ASITHA G PUNCHIHEWA

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Asitha G Punchihewa is a professional in the development and social justice arena with one and half decade long broad spectrum experience. He has been instrumental in producing direct positive impacts on deserving communities and have also influenced bringing up policy reforms in diverse areas.

His personal motive is driven "to make the world a better place where all beings contribute and care for one another's existence through appropriate use of resources".

He has produced dozens of significant research based analytical knowledge worth accessing. The spectrum of klnowledge areas include but not limited to

Industry and Technology (Productivity optimization, Alternative energy, traditional technologies)

Health (Non communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, sexual and reproductive health)

Rights (Child rights, Housing rights, cultural rights, migrant worker rights, minority rights, animal rights)

Globalization (Trans National Corporations and their influence on knowledge, agriculture, health)

Politics (Providing direction and guidance to political leaderships)

Asitha is soft spoken but knows what he is doing, funny but means business, try to buy him over but you will repent.




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Posted by Asitha G Punchihewa on April 28, 2019 at 1:40 AM Comments comments (0)

මෙය ඉස්ලාමයේ සුවිශේෂී සංඥාවකි. මෙය ක්රියා කරන්නේ කෙසේද? (පීටර් හැමන්ඩ්ගේ Slavery Terrorism and Islam පොතේ අන්තර්ගත කොටසකි)

ඉස්ලාම් යනු ආගමක් නොවේ, එය සංස්කෘතියකි. එය සම්පූර්ණ පද්ධතියකි.

ඉස්ලාම් ආගමික, නීතිමය, දේශපාලනික, ආර්ථික හා හමුදාමය සංරචක ඇත. ආගමික සංඝටකයේ අනෙකුත් අංග සඳහා රැවුලක් වේ.

ඉස්ලාමීයකරණය සිදුවන්නේ රටක ප්රමාණවත් මුස්ලිම්වරුන් සිටින විටය. ඔවුන්ගේ ඊනියා 'ආගමික අයිතිවාසිකම්' වෙනුවෙන් උද්ඝෝෂණය කරති.

දේශපාලනිකව නිවැරදි හා සංස්කෘතික විචිත්‍රත්වය පිළිබඳව කතා කරද්දී ඔවුන්ගේ ආගමික අයිතිවාසිකම් සඳහා මුස්ලිම් ඉල්ලීම් සාධාරණීකරණය කෙරෙයි.

CIA ලෝක දත්ත පොත ආශ්‍රයෙන් ගත සංඛ්‍යාලේඛනවලට අනුව

ඕනෑම රටක මුස්ලිම් ජනතාව 1% ක් පමණ පවතිනවා නම් ඔවුන් සාමකාමී සුළුතරයක් ලෙස සලකනු ලබන අතර එය තර්ජනයක් නොවනු ඇත. ඇත්ත වශයෙන්ම, ඔවුන් ඒකාකෘති හා ලිපි ලේඛනවල ඇතුළත් වනුයේ ඔවුන්ගේ වර්ණවත් සුවිශේෂතාව සඳහාය:

එක්සත් ජනපදය - මුස්ලිම් 1.0%

ඔස්ට්රේලියාව - මුස්ලිම් 1.5%

කැනඩාව - මුස්ලිම් 1.9%

චීනය - මුස්ලිම් 1% -2%

ඉතාලිය - මුස්ලිම් 1.5%

නෝර්වේ - මුස්ලිම් 1.8%

2% සහ 3% අතරතුර අනෙකුත් වාර්ගික සුලුතරයන්ගෙන් පිරිස් එක්කිරීමට පටන් ගනී. බන්ධනාගාරවලින් සහ වීථි වලින් ප්රධාන බඳවා ගැනීම් ඇති වන කල්ලි සෑදේ.

ඩෙන්මාර්කය - මුස්ලිම් 2%

ජර්මනිය - මුස්ලිම් 3.7%

එක්සත් රාජධානිය - මුස්ලිම් 2.7%

ස්පාඤ්ඤය - මුස්ලිම් 4%

තායිලන්තය - මුස්ලිම් 4.6%

ඔවුන්ගෙන් ජනගහනයේ ප්රතිශතය 5% ක් පමණ ඔවුන් තමන්ගේ ජන අනුපාතයේ ප්රමාණයට වඩා අතිශයින් බලපෑම් කරනු ලබයි

හලාල් හඳුන්වාදීම සඳහා (ඉස්ලාමීය ප්රමිතීන් විසින් පවිත්ර කරනු ඇත;)

ආහාර සැපයීම, එමගින් මුස්ලිම් ආහාර සඳහා ආහාර පිළියෙල කිරීමේ රැකවරණය ලබා ගැනීම. ඔවුන් එසේ කරනු ඇත

සුපිරි වෙළඳසල්වල දමා ඔවුන්ගේ රාක්ක මත ප්රදර්ශනය කරන්නට බලපෑම් කරනුයේ අනුකූල නොවන්නන්ට තර්ජන සමගය. (එක්සත් ජනපදය;)

ප්රංශය - මුස්ලිම් 8%

පිලිපීනය - මුස්ලිම් 5%

ස්වීඩනය - මුස්ලිම් 5%

ස්විස්ටර්ලන්තය - මුස්ලිම් 4.3%

නෙදර්ලන්තය - මුස්ලිම් 5.5%

ට්රිනිඩෑඩ් සහ ටොබැගෝ - මුස්ලිම් 5.8%

මේ මොහොතේ දී පාලක ආන්ඩුව ඔවුන්ට ඉඩදීමට ඔවුන් කටයුතු කරනු ඇත. ඉස්ලාමීය නීතිය යටතේ, ශාරියා යටතේ පාලනය කිරීමට පසුබිම සකසයි. අවසාන ඉලක්කය

ඉස්ලාමය ලෝකය පරිවර්තනය නොකොට ෂරියා නීතිය ස්ථාපිත කිරීම සඳහා නොව මුළු ලෝකයම ෂරියා නීතියට අනුකුල කරවීමය

ජනගහනයෙන් 10% මුස්ලිම් ජනයා ළඟා වන විට, ඔවුන් නීති විරෝධී ක්රියා වැඩි කරනු ඇත

ඔවුන්ගේ තත්වයන් පිලිබඳ පැසුරුම් ක්රමයක් ලෙස (පැරිස් - මෝටර් රථ ගිනි තැබීම;)

මුස්ලිම් නොවන ඉස්ලාමීය ක්රියාවක් ඉස්ලාමීය ක්රියාවක් නැගිටුවනු ඇත

තර්ජන (ඇම්ස්ටර්ඩෑම් - මොහොමඩ් කාටූන්;)

ගයානා - මුස්ලිම් 10%

ඉන්දියාව - මුස්ලිම් 13.4%

ඊශ්රායලය - මුස්ලිම් 16%

කෙන්යාව - මුස්ලිම් 10%

රුසියාව - මුස්ලිම් 10-15%

20% ක් කරා ළඟා වීමෙන් පසු පැතිරුණු ප්‍රචණ්ඩත්වය, ජිහාඩ් සන්නද්ධ සංවිධානය,

ස්පාඤ්ඤ ඝාතන සහ පල්ලිය සහ සිනගෝගය ගිනිබත් කිරීම:

