The venue is symbolic for many reasons. Until 1948, the British Coat of Arms adorned the top of the building signifying colonial rule. Since independence that year, the arms of the Dominion of Ceylon replaced it. In 1972, a panel board covered it with the arms of the Republic of Sri Lanka. The building was constructed at a cost of Rs 450,000 and opened on January 29, 1930, a year later it was to become the State Council of Ceylon until 1947. Thereafter, it became the House of Representatives. In 1972, it was named the National State Assembly. It was re-named Parliament of Sri Lanka in 1977. When Parliament moved to Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte in 1983, it became the Presidential Secretariat.
“Thaaththa,” Bindu Udagedera said, “what is all this fuss about winning a Gold medal?”
“Why, Bindu,” Bindu’s father Percy said, “after so many years, we have won a gold medal in Boxing and that is why everyone is so excited about it...”
“Is that the only Gold medal we have won in recent times, thaaththa?” Bindu asked.
Yesterday was World Food Day: the day set apart to remind the world that there is a grave problem of hunger in many parts of the world. There have never been as many hungry people in the world, as on World Food Day 2010 when there were about one billion hungry people in the world. There are many reasons for this heartbreaking situation the world over that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General Jacques Diouf, described as a “tragic achievement in these modern days".
Among the more ludicrous sights that one saw this week was one government politician after another pleading that Sri Lanka’s former Army Commander or a member of his family should ask for a pardon from President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The deafening volume of these calls had, at times, an air of wholly unflattering desperation about them. It is as if even those most enthusiastic of government propagandists had realized full well the magnificent irony of General Sarath Fonseka serving a jail sentence for the purported sin of violating tender procedures, the details of which are still not clear at all, even as fraudsters responsible for million rupee corruption scandals, including at the heart of the country’s premier tax collection agency, remain at large.
The conduct of Sri Lanka's diplomacy overseas now seems two pronged - one by the internationally-accepted practice of using diplomatic missions. The other, a new phenomenon, is securing the services of public relations firms. One known instance is the assignment given to Bell Pottinger, a PR firm, to do propaganda work for Sri Lanka in the United States.
The region of the world that gave us such delights as the samba, the bossa nova and the margarita has been in the news a lot lately, what with Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa winning the Nobel prize for Literature, and the live telecast of a miraculus rescue of 33 miners trapped 622 metres underground for 70 days in a copper mine in Chile.
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