Thank you for tackling this mammoth task I, as a member of the public, would like to place on record, the gratitude I bear to the team led by the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Dr. Anil Jasinghe, the Director General of Health Services (DGHS), Lt. Gen. Shavendra De Silva and others, for having controlled effectively [...]


Letters to the Editor


Thank you for tackling this mammoth task

I, as a member of the public, would like to place on record, the gratitude I bear to the team led by the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Dr. Anil Jasinghe, the Director General of Health Services (DGHS), Lt. Gen. Shavendra De Silva and others, for having controlled effectively the spread of the coronavirus up to now. It was a mammoth task and professionally handled. It also highlights their professionalism.

News anchors of the electronic media  are not aware that the discerning public are  interested as to, who and where,  each day are found as new victims of the coronavirus. The public could then assess whether community spread has occurred. The results, the dates, the numbers tested, the groups tested and findings in tests on random samples of the community must be made public by the DGHS whom we can rely on. Personally I know it would be very difficult to hide bad results from the doctor population, the ‘grape vine’ that it is.

Fake news is abundant on all media, because of a frenzy to be the first to bring it out because it helps the agenda of the media organization concerned. Verification of what comes out, however, needs to be a mandatory policy. Many members who are standing upright in this crisis are targets of unjustified character assassination .

With alarm bells ringing  at the number of   COVID-19 victims among  those arriving from abroad, should not the cabins of aircraft bringing them be sanitized by the now proven viricidal powers of (harmless to humans) UV Light C (wave length 222)?

This may safeguard those not infected on board.

Dr. Channa Ratnatunga    Via email

Tackling the transport problem as life limps back

In the light of the deadly ‘Corona virus’, we need to find long term solutions to alleviate the problem of transport of office workers and school children in conditions that will not bring about ‘community transmission’.

The following simple, cost saving steps could be implemented after convincing the respective trade unions of the dire long-term need for a ‘paradigm shift’ in our lifestyles.

Office workers

1)             Deploy them in their respective offices closest to their residences within the district. This will reduce inter-district travel and employees also will save time, energy and money while getting the opportunity to engage in better family life and part- time earning activities such as cultivation.

2)             Introduce flexi-hours for both public and private sector workers. This will reduce rush hour traffic, ‘over-loading’ and traffic congestion resulting in fuel saving and better time management.

3)             Expand current arrangements for ‘working from home’ by embracing technology and giving targets/ assignments. This will improve productivity of staff while reducing over-loading and traffic congestion.

4)             Make train/bus season tickets available on- line or for purchase at designated supermarkets/shops as is done in other countries so that the work load and the health risk to the conductor/ticket collector can be drastically reduced. In many countries the issue of tickets is handled by the driver.

5)             Factories/public/private sector institutions can be encouraged with incentives to provide van/bus transport to their employees wherever possible.

When the above steps are implemented, the transport sector, would be in a position to deliver a satisfactory service to the commuters.


1)             The elusive policy requirement to send children to schools in their locality has to be implemented forthwith. This will surely reduce traffic congestion on the main roads. In that scenario, the school bus/van service can be confined to the locality and the need for parents to drop their children at school before leaving to office will also become redundant.  Parents/children will face lesser travelling risks and save time and money which can be spent on studies, homework and extra-curricular activities.

2)             Schools should adjust their opening times in keeping with the flexi-office hours of the public/private sectors.

I am confident the President who possesses the political will and professional skill, will implement these measures which will improve our security, health safety, productivity and discipline leading to a prosperous Sri Lanka.

Bernard Fernando   Moratuwa

COVID-19 and a time for reflection

It entered our world silently
We carried on watching it surreptitiously
“Thank God it has nothing to do with us,” we said
And thanked our lucky stars before going to bed
Yet, as we watched, it came closer
And descended upon us causing us to quiver and shudder.

Now many months on still in lockdown
Have we been shaken, fearful, confused or bowed down?
Are we asking how long?
Or when will ‘normal’ be reborn?
Have I used these days for self reflection
Or simply hoping for a vaccine or injection?

What was, ……was
The now, is what it is
The future I have no control over
Let me see if we, yes we, can be better the world over
Deep within God speaks to my heart
“It’s time to change,” He whispers, so sit you awhile apart
Pondering still and on deeper reflection I see what can be
Each of us transformed and oh, so, so much better you see.

Reclaiming creation in its beauty and grandeur
Being stewards of our earth in ways we can render
Treating each other with love and respect
Reaching to the other with compassion and no regret
Stopping our madness of busyness and squander
Rather slowing down to care and to be found oh so much kinder
Being my brother’s keeper, never counting the cost
Learning contentment, with much, much less.

So COVID-19 thank you for lessons taught
As I’ve looked at myself and our world, with new eyes and a heart
Keep changing me O God and transform my thinking
Life’s never been about me, but about You, and my neighbours
Grow our world and its people into a ‘ new normal ‘
Where neighbour and neighbour the whole world over
Will stop suspicion and embrace the good
When life is never about stocking up our food.
May compassion and kindness be our creed
In a world that for too long has been lost in greed!

Sarla Williams   Via email

It’s a shame that children grow up wondering who really is the Sri Lankan hero

In last Sunday’s Editorial ‘Victory for All’, it was stated “COVID-19 or not, the new Government was not going to let go an opportunity to ‘celebrate’ an anniversary commemorating the defeat of the LTTE,” and indeed they did just that! Paying tribute to ALL those who contributed towards the victory would have seen a more meaningful celebration. If the Sunday Times’ 5th Column can pay tribute to the ‘Unknown Soldier’ why is it that our leaders continue to forget to do so?

My disappointment continues. I was aghast to see government media blurring Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka whenever he appeared in a documentary on the war.  I am glad the Field Marshal declined the invitation to attend the Victory Day ceremony. Why should he when the present lot would have used his presence for political gain. Would they have paid tribute to a man who was on the battlefield at the time of victory?

This is not however the reason for writing to the Editor. As a patriotic citizen of this country, I reflect time and again how successive governments wipe out their predecessors. Their contribution to the country is never mentioned. It is always the current regime that wants the glory. In glorifying themselves, our children have lost the mentoring spirit. They grow up wondering who really is the Sri Lankan hero or, who is the Sri Lankan most admired and respected. Whether they be scientists, literary figures, artists, or a citizen of this island who has independently contributed something for community and country, they are not acknowledged or respected unless it is a political win.

What a shame for the next generation. They might as well look to mentors from another country as Sri Lanka has denied them their history and culture. Shame on ALL politicians for doing so and shame on being so selfish.

Encarta   Via email

Stagger voting over five days

Our letter to the Editor of March 29 proposed using the last digit of the National ID to stagger people’s movements for shopping and other essential needs.  We were pleasantly surprised to see a similar scheme implemented a month later, dividing the population into five groups based on the last digit of the NIC to shop on each of the five weekdays.

We now suggest that a similar procedure be used to stagger voting at the General Elections over five days. That is, voting is conducted at the usual polling booths. However, they are open for five days for voting, with the last digit of the NIC determining the people who vote on a particular day. In this way, social distancing and other COVID-19 public health precautions can be taken, but only requires the same number of people to be on election duty for five days instead of one.

In our view, this is a simpler and more cost-effective option than either opening more polling booths to reduce congestion or conducting elections in different districts on different days.

Lankan Citizen   Via email


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