Act of dictatorial
vote political parties in and out of office. When a party is routed
significantly, the losing party should listen to the people's verdict.
In a democracy, truly intelligent leaders will be sensitive to the
Even if the
constitution allows an Executive to appoint a cabinet, that right
is only technical and limited to paper. It is not a moral right
and it certainly is not a popular right. Any threat to dismiss a
cabinet can only be construed as a conspiracy against the wishes
of the people. Personal pettiness and animosity are no reason to
make hollow threats which will not be supported by anyone. If investigations
reveal impropriety so be it.
saw it fit to gracefully accept the verdict of the people in 1994,
earning the respect of lifelong cynics. Similarly, the PA and the
President will be respected more by the masses if they humbly accept
reality and do not go around making asinine statements to cheer
up the hoi polloi who make up their party base.
If this UNP-led
government fails, the people will then elect someone else. Right
now, the credibility of the Executive is at an all time low.
In a democracy
the moral authority to govern, lies with those who have won the
election. If the Executive President threatens to dismiss a Cabinet
seven months after a government has been elected by the people,
that is nothing short of a display of dictatorial arrogance, pettiness
at losing, or an act of desperation.
If this government
acts dictatorially or becomes repressive then the President can
act in the best interests of the nation, but not because she finds
it annoying or irritating. After all what is good for the goose
is good for the gander in the give and take of politics. The PA
and UNP have both indulged in that. To cry foul now is silly.
This is Sri Lanka!
My so-called 'native land'
But no inch of land
To be called my own!
I live in a
With my eight-year-old daughter
And my dear husband
Who is the only bread winner.
a two-year advance,
To get a room is a 'chance',
In the land, where we are born
Is it the fault of being born?
Who will rent a room forever?
No house-owner can do it forever
Is my family to go on the streets?
Isn't there anybody to give us relief?
With no permanent
With no permanent address
Yet, I'm a born citizen
Of my motherland 'Sri Lanka'!
Would the authorities
Sympathize with us miserable
Unfortunate, helpless creatures
And seek some solution to the matter!
name for the sake of peace
The MoU with the LTTE has brought
about howls of protests. Such protests are owing to a couple of
misnomers such as Liberation and Eelam.
The word "liberation"
is being challenged by world leaders, intellectuals and clergy.
Some label it terrorism while others claim it is an insurgency.
Still others feel it is xenophobia. Whatever it was, since the Tigers
seem to be pre-disposed to peace, it would augur well to change
"Liberation" to " Democratic". "Eelam"
could be changed to "Desham".
words are coined together they would read as "Democratic Tigers
of Tamil Desham" (DTTD). This may be more tolerable.
If the LTTE
is keen to take the path of peace, a name-change will not jeoparadise
them but be a harbinger of peace.
Lankans in England
My family, like lots of other
Sri Lankan families in Britain, awaited the arrival of the Sri Lankan
team, with so much anticipation of class cricket. The British media
had put the Lankans on a pedestal saying they had not lost a test
match in the past so many games.
in the initial match was pretty impressive with the first innings
score well over 500, but the Lankans conceded a tame draw though
they had the upper hand.
it was down hill all the way apart from a paltry win over India.
When will Sri Lankan politicians and managers ever accept responsibility
for their failures?
The Sri Lankan
selectors must bear total responsibility for this dismal performance
by selecting players well after their 'use by date'.
Bangladesh, one of the weakest teams in test cricket, does not prove
much when the might of England and India could not be tackled. It
is time the selectors did a far better job and the Sri Lankan cricketers
played consistently better, game after game, if they are to make
any impact at the next World Cup.
the stops clearly
"The train on No. 1 platform
will leave for Matale. It'll stop at all stations up to Matale."
This is an announcement we hear at the Kandy Railway Station often.
But is this adequate?
The rural Kandy-Matale
line has two kinds of stops. Some are stations, others only halting
places. Most trains stop at both stations and halting places. However,
others stop only at the stations. Passengers have no way of knowing
this and face many problems.
railway officials should make the announcements accurately, for
the convenience of commuters.
search of Lankan airmen
I read with much interest the
article on the Sri Lanka Air Force Museum. It reminded me of my
time as a Flight Commander at the RAF OCTU at Jurby in the Isle
In 1960, we had two Sri Lankan cadets on the course, one of whom
was named Virasinghe. Unfortunately I cannot remember the other
one's name except that it began with G. I often wonder what happened
to those two fine young men who contributed so much to the course.
J. A. L. Crawshaw
the men behind Buddhist revival
I wonder how many of those who
have read the 19th century history of Sri Lanka have realised that
we Buddhists are indebted to three great personalities who were
pioneers in the movement to revive Buddhist education, though they
were born to Christian parents.
Henry Steele Olcott, an American-born Christian, arrived with Madam
Blavatsky in 1880, there were 805 missionary schools around the
country, as opposed to four Buddhist Sinhala schools - two at Panadura
and two at Dodanduwa. Colonel Olcott formed the Buddhist Theosophical
Society for the primary purpose of establishing Buddhist English
schools to prevent Buddhist children from attending missionary schools
to study English.
task was taken over by C. W. Leadbeater who came to Sri Lanka in
1885. Strange to say, Mr. Leadbeater was a minister in an Anglican
Church in England at the time. The first Buddhist English School
was started on November 1, 1886 with Mr. Leadbeater as principal.
He was the founder of the journal, "The Buddhist", which
he edited. Four years later, he left the island.
as principal was filled by A. E. Bultjens, a Sri Lankan who was
born a Christian. An outstanding student of S. Thomas' College,
he won the only scholarship offered to Cambridge University that
year. He returned to the country with an honours degree in philosophy
and religions, and became a Buddhist by conviction. He was spurned
by the local church, discarded by his family and distanced by his
friends. All this created the ground condition for Mr. Bultjens
to take up the principalship. He also functioned as editor of "The
Buddhist". It was during the time of Mr. Bultjens that the
school started at Pettah, was shifted to Maradana and named Ananda
1884, Colonel Olcott made the British declare Vesak a holiday for
Buddhists. He was also involved in the design and production of
the Buddhist flag in 1885.
If not for
the timely arrival of Colonel Olcott in 1880, this little island
would have become "a little England in the Indian Ocean"
by the beginning of the 20th century. Let us be grateful to Colonel
Olcott and the others who saved Buddhism from extinction.
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