Columnists,Opinion and Issues

To be a child is to be a dreamer

Views - 194 Wednesday, 12 June 2019 00:00

One in a hundred! That is how many children in Sri Lanka are in child labour, skipping out on regular schooling. These young ones and teenagers are foregoing basic education or tertiary level vocational skill-set attainment; unwittingly pushed and pu

Election Commission Jaffna’s foundation stone: tombstone or hero stone?

Views - 209 Tuesday, 11 June 2019 00:14

GA and District Secretary Vedanayahan, Prabhus assembled here, including women, friends: When I accepted appointment as a Member of the Commission, it was on a happy day. We had come out of a hellish, brutish period when many men and women had been d

Grieve for our country in crisis; prevent a descent into ‘Yamapalanaya’: Friday Forum

Views - 76 Tuesday, 11 June 2019 00:13

Even as our country was struggling to cope after the Easter Sunday terrorism, sharing in solidarity a collective sense of grief with victims, violence erupted on 13May. Information in the public domain indicates that the destruction of private proper

People should beware of imposters

Views - 32 Tuesday, 11 June 2019 00:00

I read the article captioned‘A democratic people’s revolution’ in an English daily of 28 May , with dismay, for several reasons. The article, purportedly dealing with the prevailing security situation and corrupt governance, is incoherentto the

Keep it clean: A reflection

Views - 1192 Tuesday, 11 June 2019 00:00

A Colombo taxi driver informed a customer that he was a Muslim. It sounded like an apology. His two previous hires had been cancelled after his cultural identity had been guessed. In the hill-country, a group of persons got into a heated argument wi

Is a trap being set for the Presidential Election?

Views - 133 Tuesday, 11 June 2019 00:00

Rathana and Gnanasara Theros are back. They were almost forgotten in recent times and with the Presidential Election close by, an opportunity has been presented to them to be in the limelight again. As we tend to have short memories, it is worthwhile

What makes a good president for the country?

Views - 302 Tuesday, 11 June 2019 00:00

Election Committee Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya got straight to the point recently and stated that the next Presidential Election must be held between 15 November and 7 December. Based on the historical information, the 2019 Election will be the eight

Nationalism helps democracy to survive, but only up to a limit

Views - 6148 Monday, 10 June 2019 00:20

Claim that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala-Buddhist country Sri Lanka is hailed by many, mainly by those who are ethnically Sinhalese and religion-wise Buddhists, as a Sinhala-Buddhist country. This is not an arrangement which it has got under its Constitutio

Gubernatorial and Ministerial resignations, monks and law

Views - 244 Monday, 10 June 2019 00:18

The resignation en masse of two Muslim governors and all Muslim ministers and deputies is an unprecedented political act in the history of Sri Lankan democracy and Muslim politics. If they had not relinquished their privileges yet, as some reports s

The presidential hopefuls – Have they not read Article 43?

Views - 953 Monday, 10 June 2019 00:16

The national poll for the election of the next president is required to be held between 8 November and 8 December this year. Since the incumbent President has now indicated that he might not be seeking re-election, Sri Lanka’s next president will a

Are we a country without ethics, a moral code and shame?

Views - 384 Monday, 10 June 2019 00:14

The saying ‘dogs may bark but the caravan moves on’ is found in many languages from the Middle East to India. In Turkish and Azerbaijani, it rhymes [it ürür, kervan yürür (in Turkish), and it hürər, karvan keçər (in Azerbaijani)], sugg

‘For your eyes only’ or ‘eyes only’?

Views - 124 Monday, 10 June 2019 00:10

If one phrase sticks out from the babel of voices that followed the chaos of 21 April, it surely is ‘eyes only’. ‘Men only,’ ‘tourists only,’ ‘invitees only,’ we are familiar with the diktat explicit in the words, but ‘eyes only’?

Lurking in the shadows: A closer look at multidimensional poverty in Sri Lanka

Views - 305 Monday, 10 June 2019 00:00

Sunil is a labourer who lives in a small hut with his wife, and their two children, aged seven and four years. Both Sunil and his wife have had schooling only up to grade five. Their hut has no electricity or proper sanitation facilities. The elder c

Learn lessons from Sri Lanka attack to prevent future attacks

Views - 203 Saturday, 8 June 2019 00:10

‘Israel never hesitated to share intelligence with the relevant authority’ – Schweitzer

Stop! In the name of love and respect

Views - 205 Saturday, 8 June 2019 00:10

By Dilkie Umagiliya I am horrified at the overload of communalism and racism circulating in social media and the irresponsible coverage in the electronic and print media. Free press and freedom of speech does not mean this ‘freedom’ is demonised.

