Thursday, February 26, 2009


Children need love: More than ever

The need to be loved is an essential biological phenomenon. Everybody needs it to the fullest extent. In that sense, it is of essence to note that children do need to be loved, more than ever, not only to impress upon them that they are precious but also to help in their development, to nurture a healthy outlook on life and to eventually transform them into decent, caring human beings. In fact, they need it more than others and parental love needs to be there always for them, quite unconditionally.

Children need love and protection in the first instance as they are vulnerable, helpless little creatures who are not capable and equipped to look after themselves. Children have not yet developed into full maturity as to know the ways of doing things for themselves and taking care of themselves and situations. An unloved child will feel neglected and not wanted. They will feel unworthy of love and will grow as disturbed individuals unable to cope with the necessities of everyday life. Such children would not be able to manage their life or handle different situations wisely. They are wounded and hurt, and the worst part is that they may think it is their fault. They live in fear; lack confidence, suffer from insecurity and fear the unexpected. They cannot therefore do well in school or indeed do anything right as fear has overtaken their lives. They lack respect for themselves and thus lack respect for others. They learn to lead a life of a survivor and to fend for themselves at a very early stage in their life. The only way they know how is to hide in a corner and perhaps behave aggressively with outbursts of anger.

Love gives children the stability and peace of mind that they need. They know that their basic needs are met. They know that there will be food on the table when they come back home from school and they know that mum or dad will meet them with a smile and hug them when they see them. They know that there is someone who will help them with their homework, bathe them, read a book with them, play with them and pray with them before they tuck them into bed and give them a big hug with a big "I love you". They know who they can turn to in times of trouble and they know who they can ask questions from and go to whenever they want to. They know that someone will always be there for them, to help and support them and love them unconditionally.

Children that feel loved and protected are happy children. They achieve well and interact effectively with others. They in turn will pass the love they received onto others. They will develop natural moral values without any struggle. They will know how to be kind, helpful and supportive and as such they will not be attention seekers. They will not have to struggle making friends as friends will naturally come to them. They only have to be themselves and will not struggle in changing who they are in order to please others. These children will grow up to be strong, respectful, self-confident, wise and reliable adults. They will develop a healthy lifestyle and make sound choices in their life. They will lead a normal, if not an extraordinarily prosperous and successful life. They will build sound relationships and form strong family bonds as they pass on the love and protection they have received as children. The legacy of love and unity will then be passed down from one generation to another quite easily.

Children need both to see the actions and hear the words to reassure them of their parents’ love. A big birthday gift from a parent who never says, "I love you" can feel like a bribe to a child. Similarly, when a parent forgets to pick up the child from school or doesn’t plan anything special for the child’s birthday, the child may hear an "I love you" from that parent as empty words. Many parents assume that their children "just know" that they love them when this is not always the case. Some people believe that the most important thing to give a child is the "best education money can buy". Although a sound education is extremely important parents should also share with them a sense of values, the necessity for ethics and encourage their curiosity to learn and explore on their own. Once we have given our children a solid foundation and the basic knowledge and tools they need, we need to let go and trust them to create their own lives, make their own mistakes, have their own successes and follow their own destiny. We need to let them blossom on their own. For many parents the greatest challenge is to learn how to give guidance and at the same time allow their children to be themselves, to have their own lives and follow their own dreams. Being loved also would help them to deal with the daily trials, tribulations and disappointments in life as well as savouring the triumphs of life with humility.

Even more important than giving a child a proper formal education is to foster the child’s self-esteem. A child with a great education who lacks a sense of self-confidence and self-trust will rarely become a happy adult, whether or not he or she is "successful" in the material sense. However, a child who has grown to love himself or herself, will be motivated to learn or do whatever it takes to be successful and happy in life. As we must learn to love ourselves, so too must we encourage our children to love themselves, to trust their instincts and intuition and to know and express "the beauty they possess inside". If we give our children love that is unreserved and unconditional, then they feel worthy of love and this becomes a key ingredient for them to develop a sense of self-love. Unconditional love is the greatest gift we can give to our children.

