Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Unprecedented but Unbowed and Under the Ulterior motive of Uncle Sam

The government now plays a game of blaming the US for bringing about a HR resolution. The nationwide protests that have continued and will persist, does not impact on the international community at all. Few in those countries are even aware of this activity. So it is only playing to the local audience strengthening the hand of the government in covering up the unprecedented series of price rises emanating from mismanagement. It is an act of manipulation of the mind from the need of the hour, a solution to survive from day to day.

I look on this as escapism in time of crisis, where reality is ignored and set aside with ideas and practices to cover up unpleasant thoughts. Protesting against absent non-existent propositions is a convenient tool to make people forget their problems and instead focus on a completely unrelated topic to vent their anger. This is a very clever move, and psychologist might argue is essential for people prone to depression to engage in. It is a form of psychotherapy called behavior modification, that the state has unwittingly thrust on its people.

So what action must we take against kill joys who want to remind us how bad it is? Self appointed patriots call them traitors. I ask do we owe a duty to our citizens to tell the truth or like the best form of democracy mislead the people on a grand scale to imbibe in self flagellation and not even feel the pain because they are in a trance that give them supernatural powers. This is the latest form of Governance.

This dilemma of ‘to inform or not’ is a difficult one to rationalize, when the recipient of this admonishment and warning of things to come would rather live today to find an imaginary villain of the peace, so they can go about beating him instead of the real culprit. So ask yourself, which side you prefer in this debate?

Once you answer that question you are free to agree or disagree with my opinion of what awaits us. One has to go back a few years in my blog to predict today’s outcome as being inevitable and not a flash in the pan or caused by any external shocks or influences. It was expected. Running a country is no different to running your home finances, but a little more detailed and few more compromises must be made to manage with the available finances of a nation. Many realistic decisions on what to spend on and what to cut down are taken daily. Those affected by the cuts are those who feel a personal stake has been compromised or robbed.

Let’s not forget that it makes no difference if the US or Western powers exist or not. Nothing will be CHANGE. Our issues are our own and not anyone else’s. So let us face reality and do that which is needed to continue to live as well as we can.
Let us try and put to bed this US resolution as nothing to get hot under the collar about. After all the Govt. issued the LLRC report and has not done anything about it. As soon as they go to Geneve, Mahinda Samarasinghe says they are implementing all the recommendations that have not already been implemented. The US resolution is only requesting that the proposals be implemented knowing full well that if they do not say that, the SL govt. will just delay and stall for time. So this is all a waste of time as the Govt. of Sri Lanka despite the misleading statements to the public has cowed down to the threat and agreed to all conditions.

It is clear to UNHRC that their action has already borne fruit. So it is a sorry state when an excessive team of 52 people including Douglas Devananda has gone to Geneve. He is the main culprit implicated in the paramilitary operations in the north that were highlighted as an important step to be solved long before the final report was issued, and still has to be acted upon. We watch with interest to see if the LLRC report recommendations will in fact be implemented and if so when?

So how can the Govt of Sri Lanka be so disingenuous as to tell the people that they are not going to be bullied by the US when they have already agreed to all their conditions. This sort of double standard is why I have a problem trying to find any more excuses for their behavior. After all even without Parliamentary approval they go to Geneve and agree to all the LLRC recommendations! Why? Is the Govt. frightened to get parliamentary approval because it may not be given? Or do they not care a toss under the dictatorship for the Parliament? Both require an answer.

It is disgraceful that the Govt. has to be prodded by the UNHRC to implement its own internal report recommendations. That is a sign of incompetence and intentional desire of NOT wanting to solve the internal challenges with all communities to ensure a lasting peace.

The Govt. must stop fighting a non-existent war in order to keep the people engaged in a different focus when the state of the nation and its management is severely undermining the strength of the economy, and there is no clear vision on how to solve the problems of the country.

In conclusion I call upon the Govt. of Sri Lanka to come clean, and be forthright about its actions and not encourage false jingoistic rallies over non-existent threats. They work hand in glove with the US in every sphere and also with the IMF in order that they can get all the funds they require while accepting ALL conditions. The people MUST be told there is no independence and sovereignty. It has been forfeited and so talk of preserving a sold out independence is only pretence.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We live in interesting times not knowing what awaits us – round the corner! - That is what living is all about

Each day is like no other, surprises and unexpected events are a constant, and despite all this we go about our daily lives with quiet determination and expectation of each day being better than the day which precedes it.

