COLUMNS

Getting An Education Or Cramming To Pass Exams?

Columns
Shamindrini Peiris
I used to meet a mother, a little while back, who brought her two children to the same swimming class as my daughter. The older child was a boy of ten who seemed really keen on his lessons and would rush into the pool as soon as the coach got in. But one day, he just sat on a bench near the changing room, clutching a book to his chest, wistfully watching his little sister swim. Wondering why he was not in the pool, I ...Continued

Drawing Board Beckons For Lankans Dogged by Inconsistency

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Dion Michael
The ODI Cricket World Cup is just ten months away and whilst most competing countries have a fair idea of the composition of their squads, the Sri Lankan selectors find themselves going back to the drawing board to try and choose a team that will fly the Lion Flag high at the world cup in England in June 2019. All is not lost – the cupboard is not exactly bare. In fact, Sri Lanka has never been short of talent but the lack of consistency ...Continued

Decisive Action Needed To Halt Hate Speech

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Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
The issue of the punishment of hate speech seems to raise more questions than it answers in the Sri Lankan context.  Invariably there are the arguments about free speech, which are of concern to the genuine rights activist or those purporting to be one.  There are also arguments about the weaknesses and gaps in the existing law of the land and therefore the argument for new law.  At the same time, there are concerns about the political commitment of the government of the day to ...Continued

Thirty-five Years After July Riots, Wounds Are Yet To Heal

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Shamindrini Peiris
School rivalry can be lots of fun, especially when it comes to sports, but when I went through the gates of Holy Family Convent (HFC), Bambalapitiya in the last week of July, thirty-five years ago, it was in circumstances I would never have dreamed of.  That Monday morning on the 25th of July, I was just another 8 year old on her way to school at St. Bridget’s Convent, Colombo, quite unaware that by the middle of the week I would take up residence at ...Continued

‘Home Advantage’ In The Spotlight After Lankans Thrash Proteas 2-0

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Dion Michael
In another David and Goliath tale, the Sri Lankan Cricketers belied their lowly sixth rank to brush aside second ranked South Africa in a 2-0 sweep of their two-test series which concluded this week. Revelling in home conditions with dry spinning tracks, the Lankans completely outplayed their opponents to extract revenge for the 3-0 drubbing they received when they last toured South Africa. In that series in 2016-17, the hosts South Africa prepared fast, bouncy tracks to expose the Lankans known weakness for fast bowling ...Continued

Lions, Proteas Set For Intriguing Battle

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Dion Michael
The Sri Lanka and South Africa cricket teams are set for an intriguing contest. The first of their two-test series began on Thursday in Galle. Both teams have had successful outings in their last test series with South Africa overcoming a subdued Australia 3-1 at home and the Sri Lankans holding West Indies to 1-1 in a three-test series in the Caribbean where they became the only Asian team to beat West Indies in their citadel – Barbados. There is a bit more than the ...Continued

Causes and Consequences of a Depreciating Rupee

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Prof. Sirimevan Colombage
The rupee has depreciated sharply against the US dollar since the beginning of this year. The weakening of the currency is an outcome of the continuing setback in the external sector characterized by the wide trade gap and heavy external debt commitments. In recent times, the Central Bank (CB) has allowed the rupee to fluctuate depending on the foreign exchange market conditions instead of intervening to defend the currency as previously done. The weaker rupee is partly a reflection of this policy shift. The strengthening ...Continued

Balkrishna Doshi – the Pritzker Prize Winner

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Jennifer Henricus
The profession of Architecture in South Asia received an incredible boost last month when the 2018 Pritzker Prize, the field’s highest accolade was awarded to India’s Balkrishna Doshi for his exceptional contributions to humanity and the built environment. The energetic and young at heart 90-year-old is the first Indian and South Asian to win the Prize since its inception 40 years ago. Awarded each year by the Pritzker family in Chicago through its Hyatt Foundation, the Prize is often described as “architecture’s Nobel.”  This year ...Continued

Absorbing Series In the West Indies Marred By Ball Tampering...

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Dion Michael
The West Indies and Sri Lanka cricket teams have just concluded one of the most absorbing three-test series in recent history which ended level at 1-1 with one game drawn and included some world class individual performances which constantly swung the initiative from one team to the other. West Indies’ fast Bowler Shannon Gabriel was the undoubted star of the series with a haul of 20 wickets including 13 in one game – a new record for a test in West Indies. Sri Lanka’s paceman ...Continued

Public Service is a Human Right

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Kshama Ranawana
In Sri Lanka, the day passed unnoticed, even though, June 23 has been declared by the United Nations as Public Service Day..  It is the one day of the year that is set aside to celebrate and recognize the work of public servants. The duties and responsibilities of a public servant are vast, and makes up the backbone of delivering basic to complex services to citizens.  While the State formulates policies and affords various protections through the constitution, the actual delivery lies in the hands ...Continued

Sri Lanka Missed Out On A Foreign Direct Investment Boom...

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Kshama Ranawana
Five billion dollars in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by 2020; that is the grand plan the government of Sri Lanka has for this nation. Along with that, the government hopes to generate a million new and better jobs. To reach that goal, the government has begun the process of setting up an online one-stop shop that will help potential investors obtain official approvals with ease. As a first step, the Board of Investment, (BOI) launched a web portal on May 30 this year.  The BOI ...Continued

Groupthink: A New Phase of an Old Epidemic?

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Prof. Susirith Mendis
‘Groupthink’ is a term coined by social psychologist Irving Janis as recently as 1972. It occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment”.  Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups.  A group is especially vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background; when the group is insulated from outside opinions; and when there are no clear rules for decision making. The ...Continued
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