Letters to the EditorView(s):
Frustration over education and job issues could ferment another youth revolt
Sri Lanka has seen three episodes of youth revolt in recent times, revolt that resulted in the death of thousands of young people. The first was in 1971, when JVP activists attempted to overthrow the SLFP Government of the late Sirimavo Bandaranaike. The 1971 Sinhala youth uprising was attributed to dissatisfaction with the SLFP regime and frustration that the government was not giving them jobs.
The JVP unleashed violence all over the country. There was mass destruction of public property and killing of innocent youths. Although the SLFP Government foiled it, the repercussions of that uprising can still be felt in the country.
The JVP revolted again in 1987, this time against the UNP Government of Ranasinghe Premadasa. The UNP Government retaliated and the JVP revolt was suppressed with the killing of JVP Leader Rohana Wijeweera. The reason for this surge of youth unrest was also frustration among educated youth who could not find jobs.
Tamil National Alliance MP M. A. Sumanthiran told a recent press conference that the reason for the uprising among Tamil youth was the injustice of a standardisation policy that deprived thousands of Tamil youth from gaining entrance to state universities. Mr. Sumanthiran said the real Tamil youth uprising began in London in 1970, long before LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran came on the scene with the concept of carving out a separate homeland.
Mr. Sumanthiran has given us a timely warning that issues in the education sector should be resolved fast before another insurrection breaks out among our youth. This should be an eye-opener for the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration.
Z.A.M. Shukoor Via email
Enderamulla roads in shocking state
We are a group of frustrated and angry mothers in Enderamulla who walk more than two kilometres a day to take our children to school and bring them home. The roads here are in a shocking condition, and pose a hazard to the elderly, to children and to vehicles, including motorcycles and three-wheelers.
Our pleas to repair the roads have fallen on deaf ears over the past two years. We have waited long enough and now we feel it is time to act and “bulldoze” the politicians.
Will the authorities assist us by doing something about the roads, which are in an even worse condition now that the rainy season has set in?
Mrs. A. Fernando, Enderamulla
Greed is taking Sri Lanka down, like the Titanic
Nimal Sanderatne’s comments (“Imperative for Economic Development”, Sunday Times, August 26) ring an alarm bell and warn us about what is in store for us in the near future. He has painted a bleak picture of the local and the world economy — wrecked by mismanagement.
We in Sri Lanka are facing a difficult time because traders are hell-bent on making a quick buck, exploiting the situation and forcing people, especially the poor, to “shut up and put up” with the sorry state of affairs.
There are eight denominations of currency in circulation here, indicating the level of inflation in the country. You go out shopping or travel a long distance and you return home to find most of your money gone. The only answer is to tighten our belts and cut down on visits to the market.
If you have spare time and a garden, make the soil fertile and grow essential vegetables for your use.
This economic crisis reminds me of the Titanic. When the ship was launched, she was described as “unsinkable”. We thought that with the war over we would see the beginning of an era of prosperity. The Titanic hit an iceberg created by nature. Sri Lanka has hit an artificially created case of inflation caused by greedy business people.
Kanagar Raveendran, Wellawatte
Child rape says something about our society
The alarming trend of child rape says something about our society. Could it be because Sri Lanka, unlike so many other countries, has not legalised commercial sex?
In the west, commercial sex is widely available, as it is in Asian countries like Thailand and South Korea. If sex was made available here, for a price, then perhaps our youngsters would not be targeted by persons desperate for sex.
Kingsley Durairaj, Etul Kotte
Goodbye Neil Armstrong – the stars are burning brighter in your honour
When Neil Armstrong disembarked from the Lunar Module that historic day, July 20, 1969, he left the first human footprints on lunar soil and gave mankind the right to be called “the space farers”. From thereon, we were no longer a species confined to our home planet but a species that could shake off its earthly shackles and travel towards the stars and call the universe its home.
The most iconic moment in the history of the Apollo programme came when Neil Armstrong uttered the immortal words: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” Those words would inspire generations of men and women of science to achieve what was once thought unimaginable or insurmountable.
The death of Neil Armstrong should be a moment of reflection on what we have accomplished as a species and the challenges that lie ahead. Neil Armstrong demonstrated more than 40 years ago, on that desolate lunar soil, that no challenge is insurmountable. It is the small steps forward that will define our greatness.
Goodbye, Neil. The stars are burning a little brighter in your honour.
Hiran Hanwella Via email
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