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TNA gives two key posts to TELO, PLOTE to keep depleted alliance intact

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By Dinasena Ratugamage

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leadership has given two positions in the alliance to Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) and People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) stalwarts in a bid to keep the alliance intact.

As a part of this strategy, TELO leader and Wanni district MP, Selvam Adaikalanathan will be appointed the TNA spokesperson. MP M.A. Sumanthiran who held the position has announced that he would resign from the post. PLOTE leader, Dharmalingam Siddarthan will be appointed the chief organiser of the TNA. MP, S. Sritharan currently holds this position. These decisions were taken at a meeting of the party after the swearing in of new MPs last Friday.

Both PLOTE and TELO strongly opposed Thawarasa Kalaiarasan, who represents the East getting the TNA National List slot. The two parties claimed that TNA leader R. Sampanthan and MP M.A. Sumanthiran had taken the decision without consulting the party’s Central Committee.

During the 2018 local council election, the PLOTE and the TELO strongly opposed a number of decisions taken by the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) leaders, accusing them of taking decisions without the concurrence of the TNA Central Committee. The two parties attempted to leave the TNA and even handed over nominations to several local councils in Vavuniya and Mannar. They patched up their differences following the intervention of community leaders.

However, the rift widened again with the appointment of Kalaiarasan to the National List post.



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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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President: SL should tap its potential to become education hub in region

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By Saman Indrajith

Sri Lanka has the potential to become a regional education hub, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said addressing a Committee Stage debate of the 2023 Budget in parliament yesterday.The President said that the way schools are conducted will change in the next 25 years.

“In 25 years, there may not be physical universities. That actually makes it easier for us to become a regional hub of education,” he said.

Wickremesinghe said a large number of students leave the country for higher education. Around three billion US dollars is sent out of the country for foreign education, he said.

The President said that if Sri Lanka becomes a regional hub for education the country can earn about USD 10 billion.

“I urge the National Council and other Parliamentary Committees to look into this,” he said.

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