Articles

“TO ERR IS HUMAN” – By Des Kelly

     To complete the above phrase, “to forgive, divine”.

I begin this article by asking the readers of eLanka, proudly 20.000 + right now,.  to forgive any “typo-errors” they may come across in the “stories” I write. I offer no excuses except the fact that everything I print out on my little Samsung tablet is done on the “spur of the moment”.

There are no drafts, no time whatsoever to re-check or edit anything I write. My “thing” is to “get an idea”, watch the current news, generally on “Aunty” A.B.C., sit on my armchair and “write”, sometimes non-stop, until I finish the “article”. This done, I “forward” it immediately to the Captain of S.L.S.(Sri Lanka Ship) Neil Jayasekera who wastes no time whatsoever in publishing it on-line, on the eLanka website, purely for the reason that you good people out there can read something different, every day of the week.

     Because eLanka is especially for all Lankan/ Aussies in this great big Country, now, I am given to understand, enjoyed all around the World, I feel rather disappointed when I read the published article on-line, sometimes,  and then notice a couple or three small “typo-errors” which never should have occurred. Still, I do feel that an apology is in order, because, “To err is human, to forgive, divine, so I sincerely hope that you are a divine lot, out there.

     Speaking of “Aunty A.B.C., it looks like they are in trouble with the present Government once again. The recent budget finds a substantial “cut” in poor Aunty’s funds. This is not fair, in my opinion, but when a relevant question was put to our “treasurer”, he was quick to give what I would call a Governmental answer. Problem is that the A.B.C. comes out with some “ungovernmental” stories at times which get on the nerves of the present Parliamentarians, resulting in the unpopularity of the ONLY Television Station which give us ad-free programs. Anyway, I think that if “Labour”  wins the next election, new P.M. Bill Shorten will “refund” the funds so cruelly “cut”. Folks, I did not misspell “Labour”. Perhaps Australia now prefers “American spelling” Anyway, what’s in a name ?, Governments are all the same. They make the mistakes & “Aunty” gets the blame. It really is ” A crying shame”. On touching base, I rest my case.

Desmond Kelly

   Star of eLanka

 (Editor-in-Chief). 

Read More →

“EWE ARE SO WRONG” – By Des Kelly

  “Live” export of sheep ?, seems so sad that these poor animals, both Cattle & Sheep have to “die” miserably on board inadequate ships, even before being slaughtered, more often than not, by grisly, inhumane methods.

Animal-rights people are (rightfully) enraged by the fact, but, like everything else Governments in this Country do, their priorities are back-front. Bob Dylan is about to tour Australia soon, and he cannot even “sing” anymore. “The Bohemien Rhapsody”c/w thoroughly confusing lyrics, composed by “Queens” lead singer Freddy Mercury, after a session of “pot”, cannot even explain the bloody words himself, yet the song was a huge “hit” because, after all, he WAS Freddy Mercury. Even the “title” of the song is a direct “twist” on the famous classic “Hungarian Rhapsody”, these are the “talking points” of  the A.B.C. morning news show, today.

Ewe are so wrong, to minimize the story about the sheep on their most recent trip, sadly treated as ordinary cargo rather than live animals, crowded together, hardly able to breathe, dying of thirst, their “suffering eyes” telling the story.

 

     The A.B.C. program “Four Corners”is one of the main reasons that their “funds” have been reduced by millions of dollars, by the present Government. This particular program shows us viewers exactly what is happening out there. 

This terrible “subject” has been “touched on” several times, but, again the Government seems to be sitting on it’s hands,

doing nothing, while thousands of sheep are dying of heat-stroke on these so-called ships. Not for a moment do I say that these poor animals be transferred to their slaughter on luxury-liners, but they should at least have room to “move” & be able to breathe normally, be fed & watered until they reach their destination, then, take their final breath quickly & without pain. They are God’s creatures too & Australia, especially, should remember that they once “lived-off the backs of SHEEP. Like every other  “animal-lover” around, I firmly believe that “live-export” should be banned altogether.

