Posts

Showing posts from September, 2010

The decay of the capitalist class and the rise of the wealthy elite in Sri Lanka

Image
(September 27, 2010, Colombo -   Lanka Polity , Ajith Perakum Jayasinghe )  Sri Lanka' ruling party MP Rajitha Senarathna, a liberal democrat converted into dictatorial worshipper said to The Sunday Observer newspaper that the capitalist class has lost faith in the United National Party (UNP). "They are also working very closely with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Government." he said adding "UNP is having a class crisis." He also says he does not believe in that a vibrant Opposition is essential for democracy. It is understandable that the capitalist class is closely working with the Rajapalsa regime since their main focus is business for profit and the situation that prevails in the country at present is one even the smallest business needs the blessings of politicians to survive. Capitalist class has adjusted to any harsh condition, even under socialism to survive. Capitalist class does not essentially mean the wealthiest class of a country. Capi

Sri Lanka's hand picked democracy; what an amendment to what a constitution!

Image
(September 23, 2010, Colombo -   Lanka Polity , Ajith Perakum Jayasinghe ) Today, the 23rd of September is a crucial day for Sri Lanka. The time frame given to the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader to appoint members for the five-member parliament committee will end today and the Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa will appoint the two Tamil and Muslim representatives for the committee in accordance with the powers vested in him by the 18th amendment to the constitution. The Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe earlier appointed Tamil National Alliance MP M.A. Sumanthiran as his representative but the TNA rejected it on the basis it opposed the 18th amendment. The Opposition Leader said his strategy was to appoint representatives that reject the position so as to disrupt the smooth functioning of the parliamentary committee. It is understandable that his party has no MPs that he is sure of rejecting the position as he expects. He wants TNA to be his scapegoat but TNA does not. The

Sri Lanka's cultural custodians blast historical sites for treasure hunting

Image
(September 22, 2010, Colombo -   Lanka Polity )  Nine persons including the Assistant Superintendent of Police of Vakarai were arrested by police when they were fleeing after attempting treasure hunting in Polonnaruwa. The group had been treasure hunting in a place close to Siripura temple of Polonnaruwa in the night of 20th. The villagers that came to know about the crime, sounded the bell of the temple and summoned people. They kept the group surrounded and informed police. The suspects that were armed with a revolver threatened the villagers and fled in a van. Police apprehended the van with the group later. Equipment used in the treasure hunting were also arrested. The arrested suspects included seven police officers including the ASP and two civilians. A week ago, police produced a Buddhist monk before Mathale magistrate for attempted treasure hunting in a historical site. The Buddhist monk and his accomplice, a businessman, had blasted a rock using dynamite, police said

Sri Lanka is no more a destination of cheap labor for investors

Image
(September 19, 2010, Colombo -   Lanka Polity  - Ajith Perakum Jayasinghe )  Sri Lanka appears no more an oasis of cheap labor for foreign investors in manual labor is prime. That is not because the majority of Sri Lankans have better living standards now. The reason is that life conditions are so difficult that a few rupees thrown by factory owners as salary cannot save them from misery. Reports say that the garment and other similar factories country wide have around 30,000 regular and increasing number of unfilled vacancies. Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment (BOI) says that 7000 positions are vacant in the BOI investment zones alone island wide. Vacancies are unfilled of the skilled and unskilled workers in the garment, furniture, diamond, rubber, plastic and electronic trades, BOI says. More than 1000 vacancies are available in Katunayaka, Seethawaka, Biyagama and Mawathagama export zones, according to BOI. Over 600 vacancies are unfilled in Wathupitiwala export zone. Around

Burning polythene; a burning health issue in dengue prevention campaign of Sri Lanka

Image
(September 14, 2010, Colombo -   Lanka Polity )  Sri Lanka's health officials, mainly the persons deployed in dengue prevention campaigns, advocate burning of waste plastic and polythene. Despite rhetoric of the Ministry of Environment, proper methods of disposal of polythene and plastic waste are unavailable in most parts of the country. Therefore people are prompted to burn polythene and plastic waste causing severe harm to environment and to the health of the man, animals and plants. Dioxin, released when burning polythene is extremely hazardous to human health and the worst factor is that the dioxin can cause harm to people living even hundreds of kilometers far away from actual burning places. Following are some key facts regarding dioxin we researched in WHO sources. Dioxins are a group of chemically-related compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants. Dioxins are found throughout the world in the environment and they accumulate in the food chain, mainly

