I am writing to inform you that I had the opportunity to read your recent document in relation to human rights issues in Sri Lanka and your recommendations for improvements in the country. I am concerned about the contents of media campaigns, undertaken by various parties, regarding your report with or without your knowledge. Our opinion is that Sri Lanka should not have negative impact with your document or recommendations.
We understand that your whole process in human rights should be confined in the area of strengthening the rule of law, promoting freedom of expression, administration of justice and an effective participation of the people in the decision-making process.
As you are aware, the entire population in Sri Lanka is in high risk with the Covid-19 pandemic and Sri Lankan leaders are taking positives steps to protect people. At this stage, your report must highlight efforts taken by Sri Lankan leaders, with international support, to protect the people of Sri Lanka. These leaders must be commended for establishing a high-level of protection to the people in Sri Lanka with support of health workers, security forces and the communities. It is our understanding that, according to credible Australian report, Sri Lanka is in 10th position in managing the Covid-19 pandemic and this is an example to prove that Sri Lankans have the capability to manage their own affairs, with international collaboration.
Please note that Sri Lanka is an important partner for Australia. We have a long-standing bilateral relationship which includes a focus on trade and investment. Australia and Sri Lanka entered in to a Trade Investment Framework arrangement in 2017 to deepen our economic cooperation. There is no doubt that Sri Lanka’s administration systems must be improved and their per capita income should be increased from the current level $ 4500 to at least $10,000 per annum in the coming years.
I kindly ask you to grant the Government of Sri Lanka US $ one billion from the UN system for improving management systems of Sri Lanka over the next 10 years for achieving the above mentioned and your recommendations.
Sumane Liyanaarachchi JP BSc MSc CChem
CEO – Australian Capacity & Partnership
Building Company Pty Ltd
How many people can the Earth sustain?
=On Nov 15 November 2022, we became a world of 8 billion people.
It’s a milestone we can celebrate, and an occasion to reflect: How can we create a world in which all 8 billion of us can thrive? The growth of our population is a testament to humanity’s achievements, including reductions in poverty and gender inequality, advancements in health care, and expanded access to education. These have resulted in more women surviving childbirth, more children surviving their early years, and longer, healthier lifespans, decade after decade.
Looking beyond the averages, at the populations of countries and regions, the picture is much more nuanced – and quickly takes us beyond the numbers themselves. Stark disparities in life expectancy point to unequal access to health care, opportunities and resources, and unequal burdens of violence, conflict, poverty and ill health.
Birth rates vary from country to country, with some populations still growing fast, others beginning to shrink. But underlying these trends, whichever way they point, is a widespread lack of choice. Discrimination, poverty and crisis – as well as coercive policies that violate the reproductive rights of women and girls – put sexual and reproductive health care and information, including contraception and sex education, out of reach for far too many people.
We face serious challenges as a global community, including the mounting impacts of climate change, ongoing conflicts and forced displacement. To meet them, we need resilient countries and communities. And that means investing in people and making our societies inclusive, so that everyone is afforded a quality of life that allows them to thrive in our changing world.
To build demographic resilience, we need to invest in better infrastructure, education and health care, and ensure access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. We need to systematically remove the barriers – based on gender, race, disability, sexual orientation or migration status – that prevent people from accessing the services and opportunities they need to thrive.
We need to rethink models of economic growth and development that have led to overconsumption and fuelled violence, exploitation, environmental degradation and climate change, and we need to ensure that the poorest countries – which did not create these problems, yet bear the brunt of their impacts – have the resources to build the resilience and well-being of their growing populations.
We need to understand and anticipate demographic trends, so that governments can make informed policies and resource allocations to equip their populations with the right skills, tools and opportunities.
But while demographic trends can help guide the policy choices we make as societies, there are other choices – including if and when to have children – that policy cannot dictate, because they belong to each individual. This right to bodily autonomy underlies the full range of our human rights, forming a foundation for resilient, inclusive and thriving societies that can meet the challenges of our world. When our bodies and futures are our own, we are #8BillionStrong.
