17 January, 2021

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Pandemics, Bats, Mythology, Spiritualists, Charlatans, Politicians, And Media Rats

By Harendra de Silva

Vidyajothi Prof. Harendra de Silva

It is an interesting coincidence that Pandemics even those during the medieval periods, ranging from Plague, small pox or cholera followed the Silk Road. More recently, SARS Bird Influenza also originated in China although it did not take the Central Asian caravan route, it followed the ‘neo silk road’ by air! 

Although rats transmitted the plague and look similar to bats, attributed in mythology as related and referred at times as an intermediate host in plague, they are not related in evolution but closer to humans than rats. It is incidentally the only flying mammal! Did you know that a fifth of all mammals are bats and considered to be one of the most successful mammals? Although often referred to as ‘blind as a bat’ bats sense their surroundings and find kill by calling out and heeding for echoes made that  bounce off objects although those sounds are too high-pitched for humans to hear called echolocation

Why Bats?

The importance of bat origin of Corona and other viruses was found only after SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2003. Bats have numerous of other coronaviruses often hundreds; which may often be harmless and it may cause different respiratory illnesses, that varies from the common cold to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) which infect via Camels that had a high fatality rate of 34%. (COVID-19 is new strain of the virus), different types of corona infect bats, which appear to co-evolve with the viruses. Other bat associated viruses that have caused panic epidemics include, Ebola, Nipah and Hanta virus. In other words, bats have immune systems and do not cause disease. However, these viruses can cross from bats to other animal species such as a civet cats (කලවැද්ද / හොතම්බුව – may be different species) causing SARS. Covid 19 crossed through pangolin (කැබැල්ලාව)/ snakes by its consumption by humans, resulting in deadly consequences in humans. Pandemics In History 3: From Rats To Bats – ODISHA BYTES

There are 3 unique features in bats 

Firstly, comparative to body size, only 19 species of mammals live longer than humans; 18 of these 19 species are bats. They are the longest-living mammals in relation to weight, with the oldest bat recaptured >41 years old, (weighing ~7 g) Growing old, yet staying young: The role of telomeres in bats’ exceptional longevity | Science Advances (sciencemag.org). The key are telomeres at both ends of chromosomes. In human somatic cells, telomeres shorten with consecutive rounds of cell division. When telomeres become critically shortened, the cell elicits a DNA damage and cellular senescence. In bats, telomeres and DNA repair genes contribute to exceptional longevity. 

The second exceptional feature in bats its extremely low incidence of cancer which probably is also related its longevity and maintaining DNA stability.

The third unique feature in bats is more important in the context of disease harbouring and spread. Bats do not demonstrate an inflammatory response to infection with the typical response of inflammatory mediators including cytokines that often leads to pathological damage to its own tissues. In humans, although the inflammatory reaction helps in fighting the infection, when appropriately precise in its production. However, when there is an inappropriate overdrive, a cytokine storm ensues damaging one’s own cells which has been previously shown more than 30 years ago in gram negative sepsis and HUS in shigellosis (PDF) Concentrations of IL-6 and TNF in serum and stools of children with Shigella dysenteriae 1 infection (researchgate.net). It is now shown in Covid 19 where it is the ‘protective’ body response that kills the patient rather than the virus itself. What has the bat got to do? Because, bats do not have this reaction, it can harbour such infections without showing any signs or symptoms and would not die, enabling it to spread to other animals and humans.

BUT, in order to prevent future pandemics should we destroy bats??

As Richard Ostfeld says, “Rats and bats thrive when we disrupt natural habitats. They are the most likely to promote transmissions (of pathogens). The more we disturb the forests and habitats, the more danger we are in.” Destroyed Habitat Creates the Perfect Conditions for Coronavirus to Emerge – Scientific American David Quammen, the author of Spillover: gives us the reason. “We cut the trees; we kill the animals or cage them and send them to markets. We disrupt ecosystems, and we shake viruses loose from their natural hosts. When that happens, they need a new host. Often, we are it” Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic: Quammen, David: 9780393066807: Amazon.com: Books

Bats encourage biodiversity and sustenance of the health of their ecosystems. Bats are important for pollinating and scattering the seeds of thousands of species of plants. Bats are major pollinators of commercially valuable crops, like bananas, mangos, avocados and guavas. They eat abundant quantities of insects and harmful arthropods. On a typical night, a bat eats the equivalent up to its own body weight of such insects. According to a 2011 study in Science, insect consumption by bats reduces the pesticide bill of the agriculture industry in the United States by roughly $22.9 billion per year. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/332/6025/41.full

Disease outbreaks caused by wildlife trade are a global, not just a Chinese problem. Wildlife consumption is widespread across Southeast Asia, Sub Saharan Africa, Latin America as well as North America and Europe. In Central Africa alone the estimates are one billion kilograms per year. A recent study, showed that illegal bushmeat around 270 tonnes coming through a single airport in Paris annually. Illegal bushmeat ‘rife in Europe’ – BBC News. However, in January itself China put in place a nationwide ban on wildlife trade. Since the ban within 20 days, Chinese authorities investigated a huge number of cases and 2,347kg of wildlife confiscated. Probably a drop in the ocean!

Survival of the Homo sapiens

 In evolution, apart from mutations, survival of species depend how we react to insecure situations or threats! ‘Fight or fight’ is an example for survival which depends more on the reptilian primitive brain in the amygdala-hypothalamic axis! Fight-or-flight response – Wikipedia and during pandemics and fear psychosis often created by the media we don’t use much of our conscious brain the cortex in such reflex activity. However, development of transport, weapons or scientific medicines/vaccines for survival we use the cerebral cortex. When a pandemic strikes, and we as scientists or governmental authorities cannot offer a treatment, humans look for a cure simply because they are insecure in terms of survival, and they are often forced to seek more unconventional means of treatment linked to different forms of knowledge beliefs and practices. Forget the modern era of 2020. Even in 1348 Medieval historian John Aberth writes on the Black Death: (The Great Mortality of 1348-1350), “…. doctors from every part of the world had no good remedy or effective cure, neither through natural philosophy, medicine, or the art of astrology. Aberth (1348) goes further to state, that “although there were no medical solutions, those peddling in various cures could profit from a plague”, and he argues that “To gain money some went visiting and dispensing their remedies, but these only demonstrated through their patients’ death that their art was nonsense and false”. Human behaviour is the same even today whether it be Trump’s Lysol, our local pedlars of Dhammika decoction or even state sponsored scientifically unproven broths. If you imagine the demand for the bee’s honey decoction, I wonder how this amount of bee’s honey was obtained? Either the whole of Sri Lankan forests were combed and all bees exterminated or as usual in keeping with the hoax; sugar syrup is substituted!! Interestingly, all these are inspired by supernatural beings such as Kali amma, God Natha or the ancient legend of Ravana which gives authenticity to the medication in a paradoxically highly literate but ill-informed hypothalamic driven gullible Sri Lankan society that does not use its rational cerebral cortex! During medieval pandemics some resorted to home cures such as bathing in urine or menstrual blood!

Medieval period records; when plague struck, the church with all its medical and spiritual wisdom could not provide a cure, people quite obviously looked towards authority in their lives, their kings and leaders, for example, saint-kings such as Saint Louis IX and Edward the Confessor who claimed miraculous curative powers or the Royal Touch Royal touch – Wikipedia. At times of the plague, it justified royalty as divinely powerful to win hearts of the people. Trump advocated injecting Lysol and other remedies, and he used this popularity on the illiterate and white racist population in the election campaign. Magical thinking processes and the desire to instil a leader with ultimate knowledge and unlimited insight portrays an authoritarian image of rulers, which relies on public ignorance in order to reinforce the notion of a divinely rigid hierarchical society, in order to create hero worship of leaders. We, In Sri Lanka, Royal healers close to authorities threw magically charmed pots into rivers, chanted harmless but questionable mantras around the island. 

This is understandable, when people become restless during times of epidemics due to hunger and other survival issues and potentially cause unrest in the country: with the blessings of the media one can divert attention to “hope from hopelessness!!” The next ploy would be the hope of a vaccine! Although the WHO will provide 20% of the vulnerable population free of charge, we may show the people that billions have to be borrowed to save the lives of the people?? Trump took credit! why not us?

In Odisha India, a man’s head was chopped as a sacrifice to stop Covid in 2020. Animals and Jews were sacrificed in previous epidemics. Our own Vihara Mahadevi was sacrificed for a Tsunami. At present there are others who have offered to be sacrificed to save mother Lanka, What a laudable offer!

Conspiracy theories, Persecution of marginalized and Stigma!  

