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Insight

A breakdown of the arguments given in favor of keeping (or reintroducing) the death penalty. Retribution - First a reminder of the basic argument behind retribution and punishment:
Full Article Saturday, 09 May 2015 00:00
Standing in the Colombo harbour, staring up at the looming bulk of the Turkish warship TCG GEDIZ, I wonder. Can a warship bring goodwill? I am reminded of that memorable scene from JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King where the armies of Gondor watch a great fleet of ships with black sails approaching, hope...
Full Article Saturday, 09 May 2015 00:00
Chalmers Granaries were once a well-known landmark in Colombo, or precisely in Pettah. These were a complex of grain stores, situated in the square shaped land surrounded by Olcott Mawatha, Front Street (Malwatta Road), Main Street-Baron Jayathilake Mawatha and the canal between Fort and Pettah. These buildings once served as a granary or a store of imported grain before the…
Full Article Saturday, 09 May 2015 00:00
Tobacco is a leading cause of preventable deaths. Globally, tobacco kills nearly six million people annually with over 600, 000 deaths due to exposure to second-hand smoke. In the WHO South-East Asia Region, the toll is over 1.3 million.  The region has about 250 million smokers and nearly the same number of smokeless tobacco users, and is also one of…
Full Article Saturday, 09 May 2015 00:00
“Big Match 1983”, the title of Yasmine Gooneratne’s poem, suggests at once to the cricket loving community of Sri Lanka the euphoria that usually surrounds Colombo when the Annual Big Match between the two prestigious schools - Royal College, Colombo and S. Thomas College, Mount Lavinia - takes place. But in the real sense it portrays a gigantic “match” that…
Full Article Saturday, 09 May 2015 00:00
The author delves into the life of America’s great writer and makes some startling observations about the origins of The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1896 to a well-to-do family, and had his first article published in a school newspaper when he was only 13 years old.  His ambition to be a writer…
Full Article Saturday, 09 May 2015 00:00
As most students know, while almost 70 percent of the earth is covered in water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh. The greater portion of this too is inaccessible as it is in the form of glaciers and snow fields. This leaves the 7 billion people living on the planet with a mere 1 percent of the world’s relatively…
Full Article Saturday, 09 May 2015 00:00
The sun is setting in Mandana Town as the renowned tourist destination gets ready for the evening. In a little while, the light from the street lamps will help men, with roaming eyes, spot pretty women. These women walk about on the streets in their bikinis and shorts. Mostly, it’s the female tourists who...
Full Article Saturday, 09 May 2015 00:00
“Maybe you can never really leave the past behind you”, says the sharp-eyed narrator of Romesh Gunesekera’s haunting road stories. “It is in your head and outside your control”.Loosely connected by the conceit of Vasantha - the retired clerk, now a van driver taking tourists and businessmen through post-civil-war, post tsunami Sri Lanka - the tales and characters of...
Full Article Saturday, 09 May 2015 00:00
“There is a clear distinction between how the society treats a doctor and an artist,” says Dr. Shanaka Kulathunge, a young medical doctor who is currently practicing at the Pediatric Nephrology Unit of the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital, Colombo. “As I am a person who belongs to both the categories I have first handedly experienced the difference,” he added.
Full Article Saturday, 09 May 2015 00:00
Sri Lankan bird enthusiasts and experts have all but given up celebrating the World Migratory Bird Day, organized by the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). It clearly does not have much relevance in the Asian setting, specifically because the day falls during the hottest time of the year, as opposed to the...
Full Article Saturday, 09 May 2015 00:00
Psychology is the science of the mind. The psychologists say that human mind is the source of all thought and behavior. When we think about psychology, the first person recalled is usually Sigmund Freud or some other prominent Western psychologist who explained human behavior using a theory they believed. True enough, being the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud’s work, or...
Full Article Saturday, 02 May 2015 00:00
Not much is known about Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha. The books I grew up with - including the Life of the Buddha by L.Adams Beck - would have us believe that when he was born, he walked on seven lotus flowers and made fully articulate pronouncements. And yet Buddhism as a whole tells us that Siddartha was a man,...
Full Article Saturday, 02 May 2015 00:00
The national anthem is allowed to be sung in Tamil, violating the specific provisions laid down by the Constitution. This is being done in the name of reconciliation. The LLRC, too, in the name of reconciliation allowed the national anthem to be sung in Tamil. To avoid a major irritant was the excuse put forward for doing so. By allowing...
Full Article Saturday, 02 May 2015 00:00
A German national who was involved in a hydro-electrical project in this country, in 1980s, said, “In Sri Lanka I see one people divided by two languages and two cultures”. As a foreigner, he could not see any difference between a Singhalese in the South and a Tamil in the North. Although he said it by chance, and his identity…
Full Article Saturday, 02 May 2015 00:00
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the only head of state under the current constitution of Sri Lanka who was defeated at a presidential election while in office. He could have remained in office for another two years. All his predecessors left office either by end of two terms or by death. Why does a defeated president still seem interested in...
Full Article Saturday, 02 May 2015 00:00
The recent visit to Pakistan by Chinese President Xi Jing Ping  secured $46b for development of power and infrastructure sector. This sizeable Chinese foreign investment will help Pakistan's economy significantly. The elevation from "iron friends" to an all weather strategic partnership relationship between the two nations was significant. After signing more than 50 cooperation deals between the two countries promises…
Full Article Saturday, 09 May 2015 00:00
“Everybody loves a good drought,” goes the title of the Indian journalist P Sainath’s classic book about rural distress in India. To judge from the unseemly clamor of India’s political class in the Indian capital, New Delhi, over the last day, everybody loves a good death too.
Full Article Saturday, 02 May 2015 00:00
The problem with the lenient treatment of former CIA Director, David Petraeus, isn’t that he was lightly punished for his leaks. It is that other whistleblowers are punished at all. It’s a tale of two CIA employees. The first, Jeffrey Sterling, has just been convicted of leaking information about a bungled agency sortie to James Risen, a reporter. The operation...
Full Article Saturday, 02 May 2015 00:00
Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of President Obama’s announcement Thursday that two hostages of Al Qaeda, an American and an Italian, were killed in a US drone missile strike in Pakistan is the lack of any significant reaction from official political circles or the media.
Full Article Saturday, 02 May 2015 00:00

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