In the post-war North and East housing is a dire need. The provision of permanent housing, as well as livelihood creation, is pivotal for the resettlement of communities. As such, a Cabinet decision to build 65,000 houses for war-affected communities seemed to be a move in the right direction for a Government that came into power on promises of reconciliation and economic prosperity.
Public education has been at the centre of many struggles in Sri Lanka. While images of the brutal attacks on the HNDA student protests are still fresh in our minds, another budget has been presented to us by the Government. Increases in the allocations for education was announced as a highlight of the 2016 Budget. As a sector that has a widespread interest among the people, this Government’s policy direction for education proposed in the budget has generated much debate.
A common refrain today among many in Jaffna town is about its youth “perpetuating social evils.”
Offering a ready analysis of post-war Jaffna society, they are often quick to point to the “rowdy behaviour of youngsters who simply loiter on the roads and harass people”, or are “forever speaking on their mobile phones.” This moral judgment is problematic in its generalisation. It not only fails to appreciate the complex reality faced by a generation that was born during a war, but also ignores the nature of transformation that our society has undergone.
As the private sector workers are campaigning to secure the Rs. 2,500 increase to their monthly salaries, manpower workers in public and private sector jobs are faced with a difficult struggle.