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


Spies deserve ‘harsh punishment’

Updated 17 April 2017
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Spies deserve ‘harsh punishment’

This refers to the story “Pakistan’s army sentences alleged Indian spy to death” (April 11, 2017). Since the announcement of the death penalty for Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian intelligence agent who was involved in various terrorist activities in Pakistan, the Indian media are making false allegations against Islamabad.
We are citizens of a sovereign country. No one can dictate to us how to ensure the security of our people. Jadhav’s confession regarding his activities in Pakistan is available on YouTube. That should be enough for the Indian authorities.
A spy that conducts and masterminds terrorist activities that result in the death of many people has to face harsh punishment.
I firmly believe that if the death penalty is waived in Jadhav’s case, the consequences will be worse and terrorist acts will escalate in our country.
This must come to an end.
As Sartaj Aziz, adviser on foreign affairs to the prime minister, pointed out in his recent statement, Jadhav was tried according to the law of the land, in a fully transparent manner, while granting him his rights, as per the constitution of Pakistan.
Due process has been followed in the proceedings against him.
Jadhav, a serving commander in the Indian Navy, was apprehended on March 3, 2016, having crossed into Pakistan from the Saravan border with Iran.
He was found in possession of an Indian passport issued by the government of India on May 12, 2015, and valid until May 11, 2024.
He confessed that he is a resident of Mumbai, India, still serving in the Indian Navy and that his retirement is due in 2022.
New Delhi should not underestimate the fact that the entire Pakistani population is behind the Pakistan Army.
We, Pakistanis, have been victims of massive terrorist acts for decades.
I am sure that our government and armed forces understand that there shall be no compromise where Jadhav is concerned. — Farheen Ayub, Taif