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DateLine Sunday, 13 May 2007

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Government Gazette

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.


No funds in State Banks for housing loans

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.

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