Friends of Thawalama Development Foundation are grateful to Lt. Col. Anil Amarasekera's exposure in The Sunday Times of September 7, of the PA government's attempt to hijack the Foundation's name to spread their latest gospel ''One country - One people" propaganda theme. (7 Sept 97 ST).
By any standards one may care to judge, it has to be said that the latest launch of the PA regime is a thoroughly disingenuous act. It should be condemned unreservedly.
The PA regime has all the resources, the funds, the organisation and the full control of the nationwide broadcasting networks to propagate its message.
In addition under coercive threats of transfers and dismissals if non-compliant the regime has the services of the captive public servants to misinform the so-called virtues of the proposed new constitution. Having all these facilities at their command why commit this plagiarism is the question that should be asked ?
Surely the answer is that they do have a fraudulent set of proposals to present, hence a weak case. They know that the ''silent majority'' who happens to be the Sinhala people are against these proposals, judging by the evidence presented recently to the National Joint Committee's Sinhala Commission.
They are desperate and will stop at anything to defend their case. There is no proper nationwide debate on these proposals permitted. Every obstacle is placed by the regime when ordinary people, organisations and associations attempt to present an opposing viewpoint to explain why they think that these proposals should not be accepted
As you may be aware to date opponents of the "proposals" have not been allowed to appear on national state controlled TV and or radio networks. The state controlled newspapers have been mandated not to publish articles considered as 'antipackage'. Newspaper editors and journalists work under the shadow of being charged under the criminal defamation laws able to be initiated by members of the government. So where is the new era of freedom promised by the ruling party only a few months ago ?
If the PA regime has a truly worthwhile issue to explain why stoop so low as to steal the title of an old welfare development project that has won the admiration of many in the remote villages - the remote villages that foreign funded NGO's shun for they are frightened to travel in case they are attacked by the terrorists. But the Thawalma Development Project members have gone and will go again to assist these ancient villagers who are living under the constant gunfire of LTTE terrorists.
The Thawalama Foundation is concerned about those villagers and their communities about whom one of the most active members of this noble institution wrote:
"It is only when the history of this dark era in the life of our country comes to be written that our people as a whole and those living in the comfort and relative security of Colombo and other parts of the country will realise the awesome magnitude of the contribution made by these humble men, women and children to the final defeat of the LTTE and the preservation of our land. The entire Sri Lankan Nation owes to those doughty patriots a debt of gratitude it can never adequately repay''. (S.L. Gunasekara).
The PA regime has hijacked the name but it will never be able to dampen the spirit of the friends and supporters of the Thawalama Foundation Project.
We will with our locally found money try to expose the massive deception the regime is trying to inflict upon the people that this new constitution is a panacea for the ills the country is facing right now.
It is a welcome move by the Govt. and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs to hold the next National Meelad-Un-Nabi celebrations in Beruwala.
The history of the Sri Lanka Muslim begins from Beruwala. It is therefore appropriate to commemorate the Birth Anniversary of the Prophet of Islam, Holy Prophet Mohammed in Beruwala.
Beruwala has always been a centre of religious activities and has produced religious scholars from ancient times.
Not only the Muslims in Beruwala, but in the entire coastal belt from the Moratuwa bridge to Bentota bridge and those living in the Munwaththa Bagae Pattu in Veyangalla Agalawatta are glad and have all expressed their fullest co-operation to make this national and religious event a successful one, shedding all political and other petty differences.
The enthusiasm shown by the Beruwala Muslims in this regard is tremendous and commendable. Those who fought each other during the last elections have all joined hands in the name of Allah and his Rasool Muhammed.
Although I am not an ardent supporter of the British I think we should follow their example in the following instances:
When the Queen arrived from Scotland at the RAF base in London and travelled by car to Buckingham Palace on the day before Princess Diana's funeral she did not cause any inconvenience to the general public. CNN filmed her journey from a helicopter and one could see that roads were not blocked, houses in the area were not searched and motorists and pedestrians not harassed by flatfooted cops. Although subject to an IRA threat of her life, she did a 'Walkabout' amongst her subjects at the gates of Buckingham Palace. However, when our Head of State travels, the inconvenience caused to the whole city of Colombo is well known.
When Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed the Trade Unions Congress in Britain there were calls by left-wing unions to reverse some of the Tory privatisation. He flatly told the unions to forget the era of confrontation with Management and to work hand in hand with Management. He said the days of picketing were over and that he would watch closely to see how the trade unions behave themselves. This is in complete contrast to how certain PA politicians urged unions to strike in 94/95 by claiming that they had been forcibly subdued for 17 years. If these politicians had been half as mature as Blair, our economy would be in better shape today.
My two sons who are citizens in Australia wanted to take their youngest brother to Australia on migration.
After the medical tests etc, the Australian High Commission as usual calls for a confidential police clearance report from the Sri Lanka Police headquarters of the applicant before the visa is issued for migration.
Police headquarters thereafter refers it to the police station in which the applicant resides for a report.
It is sad, but true that at the police stations in the suburbs of Colombo, from where the clearance report is requested, it gathers dust and no action is taken.
In my son's case it has taken more than six months. Perhaps these delays may also lead to corruption etc.
After contacting a senior police officer of the division, I was able to get this matter expedited at this end.
However, due to this delay my son missed admission to a tertiary Institution in Australia for the year 1997, and now has to wait for another year to gain admission, and also pay an enhanced fee to the institution due to no fault of his.
I am quite aware that with the prevailing security situation in our country the police officers are working at great pressure round the clock.
But it is most unfortunate that with the high communication technology available in our country, police headquarters had not taken follow up action in calling for the report from the relevant police stations until I personally pushed it.
Surely a police officer should be detailed to expedite these matters of police clearance as fast as possible, particularly when we are dealing with foreign embassies/ high commissions to show to the outside world that our police service is efficient and prompt and second to none.
Over to you IGP for meaningful action.
Discipline has reached very low levels. Parents are finding it exceedingly difficult to keep a tag on their children. Being a teacher, I come across several parents who send their children for tuition - swimming, cricket, music etc. - WHY? Just to have peace at home.
Furthermore, when one looks back at school matches - be it cricket or rugger - almost every match ends up in fisticuffs - especially among big schools which boast of tradition.
It's not only the parents but the teachers as well. They are having a difficult task, not only controlling the big boys but the little ones too. Some say the present day children are precocious, but are in fact premature and over mature.
The Royal College motto "Learn or depart" must be applied in every school.
I belong to the old school and suggest that corporal punishment be reintroduced. "Spare the rod and spoil the child" is an adage to ponder about.
More letters to the editor * Kadugannawa: no more a nature's feast * New constitution for Sri Lanka * Counter LTTE propaganda
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