Letters to the Editor


Free and fair election vital
Everybody who has a franchise to exercise in the forthcoming Presidential election, just around the corner, should cast his or her vote intelligently to elect a good President.

It is believed that there will be a good turnout on this occasion and I personally think there will be a close contest, between the PA and the UNP candidates provided no rigging or other malpractice takes place.
The most important issue that voters should consider is the lifting of the economy, which will depend on the party that has been elected to office forming a good government. For this reason, the voters should register their votes to whichever party, without fear or favour and most important, with wisdom.

They should look into how the economy in the country has fared through the process of productivity in the previous era and whether the living conditions have brought them some solace. They should look into government taxation, price hikes, harassment, bribery and corruption, transport, murder, rape etc.

The voters should not be gullible when it comes to speeches and propaganda expressed vociferously on platforms. Many governments of the past, which were elected to govern the country, had promised the people that they would not be burdened in any way and could also live a peaceful life, but none fulfilled these promises. These matters should be seriously considered, before voting.

We all hope and pray the Presidential election will be conducted peacefully, without any fraudulent activities and will not be another 'Wayamba'.

It is imperative that all candidates standing for election behave in an exemplary manner. The Election Commissioner, his staff and all police officers who are responsible for the conduct of a free and fair election, should with the highest integrity and honesty carry out their duties without fear or favour.

Gamunu D. Jayasinha

Open letter to leaders of political parties
Putting promises into practice for a better Lanka
As patriotic, rational and peace loving citizens of Sri Lanka, we who are not concerned with collecting votes, want to hear our leaders promising to upgrade and improve the following areas of national concern, if they honestly want a new Sri Lanka.

Roads: Without a good network of roads, islandwide - both in cities and rural areas, output is diminished. Transport: Disciplined bus and train services.
Telephone facilities: To be economically accessible to a majority of citizens.
Computer/cyber cafes: To be available at reasonable rates islandwide.
Drinking water: Free and safe drinking water for everyone.

Irrigation system: This nation of farmers must be given the opportunity to enjoy the gift of our forefathers - the ancient irrigation systems. The 3500 tanks in the country should be renovated and repaired. (Work opportunities - especially for the army during peace-time and also Samurdhi beneficiaries who are not physically impaired).

Electricity: Every family to have the ability to buy electricity wherever they choose to live. Explore the immense possibilities of harnessing solar energy.
Women and children: Set up centres to uplift the quality of life of women and children. Every district to have two centres at least. Strengthening the women of this nation will impact the family system. A family empowered is a nation empowered. These centres should not be run with a political flavour - giving opportunities for employment to favourites.

Educational system: The school curriculum to have a balanced approach to the growth of the child, by addressing growth in a holistic manner (mentally, physically, socially, psychologically and spiritually). This includes the practical and the technical; thus minimizing the current lop-sided approach to education.
Health: Whatever support the state offers by way of free medical aid/hospitals etc, illness caused through alcohol and tobacco use causes a severe drain on our national resources. Unless and until we address the phenomenon of alcohol, tobacco and other harmful chemical substance use, the hope of reducing poverty levels in this country is diminished. Long term steps to reduce the impact of harmful drug use are an urgent need.

Corruption: The national leader, once elected must be transparent, fearless, impartial and totally clean. Nepotism, favouritism and bias should have no place in his agenda. The first move should be to address bribery and corruption that is consuming our nation at all levels.

Promises given up to now (jobs/ fertilizer/food/Samurdhi etc) are aimed at vote catching. The electorate must now be treated as more mature and eager to move forward.

Giving further employment in the state sector will only lead to the manifestation of 'The new Ice-Age Man'.

To eliminate poverty we need to instil feelings of personal pride and a work ethic. What we have to battle is the poverty of spirit and not poverty in the material sense.

Peace-loving and Patriotic Citizen
Colombo 7

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