COLUMNS

The Urgent Need To Foster And Save Secularism

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Dissector
Democracies are said to be thriving in the Asian region but most of them lack a strong secular foundation. This begs the question: Could they be identified as democracies in the truest sense? Opinion makers in Sri Lanka have tended to ignore this issue or have glossed over it. This has been the case since 1948, the year of ‘independence’. The time is ripe to face this question squarely as Sri Lanka ‘celebrates’ another anniversary of ‘independence’. This exercise is bound to trigger much contention ...Continued

The Rape Of A Virgin Forest

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Dr. Prasanna Cooray
Sinharaja, the only rainforest reserve in Sri Lanka, is in the news again. And this time around, a road building project has become the bone of contention. Young environmental activist, Sajeewa Chamikara of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reforms (MONLAR), who was in the thick of many battles fought on the Sinharaja front during the last two decades, gave a snapshot picture of the struggles that were to save Sinharaja. “There were many attempts to exploit and commercialize Sinharaja in the past. The attempts ...Continued

Brain Drain Or Brain Gain?

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Srilal Miththapala
Introduction Much has been talked about Sri Lanka’s tourism boom and the impending Human resource shortfall that the industry will face.  Recently, a private sector initiative by You Lead (of the USAID) unveiled a practical and comprehensive road map to address some of these issues. (You Lead: Sri-Lanka-Tourism and Hospitality Workforce Competitiveness Roadmap-2018-2023) Although detailed numbers and assessments are difficult to be derived accurately due to the lack of proper information, it is generally accepted that about 100,000 extra direct staff at various levels will ...Continued

Artificial Reefs The Answer?

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Muttukrishna Sarvananthan
The fishing dispute between the two countries, and the enduring sufferings of fisherpersons of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, is the result of the failure of the Indian and Sri Lankan governments to fully implement the 1974 and 1976 maritime border agreements, as also, the failure of the Sri Lankan government to fully implement the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.   Introduction Sri Lanka’s northern provincial economy has been rising from the ashes of the civil war since 2010, and has, as per the ...Continued

Why Not An Export Industry?

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Srilal Miththapala
The Debate of export status There has been some debate, of late, on whether tourism qualifies to be an export industry. This argument has been fuelled by the age old definition of an export industry as one which ‘exports goods and services produced and purchased by residents of another country’. The problem stems from the wording ‘…purchased by residents of another country’. However, the modern day interpretations are different from the classical one.  What is the harm if such goods and services, are purchased by ...Continued

Diaspora Engagement In Sri Lanka

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Anupama Ranawana
The subject of the Sri Lankan diaspora can often be a contentious, politicised one. As the war between the LTTE and government forces came to an end, especially, there were many assumptions made about the role of the diaspora that resided in North America, the United Kingdom and Europe. As an example, there is the overwhelming assumption that much of the Sri Lankan diaspora is a ‘Tamil’ diaspora that is unanimously supportive of the LTTE. This, however, is a misconception. The Tamil diaspora is various ...Continued

Political Realism, Much Needed In IR Analyses

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Dissector
International Relations commentators would do well to take a leaf from none other than specialists in Marketing who have forged a valuable conceptual tool to analyse current developments in international economics. This is commonly referred to as ‘VUCA’, which acronym stands for, Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. An impartial survey of ‘external sector’ developments ought to convince commentators and observers that the Marketers have got it plum right. Fast-breaking events in international politics and economics could indeed tend to be baffling. The magnitude of the ...Continued

When ‘Saint’ Adam Denied Sanga A Remarkable Milestone

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Spectator
The national cricket team taking on Cricket Australia XI, in a warm-up game, at the Bellerive Oval ahead of the Test series, brought back nostalgic memories of Kumar Sangakkara’s superb knock at this ground some 12 years ago. Sanga came up with a master class when the chips were down for Sri Lanka and ended up with 192. Known for his meticulous planning and appetite for big runs, the former captain could have gone on to complete a double hundred but was denied the milestone ...Continued

Dirty Politics Ruined Sri Lanka Cricket

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Spectator
New Sports Minister Harin Fernando has made some serious allegations; he has called the Executive Committee of Thilanga Sumathipala, which won a close cricket election in 2016, the most corrupt cricket administrative set-up in the world. Fernando subsequently asked the International Cricket Council permission to delay the cricket elections to bring the much-needed changes to the Constitution of Sri Lanka Cricket. Sumathipala was one of the key architects of the recent unsuccessful bid to wrest control of Parliament from the UNP and Fernando could be ...Continued

Bandula’s Folly

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Kshama Ranawana
UPFA Member of Parliament and former Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena has taken umbrage over the fact that a student of an international school has been ranked first in the Arts stream amongst the candidates who sat the 2018 GCE Advanced Level examination. Talking to the media, the UPFA Parliamentarian accused the government of conspiring to privatise free education, claiming that a private candidate had been ranked for the first time in history, and that it is unfair by government and semi-governments schools. According to ...Continued

“Siege Mentality” Will Cost Sri Lanka Dearly In The Economic...

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Dissector
There is this unfortunate tendency on the part of sections of the media in Sri Lanka to sensationalize South Asia’s perceived geopolitical tensions. They are prone to even counting the number of big power war ships that visit Sri Lankan ports. According to one source, the number of such vessels visiting Sri Lanka since 2008 is 450 and rising. The question to be posed is whether such media fixations have a depressing impact on the morale of the public and on that of the political ...Continued

A Look Back On 2018

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Srilal Miththapala
Arrivals Sri Lanka has been recording a steady YoY growth in arrivals in the post-war period; 2017 saw 2.1 m arrivals, with a CAGR of close upon 19% over the past five years. Total arrivals for 2018 reached 2.33 m arrivals, with a marginal 10.3% increase over 2017, missing the target of 2.5m arrivals set by the government.  In the absence of any strong and cohesive marketing campaign, which the private sector has been clamouring for over two years now, the YoY growth percentage has ...Continued
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