It is the discerning people who will fathom the strange modus operandi of the various political groups in their desire to win or maintain the seats of power. The latter have been resorting to various gimmicks and other subtle measures to turn and twist the democratic process in order to advance their vested interests. Unless, therefore, the public are incessantly vigilant and critical a regime in power will tend to establish its own oligarchy.
It is in a sense no fault of the governing masters who have been tasting the privileges, immunity, security, power and pomp of office to entrench and consolidate themselves in their citadels: after all, they are human beings with the natural instincts of self preservation and defence for maintaining comforts: they have also naturally inherited egoistic tendencies and in consequence, relish being in comfort and power and do want to be remembered after death.
Nevertheless, the fault lies in the general public who have unwittingly allowed themselves to swallow noxious stuff hook, line and sinker as it were mesmerised by the rhetoric and propaganda utilised by unscrupulous politicians to manoeuvre themselves to the seats of power. The propaganda of a ruling regime is directed to lull the gullibles with all manner of religious ceremonies, songs, dances and other entertainments in order to pave the way for the regime to continue in power even beyond the stipulated period of office.
An observation which is irresistible to the matured citizens of the present day is that how at latest from 1970 onwards democracy in this country got adulterated and devalued. In point of fact the public has had first hand experience and vivid knowledge of the common phenomena from that year up to recent time in the political arena of how money and money was the crucial factor, the engine, for the success at the polls.
It is opportune time to adopt stern remedies to eliminate the long standing malpractices and malfunctioning of democracy. Why not have mandatory legislative provision for every candidate to submit a summary of his average monthly income and the worth of his property when he hands over his nomination paper for the voter to know the financial worth of the candidate at a particular time. In view of the laudatory policy of transparency in public affairs sometimes announced by the present government there is no reason at all for a candidate to suppress his financial worth from the view of the voters. Otherwise the hydra-headed monster of bribery, corruption and thuggery will continue to operate and extend its tentacles to cripple the entire social fabric.
The silent majority of the educated people should come to the fore and express without fear or favour their views on matters of national interest. The inestimable services of the independent press and other media are a continuing source of encouragement and provide the national forum especially to those who do not have the wherewithal to enter election contests.
The ruling regime should be politic enough to face all kinds of criticism with necessary spirit of tolerance and equanimity in order that they will not be vulnerable but will be able to come out of their efforts crowned with success.
I thank the President for ordering an immediate inquiry on how Murugesapillai Koneshwary a mother of four children who was living in the Ampara- Batticaloa border village and who is alleged to have been raped by policemen and murdered by exploding a hand grenade in the private part of her body. Sri Lanka is proud to be blessed with a Mother President and a Mother Prime Minister. In addition the Judiciary, Social, Medical, Educational spheres and high places are occupied by women.
There are a large number of Womens Organisations to see to the welfare of the needy to attend to Social, Ethnic and Human Rights questions.
The time has come for these womens organisations to wake up from their deep slumber and get on to the road throughout the country and demand the following:
1. Updating of Laws,
2. Death penalty for murder, looting and kidnapping,
3. Drug- dealers to be given the death penalty,
4. Reckless drivers to be given heavy penalties.
Ladies, please note that if you remain silent the day will not be too long for even those who are in uniforms to be kidnapped, molested and killed. Those who drive your own vehicles alone will also be in danger of being relieved of your belongings raped and robbed of your car.
Two of my brothers are students of Alexandra College, Colombo. However, overnight they found themselves without a school.
The edifices which boasted of a seat of learning more than six decades old had vanished without a trace over the weekend! Nearly 3000 students were unceremoniously dumped. In order to bring their plight to the notice of the powers-that-be, the distraught parents had only one option.
They conducted a picketing campaign; a recourse that is available in any democracy. However, some of the international schools had said they would not take any students from Alexandra because the parents had stooped to the level of picketing!! How heartless can these schools be? Or is it because they feared that this campaign will open the floodgates of investigation into the general conduct of all international schools? To say that money is nothing in this world is hypocrisy. Money is something in this world in order to achieve certain things in life; but let us remember it is not everything. Kindness, sympathy and broad-mindedness should go hand in glove with wealth, instead of hard- heartedness.
However, amongst all these dark clouds was the proverbial silver lining. That came in the form of the Presidents action to take over the school temporarily.
We are indeed happy that she used her presidential powers for a very worthy cause.
A big bouquet to the PTA and the Action Committee which consisted of Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Burgher parents who were united and fought shoulder-to-shoulder peacefully for redress.
The Alexandra College issue was a classic example of what could be achieved if the politicians and the different communities in the Island unite. It is my sincere prayer that this kind of unity should prevail even on national issues.
I visited Kandy several months ago to visit my parents and friends and saw a big hole dug up at the centre of the town opposite the Muslim Hotel. When I visited Kandy last week, the big hole was still there. It is rumoured that this is the opening gateway to the subways radiating from this point and the Central Government authorities have planned a subway to join the Central Market.
The proposed subway will give way to further nefarious activities without anyone noticing anything. Besides, according to reliable information, there are barrel drains running underneath from the Kandy Lake situated on the upper side of the town and damage to them during excavations will cause a lot of hardship. These drains flow into the Mada Ela which flows into the Mahaweli River. Kandy is a beautiful city located at the basin of the hills around it and haphazard excavations and constructions will cause damage to its pristine beauty. Kandy is too small a town to have tunnels.
International Schools were introduced to Sri Lanka for the education of children of expatriates employed here.
Setting-up such schools, which were affiliated to a College/School in Britain or the USA was a necessity after the medium of instruction in our Govt.. and private schools changed from English to Sinhala and Tamil.
As to whether these International Schools are good to educate our kids, is a different kettle of fish. Due to falling standards in our National and Private schools, as seen from the results published, some parents who were able to educate their children abroad, now prefer to get them admitted to an International School in Sri Lanka, even up to a particular grade and thereafter for degree courses abroad, to ensure their future job prospects.
If those in authority on educational reforms attempt to bring down the International Schools to fall in line with our schools on the pretext that the International Schools do not have the proper environment to foster and develop our Sinhala culture, language and traditions, it will be a grave error.
May I wish the Sunday Times a very happy 10th birthday. I want to join all the other readers in wishing my favourite newspaper many more birthdays to come.
I also noted the new appearance of the on-line edition, complete with the pale blue background. In my humble opinion, the Sunday Times should not be having the blues on this happy occasion, but should be in the pink as in the past!
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