COLUMNS

Emphasising too much on Sinhala- Buddhist Nationalism is harmful to...

Columns
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

Columns
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

It’s the economy, stupid

Columns
“It was James Carville the political strategist behind Bill Clinton’s rise to the US Presidency who introduced the phrase ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ to the lexicon of political campaigning. He made this comment to draw the focus of his campaign workers on the issue that truly mattered to the voters at that time. So far, Sri Lanka’s 2020 parliamentary campaign has been a cacophony of political slogans and ego-trips. Unfortunately, candidates and political parties are yet to present coherent and viable economic strategies to the ...Continued

Yatharthaya – A Platform for First Time Candidates

Columns
Kshama Ranawana
In many ways the campaign for the forthcoming parliamentary elections is different from all others held before and we have COVID-19 to thank for most of that.  Even though some of the mainstream political parties have gone ahead with large scale election rallies, in comparison to what it used to be, today’s meetings seem to have shrunk in size, simply because everyone of us must adhere to Health Ministry guidelines. It is also a fact that come election time, it is the same politicians and ...Continued

Special Assistance for the Disabled and Handicapped at Forthcoming Election

Columns
Persons with disabilities will be able to cast their vote at the forthcoming parliamentary election, only if the person accompanying such a voter, hands over a “Certificate of Eligibility” to the officers at the Polling station, the Election Commission announced on July 6th. The ‘Certificate of Eligibility’ is prescribed in the Fifth Schedule to the Parliamentary Elections Act.   If the  person assisting a partially or totally visually handicapped  or physically disabled voter  does not hand in such a certificate, the said voter will not be ...Continued

CNVR, the Best Method to Control the Dog Population

Columns
Kshama Ranawana
Caring and feeding for abandoned animals comes naturally to most Sri Lankans and there are many individuals and organizations that work tirelessly to improve the lot of such animals. However, recent bureaucratic decisions and an Animal Welfare Bill that has been on the shelf for more than a decade has prevented meaningful State intervention in the comprehensive care of animals. Instead, that task has increasingly being falling on the shoulders of animal welfare organisations and individuals. One decision that is being questioned is the handing ...Continued

Free Publicity to Candidates who Make Assets and Liabilities Public

Columns
In a bid to promote a clean political environment, the March 12 Movement is pledging that any candidate contesting the August 5 parliamentary elections, who publicly declares his or her assets and liabilities will be given free publicity. Over 7450 candidates, including 3800 representing independent groups, are contesting the upcoming election. Of them only 2.3 per cent will secure a seat in the parliament. During a press conference this week the March 12 Movement requested the candidates to engage in clean politics and usher in ...Continued

Changing Lifestyles, Protecting Nature

Columns
Dr. Ravindra Kariyawasam
Over a 100 countries celebrate World Environment Day each year on June 5th. And this year the theme is “Time for Nature” with a focus on biodiversity. The lockdowns imposed on several countries across the world owing to COVID- 19 had one positive result; the environment quality parameters got better.  But that is not to say that we are protecting this earth or that other forms of environmental destructions are not continuing. In Brazil, Jair Bolsanaro has given Amazonian lands to many multinational companies, which ...Continued

Death of Leopard – Let the Blame Games begin…

Columns
Ravi Corea
There is an old and very wise Native American saying, “Every time you point a finger to blame someone—there are three remaining fingers pointing right back at you.”   With the death of the black leopard has begun what is very much the national pastime in Sri Lankan conservation circles, The Blame Game.  These so-called “conservationists” are venting their assaults and irrational denunciations on the wildlife veterinarians for the demise of a black leopard that was recently rescued from a poacher’s snare. The reason to underline “poacher’s snare” is to make sure ...Continued

Leave for Tri-forces personnel cancelled

As It Happens
All leave for Tri-forces personnel have been cancelled with immediate effect and until further notice, Army Commander Shavendra Silva announced on April 26, 2020.  This includes short-passes. Therefore, all those service personnel currently on leave have been requested to report to their respective camps. All personnel have been requested to contact their officer-in-charge for further instructions. Those who are unable to secure transport to return to their bases have been requested to report to the nearest camp. Meanwhile, the government has decided to extend the ...Continued

Observing Ramadan in Times of Corona

As It Happens
Kshama Ranawana
Muslims around the world begin the Holy Season of Ramadan on April 25th, while most countries battle the spread of COVID -19.  And like the Christians who followed virtual services on-line or via television during the 40 day long Lenten obligation and Easter Celebration, Muslims too will be restricted to carrying out Ramadan rituals and prayers from the confines of their homes. In a communique to all trustees of Mosques, the Wakfs Board of Sri Lanka has issued the following guidelines, which are to be ...Continued

Eminent Group appointed by Pathfinder Foundation to steer Sri Lanka’s...

As It Happens
A study group appointed by the Pathfinder Foundation is to prepare a set of action-oriented recommendations to help steer the Sri Lankan economy into the post COVID-19 era. Chaired by Pathfinder Senior Fellow and former Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, the principal authors of the study will be Dr. Sisira Pinnawala, Department of Sociology, University of Peradeniya and Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Executive Director of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute. Twenty other leaders drawn from academia, research and the private sectors, including Prof. Sirimal ...Continued

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