Features

I have always loved the sea. I retired recently and returned to Dehiwela, my hometown, to live by the beach after having lived in Australia for over 35 years and am greatly distressed, as many are, by the level of pollution taking place on the beach and sea these days. Interestingly, it is the people returning to Sri Lanka after many years, that seem to be most concerned.

For once, our politicians are on the back foot: they are running scared of the ‘list’. No one is certain whether such a thing in fact exists, but everyone appears to be scurrying for cover. This is the ‘list’ of Parliamentarians who are alleged to have received funds from companies related to Perpetual Treasuries Ltd., the company at the centre of investigations into the Central Bank bond scandal.

Sunday, 03 June 2018 08:23

CLEANING UP ELECTIONS IN SRI LANKA

Anti-corruption activists and polls observers step up calls for the enactment of campaign finance law in the wake of new allegations that Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera took a Rs 1 million donation from the alleged criminal at the centre of the Treasury Bond Scam. A Framework for Campaign Finance Law formulated by the Elections Commission is currently with the Legal Draftsman, but polls observers privately express reservations about the draft, saying it does not go far enough to regulate how political campaigns are fundedAnti-corruption activists and polls observers step up calls for the enactment of campaign finance law in the wake of new allegations that Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera took a Rs 1 million donation from the alleged criminal at the centre of the Treasury Bond Scam. A Framework for Campaign Finance Law formulated by the Elections Commission is currently with the Legal Draftsman, but polls observers privately express reservations about the draft, saying it does not go far enough to regulate how political campaigns are funded
For a long time in Sri Lanka, elections have been anything but clean.

Sunday, 20 May 2018 07:55

KARL MARX AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCES

In this bicentennial year of Karl Marx’s birth, there has been a great deal of celebration of his work and ideas. Many essays that appeared in the global media during the first week of this month –Marx was born on May 5, 1818 – emphasized the relevance of his critique of capitalism even today.

The news that the Chief of Staff of the President has been arrested for allegedly accepting a bribe running into millions of rupees from an Indian businessman hit the headlines last week.

The much-maligned Indo-Lanka Peace Accord of 1987 is back in public focus, courtesy T. Ramakrishnan’s book Or Inapprachinaiyum Or Oppandhamum (An Ethnic Conflict and An Accord), introduced at an event at the Colombo Tamil Sangam, recently.The much-maligned Indo-Lanka Peace Accord of 1987 is back in public focus, courtesy T. Ramakrishnan’s book Or Inapprachinaiyum Or Oppandhamum (An Ethnic Conflict and An Accord), introduced at an event at the Colombo Tamil Sangam, recently.

Sunday, 29 April 2018 05:29

KOREAN SUMMIT HEAVY ON SYMBOLISM

One of America’s iconic media stars was last week brought down on sex charges while in the Korean Peninsula, the North and South Korean summit was a dramatic media show, and in Beijing, foreign and defence ministers of the increasingly influential Shanghai Cooperation Organisation met. In Washington, US President Donald Trump hosted French President Macron that also was more showy gestures but then became a display of policy divergence between the two countries.One of America’s iconic media stars was last week brought down on sex charges while in the Korean Peninsula, the North and South Korean summit was a dramatic media show, and in Beijing, foreign and defence ministers of the increasingly influential Shanghai Cooperation Organisation met. In Washington, US President Donald Trump hosted French President Macron that also was more showy gestures but then became a display of policy divergence between the two countries.

Sunday, 22 April 2018 09:41

STOLEN PARADISE

PANAMA: It has been a long wait for five villages in Panama, Ampara. With over 1,220 acres of their land occupied by the Sri Lanka Navy and Air Force, the villagers have been fighting a long drawn battle since 2010 to reclaim the land they once lived and farmed on.PANAMA: It has been a long wait for five villages in Panama, Ampara. With over 1,220 acres of their land occupied by the Sri Lanka Navy and Air Force, the villagers have been fighting a long drawn battle since 2010 to reclaim the land they once lived and farmed on.

Sunday, 15 April 2018 07:22

SRI LANKA’S RELUCTANT SAVIOUR

They don’t make them like Indrajit Coomaraswamy any more. The calm and self-effacing Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka spent most of his career behind the scenes, working diligently to give strength and structure to a fragile frontier market. An economist by training, he spent more than 40 years bouncing around the upper echelons of Sri Lanka’s civil service, advising a Finance Minister here and a Prime Minister there, and enjoying 16 years with the Central Bank. He occasionally veered into the private sector, with directorships at Hatton National Bank and conglomerate John Keells. But by 2016, Coomaraswamy’s working life seemed to be winding down. Yes, his advice was still sought by Ministers and chief executives, but he was 66 and counting, and happy, after a lifetime of civic duty, to hang up his suit and spend more time with family and friends.

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~Sun Tsu, Ancient Chinese Military strategist

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