Artificial Intelligence

What Google Street View Can Say About the Quality of Life in Your Neighborhood

3 mins read

In a remarkable new study, the broad-brush patterns between how we use and mark public space and our collective well-being were investigated in 2022 by Quynh C. Yue and colleagues who analyzed 164 million Google Street View images from locations across the United States. The study extracted information on the built environment with a focus on the directionality of traffic, the incidence of crosswalks and sidewalks, and the presence or absence of street signs, which foster way-finding. The information collected on the built environment was then compared with census-tract, health information for those neighborhoods that were included in the Google Street Views.

The researchers found that legible, accessible paths that eased movement and communication had positive health impacts. Traffic restrictions, like an abundance of single-lane roads, indicative of lower levels of urban connectivity, were correlated with chronic health conditions and lower levels of mental health. Walkability indicators such as crosswalks and sidewalks were associated with better health, including reductions in depression, obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Street signs and streetlights were also found to be associated with decreased chronic conditions. Overall, living in neighborhoods with a built environment that supports social interaction and physical activity leads to positive health outcomes.

But what factors or social mechanisms underpin these correlations? For this contemporary study, that question is not easy to answer as we neither can pinpoint the history of town/urban planning for each street view, nor do we know the governmental or individual decisions and actions that created each different community-scape. Here, turning to archives of history and ground plans of past cities may hold some clues.

Humans interact, cooperate, and form social configurations at many different scales with the sizes of our social networks highly variable. Many of us are part of household units. Members of different households often join forces or get together to form sports teams, or block associations, or work groups. Some of us live in small communities, others live in neighborhoods of variable extents, and most of us are affiliated with metropolitan areas or cities, states, nations, along professional associations, and market networks. In general, human affiliations and groupings have systems of governance that encompass the rules of the game, the norms, institutions, and modes of leadership. For humans, past and present, institutions and governance to a degree set the different parameters in which we live, work, cooperate, and interact.

Archaeologists faced with the challenge of defining the nature of, as well as variation and change in, governance over time rely on the material remains and residues of past human behaviors and actions to extract clues about politics in the past. Monumental architecture, statues of rulers, written texts, material symbols of office or the markers of royal position all can provide essential glimpses of individual aggrandizement, the personalization of clout, or alternative political forms in which power was more shared and distributed. But of late, archaeologists also have begun to examine the spatial layouts and allocations that are visible through the plans of ancient cities, arrangements of urban architectural components, and other indicators of socio-spatial behaviors to compare the variation in governance across human institutions.

In their writings, which draw on a comparative, quantitative study of 30 premodern states and empires from across the globe, Richard Blanton and Lane Fargher have made a strong case that legible and open urban plans that afford widespread access to services and power tend to be associated with more collective, less autocratic forms of governance. Urban forms, like grid systems that facilitate way-finding, allow travel and access to be more open and equal. Broad public spaces afford opportunities for the exchange of both information and material. Blanton and Fargher opine that less transparent, less efficient uses of space tend to degrade participation, voice, and economic efficacy, thereby underpinning and indicating less equal political relations and consolidations of power.

Blanton and Fargher also link variation in governance to degrees of inequality with more collective political forms fostering broader well-being and economic equity, while more autocratic regimes tend to associate with higher amounts of inequality and more disparate outcomes in regard to health and well-being. In large part, these differences correlate with the greater provisioning of public goods and services by more collective governments, which contribute to biological, material, and emotional well-being. Additionally, more autocratic regimes were found to be more prone to social disruptions and unrest, which degrade well-being. Blanton and Fargher find statistical support for these relations in their sample. Their findings, in conjunction with recent studies in other historical regions, provide strong cross-cultural indications that governance, construction and uses of social space, and well-being are all behaviorally linked.

