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Columns News - EDITORIAL



The nerve agent that was used to kill Kim Jong-nam, half brother of North Korean tyrant Kim Jong-un, who has summarily killed several of his relations and top military men on mere suspicion of betrayal, is among the most deadly chemical weapons of mass destruction ever developed. Identified only as VX, the nerve agent kills in a couple of minutes. It's banned by the UN as a chemical weapon of mass destruction. Needless to say the killing has sent shockwaves ripping through every political capital in the world

Sri Lanka’s cricketing history...  


The dropping of Chandimal after a successful 2016 season and not getting on in the following year, is his own fault and none can be blamed for his not playing the game in awareness. There is one good thing that has come out of the recent changes that have taken place with the selection of players. The system to go for newer players according to their performances in the domestic set up has been working to an extent. The unfortunate thing is its success being only partially working may not get the wanted results in the end.

Blunderbussing West  


Ms. Anna Uggla, Delhi based Swedish Embassy's Political Affairs Counsellor, speaking to this newspaper recently, said that South Africa's former High Commissioner to Colombo Geoffrey Doidge had impressed upon her the importance of foreign judicial involvement to guarantee the accountability and reconciliation process in Sri Lanka. (See 'Ceylon Today's' 16 February, 2017 issue)



Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar is considered one of the very best diplomats on the global stage. No stranger to Sri Lanka, he was First Secretary at the Indian High Commission in Colombo in 1989 and 1990, during which time he was also the Political Advisor to the IPKF Commander fighting LTTE terrorists in the North and East of Sri Lanka. From there he went on to the zenith of the diplomatic world, successively posted as India's envoy to the US, China, Moscow, Czech Republic and so on.

Ragging, striking undergrads  


The lead story in yesterday's newspapers was about a ragging story emanating from Peradeniya University.
Peradeniya undergraduates, inclusive of all other beneficiaries of free education of this country, ipso facto, owe it to Sri Lanka's long suffering taxpayer for their education.

From Students to Criminals...  


Every now and then, there occurs an event that makes one lose all hope in humanity. We have a talent of making ourselves miserable in numerous innovative ways. On these few days, we are sure that the Hell is empty and all the devils are here on Earth.

CBK’s Observation on War Widows  


The first woman executive President of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga who is also the Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation, became the first high profile politician to highlight the plight of war widows in the North and the East.



Less than a month ago former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga went on record as having said that members of the Joint Opposition are anxious to see a return to power by her successor Mahinda Rajapaksa so that they could return to the bribery and corruption that saturated the former government. A few months before that, too, she was quoted as having said that there was still more work to be done by way of purging the Sri Lanka Freedom Party of the pro-Mahinda elements who obviously were being used to destabilize the party and thus weaken President Sirisena's hand, from within the Unity Government. The destabilization we know came by way of complaints that United National Party (UNP) Ministers were blocking Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Deputy and State Ministers from doing a fair job of work. Whether that was an orchestrated thing to drive a wedge between the Prime Minister and the President in a bid to break up the Unity Government is a moot point. One, however, cannot dismiss the possibility at least to some extent that the complaint could hold some water. That does not sound like such a big deal because all they had to do...and can even now to settle separation of functions between a minister, his deputy and a State minister. That's an easily resolvable matter. It's done every hour of the day the whole world over in the State and private sectors between senior executives and junior executives. The problem would appear to be yet another straw to clutch onto in a bid to cause a rift in the government.

Will Himasha bring the next athletic resurgence?  


Himasha Eshan has been the best hundred metre runner Sri Lanka has ever seen so far up to the 21st century. During 1928 the period when the distances of racers were changed from yards to metres. Until quite a while no Sri Lankan was able to go better than 11.1 secs. But since the 1950s after Navaratnam ran a 10.54, things have been improving and the mark has shifted and today Himasha has established the record at 10.26.

Sri Lankan refugee  


This newspaper's lead story yesterday was Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe's appeal to Sri Lankan asylum seekers in Australia to return to the island with the promise that they won't be persecuted.