Scholars at the University of Paris, attributed the Black Death (plague) to a “creation in March 20, 1345, from what they call “a triple conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in the 40th degree of Aquarius, occurring on the 20th of March 1345?” Black Death is created, allegedly – HISTORY. Even today such thoughts are entertained! “Astrostyle’s resident astrologer Matthew Swann predicted the likelihood of an economic “black swan” event that could be triggered by the January 12 (2020) Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, the sign that rules governments and the economy.” Astrology, COVID-19 and the Black Swan Economic Crisis | The AstroTwins (astrostyle.com)

Xenophobic conspiracy theories targeted marginalized groups. Between 1348 and 1351 the ’burning of Jews’ shortly after, outbreaks of plague were accused of poisoning food, wells and streams, tortured into confessions, and slaughtered en masse. Subsequently witches were persecuted. Even today in Africa, Witches have been killed. The way governments handle situations leads to stigma. The unprofessional way we herd PCR positives and contacts brings fear and stigma often preventing people coming forward with symptoms is why most patients die at home, while spreading to hundreds in the meantime!

Xenophobia in the Trump mindset and Gravitas media (India) scapegoated it as the ‘Chinese or Wuhan’ virus. In Sri Lanka although not official, the marginalized communities are blamed which is due to a higher incidence in overcrowded settings in these poor communities and has nothing to do with the race or religion. It however, is a reflection on the government’s view of minorities and the amygdala induced bias in the majority. The other issue of this is reflected in banning religious rights on burial without heeding rights of minorities and international opinion. 

Media and social media Rats (in this era of internet) who are controlling the epidemic, governments, economy, xenophobia and social life, attitudes and what not. They often have mutual understandings with politicians. Cambridge Analytica and Facebook manipulated Trump’s win in 2015. The battle between CNN and Fox was obviously manipulated by politicians! It is all over including Sri Lanka and the future of the world will be manipulated at the press of buttons as is depicted in the minions (Mindless population of yellow henchmen who are used as tools) and the despicable Felonius Gru (media) and his employer of Dr. Nefario, (politicians)

Finally, in a frenzy everyone, usually the politically powerful try to make a quick buck, from hotel quarantine to black market in masks or dhal or sardines. What is most interesting is how Donald Rumsfeld during his term as Defence Secretary served as chairman of Gilead Sciences, Inc. the developer of Tamiflu (Oseltamivir), which is used in the treatment of bird flu. His holdings in the company grew significantly when avian flu pandemic, became a subject of popular anxiety. Rumsfeld recused himself from any decisions involving Gilead. (Wikipedia) He is supposed have made a profit of 5 million USD. It is also known that another Donald (Trump) has holdings in Sanofi that produces hydroxychloroquine the drug he promoted against advice of CDC and Anthony Fauci. In Sri Lanka although not proven there are allegations against the politically connected in purchase of PCR kits? Fishing in troubled waters is a human strength!

*Vidyajothi Harendra de Silva – Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics

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Latest comments

  • 28
    2

    Yes a lot of sense.
    In lighter vein………..
    I like that sarcastic :..At present there are others who have offered to be sacrificed to save mother Lanka, What a laudable offer!…
    Oh Pavithra Devi, why didn’t you do it without just “offering”.
    And why didn’t the Govt. accept the offer.

    • 26
      7

      Punnaku drinkers dominated kaliamma controlled Srilankens are fear of FEDERALISM, while powerful nation such as Germans makes it clear – logitics in terms of distributions of the vaccine country was facilitated by it s federalism ” federalism as its best”:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-Q8fekalSg
      .
      Please readers, just compare what OUR STUPID counterpart, APAWITHRA WANNIHAMY with that of Germany’s powerful minister of Health -Mr Spahn. Sky earth difference between two health ministers. Srilanken minister is not good enough to be a PS member, but for sure a well match to be “fish monger in Negambo FISHMARKET”

      So how can SRILANKENS ever see their dream come true so long stupid men being appointed as the ministers yet today, under SO CALLED powerful Gota ? I have no doubt, even my dog would decide it better. What had GOTLER been doing in the US ? He should have seen and enjoyed better systems even if the man was an asylum seeker… not just 15 months, he had been there for a period of 15 long years. We THE SINHALAYAS SHOULD BE ashamed to have chosen the kind of DIMIWITS as the president. Folks get up from LONG SLUMBER !

      • 23
        1

        We have to conclude that Gota and his band of felons, war mongers, and thugs, together with the Rajapaksa family, ONLY care about themselves, their personal gains, holding up this autocracy to have controlling powers, and do not give a damn about the people, and progress.

        THIS COUNTRY CAN NEVER SUCCEED, AS LONG AS THE ABOVE , THE EXTREMISTS IN THE BUDDHIST CLERGY, AND THE MEDIA, KEEP THEIR AGENDA OF RACIST POLICIES AND AGENDA GOING.
        The entire world (except China) have criticized us for good reasons.
        It is a shame the Rajapaksa’s take their cue from China.

        A divided nation will NEVER find peace and progress. Those that do succeed have thoughtful, sincere leaders, who put country before power, and unite the country, so that they can be successful and benefit as ONE nation.

        • 5
          0

          A
          “The entire world (except China) have criticized us for good reasons.”
          Did India? Did Pakistan, Bangladessh, ASAEAN countries?
          Criticism takes a back seat when there is business to do.

      • 0
        5

        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

        For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 24
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      Dear Prof. Silva,

      I think you ve been a senior medical professional may have raised the same question as I do.
      .
      Why on earth GMOA be the body to issue public statements regarding the updates of COVID, while Prof. Witharana or there are enough VIROLOGISTs and EPIDEMIOLOGISTS are known to be available for the job ? GMOA members are known to be diehard supporters of MR-GR politics, but none of them are the experts in contagious medicine. Why dont the experts come forward and protest against the misgovernance of the current criminals ?

      Is that becasue THE CURRENT LEADERSHIP is far from the FACTs ? Are they playing with the innocient/gulliable/kali amma controlled/easy targets of the this country ?

      • 6
        17

        Mr. eLM (eternal Loose Motion),
        .
        Thought you were searching for prisons in Rathnapura, Kahawaththa & Welimada with your imaginary finance minister “Samarawickrama”

        • 10
          0

          Ms SCP,
          I ve still been searching any high crimes perpetrated by the rascals. My courage would not ceased even if I would die one day.

          So, I think I have made it very clear I am not dealing with ones busy with the oldest.

          Please let gawky people be blessed with truths. Gota-MaRa have proved, that they returned to power ONLY to release their CRIMINALs that were caught with high crimes. Nothing else is achieved by them sofar. Muruththeruwwa Cheewaradhariya made it very clear, nobody among them are satisifed by the actions being taken by former Asylum seeker/so called president GOTA today. So what more explanation would further be necessary ?

          Mangala Samarawickramage, gave the oil price reduction conession to the nation, while MEDAMULANA horu, would suck the last blood of the poor. That is the greater difference between Mangala and Medamunla thugs.

    • 2
      1

      Maybe the Professor meant to save space by using one letter (d) instead of two (gh) in the word ‘ Laudable’? 🤔🙂

      Recently a friend of mine came out of Corona after 20 days in ICU. looks as though it leaves some psychological scars as well.
      Is there any evolutionary purpose for this Cytokine Storm? like…. ‘killing’ yourself, to break a link in the chain, as a sacrifice, when infected, to help reduce the chances of the propagation of the virus? a kind of an ‘Evolutionary Harakiri’ ? by design?
      or……just the immune system going haywire? if it is so, what a double whammy it is!

  • 9
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    The writer has covered a lot of aspects, however, the Reference to SARS, MARS
    in which the letter R refers to Respiratory. It is reported that China overcame this
    infection of the Lung secretly by enforcing the use of breathing in hot steam twice
    daily. There were a lot of Whatsapp messages praising this method. One in India
    describes how the virus resting 2-3 days in the sinus is killed with steam-breathing twice daily and more. Even sipping hot water at frequent intervals kept the throat so warm, where this virus would not live, in the process of it descending from the Sinus – even without symptoms to the lungs. It will get destroyed if it moves to the stomach with its ever-present hydrochloric acidity?

    To follow this use of hot-steam among ALL Prisoners is a far better proposal than
    brewing concoctions at a cost! Food for thought

  • 25
    1

    Thank you for all the information. Great.
    Regret diverting from the contents of the article.
    But all this pales here in Sri Lanka when reading the Sunday Times headline today.
    ….” State Officers to take oath to President’s Manifesto.”…..
    Shades of things to come – may be with Judges (State Officers) every morning agreeing to owe allegiance to Manifesto and not the Rule of Law as per statute..

