Education is for all. Being a Democratic Socialist Republic, Sri
Lanka has ratified the United Nations Convention on Child Rights which
is committed to safeguarding the fundamental rights of children to life,
protection, education, medical care and adequate standards of living
irrespective of where they are born.
Our island has a population of almost 20 million people of whom
approximately 60 per cent are below the international poverty line.
In his greatest contribution, the introduction of free education to
all in this country, to provide high quality education free, to talented
children of the masses, Dr. C.W.W. Kannangara states, "I say it's the
'Pearl of great price.' Sell all that you have and buy it for the
benefit of the whole country. We shall be able to say that we found
education the patrimony of the rich and left it to the inheritance of
Yet, while the more affluent and the privileged classes fight in
numerous ways and means to register their children in the attendance
books at the 'best' school in the town, the less-affluent still struggle
entangled in a ruthless social conflict to find the 'pearl of this great
price', amidst the most adverse living conditions and hardships.
Keeping back to all the risks and dangers that follow her, this
teenage girl seen in the evening rush hours on June 6, 2006, knelt down
on the pavement, beside the iron railings of a playground in the Colombo
suburbs, doing her homework assigned by her class teacher, reminds us
all, that we have so much in common as citizens of one island nation to
contribute towards a new Sri Lanka, equal for all.
HARSHA UDAYAKANTHA PEIRIS
U2, the very popular Irish Rock Group led by world peace activist
Bono wrote a song called Sunday Bloody Sunday referring to an atrocity
by the British Government against Irish civilians.
Bloody Sunday occurred on January 30, 1972 in Londonderry. It was a
massive civil rights march organised by the Northern Irish Catholics to
protest the oppressive British policy of internment.
Catholics were growing sick of their homes being raided and the
random arrests happening everyday. The British Army paratroopers fired
live rounds indiscriminately into a crowd of unarmed innocent Catholic
Thirteen were shot dead. All were unarmed, the majority were college
Two months later, a report was released by the British Government
which exonerated troops from any illegal actions saying they were
justified in their actions.
If the Lankan HC to Britain at that time (when there was peace in Sri
Lanka and there was no war against terrorism, no suicide bombs, and no
excesses in Sri Lanka) were to have condemned the Brits in a forum in
London, he would have been declared persona-non-grata and sent packing
on the next avaiable BOAC flight back to Colombo!
That is how the nation whose Ambassador has taken it upon so
arrogantly to berate the Lankans act! That is how they are acting in
areas they occupy in their illegal invasion of Iraq.
Has any of the British educated English speaking, Scotch drinking
Colombo elite political pundits who wax eloquently in International
forums on the tragedy and human right excesses and the horrific acts of
terrorism and excesses by different factions in Sri Lanka ever gone to
Britain to challenge them about their long history of abductions,
torture and incarceration of innocent Irish Catholics? Or do we just
roll over and say 'yes massah' every time a Western Diplomat keeps
berating coloured folks? Does anyone have the guts to challenge the
hypocrisy of Western nations?
It all depends on who controls the purse strings and the media.
What is happening in Sri Lanka is a tragedy that can only be overcome
by a meeting of minds to offer a decent settlement that will satisfy the
economic, social and political aspirations of Sri Lankan Tamil people
who are first and foremost Sri Lankans and should be seen as such by
A root cause of the war is poverty and inequality economy development
Some sort of autonomy and decentralized decision making on the
allocation of resources will not be a threat to Sri Lanka's unitary
Sri Lankans have lived and let lived with each other side by side
with Mosques, Temples, Kovils and Churches in very close proximity for
centuries. Most peace-loving Lankans are extremely tolerant and
compassionate and that is what is needed now the most to help protect
every peaceful citizen while combatting the world's most effective,
single minded and deadly separatist terrorist group.
We don't have to go on for nearly 80 years like the British did to
come to our senses.
I refer to the article by Dr. Sunil Seneviratne Epa, titled 'Death,
rebirth and Karma: A medical scientific perspective'. (Reference DN
It is indeed a stimulating and thought-provoking article. As a person
with a scientific educational background, but admittedly a modest
knowledge of both science and religion, I wish to contribute a few
thoughts on the subject, which I hope will be of interest.
Dr. Epa argues that games which appear as solid nodules on
chromosomes in cells of human beings are manifestations of Karma from
He clarifies as to how Karma could appear as solid matter under a
microscope, in terms of the Quantum Theory, which explains the dual
interconvertible nature of matter and energy.
He states elsewhere in the article that according to Buddhist
teachings, some Karma, based on our actions, will invariably produce
results in the next birth (or indeed in the present birth?) while some
Karmic effects could get cancelled off (due to other neutralising
Scientifically it is well-known that genes control chemical and
biological reactions and activities in a living being including health
as well as behaviour and other characteristics. Science also teaches
that every action produces an equal and opposite reaction.
We also know that gene mutations or changes in genes could occur
under certain conditions, including environmental conditions. I
therefore strongly feel that there is a clear scientific basis to the
Buddhist teaching that certain Karmic effects (good or bad) could be
neutralised due to subsequent actions of a human being.
Apart from any religious belief or religious bias, we know that the
Buddha after attaining enlightenment or the Buddhahood had stated that
all matter consists of minute unseen particles which were called Kalpas.
The Buddha had explained the dual nature of these particles by stating
they were continuously becoming and unbecoming thereby revealing the
true nature of existence.
Today with modern scientific knowledge we know that matter consists
of atoms and sub-atomic particles. Further quantum mechanics has proven
the dual nature of their existence as matter and energy.
It is therefore not amazing that the Buddha had seen after
enlightenment over 2,500 years ago, what is scientifically known to be
L. S. Geoffrey
This refers to Mr. Azhar's letter dated June 12, 2007. The
Homoeopathy Medical Council has been in existence for nearly 30 years
but some of its members say it has done absolutely nothing to popularise
homoeopathy in Sri Lanka nor has it taken any constructive steps to
register the many hundreds of practicing homoeopaths!
A good friend of mine, who is a qualified Homoeopath, states that
practitioners of Homoeopathy in Sri Lanka are frustrated by the politics
pervading within the Homoeopathy Medical Council, which is even greater
than the party politics of the country!
"Why do we need, only for namesake, a Council that has done nothing
to homoeopathy and homoeopaths for so long? Why not the Minister of
Indigenous Medicine dissolve it and give it a new life when dedicated
homoeopaths raise their heads?", they argue.
Critics also point an accusing finger at the prevalent blatant abuse
of power by a certain top official of the Council where "innocent and
desperate non-registered homoeopathy practitioners are fleeced by him by
holding the carrot of registration before them, under the guise of his
private homoeopathic foundation and much shekels earned!"
The general consensus of such frustrated practising Homoeopaths is
that the present Council is a "dead rat stinking to high heavens". They
yearn for the dissolution of the Council and to empower a suitable body
sans nepotism and political predilection which would act as an interim
entity to properly augment the Council membership by registering the
many hundreds of non-registered homoeopaths via examinations. Only then
they say a proper Council meeting could be held to elect deserving
Otherwise "it is bye bye to homoeopathy in Sri Lanka!", they claim.
DR. TILAK S.