Thirty One Army Officers of Jaffna Complete Intensive English Package

englushThe first English Language Course – 2014 for officers serving in Jaffna ended on Thursday (11) with award of certificates in Multi Facility Complex auditorium at Headquarters Security Force Jaffna. Thirty one commissioned officers representing all military formations in Jaffna received credentials of language proficiency in a grand ceremony.

Student officers conducted the whole programme consisted of an End of Course Concert and the award ceremony. They displayed their talents and language skills acquired from the course during the concert which included varieties of entertainment with Shakespearean drama.

Officers with excellent performance received their certificates and awards from Major General Nandana Udawatta, Maser General Ordnance at Army Headquarters, Chief Guest of the event. Manager British Council Jaffna Ms Manda Brown and Commander Security Force Major General Udaya Perera also gave away certificates. Arrangements were made by the Headquarters Security Force (Jaffna) for parents and family members of officers of the course to witness the event.

The English course was a part of academic and military training programme organized by the Headquarters Security Force Jaffna on the concept of transforming the SF (J) to a learning organization. Chief Guest impressed with the presentation of student officers thanked Maj. Gen. Udaya Perera for his initiative to make his officers competent in effective communication. Using instructors from Jaffna education field to conduct the language teaching was praised by the Chief Guest who stated that it would strengthen the relationship between Army and civilians. Mr. Sri Rajkumar Kanapathipillai and Mr. Aravinthan Vadivel assisted Army English instructors to improve the language skill of officers during the period of three months.

Commander SF (J) citing examples from different learning situations highlighted the importance of English as a key to professional development and the enhancement of knowledge.

Member of British Council academic and coordinating staff, Senior officers of Army, Navy and Air Force, Jaffna university students and representatives from education and media sector were also present.

http://www.cimicjaffna.lk/Cimicnews_2014_09_12.php

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Trilingual Center organizes Sinhala & English Classes in Kilinochchi – 22 July 2014

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“A timely move to encourage and achieve meaningful reconciliation among society members in Northern Province. Sinhala and Tamil are official languages of this country. English is considered as the link language. In brief , I would say languages play a major role in establishing peace in the country. Communication gap between the communities can be reduced by learning other’s language.”

Northern Province Trilingual Center is scheduled to conduct Sinhala and English classes in Kilinochchi in coming August.
A meeting in this regard was held at Governor’s Secretariat in Jaffna on 22nd July under the chairmanship of Governor of the Northern Province GA Chandrasiri. The Principal of the Trilingual Center and resource persons took part at this discussion.

Secretary to the Governor L.Ilaangovan was also present at this meeting.

http://www.np.gov.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3033:trilingual-center-organizes-sinhala-english-classes-in-kilinochchi-22-july-2014&catid=8:min-gs&Itemid=114

Diaspora Lanka Report : 28 September to 31 December 2013 – Part 5

3.3 Computerizing Mannar Villages (CMV)

Selection of students from Pudukuduirippu

Selection of students from Pudukuduirippu

To address the inequities between urban and rural areas within Mannar District and to provide a solid foundation of computer, IT and English ability for young people, two CMV centres have been established in Vidathaltheevu (Catholic) and Pudukudiruppu (Muslim) villages. Computer training and English language classes are being run for children and young people to serve as a basis for a brighter future. The CMV program is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of ITP and is being coordinated by Kamal Raj and Al Hathir.

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English class at Vidathaltheevu

Activities summary from the last visit to Sri Lanka
• Volunteers Huyen Lai (Vietnam) and Mirjam Link (Estonia) ran a December vacation program for school-aged children from the two villages, combining English learning and fun activities.
• Children’s Day was celebrated in style at Pudukuduirippu with student presentations of poetry, stories, song and dance.

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Reconciliation through Poetry

Can poetry reconcile people of different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds to each other? Can poetry heal the wounds left behind by conflict and wipe away the tears? Can poetry build bridges and bond people together?