As night follows day, we have lost that certainty as even during the day clouds come over to mimic the night. We persist in our endeavors hoping we can get through the day and with all that we have to overcome, achieve and complete.

Time passes too fast to get catch one’s breath, pleasures in life must be indulged in lest they disappear. The pleasure of being able to walk unaided is only appreciated when that pleasure is lost. So do enjoy your walk while you can.

One hopes one day to relive that pleasure, but one never knows. So walk anyway, crutches, hold hands or any other crutch to imbibe in that pleasure. Life’s simple things are the most pleasurable. A back rub a squeeze or a feast of plain food.

Renewing long lost friendships making new ones and forever engaging are virtues that few can appreciate. A long period of seclusion is good for the soul, but must be followed by a train of events, conversations, and engagements.

Alcohol and cigarettes are poison for the mind. It dulls the senses into a state of paralysis from which even carnal desires are stamped out. It is better to drink the water of the King Coconut as it soothes, quenches and fulfills.

The mind is made whole when the heart is left thumping and expectation hits the top note. We call it utopia and you call it orgasmic but it all amounts to a temporary out of body experience. No one can deny.

Every waking moment is sublime which has followed the ridiculous nature of the previous dream. So wake up at dawn and don’t waste a moment of the day. It is too little too short and too precious. It soon goes away.

Memory stays and goes, with no certainty. When you cannot remember you worry you are losing what you have. You rejoice when you suddenly recall what you were trying not to forget. Your list to do is now complete.

We go to our maker not when we choose, but when he chooses, so remember life’s vagaries and indulge in all pleasures as you live as you know not what is in store. It is a great, beautiful, elixir of wonderment don’t let it glide by. You will miss it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

My relaxed chat with the Deputy Mayor of Colombo - Mr Titus Perera

I just so happened to be sitting next to the Deputy Mayor yesterday at a softball cricket match where young people from the CMC were playing. We spoke about many topics and I note below some of them just to put our thinking caps going on how we can improve the services of the CMC in Colombo.

I noted that Government own properties within the CMC limits which include Temple Trees and President’s House, to say nothing of the thousands of buildings that house departments. He is in the process of getting a full accounting of how much is owed in rates for those properties, and it currently exceeds Rs2Billion. There must be some kind of agreement for a market forces based rating system, so that a fair rate is paid for them as they use the services of the CMC. They are in conflict with the UDA about property that is not CMC, but nevertheless within CMC limits. It must be noted that schools and places of worship are exempt from rates, which is a huge added burden on the ratepayers and most of the students who come to the schools come from outside CMC and therefore are not ratepayers. Similarly many who come into the city to the places of worship also live outside.

Another topic was the hundreds of thousands of people who come into the CMC daily though they live outside the CMC. As these people use the services of the CMC, and even throw or leave garbage in the CMC area, they contribute to the thousands of tons of garbage that is the responsibility of the CMC to have collected and disposed of. They pay no rate to the CMC for this burden.

We discussed the name boards and large advertising boards that give substantial revenue to the CMC. They must have some sort of accountability to ensure that the right amount of money is collected. It is important that the CMC is not shortchanged by under reporting and for example a bill board recording a much lower square area than actual, thereby depriving the CMC of revenue.

We spoke about parking charges to reduce congestion, and ensure that people who use spaces within the CMC to park in busy areas, to pay a parking fee. A suggestion for school vans to buy a monthly or annual season ticket for their parking which is now free. It is only a matter of time when this becomes not only fair but vital to ensure that there is some control over the haphazard and blockage these school vans make in the ability of smooth vehicular transport.

He mentioned that he is asking all departments to develop revenue generating options rather than rely on allocations for their essential activities.

It is essential to be able to have a good working relationship with the government as they can be bloody minded by withholding back rates on properties which they many choose to contest and thereby deprive the CMC of much needed revenue.

I expressed my desire in seeing more open spaces for the public like parks, and wished to see the 15 acre property by the Beira used as a park and not the huge buildings the govt. wants by selling the land to the highest bidder. I also expressed the desire to see the 33 acres of the Welikada Prison also to be given over to park land as people living cheek by jowl in the nearby Wattes will benefit from a lung of the city being there, rather than that too sold to private sector for building and further added congestion. I sincerely hope basic town planning rules will used in future evaluations to ensure that there are sufficient spaces in the city for parkland for the benefit of those who live in the increasingly crowded and congested city that have too few places for people to escape to.

