The UN Human Rights System and its relevance to us

Published : 12:00 am  July 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  642 views  |  
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The recent violence against the Muslims in Aluthgama and Beruwala are being discussed in civil society and in the Opposition political party. Discussions are mainly on what happened and who is to blame. Most people end up blaming both communities. Different communities will always have differences of opinion. But resorting to violence is not an option for any community to resolve such differences. Don’t we have a Government which was elected on the Sinhala Buddhist vote? Surely if any Buddhist monk or group of Buddhist monks have a complaint against any other community, shouldn’t he or they take up the issue with the Government? Have they done so? Can anybody in society including Buddhist... 

Rev. Dr. Walpola Rahula: Trailblazer in Sri Lanka’s university education

Published : 12:00 am  June 30, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion and Issues, W. A. Wijewardena  |  8 Comments  |  8,773 views  |  
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Contributions made by Rev. Dr. Walpola Sri Rahula to Buddhism, comparative religious studies and higher education in Sri Lanka and abroad are to be commemorated at a ceremony to be held at BMICH on 3 July by Reverend Walpola Sri Rahula Institute of Buddhist Education. Today’s My View is an appraisal of his path-breaking contributions to the management education at Sri Lanka’s universities. A man both hated and loved Reverend Dr. Walpola Rahula became the Vice Chancellor of the then Vidyodaya University of Ceylon in October 1966. He left the post abruptly in July 1969. The period he served as the Vice Chancellor was very short. But that was a period of extreme turbulence in Sri Lanka’s university... 

Crisis proliferation, state of siege and the coming crack-up

Published : 12:00 am  June 30, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion and Issues  |  2 Comments  |  1,458 views  |  
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The crisis is proliferating by the week. Which will come first, the crack-up or the state of siege? Which is the egg and which the chicken? There are two ways in which a country, a nation state, is destroyed. One is by supra-state/supra-national forces, i.e. external forces of hegemonic interventionism. The other is by sub-state/sub-national forces i.e. internal forces of fragmentation. Sri Lanka is being destroyed by both, and the two are feeding off each other. Insofar as the Rajapaksa administration is unable to resist and defeat the first category, the external forces, by the correct foreign policy and diplomatic strategy), it is unable to defend the country from hegemonic external interventionism... 

“We do not approve of external pressure, will always support Sri Lanka”: Maldivian President

Published : 12:00 am  June 28, 2014  |  Category: Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  556 views  |  

“Our two countries have been very good neighbours for a long time. We do not approve undue external pressure over countries. That is why the Maldives consistently stood for Sri Lanka at international fora. We will continue to do so in shoulder to shoulder with Sri Lanka,” Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom said during a bilateral discussion with President Mahinda Rajapaksa held at President’s Office in Male early this week. Following one-to-one meeting between two Presidents, bilateral discussions between the delegations of two countries commenced. The long standing and mutually benefitted relations between Sri Lanka and Maldives was highlighted in this discussion while exploring... 

Modi’s Sweet and Spicy Sri Lanka Strategy

Published : 12:00 am  June 28, 2014  |  Category: Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  515 views  |  

India is likely to pursue a pragmatic approach toward Sri Lanka, one less shackled by Tamil Nadu politics. Post-independence India’s foreign policy has been defined more by continuity than by change. India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, is unlikely to break from this tradition. He respects the bureaucracy and his foreign policy experience is minimal. But every government has its own flavor, and subtle changes in policy emphasis are inevitable. In the case of its relations with Sri Lanka, India’s engagement under Modi is set to become both sweeter and spicier. Pragmatically upgrading economic and connectivity links, combined with a possible de-emphasis of... 

Reflections on the brink of the next abyss

Published : 12:00 am  June 28, 2014  |  Category: Opinion and Issues  |  1 Comment  |  506 views  |  

“How could we not have seen what was coming, until it had arrived in our midst, clanking and smoking?” – John Banville (Shroud)      Can the Government be trusted to discover the truth about Aluthgama and prosecute those responsible?     The Colombo Telegraph: President Mahinda Rajapaksa is furious. Not about the Aluthgama riots; that, in his eyes, was a ‘most minor incident’. He is furious about the peaceful protest (hartal) against the Aluthgama riots. Little wonder then that Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera is not only free but was allowed to hold another ‘religious meeting’ in Kandy. According to President Rajapaksa, murder and mayhem constitute far,... 

CB refutes baseless falsehoods made by certain politicians on EPF activities

Published : 12:00 am  June 28, 2014  |  Category: Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  229 views  |  

The Central Bank said yesterday its attention has been drawn to the news headline ‘EPF Act to be amended to avoid making lump sum payments to retiring employees’ as attributed to a politician and appearing in a daily paper (not of the Wijeya Group). The CBSL said it categorically rejects all the accusations and insinuations levelled at the EPF by this politician and contained in the above story. Further, the EPF wishes to inform its members and the general public not to be misled by these regular and vituperative allegations made by a certain politician with obvious political motives. Each of these accusations are laid bare below with the facts and figures in order to enable the general public... 

Defence Secretary meets Muslim religious and civil leaders

Published : 3:42 am  June 27, 2014  |  Category: Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  459 views  |  

I wish to refer to the above news report in your paper of 25 June. It mentions that Gotabaya Rajapaksa has had discussions with leaders of civil and religious Muslim organisations. As expected, it was about the recent communal clashes. Muslims are relieved there have been some discussions. As to who these Muslim leaders are, and as to what was discussed are all shrouded in secrecy. Further, it goes on to state that it ended with both sides agreeing to a media embargo! As for the Government side wanting a media embargo can be understood as there has been a “media black-out” since the first incidents. Those claiming to represent the Muslims have no right to agree to this, as every Muslim is... 

Key challenges facing the tourism sector in Sri Lanka

Published : 3:38 am  June 27, 2014  |  Category: Opinion and Issues  |  1 Comment  |  3,918 views  |  

A synopsis of the keynote address delivered by Institute of Policy Studies Executive Director Dr. Saman Kelegama at the Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Hospitality – Sri Lanka Chapter, Hotel Ramada on 20 June In Sri Lanka, one sector that featured prominently in the post-war rapid growth was the tourism sector. The arrival of tourists increased rapidly and passed the elusive one million mark in 2012 and increased further in 2013. Consequently, the tourist earnings also increased and now (2013) the sector occupies the position as the third largest foreign exchange earner to the country ($ 1.7 billion) after overseas remittances ($ 6.4 billion) and textiles and apparel exports ($ 4.5... 

Striking the match

Published : 12:14 am  June 26, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion and Issues  |  7 Comments  |  3,664 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... 

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