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At Last, CEB Power Purchases from Private Providers Under Scrutiny

Cover Story
Kshama Ranawana & Aanya Wipulasena
Officials of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) have been asked to present themselves before the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) within a month, with supporting documents of the agreement entered into the purchase of power from private Power Producers, Counterpoint reliably learns. COPE Chairman, MP Sunil Handunetti confirmed that there is an ongoing investigation into the purchase of power.  He told Counterpoint that there was concern about partnering with Ace Power Embilipitya (Pvt.) Ltd. instead of first exploring other options, if there was a need ...Continued

Will MR Cut The Gordian Knot?

Politics
Vishvanath
The SLFP is no stranger to dissention, conspiracies, revolts and breakaways. Its history has been replete with such instances. It suffered a debilitating split and lost the last presidential election in 2015 owing to a dispute over the premiership, which several key party notables had been eyeing. Maithripala Sirisena voted with his feet and went on to become the President. The SLFP-led UPFA failed to win the last general election, again due to a falling-off over premiership. President Sirisena refused to make his immediate predecessor ...Continued

Getting An Education Or Cramming To Pass Exams?

Columns
Shamindrini Peiris
I used to meet a mother, a little while back, who brought her two children to the same swimming class as my daughter. The older child was a boy of ten who seemed really keen on his lessons and would rush into the pool as soon as the coach got in. But one day, he just sat on a bench near the changing room, clutching a book to his chest, wistfully watching his little sister swim. Wondering why he was not in the pool, I ...Continued

Drawing Board Beckons For Lankans Dogged by Inconsistency

Columns
Dion Michael
The ODI Cricket World Cup is just ten months away and whilst most competing countries have a fair idea of the composition of their squads, the Sri Lankan selectors find themselves going back to the drawing board to try and choose a team that will fly the Lion Flag high at the world cup in England in June 2019. All is not lost – the cupboard is not exactly bare. In fact, Sri Lanka has never been short of talent but the lack of consistency ...Continued

Decisive Action Needed To Halt Hate Speech

Columns
Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
The issue of the punishment of hate speech seems to raise more questions than it answers in the Sri Lankan context.  Invariably there are the arguments about free speech, which are of concern to the genuine rights activist or those purporting to be one.  There are also arguments about the weaknesses and gaps in the existing law of the land and therefore the argument for new law.  At the same time, there are concerns about the political commitment of the government of the day to ...Continued

Newspaper Circulation Figures, A Big Lie

Exposé
For the average reader, circulation or readership figures of newspapers or magazines are irrelevant.  For them, what matters most is content.  However, for those who must market the multitude of consumer goods, educational establishments, and whatever else needs promoted, circulation and readership numbers are critical. An industry that is supposed to report the truth has been living a lie for decades and have got away with it because neither the advertising industry nor the advertisers have joined together to demand for audited circulation numbers. In ...Continued

At Last, CEB Power Purchases from Private Providers Under Scrutiny

Cover Story
Kshama Ranawana & Aanya Wipulasena
Officials of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) have been asked to present themselves before the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) within a month, with supporting documents of the agreement entered into the purchase of power from private Power Producers, Counterpoint reliably learns. COPE Chairman, MP Sunil Handunetti confirmed that there is an ongoing investigation into the purchase of power.  He told Counterpoint that there was concern about partnering with Ace Power Embilipitya (Pvt.) Ltd. instead of first exploring other options, if there was a need ...Continued

Sri Lanka Needs Sound Naval Strategy As Power Rivalry Intensifies...