The development bubble of Sri Lanka is on top of a debt bubble

Image
(September 07, 2010, Colombo -   Lanka Polity )  "The country has been liberated for more than 15 months but has not recoded any significant large scale private investment, which is puzzling. The government and the private sector have to come on to a common ground in order to achieve a high economic growth, the mind sets of both has to be one in order to gain an economic victory," John Keells Holdings Chairman Susantha Rathnayake told the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission of Sri Lanka yesterday afternoon. "The private sector has to play a vital role in the development process and should be encouraged to invest. FDIs are necessary for the country’s development and should be encouraged. The private sector in the country alone cannot go ahead with the development activities without adequate capital to invest. We should focus on attracting large players who will help develop the country in the long run, rather than the small investors who come in for a quick buc

Replacing one flawed amendment by another flawed amendment (constitutional reforms of Sri Lanka)

Image
By Sunmanasiri Liyanage (September 04, 2010, Colombo -   Lanka Polity )  May be due to the fact that they have to cater to the exigencies of the power hungry and powerful politicians, legal draftsmen/women have oftentimes been careless in drafting legislations, particularly the constitutional amendment bills. This is evident when one has a cursory glance at the drafts of the 13th Amendment and the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. The 17th Amendment was hurriedly passed by the Parliament in 2000 to introduce limited checks and balances on the powers of the executive presidency, especially with regard to making high level appointments like the chief justice, the inspector general of police, and the election commissioner and the appointments to the important commissions. It proposed to set up a constitutional council comprising 10 members, seven of them non-parliamentarians. When the president makes the above mentioned appointments, she/he has to act on the recommendations of the con

Protest mounting against 18th amendment to the constitution of Sri Lanka

Image
New UNP parliamentarian Manusha Nanayakkara is the latest in the line up to strengthen the hands of the Rajapaksas (September 04, 2010, Colombo -   Lanka Polity )  No valid argument is available to prove that the 18th amendment to the constitution of Sri Lanka will not further the draconian powers of the executive President at which the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa as well frowned before he tasted the sweet fruit of power accumulation. The naked truth behind the Rajapaksa regime's ability in mustering parliamentary two third majority is sheer selfishness and disregard of democratic principles by the so-called representatives of people. If there is any politically valid argument in what they state, that is the long lasting love of Sri Lankan polity to have the toughest dictator to rule or overrule themselves. No wonder many corrupt people also say Sri Lanka needs the kind of laws in Islamic countries to discipline the society. We will have wait and see till they wake u

Essay: A friend indeed (How moral is profit?)

Image
By Ajith Perakum Jayasinghe He was my childhood friend. In fact, we are relatives. It is normal that most of us in the village are related to each other in some way. We lived in a beautiful, traditional village in tropical Sri Lanka. There is no hill top in our village surrounding that our explorative young feet missed to climb. No stream was shy to provide us a pool to quench our sweat soaked naked bodies. He is before me now. The boy who used to wear a pair of cotton shorts with all sorts of stains is now in a neatly ironed suit. His long sleeved light blue expensive shirt and the tightly knotted red and black patterned tie prevent the cool comfortable evening breeze to kiss his chest that was bear all the time except the few hours he was in school in the past. “This is not mere insurance policy. This is a way you perform your duties towards your offspring,” he explains to my unenthusiastic ears. In sweet words, he says that if I am killed in some way, the insurance company wil

Sri Lanka, China Form Strategic Shield against the West

Image
FRIDA GHITIS |  02 SEP 2010 WORLD POLITICS REVIEW COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- On a steamy afternoon in the Sri Lankan capital, if you glance across the water at Colombo's legendary Galle Face Green seaside promenade, past the spray of the Indian Ocean, you can make out a milky line of giant cargo ships at the point where the sky blends with the sea. That ocean traffic on the horizon, those dashes of gray steel, glide along the world's busiest sea lane, navigated by anywhere from 100 to 200 ships every day. This is the maritime pipeline that makes it possible for China to remain the world's fastest-growing economy. It is also the visible explanation for China's generosity toward Sri Lanka and a centerpiece of this country's vision for the future. Sri Lanka, the small tear-shaped island at the foot of India, has always held a special place in the hearts of global strategists. In earlier centuries, Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonial invaders sought to exploit its ric