13 July, 2024


The Need For Practicality Coupled With Principle

By Emil van der Poorten –

Emil van der Poorten

The fact that the dengue pandemic has reached the proportions it has, leading, among other responses, to the German government issuing a travel advisory for Sri Lanka does not appear to have “fizzed” on the current bunch of self-seeking politicians posing as those providing us with governance of some description.

Many years ago, after the use of Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, better known as “DDT,” as an insecticide was banned, I recall that chemical being used as a last resort in combating a pest that threatened Sri Lanka’s entire coconut industry.

Going back to the “sixties,” a leaf miner was accidentally brought in to the country with, presumably, orchid material from the Far East. It got into the coconut plantations in and around Colombo and proceeded to wreak havoc, spreading farther south and north from where it started.

The Coconut Research Institute headed by Dr. W. R. N. Nathanael and the Board of whose Chair was the much-respected Reg. De Mel took swift action to deal with what promised to be a huge problem. Pending a more permanent solution and buying much-needed time, they took the drastic step of de-foliating the trees by the simple expedient of cutting off their branches and spraying the affected trees with DDT.

Of course, in short order, the wheels were set in motion for a more permanent solution when a parasite which confined itself entirely to the coconut leaf miner was introduced, bred in vitro, and released into the affected areas. I distinctly remember how different the entire manner of “doing business” was in those days. To begin with, two obviously very qualified, scientists were brought down from India. They were lodged in part of a house off Havelock Road in Colombo which doubled as their “laboratory” and proceeded to breed the coconut leaf miner’s parasite in that space. They did so efficiently enough that, without a great deal of fanfare, the pest was completely controlled and life in the coconut-growing areas began to return to normal, with DDT returning to its “banned” slot.

Since the parasite which was introduced to control it couldn’t exist without the coconut leaf miner to feed on, it died out as well once the immediate problem was solved.

An interesting photograph was published on the front page of probably Sri Lanka’s most-read English Sunday newspaper recently. It showed a Thai expert examining a small Bromeliad plant which is an ornamental version of the common pineapple as a probable dengue-mosquito breeding place. In fact, Bromeliads have been identified as a prime breeding environment for the dengue mosquito (Aedes aegeptyi). The implications of this fact, given the extensive pineapple cultivation in the Western and North Western provinces, should be obvious. A footnote here could well be the fact that the Negombo hospital which serves a significant part of the pineapple growing area of Sri Lanka is unbelievably over-burdened with dengue patients, even more so that other similar facilities.

The fatalities resulting from dengue, not to mention, the enormous economic cost to the country in terms of (over-)utilized medical services and massive loss of productivity obviously calls for a drastic solution. Is it time that we began to fog the dengue mosquito areas with insecticides that have been found unacceptable in normal circumstances?

I would be failing in any effort at accuracy and objectivity if I did not refer to another factor that is seriously impeding efforts to deal with this scourge.

The “governance” of which we are now victims, little better than its predecessor and only distinguished from that scourge by the absence of white vans, continues to bedevil any efforts of dealing with day-to-day issues, leave alone something like the dengue pandemic.

If even a part of the effort that goes into to fattening their purses is expended in dealing with an issue such as dengue, some real progress may be made by our rulers. However, what we have is the disgusting spectacle of gallery-fetching initiatives to better publicise all kinds of hare-brained schemes such as that to tunnel under the Kandy lake to “avoid traffic congestion in Kandy town” when the preponderance of vehicles on the streets of Kandy are not passing through but carry people having business in that town. I would not accuse those propounding these ill-conceived schemes of the typical idiocy of people who have lost touch with the realities that the rest of us face on a day-to-day basis. I believe that the simple truth lies in the realm of rip-offs, commissions and other criminality that feasts off this kind of nonsense.

God knows we have enough matters of urgency such as the garbage disposal crisis and that of dengue not to be tolerant of the behaviour of politicians whose primary (only?) interest seem to be in fattening their bank balances either here or off-shore.

The matter of totally unprincipled and venal behaviour on the part of those controlling every resource in this country cannot and must not go unchallenged. These crooks and charlatans must be brought to book and not simply paraded through the national barbecue, “grilled” by this or that inquiring committee and then set free to continue their depredations (with the aid of their successors).

This country does not belong to the Prime Minister or the President, as it did not to the Rajapaksa Horde. It belongs to every one of us inhabiting Sri Lanka and it is up to us to insist on that fact being recognized.