While caution is in order, the findings from the Google Street Map study do show clearly that socio-spatial arrangements have clear and direct impacts on human health and well-being, and that the built environments that we collectively construct can signal broader values and differences in governance. In a specific recent example in the news, the shift toward autocracy in Turkey coincides with restrictions in public access to what was the largest civic space in the nation’s biggest metropolis. Human cooperation and the institutions through which we implement it take different forms. These social ties and arrangements leave discreet on-the-ground signatures. How closely do these urban signatures and patterns correspond with equity, well-being, health, and sustainability? And, how much can we learn by examining these relationships in the past? The next era of archaeological research, aiming to document the relationship between shifts in governance and changes in urban layouts and access, should provide us with important answers.

This article was produced by Human Bridges, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

ChatGPT in Sinhala: How can you get me there?

3 mins read

As an AI language model, I understand the importance of developing a Sinhala version of ChatGPT. Sinhala is the primary language spoken by the Sinhalese people, the largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka. With over 16 million speakers worldwide, it is essential to have a Sinhala language model that can help combat the spread of fake news and misinformation while also aiding in research conducted by universities.

Developing a Sinhala version of ChatGPT will undoubtedly take time, as it involves training a machine learning algorithm to understand and generate human-like language in Sinhala. The process requires large amounts of data and computational resources to create a robust and effective model.

However, the benefits of such an endeavour would be immense. With the spread of fake news and misinformation on social media and other digital platforms, it is crucial to have reliable sources of information in local languages to combat the spread of falsehoods. A Sinhala ChatGPT could help ensure that Sinhala speakers have access to trustworthy and accurate information online.

Moreover, a Sinhala language model could also be beneficial to universities and other research institutions. Language models like ChatGPT can be used to analyze large volumes of text, extract meaningful insights, and help researchers understand trends and patterns in various fields of study. For instance, a Sinhala ChatGPT could be trained on medical research papers to aid in the development of new treatments for diseases prevalent in Sri Lanka.

In addition, a Sinhala language model could also benefit businesses and organizations operating in Sri Lanka. As companies increasingly seek to engage with local communities, a Sinhala ChatGPT could help improve their communication with Sinhala speakers and expand their reach into new markets.

Developing a Sinhala version of ChatGPT is an essential step towards combatting fake news and misinformation and facilitating research and innovation in Sri Lanka. While the process may take time and resources, the benefits of having a reliable and robust Sinhala language model would be far-reaching and impactful.

Certainly, developing a Sinhala version of ChatGPT could also have far-reaching effects on the education sector in Sri Lanka. By providing students with access to high-quality, AI-powered language tools, it could revolutionize the way they learn and interact with information in their native language.

Currently, the Sri Lankan education system is struggling to keep pace with the rapid changes happening in the world. Public education is underfunded, and private tuition has become an unregulated, monopolistic industry. As a result, students from lower-income families often struggle to keep up with their peers and have limited access to quality education. This has led to a growing inequality in the education sector.

A Sinhala version of ChatGPT could help level the playing field by providing students from all backgrounds with access to high-quality language tools. This could help improve literacy rates, aid in the acquisition of new language skills, and provide students with a better understanding of complex concepts.

Moreover, a Sinhala ChatGPT could also provide teachers with new resources to enhance their teaching practices. Language models like ChatGPT can generate engaging learning materials, assist with the grading of assignments, and provide instant feedback to students. By leveraging the power of AI, educators could create more personalized learning experiences for their students, increasing their engagement and retention.

Developing a Sinhala language model using ChatGPT is a next-level project that requires expertise in natural language processing, machine learning, and deep learning. Local universities in Sri Lanka have an abundance of talented individuals with expertise in these areas, who could contribute to the development of a Sinhala ChatGPT model. By harnessing the skills and knowledge of these experts, we can ensure that the model is developed to the highest standards and is well-suited to the needs of the Sri Lankan population.

