Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka Needs UNESCO to Supervise Revision of School Textbooks

Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka Needs UNESCO to Supervise Revision of School Textbooks

|Views: 261|Likes:
Published by Puni Selva
From the time of independence successive governments have been oppressing the ethnic minorities, Tamils and Muslims. They also used school textbooks to instigate hatred against the ethnic minorities. In the last four decades textbooks have been freely given to primary and secondary school children. In the last few years the President's son has been personally issuing the textbooks with his and his father's photographs pasted on front-covers in the highly militarised North of the country where people are scared to protest the government brainwashing.
From the time of independence successive governments have been oppressing the ethnic minorities, Tamils and Muslims. They also used school textbooks to instigate hatred against the ethnic minorities. In the last four decades textbooks have been freely given to primary and secondary school children. In the last few years the President's son has been personally issuing the textbooks with his and his father's photographs pasted on front-covers in the highly militarised North of the country where people are scared to protest the government brainwashing.

More info:

Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Puni Selva on Mar 09, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOCX, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





http://www.scribd.com/doc/211491454/Peacebuilding-in-Sri-Lanka-Needs-UNESCO-to-Supervise-Revision-of-School-Textbooks Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka needs UNESCO to supervise revision of school textbooks
‘’Education must rise on the agenda of peace building. We know the wrong type of education can fuel
conflict. The use of education systems to foster hatred has contributed to the underlying causes of conflicts,
 from Rwanda to Sri Lanka, but also in Guatemala and Sudan’’
- Why education matters for global security, Irina Bokova(Director General, UNESCO), 1 March 2011, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/about-us/who-we-are/director-general/singleview-dg/news/education_and_security_dawn_pakistan_why_education_matters_for_global_security_234nextcom_nigeria/#.U1oX3vldVqU A.School textbooks have been ill-used to generate conflict: 1.In the last four decades school textbooks have been issued freely in schools to all students. in the last few years in the army-occupied Northern Province, the President's son issues them in a special function with his and his father's pictures plastered on the front-cover of those books - people under army occupation are scared to raise protests against the government. Please note the tweet at the bottom: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/namal-rajapaksa-building-a-cult-of-personality-in-the-north/ 2. Successive Sri Lankan governments have been using textbooks to incite hatred against the ethnic minorities. There have been calls on and off from scholars and ordinary citizens to revise the textbooks by removing inflammatory text sections: ''Sri Lanka needs A UNESCO supervised revision of school text books by a panel of internationally renowned
Sri Lankan scholars so as to minimize prejudice against communities and ‘build the defences of peace in the minds of men’.''
- The Lalith Weeratunga Presentation, Dayan Jayatilleka, 28 January 2014, http://groundviews.org/2014/01/28/the-lalith-weeratunga-presentation/ '' Peace education is an imperative at this stage of our national history ....'' - Justice C. G. Weeramantry tells Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission(LLRC), 29 November 2010, http://www.scribd.com/doc/127226195/Sri-Lanka-Justice-Weeramantry-to-Lessons-Learnt-and-Reconciliation-Commission 3
. ‘’After almost 30 years of conflict, it also has to rebuild a Nation, a Sri Lankan N
ation united in its diversity, where communities and individuals feel at ease. For this, there is not much foreign friends can do. This is the responsibility of Sri Lankan people, their political leadership, in the government and in the opposition, and also their civil society, and this is where academics and researchers have an important role to play,
particularly those who are working in the fields of history, law, economy, sociology and political sciences’’
- Address by Christine Robichon, Ambassador of France, at the Peradeniya University Research Sessions (PURSE) - 2010, 16th December 2010, http://www.ambafrance-lk.org/spip.php?article839  4. ''Building a consciousness of nationhood is not a responsibility that can be left to politicians and constitutional lawyers. .... It is pre-eminently an educational task, to be initiated at the level of our schools. It requires a new way of looking at history, and helping young minds climb out of the constraints placed on their understanding by the sectarian myths, legends, and memories that are embedded in their ancient chronicles, whether they relate to their Aryan origins or to their Dravidian origins. This does not mean that children should be ignorant of, much less that they should reject, their rich historical inheritance, but that they should acquire a more global view of history and be equipped with a critical sense that will enable them
to stand back and look at their respective narratives more objectively. .... Unless and until Sri Lanka can produce leaders who can realize that truth, and are willing to act on it, it will continue to be dismembered by conflict, long after the LTTE and Pirabhikaran have passed into history '' - Why Sirimavo refused to visit Jaffna after 1964 cyclone By Neville Jayaweera, 18 January 2009, http://transcurrents.com/tc/2009/01/why_sirimavo_refused_to_visit.html 5i
. “Millions of
school children are taught, in the name of social studies, through text-books published by the state, the myths of divergent racial origins which will help to divide the Sinhalese and Tamils for more generations to come... What this lesson does is to evoke the child's memories of being frightened by his parents with threats of the mysterious and fearful `billo' to identify these bogeymen as Tamil agents, and thus to enlist the deep-seated irrational fears of early childhood for the purpose of creating apprehension
and hatred of Tamils”
- Reggie Siriwardene, a well-respected Sinhalese writer, in a well-documented analysis of the effects of school textbooks on ethnic relations in Sri Lanka(1984) 6.In the 1950s and 1960s Tamil and Sinhalese scholars vehemently protested the hatred-mongering in textbooks but the Education Department that produces the textbooks dismissed their concern. 7
. ‘’The Two Faces of Education in Ethnic Conflict challenges a widely
