Citizens' Mail | Daily News

Citizens' Mail

Need for reconciliation

I refer to the article by Wathsala S. Dulanjalee “Implementing the power of genuine concern” which appeared on September 12. What a beautiful idea she is suggesting. The whole point as I see it is that the need for reconciliation must go. As long as there is a public exhibition of differences like churches, temples etc. so long there will be a division among the people and it is futile to talk of reconciliation.

Please note that in Christchurch and Colombo it is the monuments ie mosques, churches that were targeted and never, ever the people. As she points out, the clergyman was targeted inside the church and he would never have been assaulted otherwise. So, the million-dollar question is, do we need churches, mosques, temples etc? Can we not as she suggests make our communion with Jesus, Buddha in the confines of our own homes. In fact, I think that is more potent than worshipping in a group because the sacredness obviously will be less in a group.

Even the lone wolf terrorist will have no target because the churches, temples will not represent any religion but as she suggested are institutions belonging to the whole community.

I feel that the time is running out and if Wathsala’s idea is not implemented (it is certainly not reconciliation which is needed) it is only a matter of time before the next Easter disaster.

This appeal is for the consideration for all Christians with special reference to the church authorities.

Dr. Asoka Thenuwara


Listening to phone conversations, an ugly practice

Today, some politicians in our country use recorded telephone conversations to sling mud at their rival parties. They release the particular recording to the electronic media and later start to attack the target they want. This is the new weapon they are using nowadays to win the presidential race. Whoever did this for whatever reason it is a very ugly thing to listen to the others telephone conversations.

Correct me, if I am wrong that anyone has recorded the others’ telephone conversation is a punishable act. I am unable to understand why the law enforcement authorities do not take legal action against these culprits. I feel that every right-thinking people have to understand the present-day politicians’ tactics and vote for the correct person who can develop our country economically by giving a permanent solution to the problem of minority parties.

In conclusion, I wish to state that there are many rules and regulations have been published by the Telecommunication Regulation Commission regarding the using of telephones. Why are they turning a blind eye in this regard?

W. G. Chandrapala


Resolve the issue of the University minor staff

I as a parent and a retired school principal very strongly deplorably draw the attention of the President, Prime Minister, Higher Education Minister of the ongoing strike of the non-academic minor employees in the universities hampering studies of the students for the last few weeks.

It astonishes us why none in the University administration or the Ministry of Higher Education is concerned about the students who are confined to homes without attending their lectures. I wonder why the Higher Education Minister does not take any attention or the notice of the strike launched by the minor staff disrupting the academic session of the university students.

I think the presidential election heat and panic have put the President, Prime Minister and the ministers to a mental agony forgetting the people and the country!

Z. A. M. Shukoor


Peace with justice alone, not the end of a conflict

As a Sri Lankan born and bred and still here despite the grass perhaps being greener on the other side, I am very sad about the state of our island home.

What do I mean? The sad reality of bad and violent inter-religious relationships in our country.

During the course of this year, we witnessed this in April and also in August.

The Bishop/the President of the Sri Lanka Methodist Conference has asked all of us to remain calm and not to retaliate.

As a student and teacher of church history and also as one of the leaders of a minority religious community, I fully agree with and support the thinking of the leader of the Methodist Church.

Travelling down memory lane, the early church suffered persecution. Further, it is said that the blood of martyrs is the cement of the church.

Peace with justice is not the end of a conflict. We still need to maintain good and valid personal and social relationships, if conflicts are to be resolved in a sustainable manner.

Over to our leaders and our people.

Sydney Knight


Living according to the teachings of religious leaders

Every day we hear stories related to disputes and fights between different religious groups. We are very clever to fight to protect our religion. We do not want others to criticize our religion. We always think that our religion is the best. We want the government to give top priority to our religion. If our religious place is attacked, we immediately take revenge by attacking the other religious place. Sometimes, we go and attack others using dangerous weapons. We go and damage others property due to religious conflicts. We sometimes set fire to their houses.