ඉතියෝපියාව - මුස්ලිම් 32.8%

40% දී ඔබ පුළුල් ජනඝාතනයන්, නිදන්ගත ත්රස්ත ප්රහාර සහ පවතින මිලිටරි යුද්ධයක්

බොස්නියා - මුස්ලිම් 40%

චැඩ් - මුස්ලිම් 53.1%

ලෙබනනය - මුස්ලිම් 59.7%


60% ක පමණ සිට අල්ලාහ්ස නොඅදහන අය හා වෙනත් අය නොවරදවාම පීඩා අපේක්ෂා කළ හැකිය

ආගම්, වාර්ගික ජනවාර්ගික ශෝධනය කිරීම (සංහාරය;), ෂරියා නීතියක් ලෙස භාවිතා කිරීම

ආයුධය සහ ජිසිය, අබිරහස් මත තබන ලද බදු:

ඇල්බේනියාව - මුස්ලිම් 70%

මැලේසියාව - මුස්ලිම් 60.4%

කටාර් - මුස්ලිම් 77.5%

සුඩානය - මුස්ලිම් 70%

80% ක් ජනවාර්ගික ශෝධනය කිරීම සහ ජනඝාතනයන් අපේක්ෂා කිරීමෙන් පසුව:

බංග්ලාදේශය - මුස්ලිම් 83%

ඊජිප්තුව - මුස්ලිම් 90%

ගාසාව - මුස්ලිම් 98.7%

ඉන්දුනීසියාව - මුස්ලිම් 86.1%

ඉරානය - මුස්ලිම් 98%

ඉරාකය - මුස්ලිම් 97%

ජෝර්දාන් - මුස්ලිම් 92%

මොරොක්කෝ - මුස්ලිම් 98.7%

පකිස්ථානය - මුස්ලිම් 97%

පලස්තීනය - මුස්ලිම් 99%

සිරියාව - මුස්ලිම් 90%

ටජිකිස්ථාන් - මුස්ලිම් 90%

තුර්කිය - මුස්ලිම් 99.8%

එක්සත් අරාබි එමිරේට්ස් - මුස්ලිම් 96%

ඉස්ලාමීය නිවහන වන "දාර්-එස්-සලාම්" සාමය සඳහා 100% ක්ම ලැබේවි

සාමය - හැම කෙනෙක්ම මුස්ලිම් වන්නේය.

ඇෆ්ගනිස්තානය - මුස්ලිම් 100%

සෞදි අරාබිය - මුස්ලිම් 100%

සෝමාලියාව - මුස්ලිම් 100%

යේමනය - මුස්ලිම් 99.9%

ඇත්ත වශයෙන්ම, එය එසේ නොවේ. ඔවුන්ගේ රුධිර රාගය තෘප්තියට පත් කිරීම සඳහා, මුස්ලිම්වරු එසේමය

විවිධ හේතු නිසා එකිනෙකා මරා දමනවා.

ඉස්ලාමිය ව්‍යාප්තියේ යතාර්ථය ලෝකය පුරා සිදුවී ඇත්තේ එසේය. කලෙක අහස උසට බුදු පිළිම නෙලූ බෞද්ධ ගන්ධාර ශිෂ්ඨාචාරයේ කේන්ද්‍රස්ථානය අද ත්‍රස්තවාදීන්ගේ කන්දහාරයයි.

කලෙක බෞද්ධවූ බංගලාදේශයේ චෛත්‍ය ග්‍රාම අද බොහෝ තාඩන පීඩන මධ්‍යයේ ජීවත්වන සුළුතර බෞද්ධ චිතගොන්ග් ය

කලෙක චෛත්‍ය තිබු මාල දිවයින අද පාලනය වන්නේ ඉස්ලාමිය ෂරියා නීතියෙනි.

මේ සංස්කෘතික වෙනස්වීම හඳුනා ගන්න

Sri Lanka Leaping from infancy to an organized industrial sector

Posted by Asitha G Punchihewa on June 20, 2018 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

By Asitha G Punchihewa

Decades of investments in developing human capital seem to pay back as Sri Lanka is truly transforming from infancy to full blown industrialization. Being traditionally an agricultural population engaged predominantly in paddy cultivation contributing to staple diet of the Sri Lankans, it also has a vibrant service sector signified with a well-developed energy outreach, clean water supply, drainage, banking and finance, communications, on shore and off shore transport sub sectors and a quaternary sector with media, marketing and advertising industries employing modernity.

Over 1.7 million Sri Lankans continue to be employed off shore hence keeping the unemployment rate at 4.6%. Hundreds of thousands representing youth population of Sri Lanka are employed at different operational tiers in the industrial sector in offshore destinations mainly in the South East Asian countries such as South Korea and Singapore. However, a bulk of the human resource pool that can be mobilized to promote an organized industrial sector in Sri Lanka is available in the Middle Eastern countries. The said segment of the employable population in the Middle East who undergo torturous and exploitative work conditions and situations can contribute to the national economy in a greater dimension if adequate measures are taken to provide them with quality livelihood avenues.

For a developing country that is struggling to sustain its export earnings, playing its cards with precision mean a lot. Government has shown intent to mobilize the migrant workers to return for gainful employment at the Export Processing Zones located island-wide. The returnee migrant workers and youth will cater to diverse human resource needs required by investors who are lining up to set up production lines. Government has taken measures to incentivize and encourage less educated youth, mostly male to engage in the industrial sector by detaching them from the easy option of remaining as taxi drivers that contribute to urban road traffic congestion.

The export oriented garment industry that has been in Sri Lanka’s industrial landscape for a considerable period already accounts for nearly 40% of the foreign exchange earnings of Sri Lanka. Already, tire manufacturers are in, so are other manufacturers who use rubber as a raw material as Sri Lanka has a decent supply of natural latex. Manufacture of electrical and electronic devices has taken place for well over two decades in industrial zones. Diversification of the industrial sector to accommodate value added knowledge based products is well on card with high literacy rates and relatively higher unemployment and underemployment rates among educated youth.

There was a void to be filled despite their theoretical knowhow was in par with the standards prescribed for the industrial sector to flourish. Due to this, Sri Lanka lost a sizable youth population with technical skills as they migrated in search for greener pastures mainly in the industrialized West including EU countries, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

With a view to retain quality human resources, a long term plan was devised. The first wave of action included training of academics through encouraging them to engage in offshore postgraduate and Phd programmes in rare specialties such as process lifecycle management which includes niche sectors such as ergonomics, energy conservation and modern human resource management techniques. Tertiary educational institutions are now being modernized with machinery that would enable students to get equipped to face realities that the industries offer with fluency.

Already, mechanical design, electronic design automation, software delivery, simulation & test, manufacturing planning, factory automation, manufacturing operations, performance analysis, collaboration for lifecycle management and connectivity have been introduced to undergraduate and post graduate engineering courses. Extending such modules to other technical colleges is being planned so that the next generation of skilled youth will be technically savvy. Furthermore, process automation will also lead to less hands being needed to run an industry, which will lead to offering opportunities for other industries to attract trained hands for scaled production.

Energy is something that accounts for a sizable portion of the costing of an industry. Being a tropical country, energy on heating is not applicable at all, but using appropriate ventilation and conserving energy on maintaining workable environments is another specialty that has evolved over the years in the global sphere. Energy auditing, maintaining eco standards are used to reduce overhead costs as well as to promote product branding by industries. There are already a few large manufacturers who have invested in green energy production such as mini hydro power plants, wind mills and solar energy harvesting which in return have enabled industries to move towards being carbon neutral. The government too has provided incentives to promote green energy such as solar harvesting on a large scale and at domestic level.

