Why the enforcement of lane law is bound to fail The proposal to hurriedly introduce strict law enforcement in lane discipline when the existing system is so faulty, will only end up as yet  another unexpected source of revenue to the government while indiscipline on our roads will remain the same. It will only make [...]


Letters to the Editor


Why the enforcement of lane law is bound to fail

The proposal to hurriedly introduce strict law enforcement in lane discipline when the existing system is so faulty, will only end up as yet  another unexpected source of revenue to the government while indiscipline on our roads will remain the same. It will only make a poor group poorer as a result of having to pay heavy fines for no reason.

In Singapore for example, not taking into account the many other developed countries, fines are imposed on drivers who have been trained in the practice of lane discipline before they are allowed to use main roads. The Highway Code itself explains all about lane discipline which is not our case. Main roads are never used for training in these countries as in Sri Lanka.

At the time I received training in Singapore in 1988 there was a Training Centre called SSDC (Singapore Safe Driving Centre) run by the Honda Company of Japan and the private sector of Singapore, situated on a 40 AC block of land where all road signs and markings etc. were  shown. It involved both theory and practical training. It is only after the successful completion of that training is a driver is allowed to use the main roads.

On my return, arrangements were made to hold an exhibition using a physical model that explained all about lane discipline. Two such exhibitions were held at the OPA in 2000 as well as 2003. How these efforts were  sabotaged is now history. How many innocent lives of men, women and children even unborn have been lost since then only statics will show.

Basically most of our roads are not designed to accommodate the rules of lane discipline for which the minimum number of lanes should be three per carriageway (six lanes in all). If not, criss-crossing from one lane to another is inevitable.

Most of our roads signs have blatant errors. For example the overhead sign at the entry to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte says “Welcome to the Capital City of Kotte……….” This is seen when entering as well as when leaving the capital city. Yet another road sign at Asiri Junction where a left turn lane is provided, says “No left turn”.

Finally it must be said that the implementation of lane discipline is a subject that should come under a group called “Traffic Engineers” and the enforcement of the law only under the Police. This group of engineers is totally conspicuous by their absence.

So Sri Lanka has a long way to go before thinking of enforcing lane laws related to lane discipline without harassing the ignorant and untrained drivers with unbearable fines.

 Eng. Anton Nanayakkara   Via email

Who will speak up for the Malays in these times of peril?

One of the most affected but silently suffering communities in the country after the April 21st terrorist attacks is the Sri Lankan Malay community. When Muslims as a whole were targeted by a section of extremists the Malays buried their heads in the sand like the proverbial ostrich, believing that they are safe anywhere in the country – that their most friendly attitude towards all other communities would save them from any harm. Many Malay households had ex-servicemen or their descendants who sacrificed their lives defending the nation.

We know that not a single member of our community has been directly or indirectly involved in those barbaric acts against innocent members of our brother community. But sadly, when it came to retaliation from certain extremists, we Malays too were targeted.

When unruly mobs began attacking Muslims in several areas, Malays were treated in the same manner as their Moor brothers; unlike Moors, our community absolutely had no politician to turn to for solace. This is the reality of being a Muslim Malay in this country.

The fact that our community has no one to take any sort of leadership role at a time of calamity and the absence of a single Malay representative in Parliament has placed the community in a most vulnerable situation, especially those living in remote areas.

 Anver Kamiss   Via email

It’s my fundamental right to get a reply in English

I don’t know melo deyak,  singheleying nan, ona deyak

Very strange, yet very true and real is the above. I wrote to the Consumer Affairs Authority making a complaint about a product of which I have been a regular user.

My complaint was about a costly defective spray and that this manufacturer or marketer has not given a contact number like other brands have done.

With great difficulty I got a telephone number and my several calls to this company went unanswered.

Then I sent a registered letter in English to the  CAA with a copy to the postal address of this company, dated March 26, stating the facts.

On June 17  I receive a registered  letter in Sinhala, a language that I am unable to read or write. Now I am compelled to return this letter to the CAA and request for an English translation.

So many moons have gone and yet the CAA is unable to send me an English translation which is an infringement of my right.

 Walter Fernando   Ratmalana

He stood out during the PSC hearings

This note is in reference to the evidence given by J.J. Ratnasiri, Secretary to the Public Administration Ministry before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), a few days ago.

Mr.  Ratnasiri stood out in a class by himself in the PSC proceedings.  His clear answers to the questions posed to him by the PSC were in sharp contrast to the convoluted questions by the PSC. The intelligence, clarity of expression and the clinically correct demeanour displayed by Mr. Ratnasiri at the interview in that room were of a high calibre. These qualities stood out against the parallel traits displayed by members of the PSC. There was no clear articulation on their part due perhaps to convoluted ideas when framing long questions. This difference noted may be due to the possible difference in the agendas of the PSC and the Secretary to the Public Administration Ministry.

Frank de Silva   Narahenpita

Don’t make  excuses for our  cricketing debacle

Come on Asantha De Mel let’s admit that our cricketers are not performing. Don’t give flimsy excuses. The entire team has to be reorganised ASAP. This includes the coaches and the managers.

They are enjoying foreign trips when our team is losing at a rate.

Brig. Neville Fernando  Colombo 6


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