Accountable government

Published : 12:01 am  April 8, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte  |  Leave a Comment  |  830 views  |  
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The liberal democratic model The events concerning Sri Lanka at the UNHRC at Geneva have focused our minds on the issue of the accountability of a government. A liberal democracy is, by any objective standard, the only system of governance which has within it the checks and balances, mechanisms, processes and procedures that can, up to some extent even, provide for a responsive system of government, where the rulers have even a modicum of accountability to the people they govern. But it is not perfect. A liberal democratic system of government wherein the government is accountable to the governed has been described by analysts and commentators, as the only form of government suitable for grownups!... 


Gamani Corea’s noble mission: Unfinished then but may be irrelevant now

Published : 12:00 am  April 7, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, W. A. Wijewardena  |  2 Comments  |  2,870 views  |  
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An economist with a noble mission Gamani Corea, by any comparison, Sri Lanka’s most respected economist of international renown, embarked on a noble mission when he assumed the post of Secretary General of UNCTAD – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development – in 1973. That was to uplift the conditions of hundreds of poor countries in the world which had been mercilessly hit by markets by depressing the prices of primary commodities they had been supplying to the rest of the world. The result was for them as a group to undergo economic hardships and unexpected losses in welfare whenever the prices fell in the market. In the opposite, they had a good time when they went up. International... 


Indian Cabotage Law: Can it affect transhipment hubs?

Published : 12:00 am  April 7, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  661 views  |  
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Indian Cabotage Law: Can it affect transhipment hubs? The maritime sector is truly a global industry. The design, building, ownership, flagging, finance, insurance and manning of ships and the origins and destinations of cargo all involve several countries. However, for coastal shipping, most governments have protectionist policies, generally called cabotage, permitting only the ships registered in that country to carry cargo between local ports. The UN convention (UNCLOS) provides that merchant ships of any country have the right of innocent passage, even through territorial waters. Cabotage therefore is an artificial and unnatural restriction imposed by Governments in respect of ships used... 


Avurudu awakening

Published : 12:00 am  April 7, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  800 views  |  
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Another Avurudu is round the corner. Holidays give us time to refresh, reflect and renew. As Sinhalese and Tamils unite in enjoying the festive times together, it radiates the symbol of national unity. Today’s column on Humane Results is a relaxed reflection on the need to collectively awaken towards prosperity through productivity. Significance of Avurudu Goodwill, happiness and joy fill the air and the hearts of people of Sinhala and Tamil homes during the New Year. The familiar sound of the koha and the rhythm of the drums are heard. Old customs are revived and people exchange greetings. Age old Sinhalese and Tamil traditions and popular customs which were meticulously observed by the... 


Sports is a catalyst for development and peace

Published : 12:00 am  April 5, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  834 views  |  
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6 April is International Day of Sports for Development and Peace  Sports have become world language. A common denominator that breaks down all the walls, all the barriers. It is a worldwide industry whose practices can have widespread impact. It is a powerful tool for progress and development – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Sports are defined as physical activities that contribute to physical fitness, mental health and social interactions. They include recreation, playing, modern and traditional sports and games and organised competitions. During the past, sports were aimed at producing amusement, fun and pleasure. Considerations on preserving physical fitness and health had been secondary... 


Lessons and options for Govt. and Opposition

Published : 12:00 am  April 5, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  606 views  |  
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In a famous moment in the history of Hollywood movies in Don Siegel’s iconic film Dirty Harry begins with Clint Eastwood, playing Inspector Harry Callahan says “I know what you’re thinking — did he fire six shots or only five…” In similar vein I can tell what the strategists of the Opposition are thinking after the Provincial Council election: “when we add the total vote of the ethnic and religious minorities to the 25% plus that the UNP has got, we can get the 50.1% we need to beat Mahinda Rajapaksa.” In that movie scene, Dirty Harry went on to add a qualifier: “but seein’ as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and could blow your head clean... 


Discipline at rugby games

Published : 12:59 am  April 4, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez  |  Leave a Comment  |  699 views  |  
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As I write this there a buzz about town as Sri Lanka prepare to take on giant killers the Windies in the T20 semi-finals. Thus there is very little talk about school rugby and for a change it has taken a back seat. Only two games are scheduled for Saturday with Kingswood taking on Science in Kandy and the Joes playing Royal. On their day the Joes are capable of upsetting any side and will obviously look at ironing out their weaknesses. Royal under new coach Martis are out to prove a point but do not look a championship side. It’s still early days as all the sides have just played two matches each and the usual lack of match practice and teething problems of a new team was very much in evidence.... 


A chink in the armour!

Published : 12:12 am  April 3, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians  |  4 Comments  |  2,601 views  |  
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The Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is having a spectacularly bad week. Technically, with the two assemblies lapsing in late April, March 29 elections for the Western and Southern Provincial Councils took place on schedule. But the polls were also extraordinarily timed – with a little help from the Elections Department – to take place 24 hours after the UN Human Rights Council vote on a US resolution that would launch a war crimes investigation into the last seven years of Sri Lanka’s war against the LTTE. Calls had been mounting for an international investigation to be set up by the Council in March 2014 and President Rajapaksa, who has mastered the art of using international... 


The fall of the Titans/rise of the Olympians?

Published : 12:00 am  April 2, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,745 views  |  
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The Sri Lankan people have spoken – loud and clear… The people speak of their Government With the rays of dawn on our paradise isle, the Hiru Deviyo (Sun god) of our forefathers also ushered in a rare occasion where our faith can be reaffirmed in the provisions of Article 3 of the Constitution which some of us sworn to uphold and protect; that Sovereignty of this great Republic lies in its people; that it is inalienable and only vested for a limited period (however long it may seem) on institutions (Article 4 – which includes both the government and opposition in the Legislature) to be exercised “in Public Trust” for our ultimate benefit; that when it appears not to be so, the people... 


Petes in lacklustre win over Science

Published : 1:15 am  April 1, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez  |  Leave a Comment  |  990 views  |  
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Over the past few years Science has shot into the limelight in the school rugby scene. The fact that they are in Division I, speaks volumes of their ability and meteoritic rise as certain teams that have been playing rugby for a much longer period of time are languishing at the bottom. In any sport attitude plays a big part in the success of the team. Science College have a very positive ‘can do’ attitude, and they have loads of self belief. Teams with a reputation mean nothing to them as they go and play as they know best. Thus against the Peterites they did just that. They went out and played their hearts out giving the much fancied Petes a torrid time. The Petes had come into this game... 


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