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School re-opening in Sri Lanka is problematic - Ceylon Teachers Union

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Ceylon Teachers' Union secretary Joseph Stalin said that four students of Thalawakele Tamil School who were undergoing quarantine had attended school today.  He said that the government's unplanned re-opening of government schools had put the teachers in trouble.  Stalin pointed out that when re-opening schools after the first corona wave, the government issued a circular for the safety of the teachers allowing them to stay in the school only when they are required for teaching. However, although the government has no plan to re-open primary classes yet, the teachers of the primary sections have also been summoned to duty putting them in unnecessary risk. Those teachers have no work in the school but have to stay until school is over.  "The government's claims of successful re-opening and high percentages of attendance are fabrications," Joseph Stalin pointed out citing figures from some schools in Kandy town. "Today's attendance in some of the leading sc

Sri Lankan public official brutally assaults a female subordinate officer (video)

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A video is going viral on social media in Sri Lanka that shows a person suspected to be an engineer of Udugampola office of Provincial Road Development Authority assaulting a female officer. The incident is suspected happened on 23 November 2020.  Social media posts say the perpetrator of violence against women in this video is a man with political backing. A few weeks ago, a lady doctor in Karapitiya hospital complained against a senior surgeon in her ward regarding mentally and physically torturing her. 

Government will go to history as a rule that taxed menstruation - Rohini Kavirathna

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"Although the previous government reduced the taxes on sanitary towels by 40%, the present government has increased it by 15%," Sri Lanka opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya Matale district MP Rohini Kavirathna said in the parliament today participating in the budget debate.  She said that the government would go into history as a rule that taxed even the menstruation of women.  An article on Praja.lk pointed out that it is estimated an average woman spends 2,500 - 3,000 days in her life for menstruation.  Period poverty is common among Sri Lanka's women and girls among the low-income groups.  There is a public outcry in social media these days demanding the removal of this tax.  (Photo: A stock of sanitary towels in a wholesale shop in Panadura - by Nishan Perera)

Sri Lankan student collapses in the school; teachers do not attend

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An incident of teachers not attending to a student who collapsed in the school was reported from a leading school in Embilipitiya in Sri Lanka on November 23. The teachers were afraid due to COVID-19 and the incident took place on the first day after the school re-opening. The teachers said they had not been informed about the actions to take in such situations and no protective equipment had been supplied to schools.   The relevant 14-year-old grade-nine girl fell due to a difficulty in breathing. Fellow students helped her. However, no teacher came to help her.  Ordered by the teachers, the state-owned Suwaseriya ambulance service took the girl intoEmbilipitiya hospital and admitted her to the Emergency Treatment Unit.   Ceylon Teachers' Union spokesman Joseph Stalin said that the Ministry of Education had failed to send guidelines to the principals to handle such situations. "The Ministry sent a letter dated on 19th November advising to set up advisory committees comprised

Do not arrest and remand people for offences that can be severely warned for the first time - Journalists for Rights

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Journalists for Rights  organization urges the government not to  arrest and remand people for offences that can be severely warned for the first time.  Journalists for Rights issued this statement while a number of social media users have been arrested by police for the alleged spread of fake news. Meanwhile, the opposition MP Imitiaz Bakir Markar accused the government of compiling a list of 200 journalists and social media users who criticize the government. Following is the full statement of the Journalists for Rights:   Journalists for Rights thoroughly believe that even ordinary citizens who use social media must act wisely and responsibly. However, we request the authorities not to manipulate errors committed by some of the social media users to terrify social media users, journalists and citizens in society.   We extend our fullest corporation to act against fake news and hate speech. However, we emphasize the need for being unbiased and unselective. We re-emphasize that the

Ranil Wickramasinghe rejects national list seat

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Sri Lanka opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickramasinghe has declined the offer to elect to the parliament through the national list, UNP sources say.  UNP management committee members have demanded the leader in writing to accept this offer.  Ranil Wickramasinghe first elected to the parliament in 1977 and failed to elect in the last election due to the party split. He became the leader of the party in 1994 and recently announced that he would retire after the party selected a new leader. Meanwhile, UNP sources say that party secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has offered to resign if necessary for the party reforms. However, he has not resigned, as media reported. 

Sri Lanka's school re-opening not successful today

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The school re-opening in Sri Lanka appeared unsuccessful on the first day due to lack of trust by parents on the manoeuvres of the authorities, our study indicates.  The attendance of students was very poor in the majority of the leading schools. However, attendance was comparatively better in rural schools.  Many of the parents expressed a lack of trust regarding the safety of the students.  However, many schools had provided handwashing and temperature checking facilities.    Minister of Education Prof. G.L. Peiris said that as reported to the Ministry, six schools in the Eastern Province, 14 schools in the Central Province, 14 schools in the North Central Province, 12 schools in the Sabaragamuwa Province, 48 schools in the North-Western Province and one school in the Southern Province had not been re-opened.  Ceylon Teachers' Union Chairman Joseph Stalin accused that the government had not provided facilities for disinfection and sanitization.  Chairman of Lanka Teacher Service

Died prisoner diagnosed with COVID-19 in Sri Lanka

An elderly prisoner died in a hospital was diagnosed with COVID-19. The 82-year-old prisoner of Mahara prison in Gampaha district died in Ragama hospital. He was a cancer patient but a PCR conducted after his death was reported positive, prison sources said.  The number of COVID-19 persons in Sri Lanka's overcrowded prisons is around 700 now.

United National Party appoints the leader to the parliament

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United National Party (UNP) of Sri Lanka has decided to appoint party leader and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe from the national list to the parliament.  UNP won only one seat in the parliament at the election held in August. The party did not nominate any name for this national list seat.  The latest decision has been taken at the management committee held yesterday (November 22). The members of the management committee had requested in writing from the leader to accept the position, UNP former MP Arjuna Ranathunga said.  Meanwhile, reports say that former Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has resigned from the post of UNP general secretary.  The party is yet to appoint a new secretary. Ranil Wickramasinghe first elected to the parliament in 1977 and failed to elect in the last election due to the party split. He became the leader of the party in 1994 and recently announced that he would retire after the party selected a new leader. He did not show interest to be

Doctor shoots and injures a playing child in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Maharagama police station arrested a doctor for shooting at a child who entered into his garden to pick a ball.  The 17-year-old boy was shot with an air rifle on his chest as he was playing with friends in the playground of Dharmapala Vidyalaya school ground in Erewwala. The boy sustained minor injuries and he was admitted to Colombo South Teaching Hospital. The doctor works in Cancer Hospital, Maharagama.