11 Agony and curse of the aged

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                                                                                                                                                         Errant drivers merit severe
     Agony and curse of the aged                                                                                                                            The reference to the severe punishments             5) Drivers licence revoked for 90 days
                                                                                                                                                         meted out to the errant drivers in Alaska in        concurrent with administrative revocation
                                                                                                                                                         the article on Land of the Midnight Sun in the      and
    Aged-persons retired from private sector      Year/Month                   Rate of               Monthly                 Monthly Reduction           Sunday Island of August 17, 2003 should be             6) Undergo alcohol screening and coun-
employment who are unable to engage in any                                     Interest              Income                     Based on:                an eye opener to us. According to the writer,       selling on probation for one year.
form of gainful employment to earn an addi-                                                            Rs.             16%     14.10% 12.30%             in a case cited by him, the punishments meted          Unless we resort to something like this we
tional income to supplement their meagre                                                                                Rs.       Rs.     Rs.            out for driving while under the influence of        will have to say prayers before we step out of
interest-income derived from fixed deposits       Prior to 2000                16.00%                13,333              –         –      –              liquor included the following.                      the homes!
and terminal benefits such as Provident Fund      2000 January                 14.10%                11,750            1,583       –      –                 1) Fine of $ 1500,                                  Over to all those concerned with the safe-
money received at retirement, are undergoing      2001 February                12.30%                10,250            3,083     1,500    –                 2) 45 days in jail, with 42 days suspended,      ty of people on the road.
immense difficulties because of the declining     2002 March                   09.60%                8,000             5,333      3,750 2,250               3) Pay $ 270 incarceration,
rates of interest on fixed deposits.              2003 January                 08.70%                7,250             6,083      4,500 3,000               4) Perform 24 hours community service
    Axing of interest rates to very low levels    2003 February                10.20%                8,500             4,833      3,250 1,750
                                                                                                                                                         while incarcerated,
to facilitate borrowers from banks to con-        2003 March                   09.70%                8,083             5,250      3,667 2,167
                                                  2003 August                  09.30%                7,750             5,583      4,000 2,500
tribute towards deflation and reducing the
cost of living is an act of ‘robbing Peter to     February 2001- 12.3%, March 2002 - 09.6%,
                                                  January 2003 - 08.7%.
                                                                                                       to senior citizens.
                                                                                                           It will be helpful if a reasonable minimum
                                                                                                                                                          Contributors to               are advised to retain copies
pay Paul’as far as the aged-retired people are
concerned as was rightly pointed out by the          However, the National Savings Bank                rate of interest, say not less than 12%, on        of their articles as well as photographs sent for publica-
Editor of 'The Island' on the 20th ultimo.        granted a special rate of interest amounting to
                                                  10.2% on Fixed Deposits of Senior Citizens
                                                                                                       Fixed Deposits for Senior Citizens is given
                                                                                                       by the National Savings Bank.
                                                                                                                                                          tion. We regret our inability to return such articles/pho-
    I received a monthly income of Rs. 12,000
to 14,000 approximately before 2001 by way        over the age of 60 years with effect from                The reduction in income due to the declin-     tographs.
of interest on fixed deposits amounting to Rs.    February 2003, which was relief to the aged.         ing rates of interest, of a senior citizen who
1,000,000 derived from employment since           Unfortunately, the enhanced rate too was             has managed to save Rs. 1,000,000 during his
1954 to retirement in 2001; my fixed deposits     reduced from 10.2% to 09.7% in March 2003            lifetime, could be gauged from the following

                                                                                                                                                                Lotteries Board renders a
were spread out in banks and Finance              followed by a further decline from 09.7% to          table above.
Companies. When the commercial banks              09.3% in August 2003.                                    I earnestly request our dear Prime
reduced the interest rates, I channelled all my      The senior citizens too are affected by the       Minister and his ministers for their kind
savings to the National Savings Bank where        increased cost of living, especially the cost of     intervention and grant redress to the aged
the interest rate was 14.1% in January 2000.      medical needs.                                       population                                           The purpose of this letter is to clear some      life. The draw shown on TVwill be of inter-
From February 2001, the National Savings             If the promised increase in pay is to be                                                            misconceptions with regard to lotteries con-        est only if you have purchased a ticket.
