Playing with fire in Sri Lanka’s fireworks village
Al Jazeera / Businesspeople / Innovators

Playing with fire in Sri Lanka’s fireworks village

The heavy, metal apparatus standing in R. Lorrence’s garage seems out of place. Its design is simple enough – a pneumatic pump helps pack a mix of explosive chemicals into a slender plastic tube, exerting pressure that a human hand couldn’t hope to match. But it is the only machine in this little cottage firework … Continue reading

Highrise
Activists / Adda / Aid Workers / Businesspeople / Commonwealth Writers / Researchers

Highrise

Let me begin with this apartment, where a grocery store and six people are all crammed into 400 square feet in the Methsara Uyana high-rise. The people fit themselves around the groceries, which occupy all of the living room and most of the kitchen. Sleeping arrangements are flexible, and visitors and wet laundry must both … Continue reading

At The Rio: Exploring the Uncertain Future of a Colombo Institution
Activists / Businesspeople / Commonwealth Writers / Historians

At The Rio: Exploring the Uncertain Future of a Colombo Institution

Jan Ramesh De Saram uses his phone as a torch, casting a small circle of light at his feet as he walks down the corridor. The passage ends in darkness, where bats squeak and flap their wings. A row of abandoned rooms are occupied only by an upturned chair or two, lonely rejects from the … Continue reading

Mahesh Amalean: ‘You’ve got to get out there with an innovative mind’
Businesspeople / Engineers / Entreprenuers / The Sunday Times

Mahesh Amalean: ‘You’ve got to get out there with an innovative mind’

It was 2008 going on 2009 when Sharad Amalean turned to his elder brother Mahesh Amalean and said, “This is going to unravel completely.” It wasn’t news to Mahesh, who as Chairman of MAS Holdings had watched as the company reeled under the economic downturn. As orders dropped, they had had to lay off people … Continue reading