Resolve this strike!
Over the past few weeks, our universities have been in
a state of paralysis on account of a work stoppage by
non-academic staff at these seats of higher learning.
Apparently, no progress, worth speaking of, has been made in
efforts to resolve the issues at the heart of the strike and the
majority of particularly undergraduates are languishing at home.
The question is, for how long more would this most sorry state
We urge the authorities concerned to lose no time in
resolving this strike which is holding-up academic activities at
universities and doing considerable harm to the morale of
students. Apparently, the gravity of the situation is yet to be
realized by the authorities as well as the strikers. If this was
not so, the work stoppage would not have continued for so long.
We urge the parties concerned to come out of this negative
mindset. The strike must be resolved once and for all.
We are obliged to point out to the authorities that strikes
of this kind cannot be allowed to drag on indefinitely. There
needs to be a culture of consultation. The parties to a problem
need to talk to each other with an acute sense of urgency and
ensure that the issue is resolved in double quick time. This
does not seem to be the case in this country and issues in the
Higher Education sphere in particular are tending to be
relegated to the back-burner of unimportant things. This is a
very sad state of affairs which is crying out to be rectified.
It is very unfortunate that those wielding the strike weapon
usually cast aside any thought of the national interest and
focus obsessively and exclusively on short term gain. Whatever
the provocation to strike, the national interest should not be
lost sight of. Young lives cannot be allowed to be affected
adversely merely because the education authorities give the
impression that they are not particularly interested in ending
these strikes in a hurry.
While the authorities should galvanize themselves into
addressing the issues at the centre of strikes, and seek an
early end to them, the strikers must ponder on the more harmful
consequences of their actions. The latter would do well to
remain constructively engaged with the state, rather than be at
the barricades in paroxysms of anger, which, in all probability,
would only prolong their confrontation with the state and prove
futile in terms of winning any demands.
Education and Higher Education are as vital as those sections
which are usually regarded as essential services. If the
education sector is not being viewed by some in this light, it
is most unfortunate. The harmful results of strikes in the
education sector may not take concrete, tangible form
immediately but there is no denying that paralysis in the sphere
of Higher Education in particular translates finally into
material losses which could undermine the national interest
gravely. For instance, if personnel essential for the
functioning of the national economy, such as, medical doctors,
engineers, Civil Servants and lawyers, do not pass out of
universities in time, it should be plain to see that the
national interest would be harmed.
Therefore, there is no denying that strikes exact a heavy
toll, regardless of the sector in which they occur. It is
important that confrontational approaches are avoided in these
situations and rational answers found to the issues on the table
in a constructive spirit. Over and above all, it must be
realized that the lives of the young are being seriously
affected by these strikes in the education sector. If the
non-academic staff of universities has issues with the state,
then, they need to resolve these matters with state and in no
way subject the students to any hardships.
We take this opportunity to call on disaffected sections of
our universities’ academic staff too to think long and deep
before resorting to strike action. No doubt, they may be ‘having
issues’ but the students, who are their wards, should not be put
through any hardships and heart-burn for no fault of the latter.
To be considered are the grave consequences of such strike
action which could spell national ruin.
The Charter of the United Nations
Sixty-seven years ago, the Charter of the United
Nations was signed. That was on June 26, 1945, in San Francisco, at
the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International
Organization. The Charter came into force on October 24, 1945. The
Statute of the International Court of Justice is an integral part of
the Charter. There are many who believe that if the drafting of the
Charter were to be conducted today no consensus agreement would be
reached on it.
World Anti-Drugs Day:
Hard drug abuse - the need for preventive action
The year 2012 has upgraded our country as a
demanding country of every known narcotic drug produced/cultivated
in our country and produced in the drug supplying countries such as
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, Thailand and Mexico. In the days gone
by, in the 1950s and 1960s, the only narcotic drugs detected by the
Police and demanded by the drug dependents were Cannabis, Ganja
grown in our own country and Opium, which was smuggled from India.
During this period the Galle Face Green was a popular gathering
place for tourists, pimps, prostitutes etc.
Sustainable Development through Compatible Development
It is argued that Sustainable Development can be
achieved on real ground through the achievement of Compatible
Development in countries. Compatibility is where things are matched
and integrated in the development processes with less adverse
impacts to the environment. This is achievable through
techno-economic and scientific methods pertaining to logical and
rational decision making process in spatial development planning.
Accordingly Compatible Development is in the domain of integrated
spatial planning. This approach ensures the needs of Compatible
Development which marches aspects of physical and technical
feasibility, economic viability, social acceptability and
Felix Dias Bandaranaike’s 26th death anniversary
Excerpts from the book FDB:
The family physician stood at the top of the
staircase at ‘Granta’ and announced to the anxious relatives
assembled below: “Mrs Dias has just given birth to a fine baby boy
weighing a little over thirteen pounds.” “Good Lord!” exclaimed our
grandfather. “A Mighty Atom!” That was how Felix Reginald Dias
Bandaranaike (Jnr.) joined the family at 1st lane, Colpetty (now