Poaching in Sri Lankan waters: Double standards everywhere On September 22, I read with dismay your front and inside page stories on how Indian fishermen steal our fish in the Palk-bay and earn billions by exporting the catch.  Yet, we only make some feeble protests due to political pressure from India and intimidation from Tamil [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Letters to the editor


Poaching in Sri Lankan waters: Double standards everywhere

On September 22, I read with dismay your front and inside page stories on how Indian fishermen steal our fish in the Palk-bay and earn billions by exporting the catch.  Yet, we only make some feeble protests due to political pressure from India and intimidation from Tamil Nadu.

As a result, our fisher folk in the North continue to suffer immensely. Tamil Nadu politicians such as J. Jayalalithaa, M. Karunanidhi and Vaiko and other agitators have shed crocodile tears for the “suffering” Tamils of Sri Lanka and have assaulted Buddhist monks and pilgrims to express their solidarity with the Sri Lankan Tamil cause. While doing so, they encourage their fishermen to invade our territorial waters and steal from the very people they are trying to protect.

What is unfortunate is that our own Tamil politicians (the TNA especially) and the Bishops of Jaffna and Mannar who vociferously advocate “Tamil rights” here, speak nary a word against this daylight robbery. Only the Government, the Fisheries Ministry and the Sri Lankan Navy have taken some action in spite of all the odds stacked against our country.
However, the most significant feature is that in spite of the rape of our sea resources, the people of the North including the fisher folk, have overwhelmingly voted for the TNA at the recent provincial elections. This obviously indicates that they feel the TNA Provincial Council can do for them what the Government or the Navy has not done — that is to save their livelihood from the greedy Tamil Nadu poachers.

Now that the TNA has been given this mandate, it is up to this party to save the Northern fisher folk from the jaws of their erstwhile saviours. Since the TNA wants the security forces to withdraw from the North, the Navy should simply maintain a low profile and let the TNA-controlled PC to handle this problem. 

The people of the North will have to learn through bitter experience that they cannot have the cake (Jayalalithaa’s “so-called” help) and eat it (the fish) as well. Hopefully, they will, in time, learn who their friends are.

Cecil Dharmasena, Kandy

Three wheeler thugs rule at Senanayake Avenue, Nawala

The top of Senanayake Avenue, Nawala, leading to the Nawala-Nugegoda road is constantly blocked by a group of three wheeler thugs in their vehicles who claim that this part of the road is their ‘stand’. They also chase away any vehicle that chooses to park in ‘their area’. It has become a situation where these men have taken the law into their own hands and actually ‘police’ the top of the road according to their whims and fancies.

At night these drivers are after liquor and bang on other vehicles that are caught in a jam beside them that try to get onto the Nawala Nugegoda road, whilst urging them to move from there fast.  I would like to know how these drivers have staked a claim of Senanayake Avenue being their own and by whose authority they dictate to and threaten residents and others who try to park there.

Senanayake Avenue is a narrow road and these three wheelers hinder other vehicles entering and exiting the road at this point. Pedestrians run the risk of being knocked down due to the bottle neck the three wheeler drivers cause. Drivers run the risk of accidents due to the congestion they cause.

There are cars, lorries, vans and sometimes buses that use this narrow road. Moreover, the opposite side of the lane is also congested by cars that park there, but temporarily, as opposed to the permanent takeover by the three wheeler drivers. So this causes even more congestion.

This worsening situation has been going on for some time and the Kotte Municipal authority/Traffic Police seem to have turned a blind eye to the goings-on at Senanayake Avenue. The authorities should ask these men to vacate their vehicles with immediate effect. They should allocate a proper space for all three wheelers in the area so that they do not hinder the public and take the law into their own hands.

Also, the part of Senanayake Avenue leading to the main road should be demarcated as a no-parking area so that vehicles can turn into or exit this road safely. Over to the Mayor of Kotte/ Traffic Police to resolve this lawless situation.

Concerned Resident

So Don Manu, what else is new?

As a replay of an all too familiar dirge, I grant your literary effort a certain wasp-like relish which buzzes the senses, but what Don Manu is the burden of your song? Ranil for God’s sake go (‘the gentleman that he is’ — nice touch, Don Manu).

Who else would you have in Ranil’s place? Why not vent your acerbic writing skills to attempt to answer that question? Would you prefer the affable Mr. Jayasuriya who decimated the UNP in the first place or young Mr. Premadasa with no experience in governance?

Al Jazeera asked President Rajapaksa what vision he had for his people and he replied that he wanted them to prosper. Laudable enough, but is this all we aspire to? Ranil has vision and, as politicians go, integrity. He is tainted with the brush of playing into Prabhakaran’s hands, which runs counter to Prabhakaran having cobbled his election as President.

What Ranil and the UNP need and have needed is a good CEO, not a Brutus and a plethora of not so lean but hungry Cassiuses or for that matter scribes scrambling, go with the flow subjects, to showcase their literary skills.

Satyavrata, Colombo

Establishment Code calls for prompt reply to people’s letters

This refers to a letter under the headline “Letters to state institutions draw no response’ (The Sunday Times, September 22).
While endorsing the facts mentioned in it, I wish to add more to this issue. According to the Establishment Code (Chapter XXVIII 3:8), any communication received from a member of the public or a government department should be replied to promptly. An interim reply on Form General 108 should be sent within one week of the receipt if it is not possible to send a final reply by that time. If further delay is unavoidable an interim reply should be sent from time to time explaining the action being taken and stating when a reply may be expected.

We expect all state authorities to implement the Establishment Code to the letter for the benefit of citizens.

A.B. Gamage, Nawala

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