OTHER COLUMNS

India strikes hard bargain in Sri Lanka for stake in...

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With eyes on growing Chinese influence, New Delhi ensures its interests get priority MARWAAN MACAN-MARKAR, Asia regional correspondent January 25, 2021 13:46 JST BANGKOK — Sri Lanka’s hawkish President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has caved in to Indian pressure for a stake in the Port of Colombo, the busiest harbor in the strategically located South Asian island where China already has a foothold. Rajapaksa’s retreat came on the heels of a visit earlier this month by Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to India’s smaller southern neighbor, ...Continued

Moves to salvage the economy amidst Covid

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ECT becoming an eyesore Ranjan cynosure of all eyes?   BY OUR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT Sri Lanka welcomed the return of tourists last week after a near ten-month break and the Sri Lanka Tourist Promotion Bureau launched ‘hello again’, a comprehensive information portal for visitors to navigate their way through the gamut of quarantine do’s and don’ts. After the pilot with the Ukrainian tour group and the ensuing fiasco, the tourism authorities will be keen to save themselves from further embarrassment. The country has reopened her ...Continued

Ranjan Ramanayake sentenced for contempt of court Parliamentarian treading on...

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By A Masinghe
Questions raised about the proprietary of his seat       Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake walked into the superior court complex last Tuesday (13) where the case against him for contempt of court was scheduled to be taken up for clarifications only to learn that the Bench was ready to read out his judgment.   When the matter was taken up at 9.45 am Respondent Ramanayake had not entered the court although he was in the premises. The matter was called again and the Bench comprising ...Continued

What next for Ramanayake ?

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By Political Correspondent
  UNHRC sessions in the offing Stalemate over ECT to be resolved   Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court found Ranjan Ramanayake guilty of contempt of court for making defamatory remarks about lawyers and the judiciary in Sri Lanka and sentenced him to four years Rigorous Imprisonment. Ramanayake is alleged to have made the remarks to the media back in August 2017 outside Temple Trees. He had just finished a meeting with his political peers about ousting then justice minister Wijedasa Rajapakse. His voice cuts were ...Continued

Where is the airline industry headed?

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The world’s oldest airline The airline industry is just 100 years old. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines founded in 1919 is a claimant for the crown of the ‘oldest’, but it ceased operations for a few years in the 1940s during the Second World War. Avianca of Columbia was founded in 1919, but was originally named SCADTA. So Qantas, founded in 1920 claims the title as the ‘world’s oldest continuously-operating airline under one name’, and had planned a huge party to celebrate its centenary in November. ...Continued

Asian aviation at a standstill

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  Introduction Today, the world finds itself in a situation that is unprecedented in modern history. A pandemic that emerged in Asia has brought the entire world’s interconnected supply chain and trillion dollar travel industry, to a standstill.   Even countries that have employed seemingly successful strategies that resulted in the initial containment of COVID-19, have faced crippling ‘second waves’. With the relaxation of restrictions the virus has resurfaced, hitting metropolitan areas especially hard. Melbourne, Australia was forced into another ‘Level 4’ lock down recently. ...Continued

A PATHFINDER AGENDA FOR URGENT ECONOMIC ACTION FOR THE NEW...

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Now that the parliamentary elections are concluded, the focus of the new government should shift to the serious business of fixing the economy. COVID-19 has hit Sri Lanka’s economic outlook harder than expected. A gloomy prognosis suggests a scenario of negative economic growth, high unemployment and rising foreign debt in 2020 and 2021. Revenue from tourism, remittances and foreign investment are all down. At all costs, one should guard against a pandemic induced economic crisis from turning into a crisis in the financial system which ...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...

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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

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