 

“Ewe are so wrong, Trade-Minister. YOU wouldn’t want to travel, squeezed up with other Ministers like that, would you?. The B.O. of some of them would kill you,long before journey’s end, and the only difference between EWE & YOU is that you have two legs & they have four. Think about it.

 

 

   

Desmond Kelly

   Star of eLanka

 (Editor-in-Chief)

Read More →

“PIECES OF PEACE” by Des Kelly

 

Seems a shame, but I told you so. Two weeks ago, North Korea & South Korea were “talking peace”, hugging & kissing each other, putting up with halitosis. Now, they are “happy & lighthearted, back to where they started, back in the “war-zone” again. The plump little “Rocket-man” states that the deal is off. For the moment, South Korea & the U,S.A. are carrying out “military-games” planned many moons ago, & neither plans to “defer” these games because Kim wants to “swim” & body-surf in the area & may well get a “torpedo” up his anus. What a sight that would be!!.

The South Korean Leader does not say very much, but I get the feeling that he does not trust Jong & thinks Jong does not belong at any peace-negotiation, or even thru ANY door at Singapore. Need I say more ?.

Mr.Trump, the media tells us, is disappointed about the “Peace-Prize” he was going to get. He “tweets” that it now does not seem possible for peace-talks to take place, without Un’s unhappy face (just) visible over the edge of the “problems” table. He has enough of “Stormy” problems at home, anyway. He has “come to peace” with the fact that, to “hush” her up, during his election campaign, he had to pay her a substantial sum of money, donated via his lawyers.

It seems that while he “spoke” about grabbing pussies, he could not keep his own cocky in place. For everyone reading this, with a “dirty” mind, let me tell you that I was talking about a real Aussie cockatoo in an aviary at the White-house that was rather clever in letting himself out whenever he felt like it. He could not fly away of course, only because his wings were clipped. They are extremely “untidy” birds. Food, twigs, pieces of fruit, everywhere, just like “Stormy’s place”, but only because there was a cockatoo in there, as well.

Now, before I get into any trouble myself, let me put it this way. To avoid “Pieces of Peace”, denuclearization MUST be followed in every Country in the World. You need not be Einstein to know this. We already have several meteors out there, that could destroy this “little blue ball” in two seconds flat. What do we need nuclear weapons for ?.

Many people love to play “War-games”. As long as these “games” do not hurt or kill anyone, go ahead. If Countries wish to brag about their Armed Forces and want to show them off, go ahead. Oceans & Seas do NOT belong to anyone. China should realize this.

As Elaine Bennett of Seinfeld. once said. “Wars, what are they good for ?”. ABSOBLOODYLUTELY NOTHING.

desmond kelly

Desmond Kelly

Star of eLanka

(Editor-in-Chief).

Read More →

“A RIGHT ROYAL MESS-UP” – By Des Kelly


“The big day is only hours away,

       a right royal mess-up, I’d like to say,

     The World isn”t happy, nor should it be, 

       eLanka is neither, the least of all, ME.”

     Saturday, not very far away, is it ?. There is certainly no Country in the World that can “stage” Pomp & Ceremony at it’s finest, as well as “old Blighty”. This, we all know.

England or Britain, call it what you like, has had a most Glorious History, boasts the most famous ancient “Castles & Cathedrals”, “Palaces & Pubs”, a “bulldog-mentality”, inherited from Winston Churchill, plus a Queen that has ruled the Commonwealth Nations, including Australia faultlessly, for longer than any Monarch.

 

     SHE has already had one ” Annus Horribulous” (a most

horrible bloody year), to phrase it in Aussie bloody Lingo.

