Letters to the Editor | Sunday Observer

Letters to the Editor

It is true ‘we are all Lasantha’

I read with interest all the articles commemorating Lasantha Wickrematunga in last Sunday Observer. I do agree with the idea that ‘We are all Lasantha’. But I want to state certain salient facts.

When we remember Lasantha, we should keep in mind the identity of his killers. They feared that Lasantha and his paper will develop into a formidable adversary. Besides Lasantha was fighting Gotabhaya Rajapakse in courts over the Mig Deal at the time of his murder. When commemorative speeches are made at the graveside of this fearless man, the speakers should hold the Rajapaksas accountable.

Lasantha was dead for six years when the Yahapalanaya was ushered in. The Rajapaksas and their stooges in law-enforcement have conducted sham investigations where the main motive was to destroy evidence and scare off witnesses. One witness, who was jailed, died under suspicious circumstances in custody.

It was an uphill task for the investigators to find out the ‘truth’. Besides there were problems in the new government from day one, even though many voters were not aware about it until recently. It all came out into open in the evening of October 26 last year.

Lasantha Wickrematunga was Sri Lanka’s best English journalist and Editor in the past 30 years. He was innovative, was a great writer and groomed a whole generation of journalists from Amantha Perera to the likes of Arthur Wamanan and Raisa Wickrematunga. One factor about his journalistic career was that Lasantha was a liberal, non racist, and he preferred the United National Party over all other political dispensations.

The Saudi authorities butchered Jamal Khashoggi in a secluded room in their consulate in Istanbul in 2018. But Lasantha’s killers are far more murderous. They butchered Lasantha in a public street in broad daylight just yards away from a checkpoint in 2009.

It is true that we are all Lasantha. And it is even more true that all of us will meet Lasantha’s fate if the Rajapaksas return to power this year or next. It is our duty to prevent that catastrophe at any cost. It is the only thing that we can do to keep the memory of Lasantha alive.

Moli Arasan, Wellawatta

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GCE O/L Mathematics Paper 2

Many students who sat the Mathematics 2 paper said that they were demoralised after attempting the paper. A few who hoped to get an ‘A’ grade said that they were not sure of getting even a ‘B’ grade.

The students who were accustomed to a particular pattern of questions were taken aback when they saw many tricky questions, out of the text book and the syllabus.

The questions were not regular problems, but twisted and beyond the capacity of an average student. The Education Minister and the Examination Department should take remedial action on the matter.

Many Maths teachers were of the opinion that this kind of tough papers would cause a drop in the percentage of students who pass in Mathematics. They said the paper gives students a little chance to show their capabilities.

Those who prepare question papers should take a cue from the papers set by the London Cambridge O/L and London Edexcel IGCSE O/L mathematics papers. They never set the papers out of the syllabus and the text books. Questions are simple and within the syllabus and the text books.

The authorities who set the Mathematics paper should take into consideration the following:

1 Some schools never get text books on time.

2 As a result of this, most schools are unable to cover the syllabus.

3 Some schools have not given the students sufficient study leave.

4 Lack of Mathematics teachers and the higher rate of absenteeism among teachers in some schools.

The Education Minister, the Education and Examination Departments should take a note on the following:

1 Finish the Year End Grade 11 examination conducted by the Provinces by the first week of November.

2 Finish seminars by the schools by the end of October.

3 Give Grade 11 students sufficient study leave (two-three weeks, as in other countries)

EDWARD R. PEIRIS, MORATUWA 

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