OTHER COLUMNS

A Gradual Pick Up In Tourism

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A.W.
Sri Lanka’s tourism arrivals in 2019 fell short of the desired 2.5 million due to the Easter Sunday attacks in April last year, which killed 269 people including at least 40 foreigners when the terrorists targeted luxury hotels in Colombo and churches in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa.  Nevertheless, arrivals reached 1.9 million (1,913,702 to be exact), in 2019 according to newly released statistics from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA). This was an 18 per cent dip from 2018. Last year, the country was ...Continued

Stage set for upsurge in Middle East tensions

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Dissector
Agitated by the recent US military strike in Iraq that accounted for the life, among others, of Iran’s Major General Qasem Soleimani, sections of the world were posing the disquieting questions: Are we hurtling towards a Third World War? Has humankind opted for self-annihilation? These posers are a veritable measure of the fear US-Iran antagonisms have been generating in the hearts and minds of people the world over, ever since the Islamic Republic of Iran came into being in 1979. While a comprehensive look at ...Continued

A land like no other, but …

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Ivan Alvis
I generally hear people referring to Sri Lanka as ‘a land like no other.’ And, they are absolutely correct! But, what worries me is that Sri Lanka, in spite of having ‘beauty’, in abundance, has still not been able to break into the tourism market … in a BIG way. While we struggled to reach the two million tourist arrival mark, last year, Thailand hit the 38 million mark, in 2018. You may wonder why I’ve decided to draw a comparison between Sri Lanka and ...Continued

Recognize Diversity of the Nation

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TNA Parliamentarian M A Sumanthiran cautions against the country regressing into naked majoritarianism, if the diversity of the nation, its races, religions, languages and cultures is not recognized. ‘The equal status of each of these people is not dependent on their respective numerical strength. This principle must be acknowledged if our democracy is to survive and indeed flourish, and not regress into naked majoritarianism.’ The Jaffna District parliamentarian was speaking during the debate on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy statement, delivered in Parliament on January 3rd this year. Claiming that ...Continued

‘Hello Scandal’ buffets Opposition

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Hawk’s Eye
The first sitting week of Parliament following the opening of the new session by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was limited to only three days, from Tuesday to Thursday, since Friday is a public holiday. Two out of those days were allocated for an adjournment debate sponsored by the Opposition on the President’s policy speech delivered on 03 Jan. However, that debate was overshadowed by an unforeseen development – MP Ranjan Ramanayake’s phone recordings which contain his conversations with various people. The last party leaders’ meeting set ...Continued

Sri Lankan ‘ground staff’ the best in the world?

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Spectator
Watching cricket in India is such a unique experience. Whether it is Test matches, ODIs or T-20s, the passion of Indian fans is unequivocal. As Aravinda de Silva once said, when the team bus drove into Eden Gardens ahead of his memorable night in the World Cup semi-final, he found the stadium packed to the rafters three hours before the game. Now, Eden Gardens can host 110,000 fans. Aravinda says he saw, ‘110,000 inside and 100,000 outside the grounds unable to get in.’ Not just ...Continued

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HGS Prematunge
The education system decides a country’s labour force dynamics and a sound education helps individuals make more intelligent and informed democratic political choices. Moreover, it is an obvious correlation between the level of education and income, social mobility, economic and social status. In this light the bold reforms for the education sector, such as the introduction of a new university entrance scoring system in place of the Z score, university education for all those who qualify at A/Ls and the advancement of the A/L examination ...Continued

NPP questions appointment of Senior State Counsel to President’s Office

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The National People’s Power (NPP/JVP) is calling to question the alleged recent appointment of a Senior State Counsel of the Attorney General’s Department as an Acting Additional Secretary to the President’s Office on a part time basis.    The NPP said in a statement issued yesterday, January 6th, that if the report of such an appointment is correct, it is deeply concerned about the Attorney General and the Attorney General’s Department remaining  “independent and free of any political influence.” It added that not only should the ...Continued

A year to remember as Sri Lanka achieve the impossible

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Spectator
Three wins in eight Tests, seven wins in 21 ODIs and four wins out of 13 T-20s would suggest that 2019 wasn’t a spectacular year for cricket in Sri Lanka. Nevertheless it was the year where Sri Lanka achieved the impossible – a series win in South Africa. That is why 2019 will be remembered fondly by cricket fans. South Africa is not the most pleasant place to tour. The country is beautiful but  playing cricket is quite daunting. On the hard and bouncy surfaces ...Continued

Modern Education and the Alienation of the Child from Identity...

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Dr. Siri Gamage
It was well known that Education along with religion were tools employed by imperialist centres of the world to control their colonies and their people.  Modernist paradigm underpinned this process. Abidi who edited a book about African education and colonialism states that intellectuals and education were the main force of colonialism- not the foot soldiers. Global powers that dominate the world via economic and other means today utilise so-called international education which has become a marketable commodity and migration for the same purpose. Countries of ...Continued

Can indigenous knowledge help save Sinharaja?

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Prasanna Cooray
Two things Sinharaja is fast loosing; One is its topography, the other is its indigenous knowledge. So much so, both these seem to have begun simultaneously, and are moving at a similar pace. In search of indigenous knowledge “After returning home from school those days, I used to go into the jungle with my grandfather. We went in search of herbs and creepers for his medicines” Dinusha recalled his childhood experiences, some thirty years ago. Both his grandfather and father were experts for healing fractures. ...Continued

Emerging economies’ bubble at risk of bursting

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Dissector
The global South is on track to a major economic crisis. Consequently, the success stories of developing and emerging countries could very well be chimerical. This assessment is forced on the observer by some very ominous pronouncements on the global economy that were made recently by the World Bank and the IMF. World Bank President David Malpass, for example, was on record as stating the following to AFP, among other things: ‘A wave of debt in emerging and developing nations has grown faster and larger ...Continued

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