Letters to the Editor

4th June 2000

Telecom service: I am disgusted

In The Sunday Times, (May 21) article Cut up over cut off, a Sri Lanka Telecom officer says that they allow 4 1/2 months before a disconnection. I assume this is so if one is in arrears for four months. 

But what, if due to negligence by SLT staff, our timely payments are not deducted from the bill and then the bill shows four months' arrears due to no fault of ours?

It is we who have to suffer with red notices and waste time going to the billing centre to put their accounts in order.

I am from Nugegoda. I had settled my bills in full with no arrears in March. 

But I received a red notice on April 11 along with the March bill. On May 2, I settled the bill at the bank.

Despite this, my line was disconnected for outgoing calls from May 19. I am awaiting a total disconnection. I am disgusted with SLT service. 

Dr. S. N. Mauroof 

Don't let them fall into the web

The April 2000 issue of Reader's Digest carries two articles on the Internet and children. Parents who own computers should read them.

With computer studies taking predominance, most children have access to computers. The importance of computer knowledge with access to Internent cannot be over-emphasized. But what most parents do not realise is the magnitude of the threat it poses as far as the children's character is concerned.

There are many perverts who play havoc with computers just for kicks. Some maintain pornographic sites and children fall easy prey to these.

They either come across these sites accidentally or through peers or even from so-called well-meaning media reports. 

Recently, a newspaper and a TV programme spelt out the e-mail address of some pornographic sites. 

Children visiting these sites out of curiosity may be tempted to experiment with sex. Parents and teachers must recognize the impact of sex and violence at a tender age.

There are certain rules parents MUST follow to protect their children from 'computer abuse'

(a) At least one parent must be computer literate and check on the sites visited by the child; if this is not possible, a periodic check by a computer-wise person is advisable.

(b) There are certain 'nanny' programs, which can limit their access to these sites; it is worthwhile speaking to a computer specialist and getting them installed in your computer.

(c) The only tamper proof method is to monitor them physically. The computer must be in a place where the screen is visible to at least some other family member when it is being used. Ideally, the kids should never be allowed to surf the Internet when they are alone.

This may sound as if parents do not trust the kids; trusting is one thing, protecting them is another matter altogether. 

Dr. Mrs. Mareena Reffai

Noraicholai: a sitting duck? 

It seems the CEB is using the possible power cuts to get the controversial Noraicholai coal power project initiated.

There have been power-cuts before, due to lack of rain in the catchment areas. But never before has there been such a security threat as now.

The security of the power plant and jetty has all along been one of the major causes for concern. Kalpitiya is only a stone's throw from Mannar.

The foolishness of erecting a power plant at Noraicholai should now be clear to anyone. The government should scrap this vulnerable project and ask the CEB to look for alternatives. 

If there is to be a power-cut or power shortage in the long run, it is the CEB that should be held responsible. Notwithstanding strong and valid objections, not to mention the written assurance given by the President, the CEB officials are clinging to Noraicholai, for reasons best known to themselves - and wasting precious time instead of working on alternatives.

True enough, there is a higher demand for electricity. But we disagree that Noraicholai is the only remedy.

If the CEB goes ahead with the project, we would have at the end, a bombed-out power plant and jetty with a debt of billions of rupees. Not electricity.

W. Peter Lowe 


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