Citizens' Mail | Daily News


Citizens' Mail

Stop taking innocent voters for a ride

At a time when the media is enjoying a field day by orchestrating a highly premature campaign by two Presidential hopefuls, my attention was drawn to a well-articulated and educative analysis by Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama an eminent Constitutional expert. He begins his concluding remarks as follows.

“Why is it then that, in full and complete knowledge of the purely ceremonial nature of the office of the next President, the major political parties are preparing to squander billions of rupees, and put at risk the personal security of thousands of citizens, in an islandwide election spread over a hundred days, to choose the next President?”

Accordingly, the immediate onus is on the said political parties to explain to the voting public, the rationale of their extravagant election campaigns bringing the country’s economic activities to a virtual standstill. Can our country bleeding in a colossal debt trap afford this political circus orchestrated by a coterie of power hungry politicians? The media, printing and advertising trade of course will not grudge this situation as they can collect enough news fodder and advertisements to fill the pages and prime time news bulletins!

At this point it is also apt to quote the ending of Dr. Jayawickrama’s concluding remarks as follows.

“Why are civil society, professional bodies and political columnists remaining silent on this issue? Why is everyone reconciled to the fact, the unfortunate fact, that through mountains of garbage and corruption at every level, in every institution, in politics, business and in the legal sphere, we are now sleepwalking in to anarchy?”

It is however, encouraging to note that the veteran journalist Victor Ivan has since written to the press corroborating the timely and stubborn facts disclosed by Dr. Jayawickrama. In this context, my humble request is to arrest the current ‘Sleepwalking in to anarchy’ by throwing a ‘Wet rug’ constituting the following steps.

1) Media will no doubt take every step to educate the innocent voting public of the true nature and powers of the future Presidency. Towards this end, it would be the sacred duty of all concerned political, constitutional and civil authorities to express their candid views through print and electronic media.

2) Political parties should immediately stop their extravagant campaigns running into billions while taking the innocent public for a ride. Towards this end, the media too could refrain from giving undue publicity to such political propagandas in order to prevent the ongoing economic activities plunging into disarray with huge losses in man-hours spent in rallies, processions and demonstrations.

3) Since the cancellation of Presidential elections at this juncture is not practically possible, the Commissioner of Elections should strive to keep the expenses for conducting the Election at the lowest possible level.

Bernard Fernando


Grappling with a calamitous Sri Lankan situation

Seventy-five years after Independence from British rule, Sri Lanka has come to a situation where a meaningful solution is being spoken of. It is in the offing and probably maybe a fitting finale to the suppressed, oppressed and opportunist language issue suffered by the Jaffna Northern population, a community evaded from the frontline by the so-called leftist leading politicians who were in power and who continue to hold office to the detriment of Ceylon/Sri Lanka.

I am writing this following a long wait after a leading personality stated that it may take another 10 years to solve this issue. I might start from here to categorically state even if a period of fifty years elapses, yet there may not be a solution for a finality of the Jaffna gentlemen’s main issue of seeking to be on a par with the Sinhalese majority, who are opportunistic evading the solution on the flimsy cause of majority rule.

Following the World War II, Great Britain released their stranglehold, up to a point, on the Asian Subcontinent and permitted Independence of sorts to India, Pakistan, Ceylon and Malaysia. The countries such as India, Pakistan and Malaysia had no problem whatsoever to their language problem and continue as friendly countries on this issue. What the writer cannot understand is why the politicians of this country failed to adopt the model of India, Pakistan and Malaysia. We had leading gentlemen of the calibre of SWRD Bandaranaike, NM Perera, Colvin R de Silva, Pieter Keuneman and SA Wickremasinghe.

Today the country is talking in terms of an election.

The writer is a retired public servant who has held office for 32 years in Kachcheries such as Kurunegala, Colombo and Galle receiving an appointment from Home Affairs Ministry in 1952. The writer has spent most of his years with the hierarchy who have attended to their duties as patriotic citizens without any malice, favouritism and had the best of treatment at their farewell functions.

A. J. Dunuwithe

Implementing the power of genuine concern

With reference to my article on the “Power of genuine concern”, I would like to suggest a practical implementation.

What a disaster in Anuradhapura where a Christian clergyman was mercilessly attacked by some Buddhist priests. Please note that he was attacked when he was inside the church premises. If he did not go to that church, he would never have been attacked. This is only the start. How many more Christian clergyman will be attacked when they go to church?

Is it not possible that the Christians of Anuradhapura commune directly with Jesus in the privacy of their homes (Do we really need an intermediary?), which would then mean, the church will be devoid of anyone and will never suffer the fate of the churches as in the last disaster. Following it, how wonderful it would be if the church premises were given to some organisation to be used as a Welfare Centre for those who are in need. The church can support such action financially and otherwise. If this is done, surely Jesus would be the first to give His blessings. Who knows, it may create a revolution in the Church history. Please remember that mighty deeds were eventuated from small beginnings.

Following my idea, if that church was given over to the people of Anuradhapura as a Welfare Centre, that will bring the Christians and the Buddhists living in Anuradhapura on a bond of togetherness, probably unparalleled in the history of Sri Lanka.

Wathsala S. Dulanjalee


Corruption, the worst disease

Corruption without doubt is deadlier than drug addiction and other chronic diseases. For the drug addicts, there are cures and rehabilitation. For many diseases, there are effective remedies. But for one hooked on to corruption there is a problem. Finding a solution has become a Herculean task.

So far, the state has failed to remedy the malady. The renowned Australian journalist Karl Kraus says that corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter endangers the morals of individuals. But the former, morals of the entire nation, has spread like cancerous cells in every nook and corner of our paradise isle.

Even cancer cells can be treated with radiation. But corruption?

M. Azhar Dawood


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