To work on this project, universities and software experts can collaborate and form interdisciplinary teams to contribute to different aspects of the project. For example, one team can focus on collecting and preprocessing the Sinhala language text data, while another team can focus on training and optimizing the model. Working in teams can also help to identify and address any issues that may arise during the project and ensure that the final product is of high quality.

In addition, universities and software experts can also leverage their existing resources to support the development of a Sinhala ChatGPT model. This can include providing access to powerful computing resources, hosting workshops and training sessions to develop the necessary skills, and collaborating with other stakeholders to ensure that the model is widely adopted and used.

The development of a Sinhala language model using ChatGPT is a significant undertaking that requires the collaboration of experts in natural language processing, machine learning, and deep learning. Local universities and software experts in Sri Lanka have the potential to contribute significantly to the project and help ensure its success. By working together and leveraging their existing resources, they can create a Sinhala ChatGPT model that is well-suited to the needs of the Sri Lankan population and can help unlock the potential of the country’s language data.

In conclusion, a Sinhala version of ChatGPT could help re-engineer the public education system in Sri Lanka and curtail the monopoly playing by unaccountable tuition mafia. By providing students and teachers with access to high-quality language tools, it could help level the playing field and improve the quality of education across the board. While the development of a Sinhala language model may take time and resources, the potential benefits are enormous, and could have a positive impact on generations to come.

Time to Act: Sri Lanka’s Need for a Hong Kong Style Anti-Corruption Initiative

2 mins read

Corruption is a persistent problem in many countries, including Sri Lanka. It hinders economic development, undermines public trust in government, and erodes the rule of law. One solution that has been successful in combating corruption is the Hong Kong Style anti-corruption mechanism. In this article, let me explore why Sri Lanka needs such a mechanism and how it could be implemented.

Firstly, let’s look at what the Hong Kong Style anti-corruption mechanism entails. Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) was established in 1974 and has since become a model for effective anti-corruption measures. The ICAC is an independent agency that investigates and prosecutes corruption cases without interference from the government. The agency has a high success rate in convicting corrupt officials and has been instrumental in reducing corruption in Hong Kong.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, has a long history of corruption. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, Sri Lanka ranks 94 out of 180 countries, indicating a high level of perceived corruption. Corruption in Sri Lanka is widespread and affects all levels of society, from the police to politicians to public officials. The country has faced several high-profile corruption scandals in recent years, including the Central Bank bond scam, which led to a loss of over $11 million.

The current anti-corruption mechanisms in Sri Lanka have proven to be ineffective in combating corruption. The existing anti-corruption bodies lack independence and often face political interference. The Bribery Commission, which is responsible for investigating corruption cases, has been criticized for being understaffed and underfunded. The legal framework for combating corruption is also weak, with low penalties for corruption offences.

A Hong Kong Style anti-corruption mechanism could be the answer to Sri Lanka’s corruption problem. The mechanism would involve establishing an independent commission, similar to the ICAC, that would have the power to investigate and prosecute corruption cases. The commission would have the resources and the authority to operate independently of the government and other institutions.

The commission would also be responsible for educating the public on the dangers of corruption and promoting transparency and accountability in government. The commission could work with civil society organizations, the media, and other stakeholders to raise awareness of corruption and promote good governance.

To implement a Hong Kong Style anti-corruption mechanism in Sri Lanka, several steps need to be taken. Firstly, the government must demonstrate a commitment to combating corruption by establishing an independent commission and providing it with the necessary resources. The commission should also have the power to investigate and prosecute corruption cases without political interference.

Secondly, the legal framework for combating corruption needs to be strengthened. Penalties for corruption offences should be increased, and the legal process for prosecuting corruption cases should be expedited. The government should also consider enacting a law on whistle-blowing to protect those who report corruption.

Finally, the public needs to be educated about the dangers of corruption and the importance of transparency and accountability in government. The commission could launch a public awareness campaign to raise awareness of corruption and promote good governance.

