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Sri Lanka

A call to amend Muslim Personal Law in Sri Lanka has sparked a debate within the community, with some seeking change “from within” and others pushing for a broader constitutional reform.

 

Mr. Weerawansa cannot heed the advice. He and his Rajapaksa masters have a future only if Sri Lanka succumbs to the ills of the past. It is only if Lankan people return to the mire of paranoia and phobia and Lankan leaders ignore science, abandon sense and embrace superstitious cures and dictatorial solutions, the Rajapaksa dream of regaining power can become reality.

 
The Sri Lanka that Koralegadara Pushpakumara conjures in his art, is not seen in idyllic tourist guides, and it is far removed from the sanitised discussions of state officials. This is an aesthetic imagination of Lanka at the cusp of romance and reality, neatly blending his personal experiences with public history.  
 

A peaceful society does not have much need for terror-related laws. But this is not the case with Sri Lanka. Having suffered at the hands of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for decades, it has formulated a draft anti-terror law, called the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). This is under consideration. The draft seeks to strengthen anti-terrorism mechanisms while ensuring that the innocent do not caught in the process. It is important to understand why Colombo has been in a hurry to pass a terror-related law when the LTTE is no more an imminent threat to its stability and peace initiatives.

 

It is clear that the country should have a well-established national policy on tourism focusing on ecotourism as it is identified as one of the main subsets of the tourism sector.  The country lacks a well-built protection system for tourism, including ecotourism; this may lead to exploitation by outsiders when natural resources are open for sightseeing and exploration. Therefore, when promoting tourism, it is important to identify and devise ways and means to strengthen customary laws for the protection of traditional knowledge and natural resources of the community from exploitation by outsiders.

 

In mid-October the Sri Lankan cabinet approved the “policy and legal framework” for a new Counter Terrorism Act.

 
The crab-trapper of Jaffna is a happy man; he has a sturdy boat with a new Suzuki motor. Each morning he rises before dawn to motor out to a vast lagoon in his new auto rickshaw to fish for prawns and crabs — partly funded by the $5000 given to him by Australian taxpayers.  
 
Sri Lanka’s prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe recently declared that his county is in the midst of a once in a lifetime opportunity to jump start its infrastructure and develop into a high-income economy.  
 

For the first time after his outburst on the functions of the Independent Commissions President Maithripala Sirisena has personally explained his stand to the media. Earlier it was Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne and newspaper reports that quoted ministerial sources that defended the President, but in an interview with the Sunday Lankadeepa the President had defended his controversial speech made on October 12 at the Sri Lanka Foundation (SLF).

 

Even as Sri Lanka drafts a new law to counter terrorism, human rights activists and lawyers here fear it might be worse than the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) they want repealed and replaced.

 


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