While still very young, she had to mourn the death of her father, King George VI, then lost her “best friend” in her younger sister, Princess Margaret, under difficult and tragic circumstances, another prestigious old relative in the very first “Sea-Lord” Louis Mountbatten (murdered by the I.R.A.), 

lost her Mother (and primary advisor), the Queen (Mum), 

although, of course, Queen Elizabeth1, had had “a good innings”, herself, faced yet another tragedy in the horrific  death of her daughter-in-law, Diana, and, to add to it all, see many of her Commonwealth Countries, including India & Ceylon, now become Independent, throwing away the “mantle” that had “protected” them, for so many years. 

The “present”(2018), is a different story altogether. Although everyone can plainly see that our present Queen is still doing the job she undertook, (2nd June,1953), to the very best of her ability (no-one could ask for more than that), she is now 92 years of age and is forced to hand-over many “Royal-Duties” to her eldest son, The Prince of Wales, Charles, who will, in turn, be the next King of England

     Australia, too, now wishes to be a Republic, and though I do NOT believe that this should be so, before the death of his beloved Mother, I am beginning to understand that, as this cockeyed World of ours becomes “madder” by the minute, here is a “Right-Royal Mess-up” that NEVER should have happened. 

 

     Prince Harry (Princess Diana’s 2nd son & younger brother of Prince William), always wanted to “do his own thing” and reputedly told his Mother, when he was about 5 years old, that it WAS William who would be King, after grandfather, Charles, and, he, Harry, could always do as he liked. He grew up, doing exactly that. The due respect for the Queen was always there, but Harry (the ultimate rebel) went on to live his life, probably doing things, many of which were kept secret from his great-grandmother, who would have certainly disapproved of them,I feel sure.

 

     In time, he saw the error of his ways. He was SITLL a member of the Royal Family, after all, did his stint of Military Service, just as Prince William did, ending up as a Military helicopter pilot. NOW comes the crunch. He “chooses” an American wife-to-be, in Meghan Markle, has her accepted by the Queen (they all have to do that) & this “posh” wedding is planned. Everything is going well. They are obviously in love, the “media” makes certain that maximum publicity is given to them, ONE “good-news” story amidst’ a mass of wars everywhere, & rampant ” bad-news” ones, then, what HAPPENS ?, the bride’s father does a deal with some “paparazzi”,exposing some photographs of his daughter, that he shouldn’t have, gets a heart-attack immediately after,(no prizes for my readers to guess why),and cannot, it seems be able to “give his daughter away” to Prince Harry.

With all the “Pomp & Pageantry” planned, many thousands of visitors already  “on the spot”, thousands more “Pommies” locked-in, this little Town of Berkshire, unable to go ANYWHERE because of “Security” reasons, anti-terrorist barriers by the dozen blocking off the area where the marriage will take place, making it impossible for the Citizens of Berkshire to drive anywhere, no-one knowing whether or not Mr. Markle will “sparkle” at the wedding, and, if not, who will give this “bride away”?. 

 

     This certainly will be something to watch on television, BUT, with one half of 2018 already gone, I hope & pray that it will not be another “Dimidium-Annum- Horribulo.us” for our Queen. Her Royal Highness & her “old man” Prince Phillip certainly do not deserve this, but ” Ma’am, this is the price we pay, for the World we live in right now”.

 

Desmond Kelly

   Star of eLanka

 (Editor-in-Chief)

Read More →

Role of religious actors in establishing sustainable state-society relations in the aftermath of conflicts and in addressing structural violence –  Address By Venerable Galkande Dhammananda, Head of the Walpola Rahula Institute, Sri  Lanka at the Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development in May 2018

 Sri Lanka is a home for a little over 20 million people. Sri Lankan society comprises Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and a small percentage of Burgher people. Proportionate distribution of religions among these people in Sri Lanka are as follows: 70% Buddhists, 12.6% Hindu, 9.7% Muslim and 7.4% Christians.

 

Buddhists of this Island are ethnic Sinhalese and Hindus are the ethnic Tamil. There is hardly any Hindu from the Sinhalese community and hardly any Buddhist from the Tamil community. In this circumstance, only the Christian religion represents both the Sinhala and the Tamil communities. However, Buddhist share many Hindu religious cultural practices in their day-to-day religious rituals and Hindus accept the Buddha as an incarnation of their god. These favorable practices and beliefs are deep rooted in the culture of the both communities.

