Into the valley of death, marched the 6%

10 October 2012 07:22 pm - 5     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Here in Sri Lanka, the ordinary citizenry is the last to know about the decisions taken by the state for the so-called welfare of the former. Even though there is nothing comforting about this enforced ignorance, people are compelled to live with it. In an era where the politicians themselves seem to be unaware of the ultimate law that governs the country, one could hardly blame the people for their political illiteracy; which leaves the question whether the media have failed in their ultimate mission to enlighten the masses.

Undisputedly, the much-hyped-about university lecturers’ strike put many things on hold. Various hindrances from the lengthy closure of universities to the delay in holding examinations and A/L paper marking were blamed on their obdurate trade union action. At the same time, the tolerance exercised by the masses was abundant. To their credit, they believed in the common cause of saving free education, while being oblivious to the more obvious personal demands on FUTA’s list.
When the country’s intelligentsia took to streets clad in the garbs of saviours of free education, people thought the much needed change would spring from it; of course, there were spring-lovers and spring-haters and then there were those who dubbed it to be an ‘international’ conspiracy that would see the regime interred.  

In the latest turn of events, FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said they decided to call off the strike today following discussions with Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundare which were a success. According to him the two parties have reached consensus on the salary issues, and soon after a written assurance on the method of the salary increase was received  the strike would be called off.  He also said the government had promised to allocate a considerable amount of money though the 6 per cent of the GDP was impossible.

There, you have it all in black and white!
On the flipside, the gates of universities  will be opened again; despite the delay, the paper-marking will be resumed. At least, the biggest clot in the current education system would be momentarily cleared.  Yet, one cannot help but feel betrayed by the manner in which the two parties behaved in the scenario. Firstly it was a battle of obstinacies; then it was a national struggle where the political parties sought to gain mileage for themselves. Lately, it became a ‘find the way’ game to the end of the conflict through a few bottomless tummies.   

If Sri Lanka needed a revolution, it would have emerged at the wake of the implementation of the 18th Amendment or the non-implementation of the Right to Information Bill. Of course, the countries that were swept by many springs do not seem any fitter than Sri Lanka.
One thing is clear; the orange and black T-shirts that bore the 6% mark have suddenly turned into emperor’s clothes. And Sri Lanka being a tropical country does not have seasons, which includes spring.
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  Comments - 5

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  • S.Jeyasankar Thursday, 11 October 2012 06:43 AM

    Strong nominee for the Best fiction award year 2012!

    Proudlankan Wednesday, 10 October 2012 09:25 PM

    I hope most SL know that at least this is how a Democratic
    country acts.We don't have a perfect system,but if we can
    protest when we do not believe in something we have at
    least Rights.This year in Chicago, USA the Public School teachers
    protested and did not go to work.We will never hear about
    this in SL for int'l news but it should be noted that when
    some of us write about our flawed system and sprak about
    the perfect Democracy in the USA , this is their Right to protest.Also it is our gov. Right to come to a common agreement if possible.

    RU-T Thursday, 11 October 2012 10:03 AM

    I find it appalling that you as the editor of a national newspaper has got your facts all wrong. You accuse FUTA of selling out. Please go back, find the letter that Dr. PB Jayasundara issued and correct what you have said. THERE IS NO PAY HIKE and you KNOW it. The media has been behaving in a very irresponsible way to the point of distorting information to suit the govt.
    You may not like what I have said and this may get lost while it is being "moderated". But I want you to know that you as editors and heads of media institutions have been less than ethical and that part of the blame of the present state of our country should be borne by you.

    Cobra Friday, 12 October 2012 06:45 AM

    And as soon as they got a glimpse of the Grim Reaper they turned tail!!!

    leelananda Thursday, 11 October 2012 11:19 AM

    yes they all are in the mr pocket enjoying his lavish meals with kasippu from public money.


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