11/07/2011, 00.00
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Sri Lanka, Christian students discriminated against: no religion exam in English

by Melani Manel Perera
The Ministry of Education does not allow students to register for Catholic and Christian religion in English, but only in Sinhala and Tamil. The demands of the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal. Ranjith, and President Rajapaksa were not taken into account by the Ministry.
Colombo (AsiaNews) - Thousands of Catholic parents in Sri Lanka have written letters to the president and the country's education minister to ask that Catholic and Christian students can have classes and exams in their religion in the "English medium ", exactly like other religious communities who can study and practice their religion in their language in examinations conducted by state institutions. The Archbishop of Colombo, Card. Malcolm Ranjith has appealed to government to consider the issue. But the Ministry of Education has rejected the request.

According to the official website of the archdiocese, the Sunday Times newspaper reported Nov. 6 that the request sent from the office of President Mahinda Rajapaksha to the Ministry of Education to favorably consider the request of Catholic and Christian students has been dropped. Catholic parents had turned to Card. Ranjith who appealed to the government, but apparently without success.

Parents and teachers, speaking to AsiaNews said they appreciate the direct mediation of the President and the archbishop, but have added, "this is a very sad situation, if the ministry does not allow what we have asked for our children. It is a big question mark. Because the ministry says no? ". Others have said: "Our archbishop and the President have appealed to the ministry, but it has not had the good sense to listen. Why this shocking treatment of Christian students? ".

The website points out that card. Ranjith in various discussions with the authorities asked that the request be favorably considered, and that the Presidential Secretariat followed up on his request writing, with two letters. "Parents who have appealed to the President said that the majority of students follow their religion 'in the "English medium, "and therefore should have the opportunity to do the exam in that language. Parents are reminded that children study their religion in Sunday schools, in English, so should be allowed to take the exam in English. "

Students who have already applied to do the exam in English have been ordered to withdraw their request, and instead of making apply to undergo the exam in Sinhala and Tamil. Parents complain however that students of international schools are allowed to take the exam in English, and this fact creates discrimination.

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