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SJB says it has no confidence in Speaker

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By Saman Indrajith

The SJB says it has no confidence in Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena as the latter.

Addressing the media, in Colombo, yesterday, Chief Opposition Whip and Kandy District MP Lakshamn Kiriella said his party had observed that Speaker Abeywardena did not act impartially. “The latest manifestation of the Speaker’s bias towards the government is his failure to appoint chairmen of parliamentary watchdog committees – the COPA and the COPE. As per the parliamentary traditions, the chairman posts of these two committees should go to the Opposition MPs. At a parliamentary business affairs committee meeting, held on 07 June in the parliamentary complex, I raised this issue and asked the Speaker to make arrangements accordingly.

The Speaker agreed and gave instructions to the officials to proceed with that. Since no action had been taken, we raised this issue in the Chamber and demanded to know the reasons for the delay.

The Speaker gave an assurance to the House that he would give the two top posts of the COPA and the COPE to the Opposition.

Yet, the promise has not been delivered . When I raised this issue again at the last party leaders’ meeting, I was informed that the SLPP MPs were opposed to the proposal. We had to point out that the Speaker was there to protect the interests of the entire Parliament and not those of the government. He gave an undertaking in the Chamber and up to date has failed to act accordingly because of the pressure from the SLPP.



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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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