Worker wellbeing is an area that is hard to find in the developing world. Giving a fair deal for factory workers has grown to an extent where organized consumer groups have shown a tendency to demand from producers to maintain decent work conditions and wages for factory workers. Meanwhile in Sri Lanka, manufacturing line managements have realized on how investing in wellbeing of workers would pay dividends via better work output, lowered absenteeism, higher staff retention and how such interventions could be used for brand promotion through consumer groups. Since this is an area that talks about diverse aspects of worker wellbeing such as physical, psychological, economic, socio- environmental, cultural and spiritual wellbeing, specialized institutions have evolved to provide panacea solutions to the industrial sector to blend worker wellbeing into their operational models. Already, the biggest manufacturers in Sri Lanka have become convinced about the idea and have started doing investments and are enjoying its benefits together with a happier and healthier workforce.

Such specialized knowledge areas essential for an industrial sector to perform at the global scale are not alien to Sri Lanka’s industrial landscape any more. State of the art technologies are already being used in abundance by large scale manufacturers to streamline and optimize productivity and slowly gaining ground even among the smaller scale industries due to distinct advantages and speedier return on investment.

Therefore, Sri Lanka seem to have played its cards right to set a launching pad for the organized large scale industrial sector to account to a larger portion of the economic contribution and export earnings while providing a solution to unemployment and underemployment.

 

A drop of the Opium Mafia

Posted by Asitha G Punchihewa on March 15, 2018 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

ඕපියම් මාෆියාවෙන් බිඳක්- අසිත ජී පුංචිහේවා

 

ඖෂධ සඳහා නීත්‍යානුකුලව ඔපියම් වගාවන් සිදුකෙරෙන රටවල් අතර ඔස්ට්‍රේලියාව, නවසීලන්තය ප්‍රමුඛ වේ. ඉන්දියාව ද චීනය වැනි රටවලද ඔපියම් වගාවන් ඇත. නමුත් නීත්‍යානුකුල නොවන වගා බහුතරයක් ඇත්තේ ඇෆ්ගනිස්තානයේ ය. ලෝකයේ ඔපියම් වගාවන්ගෙන් 90% පමණ ඇත්තේ ඇෆ්ගනිස්තානයේ ය. කැම්බෝඩියා, ලාඕස්, ම්යන්මාරය ආශ්‍රිතව ද නීත්‍යානුකුල නොවන වගාවන් ඇත.

 

2001 වසරේ 9/11 ප්‍රහාරයට සමගාමීව ඇරඹුණු war against terror තුලින් මුලිකව ඉලක්ක වුයේ ඇෆ්ගනිස්තානයයි, ඇෆ්ගනිස්තානය කේන්ද්‍ර කොටගෙන වර්ධනය වී තිබු ඉස්ලාමිය අන්තවාදයයි. නමුත් 2001- 2016 කාලය තුල ඇෆ්ගනිස්තානයේ ඔපියම් වගාවන් හෙක්ටයාර 98500 සිට 250000 දක්වා වර්ධනය විය.

 

එම කාලය ඇතුලතම ශ්‍රී ලංකාව තුලටත් වෙනත් බොහෝ රටවල් තුළටත් නීත්‍යානුකුල නොවන ආකාරයට ඔපියම් හෙරොයින් ආකාරයෙන් පොම්ප වන්නට පටන්ගති.

 

මේ අතරම ඔපියම් සඳහා නීත්‍යානුකුල වලංගුභාවයක් ලබාදීමේ ජාත්‍යාන්තර වැඩපිළිවෙලක් නිර්මාණය විය. එම ප්‍රතිපත්තීන් සමාජගත කිරීම, ඔපියම් මාත්රාගත ඖශධයක් වශයෙන් ප්‍රවර්ධනය කිරීම වෙනුවෙන් බොහෝ ආයෝජනයන් සිදුකරන ලදී. එම ආයෝජනයන් අතර අන්තර්ජාතික සම්මන්ත්‍රණ, විවිධ මට්ටම් වල දැනුවත් කිරීමේ වැඩසටහන්, ප්‍රතිපත්ති සම්පාදකයින්ගේ ආශිර්වාදය දිනාගැනීම සඳහා වූ විදේශ සංචාර ලබාදීම ආදිය සාමාන්‍ය සම්ප්‍රදායට අනුව වසර ගණනාවක් තිස්සේ සිදුවිය. මීට අමතරව, විශේෂයෙන් ම දියුණු වෙමින් පවතින රටවලට තාක්ෂණික උපදේශනය සැපයීම සඳහා විටින් විට සුදුසුකම් ලද විශේෂඥයන්ද සුදුසුකම් නොලද විශේෂඥයන් නොවන්නන් ද පැමිණ පසුබිම ස්ථාපනය කරවීය.

 

මත්ද්‍රව්‍ය සඳහා ඇබ්බැහිවීම රෝගී තත්ත්වයක් ලෙසට තහවුරු කොට සිරකරුවෝ ද මනුෂ්‍යයෝය නය සංකල්පය ද ස්ථාපිත කොට හෙරොයින් භාවිතයෙන් මිදීමට ඇති අයිතිවාසිකමත් සියලු පුරවැසියන්ට සෞඛ්‍ය පහසුකම් ලබාගැනීම සඳහා ඇති ව්‍යවස්තානුකුල බැඳීමත් භාවිතයෙන් එකම විසඳුම ඔපියම් මාත්රාගත ඖශධයක් ලෙස පිළිගත් වෛද්‍ය ආයතනයක් තුලින් ලබාදීම යයි ඒත්තු ගන්නා අවසානය. එකල කුඩුකාරයා, හෙරොයින් භාවිතා කරන්නා, හෙරොයින් භාවිතයට ඇබ්බැහි වුවා, හෙරොයින් මත යැපෙන රෝගියා ලෙස වටිනාකමක් ලබාගෙන ඇත. කුඩුකාරයා නම් වූ සමාජ විරෝධී පුද්ගලයා හෙරොයින් මත යැපෙන අසරණ රෝගියා බවට පත් වී ඇත. ඔවුන් රැකබලාගැනීම ශීලාචාර සමාජයක වගකීම බවට පත්ව ඇත. ඊට ප්‍රතිවිරුද්ධ මත දරන්නන් ගෝත්‍රික සංකල්ප දරන අධමයින් බවට පත්ව ඇත. මත් ද්‍රව්‍ය වලට ඇබ්බැහි වුවන් එයින් ගලවාගෙන පුනරුත්තාපනය කිර සමාජයට වැඩදායක පුද්ගලයෙක් බවට පත් කිරීම ද මත්ද්‍රව්‍ය මත යැපෙන්නන්ගේ අයිතිවාසිකම් උල්ලංඝනය කිරීමක් ලෙස හුවා දක්වන තත්ත්වයට පත්ව ඇත. මේ සියල්ල මිනිසාගේ යහපතට නොව බහු ජාතික සමාගම් පෝෂණය කිරීමට සුක්ෂමව සැලසුම්කරණය වූ බහු මාධ්‍ය යාන්ත්‍රන ය.

 

බොහෝ දියුණු යයි කියන්නාවූ රටවල මෙම ක්‍රමවේදය අසාර්ථක වී ඇත. උදාහරණයක් වශයෙන් ජර්මනියේ මාත්රාගත ඕපියම් ලබාදීමේ වැඩසටහන අධ්‍යයනය කලවිට පෙනීගියේ ආරම්භයේ දී සිටි පිරසගෙන් 50% වසර 7 අවසානයේ දී මාත්රාගත ඔපියම් ඇබ්බැහි වීමේ රන්දවී ඇති බවය. එහි ප්‍රතිඵල නිකුත් කෙරෙනුයේ වීදුරුවෙන් භාගයක් ඇත යන සර්ව සුභවාදී මතය මත පදනම්වය. එහෙත් සමාගම් විසින් අසාර්ථකභාවය පිළිබිඹු වන අධ්‍යයන, සමීක්ෂණ ආදිය පිලිබඳ තොරතුරු පල කිරීම, පලවූ තොරතුරු සඳහා මාධ්‍ය අවකාශය හෝ අවදානය නොදීමට වෙනම ආයෝජන කරනු ලබයි.

