[Citizens' Mail - (04-06-2019)] | Daily News

[Citizens' Mail - (04-06-2019)]

World Environment Day

World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 every year. This is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.

World Environment Day 2019 will be hosted by China, under the theme of “Air Pollution”. We cannot stop breathing, but we can do something about the quality of the air we breathe.

World Environment Day promotes ways to improve the Earth’s environment, such as conserving forests.

The day is used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

The UN advises governments on tax pollution, end fossil fuel subsidies and stop building coal power plants. We need a green economy and not a grey economy.

We should make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife and our own health.

Overpopulation can cause environmental degradation, which is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water, and soil; the destruction of the ecosystem; extinction of wildlife; and pollution.

The Environment plays an important role in the healthy living of human beings. It matters because it is the only home that humans have, and it provides air, food, and other needs. Humanity’s entire life support system depends on the well-being of all the environmental factors.

D. Weeratunga



The longest day

As usual I was up before the bird cried for the dawn and was on my routine Yoga breathing, tongue and neck exercises when I felt the tone of my soprano voice had dwindled to a shade bordering on the baritone. Rang my sister in Moratuwa who asked brother your voice has changed. Are you sick? Rang my cousin in Matugama who stayed silent but knew something was wrong and had requested his brother who lives in Rajagiriya to come and see me. He arrived and as he heard my voice requested me to get ready to see his GP. Using his cell phone, he sought an appointment and met him at the designated time.

The first thing he did was to check my pressure and found the Diastolic had shot up to 200 mm of Hg and the Systolic had gone through the roof. Mind you, I have been checking my pressure with a wrist monitor and have been doing so and recording them in a note book for over a decade and found them always to be normal. My food is children’s food and the flesh of dead animals including those of dead pigs never found a place on my lunch or dinner tables. Even eggs were shunned as a protest against the torture of caged hens.

I am still lean and wiry and when I stroll jauntily down a regular path the inquisitive frequently ask whether I was once an athlete. Take the other somewhat humorous example. In the consultation room as a form of a test the GP stretched out his right palm and wanted me to push with my palm which I did nearly toppling him over. The problem of the tone of my voice and the unimaginable pressure looked like mambo jumbo to me but in reality they were there.

The GP advised my cousin to promptly admit me to a hospital. As we were leaving a call came on to the cell phone of my cousin from my niece, a summa cum laude MBBS, one of hundreds that have passed through the gracious and vigilant hands of Prof. Carlo Fonseka, to admit me immediately to the Nawaloka Hospital in Colombo. She was then the chief physician at the Negombo base hospital, and worked with an untiring devotion to her patients, never letting down her mentor Carlo. During her off duty hours she worked in the ICU of the Negombo branch of the Nawaloka Hospital.

My cousin promptly took me and got me admitted. It was then the cycles and epicycles of the well oiled machine of this gigantic enterprise which scrapes the sky, began to roll in its inexorable way to perfection. Mind you, this is the first time I have been in a hospital except for the short period in the Negombo hospital when a bouncer hit me on the forehead which led to profuse bleeding when as a 16-year-old skipper brought the team from St Anne’s College, Kurunegala to meet Maris Stella for the annual encounter and the other in England when I was hit on the chest by a bouncer by the West Indian fire brand Roy Gilchrist and carried to the infirmary for a period of observation. But this experience at Nawaloka was a novelty.

To find myself in a spotlessly clean private air conditioned room with a bracelet in my wrist embedded with a chip to monitor and trace my movements as I was wheeled for tests. A dietician taking notes and the constant monitoring of temperature and the miraculous falling of pressure due to the placebo effect were marvels the Dickensonian character Macaber who thrived on the gullible would have loved because no money had changed hands. So I told my cousin to go to the desk fill the forms and make an up-front deposit. He returned and informed that I am in the hands of a Neuro Physician.

He came to see me in the following evening after all the tests were over. A giant of a man with an equally giant intellect, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and a Doctorate in Medicine, all from London. He said that the CT Scan showed a microscopic patch caused by low density lipoprotein (cholesterol) and discharged me with drugs to be taken once after dinner and see him after 2 weeks. My blood pressure at the time of writing is 130/ 80.

Finally a few things to ponder. Did the Yoga exercises which I took 4-5 times daily with vigour have a negative effect? Why did not the regular consumption of garlic control the bad cholesterol? Are there still things the human mind cannot comprehend?

Ephrem Fernando


The Indian national elections

According to the media, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been re-elected for a five year term. Therefore, Congratulations to the Prime Minister and his Party, the B.J.P.

The media has also stated that one the reasons for Congress losing to the BJP is what is known as Dynasty Party Politics.

Can our leaders and our people learn from these?

We will know this either at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year. Therefore over to our leaders and our people.

Fr. Sydney Knight 

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