Quite contrary to the concept of showering love on children, there are certain practices that are advocated by some which may have adverse outcomes later on in life. Some people promote the theory that babies should be allowed to "cry it out" till he or she stops. They believe that children would ultimately learn that crying would not get them anywhere. This is certainly not a desirable practice as it induces a feeling of being not cared for in the youngster. Children who cry and even those who have temper tantrums can be distracted by a variety of ways. This is one component of the art of good parenting. In a different way, parents who allow even little children to share in the daily activities like working in the kitchen, washing the car, tidying the house etc do indeed induce a warm sense of attachment and love in children. These actions would make them feel that they are a real part of a happy family.

It is noteworthy that in the case of some parents, expressing love to children in words, hugs and kisses is difficult not only because of their temperaments but also because they themselves were perhaps brought up without these things. They have no model for outward expressions of love and do not know where to begin. These people need to learn the art of giving love to their children gradually. It cannot be done overnight and will need commitment to the cause. Starting with words, progressing to gestures and finally to actions is probably the way forward for these people.

Even when children have to be disciplined, they need to know that this is done out of love, that they are being protected from being hurt and perhaps hurting themselves. They need to be shown that it is for their own good and are designed to make them better people in the long run. This is the main reason why many authorities now frown upon all forms of physically painful corporal punishments, child beatings, canings and for that matter, all forms of mental and physical violence targeting children. There is very good scientific evidence that physical and painful punishments are detrimental in the long run. They do not achieve any of the goals that they were originally designed to accomplish. In fact they do more harm than good. It is an axiom in modern child rearing that there is no place for such forms of punishments. The age old adage "spare the rod and spoil the brat" is not tenable anymore. There are other forms and ways of disciplining children. Preference should generally be given to those forms that do not include any type of physical punishment. Withdrawing certain facilities and amenities are definitely better than those that include physical violence. Perhaps the best forms are those that include rewards and incentives for achieving certain goals or reforming their wayward ways.

The writer would appreciate some feed-back from the readers. Please e-mail him at or write to him at the following address :-

Dr, B.J.C.Perera, Consultant Paediatrician, Asiri Medical Hospital, 181, Kirula Road, Colombo 5.

Upali Newspapers Limited, 223, Bloemendhal Road, Colombo 13, Sri Lanka, Tel +940112497500

Monday, February 23, 2009


As “fireworks” split the night death came out of the sky

Don’t go outside when the guns start firing…
A single bullet snuffs out a young life

By Nadia Fazlulhaq, Pic by Ranjith Perera
Until someone called her to watch the ‘fireworks’ from the direction of the Kolonnawa area, 14-year-old Udeshini Madushika, was a cheerful young girl who danced to tunes played on her mobile phone.
On that fateful night, as the city was plunged into darkness minutes before the air attack, Madushika ran outside to watch the ‘fireworks’ display created by tracer bullets lighting up the darkened skies.

Udeshini Madushika
She never knew her young life was about to be snatched from her, leaving her loved ones inconsolable and miserable. Madhushika, a grade 10 student of Ananda Balika Vidyalaya, in Maradana was the younger daughter of Chandrika and Gamini Udayasiri.

When The Sunday Times visited her home in Obeysekarapura Rajagiriya, the large numbers weeping over the loss of Madhushika bore testimony to the fact she was a favourite among both young and old.

Her mother Chandrika sobbed loudly blaming herself for calling her daughters who were inside the house to watch Friday night’s attack.

“I did not give ear to my husband calling ‘enough enough, come inside’”. “Suddenly my daughter fell and there was blood oozing from her chest. We rushed her to the hospital. I have no idea from where the bullet which killed my daughter came and from. .. I will never forgive myself for what I did,” she says, pleading with those gathered to bring her daughter back to life.

Udeshini’s grieving family at the hospital.
Madhushika had always been her father’s favourite. Gamini Udayasiri sits in a corner blinking back tears. “After classes we went to the temple nearby for a Bodhi Pooja and on our way back she was talking about what happened at her classes. She was the ‘chatter-box’ of the family. This house will be lonely as a graveyard without her,” he laments.

It was only recently she promised her father she would never leave him alone and would take care of him in his old-age, while her elder sister –-Budhhika-- would care for her mother.

While they were inside their house, explosions were heard and despite the father’s protests the mother and two daughters rushed outside to watch the skies light up with anti aircraft fire.

Amidst growing excitement of the crowds who had gathered to watch, a single bullet silently buried itself deep in the little girl’s heart.