 

ඊට සමගාමීව ට්‍රැමඩොල් වැනි මාත්රාගත ඖෂධ වෙළෙඳපොළට අවශ්‍ය ප්‍රමාණයට වඩා බොහෝසේ බැහැරලීම ද සමාගම් විසින් සිදුකරනු ලබයි. බැහැරලීමට තරම් ඔපියම් ලැබෙන්නේ නීත්‍යානුකුල නොවන වගාවන්ගෙන් වීමට බොහෝ ඉඩ ඇත. ඉතා ප්‍රාථමික මට්ටමක පවතින නියාමන සේවාවන් සහිත, වංචා/ධුෂණ සෑම තලයකම එළිපිට සිදුවන ශ්‍රී ලංකාව වැනි රටක ලවක් දෙවක් නොමැතිව ඔපියේට බැහැරලීම මවිත විය යුතු කරුණක් නොවේ.

 

අද වනවිට අවභාවිතාවේ යෙදවෙන මාත්රාගත ඔපියේට අඩංගු ඖෂධ පාසල් පද්ධතිය තුලත් ටියුෂන් පන්ති වලත් ශිෂ්‍ය ශිෂ්‍යාවන්ගේ ජීවිතවලට ඇතුල්වී හමාරය. ඔවුන් රටට වැඩදායක පුද්ගලයින් බවට පත් කරලීම පසෙක තබා ඕපියේට මත යැපෙන අසරණ රෝගීන් බවට පත් කරවීම සැලසුම්සහගතව සිදුවේ.

 

ව්‍යාජව නිර්මාණය කරගත් වෙළෙඳපොළක් සකසා එතුලට ඖෂධ පොම්ප කිරීම තුලින් සිදුවන්නේ කලෙක ආගමික නතවාදීන් අතට පත්වූ ඔපියම් මුදල් මහා පරිමාන බහු ජාතික සමාගම් වලට කාන්දුවීමය.

 

ආගමික අන්තවාදයටත් එහා ගිය සමාගම් අන්තවාදය තුලින් සෞඛ්‍යය, ආර්ථිකය, සමාජය, අයිතිවාසිකම් ආදී සියලු දේ එළිපිට විනාශ කරමින් සිටියත් බුද්ධිමතුන් යයි කියාගන්නා වෛද්‍යවරුන් ඇතුළු පිරිස් ඒ සම්බන්ධව මුනිවත රකින්නේ තම ජීවිත සඳහා ඇති ආදරය නිසා පමණක් නොව අඩු වැඩි වශයෙන් ඍජුව හා වක්‍රාකාරව මෙම ව්‍යාපාර වල යැපෙන්නන් බවට පත්ව ඇති නිසා ය.

Unseen side of State Sponsored Beer Promotion

Posted by Asitha G Punchihewa on March 15, 2018 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Unseen side of State Sponsored Beer Promotion

 

By Asitha G Punchihewa

 

Anti- intoxicant national policies since mid-2000s have been attractive. Only the anti-tobacco campaign has yielded considerable achievements and attempts to ban the production, sales, consumption of cigarettes is appreciable. However promotion of alcohol, heroin, diverse varieties of pills and cannabis is quite visible.

In spite of concentrating on mathata thitha (stop intoxicants) the regimes were evidently dependent on drug traffickers. We should not undermine the how efforts of the large scale corporations that produce intoxicants and their in the modern era of good-governance contradict the anti intoxicant stance of the people. Conventional and unconventional media portrays only a few politicians who have connections with the intoxicant trade, but the awareness on the trans national corporations that strategically use corrupt politicians. Keeping people unaware through crippling channels of information is another strategy adopted by the same corporations who are into continuous expansion of market avenues.

The influence of trans national corporations on formulation of anti- intoxicant policy is as evident in policy dialogue on agriculture is represented by agrochemical corporations, policy dialogue on health is represented by pharmaceutical corporations, policy dialogue on education is represented by education corporations, policy dialogue on agriculture is represented by agrochemical corporations, policy dialogue on agriculture is represented by agrochemical corporations. Therefore, it is not surprising to see a national policy that safeguards interests of corporations rather than the aspirations of the people just as in the agriculture, health, education sectors. Despite the extravagant slogans of successive executive presidents, pro corporate national policies progress in express mode. Though the public see the recent reduction of price of alcohol acrimoniously, it is a sweet dream coming true for politicians who are benefitted from corporations and for people who slander them while having a drink.

Government’s argument was that reducing the price of beer would lead to creating less demand for kasippu, the local illegal brew. That argument has no scientific basis and an evidence base is a fascinating hypothesis for uneducated politicians and stupid boozers but for someone with some intellect, the argument is gross than hilarious. A Blu- Green leadership heading such a bunch of ministers is hilarious than gross.

It is a fact that the evidence base to promote intoxicants is also created through investments done by intoxicant manufacturers. It is a tiny part of a finely knit well organized large scale programme.

On the 15th October 2014, the International Centre for Alcohol Policy (ICAP) and the Global Alcohol Production Group (GAPG) jointly announced that Anne keeling has been appointed the executive director of ICAP-GAPG and that the combined entity will be called the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD). The objectives of the organization included conducting research, programmes and workshops, advocacy to reduce harmful drinking and to promote responsible drinking. The goals that were set are as follows.

1. Multi Year policies- Reduce the harmful use of alcohol by at least 10% by end of 2020 and to implement the best practices globally by end of 2025.

2. Social Norms- Influence social norms and individual behaviors to reduce harmful alcohol use by investing at least 1 biullion USD across our markets in dedicates social marketing campaigns and related programmes by the end of 2025.

3. Product portfolio- Ensure no or lower alcohol beer products represent at least 20% of AB InBevs global beer volume by the end of 2025.

4. Alcohol health literacy- Place a guidance label on all of our beer products in all of our markets by the end of 2020. Increase alcohol health literacy by the end of 2025.

During the 1980- 2014 period, the number of global corporations producing alcohol has reduced from 27 to 8. Though this trend appears to be a good trend, what actually has happened are merger of corporations to form larger conglomerates and groups that are more organized and strategic.

The strategic nature has become visible in some of the African states that adopted new policies on alcohol that include the following exact statement “The government will encourage active participation by all levels of the beverage alcohol industry as a key partner in the policy formulation and implementation process”.

The alcohol promotion programmes hailed by the government of Sri Lanka at present are no different from the process that was followed in Africa. People out-voted the previous government as it was unable to stand by the people and gave way for good governance and the very word good governance is being abused maliciously.

We have to identify the self proclaimed greatnesses who were born and bred here, enjoyed free education, free health and public services but operated against the country and nurture foreign corporations for self greed. We have to get ourselves organized not only to remove these people from national and local politics, but to give them the place in society that they deserve.

