25 March, 2019

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Akila Viraj And Bureaucratic Buddies Set To Wreck The Public Schools Sector Beginning With Royal College

Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, with the support of incompetent and under-qualified officials in his ministry have set in motion a pernicious process that could very well lead to wrecking the public schools system, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.

The Minister, in his wisdom, has decided to appoint principals to schools according to his own whims and fancies violating defined processes and established procedures covering the requisite criteria. Reliable sources within the education system contend that two Additional Secretaries of the ministry who do not possess the necessary masters degrees to occupy their respective positions are hand-in-glove with the minister of education, in their quest to place their acquaintances to all important Superior Schools, despite these cronies being totally inexperienced and lacking a track record in administration, that is paramount to effectively manage these large institutions.

Accordingly, through a dubious selection process of Principals, the education ministry, quite shocking and deplorably has set in motion a plan to assign a Principal who is still 33 years of age, one Kusala Fernando, an individual who has joined the SLEAS just four years ago (in 2014), and having just over 2 years of experience as a principal, to the premier educational institution in the country – Royal College, Colombo. It is also learnt that this through this planned realignment of Principals, powers-that-be at the ministry of education are eyeing Ananda College, Colombo, Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo and many other leading schools, to place their preferred henchmen and women as respective heads, purportedly to wrest control of administrative control unto themselves of these schools.

Earlier, past pupils and parents of 12 national schools highlighted glaringly obvious flaws in the marking scheme applied to evaluate aspirant applicants as principals to state schools. They argued that ministry officials have customized the said marking scheme, obviously with the knowledge of the minister, to ensure their cronies rank higher than the more experienced senior principals from the Sri Lanka Education Administrators Service (SLEAS). After a joint letter signed by past pupil and parent representatives of these schools was submitted to the ministry with copies to the Public Service Commission (PSC), it was reported in the media that the PSC have now taken steps to annul the entire process and instructed the ministry officials to restart the procedure from scratch, with a new marking scheme which is to be reviewed and approved by the education sub-committee appointed the PSC.

Sources close to the Royal College Union told Colombo Telegraph that the school, which has a student population exceeding 8400 students and 350 teachers spread over a 37 acres and being the apex Primary and Secondary School in the country, requires as Principal a personality with experience, a proven track record, with maturity and stature, ideally a senior officer of the Sri Lanka Educational Service.

‘To consider appointing a mere ‘infant within the system’, with hardly any experience at the helm as its Principal is yet another act of ‘hara-kiri’ not only towards lowering the standards at Royal College, which by itself should be considered as a treacherous and anti-national act, but also could ruin the entire fabric of education in the country by creating an ominous precedent,’ they contend.

‘It is strange that such atrocious decisions are being taken by a minister who is a member of a cabinet that is full of Old Royalists including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, with Sajith Premadasa, Navin Dissanayake, Harsha De Silva, Eran Wickramaratne, Kabir Hasheem, Arumugam Thondaman, Sagala Ratnayaka, Lakshman Kiriella, Gayantha Karunatilleka, Ravi Karunanayake, Rauff Hakeem, D.M. Swaminathan also holding cabinet portfolios or are state ministers.

All previous Principals of Royal College (since 1835) and most of the larger National Schools have been chosen from the top-drawer in consonance with well-defined principles and have for the most part adorned such high office with great distinction helping to lift the standards of education not only in the particular schools but in fact the entire country, simply by the examples they’ve set.

Meanwhile, in an unprecedented move, the Council of the Royal College Union at its meeting held on the Wednesday the 13th of March, adopted a Resolution to pursue and implement every action so necessary, including legal recourse, to prevent an unsuitable and unqualified individual from being appointed as its Principal.

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  • 1
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 11
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      CT,

      What is left to be destroyed by the politicians? Good schools.

      Now only the children and cronies of the politicians can attend those schools, irrrespective of their merits.

  • 3
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    Write your comment here…Any thing done with raga dwesha moha will have the harvest no matter who has done it.

  • 11
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    Political interference is killing this country and hopefully the old boys and other stakeholders would seek intervention from the courts to prevent school appointments being politicized !!