India’s elections making history

Views - 74 Saturday, 8 June 2019 00:10

By Swaran Singh Thursday saw general elections results for 543 seats of the 17th Lower House of India’s National Parliament, reinforcing most of the preceding exit poll predictions that had already set television screens on fire since Monday mornin

The Donald Trump mythos

Views - 49 Saturday, 8 June 2019 00:01

The overarching pretension of America is that it believes itself to be the final telomere of every human society. It believes, in the words of a US military officer in Stanley Kubrick’s macabre masterpiece ‘Full Metal Jacket’ that: “Inside ev

Putrefaction and end

Views - 726 Friday, 7 June 2019 00:15

As the President has abandoned his earlier decision to consult the Supreme Court opinion on the commencement of his official term, it is now clear that the Presidential Election will be held on 7 December. While nearing a Presidential Election, the

Cardinal blunders should worry the Catholics

Views - 1416 Friday, 7 June 2019 00:11

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith seems to be loving the limelight and the glow, however spooky, of politics. I have pointed out before how His Eminence has a penchant for popping up in public affairs when he shouldn’t and avoiding intervention when he shou

De-bureaucratise bureaucracy – Combat soft terrorism for growth!

Views - 168 Thursday, 6 June 2019 00:00

I know this can be a difficult topic and a difficult set of words to digest but I believe that this is an imperative tool if we are to move ahead in this island of ours. Cost of inefficiency has to be turned around for opportunity through action. Af

Sri Lanka’s parents need more support to ensure children are able to reach full potential: UNICEF

Views - 62 Thursday, 6 June 2019 00:00

As the world celebrates the life-changing role of parents through the Global Day of Parents (1 June) and Father’s Day (16 June), UNICEF is drawing attention to the critical role parents play in a child’s first five years through early caregiving,

The cardinal truth

Views - 1905 Thursday, 6 June 2019 00:00

For as long as Sri Lanka has been an independent and sovereign nation, our people have been torn between two opposing political forces. This is the battle between the politics of unity and politics of division. To unite peoples across religious, ethn

Modi eyes fiercer rivalry with China over neighbours in second term

Views - 177 Thursday, 6 June 2019 00:00

Nikkei Asian Review: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is preparing for a fiercer tug of war with China over neighbouring nations as his second term kicked off on Thursday. Whether India will strengthen its influence in the region will become clear

Political volatility and creating a narrative

Views - 89 Thursday, 6 June 2019 00:00

The recent Easter Sunday bombings, the subsequent politically backed mob violence1, and the release of a divisive figure, all increase political volatility. This volatility, if carefully managed, can be used to create a change of power. Let it be not

Are you ready to combat fraud?

Views - 340 Wednesday, 5 June 2019 00:00

Fraud has become one of the most worrying factors in recent times for business owners, board directors, senior members of management and even regulators. The increasing number of frauds in some markets over the recent past, significant loss of value

Keeping track of our State enterprises

Views - 214 Wednesday, 5 June 2019 00:00

The Government is currently in the rather confused state of having lost track of the number of State enterprises it runs. While the Ministry of Finance tracks the financials of 55 key SOEs, the Government does not have an official number for the ent

A case for hypocrisy

Views - 50 Wednesday, 5 June 2019 00:00

By Emil van der Poorten What follows is not written tongue-in-cheek but are musings generated by the state of public discourse, such as it is, in Sri Lanka, in the English medium at least. My rather tattered version of the Chambers English Dictionary

When fake news and targeted misinformation rule the day

Views - 322 Wednesday, 5 June 2019 00:00

In Sri Lanka, fabricated stories posing as serious journalism is gradually becoming the order of the day, and is not likely to go away as they have become a means for some unscrupulous writers to make money and potentially influence public opinion fo

Moving to a low-carbon future – why banks and companies need to step up

Views - 47 Wednesday, 5 June 2019 00:00

By Bill Winters The clock is ticking on climate change. We currently have more greenhouse gases in our atmosphere than at any time in human history. As a result of our increasing economic activity, scientists estimate that, under one potential scen

Go fish! But, please, do so legally

Views - 57 Wednesday, 5 June 2019 00:00

By Kundhavi Kadiresan The people of Sri Lanka love fish and both demand and consumption of fish is on the rise. On the one hand that’s good, because fish is high in protein and low in fat and that helps to feed a hungry world while providing liveli

Today's Columnists

Whither Sri Lanka?

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

On Easter Sunday, 21 April 2019, suicide bombers from an extremist group caused carnage in six separate locations in Sri Lanka. Over 250 lives were lost and as many injured. The magnitude and co-ordination of their operation indicate several months o

Our Cricket Board simply cannot deliver – why not they all quit honourably?

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

“It is necessary, therefore, for the Government to pay serious attention to the doings of Sri Lanka Cricket [board] and take immediate action to lift their game for the progress of our glorious game.” Question for Sri Lanka Cricket (board) Sri La

Yesterday Tamils, today Muslims and tomorrow who?

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

From the time of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s election victory in 1956, one and only one issue had dominated political party campaigns in this country; and that was communalism. The Tamil community was the main focus of these campaigns for over 50 years

Those who go by social proof are easy prey to crafty schemers

Monday, 17 June 2019

Going after social proof Swiss writer and novelist, Rolf Dobelli, in one of the essays in his 2013 book ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’, has given a fine warning to his readers. He has warned against going by ‘social proof’ or ‘majority view

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