COLUMNS

No-Holds-Barred US Drive To Dominate ‘Indo-Pacific’

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Dissector
What could US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be doing in the rarely news worthy Pacific isle of Micronesia? What ought to pique the observer’s curiosity further is the fact that Pompeo is the first US Secretary of State to visit the idyllic, Pacific island state, located in climes that have been hitherto comparatively untouched by the harsh realities of big power international politics in post-Cold War times. Obviously, these ‘untroubled waters’ are seemingly of renewed and increasing interest to the sole super power, although ...Continued

Cricketing Lessons From Bangladesh

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Spectator
All hell broke loose in cricket circles when Jagmohan Dalmiya, then ICC Chairman decided to grant Test status to Bangladesh in 2000. The Western block – England, Australia and New Zealand didn’t take to Bangladesh being given full ICC status kindly. Dalmiya, the Indian cricket supremo was a Bengali himself having built his business empire primarily in Calcutta. Being a Bengali, he was accused of promoting Bangladesh’s case, but he was smarter than that. The larger picture was that the arrival of Bangladesh had tilted ...Continued

It’s Time To Turn The Searchlight Inwards

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Kshama Ranawana
Sri Lanka’s media has morphed from being at the receiving end of various forms of harassment to one that is leading the persecution of others. There was a time not too long ago when members of the media profession acted very prudently, afraid to report or critique the actions of government. That is except for a handful of journalists who, despite the consequences continued to raise awareness on various social and human rights issues. During the former regime many faced harassment and physical abuse; some ...Continued

Rising Populism And The Need To Revert To Basics

Columns
Dissector
It is a time for profound reflection in Sri Lanka as it tries to rise from the April 21 devastation and debris. One of the worst things that could happen to this country, that has been hyped as an ’emerging’ one, is for all who matter in it to cave-in to populism and its seductions in matters political at this juncture when national rejuvenation is seen to be the crying need. The reasons for the attractions of populism are plain to see. The issues confronting ...Continued

An Imperative Policy Decision

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H G S Prematunga
To pun on the now clichéd educational term, STEM is indeed the stem of a healthy education system. STEM is a curriculum which combines science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an interdisciplinary approach, integrated into a cohesive learning model. Theoretically, what sets STEM apart from the traditional science and math education is the blended learning environment and the fact that students are shown scientific method applications in everyday life. The objective of STEM is to teach students computational thinking and its applications for problem solving ...Continued

Is Nature-Based Tourism On A Wrong Track?

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Dr. Prasanna Cooray
Nature-based tourism is in the spotlight again with the Eco-Systems Conservation and Management Project (ESCAMP) being implemented in the country. Among the key areas earmarked for development under the ESCAMP is nature-based tourism. The funding for this five-year long project comes from the World Bank as a USD 45 million loan; it is implemented by the Forest Department. The areas identified for development under nature-based tourism component of the project include the construction of nature trails, the construction or renovation of visitor services infrastructure including ...Continued

‘Essay Mills’ and Ethics

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H G S Prematunge
Hiring academic writing services to get essays, papers and dissertation done is fast catching up in the Sri Lankan academic services market, as we pointed out previously. ‘Essay mills’, as the service providers are referred to in the West, offer academic writing services for Diploma, HND, degree, MSC, MBA, M Phil and even PhD level programmes. Students can get their dissertations done for a fee. The purpose of a research is to train students to collect, analyze, and process information and hone strategic thinking, critical ...Continued

Life Begins Again at 60!

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Kshama Ranawana
How well prepared is Sri Lanka to deal with the feminization of its fast ageing population? Statistics indicate that life expectancy for Sri Lankan women is at 79 as opposed to 72 for men, therefore women and men on the threshold of 60 are expected to live 19 years and 12 years longer respectively. While globally, the over 60s population is projected to be around 20% by 2050, that same age group in Sri Lanka  will make up 20% of the population by 2030. Already, ...Continued

Of That No-Faith Vote Fiasco

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Hawk’s Eye
The defeat of the JVP’s no-faith motion against the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the government in Parliament came as no surprise, on Thursday. Even the Catholic MPs voted against the motion which blamed the government for having failed to prevent the Easter attacks in spite of being forewarned. The government mustered a comfortable majority of 27. The motion received 92 votes in favour and 119 votes against. The JVP and the UFPA voted for the motion which had been debated for two days. The ...Continued

Trump’s Triumphalism Set To Aggravate Global Tensions

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Dissector
It was US triumphalism at its most strident and its creator was none other than President Donald Trump. Speaking at the height of a seemingly gathering military stand-off with Iran in the Gulf and an apparently ‘no-winners’ trade war with rival world power China, Trump’s essential message to the American people at the recent American Independence Day celebrations in Washington was that for the US: ‘Nothing is impossible’. It was a speech replete with florid praise for the US military and American national heroes. Trump ...Continued

Delivering World Cup’s Biggest Surprise

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Spectator at Headingley
Sydney Pardon, one of the most famous Wisden Editors once summed up England selections so ruthlessly; in the 1910 Alamanack, he pointed out selections in the previous summer had ‘touched the confines of lunacy.’ Sri Lanka’s World Cup selections could be categorized with something similar as five players who hadn’t featured in an ODI for more than 18 months were chosen for the sport’s showpiece event. But the point is how the players rose to the occasion, despite the chaos!   They came up with a ...Continued

The Slow But Relentless War Against Ethnic Nationalism

Columns
Dissector
We have no choice but to resort to a tired figure of speech, ‘rolling in the grave’, to describe a strange malaise that has gripped sections of those who consider themselves ‘progressives’ and sworn Leftists in Sri Lanka. The disquieting frequency and relish with which some local ‘Leftists’ use the term ‘patriotism’ compels Dissector to say that world renowned communists, such as, Lenin and Trotsky, must be ‘rolling in their graves’ to see their seemingly ardent adherents in Sri Lanka resorting to or finding refuge ...Continued
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