Unseen side of state sponsored beer promotion (Sinhala)

Posted by Asitha G Punchihewa on March 15, 2018 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)

රාජ්‍ය අනුග්‍රහයෙන් සිදුවන බියර් ප්‍රවර්ධනයේ නොපෙනෙන පැතිකඩ

 

අසිත ජී පුංචිහේවා

 

2000 ගණන් වල මධ්‍යයේ සිට පවතී සියලු රජයන් හි මත්ද්‍රව්‍ය පිටුදැකීම චිත්තාකර්ශනීය ප්‍රතිපත්තියක් විය. නමුත් පසුගිය දශකයකට අධික කාලයක් තුල යම් සාර්ථකත්වයක් වුව පාදාගෙන ඇත්තේ දුම්වැටි පිටුදැකීමට පමණකි. 2020දී ශ්‍රී ලංකාව තුල දුම්වැටි නිෂ්පාදනය, අලෙවිය, පරිහරණය තහනම් කිරීම ට දරන්නාවූ උත්සාහය ඇගයීමකට ලක්කළ යුතුමය. නමුත් මධ්‍යසාර, මත් කුඩු, මත් පෙති, ගංජා ආදිය ප්‍රවර්ධනය වන ස්වභාවයක් පැහැදිලිව පෙනී යයි.

එවක මතට තිත වැඩසටහන සාර්ථක එකක් වීම තබා මත්ද්‍රව්‍ය ආනයනය කරන්නන් මත ආණ්ඩුවේ පැවැත්ම පවා රඳා පවතින තත්ත්වයට පත්විය. අද යහ- පාලන තත්ත්ව යටතේ ද මත්ද්‍රව්‍ය විරෝධී ජනතා අභිලාශයනට එරෙහිව මහා පරිමාන සමාගම් හා ආයෝජකයින් දරන්නාවූ උත්සාහයන් අවතක්සේරුවකට ලක්නොකළ යුතුය. අපට ප්‍රසිද්ධ හා අප්‍රසිද්ධ මාධ්‍ය විසින් පෙන්වාදෙනුයේ මත්ද්‍රව්‍ය හා සම්බන්ධ ජාතික දේශපාලනයේ සිටින විවිධ චරිත පමණකි. නමුත් එම ධුෂිත දේශපාලන චරිත උපායශීලිව හසුරුවන ගෝලීයව ක්‍රියාත්මකවන මහා පරිමාන සමාගම් පිළිබඳව අවබෝධය අල්පය. එම අනවබෝධය හා නොදැනුවත්කම ද මහා පරිමාන බහු ජාතික සමාගම් විසින් වෙළෙඳපොළ පුළුල් කිරීම් වෙනුවෙන් දරන්නාවූ උපායෙහි ම කොටසකි.

බහු ජාතික සමාගම් වල බලපෑම කොතෙක් ද යත් රටේ කෘෂිකර්මය සම්බන්ධ ජාතික ප්‍රතිපත්ති ගොඩනැගෙන වටමේසයන්හි කෘෂි රසායන සමාගම්වල නියෝජිතයින්, සෞඛ්‍ය ප්‍රතිපත්ති ගොඩනැගෙන වටමේසයන්හි ඖෂධ සමාගම්වල නියෝජිතයින්, අධ්‍යාපන ප්‍රතිපත්ති ගොඩනැගෙන වටමේසයන්හි පෞද්ගලික අධ්‍යාපන ආයෝජකයින් වන්නා සේම රටේ මත්ද්‍රව්‍ය පිලිබඳ ජාතික ප්‍රතිපත්ති සැදීමේදී ද එම වටමේසයන්හි මත්රව්‍ය සමාගම්වල නියෝජිතයින් හා තැරැව්කරුවන් ද වේ. එනිසා මත්ද්‍රව්‍ය පිලිබඳ ජාතික සැලැස්ම ද කෘෂිකර්ම, සෞඛ්‍ය, අධ්‍යාපන වැනි ක්ෂේත්‍රහි ජාතික සැලසුම් හා සමානව ජනතාවාදී එකක් නොවී සමාගම්වාදී වීම අරුමයක් නොවේ. අතිගරු ජනාධිපතිවරුන් මහා අභිමානයෙන් යුතුව වේදිකාවන්හි ගිරිය පුප්පා කෑ මොරසන් දුන්නද එම සමාගම්වාදී ප්‍රතිපත්ති අධිවේගීව ඉදිරියට ඇදෙමින් පවතියි. අයවැය ප්‍රකාශනයේ මධ්‍යසාර මිල පහල හෙලීම ජනතාව විසින් පිළිකුලින් යුතුව දුටුවත් එම සමාගම්වලින් වරප්‍රසාද ලබන දේශපාලකයින්ටත් බනිමින් අඩියක් ගසන නූගත් බේබද්දන්ටත් මිහිරිය.

මත්පැන් මිල අඩු කිරීම පිලිබඳ රජයේ තර්කය වුයේ අඩු මිල බියර් නිසා කසිප්පු භාවිතය අඩු වනුඇති බවය. කිසිදු විද්‍යාත්මක දත්තයක්, සමීක්ෂණයක් මත පාදක නොවූ එම තර්කය නූගත් දේශපාලකයින්ට ද අනුවන බේබද්දන් ට ද රිසි උපකල්පනයක් වුව යම් බුද්ධි මට්ටමක් සහිත අයෙකුට හාස්‍යයකට වඩා පිළිකුලකි. එවැනි අමාත්‍ය මණ්ඩලයක නායකත්වය දරන නීල හරිත සුසංයෝගය පිළිකුලට වඩා හාස්‍යයකි.

මත්ද්‍රව්‍ය ප්‍රවර්ධනය කරවීමට පන්නරය සපයන විද්යානුකුල යයි කියන්නාවූ සමීක්ෂණ, පරීක්ෂණ දත්තයන් ද නිමැවෙනුයේ මත්ද්‍රව්‍ය සමාගම් හි ආයෝජනයන් මතිනි. එය එතරම්ම සංකීර්ණව ගෙත්තම්කල මහා පරිමාන වැඩසටහනක කොටසකි.

2014 ඔක්තෝබර් 15දා වොෂින්ටන් නුවර “මධ්‍යසාර ප්‍රතිපත්ති සඳහාවූ අන්තර්ජාතික කේන්ද්‍රය” (international Centre for Alcohol Policy (ICAP)) හා “ගෝලීය මධ්‍යසාර නිෂ්පාදන කාණ්ඩය” (Global Alcohol Production Group (GAPG)) එක්ව සිදුකල වැඩමුළුවේදී ඔවුන් ප්‍රකාශ කර සිටින්නේ ඈන් කීලින්ග් ඒ ICAP-GAPG සුසංයෝගයේ ප්‍රධාන විධායක අධ්‍යක්ෂිකා ලෙස කටයුතු කරන බවට. එම සුසංයෝගයේ නව නාමය ලෙස ප්‍රකාශයට පත් කරෙන්නේ අන්තර්ජාතික වගකීම් සහිතව බීමේ සංසදය international alliance for responsible drinking (IARD) යනුවෙනි. එහි අභිමතාර්ථ අතර පර්යේෂණ, වැඩසටහන්, වැඩමුළු, නීති සඳහා බලපෑම් කිරීම ලොව පුරා සිදුකිරීම තුලින් අහිතකර මත්පැන් අවම කිරීම හා වගකීමෙන් යුතු බීම (යහ බීම) ප්‍රවර්ධනය කරන බවයි. ඔවුන්ගේ සිව් වැදෑරුම් ඉලක්කයන් නම්

1. 2020 වනවිට අහිතකර මත්ද්‍රව්‍ය භාවිතය 10%න් අඩු කිරීම

2. 2025 වනවිට ඇමරිකානු ඩොලර් බිලියනයක ආයෝජනයෙන් මත්පැන් සම්බන්ධ සමාජ සම්මත බිඳ වැට්ටීම

3. අඩු/අවම මධ්‍යසාර සහිත මත්පැන් මුළු මත්පැන් පානයෙන් 20% දක්වා වැඩි කිරීම

4. 2020 වනවිට බියර් සඳහා ලේබලයක් ගැසීම හා 2025 වනවිට මධ්‍යසාර පිලිබඳ දැනුවත්බව ප්‍රවර්ධනය කිරීම

1980- 2014 කාලයතුල ගෝලීය මධ්‍යසාර නිෂ්පාදන සමාගම් 27 සිට 8ක් දක්වා අඩු වී ඇත. බැලු බැල්මට මෙය හොඳ ප්‍රවනතාවයක් වුවත් ඇත්තෙන්ම සිදුවී ඇත්තේ සමාගම් එක්වී වඩා සැලසුම්සහගත සහ උපායශීලි සංවිධාන ලෙස ගොඩනැගීමය.

