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Citizens' Mail

Sitting on a time bomb

Scientists say that global warming is caused by carbon dioxide emissions from industrial units-far in excess of what was naturally produced by elements of the earth in earlier times.

The writer intends this piece to titillate the minds of average readers for deeper reading on the scientific aspect of global warming, which holds ominous disasters for the future, if industrial units are not curtailed - thus allowing excessive production that is catered for human needs.

In deeper thought we see it as a vicious cycle emanating from greed-followed up by advertising agents spurring entrepreneurs to produce in excess for larger profit - to the detriment of innocent masses!

Disasters foretold by scientists are now surfacing the globe needing close attention by industrial entrepreneurs and moralists.

Scientists pointed out and still do, that if this warming is not arrested, it will further effect the natures balance between the earth and sun causing excessive industrial emissions to be absorbed into the oceans; this will prevent coral and sea shell formation, changing the configuration of ocean and wind currents that had been stable in the past several years and also it will disturb the global surface temperature - now experienced with wind currents blowing hot and cold in rapid turns.

In earlier years there was what is termed Greenhouse effect with water vapour and other acceptable gases absorbing the heat emanating from the sun-trapping its radiation to the lower atmosphere, maintaining normal temperature with no abnormal heating.

Aren’t we sitting on a ticking time bomb when we see what is happening with forest fires in Australia, Amazon forest in raging fires, Indonesia in flood, earthquakes in Canada and Mexico, dreaded Tsunamis, epidemics and killer heatwaves and volcanic eruption in the Philippines?

These planetary changes seen seldom in the past, are now increasing in enormity and frequency!

A former Vice President of the US Al Gore said;

Red alert is on, to examine a better way of life!

Scientists have introduced the following as a deterrent for rapidly increasing Global warming;

* construction of engines not polluting the air

* harnessing sun and wind for production

* using coal resources without heating the planet.

The above is covered by a new technology termed Clean-tech; such effective devices have been down the pipeline for quite a while - but curiously slow in coming out at the other end.

But why?

Are they dragging feet to make hay while the sun shines?

If so, is it not shortsighted and a shame?

None so blind as those who refuse to see - but continue to Ravage the Planet, with rape of forests and damming of rivers, catering to needs of industrial units - thus enraging nature now spewing its vengeance.

Oscar E V Fernando


No room for separatism, terrorism and religious extremism

Separatism, terrorism and religious extremism have brought serious damage or havoc to this country.

We must never allow anyone to do anything that will help separatism, terrorism and religious extremism to raise its head again.

The present government has appointed the best, experienced and capable people to key positions regarding national security.

The previous regime did not take national security seriously. That caused very big damage to the country.

Various levels of investigations were done after the disaster. But that is useless. Best thing is to give utmost priority to national security.

President has stressed the importance of national security while inaugurating the national programme to renovate 100,000 kilometres of rural and alternative roads at Galaha.

President is doing lot of good work to take the country out of the present difficult situation. We will give our fullest support to the President for developing and improving the country. He is not allowing the corrupt politicians to waste government funds.

President wants state officers to work impartially and take impartial decisions. This is very good.

We wish President good luck and success.

D. Weeratunga


Injustice for GCE (A/L) new syllabus students

This is further to an article published in Opinion column of Daily News dated 2020.01.11 and written by Eng. P. W. Sarath.

Some students who sat for the GCE (A/L) examination for the first time under the new syllabus obtained Z-score which might be marginal to get entrance for the academic courses such as Medicine and Engineering in a highly competitive environment based on with last year Z-scores released. It observed that the students who have obtained less Z-scores in the old syllabus have been ranked in better positions than the students who have higher Z-scores in new syllabus, but in lower positions based on the two populations.

The students who have sat for the examination under two separate populations and the intake should not be curtailed introducing any mechanism for selection of the students’ proportionality. The two populations may be permitted to get the university entrance with full capacity so that none of the students will be discriminated.

