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Sunday, 5 February 2006  
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Begging game

It is saddening to see beggar women lining the path to the Dehiwela Mosque on Fridays. Men who attend the mosque piously and dutifully hand in a coin or a note to any of these beggars and they feel as if they have done a great meritorious thing.

We are doing nothing but promoting begging. This is not what Prophet (sal) did. He allowed begging only for those who could not earn a decent living. For the man who could, when he came begging, he bought an axe and gave it to him and asked him to earn his living.

I have asked several of these beggar women to either come and work for a salary or to just come and take all three meals absolutely free from my house, but they have always refused. We all know they are either part of a begger gang or are just lazy to earn their living. Begging is lucrative business now.

Earlier, begging was confined to men, now not only women but their children too have joined the game.

As much as Islam promotes charity, it also despises begging. There was a time we could never see a Muslim woman on the road begging but it has now become a common sight even with hijab. Has our community become so incapable of looking after our women?

The mosque committee should try to either find them a job or help them to get some help while looking at the possibility of empowering them to get self-employment by giving them some vocational training.

by Dr. Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai - Dehiwela.

Frying pan to fire

I find that the Immigration and Emigration Department has been shifted from Station Road, Bambalapitiya to Rajakaruna Mawatha at Punchi Borella, like jumping from the frying pan to the fire.

The new office is most unsuitable for the office where a large number of people go daily. The road on which the office is situated is narrow and the building is abutting the road.

The traffic on this road and all round is very heavy owing to the National Hospital, the prisons, schools, colleges and churches being close-by. I lost two of my front teeth in the upper jaw a few years back due to an accident at the junction.

What is the point in siting a busy office in a busy area. Now that the office had been sited there I suppose the public will have to endure all the inconveniences and suffer the dangers of losing their limbs and lives that is bound to occur.

by Arul, Colombo 13.

'Balapitiya Seema Malakaya'

Balpitimodara Seema Malakaya was established by the founder of the Amarapura Nikaya. It is almost 200 years old. This is seen as one passes the Balapitiya bridge. After the tsunami disaster this was almost grounded in the Maduganga.

One year has passed and it is still sunk under water. A portion is seen above the water. Government should take steps to raise this and build it to its position.

by Prof. Lakshman Waidyasekera, Dehiwela.

Unite or divide

By application of lessons learnt in Jathaka stories in Buddhism, any stumbling block of any magnitude, could be made to evaporate from our society. One such story is most opportune. It narrates how a large flock of birds known as Watu, were reduced to nothing in the absence of unity among them.

They were a flock once united and have not fallen prey but later on fell prey to a particular hunter. It was nothing but endless arguments then the net covered over them day by day. The final result was that net these birds once cooperatively carried away and escaped, remained over them on the ground as none attempted to fly.

This is where we now stand as a nation. Do we divide and perish or be united ourselves? Whether it is division, separatism or be it divorce, all such actions are disastrous, shortsighted, illogical, fruitless and vulnerable similar to how those birds behaved.

Whole of mankind should not be arguing and quarrelling for petty little things just like the birds inside the net but worth simply to realise the fact that all in this planet is one force finding solutions for the benefits of mankind and that as human beings we all breathe the same air use only one fire for various purposes and use the same water especially for drinking under one sun, moon and stars.

Whether young or old, Asian or European, veddah in this country or an aborigine in Australia; they all emerged into this world from a mother's bosom like any other, - a beggar or billionaire. So let us be united and firm during our short in this planet Earth.

H. H. Wimeleratne, Kelaniya.

Full of rubbish

Maharagama at the Elhen Road/Highlevel Road Junction very close to the main High Level road piles of garbage are not cleared for weeks and are lying rotting with flies, cockroaches, crows, cattle etc. causing ill-health and safety of especially the little ones who come to attend the montessori at the Jayasundera Place off Elhena Road, besides others who use this road.

The funniest thing is that the Pradeshiya Sabha big garbage lorries and trucks pass this place up and down daily collecting other garbage down Elhena road. But are blind to see the piles of garbage at this spot.

Maharagama is very renowned for flies and mosquitoes. Many have died of dengue fever in the recent past.

At this junction 4 to 5 threewheelers and hardware Lorries are parked besides others who visit the Bank, Sentra Super Market and other numerous business establishments.

These people bitterly complain of the bad stench and ill effects to their health.

They have bear this for 12 to 16 hours.

When they go home after work the first thing they do is to bathe using a deterrent soap lest their children may contact hidden germs on them.

The only remedy is to see that the garbage is collected daily without fail? For which act the residents and others will be thankful to the P.S. Chairman, Maharagama.

by V. K. B. Ramanayake, Maharagama.

