Letters to the Editor | Sunday Observer

Letters to the Editor

Stories on Lasantha’s assassination

We read many stories on the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge. When we read the stories, many other assassinations, such as, those of Wijedasa Liyanarachchi, Rohana Wijeweera, Threema Withana and Dodampe Mudalali come to mind.

When all those misdeeds are considered, if not for good human qualities, no laws can make our world a suitable place to live in. With the fact that some leading lawyers become opportunists, the point is further proved.

Impartiality, kindness, uprightness, generosity and sympathy are needed make our world a safe place.

Politics, greed to power and wealth are factors which make the world cruel and murderous. Abraham Lincoln, Patrice Lumumba, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, Mahathma Gandhi and some others were killed because of those factors. A lack of a sound moral base is another reason for killings of that sort.

Good governance can not be established through politics. It should be established by morality. No laws excepts for good human qualities create good governance.

Though we speak of the independence of the judiciary, it depends on political dynamics.

How to protect human rights and humanity remains as problems until the human mind remains bad.

The Buddha has advised one all not to do killings because everyone loves his or her life alike. No solace will come to any one with killings. It is with the good morality that solace may come to any one. We must always remember that morality is the father of laws.

Marlin Dasanayaka,


Streamlining garbage collection in Dehiwela, Mount Lavinia

The garbage collection in the Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia municipal area is not organised in a way that residents don’t know with certainty the date and time at which garbage collection will take place.

For example, there are two types of garbage being collected - the recyclable waste (plastics, pape, cardboards) and degradable waste, but the days and times keep changing and residents are suddenly awakened by the lorry coming with the garbage collector knocking at each door for garbage collection.

The Colombo Municipality is, however, well organised with each ward area being the responsibility of a single supervisor whose name and contact number is stated on the website. The website also contains the day and time at which garbage is collected in each road of the ward.

Thus, residents know when to keep their garbage out and in case of any issue, they can contact the Ward Supervisor who will resolve their problem. Even the road sweeping is clearly mentioned similarly on the website.

The link is http://www.colombo.mc.gov.lk/garbage-collection.php

We residents are frustrated as we have to waste our time waiting for these garbage collectors. Also, garbage kept out for too long will create a foul smell.

We would much appreciate if the DMMC management set up an organised schedule detailing the days and times at which garbage will be collected from each road and this is communicated to rate payer residents through the DMMC Website.

Public Interest Citizen


GM soy beans imported to make Triposa

The Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) heard that a stock of genetically modified (GM) soy beans has been imported illegally. What is tragic is that the stock has been imported for manufacturing ‘Triposa’.

According to the news, the stock is valued at Rs.110 million. As a result of a case filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice in May 2005 (Application No. 1380/06, Hemantha Withanage vs the Consumer Affairs Authority and others), the Government approved a genetically modified food labeling legislation (Gazette Extraordinary 1456/22, August 3, 2006).

According to the Regulation No. 2 of the Gazette, “No person shall, import, store, transport, distribute, sell or offer for sale - (a) any genetically modified organism as food for human consumption; (b) any food containing or consisting of genetically modified organisms; (c) any food produced from or containing ingredients produced from genetically modified organisms; without the approval of the Chief Food Authority (Director General of Health Services)”.

Regulation No. 11 of the Gazette states, “The label on or attached to a package of genetically modified food or food ingredients used in the preparation of good must include the statement ‘genetically modified’ in conjunction with the name of that food or ingredients used in the preparation of food, or processing aid irrespective of the size of the label or package.”

The CEJ calls upon the Health Ministry authorities to probe the matter and ascertain whether the importer had declared the stock of genetically modified food or whether this importer has gone through the legal procedure under the regulation and also whether the Customs Department released such food and ingredients after following the procedure.

Hemantha Withanage,
Executive Director,
Centre for Environmental Justice.