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Education can’t thrive without discipline – President

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed the importance of those entering the teaching profession dedicating themselves to the future generation, noting that education in a country cannot thrive without discipline.
He declared that no one would be permitted to disrupt school education between 7:30 am and 1:30 pm and he has directed the Attorney General to consider further measures to ensure this.

The President made these remarks while attending a ceremony at Temple Trees today (03), where appointments were awarded to officers of the Education Administrative Service, as well as teaching appointments to graduates and diploma holders.

The president, who requested that everyone prioritize children’s education, also asked the opposition not to support acts of sabotage.

Furthermore, the President mentioned that he has discussed with the Minister of Education the future process of teacher transfers and promotions through an online system, emphasizing that no one will face injustice in these matters.

Appointments were granted to 60 individuals approved by the Education Service Committee of the Public Service Commission, and teaching positions were awarded to 1,706 graduates and 453 English diploma holders.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe symbolically presented several appointments to them.

The president further elaborated; 

Congratulations to all of you entering the administrative and teaching services. Today, you are assuming a very important responsibility. Even when the country faced bankruptcy in the past two years, and as we took steps to recover, funding for education was increased. Teachers were recruited not only for existing vacancies but also for future needs. It must be said that even in difficult times, these steps were taken with a focus on the country’s future.

Our future is our children. That is why the government is committed to equipping the next generation with new knowledge and modern technology in a changing world. This is a responsibility we all share.

Therefore, everyone entering this honourable profession should dedicate their service to the future generation and must be disciplined. Education in a country cannot be maintained without discipline. You may have 40-50 students in your classroom, but there is a difference between a teacher and a military officer. Military officers train adults, whereas you will be guiding a group of individuals under 18 years of age who need proper training and attention. If we do not protect the country’s education system and allow it to be disrupted, we will lose our future generation.

To build the country’s economy, we must move forward rapidly. In the next 20-25 years, we should aim to raise our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from USD 85 billion to at least USD 350 billion for our future generations.

It is, therefore, the responsibility of all of us to focus on and prioritize the children’s future. The teaching profession is distinct from other services; it carries a unique dignity that must be upheld.

Today’s schools must uphold discipline. Strikes in schools are detrimental and unjustified. In 2022, under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s administration, the only salary increase was for teachers. This year, we provided a stipend of Rs. 10,000 for all government employees. Given the country’s economic situation, further increases were not feasible. Some trade unions have requested a revision and additional salary increases, which is surprising considering teachers have already received two salary increments.

Recently, teachers went on strike, abandoning classrooms to protest at the Colombo Fort railway station. University students and others joined, demonstrating and attempting to reach the Presidential Secretariat, even amidst tear gas. While protests are not new, such actions do not befit the honourable teaching profession.

In the past, teachers on strike would still teach without signing attendance books, or they might wear a black armband while continuing their duties, as seen in some countries. However, the most recent strike was entirely different.This situation did not occur in Tamil and Muslim schools, where educational activities for children continued. Similarly, international schools and private schools maintained their educational activities effectively.

However, Sinhala-medium schools had to face disruptions. Children from rural areas attend these schools. I question whether this is also a responsibility of the teaching profession. Teachers of Tamil and Muslim schools recognized the importance of education. When Sinhala-medium schools in places like Nuwara Eliya were disrupted, education continued in Tamil-medium schools. Such disparities should not exist in our country.

In certain schools, teachers faced threats preventing them from attending. People fault the government for its lack of action and accuse the opposition of backing such incidents. This situation is troubling.

No one, whether directly or indirectly, should disrupt school education from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm. I have requested the Attorney General to propose measures regarding this issue. It is imperative that the education of children is not hindered by school closures or strikes. Our actions must be taken with future generations in mind.

Yesterday, I discussed with the minister the possibility of implementing a computerized teacher transfer system. Fairness must prevail in promotions and in the treatment of teachers. Moving forward, we will take stronger measures on this front, even if it may provoke dissent. This is the reality we must confront to secure a better future for our children.

Therefore, I urge everyone to prioritize the future of our children. I particularly appeal to the opposition not to endorse actions that sabotage education. We must heed the voices of the people and parents in our decisions. Once again, I extend my best wishes to all entering the teaching profession today.”Minister of Education, Susil Premajayantha:

“Granting these teacher appointments is not an easy task. We undertook the task amid an economic crisis, striving to fulfil nearly 2000 appointments for national schools today. The economic strategy led by President Ranil Wickremesinghe aimed to alleviate the country’s financial challenges and establish stability has shown promising results.

During a period of economic turmoil, as the Minister of Finance, President Ranil Wickremesinghe appointed you while allocating funds. I urge you not to jeopardize the future of our children by accepting these appointments and participating in trade union actions. Your educational journey as a graduate was made possible by the dedication of teachers. It is crucial to ensure our children receive education and pursue careers, lest their future be obscured.In the past, teachers took trade union action against a bill proposed by Minister of Education Mr. Iriyagolle, teaching children without signing the book. I believe their actions serve as a commendable example.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, during his tenure as Minister of Education, established the National Institute of Education and significantly strengthened the educational infrastructure. He also introduced the University Grants Commission Act, and under the current president’s leadership, science faculties have been established, producing approximately 5000 teachers annually. Having someone with such a distinguished record in the sector of education as the current president is a great asset to the education sector.

In the upcoming education reforms, efforts are underway to ensure that university graduates have ample job opportunities without the need for undue influence. These reforms aim to produce graduates well-suited for the job market. Proper management of human resources through education can significantly bolster a country’s economic strength.Governor of the Western Province Marshal of the Air Force Roshan Gunathilake, State Ministers Vijitha Berugoda and Aravind Kumar, and Secretary to the Ministry of Education Thilaka Jayasundara were also present at the event.

