Rubella and vaccination

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					                                                                                                                                                                                       Thursday 22nd October 2009
                                                                                                                                                               Seeing it differently
                                                                   Lanka’s dilemma:                                                                             I
                                                                                                                                                                     do not know who your
                                                                                                                                                                     columnist Kath Noble is
                                                                                                                                                                                                    for rational and objective look
                                                                                                                                                                                                    at things political and of inter-

                                                                   Rubella and
                                                                                                                                                                     and to what nationality she    national significance.
                                                                                                                                                                belongs, but I have been read-         I am a Lankan, South Asian
                                                                                                                                                                ing her columns not always in       and a human belonging to the
                                                                                                                                                                agreement of her analysis of        planet in which we live; but
                                                                                                                                                                local politics.                     that does not mean I am less

                                                                                                                                                                    Her piece on October 21,        patriotic towards the land in
                                                                                                                                                                2009 enthused me to read it         which i was born. One could be
                                                                                                                                                                with interest partly because of     rooted in his soil and yet look
                                                                                                                                                                it’s simple style and lucid argu-   ahead to see my country in a
                                                                                                                                                                ments and clarifications.           global perspective
                                                                                                                                                                    I think most of us Lankans         So, we should try to see the
                                                                                                                                                                are usually emotional and easi-     rationale behind Kath’s state-
        our editorial today (Oct. 21)    mental retardation. For this rea-    to determine whether naturally -         not. In the meantime, let there be       ly provoked despite our long        ments and not be so quick to

 Y      is appropriate and timely
        The confused and affected
 public deserve to be updated
                                   .     son some countries permit abor-
                                         tion for this unfortunate situa-
                                         tion. This has not been accept-
                                                                              acquired immunity to Rubella
                                                                              was present in a person. However,
                                                                              the administration of Rubella
                                                                                                                       no risk to anyone (girl, mother or
                                                                                                                       other) from this vaccine. If (par-
                                                                                                                       ticularly) a specialist doctor
                                                                                                                                                                tradition of religious values,
                                                                                                                                                                and of judging anything with
                                                                                                                                                                right balance of mind..
                                                                                                                                                                                                    condemn everything West.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Having lived in the U.S. for
                                                                                                                                                                                                    sometime, I found that politi-
 especially regarding health con-                            .
                                         able in our country Some decades     vaccination was included in the          decides that a woman should be               Trust Kath Noble is from        cians there are like that group
 cerns.                                  ago women who were getting           National Immunisation pro-               given the Rubella vaccine, let           Europe or the U.S.A. or some-       of people all over the world.
    Rubella or German Measles is         married or likely to become preg-    gramme, which has been tremen-           Rubella antibody testing be done         where outside Lanka and             And yet the people are as
 a viral infection comparable with       nant were strongly medically         dously successful.                       first, and, if she has natural           presently witnessing the pass-      humane as we are.
 common or garden Measles. If a          advised to take Rubella vaccina-        The present national dilemma          immunity, let her not have the           ing scene from our soil, but she       The vociferous amongst us
 woman acquires this infection in        tion. This advice was later          is because there has been two or         risk of vaccination.                     is absolutely correct in point-     could benefit by thinking anew
 the first 16 to 20 weeks (first 3       extended to all females of child -   more deaths soon after Rubella              I am sure more valuable infor-        ing out certain things we have      of what your correspondent
 months – to be safe) of pregnancy,      bearing age, as it could not be      vaccination. It is imperative and        mation and recommendations               forgotten to think about.In her     Kath suggests.
 there is a heavy risk of the foetus     clearly clinically determined        urgent that the relevant and             will be forthcoming from con-            article she is subtly argues a                 K. S. Sivakumaran
 (the baby in her womb) being            whether she has already natural-     responsible authorities inquire          cerned and balanced medical
 blind, having a congenital defor-       ly had Rubella. Subsequently, lab-   and determine whether the vac-           practitioners.

                                                                                                                                                               When will they ever learn?
 mity (like a hole in the heart), or     oratory methods were introduced      cine and vaccination are safe or                Dr. Lakshman Ranasinghe

                                                                                                                                                                   Lessons learnt from the          not allowing the set batsman to

Dented credibility                                                                  Obstinacy or
                                                                                                                                                                Champions Trophy. It was a          score. Kulasekara was doing
                                                                                                                                                                disaster due mainly to the fol-     great. What did Mendis do?
                                                                                                                                                                lowing -                               5. Whether they will learn
                                                                                                                                                                   1. Senior players acted irre-    from their mistakes is another
    would like to remind readers of an

