Thursday, January 26, 2012

Treasury prepares plans for Third term: 2016-2020

It appears that the Treasury believes in long term planning, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Speaking at a press briefing P B Jayasundera said "Under the first economic policy manifesto, called Mahinda Chintana, of President Mahinda Rajapaksa covering the period 2006 to 2010 we have doubled per capita income from around US$ 1,000 to US$ 2,400. Under his second manifesto covering the period 2011 to 2015, per capita income would be doubled further from US$ 2,700 to US$ 5,000. We are preparing the environment for the third manifesto which would cover the period 2016 to 2020 which would take the per capita income to around US$ 10,000," The Island reported that Dr. Jayasundera was apparently convinced that President Rajapaksa would be elected to serve a third term.

Oh well, since he is convinced I guess we should be as well. Only thing is, I thought the third term started in 2018, not 2016.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

The problem of stray dogs

Indi posted something on this here, I wrote this as a comment but it grew so long I decided to post it on my own blog.

There are a number of problems with stay dogs, because of their nature as pack animals and the tendency to chase things. People assume the problem is only about bites and rabies (which is a big problem in itself). Bite victims need to go through an painful process of injections (24 I think) which I believe is also expensive. Apart from this they are a cause of accidents by:

a. Running across roads causing motorists to swerve or brake, possibly losing control and hitting someone. Some I know has a friend who swerved to avoid a dog and killed a woman on the pavement.

b. They have a tendency to chase things, cyclists and motor cyclists are particularly vulnerable. A yapping dog at ones heels is very disturbing, the sudden barking tends to shock the rider and make him swerve, possibly into the path of other vehicles. I have experienced this myself. Although never bitten the barking has sent me all over the road, luckily without incident but I have friends who have plenty of broken bones as a result of dogs chasing them. There is an added danger at night on darkened roads (many of our roads are not properly lit): when the dog sees a light approaching, they sometimes jump at the light. Again, the dog landing on the handlebars sends the cyclist (or motorcyclist) crashing on to the road, who may get hit by a car from behind. Again I have a number of friends who have experienced this problem. I used to cycle everywhere for years and so did a lot of my friends.

c. Because they are pack animals and territorial they tend to congregate in certain spots. First there is one, then a few others gather and soon a pack is formed. The territory then becomes their own and they try to defend it whenever someone comes close by, barking and growling as a pack. This tendency tends to be heightened in the evenings when they are settling down. I have seen reports of patients being afraid to enter the Badulla hospital because there is a pack of dogs that is near the entrance and attempts to attack people.

Bottom line is animals in general should not be on the street. Another person I know is now in hospital with a broken leg after he ran into a black cow on an unlit road on his motorcycle.

Sterilisation has not worked, dogs breed too fast and its very difficult to sterilise them all. Miss a few and the population keeps growing. The CMC has been catching dogs for decades, there were always a few around but we never saw the large packs that we see today, post the no-cull policy. People don't want the CMC to kill the dogs but what should the solution be?

My suggestion is that genuine animal lovers should collect money, put up shelters and take the stray dogs off the streets and into care. Its expensive but if there is a will, there is a way. Letting them starve on the streets, foraging through garbage is not kindness and imposes huge costs on society. People should also be educated so that they do not abandon puppies, but hand them into the shelters.