I completely forgot to ask about the junket held at the Kandalama Hotel, and how that cost could be justified, based on a cost benefit analysis.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Back to Education – “Reopening of 1000 Closed Schools” – another spanner!

Due to the emotive nature of the closure of local schools, especially those with less than 50 students the Govt. has decided to take reverse measures by reopening previously closed schools. This to me is only a reaction to bad publicity and is a retrograde step, taken to boost sagging popularity by emotive moves.

I have noted earlier about why so many schools have had to be closed, as it is very difficult under the current system of state education to firstly attract good teaching staff to mainly primary village schools, due to teachers having to commute from homes far away with minimal accommodation facilities in the rural areas. In fact I was informed just two days ago of a co-worker whose wife, who taught in a local school in Payagala (local to her home) and was just transferred to a school in the interior. She has to walk the final 3km after taking two buses, as there is no bus service to the village at that hour. She is trying all it takes using influence with the Chief Minister of the Western Province to get herself transferred back or at least to somewhere she can get to with less pain.

I presume this school would be one according to my criteria, which will soon have to close as parents lose faith in the teaching staff’s competence and dedication, and put their kids into more urban schools at a greater distance from home. How can the govt. keep this open? The news also referred to considerable sums being spent to repair, and do the necessary capital expenditure to get these previously closed schools back to a state to accept students. It is an UTTER WASTE of money UNLESS good teachers can also be attracted to the schools. No parent wants to send their kids to understaffed schools where the quality of teaching is not up to par. The money thus spent will be wasted. Cost of keeping them open is colossal.

It is therefore NOT the look of the school and its facilities, it is the Teachers stupid

Unless good teaching staff can be recruited, it makes no sense to waste money on this fruitless exercise. It is important that the money is spent wisely in giving the schools the necessary teaching tools, and basic facilities like toilets at existing schools many of which are thoroughly neglected. It appears that common sense evaluation does not take place in this proposition. All the factors of keeping a school open must be looked into along with population, age statistics also, the forthcoming census will give further accurate information for this evaluation.

Current thinking is devoid of a master plan, meant to address all problems, but is a collection of decisions, based on gut reactions at the cost of wasted opportunities.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Antony Fernando – a symbol of the ages – and a turning point – funeral

Fishermen and their families in Chilaw protested (non political) a few days ago against price increases of 50% on Kerosene and 37% on Diesel. They were vociferous but unarmed and in the ensuing engagement with the police and various units of the armed forces, Antony Fernando was shot in the head in COLD BLOOD along with others, and Antony died of his wounds.

Force of that nature against a group of fishermen was unwarranted. There was NO reason for the presence of ARMED personnel to quell a regional protest over a legitimate issue that affects ordinary people’s livelihood, and as usual no direct responsibility was accepted by the Government. Antony’s funeral is later today.

Antony’s wife has only recently left for employment in the Middle East and is expected to be at the funeral, and he left behind a son and daughter, both of primary school age. This is reflective of the struggle of the majority of people in Sri Lanka. A parent going overseas to earn some money to supplement an insufficient family income for survival is quite a common event.

There is no reason for violence at the funeral, if the Armed Forces and Police stay out of sight. Their presence is not necessary for crowd control, as the Catholic Church is capable of organizing the crowd that comes to pay their respects to one of their own, even if it gets too large. It is normal for the people to blame the government as they must have expected people to agitate and protest against this unprecedented fuel price increase, and should show restraint against this natural phenomenon, rather than act surprised or point the finger at people bent on causing mayhem. The fact they did not do so is reflective of the thinking of suppressing the freedom of expression on a justifiable protest. One dreads to think of the consequences of future protests, as the issue is expected to grow nationwide.

Each unnecessary death, Antony’s, and Roshen Chanaka’s during the protests in Katunayake, only adds to the legitimacy of the protest movement against policies that are clearly aimed at imposing undemocratic edicts upon people that have not been sufficiently debated in parliament and a consensus reached. The current form of Dictatorial rule, where the Cabinet is used only to rubber stamp does not sit well with those affected by them, who wish to defy impositions as being unreasonable.

