Again and again the importance and necessity of learning English have
been voiced by many, more particularly by parents. But few are willing
to acknowledge this.
Right now there is a big race to learn English in both urban and
rural schools. Why this vision has surfaced now and not earlier is known
Plainly most students are poor in speaking, writing and grammar even
at the senior grade. It is also seen that most students studying for
professional examinations have a poor exhibit of English grammar
although they know the technical aspect of the concerned subject; but
unable to express in simple grammatical English.
What is overdosed in most schools in comprehension, fill in the gaps
and tit bits of grammar launched out from textbooks freely available in
Another point, most newly passed out GCE students seeking jobs in
commercial firms and banks have lost their credibility due to faulty
English spoken at the interview.
There is another grouse of parents who state that their children are
poor in 'spoken English'. And that is true. Most students have no
creative ability to express simple English correctly when questioned.
They get entangled like a ball of wool at the door step. The students
The attention of teachers is called here. As most see it many
international schools have got a taste of what is going on in State
schools and as such have steered the reforms and thus augur well.
H. L. D. E. PERERA -
THE Colombo Bishop as your headline describes him (Daily News Sept.
21) voices the concerns of all peace-loving citizens in his statement
regarding the massacre of youth at Paanama.
He complains further that in spite of his appeals, promises are not
being kept, investigations are not 'on stream' and justice is being
delayed. His Lordship is disappointed!
In an earlier statement, he wanted the U. S. Marines who came to the
assistance of the Government in the aftermath of the Tsunami disaster to
They of course left when their task was done. His Lordships next
wrote to His Grace The Archbishop of Canterbury protesting the
fingerprinting of Sri Lankan UK visa applicants.
This too came to naught when his senior, His Lordship of Kurunegala
'gave the finger' to the Brits, obtained his visa and jetted off to the
UK. All prospective Sri Lankan visa applicants thereafter, without too
much bother, swallowed their collective pride.
Statements on peace are wonderful for their excellent English and are
'must readings' for second language students in our village school.
However there does not seem to be any operational follow-up. May I
respectfully bring to His Lordship's notice that Christ in the famous
Sermon on the Mount never said Blessed are the peaceful but He did say
'Blessed are the peacemakers'.
To my Anglican mind-set he certainly wanted statement makers to get
from behind their peace desks and tramping around in peace marches in
the safe environment of cities in outsize unisex (there are women
priests now) wind socks to become more pro-active peace makers.
His Lordship asks for 'a team of competent expatriate investigators'
for the Paanama killings. Surely we have such people 'in house'. Is the
imported variety always better?
As for His Lordship-shuttle diplomacy (courtesy of the ICRC) is the
need of the hour, could he not go to the Vanni, 'eyeball' the LTTE chief
and get that worthy to the negotiating table?
That would be pro-active peacemaking in the great tradition of the
Church Militant and his famous predecessor who not long ago told us that
the LTTE chief was 'humane'.
NIROSHAN K. WEERASINGHE
THIS has reference to N. W. Sirisena's letter of August 1 instant, in
reply to Mr. Perumal's letter of April 4 and June 6. S. R. Balachandran,
Council Member of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka in his
letter of July 13 has appealed to the President, Ministers and
Parliamentarians to implement the above proposal.
In response to the Daily News notice dated July 27, 2005 by the
Director General, Ministry of Finance and Planning with the sub-title
'It's our budget lets plan together once again', I forwarded a proposal
with a copy to then Prime Minister (Mahinda Rajapaksa) to pay W & O
Pension to unemployed and unmarried female orphans over 50 years of age.
The pathetic situation of these unfortunate orphans has already been
vividly stated by the above mentioned writers.
I need to stress that the suffering should not be the ultimate
expectation of these neglected orphans, whose parents have contributed
to the W & O.P. fund during their life time.
It would appear that no action has so far been taken by the Director
of Pensions. It is therefore timely that the Secretary to the Ministry
of Public Administration obtains Cabinet approval.
ANURA K. RAMBUKWELLA -
THE Railway is a great asset of the State. Ever since December 27,
1864 when the Railway hosted the Crown Prince Duke Brabant heir to the
throne of Belgium in the first run from Colombo Fort to Ambepussa, it
has been the chief mode of public transport.
Kings, princesses and members of the Royalty of foreign countries
have used the Railway for official and goodwill missions especially to
Members of our Legislative Council, State Council and
Parliamentarians from distant electorates such as Point Pedro,
Trincomalee, Mannar, Batticaloa, Matara, Badulla and Kandy have
patronised Railway travel for their official travel to Colombo.
Most of daily commuters to Colombo for their work from distant
stations use the Railway it being the most reliable and dependable
public transport to reach Colombo in time for their work.
The yeoman service of the Railway night patrol men inspecting the
Railway track alone between stations in the up-country armed with a
lighted lamp and an umbrella enduring rains, winds and darkness is
In view of the great service by the Railway personnel, Way and Works
staff, it is suggested that the daily commuters of stations mentioned
above should render some reciprocal voluntary service to the Railway
Department as a moral obligation. Daily commuters spend nearly four to
five hours in the train to reach the working places.
Although good and regular services was performed by the Railway Staff
there is much indifference among some of the commuters in the
maintenance of the Railway Service.
Introducing a shramadana service will cause to dispel the feeling of
indifference and instill in them the feeling that the Railway Service is
for the commuters and they are 'partners and co-owners' of the state
The Railway Yards in prominent stations need cleaning and removing
the creepers and plants that have grown in the discarded wagons. Some of
the Railway platforms planted with flower plants needs daily cleaning
and so is the Railway premises.
It is suggested that the shramadana work be performed at least once a
month or once in two months subject to the Station Master as head of the
shramadana work to direct the nature of the work to be done according to
all the regulations of the Railway.
It is hoped that the General Manager of Railways will give thought to
C. E. JAYASINGHE -
THE Grama Niladhari officer covering the Bloemendhal Road has his
office in a Buddhist temple in Kotahena.
The clerk in this office who distributes the election registration
forms to voters of the area does not perform his duty properly.
While some houses in the area have not received election registration
forms, there are a large number of houses from which he has failed to
collect the filled-up forms.
Although several complaints have been made to the relevant
authorities regarding this negligence of the Grama Niladhari, the
problem remains unsolved. I request the authorities to look into this
DANTON DE SILVA
I wish to inform the general public about my experience with the
National Water Supply and Drainage Board.
Our household with three occupants was billed in excess of Rs. 7000
for a particular month recently.
When I complained, after making a payment, a team of officials from
the Water Board arrived and asked the standard questions about leaking
taps, overflowing tanks and leaking sumps, and found none.
After making another payment, the water meter was replaced and the
original one sent for evaluation. After several months, after making
several phone calls, I was informed that the meter that was removed was
found to be faulty.
At present the monthly charges have dropped to a few hundred rupees.
After several reminders I am yet to be reimbursed.
I have been informed that some times during water cuts, movements of
air through the meter may contribute to the faulty readings.
There may be other householders who may be similarly exploited
without their knowledge. Please be aware!
DR. J. WIJEKOON -