The Sunday Times carries an expose on railway toilets that are reserved exclusively for tourists. I guess the problem arises from a well-meaning but misguided attempt to make the railway more tourist friendly. There is a problem of dirty toilets and the railway probably lacks funds to employ enough people to keep the toilets clean.The solution would be to introduce ...

A friend of mine came across this and forwarded it to me. If this is correct its a very dangerous extension of police powers that need to be curbed.The official website of the Sri Lanka police has a page of clarifications entitled "Find out the Truth". The website claims:Recently, some news items were to be seen in circulation via internet ...

A friend of mine was narrating a rather amusing story today. It concerned his father and of an incident that took place in the early 1980's.My friend's grandmother was living alone at the time in her house in Angoda. As there were no telephones in the immediate vicinity and no way of calling for assistance my friend's father would sleep ...

The PM has apparently made a statement that the recently imposed Super Gains Tax is to be suspended; just hours after the Finance Minister boasted that the tax would raise Rs.65bn.What on earth is going on?The Super Gains Tax, a one-off 25% additional tax (ie over and above normal income tax) imposed on an individual or a company that reports ...

President Sirisena has recently called for the protection of domestic agriculture and for import substitution policies to help local cultivation.Highlighting on the agriculture sector development, Sirisena said it was “a shame” that the country was importing agricultural products which could be cultivated in the country, adding that the Government was spending over Rs. 6,000 million annually on imports of essential ...

Indi had written something urging citizens to vote for good people. Just before the last election I did an assessment of the candidates. What we have now is something of a re-run of the same issues but with the advantage of having a short track record of the Sirisena administration to compare against Mahinda. Looking back at the past few ...

A former accounting trainee V Kanthaiya had written an article faulting accounting firms for underpaying their trainees and going on to describe this as modern day slavery. There is some substance to his complaint but the charge of slavery is perhaps taking things too far. Serendipity has weighed in on the side of the student, these are my thoughts on ...

Colombo's last Gothamba Rotti cart This evening when returning home I came across something that I had believed was extinct: a man wheeling a cart selling gothamba rotti.Piyadasa, making gothamba rottis.These were a familiar sight years ago, the carts would go by in the evening, 'bell' clanging. The 'bell' was not a real bell but the head of a small mammoty which would be stuck ...

The former president has revealed that the Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS), an organisation that claims to fight for the rights of Sri Lanka's Buddhists is in fact a conspiracy hatched by Western powers. It was allegedly launched by the opposition and Western powers to defeat him in the election. It is a pity that the article concerned did not get ...

The Ceylon Today reported that a gold ring worth Rs.1.8m was discovered by an officer of the housekeeping unit when he went to clean the room where a group of MP's had been protesting.It was returned to the MP, who was so grateful that he offered the ring as a gift to the housekeeper, who after some reluctance accepted it. ...

In an interview with the Sunday Leader, Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that he tried to control the notorious Mervyn Silva. This is entirely plausible, Mervyn Silva is a thoroughly bad hat and a public relations disaster. His maverick behaviour would certainly have been at odds with the orderly, controlled world of Mr Rajapaksa.Yet he did not succeed, at least not ...

"A tombstone is a memory made concrete. Human memory is the ladder on which a country and a people advance. We must remember not only the good things, but also the bad, the bright spots but also the darkness. The authorities in a totalitarian system strive to conceal their faults, and extol their merits, gloss over their errors and forcibly ...

Radhika Coomaraswamy has written an excellent piece that should be read and digested by all Tamils, particularly the politicians and the diaspora. Unfortunately this has been misunderstood by many. Even more thoughtful commentors such as Charles Sarvan still view the argument from an academic or legal perspective- the very thing that Miss Coomaraswamy argues against.What is necessary is an assessment ...

Dayan Jayetilleka, erstwhile diplomat and academic has lately been engaged penning paeans to the former regime. This has drawn in criticism from a number of sources which he has responded to. In his latest response he is tying himself in knots trying to find reasons to discredit his critics. His arguments are fundamentally flawed but he cleverly throws together unrelated ...

Indi had posted a good summary of the change in Sri Lanka's foreign policy. I wrote this as a comment, responding to Sach's questions. Sach was sceptical of the postponement of the OHCHR report and was worried about the security of the country. He hoped that under MR, Dayan Jayatilleka would run the foreign ministry.The reason for the postponement is ...

Sbarrkum had put up a post comparing JR and MR. This is my take on the question.It is a tricky question, undoubtedly JRJ's regime was a turning point, he set the stage for autocracy and escalated the conflict to the level of a real war.But what of MR, the man who took the maximum use of JR's constitution and then ...

Some people, while acknowledging the shortcomings of the present administration are still doubtful about voting for the common opposition candidate. They wonder if there will be real change, the new man may not make the constitutional changes promised, so we end up with the same situation as before. They also worry that the infrastructure projects may stop. How can we ...

Putin and Mahinda: Strong leaders, their policies and our fate Some analysts, including the irrepressible Dayan Jayatilleka have a fascination with strong leaders. Strongmen, they believe will lead to strong nations. Vladimir Putin mesmerises such people, a man who they claim has taught the West a lesson in defiance and developed his country.Mahinda is compared favourably with Putin and people are urged that if this model is followed it will ...

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