I   addition to numerous incredible sto-
    ries related by the US Secretary of
State, Hillary Clinton. This is the most                                            insanity?
                                                                                                                                                                sponsibly without the slightest
                                                                                                                                                                thought that they were repre-
                                                                                                                                                                senting our country.
                                                                                                                                                                   2. Some of the fielders did
                                                                                                                                                                                                    matter, as no action is taken
                                                                                                                                                                                                    whether they do well or not.
                                                                                                                                                                                                       6. The tour manager must
                                                                                                                                                                                                    be submitting his report. What
infamous one she used during her
                                                                                                                                                                not even touch the ball.            action is taken regarding the
unsuccessful campaign to win                                                       fulfilling their duties with con-     obnoxious that he was sent to a
                                                                                                                                                                Standard field placement did        adverse comments is anybody’s
Democratic Party nomination for presi-                                                                      .
                                                                                   fidence and impartially It has        psychiatrist to examine his
                                                                                                                                                                not help, it only allowed the       guess. All cricketers must be
dential candidacy  .She dramatised her                                             also been reported that this          mental health.
                                                                                                                                                                opposition to score runs.           given lessons in MEDITATION
visit to Bosnia with her daughter                                                  UPFA candidate, accompanied              His threatening the return-
                                                                                                                                                                   3. Sorry to state that our       so that mind control will be
beyond one’s imagination. All those                                                by a group of supporters, had         ing officer with death, when he
                                                                                   walked into the Galle District        failed to get the highest number       captain did not lead by exam-       used when they are at the
                        who listened to
                        her made to                                                Secretariat and abused the elec-      of preferential votes proves           ple.                                wicket.
                                                                                                                                                                   4. Some of the tail-enders                               Bandula
                        think that she          Nishantha                          tion staff engaged in the check-      that, the proper place for him is
                                                                                                                                                                tried to do the impossible by                        Hedges Court
                        was really lucky                                           ing of ballot papers.                 not a seat in the provincial
                                                    LFP organiser for
                        to have escaped
                        the sniper fire at
                        the time of her
                        landing in
                                               S    Akmeemana Nishantha
                                                    Muthuhettigama, who con-
                                               tested the Southern Provincial
                                                                                      In the run up to the polls
                                                                                   marred with violence,
                                                                                   Muthuhettigama clashed with
                                                                                   other contestants of the same
                                                                                                                         council, but a hospital.
                                                                                                                            UPFA General Secretary
                                                                                                                         Minister Susil Premjayantha is
                                                                                                                         reported to have said in a press       Ramayana Trail
                        Bosnia.She spoke       election and failed to get the      party, for which he was remand-       briefing that the errant council-
                        about the shots        highest number of preferential      ed and released on bail. He           lor would be ‘definitely taken to                                          monkey (Hanuman) jumped he
                        fired at her and       votes as he vowed, is reported to   threatened that all police offi-      task’.                                                                     had to build a bridge and
                        the bullets which      have threatened the Returning       cers in the Galle District would         ‘Mahinda Chintanaya’ prom-                                              questions whether the power
                        were flying left,      Officer with death for alleged      be transferred and that the IGP       ises to foster social discipline                                           of the gods could be such?
                        right and cen-         ‘irregularities in the counting     sent on retirement, after he          among citizens, but, it is our                                                Sri Lanka Tourist
                        tre.She also           of preferences’. The Island of      became the chief minister. He         experience that theory and                                                 Development Authority seems
                        spoke about her        Oct. 10 reported that the           was so obsessed with the idea of      practice are two things going                                              to have identified some fifty
                        narrow escape by       Elections Commissioner              becoming CM, that he threat-          parallel.                                                                  sites in this trail .Perhaps
                                               Dayananda Dissanayake had           ened to accomplish this task by
                        ducking and run-                                                                                                                                                            more than even in India! I won-
                                               demanded that action be taken       hook or by crook and his behav-                 Stanley Weerasinghe
                        ning for cover                                                                                                                                                              der on what basis and on what
         Hilary                                against this rash act, which        iour in the election campaign                            Pannipitiya
                        under security                                                                                                                                                              facts it had arrived at these
                                               would hinder state officers from    became so intolerable and
                        escort.                                                                                                                                                                     conclusions. In fact historians
Fortunately, I had the opportunity of                                                                                                                                                               doubt whether the reference to
listening to her speech during the cam-                                                                                                                                                             Lanka is to Sri Lanka.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    According to the Indian histo-

