COLUMNS

Is Nature-Based Tourism On A Wrong Track?

Columns
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!

Columns
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

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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

A Political War By Other Means

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Hawk’s Eye
President Maithripala Sirisena took another swipe at his bete noire Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the other day. Addressing the media heads on Wednesday in Colombo, he described the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday carnage, which killed 258 people, including 45 foreigners, and wounded nearly 500, as a ‘drama’ scripted by Temple Trees. Stating that he had not been asked to testify before the PSC, the President declared that he would never appear before it even if he was summoned. The President remains ...Continued

The Cup That Cheers Ruins Rain Forest

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Dr. Prasanna Cooray
“Around the time of Independence there were fewer people living in these areas (around Sinharaja). Since then, population has increased by six times. Plantations have also expanded. There wasn’t anything significant to be called agriculture in this area then. Kalawana, Nivithigala, Kanneliya, Manikevita Kanda, Kalubowita were jungles. (Then) monsoon rains were falling timely. Animals were everywhere.” This is who octogenarian Martin Wijesinghe, who is also regarded the “uncommissioned professor of Sinharaja”, reminisced of the Sinharaja rain forest seven decades ago. Continuing onslaught on Sinharaja According ...Continued

Autonomizing Education

Columns
H G S Prematunge
In the last issue of Counterpoint, we discussed the vital role economics plays in deciding access to and the quality of the education system, which decides the country’s labour force dynamics. There is obvious correlation between the level of education and income, social mobility, economic and social status. Moreover, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development educated individuals make more intelligent and informed democratic political choices. Consequently, spending on education has been viewed as promoting human capital by many scholars. It was R.E ...Continued

Battle Lines In New Cold War Drawn-Up

Columns
Dissector
A new Cold War is taking shape in the international political order but ideology would not be playing a dominant role in it, although we would be having some resonant echoes of the old Cold War in the developing situation.  On the one side, is the US and its allies world-wide, on the other, Russia, China and those making common cause with them. Over the past few months the US has been increasingly vocal about an  “Indo-Pacific strategy”,   which seemingly brings within its scope almost ...Continued

CEB Workers Get Salary Shock

Columns
Kshama Ranawana
Nearly 12,000 employees of the Ceylon Electricity board are up in arms over their salaries being paid out as an allowance based on their net take home pay of March this year. These employees who come under the United Engineers Service have fallen victim to a legal imbroglio that stems from a 2014 CEB Board decision allowing for the creation of the afore mentioned category and an E Salary Scale. The decision was challenged in Courts by the Lanka Podu Viduli Sevaka Sangamaya for its ...Continued

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