Bank also reduced the rates as follows -          given to public servants, it must also be given                                                        ducted by the National Lotteries Board.                 Many obnoxious features of gambling are
                                                                                                                                                            There is no denying the fact that lottery        absent in the purchase of lottery tickets. Very
                                                                                                                                                         sales have increased in recent times. Lottery       little time is spent in the purchase of tickets.
                                                                                                                                                         booths have mushroomed everywhere and               Nobody gets angry with you because you
                                                                                                                                                         travelling ticket sellers on foot and on bicy-      have won, though envy may arise in a mis-
   Your banner headline “Docs pull out            that the SLIC could take refuge under it.            blow his own trumpet. I understand from           cles have invaded every nook and corner of          guided few. However, in this case a cardinal
insurance” of 8.09.03 of ‘The Island’is to        This is not just done by honourable                  actuarial sources that the present manage-        the island.                                         rule must be observed viz, never spend any-
say the least, is a one sided view of former      Insurance Companies though some operate              ment has very generously declined to take            This increase in popularity has many caus-       thing that you are not prepared to or cannot
ex-co-member of the former GMOA’s                 on the fringes of the law by 'wriggling'. It         its legitimate share of profits, running into     es. The lotteries are better advertised now and     afford to lose.
charge that an insurance claim had not            is morally wrong, if such unscrupulous and           millions, from the Life Fund, for the year        more prizes of greater value are being offered          A person, whether a layman or a member
been honoured. (resulting from an MoU             short sighted commercial practice is resort-         under review, for the new shareholders.           for a sweep ticket that has not increased in        of the clergy, may seek material gain. The
signed between the former GMOAand the             ed to.                                               The Chairman, has said 'let the profits go to     price for very many years. With falling inter-      mere fact that he does so does not cause him
                                                      The GMOA’s charge that “after the                the policy holders, this initial year, as it      est rates people may opt for sweep tickets.         to decline. (A decline will however occur if
SLIC). It is alleged that one of its former
                                                                                                                                                         The rise in the cost of living also increases       he places material gain above spiritual gain).
ex-co-member had been defrauded by an             SLIC became totally a private body “it               had been done in the past'. This I under-
                                                                                                                                                         sales. As people find it more and more diffi-       He declines only if he gets intoxicated by the
agent of the Sri Lanka Insurance                  show a tendency, to make petty excuses               stand is the first time the shareholders of
                                                                                                                                                         cult to lead a comfortable life on their            gain once obtained or grieves when it is not
Corporation. The charge is that the SLIC is       and different interpretations of the policy”.        any Limited Liability Company has
                                                                                                                                                         income, they are tempted to purchase lottery        obtained. Money by itself is neutral. It can be
quibbling over the word “Critical illness”        As pointed earlier the SLIC was on firm              declined to take its legitimate share and
                                                                                                                                                         tickets in the hope of bettering their lot.         used for beneficial as well as ruinous purpos-
is not correct.                                   ground for rejection of this claim. The              given it to its work force, in this case to the
                                                                                                                                                         'Hope springs eternal in the human breast'.         es. It is not money but the love of money that
   A life insurance policy can include rid-       SLIC in its 41 years of existence has an             policyholders. This is a plus point for the
                                                                                                                                                             Yet another factor is that the profit accrues   is the root of all evil.
ers such as accident benefit, hospitalization     impeachable record of paying claims. It              'Private Body' which the GMOA is trying
                                                                                                                                                         to the government and is used for worthy                From all this it can be inferred that lotter-
(Arogya), critical illness etc. Critical ill-     remains the same today. It pays Rs.                  to malign.
