The reconciliation exercise would go a long way in establishing harmony, she said about the recently started process. Having had overcome half-a-dozen attacks on her life, she is much more confident than ever. “I am an atheist; but I believe in my principles, I have never violated basic principles. That has given me a lot of confidence,” she said. Recalling that there was a time when her life was in danger, Ms Kumaratunga said, “My phones were tapped. My house was watched. A lot of people did not have freedom. Things have changed since the new government took charge. The ruling alliance is a unique experiment in Asia as parties with opposing programmes have come together. Members of former extremist groups, who have given up violence, have also joined the system,” she said.Asked whether women were enjoying freedom in the country, Ms. Kumaratunga said: “Certainly. More women are getting into jobs than men. But when it comes to politics, there is no quota. But the new government is going to implement a regulation that at least 25 per cent of the nominees in elections should be women.” Bridging the gulf that divides Tamil and Sinhalese population in Sri Lanka is essential for the wellbeing of the country, former President of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, has said.Ms. Kumaratunga, who was on a private visit to Alappuzha in India, told The Hindu that she was involved in the national unity and reconciliation initiative being undertaken by the present government as part of confidence-building measures. “There is a huge gulf between Tamils and Sinhalese. There are schools for all communities and there are also schools of different communities. Many Tamils do not speak Sinhalese and vice-versa. Earlier, English was not encouraged or rather downgraded in the country. Unlike India, there was no link language,” she said.
Micromine UK has committed to hosting a series of MICROMINE Introduction Courses, aimed at geologists who are currently unemployed or working minimal hours. In educating geologists about Micromine’s premier mine design solution, MICROMINE, the course aims to increase attendees’ employment prospects. The initiative was developed in response to the economic downturn, which has resulted in significantly fewer employment opportunities within the geological industry.The MICROMINE Introduction Course is the only course of its kind, and has been endorsed by the Geological Society of London, the United Kingdom’s recognised professional body for geoscientists. James Hogg, UK Technical manager, commented “The course has been applauded by industry members as a necessary offering. Not surprisingly, participants perceive the course as a personal investment in their career”.Hogg continues “An employee’s software knowledge is a valuable asset and almost always considered when seeking employment. Mining companies look favourably on candidates with both a broad knowledge base and existing software skills”. The aim of the course is to familiarise participants with MICROMINE, one of the most commonly used 3D modelling software programs in the industry. The intention is to increase their knowledge base and skill set, making them a more valued prospect to future employers.Hugh Stuart, Vice President Exploration at Redback Mining, commented “Software training is necessary for young geologists entering the workforce. Redback is an extensive user of Micromine’s products and services and commends Micromine for introducing attendees to MICROMINE and providing a positive start to their careers”. The course is comprised of two modules which run as separate courses; Introduction to MICROMINE and Exploration. The course was held twice in 2009, with the next one scheduled for 6-7 July, 2010. Each course has reached maximum capacity and included attendees from as far as France and Albania. It is available to geologists who are currently unemployed or working minimal hours for a nominal fee which covers the cost of the course.