Sri Lanka Now Famous For Bribery And Corruption
Bribery and corruption are two words that Sri Lanka has become “famous” for during the last few decades. This was something rare about half a century ago. We very rarely heard of Cabinet Ministers resorting to bribery, except in two cases.
If I remember right one was indicted in courts and had to serve a period in Her Majesty’s free hostel. The other was one of the members of the multi-Member Kadugannawa constituency, but it was not a very serious one as it involved the granting of appointments like sub-Post Mistress. There was also a businessman nabbed for giving bribes and held in a house in Paget Road. However, then it was rare and only a few cases such as that mentioned were known. In addition, these instances did not in any way effect the economy of the country or the people.
Gradually, the art of bribery and corruption became so well-known that most investors and contractors from abroad and locally were not willing to tender for essential supplies and construction of buildings and roads as they had to oil the palms right down the line. At one time a Cabinet Minister was nicknamed Mr. Ten Percent indicating his ‘cut’ on any tender or contract!
This country became famous for bribery and corruption in a big way after the tsunami in 2004 with the Helping Hambantota project, where funds from abroad to assist the victims went into a wrong pocket.
It was also very recently that a Cabinet Minister was reported to the President regarding a bribe he had solicited from a foreign tenderer. The then President asked him to step down till an inquiry was held. But with the change in the top position, a retired judge was appointed to inquire into this allegation. As in the bond scam the inquiry found him not guilty, and he was reinstated in the Cabinet. It is only in Sri Lanka that this type of thing could happen.
The Sri Lankan diaspora would have helped the country to recover from the economic mess the leaders plunged it into by sending money from abroad. But they did not want to do so as they knew what would happen to such funds. Even people here requested them not to send assistance till the corrupt leaders have been got rid of.This resplendent island may have been the pearl of the Indian Ocean at one time but now it has become notorious for bribery and corruption! When will we get honest leaders to run this country as was done about a century ago?
HM NISSANKA WARAKAULLE
The Rehabilitation Bill
The high priests of our temple of justice has reaffirmed our faith in our legal system and the rule of law. A country without the rule of law will disintegrate into worse chaos than we are plunged in today.
It was heartening to see the determination by the Supreme Court on the Rehabilitation Bill. The legal preamble is a bit hard for an average lay person to follow. To my understanding, they have thrown some strong road blocks on the passage of this Bill. Well and good. I don’t think it will be that easy for the govt to surmount them. The legal fraternity, civil society and ordinary citizens, must fight hard to see that there is no transgression of the determination of the Supreme Court.
We need not and don’t need to incarcerate anybody. Those addicted to drugs should be handled by the health dept. or better still their families. These are our misguided sons and daughters who have taken a wrong path due to a failure in their families and the society around them. They need to be handled with care and consideration. Institutionalizing them would make the problem a costly failure.
Our lawmakers should hang their heads in shame if they vote for this draconian Bill as they may be viewed as persons who serve the wishes of the rulers and not those of the people.
Easter Sunday: “Accept guilt with contrite hearts,” says Kurunegala Bishop
TNA accepts president’s overture, MP suggests party ready to talk federal
Women MPs to wear orange on Dec 1 to protest gender based violence
‘Dates have the highest sugar content to fight Coronavirus’
Sunday Island 27 December – Headlines
U.S. Congress to probe assets fleecing by US citizens of Sri Lankan origin
News7 days ago
Who sold urea plant? Wajira ducks Vasu’s question
Opinion4 days ago
Rohan Abeywickrema – A pioneer in transport professionalism
News7 days ago
Pakistan-Lanka defence dialogue in Karachchi
Editorial6 days ago
Mahathir and Mahinda
Features6 days ago
Successful reconciliation requires people’s trust and confidence
News2 days ago
GCE O/L results to be released today
Opinion6 days ago
I have Cholesterol, Doctor!
Features6 days ago
Brain drain and future of medical education