COLUMNS

SAARC Still Stuck At The Cross-roads

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Dissector
To be sure, SAARC is a regional grouping with some notable characteristics and one could not agree more with SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Ruwan Edirisinghe on this score. Unlike, ASEAN, for instance, which is the virtual future of the global south, SAARC has made little or no progress on the tasks it gave itself since its founding in 1985 and this fact alone makes it a phenomenon of some absorbing interest among regional organizations of its kind. However, it goes without saying ...Continued

Oil Palm Goes Rancid

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Dr. Prasanna Cooray
Doubts have been cast on the much-advertised health benefits of palm oil and environmental concerns on oil palm cultivations. A paradigm shift reshaping the conventional thinking as regards vegetable oils has become discernible both in health and environmental spheres. All the good things once said about the vegetable oils are no longer heard. Health and environmental concerns Palm oil is no longer considered cholesterol lowering or cardio-protective. Some researchers argue that it may even raise blood cholesterol levels. Worse, it has been linked to increased ...Continued

The Glory Days Of Tom Moody

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Spectator
Why is it that good things last only a brief time? Kumar Sangakkara was Sri Lanka’s captain for less than two years. Tom Moody was the country’s Head Coach for 20 months. Veteran banker Rienzie Wijetilleke, who introduced many changes for the game of cricket, served SLC less than a year. They have left such an indelible mark that their legacy is spoken of very highly even today. With the national cricket team currently in New Zealand, it is time to reminisce of the last ...Continued

Colonial Mentality And Its Background

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Laksiri Fernando
Although small islands, there are 61 colonies and dependent territories still in the world. Eight countries maintain them: France (16), the United Kingdom (15), the United State (14), Australia (6), New Zealand (3), Norway (3), Netherlands (2) and Denmark (2). At present, France has the most controversial colonial legacy although it was the first country to have a ‘human rights declaration’ (‘des droit de l’homme’) as early as 1789. New Caledonia in the Pacific is one of them. Because of nickel resources and tourist attraction, ...Continued

According To A Sri Lankan Woman

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Dhanushki Abhayaratne
I happened to watch the movie ‘According to Matthew’ by Chandran Ratnam showing these days, and was horrified by the wanton character assassination of a young woman in the movie. The movie is based on a true story and showcases a double murder committed by a very powerful priest, where he kills his wife and the husband of the young woman he is having illicit relations with. The priests point of view, paints the woman as a seductress and willing partner in their illicit affair. ...Continued

Catches Win Matches

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Spectator
Remember Clive Lloyd’s epic words moments after West Indies won the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup at Lord’s?  The memorable quote, ‘Catches win matches’, remains true even more than 40 years after the West Indian legend first uttered it. If you need to check the validity of Lloyd’s pearls of wisdom, you only have to recall the way how England pounced on half-chances pulling off some sensational catches during the bilateral series against Sri Lanka. Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha admitted that fielding was the big ...Continued

Sri Lanka On The Brink Of An Economic Dictatorship

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Muttukrishna Sarvananthan
Whilst there may be certain elements of ambiguity about the Constitutional authority of the Chief Executive (aka the President) of the country on the dismissal and appointment of a Prime Minister or the dissolution of the Parliament, on the critical issue of public finances there is no such ambiguity. It is crystal clear in the Constitution that the Legislature / Parliament is the SOLE custodian and authority of the public finances in Sri Lanka, and indeed in any democratic country. The Parliament has the sole ...Continued

There’s More Than Meets The Eye In The Chinese Consulate...

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Dissector
The taking of life under any circumstances and for whatever reason cannot be condoned but  one could be accused of being simple-minded if the recent ‘terror’ attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi which claimed some four lives is seen as having only security implications. It has security dimensions and more and what is called for is far more than a superficial examination of the event that has triggered concern region-wide. It is reported that a Balochistan-based militant group is behind the attack and it ...Continued

Sri Lanka On The Verge Of A Foreign Exchange Crisis

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Prof. Sirimevan Colombage
The political turmoil triggered in Sri Lanka following the abrupt replacement of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet by the President a month ago has given rise to a constitutional crisis harming an already battered economy. Even before the political catastrophe, the economy was in bad shape on all fronts. The economic growth slowed down to a mere 3.5 percent a year. The budget deficit was high at 5.5 percent of the GDP. The worst has been the foreign exchange situation impaired by rising imports, ...Continued

It’s Time To Root Out This Rotten Political Culture

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Kshama Ranawana
When President Maithripala Sirisena slapped democracy on its face, surreptitiously appointing  a Prime Minister while unceremoniously removing the other, and followed that action by proroguing and then dissolving Parliament, he did Sri Lanka one great favour. A usually apathetic population was jolted out of its complacency.  This time around it was not just another murder or abduction of political opponents, journalists, or robbing the country blind.  It was not about appointing one’s kith and kin to plum positions or parceling out prime forest land, or ...Continued

Democratising State Power through Alternative Means

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Dr. Siri Gamage
There is a tendency in today’s society,  to characterise the ruling class as self-serving, removed from the average citizen in the street, and consider themselves as a distinctive category who are born to rule unquestioned. This situation has arisen as a result of the hybrid governance system introduced in the late 70s, cross overs of MPs from one party or alliance to another at critical moments, extravagant lifestyle of politicians and the associated political culture, conformist role of the mainstream media, failure of education system ...Continued

Dark Side Of Campaign To Paint A Black Picture Of...

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Dr. Prasanna Cooray
The Ministry of Health (MoH), in spite of being troubled by many unfinished battles, has opened another front. This time around, it has declared war on powdered milk, of all things. The MoH, in a poster put out in collaboration with the WHO’s country office, warns of as many as 21 dangers of consuming powdered milk. It may claim that it is trying to promote breastfeeding through that poster. We cannot but agree that breastfeeding should be encouraged at all times and there is nothing ...Continued
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