Letters to the Editor


Let’s have a truly ‘national’ National Anthem

Consequent to the performance of politicians and their cronies at the local government elections held on March 30 this year, it is understood that leaders of political parties will be issuing a Code of Conduct for their members not only in the local body councils but also in Parliament and the Provincial Councils.

This step is most welcome, since for too long it has been the shame of our country that some of our representatives have gone off the rails of decency, decorum and discipline both in and out of our august assemblies. The leadership should keep in mind that all tendencies on the part of any member to make hay while the sun shines, particularly by direct or devious resort to bribery and corruption, should not only be condemned but also nipped in the bud.

In the formulation of the Code of Conduct, emphasis should be laid on the necessity to sing the national anthem by all members at least once a day at proceedings of Parliament, Provincial Councils and the local councils. This may perhaps take place at the very beginning of business of each day.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the national anthem has to inspire our legislators who are drawn from the various communities to be patriotic.

The writer cannot let pass this occasion without a confession of a salient flaw observed over the years: the national anthem is sung in the Sinhala language only, which should not be so, as the reasonable use of the Tamil language has to be given its due place in accordance with the policy of the State.

Accordingly, those who do not have a sufficient knowledge of Sinhala or have no knowledge of it, will be properly inspired by singing a suitably revised national anthem. Perhaps a few lines in the Tamil language can be adopted in the present national anthem.

It is therefore submitted that our executive President should appoint a Committee consisting of a few experts drawn from the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim communities to consider and recommend a revised or new national anthem.

Some may advance an argument that no other country has a national anthem in more than one language: but we need not blindly follow other countries since it is open to us to treat the matter independently as a sovereign state.

D. Kuruneru



The sublime path

In all its brilliance the Vesak fullmoon glowed.
Heralding the birth of a great teacher ever born
To preach the Dhamma to redeem us all.

He was born a prince to a king of fame,
Suddhodana and Mahamaya were his parents’ names
All the worldly comforts and pleasures they gave,
to groom him to be the ruler of Bharate.

Seeing the sick, the dead and the strife,
He began to ponder the purpose of life,
Renounced all worldly pleasures and strived,
To find a way for eternal peace of mind.

Enlightened, enunciated the eight fold path,
to end sorrows and suffering at long last,
All living beings should follow his sublime path
To do good, be good and no evil cast.
“Sabbapapassa Akaranam
Kusalassa Upasampada


Don’t believe all that you hear and see on BBC

To the BBC, what’s sauce for the goose, is not sauce for the gander!

Anyone who has been following the BBC coverage of news would have realized how biased its reporting and coverage of events is. Its bias of coverage in the Sri Lankan conflict has been well known for decades. Too many are the events of other parts of the world to record here. Therefore, I will restrict myself to the latest suicide bombing that took place in Colombo recently.

Readers will recall the recent bombings that took place in other parts of the world destroying innocent lives. The Madrid train bombing, the numerous bombings in Israel and Iraq and even the more recent London underground train and bus bombing were either remote controlled bombs (like the claymore mines set off by the LTTE terrorist group) or suicide bombings (also akin to those used by the LTTE ). However, while all those who perpetrated such barbaric acts were referred to as ‘terrorists groups’, the BBC finds it appropriate to describe the Sri Lankan Tamil terrorists as ‘rebels’.

Is a woman suicide bomber impersonating a pregnant woman and entering the Army Hospital on Maternity Clinic day and blowing herself up taking whoever is around with her, a ‘rebel’ or a ‘terrorist’? And the English are supposed to have taught us the language!

It would be interesting if BBC would produce a separate programme describing the difference between ‘Rebels’ and ‘Terrorists’.

This kind of reporting exposes the BBC’s subtle bias and has now given viewers a fair idea as to its accuracy of news coverage worldwide. While it will not hesitate to add blame on democratically chosen governments for retaliation, strangely, it chooses to avoid criticising such acts conducted by countries like Israel. Why? It’s not difficult to figure out the answer.

While on the subject of reporting, the recent canard of the LTTE using an unknown Australian journalist/reporter to interview a supposed group of ‘Karuna’ loyalists was a joke, at least to Sri Lankans. But it’s not so for a gullible public overseas! While the Foreign Minister has aptly nailed the canard, I doubt if his comments will be given due coverage. After all, can these foreign journalists identify an LTTE cadre from a Karuna group cadre?

Even the so called Norwegian and/or Scandinavian Monitors or even visitors to this country cannot do so. Why even we Sri Lankans cannot identify the difference sometimes between Sinhalese and Tamil!

So my advice to TV viewers is watch the news, but do not be hasty in believing all you see and hear especially the BBC!

R. de Silva


Who shouts out for the rights of Dr. Hoole?

Where are those great activists of human rights on the issue of Dr. Ratnajeevan Hoole who was appointed Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna?

Dr Hoole, a highly qualified and much respected educationist, a Tamil Anglican who had the strength and courage to criticize the Government, LTTE, TNA, Sinhala extremists and the Church on issues which he felt affected human rights violations was not permitted to function in his designated position as Vice Chancellor due to LTTE threats.

These threats were of such proportion that he was compelled to leave Sri Lanka. A man with such academic distinction is rare in this country and we have lost such a man.

Those who value academic independence, right to expression, freedom of thought and conscience, value of educational integrity should be in the forefront voicing their protest to such conduct by the LTTE which has so often disturbed the educational advancment in the North.

Alas, not a word has emanated from the lips of those champions of human rights. Are they selective in the material they choose? Are they only interested in harming the image of Sri Lanka and closing their eyes to LTTE violations. There are so many organizations of human and civil rights who value academic independence, but why are they so silent?

For their own credibility and in their own interest they should raise this issue if they are interested in gaining the respect of the community. Otherwise their silence will signify the oft repeated allegation that they are on the payroll of interested foreign-funded NGOs.

J. Thangarajah
Colombo 13


Brave words but little action

As a foreigner from Germany who has lived in this beautiful country for 22 long years, I am flabbergasted by the stance of the J.V.P. and the J.H.U. at this grave and critical situation facing the nation. They have thundered and railed against Prabhakaran and the LTTE at every meeting that they will never allow Sri Lanka to be fragmented by any force on earth.

Brave words indeed! But, never did they even on one occasion undertake, to rally the youth to bolster the armed forces.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has exhorted all sections of the youth, including those from the upper crust of society, to rally round the nation and form a strong bulwark against the terrorist forces bent on destabilizing the country. During the three years of a lull in the hostilities, Prabhakaran has stealthily procured advanced weaponry to boost his armoury for the final clash.

The J.V.P. and J.H.U make no effort to encourage and recruit the necessary manpower for this critical confrontation with Prabhakaran. Where are the weerayas and the so-called patriotic youth to establish a solid bulwark against the evil forces threatening the nation?

Herman Wagner

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