Government Renovates Thirteen Schools in the Kilinochchi District

151014-fullThe Ministry of Education, with assistance from the Republic of Korea, recently renovated 13 schools in the Kilinochchi District.

Situated in a district that was once home to the headquarters of the terrorist organisation known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), these schools had been in a dilapidated condition due to the near-30-year conflict.

The following schools had benefitted: St. Theresa’s Girls’ College Kilinochchi, Sivanagar Government Tamil Mixed School, Bharathy Vidyalaya Kilinochchi, Ramanathapuram West Government Tamil Mixed School, Konavil Government Tamil Mixed School, Ramanathapuram Maha Vidyalaya, Vaddakkachchi Maha Vidyalaya, Piramanthanaru Maha Vidyalaya, Tharmapuram Maha Vidyalaya, Murugananda College, Veravil Hindu Maha Vidyalaya,  Iranaitivu Roman Catholic Tamil Mix School and Kiranchi Government Tamil Mixed School.

Speaking about the renovations, Mr. Perumal Ganeshan, Principal of the Barathy Vidyalaya in Kilinochchi, said, “The students who were deprived from the opportunity of occupying luxurious (amenities) are now privileged to enjoy their school life with marvelous facilities.”

Continue reading


Trilingual Learning Centre declared open by Governor – 21 March 2014

openingA timely act to strengthen the reconciliation process.

“Another promise of Mahintha Chinthanaya has been fulfilled in northern province.Trilingual Language center is the need of the hour for the people of different communities to learn languages other than mother tongue.A timely decision, which will definitely contribute immensely to the reconciliation activities of the government.This will empower the masses in all 3 languages.”

Opening ceremony of Northern Province Trilingual Learning Centre was held on 19th March 2014. Governor of the Northern Province GA Chandrasiri officially declared open the learning center.

Continue reading

International Photographic Exhibition inaugrated in Jaffna – 22 February 2014

“After the end of hostilities, the northern province saw many developments in different sectors. This has been a boost to many other related sectors as well. Photographic exhibition is one such event which will attract many local and foreign tourists as well.”

16th International Photographic Exhibition was commenced in Jaffna Hindu College on 22nd February 2014. Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council CVK Sivagnanam inaugurated the exhibition by cutting the ribbon.

Mayoress of Jaffna Municipal Council Mrs.Y.Patkunarajah, the President of the National Photographic Art Society of Sri Lanka (NPASSL) T. G. Sunil Wickrama, International Photography Exhibition Executive Director Ranjith Abyasinga graced the event as guest of honours.

This exhibition has been organized in Jaffna under the guidance of the Governor of the Northern Province GA Chandrasiri. Large number of students visited this gallery. The exhibition will be available for 2 days (22nd – 23rd February).

Continue reading

Towards Reconciliation

Rajiva Wijesinha

Adviser on Reconciliation to HE the President


Four years after the conclusion of conflict, Sri Lanka still has a long way to go to achieve Reconciliation. This is unfortunate, given the enormous efforts made by government to improve facilities for the people most affected by war. But it is not surprising that, as indicated by the results of the last election held in the Northern Province, we have failed to win hearts and minds.

That would not have been difficult had a concerted effort been made. But this requires planning, and unfortunately planning is not something Sri Lanka has been good at. For over three decades now, we have tended to respond to events or rather to crises. The one exception was the care with which, in the period after 2005, we approached the conflict, with all branches of government working together and care taken to ensure the dissemination of clear and convincing information. Following the conclusion of the conflict however all that broke down, and propaganda, often based on parochial electoral considerations, took over, with little attempt at intelligent analysis of ground realities.

Thus we seemed to believe that reconstruction alone would suffice, and reconstruction that placed a premium on cement rather than people. This is on par with the worst delusions of capitalism as elevated into a political philosophy, the assumption that prosperity will trickle down. But this does not work, and Sri Lanka may in the end have to pay heavily for the failure to conceptualize with sensitivity of those who took on responsibility only for construction and not for consultation, who concentrated only on resettlement and not rather on restoration.

Continue reading

The Care of Children 30 – Initiatives in the North for the young

Amidst a number of meetings of Divisional Secretariat Reconciliation Committees in the North last week, I also had a number of interactions with children, and with persons working with children. Two instances were serendipitous, but I was privileged to participate actively – and indeed exhaustingly – on one occasion. This was when I conducted, in a small school near Nedunkerni, one of the games that the former combatants had delighted in, during my first visit to the Rehabilitation Centre for girls in Vavuniya three and a half years ago.

Cultural event by students

The laughter of the girls on that occasion still illuminates in presentations of the Rehabilitation Bureau, as I saw last month at the Officer Career Development Centre Seminar at Buttala. In Nedunkerni the children were younger, and even less inhibited.

Continue reading

Developing psychosocial support systems

Amongst the recommendations developed at the consultations on Human Rights arranged by the Consortium for Humanitarian Agencies that were held in my office a few weeks back, perhaps the simplest to implement swiftly is that about the lack of well-trained counselors for children. It is true that the Education Ministry has set up a system of counselors in schools, but training has been minimal in some cases, and there are no clear guidelines as to how they should be used.

Counselors need to work in collaboration with the teachers who are most likely to be a child’s first point of reference, while they should also have access to social workers from the relevant Ministries as well as well as medical personnel in the field. In addition, it would be useful if the education system worked more coherently in developing peer group support mechanisms, in particular through the entrenchment of extra-curricular activities that ensured socialization through cooperation.

Continue reading