Scene 1: As a visiting tourist goes through the aero bridge outside the flight gate into the Bandaranaike International Airport lobby, walking past airport officials and smartly-clad SriLankan Airlines’ ground staff, the mood is anything but welcoming. They are greeted by glum or stern faces.
It was a very intriguing topic. Earlier this month, Don Carlson, an education specialist from Microsoft Singapore visiting Colombo, and I were discussing education into the 21st century when we came to the point of: Will teaching as a vocation, survive this century?
Confused by the heading? Well, this is the golden age of the millennials. Many moons ago while discussing small and medium scale businesses with a young entrepreneur, he referred to start-ups and a new ecosystem.
For an orthodox Islamic country, the Maldives has made remarkable progress in halting the spread of HIV in the Indian Ocean archipelago through bold awareness programmes and the distribution of condoms.
Sri Lanka is in for some hard bargaining when it negotiates a new aid pact in 2013 with the European Union (EU), which withdrew a key trade concession two years ago over this country’s human rights record.
A spate of child rape cases in Sri Lanka has angered child rights activists and moved the government to consider tightening the relevant laws and making the offence punishable with the death sentence.
Sri Lanka has long enjoyed a low 0.1 percent HIV prevalence but, as the number of fresh infections rises steadily, experts are calling for a change in the country's archaic laws that make sex work illegal and criminalises homosexual activity.
By coaxing a bumper 3.2 tonnes of rice out of each acre on his organic farm in this district famed for its ancient Buddhist monasteries, Charitha Wijeratne has convincingly proved that using indigenous seeds does not affect productivity.
On May 18, some 800 women in Sri Lanka’s northern region will hold Hindu religious ceremonies for the welfare of thier husbands who disappeared or surrendered to the military as it moved in to mop up nearly three decades of armed Tamil separatism.
Maldivian women, long used to taking a backseat in the Muslim-dominated Indian Ocean country, say they are determined to ensure that they are not deprived of their rights under the new regime of President Mohammed Waheed Hassan.
The Sri Lanka government is considering a further tightening of age restrictions on women leaving the country to become domestic workers. But some analysts say this is a quick-fix solution to the problem of women running afoul of the law abroad.
Most visitors to the Maldives – a string of islands southwest of Sri Lanka – won’t miss the so-called "smoking mountain" made from local residents’ trash as well as the garbage tourists leave behind in resorts nearby.
Sri Lanka plans to host the Commonwealth Games seven years from now and spend two billion dollars, in what politicians and economists slam as another extravagant adventure aimed at boosting President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Lack of donor funding, state phobia against western NGOs, and restrictive work permits for foreign aid workers have together hit the operations of several dozen Sri Lankan NGOs and their foreign counterparts.
Suggestions are pouring in from all corners of the world on how the world’s rich could reduce climate-damaging consumption habits, called Millennium Consumption Goals (MCGs), envisioned to be the flipside of the eight-point Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set for the poor.
Sri Lanka’s garment industry has launched a multi-million rupee campaign to bring in female workers shunning the country’s most profitable sector for better paying jobs.
Sri Lanka has raised the age requirement for women wanting to leave the country to work as domestics abroad, but recruitment agents say this won’t prevent younger women from joining the exodus.
A Sri Lankan scientist is calling for the drafting of "Millennium Consumption Goals" to force rich countries to curb their climate-damaging consumption habits, in the same way the poor have Millennium Development Goals to get them out of poverty.
At a marketplace near Colombo, consumers scramble for coconuts being sold from a state-owned truck. Sri Lanka is the world’s fourth largest coconut producer and a major exporter; but a crop shortfall and a drought have forced the country to import coconuts.
The ordeal of a Sri Lankan domestic worker whose Saudi Arabian employer allegedly drove nails and metal wires into her body has sent alarm bells ringing among government officials and activists, but how such abuses can be stopped remain far from clear.
Tourists taking in the sun and sand in the idyllic Maldives may be forgiven if they are unaware of the political developments in this country, even when President Mohamed Nasheed’s government teetered on the brink of collapse recently.