  • 14
    1

    Opportunists are all over the world, quick to make an easy buck, either by fooling the gullible or exploiting their privileged positions. The UK Health Minister is accused of doling out lucrative contracts to friends & party donors (who had no previous experience in the matter) for the supply of PPE, although, he is not accused of profiting personally. Thanks to the independent press & media in developed countries, any sign of irregularities are brought to light & politicians are held accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, particularly, the popular media in SL is a joke, considering how self acclaimed experts, astrologers of dubious claims & uneducated political cronies are given prominence in talk shows. These dubious characters should be investigated & exposed, instead of being given publicity to their misleading & even fraudulent claims. However, the biggest joke is when Govt. Ministers, including the Health Minister, publicly endorsing a concoction given by a divine spirit without any approval by a medical or scientific body. Hopefully, it will have a placebo effect, nevertheless, she is party to fraudulent (misleading at best) promotional campaign. The President should take action against this stupid Minister for undermining the credibility of the govt

    • 16
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      Dear Raj-UK
      “These dubious characters should be investigated & EXPOSED, instead of being given publicity.” No hope on that.
      In that show in UK TV, “Yes Minister”, there were parodies on the state of administration in UK.
      But no real corruption, only some harmless manipulation.
      At present two weekly teledramas here feature corruption and misdeeds of Ministers in their shows extensively. Though only a story, it is the truth.
      The TV shows outright corruption, “lifting” of adversaries, threatening poor people and in one case how the Minister runs a bogus finance company and takes over villagers lands when they cannot pay. For exposing that, the reporter is ‘white vanned’ and taken away.
      In another channel, the son of the Minister, with the Ministers connivance, is forcing a businessman to give his daughter in marriage to this skunk of a son. So here in SL, all the dirty corruption and thuggery is taken for granted and seeing it on TV is the norm, every day.
      It is like the new norm here. Open house on that.
      All taken for granted. Next election these same scoundrels receive the votes.

      • 5
        0

        Ferryman,
        “At present two weekly teledramas here feature corruption and misdeeds of Ministers in their shows extensively. Though only a story, it is the truth.”
        Our media is far behind the times. The UK series “The Crown” exposes the shenanigans of the royal family, while they are still alive, and various politicians. When will we get a show that exposes what happened in SL even 50 years ago , such as the Bandaranaike murder?
        We can talk about these things in English on CT, but the monolingual masses haven’t a clue.

        • 2
          0

          Hi OC,

          “The UK series “The Crown” exposes the shenanigans of the royal family, while they are still alive, and various politicians.”…
          But they give pseudonyms in those shows. Unless it is investigative reporting.
          These I referred to are the same without direct references but portrays the order of the day, in local language. What I meant to bring out was that politicos are accepted as crooks and the public is immune to these shenanigans – publicity (which Raj-UK suggested) will not deter them.
          Re-creations of actual events which you named, will likely be in the form of a cinematic show for the public as they need much research to be authentic, while these short shows are easy to write scripts for evening sit-coms.
          Cheers

          • 1
            0

            Ferryman,
            “But they give pseudonyms in those shows. Unless it is investigative reporting.”
            No they don’t. Even Queen Elizabeth is shown in bed with Philip. No pseudonyms.
            Everyone from Churchill to Thatcher is shown, warts and all. Watch the trailer :
            https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.netflix.com/title/80025678&ved=2ahUKEwjgr4jgoPLtAhWk7nMBHcmJBGMQjjgwG3oECDQQAQ&usg=AOvVaw2rQO9pZtQUhezH6SBKU8S3

            If our own recent history was treated in the same way by our media, don’t you think our people would be less prone to being taken in by charlatans and fake saviours?

            • 4
              0

              Dear OC
              Sorry. I stand corrected if that be the case, as I have not have had access to these shows in UK for some time. Also your link is not accessible as I do not subscribe to Netflix.
              However, I only wonder how they get away with the laws on libel, slander and defamation, what with strong laws on human rights and privacy over there.
              Regarding … If our own recent history was treated in the same way by our media, don’t you think our people would be less prone to being taken in by charlatans and fake saviours?…it is unlikely, as, if they are not swayed by the present situations, two (sitcoms) of which I referred to earlier, how would they treat history. They blindly vote on some criteria I do not understand.

                • 0
                  0

                  Dear oc,
                  .
                  PART A
                  .
                  Thanks for this link.
                  .
                  I’ve spent many hours following on from there. I know that this has taken off from a “scientific article” relating to COVID-19, but I don’t think that I’ve exactly “wasted” about five hours on this serendipitous journey.
                  .
                  Yes, I agree with Ferryman that if our post-independence history and its leaders were portrayed in the same honest way that these programmes do, our people would be able to better deal with selecting those to govern us.
                  .
                  My natural predilections took me in ways different to what you would have foreseen.
                  .
                  Lower down, there are SJ (Professor Sivasegaram) and you talking about explosions triggered off accidentally, ending with this link, given by SJ:
                  .
                  https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/investigation-reveals-missteps-by-student-who-unwittingly-made-explosive-/2500470.article
                  .
                  That set me thinking about my adolescent reading about Percy Bysshe Shelley.
                  .
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Bysshe_Shelley
                  .
                  There is a certain relevance. Professor Harendra de Silva has been able to give us such a mature and intelligent article because he has studied something more than his medicine.
                  .
                  When decisions are made about countering this virus, we need people who have more than just an understanding of medicine and of racist politics.

                • 0
                  0

                  PART B
                  .
                  Of course, there is this limitation: I wouldn’t know how to get all this across in the TWO Swabashas. That limitation is one that we cannot easily overcome. We are fortunate to have English, the most widespread lingua franca as the third language of our country (and virtual First Language to many of us), but it is a global misfortune that English is such an ill-organised language. From all that I have gathered, the second most-widespread language, Spanish, is more rationally organised.
                  .
                  Chinese? Serves as First Language to more people, without doubt, but even the Chinese are now acknowledging that English is better positioned to be the World Language. I say this because it is so important that even if we cannot help those who are monolingual, we should treat them with respect, as the true Natives of this land. Most racist comments get disparaged. Unfortunately, all too many comments that get liked are those that show disrespect for the two local languages. They are liked (green thumbs-up) by far too many readers. If we are to overcome the grave problems that beset us, we who use this foreign language must show respect for local culture.

                • 0
                  0

                  PART C
                  .
                  I will miss exploring some other articles as a result of spending time on these leads that you’ve given me, dear oc of unknown “real identity”. What I now intend doing is placing at the bottom of the page some of the interesting material that has got unearthed. Hopefully, some of it may actually amount to discoveries by you, and by Prof. Harendra de Silva whom I hadn’t read before. It may have been his colourful photograph that got me reading this.
                  .
                  “MyView” responded to a comment that I had made about how a mono-lingual man, “influential” in the neighbourhood had no clue as to how old the mountains are. We have to ensure that the Education that we “distribute” to all and sundry leads to clearer abstract and lateral thinking than the cognitive thinking which he deplored as being self-centred. That may be much more important than literacy in the minimum of two languages that we ensure for the generations that succeed us.
                  .
                  Let our current population be buried or cremated when we all have to close our eyes. I’ve been seeing conflicting rulings on that yesterday. How trivial such issues are.

        • 8
          0

          My Dear OC,
          Murders are part and parcel of their business- in the days to come, MORE of Jamal Khashoggi style misterious killings. Who cares ?

          Innocient dutch Monk was murdered few days ago – nothing is in air, how come a monk was found dead ? We also notice, COMMENTERS on CT are becoming less ?

          Hiragedara- over 11 were murdered with 9 of them showed gunshot wounds, nobody talks as if HUMAN LIFE under GOTLER cooperation is no different to a life stray dog/cat

          There are also speculations, some rural monks are assualted by unknown groups of thugs (but signs match with SLPP PS members and supporters)

          Not a single man would seem to have guts to question why OIL price reduction concession was kept to them ?not giving it the public. No matter, SKY high prices of daily needs – since people LOVE their lives, they behave not showing their angers.
          :
          THIS IS WHAT THOSE STUPID MASSES EXPECTED BY PAVING THE WAY THEM TO RETURN AND RUIN IT FROM WHERE THEY STOPPED.

          • 2
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            L.M,
            Real Buddhists like that Dutch monk aren’t popular in SL. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Derana to go to town about it.

        • 4
          0

          OC
          We are far from perfect; and I defend nothing.
          *
          But has the US got to the bottom of important murders like that of the two Kennedys and Martin Lither King Jr?
          They conveniently dismiss any challenge as a conspiracy theory.
          *
          Has India got to the bottom of Rajeev Gandhi’s murder?
          *
          Some things are too sensitive for the comfort of the establishment.

          • 2
            0

            S.J,
            At least the Kennedy murder is part of the US school curriculum. But our children are not taught even about machinations like the “Premier Stakes” , let alone the Bandaranaike murder.
            It seems anything at all is too sensitive for our establishment.

            • 1
              0

              Everyone has a skeleton in his cupboard perhaps.

        • 3
          0

          old codger

          “We can talk about these things in English on CT, but the monolingual masses haven’t a clue.”