S. Santhakumar
Colombo 6


Please make the world livable

Without world peace, people have opted to lead a harsh lifestyle. For instance, some families go berserk for no apparent reason. We tend to lose our properties – even the life of loved ones, for that matter. All this reaches pinnacle when there is a war. Every day we need to worry if our life will be taken away. Living in such a dangerous and hopeless place, how can the people thrive on it and live happily? The world needs peace.

It is not merely the absence of war or hatred, but also the presence of cooperation, compassion and worldwide justice among all countries. Lack of cooperation and compassion can lead to conflicts easily and worldwide justice can maintain world peace by stopping any countries from making trouble. No peace is equal to the absence of happiness and bliss. We will not be satisfied mentally. But, how can we maintain world peace as we are only living in a small part of the earth? The answer is to promote our international understanding. We must gain our world knowledge.

When we consider both sides of the rows, it is much more easy to tackle the problems. Therefore promoting our international understanding can be of help. If everyone does it, that would establish the maintenance of world peace to live in a peaceful world.

Ranila Ranasooriya


Airbus scandal!

Since Gotabaya Rajapaksa, was elected President, we have been entertained with shocking news commencing from arresting a former Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and remanding him on a motor car accident which took place years back and settled in courts, being tried again. This was followed with the arrest of another Member of Parliament, Ranjan Ramanayaka for possessing an unlicensed firearm and now turned to having videotapes. While investigations are being conducted, another case came up and that was the Central Bank Bond scam, and that was followed with China’s coronavirus and overshadowing all those, now comes the Airbus scandal. All these almost within three months of forming the present government.

What prompts me to write on the Airbus scandal is that, when I was in Public Service, there was a committee called ‘Development Secretaries Committee’ where all Secretaries of Ministries meet and discuss the purchase of materials and also projects to be undertaken, then rejected or approved after minute scrutiny. Here is my experience when I had to attend this Committee as the Secretary to my Ministry was away.

The Ministry had submitted a case for the purchase of four cars, for a Transmission Line Project of CEB funded by World Bank. The Development Secretaries Committee was chaired by that veteran Civil Servant GVP Samarasinghe who was the Secretary to the Cabinet of JR Jayewardene government. Usually, before starting discussions on matters of the day, GVP Samarasinghe relates his experiences as Government Agent or some incident in his life.

This day he related how he travelled in his Morris Minor car to remote villages and how he parked his car to be looked after by a person of the Headman and trudge a distance of four to five miles, to inquire to some matters of the villagers. After these interesting episodes of his, he starts the day’s business and when it came to mine, he inquired as to why cars are required for a project concerning drawing of Transmission lines as these lines are drawn over hills and dales in remote areas. He suggested that instead of four cars why not have four pick-up trucks, where the officer concerned could use these vehicles on rugged roads and also transport men and materials to the site, unless of course, he in his usual cynical smile said, the officers want to send their wives to pick up children from school or go marketing or perhaps the Minister needs one.

The General Manager CEB had no satisfactory answer and settled for four pick-up trucks, much to the displeasure and disappointment of those who were to use them.

It is suggested that if this Development Secretaries Committee is defunct, to resurrect same, of course with Secretaries of the calibre of those old Civil Servants in the likes of GVP Samarasinghe, Chandi Chanmugam, James H Lanerolle to name a few, with whom I had the privilege and pleasure to work with. Sadly, those who succeeded became henchmen of Ministers and decisions were taken to please them and not national interest.

One other mistake all governments do is when a new government is formed or when a Cabinet reshuffle the Secretary is also removed and a new one appointed.

This disrupts the trend of working of the ministry and the newly appointed Cabinet Minister and the Secretary have to grope till such time they get to know what the ministry had done.

As the present President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had pledged in his election manifesto that he will appoint men suitable for the jobs they are to handle, hope he would keep up to the pledges to usher in a clean and efficient public service, which is badly needed.

GAD Sirimal


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