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DateLine Sunday, 13 January 2008

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A visit to the zoo with family after a lapse of about 20 years was rather disappointing. Considering the levels of maintenance and cleanliness comparatively with other zoos in some parts of the world, ours definitely comes within those standards.

However, a few more litter boxes with in short distances would certainly help the place being kept more cleaner. This is in no way a shortcoming of the authorities, but due to an acute sickness of our own people!

What was more alarming and not acceptable by any means was that sign boards indicating the inmates of the cages and directions of the pathway were only in English and Sinhala.

Surveying around, without any exaggeration, the crowd present on that day which happened to be a Sunday and Poya Day as well, were mostly Muslims, Tamils even from the estate population and Sinhalese in that order, with a scattering of foreigners.

We have still not learnt lessons after experiencing conflicts for a over a quarter century. There is, I believe, legislation for the use of Tamil as well. If so, why this treatment to a section of our own people? Are the Tamil people even denied to know who occupy the cages in a zoo!

This is not the fault of the Government yesterday or toady, but the usual bureaucrats who create more problems when simple solutions are readily available.

Immediate steps should be taken by the authorities concerned to rectify these sign boards to be read in all three languages. Failing which an organisation or a business entity should step in as a venture under their C.S.R. project.

What purpose does it serve in appointing Commissions etc. When simple solutions are easily available to defuse to some extent complicated problems? What a shame!


Residents of Regent Flats say thanks

Residents of Regent Flats are ever grateful and would like to record our thanks to the Sri Lanka Airforce Fire Brigade, the Colombo Five Brigade and police for the prompt and efficient service rendered at the time the fire broke out in the building's meter room.

Due to their efficiency and kindness our homes and lives were saved and we cannot thank them adequately.

A big thank you too to passer by M. Mohamed who contacted the Air force on his mobile phone and to others who assisted in every way possible.

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Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
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