Never in the history of our beautiful land had so many prayed for,
and wished good luck to so few-our eleven heroes in the West Indies.
They lost with honour. Nevertheless they won the hearts of the good
people of the West Indies and the plaudits of many a cricketing nation.
As Sri Lakans, we empathize with their feelings encountered in the
finals, and we share their hopes for a brilliant future.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa took an invaluable decision to grant
housing or property loans at an interest rate of 4% to State employees.
It was an inspiration for the government sector as a loan of this nature
could give much consolation for them to build their dwellings which they
have been dreaming for years.
The cost of living is soaring daily but the salaries remain
unchanged. At this juncture a loan at 4% is a God-given gift for them.
Unfortunately all state banks who were supposed to approve this loan
prefer to turn a blind eye, saying that no funds were available for
loans of this nature, but any other loans with higher interest rates are
granted by the same banks. This is how the needy people have been
treated in this society.
The badly affected category especially the teachers who keep shouting
at a stretch of eights periods at 40 to 50 odd students a day for five
consecutive days a week, undergo the pain mentally and physically. Their
month end salary is insufficient even to seek medical treatment because
of the toxic chalk powder added to excessive shouting.
It is important to resolve this issue permanently by even obtaining a
low interest loan from banks such as Asian Development Bank, World Bank,
or as a soft loan from a foreign country which the Minister of Education
should intervene in this issue with much of attention to assist
financially by pumping more funds into the state banks to re-start the
issue of loans.
We hope the Minister of Education will not allow the dreams of
teachers who come under his ministry to be shattered.