Sri Lanka Guardian

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China’s Built Port Ready to Welcome India’s First International Cruise Ship


In a significant development for India’s cruise tourism industry, the country’s first international cruise ship, MV Empress, was launched from Chennai, setting sail to Sri Lanka. The ship, carrying 750 passengers, aims to promote affordable and accessible world-class cruise services for Indian travellers. The maiden voyage will visit three ports in Sri Lanka, Hambantota, Trincomalee, and Kankesanturei, before returning to Chennai

The Chinese-built port in Hambantota, which has been a subject of criticism among Indians over the years, has made extensive preparations to warmly welcome India’s inaugural international cruise ship. Despite speculations and concerns from Indian experts suggesting a military purpose behind the construction of the port, Sri Lanka vehemently denied such claims. The decision to choose Hambantota as the port of call for the first international cruise ship from India signifies a significant turning point in bilateral relations.

Sarbananda Sonowal, the union minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, expressed his enthusiasm for the launch of MV Empress. He stated that India’s coastal region boasts rich heritage and culture, offering immense potential for cruise tourism. Sonowal emphasized that the new cruise service will provide passengers with an opportunity to experience opulent facilities, entertainment, and breathtaking views, while also making such services affordable and easily accessible.

The launch of MV Empress is the result of an agreement between Chennai Port and M/S Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt Ltd, which was forged during the first Incredible India International Cruise Conference in 2022. The International Cruise Terminal in Chennai, developed at a cost of 17.21 crores Indian rupees, served as the starting point for this remarkable journey.

Looking ahead, the Indian government has ambitious plans to enhance the country’s cruise tourism infrastructure. It aims to construct three new international cruise ports by 2024, with a projected increase in the number of cruise ships from 208 in 2023 to 500 by 2030 and a staggering 1100 by 2047. Moreover, the government intends to explore additional ferry routes connecting India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Myanmar. As a result of these developments, the number of passengers availing cruise services is expected to surge from 9.5 lakhs in 2030 to 45 lakhs in 2047.

In addition to promoting international cruise tourism, the government is also focused on launching Gujarat Pilgrimage tours, Cultural and Scenic Tours, Ayurveda Wellness Tours, and Heritage Tourism initiatives. These efforts reflect India’s commitment to diversifying its tourism offerings and capitalizing on the country’s rich cultural and natural resources. The launch of MV Empress and the subsequent plans for the expansion of India’s cruise tourism industry indicate a promising future for the sector. With enhanced infrastructure, increased cruise ship arrivals, and diverse tour options, India aims to position itself as a major player in the global cruise tourism market, providing unforgettable experiences to both domestic and international travelers

Ranil in 2048: The Saint of Empty Promises


by Our Political Affairs Editor

Ah, Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean. Once a land of vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and humble simplicity. Fast forward to 2048, and behold, a transformed Sri Lanka, a “developed” country that has lost touch with its own essence. Strap in, dear readers, as we take you on a satirical tour of the so-called progress that has swept across our island nation.

Firstly, let us marvel at the architectural wonders that now dot the skyline of Colombo. Gone are the quaint colonial buildings that exuded charm and history. They have been replaced by gargantuan glass towers that scrape the heavens, built by faceless corporations in their quest for dominance. Who needs character when you can have uniformity and gleaming windows that reflect a distorted version of our lost heritage?

But fear not, dear readers, for the chaos of traffic has been eliminated. How, you ask? By paving over the very essence of Sri Lanka, its lush greenery. Our once-famous tea estates and paddy fields have been replaced by a vast network of soulless highways and concrete jungles. Surely, the eradication of nature is a small price to pay for the convenience of reaching your destination a few minutes earlier.

In this utopia of development, our wildlife has also found a new home. Yes, you guessed it—zoos. Why roam free in the jungles when you can be confined to small, artificial enclosures for the entertainment of the masses? The concept of preserving our biodiversity in its natural habitat is so last century. After all, who needs leopards prowling in the wilderness when you can admire them from the comfort of your air-conditioned enclosure?

Education, too, has experienced a paradigm shift. Forget about instilling critical thinking, creativity, and a love for learning. The future belongs to rote memorization and standardized testing. Our education system now churns out mindless robots who excel at regurgitating information but lack the ability to think for themselves. Who needs innovative thinkers and entrepreneurs when you can have a society filled with obedient cogs in the machinery of progress?

