COLUMNS

Opportune time to plan ahead

Columns
Ivan Alvis
With Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading like wildfire, across the globe, the tourism industry has hit rock bottom and almost every country, where tourism plays a pivotal role in the economy, is feeling the heat. In South-East Asia, the tourism scene is crumbling, with Thailand – the number one tourist destination for millions – projected to lose around 1.5 trillion baht and, probably a 10 million drop in tourist arrival, if the Coronavirus crisis continues for a few more months. Depressing headlines, such as “Tour buses idle ...Continued

Why character education is imperative for Sri Lanka

Columns
HGS Prematunge
Character education is a new global education trend, the importance of which cannot be emphasized enough. Character or lack thereof, is the main reason for the current predicament of the human race. In a country where grown men cannot walk two steps without spitting, cannot help but manspread on public transport and gawk at women showing the slightest curvature and women cough and sneeze without any regard to those around them at all, regardless of gender, invade each other’s personal spaces, perfectly intelligent men and ...Continued

Spectre of international isolation looming large

Columns
Dissector
Economic growth is well-nigh impossible without international trade and investment but with the COVID – 19 pandemic strengthening its grip on the world the possibility is that most countries would sooner rather than later slump into recession and eventual economic ruin. The reality staring the international community in the face is that countries, in rising numbers are drifting into self-isolation and restricted international interaction in the wake of the world’s latest contagion which is claiming human lives in the thousands inasmuch as it is blighting ...Continued

‘Two main parties consist of rogues’

Columns
Q: There has been a growing opposition to the members of Maha Sangha taking to active politics and entering Parliament and other political institutions. How would you justify Buddhist monks entering Parliament, which should be kept secular? A: A Bhikkhu, with awareness of political issues and ability to deal with them is an asset in politics. Such a knowledgeable Bhikkhu has the potential to make a real difference in politics. As a journalist you should be asking whether there has been a correct assessment of the ...Continued

The Mickey Arthur way

Columns
Spectator
When cricket stadiums are packed and you are bombarded with calls from your kith and kin asking for tickets, that’s a good indication that your cricket is doing well. Sri Lankan cricket has found new energy at present following some impressive results over the last six weeks. When stadiums are full, sponsors turn up in numbers as well and it is paramount to keep the sponsors, who pour money into the game, happy. Much of the credit for the revival of the fortunes of the ...Continued

Less talk – more action required

Columns
Ivan Alvis
Yahoo News is read online, the world over, and is quite a popular site for news gathering – judging by the feedback most articles  published on this site, receive. Whenever I’m on the internet, I make it a point to check out Yahoo News, and I’m doubly sure there are many, like me, who find the news, and comments, quite interesting. Just recently – or, to be precise, on February 18th – I came across a very interesting article about Sri Lanka, highlighted on Yahoo ...Continued

Decades-long issues continuing to stifle global progress

Columns
Dissector
The coronavirus epidemic that is increasingly taking on the proportions of an international scourge seems to be raking-up thoughts of the Europe-wide ‘Black Death’ of the 14th century in the collective memory of humankind. While the wish of humanists is that such a calamity would not come to pass, the observer is compelled to wonder whether this isn’t one of ‘nature’s’ ways of awakening the world community to the urgent need to sink all differences and unite for the sake of saving the human race ...Continued

Does sexuality require teaching?

Columns
HGS Prematunge
In the 1980 American movie The Blue Lagoon, based on a 1908 novel of the same name, Richard Lestrange succeeds in getting cousin Emmeline Lestrange knocked up, sans any sex education, despite being marooned on a tropical island for the better part of their childhood and young adult years. Albeit fictitious, this begs the question, does sexuality actually require teaching? The Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education recently recommended a series of supplementary books for children from pre-school to A/Ls to raise awareness on child ...Continued

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

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