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"Sri Lanka Matha..."

Consequent to the performance of politicians and their cronies at the local government elections held on 30.3.2006, it is understood that leaders of political parties will be issuing a code of conduct to be adhered to by their members not only in the local body councils but also in the Parliament and the Provincial Councils.

This step is most welcome since it has for too long been a crying shame on our country that some of our representatives have gone off the rails of decency, decorum and discipline both in and out of our August assemblies.

In this regard it is kindly requested that the leadership should keep in mind that all tendencies on the part of any member to make hay while the sun shines, particularly by direct or devious means, resort to bribery and corruption, should not only be deprecated but also be nipped in the bud.

In the formulation of the code of conduct, emphasis should be laid on, inter alia, the necessity to sing the national anthem by all members at least once a day at every proceedings of the Parliament, Provincial Councils and the Local Authority Councils. This may perhaps take place at the very beginning of business of each day.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the national anthem has to inspire our legislators who are drawn from the various communities to continue to be patriotic.

The writer cannot let pass this occasion without a confession of a salient flaw observed over the years: The national anthem is sung in the Sinhala language only, which should not be so, as the reasonable use of the Tamil language has to be given its due place in accordance with the standing policy of the State.

Accordingly, those who do not have a sufficient knowledge of Sinhala or no knowledge of it, will be properly inspired by singing a suitably revised national anthem. Perhaps a few lines incorporated in the Tamil language can be adopted in the present national anthem.

It is therefore submitted that our President should be pleased to appoint a committee consisting of a few experts drawn from the Sinhalese and Tamils to consider and recommend a revised or a new national anthem.

Some may advance an argument that no other country has a national anthem in more than one language: But we need not blindly follow other countries in this regard since it is open to us to treat the matter independently as a sovereign State and since it will also not affect adversely our foreign relations.


Sugar anyone?

A present diabetes is considered as the second largest killer disease next to heart attack. I feel that the general public is not fully aware of the dangers and precautions to be taken with regard to this disease.

Carbohydrates consumed by us is converted into glucose after digestion and transformed into energy in the blood. When the body is properly exercised, the glucose is easily transformed into energy. However, if the exercise is inadequate, the unspent glucose will increase the blood sugar level resulting in diabetes.

The main reasons for diabetes are as follows:

Hereditary - this is an unfortunate situation. Lifestyle - high consumption of starch and fatty foods, lack of exercise, etc. Continued mental depression - this fact has to be understood clearly. Mental depression can cause not only high blood pressure, heart attacks etc., but diabetes as well.

Symptoms of Diabetes can be frequent urination and hunger, dizziness, dry tongue, increased heart beat, unusual perspiration, diminishing eye sight, etc.

And one or more of these signs should not be ignored. Even without any of these symptoms diabetes could be diagnosed by the following medical tests :Urine test, fasting blood sugar, Random blood sugar. Your doctor will prescribe the best test for you.

Diabetes if not diagnosed and properly controlled could lead to :heart ailments, vision problems, eye pressure, kidney failure, reduced body resistance, amputation of limbs due to gangrene caused by neglected wounds, and stiffness in the feet and limbs.

By taking the following precautionary measures you could avoid/reduce the above complications to some extent: Early detection is the best. Therefore, after the age of 35 it is advisable to have regular medical check-ups. If you have diabetes in the family it would be better to start medical examinations at an even younger age. Take proper exercises. Walking for at least half an hour every day is good.

Balanced and regular meals are a must. Consult your physician or a dietician on the proper meal for you. Avoid liquor, cigarettes, drugs, artificial soft drinks etc. It is better to drink butter-milk. Watch your weight. Never take any medication without consulting a doctor. Don't fall prey to advertisements.

I have seen press advertisements suggesting various means of curing diabetes. Remember that diabetes like high blood pressure, heart ailments, etc. can only be controlled and not cured completed. Consult your family doctor before consenting to any major medical treatment. If you are consulting any other doctor, don't forget to inform him/her of your health condition and the drugs consumed by you.

For e.g.: even if it is a tooth extraction, you have to inform the Dentist about your health condition. Try to keep your mind calm at all times without building up unnecessary tension. Proper exercise and meditation will help to relax you both physically and mentally.


City Keepers

Now that the dust of the storm of local government elections has settled, we appeal to the newly elected 'City Fathers' to dedicate themselves to serve the voters in their respective administrative areas.

May I be permitted to submit a few proposals for their kind attention, which I state below.

Declaration of Assets and liabilities- All councillors including mayors and chairmen should voluntarily, declare their assets and liabilities at the inaugural meeting of the Council. This would certainly enhance their image and secure the confidence of the constituents. Citizen Committees- Establishment of citizen committees would certainly help the political authority to discharge their duties to the satisfaction of the ratepayers.

Proposed citizen committees should consist of religious dignitaries, professionals and representatives of the voluntary organisations in the area. This would enable the City Fathers to easily identify the problems in the area and also appreciate solutions offered by civil society.

Citizen Committees would serve as alarm bells to awaken lethargic and inactive members and push them into action. Mobile Service Unit- Rather than having a particular day or two in the conference room in the Council it would be desirable to meet the people on a given date, time and venue on a regular basis and this would certainly strengthen ties between the 'City Fathers' and the people.

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