Whitewashing saffron fascism

Published : 12:24 am  July 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  6 Comments  |  1,094 views  |  
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What is the role of the regime and state in a multiethnic, multilingual, multi-religious, multicultural i.e. pluralist setting and in a fraught, conflicted, actually or potentially violent situation? How should and how do the regime and state function? Are the UPFA regime and the State a neutral umpire –as it should be– between the constituent communities of Sri Lanka where all citizens are constitutionally equal, or are they a biased (“hora”) umpire? If the case is the latter do the rulers and state managers not know or care that there is an ‘action replay’ at work in the international system in the 21st century? Do the regime and the state apparatuses under its command,... 

American diplomacy and global challenges

Published : 12:00 am  July 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  492 views  |  
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Today, 4 July, is American Independence Day, during which Americans celebrate the adoption of the ‘Declaration of Independence’ on 4 July 1776, severing links with Great Britain. Independence Day is a grand celebration for Americans. The festive atmosphere is adorned with fireworks, street parades and performances, barbecues at family reunions and gatherings, carnivals, fairs and exhibitions, picnics, concerts, and baseball games. Those who cherish American values and accomplishments vent their feelings through political communications in the print and electronic media. The city mayors and the local and national politicians are busy delivering their political speeches outlining American democracy,... 

Aluthgama: A game without winners

Published : 12:40 am  July 3, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion  |  10 Comments  |  2,331 views  |  
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As sporadic attacks against the Muslim community continue two weeks after the Aluthgama riots and instigators of the vicious religious violence roam free, fingers are still pointed against the Government for inaction and complicity. Politically there can be no victors in this ugly ethno-religious game   The first dawn after the crescent moon sighting, which signalled the beginning of the Ramazan fasting season for Sri Lanka’s Muslim community this year, was marked by violence. It was the kind of shadowy, isolated attack that has been quietly besieging the Muslims of Sri Lanka for 18 long months, ever since the birth of the Bodu Bala Sena brought Sinhala Buddhist hardliners to the frontlines... 

Sri Lanka to digitalise TV broadcasting

Published : 12:00 am  July 3, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  1,050 views  |  
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In the midst of the digital revolution, the digitisation of terrestrial television broadcasting has become a worldwide trend. Broadcasters are now turning to digital technologies to reduce their operating costs and offer enhanced services to the public. Television broadcasting is a universal service and is an important infrastructure, which most people rely on as a source of information. It is therefore essential to make television more accessible to people in order to allow Sri Lanka to keep pace with the rest of the world. The Government aims to take dedicated efforts to achieve the complete digitisation of terrestrial television broadcasting, by adopting Japan’s Integrated Service Digital... 

Let my footprint be smart!

Published : 12:00 am  July 3, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  481 views  |  
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When reading company annual reports and sustainability reports, various footprint calculations can be observed today. While with high-profile multinationals that is now almost the norm, Sri Lankan companies too are catching up to the style – and hopefully some in substance – of incorporating such figures into their reports. However, in some cases I get the uneasy feeling that someone decided to include the data a few weeks before the deadline and rushed in to determine the value as reporting is not quite coherent. However, the gloss of the paper and the superior info-graphics can drown your misgivings as we truly spend lavishly on our annual reports. The carbon footprint of the effort of... 

The French BHNS: Answer to Colombo’s traffic malaises

Published : 12:00 am  July 2, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  490 views  |  
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BHNS: A French concept born at the dawn of the millennium A new mode of transport has been gaining currency in France since early 2000s, namely, the BHNS (Bus à Haut Niveau de Service – literally – Bus with a High Level of Service). This mode of transport was conceptualised in Nantes – a city in western France – a pioneer in the field of organisation and urban development. In 2004, having already constructed three tram lines, Nantes wanted to develop some supplementary routes. The obvious option was to go for new tram lines. Yet, given the projected daily traffic flow as well as construction and operating costs, this option was not considered best suited to the situation at hand. That... 

The World Corruption Cup

Published : 12:00 am  July 1, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  710 views  |  
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The ‘chewy’ beautiful game – Brazil 2014 The world’s attention is focused on the Football World Cup tournament being played out in Brazil. Once in every four years, the media’s attention worldwide is ritually drawn to this international tournament which decides the world champions for the sport. This time however, Uruguay’s Luis ‘Chewy’ Suarez’s bite into Italian Giorgio Chiellini shoulder has distracted the public! Chewy has done this twice before and also used his hands to save a goal in the 2010 World Cup against Ghana and was sin binned! ‘Chewy’ has been suspended from football participation for four months and a nine-match international ban was imposed by FIFA. The... 

The UN Human Rights System and its relevance to us

Published : 12:00 am  July 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  416 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... 

What happened in Monaragala?

Published : 12:00 am  July 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Rohantha Athukorala  |  2 Comments  |  576 views  |  
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Whilst the overall growth of the country is commendable, reaching 7.5% in the last four years and overall poverty being reported at 6.7%, I was quite surprised to see the performance of Monaragala District, where the poverty level has increased to 20.8% in 2012/13 from the 14.5% registered in 2009/10. The first thing is to confirm if this data is correct and if so why this has happened given the focus by many private sector companies in setting up BPOs and agricultural projects in the Monaragala District. Inclusive growth? Tracking back to a Poverty Alleviation Conference I attended in ADB headquarters in Manila, Inclusive Growth (IG) was defined as all sectors of the economy contributing to... 

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

Published : 12:00 am  June 30, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, W. A. Wijewardena  |  8 Comments  |  5,799 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... 

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