Citizens' Mail | Daily News


Citizens' Mail

Kudos to Megapolis and Western Development Ministry

Colombo faces numerous environmental and transport problems with the influx of vehicles and passengers. The city is at a standstill with the vehicles causing a heavy traffic jam, especially during the peak hours.

The public faces inconvenience. A passenger travelling from Colombo Fort to Union Place wastes 35 minutes thanks to the traffic congestion. To redress this issue, Megapolis and Western Development Ministry, in collaboration with Navy, introduced a passenger boat transport. In the first phase, the waterway transport cruises along the Beira Lake.

The journey between Union Place and Colombo Fort now takes only nine minutes. The duration is cut short by 26 minutes. This innovative transport system is a relief for the daily commuters.

The passengers bottled up their inconvenience and grievances so far and now in for a sustainable solution. This is a turning point in transport. Time is capital. It is a precious element in the business world. This paves the path for development in various economic ventures. This would boost tourism and help tourists move around the city freely with happiness and joy.

They have currently deployed three passenger boats (one air-conditioned 50 seater boat and two non-air conditioned 14 seater boats that will be in operation every 20 minutes between Colombo Fort and Union Place at peak hours between 7.30 am to 9.00 am and 3.30 pm and 5.30 pm and during the rest of the day passenger transport would be limited to once every 30 minutes. Officials have revealed that they are going to expand the services from Wellawatta to Battaramulla via Nawala within six months and also planning to deploy passenger transportation boats along Kelani River between Mattakkuliya and Hanwella areas.

This move will certainly reduce traffic congestion on the roads. This waterway transports system currently in usage in the advanced and developed countries such as Great Britain, France and Singapore. Some of the countries in the world make use of a cable car system to reduce road traffic.

We are late to enjoy the latest mode of transport. It is better late than never. It is also advisable that along the seaside from Wellawatta to Harbour Port City a ferry service can be inaugurated to reduce further traffic jam on Galle road.

This kind of people-oriented modern and innovative projects will incredibly benefit the masses.

M. Jalaldeen Isfan


Rupavahini, learn from the BBC!

President Maithripala Sirisena has taken over Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) under his purview. It is a commendable exercise. Some people, however, say this is a threat to media freedom.

The corporation was never taken under the Defence Ministry, even during the war. It is incurring a monthly loss of Rs. 50 million.

Current Chairperson has failed to make it a successful organisation. See the monthly loss. Most government advertisements are given to the SLRC. This is definitely mismanagement. Does the present Chairperson have any experience to manage this type of important media organisation? See how other private television channels are managed. They are profitable.

Any Chairperson unable to show profits should be removed. Then all others will learn.

The SLRC is run with public funds. It should serve the general public. Very often interesting and very popular programmes are removed. The SLRC is for entertainment and to educate the general public.

Make SLRC an independent organisation. Learn from the BBC. We are backward in many ways. Let us maintain a very high standard at least in media freedom. We need not want thousands of US dollars for that. We need not want foreign experts for that. What is necessary is will to do the correct thing and dedication.

D. Weeratunga


Corruption in the medical profession and pharma industry

How does society, at large, and patients, in particular, deal with the corruption in the medical sector and pharmaceutical industry?

Most private hospitals are public quoted companies in the Colombo Stock Exchange. They are under the radar of shareholders for revenue, profit, dividends and share price growth. In order to achieve annual targets to keep shareholders happy, they, in turn, have internal revenue targets in each billable activity like the number of patients per specialist, number of CT scans per machine, number of X rays per machine, number of beds occupied etc. This is transmitted to the medical doctors encouraging them to drive revenue growth.

The doctors, in turn, may prescribe unnecessary expensive tests and medicines when they are not required or when simpler and cheaper alternatives exist.

In addition, generic names are not prescribed but rather expensive branded medicines are prescribed having the same chemical composition. We can see how doctors are sponsored (conference fee, air tickets, hotel accommodation) for expensive conferences and training programmes in the USA, the UK and far East by pharmaceutical companies. These companies will not do this for free as they are profit-making mega money. In return, the doctors will prescribe unsuspecting patients (especially those with medical insurance) to consume expensive drugs.