                                                                                                                                                         causes. This gave rise to the slogan. 'Win or       ies conducted by the National Lotteries
ness includes, Myocardial infarction ('heart      12,000,000 a day in claims, a boast which                I also learn from ICSL sources that for
                                                                                                                                                         lose — you gain' by the Lotteries Board. We         Board are beneficial to the country and to the
attack'). Coronary Artery By-Pass Surgery,        is publicly voiced after News everyday in            the year ending 2002 the company will
                                                                                                                                                         have also to keep in mind that a large number       individuals that sell or purchase tickets.
Cancer, Stroke, Renal failure, major organ        the SLBC.                                            continue to declare the same bonus rate as        of people earn their living through the sale of         Greed should never be a factor in acquir-
transplant - 20 major illnesses in all.               Another claim that the 'private body             before privatization, ie between Rs. 65 per       sweep tickets.                                      ing lawful wealth whether obtained through a
However this excludes 'interventionists           refuses any payment incurred when in a               1000 (6.5%) on new policies and 150 per              The purchase of lottery tickets also gives a     lottery, inheritance or by any other means. It
cardiology', such as Angio plasty - inser-        Govt. Hospital' is not correct. According to         1000 (15%) on older policies, a record that       new added interest to life. It gives something      should be viewed and utilized with knowl-
tion of a stent, balloon angio - Plasty, Hole     the package sold to the GMOA, if a                   none can match.                                   to be looked forward to. It animates the hum-       edge based on wisdom.
in the heart etc. This branch of cardiology       claimant goes to a government hospital, he               The Agents and Organizers hang their          drum life of individuals. Where there is life
is of recent origin in Sri Lanka, so is           is entitled to Rs. 500 a day for 30 days. If         heads in shame for the indiscretions of one       there’s hope. And where there is hope there’s
Coronary Artery By-Pass Sur g e r y.              it is a private hospital he can claim up to          of their colleagues. I do not say that any

                                                                                                                                                                           History? Why not?
(C.A.B.G.). The latter cover was given up         Rs. 90,000. The other charge that “the               organization can work to 100% satisfaction
to Rs. 1,000,000 on this and other riders.        insurance body nominated one agent to                of everybody. There will always be some
   Since this facility, and others such as        handling its entire membership is also not           disgruntled individuals. No amount of mud
                                                                                                                                                About 30 years ago the study of History,                        What is sad is that foreigners know more
kidney, heart and lung transplant were not        correct. I have checked this up with the rel-        slinging can tarnish the image of the leader
                                                                                                                                             Geography and Civics as separate subjects                       about our history than we ourselves!
available in Sri Lanka, clients who had           evant official, who denies giving such               by such individuals or organizations.
                                                                                                                                             was done away with, and instead what was                        Historians like Fr. S. G. Perera, S. F. de Silva,
these operations abroad had to have               authority. The boot is on the other foot.                The charge against the SLIC is mala
                                                                                                                                             euphemistically called ‘Social Studies’ was                     G. C. Mendis, and Dr. Colvin R. de Silva, to
Central Bank permission to remit foreign              The former Executive Committee has               fide. The undue rushing to print by a dis-
                                                                                                                                             introduced. The result? The students learned                    mention a few historians, did a world of good
exchange. The SLIC is negotiating with its        placed its confidence on a particular agent          gruntled former ex-co. member who was
                                                                                                                                             neither History, Geography nor Civics.                          through their painstaking work. The
re-insurers, Swiss Rc and German Rc to            and given him a carte blanche to handle its          the claimant has dealt an embarrassing
                                                                                                                                                A study of History is a sine qua non in                      Mahavamsa should find a place in every
include interventionist cardiology as an          business.                                            blow to over 10,000 agents and organizers.