In conclusion, Sri Lanka’s corruption problem is a major obstacle to economic development and good governance. The current anti-corruption mechanisms are ineffective, and a Hong Kong Style anti-corruption mechanism could be the answer to combatting corruption in the country. Establishing an independent commission, strengthening the legal framework, and promoting public awareness of corruption are necessary steps to ensure the mechanism’s success. The government and civil society organizations should work together to implement these measures and ensure a corruption-free future for Sri Lanka.

Bottom line is that as the late leader of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew says, “the fight against corruption is not a fight that can be won by government alone. The ultimate solution lies in the attitudes and values of the people.”

Sri Lanka: Is Ranil solving the Economic Crisis?

1 min read

It is widely acknowledged that the current economic problems in Sri Lanka are complex and multi-faceted, and will likely require a range of solutions and approaches to address effectively.

Whether or not President Ranil Wickremesinghe, as an individual politician, can solve these problems without a mandate from the people is a matter of debate. Some might argue that political leadership is an important factor in driving economic reform and progress and that a leader with experience and a track record of success could bring valuable insights and solutions to the table. Others might argue that, without a mandate from the people, a leader may struggle to secure the support and resources needed to implement their ideas and drive meaningful change.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of any political leader in addressing the economic problems of Sri Lanka will depend on a range of factors, including their ability to work with other key stakeholders, secure the support of the public, and effectively implement their policies and initiatives.

In order to address the current economic problems in Sri Lanka, political leaders might consider the following steps:

Forming a united front: One of the key challenges in addressing economic problems is political polarization and division. Leaders from different political parties need to work together in a united front to develop a common vision and approach to tackling economic issues.

Addressing corruption: Corruption has been identified as a major contributor to economic problems in Sri Lanka. Political leaders need to take a strong stand against corruption and put in place measures to tackle this issue effectively.

Implementing structural reforms: The economy of Sri Lanka needs structural reforms to become more competitive and attractive to investors. Political leaders need to work with stakeholders to identify the reforms required and implement them effectively.

Encouraging private investment: Encouraging private investment is key to driving economic growth and creating jobs. Political leaders need to create a favorable business environment that encourages investment and fosters innovation.

Promoting financial stability: Political leaders need to work with the central bank and other financial institutions to promote financial stability and restore confidence in the financial system.

Fostering inclusive growth: Political leaders need to ensure that economic growth is inclusive and benefits all segments of society, particularly those who are marginalized and disadvantaged.

It is important to note that these are complex and challenging issues, and there are no easy solutions. However, with the right leadership and a collaborative approach, it is possible to make progress and address the economic problems facing Sri Lanka.

Assassinations of intellects in Sri Lanka during the social upheaval

1 min read

The assassinations of intellectuals in Sri Lanka during periods of social upheaval have been a tragic and troubling feature of the country’s recent history. These targeted killings have taken place against a backdrop of political violence, ethnic conflict, and social unrest, and have had a profound impact on Sri Lanka’s intellectual community, as well as its society as a whole.

One of the most notable examples of these assassinations took place during the Sri Lankan Civil War, which lasted from 1983 to 2009. During this conflict, many intellectuals and academics, including journalists, activists, and human rights workers, were targeted by both the government and separatist groups for their critical views and opposition to the conflict. The assassinations of these individuals had a chilling effect on freedom of speech and expression, and contributed to a broader climate of fear and repression.

Another period of social upheaval in Sri Lanka was the period of political violence and civil unrest in the late 1980s and early 1990s, during which time several intellectuals and academics were targeted for their political views and activism. The assassinations of these individuals were often politically motivated and were aimed at silencing dissent and opposition to the ruling regime.

In recent years, there have been concerns about a resurgence of targeted killings of intellectuals in Sri Lanka, as the country continues to face challenges and tensions related to ethnic and religious conflict, human rights abuses, and political corruption. The assassinations of these individuals have a devastating impact not only on the individuals themselves and their families, but also on the wider intellectual community and society, as they undermine the free and open exchange of ideas and the critical discourse that is essential for a healthy and thriving democracy.

