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‘To Sir with love’
It is a well-known fact, that seven undergraduates of the Kelaniya
University have been remanded by the police, due to an unethical ragging
incident of a fresher girl who was courageous and bold enough to have
made a complaint to the police. Since there was no action taken against
this anti social menace, it ramified and multiplied to uncontrollable
levels during the past few decades.
It is the belief that the ragging is done by senior students, who do
not have decent family backgrounds, hatred to society because of their
negligible social status, wrong mentality and being puppets of extremist
political elements who have no social recognition and not recognised
from the public. It was reported in the media that the seven culprits
are primitive brutes belonging to a frustrated radical political group
with no future. I doubt whether they will ever have, public acceptance
even in the imaginary island of ‘Lilliput’ in Gulliver’s travels.
Recently, I saw in the media that there had been 25 deaths and several
cases of vacating Universities due to inhuman ragging during the past
years. The unpublished and actual numbers must definitely be high. The
severe mental stress that emanates from, inhuman ragging would have been
unbearable in the above cases. The long-awaited positive results
expected by parents and students were brought to an abrupt sad end.
It is reported in the papers that the other members of the above
group were spreading false information and a character assassination of
the affected female student and her parents. Lies will die out sooner or
later. The truth will prevail. Finally the authorities in the Kelaniya
University spearheaded by Vice Chancellor Prof Sunanda Madduma Bandara
have decided to take stern action against ragging and violence. He has
said that all Universities in the country have agreed to implement the
Charter signed by the Commonwealth University Union and the University
Grants Commission to eliminate ragging and violence against women from
May 12, 2016.
He has said there is provision in law for a person to be jailed if he
or she is involved in ragging and unsociable action against fresh
While thanking other intellectuals also who joined you, well done
Sir, Prof Madduma Bandara for taking the most difficult initiative to
eliminate this virulent cancer from the Universities in Sri Lanka.
Hope, that there will be a day in the near future to sing, ‘To Sir
Exorbitant private medical charges
When a rich man falls sick it is no issue but when a low or middle
class person falls sick it is a huge issue because of the lack of
The spiralling cost of medicine, treatment and medical expenses on
the whole - doctors’ fees and the cost of medicine faced by the middle
class and low income families is a cause for concern. The government
provides a state welfare system but it’s impossible for the government
to solely continue this and be accountable for the health of the
nation.The private sector entering the health service is a vital factor
in caring and sharing.
Though the essential service of the state is to provide medication,
various tests of blood samples, therapeutic drugs and medicine, medical
and surgical treatment which is exorbitant, in private medical centres
and beyond the reach of the majority, it is not carried out effectively
by the state.
The prime part of a welfare state is where services are coordinated
by the private sector, with the government as other services such as
transport and education, where individuals and and institutions
responsible should act with a national feel.
Many of those in the health and medical field studied free of charge,
in state schools and universities and are morally bound and indebted to
Gaining access to a consultant is not easy. In situations where
urgent treatment is required either in a private hospital or medical
centre, the rich, the middle class and the poor are becoming customers
in large numbers and end up being debtors. For those in the lower income
bracket, it is a long-term suffering, with no redress. Seventy percent
of the population lives in poverty, Government or private, the health
service has its own social responsibility -to serve and win support.
Private hospitals, medical centres and individuals engaged in this
vital sector should revise rates for essential services so that everyone
can reap the benefit.
Plight of farmers
It is not a secret that farmers face difficulty in selling their
The main problem is the large number of intermediaries. Some of the
*Marketing people buying the agriculture products from the farmer.
*Lorry owners who transport these products to Colombo.
*Wholesale vegetable traders at the Colombo Central vegetable market.
*Retail vegetable shops.
These intermediaries earn by selling the farmers products and the
farmer gets next to nothing - about 15 to 20 percent.
There are many government organizations expected to protect the
farmer., but that is not happening. The farmer is exploited by
intermediaries who are strong compared to the farmer.
It is the responsibility of the government to solve this problem.
Government officers should visit these areas and see for themselves what
They must come out of their luxury cars and air-conditioned offices
and speak to farmers. They must be available in vegetable growing areas.
Recently President Maithripala Sirisena advised the relevant officers
to take immediate action. We hope the authorities will heed his advice
and help farmers out of this quagmire.
Baratha Gee Vindana and Tamil Cinema
Independent Television Network (ITN) celebrates its 37th Anniversary,
this year. Waruni Uthpala with her skill and talent beautifully presents
Baratha Gee Vindana from I.T.N.’s Thevis Guruge studio. Hindi film and
music lovers look forward to this entertaining program. It is telecast
at 10.30 p.m. on Sunday.
Waruni Uthpala gives correct information about films, singers, music
and directors. Being a capable Hindi teacher, radio and TV presenter,
she has restored I.T.N.’s image. Ranjith Edirisinghe and producer
Sumanasiri Amaratunga assist the program.
Tamil cinema was the stepping stone for many popular Hindi stars.
Nadodi Mannan was B. Saroja Devi’s first film, M.G. Ramachandran
produced and directed this film and played a dual role as Nadodi and
Mannan, with the cast comprising P. Bhanumathi, M.N. Rajam and the
villains being P.S. Weerappa and M.N. Nambiar. B. Saroja Devi acted with
Gemini Ganeshan in Kalyana Parisu, the Tamil version of the Hindi film
Nazrana with Raj Kapoor and Vyjayanthimala.
M.G. Ramachandran also acted in Gulebakawali, Pudhumai Pittan and the
Tamil version of Alibaba and the 40 Thieves with P. Bhanumathi.
Vyjayanthimala acted with Gemini Ganeshan in the Tamil Film
Vanjikottai Valipon and again with Gemini Ganeshan and Anjali Devi in
Kanawane Kankanda Devivam dubbed in Sinhala as Pativata. Actress Rekha’s
parents are Gemini Ganeshan and Savithri. Padmini acted with Gemini
Ganeshan in the Tamil film Aasai with P.S. Weerappa.
Helen acted with Sivaji Ganeshan in Uttama Puthran the Tamil version
of Man in the Iron Mask, where Sivaji Ganeshan played a dual role.
Sivaji Ganeshan also acted in Veerappandiya Katta Bomman and
Parasakthi Vanangamudi. Sivaji’s ‘Amaradeepam’ was the Tamil version of
the Hindi Film Amaradeep with Padmini, Vyjayanthimala and Dev Anand.
I believe that film and music lovers should be educated during our
life time. ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’