Citizens' Mail | Daily News


 

Citizens' Mail

The choice between plastic and glass

Since the creation of plastic, in various forms, the use of glass has diminished. The multinational companies that created plastic as a byproduct of petroleum, found reasons as to why this change is necessary.

They said, there are no breakages, less in weight, and transportation costs reduced. Though this should have been cheaper, it was not so. The consumer had to pay more, to offset the cost of plastic bottles, which was thrown away after use. Whereas the glass bottles were returnable, and you paid only for the contents.

Now, after having helped to pollute the world, the Himalayas, the arctic and all the oceans and even forest reservations, diminishing the fish stocks, are now spending billions of dollars, of the public, and voluntary organisations, to clean up the earth, amidst the worst scenario that this plastic will take hundreds of years to be destroyed.

These companies have enriched themselves and we citizens of this world have to bear the cost of this operation and the health concerns. In Sri Lanka, you will find all sorts of drinks which were in glass bottles, have now resorted to using plastic bottles.

Alcohol is the only liquid yet in glass bottles. Maybe that plastic is not compatible. Plastic is losing its usefulness due to costs of recycling and the harmful effects over a period. Yet some companies are producing soft drinks in plastic bottles and are compelling consumers to go for plastic by not delivering glass bottles.

When the retailer is questioned, he argues that in glass bottles, there are breakages. Therefore the company has reduced the usage of glass bottles. In fact, to the company and the retailer, it is less cumbersome to deal with plastic bottles, handling, storing, distribution is cheaper than glass bottles.

Until recently, the selling price of soft drinks in glass bottles was modestly cheaper than the plastic ones, because of the cost of plastic bottles. Now, these companies are changing their tactic and pricing similar quantities equally. But for the plastic bottle, they charge you more and have reduced the supply of glass bottles.

I find it difficult to get glass bottled soft drinks, whereas the same drink in a plastic bottle is available, from a leading soft drink manufacturer. And they are causing an artificial shortage. The government must decide between glass and plastic. It is high time to bring in legislation to halt the proliferation of plastic bottles and ask these companies to set a time table to change from plastic to glass. The government must also insist on companies that are bottling in glass bottles to stop using plastic.

Walter Fernando
Ratmalana

 


Mahinda Deshapriya, ideal government employee

We all are happy about the manner Mahinda Deshapriya is doing his work as Election Commissioner. He is doing a very difficult job. He cannot do it alone. He needs the support of many other people. He needs the support of many other government employees. He needs the support of the Police. He needs the support of all politicians. He needs the support of his staff at the Election Commission. He needs the support of his superiors in the government. Support of journalists is also very important.

He has been able to get all the support from all relevant parties. This is because of the way he carry out his duties. He knows that he is accountable and responsible. Therefore he takes things seriously. He is impartial. He is honest. He is hard-working. He is very calm and quiet and also aggressive when necessary.

He is a very senior officer of public service and has very good public speaking skills. We have seen him addressing various seminars with the idea of educating the public on matters related to franchise and election law. He is trying to educate the young generation on matters related to elections, democracy and good governance.

As citizens of this country, we appreciate the good work being done by Mahinda Deshapriya. He is an example to many other senior government officers. He is not afraid of politicians and always does the right thing. He does not misuse government funds and is a very simple man.

He has requested government employees to refrain from resorting to trade union action during this election period.

Election Commissioner says that the maximum support of public servants is required to conduct a free and fair election.

Let us all support the Election Commissioner to conduct a free and a fair election. We must appreciate the good work of Mahinda Deshapriya. We wish him success and good luck.

D. Weratunga
Nugegoda

 


We need to reassess the role of religions

When I say merit is the outcome of sin, it may puzzle readers and consider me insane or crazy. All religions preach killing is a sin and after death, one’s place is assured in hell. That is the belief. Now let me come to my story and experience.

It was last night when I was asleep a mosquito stung me and I immediately killed it. Now, a thought came to me as to whether I have sinned and broken one of the precepts, Panathipatha veramani sikshapadan samadiyami, as a Buddhist, recited in the morning, when praying at the statue of the Buddha in front of my house in the garden. I questioned myself: if I had not killed the mosquito, I would suffer from Dengue or Malaria, and perhaps die. By killing the mosquito, haven’t I saved others who would suffer the disease? If so, haven’t I performed a meritorious act?

This goes for other precepts as well. Stealing or robbing is considered a sin. Consider a father with a family, having no food to feed his starving wife and children, sees a Jak fruit in another man’s garden, and knowing the owner is a miser and would not allow him to pluck the fruit, he steals the fruit and feeds the whole starving family. Isn’t feeding the starving family a meritorious act? The same argument could go for other precepts which religions preach. Necessity knows no law; they say, be the laws of the land or religious. One’s conscience never says to do wrong. So, go by your conscience and not feel guilty.

Religions have restricted the freedom of man chained to false beliefs, rites and rituals and it is high time human beings act according to their conscience. As Bertrand Arthur William Russell says, religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence; it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.

Can anyone give a rational explanation?

G. A. D. Sirimal
Boralesgamuwa

 


Public Service Commission, then and now

Unlike today in good old days (Before the 1972 Constitution) we had a powerful Public Service Commission to protect the public servants from any type of political interference. At that time all government servants from permanent Secretary to the minor employee had to follow the rules and regulations strictly which were stipulated in the establishment code.

When a disciplinary action was taken against a public servant and later he was interdicted by the head of the department the former could make an appeal to the Public Service Commission seeking a redress.

Nowadays it seems to have the upside-down when thinking about the case of former Bribery Commissioner who has been interdicted by the PSC according to the instruction of the AG whose department she worked as Solicitor General.

Another thing is that state sector appointments are given on political favouritism. Many occasions we have seen on T/V channels that letter of appointments are handed over by President, Prime Minister or Cabinet of Ministers.

According to the latest news, Election Commission has halted thousand five hundred appointments as they have been given violating the election law. The most wonderful thing is that Public Service Commission is turning a blind eye in this regard.

Once our President said that Independent Commissions that have been established under 19th Amendment are still at experimental level.

W. G. Chandrapala

 


What happened to the UK garbage?

What happened to the container loads of garbage that was lying at the Colombo Port? Did the Medical Research Institute and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Council submit their respective reports to the Government Analyst about the above consignment of garbage? What was the outcome of the inquiry by the Director of Customs? Was any punitive action taken by the Director of Chemical and Hazardous Waste Management Unit of the Central Environment Authority?

Hope to get feedback from the above State institutions (after publication in the newspaper) as no news is not good news in the above case.

Mohamed Zahran
Colombo 14

 

 


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