In Sri Lanka, the Leaders of the Catholic Church are...

Anupama Ranawana
In the depth and breadth of its reach, the Catholic Church across the world is a recognised transnational actor, able to speak and intervene directly in issues of social justice and human rights amongst many affected populations.  In doing so, it is responding to the most radical of Christ’s teachings: love, as I have loved you. Or, as the well-known Sri Lankan radical thinker the late Fr. Tissa Balasuriya would have it, the need to stand up continually to greed and structural injustice. Importantly, what this ...Continued

Al- Jazeera TV Sting Operation Opens New Can Of Worms...

Dion Michael
The world of cricket – the gentleman’s game – took another body blow last week with the revelations of the Al Jazeera sting operation which claimed to have strong evidence that two tests played on the picturesque Galle Cricket grounds were fixed by curators of the pitch in collusion with a gambling syndicate. Host countries preparing wickets to suit the strengths of the home team is nothing new and in fact most host countries resort to every tactic possible to give their own teams the ...Continued

Those Underused PET Scanners

Kshama Ranawana and Aanya Wipulasena
What must it take to get up to date health care for the sick of this country? Two Positron Emission Tomorgraphy (PET) scanners, both donations, one bought through the goodness of Sri Lankans, and the other being part of the Saudi Governments funding of the Epilepsy Unit at the National Hospital, remain underused. The scanner gifted to the Apeksha Hospital, also known as the Maharagama Cancer Hospital is used only to carry out CT scans, as is the one at the Epilepsy Unit. While patients ...Continued

A Malevolence Like Any Other: Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Christians and...

Anupama Ranawana
My cousin and I have a little joke between us. It is that when getting into a three-wheeler in Colombo, one needs to check for two things: a working meter, and the political tendencies of the driver. The former causes haggling over the rate, but the latter may make you the recipient of ethno-nationalist diatribe all the way from work to home. Beware, beware, there are racists everywhere. Sri Lanka’s post-war landscape is troubled by new and re-emergent ethno-nationalist tensions that manifest variously, and are ...Continued

The Troika- How Crucial Relations With India Was Managed In...

Lalith Weeratunga
Background It is no secret that foreign ministries work in water tight compartments and often under immense pressure. As a result, they cannot be flexible, and quite obviously cannot think out of the box. Even the most experienced foreign service officers have to be cautious when dealing with their counterparts due to sensitivity of the work they handle. In writing a memo, a letter or a communique’, foreign ministry officials take extraordinary precautions, and that’s quite understandable. Because of the visibility they get in the ...Continued

For Rehabilitated Tamil Rebel Cadres, it’s a struggle to survive

Niranjani Roland
Nine years after physical hostilities ended between the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), ex-combatants of the rebel group are struggling to survive. This, despite the government’s massive rehabilitation programme at the end of the war, which saw approximately 12000 ex-combatants undergo training and re-skilling with hopes of becoming productive members of society. A total of 594 Children ,9374 males and 2032 females underwent the rehabilitation programme and were trained in Information Technology, Mechanical training, Education, Handicrafts, Carpentry, Beauty Culture and Cake ...Continued

To demobilize an Army, a country must enjoy economic, cultural...

General Daya Ratnayake
I am often asked why the Sri Lanka Army was not demobilized in May 2009. The first thing I must emphasise is that a Defence Force is essential for a country whether you at war or at peace. There is no question of total demobilisation. Probably the question is asked owing to the excess numbers we were compelled to recruit to overcome the challenge of defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. When Sri Lanka’s 30 year old war came to a close on May 19, ...Continued

Whistleblowing- The Thin Wedge in the Door

Prof. Susirith Mendis
I wrote in two previous columns about two sides of the coin. First, the bribe-takers in “Decline of integrity in public service: Can we stem the trend?” and about the bribe-givers in “Corporate Corruption: The Other Side of the Coin”. What we need to realise and understand is that bribe-takers would not exist if bribe-givers did not exist. It is bribe-givers that create bribe-takers. And the bribe-givers that we need to worry about are not the man in the street who bribes a peon in ...Continued

The 20th Amendment

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
The decision of the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) to present a Private Members Bill on the abolition of the executive presidency holds out some hope that constitutional reform will not be completely forgotten in the remaining 18 months of this government’s term.  As to whether it will succeed or not – there ought to be every reason why it should – will be determined by the post NCM political climate, in particular the evaluations as to which political actor retention or abolition will benefit most. ...Continued

Preventing Sexual and Gender-Based violence at Universities

Kshama Ranawana
In February this year, the University of Kelaniya hosted a gender festival; the third in a series to promote gender equity and equality. The first two were held at the Eastern University and the University of Peradeniya, in May and November last year respectively.  Sponsored by the Centre for Equity and Equality of the Ministry of Higher Education, the festival at the Kelaniya University was organized by its Centre for Gender Studies. Involving all the universities, the festivals host programs that help raise awareness on ...Continued

SL economy in doldrums amidst political chaos

Prof. Sirimevan Colombage
While the Sri Lankan economy is on a downward path, the coalition government is struggling for its survival, and the economy is not on its radar. The political front is in chaos. Conflicts within and among the ruling political parties have escalated since the local government elections held early this year. The government managed to win the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe but not without much effort. Some Ministers have resigned from their portfolios over the no-faith motion. Meanwhile, the President has prorogued ...Continued

At the Dehiwala Zoo, There’s a need for better animal...

Risidra Mendis
The National Zoological Gardens is amongst the oldest in the Asian region and is 82 years old.  Initially set up by John Hagenback as a transitory home for captured wild animals, waiting to be transported to Zoos in Europe, it became the property of the government of then Ceylon in 1936. The Dehiwala Zoo, as it is commonly known occupied 11 acres of land at the beginning and on becoming a government owned entity functioned as a place of entertainment for the public who were ...Continued