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Is there an answer?

Columns
I adore Sri Lanka and I love its people, possibly with the exception of the politicians. I spent some ten years on and off working in Sri Lanka and was privileged to visit just about every corner, from Jaffna to Galle and Ampara to Colombo (I got close, but missed out on Batticaloa and Trincomalee). I experienced a stunning country and a warm and generous people. I despaired at the waste caused by the civil strife and the many lives pointlessly lost. Rather than being ...Continued

Female candidates face intense scrutiny; CMEV

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Strick regulations and proactive removal of hate speech and misinformation could have led to the lower number of hate speech and divisive language used on social media platforms during the current election period compared to last year’s Presidential Election, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) states. “Since the last election, a number of social media platforms including Facebook have made certain changes to their policies and procedures on hate speech,” the CMEV stated in its latest report. A number of the large Facebook groups, ...Continued

‘Workforce Protection’ key to move forward- survey finds

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The hospitality and food service sector recorded the highest economic losses in terms of revenue, foreign exchange earnings and investment as result of the Covid-19 pandemic, a survey conducted by the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) shows. The recently launched survey dubbed ‘An Initial Assessment of The Impact of Covid-19 on Employers’ further revealed that the worst hit were the small and medium scale businesses and boniness entities serving both domestic and foreign markets. “Exporters employing more than 250 employees lost all their earnings. This ...Continued

A strong Executive Presidency necessary to navigate the Post-COVID world...

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Milinda Moragoda, former Cabinet Minister and Founder of the Pathfinder Foundation spoke about the need for Sri Lanka to be fast and agile in order to face the economic, social and international challenges of the Post-Covid environment. In a press release, he states, ‘there is no disputing the fact that the country benefited from having strong executive decision-making during the early stages of the pandemic. And as a result, many lives were saved. Disappointingly, no major political party has yet put forward a coherent governance ...Continued

Emphasising too much on Sinhala- Buddhist Nationalism is harmful to...

Columns
Q. What have we learnt from the Easter Sunday attacks?It seems that the threat is not completely eliminated and there are embers under the ashes. Although the security apparatus has been beefed up, is that enough? Or do we have to address the root causes of extremism and nip it in the bud? The Easter Sunday attack demonstrated to Sri Lanka and to the world that visionary, collective and decisive leadership is at the heart of addressing national security challenges. Hitherto the emphasis was for ...Continued

Dharmapala Parapura amongst those Vying to Enter Parliament

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Chintaka Tillekeratne is contesting the forthcoming parliamentary election for the first time.  While he and several of his group are contesting under the National Peoples’ Party (NPP), they represent the Dharmapala Parapura (Dharmapala Generation following the teachings of Angarika Dharmapala). ‘In 2020, Let’s Stand on the Side of the Country, Instead of on the side of Political Parties,’   goes their slogan and Chintaka told Counterpoint  that the group’s campaign is mostly conducted on-line.  Formed under the patronage of the Ven. Prof. Indragare Dhammaratana Thero of ...Continued

It’s the economy, stupid

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“It was James Carville the political strategist behind Bill Clinton’s rise to the US Presidency who introduced the phrase ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ to the lexicon of political campaigning. He made this comment to draw the focus of his campaign workers on the issue that truly mattered to the voters at that time. So far, Sri Lanka’s 2020 parliamentary campaign has been a cacophony of political slogans and ego-trips. Unfortunately, candidates and political parties are yet to present coherent and viable economic strategies to the ...Continued

Yatharthaya – A Platform for First Time Candidates

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Kshama Ranawana
In many ways the campaign for the forthcoming parliamentary elections is different from all others held before and we have COVID-19 to thank for most of that.  Even though some of the mainstream political parties have gone ahead with large scale election rallies, in comparison to what it used to be, today’s meetings seem to have shrunk in size, simply because everyone of us must adhere to Health Ministry guidelines. It is also a fact that come election time, it is the same politicians and ...Continued

Special Assistance for the Disabled and Handicapped at Forthcoming Election

Columns
Persons with disabilities will be able to cast their vote at the forthcoming parliamentary election, only if the person accompanying such a voter, hands over a “Certificate of Eligibility” to the officers at the Polling station, the Election Commission announced on July 6th. The ‘Certificate of Eligibility’ is prescribed in the Fifth Schedule to the Parliamentary Elections Act.   If the  person assisting a partially or totally visually handicapped  or physically disabled voter  does not hand in such a certificate, the said voter will not be ...Continued

CNVR, the Best Method to Control the Dog Population

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Kshama Ranawana
Caring and feeding for abandoned animals comes naturally to most Sri Lankans and there are many individuals and organizations that work tirelessly to improve the lot of such animals. However, recent bureaucratic decisions and an Animal Welfare Bill that has been on the shelf for more than a decade has prevented meaningful State intervention in the comprehensive care of animals. Instead, that task has increasingly being falling on the shoulders of animal welfare organisations and individuals. One decision that is being questioned is the handing ...Continued

Free Publicity to Candidates who Make Assets and Liabilities Public

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In a bid to promote a clean political environment, the March 12 Movement is pledging that any candidate contesting the August 5 parliamentary elections, who publicly declares his or her assets and liabilities will be given free publicity. Over 7450 candidates, including 3800 representing independent groups, are contesting the upcoming election. Of them only 2.3 per cent will secure a seat in the parliament. During a press conference this week the March 12 Movement requested the candidates to engage in clean politics and usher in ...Continued

Changing Lifestyles, Protecting Nature

Columns
Dr. Ravindra Kariyawasam
Over a 100 countries celebrate World Environment Day each year on June 5th. And this year the theme is “Time for Nature” with a focus on biodiversity. The lockdowns imposed on several countries across the world owing to COVID- 19 had one positive result; the environment quality parameters got better.  But that is not to say that we are protecting this earth or that other forms of environmental destructions are not continuing. In Brazil, Jair Bolsanaro has given Amazonian lands to many multinational companies, which ...Continued

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