Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina appears to be a different from others who came before him. To the Papacy, that is. He is the first Pope from Latin America. He is the first to take the name Francis. Both are significant. In a context where the Catholic Church is fast losing ground in its ‘traditional homelands’ (Europe and North America),
Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri, President of the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) came up with a classic re-quote (i.e. from Bertold Brecht): ‘Although the Government accuses us of falling pretty to the designs of various political parties, our union action is not about regime-change, but affecting democratic social transformation, not of bringing a new government to power
A recent media report said the Ministry of Transport had asked for Rs. 1,747 million from the Treasury to meet the urgent expenses of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB). It is not unusual for most state enterprises to depend on Treasury support for carrying on their activities. Nevertheless, what is unfathomable is that this request for funds comes against the backdrop of a series of statements made by Transport Minister Kumar Welgama from the time he took over the Ministry that he would convert the SLTB into a viable, if not a profit making enterprise.
One of the essential features in the practice of democracy in a country is the conduct of free and fair elections where the participants have an opportunity of making their choice without coercion or intimidation. It is unimaginable that any other country in the world where the conduct of elections has become as frequent as in Sri Lanka.