If a real census is taken of pharmacies in Sri Lanka, it will reveal
an appalling number. Today 90% of pharmacies are mushroom joints
catering to quacks who prescribe drugs made freely available to them by
these pharmacies and 'B' Grade importers of spurious and dubious
pharmaceuticals whose standard and quality is very questionable.
In the past, the pharmaceutical trade was run by people of prestige
and integrity, according to the letter of the law. Today, the shoe is on
the wrong foot - what with the influx of cigar boutiques having
transformed their surutte kades into the lucrative business of
Most people think that the pharmaceutical trade is the gravy train
and that is why all of them have climbed abroad. The main reason for the
mushroom pharmacies is that there are over 30 or more of the same
generic drug supposed to be manufactured by approved drug companies but
their veracity is doubtful. Their prices vary, their effectiveness is
something left to be seen. This has given the get-rich-quick pharmacy
owners the opportunity to make hay while the sun shines.
It was the late Professor Senaka Bibile's brainchild to formulate a
National Medicinal Drug Policy (NMDP). The professor had intimated that
600 generic drugs of good quality would suffice to alleviate the
suffering of the sick. Alas! the NMDP was nipped in the bud along with
the good professor. The irony of it all is that there are thousands of
different drugs in the market today in Sri Lanka whereas in the Medical
Dictionary, Churchill Livingstone, 1999 edition published in association
with the Royal Society of Medicine of London there are only around five
to six hundred approved generic drugs mentioned.
It is very gratifying that the GMDA doctors who are fighting a losing
battle trying to save human lives are in favour of the implementation of
the NMDP which will help them to overcome the present medicinal problem
they are facing. They are the only ones who have a feeling for the less
fortunate. They are the only humanitarians in the medical profession.
Now we have a no nonsense Health Minister in the saddle who will come
out with both guns blazing and put paid to all those who purposefully
turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the implementing the NMDP of the
late Professsor Semnaka Bibile. This will also do justice to his
mysterious and untimely martydom.
Allah says, “The month of Ramdan in which was revealed the Koran, a
guidance for mankind and clear proof of the guidance, and the criterion
(of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the
In the above verse, the Koran gives reasons for fasting during this
month which is the revelation of the Koran. But this is not all, for in
the original Arabic text the letter 'Fa' of causality had preceded the
words “And whosoever is present”. These words in turn, were also
preceded by the interpretation of the meaning of the revelation of the
Koran which necessitates the show of the reverence through fasting, for
it is “a guidance for mankind” and it contains “clear proof of the
guidance and the criterion”.
The Koran is the book of humanity in the stage of a nation, and it
presents an inclusive methodology for the social, economical and
political life during this stage, this is why it considers itself and
believers consider it, through its Innovation and Message: “ a guidance
The Messenger of Allah in the Al Hadith Al-Kusdy says, “All the
actions of the children of Adam (people) are for themselves, save
fasting. It is for me and I reward for it”. In this Al Hadith Al-Kudsy,
Allah gave fasting a special consideration among the action of devotion.
Fasting among other acts of devotion is unique in that the benefit of
the individual Muslim worshipper is greater than that of the group, due
to the abstinence from food, drink and other enjoyments that the fasting
undergoes. The person who prays collectively expects a good reputation
and that who pays alms, also expects a double reward: worldly and in the
While fasting abandons eating and drinking in as obedience to God,
without the Muslim society being actually able to watch the extent to
which he is devoted to the regulations of Ramadan, he stands between the
hands of God without any veil and perfect the save the belief in obeying
the obligations of Allah and Ramadan, the principal one of which, is
The designation Grama Sevaka at the origin became Grama Niladhari
when the Civil Service became an administrative service with the passage
of time. During the by-gone era those in the Civil Service were
‘servants'. Today, they have become directors if not commanders.
In the haste to call themselves Niladharis, the word Sevaka has been
replaced without giving any thought to the description of the
designation. Niladhari only made Sevaka an inflated generalissimo. When
Gramasevakas became Niladharis, the meaning of the designation was
immaterial to them.
We are aware that Grama means village. Nila means designation and
Dhari means holder (of a designation). When it is so Grama alone cannot
become a designation.
As we know it is a name by which a rural area, where families of
people live together in and around the others engaged in self employment
are identified. Grama Niladhari is therefore a meaningless designation.
In the circumstances it has to be rectified as Gramaseva Niladhari or
reverted to the original Grama Sevaka to be meaningful. Grama Sevaka is
the designation still being used by the majority of the public.
The erroneous situation in this instance as well as in some other
designations such as Samurdhi Niladhari, have to be corrected to be
The State Languages Commissioner is the authority in connection with
the words used by the state. Hence he has to be consulted with regard to
the creation of words usage and translations adopted before arriving at
Our mothers, sisters, daughters etc., are all women and females. Very
sadly, today women and girls are being raped by men of all status in
society. It is time for the nation to voice their concerns about
innocent women and children who are being raped for the single reason
that they are females.
Once this crime is committed on a woman and virgin, the victim
becomes a motionless life carrying the stigma of rape and is looked down
by society. Can we permit such a crime to continue in our society?
The crime of rape should be completely eradicated by introducing
capital punishment on offenders who rape underage children and virgins.
Special courts should be set up to hear rape cases continuously till the
case is concluded. The state should compensate the victims with
financial, medical, academic and employment support.