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Manel Tampoe: Perceptive Chronicler of Sri Lanka’s DDT Generation

One of the earliest photos of Manel Tampoe, around age 15 Manel Tampoe, school teacher turned journalist and environmentalist, was a force to reckon with – but she didn’t look the part. Beneath her soft spoken and demure personality, she harboured a keen intellect, steely resolve and a strong sense of justice that lasted for […]

Facing an Uncertain Future: A ‘non-suba anagathayak’

Photo courtesy Bindaas Madhavi While the so-called ‘rulers’ prance about in their hubris, ignoring the global events that will also affect us, there is very serious concern that ‘We Are ‘Entering A Long-Term And Politically Dangerous Food Crisis’ . The author of the study suggests that, ‘we are five years into a severe global food crisis […]

Towards an Informed Water Vision: Part 2

Uda Walawe Tank, photo submitted by author Through the nation water quality has become a serious problem.  The Nitrate and Nitrite pollution of the groundwater on the Kalpitiya peninsula, the eutrophication of the hydroelectric reservoirs during low flow, the renal failure syndrome of the North Central province, the rise in neuromuscular diseases among vegetable farmers, […]

Rio+20 interview: “Green Economy should not justify Greed Economy!”

Environmental activist Hemantha Withanage talks to Nalaka Gunawardene in Rio de Janeiro Hemantha Withanage in Rio de Janeiro, photo by Nalaka Gunawardene In early June, a group of 50 Lankan civil society organisations (CSOs) active on environment, development and human rights, issued the Sri Lanka Civil Society Statement for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable […]

The Green Revolution and Rio

It has been many years of writing in the Sri Lankan media of the stupidity of the so-called Green Revolution that successive governments in Sri Lanka aided by their ‘knowledgeable ‘ scientists and bureaucrats have promoted. As it has been pointed out many times, the only winners in this deadly game were those who sold […]

Who’s Afraid of Exotic Species, Gene Pirates and Government Babus?

Dr Ranil Senanayake, photo by Janaka Sri Jayalath In this second part of a long interview, South Asia’s first systems ecologist Dr Ranil Senanayake shares his views on many facets of biological diversity. He looks at the challenges involved in in-situ and ex-situ conservation of plant and animal species on our already crowded and slowly […]

Sri Lanka’s Fast-track to Post-war Development: Remember the Mahaweli’s Costly Lessons!

Systems Ecologist Ranil Senanayake in conversation with Science Writer Nalaka Gunawardene. For Part 2 of this interview, titled Who’s Afraid of Exotic Species, Gene Pirates and Government Babus?, click here. Dr Ranil Senanayake is a rare public intellectual in Sri Lanka. He is extremely well informed, analytical, multidisciplinary — and courageous enough to speak his […]

Is Sri Lanka’s Road to Rio +20 Paved with Lies?

March 12 1997 was a dark day when personal power was used to subjugate not only national laws  but also to subvert the international environmental obligations of this nation. On this day, the President of Sri Lanka Mrs. Chandrika Kumaranatunge issued a directive under emergency regulations which stated that neither the national Environmental act no.47 […]

Nurturing Public Trust in Times of Crisis: Reflections on April 11 Tsunami Warning

Five years ago, on a visit to the Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo, Hawaii, I played an interesting simulation game: setting off an undersea earthquake and deciding whether or not to issue a tsunami warning to the many countries in and around the Pacific. The volunteer-run museum, based in ‘the tsunami capital of the world’, […]