                                                                                   Sir Don Bradman
paign. This highly fabricated story
became totally deflated just within 48                                                                                                                                                              rian Basham knowledge of the
hours after the speech. Most of the                                                                                                                                                                 location of the island of
electronic media in America started                                                                                                                                                                 <
telecasting her actual visit to Bosnia,                                            cousin decided to go for the           man just smiled. A few others                                             /Sri_Lanka>Sri Lanka lacks
which was extremely peaceful and                                                   match. The Oval was a short dis-       also ran and did the same. All of                                         detail. And according to
there were no sniper fires whatsoever                                              tance from where we lived and          us walked towards the pavilion                                            Sankalia geography of cen-
and in contrast there were many                                                    we decided to walk the distance.       with him. Incidentally my two                     Hanuman                 tral and South India is increas-
Bosnian officials to receive her on                                                All of us joined a queue to buy        cousins and my brother, after                                             ingly vaguely described.
                                                                                                                                                                   was surprised and bemused
   We have heard politicians coming
out with fantasies but those stories
lasted days or weeks until they are
                                                                                   the tickets, when there was a
                                                                                   commotion on the eastern end of
                                                                                   the Oval. The crowd had broken
                                                                                   the gate and all the people were
                                                                                                                          gate crashing, had the cheek to
                                                                                                                          go home have lunch, and come
                                                                                                                          back to watch the match.
                                                                                                                             This is not the end of the
                                                                                                                                                               I   to read in “The Island”
                                                                                                                                                                   (October 20th) that the
                                                                                                                                                               Ramayana Trail has around
                                                                                                                                                                                                       To attract Indian tourists to
                                                                                                                                                                                                    distort Sri Lanka past cannot
                                                                                                                                                                                                    be condoned. Before this myth
                                                                                                                                                                                                    gets crystallised, veracity of
                                                                                                                                                               fifty sites in Sri Lanka which       the pronouncements made by
proved wrong but in this case it lasted                                            rushing in without buying tick-             .
                                                                                                                          story After the match we walked
                                                                                                                                                               has great value.                     the Sri Lanka Tourist
just 48 hours for the media personnel to                                           ets. My brother and the two            to the changing room side to see
                                                                                                                                                               Unlike some other South East         Development Authority should
fetch the relevant cassette from the           Bradman                             cousins also ran leaving me. I         the Australians. In walked the       Asian countries Ramayana
archives. This is a good lesson even for                                           bought a ticket and occupied a         handsome Keith Miller towards                                             be authenticated .The ideal
                                                                                                                                                               story never took root in Sri         body to do this is the Royal
                                                      fter reading the letter

our local ‘turn-coat’ politicians. Some                                            seat.                                  the window, which was open,          Lanka. There are no historical
of them have conveniently forgotten                   written by Mr. Edmund           After a short period, since         wearing a towel and asked “are                                            Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka .It
                                                                                                                                                               records to vouch for its belief      could organise a seminar to
what they said belittling the forces’                 Dassanayake appearing in     there were some young ones             there any ladies around” and         here. No inscription refers to it
achievements then and the praise they          the Island on Friday 9th October    seated on the grass, I too decided     when we said no, he removed                                               which the officers of the Sri
                                                                                                                                                               or to any of its characters.         Lanka Tourist Development
sing now of the person who led these           my memory went back to 1948,        to sit the with them. When Sir         the towel and was walking in his     Even in the rare instance that
forces. My advise to them is ‘please           when I was a young student liv-     Don got out for 20 runs, and           birthday suit. The end result we                                          Authority could be invited to
                                                                                                                                                               we find reference Rama is            participate.
don’t be another ‘Hillary’!’                   ing with my uncle on Cotta          started walking back to the            saw Miller in all his glory as he    ridiculed. In Budugunalankara
                           S. H. Moulana       Road. On the day of the             pavilion, I ran towards him and        had nothing to hide.                 written in the 15th century the
                              Colombo,6.       Australia/Ceylon match, my          put my hand over his shoulder                          Bandula Perera.                                                    C B .Punchibandara
                                                                                                                                                               author says as Rama could not
                                               cousin, my brother and another      and walked with him. This great                             Colombo. 10     go across the sea over which a

        he recent provincial council elec-     within the legislature as well. In other     political power. It was he who introduced      my own writings, refused to accept this      two third has now been realised, because