(President’s Media Division)

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NEC authorized to announce Prez polls after midnight today

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The Election Commission will receive the authority to announce the date of the presidential election after midnight tonight.

According to the Chairman of the election commission R.M.A.L. Ratnayake, the date will be revealed before the end of this month.

A special news conference will also be held this morning under his chairmanship.

Meanwhile, officials from the Ministry of Finance have been summoned to the Election Commission tomorrow.

Chairman of the election commission said that matters such as obtaining funds for the presidential election and other related matters will be discussed with these officials.

He further announced that future activities related to the presidential election are already taking place.

The Ministry of Finance previously announced that Rs. 10 billion had been allocated for the presidential election.

A senior spokesperson of the finance ministry confirmed that funds could be released whenever necessary for election expenses.

(News1st)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by News1st has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Trump nominated Republican presidential candidate

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Donald Trump won formal nomination Monday as the Republican presidential candidate and picked a right-wing loyalist for running mate, kicking off a triumphalist party convention in the wake of last weekend’s failed assassination attempt.

Trump announced 39-year-old Ohio Senator J.D. Vance as his vice presidential pick, rewarding a one-time harsh critic who became one of his most reliable — and uncompromising — supporters in Congress.

Trump, 78, is guaranteed a hero’s welcome at the convention in Milwaukee, where delegates delivered their formal nomination two days after the scandal-plagued former president survived an assassination attempt at a rally.

“As Vice President, J.D. will continue to fight for our Constitution, stand with our Troops, and will do everything he can to help me MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” Trump posted on Truth Social.

While Trump is increasingly confident of a shock return to the White House — despite multiple legal problems and two impeachments during his first term — President Joe Biden is reeling from weak polls and Democratic concerns over his health.

In the delegates count in Milwaukee, Eric Trump put his father over the threshold on behalf of the Florida delegation, calling him “the greatest president that ever lived.”

Vance had been widely expected as Trump’s pick. He will bolster the ticket on the right wing, but with less chance of expanding appeal to more moderate voters and women.

The standard-bearer for a new kind of populism that has come to the fore under Trump, Vance is also one of the least experienced VP picks in modern history.

But he embraces the ex-president’s isolationist, anti-immigration America First movement. Vance is further to the right than his new boss on many issues including abortion, where he embraces calls for federal legislation.

He initially made his name with the 2016 memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” a best-selling account of his Appalachian family and modest Rust Belt upbringing, which gave a voice to rural, working-class resentment in left-behind America.

Turning his back on previous opposition to Trump, whom he once said might be “America’s Hitler,” Vance reinvented himself and ultimately won the ex-president’s key endorsement in the 2022 Ohio Senate race, launching his meteoric rise.

Trump’s convention comes as the country is still reeling from a botched attempt by a gunman to kill Trump at a rally in Pennsylvania Saturday.

Some 50,000 Republicans descended on the shores of Lake Michigan for the four-day gathering, four months before election day.

The attempted assassination — in which one bystander was killed, two more wounded and Trump received a light wound in his ear — was expected to dominate proceedings.

The Secret Service, which is battling criticism it failed to protect Trump from the shooter, said it was “fully prepared” to ensure security at the convention.

Leading in multiple polls, despite being convicted at his hush-money criminal case in New York, Trump is exuding confidence.

At 81, Biden is facing calls from his own side to quit the race over concerns around his age.

His campaign released a statement saying the Trump-Vance agenda would “take away Americans’ rights, hurt the middle class, and make life more expensive — all while benefiting the ultra-rich and greedy corporations.”

Trump scored another victory Monday as a judge dismissed the criminal case against him over accusations he endangered national security by holding on to top secret documents after leaving the White House.

He immediately took to Truth Social to call for the dismissal of all legal cases against him, insisting again that he was being targeted for political reasons.

Trump told the New York Post he had “prepared an extremely tough speech” about Biden’s “horrible administration” to deliver at the convention.

As some Republicans — including Vance — sought to blame Democrats’ anti-Trump rhetoric for the attack, Trump also said he hopes to “unite our country.”

Still, that would see him have to rein in the instinct to settle scores — demonstrated by his cry for supporters to “fight” in the seconds after Saturday’s attack.

The Milwaukee gathering is largely designed in Trump’s image, with digital banners beaming out a message in the cavernous convention arena: “Make America Great Once Again.”

The branding reflects his takeover of the party.

A diminished figure after his 2020 election loss and a subsequent riot at the Capitol by his supporters, Trump has spent much of the last four years reshaping Republican politics.

Installing loyalists including his daughter-in-law Lara Trump atop the Republican National Committee, the billionaire has effectively crushed dissent.

Source: Agencies

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Ceylon tea exports offset $60M of Sri Lanka’s fuel debt to Iran

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The Sri Lanka Tea Board announced yesterday that exports of Ceylon Tea have successfully offset a substantial portion of the country’s fuel bill owed to Iran, amounting to US $ 60 million.

Since 2011, Sri Lanka has accumulated an arrears of US $ 251 million for fuel imports from Iran.

Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Niraj De Mel said that the settlement was achieved, as exports of tea to Iran tripled during this period.

Facing financial challenges exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and domestic economic downturn, Sri Lanka struggled to meet its financial obligations to Iran, due to the foreign exchange shortages.

To resolve this issue, an agreement was reached between the two nations, focusing on settling outstanding debts through tea exports.

De Mel reported that tea exports to Iran from January to May 2024 totalled 4.98 million kilogrammes, a significant increase compared to 1.85 million kilogrammes exported during the same period in 2023.

(dailymirror.lk)
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailymirror.lk has not been edited by SLM staff) 

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