එම සැලසුම්ගත ස්වභාවය පසක් කරමින් අප්‍රිකානු රටවල් බොහොමයක මධ්‍යසාර පිලිබඳ ජාතික ප්‍රතිපත්තිවල “The government will encourage active participation by all levels of the beverage alcohol industry as a key partner in the policy formulation and implementation process” (ප්‍රතිපත්ති සැකසීමේදී හා ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමේදී රජය මධ්‍යසාර කර්මාන්තයේ සෑම අංශයකම සිටින්නවුන්ගේ සක්‍රිය දායකත්වය ලබාගනු ඇත) යන වැකිය අන්තර්ගත කොට ඇත.

වර්තමානයේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ රාජ්‍ය අනුග්‍රහයෙන් සිදුවන මධ්‍යසාර ප්‍රවර්ධන වැඩසටහන්වල දිශානතිය ද අප්‍රිකාවේ සිදුවූ ක්‍රියාදාමයට නොවෙනස් එකකි. මතට තිත තැබීමට ජන්දය දුන් ජනතා විරෝධී ආණ්ඩුව තිතට මත රජ කෙරවූ නිසා ජන්දය ලබා දුන්නේ යහ පාලනයටය. දැන් ඔවුන් සාර්ථකව වහ පානය කරවමින් සිටියි.

අපට නොපෙනෙන මානයක සිටින්නාවූ බලවතුන විසින් සූක්ෂමව මෙහෙයවෙන අප රටේම ඉපිද හැදී වැඩී, නිදහස් අධ්‍යාපනය, නිදහස් සෞඛ්‍යය භුක්ති විඳ අප රටට වින කරමින් තම පෞද්ගලික අභිලාෂයන් වෙනුවෙන විදේශ සමාගම් පෝෂණය කරන ප්‍රභූන් යයි හඳුන්වාගන්නා පිරිස් අප හඳුනාගත යුතුය. ඔවුන් ජාතික දේශපාලනයෙන් නොව ප්‍රාදේශීය දේශපාලනයෙනුත් නෙරපා හැර ඔවුන්ට සුදුසු ස්ථානය ලබාදිය යුතුය. මේ වෙනුවෙන් බුද්ධිමත් ජනතාව පෙළගැසී සක්‍රියව හඬ නැගිය යුතුය.

Alcohol, should it be legal at all?

Posted by Asitha G Punchihewa on March 15, 2018 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Alcohol, should it be legal at all?

The recent drama on alcohol has paved the way for rights "activists" to explore the possibility of allowing females to procure alcohol and to sell alcohol, on the basis of fundamental rights. A law nobody was aware of and a law that was never implemented has now emerged a serious issue. An issue that could potentially lead to promoting alcohol in general, and promoting alcohol consumption among females in particular.

 

This drama, in my view is not an isolated case of an indiscipline politician, but rather a calculated effort stemming from investments of alcohol producing corporations leading to pro- alcohol market expansion national policy.

 

In some of the least developed countries, such informal methods have been adopted successfully. Sri Lanka is apparently the first country in South Asia to see such informal influences.

 

I, as an optimist gave further thought to the current episode where Samanali Fonseka had gone in search of the fundamental right of women to procure and sell alcohol in Sri Lanka.

 

The constitution states "(7) The exercise and operation of all the fundamental rights declared and recognized by Articles 12, 13(1), 13(2) and 14 shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of national security, public order and the protection of public health or morality, or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others, or of meeting the just requirements of the general welfare of a democratic society. For the purposes of this paragraph “law” includes regulations made under the law for the time being relating to public security."

 

According to this, females have enjoyed the legal protection to safeguard their health from impacts of alcohol whereas the males have not.

 

At least in Penal code XIV "offenses affecting public health, safety, convenience, decency and morals" the following sections are directly or indirectly linked to consumption of alcohol.

 

261. Public nuisance.

 

262. Negligent act likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life.

 

266. Sale of noxious food or drink.

 

272. Rash driving or riding on a public way.

 

277. Negligent conduct with respect to any poisonous substance.

 

Despite many academic research disclosing the multiple negative impacts and no known health benefits, government has not only continued to aid, abet and encourage the breaching of at least the sections 261, 262, 266, 272 and 277 of the penal code but has also profited out of beaching such sections of the penal code.

 

If sections 262 and 277 are logically analyzed, alcohol cannot be and should not be produced or sold with the exception of alcohol that is produced and used for non intoxicant, non addictive purpose.

 

262. Negligent act likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life.

 

In Sri Lanka alone, 65 people are believed to die each day of causes related to alcohol. It is a scientifically proven fact that alcohol consumption mobilizes non communicable diseases including but not limited to heart disease, stroke, hypertension. Drunk driving remains the second largest road traffic killer. Social consequences ranging from loss of productivity to rape and incest have direct associations with alcohol consumption.

 

277. Negligent conduct with respect to any poisonous substance.

Though alcohol is not a poison, it is a substance causing addiction and mobilizing a slow, painful death.

 

In biology, "poisons are substances that cause disturbances in organisms, usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when an organism absorbs a sufficient quantity."Therefore, alcohol is noting but a poison. However, the expected counter-argument of the alcohol industry would be "encouraging responsible drinking", which is a campaign done trough International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), a wong specifically formed by the Global Alcohol Production Group (GAPG). National alcohol policy formulation round tables are infested by representatives of the alcohol industry in many African countries. It is quite similar to the agriculture round-tables in Sri Lanka that have representatives of the trans national agro-chimical corporations.

 

Health by definition is "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Therefore, it is clear that alcohol is harmful for health, both short term and long term.

 

Government collecting substantial revenue through enabling sustaining the alcohol industry is immaterial as long as this industry has blood of its citizens in it. It is also well known that the alcohol related public burden on health, legal, law enforcement, social sectors etc by far outnumber the earnings.

 

The government's foremost obligation is to protect its citizens, the right to life, right to health. Even though the government has given at least to a certain degree a legal safeguard for women to protect themselves from the health hazard, alcohol, the government's discriminatory law has failed to offer any legal safeguard for men.

 

Therefore, we urge the government to consider adopting the legal safeguards applicable to women on alcohol to men because discriminatory laws should not violate the rights of men.

CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION IN SRI LANKA AND ITS IMPACT ON THE REGIONAL CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

Posted by Asitha G Punchihewa on March 13, 2018 at 5:50 AM Comments comments (0)

CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION IN SRI LANKA AND ITS IMPACT ON THE REGIONAL CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

By Asitha G Punchihewa

ABSTRACT

The process of cultural transformation in South Asia has witnessed many phases both interms of political power and religion. Presently the Islamic faith seems to be forming thenewest phase of cultural transformation in South Asia whereby followers of Islam in the region are increasing rapidly. This paper analyses the conditions which have promptedthis trend and their implications for the South Asian region with a focus on Sri Lanka.It maps the social, economic, political, and cultural means by which the Islamic faith is spreading in the country and region, and argues – drawing from previous studies – thatIslamization can have an adverse impact on the political stability of South Asia.

Access the full article on

http://socialaffairsjournal.com/Achive/Fall_2015/5_SAJ_1(3)Punchihewa.pdf

The World Day of Social Justice: Are We On Track?

Posted by Asitha G Punchihewa on March 13, 2018 at 5:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The World Day of Social Justice: Are We On Track? By Asitha G Punchihewa.

[email protected]

 

In commemorating the world day of social justice on the 20th February the message of the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon unfolds a long path way "As we seek to build the world we want, let us intensify our efforts to achieve a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable development path built on dialogue, transparency and social justice."Truly it’s inspiring, butin the light of globalization, regions and sovereign nations mainly the ones less influential like Sri Lanka with smaller populations and weak economies virtually have no say. However, the Government of Sri Lanka has demonstrated an unprecedented long term commitment reflecting political will relating to issues pertaining to Social Justice when many sovereign countries, struggle to find their cause within stresses of globalization. It is an obvious and eternal struggle that is witnessed through community to family to individual level to safeguard their identity, dignity, development needs and sustenance. In the name of global requirement, defined and derived by a few haves, have nots being the majority at the individual level obey and play the pawn while being at the receiving end.

Reality of social justice: reflecting how dependent and constrained the individuals in a given country are, on the family, community, national, regional and global contexts.

The publicized global requirement is to make humanshealthy, wealthy and wise, but again according to the definition and derivation of the haves. The haves have eternally decided on behalf of the have nots making it a vicious circle. As we speak nearly a billion people on earth are under nourished even though there is sufficient food supplies, over 1.6 trillion dollars is spent on strengthening defense, officially six trillion cigarettes are produced annually while the governments struggle to find policies to fight around 25% of world mortalities being due to direct and indirect causes of heart disease and stroke, 1.8 million die of HIV/AIDS while the companies continue to monopolize drugs, capitalists invest through world bank to see the realization of millennium development goals. Corporations have been able to influence and direct national and international agendas. In USA itself there are over three million millionaires while over two billion of the world population is enslaved for under $1,000 per year. So is it within reality to believe that the haves would give way for have nots to define and derive their way?

The regions like the South Asia are facing a major identity crisis. Whether to follow the traditions or to follow the joneses? That is what jugglery is all about; you cannot simply keep all balls in the air at once. While being pawns to more powerful nations, dreaming of becoming rooks at the global stage, they become kings in regions, intimidating the interests of the rest.

Resource allocation at the national level already influenced by super-powers placed under pressure by trans - national corporations is done to appease the corporate interest. It is really a double edged sword where nation states have to play with that ultimately bargains the national or community interest. One good recent example is “regaining Sri Lanka” policy document that came under criticism for prescribing an action plan that necessarily bargains public interest. Although the criticizers have exchanged their chairs, the Asian Highway Programme to lay 1,200 km of highways including the Southern and Katunayaka expressways is still under way as it would appease the world order and a wealthy minority of Sri Lanka.

Riches have been able to dictate terms eternally. Even the battle between Choola- udara and maha-udara could be reflecting a war between the large bellied and thin bellied. When poor become rich, they go on cruise control to be belonged by the riches and forget their mates yester year.

Then what plans are there to appease the family level down to individual level? Mahinda Chinthanaya, as a policy is the panacea, but complete realization of it is hamstrung due to counterproductive systematic flaws and personal interests of a few. Sri Lanka has miserably derailed from its programme to make it the knowledge hub of Asia, to make it the miracle of Asia and many more mainly due to a few greedy ministers and administrators operating as economic assassins.

A majority of Sri Lankans are constrained from every aspect of life. They are not in a position to safeguard their identity, dignity, development needs and ways and means to sustain. Fortunately, they are not alone as they represent a majority of the world’s population that is made to believe that they have come to the end of the tunnel. In reality they are in a hypnotic deep sleep and nowhere close to the way out of this stranglehold where even the fetuses are indebt. The hypnotist is mass media whose pay check is channeled by the corporates use every trick in their hat to blindfold the public from reality. Although media freedom is a much talked about issue in Sri Lanka, media man and the politicians have operated ultimately to safeguard the interests of the billionaire investors in an unknown land.

So it is a matter of intervention at all stratato aid the struggle for individuals to become autonomous, to promote and compromise for win-win situations for all. Creating win-win situations is by no means a roller coaster. In such a context changing the world up-side-down to secure social justice is no easy business knowing the consequences that could arise when a Chihuahua takes on a Great Dane. If we don’t take our chances and challenges now, who would? If we do not realize our role, we would be allowing our future generations, both rich and the poor to go to the gallows untimely.

There is a need to find a way to encourage humanity and humaneness to be reflected in every aspect of individual, family, social, national, regional and global platforms so that the haves could be mobilized to be more considerate about the plight of the have nots, human beings to be mobilized to become aware about their actual role on earth as a single species in their short lifetime.

The good news to be brought to public notice on this World Day of Social Justice is that an initiative is being formulated by a few enthusiastic senior people in the development sector who presently work closely with the government stakeholders, civil society and the private sector on social justice concerns of Sri Lanka and the region. The new initiative is planning to

• Conduct research, awareness and advocacy on Social, Economic and Environmental issues

• Provide Expert Advice on Political Economy Analysis

• Design and implement Social Accountability tools and approaches to mainstream Governance and Development Interventions

• Provide Strategic Advice on Technological innovations for Social justice

• DeployICTs in the Accountability and Transparency Domains.

• Design and implement participatory Monitoring ,Evaluation and Learning Systems

• Offer generic and customized capacity building interventions: e.g. Training workshops, knowledge sharing and management events and field exposures.

• Formulate Policy Reforms and Strategic Advises

• Promote Community Empowerment and implementing Gender Balanced Approaches

• Offer Institutional analysis and reform packages to key governance entities like anticorruption bureaux, information commissions etc.

 

When rights of a girl child are compromised

Posted by Asitha G Punchihewa on March 13, 2018 at 5:45 AM Comments comments (0)

When rights of a girl child are compromised - By Asitha G Punchihewa

Sri Lanka joined hands with the international community to celebrate the world children’s day on the 1st October. The Government of Sri Lanka as a signatory to the child rights convention has given an international pledge to safeguard its children through the ratification. Theoretically it is a marvel but in reality, Sri Lanka’s child protection framework has not been able to successfully accommodate and address concerns of the girl children belonging to the Moor- Islamic minority.

While all the children belonging to non Moor- Islamic have a legal protection to safeguard their rights, Moor-Islamic girls do not enjoy the legal protection that the other children enjoy. The minimum age for marriage for girls was spelt out in the General Marriage Ordinance -1907s 1512. Under general law, it was 14 for girls and 16 for boys. However an exception was reserved to accommodate the Kandyan tradition where the minimum age for girls was 12 for girls and 16 for boys. During the post colonial period the Kandyan Marriage Act 1952 s. 66 too followed the same benchmarks. However, the post independence Muslim Marriages and Divorce Act (1951) did not specify a minimum age. The 1951 Act remains enacted after over sixty years. This has disallowed the guarantee for girls born to parents following the Islamic faith from enjoying all rights that a child should enjoy.

