COVER STORIES

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

The Kidney Disease Is Spreading

Cover Story
Aanya Wipulasena
The Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown Aetiology(CKDu) which has plagued the north central province for nearly twenty years is spreading to other areas as well. And yet, neither the medical profession nor other researchers have found conclusive evidence of the root cause for this illness. Professor Channa Jayasumana, Head of Pharmacology, Rajarata University says that there are an estimated 70,000 patients afflicted by CKDu. “Now the disease is detected in areas such as North Western Province, North Eastern Province and down South areas. Also, 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

Almost A Decade After The End Of War- Sri Lanka...

Cover Story
Aanya Wipulasena and Kshama Ranawana
The official end of the war between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on May 18, 2009 was hailed by the people, not just with a sense of relief, but also with heightened expectations of a better life. The initial euphoria was dampened as time went by and most people realised that post war challenges were immense and could not be resolved overnight. One of the main challenges was what could be done with an over-staffed military that was ...Continued

Climate change: Devastation across the country while leaders have a...

Cover Story
Aanya Wipulasena and Kshama Ranawana
When in 2007, a Sri Lankan scientist predicted that Anuradhapura would experience desertification by 2050 with temperatures rising to 36 Celsius, few took any notice.  Then came back-to-back droughts, which devastated the agriculture based dry zone.  The North, North Central and Eastern Provinces are still battling the effects of the prolonged drought that has placed a heavy toll on both human and animal life. The drought also affected other areas of the country.   A short respite came only in the early months of December 2017 ...Continued
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