It is now apparent that rule where non violent protest is suppressed, is the beginning of the end of that style of government. It cannot last long and the sooner we see their downfall without bloodshed, the better it is for society and country.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The black February of bad news continues – and the people’s senses are numb

We are in for a difficult time in managing our personal finances as the spate of price increases does not have a limit or a time frame, as long as the threat of further devaluation of the Rupee remains. The pundits are now saying this was inevitable as the Government was living on borrowed time, but why were they so silent all this time? It was because the Government carried out a very successful campaign of misinformation, about the state of the Country’s finances. The foreign reserves position was not as rosy as was being portrayed, and the rising level of the balance of payments gap could not be contained forcing the need to either prop up the rupee or go for a devaluation on top of the steps taken to plug the budget deficit.

The government further wanted to get all the Local government elections out of the way. Now when they have strengthened their hold on power, are able to go for a two year period without elections, by which time they hope to have sorted out the problems that have arisen.

It was clear at the Budget presentation that the Government had an impossible deficit that it just could not fund out of borrowing. So they had no choice but to cut the subsidies that would directly reduce this deficit. It is therefore wrong to blame the price rises on the Iran crisis or the increase in the price of oil. Now, due to the pressure both on the rupee and the reserves and need for borrowing, the Treasury Bill rates have risen and we will see a further tightening of the money supply with increasing interest rates, which will see a further dampening of the growth rate. The latter is also required to prevent a free fall of the rupee.

The government has also raised the prices of fuel to a level, where at present they will also earn an additional tax, and be able to cushion fuel prices from a further devaluation. Therefore only the Fertilizer subsidy of Rs50Billion and some wasteful infrastructure spending remain to be tackled.

The truth now needs to be explained, as being a direct result of the policies of the government and as a direct result of fooling the public over the past three years. The pain would have been minor or not even felt if the action was timely at facing the crises when they occurred and not waiting for them to get out of hand, where there are no options but to go for these huge and painful steps that are definitely going to affect the poorest sections of the community especially hard despite the promises of subsidies to those who are at the bottom of the pile. Subsidies in the end DO NOT reach the truly deserving and it is only people’s imagination that they will help. It is therefore BAD POLICY SHAMEFULLY EXECUTED

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What has happened to the People to be so servile to their leaders?

An unprecedented increase in the cost of Fuel was suddenly imposed without warning and there hardly seems to be a whimper of complaint let alone a spontaneous uprising. In other countries this could give rise to an immediate revolution and even an overthrow of the government in power. Students of Politics should try to explain this phenomenon. Is it that we are sufficiently affluent not to bother or is it that we are too complacent to complain and will only join in when there are others agitating on our behalf? I do not have an answer to this except to say that the tolerance level for punishment in the Sri Lankan body politic has proved to be extremely high, and the Govt. knows it and benefits from it.

This is a very worrying development, which has now enabled the people in power to rob the wealth of the nation with impunity, which I refer to as daylight robbery on a massive scale at every turn of one’s head. Is this a sign of things to come, where the Rajapkses have tested the waters? They have done the opinion research and realized that there will NOT be a revolt, so they calmly raised the prices, with a hint of some sort of subsidy that will hopefully give some relief for the poor, knowing full well that they have no intention of keeping any promise.

We will in days to come see one increase after another, coinciding with the need to raise wages first in the government sector and then in the Private Sector, neither of which the employers are able to concede, as the fuel shock has pervaded through both sectors, rendering some private businesses instantly loss making from being profitable. The resulting government taxation loss turning establishments from profit to loss is another burden the people of the country have to bear, as the government has shown NO intention of cutting the cost and trying to economize in order to face the difficult times ahead.

It is just a matter of time before further devaluation is upon us, first to Rs125 to the dollar and then when this is not sufficient to Rs150 to the dollar to make working overseas the only option for many of our enterprising citizens in order to provide for their families. The huge economic mismanagement of the Rajapakse Regime and its impact will only surface in time, when all of the culprits will be relaxing in the French Riviera having raided the coffers of the state bare, much in the way the old dictators of the Latin American Banana Republics did to their citizens.

