COVER STORIES

A brief history of Prorogation

Cover Story
By Hawk’s Eye
History is full of instances of military victories being followed by the ascent of top generals or the gownsmen involved in war efforts to power. Some such military leaders took the easy path by staging military coups while some did so democratically. And there are also many instances of such generals leading their nations to prosperity, some even building empires. They surely did one thing – they changed the course of history. Incumbent president Gotabaya Rajapaksa is one of those who were instrumental in winning ...Continued

Politics is not Murali’s cup of tea

Cover Story
Spectator
Very few can hold a candle to Muttiah Muralitharan when it comes to his knowledge of world politics, of which he is a keen student. He seems to prefer Democrats in the US not because of the charismatic John F. Kennedy, the only Catholic to be US President. He seems to prefer Labour in the UK not because Jeremy Corbyn, who adores his bowling feats. He seems to prefer Congress in India not because of P. Chidambaram, who is well known to his wife’s family. ...Continued

When money talks

Cover Story
Hawk’s Eye
Those who contested the recently concluded presidential election have reportedly spent billions of rupees, according to polls monitors.  It is not possible to find out how much they actually spent because there is no legal requirement for them to reveal their sources of funding or election related expenses. The amounts spent at the presidential election are sure to pale into insignificance when the next parliamentary election takes place. Campaign managers and consultants of politicians are now getting ready for the next general election to be ...Continued

Running with Gota and hunting with Sajith

Cover Story
Vishvanath
“What matters in a race is not the start but the finish. The same is true of politics. A political leader is usually remembered for what he or she was at the time of retirement. What does the future hold for President Maithripala Sirisena? “Sirisena, a gifted vocalist, while he was President Rajapaksa’s Heath Minister, said that he was yearning to leave politics and sing virindu in his retirement, singing being his favourite pastime. Has the time come for him to look for a good rabana ? Has the ...Continued

Is the game worth the candle?

Cover Story
Vishvanath
The presidential race is hotting up with the major candidates going ahead full throttle. Two contestants, Gotabaya Rajapaka (SLPP) and Sajith Premadasa (NDF), are in the lead.  There are more than 30 also-rans in the contest. This is an election that the SLPP and the UNP are all out to win, given the very high stakes they have in it. The party that secures the presidency is most likely to win the general election to follow anytime soon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told the media ...Continued

Coronation of a New Czar in Madush’s Empire

Cover Story
Hemantha Perera and Vishvanath
Piliyandala, a populous suburb of Colombo, was full of hustle and bustle on 09 May 2017. It was around 8.45 pm, but the township was still congested, as usual. Thirteen armed Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) officers were waiting, in three vehicles, in the area, for a signal to swing into action, having laid a trap to catch an elusive drug lord. The PNB leader, Inspector Neomal Rangajeewa and two other officers were travelling in a private car from Colombo, so as not to arouse anyone’s ...Continued

Savagery At Madampitiya Graveyard: The Untold Story

Cover Story
Hemantha Perera and Vishvanath
It is popularly thought that the arrest of Sri Lanka’s ‘Napoleon of Crime’, Makandure Madush, and his confederates, last May, has helped contain the underworld. There has, in fact, been a decrease in the incidents of organised crime, during the last several months. But this let-up is deceptive, for criminal gangs, like some animals, opt for suspended animation, when the environment they operate in turns hostile. Hardcore criminals, caged in state pens continue to run their crime syndicates from their cells, with the help of ...Continued

Gang Rivalries get Red in Tooth and Claw: A Severed...

Cover Story
Hemantha Perera and Vishvanath
The media report, from time to time, underworld killings, but little known is the fact that most of them are interconnected and consequent to bloody turf wars. The Counterpoint, today, examines an incident where a gang left a severed head at Hulftsdorp. The victim was a member of Ranale Samaya’s gang. Today’s special report is based on information obtained from the police investigators who solved the crime. The spectacular attack on the Kalutara Prison bus and the elimination of Ranale Samaya and four of his ...Continued

An Epic Turf War That Led To The Kalutara Prison...

Cover Story
Hemantha Perera and Vishwanath
Pathiranage Aruna Damith Udayanga Pathirana, who came to be known as Ranale Samaya (incorrectly called Samayan), had a meteoric rise in the underworld thanks to several bloody turf wars that led to the physical elimination of crime czars such as Kaduwela Wasantha and Karate Dhammika. They died the way they had lived. They slew and were slain in the end. Most underworld characters do not live long, the only exception being Nawala Nihal, who was in his late 60s at the time of disappearance. He ...Continued

Underworld Zones In Colombo And Bloody Turf Wars

Cover Story
Hemantha Perera and Vishvanath
Elections are expected towards the end of the current year, and there is bound to be a spike in the incidents of violence as underworld characters, working for political parties, play a big role in electioneering. Sri Lanka’s political history is replete with bloody clashes during election campaigns and on polling days. The worst ever gang war in the post-war period occurred in October, 2011 on the day of local government elections, in Angoda, where two armed groups led by the then UPFA MP Duminda ...Continued

Cover Story
Hemantha Perera and Vishvanath
The Colombo city may be ageing, but the area it encompasses, save its poor quarters studded with slums and shanties, looks beautiful thanks to some gentrification projects carried out by successive governments. It is home to about 750,000 people and its transient population stands at about one million. In one waits in a chill-out joint or even in a busy street and watches the world go by, the city looks normal. The same goes for other towns and their sprawling conurbations. Looks, however, can be ...Continued

When A Presidential Dream Kept Parliament Open At Night

Cover Story
Hawk’s Eye
The Chamber of Parliament was kept open and fully lit till late on Monday night. It was an unusual sight and some staff members wondered what was going on. Before long, they realized that there was a photo shoot by a professional photographer and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, of all people, was taking part in it. Speaker Jayasuriya has earned a name for himself as a person who does not heed even the Presidents dictates, but, on Monday night, he meticulously followed the shutterbug’s instructions without ...Continued

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