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DateLine Thursday, 21 June 2007

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The need for constructive politics

Governmental stability is an essential precondition for national progress and the country could be glad that the Government has proved its majority in Parliament beyond any doubt.

The passing of the Supplementary Estimates for Rs. 650 million, with a majority of 20 votes, with 107 voting for and 87 against, is a significant pointer to the strength and staying power of the current administration.

It is in the face of such stability that the Opposition is howling itself hoarse about a governmental collapse. It is plain to see that the Opposition is in no position to destabilize the Government.

The Speakerís clarification on the perfect permissibility of the Supplementary Estimates needs to be focused on too. It is absolutely legitimate and on no ground could the Opposition allege the commissioning of any irregularities in the passing of the Estimates.

Accordingly, it is obvious that the Opposition is clinging to any straw in its efforts to break the back of the Government. It cannot make good its boast that it could marshall sufficient opposition to the Government. Clearly, the Opposition does not enjoy any substantial support among the public. Therefore, it has no alternative but to cook-up and promote the flimsiest causes.

This is not what is expected of an Opposition worthy of the name. We need hardly tell the big wigs of the Opposition that what is expected of them is constructive criticism of the Government and not a mindless opposition to anything the Government proposes and does. Toppling the Government by hook or by crook should not top the agenda of an Opposition which knows what it is all about.

These issues compel us to revert to the political culture of this country, over which much has been written and said. Try as we may, the Sri Lankan polity cannot, apparently, be induced into changing course from a destructive track to a constructive path.

In any functional democracy, a strong and vibrant Opposition is an essential necessity. However, this crucial institution in democratic governance must be an enlightened one. It should take on the Government in a constructive spirit with a view to moulding the total polity in a positive direction.

At trying times such as these the Opposition would do well not to dissipate its energies in destructive politics which would take the country nowhere. The Government has no choice but to ensure the growth and prosperity of the country. Funds are urgently needed to further these tasks and nothing should be allowed to get in the way of useful and meaningful spending.

However, it is up to the Government to ensure that public funds are not squandered but used systematically for the common good.

Infrastructure development, key to addressing economic disparities

Sri Lankans have benefited greatly from the investments made since independence in healthcare and education but that limited investments in physical infrastructure development had curtailed economic growth mainly to the western province.

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Collapsed groundwork for development - the way forward

It must be acknowledged that the legal and institutional system for development to happen, have been established in Sri Lanka. Our legislators in Parliament, in different eras, have had the wisdom to deliberate and enact the necessary legislation for same in facilitating the development process.

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June 22,1941-Operation Barbarossa

After a few nervous postponements the date for the opening of the campaign was fixed for the 22nd of June, the same day that Napoleon in 1812 launched his fateful invasion of Russia. Starting their Eastward thrust at about 3 a.m. on that day the Germanic war machine once again gave an almost flawless display of its awesome prowess.

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Rev. Fr. Jayakody: A unique blend of religious and musical lives

Without getting the permission of the then Archbishop or informing him Fr. Jayakody left for India and joined Shanthinikethan and studied music. On his return to the island from India, a disciplinary inquiry was held, and he was transferred to St. Patrickís College, Jaffna on punishment.

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Educational and Corporate Restructuring

Most of the leading schools in Colombo have operated on a different scale from the rest of the schools in the nation. Unfortunately they have produced a class of those of priggish behaviour. All this will be fine if we were a richer nation where then all these little nonsenses could go towards meaningless job-creation for the less gifted and less fortunate.
 

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