Letters to the Editor

18th May, 1997

Bring in some outsiders

No government can carry on even for a short period without a proper Police service, which is regarded as the arm of the law. The general duties of the Police are to maintain law and order.

Our Police have been found malfunctioning in some instances. Taking into consideration, the extraordinary waves of crimes in the land and the availability of large stocks of unlicensed or unauthorised firearms all over the island, the deployment on security duty for Ministers, MPs and other big wigs of large numbers of high quality Policemen by deviating them from serving the ordinary mortals of the land, and the obnoxious political and other influences and pressures brought to bear on the weak-kneed Policemen or black sheep, the Police Department has generally acquitted itself well in the execution of the multifarious and complicated assignments, tasks and other duties involved.

It is an affront to civilisation that no girl or woman can walk on our roads or bylanes alone, sometimes without being at the receiving end of lewd and vulgar remarks or innuendoes of male rowdies or vultures prowling certain areas.

It is advisable to employ as DIGs, a few officers seconded from the Sri Lanka Administrative Service. In point of fact some years back the late D.B.I.P.S. Siriwardhana, who was a rara avis and who subsequently retired as the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration, was seconded from the former Ceylon Civil Service to work as a DIG. Unfortunately the practice of deployment in the Police service of outsiders was dispensed with.

There now appear to be nearly thirty DIGs: active consideration may be given to employment at DIG level about two handpicked officers of special merit from the Sri Lanka Administrative Service as an infusion of some fresh blood to the Police Department with a view to streamlining the administration for the benefit of the less privileged and disadvantaged sections of the population, who form the majority of our citizens.

D. Kuruneru,


Of roads and booby traps

Under their very noses lies one of the worst kept roads in the capital of Sri Lanka, Kotte. A stretch of road leading to the block of apartments set apart for the outstation Members of Parliament, Madiwela.

Behind the Parliament is the Lanka -Japan Friendship Road which proceeds to its destination, the Jayewardenapura Hospital. The surface in fairly good condition maintained by the Lanka -Japan Friendship Society. But just beyond the point where the 'Friendship Road' turns off to the left, right in front of the dwelling of the MPs lies the atrocity. Protected at two ends by a barricade, the road is far too narrow for two vehicles to pass. Even if the barricade were to be removed the road full of ruts and pot holes, the edges actually broken with a surface that renders it unsafe, is in a state of utter disrepair. One wonders whether it is a road or a booby trap for travellers.

If a road in the prestigious vicinity of the Parliament and Ministers' residences is totally ignored, how can one groan about the roads in the rest of the city, or the rest of the country? Is it ignored because of the fact that the occupants of the dwellings as mentioned, travel mostly in heavy four wheel driven vehicles such as inter-cooler Pajeros which are meant for these conditions? Will the MPs who owe their very dwelling places to the public who voted for them, not spare a thought for those who use public transport such as buses, vans and private cars in this area ?

Madiwela Citizen


Those greedy landlords

I would like to bring to the notice of the authorities concerned the sad plight of poor tenants owing to the harassment of rapacious landlords who always want to increase the rent. Some unscrupulous landlords even go to the extent of employing under-world hardcore elements to cut off the toilet facilities, water supply and electricity and damage the roof and even portions of houses - in other words engage in any nefarious activity to - force the long standing tenants to leave so that they may easily give the houses on higher rents.

The poor tenant is left high and dry. He has no money to engage in litigation under the Rent Control Ordinance against his oppressor. His plight had better be imagined than described.

Last year the Minister of Housing appointed a Committee to look into the grievances of tenants. It called for suggestions but its report has not seen the light of day. The poor tenants will be ever grateful for any action the PA Government will take to save them from this type of harassment by unscrupulous and greedy landlords.

G.G. Dharmadasa


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