Plus - Letters to the editor

What’s wrong with the old road names?

A number of readers have complained about the changing of long accepted road names. I have yet to see a letter that supports the practice. This letter is to highlight an aspect not previously brought up.

Quite often, roads are named after living persons, such as Lester James Pieris Road, formerly Dickman’s Road, Colombo 4. I wonder whether the estimable individual, who may not personally have sought the name change, ever thought about the feelings of Dickman’s Road residents who loved the original name of their road.

In the case of living persons, no name can be used without the consent of the individual to be thus honoured. I urge the authorities to not allow changes to long-established road names. Name changes are confusing and irritating, and entail expenses (change of name-boards, re-printing of letterheads, etc).

To re-name roads and remove references to historic colonial personages who have done a service to this country (such as Havelock or Dickman) only shows a lack of appreciation of our history and reflects a banana republic mind-set.

In Singapore, they have no hang-ups about their colonial heritage. In fact, they lovingly preserve the old colonial road names.

Charitha P. de Silva, Via email

Doctor was a tower of strength

I would be failing in my duty as a patient if I do not express my appreciation of the exemplary service of the doctors of the Vascular Unit of the Kandy Hospital. I was in Ward 17 recently, with a wound that would not heal. The result was that I had to have a toe amputated at Kurunegala Teaching Hospital.

The kind-hearted doctors of the Vascular Unit are dedicated and compassionate. I was fortunate to come under the care of a kind surgeon, who diagnosed my problem as the result of an insufficient flow of blood into the wound area. The remedy was either to locate an alternate artery or amputate my leg. The surgeon summoned my family and explained the situation.

Despite his efforts, he could not find an artery suitable for the purpose, and he had no choice but to amputate my leg. This kind surgeon was a tower of strength to me during this crisis.

M. Gunaratne, Kurunegala

CPC chairman was only doing his duty when he called for a settlement of debts

The editorial, headlined “Treasury acting like the Kremlin” (Sunday Times, March 4, 2012), refers to the highly questionable way Ceylon Petroleum Corporation acting chairman Wasantha Ekanayake was removed from his post by the Treasury. His crime? Calling for a settlement of outstanding debts.

As chairman, he was only doing his duty when he asked SriLankan Airlines, Mihin Lanka, the CEB, among other institutions, to pay up. Mr. Ekanayake, a former Finance Ministry senior official, should be praised for his courageous actions.

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is suffering a colossal financial loss. The chairman’s reward for putting pressure on errant debtors was to be sent to the Siberia of the public service.

The Treasury is headed by P. B. Jayasundera, a controversial figure who was subject to a court decision but has the blessings of the Head of State. It seems that no one is taking responsibility for the sudden removal of Mr. Wasantha Ekanayake – neither the Minister in charge, nor the Cabinet of Ministers.

This is supposed to be a democracy. We see no change for the better in good governance. The adage “don’t knock your head against a rock” is very appropriate for these times. Some of these rocks are legacies of the sycophants who run the government, and not the Cabinet of Ministers.

The bitter truth is that Mr. Ekanayake was removed from his post as chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation in order to create a servile public service that serves the political needs of the powers that be. The consequences will damage not only the public service but the entire nation.

Lionel Caldera, Battaramulla

Long wait for insurance officer

I was on my way to visit a sick person. Somewhere near Homagama town, a heavy tipper attempted to overtake my car at a narrow section of the road. The tipper hit and damaged the right rear door and rear panel of my car.

I called my insurer and was instructed to wait at the scene until the technical officer arrived, and to detain the tipper driver. There was no shade, and I had to wait by the car in scorching sun and sweltering heat, and put up with the stares and insults of passing motorists who said I was obstructing them. I waited for more than 20 minutes. When the insurance officer arrived, he took another 20 minutes to complete the documentation and take photos, and so on.

I later came to know that there are insurance companies that treat their customers with respect and do their job efficiently. The vehicle owner is spared the inconvenience of hanging around for ages at the scene of the mishap.

On-the-spot service is a waste of the driver’s time. The insurance company seems indifferent to the driver’s plight. They are only interested in establishing the facts of the incident. A female driver is especially vulnerable if she is made to wait long in an isolated area till the insurance officer arrives.

Disappointed Motorist

Enjoy the peace dividend

Know, ye blockheads,
Prices go up and down –
That’s the eternal law
Of supply and demand.

Pray don’t make noises,
Ye NGO-funded rabble-rousers –
Allow us to enjoy
Our hard-earned peace.

Countrymen –
You are the kings
Of this blessed land,
Crowned in grand style
And with pageantry.

If you are hungry,
Eat some parippu
with patriotism
(Rajiv Gandhi is not around
to give it free)
And enjoy the peace
Dividend, as we do.

G. Liyanagama

Fuel price shock

I am shocked that the price of kerosene has gone up by Rs. 35 per litre, while petrol has gone up by only Rs. 12 per litre.

If former Finance Minister, the late Dr. N. M. Perera (double doctorate in Political Science Parliamentary procedure), were alive, it would be the other way around: kerosene would have gone up by Rs. 12 and petrol by Rs. 35. The late Minister’s first thought was for the downtrodden masses.

Retired Teacher, Chunnakam

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