Despite the slew of attacks on the government ever since it took office two years ago leading to the government getting embroiled in serious issues relating to financial wrongdoing, one is struck by the obvious warmth with which President Maithripala Sirisena greeted Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe when the latter arrived at the Independence Day celebrations at Galle Face. It might have made close observers from among government's critics, including some MPs in the Joint Opposition vanguard who have been trying their utmost to drive a wedge between the President and Premier, wince in disgust at this obvious flaunting of the camaraderie between the two leaders. That this display of a strong and friendly bond (no pun intended) came just a week after the President appointed a Special Presidential Commission to probe the alleged Central Bank Bond scam, that the rag-tag opposition has taken great pains to ensure reflected badly on the Premier and the former CB Governor, would have sent positive signals once more to potential foreign investors who go by body language in serious matters such as bringing in huge investments to Sri Lanka. One's memory goes back to the 1950s in the US when Republican Richard Nixon assured the then rising star J.F. Kennedy that his eight months absence from the US Congress would not be exploited to erode the Democrat's wafer thin majority of just two members. Those were the days when gentlemen sat in political office, when there was morality in high places. Nixon commanded even the admiration of JFK's father who sent him a special message assuring him of his fullest support for the run for the presidency should the Dems not nominate his son JFK as his rival candidate. All of that despite the fact that Nixon has got truly scared of the potential Kennedy challenge for the Presidency, which he won in the end. It did not in the least drive a wedge between the two who shared a mutual admiration one for the other.

Trade, not ‘joy’ visits, crucial  


In this era of trade, when the head of a country visits a large economy, he's generally accompanied by a large trade delegation in attempts to further trade and investments.

Rising separatism, racism  


The Constitution says that no person (citizen of Sri Lanka in this instance) shall, directly or indirectly, in or outside Sri Lanka, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka.

Deng Xiaoping’s quote…..   


Commenting further on the Colombo Port City project, Minister Samarawickrama has stated that Sri Lanka would get the best out of the Chinese involvement in the project. Minister Samarawickrama has further stated that China has already agreed to pay the Sri Lanka Ports Authority for the land, which has been offered to them on a 99 year old lease.



While the Joint Opposition continues staging the protest demonstrations against the government that we have editorially warned on several occasions it would do, the fifth columnists of the pro-MR faction continue to resort to its clandestine efforts to destabilize the government and make every possible attempt to reduce its votes before the Local Government (LG) elections are held. All of this of course is aimed at de-legitimizing the government in the eyes of the public whilst simultaneously trying to make President Maithripala Sirisena appear to be a man who does not honour his word. We've heard of the moles inside government, inside the SLFP to be precise, spreading false rumours about the Party's Central Committee agreeing on the prospect of the President seeking re-election as Executive President once again in 2021 and paradoxically wanting him to agree to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), including those in the JO faction, fielding only one common candidate for the LG elections.

Building reputations harder than improving players  


In an interview in Dubai recently Sri Lankan cricket legend Mahela Jayawardena had this to say about why the Sri Lankan young players coming out do not seem to fit the pattern of the past. "Our domestic cricket is something that is not up to the mark. It is not up with all the other countries. We are producing talented cricketers but they are not at the level where they could step in and play international cricket," Jayawardena said.

Waste not, want not  


A significant feature in extracts of the recent COPE report published by this newspaper yesterday covering the period from year 2014 of the Mahinda Rajapaksa era up to 2016 in the Maithripala Sirisena's – Ranil Wickremesinghe's Yahapalana Government was that a mere 15 key State institutions or State-managed institutions were responsible for the waste of Rs 110 billion in taxpayers' money.

The failing of multiculturalism  


In the play The Ivory King who "created a kingdom in the north" we are told that Aava , a saber-toothed tiger, was one of the king's three pets. Some attribute the story as being inspired by Hindu mythology. Aava was one of the seven beasts who served the Ivory King. Each of these beasts was given a specific task. Those who have analyzed the story line contend that "we know of only 3 beasts that remain of the seven : Aava, Lud and Zallen.

Setting the record straight  


This newspaper on its Monday's edition published an article from the 'The Hindu,' which purportedly gave the reason behind India's military involvement in Sri Lanka.

Tamil Nadu’s New Amma and Sri Lanka  


Exactly two months after the death of her mentor, the beloved politician fondly known as Amma – Jayalalithaa Jayaram, AIADMK General Secretary V. K. Sasikala Natarajan was unanimously elected leader of the AIADMK, paving the way for her to become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.



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