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LSSP Leader explains his absence at crucial vote, says he is for 21st Amendment

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LSSP leader and MP Prof Tissa Vitharana yesterday said that he was not against the 22nd Amendment to Constitution Bill (which has been renamed the 21st Amendment) although he had not been able to present in Parliament when it was put to the vote, last Friday.

Prof Vitharana told The Island that he had not been present in the House as he was attending an important meeting. “There was a meeting of Dr. N. M. Perera Memorial Trust on the same day at a separate venue and I had to attend that meeting as I am the Chairman of the trust. Therefore, I left aroud 4 pm for the meeting, and it went on even after 6 pm,” he said.

“It has been wrongly claimed that I absented myself as we differ from the Uttara Lanka Sabaga Alliance of which I happened to be a member. We strongly support the 21st Amendment, though it was not the best of legislation. We also oppose those with dual citizenship coming to Parliament,” he said. Around 45 MPs were absent when the second reading vote was taken up on the 22nd Amendment Bill, while 48 were absent during the third reading vote, he said, adding that all MPs who did not vote for the legislation were not opposing the amendment.



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Six member committee appointed to inquire into Sri Lanka Cricket Team’s conduct in Australia

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Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Roshan Ranasinghe has appointed a six member committee headed by Retired Supreme Court Judge Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena to inquire into the incidents reported against some members of the Sri Lanka Cricket team that participated at the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.

 

 

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SJB MP: Most parents have to choose between food and children’s education

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By Saman Indrajith

Most Sri Lankan parents are compelled to choose between food for their families and their children’s eduction, SJB Matale District MP Rohini Kumari Wijerathne told Parliament yesterday.

Only a few parents were able to feed and educate their children the MP said, participating in the debate on Budget 2023 under the expenditure heads of Ministries of Education and Women and Child Affairs.

“An 80-page exercise book costs Rs. 200. A CR book costs Rs 560. A pencil or pen costs Rs 40. A box of colour pencils costs Rs 570 while a bottle of glue costs Rs 150. If the father is a daily wage earner he has to spend one fourth of his salary on a box of colour pencils for his child. A satchel now costs around Rs 4,000. A pair of school shoes is above Rs 3,500. The Minister of Education knows well how many days a child could use an 80-page exercise book for taking notes. Roughly, stationery cost is around Rs 25,000 to 30,000 per child, MP Wijerathne said, adding that only Rs. 232 billion had been allotted for the Ministry of Education by Budget 2023.

“After paying salaries of teachers and covering officials’ expenses, etc., there will be very little left for other important matters,” the MP said, noting that Sri Lanka would soon be known as the country that made the lowest allocation of funds for education in the South Asian region.

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All crises boil down to flaws in education system, says Dullas

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By Saman Indrajith

All the crises Sri Lanka was beset with were due to the country’s outdated education system, MP Dullas Alahapperuma told Parliament yesterday.

“The political and economic crisis we are facing is the direct result of our education,” he said.

The Sri Lankan education system had not changed with global developments. Our system is not even geared for employment. Our examination system is antiquated and our classrooms are in the 19th Century.

However, the students belong to the 21st century. How can you cater to 21st Century children under an outdated system?” he queried.

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