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Climate Change, Food Security & Virtual Water an Asymmetric Threat to Sri Lanka

Image courtesy Mercy Corps Today, in an integrated and inter-dependent world, Sri Lanka does not have the leverage to reverse climate change but mitigate and adapt. Climate change is caused mostly by human actions which began with the industrialised West and followed suit by emerging economies exacerbating this. Some consider climate change to be a […]

Agricultural Madness

(Photo credit: Claude Dupuis, IDRC-CRDI) The current  ‘development’ madness that affects agriculture also prevails over agricultural research and does not bode well for this nation.  It begins with the fact that, young agricultural scientists have to find support for the projects that will ensure their career from the only available source, the ‘chemical agriculture’ companies. Thus […]

Climate Change

Image from Climate Change Adaptation Sri Lanka While awaiting to hear of the brilliant contributions that Sri Lanka has made to the just concluded United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), conference in Durban, the view from Durban is somewhat clouded.  The global polluters are demonstrating extreme disdain of accepting any responsibility they have to […]

Old Dutch Hospital in Colombo: Now open to the public

Image from The Seventeenth Century Dutch Hospital in Colombo by C.G. Uragoda and K.D. Paranavitana Being Poya with nothing much else to do, we strolled over to the newly restored and opened Old Dutch Hospital, which Colombo’s oldest building and now a shopping and dining ‘precinct’. A plaque at the entrance notes that restoration work […]

Restoring Shelter

The World Meteorological Organization, part of the United Nations, have just stated that the warmest 13 years of average global temperatures have all occurred in the 15 years since 1997. That has contributed to extreme weather conditions that increase the intensity of droughts and heavy precipitation across the world, it said. “Our science is solid […]

Can a ‘Sinhala patriot’ explain pesticides, arsenic and fertiliser?

Photo courtesy Arsenic and toxins found in baby rice food – what you need to know There is a new Sinhala nationalist political trend that now throws out a completely novel discourse, which ties up mythical gods as superior to “Jewish Christian Western Science” and claims, the entire Sri Lankan agriculture needs revamping. The Christian […]

Future of Farming in Sri Lanka

Original photo from Farming in a sustainable, productive manner has been a hallmark of every human tradition that has endured history. There are many traditional farms existent today that have been productive for hundreds of years. Agrarian societies with long histories, posses the credibility of having sustained themselves successfully under the rigor of survival […]

Right to Food: Ecologically based agriculture

Gannoruwa Agriculture Park. Photo credit Chaminda Wijesekara Background: “We” said the villager holding his dying child in that unspeakable agony only parents in such situations know, “don’t want the right to vote, just the right to live”.  In that statement lies the truth that seems to elude most development work.  There is a deeper human […]

Elephant Walk revisited: Mixing Tea, Jumbos and Monsoons

[Editors note: For an in-depth interview on Sri Lanka’s human-elephant conflict, see Humans vs. elephants: Sri Lanka’s tragic on-going conflict] If those hardy Englishmen and Scotsmen who ran large tea plantations in Ceylon were far removed from the local people and realities, western movie makers were much more so. They could just as well have come […]

Humans vs. elephants: Sri Lanka’s tragic on-going conflict

The Daily Mirror a few days ago noted that in a bid to ease the growing human-elephant conflict in the country, the Wildlife Conservation Department had undertaken moves to restrict the habitat of rogue elephants to a 2500 acre jungle area in Veheragala, Lunugamvehera and Horawapathana. Quoting the Wildlife Conservation Department’s Director General, Chandrawansa Pathiraja, […]

In conversation with Iranganie Serasinghe: Environmentalist and cinematic icon

Iranganie Serasinghe needs no introduction to many Sri Lankans. For decades she has graced stage, cinema and televisions with characters indelibly etched in memory. I grew up with Iranganie playing Sudu Hamine in Yashorawaya as staple viewing, as much as her role in Doo Daruwo which over 5 years was an epic narrative played out […]

Old Mannar Road and IDPs Access

Photo of Mannar-Puttalam road, courtesy Panoramio Environmentalists have gone to courts demanding that the road connecting Mannar and Puttalam that runs through the Wilpattu National Park be permanently closed. The opening of the old Mannar-Puttalam Road on January 24 2010 was seen as a crucial step in supporting the Northern IDP return process, especially for […]