2nd July 2000
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They did it in style

By Ruhanie Perera 
After putting on a great show of patience, the children finally got a chance to take the stage. And they took over in style - with songs, dance and episodes from drama. 

They thrilled the audience every minute with their performance, keeping them in fits of laughter when they performed a 'Mahaden-amutta' story. They sure were having a ball and it was heartwarming to watch the little ones in action. 

The little boys and girls were present at the 69th Annual General Meeting of The Child Protection Society of Ceylon (Inc.). The meeting was held on June 23 at the Mahaweli Centre Auditorium and was chaired by the President of the society Justice O.S.M. Seneviratne. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Her Excellency Linda Duffield, the High Commissioner for the United Kingdom in Sri Lanka.

The exuberant young performers who brought the Annual General Meeting to a close with a bang that day, were from the two Homes run by the Child Protection Society. 

Justice Seneviratne addressing the gatering said that the Homes, one for boys and one for girls, ensure that the children get a sound education, while encouraging them to be good citizens and guiding them, so that one day they will be good parents to our future generations. Watching the children in action it was obvious that their creative talents were not stifled but were nurtured to fruition. 

The efforts of the Society to give these children a better childhood and ensure that their rights are not violated, have certainly been very successful. Yet, the members do not sit back complacently thinking that their duty is done. Instead they keep on working, spurred by the thought of how many more children they can protect. 

In her speech the Chief Guest H.E. Linda Duffield stressed the need to not merely protect children, but also to safeguard them by monitoring state policy and ensuring that every aspect of a child's rights are looked after. "Children are our most 'endangered species' - they are the most important segment of society. Our work where they are concerned is never done. A perfect example of this is the dedication shown by the members of the Child Protection Society" she said. 

News 100 years ago

Soon a first class port
Colombo port ranks as the tenth port in the world, according to tonnage entered and cleared. 

The dockyards are being completed and once these are done, it will become a first class port and the chief distributing centre of the Eastern Seas. The South West breakwater (completed in 1886 at a cost of 700,000 pound sterling) enables the largest vessels to ride in safety in stormy weather.

In respect of tonnage entered and cleared, Kayts on the north coast is the second port of Ceylon. 

Galle, a natural harbour on the south coast, though somewhat rocky, was the port of call for steamers prior to the construction of the Colombo breakwater. 

Trincomalee, the other natural harbour, on the east coast is one of the finest harbours in the world accessible in all weathers and providing magnificent and safe anchorage.

It has been said that in it "the whole navy of Great Britain might ride in safety while the eastern monsoon was tempesting the neighbouring sea, spreading terror through the Bay of Bengal and covering with wreck the shores of the adjacent continent". Trincomalee is a fortified naval station and possesses an Admiralty dockyard.

Royal, the leading school
The Department of Public Instruction now devotes its energies to the extension of vernacular schools, leaving the provision of English education mainly to private enterprise.

There are only four English schools supported by the Government, including Royal College, the leading educational institution in the Island. 

The highest education available approaches the standard of the sixth form in an English public school. 

An annual scholarship of 200 pounds sterling, tenable for four years, is awarded by Government to the best student, to pursue studies in an English university.

Medical & Legal education
Medical education is provided in the Government Medical College under the supervision of the Principal Civil Medical Officer and is attached to the chief government hospital in Colombo. 

Legal education is in charge of a Council of Legal Education of which the Judges of the Supreme Court, the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General are the chief members. It provides courses of lectures and holds examinations. The successful students are enrolled as advocates and proctors corresponding to barristers and solicitors in England.

There are 35 grant-in-aid industrial schools and orphanages where technical education is taught. A central Technical Institute founded in 1893 in Colombo is maintained at Government expense. 

Million rupees from salt
Salt forms naturally and its manufacture is a Government monopoly, yielding an annual income of over a million rupees a year. Salt is manufactured mainly in Puttalam, Jaffna and Hambantota.

The sea water is admitted into plots of retentive land laid out in pools and wells and evaporated by the heat of the sun's rays. The cost to the Government in collecting the salt is around 40 cents per cwt. and it is sold to the dealers at about Rs 2.36. The difference is the profit to Government from the monopoly.

Plumbago exports
Plumbago (graphite) is the only mineral of commercial importance. These mines are mainly in the Western, Southern and North-Western Provinces. The produce is exported mainly to Great Britain and the United States. 

The exports last year averaged over half a million cwt. yielding an income of 16 million rupees.-(Media Man)

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