COVER STORIES

Developing Clean Energy In Sri Lanka – Vacillating Policies Hinder...

Cover Story
Dr. Janaka Ratnasiri
In December 2015, the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held in Paris where the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change was adopted by all Nations. At this summit meeting, President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the conference said “the impact of climate change threatens our very survival. In Sri Lanka, the adverse impacts are already obvious” and further said “We have embarked on the challenging task of moving away from fossil fuel-based energy, towards renewable energy”. Realizing ...Continued

A Brief History Of No–Faith Motions

Cover Story
Hawk Eye
Two motions of no-confidence are currently before Parliament against Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and the government. The first one, signed by 64 opposition MPs, has been fixed for debate on June 18 and 19, but the Joint Opposition (JO), which submitted it has urged Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to advance it, given the severity of the charges contained therein. The second motion, signed by JVP MPs against the government, has entered the Order Book of Parliament, but no date has been fixed for a debate ...Continued

Complex Psychology Of Terrorism

Cover Story
H G S Prematunge
The Easter Bombings that left 253 people dead and at least 500 others injured, is making psychological ripple effects, with sporadic incidents of violence reported from areas such as Negombo, Chilaw, Kuliyapitiya, Bingiriya and Dummalasuriya, intermittent banning of social media and a call to boycotting Muslim business establishments. Counterpoint spoke to an expert on the psychological impact of a tragedy of national scale. And who is better to talk about armed conflict and its psychological repercussions than a person who has been in the thick ...Continued

Education As Means Of Conflict Resolution

Cover Story
H G S Prematunge
The Easter bombings, on April 21, left 253 people dead and at least 500 injured. Speculation is rife that the savage attacks were in retaliation for the recent massacre of Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand or the ISIS’s loss of its stronghold in Syria. Conspiracy theories also abound. But one thing is clear; the attackers were driven by religious fanaticism. Keeping religion out of the affairs of the State has become a major challenge and many feel the first step towards achieving this end is ...Continued

Sri Lanka’s War On Drugs

Cover Story
Hemantha Perera and Vishvanath
The recent destruction by the police of a massive consignment of cocaine weighing as much as 769 kilos in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena himself and some judicial and police officers, in Kelaniya, must have warmed the cockles of many a heart; parents worrying about the future of their children must have heaved a sigh of relief on watching that event on television, on April 01. It is heartening that the police including the elite Special Task Force (STF), the armed forces and the ...Continued

Illicit Firearms Chipping Away At The State

Cover Story
Hemantha Perera and Vishvanath
EVOLUTION OF THE PROBLEM The proliferation of illicit arms in Sri Lanka worsened due to the over-militarisation of the state following three armed conflicts, two in the South and a protracted one in the North and the East.  The country witnessed the first post-Independence bloodbath in 1971, when the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) took up arms against the state in what turned out to be an abortive revolt. It had a ceremonial army at that time. Needless to say the police were not prepared for ...Continued

Illicit firearms chipping away at the State – 2

Cover Story
Hemantha Perera and Vishvanath
The danger of firearms in the wrong hands became evident, last Friday, when a lone gunman mowed down 50 persons in a mosque and left many others injured in Christ Church, New Zealand. Armed with an automatic weapon, he carried out the barbaric attack, which he livestreamed, much to the horror of the civilized world. The massacre has jolted New Zealand into reviewing its gun policy. Most of the Sri Lanka Police crime busters, interviewed by Counterpoint, were of the opinion that the available information ...Continued

Illicit Firearms Chipping Away At The State

Cover Story
Hemantha Perera and Vishvanath (08/03/2019)
The proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) is a global phenomenon, threatening the whole of the human race. Hardly any country has been able to neutralise this threat effectively. The Small Arms Survey (SAS), an international watchdog outfit, has revealed there are more than one billion small arms spread across the world, which has a population of about 7.6 billion; and 85% of these lethal weapons are believed to be in civilian hands. Not that all these arms are used for illegal purposes, ...Continued

Clearing The Way For Bio-piracy

Cover Story
Dr. Prasanna Cooray (22/02/2019)
There have been presidential commissions to probe the alleged abuse of state assets and cases have been filed against the offenders under the Offences against Public Property Act—and rightly so. But, sadly, acts of bio-piracy, which cause huge losses to the country, have gone almost unnoticed. The public does not seem sufficiently informed of the value of the country’s biological assets which are being plundered. Close on the heels of a disastrous road building project near the Kudawa entrance of Sinharaja rainforest, which we reported ...Continued

The Cup That Hardly Cheers

Cover Story
Kshama Ranawana and Aanya Wipulasena
The plantation sector in the country continues to take a beating, and it’s not merely because of the Rs. 1,000 per day wage hike demanded by the workers. Counterpoint learns that political interference, incompetency, corrupt practices, shortage of human resources, restrictions placed by the State and inefficiency are acting as a stranglehold on the plantation sector despite privatization of most estates in 1992. The once thriving Tea industry, for which Sri Lanka has been known the world over, has now slipped to the fourth place ...Continued

Complete Overhaul Of Education The Answer

Cover Story
Kshama Ranawana and Aanya Wipulasena
There are 55,000 graduates without employment, according to the Convener of the National Centre for Graduates, Chandana Sooriyaarachchi.  He told Counterpoint that 5,000 out of 60,000 unemployed graduates had been recruited by the government as Development Officers, and the others were awaiting training and jobs in the public sector. Counterpoint sought answers to this phenomenon of local graduates waiting for years after graduation to find employment.  Are they unemployable or are they interested in only obtaining government jobs?  Is the private sector shunning them, and ...Continued

When Religiosity And Savagery Reside Cheek By Jowl

Cover Story
Dr. Prasanna Cooray
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – Mahatma Gandhi The brutal killing of Charlie, a Labrador in Negombo, sent shock waves throughout the country. The New Year dawned with unbearable suffering for Charlie, which was set ablaze; it died a painful death the following day. A suspect was arrested and produced before the magistrate. The police have framed charges against him under the Penal Code and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Ordinance. He was released ...Continued
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