    These large national schools require top quality CEOs who can manage the following:

    1Improving quality of education and enhancing teaching quality
    2Providing top quality co curricular and extra curricular activities
    3Manage the school infrastructure including land and buildings
    4Manage parents demands
    5Manage old boy/ girl aspirations
    6Comply with regulations and laws and circulars
    7Be strong enough to withstand political pressure
    8Maintain good relationships with other stakeholders
    9Ensure admissions are according to laid down criteria
    10 effective utilization of all school assets

    Present day Principals don’t teach anymore and don’t prepare test papers or time tables and hence appointment from the Education Service should not be the only criteria.

    • 6
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      Agree with Nimal Perera.
      Seniority alone in the corrupt Department of Education should never be the only criteria. Especially with coveted appointments such as the office of the Principal @ Reid Avenue, Colombo 7.
      Cheers!
      PS: No offense to excellent senior educators of SL.

  • 6
    0

    What are the qualifications/experience of the Secretary, Ministry of Education, for him a) to hold his post, b) make a decision on this resolution/appeal for reconsideration of criteria/marks for selection of candidates for posts of ‘principals’ of schools.

    If he is a political ‘puppet’ – this is a likelihood, as he appears to have already accepted the ongoing criteria, this is a futile exercise. If he is an experienced SLAS officer, with no bias towards any candidate(s), good selections are possible.

  • 7
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    Nimal Perera: Your comment : “Political interference is killing this country”. Absolutely. But did you ever address your mind to “WHY” and “WHO” brought that situation? As I see, we have handed over the governance of this country to a band of highly “IMMATURE” people by our OWN CHOICE (voting) and both the parties (elected & the voters) are “SELF SEEKERS” who have no INTERESTS in building a strong country and a nation. There are some “NAMES” mentioned in the article of those who have been educated in this “Royal College”. Just make an assessment of all those in their performances in Governance of the country. Are any one of them lived or living up to the standards of “MATURITY” and “MORAL STANDARDS” that are expected of “PRODUCTS” of such “Royalty” . All of them are nothing but “VAGABONDS” of very low “MATURITY” and “MORAL STANDARDS” (ethics). But do the PEOPLE (Voters) make a “Matured” decision in marking that “X” against such names in a ballot paper, while being present alone inside a enclosed cubical which is meant to be a “SAFE HEAVEN”? So let us get to the “ROOT CAUSE” and eliminate it to eradicate the all powerful “Interference” that you see as “killing this country”.

  • 8
    1

    This immoral “powder baba” Akila aka vasikiliya should be fired. Bloody unprincipled pollu karaya’s picking his henchaiya’s to become principals for leading Colombo schools. First of all, what is the qualification of Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam to head the Ministry of Education? The last name
    Kariya + wasam itself smells cum to me! That is if this SCUM can produce any!!

    • 9
      1

      What is the qualification of Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. ??????????

      The man is highly qualified, very highly qualified.

      He has a Phd in Conmanship from the university of Sri Kotha.
      He is a member ( fellow ) of the Ranil Kolu Sangamaya.
      He has written a Thesis on ” How to Ruin Education & Enhance Corruption “
      The foreword to his Thesis is signed by his erstwhile Boss ” Kolu Ranil “.
      His a life member of the ” Sri Lanka Corruption Council “.
      He is a Fellow of the ” Royal College of I will give my back to you and you give your back to me ” Boys Club.
      He is a senior Minister in the Ministry of Ruination.
      He has a B Sc Degree in ” How to Con Your Way through Life with the UNP.

      The list can go on and on but the above is just a few in that list.

      Any references contact a one Mr Raneel Wickremasinghe who lives at ” Apey Gedera ” 5th Lane Colombo 3.

      • 3
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        Schuuman – “The list can go on and on but the above is just a few in that list.” Do you mean Gonawila Ranil (a.k.a. Ranilpaksha)?

  • 1
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 2
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    Education minister seems to be having a good plan to make the free education concept more meaningful by maintaining uniformity in public schools.

