COLUMNS

Why The J&K Imbroglio Needs Insightful Handling

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Dissector
India’s recent decision to end the relative autonomy and special status of its half of Jammu and Kashmir could reduce the region to a powder keg, provided the resultant situation is handled tactfully and insightfully by the Indian state in particular. Needless to say, J&K is a hotly contested territory between India and Pakistan and the possibility is strong of the sides going to war once again over it unless the parties are extra alert to each other’s sensitivities. However, right now the onus is ...Continued

Waiting For Sirisena’s Surprises

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Hawk’s Eye
Social media platforms are no respecters of the truth or even facts, for that matter. They are given to sensationalism. But they represent a confluence of divergent views and are full of interesting stuff including pithy sayings. There was an interesting Facebook post recently and it speaks volumes about the current political situation. It read, in Sinhala thus, ‘Rala pahara weralata gasai, werala kaadanaya wei, namuth ahasa thaama nihandai’ (roughly rendered into English it means ‘waves pound the shore; the coast is eroding away, but ...Continued

Cricket’s Crooked Television Deals

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Spectator
The appointment of a committee to negotiate television rights of Sri Lanka Cricket early this week by Minister of Sports Harin Fernando surprised quite a few followers of the game. It is the first time a committee has been appointed for such an exercise and none of those individuals in the committee are well versed with the nitty-gritty of multi-million dollar television deals that pays players handsomely and looks after the grass root levels of the sport. Fernando also has included the Ministry Secretary in ...Continued

Will JVP Take Up Arms Again?

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Counterpoint Political Desk
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has broken ranks with the yahapalana camp, whose victory it worked hard to ensure, in 2015. It has decided to form a different alliance to contest the upcoming presidential election. Some political observers are of the view that the JVP is in the throes of a leadership struggle and losing ground in national politics. Did the JVP receive funds from the UNP? Will it take up arms again? Has it abandoned the Wijeweera policies? These are some of the question ...Continued

Of Oranges And Elephants

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Kshama Ranawana
Oranges to keep elephants at bay! That is the grand plan of the Sri Lanka Wildlife Society, which initiated the Project OrangeElephant in the Wasgamuwa forest reserve a few years ago. The issue at hand is the continued struggle between elephants and humans for space. As man encroaches on jungles, wild animals lose their habitat.  Seeking food, elephants raid villages, destroying houses and harvest.  While most farmers use firecrackers, etc. to scare the animal away, they are often also shot and killed or maimed. The ...Continued

Is The President Ignoring The Destruction Of Rummassala?

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Ravindra Kariywasam
Oh, fabulous Rumassala Charming sandy beach on Thambapanni With pearl bead smiles over Vended wholly! Were you..?   Rumassala, Seashore so mild and Slender Are you being made, So much defenseless By Gluttonous Araliya, The Black in White Or else, The Peril as guardian?   The foregoing is a slightly modified version of the late veteran singer Gunadasa Kapuge’s famous song about the ruthless manipulation of natural resources of the country. I presumed it would be aptly fit as a prelude to this brief write-up ...Continued

Requires An Overhaul Of Education System And Changing Mindset

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HGS Prematunge
STEM is an educational paradigm that combines science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an interdisciplinary approach. Tsupros, Kohler and J. Hallinen in their 2009 paper ‘STEM education: A project to identify the missing components, define STEM education as an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons, allowing students to apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise facilitating the development of STEM literacy, arming them with the ability to compete ...Continued

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

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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

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