“I plead with everyone, over and over again… do not go out no matter how interesting it is,” the grieving father said.


Exercise - makes you sound in mind and body

Ancient man had to physically exert himself to survive. What is now considered a form of physical exercise - walking was their only mode of transportation. Thus physical exercise was a part of one’s existence. This may explain why the Veddah community has been shown to be devoid of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure). An editorial in a local newspaper has drawn attention to the lack of physical activity among the population contributing to the epidemic of obesity and diabetes (DN 9/2/09) and the social cost of this change in life style.


Dr. A.S. Dissanayake former Professor of Physiology, Medical Faculty, Ragama

Physical activity is among the life style factors that have important and independent effects on health, others being diet, smoking, and alcohol use.

Physical activity is any bodily movement produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle that increases energy expenditure above basal levels (standing, walking slowly and lifting light weight objects as a part of one’s daily life).

Health-enhancing physical activities include:

Aerobic activities include brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, jumping rope and dancing.

Exercise - a part of one’s daily life

Muscle strengthening activities - lifting weights, children climbing on playground equipment.

Bone-strengthening activities - Running, basketball, tennis, jumping rope and hopscotch. Bone-strengthening activities can also be aerobic and muscle-strengthening.

Physical activity affects many health conditions, and the specific amounts and types of activity that benefit each condition vary. Additional benefits occur with more physical activity. Benefits occur across the board for children and adolescents, young and middle-aged adults, older adults, and those in every studied racial and ethnic group and even for those with disabilities including mental disabilities.

The health benefits on bodily functions include:

In children and adolescents

Improved cardio respiratory and muscular fitness

Improved cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers - rise in HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol and fall in LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol, better blood sugar control are some.

Improved bone health and bone mass - Bone-strengthening activities commonly produced by impact with the ground promotes bone growth and strength.

Reducing body fat
Youth who are regularly active also have a better chance of a healthy adulthood.

In adults and older adults, there is strong evidence to suggest that exercise:

reduces risk of early death - people who engage in the amount of exercise recommended below live an average of three to seven years longer.

reduces coronary heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure - effect are observed on virtually all risk factors of cardiovascular disease.

Exercise causes the heart muscle tp contract forcefully and frequently, increasing blood flow through the arteries leading to subtle changes in the autonomic nervous system, which controls the contraction and relaxation of these vessels.

This fine-tuning leads to a lower, lower blood pressure and a more variable heart rate thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Exercise also reduces inflammation associated with atherosclerosis which contributes to heart attacks.

improves the blood lipid profile - by decreasing the amount of plasma triglycerides - fatty molecules in the blood that are associated with plaque build-up in the arteries. Physical activity helps reduce the particle size of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood, and increase amounts of high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

improves cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness.

may prevent and even reverse type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes the body begins to ignore or fails to produce enough insulin (insulin resistance) causing a build up of fat leading to biochemical reactions that interfere with the activity of insulin. Muscle activity increases the beak down of fats reducing this action.

helps reduce abdominal fat - decreasing the risk of metabolic syndrome a precursor of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, said to occur in commonly in South Asians.

prevents weight gain and induces weight loss, particularly when combined with reduced calorie intake. Exercising may encourage people to crave healthier unrefined foods (like fiber-rich cereals, lentils, leafy vegetables etc.).

reduces risk of some cancers. Regular exercise lowers the risk particularly for breast and colon cancer. Such effects are probably the outcome of complex and subtle changes in hormone levels (insulin, oestrogen and progesterone among them) and in the activity of the immune system following regular exercise.

may also increase bone density, lower risk of hip fracture and improve sleep.

The effects of exercise on the brain are less easily appreciated. Most associate athleticism with lower academic performance. However, evidence is accumulating to show that exercise has direct effects on the brain.

In children, exercise:
reduces likelihood of them developing symptoms of anxiety and mental depression

improves cognitive function - regular exercise in children appears to improve brain function - cognition in particular. Some do not agree that there is a clear cut effect but allowing sufficient time in the school curriculum for daily exercise has been definitely shown not to impair academic performance.

