Letters to the Editor | Sunday Observer

Letters to the Editor

 High rise towers: Haphazard and irresponsible?

Construction work on a 60-storeyed condominium on the sea side of the Galle Road in Kollupitya, is under way.

I asked the Urban Development Authority (UDA) five months ago if safety and environmental impact studies were conducted before permission was granted for the construction. There was no response from them. The structure will affect wind circulation and perhaps, rainfall in the area, as any strong breeze can turn into a mini-cyclone in the immediate vicinity. Sunlight to adjoining homes and offices will also be reduced.

Was the Fire Brigade consulted as to whether it had the ladders and other equipment to fight fires in such high-rise towers? The UDA should learn from the Grenfell Tower disaster in London last year and appoint a group of experts to examine proposal to construct high-rise condominiums and hotels in the city. I doubt if the UDA has the capacity do such a safety examination.

Dr. Vinoth Ramachandra,
Colombo 3

Wars, laws and politics

It has been reported that Sarath Fonseka has said that the law should be applied to Wasantha Karannagoda, a former Navy Commander who had won the four-star-rank for the service by him to win the battle against LTTE terrorism. Fonseka is also one who was once praised by some politicians for the services by him in the Army.

All three forces: the Army, Navy and Air Force did contribute much to save Sri Lanka from the most brutal terrorists in the world. Later, it was reported that there had been some disagreements among some officials in the three forces even amid the war regarding some or the other matters. When Fonseka’s statement on Karannagoda is read, it is felt that there must have been some or the other disagreement or some other ill-will among the two officials also.

Wars and laws are created by politics. Politics is what politicians do. It means that wars and laws are nothing but politics.

What is considered by the Judiciary is whether some or the other commission or omission is in agreement with the law. Laws are made and implemented according to politicians wish.

Prosecutors are needed to go to the Judiciary and seek justice. Prosecutors do what politicians ask them to. The issues of two Chief Justices Shirani Bandaranayake and Mohan Peiris are two examples of how laws are implemented and justice is meted out.

Martin Dasanayaka,

SLT PEO TV connection charges

I have been using an SLT connection for more than three decades. My bill was between Rs.1,300-1,500 during 2018.

Since the cable TV connection was interrupted, I got a PEO TV connection on January 26 2019. Then, the bill increased to Rs. 3,187. It had indicated SLT broadband usage Rs. 1,024 (only for six days).

Since the charges are too high, I cancelled my PEO TV connection on February 28. I was asked to pay Rs.2,500 as early termination fee in the next bill. The February bill also indicates: SLT Broadband usage Rs.1,024 (For the whole month) – Feb: (only for 6 days) - Jan: Rs.1,024.

PEO TV rental and Abimaana rental with taxes and services.

I need a clarification from the authorities regarding the broadband usage.

Jazeema Jaldeen,

Sound pollution by bus drivers

The police have suddenly woken up to control sound pollution by bus drivers. March 12 was one of the most peaceful days to the public as there was no sound pollution by bus drivers. This could be felt by people at home, on the road and in office premises by the side of main roads

Many people have written about sound pollution by bus drivers.

All this stopped from March 12 as the Traffic Police took action against bus drivers for having loud horns in buses. Some state owned and operated buses too have been fitted with loud horns.

There is a law that says sound should be below 80 decibels. A high cost sound detection equipment was imported by the Ministry of Transport for checking sound of horns. Has the public ever seen this equipment in use? It is time for the authorities to find out the plight of the machinery.

How can the police prove that the sound of horn is above the permitted limit? What is the maximum penalty for sound pollution?

Over to you IGP / Minister of Justice
Tissa Jayaweera

Make organ donation mandatory

The “National Organ Donor Programme”was launched in 2009 by then Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva with the support of the “National Kidney Foundation of Sri Lanka” (Incorporated by Act No. 34 of Parliament) chaired by Dr. A.M.L. Beligaswatte, an eminent Urological Surgeon and a former Director General of Health, assisted by Consultant Nephrologist Dr. Tilak Abeysekera, as Secretary, having established the Kidney Transplant Support Foundation in 2007.

The objective was primarily to help kidney patients; eight out of 10 were dying due to lack of organ donors. Investing over Rs. 6 million, donating 20 computers to major hospitals with ICUs, it was intended that potential donors would step into the hospitals and register for organ donation either while alive, or after death.

Despite an MoU with the Health Ministry, we did not receive active support from them and due to the personal agendas of many doctors, who despite a circular requesting them to participate, chose not to do so, resulting in the program not reaching its objective. (www.ktsf.lk for full details)

I learned that Singapore has a law, the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA) which makes it mandatory for all citizens to become organ donors at the age of 21.

Although the HOTA refers only to the kidneys, liver, heart and corneas,many more organs could be harvested. If death occurs under the right medical conditions, in an ICU, attached to a ventilator, the Pancreas, two Lungs, and the Intestines can also be harvested. Even under normal circumstances, about 50 patients can be treated with the donation of various tissues. (The Human Tissue Bank site. htb.mobitel.lk) We urge the President, the Prime Minister and the Health Minister to present a Bill in Parliament to enact a law so that we can harness this vast resource and save hundreds of patients.

Ajit F. Perera
Kidney Transplant Support Foundation