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Fallout on South Asia from US presidential poll result



What does the future hold for South Asia in general and Sri Lanka in particular by way of regional political developments, now that the majority of US voters have voted Democrat Joe Biden to the foremost political position of the land? This is a current preoccupation of many knowledgeable political observers of this region.

In the view of some sections, the winner of the presidential poll is yet to formally emerge clearly in view of incumbent President Donald Trump’s ‘legal’ objections to the election’s outcome but it is plain to see that Joe Biden is the clear choice of the majority of US voters. Loss of power is a most bitter, undrinkable curative pill for many losers in politics and the reason for Trump’s blind opposition to the election result ought to be crystal clear.

Numerous are the Heads of State and Government the world over who develop megalomaniacal traits while in power and this seems to be the case with Trump as well. Apparently, publics everywhere need to put in place arrangements or ‘mechanisms’ that will ensure that the most stable of minds will be in politics and governance.

It is also relevant to point out that those states that are awaiting some sort of ‘legal clearance’ of the Biden election should engage in some soul-searching to find out whether needless legal niceties come before people and their heart-felt needs. If they see the needs of people as irrelevant, they would need to read all over again Marx and Lenin, lest they stand the latter on their heads.

However, on the question of what the US presidential poll result has in store for South Asia, it could be said right away that it is unthinkable that US policy for this region would change substantively overnight as it were. This is mainly on account of the fact foreign policies essentially serve countries’ national interests and, as matters stand, US interests in South Asia will not change to any notable degree in the short and medium terms. Accordingly, US policy towards the SAARC Eight, for example, is unlikely to change drastically in the foreseeable future.

Right now, the majority of the countries of South Asia need the US and vice versa. They and the US will have a mutual interest in relating to each other on the basis of current policy parameters and this will ensure some stability in inter-state ties. For example, it is difficult to see a Biden administration pushing Sri Lanka extra hard on war crimes and accountability matters although one would hear some periodic, ritualistic US admonitions to Sri Lanka on this score, along with reminders that ‘reconciliation’ and the like must be pursued by Sri Lanka.

Likewise, the MCC accord and other like US policy instruments that have seemingly maddened ultra-nationalist sections over the past few years in Sri Lanka would be pushed through by a Biden administration, although unobtrusively, with a clear understanding of the domestic compulsions weighing on Lankan governments. Mutual need is the key to understanding these future developments. To express it plainly and bluntly, Sri Lanka has and will be a neo-colony of the West for the foreseeable future. It does not have a choice but to succumb to these demands because economic vulnerabilities and compulsions are a great dictator.

In US-India relations too, no substantial changes could be foreseen. Under a Trump administration, US-India ties were notably strengthened and rendered vibrant and a Biden administration could be expected to strongly perpetuate this link. As could be seen, the international power balance in the Asia-Pacific would make this a must for both countries. China’s rise is a major matter of concern for both countries and this factor too could not be wished away in the foreseeable future.

In fact, US-India ties came to be substantially boosted in the Obama years, when a US ‘Pivot to Asia’ was seen as essential; first, to counter China and second, to make the best use of the Asia-Pacific’s proliferating economic opportunities. This process could be expected to strengthen in the days ahead. Meanwhile, India would emerge as the US’ strongest ally in South Asia. To the degree to which China strengthens its relations with Pakistan, to the same extent would the US distance itself from Pakistan.

The primacy accorded to India by the US in South Asia will make it incumbent on India’s neighbours to strengthen their bonds of cordiality with India. These ‘dynamics’ would need to be taken into consideration by India’s neighbours if they are to get the most out of their ties with the US. To be sure, they would also relate on the best of terms with China, but they would need to do some tight rope walking between the US and China. Balanced relations with current major powers will emerge as an imperative for South Asia’s smaller states in consideration of the economic power and influence wielded by China and the US. Thus, the basic parameters in these smaller states’ relations with the major powers will likely remain.

In its relations with Europe and Britain, a Biden administration is likely to introduce a greater degree of cordiality with bridge-building gaining in importance. These ties were greatly undermined during the Trump years as a result of the US tilting towards a policy of isolationism. The world would see some changes on this front which would be interpreted by the West as positive.

The abrasive style of Trump would be replaced by Biden by one of greater friendliness and openness to the world. Even US-China ties are likely to be on the mend, although the US would continue to pursue its self-interest with some intensity on this front as well and work towards what it considers as a ‘rule based’ international political and economic order. Vice President Kamala Harris would not be out of step with her administration on these questions but would be at one with it in consideration of the primacy of US interests.

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Hair Growth and Thickness



LOOK GOOD – with Disna


* Oil:

Oiling is an old home remedy for hair growth and thickness. Oiling is also used for the strength, shine, and length of hair, from ancient times. The use of coconut oil, especially, is very effective when it comes to the amplification of hair health. Additionally, there are many essential oils for faster hair growth which you can use, too.

* How to Use: Generally, hair oiling works best when applied overnight. You could use this therapy every night, or after each night, then wash your hair, in the morning, before heading for studies, or work.


* Aloe Vera:

Aloe vera has long been used as a home remedy for hair growth, thickness, and treating hair loss problems It contains vitamins A, C, and E. All three of these vitamins are known to contribute to cell turnover, supporting healthy cell growth and shiny hair. Plus, vitamin B-12 and folic acid are also included in aloe vera gel. Both of these elements can keep your hair from falling out. Aloe vera plants can be easily grown indoors. A leaf can be plucked, occasionally, and cut open to reveal its gel. This gel needs to be applied on the scalp, basically, to provide nourishment to the roots.