 

Sri Lanka experienced colonial interventions from  1505  AD  onwards. The first  intervention was  made  by Portuguese and then Dutch and English. The British ruled the entire country for 130 years. During the time of colonial rule, the society started splitting along ethnic lines namely Sinhalese and Tamil. The politics of the country developed along these divisions after independence in 1948, which led to a bloody armed conflict. The basic arguments in post independent Sri Lanka was to keep the unitary state structure or to go for power devolution where minority communities can participate more actively in decision-making. In this context, religion and religious identities became important.

 

Unsuccessful efforts of finding an amicable solution led to the eruption of the armed conflict, which continued for almost 30 years. During this conflict between the government forces and the LTTE, a Tamil ethnic armed group fought for a separate state for Tamils. All the parties who took part in the conflict used violence as a tool to terrorize people to make them silent and obey to their orders. Therefore, displaying dead bodies, burning bodies in public places, slaughtering people including infants were common ways of ‘sending a message’.

 

During the conflict time, the LTTE ran a de-facto state in the north and east of the Island. They had their own army, police and judicial systems until government forces destroyed them totally in 2009.

 

The religious background of the armed group who fought for a separate state was comprised of Hindus and Christians with hardly any Buddhist or Muslim. The majority of the soldiers from the government forces were comprised of Buddhists and there were only a small percentage of Christians and Muslims in the forces and hardly any Hindus.

 

Clear-cut division between religions among the conflicting parties paved the way for targeted attacks on religious places and religious leaders during the time of the conflict. Certain religious leaders and institutions also worked either with the government forces (Buddhist) or with the militant groups (Hindu and Christians). Therefore, when the armed conflict ended in 2009 there was a deep suspicion about certain religious institutions by almost all the parties.

 

Soon after the armed conflict ended in 2009 another round of tension started between Buddhists and Muslims. Certain new organizations emerged and were engaged in spreading hate messages which paved the way for two incidents where four people died in the first incident (in 2014) and two people died and many properties were damaged in the second (in 2018). Certain organizations which spread hate were led by religious leaders.

 

Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) a Buddhist monk led organization was the first organization that started hate campaign against Muslims. It was very clear they had close connection with Ashin Wirathu, a Myanmar counterpart leader of same kind of violent Buddhist organization.

 

At a high time of the hate campaign supported by seemingly war-victorious government, hardly any Buddhist Monk or organization came forward to promote peace. In this circumstance, we created video messages and shared them through youtube channel1 to educate people. We used social media extensively and other media, such as online newspapers. Also, the print media gradually started publishing our messages. Our recent video message that was released after the new clash in Kandy was repeatedly telecast on national TV channel and in live telecast on an international cricket match that was happening at the time. Newspaper and Television interviews, public speeches are also used by us as a method of education. Apart from that we conduct interreligious dialogue programs and camps for children to bring people together.

 

1 Youtube channel called bahujana hitaya

 

Our understanding is that these divisions and suspicions among the ethnic and religious groups in Sri Lanka are result of the unhealed wounds created from the time of the intervention of the colonizers. Throughout the last few centuries wounding processes are visible but hardly there is any healing process. Since there is no healing, wounding continues.

 

In such circumstance the interventions of the foreign peacemakers and aid groups have been seen as suspicious and conspiring against the certain communities and religious groups and supporting the others. Those NGO actors who conducted workshops and other peacebuilding work with the support of foreign agencies were seen as agents of those foreign ‘enemies’ and hence lacking legitimacy as peace actors.

 

30-years of armed conflict in Sri Lanka has badly damaged the lives of the people and the development of the country. It also created many refugees and armed activities affected the security of the region. Any religious tension in one country affects similar developments in the region. Developing examples of overcoming such situations become very important in this context.