Professor K. Satchithanadan of Delhi University, one time secretary of the prestigious Sahitya Academy of India, had no direct answers but made it clear that poetry gave voice to the voiceless, power to challenge injustice and oppression and pricked the conscience of humanity. This message of humanity was conveyed by him and a team of Sri Lankan poets, So Pathmanathan from Jaffna, Ariyawansa Ranaweera from Colombo, and myself from Kandy. Led by him, we visited three higher institutions of learning- namely the University of Peradeniya, the Eastern University and the University of Sabaragamuwa, Belihuloya.

The three poets represented the three languages used in Sri Lanka- Sinhala, Tamil and English. Significantly, they were bilingual and bonded with each other culturally and aesthetically. Above all they shared the enthusiasm to reach out to each other and facilitate others to reach out to them and to each other. The three contexts in which this sensitizing and humanizing activity took place were well selected in terms of background, audience and response. They also formed a cross section of the Sri Lankan population Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim. At the University of Peradeniya something akin to this session had been done by Professor Rajiva Wijesinha when his book ‘Mirrored Images’ was made familiar to the academic community and the alumni there. But this session had vertical proportions in that the participant audience comprised senior academics, academics and students. The audience was participatory and as was to be expected critical. Professor Satchithanandan took them on intellectually as well as poetically. He raised awareness through his very erudite lecture, taking the audience through the ages from Ramayana to Faustus, from Neruda to modern poets who write poetry of violence. He charmed with his recital of his own poetry. He showed without doubt the power of poetry.

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Diaspora Lanka Report : 28 September to 31 December 2013 – Part 1

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In this edition….
…A three-day “lockdown” workshop produces inspired urban design for Mannar’s town plan
…Visible progress made on the women’s rice mill project
…A community tourism strategy gets the attention of the International Financial Corporation
…Successful overseas volunteer programs in 2013 will generate further ones in 2014

 

The past three months in Sri Lanka have been a mixed bag, of frustration and hampered progress on some of our larger projects and encouraging headway on our more community-level ventures. The political backdrop of this trip was vibrant and at times volatile due to the holding of the Northern Provincial Government elections and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM). The Government was also preoccupied with preparations for the forthcoming return to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in March of 2014.

A highlight of this period was having 15 overseas volunteers work alongside local counterparts on a range of projects. Although our town planning initiatives didn’t quite go according to plan, Diaspora Lanka brought out 11 Australian planning professionals who assisted to fast-track the Mannar urban development plan. Two volunteers came from Estonia to work on a community tourism strategy and an English-based activity program, while two further volunteers from Vietnam and Australia focused on establishing an ‘English as a Second Language’ (ESL) program.

Other pleasing developments included the progress made on establishing a rice mill so that women made vulnerable by the war can earn a daily income and the establishment of the Computerizing Mannar Villages initiative for children and youngsters in two more remote areas of Mannar.

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“English for Young Learners” – Students awarded by Governor – 21 April 2014

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“English for Young learners” has been a successful program to promote use of English language among young generation.The teaching methods adopted in this program are very productive and user friendly, thus the students are able to understand the theory quickly.”

The students who have completed the “English for Young Learners” – A course conducted through CSR Project of Lanka IOC to the school children in Jaffna were awarded by Governor of Northern Province GA Chandrasiri. A ceremony in this regard was held on 21st April 2014 at Veeramani Iyar Stadium, Kopay Teachers’ College. The Governor participated as chief guest and awarded the students.

Lanka OIC has organized this six – month English Course in partnership with ‘Glorious Jaffna Foundation’. 150 school children who completed this course were awarded with certificates.

Secretary to the Governor L.Ilaangovan, Managing Director of Lanka IOC Dakbala, The Director of Glorious Jaffna Foundation Tharindu Amunugama and The First Secretary of Indian Consulate, Jaffna Suresh Menan also participated at this ceremony.

http://www.np.gov.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2898:english-for-young-learners-students-awarded-by-governor-21-april-2014&catid=85&Itemid=20

 

Governor declared open the Trilingual Center Classrooms – 06 April 2014

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“Mahinda Chinthanaya envisages a trilingual Sri Lanka where Sinhala and Tamil speaking people will relate to each other in each other’s languages and English will be a life skill for occupation and employment and an instrument of communication to access knowledge from the external world. Sinhala and Tamil will be further developed to serve as the country’s languages of discourse, discussion and intellectual debate on all aspects of modern knowledge and technology as is the function of national languages in almost all other countries of the world. This will enable the vast majority of our people to participate in national discourse to thereby help grow a vibrant, practicing democracy in the country.These Trilingual centers will definitely fulfill the aspirations of Mahintha Chinthana and thereby help to achieve real peace & meaningful in this country.”

