COLUMNS

Displaced Refugees – A Failure To Protect

Columns
Anupama Ranawana
Another group of people have become collateral damage of the waves of anti-Muslim sentiment in Sri Lanka following the April 21st, Easter Sunday carnage. They are refugees and asylum seekers and the challenge they face now is a culmination of a growing global environment that is hostile to refugees, the limited ground presence of the UNHCR, as well as the dysfunction of the Sri Lankan government. However, the most pressing issue at the moment is one of law and order, of protecting the refugees, thus ...Continued

The Easter Sunday Attacks And The Human Security Question

Columns
Dissector
As should be expected, it is the human costs of the Easter Sunday terror attacks in Sri Lanka that are engaging the attention of the world and this is likely to be so for a long time to come. It is the sheer inhumanity and brute insensitivity of the attacks that are leaving people everywhere dumbfounded and the irony is that this could be an eye-opener of sorts in the cloud of depression currently hanging over Sri Lanka. This is because our minds are being ...Continued

Will The Move Towards Renewable Energy Be Tripped Again?

Columns
Kshama Ranawana
In March this year Cabinet approved a proposal by the Minister of Power, Energy and Business Development Ravi Karunanayake to amend the Sri Lanka Electricity Act No. 20 of 2009. The amendment seeks to exempt Non –Conventional Renewable Energy (NCRE) projects from having to follow the tendering process, which often could take up to 2 years. Approvals and actual implementation of the projects usually take a further 2 to 3 years. In fact, Act No.20 of 2009 had been amended through Act No 31 of ...Continued

Adaptation To Future Climate Change In Sri Lanka

Columns
Dr. Janaka Ratnasiri
Sri Lanka has been described as one of South Asia’s climate hotspots in a 2018 World Bank Report titled “South Asia’s Hotspots: The Impact of Temperature and Precipitation Changes on Living Standards”. The report has concluded that Northern and North Western provinces emerge as the top two hotspots, followed by the much less densely populated North Central Province. Even the highly urbanized and densely populated Western Province, which includes Colombo, is also predicted to experience a living standard decline of 7.5 percent by 2050. (https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/28723/9781464811555.pdf). ...Continued

The Lessons That We Can Learn From Aravinda

Columns
Spectator
It’s a crying shame that during the prime of his career – former great Aravinda de Silva – played little cricket at home. Due to the political unrest, no international cricket was played in Sri Lanka for more than five years from April 1987 to August 1992. Aravinda made most of his career from the little opportunities he got. All Sri Lanka’s captains from Bandula Warnapura to Kumar Sangakkara agree on one thing – Aravinda is the greatest batsman the country has produced. Let’s hope ...Continued

Wealth And Power Of Drug Lords

Columns
Hemantha Perera and Vishvanath
Sri Lanka’s focus has been shifted from its successful war on drugs to battling a new form of terrorism, following the Easter Sunday bombings, which claimed more than 250 lives and left over 500 persons injured in several churches and hotels on April 21. This is not something anyone bargained for, and the ferocity of the terrors strikes has not only shaken the government to its foundations but also led to a political crisis of sorts. The ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has ...Continued

WikiLeaks Gave Full Meaning To The Right To Information

Columns
Dissector
In future, a country’s democratic advancement would need to be measured in terms of the value the states and societies concerned attach to the ‘WikiLeaks revolution’. While the possibility is that the merits and demerits of the methods used by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to divulge the truth may dominate discussion and debate the world over following his recent arrest in London, there is no denying that his approach to keeping the world informed gave substantial meaning to the Right to Information. Needless to say, ...Continued

Gender Dynamics In Sri Lankan Education System

Columns
H.G.S Prematunge
Sri Lanka is recognised as the only South Asian country that has achieved the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal for gender equality in education across the board. Yet again, free education and making primary education compulsory maybe the major reasons for this gender balance. Although the Sri Lankan education system has been successful in closing the gender gap with regards to education accessibility, this does not translates to employment rates. With the majority of unemployed females produced from the Arts streams of local universities, it ...Continued

When A Bunch Of Amateurs Created Cricket’s Greatest Upset

Columns
Spectator
During an event in Bombay to celebrate India’s World Cup triumph in 1983, opening batsman Krishnamachari Srikkanth recalled thinking his captain Kapil Dev had gone mad when he told the team to believe in themselves that they could beat West Indies in the World Cup. “Before the 1983 World Cup, India had played in two World Cups and had won just one game. In 1979, India incidentally lost to a team called Sri Lanka, who were not even a full member of the ICC at ...Continued

CEB And Power Shortage: A Dark Vision Of The Future

Columns
Kshama Ranawana
While the nation baked under an unrelenting sun and endured unscheduled power cuts that negatively impacted the economy, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has been dragging its feet on implementing a scheme that would have prevented power cuts and been more financially prudent. In September 2018, the Cabinet approved a memorandum prepared earlier that year by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Minister for National Policy and Economic Affairs, proposing that stand- by generators owned by government institutions be harnessed to boost ...Continued

The Polluter Pays!

Columns
Kshama Ranawana
In a landmark decision on April 4 this year, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka awarded Rs. 20 million as damages to the people living within a 1.5 kilometre distance of the Northern Power Company (Pvt.) Ltd, (NPC) in Chunnakam.  The monetary consideration will benefit around 500 families, who will receive Rs. 40,000 each, to clean and rehabilitate their wells, which have been polluted by oil, grease and/or BTEX. (Benzene, Toluene, Ethyl Benzene and Xylene). For environmentalist Dr. Ravindra Kariyawasam, the National Coordinator of the ...Continued

A Triumph Of Environmental Activism

Columns
Dr. Prasanna Cooray
“The most striking feature of this entire battle was the unyielding solidarity the people (in Chunnakam) showed till the end. They were united as one, and their unity was unwavering”, Dr. Ravindra Kariyawasam, Director of the Colombo based Center for Environmental and Nature Studies (CENS), who led the Chunnakam battle from the front quipped with intense satisfaction. Kariyawasam was the sole petitioner of this public interest litigation (PIL) case on behalf of the residents of Chunnakam. Attorneys-at-law Nuwan Bopage and Chathura Wettasinghe argued the case ...Continued

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