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DateLine Monday, 19 February 2007

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Healthcare and national integration

THE news that 126 newly recruited doctors would be assigned to the North-East, is noteworthy for at least three reasons. First, it indicates that the North-East is treated even-handedly by the State.

Second, this is the highest number of doctors to be sent on a single occasion to the North-East. Third, it is the highest number of doctors to be assigned to any area on a single occasion in the history of Lanka's medical services.

So, this is an occasion of great significance and it is even more significant on account of the fact that the new recruits are to receive their letters of appointment from no less a person than President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Besides indicative of the State's goodwill towards the North-East people, the appointments are proof that the North-East is treated on equal terms with the other regions of the land.

This amounts to administering the country on the principle of equal treatment and it is highly commendable of the State to make this principle a foundational one in the running of the country.

The meting out of equal treatment to the North-East in these respects is an effective rebuttal of the claims of the enemies of Sri Lanka - such as the LTTE and its backers - that the North-East populace is being victimized by the State.

Health is a subject which is close to the hearts of the people, wherever they may be, and the fact that the Government is going more than the extra mile to bolster and sustain healthcare services in the North-East is more than adequate proof that the North-East people are as valuable to the State as anyone else.

The State does not recognize man-made distinctions, such as ethnicity, language and region, and the vibrant State-run healthcare services are substantial evidence that the Government is firmly committed to improving the living conditions of the entirety of our citizenry.

The equal treatment of the North-East people in the all-important health sphere, in a way, underscores a distinction the State has always been making in regard to the region. The State is opposed to only the LTTE and not the North-East people.

The latter's well being the State cherishes and upholds, but it is obliged to neutralize the LTTE as long as it remains committed to the eelam concept and seeks to realise it through the use of terror.

The continued provision of healthcare services to the North-East more than adequately underwrites this important difference.

It is not only in respect - of course - of healthcare services that the North-East people would be cared for by the State.

Every legitimate need of the North-East populace will be provided by the Government because they are equal citizens of this country.

It is such equal treatment which would go a long way towards integrating all sections of our people into one nation.

In other words, the aim of national integration is being very well served by the Government's efforts to serve all sections of our people on the principle of equality.

What better way to defeat the separatist ideology of the LTTE? When all sections of the people identify closely with the State as a result of receiving equal treatment, they would say 'no' emphatically to separatism.

Better utilisation of Eppawala deposit for betterment of the country

Our country has a great civilisation that has been a fertile ground to germinate seeds of agricultural marvels. According to the great King Parakramabahu, he was not prepared to release a single drop of water falling down from the sky to the sea with out making use of it.

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Leftist victories in Latin America reflect growing disenchantment with neo-liberal economics

While over 3000 American soldiers have died in President George W Bush's war to "bring democracy" to Iraq since 2003, a democratic revolution sweeping across Latin America during the same period has elected leftwing leaders who have no faith in the US prescribed neo-liberal "free market" economic model

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Social work profession and the Mahinda Chintanaya

People are an important resource and human resource development should be the main objective of any programme implemented to serve people. As it is what happens is that those who serve the people exert power over them as they control the resources and they decide what is important for the people.

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