Golden principle to safeguard our sovereignty
Those looking for a straightforward path to ensure the sovereignty of the people should try the golden Constitutional principle followed during the Donoughmore period: and that is to disallow any draft Bill to be included in the Order Paper of the Legislative until that Bill is published on two separate days in the Government Gazette.

Discerning citizens should insist that the authorities follow this golden principle.
I am 88 years old.

D. Kuruneru
(SL. Adm. S (retd)

Why pray in Pali?
We have celebrated the 2,600th Anniversary of Buddhism. This is an opportune time to ask why we continue to use a foreign language, Pali, in following Buddhism.

Our parents compelled us to memorise Pali texts, even though we did not understand the meaning. These words meant nothing to us. For generations, no one had the courage to declare publicly that this practice should change.

Why should we cling to the age-old tradition of worshipping Lord Buddha in Pali? In the Kalama Sutra, the Lord Buddha says we should not accept something just because it is a tradition or a custom.The Buddhist clergy should begin the huge task of translating all the relevant precepts into Sinhala and Tamil.

Dr. D. Malwatte Mohotti

Dancing in the dark
Telephone complaints regarding defective street lamps (call 2693427) are answered by a peon who promises to record the complaint. However, no action follows.

It takes two to three months and about 30 telephone calls from the day of the initial complaint to get a street lamp working even for a short period.

May I urge the Municipal Councillor to ensure that street lamps are in working order. Alternatively, outsource the service, as in the case of garbage collection. No street in Colombo should be left in darkness even for a single night.

A. H. Kumar
Havelock Town

Cricket then and now
Long ago, the wicket was not covered when it rained, and batsmen had to cope with a “glue-pot”, making batting difficult. The bats and balls were different, and the ground was uneven and bereft of grass. Conditions were altogether unlike those prevailing now. Comparisons therefore are not only pointless but odious.

The “Wonderful Team of Champions”, compiled by the ICC, has four Indians, no doubt good cricketers.
Any combination of players can be described as “The Best”. One has to discover the selectors’ modus operandi. Just as the degree of a lie is defined in “lies, damn lies and statistics”, we could say “players, umpires and selectors”, or even “people, priests and politicians”.

Dion J. Walles

A rarely remembered truly patriotic politician
I write regarding the late T.B. Illangaratne, whom, today everybody has forgotten, even the present-day politicians. During the 1960s, Mr. Illangaratne was the Trade Minister under the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Government. He is the only Minister who brought in the revolution of nationalisation for the benefit of the poor masses. He did not give into any pressure from foreign companies and Governments who were swindling the monies of our country. He is the only Minister who honestly worked for the country. He nationalised the following foreign companies and also introduced legislation for the benefit of the working population.

Some of his many acts include:

  • Nationalisation of Insurance and starting the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation. Most of the insurance companies were foreign-owned and all the monies were taken away by them.
  • Nationalisation of petroleum industry and establishing the Petroleum Corporation. At that time foreign American owned oil companies (Shell & Caltex) were in operation. Due to the nationalisation crude oil is being brought refined and sold.
  • He started the People’s Bank, and today we have over 260 branches all over the country providing several thousand jobs.
  • He introduced the E.P.F. scheme and today the entire working population is benefited.
  • He started the CWE, which was the sole establishment where goods were sold at low rates.

I do not think even the employees of People’s Bank today know who established the Bank in which they were able to serve, which has grown to an extent where several thousands were found employment. People’s Bank is celebrating 50 years, but no mention of the founder has been made.

We, the people of this country, should salute this statesman and patriot and hope the Government even at this late stage would remember and honour him.

M. Zeera
Colombo 10

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