Recently, I had a very bad stomach ailment. I consulted the doctor who prescribed expensive branded medicines. When I checked on the internet, I found that these drugs could cause cancer in the long term.

Immediately, I decided not to take this medicine and instead took Ayurvedic advice in relation to food and some herbs for three full days with no other foods or drinks taken. The stomach ailment and pain disappeared.

The society (clergy must play the lead role) must apply pressure on the medical profession and pharmaceutical industry to stop this evil practice. We must embrace the good noble doctors with ethical principles who served our motherland in the past and who dedicated themselves to heal people without resorting to corrupt practices. Many names come to my mind and I can see how their descendants are doing well due to the good merit they have earned.

May I muster the courage to call upon the clergy, civic-minded individuals, NGO’s to influence doctors, hospital management and the pharma industry either through one to one chat or electronic communication to promote good ethical practices. Money has to be earned in the proper way through honest hard work and effort to sustain our lives. We can’t prosper at the cost of another section of society bearing the cost. I have seen families and descendants of corrupt people facing problems in the long term.

Remember the saying “The mills of God grind slowly but for sure”. Nobody can escape the punishment by God for wrongdoing. It may not happen today or tomorrow but soon.

Priyantha Perera


Wise, or otherwise?

Since the Sunday Easter attack by a section of those of the Islamic faith, there arose a national feeling to call this resplendent island a Buddhist country. His Eminence the Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith was hailed for saying ours is a Buddhist country and so have some Muslims and Tamils acclaimed.

In literal terms is our country a Buddhist country? Who is a Buddhist? The word Buddha is derived from the Sanskrit word Buddhi which means Wisdom. Hence to call our country a Buddhist country should mean the country of wise men.

If so, look around the state of affairs in the country rampant with corruption of all sorts in all sectors. Politicians and public servants are engaged in murder, rape, child abuse, fraud and bribes to get work done. The fitting manner, therefore, is that this country should be called a vice country. Can we call ourselves wise? Of course, wise to do evil.

If one argues that the Buddha means the Enlightened One, then we should proudly call ours a Gauthama Island and those who follow his Dhamma be called Gauthamists and the religion Gauthamism.

Please give this matter a little thought and correct the wrong understanding of the word Buddha which has been used incorrectly for ages.

G. A. D. Sirimal


Smelly men, smelly experiences

It was September 4. I was in the queue at a leading supermarket perched in Rawathawatte - in front of petrol station, to be precise. A gentleman was behind me in the queue. I felt his drunken stupor. The stink was hardly bearable.

He requested me to let him go because he had a few goods in his hand. I declined the request as I had been in the queue for a long time. Plus my trolley was overloaded. There was an argument between him and me and he joined the other queue. While waiting in that queue also, he was making some remarks for which I responded.

After I came out from the leading market in my car, he started to block my car on Galle Road, hindering me to go forward. The number of the car is available upon request. Still, I could not locate the owner of the vehicle. I will do everything to find him. After blocking the road for me for so many yards he drove away towards Moratuwa.

This is not very strange because this is Sri Lanka. I just want to make the general public aware that men in Sri Lanka do not even know how to behave in a queue at a supermarket. This is a country where we live. All harassment to ladies. I did not want to go to the Police Station because I know what type of place it is too.

Praneetha Perera


Waiting for a statesman


In the whirlwind of politics, of our own creation, the voters have to take the blame by our indifference. We are accomplices, for having allowed dozens of political parties to be registered without any substantiated reasons.

This has allowed non-entities to form parties for their own purposes. The only purpose is to exploit and loot our national assets. The remedy is close at hand, but would our 15 million voting public take cognizance of this national tragedy and choose the right candidate.

But the billion-dollar question is whether there is any statesman left for us to choose or, have we created a Hobson’s choice.

Walter Fernando



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