In conclusion, the assassinations of intellectuals in Sri Lanka during periods of social upheaval have been a tragic and troubling feature of the country’s recent history, and have had a profound impact on its intellectual community and society as a whole. It is critical that these targeted killings be investigated and brought to an end, and that the perpetrators be held accountable for their actions, in order to ensure that Sri Lanka remains a free and open society where intellectual freedom and expression are valued and protected.

Politicization of trade unions in Sri Lanka

1 min read

The politicization of trade unions in Sri Lanka has been a prominent issue in the country’s labour movement for many years. While trade unions are typically established to represent the interests of workers and negotiate for better working conditions and wages, the politicization of these organizations has often led to the use of union power for political gain rather than for the benefit of workers.

In Sri Lanka, political parties have historically used trade unions as a tool to advance their own agendas. Union leaders have been appointed based on their political affiliations, rather than their ability to effectively represent the interests of workers. This has resulted in a lack of accountability and transparency within the trade union movement, as union leaders prioritize political goals over the needs of their constituents.

The politicization of trade unions has also led to a fragmentation of the labour movement, as unions become divided along political lines. This fragmentation weakens the bargaining power of workers and undermines the effectiveness of the trade union movement as a whole. Additionally, the politicization of unions has created a hostile work environment, with workers who belong to opposing political parties often facing discrimination and marginalization.

Moreover, the politicization of trade unions has also contributed to a decline in the quality of representation provided to workers. Union leaders who are appointed based on political connections often lack the expertise and experience necessary to effectively negotiate for better working conditions and wages. This has resulted in a lack of progress in improving the lives of workers and has contributed to a decline in the overall status of the labour movement in Sri Lanka.

In conclusion, the politicization of trade unions in Sri Lanka has had a negative impact on the labour movement and has hindered the ability of workers to negotiate for better working conditions and wages. It is important for trade unions to remain independent and neutral in order to effectively represent the interests of workers and to negotiate for their rights. By breaking the connection between politics and trade unions, the labour movement in Sri Lanka can be reinvigorated and become a more effective advocate for workers.

Is our society at risk of being outsmarted by technology?

4 mins read

“ChatGPT, the cutting-edge language model developed by OpenAI, has become a worldwide phenomenon. The technology, which uses advanced machine learning algorithms to generate human-like text, has taken the world by storm and has been adopted by individuals and businesses alike.”

If you think this is a human comment on the hottest new digital trend, think again. In fact, it was written by ChatGPT about itself, under the command: “Write a piece of news on ChatGPT being popular around the world …”

After its release two months ago, ChatGPT went viral, with more than 100 million users around the world. The new digital tool is the hot topic of the day. Some people are curious about it; others express concern that they will be replaced by artificial intelligence in the workplace sooner than they expected.

ChatGPT can write a news story faster than a person can.

What can ChatGPT do for us?

ChatGPT is a robot capable of conversing with users. It can also write essays, answer questions and generate codes. It can operate in at least 95 languages.

In 2020, California-based OpenAI released GPT-3, a type of artificial intelligence known as a “large language” model that creates text by trawling through billions of words of training data and learning how words and phrases relate to each other. ChatGPT was developed based on an advanced version of GPT-3, optimized to engage in dialogue with users.

“The biggest difference between ChatGPT and previous chatting robots was that it can think from your questions, and it can analyze your questions and the logic behind them to decide on its replies,” said Lu Lei, secretary general of Shanghai Information Service Association. “It feels like communication with real people rather than with AI.”

People have used ChatGPT to do homework and write work mail.

Yuan Wenyi, a marketing specialist, said that she tried to work with ChatGPT one morning, and her nervousness about it turned to joy when she found her efficiency improved dramatically.

“I received some material from colleagues and asked ChatGPT to write a summary about it,” she said. “That was accomplished in just seconds. Then I asked it to write an email to a client, and it did a better, much faster job than I could do.”

