The winning articles of the Article writing competition.

1st PLACE.

Rtr.Isuri Sasanika Gunatilake.

First year undergraduate.

University of Kelaniya.

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Every Skin Colour Counts.

“Hi ma’am, can I help you with anything?” said the sales assistant looking at the potential customer. SHE looked at HER. “No. I was just checking them out”. “ Sure thing ma’am. Please feel free to check on any product that you think, suits your skin. In fact ma’am I think this will suit you. It will definitely make your skin fairer. It does contain some bleaching products, but I can guarantee you that’s absolutely harmless. This will give you fair skin within 7 days. Just in between you and me madam, I’ve been using this for several years and my skin changed drastically and I love absolutely love it”. That definitely caught SHEs attention. “ Really? No side effects plus fair skin? Will it change the brown skin I had for 25 odd years, into fair skin within just 7 days?.” SHE looked at HER. Her skin was porcelain white although there was a fading hint of previous brown skin on HER hand. “Hmm..gives fast results too it seems. I’ll buy that” SHE was at a flagship store for one of the popular cosmetics brands in the world. Why was SHE there? Most probably because of the constant nagging from SHEs mother, who was fair.
Think about it for a minute. This SHE, HER could be your wife,a sister or a friend of yours. This SHE and HER I mentioned could also be a HE or a HIM. Why does having a fair skin is considered the epitome of beauty? Mostly women fall prey to this trap.I see many people nowadays trying to change their skin tone. Isn’t brown beautiful? What about that stunning Black colour? Or that gorgeous Olive, tan colours? Every skin colour counts. What should be promoted is not changing the skin colour, but simply maintaining that “Healthy, natural” glow. How would it look like if everyone had the same skin colour? There will obviously be zero diversity!. So we should make every skin colour count.
People are tempted nowadays with many advertisements that promoted “fairer glowing skin”.For once why can’t someone promote “Own-your-own-skin-tone”? The confidence to walk in your skin, to embrace its flaws, to fall in love with it, is what should be taught all around the world, What every parent should teach their kids. I once heard this beautiful phrase “Our mothers are our first perspective of love and beauty”. I’ll leave you with the question, “ is it still true?”

2nd PLACE. 

Loku Hewage Chanika.

Second year undergraduate.

University of Kelaniya.

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EVERY SKIN COLOR COUNTS.
“No two leaves are alike, and yet there is no antagonism between them or between the branches on which they grow”

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This quote by Mahatma Gandhi holds so much meaning and conveys a beautiful way of thinking which implies the significance of equality and coexistence. In a society it is inevitable to avoid differences, in fact it is the diversity which makes a society or a community more complete and whole. So we must accept and embrace the differences rather than trying to impose a negative emphasis on those differences.
What caught your attention first when you looked at this picture? It’s probably the difference between the two hands, that one hand is fair and the other is not. But what about the similarities? This exactly is the problem with our society, that we give much more importance to the differences so that our similarities go unnoticed. Focusing on differences and the negative perspective we have towards distinctions leads to stereotyping which ultimately results in discrimination.
Judging someone by the color of their skin is very disappointing and not acceptable. And stereotyping people based on their skin color is the root cause for discrimination based on skin complexion. A person’s skin complexion has nothing to do with their morals, beliefs or intelligence. But not understanding this simple fact has led numerous innocent individuals to undergo harsh acts of discrimination.
Unfair treatment and discrimination is recognized as a violation of human rights both by law and human morals. Depriving someone of their right to equal treatment just because they have a different skin color is against humanity. As humans we must strive to ensure that we preserve humanity within ourselves as well as within the society and that every human being is seen for who that person truly is without any prejudice based on the skin complexion and we as fellow humans must make sure all humans are treated equally. Because equality is not a favor it is a right.
We should not let diversity among us to cause any rifts or separations in the society but utilize the inherent diversity to strengthen the human community. Because at the end of the day despite the skin colour, whether it is black or white every human counts.

3rd PLACE. 

Famidha Faiz.

First year undergraduate.

University of Kelaniya.

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Climate change as a crucial modern day issue.
The evidence for rapid climate change is apparent and the effects of global warming causing dire consequences is observed in global temperature rise, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, glacial retreats, decreased snow cover, increased sea level rise and extreme disasters. According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission to Asia and the Pacific, Asia and the Pacific is the most disaster prone region in the whole world and a person is 30 times more likely to be affected by a disaster than a person living in North America or Europe. In 2013 alone, the natural disasters in this region affected more than 57 million people and caused US $128 billion in damages.
Multiple studies published in scientific journals show that, climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. The prevalent situation is further cemented through the inclusion of the fight against climate change beginning through the sustainable development goals presented by the UN and thus emphasizing on the importance of climate action. At its inception, the sustainable development goals demands for an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing- in global partnership to tackle climate change and work towards preserving oceans and forests. We see the likes of teenagers in the form of Greta Thunberg campaigning against climate change and striving towards implementing better policies to fight the cause. It remains quintessential that we take a solid stance against climate change and we have to implement new and strengthen existing policies to combat this problem. It should be understood that we work in a human-nature coupled system, we remain the main cause for global warming and its consequences and hence it should be our actions that can cause a massive change in the existing system.
According to Christine Lagarde on climate change, “It’s a collective endeavour, it’s collective accountability and it may not be too late” and therefore before we point our fingers at others and blaming officials in charge, we have to question our own selves and ask “what are we doing to fight climate change?” and if you still hesitate for an answer. It’s not too late to make a change!

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