Make every day a dengue day I have been a doctor working in Sri Lanka for more than 55 years. In the old days there were major epidemics of smallpox, malaria and polio.  Despite not having all the facilities that the present generation has – like transport, communication and modern technology, these illnesses were totally [...]


Letters to the Editor


Make every day a dengue day

I have been a doctor working in Sri Lanka for more than 55 years. In the old days there were major epidemics of smallpox, malaria and polio.  Despite not having all the facilities that the present generation has – like transport, communication and modern technology, these illnesses were totally eradicated, with vaccines for Smallpox and Polio contributing greatly to their eradication.

They did not have smallpox week, malaria week and polio week once in two or three months to eradicate these illnesses but all steps were taken daily in all corners of the country.

I wish to request the WHO, the UN organisations, the Sri Lanka Government, the Ministry of Health, the Sri Lanka Medical Association and all the Medical Associations of this country including the GMOA to give the highest priority to find ways and means to eradicate dengue as soon as possible.

1)  For the prevention of dengue, instead of having dengue week once in two or three months, have “dengue day everyday”.

2) Early detection of dengue -

Within  48 hours of any fever the Dengue Antigen Test must be done.  This will give a warning to the Doctor, the patient and the family.  The Dengue Antigen Test is quite an expensive test ranging between Rs.1,500- to Rs.2,000- in the private sector.  Private hospitals and laboratories must reduce this charge considerably to allow patients to get this test done.  The Ministry of Health must provide all financial assistance to all Government Hospitals and laboratories big or small to have facilities to do this test for every patient in this country when requested by the doctor.  Most patients do not know about this test and its value.   Many patients do not realize until the third or fourth day that they are having dengue fever.

3)  If the Dengue Antigen Test is positive, a Full Blood Count must be done every day from the second day for six days to give an idea of the seriousness of this illness and to help in the treatment.

All doctors in this country, I am sure, know how to treat dengue fever if they have the warning that the patient may suffer from all the ill effects of this deadly illness.

The eradication of dengue fever must be given top priority above everything else in this country.

Dr. K. Rajendra  Via email

Have both elections on the same day

There is an opportunity for the citizens to elect their executive leader for a new term towards the end of the year as a requirement of the existing constitution.

At this election citizens elect only the Executive President. The election for the Legislature will be after March 2020 if dissolved prematurely, or somewhere in August 2020 otherwise.

In the event of the President and the ruling party in the Legislature being from two different political parties with two different agendas, the country will again be in a difficult situation as is happening now.

If the elected President is from a party opposed to the current ruling legislators and on having reduced executive power, when compared to that of the current president, there will be conflicting issues until such time the elections are held for the Legislature.This situation will be there for about three months and the country will be in chaos with possible pandemonium in Parliament similar to what was experienced in 2018.

My appeal therefore to the Legislature is to come to an agreement by a two-third majority as required and pass legislation to have both elections on one day. This way we can avoid any conflict between the Executive and the Legislature as the voters will be in the same frame of mind when voting.

In this situation, if the current constitution is to continue, it would be ideal if the Presidential candidates put forwards their teams for the Cabinet of Ministers in the election manifesto. This will help the voters to identify the team they wish to vote for. Also, political parties will then can keep out members accused of previous corruption at the nominations.

It is however important that the voters vote wisely, at the Presidential election, as the elected President not only is going to lead the country but also to represent our country internationally. It is therefore necessary that the elected is  politically mature, globally acceptable and without any history of corruption, communal bias or criminal background.

As the basis of electing members to the Legislature is district wise, a situation will arise  where there are no elected members for some electorates. To compensate this issue, at least one elected member should be nominated from each district for the Cabinet of Ministers in the election manifesto.

Piyasiri Kalubowila   Rajagiriya

Democracy within the UNP is the need of the hour

In 1989 when President J R Jayewardene had to retire after his two-year term as President, he had to select a successor to take the UNP and its policies forward. By that time he had groomed not one but many to take over the mantle. Each one of them had their forte but considering the prevailing ground conditions he understood the best would be his Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa. That choice was unanimous.

The situation in the UNP today is somewhat similar. Though there are many aspirants, the front-runner is obviously Sajith Premadasa. What was a populist wave within the UNP a few weeks back is now turning into a tidal wave for Sajith Premadasa to be selected as its Presidential candidate. Democracy within the party is the call of the hour and leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has to heed that call. Otherwise it is very evident the party will disintegrate and be relegated to the opposition for another 25 years. The patriarch of the Rajapakse dynasty has it all planned out on his drawing boards.

Lalindra Jayewardene   Colombo 10

Segregating waste is fine, but we need to know what will be collected when   

I refer to the leaflet with instructions on segregating household waste, distributed by the Department of Health and Solid Waste Management of the Dehiwala and Mount Lavinia Municipal Council. According to the instructions, segregation has to be done into kitchen waste and eight other categories of waste that should be placed in separate sacks.

The instructions are clear, and could be followed. But the problem is, we (the householders) would need to know what will be collected and when? At present we have been told, by those who do the collection, that kitchen waste will be collected on three particular days of the week, but quite often they do not turn up on the designated days. As for the other types of waste, at present, no one knows when they would be collected.

It would be unsightly to line up nearly ten sacks of waste in front of the gate every morning with the expectation that some of them (or none) will be collected. So, while segregation is necessary for proper management of the waste, and the instructions are clear, may we (the householders) request the authorities to let us know on what day (or days) of the week the different categories of waste would be collected. And, if for any reason, the collection is not made on the designated day, what would be the alternate arrangement.

Leslie Wijesinghe  Dehiwala


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