JVP talks sense on TV but…

Posted on August 23, 2007  /  5 Comments

Last week TNL ran a good lengthy discussion on Grade 1 admissions with Premjayantha, the education minister, from SLFP, Maddumabandara from UNP, Bimla Dissanyake from JVP and  the priest who looks like ET representing the JHU.

The priest kept  to his one-track argument that thius whole thing is a conspiracy against Buddhists and Premjayantha and Maddumabandara tossed political footballs about who did what when. Bimal Dissanyake was the only one who seemed to talk sense.

Dissanyake started by saying anything we do at this point should give priority to the humanitarian issue of parents caught in the crossfire. From the chief justice down we are yet to hear anybody making a strong argument for a short term solution to relieve the burden on families. In response to the priest’s argument that this whole this thing is a conspiracy against Buddhists, he pointed out that Hindu schools too are affected and that we should refrain from throwing the religion card at the problem. We have had enough problems by dividing people over ethnicity in education, he said. He pointed out the silliness of giving a Ranviru the option of a popular school from his neighborhood when most ranviru’s come from Nikveratiya or some rural area with no poular schools. He gave some more practical suggestions as short term solutions to the problem.
Bimal Dissanyake talked a lot more sense making the UNP and SLFP fellows look foolish and the priest look like a Natzi.

But what happens to these JVPer’s good sense when it comes to the role of the state? They want the state to do everything. JVP-backed Students are rightfully complaining about the lack of facilities at universities. But they also want the state to give jobs to unemployable graduates, sell groceries , provide electricity, weave cloth, make steel etc. with a bureaucracy to oversee it all. Come on guys, apply your down to earth common sense to the rest of education, specially convey the message to your troops in the universities that unless our industries, our workers, and our government  become more productive there is a limit to the public goodies that we can enjoy. If the students in state universities want more facilities they have to understand that the state has to cut back expenditures somewhere else. arlene farmer viagra


  1. I too watched this programme. The priest guy was not prepared at all. He was critising an obsolete circular. (govt. no longer plans to measure the IQ of children) So most of what he said was irrelevant. Other than that it was the same stupid JHU arguments. Yes, he might be an ET JHU imported from Mars for the programme.

    Bimal Ratnayake of JVP played his cards extremely well. Simultaneously maintaining the stance of his party he gave a strong support for the old boys who now push for a higher quota on religious basis. It was a well balanced presentation.

    But have you noticed that Bimal Ratnayake, while successfully critisising others offered no solution at all in the end?

  2. look, the students are on the road for the right reasons. the government while cutting down aid for the universities are encouraging private universities. although i have nothing against students who failed or could not get in to unis receiving higher education i believe priority should be given to students who proved their ability by passing the exams…

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  4. Hi Kurt Wilde,

    Where on earth you live in man? Certainly not in Sri Lanka. You try to create an impression that it is only those who ‘pass’ the exams get into state universities why those who ‘fail’ the exams do not get the opportunity.

    The years I did A/Ls, students from Colombo/Gampaha/Jaffna who got 264 marks were denied the entry to state medical colleges, while those who from Moneragala Polonnaruwa etc got the same opportunity by scoring only 200 marks.

    So in other words you advocate priority to students who scored 200 marks, neglecting those who scored 264 marks.

    Great logic.

  5. More to Kurt Wilde
    1. It is incorrect to say students in Sri Lanka do not fail to get in to universities. Our government fails them by artificially limiting opportunities with legislation that says only the government can set up universities.
    2. No, the government does not encourage private universities. In fact it does what it can to discourage them. See the following post at http://www.educationforum.lk/2006/09/beating-the-gohna-hama-at-home/.

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