 T      tions, especially the latest
        Provincial Council election in the
 South, demonstrated that the Sri Lankan
                                               words, the multi- polity structure gave
                                               birth to a system of two coalitions of
                                               parties, and discouraged the growth of
                                                                                            the PR form of representation with a
                                                                                            view to keeping the UNP in power forev-
                                                                                            er, and that was the basis on which they
                                                                                                                                           thesis, and always contended that the
                                                                                                                                           nature and functioning of the PR would
                                                                                                                                           undergo the transformation of electoral
                                                                                                                                                                                        the electoral dynamics did the required
                                                                                                                                                                                        overturn. A new transformation has now
                                                                                                                                                                                        begun. Mushroom political parties
 President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has              mushroom political parties, with region-     constructed the new electoral system           dynamics in the country’s polity.            which emerged with destructive regional
 emerged as the ruler imperative of Sri        al and parochial agendas. Today as a         which, in the end, ‘inaugurated a period          Now, the past provincial council elec-    and parochial communal agendas have
 Lanka, because of the following main                                                                                                                                                   been thrown into the dustbin of history   .
 changes which are taking place in the                                                                                                                                                  The very thesis of the UNP that more
 Electoralism in Sri Lanka.
    His style of leadership and his pop-        Statement on the Southern Provincial Council election by                                                                                and more parties would emerge and
                                                                                                                                                                                        return to the national scene through the

                                                Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Wiswa Warnapala
 ulist approach shows that he is display-                                                                                                                                               PR has been unfounded. That thesis
 ing the characteristics of such great lead-                                                                                                                                            relating to multi parties has been demol-
 ers as Nehru of India and John F.                                                                                                                                                      ished. This shows that the time is right
 Kennedy of U.S.A., in appealing to the                                                                                                                                                 to change the electoral system in Sri

                                                 President Mahinda
 general masses in the country In this                                                                                                                                                  Lanka and the very signal has come
 sense, his appeal and approach to the                                                                                                                                                  from the people through the constantly
 rural masses is very much of a                                                                                                                                                         changing electoral dynamics in Sri
 Nehruvian in character and orientation.                                                                                                                                                Lanka.

                                                 Rajapaksa is Ruler
 Through such a style of leadership, he                                                                                                                                                    The UNP, as a political party with
 has successfully articulated the aspira-                                                                                                                                               fairly strong traditional rural base has
 tions of the ordinary people, and the                                                                                                                                                  declined due to the failure of its leader-
 election in the South demonstrated this                                                                                                                                                ship to give a proper direction to the

                                                 Imperative and the electoral
 feature.                                                                                                                                                                                     .
                                                                                                                                                                                        party Its leader is emulating the charac-
    Since the introduction of the adult                                                                                                                                                 teristics of a European Party leader
 suffrage in 1931, the Sri Lankan polity                                                                                                                                                whereas President Rajapaksa has been
 was allowed to grow on the basis of the                                                                                                                                                able to successfully project his personali-

                                                 dynamics in Sri Lanka
 parliamentary institutions of govern-                                                                                                                                                  ty on the basis of the exclusive charac-
 ment which were then in an infancy                                                                                                                                                     teristics of the Sri Lankan polity and the
 stage. Political parties grew into a com-                                                                                                                                              Sri Lankans political culture. This has
 petitive, multi-party system and till 1977,                                                                                                                                            been Rajapaksa’s strong point, and he
 it was this structure which dominated                                                                                                                                                  has come to terms with national political
 the electoral process in Sri Lanka. In the    result of the introduction of the PR sys-    of manipulative electoral politics. The        tions amply demonstrated that UNP’s          currents which got debilitated in the last
 period 1948-1977, there were only 7 politi-   tem, the whole party process and the         architects of the constitution going on        philosophy relating to the nature of the     30 years due to destructive terrorism
 cal parties in the country, and they have     electoral process came to be subverted by    the basis of the previous polling patterns     PR system has gone overboard and fun-        which has now been defeated. The UNP,
 been formed on the basis of a national        a new kind of electrolism that destroyed     in the country and the way the two major       damental electoral transformations are       as the main opposition party, is in steep
 political agenda. This multi-party struc-     the foundations and traditions of multi-     parties- the UNP and SLFP shared the           taking place. The last election in the       decline due to internal conflicts and the
 ture later came to be divided into two        party democracy   .                          national vote in the country, were under       South reduced the UNP to the level of a      Alliance has emerged as the most power-
 sets of coalitions associated with the two       The late Mr. J. R. Jayewardene who        the illusion that through the PR system,                            ,
                                                                                                                                           minor political party and the gap            ful political force in the country under
 major parties - the UNP and the SLFP,         was the architect of the constitution        the UNP could remain the power for ever.       between the alliance and the UNP was         an effective and astute leader, who has
 and it provided the state with compara-       introduced a constitution which was tai-     There were leading lawyers and academ-         such, that UNP’s political base has been     understood the feelings and aspirations
 tive political stability This was available   lor made to his personal ambitions of        ics who accepted this thesis, whereas in       virtually eliminated, and the impossible     of a nation.