          Recently Keheliya Rambo Rambukwella

          made statements to the effect he was planning to streamline, control, protect, ………… Siocial media, and

          made statements to the effect he was NOT planning to streamline, control, protect, ………… Social media,

          made statements to the effect he was planning to streamline, control, protect, ………… Siocial media,….

          What is his real position?

          • 2
            0

            Native,
            Kehelmal is only a symptom of the disease, which is ignorance and superstition on an industrial scale among the population.
            In the TV series I mentioned, even Churchill and Mountbatten (deservedly) come out badly. But in our paradise, once charlatans like Dharmapala are canonised, there is no further discussion.

          • 2
            0

            Dear Native,
            .
            Most of them have no power even if they are called ministers. I saw most o fthem scrach their everyhting whenever they were questioned for even tiny issues.
            :
            I thought Kehelmal would be the media spokesman as was the case under Junta number one
            .

            • 2
              0

              leelagemalli
              .
              “Most of them have no power even if they are called ministers. I saw most o fthem scrach their everyhting whenever they were questioned for even tiny issues.”

              However, Wimal Weerawansa is the present minister of industry.
              How does he manage it?

  • 15
    1

    Prof. De Silva

    It is regrettable that eminent scientists such as your self are side-lined while con artists are given prominence at a time of national catastrophe. The average citizen is not interested in the eco system & the environment, & when we have uneducated parliamentarian’s whose only focus is on votes, the ‘development’ dished out to satisfy the public is in the form of roadways through virgin forests, encroachment of wild life sanctuaries for village expansion & unregulated luxury hotels & the elimination of mangroves & other natural habitats of many species essential for the sustenance of our eco systems. Wild animals lose their habitat & migratory paths, resort to scavenging in rubbish dumps & often killed by villagers for damaging their crops but our self serving politicians have no interest nor understand the importance of a sustainable eco system.

    • 8
      0

      Raj-UK: Have you not seen the documentary “Planet Earth” aired by BBC? In one of those series, I saw a unique reptile eating its own bread and category of the same kind as food for survival. The same happened recently to this Prof.De Silva when he was removed as the Head of the Medical Council. No surprise to me because we have not much “Evolved” yet but a long way to go. Or it may be we are “Revolving” to our “Original” status.

      • 10
        0

        Dear Prof. De Silva,
        Pandemics, Bats, Mythology, Spiritualists, Charlatans, Politicians, And Media Rats.
        Yes all vermin but you forgot a pestilence plaguing the medical profession, the GMOA, and which campaigned against you. May be they are the charlatans or rats you refer, because they are given undue coverage by some media outlets.

        • 6
          0

          Ferryman,

          Expert voices have no chance in today ‘s context in SL. Be it health or any other fields, they seem no respect to dignified intelligent people.

          See how sad Prof. Witharana is fallen today, as a senior virogist – though his is still a contituent party of UPFA/SLPP.- -his knowledge on VIROLOGY is not just respected by Rajapakshe CLAN yet. So how can they define their ” wiyathmaga” today ?
          :
          One another baggage boy – by name Jayasumana, though wearing a Prof Title thanks to Rajakshe men, makes him a laughing stock to academia.

          Why do even young men tend to kneel down before Rajapakshes ? The reason may be SINHALA genetics. Either condescending mindset or uncaring genes may be the reason.

          • 4
            1

            LM
            “See how sad Prof. Witharana is fallen today”
            It will be good to know when he last professionally practiced virology?
            *
            It is true that he has fallen– but that is in the esteem of people who trusted him. He tripped himself as a political leader of the left, a little too often.
            *
            Any stick to strike at the brothers?
            Pick something stronger.

            • 6
              0

              Dear Mr. SJ,

              you as a senior scholar, well experienced researcher (no matter you being not a virologist) you may know it well about the practial difficulties among the srilanken academics.
              I wonder why that most known historian from Colombo Uni stay mum today. All the like minded men are totally made silent today, even if their predictions about Rajapaksehs mafia-politics is right. As I told you once, euroepan R &D are well connected with higher academics in Europe. Pharmaceutical companies are well connected with university researchers. That guy who developed a vaccine using RNA technology (against C19 infections) is a Prof. In the same time, they have been running two pharamceutical companies.

              To tell you the truth, I am not dealing with srlanken experts in any of the areas. My knowledge restrict to few I came to know few years ago. Most of them were srilanken PG students to Europe. Some of them were DAAD students. They were not at all peaceful human beings. That was not overlooked to us.
              :
              contd.

              • 5
                0

                continuing.
                Why cant those senior experts in SL yet call a forum and discuss about the issues seriously ? Why do they let any minion to mislead the vulnerable majority in the country ? You may be well aware of the facts, that not a single candidate in GMOA are known to be experts in CONTAGIOUS medicine/Virology/Epidemiology- nevertheless MAIN STREAM media TV channels to interview them almost everyday ?
                The very same is the case with printed media why ?
                .
                Prof. Malik Peris or the like experts are not being contacted by health ministry today why ?
                What happened to that good guy who then work as MRI lead ?
                Whoever whatever being spread, former minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne achieved a lot for the benefit of the masses. He could manage a lot during that short period. GMOA did not let him continue his good mission.

              • 4
                0

                LM
                My objection was to your faulting the government for denying Prof Tissa V pride of place.
                I think that it is not something that the government could be faulted for.
                Do not let bitterness about the ruling elite let you fault them at every turn. That will weaken even sound criticism.
                *
                I do not claim expertise in anything. Please treat my views on par with any other (excluding rude and nasty personal and racist comments).
                Between us, your views are as good as mine.

                • 5
                  0

                  Dear SJ
                  I know you do not ask for an endorsement of :
                  …”I do not claim expertise in anything. Please treat my views on par with any other (excluding rude and nasty personal and racist comments).
                  Between us, your views are as good as mine.”…
                  But Excuse Me, I cannot resist adding my full endorsement to this.

                • 3
                  0

                  SJ,

                  Unfortunately, my thoughts are different. I cant agree with you here I am sorry for that. I think no body expect him to be the panel leader for COVID control in that country. But we are well aware of the facts, that even ninety year old- professors and their thoughts and minds help always – no need to even exchange onthis further.
                  He could just be consulted for virological controls based on current pandemic within the country. In a public interview, he made it very clear, he was not even consulted by anyone yet.
                  :
                  Like for example, how and what steps should be taken on flattening the curve in terms of containment of the virus within the community.

                  There a senior researcher could have much more practical know-how. Prof. V has worked in African continent for many many years. That is why I attack the govt on and on for doing the little properly by hearing the experts in the area. Instead a bunch thugs, filled in GMOA is seen in every new updates ????????????????

                  As for me, that the guys who were then handled the issue Dr. Anil Jasinghe and MRI head did their duties well. They could achieve a lot for the benefit of the masses.

            • 4
              0

              As time goes on, not only Prof Vitharne (NM’nephew) but many will be given ‘Karapincha’ treatment. Many will be discarded, having provided the ladder to the Rajapakses, they are needed no more after 20A. That a new constitution will be put in place soon, is only a mirage to keep everyone happy..

        • 1
          0

          Dear Ferryman, Please don’t insult the rats as they eat and destroy much garbage we throw around and very rarely bite humans. Their danger is the widespread RB Fever during floods into which the humans are helplessly submerged in reading deceiving lies. Prof De Silva’s valuable medical contribution cannot be erased by a rat bite. Watch out

          • 0
            0

            …”the rats as they eat and destroy much garbage we throw around “….
            Sarcasm apart, the rats I referred to, are same as garbage. With their political stance instead of serving medicine they are a menace to humans.

          • 3
            0

            …..”Prof De Silva’s valuable medical contribution cannot be erased by a rat bite. “….
            Absolutely. Please refer to first comment on this thread by me at top.

          • 3
            0

            Oh Dear DTG
            ……..”Please don’t insult the rats “………..
            Presume you did not mean it to refer to Prof HS for using the word RAT in the subject of his good essay. Media Rats and all that !

      • 4
        0

        Simon Aiya,

        Give me one single example where a prof joined to srilanken politics was able to perform well ? Unfortunately, I dont have any recent example. European Profs do their best whereever they make genuine efforts to make a real change.

        GLP is the most known example – to have become a joker to anyone today. All because he never care much about respect and dignity but emulates Wimal buruwanse. Then that Rajiva Wijesinghe, who died down at the very begining of the GOOD governance govt. Prof. Witharana is the other -he is quiet but would not utter a single word yet against madamulana mafia men.

        • 2
          0

          May be Rajiva Jayaweera you have in mind – not Wijesinghe.

          • 2
            0

            F
            RW is a professor not the late RJ.

            • 0
              0

              Yes. My comment was to LM who mentioned a RW who “died”? or “…”?
              In fact that Prof spells his name Wijesinha.

