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A tribute to Forces personnel

The Security Forces and Police render a yeoman service to the country and the people. All right thinking citizens appreciate their selfless commitment to safeguarding the Nation. Thousands of them have made the supreme sacrifice over the last two decades and many others have been disabled.

It is no secret that most Security Forces and Police personnel come from low income families in rural areas. Those from rich families rarely enter the Forces or the Police. The brave sons and daughters serving on the frontlines are often the sole breadwinners of their families.

Although the precious life of a soldier or a policeman cannot ever be measured in monetary terms, the State grants compensation for Security Forces personnel killed in action and also pays their salaries to the families until retirement age.

The present Government has gone one step further, considering the fact most Security Forces and Police personnel, especially those in the lower ranks, have no land or houses of their own.

President and Defence Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who has always stood for the welfare of Forces and Police personnel has proposed to the Cabinet that land be given to the dependents of Armed Forces and Police Personnel who have died in action or have been disabled. The proposal was unanimously approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday.

Even before this proposal was mooted, the Ranaviru Villages Concept was envisaged in Mahinda Chinthana whereby 50,000 housing units have to be provided to the officers and member of the Armed Forces.

The President was of the view that the levy of 10 per cent of the valuation for the State land and for the land vested under the Land Reforms Commission should be waived off paving way for effective implementation of the Ranaviru Village Concept.

These are far reaching proposals designed with the welfare of Forces and Police personnel in mind. In addition to the welfare measures already in place, these will put their minds at ease when they fight the enemy in the battlefields and engage in other duties to protect the nation.

A proper mechanism should be put in place to implement these proposals smoothly, under the Ranaviru Seva Authority or similar body. The welfare divisions of the three Forces and the Police should work closely with this body to identify those families in need on a priority basis. Philanthropists are also likely to contribute to this worthy cause.

Several other movements and campaigns such as the Manel Mal Movement are actively seeking the uplift of Security Forces. People are rallying round such initiatives as a tribute to Security Forces personnel.

This is also exemplified by the 'Together for All' campaign in newspapers and on television. As these pictures depict, the Security Forces are dedicated to protect all communities and religious groups. In turn, it is our duty to recognise and reward their exemplary service to the Nation.

The brave threesome who saved many a life

The brave, vigilant and patriotic guardians of the nation who saved the lives of many innocent civilians from a massive human disaster by a heavy claymore on Tuesday in Borella junction are to be praised and their feat should be trumpeted to the nation.

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Organic matter in soils; a buffer against harmful effects

Organic fertilisers by contrast have virtually all such nutrients, but their amounts are relatively low. Because of this the major nutrients quickly needed by plants such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium have to be supplied in the form of inorganic fertilisers.

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Tamil Independent voices will drown Prabhakaran outfit

It's one year since that great Sri Lankan thinker Lakshman Kadirgamar was felled by the LTTE assassins. It was August 12, 2005. I begin to wonder whether August 12 in our calendar possesses ominous forebodings, for the Sri Lankan Nation. LTTE gunned down another peacemaker Kethesh Loganathan on August 12, 2006.

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Parents are language tutors

For editorial page only] An average baby has the gift of speech organs, in co-ordination to develop language skill in its early childhood. In its infancy it attempts to sound the words it hears from its parents or other elders. It repeats whatever it hears.

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