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DateLine Sunday, 19 August 2007

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In the past it was a popular dictum that the sun never set on the British Empire. But due to vicissitude of fortune the Empire collapsed and left behind the legacy of the English language, on which the sun never sets.

The English Language is one of the most important living languages in the world today. The English language has very rich in literature many books on science, technology, commerce and medicine are also published in this language. A good knowledge of English is necessary to read and understand these books.

Apart from that if one is to follow a special course of studies in any of these subjects one must have a good language of English.

If one is to keep in touch with the latest inventions and discoveries one must possess a thorough knowledge of English.

It is regretted to note since we switched on to the medium of national languages in our schools, the standard of English has begun to decline steadily.

As a matter of fact a student who has gained a credit pass in the G.C.E. O/L examination cannot speak or write a couple of sentences without murdering the Queen's language.

The government has felt the importance of English and spends a mountain of money to improve the English Education, but produces a rat.


Sweep winners are vulnerable to criminal elements

Lakhs of Lotteries Board sweep ticket buyers, many doing so almost quite regularly, must be watching the lottery draws when they are telecast live over the TV right throughout the week between 9 - 9.30 p.m. including the Poya days, at the Rupavahini and the ITN.

The winners of the various sweep tickets, make their appearances before the panel of judges or observers at the lottery draws, individually or with their family members to receive their prize by cheques.

The ladies and gentlemen conducting the draws ask various questions, including family details such as (Pawlay Thorathuru), the number of children in the family, husband's occupation, what they intend doing with such a large amount of money and so on.

In the case of lady sweep winner, who has no children, questions about the children in her family, would definitely put her into an embarrassing position in the presence of lakhs of people, who watch the programme.

As a retired Chief Inspector of Police looking at it from a security point of view, I feel that it is a very serious matter to question them about their family, as they would be exposed to criminal elements, who perhaps may visit their houses and extort large sums of money, threatening them at gun-point or with some dangerous weapon, and vanish from the scene after receiving the money.

But the party concerned will not dare to step into a Police Station and make a complaint against them.

I am not for a moment trying to dictate terms to the officials of the Lotteries Board but, I wish to make a suggestion to call the prize winners of the sweep to collect their prizes (cheques) personally producing their identity.

In the interest of both the sweep winner and for healthy functioning of the Lotteries Board, I make these comments in the interest of the security of the prospective sweep winner, in the context of today's security situation.

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