    In such a situation some selected schools only can’t be/shouldn’t be given well qualified & experienced principals.

    If the availability of such well qualified & experienced people are limited, make them higher ranking educational officials to make their service available to all the schools & appoint less qualified, less experienced people as principals to all the schools.

    It’s frustrating that some children are given national schools & some are given provincial schools.

    Why is this discrimination?

    Make all the schools national or make all of them provincial, to give equal treatment to everybody.

    Shift the meaning of free education concept from free of charge to free access.

    Make it mandatory for parents to pay for their children’s education. @ least a percentage according to their income.
    It’s ridiculous to see some children are taken to schools in very expensive vehicles but aren’t asked to pay for the service.

    Lord Buddha has preached that it’s parents responsibility to give a reasonable education for children.(majority are Buddhists in SL).

    • 6
      2

      Real DUM DUMB REVOLUTIONIST ….Can’t help to Notice your SOCIALIST dumb comment …Iyse kalakanniyo… this is 3rd world country with LIMITED opportunities for Young adults…..gon harako what is Y Academic Level ? ?

      People who thumbs downing for Yr H oooR S…t comment Couldn’t find words to explain how Sick dumb are you…but….for you quite a feat of achievement This ….gon buruwa can indeed write in English…….Old days English was suppose to be language of Intelligent Educated individuals……but comparing with you Real DUMB REVOLUTIONIST……wealthy Upper class internet addict….well done
      *
      Real DUMB Revolutionist…according to you LOGIC —with 3s passes You have Applied and got Selected for Colombo Medical School OR Moratuwa University….does Y dumb brain even understand ramification of that QUESTION ? ?

      • 0
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        Real DUMB

        mmm…, stones & sticks are cast & fruit bearing trees.

        Thanks

  • 4
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    In Sri lanka, corrupt Parliament, corrupt Bureaucrats, corrupt media and the HAWKs of International community

  • 12
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    I’m a retired village teacher. Education in Sri Lanka is ailing and will soon be dead, the way we are going.
    .
    I can’t be bothered analysing what these lunatics are saying and doing.
    .
    One thing in the headline makes me happy:
    .
    Yes, start with Royal College!

    • 7
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      My Dear Sinhala Man,
      hope you are keeping well. Could not read from you for the last few days. I was bit worried, thinking you might have been caught by health problems. Thanks god, today, I got to read something from you :)
      .
      Dont you think, that there is a entvironment today, to discuss about the deteriorating levels of the education. Under Rajapakshes rascals, I dont think people were given chances to criticse on any issue of vital importance. Recalling how Bandula Gunwardhana the most abusive man with a mouth piece akin to a bed pan, went on boasting to have done lot more during his day under Mahindodaya. Unforotunatly, they spent lot more to their ceremonial openings wasting statefunds going beyond the costs spent for those Labs and Bath rooms for schools in rural corners. Just imagine, if the leader himself turned up in such opening ceremonies…. how much of funds they should have thrown away for the security and transport of them. That is how Rajapakshe and his men worked fooling the grass eaters dominated rural areas.
      :
      WIsh you a great weekend !

      • 4
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        Dear desperateasnoother,
        .
        It’s nice to have something akin to a “fan club”. I trust you are keeping well.
        .
        I do usually make a comment every day; it’s just that we’re possibly focussing on different articles. I have made several comments here:
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/khemas-boy-does-it-comes-up-with-a-non-election-budget-in-an-election-year/
        .
        I think that Dr Wijewardena is also such a nice and caring man. He so patiently tries to explain to us this subject of money – something that I don’t understand, but which is such immense importance.
        .
        When somebody comments on something that I have said I tend to provide some honest response. In that place, we have then gone off at a tangent, and I may have to go there again.
        .
        Then there’s Jeevan Hoole; he has this talent for saying something that is unnecessary and provocative:
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/democracy-undermined-by-discrimination/
        .
        I have no major health problem – yet! They have to come, of course.
        .
        Some time ago I was worried about gout, which may be hereditary in my case. But that is now under control, thanks to a doctor here who is a wizard at diagnosing issues.
        .
        Week-ends don’t matter much to a retired guy like me. There are two obvious mistakes I’m making: staying up too late, and not getting sufficient physical exercise.
        .

