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DateLine Tuesday, 26 August 2008

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Praiseworthy decision to eradicate ragging in universities

As we all know there has been a tradition for senior university students to rag freshers. As we have read in the newspapers, this is happening in a very uncivilised and inhuman manner.

Most of the scholars condemn this brutal process with contempt.

Only the student who excelled in G.C.E. (A/L) examination are admitted to the universities to continue their higher studies internally. According to the records of Central Bank of Sri Lanka, one fifth of the national income is spent annually by the Government for free education in our country.

After gaining independence, all Governments have allocated large sums of money for education with the hope to help the future generation. All the people in our country should be grateful to the Government for that.

What do the senior students expect by ragging the freshers? It is an open secret that a few freshers have died while some became disabled for life due to ragging by senior students.

I read in the newspapers that the Chancellors of the universities, the Minister of Higher Education, the I.G.P. and the President of the UGC have decided unanimously to take legal action against ragging by senior university students and to cancel the studentship of those who rag freshers.

It has been decided that new laws are to be enforced in order to totally wipeout ragging from the universities.

We are fully aware that all teachers and school students admire this timely decision.

Not only that, we would like to emphasise that the authorities concerned should enforce the law to the letter without any hesitation in this regard in due course.

S.M. ANUPAMA PRIYADARSHANI - Ihala Kadigamuwa

 

Recital of National anthem in public institutions

As a medical officer visiting hospitals to do my channel practice in the mornings, I have observed that during the past few years, in one of the private hospitals in Colombo 2, our national anthem is played with the help of amplifiers installed in the hospital at 9.00 a.m. everyday.

All those employed at the above hospital (the medical officers, the nursing staff, minor employees, receptionists, technicians) and others as well as all the patients in the out-patients department and those who are warded stand up and keep standing until the conclusion of the anthem. All the visitors at the hospital including the priests, bhikkus and nuns who happen to be present at this hospital at 9.00 a.m. stand up when the national anthem is being sung.

The only exceptions are the staff and the patients in the Intensive Care areas and the Operating theaters and those patients who are not in a fit condition to stand up.

The hospital staff and the visitors refrain from using telephones and cellular phones when the anthem is on.

It is an inspiring sight to see everyone at the hospital respecting the national anthem and how everything at the hospital comes to a standstill while the anthem is being relayed.

I reckon that there are other institutions both private and public, where this desirable practice is being followed although I am not aware of them. I suggest that the recital of the national anthem be adopted in all public institutions at a fixed time every morning. Let other private hospitals follow this good example at a given time every morning and this practice should be extended to all other public and private institutions including our schools. At the beginning there may be a few practical difficulties, but these can be overcome, for ‘where there is a will there is a way’.

This practice of playing the national anthem at a fixed time every morning, I am sure, will instill a sense of patriotism among Sri Lankans. If the radio stations and the television channels can also join in at the same time, the project is sure to be a great success.

D. P. ATUKORALE - Colombo 7


President’s order to keep Casinos away from schools

The President has issued an order to have gambling centres, casinos and other centres of evils away from Educational Centres - schools and institutes where morality is taught together with the value of leading an exemplary life. This order is very effective in controlling the influence of evil forces around educational institutions.

The President has already issued an order to prohibit students from having access to the internet where obscene materials are found. It is a very important step taken by the Head of the Government to control the bad influence of the internet on the lives of the younger generation.

May I suggest to the President to ban the import of obscene literatures from Europe and America. Since English medium students are exposed to such a large variety of reading materials, they are corrupted by reading of obscene materials that are available at certain bookshops and other booksellers.

What is lacking among the present English learning students is discipline in morality. Hence, in order to mould the good character of the students, there must be external authority of controlling the flow of pornographic reading materials in the market.

All the internet cafes that are functioning in the towns, must be frequently checked by Government authorities and strict action taken to curb the watching of blue films by the young ones.

M. Y. M. MEEADH - Kandy

 

Duty Free Allowance

Hope the concerned authorities will seriously look into the possibility of granting a reasonable duty free allowance for foreign exchange earners to import a vehicle. To this matter, the Government can have legislation drafted in order to ascertain the amount of foreign exchange remitted by the individuals and the possible allowance that could be granted.

This matter is a long outstanding issue where no Government has yet given its due recognition. Hence, it is about the time that the authorities address this matter in Parliament and extend these facilities to the professionals working outside Sri Lanka and earning foreign exchange. Probably this proposal could be included in the forthcoming budget.

D. GUNASEKERA

 

Brides are not flower vases

Has anyone stopped to think why brides hold a bouquet? No, no one has. It has been done, so we do it, blindly, not thinking why.

Come on, this is her wedding day. The day she is supposed to be happy that she is beginning a new era with her life partner. This is the day she should be meeting the guests and speaking to them. Laughing and enjoying the company of her friends and family.

But what do we do? Put her on a pedestal, like an object, often left alone, looking stressed or bored, or looking furtively here and there or looking just idiotic, smiling at everyone, which is ‘not the done thing’ according to today’s expectations.

And there is a bouquet in her hands. As if she is a flower vase. Do we keep anyone at any other time like this to be just an object to be looked at and commented upon? Sometime she has to sit like this for hours waiting for the groom to come.

Are we in the 21st century or are we still in the stone age?

Who brought in this stupid practice? And why do we follow it without questioning it?

According to Islam a wedding should be only of Waleema - which is a feast given by the groom with his wedded partner, the bride. Both host the guests.

She should go around the guests and meet them, speak to them and there should be joy for everyone -especially for her and the groom. Dressing the bride up and placing her on a throne as if she is a mere object has never been a part of the Islamic verdicts regarding marriages.

Lets’ consciously stop this crazy practice of making an adult human being an object to be gaped at, made comments about her hair, her dress, her posture etc., and worst of all, making her hold a bouquet to make her look ‘pretty’. Rather let’s do what a sensible society should do - and follow the simple practice of making this a memorable day by letting her mingle with the guests whom she and her husband are hosting. Lets’ put away the bouquet.

DR. MAREENA THAHA REFFAI  - Dehiwela

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