Having read the two letters captioned 'Piracy by Sri Lanka Telecom' and 'Why this deception?' sent by two senior members of the medical profession, which appeared in The Sunday Times of October 12 and November 2 respectively, I seek your kind attention to add my own experience, when I did point out to a Regional Telecommunication Engineer barely four months ago, certain glaring inconsistencies with regard to the metered units in Telephone Bills.
The mounting Telephone Bills for no apparent reason brought forth the usual reply from the R. T. E. indicating that calls are based on the distance to the recipients' place and the duration of the call. This is a diabolic lie, as everybody who is affected knows now that the quantum of the Unit has been drastically changed from 80 seconds to 20 seconds surreptiously.
Such manipulation of the metered units will only result in bringing much discredit to the government and make people fear anything which goes by the term 'privatisation'.
Since of late, water-cuts in the Greater Colombo area have been a regular feature. As I understand it, these water-cuts have been necessitated to carry out improvements to the water distribution system to the Greater Colombo area, which is consonant with the ongoing rehabilitation work at the main treatment plant in Ambatale.
Residents like myself who live at the further end of the Attidiya Road in Ratmalana close to the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Main gate are forced to suffer extended water cuts.
Usually, when there is a 24-hour water-cut, the water supply to most other areas of Ratmalana is restored at the end of this period. However, a reasonable water supply even to ground-level taps is not restored to households in our area even after 72 hours. Even on normal days the water supply from ground level taps is most inadequate.
When inquiries are made about this state of affairs, the explanation given by responsible officials of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) at Dehiwala is that as we are residents at the further end of the distribution system (the system that commences at Dehiwala), there is very little that can be done to improve the water supply, and that the supply to our area will not improve even with the completion of the Ambatale rehabilitation project. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the water supply to areas at the further end of the distribution system will not improve even with the dawn of the next millenium, and we are expected to suffer in silence, deprived of a basic amenity!
This is indeed a sad commentary on the affairs of the NWSDB. Recently we have had hikes in electricity tariffs and telephone rates. Some of these hikes have been excessive. But the service rendered by the CEB and Sri Lanka Telecom to residents of Colombo had improved very much since of late. Complaints regarding electricity cuts and telephone faults are attended to with the least delay, generally speaking. But the NWSDB has done very little or nothing to improve the water supply to those households at the further end of the distribution system. What is most disturbing is that they do not appear even to have a plan to improve the water supply to these areas! Therefore the residents of households in these areas have to grin and bear as they are solely dependent on mains water supply. To whom do we appeal in the circumstances? Over to you Mr. Minister (of Housing and Public Utilities).. Please take note of our grievance and grant us urgent relief.
"Lord, how does a monk live by Dhamma?"
"Monk, consider the monk who masters Dhamma: the sayings, Psalms, catechisms, songs, solemnities, speeches, birth-stories, marvels and runes - he spends the day in that mastery; he neglects to go for meditation and devotes not himself to calm of purpose of the self. Monk, that monk is said to be swift to master, but he lives not by Dhamma.
Again, consider the monk who teaches others Dhamma in detail, as he has heard it, as he has mastered it - he spends the day in convincing others of Dhamma; he neglects to go for meditation and devotes not himself to calm of purpose of the self. Monk, that monk is said to be swift to convince, but he lives not by Dhamma.
Again, consider the monk who gives in full a repetition of Dhamma, as he has heard it, as he has learned it - he spends the day repeating it; he neglects to go for meditation and devotes not himself to calm of purpose of the self. He is said to be swift to repeat, but he lives not by Dhamma.
Then consider the Monk who turns his mind to Dhamma, ponders over it, reflects on it. He neglects to go for meditation and devotes not himself to calm of purpose of the self. He spends his day thinking about Dhamma he neglects to go for meditation and devotes not himself to calm of purpose of the self. He is said to be swift to think, but he lives not bv Dhamma.
But, monk take the case of the monk who masters the Dhamma: the sayings. psalms and so forth, and spends not in that mastery, neglects not to meditate and devotes himself to calm of purpose of the self, verily, monk, such a monk is one who lives by Dhamma.
Behold these TREE-ROOTS, THESE EMPTY PLACES, meditate monk, and not be slothful, reproach not yourself afterwards! This is our command to you.
(Anguttara Nikaya 5 Sutta no. 73)
During the period of late president R. Premadasa, he initiated the opening of a large number of garment factories in many parts of the country. A clock tower was sited in the vicinity of each such factory. Although, some people derided and rediculed the erection of these clock towers at the time, they did serve a purpose, namely the public were able to ascertain the time.
However it is sad to say, many of these are now not being maintained by those responsible for doing so. One such clock tower is situated at the Tennekumbura Junction, a few kilometres from Kandy. I pass this almost daily. It has a forlorn, desolate and neglected look and its hands are in the same position during the last so many months.
At the time of the last local government elections in March this year it was literally plastered with posters of various candidates. Even the faces of the clock were so covered. After the rains, some of these were washed away but still the traces are there. No one has bothered to remove these or restore the clock to working order. This is indeed a great pity.
It is hoped that those responsible will take necessary action. I believe that most of the clock towers in the country, constructed under this scheme, are in the same parlous condition. If the persons originally entrusted with the maintaining of these, are not in a position to do so now, it is suggested that the local authorities in whose areas they are situated, take over this function in the public interest.
Return to the Letters to the Editor contents page
Go to the Plus contents page
Write a letter to the editor : email@example.com
Go to the Letters to the Editor Archive