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Opinion

Police dogs sold as scrap metal

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On the above distressing subject, there was an editorial in this newspaper in September, rightly calling the auctioning of our Police Dogs a NATIONAL SHAME, and requesting the authorities to recall the dogs into the Police Kennels for their life-long care.

Many animal welfarists and lovers petitioned the President, wrote to him, pleaded with him to do what The Island editorial proposed. Sadly to-date no response.

So, 26 Highly Pedigreed Police Dogs, bought at billions of rupees of the Taxpayers’ money, but because they are old now, and considered “USELESS”, were auctioned several months ago in Kandy, like any other condemned government property, to the highest bidder; the Police Kennels or the State collected a whopping Rs 300,000+!

Up until they are deemed USELESS, by the Police, the very dogs are much bragged about by the Police Kennels in various fora, and in social media, only to be lumped with inanimate government property, gazetted, and auctioned. By the way, these dogs are imported in the same category as vehicles!

Because for some of us human beings, all dogs are precious till they die, we managed to rescue one such auctioned Police Dog, Aja, an eight or so year old female Belgian Malinois, bought from the Netherlands, for more than a million rupees; ailing with a bad urine infection, and sold for Rs 7,500 to a family who bought her with the intention of having pups from her! Allegedly, they had even crossed this old dog, an equivalent of a human grandmother!

We will give Aja the dignity she deserves as an animal and also as a Police Officer who served this country, for the rest of her relatively short life; ironically, the dignity and care the very Police Service which USED her denied her!

Mr. President, as the Chief of Defence, we know you can stop this inhumane practice of auctioning our Service Dogs, and we as a nation of compassionate humans, which you yourself acknowledged when those beached whales were rescued, appeal to you to stop this shameful practice, and allow these brave and loyal canine officers to live in a section of the Police Kennels, amongst the carers they know and love, in the surroundings they knew from puppyhood, for the rest of their short lives. Open up public sponsorships for such dogs.

Finally, one order from you is what we expect to recall those loyal canine officers, who were auctioned several months ago like scrap metal; cancelling the gazette notification.

Do it please and show you care. To use your own words “actions speak louder than words”!

 

CHAMPA FERNANDO

Secretary, KACPAW (Kandy Association for Community Protection through Animal Welfare)



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Opinion

Regulate sports in popular schools ahead of big matches

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The Big Matches between popular schools in Colombo and main outstation cities are round the corner. In the past school sports was in the hands of former sportsmen and sportswomen who loved the game as well as their school. They devoted their time and money to coach the budding youth without any monetary gain for themselves.

But, see what has happened today. Sports coaches selected by the schools demand millions of rupees to coach the students. And this is readily agreed and paid by the school authorities. In the good old days the members of School teams were provided free meals during match days and also Sports equipment. But it is not so now. The school earn millions of rupees from big matches played for a duration of two, or three days in some cases, and this money could be utilised to buy the required cricket gear such as bats, pads gloves, boots, etc,. I understand a pair of cricket boots is in the region of Rs.18,000 to 25,000. Can a poor village lad who is enrolled to an affluent schools in Colombo, based on his performance in Education and Cricket afford this? These lads should be given all the support to continue in their respective sports rather than drop out due to financial constraints

Coaches in some schools are in the payroll of big-time businessmen whose children are, in the so called pools. Parents of children engaged in a particular sport should not be permitted to come in as sponsors as this would be rather unethical.

The Big Matches between popular boys schools are around the corner and I suggest that the Sports Ministry ensures performance based selections rather than on other criteria.

 

D.C.Atukorala

Colombo

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Opinion

‘Post turtle’ revisited

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I have written about this amusingly thought-provoking creature, the ‘post turtle’ to ‘The Island’ around three years ago (appeared in the opinion column of The Island newspaper on the 19th of June 2018, titled ‘The post turtle era’). The story, which I am sure most of you have heard/read already, is obviously not a creation of mine and I happened to come across it somewhere, sometime ago. 

And for the benefit of those, who haven’t heard the story, it goes like this:

“While surturing a cut on the hand of an old Texas rancher, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually, the topic got around to politics and then they discussed some new guy, who was far too big for his shoes, as a politician.

The old rancher said, ‘Well, ya know he is a post turtle’. Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘post turtle was’.

The old rancher said, ‘When you are driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, well, that’s your ‘post turtle’.

The rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he went on to explain. ‘You know, he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumb ass put him up there in the first place’.”

Now I was having this nice, little siesta, the other day and suddenly there appeared ‘the turtle’ in front of me, sitting on a fence post, seemingly doing a precarious balancing act as the post itself was too high for it to give it a try to jump down to the ground. Not that it probably wanted to do it anyway for it looked quite contended and happy sitting there doing absolutely nothing. And no doubt some loyal and dumb all rolled into one, must have put him up there and been feeding it well too, for it looked quite contended and fat showing a thick head that kept turning to the left and then to the right, while its tongue kept on lolling out as if it was saying something, which must have been absolute gibberish and rubbish anyway.

What a fitting and symbolic representation, 

I mean this ‘post turtle’, of the lot, or the majority of it sitting across ‘the oya’, I mused on after I woke up from my snooze.

Many of them get there thanks to the gullible voter, who while ticking the boxes, thinks: he/she will surely deliver the goods this time as promised! 

And those two-legged post turtles inside the edifice, bordering the Diyawanna, like the one in the story, keep uttering sheer rubbish and spitting out incomprehensible mumbo jumbo, all in return with thanks to those, who tick the boxes in their favour.

Their statements such as ‘what is oxygen for, to eat?’, is just one among many such stupendously stupid utterances of theirs and I don’t want to tire you with the rest, for they are well known and far too many.

Now I have only one question for you before I end this:

When are we going stop being ‘those dumb asses’, once and for all?

Laksiri  Warnakula  

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Opinion

Abuse of use of title Professor

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I read with much interest the letter by Mr. Nissanka Warakaulle, regarding the above matter, in the issue of the Sunday Island of 18th April 2021. I agree fully with the contents of his letter. He should be very familiar with the regulations as he is a former Registrar of the University of Colombo. I wish to highlight another instance where it is abused. In the 1970s, the title of Associate Professor was created. Until then there were only three categories of Professors. Firstly the holder of the Chair, secondly a co-Professor and thirdly, an Emeritus Professor. There were also, Lecturers, Senior Lecturers and Readers. The title of Reader was replaced with the title Associate Professor, which is meant to be a designation, to be used after the name. However, this category of academics started using it as a pre-fix, dropping the word Associate!

Profesor Sanath P. Lamabadusuriya MBE
Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics,
University of Colombo

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