Under the caption ‘China to promote reform of community forestry’ the
FAO in its latest regional quarterly bulletin featuring forest news
provides the following news taken from the ‘China People’s Daily’ ;
“China will promote the reform of its collectively owned forestry
system to facilitate the development of participatory forestry
approaches that will provide more benefits to farmers and help to lift
them out of poverty.
The reform aims to transfer operational rights of forests from Local
Government and forestry administration to farmers under long term
contracts, while the ownership of forests remains with the Government.”
Now, this is something that the Sri Lanka Government should consider
too for certain forests in Sri Lanka which provide livelihood for
hundreds of poor people who either are forest dwellers or who live in
the vicinity of forests in buffer zones and who are forest dependent.
An approach and efforts in a related direction that are currently
gaining popularity in the countryside have already been initiated in Sri
Lanka by the European Commission funded programme for the Participatory
Conservation and Management of Tropical Forests in ten administrative
districts and being implemented by the United Nations Development
Programme through community based organisations, with technical support
from the Forest Department which also has considerable experience in
social and participatory forestry gained through the efforts of Sri
Lanka’s own foresters.
Special mention should be made of the EC-UNDP programmes for certain
important contiguous critical forests of the Sri Pada peak wilderness
and for the fast depleting bio-diversitically rich invaluable forests of
This present EC-UNDP well timed thrust to further develop
participatory forest bio-diversity conservation and management in Sri
Lanka is through the ‘active partnership with State, rural communities
and private sector,’ and comes at a time when funds for extending Sri
Lanka’s forest cover are getting scarce.
V. R. Nanayakkara
Vice President, International Society of Tropical Foresters
Commuters on these routes face immense hardships during the peak rush
hour in the mornings and evenings.
It is a common sign to see commuters clinging dangerously on to buses
thereby endangering their lives. The elderly, ladies and children have
also lately no chance of bus travel on these routes during this peak
Not all can afford to hire three-wheelers. Some may be able to avoid
the rush hours but there are others who may be compelled to travel for
various reasons. Those badly affected are the senior citizens in these
This problem could be considerably eased by having a shuttle service
to and from Rajagiriya during peak hours.
W. J. SAMUEL
There seems to be a new way of robbery around Dehiwela and Wellawatta.
A youth walking down a lane is suddenly surrounded by a group of
youngsters in jeans and T shirts, with bags slung at their back, looking
like school going children (probably they are) and one of them
intimidate the youth showing a knife asking for his mobile.
If they don’t yield, they are stabbed in the sides. The by-passers
will never suspect this is happening as they only see a bunch of
As much as this should shock us, it should also make the people wake
up to the reality that it’s all our fault - the fault of the present
Our younger generation has too much of a burden, too much of freedom.
The education system is very competitive, exam-oriented and is in such
disarray that no child whatever school he/she goes to can do without
After the exhaustive studies the children seek solace in drinking,
free intermingling of sexes and drugs to boot. On the other hand, the
parents have got so addicted to the TV, computer and the rat race of
making ends meet - that they have no time for the children. In the name
of ‘freedom’ they have abandoned their responsibility of supervising and
guiding the children.
Even with the knowledge that the young teens are tempted with drugs,
sex and gambling, the parents of today’s world have not come forward to
curb the trend in anyway. The peer pressure of the children’s friends
seem to be excuse enough for the parents to abandon their
Another important reason for our youngsters to get used to the drugs,
gun culture and the ‘fast life’ is due to the fact that there are no
decent places for them to spend their leisure time. There are no places
for healthy games - unlike in the villages, where can a city youngster
go after school to spend a refreshing hour? Nowhere, except the casinos,
computer games centres and parties.
Everywhere the youngsters go is replete with sex, drugs, discos,
The so-called leaders are not setting a proper example of the day
either. When the youngsters are bombarded with what every politician and
other social leaders are doing by means of cheating, thuggery and
murder, and seem to be getting away with it scot-free, the youth can
hardly be blamed for following suit.
It’s time the parents took charge. It’s time we set up some decent
‘clubs’ where the children have clean fun with a few parents’
supervision. It’s time we told the children 10pm is the latest they can
It’s time we reduced the burden of their education by insisting
better teaching in school and changing the exam-oriented competitive
curriculum - rather the child must be judged on their ability and guided
to a suitable career early in life. Tall, tall orders - true but if we
don’t, the teens of today - the adults of tomorrow, will turn around and
curse us - the parents of today.
Will anyone take note please?
DR. MAREENA THAHA REFFAI