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Sunday, 24 October 2010

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Dengue Eradication Programme:

Many schools are breeding nurseries

Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane called upon principals, teachers and students of all Government schools to extend their maximum support towards the Health Department’s existing dengue eradication programme.

According to Health Ministry statistics over 50 per cent schools in the country have been identified as ‘high risk mosquito breeding places.’

Minister Gunawardane told the Junior Observer that unless school authorities and children take stringent measures to clean their school compounds practically everyday, dengue mosquito breeding nurseries cannot be eliminated within school premises.Therefore, the Minister appealed to every child to consider this programme as a national need.

The Minister thanked the heads of several schools in the Colombo, Galle and Kandy districts for the encouragement given to their students to maintain their school gardens by cleaning them everyday.

He also said over 7,500 schools were inspected during the `National Dengue Control Week’ which concluded on October 13.

Meanwhile, the Health Inspectors had issued notices to nearly 400 school authorities countrywide for not taking proper measures to clean school compounds and destroy mosquito breeding places.

Minister Gunawardane said he visited several school functions during the past few months and educated schoolchildren on the importance of protecting their health by cleaning the environment.

He said special mosquito eradication programmes will also be conducted in the Northern schools since statistics reveal that the school-going population has been increased to a great extent, due to the prevailing peaceful situation in the Peninsula, after the end of the ethnic conflict.


A test of skills at mental arithmetic

Over 700 children displayed their skills at the ‘Sip Prodigy’ - the 6th National ABACUS and Mental Arithmetic Competition held in Colombo.

Sip Prodigy was organised by the SIP Academy at the St. Joseph’s College Auditorium at Colombo recently.

The children in the age group between 6 to 12 years were from Colombo, Kandy, Badulla, Bandarawela, Gampola, Puttalam, Batticaloa and Akurana.

The competition - level 1 to level 8 tested the concentration, confidence, speed and accuracy of the participants. The ideal age to start this programme is around seven years. Internationally this programme runs in Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Phillipines, UAE, South Africa, USA, Canada and India.

Prof. Tissa Vitharana, Minister for Technology and Research was the chief guest and guest of honour ITN Director, Hashim Omar distributed the certificates and awards to winners of the competition. Kelvin Tham, Founder Director SIP Malaysia, Dinesh Victor the Managing Director of Sip Academy Lanka and Rishard Rahim Head of the Operation SIP Academy in Sri Lanka also participated in the event.

The champions in different levels are: Miflash Muhajireen, Fathima Farha Mohamed Faazil, Mohamed Salman Mohamed Sanidh, Muhammad Shadim Abooubaidha, Dekshitha Tamil Selvam, Fathima Rafza Rahuman, Muthukumaran Anjana, Piumie Chamathsara Karunaratne, Abdul Rahman, P. Pavithran, K.G. Thisara Randini, Jayani Charya Withana, Fathima Ashfa Wariz, Aadavan Pushparaj, Shashivarman Thiruchelvam and Mushadiq Abdul Azeez.


The UN is 65 today

The role the United Nations organisation plays in today’s world which is plagued with numerous problems such as the economic and food crisis, terrorism, ethnic wars and natural disasters is very significant. This year, on the 65th Anniversary of the United Nations, the organisation is more engaged in numerous global problems that affect more people than ever before. The world recognises this reality and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are compelling evidence of it.

On and around October 24, many activities are organised by all parts of the UN, particularly in the main offices in New York, the Hague (Netherlands), Geneva (Switzerland), Vienna (Austria) and Nairobi (Kenya). Some of the events are concerts; flying the UN flag on important buildings; debates on the relevance of the work of the UN in modern times; and proclamations by state heads and other leaders.Most of you must be aware by now as to how this important world body came into force. However, as some of you may not be familiar with the background, let us enlighten you about it.

On October 24, 1945, the United Nations (UN) came into force when the five permanent members of the security council ratified the charter that had been drawn up earlier that year. These members were: France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Since 1948, the event’s anniversary has been known as United Nations Day. It is an occasion to highlight, celebrate and reflect on the work of the United Nations and its family of specialised agencies.The foundations for a ‘League of Nations’ were laid in the Treaty of Versailles, which was one of the treaties to formally end World War I. The treaty was signed in Versailles, France, on June 28, 1919. The league aimed to encourage disarmament, prevent outbreaks of war, encourage negotiations and diplomatic measures to settle international disputes and to improve the quality of life around the world. However, the outbreak of World War II suggested that the League of Nations needed to take on a different form. The ideas around the United Nations were developed in the last years of World War II, particularly during the UN Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, the United States, beginning on April 25, 1945.

The UN was officially created when a UN charter was ratified on October 24 that year.United Nations Day was first observed on October 24, 1948. The UN recommended that United Nations Day should be a public holiday in member states since 1971.

There were also calls for United Nations Day to be an international public holiday to bring attention to the work, role and achievements of the UN and its family of specialized agencies. These have been spectacular, particularly in the fields of human rights, support in areas of famine, eradication of disease, promotion of health and settlement of refugees.

The UN does not work alone but together with many specialised agencies, including: the World Health Organization (WHO); the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); International Labour Organization (ILO); United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

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