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“Where are the Sri Lankan Female Scientists?” A Case of Democratizing Science

Photo by Reuters, courtesy International Business Times In recent decades, many researchers, education specialists and policy advocates have paid increasing attention to the issue of gender bias in science. While several successful attempts have been made to increase female participation in science, a dearth of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields still […]

In conversation with Harsha Purasinghe: Tech entrepreneurship and innovation in Sri Lanka

Both the LinkedIn and Twitter profiles of Harsha Purasinghe note that he is Founder & CEO of Microimage, Microimage Mobile Media and WSO2 Mobile. He is in short a serial technology entrepreneur since the time he was in school, and the story of how his success came about is an interesting one. We begin our […]

Looking Back at Six Decades of Lankan Journalism: What went wrong?

Edwin Ariyadasa, who completed 91 years on 3 December 2013, is one of two grand old men of Lankan journalism still practising their craft (the other being D F Kariyakarawana, also 91). The veteran journalist has been active in his profession for nearly all of Sri Lanka’s post-independence years. During that time, he has played […]

Strengthening innovation in Sri Lanka: In conversation with Anushka Wijesinha

Anushka Wijesinha is a Research Economist at the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka and is one of the most prominent voices in Sri Lanka today championing innovation. We begin by Anushka explaining what innovation means to him in a Sri Lankan context, and why it is so important to support it in post-war […]

Eating properly and smiling: The evasive Valerie Amos on Twitter

On 18th December 2012, at around 10pm in Sri Lanka, Valerie Amos, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator took to Twitter, ostensibly to answer questions related to the UN’s role, relevance and responsibilities regarding humanitarian aid and relief work. The event with Baroness Amos was announced via the Twitter account of, […]

A Child of Apollo Salutes His First Hero: Remembering Neil Armstrong

Apollo 11 bootprint When Neil Armstrong took that first ’small step’ on to the Moon, at 10.56 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on 20 July 1969, a quarter of humanity — following it live on radio or TV — collectively held their breath. In the next moment, our various divides disappeared…at least for a brief […]

Stand Athwart Censorship in Sri Lanka

In Tom Stoppard’s superlative play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Ros shouts “Fire!” and when questioned by Guil, Ros reassuringly responds, “It’s all right – I’m demonstrating the misuse of free speech. To prove that it exists.” After surveying the audience with “contempt”, Ros says, “Not a move. They should all burn to death in […]

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 […]

Surrendering Airwaves & Liberty to Nepotism

TRC Spectrum Management website Frequency Allocation- A Grand Corruption? Understanding the State capture by Kleptocrats does not require a dedicated study; it is easily recognizable.  For the benefit of keen students of governance, let me begin this article with the definition of Kleptocracy: “A form of political and government corruption where the government exists to […]

Sri Lanka’s Census 2012: What should have been asked? What could have been done better?

Conducting a census is an important activity for any country as the data gathered from it would serve as the foundation for policies, development related activities and future planning of not only government institutions but also non state actors such as academics, development and aid agencies. The idea behind collecting feedback on the 2012 Census […]

Subsidizing Addiction?

‘Ware the mesmerizer he gives you flowers with his right hand and steals your gold with his left’ It was with this that I opened my article on ‘wildlife conservation’ in 1979. I was being confronted to a national extinction of the in-situ wildlife populations within anthropogenic ecosystems. In other words,  the huge diversity of […]

ICTs, science fiction and disasters: A conversation with Nalaka Gunawardene

I last spoke to Nalaka Gunawardene on public television in February 2009. Nalaka’s varied interests and experience is hard to pin down, but the issues he most often writes on are anchored to science and technology, including information and communications technologies (ICTs). Nalaka blogs and he tweets, which is rare among the guests I have […]