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Opinion

Local Government Elections

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The Ven. Maha Nayakes, His Eminence the Archbishop of Colombo and the opposition parties have urged the Elections Commission to hold the local government elections to send a message to the government. This may be with good intentions. But judging from what happens at meetings of some local bodies, people will begin to wonder whether it is worth having members of this sort elected as they would be no better than those sent to parliament.

We have seen meetings in several local government bodies ending in fisticuffs and some councilors even throwing furniture at each other trying to emulate MPs. Fortunately, they still have not resorted to throwing chillie powder at their opponents!We have had the Provincial Councils in operation for some time. What benefit have the voters got from the members after election? They will resort to purchasing unnecessary furniture at exorbitant prices, may be to help some henchmen, and spend large sums of money on refreshments. Other than that, there is absolutely no service to the public. They only have been looking after themselves.

So it is worth pondering whether we actually need the services of people who are only interested in lining their own pockets and helping kith and kin with absolutely no service to the public. Take one example of dereliction of duty by these local government representatives, I would cite the case of the unfortunate schoolboy in the Kurunegala area, where he fell into an uncovered drain and succumbed after drowning in the murky water. The Municipal Council should take the rap for this untimely death of a schoolboy.

The amount of money spent on maintaining these local government representatives is exorbitant. But the outcome of this expenditure is almost nil. It would be better to use the Government officials to run these local government bodies and spend the money thus saved on education so that the children could be given a conducive environment to engage in their studies and extracurricular activities.

I remember in the good old days they used to have Gamsabhawas where the elders of the village form int a Village Committee and attend to the needs of the village. This was done without any payment and the villagers were very happy the way these Gamsabhawas did a service to the people. Taking all these into consideration I wonder whether it is worthwhile having elections to the local government authorities.

HM NISSANKA WARAKAULLE



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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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