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Post Election Unofficial Holiday in Sri Lanka

It’s so boring and everything around here is quiet. Even though today is not a holiday, only a few showed up to work. Many people had gone to their homes far away from Colombo, to vote. Many of the shops are closed and streets usually crowded with people and vehicles are empty. There seemed to be a threat of unstable political situation on immediate aftermath of election but no such activities have been reported. Even the election yesterday was quite peaceful. Matter of fact, this was one of the most peaceful elections in recent memory in Sri Lanka.

Around noon today, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajpakse was declared the winner of the presidential election with a narrow margin with about 50.8 percent over 48.8 percent of Ranil Wickermasingha. The election was awfully close. Secretly, I was routing for Ranil, in the hopes that he might be effective in establishing the peace as he was the one who signed the cease fire agreement in 2002 but ....alas…

Sarvodaya as business:

Sarvodaya is not only a large NGO but it also runs some large businesses. One of its income generating activities is running a complete printing company called Sarvodaya Vishva Lekha. Just now I had an opportunity to visit the facility with Dr. Ariyaratne. There I met Mr. Susiri de Silva, Managing Director, of the Vishva Lekha, who walked to me through the facility. The facility is spread over 2 acres of land and houses entire facility required for printing from design to printing, binding, and cutting. There were several large printers – some huge, some small, that print from one color to four color and small diaries to big posters. Mr. de Silva told me he started the business in 1982 from almost nothing and has steadily grown to become one of the most successful printing house in Colombo. The total annual revenue is SLRs. 300 million ($3 million).

It is amazing that one of the preeminent non-profit organization is also running one of the most successful company. May be it is not too surprising but I did wonder how one deals with the need to be competitive and efficient in the area where business contracts are often dealt in a shadowy manner. Mr. de Silva said the business was built completely on merits. The Vishva Lekha has many awards under its belt and these days they don’t need to go for business.

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मधेस अान्दोलन मुद्दा: - के जनसंख्या मात्रको अाधारमा प्रतिनिधित्व ठिक हो?

मधेश अान्दोलनमा सहभागि अान्दोलनरत दल, समर्थक विचार निर्माताहरु, सहभागिहरुले नयंा संविधान  मधेस विरोधि भयो भनेर उ्ठाइएका विभिन्न मुद्दा मध्ये नयां संविधानमा जनसंख्याको अाधारमा प्रतिनिधित्व भएन भन्ने पनि छ। अधिवक्ता दिपेन्द्र झा ले लेख्नु भएका विभिन्न लेख र फेसबुक पोस्टहरु मा, "धारा ८४(१)(क)प्रतिनिधिसभाको प्रत्यक्ष तर्फ रहेका १६५ सिटको लागि जनसंख्याको आधारमा निर्वाचन क्षेत्र कायम गर्ने प्रावधान राख्नु पर्छ । हाल भूगोल र जनसंख्याको आधारमा राखिएको छ । बरु कर्णाली, मनाङ जस्ता भौगोलिक विकटता भएको क्षेत्रको लागि विशेष प्रावधान राख्न सकिन्छ ।‍ " यो मुद्दा प्रमुख रुपमा उ्ठाईको देखिन्छ । 

सामान्यतया प्रजातान्त्रिक व्यवस्थाहरुमा, जनसंख्या नै प्रतिनिधित्वको मुल अाधार हो । एक व्यक्ति, एक भोट र त्यसैको अाधारमा हुने प्रतिनिधित्वको व्यवस्था । यसअर्थमा मधेसबाट उ्ठाईको मुद्दा ठिक लागे पनि, नेपाल जस्तो भौगोलिक  जटिलता र दुर्गमता भएको जिल्ला भएको देशको लागि एकांकि ढंगले सोच्नु कत्तिको सार्थक छ?  नेपालको परिवेशमा जनसंख्यलाई मात्र हैन, भुगोललाई पनि प्रतिनिधित्वको हुनु पर्ने अाधार देखि्न्छ । 


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