This is an appeal to all thinking citizens of the country to stop being greedy and think for a moment of what your inaction will do to the future of the country, when you are in a position to make a change for the betterment of our country now.
To take a few examples to illustrate this point, I ask the reader, do you remember just a year ago how the pundits in power were talking about our stock market being the Asia’s or the World’s top performer? We were so drunk with sound bites that even then we failed to realize that not one red cent had come then, or in the 3 years since the end of hostilities from abroad to make this feat. It was all internally generated speculation, boosted by Government Leaders and their friends raiding the EPF coffers of our people for personal gain. The true figures are only now coming to light, when one sees the 100 Billion rupee loss those investments have now shown, while the pockets of those who were lined have filled their own. Now it is the world’s worst performing stock market! Quite a feat for the Chinthanaya!!!

I have said before and will repeat, “ALL development we have seen is thanks to the US$25Billion remitted by our citizens from work and savings from overseas, and the multiplier effect of that. If not for government waste and high interest rate borrowings from Chinese Banks, we could have seen a higher rate of growth”. We were therefore living under a false sense of security as the Government was taking the praise for actually stifling growth if truth be told. If the Rupee had held its true value of Rs130 to the dollar, we would have had a much higher growth rate and these remittances would have yielded a greater value to the recipients, enabling an even more effective allocation of resources to private sector led growth.

It is now down to convincing the duped public that there was mismanagement of the economy at embarrassingly large proportions, and the culprits are still trying to put a spin on it, blaming the IMF or USA or the Iranian oil embargo. It has NOTHING to do with them at all. When you go broke, you go to a bank for a lifeline, the bank insists on certain conditions before they are willing to lend any money, and so it is only prudent banking the IMF is performing here.

It is not too late to cut the 100 + ministers and their perks, cars and security. It is simply not necessary, and in fact a burden. We have tolerated this nonsense and deserve to be in this mess. We believed in confidence tricksters. How can anyone allow an uneducated thug behind the scenes to determine Stock Market Broker Credit policy just because he has the ear of the President who does not understand the nuances of Investment? All the small investors have lost their savings.

It is not too late to allow the management of the economy to technocrats who know what they are doing instead of sycophants who are only interested in lining their pockets. There is some deep pain ahead for the economy due to the misbehavior of those we have elected, but an immediate change of direction will prevent an apocalypse which we do not deserve and CAN avoid if we act NOW.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Is this the beginning of the end of the great betrayal?

As the saying goes, “you can fool some of the people for most of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.” The people of Sri Lanka have been fooled by the age old smoke and mirrors trick, because it is what they see is what they believe, be it in the papers or TV and even for that matter with their own eyes. So when it comes to a road in their village it is the first impression that appears to count. Now even the roads are crumbling, as I saw with my own eyes in Biyagama yesterday, where we went to see 3 lanes that needed urgent repair.

I returned last night from a lightening protest on the Biyagama side of the Kaduwela bridge, a spontaneous one planned by the Youth of the area, only a few hours earlier, to protest against the results of bad government policies, namely the sudden massive increase in the prices of fuel, which in days to come will impact on every aspect of our lives. It seems that the people of Sri Lanka are generally complacent and it really requires a catalyst of major proportions to wake them up from their slumber of the inevitable.

I have been pointing out for years in my notes, that there is nothing called a free lunch. We have to pay for everything we use one day. If our economy is mismanaged we may have to pay even more, so when the State engages in wholesale lying using the media to such an extent that the majority of the people believe in these lies, when the truth finally dawns, it is disbelief, that prevails.

It is shameful that the day of reckoning has been delayed for years after the end of the hostilities, when it could have been faced then and cleared. But no, the government wanted to win even more elections by even bigger margins, so they hid the people from the truth, that we could not afford an overvalued currency, we could not afford high interest debt, to build all their white elephants, we could not afford to pay bribes to the rulers for engaging the Chinese to build our infrastructure at inordinately high rates of interest, but faulty ones at that – the Power station at Norochcholai is a prime example of bad technology, with technically poor construction.

