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LATEST POSTS

Drifting From Crisis To Crisis

Cover Story
Vishvanath
The country continues to be in the throes of an unprecedented crisis with the executive and legislative branches of government clashing fiercely and the judiciary being tasked with deciding which one has acted in violation of the Constitution. There seems to be no end in sight to the intractable problem, which is both political and constitutional; it is also not without legal and ethical dimensions. The signs are that legal remedies won’t prove efficacious enough to help resolve the present conflict, which shows signs of ...Continued

Has The Foxy Prez Got Into A Hole?

Politics
Vishvanath
So, it is now clear that President Maithripala Sirisena has failed to get a hole-in-one on the political front. His attempt to make short shrift of the UNP having failed, he claims that he has some more trump cards to play; he has already wasted three of them. He appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa Prime Minister, prorogued Parliament, which he subsequently dissolved, when he realised that he could not muster a working majority by engineering crossovers. He did not come up trumps. His latest move—the dissolution of ...Continued

Democratising State Power through Alternative Means

Columns
Dr. Siri Gamage
There is a tendency in today’s society,  to characterise the ruling class as self-serving, removed from the average citizen in the street, and consider themselves as a distinctive category who are born to rule unquestioned. This situation has arisen as a result of the hybrid governance system introduced in the late 70s, cross overs of MPs from one party or alliance to another at critical moments, extravagant lifestyle of politicians and the associated political culture, conformist role of the mainstream media, failure of education system ...Continued

Dark Side Of Campaign To Paint A Black Picture Of...

Columns
Dr. Prasanna Cooray
The Ministry of Health (MoH), in spite of being troubled by many unfinished battles, has opened another front. This time around, it has declared war on powdered milk, of all things. The MoH, in a poster put out in collaboration with the WHO’s country office, warns of as many as 21 dangers of consuming powdered milk. It may claim that it is trying to promote breastfeeding through that poster. We cannot but agree that breastfeeding should be encouraged at all times and there is nothing ...Continued

Once Again, The Confounding Tamil Nadu Factor

Columns
By Dissector
There was this cartoon in a local daily which showed caretaker Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa about to fence off in a boxing ring with a hulking opposition politician whose face was not clearly sketched. The former was being pushed into the ring by a sleek, sleeved hand with the label ‘China’ on it and the latter was being showed in by no less a person than ‘Uncle Sam’. The cartoon graphically highlighted the ‘external forces’ that are likely to come into play in the parliamentary ...Continued

Lanka’s Untapped Gold Mine

Columns
Duncan
Almost seven decades after making its debut at an international sports event as an independent country, Sri Lanka won its first medal in an endurance event, when Paarami Wasanthi of Kuliyapitiya Central clinched a bronze at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in October 2018. With the schools track and field structure largely encouraging development of sprinters, doesn’t this against-odds victory in the long distance event point to where the country should have its focus on to win at international level? Sri Lanka’s Olympics medals ...Continued

The Criminal Mental and Physical Abuse in Our Universities Has...

Exposé
Aanya Wipulasena and Kshama Ranawana
You find them along pavements or near markets or even on trains, till in hand, raising funds to assist undergraduates and other students who cannot afford to even purchase an exercise book. However, the monies thus collected don’t actually go towards the purpose they tell you about, rather, it’s a ruse to raise money to build “thoran” (pandals) or even rent places to rag new batches of university students. For instance, one such Thorana had cost nearly Rs. 7 lakhs, a source who wished to ...Continued

Though Banned, Corporal Punishment Is Practiced Across Schools

Exposé
Kshama Ranawana
Around March this year, some parents of students of Royal College Primary contacted the Ministry of Education regarding certain abusive situations their children were being subjected to in school.    They were reaching out to the Ministry out of sheer frustration as no corrective action had been taken by the school authorities. Amongst the cases they highlighted was of a Grade 5 student who was injured when a musical instrument was thrown at him by one of the teachers.  The injury which damaged some nerves resulted ...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

Ceylon Electricity Board Pays Billions To Private Power Suppliers Illegally...