In adults there is very good evidence to show that exercise:

makes you smarter - It seems to do so by increasing brain blood flow and the production of certain brain growth promoting molecules called neurotrophins within specific areas of the brain such as the hippocampus an area associated with what is called ‘executive control function’.

reduces depression - there is evidence to suggest that exercise helps in treatment of depressive illness.

reduces the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and makes for better functional health in older adults.

One may ask as to whether there are no adverse effects of exercise. Many think that exercise increases the risk of sudden death from heart attacks or incurring bodily injury. The benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks.

Exercise guidelines:
Inactive individuals should have themselves checked out by their doctor prior to commencing an exercise regime.

How much exercise and how frequently?

The guidelines issued recently by the U.S. Department of Health and Social Security are:

For adults walking is a good way to get aerobic physical activity. Walking has many health benefits and a low risk of injury. It can be done year-round and in many settings.

The accumulated time spent has a greater impact on the health status than frequency.

To reduce risk of injury, start slowly and increase the amount of physical activity gradually over a period of weeks to months. For example, an inactive person could start with a walking program consisting of 5 minutes of slow walking several times each day, 5 to 6 days a week.

The length of time could then gradually be increased to 10 minutes per session, 3 times a day, and the walking speed could be increased slowly. In the long term one should aim at doing about 150 minutes of accumulated exercise per week.

The good news is that “some is better than none”, some health benefits are seen even when one does as little as 60 minutes a week of aerobic exercise.

Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities (lifting light weights) that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.

Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity daily.

Most of this should be in the form of aerobic activities done at least 3 times a week and of moderate to vigorous intensity.

Muscle strengthening and bone strengthening activities should also be included. Bone-strengthening activities remain especially important for children and young adolescents because the greatest gains in bone mass occur during the years just before and during puberty. It is important to encourage young people to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, enjoyable, and that offer variety.

Time has to be found for both structured and unstructured physical activity during school and outside of school.

In our state schools, 80 minutes (2 periods a week) are set aside for physical education from Grade 6 through 9 and is optional for Grades 10 and 11. In addition those in Grade 6 and upwards are also required to engage in daily static physical activity for 15 minutes in the morning prior to commencing classes.

Sadly, however, as a result of the educational rat race these guidelines are observed in the breach more so in the National schools.

Thus given the alarming increase in childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in our school children and the effects on the body, there is much to be said for adding a 4th R - ‘running’ to the three traditional Rs in our schools. Doing so, coupled with healthy nutrition and restriction of television and internet usage will definitely help stem the epidemic of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes while improving overall health and possibly even improving academic performance.


Woman in Sri Lankan society
W. T. A. Leslie Fernando

Today so much enthusiasm is generated on the rights of women. Thousands of organisations have been formed all over the world for emancipation of the woman.

The activities of them range from fighting against exploitation, discrimination, domestic violence, harassment of women to obtain equal status to them to be on par with men.

By nature woman is different from man. Man is strong, rough and active. Woman is dainty, serene and quiet. Man is designed for manual work and adventure. Only women could give birth to children and they are meant for light work.

In sex life the man is provocative and aggressive. Woman is more or less passive. When a man and a woman cohabits it would not make any difference to the man. But the woman could become pregnant. The woman has to be more conscious about the outcome.

Equal Status

Garment factory workers contributing to country’s economic growth.

In the hunting age, man had to procure food and other things necessary for life. The role of the woman was limited to the household. However, with the development of society the woman has progressed a long way. By and large in the present world women enjoy equal status with men. Nevertheless still there are some rights to be won by women.

Christianity has been the dominant force in the formation and development of Western civilisation. According to the Bible, God first created Adam - the first man on earth and then created Eve, the first woman from the rib of Adam as a helper fit for him.

(Genesis 2 - 18). When Adam disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit, on the instigation of Eve, God said to her “In pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be your husband and he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3 -16)

During the time of Christ, adulterous women were stoned to death. Once the Pharisees brought before Jesus, a woman who had committed adultery and said, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery, Moses in the Law has decreed that such woman should be stoned to death. What do you say?” Christ replied, “those among you who have not committed a sin, let him cast the first stone at her.” There was no one left to stone her.

On the other hand there were many women who were prepared to serve Christ and sacrifice their career. But Christ never conferred priesthood on women. The position of woman is aptly described by St. Paul - “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ and the head of woman is her husband.” (1 Corinthians 11-3)

It is Buddhism that has guided and moulded Sinhala society for centuries. Nevertheless Buddhism does not place any impediments on women in society.

