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Giving a hand to local industry

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It is a laudable idea to resurrect local industries and also start new ones. Some of these industries, which began in the sixties and seventies, did not receive any support after that period and we were encouraged to import instead. Some state-owned industries were sold off for a song, while the privately owned ones had a natural death.

Reviving these industries and starting new ones cannot be done by a government alone. We, as citizens, who have a feeling for the country, should lend a hand. That is, by using local products and services. It is a shame and a crime that we have to import some of our food, too.

The govt. has identified these local industries that should be encouraged. It is for this purpose that State Ministers have been appointed and asked to show results. For some foolish and unpatriotic elements, such appointments have become a joke, but they cannot give any constructive ideas. They just sit back and laugh like jackasses. For example, the handloom, cane and reed, clay products, gem and jewellery are some of the products among many others such as metal, electrical and electronic items, footwear, processing of food, rubber products, ayurvedic products, etc. For some of these a part of the raw material has to be imported. If so, it will be in order, provided there is value addition and preferably with re-export potential. I believe even roof-top solar panels, for generating power, could be considered a local industry. Another good raw material would be bamboo, which has vast potential.

Talking about clay products, may I mention in passing that our house built in 1980, designed by a reputed architect, had clay floor tiles for the entire house, till we sold it after 35 years. We were quite satisfied with it and it was easy to maintain and had some sort of natural cooling effect to the eye. Even the wet floor was not slippery, unlike the glazed floor tiles. There is no need to sneer and mock at Ministers appointed to foster such industries. To coincide with these efforts of the govt, it is high time we started a country-wide campaign, which could be called – Be Sri Lankan, Buy Sri Lankan, or some such name. They can also have a competition , probably in schools, to come out with a catchy appropriate name. In addition to this, if a fund is opened solely for reviving such industries, there’ll be many who will gladly contribute their mite. At the same time, we have to realise that we cannot expect results overnight or miracles to be performed. These people who are directly involved are also human.

ND



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Opinion

Nelum Kuluna poses danger to aircraft

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The top of Nelum Kuluna (Lotus Tower) stands 350 above sea level in the heart of Colombo City, as the air navigators of old would say, sticking out like a ’sore thumb’. It has to be lit up in accordance with the Aircraft Obstacle Lighting recommendations contained in Annex 14 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Convention originally signed by Ceylon in 1944.

A free-standing tower of that height is required by international law to be lit up not only at night with red lights, but also with high visibility white strobe lights during the day.

Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be on always during the day. The authorities concerned must realise that the strobe lighting during the day is not for beauty but for air safety, especially these days, when the air quality and visibility are low during the day.

Have those in charge of the tower been briefed properly on the legal requirement and the use of proper lighting? In case of an accident, this certainly will have implications on insurance claims.

I wonder whether the ‘Regulator’, Civil Aviation Authority Sri Lanka would like to comment.

If not rectified, it will be just a matter of time an aircraft will be impaled by the Nelum Kuluna.

I M Nervy (Aviator)

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Opinion

Simple questions to Sirisena and Gotabaya

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If Sirisena had not been informed of the plans to explode bombs on 21st of April 2019, as he has claimed, shouldn’t he have taken immediate action to call for explanation from Nilantha Jayawardena, then head of State Intelligent Service (SIS), who had been notified several times about the impending attack by the Indian intelligence.

Sirisena and Jayawardena should be prosecuted for allowing a mass murder to take place. Further Sirisena should be made to explain his famous uttering, “I will reveal everything, if somebody tries to implicate me”.

Why did Gotabaya, who announced his candidature for presidency almost immediately after the Easter Sunday attack and promised to punish those who were involved in it, pay no attention to Nilantha Jayawardena’s failure in taking necessary action with regard to information he received, instead he was given a promotion?

President Ranil Wickremesinghe at a meeting with USAID Administrator Samantha Power on September 11, 2022 had said that Scotland Yard had been requested to review the reports and reach a final conclusion on claims that there was a hidden hand behind the bombings.

We do not need Scotland Yard, just get an honest set of Sri Lankan police officers to question Nilantha, Sirisena and Gotabaya to find the “hidden hand behind the bombings”

B Perera

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Opinion

Open letter to Sirisena

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Y you were in Singapore when the Easter Sunday attacks took place. You claimed that you had not been informed of the intelligence received by your intelligence officers. However, the Supreme Court has ordered you to pay Rs 100M as compensation to the victims of the terror attacks. The reasons for the decision are stated in the judgement.

Acting on a claim that there was a conspiracy to assassinate you and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya you caused the interdiction and arrest of DIG Nalaka Silva, who was held in custody without bail for a long time.

In his testimony to the Presidential Commission  of Inquiry, Silva said that he had been interdicted while plans were in place to arrest Zaharan.

Due to the arrest of DIG Silva, Zaharan escaped arrest. Silva was never charged. Zaharan continued with his plans and the rest is history.

After the SC order you have been claiming that you have no money to pay the Rs 100M as compensation. You are asking for public help to pay compensation to Easter carnage victims. You even accepted some money collected by a person called Sudaththa Tilakasiri, who begged from people.

You have said publicly that you submitted your asset declarations. I suggest that you sell all your assets declared in the declarations before asking for funds from the public.

Hemal Perera

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