            • 1
              0

              Correct. Rajiva Wijesinghe was DJ #s siamese twin.
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk9wH9jQUCg

  • 6
    0

    For example, a property developer in UK was recently fined thousands of £s for clearing a bat habitat.

    We need educated politicians & it is the responsibility of mainstream parties to nominate capable & competent people, not self serving cronies, yobs, thugs, murderess & ‘basket’ women (apologies to many hard working decent women who make a living selling vegetables & fish by the roadside)

    • 13
      0

      Raj-UK

      “We need educated politicians …………………………………….. “

      Please note:
      G. L. Peiris – Double PhD.
      Wijedasa Rajapaksa LL.B, treble Doctorates
      Channa Jayasumana MBBS, PhD, FRCP
      Udaya Gammanpila, degree in computer science, at Monash, passed the law examination, ….
      Gevindu Kumaratunga – Grandson of Kumaratunga Munidasa
      Dinesh Gunawardena B.B.A (USA)
      Basil Rajapaksa, 10%, 20%, 30% ……………………. (Former MP, Presently the effective head of Treasury)
      Pillayan, ………………… Qualification a serving MP on bail.

      What more do you want from our politicians?

      • 3
        1

        NV: You forgot, that Gevindu Kumaratunga is a “Senior Lecturer of the University of Colombo. I am hurt to hear that he is “Grandson of Kumaratunga Munidasa” which fact I “DOUBT” very much.

        • 1
          0

          Simon

          I quoted from my memory. Maybe I am wrong however I still believe Gevendu is the grandson of Cumaratunga Munidasa (of Hela Movement).

          • 0
            0

            NV: Yes he is the “Grandson”. I used the word “DOUBT” in sarcasm after observing his behavior in politics. Late Munidasa Kumaratunga was a renowned teacher, who excelled well in refining the Sinhala language, like few others who contributed immensely to strengthen the languages. That “Hela Movement” was for the purpose of reinventing and refine the Sinhala language. It was a “Literary Movement”. In like manner, we had and have such scholars who contribute for that cause of “Literacy”.

            • 2
              0

              Simon

              Thanks
              I have a copy of a research paper titled “Purifying the Sinhala Language The Hela Movement of Munidasa Cumaratunga (1930s-1940s)” by Prof Sandagomi Coperahewa. It is an interesting paper.

    • 3
      0

      Raj-UK: “We need educated politicians…………mainstream parties to nominate capable & competent people…….” We had this experience at the last Local Govt. and Parliamentarian elections, The party that nominated the “Criminals” of all sorts and the “Uneducated” won with massive vote numbers, while the parties who nominated the types you would like lost big time. Think of the “POHOTTUWA” party the Chairman of which is “Prof” G.L.Peiris as against the “NPP” led by a bunch of highly educated, but not in the category of any “Criminality”. Who won the hearts and minds of a “Massive” voter population? The “Pohottuwa” (SLPP) led by “Prof. Peiris. The “NPP” received a “Narrow” representation with only “TWO” nominees in the Legislature. Men who fought tooth and nail against crimes of all categories viz. Sunil Handunetti from Matara and Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa from Kaluthara lost badly. That is the “Culture” of “Voting” in Sri Lanka and don’t forsee a change in the near future.

      • 4
        0

        It’s a pity that Sunil and Nalinda lost,apey karume.

    • 3
      1

      Raj-UK
      With all the wisdom that pervades the British ruling establishment, for well over a decade people have been prevented from carrying drinking water across the customs check point at airports. The original argument was that water could be used to make explosives.
      Have they discovered any water-based bomb so far? Why is the ban persisting if there is no sound scientific reason for it? Is it a ploy to sell bottled water inside the airport?
      That practice, when sustained in the name of science, seems many fold more stupid than all our superstitions put together.

      • 1
        0

        SJ

        Just for your information, all Liquids, as well as, creams & such like, are banned by the airlines. Drinking water is available free from drinking ‘fountains’ inside most big airports.

        • 2
          0

          Raj-UK
          Thanks.
          I know.
          The point is why was there a ban on water (but not just that alone).
          Most of the other liquids (except those with a very strong alcohol content like perfumes) with douse a fire. Why ban them either?
          *
          One does not always run to a drinking fount when thirsty.
          I have seen many buying bottled water after customs.

  • 2
    0

    Who is well-equipped to contribute their expertise and experience in search of cures to and COVID-19.
    • Ayurdeva Dept. approves Mr. Dhammika Bandara’s Covid tonic.
    • The scientists and researchers who worked tirelessly to make this possible Covid-19 vaccine

    If we take both of them is there any side effects or are they working on a trial on the said tonic formulated as a solution for novel coronavirus. And the vaccine scientists as a researcher basis
    Who can prove if it cause harm to the patient or to combat the epidemics. at least at least Lowering the transmission and spread of human coronavirus

  • 12
    0

    If in any other country the Minister of Health promoted a medicine with no testing like in the case of “Pani” promoted by Pavithra Wanniarachchi, the Minister would have resigned immediately or the President or PM would have requested the resignation. Unfortuntely, the lady who promoted this for reasons known only to the leaders did not resign. She still makes various stupid statements such as Covid Dead will be cremated when WHO and other virologists who know much better than her and the so called experts appointed by the Govt.

    The Govt is in a “Racist Political Mode”. As I have written earlier the next UN resolution may even have an additional clause on “Racist Politics” of this Govt. Where is Sri Lanka heading with the Failed President and Failed PM?

    • 0
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

      For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 0
      0

      Buddhist1, Please let me know any country where a politician sacked part of the medical council for taking decisions which were binding on the whole corporate body. Thank you.

  • 3
    1

    Great article. without the political rubbish spewed by the main authors on this site. Why can’t CT find this quality of writes instead of playing to the gallery?

    • 1
      0

      “Why can’t CT find this quality of writes instead of playing to the gallery?”
      Simple. Just wait and see if the Prof. gets as many comments as Wiggy.

      • 1
        0

        old codger

        Do you know why more than 10 ministers, 2 Single handed generals and one Sil Redda fraudster are very keen on making statements regarding UN aided COVID 19 vaccine? Please bear with me, does Vaccination business involve large amount of money exchange?

  • 4
    1

    I thought of starting this passage with .. The worst damage done to Sri Lanka….. .but then I changed my mind as there is no one worst action, there are so many actions in the past of the present groups that has formed the government (SLPP, Yuthukama, Vyathmaga, Buddhist Monks, Derana, Hiru, Deshapremies etc). Of all actions that have affected SL, made by these groups what sits at the top is the opposition against MCC when these parties were in the opposition. Today they are reaping the harvest of what they sowed. The cost of it has been US$480 million. This is a major hit to the economy as its not a loan similar to Chinese loans at 6% interest, but an outright grant. These days China is not giving the money even for those agreements they have agreed with SL. The government which is promising miraculous transformation of the economy of the country in 2021 could not even negotiate a mutually agreeable agreement with USA due to the stupidity of these groups. The members of these groups are frogs in a well.
    Today they are attacking P B Jayasundera the Secretary to the President for all what’s happening in the country. Whom these parties really want to attack is the President Gotabaya, as they are more in support of todays rubber stamp PM Mahinda.

  • 6
    2

    Regardless of the interests promoting “hydroxychloroquine”, was not the research published in Lancet denouncing it as treatment for COVID-19 itself doctored, and Lancet beat a retreat?
    [https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200605/lancet-retracts-hydroxychloroquine-study]
    Were not vested interests involved in suppressing work on hydroxychloroquin?

  • 2
    1

    Prof. Harendra de Silva,
    .
    This looked a very long article, but what a collation of facts!
    .
    I was amazed at all that you had said about bats – and checked some of it. I’d never have thought all that possible.
    .
    Many thanks, and I even made a passing reference to the all too many comments made by me here:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/religious-apartheid-ethnic-entrapment/

    .

    • 11
      0

      Both frank and informative. But where does that leave us? It looks as if we are down to our personal ingenuity in taking precautions, and we do. What do we do as a society? The author mentioned deforestation. In Jaffna where I live, we see an increasing piling up of rubbish along the roads, and empty plastic bottles and bags in drains after feasts funded by relatives abroad? Believe it or not, Jaffna Hospital which has experienced a building frenzy rather than relocation was flooded knee-deep and the kulams around town have disappeared. No authority here, moral or administrative, except the army perhaps?.

      • 6
        0

        Dear Mr. RH,
        …”But where does that leave us?”……
        This is indeed the precarious position we are all placed in, and a gloomy forecast with another New Year ahead. But very true.
        The system of finding representation in the legislature needs addressing first as this is the fountainhead of corruption and mismanagement.
        Systems cannot be changed overnight – unless by revolt or coup d’ etat.
        Or some really patriotic citizens band together to form a movement and change this Constitution, a bugbear. But then this needs a concerted effort by the like minded. In the current milieu, when the society is divided, fractured and nearly crumbling, this is a mirage. The politicos have divided us by religion and ethnicity to such an extent, that we fight on these frivolous divisions, forgetting that together both sides win, if we fight this common enemy. Unless we shed our differences (all too evident in some comments on this forum), the system stays, politicians stay and the country stays in this dismal state.
        In this situation, can anyone wish another A Happy New Year, sincerely? Except between the corrupt criminals to wish amongst themselves.

