COLUMNS

STC Goes Where Others Fear To Tread

Columns
Kshama Ranawana
It was in 2014 that a private Christian boy’s school in Colombo took the plunge, and decided to introduce Sound Mind Sound Body to its students.  It is a programme that teaches children, amongst other things, to be respectful of the other, staying safe from sexual predators, breaking down gender stereotyping, anti-bullying, the effects of drugs, protecting the environment, and sexual and reproductive rights. While the education department is still grappling with how best to teach some of these topics to students, and duck allegations ...Continued

Foreign policy uncertainties dogging South

Columns
Dissector
For the more seasoned observers of Southern international politics, a recent statement by Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardene to the US authorities to the effect that the travel ban clamped by the latter on Sri Lankan Army Commander Shavendra Silva and his immediate family have complicated Sri Lanka’s ties with the US, would have come as a matter of some amusement. This is on account of the fact that this seeming realization by the Sri Lankan state strikes the informed observer as a highly ...Continued

Why is domestic work undervalued and unregulated?

Columns
Annemari de Silva
Although domestic workers are a regular feature of many households in Sri Lanka, this section of our work force is understudied and unprotected by regular labour laws. The adoption of the ILO Convention on Domestic Workers (C189) in 2011 was a watershed moment in moving towards decent work for domestic workers internationally, but Sri Lanka is yet to ratify it. Activists and unions have been fighting for recognition in Sri Lanka and in 2018, a National Action Plan to bring domestic workers under Sri Lanka’s ...Continued

Priorities all mixed up!

Columns
Ivan Alvis
I wonder if a world class theme park would help us generate the four million tourists, targeted for 2020, and revenue of five billion US dollars from the tourism industry! Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, have some of the world’s best theme parks, and these countries have more to offer holidaymakers, than just theme parks. Tourists, who decide to visit these countries, don’t look at theme parks to make their holiday plans. Even if they do, I don’t see them shunning Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, for ...Continued

Educational psychology an Important Tool in Teaching

Columns
HGS Prematunge
From cradle to casket, education is a lifelong activity. And a major part of the responsibility for imparting it lies with teachers. Every student, like every individual in society, is psychologically unique. Consequently, teachers must be equipped with a sound knowledge in psychology to deal with such differing psyche. Education psychology helps teachers get to know the student, identify his or her potentialities, capabilities, strength and weaknesses; to provide guidance; to plan lessons and learning material; to decide which teaching and learning tools maximize student ...Continued

Mahinda not even Maithri’s second choice for PM’s post!

As It Happens
Vishavanath
In an interesting turn of events replete with irony, it has now been revealed that before the abortive Oct. 2018 constitutional coup, the then President Maithripala Sirisena had wooed not only Sajith Premadasa but also another prominent UNPer before offering the post of Prime Minister to former President Mahinda Rajapakasa, who grabbed it with both hands. UNP MP Range Bandara, taking part in a political interview on Hiru TV, on Monday (Feb. 10), happened to disclose that President Sirisena had sought to get rid of ...Continued

Sri Lanka Cricket set to fight a losing battle in...

As It Happens
Spectator
Bitter infighting and family rivalries have seen cricketing contests taking place at Hulftsdorp instead of at Maitland Place.  Millions of rupees that should have been invested in unearthing the next Jayasuriya or Murali have been wasted on legal battles. Now, the battlefield has changed. Instead of Hulftsdorp, the parties will argue in Geneva, Switzerland as Sri Lanka Cricket has been sued for five million USD by their former Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha. The legal battle will cost SLC an arm and a leg. The lawyers, of ...Continued

ISIS, LTTE threats far from over, says international terrorism expert

Columns
Counterpoint Security Analyst
Rohan Gunaratna, security and political analyst, widely known as an international terrorism expert is Professor of Security Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technology University, Singapore. He received his Masters from the University of Notre Dame in the US, where he was Hesburgh Scholar. He obtained his PhD from the University of St Andrews in the UK, where he was a British Chevening Scholar. A former Senior Fellow at the Combating Terrorism Centre at the United States Military Academy at West ...Continued

Coronavirus politicisation and its global impact

Columns
Dissector
As Sri Lanka celebrates yet another ‘Day of Independence’ she could pat herself on her back for, perhaps, just one thing: Her comparatively calm reaction to the coronavirus infection which is seemingly claiming one country after another. To be sure, no country could be complacent over the supposition that the virus is unlikely to spread within its borders. But considering that even in modern times the world has been witness time and again to spreading and lethal infectious diseases which were contained by the international ...Continued

Could Restorative Justice Heal Sri Lanka?

Columns
Kshama Ranawna
Could Restorative Justice be the key to healing a deeply wounded society such as ours? That was the discussion that took place on Monday, February 3rd, at the BMICH, where Barry Hart, Professor of Psycho-Social Trauma, Identity, Dignity and Peacebuilding, of the Eastern Mennonite University, USA and Initiatives of Change (IoC) Global, was the keynote speaker.   The seminar on Restorative Justice was hosted by Initiatives of Change Lanka.  IoC works globally to build trust across the many divisions of the world; nationalities, cultures, beliefs and ...Continued

Woo the Indian traveller… and Wedding Planners, as well

Columns
Ivan Alvis
The coronavirus crisis is certainly going to deprive us of a good slice of the Chinese market, where tourism is concerned. When I visit Thailand, on a FAM trip, courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, I always find myself in the company of Indian journalists, who are also invited by the Thai tourism authorities to familiarize themselves with what the ‘Land of Smiles’ has to offer Indian holidaymakers. And, when they go back, they entice their countrymen with articles in the newspapers, travel magazines, ...Continued

Core democratic values increasingly eclipsed by Realpolitik

Columns
Dissector
A narrative of the crashing descent from democratic icon status to one of run-of-the-mill, repressive Asian Head of government of Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi reads like a Shakespearean tragedy with a few amendments. Today, she stands exposed as a Myanmarese ruler who did not spare the coercive capability at her disposal to beat into submission and humiliation her country’s minority Rohingya community. She is accused, among other things, of presiding over a 2017 military crackdown that forced around 740,000 Rohingyas from her country’s Rakhine ...Continued

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