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Sunday, 9 October 2005  
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Ganja menace

Smoking ganja in public places is catching up fast in Colombo.

At the recently concluded festival of drums on Galle Face Green, locals and foreigners were blatantly sitting near the stage and taking deep puffs from their 'home-made' cigarettes.

They set a bad example to the wide-eyed children in the crowd.

People found the fumes nauseating with the green choc-a-bloc. They made loud comments but authorities turned a blind eye.

Drug peddlars must have also had a heyday. This trend will have to be nipped in the bud before it becomes a 'fashion' at all future events. The Police Narcotics Branch must be alert to this new menace and put their sleuths on the job.

by Bertille Alles, Colombo 05.

Parakramabahu debate

Following are extracts from Volume I, Part II of the 'History of Ceylon', under the editorship of Prof. H. C. Ray, published by the then University of Ceylon in 1960.

'Upon assuming overlordship of the principality of Dakkhinadesa the Prince Parakramabahu... proceeded to develop the agricultural resources of his territory by putting in hand a number of irrigation projects designed to bring large areas of new land under cultivation... the Pancayojana district (Pasdun Korale, the hinterland of Kalutara District) which was a great swampy wilderness was drained of its marshes and a large extent of new land was rendered cultivable... (Page 446, Chap. IV) (C. W. Nicholas)

...a large tract of forest that had remained uncultivated were cleared and converted to fields or gardens, continuing and extending the process begun by Parakramabahu I when he was the ruler of Mayarata in reclaiming the marshes in the Pasdun Korale... the Dambadeni period the cinnamon plant and its pragrant bark receive their first mention in Sinhalese literature. (Jataka Atuwa Getapada) (Page 719, Chap VII) (Senarath Paranavithana)

Above extracts, I believe, are of great importance to the ongoing debate on Parakumba age debate.

by D. D. K. Senanayake, Pannipitiya.

Bell bottom history

The bell bottom is only a trouser wide at the folds. This trouser was originally adopted by the British Royal Navy for the convenience of the sailors. Later dress designers widened the trouser at the folds and called it elephant bell.

Sometime back people from all walks of life discarded the European dress saying it does not suit us as it is not our dress at all and donned the 'national dress' which itself was borrowed from India not ours either.

Today those very people have discarded the national dress and have opted to wear the European dress. Hence, the trouser is worn today by all people including labourers, coconut pluckers and even farmers who plough the paddy fields.

Incidentally, people begin to fancy the national dress only when an election is round the corner, to give false promises.

by P. A. Binduhewa, Panadura.

Dr. Rajitha and bell-bottoms

Dr. Rajitha's comment that farmers should change over to bell-bottoms in preference to the loin-cloth (amude) should not be construed to be a disparaging reference to farmers.

However, farmers will not desire to choose bell-bottoms or an attire that will not be suitable to be worn in the field. At the same time, we do not see any relevance or importance that a farmer should use a loin-cloth.

In other countries farmers wear trouser and shirt and use tractors to prepare their fields for cultivation. They step into their fields in ankle boots.

The trend is that the loin-cloth is gradually going out of use. Some years ago, we would have seen coconut pluckers and even manual labourers walking about in loin-cloths.

It remains to be seen whether farmers would continue to wear the loin-cloth in the field or prefer to make a change to some other attire that would not reveal their bare buttocks, as time goes by.

by E. M. Aldons, Hendala.

SLTB back

The Actg. Minister, Alagiyawanna, on inauguration of SLTB promised a very qualitative service! A revamping was long overdue and we can simply "rattle off" about 20 short comings in the general foresight planning, resource tapping and economising areas.

Two outstanding misdemeanours stick out like a sore thumb, which really should be tackled/faced with all priority.

The driver particularly should treat an average commuter as firstly, a person who cannot afford any other type of travel - even in pain and illness he suffers and self-indulgently dares a bus ride - most of them are not able-bodied or stout-limbed or agile as teenagers for the non-caring drivers enforced "push-ups" and "parallel bars", etc. with his constant "teeth-gritting", "nerve jarring" brake jamming.

(A foreign lady confessed kissing the nape of the front man's neck throughout her trip). "Foot-swiping" take offs which most times telescoping all standing passengers to the front if not a "scrum-down" "Taking off" with passengers "getting in or out has to stop!

The best detergent or practical solution would be the formation of a very smart "Learner/driver" school section, with plenty of active men in teams in civvies following up regularly systematically, with "no-pay" leave classes for default driving.

Crews should be married to buses on consignments received anew for super output service and performance.

by W. Meadows, Dehiwala.

Killing spree

Killing spree goes on unabated in the country factor which protects all life on earth.

The criminal elements today brutally muscles in broad day light even in the very precincts of Law Courts, Law Enforcement Authorities and even helpless elderly innocents. Many were raped and murdered elsewhere.

When a beastly murderer is guaranteed with a safe house all provided at public expense in the form of a prison who would not dare to take another's life so boldly.

Media reported recently that a bank in Kilinochchi under LTTE rule operates even without security cameras or armed security personnel. Visitors say that even snatch or petty thieves are not heard of there.

The reason they say is attributed to severe punishment.

Whatever the human rights activists profess while sitting in comfort with security for themselves death penalty should be implemented to infuse fear and protect innocent lives.

by S. A. Ananda, Wattala.

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