Letters to the Editor


We’re at the mercy of criminals

With the government considering the re-introduction of the death penalty as a deterrent to the rising homicide rate, I feel it is timely to quote from the book, ‘Right from the Beginning’ by Patrick Buchan. It is relevant especially for those who oppose the death penalty.

The book states, "A modern society that outlaws the death penalty does not send a message of reverence for life, but a message of moral confusion. When we outlaw the death penalty, we tell the murderer that, no matter what he may do to innocent people in our custody and care, women, children, old people, his most treasured possession, his life is secure.

“We guarantee it in advance. Just as a nation that declares that nothing will make it go to war finds itself at the mercy of warlike regimes, so society that will not put the worst of its criminals to death will find itself at the mercy of criminals who have no qualms about putting innocent people to death."

B. Anandappa

SriLankan flights like Pettah bus rides

This is my personal experience regarding the much publicised Bangalore flight of SriLankan Airlines.

I was one of a group of six women who bought tickets on this flight to Bangalore since it was an hour's flight from Colombo.

We bought our tickets well ahead of the scheduled day of February 24.

We reached the airport around 5.30 a.m and produced our tickets at the counter. The officer there had a strange tale to tell! "Sorry, you ladies are late and the plane is already full." It was a case of first come, first served.

The airline offered us instead, a flight to Trivandrum and thence to Bangalore on Indian Airlines.

We arrived in Bangalore around 4.30 p.m. instead of 9 a.m. as we had originally planned. When we reached our final destination it was 7.30 p.m.

We were six old women whose ages ranged from 70 - 76. We bought our tickets on the Colombo - Bangalore - Colombo flight because it was a one-hour flight.

It is the general belief that when you buy a plane ticket there is a seat reserved for you, for sure.

But now, it is first come, first served just like at the main Pettah bus stand for long distance travel. Jolly journey isn't it?

Mount Lavinia

Beware of NHDA housing schemes

In 1985, we bought a house at the National Housing Development Authority scheme at Hantana. We had to abide by a set of rules and regulations drawn up by the NHDA's District Manager.

The deeds given on these houses state that the vendee shall obtain prior written permission of the vendor (NHDA) for any alterations to the existing buildings or any additional constructions in the premises.

It is a sad state of affairs that not only alterations to existing buildings are being done but also many storeyed buildings have come up in the premises. This is causing health hazards and also obstructing the scenic beauty enjoyed by those living in such condominium units.

The unbearable heat from the vast expanse of roofs below, cause many illnesses.

When we bought the house from a state-owned housing scheme, we believed that our rights would be safeguarded. In future, those who wish to purchase a house from an NHDA scheme should think twice.

Over to you, Ministry of Housing and Construction and Ministry of Environment.

Agitated Owner

Let's celebrate a truly National New Year

A strong bond of friendship and goodwill between the Sinhalese and the Tamils is bound to follow, if the government accedes to a simple request.

For the past decade, I have been calling for the renaming of April 13 as the National New Year.

It is from the time of the British that we called this day Sinhala and Tamil New Year.
But now that we are free, both communities should shed their differences and have one New Year as a unified nation.

Religious ceremonies herald the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, hearths are lit, milk is boiled, business transactions commence and the first bath is taken at the auspicious time common to all.

I hope and pray that April 13, this year dawns as the first National New Year, where both Sinhalese and Tamils partake of kiribath in a peaceful atmosphere.

Gerry Vaidyasekera

Where's the biblical tolerance, love and understanding?

I have read with interest, the letters condemning Anglican Bishop Rev. Dulip de Chickera, lesbians and homosexuals following the article 'Lesbian suicide, lesbian woes' in The Sunday Times of February 9.

Let me applaud The Sunday Times for printing such an article which, I believe, is an eye-opener for all those uninitiated people who know nothing of the situation, yet condemn without knowledge, all that is different. Secondly, let me say that the most 'Christian' view came from the Bishop of the Anglican Church, who stated that homosexuals should be allowed to define their own sexuality and should be treated with the same respect as heterosexuals.