-held assumption - that education is inevitably a force for good. While stressing the many stabilizing aspects of good quality education, editors Kenneth Bush and Diana Saltarelli show how education can be manipulated to drive a wedge between people, rather than drawing them closer together. After analyzing the increasing importance of ethnicity in contemporary conflicts, this Innocenti Insight outlines the negative and positive faces of education in situations of tension or violence, including the denial of education as a weapon of war (negative) and the cultivation of inclusive citizenship (positive). It emphasizes the need for peacebuilding education that goes further than the 'add good education and stir' approach, aiming to transform the very foundations of intolerance.
….Ethnic intolerance makes it appearance in the classroom in many ways…… Textbooks have often been
shown to contain negative ethnic stereotypes..... A review of the textbooks used in the segregated schools of Sri Lanka in the 1970s and 1980s, for example, found Sinhalese textbooks scattered with images of Tamils as the historical enemies of the Sinhalese, while celebrating ethnic heroes who had vanquished Tamils in ethnic wars. Ignoring historical fact, these textbooks tended to portray Sinhalese Buddhists as the only true Sri Lankans, with Tamils, Muslims and Christians as non- indigenous and extraneous to Sri Lankan history. This version of national history according to one commentator, has been deeply divisive in the context of the
wider state’’
- The Two Faces of Education in Ethnic Conflict: Towards a Peacebuilding Education for Children, Kenneth D. Bush and Diana Saltarelli(2000), http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/insight4.pdf  8.
‘’It is necessary to trace
briefly the historical links between the development of the education system and the development of an ethnic -based politics, leading to armed conflict. .... Divisions were exacerbated by successive government policies discriminating against the Tamil minorities. .... Divisive ethnic politics and loss of confidence in non-violent and democratic politics fuelled the desire for autonomous, separatist solutions through the 1970s .... The Government dominates the educational publications sector in Sri Lanka through its provision of free textbooks to all students from grade 1 to 11 .... Tamils not involved in writing the textbooks - Textbooks written in Sinhala, and then translated into Tamil .... full of spelling, grammatical and factual errors .... distortion of history .... the history of Sri Lanka is confined to a few selected Sinhala kings .... the textbooks do not educate the child about the various characteristics of a multi-religious and a multi- racial society; the majority of Sinhala medium textbooks emphasize Sinhalese Buddhist attitudes; distorted maps under-represent North and Eastern Provinces; "geographical, social, economical or cultural features" of Tamil communities (including the plantation sector) are not adequately discussed or presented; in studying art, the Tamil student only studies Sinhalese Buddhist aspects of art; the textbooks encourage children to develop "apartheid attitudes" ..... War is shown as patriotic while peace is portrayed as
- Respect for Diversity in Educational Publication - The Sri Lankan Experience, Ariya Wickrema and Peter Colenso, 2003, http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EDUCATION/Resources/278200-1121703274255/1439264-1126807073059/Paper_Final.pdf  B. Education is in a mess: ''Apart from its failure to pursue Reconciliation with determination and coherence, perhaps the saddest failure of the current government has been with regard to Education. ........ In my systematic visits to the North and East I have become increasingly aware of despair in this regard. Occasional discussions with parents and teachers in the South make me realize that the problem is getting worse all over the country'' - Educational Mishaps, *Rajive Wijesinhe, 11 July 2014, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/educational-mishaps/ (*Prof R.Wijesinha is a Minister in the government)
'’Professor Obeyesekere’s letter urges President Rajapaksa: “another ch
allenge for a wise leader and that is
to bring back the universities to its early glory.’’ As the politicisation of the universities is part and parcel of the style of the present regime’s governance, a call to restore to the universities their past emine
nce, is no less than a call to restore good governance in general'' - Fulbright Days And A Plea To Leadership, Emeritus Professor H.L.Seneviratne, 13 October 2013, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/fulbright-days-and-a-plea-to-leadership-2/ 
‘’The recent trade union action by university academics and other staff, and the current critique of
educational policies and interventions by students, parents, teachers and members of the public are a response to multiple crises in the education sector. These problems have not emerged overnight. They reflect progressive decline including many decades of mismanagement and politicized and ad hoc decision making
. ……..’’ –
 Crisis in Education Sector, Jayantha Dhanapala(former UN Under-Secretary-General) and Emeritus Professor Savitri Goonesekere On behalf of Friday Forum, the Group of Concerned Citizens, 7 August 2012, http://www.tisrilanka.org/?p=9833
‘’……. The
 study showed that households, officials and teachers all condemned political interferences and thought that it hampered quality of and equity in education. However, the majority appeared to have accepted that politicians are above the law and that nothing can be done about such interferences. This is
also reflected in low levels of reporting against corruption’’
- Corruption in Education in Sri Lanka, June 2009, http://www.tisrilanka.org/pub/pp/pdf/EduPositionpaper03072009.pdf NGOs working for Peace are vilified: NGOs have been pointing out the injustice to the Tamils and trying to help the people neglected by successive governments which have been resenting them, criticising them and expelling some and refusing to extend visas to others. This government has also begun to use education to poison the minds of students:
‘’There are views expressed that the actions of some non government organizations in Sri Lanka has had an adverse impact on the country’s independence, peace, culture and even development. Wri
te an essay
backing your stance with reason.’’
- GCE Advanced Level(August 2009) Sinhala question paper(prepared by the Department of Education), http://www.lankanewsweb.com/news/EN_2009_08_19_004.html C. Militarisation Militarisation Militarisation 1. Militarisation of the North: The government began to subjugate the people of Northern Sri Lanka by highlymilitarising the region : ''Army personnel to civilians in the North is nearly 1:5. which is higher than peak-time activity of the US in Iraq, the UK in Northern Ireland, French in Algeria, Russians in Chechenya and Indians in Jammu and Kashmir '' -
Notes on the Military Presence in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, Economic and Political Weekly,

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->