect for the country's laws and manners.
We have become bad mannered people, specially on the road. We
overtake on the wrong side, we cut across rudely, we honk if someone
irritate us, we stay put on the wrong lane etc etc. We keep blaming
politicians for all our faults, including this trend, but what have we
done to change this sad situation? It is said that if you want to see a
change in the world, the change must happen in you first.
Blaming politicians will not change the situation. We must make an
effort to bring about a change in society by changing our attitude.
If we set our hearts at it, we can.
Dr Mareena Thaha Reffai
A statement issued by the Central Bank says the “EPF is expected to
appropriate an impressive rate of 11.5 percent for 2011 to its members.”
Yes, it is impressive as the interest rates in the market were
comparatively low during 2011. However, in 2009, the EPF paid 13.75
percent, but since then returns have been on the decline. The same
Central Bank statement states: “EPF assures its members that it can
maintain this momentum in the future as well.”
What exactly does this mean? Does it mean that the downward trend
will continue or since the market interest has climbed sharply during
2012, a higher rate of interest comparable with 2009 will be paid? Can
the professionally qualified staff of the Fund or the Monetary Board
care to explain what it is? Which momentum do you wish to maintain?
It is the belief of many due to massive losses incurred by investing
in the stock market, it will not be possible for the fund to appropriate
13.75 percent in the future.
Concerned EPF member