Exposé
For the Deputy General Manager Energy Purchases of the Ceylon Electricity Board, (CEB) it is an interdiction order for his efforts to follow procedure and minimise unnecessary expenses.  For Aitken Spence, the parent company of Ace Power Embilipitya (Pvt.) it is a windfall that will boost its revenue in billions of rupees. Deputy General Manager, Energy Purchases, Sujeewa Abeywickrama was interdicted on July 2, 2018. The charges against him ranged from not carrying out assigned duties, not following directions given by the General Manager, to ...Continued

Drifting From Crisis To Crisis

Cover Story
Vishvanath
The country continues to be in the throes of an unprecedented crisis with the executive and legislative branches of government clashing fiercely and the judiciary being tasked with deciding which one has acted in violation of the Constitution. There seems to be no end in sight to the intractable problem, which is both political and constitutional; it is also not without legal and ethical dimensions. The signs are that legal remedies won’t prove efficacious enough to help resolve the present conflict, which shows signs of ...Continued

A Plot Flattens A Government

Cover Story
Vishvanath
A pall of political uncertainty hangs over the country following the recent change of government. Newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is busy consolidating his position and the UNP is girding itself for the fray. Ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is not prepared to give in and the UNP is on the warpath. He put up a good show of strength on Tuesday, but the problem with protests is that they get forgotten in next to no time and issues that lead to them remain unsolved. ...Continued

Our Communication Industry, A Tool Of Crony Capitalism

Cover Story
Kshama Ranawana and Aanya Wipulasena
Sri Lanka is fast losing its edge as being the leader in the telecommunications industry in the region. Taxes levied on the services, no clear policies on fees and user conditions on spectrum allocation and caps on data usage, which forces many companies to purchase more costly higher data packages are some of the factors affecting the industry.   And India is fast catching up! Telecommunication, says a source who wished to remain anonymous is one of the driving forces of the country’s economy.  It is ...Continued

Ranil: The Man Who Toils Like Sisyphus

Cover Story
Vishvanath
Sisyphus, the king of Corinth, in Greek mythology, rolls a boulder up a steep hill in Hades and every time he is about to reach the top the rock escapes his grasp and careens down, and he has to start all over again. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been saddled with a Sisyphean task in politics; he toils for years in an effort to secure the executive presidency only to have his hopes dashed. It is thought that he has been eyeing the much-coveted post ...Continued

Continuing Corruption In The Energy Industry Keeps Electricity Rates High

Cover Story
Kshama Ranawana
Inordinate delays in implementing renewable energy projects, mostly because it is claimed that politicians and bureaucrats are demanding kickbacks from investors are costing the country billions of rupees.  This is despite the government’s stated commitment and policy to make the country “energy sufficient” by 2030. The situation resulted in a former minister of power and energy,  currently the Megapolis and Western Development Minister, Patali Champika Ranawaka calling for a Presidential commission of inquiry   to investigate  the cause for the delays, economic cost to the government, ...Continued

SriLankan Airlines Will Never Be Profitable

Cover Story
The controversial outgoing SriLankan airlines CEO, Suren Ratwatte had sent a note to the new Board, weeks after he was forced to resign. In the note, Captain Ratwatte reviews his turbulent period as CEO and the options the airline has in the future, which according to him are very bleak. During his tenure, members of the Board of Directors had zero experience running an airline. They were appointed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe on the basis of old personal friendships and political IOU’s. The Board ...Continued

Has The Foxy Prez Got Into A Hole?

Politics
Vishvanath
So, it is now clear that President Maithripala Sirisena has failed to get a hole-in-one on the political front. His attempt to make short shrift of the UNP having failed, he claims that he has some more trump cards to play; he has already wasted three of them. He appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa Prime Minister, prorogued Parliament, which he subsequently dissolved, when he realised that he could not muster a working majority by engineering crossovers. He did not come up trumps. His latest move—the dissolution of ...Continued

On A Wing And A Prayer

Politics
Vishvanath
Both the UNP and the UPFA-SLPP combine are readying themselves for a grand showdown on the political front. The former flexed its muscles, on Tuesday, by bringing large crowds to Colombo in protest against the appointment of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister. That show of strength was a success; it must have boosted the morale of the beleaguered party leadership considerably. The UNP deserves praise for ending its protest without causing untoward incidents. So far so good! The UPFA and the SLPP ...Continued

Never The Twain Shall Meet

Politics
Vishvanath
Speculation is rife in political circles that a caretaker government with the Joint Opposition (JO) and the SLFP/UPFA as parties thereto is in the offing. Weekly political columns are replete with juicy accounts of the JO big guns and President Maithripala Sirisena rendezvousing. It is said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Maithripala Sirisena have had several rounds of talks on rapprochement, albeit without much success. Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and President Sirisena have also powwowed though they are sworn political enemies, we are ...Continued

Winds Of Crisis, Grins And Grimaces

Politics
Vishvanath
These are bad times for elephants. The last few weeks have seen more than a dozen of them perish in the outback. Some of them were knocked down by a speeding train. It was only the other day that a herd of wild jumbos drowned in a swamp. The Grand Old Party, which has the elephant as its symbol, is also getting bogged down in a politico-economic mire with no hope of rescue. The harder it struggles to escape, the deeper it gets sucked in. ...Continued

Stool Pigeon Squeals; The Plot Thickens

Politics
Vishvanath
The government, troubled by a surfeit of issues, now has some more seemingly intractable ones to contend with. One of them has the potential to sour relations between the SLFP and the UNP further.   One may have expected the allegation that there was a plot to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to be treated sceptically by one and all. The person who revealed the alleged plot is not a prominent figure with credibility. He is a police informant doubling ...Continued

‘Occupy Colombo’ In The Offing?

