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Monday, 22 October 2012






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Government Gazette

Strengthen our school system

The media have been generally replete with news pertaining to infrastructure development and it is now established that Rs. 152,401 million has been disbursed by the state from January to April alone this year for this purpose. Roads, bridges, ports and power generation facilities are among those items of infrastructure which have been steadily built over the past few months and it should be plain to see that they are boons to the public. The Colombo to Galle Expressway, for instance, is a marvel which has curtailed a three and a half hour journey to just one, and numerous are the advantages that this facility showers on the people.

Much as we wholeheartedly welcome these expansions and enhancements in our public infrastructure and the facilitatory role they play in the lives of the people, we call on the state to pay close attention to particularly our rural schools too, many of which are in need of a facelift. There are schools in our rural areas which seem to have been forgotten by both Time and the authorities.

Imbulgoda Kanishta Vidyalaya in Akuressa is one such school and a visit to this run-down institution would prove more than an eye-opener to the observant visitor. One could be certain that this rural school is just one among the many such schools which are badly in need of assistance.

The condition of the above-mentioned school was learnt by us at first hand when the Daily News Business Desk visited it last Saturday to help in its upkeep and sustenance by donating to the school a much-needed computer lab and some other essential requirements. This was the second in a series of CSR projects launched by this newspaper's Business Desk, which species of projects is trail-blazing for media organizations in this country.

This speaks volumes for the sense of social responsibility of the Daily News. This newspaper has been carrying out an educative task through the printed word over the decades, of course, but it now intends to translate these good intentions into concrete action too and it aims to do so to the best of its ability.

Coming back to the public school system, we are of the view that more and more funds must be bestowed on it by the state for the purpose of keeping it going. Besides, these schools must be made to hold their own with any school outside the rural areas.

This means that not only must our schools in the areas outside the wealthier urban and semi-urban areas be supported physically, but their every educational need must be met too. There are scores of youngsters in these seemingly neglected schools who are brimming with talent and capabilities and these students must be enabled to rise and shine and give a good account of themselves. There needs to be greater state commitment to these goals, we believe.

These aims must be pursued with a high degree of zeal because we cannot afford to squander our human resources through a sense of complacency. Every child carries within her or him talents and capabilities which if used judiciously could be made to light-up our country, besides greatly empowering the individuals concerned.

The state has announced the laudable aim of establishing National Schools islandwide. This is a step in the correct direction, but great efforts must be made to keep all categories of schools in fine trim, because the major schools are fed with student intakes from the so-called junior schools. In short, all public schools must be catered to equitably.

It is equality in condition and opportunity which would help in empowering the people and in keeping them above want. If these noble aims are worked towards and achieved, full meaning could be given to the revered phrase, 'Free Education.'

‘SL well on track in achieving key MDGs’ - Part II :

Gender –sensitive projects - a priority

The objective of the project is to improve the quality of life for conflict-affected and isolated rural poor communities, especially women, through a community-driven, participatory livelihood development programme linked to the rehabilitation and maintenance of rural access roads. It is expected that gender-sensitive development projects such as this will improve post-conflict reconstruction and also benefit those marginalized and or deprived by the conflict.

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Mid-East, still the US’stumbling block

Regardless of who emerges victorious at the next Presidential poll, the Middle East will continue to be the Gordian Knot of US foreign policy. Unfortunately, the indications are that the ‘knot’ is unlikely to be ‘cut’ in a hurry, which means that the Middle East would continue to bleed. If the US administration is to pause awhile, it would figure out that the unresolved Middle East conflict provides the fuel that keeps many a regional conflict raging. It is the continuing spread of religious fundamentalism that renders seemingly unresolvable numerous armed and political conflicts around the world, and they are overtly or circuitously linked to the spread of religious militancy, which is in turn linked to the unresolved Middle East conundrum to a considerable degree.

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Minneri reservoir and the colonization Scheme

Habitation sites existed in and around Polonnaruva and Minneriya from the inception of agricultural settlements in the first millennium B.C. Brahmi inscriptions at places such as Enderagala, Duvegala, Galkandegama Kanda and Mutugala indicate that after the introduction of Buddhism in the third century B.C., these settlements were able to feed a substantial number of monks living in caves around Polonnaruva and Minneriya.

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Transparency with regard to Law

The importance of recent legislation to change the electoral system for Local Government elections was such that it clearly made sense on all sides to refrain from trying to improve the content of the Bill, but instead to concentrate on making it law. The government has after all agreed to further amendments by mutual consent later on, including increasing the proportion of those to be elected on a list basis to 40 percent.

Full Story



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