      • 1
        0

        RH
        You have raised a very important question: “What do we do as a society?”
        Jaffna, despite its oppressive caste structure, had a strong sense of community even into the 1970s. Each of its villages constituted a closely knit community; and much could be achieved for public services. You will perhaps know better than I about how it eroded.
        *
        Extrapolate the role of community to the world, and look at countries with sizeable populations that have thus far controlled the spread of COVID-19 most effectively– far better than others in their region and elsewhere with better resources.
        It is not ideology but the community spirit in these countries.
        *
        We are not dealing with virus a fraction as deadly as many that passed before; and are toying with hastily produced vaccines with uncertainties that are hardly discussed.
        I think that community and preventive medicine is closest to the answer– something that we had here until the country opened up to Big Pharma post-1978, as mentioned by Kusal Perara in today’s Daily Mirror.

        • 2
          0

          …”the country opened up to Big Pharma post-1978″…
          Not only to BP, but 1978 opened up the whole economy without proper regulatory mechanisms in place.
          Like any change, a gradual one, correcting anything untoward along the way would have been better. Our earlier closed economy had many drawbacks, and liberalisation was the accepted economic theory of the time.

          • 6
            0

            In fairness, it is easy now to fault anything after seeing the results; however the only solution now is to learn how to correct the shortcomings. No system is perfect.
            Whatever the system, it is how the people use it or misuse it, that will determine the final outcome.

            • 3
              0

              F
              Quite a few leaders warned against the opening up of the economy.
              JRJ was able to silence all dissent in the UNP with the famous undated resignation letters; the opposition in 1978-80 was far too weak and divided to mobilize public opinion. The JVP at the time played ball with the UNP.

              • 2
                0

                In fact everytime the electorate gave too large a majority, there were repercussions. In 1956 UNP had only 8 seats and SLFP ran riot. 1977 JR had 142 and had his own way. But all the main UNP stalwarts were on JRJ’s side – Lalith Gamini Ronnie and so few dissented.
                Now in 2019, 145 seats with 20A in hand, the sky is the limit.

                • 0
                  0

                  F
                  In 1956 it was not a steamroller majority for the SLFP. The Coalition (called MEP then) had several others in it. The LSSP was the main opposition party, and NM leader of opposition.
                  SWRDB could not form a Cabinet of his choice, as Sir Oliver G. had some clout as GG representing the Head of State, QEII.
                  Philp G left in frustration as his work as minister was obstructed.
                  SWRDB could not even deliver on the B-C pact.
                  *
                  In 1977 JR had undated resignation letters of all MPs in his possession.
                  Ronnie was not a UNP person before 1977. He fell out with Mrs B. I though that he did JRJ’s bidding but with dignity.
                  Lalith and Gamini were competing to be JR’s pets and hopefully successors. They rebelled against Premadasa, for more than political reasons.
                  *
                  You are right about 2019, but note that MR achieved much of his ambitions by buying a 2/3 majority in 2006.
                  After 2009 only he could destroy himself, which he did in 2015, but only to be resurrected in less than 5 years.

                  • 0
                    0

                    Dear SJ,
                    …” SWRDB could not even deliver on the B-C pact.” Because he came on the shoulders of the Pancha Maha Balavegaya and this movement was very “anti” the BC Pact.
                    Consider now the antagonism of the Buddhist Clergy who say “WE” helped you to gat 6.2M votes, regarding the Muslim burial issue.
                    So old baggage can hold you down.
                    Regarding others, your views noted.
                    However I feel may be, we have digressed far from the authors expectations here.

        • 1
          0

          S.J,
          “and look at countries with sizeable populations that have thus far controlled the spread of COVID-19”
          The Dharavi slum in Mumbai is one. Predicted to become a total disaster because of overcrowding, it’s infection rates are now lower than ours. Whether it will remain so is difficult to say. Just like here. The problem is our complacency and tendency to crow at small gains.

      • 0
        0

        “But where does that leave us?”
        I think you are generating the answer within the question. Certainly the answer is not the counter question, “Who ties the bell to the cat?” CT cannot enter and influence inside Lankawe. Inside Lankawe it is the readers are obligated to take the message to the monolingual mass. When Kannathasan wrote his book, “Meaningful Hinduism”, he did know he lacked the confidence of the people. So gave an instruction like: “The water is flowing in rivers and gets collected in lakes and ponds. Few people go to these water places and bring water in small pots and pans to the villagers to drink. River doesn’t come to village. But pots & pan water can quench the thirst of the villagers. The river of Hindu enlightenment is flowing as Rama Krishna, Sankara, Kiripananthavarier. We are bringing the water to the villages in pots, but of cause we are not authorities in Hinduism.” That is, honest or fake, convincing humble talk. An eighth grader is the one adored and introduced me the “Meaningful Hinduism”. When I read, I noticed there were lot of matters explained about believes of Hindus, at the level of that boy, to cool their anxieties towards the inconsistencies of the Hinduism.

      • 0
        0

        Privy Council, when it was handling Ceylon’s appeals, it mainly gives out general guidance to Ceylon courts. Rest of the matter was by locals courts based on those guidance, which are not any verdict based on Ceylon laws. The political correction in Lankawe has to be brought in by the toil of the readers, appreciators, commentators of CT. Here a reasonable risk is endured by all connected to CT, by the virtue of it freedom to expression. Oppressing or down playing on behalf of paymasters is only damaging CT. Understanding the plight of CT to bring out the message will only yield any fruit. First Class Students have to separate the milk from the water found in CT and taking it to the hungry children, the ones are in need. This First Class Students have to realize that after the declaration of Universal Franchise, only people can bring the change and not any other special group. This the prime rule of the game politicians are masters of. The trade is more profitable, more the birds it attracts into that. That ring can be broken only by enlightened people. When TNA proposed a secret plan to Chitanta government secretly, under the pressure of that government, then we named it as Secret Solution, as any solution for anybody will have to well be discussed by all people and to be approved by people.

      • 0
        0

        Any plan comes forward locally, not understood by people, will be used to opportunistic politicians for campaign. Here Prof. Harendra de Silva has sacrificed his job and comfort to tell the people a message about Corona Virus. This job loss is about telling the truth against honey Paani and killing bees for government’s political opportunity. These are no intention to care or provide medicine for people. At least one drop of juice the readers must be able squeeze in their native living places out of this incident. Government cannot buy vaccine without selling another Harbor Port. WHO’s free doses will not be enough even for TTH acolytes. In US too, President suggested to use Lysol disinfectant as medicine. He suggested moving people into crows without mask. Today, in advanced society like US, President Trump has paid the price for his mistake within six months, though the economy has not faced the expected loses yet under president Trump’s care. American corona experience and subsequent political fallout is a well-informed matter world over. This has to be taken to every village at their level, should not be stopped as dinner table talk in English Educated families.

      • 2
        1

        Rajan Hoole you still living because of the Sinhalese who protect you during the LTTE time. You also hit lists man by the LTTE. Say thanks to Sinhalese bodyguards and the Sinhalese government. Your and most of the TNA politicians saved by the Sinhalese Government and Soldiers otherwise same faith to you like Amirthalingam other TNA politicians

    • 6
      0

      Dear Mr SM,
      I hope you are keeping well.

      Do you think, that Prof. H de Silva s role should be a just a writer at this critical turning point of the country.? I miss Prof. Carlo Fonseka and Nandadasa Kodagoda or the like great personalities today.
      The professors, senior professionals in medicine should come forward and play a significant role as Minister of health is totally misled by SLPP-supporing body GMOA. where on earth you would see, the minister of health becoming a “guinea pig” for unknown/paniya(mixture whose composition is not yet accredidated by clinical chemists)?
      The kind of professors should rather play a lead in this chaotic situation, clearing the doubts of the people or not ? Average folks would not know nothing, they just believe in hearsays becoming their headline news of the day. I quesiton as to why SRILANKEN media authorities allow the kind of media institutions mislead the nation on and on.

      • 2
        0

        Should? Yes.
        .
        Unfortunately, “Democracy” dictates that the average shall dominate. This is neither an original, nor a profound thought by me.
        .
        Even to say that we have to enhance the level of Education of the “average” citizen begs many questions. How well the contents and the implications of Education are digested will always remain questionable. I could go on and on, like this.
        .
        When I said yesterday that a guy who is considered both intelligent and educated in this society stated that he knew that the mountain here was older than himself, I was not misreporting, nor was he anything but serious.
        .
        It made me realise that abstract thinking doesn’t come easily to humans. We mistake bits of information for wisdom and understanding. I know that I’m not very practical myself.
        .
        Having said so much, yes, we do seem to have morons running the country. A critical turning point? How many times have we said that?

