Citizens' Mail | Daily News


Citizens' Mail

Alice in Wonderland live in Sri Lanka

The only country in this world, where politicians are endlessly promising the possible and impossible, is Sri Lanka. Their greed for power and wealth seems insatiable. They let their imagination run thither and hither. They have become a laughing stock for those who can see the humour. They stress on sanitary for young ladies, forgetting jockeys for the men. This was started by a former president when he promised socks for those who had shoes.

The imagination of our politicians has no bounds. It is not restricted to rhymes or reason.

The citizens have a little choice. They have allowed politicians to make a mess. The only and final say we have is to vote, and beyond that, they have manipulated the parliamentary structure in such a manner that we cannot hold any politician responsible.

We remain trapped between the two main contenders. The rest is an also-ran. How has this country surrendered its rights and expectations without a whimper? The politicians have become clever and cleverer. They have left us and our progeny in the hands of the jackals and hyenas.

Our progeny will swear at the generations after 1948, for having betrayed the future generations, and the only hope being to bring a candlelight revolution. But are 80 per cent of the population ready and willing to take the lead?

This is a hypothetical question needs an immediate solution.

Walter Fernando


Thank you, Mr. President: you have done your best!

Maithripala Sirisena is an honest person. He did not support corruption. He exposed any corruption within his government. This is a great thing. No other President or Prime Minister has done this. This is one reason many politicians attacked him. When taking action against corruption, he did not consider the political party or any other reason. He exposed everybody from the very top. Because of this, he became unpopular among his people.

Maithripala Sirisena is a non-corrupt President. It is very difficult to find non-corrupt President in Sri Lanka or any other country. There are no complaints against Sirisena. Polonnaruwa area was a neglected area for a long time. Sirisena has developed this area to a fairly high level. Sirisena will get the credit for this.

When developing Polonnaruwa, there was no misuse of public funds. There were no commissions and other rackets.

Sirisena did a lot to eradicate the drug menace. A large number of drug dealers caught and punished. Sirisena will get the credit for this.

Sirisena did not interfere in police investigations or judiciary matters. He was a clean politician. Nobody can say anything against him. He was impartial.

He was a simple man. He dressed modestly. He spoke straightforward. Anybody can criticize him. He is very democratic. He was with the poor people. He did not bow down to great powers if unreasonable.

Some people say Sirisena could not improve the economy and bring political stability. There were some security lapses.

The main reason for these lapses is that he did not get the required support from his Ministers and officers. They failed to give their full support to Sirisena. That took Sirisena into great difficulties. Not only Sirisena, that became the reason for the failure of the Yahapalanaya Government.

At this retirement stage, we thank Maithripala Sirisena for his good work. We also hope he will continue to work as an active politician. We wish him success and good luck.

D. Weeratunga


Why we need Sajith Premadasa

I have met many people in authoritarian countries with thriving economies, secure and disciplined societies.

I will narrate one story. While going by taxi in Singapore, I inquired from the taxi driver that he must be very happy that he is making good money and enjoying a modern lifestyle in a safe country. To my astonishment, he said “No” I am not at all happy and that his daughter is migrating to Canada to enjoy a better life. I asked him why and he said the most important is freedom of expression and a more work-life balance. He said most Singaporeans felt that they don’t have a say in how to run their life. Decisions are taken and enforced.

On the contrary, my colleague who is a British national said that any decision on the neighbourhood by the county council is always based on consultation and consensus of residents. There is freedom of expression and participation in decision making.

Now come to our own country, Sri Lanka. We have had bitter experiences. Decisions are all forced on people. Valuable real estate in the most expensive part of Colombo Fort was going to be developed by an unknown Indian developer affiliated to a strongman. The pride of our CBD (Central Business District) which housed the old PWD and CTO offices was going to inexperienced and untrustworthy real estate developers. If this had happened, they would have become billionaires. That was the state of rule and order in the country. So, why are our people saying the present government is selling national assets to foreigners? Have not the previous regime’s stalwarts been engaged in worse things selling it to unknown, incompetent foreigners. So, who was getting commissions from these deals?

We cannot compromise on the value of the free expression, an environment for open discussion of views and consultation and the people be stakeholders in major decisions arrived at by the government. Can this be achieved by a family-run administration?

The Government authorities including the judiciary, armed forces, police and government servants will lose their independence and be subservient to a family. Do we Sri Lankans want this? Do you think they can resurrect the economy?

We already face a global economic downturn and this will be coupled by the loss of confidence in our country by the International community. So, if we finally get FDIs it will be all laundered money and black money from countries with poor global standing.

If on the other hand Sajith Premadasa is elected, at least we citizenry can voice our opinions and views. There will be space for dissent and discussion. This is the most important aspect which we always overlook. Why are people moving from former socialist countries to the west? It is to enjoy the freedom and the right to lead your life, in one’s way.

