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DateLine Monday, 25 February 2008

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Government Gazette




Lacking information on war heroes

As a Sri Lankan residing in Canada I’m grateful for your attempt to tell us about the fighting that is taking place in the Wanni.

To learn the names of the valiant soldiers and their brave acts brought many feelings of admiration and gratitude.

This is one area I think the Government Information Department is lacking: the non personal nature of news reports.

We would like to hear more about personal acts of bravery and sacrifice.

To put a name to a soldier who died in the battlefield would help share the grief of that loss, even extend a helping hand to the soldier’s kith and kin. I do understand that due to security reasons names and missions cannot always be revealed but at this hour of need the nation needs to know about the heroes that risk their lives for the motherland.

I’m sure that there are many unsung heroes who have sacrificed a great deal for our future.

It is our responsibility to tell the world what they did for us so that future generations will understand and appreciate the price they paid.


Holy Bible - Voice of God

This is further to the correspondence between Kumara Soysa and Tuan Riza Rasool. There are two points in Rasool’s letter that I would like to comment on:

1. The Genealogy of Jesus - Mathew 1:6-16 and Luke 3:23-31 do give two different versions. In Biblical times genealogies were recorded under the Male line only.

Whenever a family happened to end with a daughter, instead of naming her in the genealogy, they would insert the name of her husband. Thus the daughter’s husband would be recorded as the son of him who was in reality the husband’s father-in-law.

Mathew’s Gospel records Joseph’s lineage. He was writing for the Jews and wants to show Jesus’ descent from Abraham. He starts with - “Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob...” down the line, ending with - “And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.” There is no doubt that Joseph’s father is Jacob - the word begot is used throughout, but not with regard to Jesus.

Luke’s Gospel gives the lineage of Mary (mother of Jesus). He was writing for the non-Jews (Gentiles) and wants to show that Jesus belongs to the whole of humanity (descended from Adam).

He starts with “(Jesus) (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat,...” going up to Adam. The word ‘begot’ is not used.

Note that here Joseph’s father is named as Heli - the shortened form for Heliachim, which is Hebrew is Joachim. Joachim and Anna were the father and mother of the Virgin Mary, Joachim was Joseph’s father-in-law.

2. Pslam 2:7 - As regards this psalm, I am afraid Rasool has got it all wrong. Psalm 2 is a messianic psalm, which is a prophesy about the Messiah.

The reference is not to David but to Jesus Himself who came from David’s line. In Acts 13: 32-33, St. Paul in his exhortation to the Jews, says -

“God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm:

‘You are My Son,

Today I have begotten you’

And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption...”

The case for the divinity of Jesus Christ has been dealt with in countless number of books and writings from the Gospels, Epistles, writings of the early Church Fathers, down to modern times. To say that the Koran does not support it is a futile argument.

Christianity can be debated and publicly criticised in any Christian country. Can Rasool say the same thing about Islam in Islamic countries? I have refrained from saying anything about the Koran or the Prophet Mohammed.

I have only defended the wrong allegations made by Rasool regarding the Bible. In passing, may I also advise Rasool to read at least one book presenting the other side of the argument. The best I could recommend is ‘The Case for Christ’ by Lee Strobel.


Ban all public events

All public events must be ‘banned’ until the terror threat is diffused while diffusing a bomb here and spotting a claymore there may not be the solution.

The terrorists will try their best to do something very big and let’s not have anything that ‘big’, whether a religious ceremony, school

event or another. And let’s go after the bad guys in a very calm and collected way, if they come to ‘public places’ as transport centres, schools or any other public place with the ‘Security Committees’.


City of Garbage?

As an expat Sri Lankan returning to the island after six years, I was shocked at the deterioration of the City of Colombo. It looked like the City of Garbage. There was garbage everywhere including on the roads from the airport and to the hospitals.

Can someone in authority please take a serious look at this. Our friends who visited Sri Lanka also remember the garbage, the traffic jams and the beggars. If we are to develop as a major tourist destination, can these simple things be attended to? ASOKA

Woes of English teachers

It’s very regrettable to mention that the newly introduced ‘Activity plans’ instead of ‘previous lesson plans cause much inconvenience and problematic areas to teachers of English now.

‘Competency’, ‘Competency Level’, ‘Engagement Stage’, ‘Exploration’ and ‘Explanation’ create a lot of trouble and problems in the teaching process carried out by any hardworking teacher in the classroom.

What I have experienced and found clearly is that there are vast differences between the English syllabuses of Grade 6, 9, 10 etc. and the relevant pupils’ text books, because different person/writers have written or undesigned each syllabus and the text books.

The other point that I want to show is that all the work books of Grade 10 were cancelled due to some errors or problems, but students were not yet supplied the new books instead.


No school bus

Students attending a very prominent girls school (St. Lawrence’s) in Colombo 6, have not been allocated school buses to transport them to and from school.

It is most surprising that while all schools in the Western Province have been provided with school buses, this particular girls’ school is given step motherly treatment.

These children have not even been given the option of buying concessionary (season) tickets for travelling to and from school in CTB buses. With the escalating Cost of Living imagine the plight of middle class parents who are struggling to make ends meet and cannot afford to pay exorbitant school van charges, more so, if they have two or more girls attending this same girls’ school and have to pay the increased bus fares. I am sure the Transport Minister will be able to solve this problem.



Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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