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Sri Lanka pledges unstinted support to UN endeavors to push for gender parity

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Sri Lanka will continue to support the UN Secretary-General in his endeavors to push for gender parity at all levels at the institution, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Mohan Peiris told a recent Security Council Arria-Formula Meeting titled “Call to Lead by Example: Ensuring the Full, Equal and Meaningful Participation of Women in UN-led Peace Processes.”

“We commend the Secretary-General for the leadership that he has taken to improve the gender parity at the UN, particularly at the senior leaders’ level and amongst the UN Resident Coordinators. In UN field missions, women’s leadership is at 41%,” he said.

Permanent Representative Peiris said that Sri Lanka was proud to have had a long association with United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, having served as a member of the 1956 Advisory Committee that led to the establishment of the first “classical” peacekeeping mission – UNEF 1, deployed during the Suez crisis and later deployed as UN Peacekeepers to the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) in 1960.

Having engaged in a humanitarian struggle with a terrorist organization that used human shields, suicide bombers and child soldiers, Sri Lanka’s armed forces and Police had been sharing expertise in handling difficult and complex terrains of the humanitarian engagement field, in difficult areas of the world, he said.

“Since then, with over 20,000 Sri Lankan Peacekeepers, having served in UN Peace Missions across the world providing critical services to conflict affected communities in the most difficult and dangerous terrains, they are widely recognized for their valor and capabilities and appreciated by the UN Peacekeeping Missions they serve in. Over the years, Sri Lanka has consistently made efforts to encourage women peacekeepers and currently we have 12 women peacekeepers serving in South Sudan. We believe that women peacekeepers improve overall peacekeeping performance, have greater access to communities, help in promoting human rights and protection of civilians and encourage women to become a meaningful part of peace and political processes,” he said.

Peiris said that while it was useful to share the experience among the international community on the obstacles faced by women and the prescriptions needed to alleviate from such setbacks, the UN should also be sensitive to the diverse situations and circumstances, in which the proposed programs and strategies had to be implemented.

“The role of women in society is different in varied cultures and as such a one-size fits all policy cannot be applied in the pursuance of their rights. It is imperative for policies in this regard to be formulated, in tandem with domestic compulsions and requirements,” he said.

 



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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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