COLUMNS

Committed to a Life of Social Change for Sri Lankans

Columns
Kshama Ranawana
She was born to a life of privilege and was planning a career as a medical doctor.  However, she gave it all up in pursuit of a dream of changing this country to one where all citizens would enjoy equal status. Hemamali Wijesinghe was just 18 in 1971, and she was amongst the many young people who passionately wanted to see a social change in Sri Lanka. Hemamali’s parents were philanthropists and her older siblings felt very strongly that equality for all will be possible ...Continued

Hygiene and cleanliness…an integral part of tourism

Columns
Ivan Alvis
I guess, some of you may wonder why I’ve touched on hygiene and cleanliness where tourism is concerned. Well, the following galvanized me into action, and I wasn’t surprised at all when a foreign family, visiting Sri Lanka, in early January, inquired from me about the garbage, plastic bags, etc., strewn everywhere in the city! I explained that the authorities in charge are doing their best to beautify Sri Lanka and that before long we would be proud of our tag the ‘Wonder of Asia.’ ...Continued

Party leaders behave, for once

Columns
Vishvanath
It is seldom that political leaders see eye to eye on anything, in this country. They are perennially at daggers drawn and go for one another’s jugular, at the drop of a hat. In the aftermath of the Boxing Day tsunami (2004), which pummelled the country’s littoral, destroying as it did tens of thousands of lives and properties worth billions of rupees, leaders of all political hues got together and vowed to help the country rise above the waves. But their much-publicized show of unity ...Continued

COVID-19: Quo Vadis Sri Lanka

Columns
Introduction  COVID-19 has wide-ranging implications on two fronts: healthcare provision and economic activities. The impact is being transmitted at the global, sectoral and individual levels. The severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is being compounded in global financial markets by the tension in the oil market arising from Russia’s effort to undermine the US shale sector leading to a split between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The severity of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is being amplified by the difficulties healthcare services, first in China and ...Continued

Curfew and what next?

As It Happens
Dr. Prasanna Cooray
A countrywide curfew was imposed, on 20 March, as a desperate measure to contain the spread of the Covid -19 virus within the country. This stringent action was taken in the wake of the declaration of a special holiday (16 March), which was extended for three more days for the state sector workers. The private sector was requested to consider it a mercantile holiday, if possible. Some private companies complied while others didn’t. The commencement of the first-term-end school vacation was advanced to 13 March ...Continued

Social distancing or physical distancing?

Columns
Vishvanath
When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.” (Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll) ‘Social distancing’ has become a household word thanks to the chillingly rapid spread of coronavirus, which has so far affected almost all countries, in the world, afflicted about 387,000 and  left ...Continued

Kadir’s diplomatic brilliance

Columns
Spectator
March 17th marked the 24th anniversary of Sri Lanka becoming World Champions in cricket. The nation reminisced of perhaps the best occasion in our sporting history with the highlights being Arjuna’s shrewd captaincy, Aravinda’s terrific all-round performance and Sanath ending the international careers of a few bowlers. Of course, the contributions of Coach Dav Whatmore and Manager Duleep Mendis, will be remembered for a long time. But the role one man played behind the scenes pulling off several diplomatic masterstrokes hardly gets a mention. Lakshman ...Continued

Stand Up and Be Counted!

Columns
Kshama Ranawana
There’s a young man fighting for his life at the Intensive Care Unit. Even if he does survive, there is little guarantee that he will enjoy any quality of life.  He is just one of the many who have either taken their lives or endure permanent injury both physical and mental following harrowing treatment at the hands of their university seniors. Despite that, not a single government in Sri Lanka has had the backbone to ban ragging in our universities. All they do is conduct ...Continued

Opportune time to plan ahead

Columns
Ivan Alvis
With Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading like wildfire, across the globe, the tourism industry has hit rock bottom and almost every country, where tourism plays a pivotal role in the economy, is feeling the heat. In South-East Asia, the tourism scene is crumbling, with Thailand – the number one tourist destination for millions – projected to lose around 1.5 trillion baht and, probably a 10 million drop in tourist arrival, if the Coronavirus crisis continues for a few more months. Depressing headlines, such as “Tour buses idle ...Continued

Why character education is imperative for Sri Lanka

Columns
HGS Prematunge
Character education is a new global education trend, the importance of which cannot be emphasized enough. Character or lack thereof, is the main reason for the current predicament of the human race. In a country where grown men cannot walk two steps without spitting, cannot help but manspread on public transport and gawk at women showing the slightest curvature and women cough and sneeze without any regard to those around them at all, regardless of gender, invade each other’s personal spaces, perfectly intelligent men and ...Continued

Spectre of international isolation looming large

Columns
Dissector
Economic growth is well-nigh impossible without international trade and investment but with the COVID – 19 pandemic strengthening its grip on the world the possibility is that most countries would sooner rather than later slump into recession and eventual economic ruin. The reality staring the international community in the face is that countries, in rising numbers are drifting into self-isolation and restricted international interaction in the wake of the world’s latest contagion which is claiming human lives in the thousands inasmuch as it is blighting ...Continued

‘Two main parties consist of rogues’

Columns
Q: There has been a growing opposition to the members of Maha Sangha taking to active politics and entering Parliament and other political institutions. How would you justify Buddhist monks entering Parliament, which should be kept secular? A: A Bhikkhu, with awareness of political issues and ability to deal with them is an asset in politics. Such a knowledgeable Bhikkhu has the potential to make a real difference in politics. As a journalist you should be asking whether there has been a correct assessment of the ...Continued

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