COLUMNS

The Myths And Truths Of The Much Maligned Singapore- Sri...

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Chanakya
The Singapore-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (SSLFTA), signed earlier this year has garnered much discussion in Sri Lankan business, political, and social circles. Free trade agreements are full of convoluted, technical jargon and in the absence of a clear communication strategy to explain its contents by the government to the public, the information gap is filled by others. Members of professional organizations such as the GMOA have been particularly vocal about this agreement. Unfortunately, much of what is being said by these representatives of professionals ...Continued

More Than Just A Library

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Shamindrini Peiris
‘When we read, we are able to travel to many places, meet many people and understand the world’ Nelson Mandela. When I saw on social media, the inspirational story of a man in Kegalle who runs a mobile library for children in the area, I was transported back in time to a similar ‘book man’. Back when I was a teenager, there was an old man who cycled all around Kotte and Nugegoda (I am not sure where else), with a little metal trunk strapped ...Continued

DUMPED! – Lanka Cricket Plunges To New All-time Low

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Dion Michael
Sri Lanka’s cricket plunged to an all-time low when the team was unceremoniously dumped from the Asia Cup tournament in just three days and after two big defeats at the hands of Bangladesh and newcomers Afghanistan. The heady night of 17 March 1996 when Sri Lanka was crowned World Champions remains a mere memory in the distance after the night of 17 September 2018 when the young Afghanistan team sent the Lankans crashing out of the Asia cup with an emphatic victory. The Asia Cup ...Continued

Prospects For Constitutional Reform Are Receding

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Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
On Tuesday 18th September, there was a report in the Daily Mirror newspaper, bottom right hand corner of page A4 quoting Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratna, that the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly will submit its report to the Assembly shortly.  Dr. Wickramaratna is also quoted as saying that the proposed constitutional reforms have not in any way weakened the unitary character of the state, nor paved the way for federalism or diluted the foremost status given to Buddhism.  The report referred to, is the composite report ...Continued

Shortage Of Trained Social Workers Impacts Interventions

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Shamindrini Peiris
As far numbers go, the good news for Sri Lanka is that there has been an overall decline in the number of people taking their lives.  Of concern, are reports by Sumithrayo, which provides suicide intervention assistance amongst other services, that those attempting suicide is ten to twenty times more, and that this number is increasing. Even though the World Health Organization(WHO) places the age-standardised rate of suicide in Sri Lanka at 30.3 per 100,000 people, the Sumithrayo website states that the number of suicides ...Continued

Confident Lankans Seek More Asia Cup Glory

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Dion Michael
A confident Sri Lankan cricket team will leave shortly for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) seeking to add more Asia Cup Silverware to their trophy cupboard. The Asia Cup cricket tournament 2018 is being held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 15-28 September, with the participation of six countries – India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Hong Kong – the winner of the qualifying tournament. The tournament will be the 14th edition of the Asia Cup and UAE play hosts for the third ...Continued

Why Former Presidents Cannot Run For Presidential Office Again

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Asanga Welikala
There has recently been a flurry of comment and speculation about whether, due to a technical flaw in the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution (2015), former President Rajapaksa may actually be eligible to offer himself for election at the next presidential election, although it had so far been universally assumed that he was disqualified by virtue of having been twice elected previously to the presidency. A legal argument to this effect has most completely been made by the distinguished jurist, Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama. In his ...Continued

Three-Wheelers Need To Be Regulated

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Shamindrini Peiris
One day, I was in a hurry to get home after visiting a patient at a leading private hospital down Kirimandala Mawatha and got into a three wheeler from the ‘hospital stand’. Preoccupied as I was with the condition of the patient and the other errands I had to run, it was only after I was almost halfway home that I realized that the meter was running at Rs 50 /- per km, more expensive than an AC cab with four wheels! All three wheelers ...Continued

Entrepreneurs Need Help Accessing Markets

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Anupama Ranawana
The Sri Lankan government’s move to write off microfinance debts and place caps on microfinance rates in the 12 districts of Trincomalee, Ampara, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mannar, Kurunegala, Puttalam, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa is certainly a welcome one.  It shows clear attention to one of the most significant issues troubling post-war Sri Lanka, a country which, in a round of studies conducted by the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium was found to be one of two countries to exhibit a high level of sustained indebtedness.  Academics and ...Continued

Getting An Education Or Cramming To Pass Exams?

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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
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