Oh, and let’s not forget the culinary revolution that has taken place. Our traditional rice and curry, bursting with flavours and history, have been overshadowed by fast-food chains and international franchises. Why savour the rich tapestry of our culinary heritage when you can wolf down a bland burger that tastes the same whether you’re in Colombo or New York? Sri Lanka, the land of spices, reduced to just another link in the global fast-food chain.

In the race towards progress, we have also left behind the art of simplicity and genuine human connections. Face-to-face interactions have been replaced by virtual reality headsets and social media platforms. Our conversations are now reduced to emojis, memes, and sound bites. Who needs heartfelt conversations and genuine connections when you can have an online persona with thousands of followers and zero real friends?

Yes, dear readers, Sri Lanka in 2048 is a land that has forgotten its roots, its soul, and its very essence. Progress has come at a great cost, and we must ask ourselves: Is this the future we truly desired? Perhaps it’s time to pause, reflect, and remember that true development lies not in the destruction of our heritage, but in preserving what makes us unique, authentic, and truly Sri Lankan.

But in every corner of the island, from the bustling airport to the humble public toilet, one image remains ubiquitous, haunting our every step. It is the portrait of none other than Ranil Wickremesinghe, captured when he was well into his late 80s. His wise, weathered face gazes upon us, accompanied by a caption that reads, “The one and only man who tirelessly spoke of 2048 for over two decades, teaching us the art of orchestrating successful schemes for power.”

Yes, dear readers, Ranil Wickremesinghe, the maestro of political manoeuvring, has become the revered icon of Sri Lanka’s transformed nation. His visionary foresight, unyielding ambition, and unparalleled knack for survival have placed him on a pedestal above all others. Forget about the great thinkers, innovators, and leaders who shaped the world in meaningful ways. In Sri Lanka 2048, it is all about the art of talking, scheming, and self-promotion.

As you traverse the streets, don’t be surprised to find an endless array of billboards featuring Ranil’s portrait, reminding us of his indomitable spirit and his masterful ability to spin tales of prosperity. The country may be grappling with real issues like inequality, poverty, and environmental degradation, but fear not, for Ranil’s captivating smile is there to distract us from the harsh realities.

The legacy of Ranil Wickeremsinghe, the man who could talk a marathon but rarely delivered on his promises, has become the cornerstone of Sri Lanka’s “success” narrative. His teachings on the art of staging grand schemes for power have been embraced by politicians across the spectrum. From the elaborate infrastructure projects that rarely see completion to the empty rhetoric that fills the airwaves, it’s all part of the grand performance taught by the maestro himself.

It’s a peculiar sight, indeed, to witness the transformation of a country where talking about progress has taken precedence over actual progress. As we stand in front of public toilets, the walls adorned with Ranil’s portrait, we can’t help but ponder the irony. Here we are, in a land where even the most basic amenities are in disarray, yet we are reminded of a man who mastered the art of deception and illusion, where words and image trumped substance and action.

But fear not, dear readers, for Sri Lanka in 2048 is a true testament to the power of perception and the endurance of empty promises. As we gaze upon Ranil’s portrait, we are reminded that talking about progress can be just as powerful as achieving it. So let us bask in the glory of his legacy, for in this surreal landscape of staged success, perception is reality, and words are worth far more than their weight in gold.

Unshackling South Asia: Liberating Democracy from Family Politics


In the pursuit of progress and development, numerous Asian countries have long grappled with a persistent and destructive phenomenon: the grip of family politics. This deeply ingrained, yet nihilistic practice has undermined the very essence of democracy and entrenched nepotism as the prevailing norm within governing systems. From the Gandhi dynasty in India to the Bhutto family in Pakistan, and from the Hasina clan in Bangladesh to the Senanayake, Jayewardena, Gunawardhana, Bandaranaike, and Rajapaksa dynasties in Sri Lanka, it becomes evident that the political landscapes of these nations have been hijacked by a sense of entitlement and an insidious belief in the divine right to rule. Many of these countries continue to suffer the dire consequences of family politics, emphasizing the urgent need to eradicate this issue in order to unlock the true potential of the Asian century. While India has taken steps towards countering this trend with the election of leader Modi, the roots of nepotism still persist.