 

Walpola Rahula Institute’s approach as an effort to overcome these challenges:

 

Challenge 1: How to win the hearts of other faith groups and communities such as Tamils?

  1. 1. As a Buddhist organization we keep a distance with the government forces, political parties and political figures.
  2. 2. We kept it clearly visible that we do not have any vested interest, including spreading our religion.
  3. 3. We emphasize that we all are wounded and all are with pai Hence ‘ones’ healing depends on the healing of his/her ‘other’. As long as your other is with wounds, you cannot be healed. So, there is a need of shifting everyone from a ‘wounder’ to a ‘healer’ role.
  4. 4. Keeping transparent how we get funds.

 

Challenge 2: How to maintain trust with one’s own religious group?

  1. 1. Always make it clear the work that we are doing is exactly what your religion expects you to do, such as practicing Loving-kindness (Metta), Compassion (Karuna) and  Sympathetic-joy (Mudita). Therefore, peacebuilding is what your religion expects you to do and it is your duty.
  2. 2. Not to take any monetary support from any foreign agency and keep a distance with NGOs.
  3. 3. Depending only on independent donations and not on organizational funding.
  4. 4. Develop peace building/healing tools from one’s own religious teachings and introducing them to the people.
  5. 5. Use the power that we have as religious leaders to educate people about these methods.

 

Read More →

Can Sri Lanka rise from the ashes?

The Rise of an Island
Cricket’s Phoenix?

 

Ranjan Mellawa believes that – despite serial disappointments, setbacks and poor strategy –
Sri Lanka can rise from the ashes

The year in which Sri Lanka was reeling from bomb blasts and bloody battles was also a watershed in the history of the island’s sporting career. An improbable Cricket World Cup victory in 1996 was an unlikely balm for all Sri Lanka’s wounds – and fittingly, the islanders celebrated together.

Paradoxically, the rise to the top in the cricketing field triggered an avalanche of politicos, businessmen, and sundry others in committee rooms who began competing for honorary positions to administer the game on behalf of the nation.

Even the cup winning heroes wilted. As they rested on their laurels, the commitment of many of these champions waned. Poorly led, Sri Lanka were shambolic at the 1999 World Cup – beating only the lower ranked Zimbabwe and Kenya, and losing badly to England, South Africa, and India. However, in 2003, they fared better before losing to Australia in the semi-finals.

Following their retirement, some World Cup winners, their replacements, and the remaining players charted our island nation’s course to a golden era in white-ball cricket. The Sri Lankans were five times finalists at major world tournaments between 2007 and 2014 – two in 50-over ODIs and three in T20s – and they added another world trophy by winning the 2014 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

Sadly, poorly planned itineraries, fitness issues, poor form, lopsided strategy, selection blunders, and infighting among the coaches made Sri Lanka falter in 2015. Since that World Cup, Sri Lanka has had a dreadful run in ODIs at the time of writing, losing 39 of 64 matches played (one tied and four no results).

 

Sri Lanka played 42 matches against stronger teams – England, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Pakistan. Out of 20 ODI wins, only 6 were against these teams.

 

Notwithstanding four consecutive scores of over 300 in the group stage of the 2015 World Cup, Sri Lanka couldn’t progress beyond the quarter-finals. The modern one-day game with two new balls and four men outside the circle requires at least four frontline bowlers – not half-baked ‘all-rounders’ who could hardly deliver 10 overs and are occasionally effective with the bat!

Cricket is not the game it used to be 10 years ago. Twenty20 has made major inroads into traditional ODI cricket. Bigger bats have enhanced performance with new strokes covering 360 degrees round the pitch. Scores once deemed impossible to chase are now the norm. Innovative fielding, including spectacular boundary line catches has emerged. Even bowling has evolved as a result of T20s.

Notwithstanding four consecutive scores of over 300 in the group stage of the 2015 World Cup, Sri Lanka couldn’t progress beyond the quarter-finals. The modern one-day game with two new balls and four men outside the circle requires at least four frontline bowlers – not half-baked ‘all-rounders’ who could hardly deliver 10 overs and are occasionally effective with the bat!

