Curfew: More questions than answers The general public needs to know who is making the decisions, as well as the underlying rationale, regarding the curfew regulations now in force. It is clear that the curfew is not being implemented properly and fairly. All sorts of people have been roaming around freely since the curfew was [...]


Letters to the Editor


Curfew: More questions than answers

Colombo: Curfew pass being checked. Pic by Sameera Weerasekera

The general public needs to know who is making the decisions, as well as the underlying rationale, regarding the curfew regulations now in force.

It is clear that the curfew is not being implemented properly and fairly. All sorts of people have been roaming around freely since the curfew was first imposed- politicians and their families, ruling party workers, armed forces personnel, food distributors, as well as sundry individuals with curfew passes. Have all these people been tested for the virus before they were given permission to be out on the streets?

I read that all lawyers are also being given curfew passes. Why? I was unaware that lawyers counted as essential service workers. Have they been tested for the coronavirus? Shouldn’t all lawyers with a social conscience protest the unfairness of this ruling?

I also understand that next week only those with specific IDs will be permitted to enter shops on a specific day. Are those who check our IDs going to be staying three feet away from us? If not, what purpose does such a regulation serve? And how will it prevent congestion inside?

Surely a more reasonable way to prevent congestion would be to keep all food shops and pharmacies open every day and allow anybody to enter, provided they are wearing masks and keeping to social distancing guidelines. Such regulations can be posted in all three languages outside all shops and pharmacies.

 Dr. Vinoth Ramachandra   Via email

The human spirit will not be kept down in these days of lockdown

With the coronavirus affecting people worldwide, the news is pretty bleak each day. Everyone is facing hard and difficult times. Here in California as it is everywhere else, streets are almost desolate, as residents remain in quarantine.

We miss the sound of busy streets. Malls and shops remain closed. We miss the folks and the faces we see every day. Only the hospitals remain open, staffed with doctors and nurses, on their repeated shifts. We see hospital staff spend hours taking care of patients, fighting this dreaded COVID-19, despite the fears of getting the disease themselves. They have a job to do, ministering to human beings who have been struck down by this dreaded illness. Many retired professionals have volunteered to work in harm’s way helping in this crisis.

New York city is the hardest hit by the pandemic. We watch the news daily and see the many casualties of COVID-19. Families and friends have endured losing loved ones. The coronavirus has caused much uncertainty, and fear. Yet at this time we see human spirit at its best. We witness the love and empathy of friends and families and even strangers, and the impact it has on us. We see people across New York share a moment of camaraderie during these challenging times. Neighbours open their windows to collectively celebrate the hard work and selfless dedication of first responders at the front lines. They use pots, pans, bells, whistles, trombones and violins, to show their gratitude, some of them singing, heartfelt songs, even arias with pure emotion to hospital staff and volunteers. They wave “hello” to each other from one side of the street to the other. A single wave, a friendly gesture from a distance seems to ever so slightly restore that sense of normalcy.

A sixth grader in North Carolina, asked a math question from her teacher on the phone. The teacher went that extra mile to explain in person while practising social distancing from outside this student’s front door. Some teachers read books on facetime to their little students, and have a nightly chat with them.

These are the stories we see each day that uplift the human spirit. Teachers, friends and neighbours come up with a whole lot of innovative ideas at times like this.  Each of us now will be who we choose to be. We can be someone who calls on neighbours and friends, to makes sure they are okay and are not in need. We will gravitate towards the best of who we are capable of being, or we can stumble into the dark corners of who we should never be.

We cannot go around shaking hands as we usually do, nevertheless we can go around being kind and thoughtful. We believe in the goodness of human beings, and the elixir of compassion that is extended by people we hear and see in the news. In a town in Iowa, a distillery is making hand sanitizers and giving it away free to those who need it. Acts of such generosity abound in many places.

We are in uncharted waters, yet there are many acts of love and kindness that take place on a daily basis. Kindness to the elderly, the sick and the lonely, to fill their empty days, to assuage their loneliness and fears. The goodness of mankind will always conquer evil even in the most dire of circumstances.

 Charmaine Candappa   Via email

For our soldier 

Dedicated to all veterans and their families

Today’s the day
We’ve all been waiting
There’s so much to say
So many hearts racing

Welcome home son
We’re so proud of you brother
I’ve waited so long love
We have you to ourselves now father

The Almighty has brought you home
Bruised and scarred but pure and whole
It’s been a long hard road
We’ve seen the years take their toll

You’ve bravely served our country
From East to West and North to South
And been declared the victor
Having looked inside war’s ugly mouth.

You’ve inspired your men
Leading from the front
Of bullets, shrapnel and mines
You’ve often taken the brunt

For your fallen boys
We’ve seen you mourn
For the tragedy of lost lives
You’ve felt you must atone

We’ve watched you rise
And seen you fall
We still remember the times
We waited anxiously for your call

But now you’re home with us
We don’t plan to let you go
As always we will love and support you
By your side we will face any foe

A grateful nation salutes you
To them you’re a soldier no more
But our brave warrior you will always be
The depth of our pride and joy you’ll never know

Stephanie Nugara

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