Cover Story
Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage
Geostrategic Focus on Sri Lanka In geostrategic terms, Sri Lanka has been in the limelight especially in the recent past. Caught up between major powers due to great rivalry in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is well within the spheres of influence of India, China and the USA. This strategic competition has resulted in a dilemma for Sri Lanka; the country is unable to make development decisions based purely on economic considerations. First, it has to pay attention to the strategic aspirations of major players. ...Continued

The Return of Mahinda Rajapaksa

Cover Story
Vishvanath
Power is like hell dust. It is highly addictive. As chasing the dragon is to a druggie, so is savouring power to an ambitious politician. Quitting it cold turkey, so to speak, is an extremely painful experience. Life became something like an aircraft in a tailspin for Mahinda Rajapaksa after his crushing defeat on Jan. 08, 2015. Everything suddenly became topsy-turvy and he lost bearings. It was days before he figured out what had hit him. An ignominious loss was not certainly something Mahinda had ...Continued

The Fall of Mahinda Rajapaksa

Cover Story
Vishavanath
Mahinda Rajapaksa’s rise in politics received a turbo boost from the war victory in May 2009, and his popularity reached the zenith. He had two options. He could either secure a second term and retire at the end of it gracefully as a truly national leader after bringing about national reconciliation, rebuilding the economy and restoring democracy or make the most of the unprecedented opportunity and try to be President for life. Mahinda chose the latter. Rajapaksa is adept at making political mileage out of ...Continued

The Rise of Mahinda Rajapaksa

Cover Story
Vishvanath
Mahinda Rajapaksa’s biggest achievement is usually thought to be defeating the LTTE while he was the Executive President. It was no mean achievement, all right, but it comes nowhere near the feat of surviving President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, whose aristocratic feathers Mahinda dared ruffle on several occasions. Many thought it was curtains for him politically when Chandrika became the President. In the late 1980s, during a Mothers’ Front rally in Matara, riled by Chandrika’s presence on the stage in the company of other Opposition firebrands ...Continued

Short-sighted Economic Policies Squanders Away Hard Won Peace Dividend

Cover Story
Prof. Sirimevan Colombage
When the war ended in 2009, expectations ran high among both local and international communities, that the economy would pick up, and that the socioeconomic problems faced by the ordinary people would ease up. In general, there is potential for such growth, as resources that are misallocated during war time, could be used optimally with the restoration of peace. It was also expected there would be a surge in inflows of tourists and foreign direct investment. Responding to the peace dividend, the economy did grow ...Continued

Will MR Cut The Gordian Knot?

Politics
Vishvanath
The SLFP is no stranger to dissention, conspiracies, revolts and breakaways. Its history has been replete with such instances. It suffered a debilitating split and lost the last presidential election in 2015 owing to a dispute over the premiership, which several key party notables had been eyeing. Maithripala Sirisena voted with his feet and went on to become the President. The SLFP-led UPFA failed to win the last general election, again due to a falling-off over premiership. President Sirisena refused to make his immediate predecessor ...Continued

Government Braces For Showdown; JO Limbers Up

Politics
Vishvanath
It looks as if the government had come to terms with the fact that it cannot go on postponing the provincial council polls till the cows come home. Both the UNP and the SLFP have gone into overdrive to impress the electorate with what they call mega development drives. Besides, everything is now in place to make the wheels of justice spin; the newly established High Courts will start trials against the grandees of the previous dispensation. President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe ...Continued

Gota in MR’s Den and a Din Over a Wish

Politics
Vishvanath
Never a dull day in Sri Lanka! Some interesting issue crops up, almost daily, causing a sensation. The last two weeks have been of particular interest; we have witnessed a host of issues, the most important one being the passage of the much-delayed National Audit Bill (NAB). There was hardly any public debate on this vital law, which would have been put center stage and subjected to a lengthy public debate in any other country. The media apparently did not consider the NAB sexy enough ...Continued

The Furore over the Fuehrer

Politics
Vishvanath
Hitler, who is either suffering the eternal torments of hell or is in the bardo, must be wondering why on earth he has been dragged into the cesspit of Sri Lankan politics. (For want of carpets he must be biting something else.) What must be hurting most must be the fact that the Sri Lankans of his ilk are condemning him as a monster, though they are ready to do as he did, given half a chance. The yahapalana government’s chips have been really down. ...Continued

In the firing line

Politics
Vishvanath
These seem to be bad times for former Defence Secretaries—one identified with the present dispensation and the other with the Opposition. They are under fire, albeit for different reasons. Austin Fernando, who calls himself ‘peacetime’ Defence Secretary, in his wisdom, came out of retirement to serve as the Secretary to the President; he was in the firing line over his refusal to release the entire presidential bond probe commission report without the state prosecutor’s nod. He is a man of peace, but some civil society ...Continued

