up! Stop squabbling and start working
In this embarrassing nation that we live in maybe it's time once
again to wake up or rather shake the government into wakefulness.
The events preceding the elections of April 2, 2004 indicated little
hope for the future of Sri Lanka despite the usual pledges. But
never mind the pledges, can we just get past all this political
rigmarole and get down to the issues that really matter?
government and the opposition continue to be obsessed with political
manoeuvres, thinking little of the impact of this on the country's
economy. According to the Central Bank's latest indicators, the
rupee has depreciated to new lows but the obsession with power seems
to only increase.
week's events in Parliament which received international coverage
are an embarrassment to the nation. But the people’s representatives
do not seem to care. Where is the responsibility that comes with
representation? Their inaction in situations where action is required
and their action in circumstances which do not require it at all
is leading Mother Lanka to further impoverishment and shame.
it time that the President, her government as well as opposition
parties took a good look at themselves and determined what they
are about. Are you here for the money? Or are you really interested
in doing your best to improve this country?
admissions and the never-ending wait
The statement that there is a three-year waiting period for university
admission might bring forth several indignant protests from those
fortunate enough to be admitted before this period, and also from
some university authorities, but this is indeed the unhappy truth.
people are blissfully ignorant of this fact, and ironically some
of the university staff are quite euphoric about clearing the backlog
of admissions. However, little do they know or care that there are
some students who have sat for the Advanced Level in April 2002
being selected for admission to the University of Colombo, Arts
Faculty, and are still waiting to be taken in. It is indeed gross
discrimination that the students who sat at the same time, and were
selected for courses such as Medicine, Law, Management, and Science
at the same university, and also those students who opted for other
universities to follow the same course of study, have already completed
over one year of work.
this scenario, it was indeed heartening to read that the powers
that be in the education field, had recognized several shortcomings
in the university administrative system, and are reportedly taking
steps to provide solutions to these problems. We, therefore, quite
logically assumed that the problem of delayed admissions would have
taken a high priority in their proposed plan of action.
much to our consternation, when inquiring from the UGC, we were
airily informed that in all probability, those who were selected
for admission on the 2002 Advanced Level examination results to
the Arts Faculty of the University of Colombo, would only be admitted
in 2005. This makes it three whole years, as in 2002, the examination
was brought forward from August to April, with the rather optimistic
intention to admit the students during the same year as in yesteryear.
This same view was echoed by the present administration.
is an urgent plea to the Ministry of Education to treat this problem
as a high priority in their deliberations.
A Concerned Parent
fort hijacked by colonial disease!
Much has been reported recently about the purchase of southern beach
properties and houses within the Dutch Fort (a military garrison
during the colonial era) by foreigners. Ten years ago there were
only two foreign-owned houses in Galle Fort, now there are 68 belonging
to foreigners, and most of the southern coastline is dotted with
bungalows built by foreigners.
how did foreigners on tourist visas set about buying such properties?
They are allowed visas to tour the island, not conduct business.
If they have been entering into profitable real estate business
on tourist visas, simply confiscate those properties. Levying high
taxes on those properties will not solve anything. We will simply
be legitimizing possible illegal transactions.
though FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) was permitted by the previous
regime, did it include such transactions by tourists? Furthermore,
an investigation should be carried out as to the exact details of
finances involved in those purchases-how much was brought in cash
and how much was remitted?
all know that these tourists of dubious backgrounds are now selling
off our lands on the Internet etc., quoting prices in US dollars.
How did this come about? Is there money-laundering involved and
do we conduct an Interpol check on them? Background checks are an
know for certain that those properties are rented out at US dollar
rates mostly to foreign tourists when not used by their owners.
This has been going on for years unchecked. The tourist businessman
earns dollars while Sri Lankan owned tourist villas and resort hotels
lose business and pay taxes on whatever they earn.
believe liquor outlets have been opened in the Galle Fort. Why were
liquor licences issued in such a residential area which also has
at least one church, a mosque and a Buddhist temple?
we are to stop this island becoming a paradise for paedophiles and
sex perverts, our foreign missions should only issue visas to those
who wish to visit Sri Lanka after thorough checks. Don't we get
the runaround when we want to visit western countries? We are treated
like criminals whilst we offer them sycophancy and servility - the
Linda van Schagen
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