Danger at Wellawatte market
market in the heart of Wellawatte is an eyesore. The building over
a hundred years old, is dilapidated.
of people use this market daily, nobody seems to be worried about
the danger they face. The walls and roof are cracked with even trees
growing in the cracks.
The city fathers
need to take urgent action before someone loses life or limb at
the Wellawatte market.
A circuit bungalow
in Jaffna for US envoy
To quote H.L.de
Silva (The Sunday Times April 17): The agenda of the LTTE is merely
considering federalism as a temporary expedient and a tactical manoeuvre
adopted for the achievement of its ulterior motive which is the
establishment of a separate state in the north and east.
The track record
of the LTTE is well known, that to believe its credentials of power-sharing
and peaceful co-existence within a multi-ethnic society in their
so-called liberated areas would only be a daydream.
It may be possible
for the LTTE to hoodwink the Sri Lankan government and international
donors who are involved in rebuilding the north and the east and
establish Eelam. What of its promise to US Assistant Secretary of
State Richard Armitage that it will renounce the armed struggle
and enter the mainstream to establish democracy? The LTTE was debarred
from the Washington meeting due to the ban imposed on it in the
United States. Mr. Armitage has issued a strong warning to the Tigers
to give up terror tactics if the ban is to be lifted in the US.
The plan to
establish a US cultural centre and a circuit bungalow in Jaffna
for the American Ambassador would be ideal as it would allow US
officials to keep an eye on the Tigers to prevent them from switching
over to terror once the democratic system is established in the
north and the east.
How little Ali
was liberated in Iraq
The other day,
when I went to the hotel where I work, I saw tears flowing from
the eyes of a guest who was reading a newspaper. I stole a look
at what she was reading. She was looking at the photograph of 12-year-old
Ali Ismail Abbas.
Ali, a victim
of US bombing in Iraq, had both his arms amputated and suffered
20% percent burns on his body. He was also orphaned in the bombing.
The guest was looking at a picture of his arrival at Kuwait's Ibn
Sina Hospital's Burn Centre on April 16.
There was a
tiny smile on Ali's face. It looked as if Ali was trying to fathom
why at the tender age of 12, he had been reduced to a bundle of
hopelessness. None can blame the guest for crying. Lint covering
burns over more than a third of Ali's body and sans both his arms
as a result of the US rocket attack, he seemed to be braving pain,
despair and frustration.
It was a mad
day. The day US-UK coalition forces battered many innocents with
cruise missiles and cluster bombs, bunker busters and mortars. Ali's
parents were scared. Ali was sleeping with his brother and two sisters
and the poor parents sadly had no way of protecting their children.
attack in the night resulted in Ali's sheets catching fire. Not
only did the rocket attack maim him but it also claimed the lives
of his beautiful mother who was five months pregnant, father, brother
and two sisters.
It will be
no comfort for Ali to know that he is not a lone victim of the hi-tech
barbarism of the coalition. There are thousands of other Iraqi children
who have been killed or maimed.
others have been given away to religious organisations, orphanages
and individuals for adoption. In a situation like this, if I may
say, he was lucky to have been noticed by the world media. Ali is
a hero in the sense that it is his plight that drew the world's
attention to the sorry condition of other wounded Iraqi children.
George Bush and British PM Tony Blair appear on TV to tell the world
they have come not to invade or oppress but to liberate! Lies, damn
feels that Iraq belongs to him. The US and rich western countries
comprising nearly 15% of the world's population control and manipulate
about 85% of the world's wealth and resources. Yet they are not
But Ali we
love you. Our hearts go out to you. We grieve over your plight,
discuss your situation and pray for you.
date on postal seal?
A person pays
Rs. 16.50 for the registration of a letter. But the date on the
stamp is not visible. It is either because the postal-seal is wasted
or there is no ink in the pad.
The receipt is important in the event of the loss of the letter.
The postal authorities need to take action to issue clean receipts.
Years ago, animal
welfare societies lobbied for the amendment of animal laws, which
are almost a century old. We hear that the papers are now with the
Seeing the unbelievable cruelty to these helpless creatures, may
we request the Law Commission to hasten submission of the revised
laws to Parliament.
Beware of quacks
A person claimed
on TV recently that he had cured several cancer patients. A few
of those patients were also interviewed. Every now and then, we
hear of people who say that they have cured cancer patients. This
is done, either to get fame or pecuniary gain, or because they genuinely
believe that they have done so. The media, especially television,
should not give publicity to such claims in the belief that they
are doing it in the public interest. It could do more harm than
patients, who learn from their doctors that their disease is past
the curable stage, wouldn't hesitate to go to places even 100 miles
away several times a month in hiring cars, to meet the so called
'cancer specialists', though they cannot bear that heavy expenditure.
An uncle of
mine, who took treatment from the Cancer Institute for advanced
cancer of the throat, did several such trips from Balangoda to Anuradhapura
during the last few weeks of his life. Even on his last visit, he
was told to come back for further treatment in seven days. These
'specialists' never say outright they cannot cure the patient but
always give hopes. This is a sad state of affairs.
For a claim
that a cancer cure has indeed occurred, certain criteria need to
l that the person
does have cancer, confirmed through the examination of blood or
other tissues through a microscope;
l that he has
not taken any other treatment previously and
l that the
cancer no longer exists after the completion of treatment.
medicine, the most widely used treatment is the removal of the tumour
and adjoining tissue through a surgical operation. If done early,
it can cure the cancer in many instances. If done late, it could
re-appear at the old site, or some distance away in another organ
such as the liver, lung, bone, brain or lymph nodes. Because of
this uncertainty, surgeons do not claim that they have cured the
is essential to diagnose cancer with certainty, which is done through
the examination of blood or other tissues. So, whoever found such
cures for cancer should have had direct or indirect access to a
Claims of those
who do not have such facilities have to be ignored because they
may have been treating something other than cancer. Of the lumps
we see on the surface or inside the body, over 95% are not cancers.
My advice to
readers is not to be fooled by claims made by those who have not
had a proper training in scientific medicine. Millions of dollars
are spent every year in different countries on cancer research,
and if any miraculous cures are discovered, we will no doubt hear
about them the next day through the media.
to the Editor' should be brief and to the point.
Address them to:
'Letters to the Editor,
The Sunday Times,
P.O.Box 1136, Colombo.
Or e-mail to
Please note that letters cannot be acknowledged or returned.