        • 4
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          Dear SM,
          thanks very much for your right-away response. But you had not added anything about the MAHINDODAYA program and what you think about so called development projects to have carried out by previous govt (MR so called regime) ? I wish i could read what you think of about that BANDULA Gunawardhana.. who I think is not at all a good politician. Always good to provide the gallery with his kind of jokes.
          .
          Btw, I am telling you, if you still have gout, please avoid eating legumes and purine rich food stuffs.
          https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/purine-rich-food-foods-to-be-eaten-in-modration-to-control-gout-1833726
          . Lankens are used to have Parippu/red lentiles as a curry almost in their daily intake. That is no good for ONES suffering from gout.

          We have stormy weathers all these days to Europe (Germany) . Temperatures fluctuate from 5 to 15 degrees with showers almost everyday..

          Gtz,

          • 1
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            Dear desperateasnoother.
            .
            Very sincerely: thanks for your touching concern. However, don’t you think that you and I should be corresponding on some of these subjects by e-mail? Of course, it takes time, and I can’t possibly correspond with hundreds, but we really will have to stick to the topic set by the main article.
            .
            Would you like me to post my e-mail address here? I have done that on occasion since I like to see people taking responsibility for what they say, although the pseudonyms also have their use.
            .
            I’m a bit surprised that the CT editors have allowed these exchanges of ours to stand. We don’t want to end up being like Facebook, do we?
            .
            As for the central theme here of education, I’m wondering which way our discussion should go. It’s a huge and important subject, but these comments are lurching in desultory fashion.
            .
            Thanks again for the sentiments.

  • 7
    4

    RW hates Royal because he did not shine one bit at school. Since 2015 he and his Butterfly brigade led by Akila have targeted Royal a lot. Akila of course has an inferiority complex because of his background. So typical of a lot of people who post comments here from the West because they all suffer inferiority complexes.

    • 3
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      Dear Thassim,
      .
      If Ranil hates Royal so much why is he so obsessed with having well over half his cabinet from that school? I’m not suggesting that it’s worthwhile discussing his strange mental processes.
      .
      One thing that I can tell you with certainty is that Ranil hated one of his teachers there: the handicraft teacher (well, I’m not sure what he taught Ranil, but that was the only paper qualification that the said teacher had.)
      .
      The teacher was Ralph Alles. When Ranil was Minister of Education, in about 1980, he sent him out of the D.S. Senanayake school that Alles founded. In January 1982, he brought down from Bandarawela Maha Vidyalaya one of the finest Principals I have ever come across – Piyasena Samaranayake who used always to take responsibility for one A. Level Science class. He had done a General Degree, so the subjects changed from Maths, to Physics, to Chemistry – in Sinhalese. Many years later, he headed an International School and repeated that practice of his, but now teaching in English. One subject at a time – he never tried to be “teaching-familiar” with more than one at a time. In his eighties, he still does something that only he can do effectively: setting important IQ tests. Given his level of integrity, I feel that it’s O.K. telling you this from a practical point of view! He travelled from far away to that International School – by train, having refused the use of the car and chauffer that were set apart for him. He was the first to arrive in the school, so what teacher dare be late?
      .
      I had an hour’s chat with Samaranayake yesterday. He had seen a report about a “geek-kid” on T.V. and wanted me to check the Internet for a more objective account. He doesn’t use a computer – too old! I found many:
      .
      http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/63087
      .
      I may be nearing 300 words: will get back to Ranil!

