Lobbying for Fair Thinking

‘A bit of a shock…’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Michael Sata, the President of Zambia, died in a London hospital yesterday after a lengthy illness

Fifty years after independence from Britain, Zambia is back under white rule after the appointment of Vice-President Guy Scott to the presidency.

A Cambridge-educated scientist born in what was then Northern Rhodesia, Mr Scott succeeds his political patron Michael Sata, known as “King Cobra”, who died in hospital in London yesterday after a long illness that was only publicly acknowledged by the Zambian government 10 days ago. Mr Scott will be the acting President for 90 days until an election can be held.

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LTTE-enforced boycott lost Ranil the presidency in 2005
Source: Daily Mirror
NOTE: It’s comprehensive analysis by D B S Jeyaraj with facts and figures

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.” – Karl Marx

Karl Marx expanded famously  on  Friedrich Hegel’s remark about “history”occurring twice and stated that history  repeats  firstly as tragedy and secondly as farce. If a recent development in Sri Lanka runs its full course as intended, then one  may very well say history repeats itself in Sri Lanka as a tragic farce or farcical tragedy when it comes to Ranil Wickremesinghe.

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Tertiary education 2020: Quadrupling intake and placing a Sri Lankan university in Asian top 30

Source: Daily FT
The 2015 Budget speech included a commitment to increase the number of students entering universities to 100,000 by 2020.

The current intake to Government universities is 25,000 per year, with another 30,000 qualified but not admitted, according to the Minister of Higher Education. The Budget speech also stated that the Government will ensure that Sri Lankan universities will be among the top 30 of Asian universities by 2020. Read the rest of this entry »

Hungarian protesters held up their mobile phones and hurled old computer equipment in opposition to the tariff and Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s plans.

By Matt Schiavenza Source theatlantic.com

Marian Kemensky - Slovakia - Viktor Orban Loves the Middle Ages - English - Cartoon: politicalcartoons.com

Tens of thousands of Hungarians gathered in central Budapest Sunday to protest a proposed tax on Internet use, accusing prime minister Viktor Orban of attempting to restrict freedom of information in the central European country. The demonstrations marked an unusual public rebuke of Orban, whose Fidesz party consolidated its dominance of Hungarian politics with a series of electoral victories this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla boss Elon Musk warns artificial intelligence development is ‘summoning the demon’

The business magnate, inventor and investor has warned about artificial intelligence before

Emma Finamore , Kunal Dutta Source Independent

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has described artificial intelligence as a “demon” and the “biggest existential threat there is”, in his latest dramatic statement about technology.

Addressing students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Musk said: “I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. Read the rest of this entry »

Nandu Rajagopala Source: Daily FT

THE POINT: Think of the repercussions of this mad state of affairs. The World Bank calls the Sri Lankan workforce the most educated in South Asia yet not fit for purpose. Think of the vanishing spell you wish you could cast upon yourself when officials and senior managers sputter, stammer and flounder on many an international platform. Think of the lack of personal, professional and business opportunities.

One classic feature that unites doomed societies is their denial in the face of stark reality and failure to adapt to changed circumstances; the woeful state of English in this country spells impending gloom and could morph into the inconspicuous slick of oil that topples us all.

Granted that there is a nudge from various quarters towards a so-called trilingual state. True that charitable English language centres have mushroomed across Colombo. Cheers to the ubiquity of the internet and all the free English language study aids that flood it. But, the point is, has all this induced an interest for self-improvement amongst the city’s bourgeois? Read the rest of this entry »

We’ve no time please, we’re children

Kermaan Satha Munshi Source Hindu

Children are being increasingly deprived of the time, space and freedom to play and learn at their own pace. Indeed, this should be deemed to be their birthright.

My own seven-year-old daughter recently asked me for a hand sanitiser to take to school, to “quickly clean hands before I open my dabba”. “Why quickly?” I asked. It took me some time to realise that she was in fact responding to my repeated questions on why she was often not finishing her lunch in school. “If we go down to wash our hands, we do not have enough time to eat. Sometimes I have just a couple of bites and the bell rings.” Read the rest of this entry »

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