The draft national housing policy presented by the Government is a relatively short, under 40 pages, yet an important document. It discusses the need to diversify the housing market including promoting rental housing, expand loan facilities for low and middle income groups, and provide tax incentives for builders. The policy is available on the web at www.housingpolicy.lk as part of the National Housing Development Authority’s consultation with the public, which expired on September 30th, 2013.
In response to an article I wrote last month in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) on the second wave of neoliberalism in Sri Lanka, Muttukrishna Sarvananthan and Kumar David have offered disparate critiques from diverging positions. While Sarvananthan claims that government policy is insufficiently neoliberal (EPW, 21st September 2013), David takes the view that neoliberalism is more or less redundant (Sunday Island, 15th September 2013).
At a recent seminar on the Hartal of 1953 and its legacy there was engaging debate and discussion on several themes relevant to the political economy of post-war Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the discussion addressed alternative forms of political engagement, including the importance of environmental issues and the recent history of trade union actions.
Four years after the end of the devastating war in northern Sri Lanka, the much-delayed elections for the first civil administration in the Northern Province are to be held in September. There have been many debates on the viability of such a Provincial Council, including on the kind of powers it will enjoy and the possibility of it becoming the starting point for a political solution to the ethnic problem.
උතුරේ විනාශකාරී යුද්ධයෙන් වසර හතරකට පසුව, සිවිල් පරිපාලනයක් ස්ථාපිත කිරීම වෙනුවෙන් දිගින් දිගටම ප්රමාද කළ උතුරු පළාත් සභා මැතිවරණය සැප්තැම්බරයේදී පැවැත්වීමට නියමිතය. එවැනි මැතිවරණයක් පැවැත්වීමේ හැකියාව පිළිබඳවත්, උතුරු පළාත් සභාවට හිමිවන බලතල සහ ජනවාර්ගික අර්බුදයට දේශපාලන විසඳුමක් ගෙන ඒමේ ආරම්භක පියවරක් ලෙස එයට ඇති ශක්යතාවය පිළිබඳවත් විවිධාකාරයේ වාද විවාදයන් සිදු වෙමින් පවතී.
இலங்கையில் இராணுவமயமாக்கம் மற்றும் பொறுப்புச் சொல்லுதல்இ நழுவிச் செல்லும் அரசியல் தீh;வூ பற்றிய விவாதங்களின் மத்தியில் பொருளாதர நிலைமாற்றம் பற்றிய கலந்துரையாடல்கள் அhpதாகவே உள்ளன.
The Galle Face Green, a promenade along the Indian Ocean surrounded by the bustle of Colombo, is a plural space where thousands of people congregate every evening; Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalese youth and families across social classes come to snack, fly kites and stroll on the boardwalk watching the waves as the sun sets. It has now regained its past energy with the fear of bombs fading into memory. The Galle Face Green is also the venue of national celebrations, including the triumphalist victory parades which are held annually with pomp and pageantry.
On August 12th, 1953, several major parties including the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), the Vipalavakari Lanka Sama Samaja Party (VLSSP), and the Federal Party called for a nation-wide strike. Food subsidies including the major rice subsidy had been cut based on World Bank recommendations implemented by the ruling United National Party (UNP) regime. The price of rice sky rocketed overnight from 25 cents to 70 cents.
"மக்களின் எதிர்ப்பு பாரியதாக அமையாது என்ற எதிர்பார்ப்புடனேயே அரசாங்கம் அரிசியின் விலையை அதிகரித்தது. எனினும் ஆகஸ்ட் 12 திகதி அரசாங்கத்தின் அந்த எதிh;பார்ப்புக்கு மாறாக மக்கள் வீதிக்கு வந்தனர்இ வீதிக்கு வந்த மக்கள் பேருந்துகளை அடித்து நொறுக்கியதுடன் புகையிரத தண்டவாளங்களையூம் தொலைத்தொடர்பு தந்தித் தூண்களையூம் அகற்றினர். புகையிரதங்களை வழிமறித்தார்கள். வீதி போக்குவரத்தினைத் தடைப்படுத்தினர். மேலும்இ பல இடங்களில் காவல் துறையினருடன் மோதினர். இவ்வாறு தம் பலத்தினையூம் கோபத்தினையூம் பல வடிவங்களில் மக்கள் வெளிப்படுத்தினர்.
This year, 12 August marks the 60th anniversary of the Great Hartal of 1953, the nationwide strike and mass public agitation that brought down independent Ceylon’s second prime minister, successfully reversed certain unpopular government policies, and became a celebrated event for Lankan leftists. There are domestic political, economic and social aspects to the emergence of this historical moment, which shook state and society in postcolonial Ceylon.
"The government raised the price of rice in the confidence that this measure would meet with no real resistance from the people, even though they may protest against it… On 12 August the workers and rural poor took to the streets, smashed buses, uprooted railway lines and telegraph posts, stopped railway trains, blocked roads, fought the police in numerous places, and demonstrated their power and anger in a hundred other ways. The government, struck with terror, proclaimed a State of Emergency, and then sent the price of rice tumbling down. This was not all.
වත්මන් ආණඩුව උදම් අනන ලෙස ඔවුනගේ නාගරික සංවර්ධන ක්රියාමාර්ග ස්වාධීන හෝ සාම්ප්රදායික උපාය උපක්රම උපයෝගී කරගත්තක් නොවේ එය සිය බලය පතුරුවා ගත් ජාත්යන්තර ආයතන වල සහ එහි ආශාවන් මත පදනම්ව තැනුනු උපාය උපද්රව සහිත වූ ක්රියාමාර්ග අනුගමනය කරන්නකි මෙම ලිපිය මගින් අපි ශ්රී ලංකාවේ නාගරික දැක්ම ප්රතිපත්තිවලට සහ ක්රියාමාර්ගවලට හැරවීම (2012) සහ ජනතාව සමෘද්ධිය කරා ගෙන යාම වෙනුවෙන් ආර්ථික අවකාශයන් නැවත සැකසීම (2010 ) යන ලෝක බැංකු වාර්තා දෙක පිළිබඳව විග්රහයක් කරමු එහි රාජ්යයේ සහ විශාල ගෝලීය මුල්ය ආයතනවල අශාවන් ඔවුනගේ අසමානත්ව ප්රතිපත්තීන්වලට සම්බන්ධව දේශපාලනික මැදිහත්වීම් සහ එමගින් විකල්ප අදහස්වල
Contrary to the claims of the present regime, its urban development agenda is neither autonomous nor a product of indigenous thinking, rather it follows the well trodden though hazardous path carved out by powerful global financial interests and institutions.
Colombo’s urban development is driven by the idea of transforming it into a "world-class city" and a "preferred destination for international business and tourism", according to the Secretary, Defence and Urban Development.