Politics
Vishvanath
The Joint Opposition’s Janabalaya Colombata protest is just a foretaste of what to come. The ruling coalition did not expect the JO to stage such a successful rally. It had done everything in its power to sabotage the protest while claiming, in public, that it did not care a damn about the event. Private bus owners had been warned that if they released buses for transporting people for the protest, they would lose their route permits. Many bus operators fell in line, and an irate ...Continued

Democratising State Power through Alternative Means

Columns
Dr. Siri Gamage
There is a tendency in today’s society,  to characterise the ruling class as self-serving, removed from the average citizen in the street, and consider themselves as a distinctive category who are born to rule unquestioned. This situation has arisen as a result of the hybrid governance system introduced in the late 70s, cross overs of MPs from one party or alliance to another at critical moments, extravagant lifestyle of politicians and the associated political culture, conformist role of the mainstream media, failure of education system ...Continued

Dark Side Of Campaign To Paint A Black Picture Of...

Columns
Dr. Prasanna Cooray
The Ministry of Health (MoH), in spite of being troubled by many unfinished battles, has opened another front. This time around, it has declared war on powdered milk, of all things. The MoH, in a poster put out in collaboration with the WHO’s country office, warns of as many as 21 dangers of consuming powdered milk. It may claim that it is trying to promote breastfeeding through that poster. We cannot but agree that breastfeeding should be encouraged at all times and there is nothing ...Continued

Once Again, The Confounding Tamil Nadu Factor

Columns
By Dissector
There was this cartoon in a local daily which showed caretaker Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa about to fence off in a boxing ring with a hulking opposition politician whose face was not clearly sketched. The former was being pushed into the ring by a sleek, sleeved hand with the label ‘China’ on it and the latter was being showed in by no less a person than ‘Uncle Sam’. The cartoon graphically highlighted the ‘external forces’ that are likely to come into play in the parliamentary ...Continued

Lanka’s Untapped Gold Mine

Columns
Duncan
Almost seven decades after making its debut at an international sports event as an independent country, Sri Lanka won its first medal in an endurance event, when Paarami Wasanthi of Kuliyapitiya Central clinched a bronze at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in October 2018. With the schools track and field structure largely encouraging development of sprinters, doesn’t this against-odds victory in the long distance event point to where the country should have its focus on to win at international level? Sri Lanka’s Olympics medals ...Continued

The Barmy Army Invasion

Columns
By Spectator
Barmy Army was the first group of fans to follow and support their cricket team dedicatedly and consistently. Gradually other cricketing nations have taken a leaf out of their book, and now we have ‘The Richies’ in Australia and ‘Bharath Army’ in India. Not to be outdone, a group of Sri Lankan students living in Australia have started something of our own. These cricket crazy lads from various parts of Colombo call themselves ‘Appuhamy’, of all names. It is doubtful whether Test cricket interests many ...Continued

Saving The Elephants

Columns
Kshama Ranawana and Aanya Wipulasena
Unless elephant movements are studied for at least a year, and solutions implemented according to their lifestyle, the attempts to prevent trains killing them will be a bigger calamity warns Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya, former Director General, Department of Wildlife and former Environment Specialist at the World Bank. It is vital to determine if the elephants have a specific crossing point, or if they are crossing at random points he states, or else it will be a waste of colossal amounts of money and destruction of ...Continued

COMIC STRIP - WASANTHA SIRIWARDENA

COLUMNS

COLUMN OF THE WEEK

The Barmy Army Invasion

Columns
By Spectator

Barmy Army was the first group of fans to follow and support their cricket team dedicatedly and consistently. Gradually other cricketing nations have taken a leaf out of their book, and now we have ‘The Richies’ in Australia and ‘Bharath Army’ in India. Not to be outdone, a group of Sri Lankan students living in Australia have started something of our own. These cricket crazy lads from various parts of Colombo call themselves ‘Appuhamy’, of all names. It is doubtful whether Test cricket interests many ...Continued

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