One of the most alarming aspects of family politics is the perpetuation of a sense of entitlement among these ruling dynasties. They often view themselves as inherently destined to govern, treating the land and its people as their personal fiefdom. This misguided belief undermines the principles of meritocracy and inclusivity that are vital for a thriving democracy. By monopolizing power and stifling opportunities for fresh talent and diverse perspectives, these family-centric regimes create an environment where political ambition is limited to a privileged few, leaving the majority of citizens marginalized and disenfranchised.

The prevalence of family politics also nurtures a toxic ecosystem of sycophants and opportunists, eager to exploit their proximity to power for personal gain. These individuals infiltrate the very fabric of the state, adeptly maneuvering through situations using cunning tactics and adaptability. For instance, when foreign investors visit these countries in search of opportunities, they often encounter a disheartening experience. They encounter politicians who exhibit rudeness and indifference, creating an inhospitable environment for investment. The investor is then introduced to intermediaries—solicitors or consultants—who claim to facilitate the deal without seeking payment. However, the truth reveals that these intermediaries are merely conduits for bribery, serving as middlemen who negotiate kickbacks for politicians in exchange for project approvals. This systemic corruption discourages genuine investors, eroding trust and impeding economic progress.

In this environment of nepotism and corruption, entertaining visions of the Asian century becomes futile. Such aspirations are nothing more than delusions that distract us from the pressing need to dismantle this network of germs and parasites. In order for the Asian century to become a reality, it is imperative to break free from the shackles of family politics and establish robust institutions capable of delivering justice and accountability. Meritocracy, transparency, and equal opportunities must replace the culture of entitlement and cronyism.

The eradication of family politics demands a concerted effort from both domestic and international stakeholders. South Asian societies must foster a culture of political engagement and civic education that encourages merit-based competition and a commitment to public service. Strengthening legal frameworks, promoting independent judiciary systems, and ensuring the autonomy of key institutions will help shield against the influence of vested interests. Furthermore, international support and cooperation are crucial in the fight against family politics. Diplomatic pressure, collaboration on anti-corruption initiatives, and the promotion of good governance practices can reinforce efforts to break free from the clutches of nepotism and pave the way for genuine democratic progress.

The dream of the Asian century cannot be realized as long as family politics continue to thrive. The entrenchment of ruling dynasties and the accompanying ecosystem of opportunistic parasites hinder progress, undermine democracy, and perpetuate inequality. It is incumbent upon Asian nations to confront this challenge head-on, dismantling the foundations of family politics and cultivating a political landscape that values meritocracy, inclusivity, and accountability. Only then can the region truly embark on a path toward realizing its immense potential and becoming a beacon of progress in the 21st century.

Welcome to the Laughter-ocracy: The Perils of Living on the Island of Fools


Greetings, fellow citizens of the Island of Fools, where the art of comedy has taken an unprecedented turn towards absurdity. In this bizarre land, laughter has become a weapon of mass distraction, wielded by all, from stand-up comedians to religious leaders and politicians. Brace yourselves for a satirical journey into the heart of a nation where common sense has long been abandoned, and idiocy reigns supreme.

In this comedy-infused society, professional stand-up comedians have traded their clever wit and insightful commentary for cheap laughs. Gone are the days when comedy challenged societal norms and sparked meaningful conversations. Instead, we are left with an abundance of slapstick humour and recycled jokes that only serve to numb our already dulled senses. In a tragic turn of events, Natasha, a young comedian known for her sharp wit and biting humour, now finds herself trapped in prison, a casualty of immaturity and a society that persistently fails to comprehend the nuanced context and intentions underlying her audacious stand-up routine.

But the madness doesn’t end there. Even religious leaders have succumbed to the allure of the punchline, leaving behind their sacred duty to guide their flock. Sermons have transformed into comedy routines, complete with exaggerated gestures and punchy one-liners. Congregations gather not to seek spiritual enlightenment but to see who can make them laugh the hardest. The moral compass of the Island of Fools has been utterly lost amidst the sea of laughter.