Under penal code reforms in 1995 section 364, having intercourse with a girl below 16 years of age is considered as statutory rape. In the case of Muslims, the relevant age for statutory rape is 12 years. A marriage involving a party below 18 years of age is considered as an under aged marriage and is illegal in Sri Lanka. In the case of Muslims, the minimum age for marriage is 12 years, that too subject to be altered along with the consent given by the regional religious head of the mosque. However, the consent of the girl is not mentioned clearly. Simply, they could be forced, coerced and are subject to sacrifice their education, health to become breeding machines and to satisfy sexual desires of adult males at a tender age, even as young as 12 years or less.

The United Nations Child Rights Convention was ratified in Sri Lanka in 1991 and the Children’s Charter was implemented since 1992. Through the signatures the government of Sri Lanka has given an international pledge to recognize all people of Sri Lanka under 18 years of age as children and to safeguard their interests. This further strengthened the standards set under CEDAW which had been ratified in 1981.

Gender and child rights activists have nevertheless kept relatively silent on the different aspects pertaining to the minimum age for marriage and the minimum age to have consensual sex. The relative silence has also been influenced by the much organized religious, economic and political leadership representing the moor community of Sri Lanka. Although this form of grave violation of child rights taking place in every corner of Sri Lanka with legal immunity, the general public has kept their cool and silence in the name of ethno-religious tolerance.

The Muslim leaders have miserably failed to mobilize their community to safeguard the rights of their children. Practice of cultural rights should not surpass basic human rights such as right to life and right to dignity. The Government of Sri Lanka too has not been able to successfully implement a common law to cover all groups of people from all walks of life. The leaders belonging to other religions and general public have the obligation to protect the children who are deprived of their rights. It is this long overdue course that we should campaign for in order to universally safeguard the rights of all children.

Punchihewa, A. (2013 Oct) When rights of a girl child are compromised. The Nation. Rivira Media Corporation. http://www.nation.lk/edition/fine/item/21577-when-rights-of-a-girl-child-are-compromised.html

 

Learning devolution from our ancestors- Asitha G Punchihewa

Posted by Asitha G Punchihewa on March 13, 2018 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Learning devolution from our ancestors- Asitha G Punchihewa

Posted by admin On March 28, 2016 0 Comment

Asitha G Punchihewa

Prior to European colonial rule over Sri Lanka governance, administration and judicial procedures are said to have been operated under the direction of the ruler upon which near unlimited power vested. Although that is the common notion taught to us, it is evident that autonomous and devolved administrative units have existed in the past that ensured autonomy whilst not compromising the sovereignty of the island. It is valid and timely that we investigate deep into the homegrown perspective of devolution rather than walking in dark as ordered by devouring alien nations. Olden Sri Lanka’s system of devolution seems to have broadly addressed many local concerns unlike the systems like Panchayat, Kibuts and Zakath. The time tested system that prevailed in the island was paralyzed during the European conquests and artificially replaced by the Provincial, District, Divisional and electoral system which did not base on a justifiable demarcation. The parachuted alien administrative and governance system designed to leach out resources to benefit a few Europeans no wonder led to prejudice against the local population dominated by the Sinhalese- Buddhists.

Pre-colonial period

It is evident that Siu Hela existed under Rakshas, Yakshas, Nagas and Devas rule which later evolved into Ruhunu, Pihiti and Maya system of devolution during the Sri Lanka’s pre-colonial period. The above demarcations functioning under a sole ruler had a clear compartmentalization of distinct social, economic and cultural differences while allowing provision for optimum utilization of water and land resources mooted with man-made tanks and its cascading canal system. The hydraulic civilization included Ata dahas rata and dolos dahas rata that constituted approximately twenty thousand villages centered around manmade tanks and the Kanda uda rata which was kept untouched to safeguard the sustainability of water resources that fed the tanks in the dryer zone. National policy was not to waste a single drop of water. The water resource ensured that the culture of the country, agri-culture was sustained, so that people living in over twenty thousand villages would be kept well fed. However, the hydraulic civilization evolved for millennia to serve a broader purpose than simply ensuring food and water security. While water was a taxable resource, second to grain tax, hydraulic civilization led to effective devolution of governance and administration into the village level, which would remain a myth under the unlucky 13th Amendment or beyond that is being widely discussed at present.

Ancient civilization

In the ancient civilization, at the community or village level, all activities revolved around the weva, dagaba and pansala. As elaborated above, weva no doubt aided food production while guaranteeing water.

The clay and silt accumulated during the process of entrenching the wewa was ground finely to produce bricks to construct dagaba. While serving a religious purpose that united the people, the dagaba was able to attract rain and repel lightening with the measured technology it had used. Although the Gamladdas and Gamvassas operated as government servants at the village level below Ratiyas, Disanayakas and Nuwara Laddas, dagaba and the wewa of the village came under the custodianship of the Buddhist Bhikku of the village or the “executive representative of the village’s needs” who lived in the pansala (a simple place of public gathering made of palmyrah), unlike today, where Bhikkus tend to build castles in the name of pan-sala. The olden day Bhikku did not have a conflict of interest as he was leading a simple life and no family to support and think of. On the other hand, the Bhikku was solely dependent on the alms offered by villagers during his regular visits to all corners of the village on “Pindapathe” (begging for food), and any misappropriation of resources would have compromised even his food security.

Village council

Vidhanes, or Ministries of the devolved village administrative unit were represented by such as the Vel Vidhane (Minister of land and Agriculture), Wevu Vidhane (Minister of Irrigation) who participated in the village council, or a legislative that took decisions pertaining to village development and wellbeing. The Samatha Mandalaya, the village tribunal or the judiciary was overseen by the Bhikku of the temple led by Grama Bhojaka, a representative of the state judiciary. Cases that require further attention were channeled to regional level Janapada Bhojaka and to the national level Senapathi and the king. However, the most interesting aspect seem to be the treasure, or the “nidhaanaya” which is said to be mapped and kept in a locked secret area and password protected with manthra known only by the Bhikku. While many nidhanaya have been placed in the bed of the wewa, some remained in the temple itself. Having a deposit of gold, jewelry and precious stones that could be unearthed if required increased the village’s economic security. In modern terminology, it is a village based central bank. It is said that there was provision for an appropriate portion of a treasure to be traded collectively only during a prolonged drought by the people to obtain goods and services. It is also said that it was prerequisite that the wewa was to undergo participatory de-silting process during the drought so that a larger extent of land could be cultivated to compensate for the loss incurred due to crop failure and thereby to reinstall the treasure after rains.

Autonomy of governance

It was long before the alien preachers came out of savagehood that a near perfect system devolution had been in place in Sri Lanka. It consisted of an executive, legislative, judiciary and the central bank at the village level and before it was forcefully disrupted it has operated and sustained for millennia. Taking into consideration the giant public cadre employed at the village level, such as Grama Niladhari, “Samurdhi Officer”, Public Health Midwives, and many in the Divisional and District level, re-establishing the ancient system with situational alterations could well provide autonomy of governance and administration. Even a decision on a land situated in a village in far Pottuvila area could be taken by villagers themselves instead of relying on a decision from Colombo or Trincomalee. Even having a Police for each Grama Rajya could be accomplished with a fine tuned community policing program. This system could well go beyond the expectations of the controversial and unlucky 13th Amendment and the 13+ debate that could induce dividing the people along ethnic lines and could even lead to ethno-religious terrorism that would on the other hand become a blessing only for the supporters of the 13th Amendment and federalist models in the long run while not promoting effective devolution

 

 


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