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‘There’s an urgent need for reforms to bridge the gap between education and employment opportunities’ – Prof. G. L. Peiris

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General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University launched its two-day International Research Conference under the theme ‘Holistic Approach to National Growth and Security’ on October 15.

The inaugural session of the conference, held for the 13th consecutive time, was graced by Minister of Education, Professor G. L. Peiris as the chief guest and Professor Kapila Perera, Secretary to the Ministry of Education, was the keynote speaker of the event.

The Vice Chancellor Major General Milinda Pieris in his welcome address stated the significance of the Conference taking place in a challenging environment, and he stressed the commitment of the university for continuity of events even under the most trying circumstances. Such efforts, he opined, would be necessary for enhancing the resilience of the nation during crisis situations.

Minister Peiris elucidated the significance of the conference theme that highlights the intimate relationship between national security and the development, explaining with empirical evidence from the experiences of the nation in the recent past, how development efforts undermining security could be detrimental to a country’s future.

Speaking about higher education in the country, he emphasized on the urgent need for reforms to bridge the gap between education and employment opportunities. He stressed on the need to revise what he called “obsolete and anachronistic curricula” in education and for introducing methods of teaching and learning that develop analytical and critical faculties of learners to enable them to apply volumes of knowledge to face challenges and solve problems.

The keynote speaker Prof. Kapila Perera explained the concept of security in a broader perspectives and elaborated how the absence of security would jeopardize our expectations of being developed.

He emphasized on the need to apply a holistic approach to education. KDU has proven to be an institution that adopts such an approach. With his closer affinity with KDU as one of its alumnus, he commented on the success of the experimentations of KDU with a new model in education where civil and military students engage in their higher educational pursuits.

The two-day conference attracted 650 plus paper submissions for the technical sessions, and the first day was successfully concluded with the completion of the nine Faculty plenary sessions that were adorned with presentations by national and international scholars of eminence in each discipline on various sub themes.



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Cardinal: Was there any link between passage of 20A and Easter Sunday probe outcome?

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… stands by his claim of foreign involvement

By Norman Palihawadana

Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday said that there could be a connection between the outcome of the probe into the Easter Sunday attacks and the enlisting of Muslim MPs’ support for the passage of the 20th Amendment.

The Cardinal said: “The leader of a Muslim political party voted against the 2Oth Amendment. But his MPs voted for it. The brother of Rishad Bathiudeen too was released around the same time. These are questionable developments. These events could be part of a deal.”

The Cardinal reiterated that international forces were behind the Easter Sunday attacks and that he did not believe that there had been any local political group directly involved in the Easter attacks.

Addressing the media yesterday, the Cardinal said that the remarks he made on Sunday had been misunderstood. He stood by his claim that international forces had been behind the attacks, he said.

“However, some people claim that I said a local political group was behind the attack. I have always maintained that there are international forces that use religious and ethnic extremists such as Wahabists to create conflicts. I was referring to such groups.”

The Cardinal added that only a small group of Muslims was involved in extremism.

The Archbishop also said that former President Maithripala Sirisena believed that taking action against extremists like NTJ leader Zahran Hashim would create unnecessary issues.

“Something along these lines is also in the PCoI on Easter Sunday attacks. The report also implies that the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was lenient in dealing with growing extremism in Sri Lanka.”

The Cardinal urged the government to protect the country and ensure that there would be no repeats of incidents like the Easter Sunday attacks.

The Archbishop of Colombo requested all religious leaders to work on rebuilding trust among all communities.

 

 

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AG appeals to Supreme Court against granting of bail to Ravi, others

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The Attorney General yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court against bail for former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and seven others indicted in the bond case by the Colombo Special High Court Trial-at-Bar.

The eight accused were arrested and remanded over the bond scams. Later, they were released on bail.

The court warned that if the accused attempted to exert influence on the witnesses, by any means, bail would be revoked and they would be placed on remand until the end of the trial.

 

 

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26 more coronavirus cases detected in Jaffna Tirunelveli market area

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Another 26 COVID-19 cases had been detected on Sunday, from the Tirunelveli Market in Jaffna, which was the epicentre of the recent outbreak in the town, Dr. A. Kethiswaran, Regional Director Health Services told the media yesterday.

The market and its surroundings had been reopened on April 11 following a 19-day lockdown. However, 378 PCR tests were conducted after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and 26 of them proved positive.

Dr. Kethiswaran warned last week that there might be a spike in COVID-19 cases in Jaffna after the New Year celebrations.

A large number of COVID-19 cases had been reported in Jaffna in the past few weeks. Thus, the people should adhere to health guidelines. If people did not follow the guidelines, there would be a spike in cases and then some places would have to be lockdown, he warned.

“It’s too early to say whether we have to close the area down. We are monitoring the situation,” DR. Kethiswaran said.

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