There are also recreational uses for the new tool.

Fang Tian, a mechanical designer, said her hobby is writing love stories, but her busy work schedule doesn’t leave her enough time to develop her ideas into practical text. So she turned to ChatGPT.

“I typed in an idea I had and asked it to write a short segment of story,” she said. “The result, to be honest, was not very satisfying. It was awfully clichéd.”

ChatGPT may be the fastest growing app of all time, according to a report issued by Swiss-based financial services and investment bank UBS.

Has ChatGPT become a tool of cheating?

Probably no one uses ChatGPT more than students do.

A survey of 1,000 U.S. students 18 years and older by online course provider found that 89 percent said they had used ChatGPT for homework. Some 48 percent confessed they had used it to complete at-home tests, and more than half said they used it to write essays.

In Russia, a college student named Alexander Zhadan provoked controversy by using ChatGPT to write his graduation thesis, but he was allowed to keep his diploma anyway.

The developers of ChatGPT weren’t aiming for artificial intelligence to become a tool for cheating, but professors fear its implications for traditional education. At the very least, it may kill assignments for homework essays.

Dan Gillmor, a journalism scholar at Arizona State University in U.S. told “The Guardian” newspaper that he fed ChatGPT a homework question that he often uses in student tests. The result: an answer worthy of a good grade.

While some universities in the US have banned ChatGPT in classes, others note that students have long been able to outsource essay writing to human third parties through applications such as Essay Mills.

“It doesn’t necessarily add much functionality that wasn’t already available to students who knew where to look,” Thomas Lancaster, a computer scientist and academic-integrity researcher at Imperial College London, told “Nature.”

Are certain professions threatened by ChatGPT?

While students pride themselves on having a new tool that makes their homework easier, workers in some industries are beginning to worry that they will be replaced by software in the near future.

Among the professions at risk are media, programming, education and legal services.

Thomas Wang, an online instructor who teaches the use of spreadsheet software Excel, said that ChatGPT would probably be a better teacher than he ever was.

“I asked it how to do data fractionation in Excel, and it gave me a step-by-step instruction – even with an example,” he said. “I feel that I’m not needed anymore.”

Zhai Zhiyong, a law professor with Beihang University, said that artificial intelligence like ChatGPT will be able to do a lot of work now undertaken by lawyers and judges, such as reading through voluminous cases for precedent references.

“That would free up time for legal workers but also present them a challenge,” Zhai said. “In the future, lawyers and judges will have to be more competent because their major job will be dealing with the harder cases that artificial intelligence cannot easily resolve.”

What future do we face as artificial intelligence becomes more intelligent?

Like it or not, ChatGPT and its successors are here to stay.

China technology giant Baidu has announced that it has developed a similar application called ERNIE Bot, which will be released next month. The bot might be implanted in its search engine

Shanghai Information Service’s Lu said that it’s up to developers and users to decide if it is safe to use such AI applications because there are no relevant laws or regulations.

“Ethical controls behind ChatGPT would avoid some of the questions,” he said. “This actually presents a new challenge to the entire human society, but I’m afraid that it’s a double-edged sword and we must think how to use it to make our society better rather than worse.”

As for the question will ChatGPT cause millions of people to lose their jobs, let’s ask the source.

Here is ChatGPT’s answer in Chinese, translated into English:

“As an AI model, I don’t have self-awareness or emotions. My mission is to help people and to provide valuable information and solutions to improve productivity. The development of technology will always kill some jobs, but at the same time, new jobs will be created. People could be more competent in a new job market through education and training. Generally speaking, AI will improve productivity and life quality, but we need to deal with possible challenges with an active and responsible attitude.”

