Death penalty: Making a storm in a teacup without understanding issue Dear Don Manu. I read your ‘Sunday punch’ in the Sunday Times of July 15. I am writing this, to prove the comments by our Archbishop, Ranjith Malcolm as reasonable and correct on the death penalty issue. You seemed to have really got upset, [...]


Letters to the Editor


Death penalty: Making a storm in a teacup without understanding issue

Dear Don Manu.

I read your ‘Sunday punch’ in the Sunday Times of July 15. I am writing this, to prove the comments by our Archbishop, Ranjith Malcolm as reasonable and correct on the death penalty issue. You seemed to have really got upset, just because these comments came from none other than the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church. You have made a ‘storm-in-a-teacup’ over this.

It is a pity you have not grasped the deep thinking of a person who agrees with implementing the death penalty. Those who agree with the death penalty are those who have a deep feeling for humanity; Those who want and wish others to live in peace and tranquility; Those who know what human suffering and poverty is. One who knows the trauma, anguish and sorrow and suffering of a mother, whose only 6-year-old daughter has been raped brutally and murdered and dumped in a muddy field.

Instead of trying to find out why one wants the death penalty, you have used your column to ridicule the Archbishop. In the first instance the Archbishop never said directly “I welcome the death penalty”.

On what basis do you say he agreed ‘without any reasons or rhyme’? Everybody has their reasons when they give their opinion.

Let’s analyse the death penalty issue:

Now if a census or a referendum is taken not only in
Sri Lanka but in every country around the world asking who is for and who is against the death penalty, obviously the majority vote will be ‘for the death penalty’. Therefore, the majority cannot be wrong. It shows that people have had enough of suffering from a few.

Human rights groups, some religious groups and others who are against the death penalty have not obviously grasped the seriousness of the vicious problems. To those who believe that the death penalty has no effect on stopping these kinds of crime or is not a deterrent, I would explain as follows:

1) Of course, enforcing the death penalty will not completely stop for example the drug menace but the menace will drastically drop (eg Saudi Arabia). It is definitely a deterrent. The laws and the police in a country are only a deterrent and will not stop crime completely. The state of a criminal’s mind is such that when he knows the consequences are not severe, he tends to commit and continue in more crime. Imagine a country without a police force and no law and order. The criminals will really ‘go-to-town’.

Some argue that it is unethical or inhumane to take another’s life. Maybe they think a life of a human is very valuable. Is it? Consider the following:

Are all life forms on this planet valuable and equal on the same scale? Due to religious teachings some will agree. But it is not so. Undoubtedly, human life is more superior, more valuable than other forms of life. That’s the reason humans had the right to kill other forms of life to feed themselves and exist. That’s why they have the right to kill other forms of life like mosquitoes, flies, rodents etc in order to exist. Now is all human life valuable and equal in one scale? No, for example the life of a wicked, vicious criminal or an uneducated fool or mad man is not equal or valuable as that of a genius who has done a lot of good for the human race.

Therefore, the life of a particular human who by his actions brings misery, sorrow, hardship and is a nuisance and a curse and a hindrance to the rest of the society, must be eliminated for the betterment of other humans as much as we remove and burn the weeds, that choke the useful plants.

 B. Joseph  Wattala

Time to tackle these unreasonable protests

Inconveniencing the public: An ambulance blocked in its path during a protest in Colombo

Cashing in on the freedom of speech granted by this Government, various people are unfoundedly and meaninglessly crying foul around the country. Diverse groups whose desire to come to the limelight was suppressed by the previous rule of Machiavellian force have begun to capitalize on the unprecedented freedom allowed by this Government to display their heroism.
Strikes and protests are staged arbitrarily and unreasonably and always there are demonstrations on the road ultimately inconveniencing the public.
The attention of the law-enforcing departments should be drawn to this destructive obstinacy and a code of ethics should be imposed to regulate this crucial component of democracy. Otherwise, Sri Lanka will be in the bad books of the international community.

Gayan Hettiarachchi  Bulathsinhala

Govt. seems to be doing very little to tackle UN report on malnourishment in SL

Nearly one in four people in Sri Lanka live below the internationally recognized poverty level, a United Nations report that measured income levels in 2016 has said.

The UN standard measures poverty as an income of less than about Rs 400 a day.

According to these findings a quarter of Sri Lankans are malnourished.

This is a very serious situation. The average income of a politician is about Rs. 7000 per day or more.

Something has to be done very early to correct this situation. A poverty elimination or reduction programme was started by this Government but we do not hear of anything happening.

It is very sad to note that none of the politicians talk  about the need to reduce poverty. They are more interested in developing their political party and in the next presidential election. They are more worried about their duty-free car permit. They shout  against private education. Many politicians are encouraging student unrest in universities, using students to achieve their political objectives. They are more focused on getting a high post – of Minister, Deputy Minister or State Minister post.

Many politicians fight for the salary problems of Government and private sector employees. But they have completely forgotten about the people living below the poverty level.

We request the politicians and the senior Government officials to do something effective to eradicate poverty in our country.

 D. Weeratunga  Nugegoda

Of fading stars and shooting stars

World Cup football 2018,
two aspects.
Some stars shine ‘suremore’,
Slip may one evening late to fore,
to gleam and more to upscore amidst the roar.

An occasional unruly shooting star,
may run his end in a red gleaming scar
and his path shown to fade, distances far!

Jayamini Seneviratne   Via email

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