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Mangroves are one of the most important ecosystems in the world being found in the tropical–subtropical belt. Despite their significance, they have been highly disturbed due to many anthropogenic and natural causes. A significant effort has been made to restore mangroves around the world. However, a lack of information on the seed biology of mangrove species has impeded restoration. Thus, this study aimed to produce a seed dormancy profile for selected plant species of mangroves in Sri Lanka. This profile would allow restoration ecologists to better understand what kinds of dormancy are present, how to alleviate dormancy and how to best stimulate germination to generate seedlings for nursery stock or out-planting. Mature fruits/seeds were collected from coastal zone mangroves in Sri Lanka. Germination and imbibition of non-scarified and manually scarified seeds and embryo:seed length (E:S) ratio of fresh and radicle-emerged seeds were evaluated to assess the class of dormancy. Of the 30 species, seeds from 12 (40%) were non-dormant and 18 (60%) were dormant. Three dormancy classes [physiological (PD), physical (PY) and morphophysiological (MPD)] and presence of epicotyl dormancy were identified. Among species producing dormant seeds, most of them showed PD (44%). PY, MPD and presence of epicotyl dormancy were represented by 28, 17 and 11% of the species, respectively. These findings aid practitioners to craft strategies to effectively break dormancy and germinate seeds for conservation and restoration activities of mangroves.
Sri Lanka’s Constitution authorises the state to limit certain fundamental freedoms on the grounds of specific public interests. This article examines how this constitutional limitation regime has become vulnerable to majoritarian influence. It uses a case study approach, supplemented by key informant interviews, to delve into Sri Lanka’s constitutional practice with respect to limitations on fundamental freedoms such as the freedom of religion or belief, and the freedom of expression. The article illustrates how organs of the Sri Lankan state have equated notions of ‘public interest’ with the majority community’s conceptions of ‘security’, ‘order’, ‘health’ and ‘morals’. It argues that this practice reflects a cleavage between the moral legitimacy and the legal claimability of fundamental freedoms of minorities and satirists in Sri Lanka. It concludes that legal regimes designed to guarantee fundamental freedoms offer very little protection to minorities when the underlying politics driving the application of law is majoritarian.
Mangroves are highly adapted to extreme environmental conditions that occur at the interface of salt and fresh water. Adaptations to the saline environment during germination are a key to mangrove survival, and thereby, its distribution. The main objective of this research was to study the effect of salinity on seed germination of selected mangrove species and the application of a hydrotime model to explain the relationship between water potential of the medium and rate of seed germination. Germination of seeds was examined at 15, 25 and 35°C in light/dark over a NaCl gradient. Germination time courses were prepared, and germination data were used to investigate whether these species behave according to the principles of the hydrotime model. The model was fitted for the germination of Acanthus ilicifolius seeds at 25°C. Final germination percentage was significantly influenced by species, osmotic potential and their interaction at 25°C. Moreover, temperature had a clear effect on seed germination (Sonneratia caseolaris and Pemphis acidula) which interacted with osmotic potential. Only A. ilicifolius seeds behaved according to the hydrotime principles and thus its threshold water potential was –1.8 MPa. Optimum germination rates for seeds of the other species occurred at osmotic potentials other than 0 MPa. The descending order of salinity tolerance of the tested species was Aegiceras corniculatum > Sonneratia caseolaris > Acanthus ilicifolius > Pemphis acidula > Allophylus cobbe, suggesting that the viviparous species (A. corniculatum) is highly salt tolerant compared with the non-viviparous species. The results revealed that seeds of the study species exhibited facultative halophytic behaviour in which they can germinate over a broad range of saline environments. Use of a hydrotime model for mangroves was limited as germination of their seeds did not meet model criteria.
Ethno-religious violence in Sri Lanka is a chronic problem, and it can be sustained even without the active support of a particular government. This understanding of violence prompts further reflection – both on the factors that drive such violence and the complex relationship between ethnicity, religion, and the Sri Lankan constitution. This article delves into the post-war context in Sri Lanka and examines how and why ethno-religious violence has persisted regardless of the government in power. It is presented in three sections. The first analyzes the current state of ethno-religious violence in Sri Lanka. The second offers a hypothesis on why such violence has persisted despite the democratic transition of January 2015. It argues that democratic transitions alone cannot prevent chronic ethno-religious violence due to certain factors that serve to entrench violence within the country’s constitutional practice. The final section discusses the relationship between ethno-religious relations, the nature of the Sri Lankan constitution, and the space for meaningful constitutional reform. It concludes that the Sri Lankan state – informed by Sri Lanka’s ‘political constitution’ – embodies a certain structural dispensation towards ethno-religious violence. Until this fundamental dispensation is in some way transformed, meaningful religious freedom and power sharing will remain elusive aims.
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