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Development Plans for the City of Colombo

"All of us desire a better Colombo; a city that is clean, green, attractive and dynamic. Let us work together and work hard to achieve this. Together, we can transform Colombo into a world-class city, globally recognized as a thriving, dynamic and attractive regional hub that is the centrepiece of 21st Century Sri Lanka: the Miracle of Asia", stated Secretary Defence Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday (Dec 01).

Delivering the Sujata Jayawardena memorial speech at the Sri Lankan Foundation Institute in Colombo, Mr. Rajapaksa further asserted that, the emergence of a large middle class in India numbering roughly 500 million, there are many opportunities for Colombo to position itself as a preferred destination for business, shopping and vacations.

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The Super Power, The Neighbor - Indian Influence in Sri Lanka

US President was hosting Mr. Hu Jintao, President of China on his official visit to US and there were many speculation that there will be serious debate on Politics and Economy during this official visit. But nothing major happened and It was later analyzed by prominent Political Scientists that nothing happened was very good than having something bad happening. However Mr Hu Jintao admitted that China still faces many challenges in Economic and Social development. And lot still needs to be done in China in terms of Human Rights. This clearly shows the increasing tendency of big super powers working in understanding rather than being offensive. This trend would result in perfect harmony among powerful nations and they would have huge economic gains resulting from such behavior. This development is some thing which Sri Lanka should pay strong attention to hence we being geographically situated quite close to two major super powers India and China.

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A New Phase in India-Sri Lanka Relations

The recent increase in top level Indian delegation visits to Colombo indicates that India has entered a new and more comprehensive phase of bilateral relations with Sri Lanka. However, a highest level political visit from India is yet to materialize, while Sri Lankan counterparts have already visited Delhi twice in the recent past. What underlies these frequent diplomatic visits? The global power configuration is changing in favour of Asia, particularly China and India. The United States and the West in general, are losing the pre-eminent position that they have had for centuries. Moreover, smaller regional countries are also emerging with strong identities. In this setting, India finds its rivals making inroads into Sri Lanka.

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Sinhala, Tamil and the Singing of the National Anthem

A National Anthem is a song of patriotic sentiment affirming loyalty to one’s country or nation adopted officially by that Country or Nation. An anthem becomes a national anthem through Constitutional provision, specific legislation or long –standing tradition.

Stylistically the majority of anthems are marches or hymns .They are usually written or composed in the most common language in the Country. There are however some notable exceptions to this rule particularly in multi-ethnic nations.

In Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon , the song “Namo Namo Matha” written by the artist-poet Ananda Samarakoon was formally adopted as the national anthem in 1951. It was slightly amended and changed to “Sri Lanka Matha” in 1961 without the consent of Samarakoon.

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Why no Why?

Global terror experts’ contention that the Wikileaks exposures might jeopardize US’ counter terrorism operations raises a paramount question. What is the need for counter terrorism operations in the first place? If the US stops its global hegemony plans as detailed in its Plan for the New American Century (PNAC), then there would be no need for such measures.

Osama bin Laden fought the Russians and in that fight the Americans and the entire Western world supported the Mujahedeen of which he was one of the leaders. Ronald Reagan called them brave freedom fighters and mocked the Russians when they called them terrorists. Today the Mujahedeen (notice how the word Mujahedeen has been dropped out of the discourse after Americas invasion and occupation) are called by other names because they are fighting the American occupation of Afghanistan and so the legitimacy of freedom fighters is now taken away from them. Instead they are ‘terrorists’ better still ‘Islamic terrorists’. See the hypocrisy? Or are we going to go into another bout of harangue with nice juicy words and catch phrases like democracy, freedom, the rule of law, justice.

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