In the politically-risky world of professional journalism, news reporters are fast becoming an endangered species.
As the mercury rises higher, Kamakandalagi Leelavathi delves deeper into the lush green mass of the tea bushes. The past few afternoons there have been thunderstorms. So the 55-year-old tea picker in Uda Houpe tea garden of Sri Lanka’s Hatton region is rushing to complete her day’s task before the rain comes: harvesting 22 kgs of tea leaves.
Sri Lanka’s long-awaited and much-debated Right to Information (RTI) Act became law this month without much fanfare.
The warnings are stark, the instructions, for a change, clear.Sri Lanka is heading into one of its worst droughts in recent history, and according some estimates the worst in 30 years. The reservoirs are running on empty, at 30 percent or less capacity. Only 12 percent of the island’s power generation is currently from hydropower and 85 percent comes from thermal, with a staggering 41 percent from coal.
Populist leaders pose a dangerous threat to human rights, fuelling and justifying intolerance and abuse across the world, said advocacy group Human Rights Watch during the launch of their annual global report.
Beragama is a typical Sri Lankan rural village, with lush green paddy fields interspersed by small houses and the village temple standing at the highest location. Despite being close to the island’s second international harbour and its second international airport, Beragama appears untouched by modernity.
Sri Lanka’s upcoming 69th Independence Commemorations will be of special value to the island’s media - that is, if everything works as planned.
It is a Tuesday afternoon and only a handful of devotees have flocked to the Meera Grand Mosque in Katankuddi, about 300 kms east of the capital Colombo.
As Sri Lanka readies to begin the grim task of searching for thousands of war missing, those doing the tracing on the ground say that they still face intimidation and threats while doing their work.
The picture could be straight out of a tourist postcard – a sleepy green mountain with misty clouds floating above the canopy – if not for one fatal flaw: the ugly gash running right through the middle.
Details of a secret detention center, where serious human rights abuses took place, deep inside the sprawling Tricomalee Naval base in the east of Sri Lanka are slowly emerging.
Residents in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo and outlying areas have been waking up to misty mornings of late. A decade ago, regular mist in this area just above the equator would have been a noteworthy event. These days, it is a regular occurrence in some parts north of the capital.
Thavarasa Utharai’s most treasured belongings are stuck inside several plastic bags and tucked within old traveling bags.
The new Sri Lankan government that was voted in on Aug. 17 certainly didn’t inherit as much baggage as its predecessors did during the nearly 30 years of conflict that gripped this South Asian island nation.
It is an oasis from the scorching heat outside. The three-storey, centrally air-conditioned Cargills Square, a major mall in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna town, is the latest hangout spot in the former warzone, where everyone from teenagers to families to off-duty military officers converge.