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Latest comments

  • 2

    Thanks Emil Aiiya…………Watching the bosses of the WCC , the latest rip off in the pipeline trying to wriggle their way through our new Gun Journos’ intense grilling, I couldn’t help but laugh… The Big boss said he has completed 200 big projects world wide. But couldn’t name even one…….Then the assistant boss with the PhD chipped in to say, one was in Africa……Then the big boss recovered from his memory loss to say the African Government gave the land to him free…… Still the PhD couldn’t convince the young Journs , even after abandoning the Queen’s dialect , which in fact, compounded their problems.. …. But It was obvious their main game is to get hold of the 34 Acres of Mahavamsa Land in Colombo 2 for nothing……… Just imagine how much it is worth, when a 2 Bedroom Apt in Wellala Gardens now sells for LKR 20 million..plus ……. .That is the magnitude of the rip offs which are being pulled off under this Yahapalanya…….I am glad Emil Aiiya is on now the side of the good people, who are not brought up in Dollar Farms run by the NGOs……..I will definitely spend a few nights in Emil Aiiyas B&B, and play a round of Golf in Victoria…………..

    • 10

      K A Sumanasekera,
      “”But It was obvious their main game is to get hold of the 34 Acres of Mahavamsa Land in Colombo 2 for nothing…””
      Firstly you are not originally from colombo but came to wellawatte gardens courtesy the robber wallawe Rajafucksa Gotabaya. why did they not give you another patch at waters edge like the other army man Leela?
      Kalu the Sevura!!- higannange tuwale wagee. the orange clad goon by the lake.
      At midnight Podi planted the useless tree in every open patch while Premadasa was in charge of urban development and topped it to 34 acres when he became president.
      10% Basil combined with Iguana Nariman PC the priest connected to Gordon Brown the free mason and let the kussi amma Pasiwanse friend and neighbour of kussi amma SriMao bloom at Colombo 2- 99 year lease. Hans went to garden city Pune the Hindu Rajneesh town to learn to cover the crime of the Original `Opium war` and loss of Hong Kong. Recently Ravi K went to New Delhi and promised Modi to make the island just like Hong Kong for India but FM Sushma_S (daughter of civil servant) eyes turned red because of its direct link to free masons. It seems you like to send more women to ME for your Gleneagles and quality life and you are constantly screwing Emil for exposing. Well his kind of people like Jan the farmer at Den Hague the first to come out with high tech biological Aromatique Cress solutions without chemicals for these issues and are world leaders. Indians especially the Chinese at Guangzhou copied some of it.

      • 2

        Kurrukkan seems a pretty good nourishment for the brain….. Don’t bag our poor Dalit women who slog for a living in the Mid East, to put the food on the table for the kids back home……..Most important ……They pay for the Yahapalana suckers’ masters to drive around Prados and land Cruisers…And pay the for the petrol too……If not for them , these Yahapalana Ticks will be on Push Bikes… Exports income May 2017 USD 800 Million. Imports for the Yahapalana Suckers and their Makkas totalled USD 1700 Million….Do you get it…

        • 0

          According to Ravi K last year’s loss in exports was $$10 billion. So as I suspected you are hell bent on living the good life exporting the women ME- live it off. 3 wallawes and the araliya are steeped in offshore they are disposable as exile material.
          It seems only a Libya style will change the mood.
          Setting is right and Bojo needs to make that move depending Modi, Mauritius negotiations.
          The setting is also right for WW3 with the Germans helping industrialise/ robotics China. (as in WW2)
          India-US-Japan’s Malabar naval exercise is a message gift-wrapped for China
          Message to China is the same as to the rest of the world and that is to follow international norms in lieu of increasing Chinese submarines pushing way in to Indian Ocean. The F/A-18 super hornet fighter jets line up along the 4.5-acre flight deck of the 98,000-tonne displacement US navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Bay of Bengal.
          Ship is sailing about a hundred nautical miles off the coast of Chennai. One after the other, a dozen aircraft is catapulted into the sky in less than two minutes each. Aim is to dominate the skies as the P-8 A and P 8 I Poseidon aircraft of the US and Indian navies carry out long-range maritime reconnaissance and antisubmarine warfare operations to dominate the seas. 21 ships, including two submarines and over 100 aircraft and helicopters of the US, Japan and Indian navies are currently carrying out the most complex naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal in an aim to hunt down enemy submarines. “This is the most complex exercise undertaken by the three navies together. The Japanese maritime defence force has also sent its most potent weapon platform JS Izumo with nine anti-submarine warfare helicopters for the first time.