In our society based on Buddhist concepts, a virtuous woman is being considered a ‘Kula Kanthava’ (noble lady). The position of the woman in our society is well expressed by the term ‘Gedera Budun Amman’ (Mother is venerated one at home).

The Sri Lankan housewife has a special place in the home. She had to attend to the husband who come home tired after work, look after the children, do the cooking and keep house and garden clean. She performed all these tasks without any complaint. Though the wife is not a slave of husband as described in ‘Kavyasekeraya’, it was a pleasure for her to perform her onerous duties in the interest of husband and children.

In our history we find that women have stood side by side with men for the progress of the nation. Several women in Sri Lanka have been ruling Monarchs in our country. The outstanding roles played by heroic women like Vihara Maha Devi and Soma Devi have added glamour to our history. Nevertheless women in Sri Lanka have never relegated their role as a mother and housewife.

The first woman Prime Minister in the whole world was from Sri Lanka. The whole world admired her when Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike was appointed the Prime Minister in Sri Lanka in July 1960. She on her part well proved that the hands that swing the cradle could govern the country as well.

She not only excelled as an efficient Prime Minister but also brought fame to our country as a real ‘Kula Kanthava’ all over the world.

In our law, both men and women are considered equal. Both are treated as separate entities. The women could own property as men and deal with them as they like. Even an unmarried woman could get maintenance from the father of an illegitimate child.

Women have come to forefront with the development of society. Women who were mostly housewives in the past compete with men today for employment in various fields. Even in professions like law, judiciary and engineering conventional fields meant for men, women have made a breakthrough.

With changes in society the attitude towards women has also changed. This is part of social development. Today almost all the job opportunities available to men are open to women as well. As a result, young women could be get employment at an early age.

The young girls who are employed are not so closely protected by parents as it used to be. Because of this freedom there is some danger of young girls going astray. There are some men who take advantage of sincerity of young girls and ruin their lives. The employees young women should guard against pitfalls and protect themselves from vultures in society. As many women are employed today there should be change in the traditional role of the woman as a housewife.

The highest position a woman could aspire to is motherhood. It is in the bosom of the mother that the character of the child is moulded. Children who do not get the love and warmth of the mother in their infancy could become unbalanced persons. Whatever the position a woman could attain in society, whether she is employed or not, they must see that the children get the care and protection of the mother.

There are so many organisations in Sri Lanka for the advancement of women. Some of them have sincerely worked for the welfare of women. They have obtained equal pay for equal work, maternity leave and other benefits for women. They fight against exploitation of women in form of cheap labour, look after women subject to social evils, stand against domestic violence and harassment of women in society. The Mahila Samithi organisation has done a lot for the uplift of rural women.

There are some NGOs funded by foreign agencies that make a big noise about the liberation of women in our country. They go to villages and instigate women to fight for their liberation against male domination. They want to place Sri Lankan women on par with women in the West. It was reported that one such organisation concluded their annual conference with a ball-room party.

In our society based on Buddhist concepts women were never degraded or looked down upon to fight for their liberation. It is true that our women never enjoyed the privilege of going out with men except their husbands. Our Kula Kanthavas were always faithful to their husbands. They never went for ball-room dancing embracing other men. They always respected our traditional cultural values and as a result there is stability in family life.

In the natural world among animals and birds, the male is more beautiful than the female. In human society woman is considered more attractive than the man. There is a popular saying in our country - Kata athi puthath ruva athi duwath hondai (The son eloquent in speech and daughter with good looks are ideal).

A beautiful, simple and serene women pleases everyone. So it is natural for women to be more concerned about their appearance than men.

Fr. Marcelline Jayakody an exponent of indigenous culture and renowned poet has thus expressed on women in the West.

The Sri Lankan woman is most beautiful when she is simple. There is no more pleasant sight than a Sinhala Kula Kanthava clad in a white Osariya carrying a tray of flowers to the temple. Our women would look really beautiful when they appear is simple and serene dress that suits their age.

The advancement of women in Sri Lanka should be in harmony with our much cherished spiritual, traditional and cultural values.