And let’s not forget about the politicians, those esteemed guardians of the public trust. Instead of upholding their duties with integrity, they have embraced their inner clowns. Public addresses are now filled with outlandish statements, absurd promises, and grandiose tales. These politicians see their role not as public servants but as entertainers in a never-ending circus. State resources are plundered under the guise of “fun” and “entertainment,” leaving the island’s economy in shambles.

In this topsy-turvy land, the media has become the main source of governance. But beware, dear citizens, for the media’s primary objective is no longer to inform or hold the powerful accountable. Instead, it has transformed into a nonsensical carnival, where sensationalism and triviality reign supreme. Headlines are crafted to elicit laughter, not to shed light on important issues. The truth is bent and twisted to fit the narrative of the day’s punchline.

Living in such an island is a perilous endeavor. Critical thinking has been replaced by mindless amusement, and the pursuit of truth has given way to a relentless quest for the next laugh. The consequences of this Laughter-ocracy are dire. The island’s citizens are left uninformed, manipulated by the whims of those who control the media. Governance becomes a farce, as those in power exploit the distracted masses, continuing to plunder the state resources without consequence.

Dear readers, it is time to awaken from this nightmarish comedy circus. We must demand a return to sanity, where comedy is a tool for introspection and critical commentary, not an excuse for ignorance and irresponsibility. Let us reclaim our intellectual curiosity and hold our comedians, religious leaders, and politicians to a higher standard. Only then can we break free from the chains of laughter and forge a future that is built on reason, truth, and genuine progress.

Remember, laughter is a powerful force, but it must be wielded responsibly. Let us restore the balance between humour and wisdom, and rid ourselves of the misguided notion that everything is a joke. The Island of Fools can become a land of enlightenment once more, if only we dare to look beyond the punchline.

And so, dear readers, as we contemplate the tragic state of the Island of Fools, it is important to remember its rich and varied history. From the ancient times of Sielen to the enchanting Taprobane, from the magical Serendib to the vibrant Ceylon, and finally, to the modern-day Sri Lanka, this land has seen it all.

Yet, if we continue down this path of comedic folly, it may not be long before this island adds another name to its illustrious lineage. A name that reflects the absurdity and the farcical nature of its governance—a name like Comedy Island. But let us not succumb to this bleak prophecy. Instead, let us rise above the laughter-driven chaos and reclaim the dignity and wisdom that once defined this remarkable place.

For the Island of Fools has the potential to be so much more than a punchline. It can be a land of intellectual prowess, social progress, and responsible governance. As we navigate the uncertain future, let us remember the lessons of the past and work towards a brighter tomorrow—a tomorrow where the Island of Fools finds its true calling, not as a comedy haven, but as a beacon of reason, resilience, and enlightenment.

May we, the inhabitants of this cherished land, rise above the absurdity and restore the true essence of our beloved island, for the sake of our own sanity and the legacy of our ancestors.

In hope and humour!  

Societal Immaturity: Arrest of a Comedian and Buddhism’s State


The arrest of a lady comedian, accused of defaming Buddhism, has ignited a fervent and contentious debate within our society. This incident exposes the immaturity within our community and emphasizes the necessity of constructive dialogue and self-reflection. Let us delves into the matter briefly, examining the significance of comedy as an art form and stressing the importance of addressing structural issues with sensitivity and understanding.

The arrest of the comedian and the subsequent actions by local media and social media influencers reveal a troubling trend. Instead of engaging in thoughtful discussions, they resorted to personal attacks and publicly scrutinized her family background. These actions exemplify the immaturity prevailing in our society, where individuals seek to humiliate and degrade others for personal gain or ulterior motives.

Comedy serves as a potent tool to criticize and provoke thought, including within religious institutions. Constructive comedy challenges the status quo, encouraging critical thinking and initiating conversations that lead to positive change. We must view the comedian’s attempt to shed light on structural issues within Buddhism through this lens.

While the comedian’s intentions may have aimed to address pressing social issues, it is crucial to approach sensitive topics with care and respect. By using vulgar language and drawing connections between the childhood of Gautama Buddha and present-day parental behaviours, the comedian failed to strike the delicate balance between provocation and constructive criticism. However, it is equally important to note that those offended personalized her message, weaponizing it to attack and frame her. This reaction further exemplifies the immaturity prevalent in our society.

