COVER STORIES

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

Yin And Yang Of Parliamentary Politics

Cover Story
Vishvanath
The public focus has shifted from the government to the Opposition. The sudden change of government on 26 Oct. gave rise to a public debate on the legitimacy or otherwise of the new government. The issue has now been sorted out. However, as we have argued in this space previously, the political crisis has a multifactorial etiology and a judicial remedy alone won’t help resolve it. The Executive President and the Prime Minister are still at loggerheads and the new government has got off to ...Continued

An Anatomy Of The Crisis

Cover Story
Vishvanath
The much-awaited Supreme Court determination on the dissolution is now known.  What we are experiencing is history in the making. There are several schools of thought as regards the current crisis, which will not go away immediately. They do not agree on the causes of the conflict. President Maithripala Sirisena went on record, over the weekend, as saying that the Supreme Court decision would bring the crisis to an end. This, he said while others were arguing that the restoration of the status quo ante ...Continued

The Chair And The Mace

Cover Story
Vishavanath
‘Though inanimate, the Chair and the Mace represent something living …’ There seems to be no end in sight to the prevailing political crisis, which is eating into the vitals of our society. Bitter acrimony and thirst for power continue to frustrate attempts to resolve it. Developments on the political front have put the Speaker and the Mace centre stage, as never before. They have become the cynosure of all eyes. The Speaker usually maintains a low profile and his bailiwick is widely thought to ...Continued

Drifting From Crisis To Crisis

Cover Story
Vishvanath
The country continues to be in the throes of an unprecedented crisis with the executive and legislative branches of government clashing fiercely and the judiciary being tasked with deciding which one has acted in violation of the Constitution. There seems to be no end in sight to the intractable problem, which is both political and constitutional; it is also not without legal and ethical dimensions. The signs are that legal remedies won’t prove efficacious enough to help resolve the present conflict, which shows signs of ...Continued

A Plot Flattens A Government

Cover Story
Vishvanath
A pall of political uncertainty hangs over the country following the recent change of government. Newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is busy consolidating his position and the UNP is girding itself for the fray. Ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is not prepared to give in and the UNP is on the warpath. He put up a good show of strength on Tuesday, but the problem with protests is that they get forgotten in next to no time and issues that lead to them remain unsolved. ...Continued

Our Communication Industry, A Tool Of Crony Capitalism

Cover Story
Kshama Ranawana and Aanya Wipulasena
Sri Lanka is fast losing its edge as being the leader in the telecommunications industry in the region. Taxes levied on the services, no clear policies on fees and user conditions on spectrum allocation and caps on data usage, which forces many companies to purchase more costly higher data packages are some of the factors affecting the industry.   And India is fast catching up! Telecommunication, says a source who wished to remain anonymous is one of the driving forces of the country’s economy.  It is ...Continued
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