It would be a world of difference!
Posted on November 22nd, 2010

Dr Hector Perera UK

When I had the opportunity to have live interviews at a national TV in Sri Lanka, to let the nation know how to save the wastage of gas, first of all I congratulated Rt Hon President Mr Mahinda Rajapakse for his achievement in making this country an independent country. He didn’t bow down, kneel down to the threats and intimidations from Western World when they held up any foreign aids; they demanded too many promises to release funds on certain conditions then help the country. If anyone not believes the present state of freedom in Sri Lanka it would be better to come over in person and see to themselves than listening to media. What a difference!

The Rt Hon President Mr Mahinda Rajapakse has invited the expats to come over and contribute to the development of the country with every possible way. I have a hypothesis by application of scientific techniques how to save gas that is wasted during cooking. I showed by live demonstration then talked about in English as well as in Sinhalese and answered as many questions and doubts about my technique. Two heads of departments attached to energy saving section at BMICH kindly accepted my invitation and visited to see my energy saving cooking demonstration. I am sure they witnessed my work when I cooked and demonstrated how to save approximately 60% gas or may be more. My question is why we waste this much of gas; why not make better use of it? I assume the wastage of gas is virtually equal to burning money, am I correct? I am hoping to get further into this matter because that is just a little contribution on my part to help for the development of the country. If possible, I am trying to educate some school children how to do simple cooking, to show that it is not a tedious task, actually it is similar to a simple chemical experiment in a school laboratory. If it is done properly you have many advantages as well.

Apart from doing my cooking experiments, TV interviews showing to the media, meeting some leading journalists, I had the chance to visit the country to see it to myself than relying on various foreign TV, paper, web sites and so many true or false statements about the present state of Sri Lanka. I have seen so many demonstrations; protests in that country and one time protesters nearly rocked the bridge over river Thames leading to the Houses of Parliament. They occupied the bridge for days, then occupied and camped in the huge ground, right opposite the Houses of Parliament, made too many demands to British government to interfere into their problems with Sri Lankan government.  One has to understand sometimes the media picks up bad apples as well just to get the attention of the people on their side but it is you have to decide, “Is it really true”? They can twist the truth for their own benefit but you need to think intelligently.

 You know that cleanliness is next to godliness, this can be seen any where in Colombo, Nugegoda and even at Gampaha. I have been here a few years ago but this time I was amazed by the change outside appearance and inside change in the country. I went shopping, to look around and to meet some friends in these so called small towns around Colombo such as Nugegoda, Borella,  Battaramulla and Gampaha. To my surprise they all maintained the same standard to Colombo. I was wondering where these heaps of garbage by the side of roads are, they all disappeared. In the past, they were eye sores, cows eating left over king coconuts, rotting fruits and vegetables and other rubbish but now they are in the past. If anyone not being to Kelaniya and Kiribathgoda area recently, then you must make an attempt to see shopping arcades besides the new road developments in the area, one cannot stop going to as many different shops as possible. The question is where to start and finish? I am sure the property values have gone up and opportunity arises for new employment, industries that means in a way enrich the surrounding the local villages. The roads, shops, tourist type hotels and many more commercial organizations bring more local people and tourists to the area, actually what a difference!

After shopping in hot sun, I went for a king coconut salesman by the side of the road at Nugegoda Railway Avenue. While I was drinking it, I asked him why there is no rubbish by the side of the road. He said that he was fined a huge sum for just leaving a few empty king coconut shells lying around, now he has to pack them into bags and leave it for next day garbage collection.

In the past these empty shells were mosquitoes breeding places and shelters, with the fall of dusk they fly around like an army of helicopters looking for blood but they do not forget to give something back, dengue fever or malaria.

The pavement hawkers cannot be seen, they have proper shelters for their business in designated areas. I used to see nothing but pavements full of vendors selling nothing but yarns of clothes stretched out from about 6 feet or above high from the road. The attractive colourful display of clothes attract the passers by and they flock around to buy these cheap of materials thus preventing any other passers by such as school children, mothers carrying  babies, office workers and daily shopping crowd. If the pavement wasn’t clear at all for the people to walk about then the alternative is to walk along the road causing further congestion to the traffic. Used to have far too many beggars along the road, near junctions, outside shops, hotels and takeaways making the walk over much more hazardous. Who can pass them by without giving out something, not cents but a few rupee coins or at least a ten or twenty rupee note?

Now there are wide yellow lines for pedestrians to cross at important places and there are police officers on duty controlling traffic, helping the pedestrians.  I must say a few errand drivers toot their horns even when you are on the pedestrian crossings, virtually saying, “Get out of the way”, that is really worrying. I am sure those drivers aren’t sure why these yellow lines are there.  There were crossed yellow lines near junctions and only a few drivers crossed the road even when the road ahead was not clear, well they will soon get educated.

Just pass the new over head bridge at Nugegoda, there were at least a dozen of police officers on duty, controlling the traffic at busy hours such as before and after school hours and office hours.  I cannot remember that there was anything like that before! Because of the new fly over some vehicles just went over without even noticing any blocks but in the past, too noisy horns, dust gushing out with back poisonous exhaust fumes. The pedestrians including the school children have to snake through, brush pass these busy, nervous, impatient drivers. It was a nerve wrecking experience to cross the roads but now the things have changed for better. What a difference!

Then I went for a walk around Gampaha that is not too far from Colombo. Again I was curious why the road sides were so clean, the drains all clear, no accumulated filthy water for mosquitoes to breed. Someone said, “It is an offence to leave any rubbish”. I must say the law really works and the people are obeying as it was for their own sake. I went pass the train station for shopping, to see a few roads were made as one way and a few police officers on duty, controlling the traffic. Like in Nugegoda, no pavement hawkers, all in designated areas. Unlike in the past few years, the banks, supermarkets and shops were not limited to one area only, they were spread out so that the crowd spread out as well. The well known jewelry shops, bakers and stationery shops are found here but in the past they need to go Colombo for these facilities. The new duel carriage way  and the flyover going towards Katunayake airport looks amazing, the road is no better than a one in England, if not better. I am so pleased to see my home town is coming up like any other Colombo suburb towns, what a difference? Someone told me about the new swimming pool at one of the leading schools in Gampaha but the time was too tight to visit the school. I am sure these facilities were a thing limited only to private schools in Colombo, now what a difference!

Our Rt Hon President Mr Mahinda Rajapakse and his team of ministers have really worked hard to bring the country to this standard. We went anywhere by vehicles, day or night but never stopped in that many places to search, as in the past, it was just once but they were so polite, what a difference?

One cannot see the difference unless one sees to themselves, don’t believe the media for misleading reports to bring back clashes, racial violence, just come over to Sri Lanka and see the difference. I used to see some documentary shown by news channels but when you come here, you see the reality to yourself. The people are friendly, just like one nation, moving about freely then only you feel the real freedom, what a difference!

With the second term election as the President of Sri Lanka, The Rt Hon President Mr Mahinda Rajapakse would bring this nation to a position of greatness through the policy of the Mahinda Chinthana then achieve an ever lasting national unity and permanent peace in our motherland. I wish him all blessings to make his policies implemented then one would see it’s not what a difference but it would be a world of difference!

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