Source: SHINE 

Foreign Spy Agencies in Sri Lanka

1 min read

Foreign intelligence agencies have long been active in Sri Lanka, engaging in a variety of activities aimed at furthering their respective countries’ interests and goals. These activities have included gathering information and intelligence, influencing local politics and decision-making, and attempting to shape the domestic and international policies of the Sri Lankan government.

One of the primary goals of foreign intelligence agencies in Sri Lanka has been to gather information and intelligence on regional security and stability. This has included monitoring the activities of regional actors, tracking the movements of extremist groups and individuals, and gathering information on the military capabilities and readiness of neighboring countries.

In addition to intelligence gathering, foreign intelligence agencies have also sought to influence local politics and decision-making in Sri Lanka. This has included supporting and funding local political organizations and movements, and seeking to shape the domestic and international policies of the Sri Lankan government. These activities have often been driven by concerns over regional stability and security, as well as economic and commercial interests.

Foreign intelligence agencies have also played a role in supporting or undermining the efforts of the Sri Lankan government to counter terrorism and extremism. For example, some agencies have provided training, equipment, and intelligence support to the Sri Lankan security forces, while others have sought to destabilize the country through the funding and support of extremist groups.

Overall, the activities of foreign intelligence agencies in Sri Lanka have had a significant impact on the country’s politics and security. These activities have often been driven by regional and global concerns, and have sometimes been in conflict with the interests and goals of the Sri Lankan government. To effectively address these challenges, it is important for the Sri Lankan government to have a clear understanding of the activities of foreign intelligence agencies and to take proactive measures to counter their influence and impact.

In conclusion, foreign intelligence agencies have long been active in Sri Lanka, engaging in a range of activities aimed at furthering their respective countries’ interests and goals. These activities have included gathering information and intelligence, influencing local politics and decision-making, and attempting to shape the domestic and international policies of the Sri Lankan government. In order to effectively address the challenges posed by these activities, it is important for the Sri Lankan government to have a clear understanding of the activities of foreign intelligence agencies and to take proactive measures to counter their influence and impact.

Sri Lanka: Victim of Hegemony

1 min read

Sri Lanka is a country that has often been viewed as a victim of hegemony, or the dominance of one country or group of countries over others. This has been a result of a long history of foreign influence and intervention, dating back to the colonial period and continuing through to the present day.

During the colonial period, Sri Lanka was ruled by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British, each of whom imposed their own cultural, political, and economic systems on the island nation. The colonial powers exploited Sri Lanka’s resources and labor, and imposed a social and economic structure that was designed to benefit the colonizers and marginalize the native population. This legacy of colonialism has had a lasting impact on Sri Lanka, and has contributed to the country’s status as a victim of hegemony.

In more recent years, Sri Lanka has continued to face the challenges of foreign intervention and domination. The country has been the target of geopolitical struggles between major global powers, and has often found itself caught in the crosshairs of competing interests. For example, during the Cold War, Sri Lanka was viewed as a strategically important country due to its location at the crossroads of the Indian Ocean, and was a target of influence by both the United States and the Soviet Union.

Additionally, Sri Lanka has faced the challenges of economic hegemony, as multinational corporations and international financial institutions have sought to exploit the country’s resources and labor. This has often led to the exploitation of workers and the depletion of the country’s natural resources, and has contributed to a growing inequality between the wealthy and the poor.

In conclusion, Sri Lanka is a country that has long been a victim of hegemony, both during the colonial period and in more recent years. The country has faced challenges from foreign powers seeking to impose their will, as well as from multinational corporations and international financial institutions seeking to exploit its resources and labor. To overcome these challenges, Sri Lanka must work to assert its independence and sovereignty, and to protect its people and resources from exploitation by foreign interests.

