Letters to the Editor


Rights groups have double standards

We are aware of the peculiar roles played by global human rights organisations. They pontificate on human rights only to small, poor Third World countries like Sri Lanka.
Some of these organisations based in America and Britain have wasted no time in publishing lengthy reports on rights violations in Sri Lanka. Some of them have even visited the country to report on violations. About two years ago, President Chandrika Kumaratunga was questioned at length on the subject by the BBC.
But these rights organisations do not question powerful countries. After September 11, 2001, the US launched a campaign to ferret out the elusive Osama bin Laden and mercilessly bombarded Afghanistan, killing thousands of innocent people including children and maiming many others.
Strangely though, not a single cry of protest was raised by these organisations over the devastation and destruction perpetrated by the US. They were deaf, dumb and blind to the murder and mayhem. Why these double standards?
More recently, the Bush-Blair combination acted in defiance of the United Nations and world opinion and launched a war on Iraq. Reports presented to the UN Security Council by the UN inspection team proved conclusively that there was no justification for war. UN Resolution No. 1441 clearly rejected the automatic use of force.
The war, without the approval of the UN Security Council, only revealed the naked aggression of the US-UK alliance.
The war was a crime against humanity, a morally and legally indefensible act which reduced Iraq to rubble and the populace to utter despair.
As always the case, these so-called human rights organisations went into hibernation.
President Bush feared that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction which will be used to attack America. However no such weapons were found in Iraq according to the weapons inspectors. US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others then said that there were around 4,000 more sites to be checked. What a ridiculous argument.
Is the manufacture of such weapons a cottage industry in Iraq! Where are the human rights organisations?
M. Azhar Dawood

Killing a killer is murder

I am opposed to the implementation of the death penalty for grave crimes.
Life sentence, hard labour, fasting (without lunch thrice a week), no visitors for a longer period are some of the substitutes for the death penalty.
Life is given to man by God and only God has the right to take life away from man. Man has no right to take away the life of another man. And if he does, he commits murder. If the government implements the death penalty, the leaders of the country will be committing murder.
Often a person commits a crime due to unpleasant and unwanted circumstances. Such situations have to be taken into consideration. There is always the possibility of the conversion of a criminal. Prison authorities should conduct intensive rehabilitation programmes for prisoners to make them good human beings.
Let us treat human beings, whoever they are, like human beings. Otherwise we are not worthy to be called human beings.
Fr. Gregory Leonidas
Prison Chaplain,

Mahela could become a world class cricketer

Why is Sri Lanka sliding down in cricket since the World Cup of 1996?
Though we have had famous coaches, the cricketers are still not upto mark. Otherwise, why hasn't Mahela Jayawardena's habit of taking his eyes off the ball just a second or two before it makes contact with the bat been corrected? This should have been corrected in the initial stages. Now he plays blind shots and gives catches from the tip of the bat to the keeper and slips or plays the ball back to the bowler.
A good batsman never plays the ball up but keeps it down along the ground. If this fault is corrected Mahela could become a world class batsman like Aravinda or Sachin.
Take the case of Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama in the best match in Test cricket history - the first match between Sri Lanka and India at the SSC grounds in 1997. Both Sanath and Roshan batted for two full days and went into the third. We scored over 900 runs, Sanath, a treble century and Mahanama, a double century. Perfect concentration and watching the ball.
These video clippings and others of famous batsmen should be shown to our cricketers at practice several times a week. Remember how Duleep Mendis clobbered top class bowler Ian Botham at Lords and Botham exclaimed that he did not know how to bowl to Duleep!
As Mahela is still very young and cool headed, this habit can be corrected.
V.K.B. Ramanayake

Plight of upright public service pensioners

A few upright public servants who did not bend forwards or backwards to suit the whims of politicians retired honourably at 55, despite the loss of annual increments and reduced pensions. Before 1984, pensions were calculated on 60% of the last drawn salary. These public servants had no court to appeal to and some awaited a change of government to get compensated by securing a corporation job.
However, a few are still suffering due to premature retirement. Although the UNF government has promised to abolish the pension anomalies of these unfortunate public servants, no action has been take so far.
A Victim

Use the Indian credit line to boost industry

The newspapers report that the government is importing 400 motor vehicles for the use of the police. This will be in addition to whatever transport they have at present.
Instead of 400 jeeps, half of them could have been motorcycles, which would have cost less to purchase and very much less to operate.
With regard to the Indian line of credit, I was amused that it is being used mainly to import vehicles for MPs. There was no objection to this because even the opposition MPs benefit.
It is common knowledge that those who obtain these duty-free vehicles are financed by rich businessmen, who pay a little santhosam to the officials who pass the vehicles on to such godfathers for a not inconsiderable santhosam. I have been driven in one such vehicle 10 or 15 years ago.
Why is it that the government did not use this line of credit to import machinery for the manufacture of goods, which have a market in Sri Lanka and, perhaps, in the world. Such a move will generate hundreds of jobs in several parts of the country.
D.T.H. De Mel
Colombo 5

Have faith in God, for He never fails

This refers to a letter by Mr. Edirisinghe headlined 'Everything happens with the knowledge and authority of God' (The Sunday Times, April 6).
Man has to obey God's law and the law of nature. A mad scientist inspired by Satan wanted to play God and created a human clone. The church objected to it.
According to the Bible the end of the world is near that's why all these strange things are happening. How people should live in this world and respect everyone is already stated in the Bible.
So God does not come anywhere near the misdeeds done by 21st century man who has no respect or spiritual insight or fear of God, but tries to be smarter than God. But all these modern technologies fail in the face of disaster. The recent space shuttle tragedy proved this. All these experiments are shortlived. So brothers, do have faith in God. He never fails.
Mark Perera

Big stink on the road

A large heap of garbage accumulates daily at the place where Sri Bodhirukkarama Road falls onto Saranankara Road.
Although residents have informed the authorities about this, no action has been taken so far. Garbage is heaped up at this place as there are no containers to dump it. The truck which collects the garbage only stops at this place and does not come to most of the houses in the area.
The garbage has turned into a breeding ground for flies and mosquitoes. The residents are appealing to the Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council to take action to rid Saranankara Road of this rubbish dump.
Concerned Residents

Three years for one km

Three years ago, the Road Development Authority began widening W.A. Silva Mawatha in Wellawatte. Land was acquired and the front portions of houses and shops demolished. But the roadwork on less than one kilometre is never ending.
It is also an eyesore with heaps and heaps of debris everywhere. Lamp-posts and telephone posts have not been shifted. There are open pits all over, making the road a death trap. The area is covered with dust and buildings have to be colour-washed regularly. Children suffer from coughs and colds all the time. Compensation has also not been paid for the acquired land.
This is how Sri Lanka is implementing a development project in the heart of Colombo in the 21st century. What is the delay in finishing this project?
T.Q. Fernando
Colombo 6

'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
editor@sundaytimes.wnl.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.
Contact us: | Editorial | | Webmaster|