Newly constructed classrooms at Trilingual Training Centre at Kalviyankadu, Jaffna were declared open by Governor of the Northern Province GA Chandrasiri on 06th April 2014.

These semi-permanent classrooms were constructed by UNICEF organization. He inaugurated the classes for the first batch of the programme. In these classrooms, 210 students in six divisions can learn at a time. A canteen has been constructed it this compound.

Secretary to the Governor L.Ilaangovan, Asst. Secretary of Jaffna Regional Commissioner Office S.Annadurai, the Principal of the Trilingual Center Mrs.Lilani Amarasinghe and representative from UNICEF also took part in the event.

http://www.np.gov.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2875:governor-declared-open-the-trilingual-center-classrooms-06-april-2014&catid=111:trilingual&Itemid=254

Governor’s Trophy – English Debate Competition commenced today – 08 March 2014

“Competitions are conducted to find the best talent among the selected group.This is another important event where the school children who can show not only the debating talent , but also the English language proviciency.”

Governor’s Trophy English Debate Competition commenced on 08th March 2014 at St.John’s College, Jaffna. Governor of the Northern Province GA Chandrasiri participated as chief guest at the inauguration ceremony.

Competitions were held under two categories – junior level and senior level. 24 schools competed in the junior level competitions as well as 24 schools for senior level competitions. All the competitions except final competition have been completed.

28 English language professionals judged the competitions.

Chief Secretary of the Northern Province Mrs.R.Wijialudchumi, Secretary to the Governor L.Ilaangovan and several officials and officers also participated at this event.

http://www.np.gov.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2817:governor-s-trophy-english-debate-competition-commenced-today-08-march-2014&catid=108&Itemid=253

“Mirrored Images” – a move towards unity (and sanity)

I had the good fortune to participate at the launch of Mirrored Images, an anthology of Sri Lankan Poetry edited by Rajiva Wijesinha.  The book was published by the prestigious National Book Trust of India.

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha had already collected An Anthology of Sri Lankan Short Stories for NBT, beside, of course, his modest collection of Modern Sri Lankan Poetry in English.  But this is a more ambitious work which has drawn from Sinhala. Tamil and English representative works.   The volume which runs to 400 pages contains 138 poems written in Sinhala and Tamil translated into English and 72 poems originally written in English.

These poems were written over the last five decades during which the island nation – after independence – went through radical political, Social and economic changes.  It also witnessed the deterioration of the relationship between the Sinhalese and the Tamils which culminated in a bloody civil war.  War means death, destruction and displacement. It also leaves, in its wake, thousands of widows and the disabled who become the responsibility of the country.  That was – and is – the context in which these Sri Lankan poets worked.  So, understandably, a substantial number of the poems in this collection are disturbing and sad.

Appropriately, Hon. Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Minister of National languages and Reconciliation graced the function.  Present in the audience were senior writers, critics and media persons.

“Genuine poetry”,   said T.S.Eliot “can communicate even before it is understood” This was affirmed as I first read out the Tamil originals of my poems.  At the launch, the audience, mainly non – Tamil, sat in husband silence because, I believe, the reading was infused with so much passion.  Their understanding was complete with the English version that followed.

Anne Ranasinghe, the veteran, (she is 80!) had to be helped to her seat but her reading was clear and well – articulated.  A.Santhan read his Bigger Match with a brief introduction about a correspondence that occasioned the poem. Continue reading

Junior School presents Sinhala and Tamil folk dances at opening by UNICEF Head of English Activity Centre on World Children’s Day

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

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