So, it doesn’t matter what the UNP has achieved and not achieved in the past 4.5 years. We need a President who respects people for dissenting views and who will hear our voices. That could only be achieved with a President of the calibre of Sajith Premadasa, provided the citizens keep the President under check objectively and sensibly towards the achievement of goals.

Priyantha Perera


Confidentiality in peril?

Very recently when I visited a leading bank in Fort I noticed that the bank has left computer-generated schedules of cheques returned for the easy perusal of the customers to identify their respective clients whose cheques have been returned. The customer thereafter has to give the details given in the schedule to the banking assistant who will then handover the relevant Cheque Return Notification.

The bank by leaving this at the counter, grants access to see the names of all the companies/persons which/ who have issued cheques that are referred to the drawer, etc.

Where is the bank’s secrecy when access is given to all and sundry by the bank to scan through all those Companies/individuals defaulting payments? Isn’t the bank violating the implicit agreement of confidentiality between the customer and the bank? Is it purposely done by the bank to name and shame the defaulters? Why not place them in the CRIB in these cases, which is a better option in my opinion?

I fervently hope to see the bank’s viewpoint concerning the above.

Mohamed Zahran
Colombo 14


Lest we forget that dreadful past

Have our citizens forgotten the tragic event that took place during the much-lauded previous regime?

An order was given overnight for non-resident Tamil people in Colombo (our countrymen) to be herded into buses and transported to Jaffna. No valid reason was given other than the decision made by the all-powerful administration that decided to do so.

This incident brought back memories of the dreaded Nazi regime and how the Jews were herded into concentration camps, similarly. The affected people had no choice but to follow orders.

What heartbreak was evident: some were in Colombo for medical reasons (Dialysis, surgery etc). Others were scheduled to present themselves at interviews (for employment, visas etc). They were dropped off at a detention camp en route to Jaffna. After much condemnation from the international community, human rights activists, an NGO sought a Supreme Court order to reverse this decision. The Supreme Court declared this repatriation to be illegal and the affected were allowed to get back to their normal lives.

The mastermind behind this horrific event was no less a person who is now in the run for presidency riding high on a so-called populist wave.

We do not want a repetition of this type of ruthless action, ever again in our nation. I call upon our citizens to make it abundantly clear by using their franchise wisely.

D de Silva


Killing in question

This refers to KC de Silva’s letter captioned A Philosophy Misunderstood appearing in Daily News on October 30. He refers to my letter and questions the killing of a mosquito with the swipe of the palm and killing of a huge animal like an elephant with a Hakkapatas.

According to the teachings of the Buddha, taking away the life of any animal is a demerit. To extend my earlier argument, may I know, if the elephants are allowed to destroy the cultivation of villagers on which they live and also a threat to their life, isn’t killing elephants justifiable? As I always said, act according to your conscience, which will never allow you to do any bad or sinful acts. Killing for your safety or to safeguard society is no sin. Sin, Hell, Heaven, Karma, Rebirth are manmade so as to discipline, brought about when the man was not so advanced intellectually and science and technology not known. With the advancement of science and technology, these beliefs have become fiction.

He speaks of Eskimos killing seals for food and attributes to Karma. As stated earlier, Karma is manmade and in this case of killing for food for survival, it is nature’s way of providing a way to live. According to him Eskimos and Seals will be reborn and the same cycle will go on. I believe, the lifestyle of Eskimos has since changed with the transport of goods.

Next, he adds: Sadly, Sirimal cannot claim himself to be a Buddhist, just because he prayed in front of the Buddha. It should be the Buddha statue, not the Buddha. How can he say I am not a Buddhist? This means he does not know the meaning of the word Buddhist. Let me explain.

The word Buddha derives from the Sanskrit word Buddhi which means wisdom. Hence every human being born to this world, irrespective of caste, nationality or religion is a Buddhist. But the difference in me is that I call myself a Gauthamist, a follower of Gauthama Buddha and his philosophy. This title or qualification of Siddhartha Gauthama is due to attaining Enlightenment, Chaturyaya Sathya. In short, the Buddha is not a name but a qualification or title for attaining Enlightenment, extreme wisdom, similar to a doctorate from a university.

To sum up, live a righteous life according to your conscience, which will never lead you to do the wrong and at the end be happy that you have lived a contented life using all the faculties to the full which nature has endowed.

Spiritual or religious beliefs are etched deeply in our psyches at our young age by those we love and trust most – parents, teachers, our religious leaders. Therefore, any religious shifts occur over generations and not without great angst and often bloodshed. With the advancement of science and technology where some beliefs are debunked, man will one day cast away religion and lead a free, contented life, without killing one another over religious beliefs and live as one human race.

GAD Sirimal


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