                                                                                                                                             order to understand how the present has                         school library.
additional rider.                                     In any organization there are cheats and                           Amaradasa Fernando
                                                                                                                                             developed from the past. A study of                                The lack of patriotism in our country can
   Presently not only the SLIC, but all           embezzlers. This is so even in the highest                                Senior Organiser
                                                                                                                                             Geography is necessary to understand how
                                                                                                               41 years in SLIC since inception
                                                                                                                                                                                                             be attributed largely to the short sighted deci-
insurance companies have this exclusion           bodies. Today even Cabinet Ministers are                                                   man has made use of the environment in                          sion to do away with History.
for interventionist cardiology. Thus the          not free of such allegations. Therefore it is                                              order to live.
charge of 'quibbling' or trying to 'wriggle'      not surprising that an insurance agent has                                                    It is hoped that these subjects will be re-

                                                                                                               Well done
out by the SLIC is unfounded. If an agent         followed in the footsteps of Cabinet                                                       introduced into the curriculum next year.
has by subterfuge inveigled the former            Ministers, MPs, Directors of Companies
GMOA into signing an MoU with the                 etc., when he knows he is in such good

SLIC, it is unfortunate. That agent should        company!
be punished for bringing the SLIC to disre-           Though the former GMOAleadership is
                                                                                                                                                            Both the Editor of The Island and Tissa              Let us therefore find reasonable, logical
pute. I do not wish to throw the well known       trying to malign the present management
                                                                                                                                                         Devendra have stressed the need of teaching         explanation for the following matters before
aphorism at the GMOA, which says caveat           'after it became a private body', I would
                                                                                                          More often than not, the Sri Lanka Police      history in the schools. T. D. has lamented the      we start teaching Sri Lankan history.
emptor, meaning, let the buyer beware, so         like to come to its defence as it cannot
                                                                                                       is at the receiving end of brickbats. One         lack of teachers to undertake this task. I am in        1. Are Sinhalese as much Dravidians as
                                                                                                                                                         complete agreement in that there are no             the Tamil themselves?
                                                                                                       hardly reads a letter commending the over-

                Quick Deposit Box
                                                                                                                                                         teachers available because there are no docu-           2. What is the logical, rational origin of
                                                                                                       worked police for their good work.
                                                                                                                                                         ments available which are rational and logi-        the term ‘Sinhala’?
                                                                                                          I wish to record my appreciation for the
                                                                                                                                                         cal as far as the early history of Ceylon is            3. Were the Dravidian Buddhist monks the
     The Quick Deposit Box for instant            deposit cheques have to undergo a cumber-            Emergency Unit of the Police Department
                                                                                                                                                         concerned. The Mahavansa though it is               pioneers in introducing Buddhism to Sri
depositing of cheques at local banks, I pre-      some procedure before inserting the cheque           for the often speedy response to our calls,       claimed as a historical documentary, it is said     Lanka?
sume, was initially introduced by M/s             and the paying in slip enclosed in an enve-          especially when I see three wheelers suspi-       that the Mahavansa was written mainly for               4. Is Ven Mahinda, who is supposed to
BAH, foreign consultants when a leading           lope into the ‘quick deposit box’. The lay-          ciously parked in unauthorized places for         the establishment of Theravada Buddhism in          have introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka, a
state bank was reorganised and refurbished        man who is normally a third party who is             hours and the drivers staring into homes.         Sri Lanka.                                          Dravidian Buddhist monk and not a relative
under the new reorganisation concept of           not conversant in banking procedures is                 Recently I had to report such incidents                                                            of King Asoka, and
formation of Front and Back offices. This         baffled. Very often security personnel come          and the Emergency Unit acted promptly.                                                                    5. The Sinhala language is a modern Indo-

                                                  to their rescue and assistance to complete           The police personnel examined the three                                                               Arian language developed by Dravidian
was initially introduced approximately 15
                                                                                                       wheelers very thoroughly and methodically                                                             Buddhist monks who were scholars in Pali,
years ago.                                        this exercise.
