Letters to the Editor | Sunday Observer

Letters to the Editor

SLT: Queer charges for data

Do you know how Sri Lanka Telecom charges for your data?

They divide the quota of your package equally between “Peak” and “Off Peak” time. That is 8 a.m. to midnight Peak, and midnight to 8 a.m. Off Peak. Almost all users, I guess, use data during the day and will exhaust the half quota before the month end. Consequently, they are compelled to work after midnight to utilize the balance half. This is an extremely difficult or impossible task because you cannot break rest after a hard day’s work, just to utilize the balance data and consequently it would have to be forfeited.

The bottom line is, in effect, you pay for a full quota but are forced to use only half. Why can’t we be given the freedom to use this facility for which we pay in full, at any time we wish, in accordance with our daily living and work schedules?

When this was pointed out to SLT, their advice was to go for the next more expensive package. Is this a reasonable solution?

Rufus Norton Nugegoda.

Thank you, Sri Lanka!

I am a ‘Karachite’ who lived a few years in the beautiful city of Lahore. I can never forget that autumn month in 2008 in which I drove through Ferozpur Road, 3 a.m, and saw roadside kiosks selling fresh carrot juice; local administration workers busy making their city more beautiful; vigilant police patrolling the streets; that scent in the air and the chirp, perhaps of a cricket (insect). Peace and tranquillity prevailed that night.

There has always been a general consensus in Pakistan that Lahore is the safest city of Pakistan. Sadly and ironically, the unfortunate ‘bus firing’ incident which took away the ‘spirit’, ‘lifeline’, and ‘passion’ of the cricket loving nation happened in the same city, in 2009.

On Sunday, October 29, when the players’ bus whisked through the ‘Liberty Square’ to reach Gaddafi Stadium, the Sri Lankan players must have felt a chill in their bodies; but kudos to the Lankan players, cricket administrators and the nation, to break the mental barricade for their cricket fanatic friends and brothers in Pakistan.

That said, one can understand the reluctance of some Sri Lankan players and officials to travel this part of the world; especially, those who were present in Lahore that dreadful day in March 2009. Mental scars take time to heal and at times they don’t heal at all, so these players and officials should also be appreciated, not criticized.

Sri Lankans have shown they know how to return favours. In 1996, just a few weeks before the start of the sixth edition of the Cricket World Cup, West Indies and Australia refused to play their first round matches in the Pearl Island due to the devastating terrorist attack in Colombo in which 80 people perished and over 1,000 were injured. Sri Lanka was the co-host of the coveted tournament along with India and Pakistan. Australia and West Indies eventually forfeited their points.

Pakistan and Indian cricket boards formed an Asian XI and sent their respective ‘star’ players to Sri Lanka to play a friendly match in Colombo to show solidarity with the Sri Lankan cricket board. At the time, ‘big’ Pakistani names, in the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Rashid Latif and Saeed Anwer had no qualms in visiting Sri Lanka.

On Oct 29, 2017, amid the tight security protocols and hassles, almost twenty four thousand people reached Gaddafi Stadium to welcome back cricket at home. They were jubilant; men, women, and children, all excited to watch their heroes live in action.

Imagine a twelve year old, watching Mohammad Amir shattering the stumps with his perfect inswing delivery in his first over, towering sixes hit by Shoaib Malik, a hat-trick and a little cameo by Faheem Ashraf in which he made 13 runs in three balls; for that kid sitting in the stands, this memory will last a lifetime.

Once a swashbuckling batsman and the current Sri Lankan team manager, Asanka Gurusinha had watery eyes while sharing his Word Cup ’96 final memories and his association with the Gaddafi Stadium.

Rumesh Ratnayake, a speedster in his heyday who travelled to Pakistan many times in the past was glad to be a part in bringing back international cricket to Pakistan. He said, “It’s great to be here in Lahore, hope we’ve broken the ice”.

In response to the banners written in Sinhalese, placed outside the stadium, a Sri Lankan cricket fan tweeted, “Oh boy, that’s why we love Pakistanis”.

Yes, Zimbabwe visited Pakistan in 2015; the PSL final was held in March; the world XI paid a visit a few months ago to play matches in Lahore. But, the match played on Sunday (Oct 29th) has a far greater significance. Perhaps, now we can truly say that cricket has come home. And, for that Pakistanis are thankful, Sri Lanka.

S.M. Hussain