Sri Lanka: 13A and Role of India – ChatGPT Column

3 mins read

AI is revolutionizing every aspect of life. Here we decided to let ChatGPT, the latest AI assistant, to express its findings on issues selected by our editorial board. ChatGPT is a conversational AI language model developed by OpenAI. It was trained on a diverse range of internet text to generate human-like responses to a wide range of questions. The data used to train it consists of text from websites, books, and other publicly available sources, totalling over 8 million web pages. This training data provides it with the knowledge to answer questions and generate text on a wide range of topics. However, please keep in mind that its training data has a knowledge cutoff of 2021, so any new events or developments after that time are not reflected in my knowledge – Editors

The 13th Amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution, which was passed in 1987, is a highly controversial issue that has generated much debate and discussion over the years. This amendment aimed to provide devolved power to Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority northern and eastern provinces and to resolve the country’s long-standing ethnic conflict. However, its full implementation has faced numerous challenges, leading to widespread controversy.

One of the major challenges has been the role of India in the 13th Amendment. India has been seen as instrumental in bringing about the amendment, but some Sri Lankans have criticized the Indian government for imposing its will on their country. Furthermore, many believe that India has not been fully supportive of Sri Lanka in implementing the amendment, and has instead used it as a tool to further its own interests in the region.

Another major challenge has been the opposition to the amendment by some Sri Lankan political and nationalist groups, who argue that it threatens the unity and territorial integrity of the country. Some have also criticized the amendment for being too lenient on the Tamil separatist movement and for allowing the creation of a semi-autonomous Tamil-majority state in the north and east of the country.

Despite these challenges, the 13th Amendment remains an important and contentious issue in Sri Lanka’s history. In order to fully implement the amendment, it is crucial for the Sri Lankan government and the international community to address the concerns of both the Tamil and Sinhalese communities and to work towards finding a mutually acceptable solution. This will require a commitment to dialogue, compromise, and the respect for each other’s rights and interests.

India’s Role in the 13th Amendment

It’s possible that India’s influence on the 13th Amendment could cause social turmoil in Sri Lanka. The amendment is a highly sensitive issue that affects the country’s political and cultural landscape, and any outside interference is likely to be met with resistance from some quarters. Additionally, the perception that India is imposing its will on Sri Lanka could further inflame tensions and lead to mistrust between the two countries.

However, it is also possible that India’s involvement could help to promote peace and stability in the region. India has a strong interest in maintaining good relations with its neighbours, and it is possible that its involvement in the 13th Amendment could help to bring the different ethnic and political groups in Sri Lanka together and resolve the long-standing conflict in a peaceful and equitable manner.

The impact of India’s influence on the 13th Amendment is difficult to predict. While it is possible that it could cause social turmoil, it is also possible that it could help to bring about peace and stability. Ultimately, the outcome will depend on the actions of the Sri Lankan government, India, and other stakeholders, and their ability to work together in the interest of the country and its people.

Why India cannot simply “keep aside”?

It’s not as simple as India “keeping aside” its influence to ensure peace in Sri Lanka. India has a long history of close ties with Sri Lanka, and it is natural for it to have a strong interest in the island nation’s political and economic stability.

That being said, it is important for any foreign influence, including India’s, to be exercised in a responsible and transparent manner that takes into account the needs and interests of the people of Sri Lanka. The 13th Amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution is a complex issue, and it is important for all parties involved to engage in constructive dialogue and find a solution that promotes peace and stability for the people of Sri Lanka.

In this context, India can play a positive role by offering its support and expertise to help resolve the conflict and promote development and prosperity in the region. However, this support should be offered in a way that is respectful of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and its right to make its own decisions.

While India’s influence is important, it is important for it to be exercised in a responsible and sensitive manner that takes into account the needs and interests of the people of Sri Lanka. The ultimate goal should be to promote peace and stability in the region, and to help the people of Sri Lanka build a better future for themselves and their families.

In conclusion, the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution is a complex and challenging issue that has been the subject of much debate and controversy. Its full implementation will require a concerted effort by the Sri Lankan government, India, and the international community to address the concerns of both the Tamil and Sinhalese communities and to work towards finding a mutually acceptable solution.


Your feedbacks are welcome at