We are ready to do all sort of dangerous things in the name of our religion. We are ready to harm others to protect our religion. We write articles on the importance of protecting religion. We arrange meetings. We are ready to spend any amount of money to protect our religion.

But unfortunately, we forget to live according to the teachings of religious leaders.

All religions stress the importance of compassion. According to religious teachings, we must be very patient. We must never try to take revenge. We must be kind to others. We must be ready to forgive. According to religious teachings, we must discuss and settle our disputes. Fighting or attacking others is not allowed. We must have a give and take policy. We must look for win-win solutions to our disputes. We must be ready to sacrifice. We should not get angry. We must be peaceful. Violence is not allowed according to religious teachings. As religious leaders, let us live according to the teachings of our religion. That is the best way to protect our religion.

Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love. This is the universal rule.

D. Weeratunga


City floods in a new dimension

“Here’s water, there’s water, the water’s everywhere

But, not a drop to drink.”

If my memory meanders correctly to write a few lines to highlight the adverse effects of city floods in particular and the frequent inundations in the catchment areas of the main rivers, brooks and other watercourses with a literary fervour, the above lines should be from Rudyard Kipling in his writing about a sea voyage. It is said that his floodgates of imagination had fully opened by the picturesque seascape around on his boat ride.

The saga of the threatening city floods starts with the haphazard development projects hurriedly undertaken to accelerate urbanization that leads to modernity. It is quite evident now than before that the city planners had not paid due attention to the would-be after-effects of the implementation of their ad hoc projects. They seem to have not heeded the sponging capacities of the nearby marshy lands when their heavy machinery rolled over the vacant lands to expand infrastructure and erect skyscrapers to cater to the needs of the ever-increasing city lovers.

The rains in torrents these days have rendered most city dwellers prisoners in their own homes, in flood-affected villages the homeless forcing them to have shelter at nearby temples and schools. A city scene created by the floods prompted me to write these lines to encourage people to love their villages where they could enjoy both tranquillity and good sanitation. The bus in which I was travelling had to stop at a very congested area in a big city of pristine glory. So, I had to join the deserted bus commuters to waddle in the city rivers with the road as the riverbed. All of a sudden, a fat woman in our pathetic crowd started yelling at the top of her voice for help. In dirty floodwaters, it reminded me an incident in RK Narayan’s fiction in which one female character (English Teacher) wanted to see the inside of the outside lavatory of the house they visited to rent out. The writer says that the puddle of human excreta in it made her ran out crying when a bluebottle had landed on her lips. Later in the plot development, the reader comes to know that the very incident had become the immediate reason for her miserable death. May such situations never happen to our city dwellers!

With the floodwaters there came a heap of human excreta towards us. It made me hate the municipal drainage maintenance system and the town planners. Out of the big cities, I have visited so far the nearly perfect city drainage system is in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. There, inundation can’t play havoc because of the systematic flow of rain and river water into the main streams. I have heard that it is the same in Germany.

In a careful analysis, I witnessed with my own eyes that almost all the filth, garbage, plastic waste, dirty clothes and everything that annoys our eyes under the sun was in the city muddy water around us. It was a mini version of a hell in the city that makes its appearance very frequently. The currents of inundated water find it difficult to make their way through the narrow city drains. Domestic animals, all kinds of snakes posing a real danger to the marooned, human and animal bones find their way to their unknown destinations. The most miserable and the ugliest scene was some city brats playing and unconsciously drinking floodwater.

Inundations in the city limits have not been a rare occurrence, nonetheless, due attention to the core issue seems to have not been paid by the responsible authorities so far other than beautifying them. Undesirable elements in the cities take advantage of these situations and involve in dirty games exploiting them. Frequent floods ruin the city road network virtually beyond repair and its cost is passed down to the ratepayer. This is time to do the needful to correct the situation.

Piyadasa Rillagoda


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