Sri Lanka is not alone in comedy that challenges popular religious institutions. Throughout history, outspoken comedians have often become adversaries of such establishments due to their willingness to address societal issues through their craft. Comedy extends beyond mere entertainment; it serves as a vehicle for social commentary, offering a platform to question and challenge existing norms.

The outcome of the comedian’s legal case remains uncertain, but this experience should serve as a profound lesson for personal and professional growth. It is crucial for her to persevere in her chosen path, maintaining clarity of heart and mind, unaffected by the manipulation of others with hidden agendas. These experiences, though challenging, provide invaluable insights and equip her to approach her craft with greater wisdom and sensitivity.

The reactions to the recent arrest of a lady comedian on charges of defaming Buddhism serve as a glaring reminder of the immaturity that persists within our society. It is disheartening to witness not only the general public but also responsible parties responding with hatred and exclusivism. It is worth remembering that when faced with defamatory actions, Buddha himself never saw them as a threat to his noble teachings but as an opportunity to respond with kindness and compassion—attributes that lie at the heart of Buddhism.

Contrarily, this incident highlights the urgent need for constructive dialogue and self-reflection, particularly when addressing sensitive subjects like religion. While the comedian’s approach may have lacked sensitivity, it is crucial for society to transcend personal attacks and instead engage in thoughtful discussions that facilitate positive transformation. It is through these mature and constructive conversations that we can cultivate a society that not only upholds the value of freedom of expression but also promotes understanding and empathy, the very essence of Buddhism.

Who truly poses a threat to the sanctity of Buddhism? We trust you already hold the answer deep within!

Farewell to a Stalwart of Diplomacy: Jayantha Dhanapala’s Enduring Impact



Today, we bid farewell to a remarkable individual whose contributions to the global community have left an indelible mark. Jayantha Dhanapala, a distinguished diplomat, scholar, and advocate for peace, passed away, leaving behind a legacy that transcends borders and continues to inspire us all.

Dhanapala was a true embodiment of diplomacy, known for his unwavering commitment to dialogue, negotiation, and conflict resolution. Throughout his extensive career, he skillfully navigated complex international landscapes, fostering understanding and cooperation among nations. His exceptional talents as a mediator and peacemaker earned him the admiration and respect of colleagues and adversaries alike.

One of Dhanapala’s most notable achievements was his pivotal role as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs. In this capacity, he tirelessly promoted arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament initiatives, advocating for a world free from the shadow of nuclear weapons. His resolute dedication to these critical issues has left a lasting impact on global security efforts.

Beyond his diplomatic endeavours, Dhanapala made significant contributions to academia and intellectual discourse. As an esteemed scholar, he delved deep into the complexities of international relations, enriching our understanding of the intricate dynamics that shape our world. His thought-provoking writings and lectures have stimulated countless minds, encouraging dialogue and fostering a more enlightened approach to global challenges.

However, it is perhaps Dhanapala’s compassionate nature and unwavering belief in humanity’s potential for good that truly set him apart. He possessed an innate ability to bridge divides and foster understanding, displaying empathy and respect for all parties involved. His tireless pursuit of peace and justice served as an inspiration, reminding us of the power of compassion and diplomacy in shaping a better world.

As we mourn the loss of this distinguished figure, we must also celebrate his life and the values he championed. Dhanapala’s unwavering commitment to peace, his profound intellect, and his unwavering belief in the inherent goodness of humanity will continue to guide us as we navigate the complexities of our interconnected world.

In honouring Jayantha Dhanapala’s memory, let us redouble our efforts to promote peace, understanding, and cooperation among nations. Let us draw inspiration from his example and work together to build a world where dialogue prevails over conflict and where compassion triumphs over hostility.

Today, we come together to honour the memory of an extraordinary individual who embodied the ideals of diplomacy, scholarship, and peace advocacy. As we bid farewell to Jayantha Dhanapala, let us reflect on the profound impact he made during his time with us. Although he may no longer be with us in body, his spirit persists within the hearts and minds of the countless individuals whose lives he touched. Through his remarkable achievements, Jayantha Dhanapala has forged a lasting legacy that will continue to inspire and guide us in our collective pursuit of a harmonious world.

