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Mahinda recalls huge commercial borrowings during Yahapalana rule

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The Yahapalana administration drew many commercial loans and that is the reason why Sri Lanka is facing the current debt crisis, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says.

“Some MPs who talk about the economic crisis were a part of that government. When they were asked to play a role in solving the problems the country faces, they refused to do so,” he told Parliament yesterday.

Rajapaksa said that he had never abandoned the people in their time of need.

“When we took over in 2019 the Yahapalana government had drawn a huge loan. I have done all we can to help the country. We had to face the Easter Sunday attacks and COVID. We are still doing things to overcome the aftermath of these problems.”

Rajapaksa said that some decisions they had made some wrong decisions.

“We need to carry out economic reforms that can get the country out of the current crisis. We must increase export revenue. Export revenue must be brought into the country within 180 days. If this does not happen, the relevant institutions must take steps”.

Rajapaksa said that the government had allocated a large amount of money for welfare and social security.

He added that he was opposed to selling national assets and steps should be taken to transform lossmaking state entities to profit-making ones. “We are opposed to selling national assets.”



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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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