‘Golden horses’ and Trojan horses

Politics
Vishvanath
Propaganda and infiltration play a vital role in determining the outcomes of not only military conflicts but also electoral contests. The seemingly invincible fail in war or politics alike due to their own blunders or their enemies’ brilliant ideas. Having fought a ten-year war against Troy, the Greeks were about to return home when someone came up with the idea of a wooden horse, which became a game changer. The rest is history. President Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to secure a third term in 2015 because ...Continued

Getting An Education Or Cramming To Pass Exams?

Columns
Shamindrini Peiris
I used to meet a mother, a little while back, who brought her two children to the same swimming class as my daughter. The older child was a boy of ten who seemed really keen on his lessons and would rush into the pool as soon as the coach got in. But one day, he just sat on a bench near the changing room, clutching a book to his chest, wistfully watching his little sister swim. Wondering why he was not in the pool, I ...Continued

Drawing Board Beckons For Lankans Dogged by Inconsistency

Columns
Dion Michael
The ODI Cricket World Cup is just ten months away and whilst most competing countries have a fair idea of the composition of their squads, the Sri Lankan selectors find themselves going back to the drawing board to try and choose a team that will fly the Lion Flag high at the world cup in England in June 2019. All is not lost – the cupboard is not exactly bare. In fact, Sri Lanka has never been short of talent but the lack of consistency ...Continued

Decisive Action Needed To Halt Hate Speech

Columns
Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
The issue of the punishment of hate speech seems to raise more questions than it answers in the Sri Lankan context.  Invariably there are the arguments about free speech, which are of concern to the genuine rights activist or those purporting to be one.  There are also arguments about the weaknesses and gaps in the existing law of the land and therefore the argument for new law.  At the same time, there are concerns about the political commitment of the government of the day to ...Continued

Thirty-five Years After July Riots, Wounds Are Yet To Heal

Columns
Shamindrini Peiris
School rivalry can be lots of fun, especially when it comes to sports, but when I went through the gates of Holy Family Convent (HFC), Bambalapitiya in the last week of July, thirty-five years ago, it was in circumstances I would never have dreamed of.  That Monday morning on the 25th of July, I was just another 8 year old on her way to school at St. Bridget’s Convent, Colombo, quite unaware that by the middle of the week I would take up residence at ...Continued

‘Home Advantage’ In The Spotlight After Lankans Thrash Proteas 2-0

Columns
Dion Michael
In another David and Goliath tale, the Sri Lankan Cricketers belied their lowly sixth rank to brush aside second ranked South Africa in a 2-0 sweep of their two-test series which concluded this week. Revelling in home conditions with dry spinning tracks, the Lankans completely outplayed their opponents to extract revenge for the 3-0 drubbing they received when they last toured South Africa. In that series in 2016-17, the hosts South Africa prepared fast, bouncy tracks to expose the Lankans known weakness for fast bowling ...Continued

Lions, Proteas Set For Intriguing Battle

Columns
Dion Michael
The Sri Lanka and South Africa cricket teams are set for an intriguing contest. The first of their two-test series began on Thursday in Galle. Both teams have had successful outings in their last test series with South Africa overcoming a subdued Australia 3-1 at home and the Sri Lankans holding West Indies to 1-1 in a three-test series in the Caribbean where they became the only Asian team to beat West Indies in their citadel – Barbados. There is a bit more than the ...Continued

COMIC STRIP - WASANTHA SIRIWARDENA

COLUMNS

COLUMN OF THE WEEK

Decisive Action Needed To Halt Hate Speech

Columns
Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

The issue of the punishment of hate speech seems to raise more questions than it answers in the Sri Lankan context.  Invariably there are the arguments about free speech, which are of concern to the genuine rights activist or those purporting to be one.  There are also arguments about the weaknesses and gaps in the existing law of the land and therefore the argument for new law.  At the same time, there are concerns about the political commitment of the government of the day to ...Continued

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