Features

Sunday, 01 September 2019 12:16

Justice delayed, but not denied

A judgment delivered by the Supreme Court last week into a decade old fundamental rights petition filed by two police officers acted as a dark trip down memory lane, reminding the country of an era when the Rajapaksa family enjoyed an unfettered monopoly on state resources and personnel, even to deploy them on election campaign activities with impunity.

‘Yahapalanayé Idiri Maga’ or (the future of Yahapalanaya), a citizen’s agenda for the 2019 Presidential Election, was launched at the Orchid conference hall at the BMICH on Friday (23). The participants- a cross section of clergy, politicians, civil society groups, are disgruntled by the below- par performance of the leaders they fought to bring to power in 2015.

On August 12 each year, International Youth Day is commemorated globally to encourage youth to organize activities to raise awareness on youth issues. In this context, a local group of youth launched a peaceful demonstration in front of the Election Commission office in Rajagiriya, on Monday. Their key demand was obtaining their right to vote.

Amidst an Appeal Court order to the heads of Wanathavilluwa Pradeshiya Sabha to allow the disposal of Colombo Municipal Council’s (CMC) garbage at the Aruwakkalu garbage dump without obstruction, its chairman vowed to “closely monitor the site”.

The recent Easter attacks targeting a number of churches and hotels devastated Sri Lanka. Over 250 people were killed, and many more injured. Within days of the attack, it emerged that the perpetrators of the attack were affiliated to radical Islamist groups in Sri Lanka. However, the identification of the perpetrators as ostensibly adherents of the Islamic faith opened the floodgates of discrimination and violence against the broader Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

Up until recently, not much was known about the Bar Reef in Kalpitiya. But by the time we learned of its value, we’d nearly lost it forever. The Bar Reef, located 2 km off the coast of Kalpitiya, is in fact the largest coral reef and the largest protected marine area in Sri Lanka. While it was declared a marine sanctuary in 1992, the reef remained relatively unexplored or otherwise affected by human activity due to the ongoing civil war. However, the reef has since taken a dramatic turn for the worse owing to the effects of human activity both on- and offshore as well as natural causes.

President Maithripala Sirisena gave instructions this week to cancel the licenses of timber mill owners in possession of illegal timber Addressing environmental officials, the President focused on Forest Conservation and Tree Planting programs in keeping with the World Environment Day which falls on June 5, 2019. He also ordered that unutilised lands belonging to the Land Reformation Commission and the Sri Lanka Cashew Cooperation to be used in a program to increase the country’s forest density by 32% by 2030.

The opportunity to defend the motherland is bestowed on a select few. This becomes even more exclusive for those women aspiring to serve in the Special Task Force of the Sri Lanka Police.

Sunday, 19 May 2019 10:38

Rebuilding from tragedy

The reconstruction of the churches hit by the Easter Sunday tragedy is underway, marking the beginning of a long walk towards normalcy

Sunday, 12 May 2019 07:31

Oasis of silence

Over eight bhikkhus clad in deep saffron robes that cover both shoulders and carrying begging bowls were present for the midday dana (alms). Indeed, it was a rare sight to see them walk silently on pindapatha down the pathway under a forest canopy, in keeping with tradition dating back to the days of the Buddha when bhikkhus went on alms rounds for their food.

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