Passing of an icon

Let me pay my humble tribute to the late Wijerupage Wijesoma, the icon cartoonist who passed away recently. He can be classed along with such celebrates in the field, like Clare Winsten, Low, etc. Decades ago, my good friend, lawyer Earle de Zoysa referred me to a cartoon by Mr. Wijesoma, that appeared in the Times of Ceylon, during the time tram cars ran on the streets of Colombo.

The cartoon was very expressive and cute about the state of tramcar that ran on the streets of Colombo. This was what the cartoon depicted.

A citizen who was walking along the main street in a drizzle, spurting an umbrella meets a friends who remarks "Getting wet, no"? in typical colloqual parlance, to which his friend, the citizen replies hilariously, "that begins when I get into the tram". Such was Wijesoma's earthy sarcasm.

by Elmo Fernando, Kalutara North.

Black July victims

Rs. 11.5 million allocated for compensation to the 1983 Black July victims is not paid to them up to now.

The Presidential Commission appointed by the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga recommended for about one hundred families to receive this compensation.

This was reported in the Daily News of Nov. 16 2005, front page news.

In November on the day of Presidential Election Nov, 17 2005.

I received a letter and a voucher from the Additional Secretary President Office to sign that voucher and returned to him on or before Nov. 25, 2005 to do the payment by cheque.

I signed that voucher and returned to him on that day.

Since then I have not received any information from that office. I met that officer twice at his office, his excuse is that the treasury is not releasing the funds.

The families suffered during the election violence 2001 and 2004 had been paid before the Presidential Election.

Whereas 1983 Black July Tamil victims are disappointed and now have lost their hopes too.

by K. S., Mt. Lavinia.

Birth place Rukmani Devi

On the occasion of the 83rd Birth Anniversary of Rukmani Devi an article appearing in your issue of January 15, 2006 stated that Rukmani Devi was born at Ramboda. This fact appears to be to the contrary.

W. R. Daniels who was manager of the Observer for many years, claiming to be a kinsman of Rukmani Devi told me when I too was working at Lake House that she was born at Inuvil in Jaffna and that her parents were Mr. and Mrs. Daniels of Inuvil and was named Daisy Daniels. This fact was exemplified in many articles written about her.

So, it cannot be that Rukmani Devi was born at Ramboda in the Nuwara Eliya District.

by D.A., Colombo 04.

Ban porn

Circulation of hard-core pornography seems to be on the increase in the country nowadays.

At present, there are a considerable number of pornographers unscrupulously engaged in this anti-social activity which involves producing and selling pornographic materials.

In fact, this seems to have become a lucrative, thriving business through which those persons make money despite the ban on porn which destroys the whole social system.

Specially, in the City of Colombo, the trade in pornography is spiraling day by day and it's clear that this menace is spreading up to the far-away rural villages too.

The so-called pornographic materials produced with a view to luring persons specially the young are sold or distributed in secret and the main objective of those pornographers is nothing but money.

This is in fact a lethal blow to our Buddhist culture and no doubt it results in social and moral degradation.

These materials are popular among the schoolchildren too who are curious to see and read them. For the present, not all, there are a number of cinema halls in the country that show x-rated movies regularly. As we know from experience, almost all of these movies shown under the 'X-rated' label are pornographic or inferior obscene movies.

The billboards of these cinema halls are full of nude and semi-nude women with indecent exposure and there are actually many who are addicted to watching such movies.

Likewise, in some of the news-stands in the city, some persons who go through the motion of selling newspapers are selling these porno magazines and papers which are printed and published discreety.

This is a situation which calls for prompt action.

by L. W. Gamini Chaminda Kumara, Colombo.

Vote of thanks

I thank you very much for publishing my letter captioned 'inefficient state banks' on January 22, 2006 which brought prompt results.

I take this opportunity to thank the Regional Manager, Kegalle, Mr. K. W. M. Sardhatissa, the Asst. General Manager Mr. Muzzamm and the Aranayake People's Bank Manager Mr. Baminiwatta for taking immediate action to my request.I salute the 'Lake House' for their yeoman service towards their readers.

by M. B. S. Mazahira - Arunayake

Hats off to Unit 119

The public who live in Borelasgamuwa area tip their hats to the efficient and prompt services provided by 119, a specialised Unit of the Sri Lanka Police.Sri Lankans, whenever there are in emergency, are now quite reluctant to go through the usual hassle of dashing off to nearby police stations, to lodge entries with the desk sergeants, by that time the 'emergency situation' is well past the time.

Whereas, 119, especially in the above mentioned area has become not only a boon to the residents but also become a deterrent to undesirable elements, who consort with some residents to 'settle' personal or family disputes.Keep up the good work 119.

A resident, Borelasgamuwa

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