Most of the people reading this blog have also been fooled for years, and for some they continue to be fooled successfully by the mind numbingly cunning campaign of misinformation, when the facts can be gleaned by common sense evaluation, call “KALPANAKARANNA”. I have been called to task most of the time with my questioning of this charade, but at least I have stuck to my guns under tremendous pressure, much from those so called armchair “COLOMBIANS”.
To put it simply the highly educated Columbians are saying the government had no choice but to cut subsidies, as it distorts economic growth. That is true, but not after squandering US$2Billion of borrowed money in defending an overvalued currency. (see my blog notes of a few years ago for that issue) It could have been done in good time, and not when forced to receive the latest US$800M tranche from the IMF to pay the overpriced bills, overpriced that is due to the cost of bribes being so big a part of the bill. These apologists for the Government continued with this as they also feasted from this gravy train, making billions in the stock market, when in all three years since the end of hostilities, more money has returned overseas in the form of profits, than actually invested in the stock market from overseas!! This despite the world’s leading stock exchange status that was constantly being boasted about by those in government but worse by those industrialists engaged in speculation.

Now the truth has come home, and even then it is being deflected as a Western Conspiracy against the country! The conspiracy is within the Leaders, with responsibility firmly resting right at the pinnacle of this pyramid, to let us get into this state inebriation with power. It was ironic only a day or two ago, when Mr 10% in Pakistan was bestowing honors on Mr 20% as only devils can do, that within hours of his return, the Pakistani PM was held in contempt of court, for preventing the natural course of justice in permitting the prosecution of the President for taking bribes. As the saying goes “birds of a feather flock together”.

For a person guided by horoscopes over economics, no wonder when the MIG 27 crashed this morning took flight to Singapore on a state visit to avoid the backlash at home. We cannot and must not hold this country hostage to corrupt and traitorous elements, as their one interest is personal aggrandizement and not the interests of the country. We work so hard to improve the quality of life of those who live in this country, to see those who are bent on destroying it either through ignorance or sheer bloody mindedness is something we just cannot accept, especially from people who have been able to fool so many so successfully for so long. It is time someone was able to very clearly and simply explain to people how we have allowed ourselves to get into state, when we could have done so much better by now with the Peace Dividend which we could have got, but chose to destroy at will, due to our Pied Piperish slavishness allowing the basic principles of democratic governance be destroyed, without as much as a wimp or murmur.

It is time to act, to show the door, even the prospect of gallows to traitors, so that no one will dare in the future even attempt the art of the betrayal, so that the true potential of this country can be realized, using our greatest resource, the people.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Deyata Kirula – Try taking a leak and then you know what a Ammata ……… where even basic conveniences are 4 toilets for 100,000 people!!!

I have said it before and will say it again, we do not have anyone in office or in power who can think. The obscene amounts that have been spent on Deyata Kirula, and the waste attached to it could solve the education deficit for 2012, just to give an example of the magnitude of the costs, but go and look at how many toilets there are for people to relieve themselves? Yes, just 4, and how about the stink?

I cannot believe how the citizens of this country tolerate such bombastic excesses without as much as a murmur, and the Media do not even report it for fear of being labeled as kill joys. Come on we have a council of ministers and higher ups appointed to organize this event. Why don’t they plan for the required toilet facilities for people who come hundreds of kilometers to this place and spend a few hours going through the exhibits? How about the people manning the 1000+ stalls? There are port-a-loos that can be transported to the locations for events such as these. I would say a minimum of 50 for women, and about 25 for men should be in place as well as people to make sure it is kept clean, so people do not have to hold their noses and go into a place wreaking of excreta.

A simple fact of overlooking such a basic need, completely undermines any positives this exhibition of national pride, and State PR can provide. Just because the planners have access to high speed convoys to go to star class establishments they forget there are others less fortunate. I mentioned this issue earlier when it come to the pot holes at all bus stands in every city, that splash the passenger every rainy day with no one to look into their interests. This is another example of the same manner of thinking. It is now up to the people of Sri Lanka to stand up for basic rights and not allow a state to steamroll people anyway they want and force them to hold their bladders to bursting point yet again.

It is time instead of lying about an impossible feat of 2.5million visitors when 400,000 have passed through the gates, to get real about having an exhibition that people really feel relaxed in, comfortable, and can learn, enjoy, be entertained and above all see what it is they can take back from the event to further enhance the quality of their lives, rather than put up with mind bogglingly callous treatment at the hands of the establishment, that has turned the Kirula into a Kunugoda.

The people of Sri Lanka deserve better from their rulers, who seem to think they know what they want. Ask any lady in Sri Lanka, what the biggest problem in going out in public is and she will say the lack of clean, safe, public toilets!!!!