Sri Lanka: President Calls for Inclusive Talks on Debt Reduction, Urges China’s Participation

by Our Diplomatic Affairs Editor

In a statement on Thursday, President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that there can be “no exceptions” to the ongoing discussions regarding the reduction of the country’s debt burden. Wickremesinghe urged China, Sri Lanka’s largest creditor, to be part of the multilateral framework established for these talks. China had initially declined to join the negotiations initiated in early May by creditors such as Japan, France, and India, causing concerns about the outcome of the discussions.

Speaking to local media in Japan on the sidelines of Nikkei’s annual Future of Asia forum, President Wickremesinghe revealed that Sri Lanka had sought to include China on the common platform for debt negotiations. However, China expressed a preference to remain separate from the multilateral process. The Sri Lankan President dismissed speculation that China might be seeking a separate and more advantageous deal for itself, emphasizing that there would be no separate agreements. Wickremesinghe stressed that all negotiations would be conducted based on the same principles, without favouring any particular party.

Sri Lanka, a small island country in South Asia, currently carries a public debt of $80.7 billion, with bilateral debt accounting for approximately $11.1 billion. China holds the largest share of the bilateral debt, amounting to 40%. Despite being present as an observer during the May talks, China did not actively participate. The default of Sri Lanka in May the previous year, the first of a middle-income nation, occurred when the country failed to repay infrastructure funds provided by China and other countries. Sri Lanka’s debt burden has been exacerbated by interest rate hikes in the United States and other wealthier nations.

President Wickremesinghe expressed confidence that the ongoing talks would be concluded by September, covering both domestic and external debt, as previously promised by the nation. He mentioned the intention to reduce some debts and extend the repayment periods for others. Acknowledging another major challenge, Wickremesinghe highlighted the issue of inflation in Sri Lanka. The national consumer price index surged by 49.2% in March. However, the President revealed that the central bank of Sri Lanka had assured him that inflation would decrease to single-digit figures by the end of the year, and he expressed confidence in meeting that target.

Shifting focus to internal matters, President Wickremesinghe touched upon a controversial anti-terrorism draft bill that has recently sparked criticism due to concerns that it could be utilized to suppress protests. Wickremesinghe stated that the majority of the population supports this law. He emphasized that the bill would have prevented some reported cases of torture, as it grants magistrates access to suspects in detention. The President also mentioned the release of numerous prisoners previously held under the current terrorism law, noting that only a handful remained in custody.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s firm stance on inclusive debt negotiations and his call for China’s participation highlight Sri Lanka’s determination to address its financial challenges through a multilateral approach. The nation’s efforts to reduce debt and combat inflation, along with the proposed anti-terrorism draft bill, continue to shape the economic and political landscape of Sri Lanka.

Sam Altman’s Blueprint for Ethical AI Development


In the dynamic realm of artificial intelligence (AI), Sam Altman’s voice resonates with exceptional clarity. As the CEO of OpenAI and a distinguished entrepreneur in the field, Altman offers a distinctive perspective on both the promises and perils of AI technology. During a recent congressional hearing, Altman candidly expressed his deep concerns about the future implications of AI. However, what sets him apart from profit-driven entrepreneurs is his emphasis on collective action and the pursuit of noble goals over mere financial gains.

Altman’s testimony revealed his genuine apprehension regarding the unprecedented challenges that AI may present to humanity. Unlike those who downplay the potential risks, he wholeheartedly acknowledges the profound impact that AI can have on various aspects of our lives, ranging from job displacement to privacy concerns. Altman’s forthrightness is refreshing, particularly considering the immense power wielded by AI and its potential to shape the course of human existence.

Despite these concerns, Altman’s message is one of unwavering optimism. He recognizes that while AI poses risks, it also holds tremendous potential for positive transformation. By underscoring the need for collective action, Altman advocates for a collaborative approach to ensure the responsible and ethical development of AI. Instead of succumbing to fear and uncertainty, he urges society to confront these challenges head-on, working together to steer AI towards a future that benefits all of humanity.