        • 5
          0

          You said a mouthful.
          “It made me realise that “abstract thinking” doesn’t come easily to humans.”
          That is the problem as we more often that not, use “cognitive thinking” and this leads to much dissent.
          Cognitive thinking brings the ” I ” or person, to the forefront in any discourse or analysis.

  • 4
    0

    Very good article.

  • 1
    0

    Simon

    I quoted from my memory. Maybe I am wrong however I still believe Gevendu is the grandson of Cumaratunga Munidasa (of Hela Movement).

    • 1
      0

      Simon,
      .
      I’m disappointed that you didn’t check before challenging. It’s so easily done. This sort of irresponsibility is what undermines my faith in th educability of humans.
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gevindu_Kumaratunga
      .
      However, thanks to your challenge, I learnt something. I had imagined that he was in some way connected to CBK.
      .
      We cannot possibly “know” everything, but then was it something so significant that we HAD to know it?

  • 0
    1

    Greedy and selfish Sri Lanka wants Covid vaccine free while it has its own home made cure approved by its Sinhala Bauda Govt.

    “An official news release said last week that the Government has sought the help of the United Nations and its agencies to help Sri Lanka obtain vaccines for Covid-19 used by other countries.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbym1feZRCQ&feature=emb_logo

    LOL

  • 2
    0

    Ayurvedic medicine is based upon careful observations. However, a main tenant of Ayurveda is its focus on individual treatment. & observation is diabetic’s patient pressure patients can take this medicine individuals may be treated with a different formulation. Ayurvedic principles and may not bring accurate results for all people while treating for covid will be appreciated but will any other side effects prop up. What are potential obstacles

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      RBH59
      Indian and Chinese traditional medicine do not incorporate the concept of infection by microorganisms.
      Their approach to ailments is identifying the imbalance in the body and restoring balance.
      I think that Ayurvedic practice has to go some distance to accommodate the concept of infection.
      There are various vested interests that have minted money by producing not just Ayurvedic medicine but also soap, toothpaste and cosmetics in the style of western patent medicine and beauty products.
      I am not dismissive of the system, but very suspicious of those who promise without a valid basis.
      You may remember Ayurvedic cures for AIDS which did the rounds for some years.

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        S.J,
        Our people have very short memories. The ones promoting ancient knowledge nowadays should explain why this ancient knowledge didn’t save the the lives of 35000 malaria victims in 1936. Or even the lakhs who died of polio, cholera, TB over the years.

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          OC
          Mostly agree.
          But deaths due to malaria in the 1930s were caused by lack of nutrition. The LSSP team led by NM Perera did well to distribute lentils among other foods to the poor in Malaria affected regions. That worked better than any medicine, so much so that NM was fondly called ‘parippu mahatthaya’ by the people of Sabaragamuwa Province.
          *
          One need not be dismissive of traditional medicine. It has served two land masses of Asia very well for millennia.
          The systems were holistic and to a degree associated with a way of life. When that way of life collapsed, the medical system stagnated and corruption entered medical practice.
          *
          Herbal medicines of old America have been absorbed by Western Medicine; but the natives had no defence against infection imposed on them by the invaders.
          *
          It is a waste of time to talk to worshipers of the ancient past; but there is much to draw from that past, which even the Big Pharma does and claims patent rights.

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          OC,

          indeed a very good argument Mr. I heard Prof. Kovur to have asked, why not PIRITHNOOLE was not tied around the huge water refineries in order to control the malaria spread in 50 or so. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._T._Kovoor

          Do you remember at the begining years of GG, there were NITTAWA stories , set to air by the very same men that handle today s PANIYA stories. Entire world incl, experts in human evolution/antropology /social sciences made it very clear, if Nittawa could be found in SL, they should long be aware. Any lies go viral in SRILANKEN society today.

          why dont EUROPEAN press focus on the kind of topics ? Because the common knowledge of the average is very high. They would cross question so that such new would not be the headline news of the main stream media. Govts are very powerful, so that any third forces can mislead them. We all knew that the super spreader for COVID was found in South Tirol/south Austria. But austrian govt was very tactful not allowing it to be the a main news.

          The very same was the case with KELANIYA river/Nagaya brought relics- but this was promoted by Sorbone educated incumbent Chief mok of Kelaniya Rajamaha viaharaya.

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        Dear SJ, that is why Gps and practices in Europe focus on combination therapy today. There are no clear lines between their treatments. We are familiar with well trained internist s with therapies on alternative medicine . Acupuncture is common to them. Some orthopaedic docs work with yoga trainers. 😉😉😉😉😉😉😉

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    Dear Prof. Harendra de Silva

    Your article has caught the imagination of quite a few CT readers and critiques.
    The big question is what do we do in SL to minimise the damage. I understand from reliable sources that the quarantine regime in SL is working well. Is vaccination being the solution on the long haul? . From the trials as well as the recent mass vaccination programmes in the US and the UK, there are serious concerns of the side effects; especially for those with allergic reactions leading to anaphylaxis. I am one of those (Allergic sesame seed and sesame oil)
    Why such a hurry for mass vaccinations. Is there a hidden agenda? Money making for the global Pharma giants amounting a very handful beneficiary
    There is a very thin line between medicine and wasting and exploiting medicine, in my view.
    “Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy” Isaac Newton

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      Please do not spread such nonsense about the vaccines. Even the flu vaccine which I take every year brings about adverse reactions. So far in the UK, the press has reported only two instances of adverse reactions. For the people in SL, the issue is not whether the vaccine is a bad thing, but when and whether it arrives and they are spared the government’s play about the potential of the “panniya”. Living abroad, with many options and good medical care, the least you can do its to create further doubts in the minds of people who are desperate.

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        Cicero,

        I am in full agreement with you. I am used to take flue vaccine every year as you are. That has not even 40% effective rate. Today, the problem has been, anyone can add unsubstantiated assertions about anything. There are many other vaccines in use with much lower effective rate.
        Cicero, just imagine how they get on with that ” paniya” which is just a combination of a mixture only. No accrediation labs have yet confirmed the suitablity of the ingridients in it. Mutti Hamy as another stupid person became the first guinea pig in the testing process. How unfortunate the nation should be, heath minister of the today being represented us by a woman whose knowledge is similar to that of kali amma controlled PANIYA producer today ? I am not party sympapthiser to anyone , but Dr Rajitha Senaratne would not have let the ministry be fallen this deep.

        I am angered by watchin that FAKE Professor Jayasumana still making bi pompous public statements that paniya would be tested by a committee. Ha ha… my gosh, how stupid also the ones with MBBS titles have been thrown to.. ? If I were there, we could get that test within hours, by our labs in EUrope. If former govt was there, I would have offered our assistance, but today, I dont care even if the numbers would have become a threat down there, I am fed up of srilanken average mind set.

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      No doubt about the quality of the article, or about the intelligence of the writer, Nada.

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      Dear RN,
      .
      I believe you live in UK. I have relatives living in central london. How many in that country are being suffered from COVID 19 today ? Numbers are much higher than that of in Germany. And their recovering rates are beyond estimation. BUt locals from SL have no idea about the statistics on COVID patients in UK. They just focus only on UK and US.
      UK has failed to estimate how many of them among COVID patients recovered the disease.

      Not just you alone but unknown allergies are on a rise today almost everywhere. I recently met few youuth that are allergic to KIWI fruit which is very rare according to food researchers.

      All these have lot do with the manner people get on today with chemicals. I usually dont buy GM (genetically modified ) food items (Tomatoes, Zukini, Brocolli etc coming from Holland). I rely on more german products. I know they are well alert on LMBG (lebensmittle Bedarfgegenstand Gesetz-LBMG German Food Law).

      You may have your own thinking, but I really dont think that MONEY making for the global Pharma giants is the focus. BioNtech is not a big pharma company. Iam known to that company because I know few colleagues working for them.

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    Dear Prof. Harendra de Silva

    Your article has caught the imagination of quite a few CT readers and critiques.
    The big question is what do we do in SL to minimise the damage. I understand that the quarantine regime in SL is working well. Or is it as you put it a cheap way to make money for the hoteliers and their sidekicks, providing parippu (dhal)and rice, the cheapest meal you could think of
    Is vaccination being the solution on the long haul? . From the trials as well as the recent mass vaccination programmes in the US and the UK, there are serious concerns of the side effects; especially for those with allergic reactions leading to anaphylaxis. I am one of those (Allergic sesame seed and sesame oil)
    Why such a hurry for mass vaccinations. Is there a hidden agenda? Money making for the global Pharma giants amounting a very handful beneficiary
    There is a very thin line between medicine and wasting and exploiting medicine, in my view.
    “Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy” Isaac Newton
    Nature in every aspect of life. Nature is capable of keeping us completely healthy and strong for long years.