                                                                                                       and interrogated the drivers and asked them                                                           Sanskrit and Tamil for the purpose of estab-
   This new concept probably was in oper-            I am emphasizing this procedure prac-
                                                                                                       to leave the area immediately. As we all                                                              lishing Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
ation in banks in developed countries prior       tices for the benefit of both the manage-
                                                                                                       know, three wheelers are used for nefarious          Linda van Schagen in The Island of Sept.                                             Sri Lankan
to its introduction to Sri Lankan banks. The      ment of the bank and its clients. If a cheque
                                                                                                       activities. In fact, the WPC manning the          3, 2003 , in the process of writing on noise
main idea in introducing the quick deposit        is not properly drawn, for instance ‘cash -                                                                                                                                                       Colombo
                                                                                                       emergency telephone even called back to           pollution, strayed into areas wittingly or
box is for the client to have a cheque            order’, ‘cash A/C Payee’, ‘cheque without                                                              unwittingly to hurt the susceptibilities of
                                                                                                       check whether the patrol car had come to
deposited instantly without staying in a          a signature’, absence of a full signature of                                                           Buddhists. She says, “The funeral began at 3
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lottery wins
                                                                                                       the scene. This is service!
queue.                                            drawer for an alteration and for various                                                               p.m. with a loudspeaker to chant pirith. The
                                                                                                          I must also thank the OIC of the
   I patronize a private bank in Mt. Lavinia      other reasons, cheques deposited will be                                                               dogs gave a loud chorus and the pirith and
                                                                                                       Cinnamon Gardens Police Station as the
where this concept has been introduced            automatically returned or ‘refused collec-                                                             orations wound up very quickly.”
                                                                                                       patrol car came from the police station. I
only recently. When a cheque was taken to         tion’. Another important factor is that                                                                   This is the first time in my life I heard of         Those days state run lotteries had a pub-
                                                                                                       find a marked improvement in service since
be deposited a particular teller who obvi-        cheques cannot be deposited to saving A/cs                                                             pirith being chanted during a funeral proces-       licity slogan 'Win a tax free prize. Has it been
                                                                                                       the last one year and thank the Cinnamon
ously a new recruit was in the habit of tak-      unless they are drawn in favour of the               Gardens Police Station. This also shows that      sion. Her reference to the chorus of dogs           changed by law or has someone in the gov-
ing it to a senior officer for verification.      payee and in favour of the manager of the                                                              smacks of insensibility to the sentiments of        ernment arbitrarily decided to tax the win-
                                                                                                       one need not know anyone in the police per-
The particular cheque I took for depositing       bank concerned.                                                                                        the people of the country. Funeral is a solemn      nings?
                                                                                                       sonally to get service.
was to a ‘Collection A/C’ to the credit of a          In this context I suggest that these fac-                                                          occasion to the Buddhists and we have a tra-            When all these monies collected through
                                                                                                          The government should provide more
mobile phone company. Hence naturally I           tors have to be brought to the notice of the                                                           dition of respecting the dead, even of enemies      these lotteries are going to the state coffers
                                                                                                       vehicles to the Emergency Unit as they are
had to draw the cheque favouring The              layman by displaying a visible notice in                                                               as was demonstrated by King Dutugamunu              why is it taxed again?
                                                                                                       the first response team in an emergency. I        more than 2000 years ago.
Manager of the particular private bank to         front of the ‘quick deposit box’and also for         hope the Minister of the Interior will assist                                                             Why do not Lotteries Boards give promi-
the credit of that mobile phone company. I        the tellers to collect the cheque deposits                                                                Schagen also seems to be oblivious to the        nent exposure to this fact on the lottery ticket
                                                                                                       the Inspector General of Police and his           way of life of the people of the country other-
felt sorry for this teller probably, as she had   when they are not busy.                                                                                                                                    or in their huge advertisements?
                                                                                                       department to enhance their efficiency by         wise would any sensible person advice people
not been given the proper training with                                                                                                                                                                          As in everything else, here also the gov-
                                                                                                       providing basic needs, such as vehicles.          not to break coconuts before 7.30 a.m?
                                                                             Sunil Thenabadu                                                                                                                 ernment is shamelessly cheating the people.
regard to collection of cheques.                                                                                                Quintus de Silva,
   At present all clients who come to                                            Mt. Lavinia                                         Colombo 5.

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