Altman’s approach stands in stark contrast to the profit-oriented mindset prevalent among many entrepreneurs in the AI space. His unwavering commitment to pursuing societal benefits and long-term impacts distinguishes him as a visionary leader. Altman acknowledges that AI’s influence extends far beyond mere economic gains, emphasizing the paramount importance of addressing broader ethical considerations and ensuring that this technology aligns with our fundamental human values.

Recognizing the complexity and scale of the challenges posed by AI, Altman underscores the necessity of collective action. He calls for collaboration among industry leaders, policymakers, and researchers to establish robust guidelines, regulations, and ethical frameworks that guide the development of AI. Altman’s belief in collective responsibility reflects his understanding that the stakes are simply too high for any single entity to tackle AI’s challenges in isolation.

Sam Altman’s presence in the AI landscape breathes new life into the discourse, as he fearlessly illuminates the unprecedented challenges that AI presents, while steadfastly upholding a commitment to collective action and noble goals. His candid and optimistic approach inspires a profound sense of responsibility in others, compelling us to acknowledge the risks while harnessing the vast potential of AI for the betterment of society. Altman’s visionary outlook serves as a resounding call to action, reminding us that through collaboration, we can shape the future of AI to ensure it remains a force that benefits and empowers all of humanity.

Sri Lanka: Govt. to Setup a New ‘Social Intelligence Unit’ to Safeguard Children


Plans are underway to establish a dedicated ‘Social Intelligence Unit’ aimed at safeguarding children and young individuals, according to State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon. The minister highlighted the recent alarming incidents involving teenagers and stressed the importance of implementing measures to protect the future generation. The formation of this unit will be pursued in collaboration with schools across the country to ensure the safety and well-being of children.

In a visit to the Sri Lanka Police College in Kalutara, State Minister Tennakoon expressed the need for timely reforms in the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and emphasized the necessity of extending its reach to rural youth in the North and East provinces. The minister called for a comprehensive replacement of outdated models, citing inefficiencies and the lack of crucial qualities such as personality, practicability, knowledge, and leadership among young graduates.

During the visit, State Minister Tennakoon acknowledged the contributions of the Sri Lanka Police College and urged all police ranks to work together in shaping a bright future for upcoming generations. The event included a ceremonial Guard of Honour, a tree-planting gesture, and the presentation of a memento to mark the occasion.

US Bureaucrat Highlights US Support for Sri Lanka’s Economic Recovery


In an official visit to Sri Lanka, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Afreen Akhter, reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to supporting Sri Lanka’s economic recovery. During her stay, which concluded on May 17, DAS Akhter engaged in a series of consultative meetings with government officials, highlighting the longstanding diplomatic relations between the two countries, which recently marked their 75th anniversary.

One of the key highlights of DAS Akhter’s visit was the discussion of the $270 million in new support that the United States has provided to Sri Lanka over the past year. Encouraging the Sri Lankan government to continue implementing economic reforms and transparency measures under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement, DAS Akhter emphasized the importance of sustained collaboration and progress in ensuring long-term economic stability.

During her meeting with Minister of Justice Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe on May 15, DAS Akhter stressed the significance of ongoing reform efforts in Sri Lanka. She further urged the government to foster collaboration with civil society, emphasizing the need to consider all voices in the legislative process, including pending legislation such as the Anti-Terrorism Bill. The United States continues to advocate for an inclusive and transparent approach in addressing important national issues.

DAS Akhter also held productive discussions with State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya and State Minister of Defense Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon. Their talks covered various areas of mutual interest, including collaboration in maritime security and addressing shared regional challenges. The United States and Sri Lanka reaffirmed their commitment to working together to ensure peace, stability, and security in the region.

Before her departure, DAS Akhter took the opportunity to meet with a small group of journalists to further strengthen the relationship between the United States and the Sri Lankan media. This interaction provided an opportunity to exchange perspectives and foster a better understanding of the common goals and challenges faced by both countries.

DAS Afreen Akhter’s visit to Sri Lanka underscored the United States’ commitment to supporting the country’s economic recovery and strengthening bilateral relations. The $270 million in new support, along with ongoing collaboration on various issues, demonstrates the mutual desire for enhanced cooperation and shared prosperity between the United States and Sri Lanka.

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