A standing ovation for this man who dared to be 'Christian', who dared to show what tolerance and understanding is, who dared to show what non-discrimination is. Can we all take a lesson from his book?

The rhetoric written by the 'learned' Professor and the 'Christians' who quoted biblical phrases and were quick to condemn the Bishop, only shows how intolerant and unchristian these people are.

I do believe the good book was written as a guideline for mankind to follow, not literally of course, because in this day and age we cannot try and emulate the deeds of those who went before us thousands of years ago - it is impossible.

I don't recall anyone in recent times having to part the Red Sea. Nor have there been any recent sightings of burning bushes. As such, we must adapt the Bible to suit modern times. The key messages of the Bible, however, are constantly overlooked.

People are so busy pounding the Bible to suit their own agendas that they forget that first and foremost the Bible spreads the message of love for all mankind. It does not discriminate against Christians and non-Christians, homosexuals and heterosexuals.

Jesus Christ certainly did not preach, "Love thy neighbour but with a few exceptions". The Bible also preaches tolerance towards everyone.

If we were to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, Buddha or the Holy Prophet Mohammed, this world would be a whole lot better, because they knew what tolerance, love and understanding really meant. We can only give lip service to those words because we cannot practise what we preach.
S.K. Xavier
Colombo 6

People cannot be allowed to define their own sexuality

The Bishop of Colombo, on the subject of homosexuality, has said that people should be allowed to define their sexuality (The Sunday Times, February 9). This is tantamount to saying that there are no absolute standards of morality; that anyone is right and that you can make up your own morals.

People cannot be allowed to define their sexuality, morality or legality. These are given standards. We cannot ignore them, let alone break them. It is most surprising that the Bishop should say such a thing. In the first place, he should not allow his flock to define their own standards of conduct even in lesser things, and God is greater than a Bishop. Furthermore, the Christian faith clearly states that God has set moral standards and they are not negotiable. We either accept them or defy them. If we defy them we are in rebellion and come under His judgment.

The Bible is quite clear that sex is only right within a heterosexual marriage.

Jesus Christ clearly declared that even adulterous thoughts are a sin. The Bible emphatically states that homosexuality is an abomination to God (Lev.16:22 Gal. 5:20-21). He also destroyed the twin cities Sodom and Gomorrah for the sin of homosexuality (Gen 19:12&24). Homosexual acts are also called degrading passions, unnatural functions and indecent acts. Those who do such practices do not see fit to acknowledge God (Rom. 1:26,27&28). The Bible condemns these sins outright saying that those who do them will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Cor.6:9-10. 2 Cor. 12:21 Col. 3; 5-6 )

We must submit to God and say that these things are sins and that they are abominable to God. God does love the sinner but He hates the sins.

We do not strike off or reject homosexuals. We do want to help and deliver them from their sinful practices and addictions through the power of God just as much as we do with drug addicts, murderers, prostitutes, cheats, thieves, exploiters and gamblers.

Homosexual practice is abnormal though done by normal people. It is their behaviour that is not right. It is unnatural and against the order of creation. No way can you say that homosexuality is normal to some people, any more than you can say that murder is normal to some people.

This issue came up at the 1998 Lambeth conference of Anglican Bishops. The homosexual lobby of some 50 or so Bishops wanted the conference of over 615 to listen to some homosexuals state their case. The Evangelical Bishops' counter argument was that they must also bring in some ex-homosexuals to state how they were delivered from their deviation, but the homosexual lobby would not agree to that.
Finally, with a majority of 550 votes, the Bishops decided that homosexuality was unacceptable according to the Bible. Those who cannot accept this orthodox position should not remain in leadership in the church, whether they are Bishops, preachers or teachers.

Rev. Canon Lakshman Peiris
Holy Trinity Church,

'Letters 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
steditor@wijeya.lk or
Please note that letters cannot be acknowledged or returned.

Back to Top  Back to Plus  

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.