Wednesday 23rd April 2014

Geneva 2014: First whispers of an impending storm

Published : 1:11 am  March 27, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS, Dharisha Bastians  |  2 Comments  |  1,368 views  |  
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  Since 2004, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been on a remarkable winning streak. In April that year he wrested the Premiership from former Foreign Minister and Chandrika Kumaratunga confidant, Lakshman Kadirgamar, after the newly-constituted United People’s Freedom Alliance led by the SLFP won its first Parliamentary election. He waged a second battle for the SLFP presidential nomination the following year and against all odds, ascended the presidency in November 2005. Against his successful campaign to defeat the LTTE in May 2009, the curse of incumbency stands little chance. Ever since, politically, and electorally, President Rajapaksa has been an unstoppable force – with three... 

“Geneva resolution is against Govt., not Sri Lanka”: Kiriella

Published : 12:00 am  March 27, 2014  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu, COLUMNS  |  4 Comments  |  882 views  |  
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    The Opposition is calling on the Government to restore more democracy, rule of law and media freedom in Sri Lanka in order to reduce the international pressure. United National Party Parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella, upon his return from Geneva, emphasises that if the Government takes the above steps, the Opposition will support it to overcome the resolution at the Geneva Human Rights Council. The party bigwig points out that the heavily-discussed resolution is not against Sri Lanka as the present regime claims, but purely against the Rajapaksa Government. “The Government is saying the resolution is to divide the country, but it speaks of a united Sri Lanka. This signifies that... 

Time: That non-recyclable asset!

Published : 12:00 am  March 27, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  353 views  |  
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Time is quite a precious asset and most of the time we behave as well as force others to engage in without an iota of consideration towards this important asset. Given to us naturally and shared among the humanity equally, we take time for granted. We watch time go by and watch while we amuse ourselves. I dare say that you do need amusement but too much of any good thing is not quite good and at this stage we are going through a period where some intensity of commitment is necessary from most of us, if not from all of us! Post-war Germany and post-war Japan are examples of societies that arose from piles of ash primarily due to the commitment and attitude of the workforce and due to their citizenry... 

“My duty is to serve everyone”: UNP’s Sundaram Palaniandy

Published : 12:01 am  March 26, 2014  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu  |  Leave a Comment  |  196 views  |  
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Every year a new group of would-be politicians enters the electoral fray. One such freshman is Sundaram Palaniandy, contesting for the Western Provincial Council from the United National Party (UNP). He is the President of the Colombo Traders Association. Following are excerpts of an interview: Q: Why did you decide to contest for the Western Provincial Council election? A: I was born in Bandarawela. At the age of 15, I came to Colombo looking for a job. I worked in many places and did all types of work. After some time I was fortunate enough to start my own business. Soon I opened my own shop. Today I am the Chairman of a very successful business. I always believed in helping people. I know... 

The Crimean Precedent!

Published : 12:03 am  March 25, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  448 views  |  
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A sequel to Finlandisation and Bhutanisation? On Monday 17 March 2014, Vladimir Putin, ex of the KGB, Communist Russia’s autocrat, recognised Crimea as an independent state. A referendum had been held in Crimea, condemned as contrary to international law by the world community, at which an overwhelming majority of Crimean’s had allegedly voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. In the UN Security Council, Russia vetoed a resolution condemning Russia’s actions. Interestingly China abstained at this vote, breaking ranks with its erstwhile Russian ally. Both the European Union and the United States of America have urged Russia not to absorb Crimea into Russia, a step that undermines... 

Cost of terrorism on a country

Published : 12:00 am  March 25, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS, Rohantha Athukorala  |  3 Comments  |  520 views  |  
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Sri Lanka has lost Rs. 3,000 b due to terrorism directly 24-year of terrorism has cost the country over $ 200 b The catch-22 situation that Sri Lanka is up against in Geneva is very sad for me personally given that I was part of the larger team that fought the ruthless terrorist organisation in Eelam war IV that brought peace into this country. I still remember the many times I had to travel on military aircraft with the soldiers going to war at the height of the ground operation while I was in the Government Peace Secretariat between 2007-2010. As a team, we supported the soldiers on the ground by staging industrial exhibitions and sports tournaments in Jaffna. We also ensured that the private... 

Pathana squeeze past Royal

Published : 12:00 am  March 25, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  245 views  |  
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By Arthur Fernandez As anticipated the Royal/Pathana game was full of swashbuckling rugby, hard bruising tackles, some poor decisions by the players and last but not least a fair dose of controversy on a Sunday afternoon. For those who made it opting to miss out on Akmal’s and Maxwell’s T20 heroics it was time and effort well spent. For a start the organisers must ensure the seating is adequate for the amount charged from the rugby public. What was provided on Sunday was a rip-off. Pathana appears to be a well knit unit brimming in confidence and looking very positive. They play a brand of rugby that is refreshing, challenging and at times outrageous. In the last two seasons they appear to... 

Reality behind potential output: Critical reading by Practical Economist is commendable

Published : 12:32 am  March 24, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS, W. A. Wijewardena  |  2 Comments  |  2,310 views  |  
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A critical reader objecting to potential output A critical reader writing under the penname ‘Practical Economist’ has raised several objections to this writer’s ‘My View’ in the previous week under the title ‘Potential Output in Sri Lanka: It is dangerous to speed the car beyond the installed engine capacity’. The My View under reference could be accessed at – – , while his objections titled ‘Potential output: The reality behind the fiction’ at –                                   It... 

Seven scents of serenity

Published : 12:28 am  March 24, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  264 views  |  
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Many of us have to face the hustle and bustle of life amidst rush and push. When the outside world is turbulent, how can we maintain inner stillness? This might be the answer sought by millions of managers worldwide. What benefits it would offer? What answers would it contain? Today’s column will show us the seven scents of serenity. Overview Serenity is simply the state of being calm. It involves stillness. Stillness is your essential nature, says Eckhart Tolle, the Canadian author of spirituality fame. As he goes further: You are that awareness, disguised as a person. When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself... 

Children with Down syndrome can be made useful citizens

Published : 3:06 am  March 21, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  263 views  |  
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The United Nations General Assembly has declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD).This declaration signifies inviting attention of countries, to ensure the welfare and development of intellectual and physical abilities of individuals with Down syndrome in the world. The intention of the day is to raise public awareness and to promote programs that help people with Down syndrome (DS) to enjoy their lives participating in social activities productively and become independent citizens in the civil society. Countries around the world are planning to mark the ninth anniversary of the day on 21 March, 2014. Prior to getting into details of commemorating the day, it would be useful to define... 

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