at home, school
and where are the seeds of terror sown? As a teacher I'd say that
the seeds are sown in homes, school vans and in the school itself.
One set of boys will plan and gang up to bully and terrorise one
boy or more.
In school vans
too, some boys get-together to bully others who are seen as refined.
They are cornered and the van driver turns a blind eye or, worse
still, shows his approval in the mirror. He is elated that boys
from good schools behave like rowdies.
who are aggressive about the home environment and they will give
you the real picture - bad language, wife and child bashing, destruction
of valuables and even tearing up of school books.
if school authorities identify bullies and try to correct them?
Maybe, they call a parent to discuss these important issues.
But most parents
are not prepared to admit that the child needs counselling. They
prefer to sweep the child's misdeeds under the carpet. Then these
seeds of terror germinate and thrive.
Time is running
out for our youngsters. Something constructive needs to be done
before it is too late. The issue should be addressed at all levels
- schools, homes and religious institutes - and a concrete, viable
of this problem is allowing films and teledramas that portray violence
one should inculcate courtesy and discipline at all levels. Moral
science should be re-introduced. Children should also be gainfully
occupied on indoor games such as draughts, chess and carrom.
The big stadium
the ICC Championships, Sri Lanka tried to project its image to the
outside world to attract tourists and investments. However, some
of the spectator experiences at the match would be counter-productive
towards this end.
At the finals
on September 29 at the Premadasa Stadium, the Block 'A' lower seating
arrangements were in an appalling condition. No attempt had been
made to clean the floor or the chairs. Spectators were seen cleaning
the chairs before they sat.
were another disaster. They were inadequate to cater to the large
number of spectators resulting in long queues and unhygienic conditions.
Many men were seen relieving themselves in the open area adjacent
to the toilets. It was obvious that basic spectator comfort had
not received the attention of the officials who were seen walking
around nattily dressed with huge identification tags and walkie
matters, when the spectators had to leave due to rain, most parts
of Colombo were under water and not motorable.
when such international events are organised, we must not only attempt
to project an image through opening and closing ceremonies, but
also ensure that spectators carry memories of pleasant experiences
which will be more lasting than any other.
What is it?
articles on ethnicity have raised the question "Do we have
'races' or, are we hybrid?" In this context, I thought it appropriate
to rehash a letter I sent to the newspapers four years ago.
A news item
appeared during the time of the State Council (1936), when we were
happy-go-lucky Ceylonese. It was based on a speech made by the late
B. H. Aluwihare, who represented the Matale electorate in the State
Council. Mr. Aluwihare was a barrister and was actively involved
in the independence movement along with Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal
Nehru of India. He could have been identified anywhere as he sported
the Gandhi cap and the North Indian vest. The news item is reproduced
culture! Is there such a thing as a Ceylonese culture, and if so,
what is it? This is the question that arose in a debate a few days
ago in a Literary Club in Colombo. Speaker after speaker got up
and asserted that there is no such thing.
And then somebody
went on to quote the delightfully eloquent passage from a State
Councillor B. H. Aluwihare, apologising at the same time for the
authority's 'knowledge of history and geography': 'Ceylonese culture
is one of the most hybrid things on earth. It is born of Portuguese
and Dutch culture mixed up today with the British. In ancient days
it arose in the tree of the Vedda culture. It was enriched by the
Hindus and Aryans at the Ganges, and it was then touched, with the
fervour of the South Indian and Tamil. I am not certain that we
have not, to some extent, been enriched by the thought of the Negroes
of Africa. I am not certain that we are not affected by adventurers
and traders from Arabia.
it is a most hybrid culture. It is certainly rich, but when you
ask what Ceylonese culture is, the answer is that culture has come
to us from all the ends of the earth. It has enriched us, and if
ever we do boast of anything, it is that we have the wealth of the
four corners of the world. It has enriched our vision, our mind,
our literature and that is what we are able to boast of - the breadth
of vision and the breadth of thought of our golden age.' It is from
Mr. Aluwihare's speech in the State Council on the subject of non-Ceylonese
teachers. A large majority of the debators refused to believe in
Mr. Aluwihare's theory."
Let our historians
and learned men utilise these assets to the betterment of Sri Lanka.
Let our bickering and quarrelling MPs use the beauty of our languages
to put across their views in a decent manner and style, learn to
meet in harmony, discuss in harmony and disperse in harmony.
Cane Day fell on Oct.15
White cane his only lifeline
A tap, tapping sound is all he hears
As he tentatively treads an unknown path
The white cane swishing from side to side
To probe any dangers that may lurk there
* * *
Visually handicapped since the last war
The white cane his only lifeline
Maybe he is alone, maybe not
He wonders, will anybody care
* * *
The colour white signifies peace
But does he have peace within him
Knowing not day from night
And everything in between
* * *
Yet this lonely figure can be seen
In almost all walks of life
Tap, tapping his white cane
So people, vehicles can move aside.
* * *
The white cane, therefore, is
A symbol of the visually handicapped.
And October 15th set aside
For others to remember them
is a gift of God, for which the government is charging the people.
In September, water rates were increased by 150 percent but most
of the consumers were unaware of it. My bill was around Rs. 200
a month, but last month it shot up to Rs. 440. The meter reader
explained that it has been increased and VAT too has been included.
Isn't it a case of the government fleecing the public?
government came to office on the promise that it would bring down
the cost of living, the COL is still soaring. Electricity charges,
gas, milk powder to mention a few, are exorbitantly priced.
With reference to the letter of P.A. Binduhewa of Panadura
(The Sunday Times, October 6), a majority of Buddhist monks dabble
in politics, either directly or indirectly. Even some of the Mahanayakes
are dragged into politics by politicians and instigated to issue
statements supporting their cause.
When the Buddhist
clergy, as a whole, decides to give up politics as it is not in
keeping with Buddhist practices as categorically stated by Ven.
Gnanawimala Thera, I presume the only monk in Parliament will step
down and give his place to a layman.
to the Editor' should be brief and to the point.
Address them to:
'Letters to the Editor,
The Sunday Times,
P.O.Box 1136, Colombo.
Or e-mail to
Please note that letters cannot be acknowledged or returned.