In a new Milestone for Sri Lanka’s Humanitarian Demining Project, the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) of the United States has honored Sri Lanka Army sapper DKN Rohan and Mine Detection Dog Spartacus as the best Mine Detection Dog (MDD) Team for the year 2012. The Sri Lankan team was selected for this prestigious award out of 107 teams representing 11 countries.
Sri Lanka Army sapper DKN Rohan and MDD Spartacus received the “MDD Team of the year” award at the annual “Clearing the Path” Gala organized by the MLI on October 10, at Fairmont Hotel, Washington DC
The team received the “MDD Team of the year” award at the annual “Clearing the Path” Gala organized by the MLI on October 10, at Fairmont Hotel, Washington DC.
12 new Divisional Secretariat areas in 9 districts have been declared by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as areas where both the Sinhala & Tamil languages should be used as the languages of administration.
The areas are Dehiwala, Mount Lavinia, Ganga Ihale Kirale and theKandy 4 Gravets and Gangawata Kirale, Matale, Lankapura and Welikanda in Polonnaruwa, Ratnapura, Balangoda, Mawanella, Kekirawa, Vavuniya South and Dehiattakandiya.
The president has made the order under the constitutional provisions that enable him to declare that both languages be used for administrative purposes in any area taking into consideration the linguistic make up of these areas.
Official Language Commissioner J.D.C.Jayasinghe said the government is expediting its tri-lingual policy throughout the country and this step would assist in the process.
The government of Japan has provided US$ 89,825 (over Rs 11.7 million) in grant aid for a project to improve the livelihoods of the resettled people in the Vavuniya District under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP), the embassy said.
‘The project for increasing Food Security with Comprehensive Measures in Vavuniya’, to be implemented by People’s Livelihood Development Foundation (PLDF), aims to improve agricultural activities and livelihoods of approximately 625 resettled families who are engaging in agricultural in the area.
On World Children’s Day the Country Director of UNICEF in Sri Lanka, Mr Reza Husseini, opened an English Activity Center at the Karandana Junior School in the Eheliyagoda Educational Division.
The Center, which also includes two classrooms for Grade V students, and looks out over the local hills, was built with decentralized funds allocated by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha.
Mr Husseini unveiled the plaque which was in English and Sinhala and Tamil, and students introduced the programme in all three languages. The school also presented Sinhala and Tamil Folk Dance items with great skill and enthusiasm.
Children performing dance items with great enthusiasm
At both the informal consultations on implementation of the Human Rights Action Plan held at the Reconciliation Office, and the official meetings conducted at the Ministry of Plantation Industries by the Task Force of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, three factors have been stressed by many participants. The first is better training, not only for the police but also for public servants in general.
The Action Plan asserts the need for this in many places, talking not only about internal programmes but also about outside training. The institution it mentions most prominently in this regard is the Human Rights Commission, but it was also noted that agencies such as the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration, and universities that conduct courses in Public Policy and Management should incorporate Human Rights awareness in their programmes.
An important distinction was made however in the course of discussion, that training of officials should be not so much in awareness of human rights as in awareness of duties that ensured that human rights were protected. Whilst there is also need, and the Action Plan notes this, to educate the public about their Rights, with regard to those whose activities impact through a power relationship on others, the vital point is that they should function with sensitivity about the rights of those they affect.