(The writer is a former High Court Judge and Vice-President of the Newman Society Alumni Association)


No freedom without respect

BY Usha Jesudasan

Respecting another as much as you would want to be respected; allowing someone else to have as much as you have; giving another the same opportunities that you want for yourself and your family… all are not just idealistic theories, but the pat hway to a real non-violent way of life. These great truths have been the blueprint for good living throughout history. Because they are eternal truths that bring life and happiness to everyone, and not just a few, they have also been suppressed from time to time.

Have you ever thought about why certain truths are often suppressed? Those who suppress truth — whether in the form of information or knowledge — have power over others. Truth enables us to be strong, live with a sense of purpose, and to think without fear. Lack of the truth makes us ignorant, fearful and vulnerable.

The suppression of the great spiritual truth that all men are created equal and thus entitled to the same privileges and freedoms has been the cause of so much violence. The truth that women too are created equal and have the same rights and liberties has been the cause of even more suppression and violence. Just a few weeks ago, we saw the way young women were pushed, beaten and hounded out of a public place. A history and culture of suppression of women still taints our society. The majority of responses to my previous article, “Voices of Dissent”, came from women.

My husband has two cell phones, but I am not allowed to have one or use them./I am not allowed to go to the shops alone./ I hold an M.Phil. and work as a lecturer in a college. My husband will only give me daily bus fare. I have no money even for emergencies. I am a talented artist. After I got married my husband tore up all my pictures.

The letters go on and on… Many husbands adhere to the false truth that they are superior to their wives and will not allow them to make decisions, be independent in their thinking, or be responsible for their finances. Often, the only way to reinforce their power is through violence.

Why the suppression? For centuries, women abided by the patriarchal form of family life. Men held the power and women were submissive. Even today, some husbands want an obedient wife; one who will not question their power; who will have no social life except that ordered by her husband. When questioned or thwarted, the man feels threatened and thinks that the only way to restore the balance of power is through violence.

In this new century, where revolutions for equality and freedom have liberated many who live in submission, male superiority is no longer tenable, as women from all walks of society face the new truth — that they too have rights, freedoms and privileges.

Today, as we journey through a new century, many of us want to build a world without suppression and violence, especially in our homes and work places. How can we turn away from ahimsa-based society to an ahimsa one? By understanding that the opposite of suppression and violence is freedom and wellness for everyone. We cannot have freedom without respect. We cannot have an ahimsa way of life without equality and respect. Thus in families and work places we need to treat women with the same respect that we give to men.

(The Hindu)

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Children’s homes in the east

We welcome the attempts being made for the renaissance of the East. Many do not realise that this Province, has more than other Provinces, experienced various kinds of disasters, natural and otherwise. It is now struggling to get back on its feet. A disturbing letter has been received ordering all Managers of Children’s Homes IN THE EASTERN PROVINCE, to SUSPEND ALL ADMISSIONS.

This has been signed by the Commissioner of the DEPARTMENT OF PROBATION AND CHILD CARE SERVICES, N. P. K. NELUMDENIYA.

One can understand if this was in view of the escalation of living costs and the inability of these institutions to cope with further admissions. But that is not the case, and officials involved, must first investigate whether detractors of the Government, are forcing such decisions in order to prejudice the people in the East against the Government.

The resettlement of thousands of people, inclusive of children uprooted from their dwellings and living in homeless desolation has not been fully solved.

Before I joined the Teaching profession, applied and was selected as a Probation Officer in one of the first batches, where a foreign expert in the field of Probation and Child Care, one Mr. G. F. Hamelin was got down with his expertise to train us in this field.

While this department seems to be working well, there have been complaints made to the Batticaloa Vigilance Committee of some officers, trying to dictate which homes the child should be admitted to and to which homes they the parents must not admit the child, on what seems to be on narrow racial and religious lines. On the slightest complaint of fraud, or discrimination taking place in any Home, these should be investigated & action taken. Apart from the East being involved for years in destructive militancy, major Natural disasters such as repeated cyclones, and frequent communal violence involving all the three major communities had laid it low, not to mention the major breaching of its major tank, the Unnichai Tank, causing irreparable.

Under these circumstances, let not the East continue to receive step-motherly treatment.

Prince Casinader
Vigilance Committee Batticaloa.