    • 2
      1

      Continuing, dear Thassim:
      .
      Alles was always a shrewd and practical man who was already rich. Zahira College, Maradana, hired him as Principal, knowing his efficiency. Please see the list of Principals of Zahira, here:
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zahira_College,_Colombo
      .
      Alles is referred to as “Director of Studies”. Ranil had brought in a new regulation, through Parliament, which stipulated two qualifications for a Private School Principal:
      .
      1. He had to be a University Graduate
      .
      2. He needed ten years’ teaching experience.
      .
      Alles was not a graduate.
      .
      Many years later, that regulation was put to the test. The Board of Governors of S. Thomas’ had appointed a graduate without any teaching experience as Warden of S. Thomas’ Mt Lavinia.
      .
      https://www.lawnet.gov.lk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/009-SLLR-SLLR-2000-V-1-EKSITH-FERNANDO-v.-MANAWADU-AND-OTHERS-ST.-THOMAS-COLLEGE-CASES.pdf
      .
      If you are seriously interested in Education, I suggest you download that very well-written judgement. These things periodically disappear from the www. That regulation is embedded in the judgement.
      .
      The point I’m trying to make is that when Ranil acts, he does so with careful calculation, and confides in nobody. The important official who was entrusted with getting the regulation drafted was later my Principal in a numerically small school in the Maldives. He didn’t know why Ranil wanted it done. Another fine man, that. They’d love to have him back in the Ministry (although he’s in his eighties), but he’s tending his wife who has arthritis – which is both acute and chronic. I may be showing my ignorance of Medicine saying that!
      .
      I may be getting close to the word limit!

    • 2
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      Thassim, this discussion seems to be getting nowhere, which is a tragedy because unless we stick to developing our ideas rationally, the initial interest shown by readers will be lost.
      .
      Even now the most important player in Education is the government Ministry headed by Kariyawasam. State money is being spent – that is money belonging to all of us. Such spending should aim at providing equality of opportunity, and, ultimately providing our society with useful adults. As it is the State is spending infinitely more on the children of the rich, who don’t contribute school fees to make the cake, although they will claim to spending on the icing for the said cake.
      .
      There is also a certain optimum size for a school; that has been long exceeded.
      .
      The fault, ultimately, is with a wrong set of values deciding almost everything being done in our society: it is thought normal to violate every guideline (“rule” would now be a misnomer) in the selfish interest of each individual. This is at the root of all problems in our society.
      .
      Sticking to Education, we’ll have to deal with at least the following: Private Tuition, Government Recognised Private Schools, “International Schools” – recognised only as business ventures.

  • 5
    1

    karma is a bitch.royal college produced the first bank robber PM in the world.What will happen to st.bridgets?It produced the first woman PM in the world,who drove the country in reverse gear.

  • 6
    1

    The Goal of the Elite, Anglican and Vellala Faction which is lead by Dr Ranil is to dergrade the Public School System ,’And make Education a totally Private Enterprise…

    The Schools mentioned here are the Elite schools of the Island, which cater mainly to the Elite in and around Colombo.
    They are well established, well funded and well staffed and they will be the least affected by Dr Ranil and his Buddy Akila’s Education Policy Program for our Inhabitants.

    But what I fear most is what is going to happen to the Children of our Dalit population who live mainly in the rural sector.

    Dr Ranil has already culled the 1000 Maha Vidyalaya Program of the previous Government which had the Noble Goal of creating Visaks , Royals and Anandas in Village Centers.

    Now Rural Kids with talent are cut off from the higher Education stream ,so the Elite have less competition.
    People , even our great majority do not seem to understand these issues.
    Sorry to say it is a sad state .
    One time Politikkas who were swearing to sacrifice their lives on stage to uplift the poor and the vulnerable and the less advantaged are now visiting Srikotha.

    What gave me a big surprise is that Dr Ranil and his Cabinet Heavies such as Akila, Sagala, Eran, and Kabir are all from Royal.
    How come Mangala didn’t go there…

  • 4
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    Why don’t you show the same concern abou schools without teachers principals desks and chairs.

  • 1
    0

    …. well , they look very happy what’s all the fuss about education ?

  • 1
    0

    The same kind of appointments have been made in other large government entities as well, diminishing long term value. In one instance a wife has even promoted her husband !!!