Following the 2015 World Cup, muddled selection policies and reportedly, undue administrative interference resulted in lack of continuity, leaving the team in perpetual survival mode.

A staggering 44 players represented the country in ODI cricket since the 2015 World Cup, 23 of them debutants. This situation has been aggravated by poor people management skills of key officials, which has had a negative impact on players’ confidence. The repeated replacement of coaching staff has hampered players’ progress in contrast to their counterparts from stronger cricketing nations.

Injuries to key players have also been a stumbling block. The players themselves must take ownership of fitness levels with professional guidance from support staff. Speaking last year about self-discipline and high standard of fitness, the evergreen Virat Kohli revealed that he hasn’t eaten butter chicken and naan for the past four years!

Bowling was considered Sri Lanka’s Achilles’ heel but batting and brilliant fielding compensated for it over the years. Dubbed ‘best fielding team in Asia’ over three decades, Sri Lanka slid with costly misses along the way.

No wonder then that Sri Lanka almost missed out qualifying for the 2019 World Cup. Teams with a battle hardened core group, aided initially by Arjuna Ranatunga’s aggressive leadership and then Mahela Jayawardena’s tactical brilliance, guided Sri Lanka to success at different times.

Unlike in the past, exceptionally talented schoolboys may not walk into the national team and perform well as the bar is much higher now in international cricket. A bloated domestic first-class structure is not conducive to fostering excellence. Despite repeated efforts by past greats, vested interests have stalled any meaningful steps towards restructuring.

Though next year’s World Cup kicks off in early English summer, the ICC will want to prepare batsman-friendly pitches to satisfy broadcasters and sponsors. The expected par-score is around 350. Mastering the art of hitting sixers should be a priority for the team. Successes in Bangladesh augurs well for players’ confidence under Chandika Hathurusingha – highly rated, many believe his arrival could swing Sri Lanka’s fortunes. The reappointment of Angelo Mathews as ODI captain has also given the team hope. Experienced in English conditions, the team’s premier batsman and useful medium-pacer, will be the key player for Sri Lanka at the 2019 World Cup – if he stays fit.

On the other hand, Lasith Malinga will be badly missed. Out of form and low on fitness, he is closer to retirement than playing another World Cup. So the team is far from having a settled ODI unit, yet. A more committed and consistent Thisara Perera has the potential to be a match winner against any opponent. And Akila Dananjaya and Lakshan Sandakan are also poised to enhance Sri Lanka’s legacy of producing mystery spinners. Include Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Kusal Mendis and Nuwan Pradeep, and Sri Lanka may very well overcome its dubious dark horse status in the next World Cup.

In 1996, the odds against Sri Lanka winning (even as a co-host) were as high as 33-1. In comparison, it’s 12-1 for 2019 amidst moderate expectations. Nevertheless, Sri Lanka have a history of punching above their weight and performing unexpectedly in major tournaments. Pinch-hitting in the restrictive first 15 overs gave them a competitive advantage in the 1996 World Cup.

At the 2009 World Twenty20, Tillakaratne Dilshan’s audacious Dilscoop, and Malinga’s slow full tosses (they swerved away from right-handers towards the stumps) shell-shocked the opposition. What can they come up with next – two spinners opening the bowling?
Let’s hope the players and administrators get their act together and come up with another ideal innovation in the 2019 World Cup.
This article appears in the May 2018 issue of the LIVING magazine.

Read More →

“THE 64 DOLLAR QUESTION” – By Des Kelly

Victoria, Australia, a “State of the art” State, where, from the early years of migration, people, myself & my own family included, chose to come to, in order to make a better life for ourselves & our children.

     Victoria, Australia,& Melbourne, voted, on many occasions as the most “liveable” City in the entire World.

Victoria, undoubtedly named in honour of the Queen who was also the “Empress of India”& whose descendant, Elizabeth the 2nd is STILL the Queen of Australia, thankfully.

