BETRAYAL OF CHILDREN
Posted on November 29th, 2011

By Dr. Tilak S Fernando

Akin to various adaptations ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ such as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…” MotherƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s dayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ FatherƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s dayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ AidƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s day, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ and Disability Day, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Children tooƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  have been ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ slotted into a ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ category ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ under several appellations ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ calling ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Worlds ChildrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s DayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”International ChildrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s day, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ChildrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Universal day etcƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  on different times ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ of the year.

World Children’s Day!

The UN General Assembly recommended in 1954 that all countries should establish ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ an “appropriate” day to protect children. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Hence, 20 November was adopted for this purpose. Currently more than one hundred countries celebrate ChildrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Day in many forms.

International ChildrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Day

International Children’s Day is celebrated annually by some countries on the second Sunday in December. This is a joint initiative between UNICEF and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

The occasion is said to have originated inTurkeyƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ in 1920 and subsequently at the World Conference for the Well Being of Children held inƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Switzerlandin 1925. After the conference many countries, including theSoviet Unionchose June 1 as the International ChildrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s day.Sri Lankacelebrates ChildrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Day on 1 October; ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ this year too she celebratedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the day with lots of publicity and activity.

President Rajapaksa, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ in his message on the ChildrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s day, emphasised ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the present ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ era as an epoch ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ which will be commemorated by the world in the future with great desire for all children to strive and achieve excellence and use their childhood.

Media on their part too had their fair share of ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the childrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s day celebrations. The Independent Television Network selected ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…” Leisure WorldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in KaluagalaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  as their venue for the World ChildrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Day commemoration. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In addition, Lakhanda Radio launched a programme at ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”the Water WorldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in Biyagama.

On this particular day, I was aghast to watch a TV (private channel) ChildrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Programme sponsored by a giant marketing company of margarine.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The children in the programme participated merrily and quite innocently while an eloquent Commercial Executive sponsoring the programme sat with the presenter ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ promoting their brand as the miracle food supplement ideal for young children !ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

What disturbed ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ me was that only a few days prior to this childrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s programme the Magistrate at Kahatagasdigiliya, Anuradhapura Courts had delivered a special order condemning this ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ particular brand ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ of margarine as unsuitable for children under ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ three years . He had further pronounnced it as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”an offence to market this product without publishing its danger elementƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  thus immediate and remedial action had been ordered ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ by the Judge in this regard.

Food Preservative

It was reported in the media that during the prosecution The National Health Inspectors Association had informed the Court of lawƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- E 319 , a component which ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ margarine contains, is ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ detrimental to the health of growing children below three years . The Anuradhapura Magistrate who accepted their request had issued the above order, the press report concluded.

According to Wikipedia, Food additive e319 (Tert-Butylhydroquinone(TBHQ)ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ is a highly effective antioxidant used in food as a preservative, especially to conserve unsaturated vegetable oils and many edible animal fats.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  As a food additive, its E number is E319. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

In many blogs margarine has been discussed as injurious to human health, but powerful advertising induces gullible customers, especially mothers, to lavishly spread margarine on bread and force this pure poison ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ on their children!!

It was also alleged in the media that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”The Sri Lanka Principal Media Institutions had not given any publicity to the Court order ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ pertaining to margarine, apparently harbouring a fear that the Advertising Company may terminate their contract ! In certain quarters it was felt ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ that, at least the State media should have given publicity to this important news item of grave significance in the larger interests of the people, especially at a time when childrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s day was being celebrated.

Butter & Margarine Difference

Both contain the same amount of calories, butter being slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams when compared with 5 grams for margarine. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Butter pleases the palate much better than margarine and can enhance the flavour of other foods. Butter has been in use for centuries whereas margarine only less than one hundred years!

Margarine is considered as very high in trans fatty acids which can triple the risk ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ coronary heart disease. It is supposed to Increase total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL (good cholesterol), lowers the quality of breast milk; increasesƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the risk of caners up to five times; decreases immune response and ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ insulin response.

The most concerning comments that have emerged against margarine is thatƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- it is one molecule away from being plastic ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ and ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ shares twenty seven ingredients with paintƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ !

For thoseƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  who are not convinced, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the critics say to observe the following guide lines:

  • Open a tub of margarine and leave in a shaded area ; ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ within a couple of days what you will see is thatƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  No flies will get near margarine! ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 
  • It does not rot or smell because it has no nutritional value; nothing will grow on it because it is plastic.

The billion dollar question what ant-margarine groups are posing is : ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toastƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚?

It is astounding to note that even after a Court case and a subsequent controversy onƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  margarine ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ which has led to a pronouncement in a ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Court of Law ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ asƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- not being ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ suitable for children below 3 years of ageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚, the responsible authorities have been turning a Nelsonian eye to safeguardƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the future generation of young children who are forced to eat ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…” plasticƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ blindly conditioned by massive advertising big wigs who denude themselves only as hell bent on spinning money even at the dire cost ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ of a vanishing young generation in this country.

A Chinese proverb says that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…” when someoneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  shares something of value with you and you benefit out of it, YOU HAVE A MORAL OBLIGATION to share it with others. This is exactly what I am doing!ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

tilakfernando@yahoo.co.uk

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