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Monday, 13 February 2012

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Schools of questionable credentials

While it should not come as a surprise to the local polity that the LTTE is continuing with its efforts to deepen divisions within this country through a systematic effort to keep its inflammatory ideology alive in the hearts and minds of some sections of the young and the impressionable, what is dismaying is the seeming blind-eye some Western governments are continuing to turn on these destructive efforts. Our front page news report that some 420 pro-LTTE schools for the young are being allowed to operate in five European countries provides the details pertaining to these ongoing attempts at subterfuge by the Tiger rump.

While it is true that the democratic ethos permits the exercise of some freedoms on the part of persons and groups, such as the propagation of one’s beliefs and convictions, what cannot be overlooked is the promotion of views that run contrary to the legitimate interests of a friendly country, which is also a member of the Family of Democracies and a very dynamic one at that. This is where the Western countries in question are going wrong. They are perhaps unwittingly allowing anti-Lanka and pro-Tiger sentiments to be propagated through schools which are said to be run by the Tiger rump within their boundaries and such ‘tolerance’ flies in the face of the time-honoured principles of mutually-beneficial inter-state relations.

At a time when anti-Lanka mud-slinging is once again on the rise internationally, subtle efforts at planting the seeds of antipathy towards this country in the hearts and minds of the young, is something that cannot be countenanced and the state would need to take issue on these matters with the countries concerned. The extent of the damage which could be potentially caused could be gauged on the basis of the finding that some 20,000 students of Lankan origin, between the ages of four and twenty, are being ‘taught’ in these schools.

What the Lankan authorities should find equally unsettling is the disclosure that a considerable amount of funds is being collected from the students by those who run these schools under the guise of school fees. Going by past experience, the ultimate destination of these funds is not impossible to ascertain.

These funds are in all probability being channeled to anti-Lankan causes and to the extent to which this happens, the host countries concerned need to be held answerable for the damage this country suffers.

Accordingly, the local state agencies involved are obliged to raise the issue of these schools with questionable credentials, with the Western countries concerned. We need to ensure that more youngsters do not come into being with misleading notions about their country of origin. It should be constantly remembered that an entire generation of youths grew up in the North-East over some 30 years, knowing only friction and conflict, besides being constantly bludgeoned by the destructive propaganda of the LTTE. Those sections of the youth who unfortunately fell prey to the divisive rhetoric of the LTTE, helped to keep the flames of conflict burning in this country.

This was a big price to pay by Sri Lanka because nothing could be more unrelentingly devastating in their impact than hostile hearts and minds. Therefore, the issue needs to be taken-up with the countries concerned and resolved in a constructive manner.

This is a time for a coming together of democratic opinion worldwide. Such opinion should see the importance of allowing Sri Lanka grow and prosper and if they do not, it is up to the state to impress this on them.

The Janus-faced policies of some Western states should be exposed and these states made to see the harm their unleashing on a fellow democracy, all in the name of some short term political gain. Ultimately, they would be nurturing and empowering the forces of terror and this would not be in the interests of democracy and international peace, besides doing Sri Lanka grave harm.

‘President Rajapaksa deserves India’s highest honour’

In an exclusive interview with Asian Tribune, Dr. Subramanian Swamy said that Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is anti-Indian outfit and hence President Rajapaksa deserves our highest honour of 'Bharat Ratna' for exterminating them.

Full Story

Sir Baron Jayatilaka:

Statesman and exemplary Buddhist leader

The 144th birth anniversary of Sir Baron Jayatilaka, former leader of the State Council and Minister of Home Affairs as well as the first President of the Colombo YMBA falls today(February 13). Born in 1868 in the village of Waragoda in Kelaniya, Sir Baron had his early education at Vidyalankara Pirivena in Peliyagoda where he studied at the feet of the scholar monk, the Ven. Ratmalane Sri Dharmaloka Thera, reputed for his knowledge of Pali, Sanskrit and Buddhist Philosophy. Later, his secondary education was at Wesley College, Colombo, where he had a distinguished career.

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Free Education proposals and tuition - Part III:

State schools vs. private schools

“The Christians, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, constituted 4.3 percent of the population, and yet obtained 75.2 percent of the government grant to denominational schools, while the Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims constituting 85.7 percent of the population obtained only 24.8 percent of the government grant. Furthermore, the government treated its own schools much less generously than it treated the assisted denominational schools.” The Kannangara report has given the population of Ceylon for the year 1931 based on the figures provided by the Dept. of Census and Statistics as follows:

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Is love a canvas furnished by nature?

Love is a strange phenomenon. Like wind, which is not visible to the human eye, it can be felt. These two marvels have very much in common and have relative effects when they react on human beings. A cool breeze cools the body and calms the mind. On the contrary, turbulent whirlwinds can ruffle and bring about drastic effects.

Full Story

 

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