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Showing posts from October, 2010

How people starve in India as food stocks rot

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By Bharat Jhunjhunwala The Statesman/ANN THE country’s food grain stock is 60 million tons which is nearly three times the required buffer. We have storage capacity for only 52 million tons. About seven million tons are rotting in the open. At least six million tons have already become unfit for human consumption. The surplus is likely to increase further in the coming months. The monsoon crop has been satisfactory. Heavy rains have led to recharge of groundwater and the winter crop is also likely to be normal. Surprisingly, India continues to languish in the Global Hunger Index despite availability of surplus food grain. The index is prepared by the International Food Policy Research Institute. India was ranked 65th last year. It has slipped to 67th in the 2010 index. Not that the extent of hunger has increased; there has been some improvement on that score. We had secured 31.7 points in 1990. This has declined to 24.1 points in 2010. But while the scale of improvement has been b

Sinhalese displaced from Jaffna and Tamils displaced from the rest of the island

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(October 11, 2010, Colombo -   Lanka Polity , Ajith Perakum Jayasinghe )  Lanka, irrespective whether it is Jaffna or Hambanthota is a multi-ethnic multi-religious country since times known. A minority Sinhalese community lived in Jaffna before the escalation of hostilities in 1980s. Famous stories say they ran the bakery business there. Several university dons, namely Sucharitha Gamlath and Sunil Ariyarathna taught in the Sinhala Department of Jaffna University before 1983. The fond memories of multi ethnic Tamil dominated Jaffna shattered with escalation of war. Tamil Tigers resorted to military strategies that attributed to ethnic cleansing. But, a Jaffna which was meant to be out of bound for Sinhalese and Muslims soon became a hub for tens of thousands of militarized Sinhalese young men that guarded the city with suspicious watchful eyes penetrating the Jaffna Tamils. Now the war is over although conflict drags on at different levels. An apparently organized Sinhala group of

Make schools places where love is distributed to the most needed instead of being melting pots of stress and competition

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(October 03, 2010, Colombo -   Lanka Polity , Ajith Perakum Jayasinghe ) Sri Lanka government has announced that legal action will be taken in future against the parents of the children that are not attending schools. A recent survey of the Census and Statics Department pointed out that around 250,000 children do not attend schools despite education plus text books and uniforms are provided free of charge to all needy and affluent children. The government has decided to direct these children to schools and to make the village officer, the lowest rank administrative official, answerable if there is any child that is not attending school. Meanwhile, several teacher activists pointed out that the above mentioned number can be more than the estimate of Census and Statics Department since there are many regular absentees in schools. These students are counted as those attending schools although they are not doing so. A major reason for absenteeism and dropping out among school child