Thursday, 12 August 2004  
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Mihintalava - The Birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhist Civilization

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Mobilize international opinion against threat of war

Threat of war has become the latest catchword for the pro-LTTE, anti- national private media that relentlessly attempts to mislead the masses through its vicious misinformation crusade, aimed at toppling the Government with the help of LTTE. The reactionary UNP too parroting the LTTE slogans paints a bleak and frightening picture.

The treacherous nincompoop ex Minister, who is detested and branded as a leading green-tiger by many patriots, claims that the ceasefire is in peril and his party, the UNP would officially convey their deep concern to the Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister during his forthcoming visit to Sri Lanka.

Does the UNP consider that Sri Lanka as a colony of Norway and we should act according to the whims and fancies of them?

Despite overwhelming rejection of the UNP by the general masses, in two rounds of recent elections, it has not made any attempt to deviate from its anti-national LTTE servile policies.

It failed to make any condemnation of the threatening speech made by one of its partners in the so-called joint Opposition, the TNA Jaffna MP Gajendran.

This speech failed to draw worthy attention from the private media and instead they gave publicity to an allegation made by another proxy-MP saying that Minister of Tourism Anura Bandaranaike had accompanied Karuna to Singapore. Mr. Bandaranaike has categorically denied this allegation.

The Norwegians who are expected to act as a facilitator of talks between the Government and the terrorists continue to transgress their legitimate role and take an apparent anti Sri Lankan stance snubbing valid criticisms, even after the change of Government. Similarly the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission headed by the Norwegians seems to act as the voice of Tigers.

The Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister has warned that that escalating violence would shatter the fragile ceasefire thereby indirectly accusing the Government responsibility for the so-called violence in the East. At the same time the head of the SLMM has strongly urged the Government to take meaningful and effective action to curb violence in the East.

These two white Tigers have completely failed to raise the accusing finger against the LTTE the real culprit, who are responsible for many killings in the East recently including the murder of the Akkaraipattu Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman who was a member of the EPDP.

Both of them instead of expressing fair and independent views about the actual situation in the country have only echoed the partisan views and comments made by last week's Tamil Guardian Editorial.

The unrest in the East is the LTTE's own creation and neither the UNP nor the Norwegians have any right to blame the Government or the security forces for things happening there. If the LTTE was not fascist and treated the Tamils in the East without discriminating them, there would have been no uprising against them in the East.

No one can deny that LTTE will have the same threats even in the North, if it is not for the threatening pistol gangs that keep the people's resentment at bay.

However, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission is duty bound to prevent killing of unarmed innocent people there and condemn LTTE for violating the ceasefire. It has continued to abdicate this responsibility.

Murder of Karuna loyalists inside the prison and murder of EPDP elected representatives were carried out by none other than the LTTE, and yet the SLMM instead of condemning the LTTE caution the Government against violation of ceasefire.

It has failed to reprimand the LTTE for hundreds of murders carried by them since the so-called ceasefire came into operation. There is no open licence given to LTTE to murder people whenever and wherever they want.

The Government should not remain silent in the face of threats being made by the LTTE and the UNP of returning to another war, and should take early action to mobilize international opinion against these unreasonable and hollow threats.

The people have given a clear and loud approval to the Government based on its declared policies and they have not given any consent to the Government to budge into LTTE/UNP threats. Therefore, the Government should demand the threatening elements and the Norwegians to respect the people's desire.

The people will rise against these threats with any kind of sacrifice and will back and protect the Government as long as the Government marches forward in keeping with their hopes and aspirations.

A. A. M. NIZAM - Matara.

New stamps of Sri Lanka

Philatelic Bureau has issued a new postage stamp to commemorate World Blood Donor Day recently. This was the first time that June 14 was named as World Blood Donor Day by World Health Organisation in conjunction with several other organisations.

As such the Postal Department made the correct decision to issue a commemorative stamp on the very first commemoration. This stamp could be one of the few issues honouring this day in the world. This attractive stamp will definitely be a very popular one.

In the recent past the Philatelic Bureau of Sri Lanka has issued a number of attractive stamps. The waterfalls, Mountain Bio-diversity were among them. The sheet of resident birds is a very attractive one.

All stamps loving people appreciated that issue. 25 different birds in one sheet is marvelous. I saw a criticism in a newspaper but condemning this bird stamp sheet is unreasonable.

Normally few people do not like changes or improvements but the percentage of these people is less than 1 per cent.

As such, the Philatelic Bureau should not put too much attention to these remarks and should introduce new things for stamp lovers.


Teachers serving in difficult areas

In the interest of the main stakeholders of the education process, among other matters the teacher transfer policy must be reviewed at the earliest to eradicate bottlenecks and red tape and to arrive at an equitable system.

The teachers and parents are of prime importance in educating the future generations to be good citizens. The difficulties that teachers have to undergo has to be understood in the correct perspective.

To become a trained teacher one has to pass the GCE A/L Examination and has to be successful at a competitive test and has to undergo training thereafter for more than four years.

Generally, it takes more than five years to pass out as a trained teacher, due to delays in the Department of Examinations, and political uncertainties prevailing in the country.

These teacher recruits are most often sent to difficult areas to serve and have to find their own board and lodging. Most of them have to put up with a lack of basic facilities and they often stay under unhygienic conditions with no security.

They get a meagre allowance which is not even sufficient to meet the daily expenses and has to depend on their families for their sustenance.

They are neither covered by health insurance, nor hardship allowances given for serving in difficult areas as given previously. These recruits have to travel often for more than 100 Km to attend lectures in Teacher Training Institutes in major cities. Thus the most unjust treatment of all arises from the policy of teacher transfers that is prevalent.

Living apart for lengthy periods without family life, without transfers is the cause of family problems. When morale and motivation of teachers thereby is at a low ebb, it is the children who suffer.

A teacher serving for more than ten years in a difficult area and wanting to serve in her/his own hometown has no choice but to serve in that difficult area against his/her wishes due to the inconsistent transfer policy of the department. Even a teacher wanting special medical treatment has no choice but has to wait for years to get a transfer.

The problems arising from Inter Provincial Transfers is found to be practically insurmountable due to cumbersome procedures and red tape. This is another aspect which needs to be streamlined.

I urge the authorities to take appropriate action to solve the just grievances of teachers, particularly that of transfers by activating the transfer process, for at least for the sake of the children, who can only be moulded by motivated teachers. Indeed their lot is of prime importance.

S. G. - Kalubowila.

Muslim teachers

Lack of Muslim teachers to teach Islam have become a very challenging position to most of the schools in and around Colombo and the adjoining areas.

Presently all Muslim students are finding it difficult to offer this particular subject for the examinations. It is time that the Minister of Education take meaningful steps to recruit more teachers for this particular subject immediately so as to give the general public a better deal.

M. I. M. MUDASSIR - Colombo.

A measure to avoid road accidents

Many of the road accidents and related traffic problems can be avoided if we allow women to take charge of the steering wheel. Many male drivers on the road have male egos, alcohol problems or other problems. Majority of the women do not have these problems.

Presently, I live in China. I observe many female driving trucks, buses and other vehicles. They tend to drive more carefully than males. We are now in the 21st century, and it is time to make men and women equal in the types of work they do.

We should encourage and train females to take charge in important blue colour jobs such as drivers because a good driver on the road may mean saving many lives. It is also high time to encourage female to drive three-wheelers too.

In addition the Government could issue laws that require drivers in public transportation to put their identification and the current driving record on the vehicle they drive.

This will motivate drivers to be good and reward the drivers having good driving records. Also, it will let pessenger know the type of driver he or she is in.


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