  • 4
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    Following the sinhala only official language bill, which is described as the worst piece of legislation in the history of Sri lanaka , education has become the famous hunting grounds of the politicians. This selfish piece of legislation has brought in it’s wake an anti national , anti religious and feelings of hatred and jealousy among the citizens of our country, and this ugly and disgraceful atmosphere is cunningly and shamelessly used by all the politicians of today and yesteryear. Right now we have come to the zenith and the politicians do not seem to know whether they are coming or going. They simply do not want to face the realities. Remember and take care it is only “Justice and Truth will make you free”. Dooms day for most of you politicians is not far away.

  • 3
    1

    We have seen the ill effects of politically connected appointments, for example SriLankan Airlines.
    Political appointees carry with them the ‘Culture’ of corruption/nepotism/impunity. This culture spreads quickly and is irreversible.
    By all means upgrade rural schools. This must not be achieved by downgrading good schools.

  • 5
    3

    What a beautiful picture of King and Queen!!!

    • 1
      5

      Eagle Eye Ugly and malicius man by Name Mahindapala,
      .
      Do Australians repsect you as an idiot though in his early 80ties ?
      .
      I dont think so, if they knew that your aggressive energies are even lot more than the guy from GUN man who killed over 49 Kiwis day before yesterday.
      .
      Man, hatreds would never calm you down. You as a senior citizen should be more exemplary than malious right ? How can we ever respect you as a senior srilanken ?

    • 0
      0

      EE,

      Who is the King and Who is the Queen ?.
      Excuse my ignorance….

  • 2
    0

    How funny to have a ROYAL college in a country that has no monarchy.
    Monarchy and Royalty stems from a feudal system that we hopefully have gotten rid of a long time ago. Or, does it still exist underground?

    Re-brand Royal up to be State School No.1.

  • 0
    2

    There was a award ceremony about two years ago,. The President of Schools,Rugby took the podium took ascended on the Podium to talk l He was also principal of RC .The comments from student ( in RC tie and blazer) seated behinds was “ Hope he does not speak in English and be a clown . When he started his speech in Sinhala then boys said thank god he is talking in Sinhala . Another said but in Sinhala he will go,on and on we won’t know as he will beat around the bush . It was true.

    So what quality are these old boys talking of for being their principal,.

  • 0
    0

    So, you all want me also to accept the Royal College academically qualified to be the COUNTRY’S TOPMOST INSTITUTION ? No doubt it is the HOME for the most influential families ruling the Country.

    Also it has the pride of creating the Ruling class of this country and RW has made it to a hub of UNP political power block famous for Bribery and Corruptions in Millions and Billions of Dollars worth

    The real patriots of the people, the JVP and LTTE have been branded as Terrorists and decimated while the white collar bandits from top Educational Institutions like Royal, Vidyodaya and Vidyalankara have taken the place of armed terrorism with Decently clad Clergy and Gentlemen Rogues.

    This is the YAHAPALANAYA.

  • 0
    0

    Definitely AVK is abusing his position as the considered pet of RW amongst others. I am told that he has already ruined leading schools, including Royal College. He alone as minister cannot do what he wants so he has a pliant set of officials to carry out his nefarious activities. The best way is to have unqualified fellows so that they can be chucked out at a moment’s notice. Akila Baba alone cannot contrive that mechanism but must get the support of the top.

  • 0
    0

    Politicians like to keep the people in dark,keep them uneducated and keep them ignorant so that they could not be challenged.MR got rid of the hardworking principal of Trinity collage and perhaps he damaged and broke up Ceylinco group because that group promoted the private schools,Ceylonco Sussex nation wide. When people are stupid and ignorant then the politicians could rob the country regardless. There is a revolution in Tunisia at present where the educated people are rising up against the politicians. It’s a matter of time on our countries…
    Our politicians pretend to be religious but people knows otherwise, one can’t fool the people all the time.

  • 1
    0

    This article was too much focussed on Royal College to generate comments which would be of universal significance.
    .
    This new article, by a writer, probably with knowledge of the current position in Singapore and Malaysia, has already evoked a fine comment by “Real Revolutionist”
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/some-lessons-to-fix-sri-lankas-broken-public-education-system/
    .
    We have to discuss things of greater significance there.

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