Striking the match

Published : 12:14 am  June 26, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion  |  7 Comments  |  2,644 views  |  
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Hardline monks did not riot or burn in Aluthgama and Beruwala last Sunday night. They just struck the match upon their platforms and watched the towns burn “They hold harthals now even for small, small incidents. When the LTTE was killing all communities indiscriminately, nobody held harthals” – President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport on Sunday, 22 June    As the politically-aware citizenry reels from the shock and horror of a 21st century ethno-religious riot, much of the despair stems from the knowledge that the horror of Aluthgama was a long time coming   Inside the Welipitiya mosque premises, the floors and walls of the little... 

Lies, deception and hypocrisy is the religion of the politician

Published : 12:02 am  June 25, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  3 Comments  |  593 views  |  
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The great virtue of liberal democracy is that, unlike totalitarian states, they require transparency, accountability, and trust between representatives and the represented. The use of secrecy, lies and deception are more characteristic of authoritarian regimes past or present. Mussolini, who hired the killer who killed the Serb king in the 1930s, attended his funeral and wept profusely. Hitler set fire to the Reichstag (the German Parliament) and put the blame on the Communists. Every misfortune or mishap he blamed on the Jews and fabricated evidence to support his contention. Stalin used to talk of the imperialist conspiracy against the former Soviet Union log after the Revolutionary War was... 

Ramya Weerakoon: Triumph through tragedy

Published : 12:01 am  June 25, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Leadership, Marianne David  |  2 Comments  |  756 views  |  
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Listening to Ramya Weerakoon as she tells her tale of triumph through tragedy, it is obvious that she is a woman who was determined to succeed, no matter what. Seated in her Kadawatha office, Ramya is perfectly turned out and speaks ever-so-softly, but her strength and determination shines through. Ramya, who recently turned 70, was widowed at an early age. Her late husband Major Noel Weerakoon was the first officer of the Sri Lanka Army to be killed in action. He was shot while heading a special mission to Anuradhapura, transporting weapons and leading a contingent of soldiers to maintain law and order over the civil unrest in the North Central Province. Noel was ambushed by the insurgents and... 

Pathana, a class act throughout the season

Published : 12:00 am  June 25, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, Columnists, Sports  |  Leave a Comment  |  503 views  |  
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If KCK had entertained any thoughts of a win against the marauding green army, they vaporised pretty quickly at the Havies on Sunday. For a brief period of time they threatened similar to the fickle weather that Colombo has been experiencing over past few weeks. Pathana were cool, calm and collected and played as if they were out for a stroll in the park. The fact that they were playing on home turf, with their alma mater just a stone’s throw away must have made them feel extremely comfortable. Pathana does not boast of any big stand out names but they play as a single cohesive unit, with each one appreciating the skill of the other and enjoying the game taking the good with the bad in their... 

Government rushes in where angels fear to tread

Published : 12:00 am  June 25, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Harsha Gunasena, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  1,009 views  |  
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In July 1983, Tamils who were residing in predominantly-Sinhala areas were attacked systematically. Although it was not proved beyond any doubts, the attack was planned by the forces behind the Government. Attackers were not simply emotional. The attacks were spearheaded by a systematic and planned emotion, which was followed by mass-scale idiotic emotion. There was evidence that the attackers were having lists of the targeted homes and shops of the Tamils. People from Colombo were involved in the attacks on cities outside Colombo. It was also evident that the attacks were directed against economic targets as well. One reason may be that the persons who were behind the attacks were jealous of... 

No limits?

Published : 12:01 am  June 24, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, Other Sectors  |  1 Comment  |  772 views  |  
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Southern fascism and the politics of resistance “Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity” – WB Yeats, The Second Coming The Aluthgama attack on the Muslims was followed by several incidents, the exact nature, causes and perpetrators of which have yet to be ascertained. These include the acid attacks on the Police in Mawanella, and the fire that gutted the ‘No Limit’ store in Panadura. To me what... 

Why take the shine off Sri Lanka?

Published : 12:01 am  June 24, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Rohantha Athukorala  |  3 Comments  |  767 views  |  
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A person who has one of the best insights into Sri Lanka’s economy in my view in Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, not only due to his experience but also his power of conceptualisation and understanding of the issues of the micro economy. The other day I was listening to him present the Ministry of Finance and Planning Annual Report of 2013. Some very interesting data from the grass root level was analysed and conceptualised, which made me think on the strong performance of ‘Brand Sri Lanka’. If I pick up some insights, mobile phone user ship in 2004 was at 2.2 m, whilst today this number stands at 20.3 m, which indicates the communicative society that we live in. It also indicates the connectivity... 

Life and debt

Published : 12:01 am  June 24, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  421 views  |  
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A debt crisis in the north east? Recently in Colombo there was an event at which a research study entitled ‘Life and Debt’ was presented. The study was by the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA), initiated and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC). The purpose of the study was to understand whether the Owner-Driven Housing Assistance (ODHA) scheme, being implemented with donor support in post-conflict north and east of Sri Lanka, increased indebtedness of beneficiary households and the implications of such debt on the level of vulnerability of the households to economic shocks. The study was on a sample of 347 households in the Districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi and... 

What President Rajapaksa should have asked of Prime Minister Modi

Published : 12:03 am  June 23, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  610 views  |  
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What attracted most media attention when Prime Minister Modi met the Sri Lankan President a few weeks back was the request to implement the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution. Little has been reported about his other requests or of any requests made of him by the Sri Lankan President. Perhaps the most important economic issue that was raised by Prime Minister Modi was that the long-delayed joint venture to develop a coal-fired power plant in Sampur be expedited. Interconnection of grids If the President had been fully briefed, he would have responded by asking for the Indian Central Government’s help to expedite the interconnection of the Sri Lankan and South Indian grids across... 

Violence and country branding

Published : 12:02 am  June 23, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Front Page, Hilmy Cader  |  Leave a Comment  |  422 views  |  
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It takes decades, if not centuries, to build a country brand. It takes only a few irresponsible acts to significantly negate all the hard work that multiple stakeholders have put into building a country brand.  The perception damage caused, locally and internationally, can take much long cure than the physical damages. So, let’s put country brand above all and not let any of the sub-brands negate the ‘mother brand’. The blame game will not take us anywhere. The need of the hour is reflection, reconciliation and re-building our country brand – by all stakeholders.  Read More →

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