    Ratnam Nadarajah

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      There is no agenda in rushing to mass vaccination. The only reason it is a fast spreading epidemic, if slow vaccination takes place, vaccinated people can get from not the ones sooner or later.
      It is said the test group included pollen and food allergic people and it was found safe on them. Other small reaction should go away with hand medicine of Benadryl. The usual flu shot is made of egg white and egg allergic people may need Benadryl after the shot. Epipen is used for sever surprise allergy. But anaphylaxis seems to type of allergy found with this vaccine. That is manly a reaction to the injection rather than the medicine in the injection. The joke is Epipen itself is an injection. But I hear there are some other treatments available. But the government bodies are generally advising people with most of the allergy type to put a holt for some time to taking vaccine. You may have to defend on vaccinated people for your protection, instead of you taking vaccine until full results come out. Remember, this is new type of mRNA vaccine. People affected by other vaccines need not to be affected by this. But it will take time to dust settle.

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      Is vaccination being the solution on the long haul? . From the trials as well as the recent mass vaccination programmes in the US and the UK, there are serious concerns of the side effects; especially for those with allergic reactions leading to anaphylaxis.
      This is only one aspect – how about the long term effect of mRNA.
      Tests for normal medicines are over a longer time than these vaccines tested over a shorter time. In fact this is the first time the FDA has approved a mRNA drug – and for a vaccine at that, unlike orals.
      So circumspection is the key, my be take a vaccine after very deliberate consideration.

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        F
        Thanks.
        Worries have been raised about the undue haste to market vaccines.
        Issues of adequacy of testing the vaccine have been raised by respected medical experts like Dr. Romeo Quijano (https://www.bulatlat.com/2020/08/21/hazards-of-the-covid-19-vaccine/) and Dr. Michael Yeadon, formerly of Pfizer.
        Many such views have been systematically kept away from the public.
        Yeadon’s words themselves have been distorted to discredit him, (https://coronaversation.wordpress.com/2020/11/11/dr-mike-yeadons-open-letter-regarding-sars-cov-2-vaccine/)
        *
        I do not seek to pass judgment on any vaccine, but am concerned by attempts to stifle discussion by flooding the media with statements designed to drown any criticism with wild accusations of being irresponsible, mischievous etc.
        *
        Too much seems to be at stake for governments and Big Pharma who have to confront the general challenge to vaccination as answer and the emergence of a more competitive vaccine, like Sputnik 5. The media is put to use to discredit the Russian vaccine.(https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/12/11/russian-military-slams-foreign-anti-vaccine-sabotage-a72324).
        *
        Preventive medicine and treatment targetting vulnerable sections seem the best way out.
        Has anyone bothered to examine how certain countries in regions reporting huge rates of infection and death have averted large scale infection and high death rates?

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        Please, Ferryman, keep writing “messenger Ribonucleic acid”, although I don’t know what even that means!
        .
        With some things it wouldn’t matter now. When I first heard of a “sim eka”, I thought it was a Sinhalese word. Now to state that it is a “Subscriber Identification Module” may sound “cleverness” on my part to some readers, but would be considered ridiculous pedantry by most. After all, it is something that everybody has seen by now.
        .
        However, understanding what some of these technical terms mean could be rather more important.
        .
        With regard to your reasoning, however, I agree absolutely. It is good for high-profile people (e.g. Kamala Harris) to take it quickly to drive home the necessary points, but, as you say, sedentary obscure guys like some of us needn’t rush.

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          Dear Sinhala Man,

          What is RNA for easy readers:
          RNA abbreviation of ribonucleic acid, complex compound of high molecular weight that functions in cellular protein synthesis and replaces DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) as a carrier of genetic codes in some viruses.

          RNA viruses generally have very high mutation rates compared to DNA viruses, because viral RNA polymerases lack the proofreading ability of DNA polymerases. This is one reason why it is difficult to make effective vaccines to prevent diseases caused by RNA viruses—diversity is their strength.

          What is DNA for easy readers:
          DNA, Your DNA is what makes you uniquely you. It’s that double helix that your genes are made of. … DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, sometimes called “the molecule of life,” as almost all organisms have their genetic material codified as DNA.

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        Ferryman,
        .
        is there any other option than vaccination ? why should we be that afraid of side effects, if the researchers continue saying, 95% would the effective rate? Besides, what is the effective rate of flu vaccine? According to the CDC’s estimates for the 2018-19 season, vaccinating only half of all Americans prevented 4.4 million cases of the flu, 58,000 hospitalizations, and 3,500 deaths. That was in a year that the vaccine was only 29% effective.

        Virus : A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apart from a living cell. A virus invades living cells and uses their chemical machinery to keep itself alive and to replicate itself.

        Is virus a living thing?:
        So were they ever alive? Most biologists say no.This ist he reason why it is more difficult to find therapies against viral infections. HIV viruses and other viruses should long be existent, but researchers discovered them later. Viruses are not made out of cells, they can’t keep themselves in a stable state, they don’t grow, and they can’t make their own energy. Even though they definitely replicate and adapt to their environment, viruses are more like androids than real living organisms.

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          mRNA

          mRNA(messenger RNA) vaccines work by providing the genetic code for our cells to produce viral proteins. Once the proteins, which don’t cause disease, are produced, the body launches an immune response against the virus, enabling the person to develop immunity.

          what is in it in a vaccine ?

          Vaccines contain tiny fragments of the disease-causing organism or the blueprints for making the tiny fragments. They also contain other ingredients to keep the vaccine safe and effective. These latter ingredients are included in most vaccines and have been used for decades in billions of doses of vaccine
          How effective is the Covid mRNA vaccines?
          The clinical trial data for the BioNtech/Pfizer and Moderna vaccines show that when both shots of the dual-injection immunization are taken, three weeks to a month apart, they are about 95% effective — at least at preventing severe COVID illness.

          Herd Immunity

          What european researchers predict is that they could achieve herd immunity levels by April 2021, once like 70% of populations are vaccinated. Then it will be seen as balanced naturally.

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            Dear LM.
            Very good and exhaustive view of why you recommend the vaccine. Much appreciated.
            As I indicated there are OTHER VIEWS as well and they also deserve some consideration, too.
            Some even have reservations on the new mRNA vaccines, and so one needs to consider that too.
            Another reader suggested :
            “Preventive medicine and treatment targetting vulnerable sections seem the best way out.”
            So that is why, all in all, I ended up with :
            “So circumspection is the key, may be take a vaccine after very deliberate consideration.”
            It is one’s considered choice.
            Heard that old song :
            To each his own and mine is : Take it or leave it.

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              Dear Ferryman,
              .
              The elephant is in the room, nobody notices it –

              People are made stupid by MEDIA mafia being hadled by the same groups of rascals in that part of the world

              There it is no fair to use the arguments of this nature
              “It is one’s considered choice.
              Heard that old song :
              To each his own and mine is : Take it or leave it.”

              My worry is about the future of INNOCIENT masses in that island nation. They deserves better systems and better future.
              Most of them would not care much about truthful information today, because they have no other choice.
              .
              Daily series of TELEDRAMS have tied them to tthose TV channels that feed them with UNTRUTHS (but under devious guidence of some vicious politicians)

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            Dear LM,
            .
            I agree absolutely with Ferryman.
            .
            I almost feel that you ought to stick to comments of this sort. Your other comments are far too emotional.

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    RN
    I think that you are overrating the performance of the government.
    Control of the spread is not at all commendable.
    We had an advantage which has been squandered. Look at the kind of places where ‘clusters’ are popping up like mushroom after rain.
    *
    I appreciate with your sobering comments re the vaccine.

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    Guys I here MS is back to his own games. He is pissed off that he just not get cheated but humiliated by Rajapaksas. Funny isn’t it
    He is threatening to walkout of the alliance anytime soon. Most probably MR may offer those worthless Pradeshasabha posts to SLFP or may even use him against Sircular.

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      Chiv,
      .
      I DONT THINK MS would disagree with any humiliation. He should be hung by his balls for paving way Rajapakshes to be back.
      -#
      2021 will definitely be no better. Kaliamma and Rajapakshes will do every harm to the nation. Wait and see.

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    Dear SJ
    Thanks . I stand corrected on the matter of isolations and quarantine.
    Yes, the authorities could have and should have managed the spread of the pendemic much better

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    When RW was in charge, Rajapaksas made hue and cry about not having PC elections. Now the advisory council of clergies are against conducting one because they do not want to share power. They accuse Sircular of going against promises. That puts MR in quandary. Consequences of clergies doing politics and vice versa.

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