     It amazes me that just 56 years have passed, since I came to this Country, and so much has changed in what is termed “the blink of an eye” in the context of time. 

As I have always said (and written), in whatever Government sits in Parliament, the one most important ” department IS the Department of Immigration & Emigration.

HERE is where it all starts. I well remember that it was certainly not easy to come to Australia as a Migrant in the 1960s. Speaking personally, I had to “prove” that I, me, myself & my family, were at least 75% European, our “skins” had to be a “sickly white”colour, we had to speak English “good”. “Singlish” was not allowed in the “White-Australia” that P.M.Caldwell wanted, at the time.

     On top of that, we were only permitted to take £75 each, out of Ceylon, at the time. How anyone was expected to start life in a brand new Country with about £75 was anybody’s guess. Also, I had to waive the “millions” I would make on my first International recording of  “Dream-World”

before I left my Motherland. So we left the Country in which “Lansi- karapotthas” were taboo, to come to Australia where “Dark-Tan”(not the Lankan musical group), were looked-down upon, and still are, I suppose, only, it seems that the no bloody hopers are the ones who thrive here.

     This brings me to the 64$ question. Of the thousands of black & white juvenile  scum-bags in Victoria, the Turnbull Government has picked out 64, on whom millions are being spent, “simply on “surveillance”. 64 out of thousands, not very good odds eh ?. Juvenile crime is now rampant in the most liveable City,of Melbourne alone. What Minister Dutton should do, is to use a few million to build a huge goal for juvenile Aussie thugs, convice the Judges in the Country to be “laconic” rather than “lenient”,  come straight to the point, and IF found guilty, “lay”much tougher “penalties” in their “path”. After this is done, the Australian Government should “visit” a few Asian Jails,take some tuition on HOW these jails are conducted & make it their “gaol” to follow suit. 

     At this moment, just imagine this, folks. Police, in plural, have to keep their eyes on each of these 64 junior crims.

Even @ 2 policemen per pariah, this totals 128 members of our Police to “watch” these suspects. Even when they, (the  Police), sentence  “nab” one, all they can do is to write lengthy reports about the capture. The thug/s finally end up in Court, then, “do-gooder by the dozen will come forward to “defend” these damn desparados, most Judges believe them and normally sentence them with the lightest-legal sentence in the book. Most of them are rapped on the knuckles, told to go home & not be naughty boys/girls, again. What a lot of rubbish!!. These no-hopers who are not Aussie born & still act as though they OWN the Country, should be given a one-way ticket back to the Country they came from, in the first place, to break the laws over there, struck off the Australian register and NEVER be allowed back. I do feel a bit sorry for the parents of these  “hoods”, but if they cannot keep control of their brood, they should be deported as well. 

     If my advice is heeded, we could well go back to being the Country to be proud of, and the taxpayers’ money wasted on useless thugs would be much better spent on infrastructure of the gaols I mentioned earlier. We may even be able to afford two of them in every State of Australia.

“DISCIPLINE IS WHAT WE NEED. When do we need it ?, WE 

 NEED IT NOW !!.

 

Desmond Kelly

 Star of eLanka

 (Editor-in-Chief)

 

Read More →

THE HEALING HANDS OF ROYALTY – By Bernard VanCuylenburg

According to the great chronicles of Sri Lanka’s glorious history the Mahavamsa and the Culavamsa, 184 kings and one queen ruled the island beginning with Prince Vijaya in 483 BC. and ending with the reign of King Sri Vickrama Rajasinghe in 1815 AD. which heralded the start of British colonial rule in the country. Within this time frame spanning a period over 2000 years, a few names stride history’s stage    – rulers whose names are forever enshrined in letters of gold in the hearts minds and psyche of Sri Lanka……King Devanampiyatissa, King Pandhukabhaya, King Dutthagamini, the great tank builders King Dhatusena and King Mahasena, the genius who gave us Sigiriya King Kasyappa, and the great King Parakramabahu  the first , to name just a few……..