*  How to Use:

Rub this gel on your head properly, leaving no area dry; wash after half an hour or so. Keeping this massage as a part of your weekly routine will eventually make your hair thick and long.


*  Green Tea:

Green tea is often consumed as a home remedy for weight loss. Surprisingly, it has many other benefits, including hair-related benefits.

* How to Use:

Consuming green tea once every day can add to the strength and length of your hair. If your body is extremely comfortable with green tea, then you may even consume it twice every day.


* Onion Juice:

A bi-weekly application of onion juice can relieve you of your tension, regarding hair health. The smell can really torture you, but divert your attention in doing something else for a while, like making a puzzle or washing the dishes. From an early age, onion juice has been used as a home remedy to control hair fall. Research has shown that onion juice has been successful in treating patchy alopecia areata (non-scarring hair loss condition) by promoting hair growth .

* How to Use:

Take half onion and blend it. Apply the mixture on every nook and corner of your scalp and let it sit for some 60 minutes, or so. Shampoo it off when it’s time for the hair-wash.

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Fun-loving, but… sensitive



This week, my chat is with Nilu Vithanage. She is quite active, as a teledrama actress – having done four, already; her first was ‘Pavela Will Come In The Cloud, Mom’ (playing the role of a nurse). Then Came ‘Heavenly Palaces’ (student), ‘Black Town’ (a village character Kenkaiya), and ‘Wings Of Fire,’ currently being shown, with Nilu as a policewoman. You could checkout ‘Wings Of Fire,’ weekdays, on Swarnavahini, at 7.30 pm. Nilu is also active as a stage drama artiste, dancer…and has also been featured in musical videos.

And, this is how our chit-chat went…

1. How would you describe yourself?

Let’s say, I’m a bit on the playful side, and I like to have a lot of fun. But, I do find the time to relax, and, at home, it’s dancing to music! Yeah, I love dancing. Oh, I need to add that I’m a bit sensitive.

2. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I get angry quickly. Fortunately, that anger doesn’t last long – just five to 10 minutes. But I wish I could get rid of anger, totally from my system!

3. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

Nope, can’t think of anything, in particular. Everything is fine with us, and I’m proud of my only brother, and I feel safe when he is around. Or, come to think of it, if I did have another brother, I would feel doubly safe…when going out, in particular!

4. School?

I did my studies at two schools – C.W.W. Kannangara Central College, and Panadura Sumangala Girls’ School for my higher studies. Representing my school, I won first place in a speech competition and dance competition, as well.

5. Happiest moment?

When my husband comes home, or talks to me on the phone. He is stationed in Hatton and those calls and home visits are my happiest moments

6. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I really find a lot of happiness feeding the fish, in ponds. I love to see them rush to pick up the tidbits I throw into the pond. That’s my kind of happiness – being close to nature.

7. Are you religious?

I would say ‘yes’ to that question. I like to go to the temple, listen to sermons, participate in meditation programmes, and I do not miss out on observing sil, whenever possible. I also find solace in visiting churches.

8. Are you superstitious?

A big ‘no.’ Not bothered about all those superstitious things that generally affect a lot of people.

9. Your ideal guy?

My husband, of course, and that’s the reason I’m married to him! He has been a great support to me, in my acting career, as well in all other activities. He understands me and he loves me. And, I love him, too.

10. Which living person do you most admire?

I would say my Dad. I truly appreciate the mentorship he gave me, from a young age, and the things we received from him

11. Which is your most treasured possession?

My family.

12. If you were marooned on a desert island, who would you like as your companion?

A camel would be ideal as that would make it easier for me to find a way out from a desert island!

13. Your most embarrassing moment?

One day, recently, with the greatest of difficulty, I managed to join a one meter distance queue, to withdraw money from an ATM. And, then I realised I didn’t bring the card along!

14. Done anything daring?

I would say…yes, when I ventured out to get involved in teledramas. It was a kind of a daring decision and I’m glad it’s now working out for me – beautifully.

15. Your ideal vacation?

I would say Thailand, after reading your articles, and talking to you about Amazing Thailand – the shopping, things to see and do, etc. When the scene improves, it will be…Thailand here I come!

16. What kind of music are you into?

The fast, rhythmic stuff because I have a kind of rhythm in my body, and I love to dance…to music.

17. Favourite radio station:

I don’t fancy any particular station. It all depends on the music they play. If it’s my kind of music, then I’m locked-on to that particular station.

18. Favourtie TV station:

Whenever I have some free time, I search the TV channels for a good programme. So it’s the programme that attracts me.

19. What would you like to be born as in your next life?

Maybe a bird so that I would be free to fly anywhere I want to.

20. Any major plans for the future?

I’m currently giving lessons to schoolchildren, in dancing, and I plan to have my own dancing institute in the future.

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Snail-napping sets the stage for CGI road trip



The SpongeBob Movie:Sponge on the Run

By Tharishi hewaviThanagamage

Based on the famous and one of the longest-running American animated series that made its debut on Nickelodeon in 1999, created by marine science educator and animator Stephen Hillenburg, ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run’ is the latest addition to the SpongeBob movie franchise, coming in as the third installment after ‘The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie’ (2004) and ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’ (2015).

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