Sri Lankans in the north vote on Saturday in provincial elections for the first time in 25 years. During the country's long civil war, the region served as the base for separatist rebels belonging to the Tamil Tigers.
According to Professor Rohan Gunaratna, government focus was massive infrastructure development to empower the people but not psychosocial development to engage the people to mainstream their thinking. Today, the LTTE proxy, the Tamil National Alliance, has started to radicalize and militarize the community again. Government should develop laws to deter TNA from instilling hatred and incitement and consider banning the LTTE funded TNA.
Sri Lanka’s eastern town of Pullumalai saw the opening of a new public market and a bus station recently, which has been built with the funding support of USAID. The US Embassy in Colombo said, the US$ 477,000 facility (Rs. 60 million) will help enhance transportation and livelihood opportunities for the people living in the Eastern province.
In a much anticipated performance, The Spectrum Dance Theatre will be performing in Sri Lanka this week. ‘An Evening of Excerpts from Repertory by Donald Byrd’ is presented by the American Centre in Colombo together with Dance Motion USA and will include a selection of five among the company’s most impressive dance creations. “The pieces provide a broad overview of one aspect of the Donald Byrd/ Spectrum Dance theatre aesthetic, its physicality,” the group’s Artistic Director, Donald Byrd, told the Sunday Times in an email ahead of the performance.
Sri Lanka once again takes its rightful place in South Asia after suffering decades of terrorism on the world stage, both in terms of its economic potential and political profile. We want the world to take note of what is being accomplished in the country and the hand of friendship, support and understanding to be extended to our people, Sri Lankan Ambassador in Germany Sarath Kongahage said.
Set aside some funds that the Government of Sri Lanka is wasting on a lobbying firm in Washington to install a person to represent the media to engage in public diplomacy and strategic communication to raise issues connected to the U.S. foreign policy, 'Global War on Terrorism' and national defense-related issues.
You could, of course, sit back, slack-jawed, thinking about how mindlessly repetitive Sri Lanka's foreign policy, public diplomacy and strategic communication are these days. Or you could wield all sorts of fancy analytic words to explain it; using professorial language or plain road-side rhetoric which doesn't make much of a difference.
The Mahinda Rajapaksa government has been outstanding in fighting terrorism at home but has fared disastrously in diplomacy. This is in marked contrast to the Chandrika Kumaratunge government whose record in fighting terrorism at home was an absolute disaster but was outstanding in its efforts diplomatically getting the LTTE proscribed as a terrorist organisation by most of the important Western nations.