Colombo must help expats’ kids

Updated 01 November 2013
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Colombo must help expats’ kids

Sri Lankan expatriates working in Gulf countries are major contributors of valuable foreign exchange to their home country. The government should provide them more recognition. These men and women toil in foreign countries, leaving behind their dearest family members back home. It is unfortunate that state authorities in Sri Lanka do not take timely steps to address their grievances. There are occasions when children of expatriate workers studying in Gulf are forced to relocate to their home country.
This happens when their parents move on to a different Gulf country seeking better prospects. Children are also affected when parents lose their Middle East jobs.
We have come across cases when such children’s education is jeopardized because Sri Lankan education authorities do not help their parents or guardians in school admissions. Children who grew up in the Gulf are struggling to gain admission to English medium National Schools in Colombo. Several complaints made to the authorities in Colombo have not been given due consideration.
It will be a good idea if Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa intervenes in this matter and orders the education minister to allocate a quota for children relocating from the Gulf to Colombo.
Several Sri Lankan families from abroad moved to settle in their homeland after terrorism was defeated in 2009.
We have seen that some children are being driven from pillar to post when they seek admission to National Schools in Colombo. This is an unfortunate situation.
National reconciliation is a priority in post-war Sri Lanka. But bureaucrats working in the Education Ministry are creating hurdles to this difficult process.
The president, who has popular support, must look into the genuine grievances of children of Sri Lankan expatriates seeking admission to leading government schools in Colombo. — Sivakumaran, Jeddah


Syrian civil war

Updated 18 April 2017
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Syrian civil war

Since it broke out six years ago, the disastrous war in Syria has claimed about 400,000 lives, with the victims being more civilians than fighters. Of the civilians, the most affected are women and children. Peace is shattered in and around Syria only to safeguard the most selfish monster in the world: Bashar Assad.
According to a UNICEF report, grave violations against Syrian children during the war have been recorded. The children in Syria are not only maimed and killed as a result of bombings but also forcefully recruited to be part of the conflict. Children as young as 7 years old are pushed into the front line as fighters, suicide bombers and executioners! The actual figures of those injured, dead and forcefully-recruited children are far higher than in the UNICEF report.
The innocent children “used” in the conflict have had the right to blossom, the right to enjoy life and the right to be on a play-ground torn from them. They have been deprived of the right to education and, according to UNICEF, nearly two million children have been forced to stop their education with one-third of school buildings rendered inoperative due to destruction.
With their often physically crippled parents, the children have to be the sole bread-winners in nearly 75 percent of Syrian households. Unwillingly, the children are forced to serve as garbage collectors, hairdressers and cleaners. Keeping aside what Assad gets out of this war, the beneficiaries of the war are weapon manufacturers who may well be dubbed parasites living on the blood of innocents.
Assad, the inhuman butcher of humanity, does not care what the world says, opines, suggests and warns about the catastrophic war in Syria. More than the ruinous acts of Assad, Russia and Iran, it shocks, grieves and pains to see that the world and the Muslim world has done nothing to stop the butcher of this century from his brutal and barbaric destruction of his own nation and his own people.