Political Column
Political hurricanes slam UNP

For a second week in succession, the focus turns to the main opposition United National Party (UNP), which, paradoxical enough is embroiled in its own crisis whilst the nation faces a bigger one of its own. In these columns last week, I dealt with the September 3 deliberations at a stormy session of the UNP's Political Affairs Committee (PAC). Another session of this Committee scheduled for last Thursday was cancelled. Thus, the next scheduled event of that day was a meeting of the Working Committee. It turned out to be equally stormy, highlighting a grim and disturbing reality - seemingly, problems appear to be resolved but in fact, they still simmer, continuing the rift in the party.

5th Column
Now they hold our hearths in the hollow of their hands!
“Thaaththa,” Bindu Udagedera asked, “what is all this fuss about gas prices?”
Situation Report
Vavuniya attack: How it happened and why

Barely two weeks after their foray into Eastern Naval Area Headquarters in Trincomalee, Air Tigers showed up again. This time they were an integral part of a pre-dawn Tiger guerrilla ground and artillery assault last Tuesday on the sprawling Security Forces Headquarters - Wanni (SFHQ - W) complex located in Vavuniya. The defining moments of the attack on this garrison, the northernmost under Government control in mainland Sri Lanka, came thrice in regular intervals of six to seven minutes. First, a group of guerrillas infiltrated the area near the Air Force radar unit to spark off a ground battle. Then artillery and mortar shells began to rain. Thereafter, two Czech-built Zlin Z-143 aircraft appeared over the skies to drop bombs.

Thoughts from London
British visa mess: dump those excuses
Last Sunday this newspaper prominently displayed a news story headlined “The UK visa waiting game.” Many of those who have participated in this “game” would probably have said it was more like waiting for Godot, for it has often been a fruitless exercise.
The Economic Analysis
Extending the retirement age in an ageing economy
Change is an extremely difficult proposition in Sri Lankan society. Economic and social policies tend to remain static even though society and the economy may have changed. This is the reason why reforms in many areas have hardly been attempted or when they have,the opposition to these are too strong and consequently governments change their minds and withdraw to the status quo ante. The opposition to reform comes from many sources.
The bold and the meek meet after the polls
The outcome of the recently concluded elections to the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils seems to have further weakened the two main opposition political parties in Parliament – the UNP and the JVP, while a rejuvenated Government side came back to the Legislature last week after the easy victory it secured at the polls.
Focus on Rights
Will not appear with this week
Inside the glass house
Will not appear with this week


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