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397 war-hit Lankan schools to reopen

[Express Buzz, Friday, 6 November 2009 09:08 No Comment]

The Sri Lankan government is to reopen 397 schools in the Tamil-speaking war-affected northern province. Out of the 1,011 schools in the province, serving a student population of over 80,000, only 614 were functioning because of war and terrorism, the Minister of Education, Susil Premajayanth, told Parliament on Wednesday. The government had decided to spend SL Rs 200 million on school education in the north and reopen 397 schools, he said.

INDIAN RELIEF EFFORT: India on Thursday handed over the second consignment of 2600 MT of galvanized corrugated sheets worth US$ 2.65 million to be used as shelter material for internally displaced persons (IDP) in north Sri Lanka. India had earlier delivered the first consignment of 2600 MT galvanised corrugated sheets to Lanka in August 2009.

India has also approved augmentation of strength of Indian demining teams in Lanka to accelerate the ongoing resettlement programme for the IDPs in Wanni.

India has also agreed to a further grant of 50,000 individual packets of agricultural implements for distribution among IDPs in northern Lanka. Earlier, India had financed the procurement of 20,000 packets of agricultural implements by the Sri Lankan government.

SALARY HIKE FOR DEFENCE STAFF: President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday announced that the defence forces personnel would get a salary increase, in recognition of their sacrifices in the fight against LTTE.

The President’s remark is seen as being significant in the light of the propaganda by some opposition parties that the war had been won only by the troops and not by the political leadership.

FONSEKA RETURNS: The Chief of Defence Staff and former Army commander, Gen Sarath Fonseka, returned to Sri Lanka on Thursday, after a controversial visit to the US. He was whisked away from the airport under tight security, reports said.

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