Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 16, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
THE UTHSRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, May 16, 1973------.------------------ of some summer games is horseplay, particularly if water is I IMIfUt involved. A Kodak Awards winner by James J. Thacker of Fert Wayne, ind But there comes a time for leaving the fooling around behind. Some days a couple of fellows would rather get away from it all, down a country road with a fishm' hole ot the end of it. Photo- Braphed by Walter Lumsorgis of Westerville, III. SIMPSONS >ave on 3 room coverage Let it rain, let it shine. Let the kids play and the dog romp. 'Sundeck survives the test of time! Whatever's happening this carpet retains its good looks, softness and bounce. 3 days only Save yd. 99 sq.yd. Reg. sq yd. coverage for living roo Cintng room and hallway What makes 'Sundeck' such a marvellous all-round carpet' The answer is the fibre. acrylic Probably the toughest and most colourtast fibre available! Put 'Sundeck' on the patio and It won't fade, even in the strongest sunlight. 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EQEEJ STORE HOURS: Open daily from a.m. to p.m., Thurs. and Fri. a.m. to p.m. Centre Village Mall, Telephone 328-9231 In Sri Lanka kidnapping a way of life By BERNARD WEINRAUB New York Times Service COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Waves swept over the sand, splashing the feet of a half- dozen children kicking a volley- ball along the surf. Mrs. Bertyl Desilva a slight, frail woman, sat in the cool sand, watching her son, Philip. "He is only 9 and I am she said, ga-ziug at the boy who was happily drenched now and pushing his friends into the water. "You hear so many steries. The fish- ing season is ending, the rains are coming, but I am still frigb.er.ed that he will be tak- en." What worries Mrs. Desilva is the threat of child kidnapping. a scare that grips Sri Lanka through the fishing season when boys from poor and sometimes middle class fam- ilies disappear to toil in the wadiyas or villages of the northern coasts cf the islands. Local newspapers and politi- cians now term the kidnapping "a national scandal." "The rumors say that the children are badly treated and some of them never said Mrs. Desilva. ROUTINE Although the kidnappings oc- cur every fishing season, the government and the police have generally issued only rou- tine warnings to parents. Vir- tually everyone knows that the kidnappers work for mudala- lis, or bosses, in the 50 to 60 tiny islands where cheap labor is needed to haul in fish from dawn until late at night. There are no schools, little medical care, scant sanitation, a diet of fish and rice, and throbbing beat. "The conditions are said Dumibo Jayatileke, a sup- erintendent of police in Colom- bo. "We find that the boys may range in age from. 8 to 15 or 16. They work hard and are given perhaps 20 to 25 rupees to S4) a month Several months ago the kid- nap of a police sergeant's son was said to have jolted the government. In December Prime Minister Sirimavo Ban- _ navy, air force and police op- eration to sweep into the is- lands by helicopter and motor laxHich and rescue the children many of them in primitive, virtually inaccessible villages. The raid on 13 islands re- sulted in the rescue cf 600 chil- dren, many of them under 12. Some boys told the police i'-.at they had come without their parents' knowledge in order to earn some money. Other par- ents had sold their children for sums ranging from to to work for the mudalalis. And others had been picked up by "scouts" touring the country hunting for cheap labor. POIGNANT What made the government raid poignant and somehow brutally sad was the fact that many of the children opted to stay in the wadiyas, or villa- ges, rather than return home. "They were getting three meals cf rice a said Jayatileke. "It was more than they were getting at home." Some of the boys were terri- fied of leaving the Islands be- cause of threats by the muda- lalis, whcse agents sometimes seized the youths after cajol- ing them or even chloroform- ing them, Others were bitter that they had been sold by their mothers to work for six months of the year on the islands, virtually in the hands of the wealthy merchants who thrive on a busy trade of fish and dry fish. It is common knowledge that some local government offi- cials have generally ignored the child labor problem and are often in the patronage of these mudalalis. THREAT Yet others, frightened and lonely, yearned to return home. "Take me to my a 12-year-old youth, Sirinas Nihal, told the policemen. "She doesn't know I am here. I once cried to be taken to her. They told me they would tie a stone around my neck and throw me into the sea." GAMBLING RULED LEGAL BUTTE, Mont. (AP) Dis- trict Court Judge James Free- bourn has ruled some forms of gambling are permitted in Mon- tana specifically various card games and punchboards. The ruling yesterday came as Freebourn dismissed a com- plaint brought by Silver Bow County against a bar operator who had punchboards in his es- tablishment. Fresbaurn's ruling was bas- ed on the vote of Montana residents last summer on the gambling side issue of the bal- lot to ratify the state's new constitution. Freebourn held that the gam- bling side issue constituted a referendum in favor of gam- bling. He also noted that the 1973 session of the Montana legislature did not pass legisla- tion authorizing gambling. The judge said the result is that gambling games authoriz- ed by an old state law are legal. The law in question author- ized card games to be played for money and also authorized businesses to have punchboards. The law had been ruled by the Montana Supreme Court as un- constitutional, but rukng is that the law is no long- er unconstitutional. Silver Bow County authorities said they are considering an appeal to the state supreme court. Day's catch A 'net' profit, fish by the many, many baskets full, stands on the harborside in Chanchiang, China. The Kwongtung Province city is getting iri'to the stream of foreign trade.