In this article I wish to pay tribute to a man who was not only a great king and philanthropist, but also a famous surgeon who whilst attending to affairs of state, found  time to travel the island healing the sick and giving those who needed healing, the benefit of his medical expertise.  This man was KING BUDDHADASA who ascended the throne in 337 AD and ruled till 365 AD , a glorious reign of 28 years.

A generous human being and devout Buddhist, he merits the highest praise of the chronicler writing in the Culavamsa who states ” He had pity for all beings as a father has pity and love for his children….” I venture to state that King Buddhadasa was the ‘Mother Teresa’ of his day !  In the chapter dealing with his reign, the chronicler gives us numerous examples  where he treated the sick . There is the classic instance of the young man treated by the king for a head ailment although we have no details regarding the precise nature of the injury. It is obvious that surgery was performed on the young man because the Culavamsa states “The king split the skull, performed the operation and put the parts of the skull together again…..” He also cured a Buddhist monk suffering from epilepsy  and saved the life of a woman seven months pregnant whose foetus was in the wrong  position. It should be noted that his kindness and medical skill was not limited to human beings, but also to animals. He appointed physicians to attend to elephants and horses all over the island. There is the interesting story of a snake (probably a cobra) suffering from a tumour in its belly that was healed by the king. Having cured the reptile, the people remarked “Even the reptiles benefit from the king’s medical expertise…….”  The health of the people was his greatest concern and he initiated a medical scheme which would have been one of the best in the world at the time.

He built hospitals for the sick in every village and appointed a chief physician whose responsibility was to administer three hospitals in each district . He also set up hostels for the crippled and the blind with instructions that they be fed and their needs attended to.  Whenever he could get away from  matters of state, he travelled the land attending to the sick, performing surgery whenever necessary. According to the Culavamsa, he had a pocket made inside his mantle to carry his surgeons knife  and the chronicler further adds “….whenever he met them he freed the afflicted from their pain…..” The actual word used in the Culavamsa is “Satthavatim Sattha”. (Surgical knife). In the limited space of this article it is not possible to detail the many cases where  he healed the sick. I can only add that any reader interested in the life of this great king should peruse the Culavamsa  in the chapter dealing with his reign.

This good and great king led the life of a Boddhisatva and the chronicler describes him as “….a mine of virtue….” When he died in 365 AD the island was plunged into grief. With his passing a golden era of twenty eight years ended, and the country lost a great king, a brilliant surgeon, a philosopher and philanthropist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bernard VanCuylenburg

Read More →

WHAT PRICE, MUSIC? – By Des Kelly

In one word, “priceless”. Why do we go on about Icons of  “Country Music”?, again, in simple terms, because of “Stars” like Ray Price. A former protege of Hank Williams, Snr. who wrote a special song for his pal Ray, after meeting him and hearing what he (Ray) could do, with a song, Hank wrote “Weary Blues, from waiting”with Ray “chipping in” for good measure. The song, however was ” copyrighted” to Hank.W.



Hank Williams & Ray Price formed a partnership which would have lasted, but for the untimely death of Hank, who succumbed to a heart-attack in his limousine, on the way to a “gig”, aged just 29.  

     Ray Price, although devastated by the death of his pal, carried on writing songs, singing them (and others), married the love of his life, Jane, or Janie, as she was known & remained happily married to her for 43 years. Their son, Clifford  (Cliff), following his famous father’s footsteps, sang & played guitar. Both are featured in my story.

     Ray Price died at 87, after having suffered pancreatic cancer, and his final album was, in fact, akin to a continuous “love-letter” to Janie. When he died on the 16th of Dec. 2013, all “fans” of the ” best music in the World” lost a true Gentleman with a voice of gold. He was always one of my “favourites” too, and I am privileged to share his talent with all my eLanka readers. What Price, Music?, priceless, when performed by Stars like Ray Price, God rest his soul.

Desmond Kelly

   Star of eLanka

 (Editor-in-Chief)

Read More →