26th October 1997


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Book Review

On the first step of the ladder

"A job applicants' handbook for young people"

by Ms. Dorothy Abeywickrema, published by S. Godage and Bros.

"A job applicants' handbook for young people" by Ms. Dorothy Abeywickrema, is specially meant for school leavers and university graduates and dealt with one of the most important aspects of their life-choosing a career.

The author who has working experience in the private sector and thereafter served as a lecturer in the university and as a consultant in management and career development has combined theory with her vast practical experience.

For the Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka the publication has been released at an appropriate time where we have launched the "Career Guidance '97" exhibition and the convention of professionals on career education.

The author has had experience with youth and unemployed graduates from rural areas and in publishing the book in Sinhalese she has made a valuable contribution in filling a void that existed for some time.

The book covers all aspects that one should be aware of when looking for a job or selecting a career. The basics of where to look for vacancies, how to write an application and how to present oneself for an interview have been explained in very simple language. She has also explained the importance of English and practical experience which are two vital areas that need to be focused on not only by the youth and job seekers but also the educators. The appendices relating to "Select the career path for the right Computer Education". "The career ladder" and, "Model application forms," are very useful.

With the important role played by the private sector in the economy many of the job vacancies occur in this sector. Therefore awareness and preparing the youth to fit into the private sector should be uppermost in the minds of all educators.

Schools, universities and technical colleges should have a close link with the private sector thus giving exposure to the teachers and students. In many countries the links are so strong with the business community that they visit the university for recruitment as there is a big demand for those passing out.

The OPA with the career exhibition will take the initiative to set up career guidance centres in schools with the assistance of the Education Ministry.

This publication could be one of the books that will be prescribed for these centres.

-Lakshman R Watawala F.C.A. (Sri Lanka) , FCMA (UK) President, Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka

Dhamma for the 21st Century

Bududahama Visiekwana Siyawasata

(Buddhism for the Twentyfirst Century)

By: Dr. H.M. Goonetilleke (Sumedha Herath)

Published by the Buddhist Culture Centre Nedimala, Dehiwela. Reviewed by Ven. Kirama Vimalajothy Nayaka Thero.

This book written in Sinhala is a refreshingly new addition to the Sinhala Literature on Buddhism, philosophy and modern science. Sinhala students as readers looking for good reading material in this field will find in this book, some main concepts of Buddhism related to a wealth of contemporary scientific information. The author Dr. H.M Goonatilleka (Sumedha Herath) has taken pains to compile his work with the latest information on the subject from the most important research studies, world famous encyclopaedias, philosophical and scientific journals dealing with the subject.

This is an analytical review of a very vital area of Buddhism which has been neglected yet is a centrally important portion of the Pali canon.

Most of of the chapters in this book, enunciate the relevance and the need to give a new outlook to the methods of teaching Buddhism to meet the needs of a generation stepping into the 21 st century.

I see this aspect as the most significant feature of the book.

The book Bududahama Visiekwana Siyawasata' combines simplicity with complexity in the presentation of material and is beautifully illustrated in a manner that the evokes philosophic and scientific interests of the reader.

The preface (Aamukhaya) of the book, summarises Buddhist teachings by way of an introduction invaluable even for a non- Buddhist layman. A non-Buddhist could have an overview of the nature of Buddhism. The Author says there is no regimentation in Buddhism.

The Buddhists are not marched or coerced into a place of prayer or worship which for a Buddhist is totally a voluntary spiritual assimilation where the follower feels delivered, pleased and relaxed. Finally, there is no conversion to Buddhism as such. For instance a person who is modest in living, or accepts impermanence of all compound things and disciplines his mind, is on the right path and some day in this cycle of births (samsara) sooner than later would realize the Noble Truth.

Thus whether one is a Buddhist or a believer of any other religion, when one shows such positive signs of gradual transformation, even in a small way one is on the path of emancipation.

The author in his versatile dissertation endeavours to disseminate and teach Buddhism to the new world. He says Buddhism which came to a world where there was no understanding of science or technology, is an eternal never changing Dhamma. Nothing of this Dhamma would change with the changing world.

However it is doubtful whether this Dhamma should be taught in that age old mould of yore to a society growing with new technologies and modern sciences. So, there is a need for a more suitable method to preach Dhamma to this new world.

In this task the author makes an attempt to make a comparative investigation of some main concepts of early Buddhism and the contemporary philosophic and scientific knowledge to stress the topicality of Buddhism. In other words he presents an overview of several central concepts of Buddhism for the 21st century in the light of contemporary philosophic and scientific material.

Continue to Plus page 7 * The hunt is on! * Watch out for that three-ring circus!

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