    • 1

      About all that is intelligible in your piece of … . is “I am glad Emil Aiiya is on now the side of the good people, who are not brought up in Dollar Farms run by the NGOs” Look in the mirror before you go around accusing people of being lackeys of whoever or whatever. But then one one is a lifetime lackey, that’s all one knows, I suppose.

      • 0

        Emil Aiiya, I am glad I didn’t say you are a Good Person……I only said you are on the side of good people, who weren’t or aren’t fattened on Dollar feed Stocks in NGO Farms………BTW, I am not going to bring a bottle of 17 year old Belvenie ,……… I will just buy a couple of Green Label Mendis Gal , made by Aloysious……

  • 8

    Emil van der Poorten,
    Just introduce the cheap sterile mosquito which is available in commercial quantity from Guangzhou. but the cause and wilful neglect is the marriage of malwatte, tambli watte and pasiwatte – the threesome and now free mason being propped by ravi-k.

    • 3

      whoever thought it was smart to thumb down because he was clueless that there needs to be a catalyst to the cause. the sinhalese are never permitted to enter into the cleaning and keep city clean contracts as it is a family business with connections outside the shores as agents.
      lathi mere sadhi!

  • 0

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  • 1

    It is indeed sad to note that despite having experts within the country, there is no organization or motivation to activate effectiveness of solutions to problems. The stumbling block are the present leaders who occupy positions like the monuments in Christmas islands keeping all the powers, abusing them most of the time and not allowing system to at least get organized. It is just common sense that when all the blood is wasted in tamasha, how will the brain work? (If there is any)

  • 2

    This is a news clipping from the Hindu in India:
    “With 3,259 cases and two deaths in 2017, Tamil Nadu had the second highest number of cases just below Kerala which recorded 4,735 cases. In 2016, Tamil Nadu had 2,500 cases and five deaths. “

    Kerala has a slightly higher population in about the same land area as Sri Lanka. Its weather is almost identical, and the lush vegetation the same. Given these conditions, how is it that dengue cases are not even half of SL ? In Kerala, garbage disposal is rudimentary,and there are no officious PHI’s or policemen imposing fines for water in yoghurt cups.
    It should be obvious that our pundits are simply beating about the bush with all these “boru-shoke”
    campaigns. At least let them read about foreign experiences with dengue , and use even DDT temporarily if necessary.
    It is not yoghurt cups and gutters that breed most dengue. It is paddy fields, pineapple plantations and marshes. But of course the govt gets more revenue by fining householders.
    Oh, BTW, if tourism is being affected by dengue, there is an easy way out, (the usual SriLankan way). Just ban all dengue reporting in the media. Give it another name (Humanitarian mosquito rescue? )

    • 0

      old codger
      “”It should be obvious that our pundits are simply beating about the bush with all these “boru-shoke””” It calls for structure change not action plans to churn the excreta in the same blooming place.
      Just use your head a bit how much private details can one provide about carpetbaggers? they steal water , electricity, bribe SP police, bribe the malwatte and pay the family/govern controlled press and also run the press printing. They monopolise cleaning like Bill had till courts ordered him to open up. Bill threatened Bush and said he would go to canada (this would now go to Maldives) Bush said go by all means but you will open up or shut down in the US – you see the index finger of GOP – therefore we have google, twitter etc- open source software. like linux. Does your mind work what Monopoly does.- it runs islands effectively- Clinton family are the crazy ones for islands – the fing socialist . Pune established but from partition also control many islands of the world-free masons.
      This is why I say you need police state not porter, kussi amma and their children running the island. That is your Sinhala legacy unlike mainland china born LKY &Choo both first merits first Cambridge. So the 2 drove every American and British volley over the ropes to build the nation. Indira never passed at Oxford and neither her kids or gran kids.- pseudo sub-continent. The 2 passed away and now the outlaws that have entered into the family are creating a scene for control of a flexible water tight system. Woman o woman gods second mistake- GB Shaw.
      Who makes your parachute to glide across the straits??

  • 0

    SL horticulture has been listed speculatively as bug-prone. This has damaged out export of fruits, vegetable and the like. Successive GoSL have done anything towards this.

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