COLUMNS

Corporate Corruption: The Other Side of the Coin

Columns
Prof. Susirith Mendis
I mentioned in a previous article on integrity in public life that “the low ebb of integrity and corruption in the corporate world needs another telling”. So here it is. I saw the growing tree of corruption spreading its canopy that covered all the undergrowth of development and underdevelopment – the politicians, the professionals the state officers who were on the take. And little grew underneath. Never did I think of the roots below surface; it was always the ‘bribe taker’ and not the ‘bribe ...Continued

Abortion; Which is less evil? The death of a mother...

Columns
Prof. Wilfred Perera
I am writing this article in view of the recent hue and cry by various Religious Organisations in the country, against legalising abortions in this country. I have read the Global literature on the subject and consulted some international authorities to gain more knowledge. I am distilling my thoughts for the information of the public in this country. Some of these International authorities have been working with the Irish Family Planning Association, and the Citizen’s Bureau on the issue of Liberalizing Abortion in Ireland. I ...Continued

Honour in reverse swing

Columns
Dinoo Kelleghan
In church today, the minister said a simple prayer for the athletes competing in the Commonwealth Games just started in Brisbane. “Let them enjoy themselves and let there be no cheating,” he said. Such simplicity of thought: how did we let it slip so far away from us? I don’t know if people outside Australia can understand why we here are so shocked and degraded by the exposure of Australia cheating at the recent test matches in South Africa. Those of us linked by birth ...Continued

The JVP: Whence it Came, Whither Bound?

Columns
Prof. Susirith Mendis
I am no painter or artist. But I am going to ‘paint a picture’. It is certainly not a portrait. It’s a meandering scene on a broad canvas of one aspect of our political landscape. It is certainly not the political equivalent of what John Constable or JMW Turner did with the English countryside. In one swell sweep, I am going to paint a 50-year landscape. So, political purists and Marxist ‘theologians’ must abide with my rushed or even rash brush strokes. Yes, 50 years. ...Continued

How unarmed civilians saved lives during anti-Muslim attacks in Sri...

Columns
Lisa Fuller
On March 4th, Sinhala Buddhist mobs began sweeping through Sri Lanka’s Kandy district, hurling petrol bombs at Muslim-owned houses, shops and mosques. The attacks came as a shock, as Sri Lanka has not seen violence on this scale in nearly a decade. The government deployed thousands of security forces, armed with automatic weapons, tear gas and water cannons, but they failed to stop the violence until four days later. By then, mobs had wreaked havoc in a dozen towns and destroyed 465 properties. Yet the death toll was astonishingly ...Continued

Philippines’ Duterte is also trying a Rajapaksa stunt

Columns
Naganathan Pillai
“Please do not allow me to report to President Duterte that you guys are not doing anything about this killing,” Under Secretary Jose Joel Egco, a journalist turned public servant who went to investigate a murder of a journalist in Mindanao threatened a senior local police officer a few months ago. The officer, well aware of the repercussions of such a complaint, arrested the suspect within hours and produced him before courts. “That is how we have to operate if we are to get these ...Continued

Empathy – a much needed attribute in doctors

Columns
Professor Susirith Mendis
What really is empathy? Let us take some similar words – sympathy, compassion, kindness, humanity, pity; and the Buddhist concepts of Meththa (loving kindness); Karuna (compassion), Muditha (vicarious joy – the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people’s well-being.) What is sympathy? – feelings of sorrow for someone else’s misfortune; Compassion? – concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others; Kindness? – a pleasant disposition, and a concern for others; Humanity? – a set of strengths focused on “tending others”; Pity? – feeling of ...Continued

Not Yet Beyond the Point of No Return

Columns
Dr. Paikaisothy Saravanamuttu
The stinging rebuke delivered by the country to the two main parties in government is indeed that – things cannot continue as before, promises have to be kept and the people have to be taken into the confidence of the government through constant, cogent and coherent communication. It is not a wholesale repudiation of the government or of the reform agenda of 2015.  It is also worth noting that in almost half of the local bodies no single party has won an overall majority, although ...Continued

A look at Sri Lanka’s labour in a post-war economy

Columns
Anupama Ranawana
In Sri Lanka’s post-war economy, studies on labour and livelihoods indicate deep structural inequalities. When we look at the global political economy, we can see that the expansionary dynamics of the past forty years have produced an economic system that acquires and controls resources and labour easily, and supports production, marketing and consumption on a global scale. An increase in automation within this system has also displaced millions, either from traditional methods of production, such as farmers in Mexico, or from their traditional sites of ...Continued

Nationalism isn’t what it used to be

Columns
Dinoo Kelleghan
 ‘A free country debates its history, it does not deny it.’ I don’t know what the national mood in Sri Lanka was from top to bottom as you celebrated Independence Day but here in Australia we didn’t know whether to wave a flag or char a chop – or the other way around – on Australia Day. You grumbled at the traffic jams as roads were closed for the rehearsals of the parades but(after the laptop dance was changed) it seemed undeniably a celebration of ...Continued

Ending the cycle of violence against women

Columns
Kshama Ranawana
When a group of women and like-minded men engaged in a walk from the Fort Railway station to the Galle Face Green on Monday, March 5th, it was to make the point that not just streets, but homes and all other places must be safe for women. The Walk, organized by the Women’s Education and Research Centre along with the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs called for “Safe Nights, Safe Streets & Safe Homes for Women.” Even though we have created the space for ...Continued

Her. Him. The Other; Condemning of where we are and...

Columns
Arun Welandawe-Prematilleke
In 2015, artists of various disciplines from around the island were invited to a meeting at the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation with former President Chandrika Bandaranaike-Kumaratunga. Amongst the writers, artists and musicians were perhaps our most internationally celebrated filmmakers; Prasanna Vithanage, Vimukthi Jayasundara and Asoka Handagama. It was a town hall style meeting to discuss ideas and proposals for art that spoke to the national post-war conversation, art that would actively try to foster or reflect the need for reconciliation. Her. Him. The ...Continued
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