COVER STORIES

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

Maithripala Sirisena, the man who outfoxes foxes: Has he got...

Cover Story
Vishvanath
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, ensconced in power having secured a second term as the Executive President, in 2000, did not consider Maithripala Sirisena fit enough to be the General Secretary of the SLFP, when that post fell vacant upon the demise of Minister Dharmasiri Senanayake.  Her choice was Minister S. B. Dissanayake, for whom she even cast her vote openly, at an election to the post, during an SLFP Central Committee meeting. She did so in breach of an agreement, which she had reached with the ...Continued

Sri Lanka in a Middle Income Trap; An Economic Vision...

Cover Story
Sri Lanka is in a near crisis situation and signs are that the situation will take a turn for the worse. Ill-conceived governance and political reforms, mismanagement of oil and commodity prices, unaffordable and front loaded public sector salary increases, reserve management through borrowed funds and assets sales to hide true cost of foreign currency are key characteristics of the past three-year public policy management. The cost is the loss of a unique opportunity to strengthen the country and manage the future with the least ...Continued

Policing the Internet: Will it arrest the spread of hatred...

Cover Story
Arun Welandawe-Prematilleke
Just four years have passed since anti-Muslim sentiments sparked riots in Aluthgama. The full fallout from those events was seen only many months later. If one incident could be attributed to the defeat of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the January 2015 Presidential election, it was the mass defection of the Muslim electorate from amongst his supporters following the Althugama riots. In early March this year, it was the turn of the small hill country town of Digana. The effects of this incident will also ...Continued

Economic and social tensions erupt in Kandy with a warning...

Cover Story
Aanya Wipulasena and Kshama Ranawana
It all started as road rage. But as it has happened so many times in the recent past, the consequences of that one act will have major implications on the country. Forty one year old H.G Kumarasinghe was a truck driver who fell afoul of a group of men travelling in a Three Wheeler, in Teldeniya in the Kandy area of the Central Province on February 22. An altercation over the truck not giving way to the Three Wheeler allegedly resulted in Kumarasinghe being assaulted ...Continued
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