Plus - Letters to the Editor

Snail mail and worse from our postal services

The Postal Department that was established by the British has deteriorated over the years. In the 1950s, the postal peons were smart looking, neatly attired in khaki. They wore a slouch hat and socks and shoes, and rode bicycles.

Today’s postal peon is dressed in slippers and attired in any type of dress.Visit a post office to send a parcel and you are sent from pillar to post. The postal employees act as if the members of the public are their servants, while most of the staff stand idle.

It is because we lack a good and efficient postal service that courier services have been introduced. If the Postal Department had a faster-working and more courteous service, the public would be happy to patronise our post offices.

It is time a team trained in management systems and marketing was appointed to find ways to improve our postal system.For example, “express” letters reach their destination only a few hours earlier than a normal postal delivery would.

Registered letters take four to five days to reach the recipient. Letters from overseas take more than a week to arrive in our mailbox. The Post-Master General and the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications should wake up and get things moving, before they find themselves getting “stamped out.”

F. N. de Alwis, Nugegoda

Southern school overlooks two distinguished ‘Old Boys’

A reputed school in the South recently welcomed, with much pomp and pageantry, the President, who was the chief guest at a special event. A statue of the late Mr. D. A. Rajapaksa, father of the current President, was unveiled on that occasion.

Mr. Wijenanda Dahanayake, a former Prime Minister, and Mr. C. W. W. Kannangara, a pioneer of free education in Sri Lanka, were also distinguished “old boys” of this school. It is strange that no one connected to the school thought of honouring these two eminent sons of Lanka.

D. M. Gunaratne, Galle

Lunawa Lake: Millions spent but water unclean

If the purpose of the Rs. 1850 million Asian Development Bank funded Lunawa Lake project was to prevent flooding in the Moratuwa-Lunawa area, this may have been achieved.

But what about the quality of the water of this highly polluted lake? Showing scant regard to public health and displaying no social responsibility, many people send their bath water, kitchen waste water and even urine and faecal matter into the lake through the drains connected to it.

Therefore it is suggested that health officials carry out periodic sampling and testing of the lake water at the National Water Service and Drainage Board or at the Medical Research Institute. If the water is contaminated, they must take action to treat it with chlorine or other chemicals to ensure that the people living close to the lake and the fish do not fall sick.

I sincerely hope that the Medical Officer of Health of the area should seek the cooperation of the Moratuwa Mayor in testing the water and taking follow-up action before an outbreak of disease.

Concerned Citizen, Moratuwa

Western decadence and ignorance

Unbelievable though it sounds, there is a restaurant in the UK that goes by the name of “Greedy Buddha”. Seeing is believing, so if you wish to see it for yourself, head to Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham, England. Previously, there was a chain of UK liquor bars and restaurants named the “Buddha Bars”.

Pic courtesy

Naming restaurants after the Buddha is insulting to Sakyamuni Gautama Buddha, the Great Teacher who gave the world a noble doctrine unequalled in history, and the Buddhists of the world. Such usage only highlights the education level of the restaurant owner.

It is amazing that the local authorities in England are so insensitive to the feelings of others that they allow such things. Insulting things like this only fuel resentment among those of other faiths and cultures.

In our country, insults to other faiths are just not tolerated. What is obvious is the huge gap between the two civilisations.

Upali S. Jayasekera, Colombo 4

Salary discrepancies unfair to public servants

Public servants from the highest to the lowest grades are grateful to the government for the revision of salaries (w.e.f. 01.01. 2006 vide P.A.C. No 06/2006). But it is very disappointing to note the serious anomalies when salaries are converted. After the conversion, the salaries of some officers in a higher grade are at a lower point than an officer in a lower grade in the same service.

For example, the salary of a Special Class officer in the Railway Supervisory Management Service has a lower point ranking than that of an officer in Class 1. This occurs in other public services as well, such as the Clerical Service, the Sri Lanka Technological Service, and so on.

Despite repeated requests from individuals, trade unions and department heads to have these anomalies rectified, nothing has been done. According to a recent Public Administration Circular (No. 28/2010), salaries were again revised, but to the dismay of all who were discriminated against by PAC No.06/2006, the much expected ratification of anomalies has not been removed.

By PAC No.28/2010, salaries are to be converted step by step (w.e.f. 01.01.2006). But the conversion of salaries will be done only for officers who were in service on 01.07.2011.

This results in an even worse anomaly, as officers who retired in the period between January 1, 2006 and June 30, 2011, are deprived of this privilege.

L. D. Senarath, Colombo 9

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