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DateLine Sunday, 19 August 2007

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Hi! What's up?

by Deepal

'Only primary and secondary schools in future'

SO:- Minister Premajayantha please?

Minister:- Speaking. Who is speaking?

SO:- From the Sunday Observer. Minister What's the latest?


Education Minister and Colombo
District MP
Susil
Premajayantha

Minister:-Well, I'm busy with a lot of scheduled work. As the ruling party, we have a lot to attend to and deliver.

SO:- What about the latest Grade One admission procedure to government schools and authorised private schools?

Minister:- We carried advertisements last week to educate the public on how to admit their children to Grade One, next year.

It was delayed due to several reasons and now everything is under control. Interviews and selections will be in accordance with the contents of the advertisement.

SO:- Is this the final draft for school admission?

Minister:- No. That is only for the year 2008. I admit we must have a national level policy accepted by all on this matter. Therefore, a committee has already been appointed to work on the issue.

SO:- Don't you think that this competition is created by the physical and human resources which are owned by some selected schools?

Minister:- It comes with the categorisation of some schools as national schools.

There may be some other reasons too. Anyway, I have directed the National Education Commission to look into consideration this categorisation. I think in future, there won't be national schools but only primary and secondary schools. SO:- What about the resource allocations?

Minister:- Every school will be treated in the same manner.

SO:- How do you assess the country's present political behaviour?

Minister:- What we see and hear is the reality and the nature of politics. People have given us (UPFA) a mandate to govern the country for a period of six years.

We are working on our policies to reach the expected results.

At the same time, The Opposition or in other words the ones who lost power are trying to grab power from the ruling party.

That is the system and we have to face this situation with a good understanding.

SO:- Any special programmes in the Eastern Province after those areas were cleared by the Armed Forces?

Minister:- A lot. We had several projects to upgrade and streamline the education system in those areas. We, the ministry officials and other relevant authorities including those in the Eastern Province are meeting on August 21 to finalise the proposed plans to implement those projects soon.

SO:- As a politician are you satisfied with what you have to do?

Minister:- Yes. So far Yes.


'UNP engaging in progressive journey with NC'

SO: May I talk to MP Sagala Ratnayake please?

MP: Speaking. Who is at the other end?


Matara District
UNP
Parliamentarian
Sagala
Ratnayake.

SO: I am from the Sunday Observer. What is the latest Mr. Ratnayake?

MP: We are engaging in a very progressive journey with the National Congress. People who want to agitate against the President are coming to us and we are guiding them on what to do.

SO: How do you assess the country's present political behaviour?

MP: The country is facing a very bad economic situation.

It is struggling to survive. Rajapaksa brothers are on their own journey and they have delivered nothing. Mahinda Chinthanaya which was showed to the public before the election is nowhere now.

SO: You mean not a single pledge is kept by the government?

MP: You see. What they promised was to give a fertiliser bag of 50 kg at Rs. 350. At that time it was sold at Rs. 700. But today it is being sold at Rs. 2910.

Then the price of petrol. For a period of 50 years it has stopped at Rs. 57. But during the last two years it was raised to Rs. 117. Then what else to talk?

SO: But, the government has been capable of freeing the Eastern Province.

MP: Well. We say so. But where is democracy. Human rights are violated daily. Even journalists are attacked. Abductions are taking place continuously.

SO: But, Mr. Ratnayake. It was revealed that most of the abductions were not political.

MP: Yes. But only one or two. But how many abductions have taken place.

Over 200 incidents. The problem is that the government is not serious about the matter.

SO: What about the result in the Janarala rally in your district?

MP: It was a huge success. People were very enthusiastic to participate.

We had later in Anuradhapura and have planned to come to Attanagalla. We like to touch the heart of the SLFP.

SO: Is that true you will be contesting any future election leaving the 'elephant symbol' out?

MP: Who says so? Those are rumours. We did not have any discussion over the topic.

SO: UNP had some early talks to topple the government. What is your real plan?

MP: I am not giving you the exact dates. But, we will be having a UNP led regime very soon.

SO: Are you legally bound not to settle any loan taken by this government, after you come into power?

MP: Rs. 500 million 'Randora' loan scheme is a day light robbery. We don't bother about development loans taken through World Bank, ADB or any international link on very low interest.

But, loans from commercial banks on commercial interest rates, it cannot be allowed. What we highlight are Rajapaksa brothers.

They won't be in the country to settle these, but the people of this country will have to settle.

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