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Kerawalapitiya gas power plant - A
compelled to reply the letter of G.A.D.Sirimal, Boralesgamuwa appearing in your
paper dated July 5, 2009 in order to educate him and everyone else on the
factual position with regard to the 488 MW, LNG power project to be constructed
Firstly, the public must be aware that this US$ 600 million Foreign Direct
Investment project is entirely financed by a foreign investor and at no stage
will the Sri Lankan Government be requested for financial aid. The supply of LNG
and all costs associated with the project will be borne by the investor. They
will construct a highly Efficient Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power
station and either an onshore LNG re-gasification and storage facility or use a
Floating Storage Re-gasification Unit [FSRU] vessel. The LNG infrastructure will
be sized to accommodate further gas requirements for local industry and the
expansion of the power station.
The Cabinet Sub Committee on Investment Facilitation chaired by the President
approved this project on July7, 2006. In recognition of its value, a formal
cabinet of ministers’ approval has been given approval of tariff and land to be
allocated in the High Security Zone at Kerawalapitiya. Based on the Cabinet of
Ministers’ decision dated June 27, 2008, an all inclusive tariff based on an
energy payment has been agreed. This tariff is significantly lower than the
price of existing thermal power generation in Sri Lanka and on a par with
international best practice. Once operational, it would record major savings for
the CEB which would amount to anything between Rs 7 to10 billion per year. It is
understood that the operational Independent Power Producers (IPP) are being paid
an average of Rs 20 per kWh which includes an energy charge plus a capacity
charge. This is the only IPP power project not entitled to a capacity charge and
qualifies only for an energy charge. The CEB will purchase power on a merit
order when compared to other IPP’s and this is the only project to be treated in
It should be noted that due to its low impact on the environment and recognition
as a clean energy technology, this power generation project will be developed as
a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project. What this means is that the project
will produce a significant number of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) which
can be traded in the European Union Emission Trading System and provide a
substantial revenue stream to the project not available to coal fired
generation. It is this aspect of the project, the low capital costs relative to
coal fired generation and high efficiency of the plant that allows the project
to provide the people of Sri Lanka clean and sustainable energy at a highly
There is a delay in receiving the LOI since many amendments were necessary to
ensure that the cabinet of ministers recommendations were correctly reflected in
It is amusing to read that a feasibility study on the use of LNG is to be
undertaken by a foreign party, when globally the demand for LNG is on the rise
in countries having already done their feasibility studies. They are convinced
that power from LNG and natural gas is far cheaper than oil and a non-pollutant
of the air.
For the further information of Sirimal we understand that the ADB is brokering a
1700 km long gas pipeline which is a pioneering effort to link gas rich central
Asia with energy deficient South Asia through Afghanistan. This pipeline will
feed India and Pakistan and is costing US$ 3.3 billion. Meanwhile a US$ 7
billion scheme to construct a gas pipeline 2700 km long from off shore Iran to
Pakistan and India is ongoing. The demand in India is to soar in the next decade
and there seems to be a good case for the 3rd gas pipeline from Qatar to India.
They are well ahead in the race for cheap energy while we are bogged down at a
feasibility stage. For your further information, China is importing LNG from
other countries and gradually reducing their dependence on gas, oil and coal due
to obvious reasons, but on the other hand champions the export coal to improve
their balance sheet.
Let this nation move forward and not backwards and follow the noble concept of
Mahinda Chintanaya. Our future demand for power is expected to go over 8-10%
when considering the mega infrastructural developments in the North and East, so
let the innocent citizens have cheap power and lower their cost of living.
Finally, the officials responsible for confusion, conflicts and contradictions
should even now study the rapid progress of our neighbours and other developing
countries and not behave like frogs in a well of doom.
H. M. Nawaratne
Lanka Aloka AB [Private] Limited
Humanity and animalism
Christians consume the flesh of animals without demur or any misgivings. The cow
is sacred to the Hindu, but the flesh is eaten. Muslims say a prayer to Allah
and draw blood. Buddhists adhere to the philosophy of Lord Buddha. The Buddha
did not spurn the consumption of animal flesh.
He knew that from the Dark Ages man fed on animal flesh, and that animal fed on
animal. Non-violence, purity, compassion and respect for life are not
incompatible with the rearing of animals for man’s rational use. Jesus was born
in cattle shed. Siddhartha was born a prince in the royal palace of King
Suddhodana. In that kingdom, like in Sri Lanka, an animal fair named ‘Hela Mela’
was held annually.
At the fair, animals were traded for breeding and slaughter. A large number were
bought by butchers to supply flesh to shops. The fair pained Siddhartha but it
went on for it was a social necessity. Buddha trod the Middle Path aiming at
propriety and equanimity. He did not ‘advocate’ the consumption of flesh, but
was not averse to it for he was pragmatic.
Prevarication should not be resorted to and avoided in a grave, weighty
discourse for it is not in keeping with Buddhist tenets either. “Eat what you
need, and use whatever you need for modest living” are indeed the imposing words
of the Sage. Vegetarianism is a deviation from the true animal life. It is close
to the life of a hermit or recluse. It is self- denial. To lead a full life that
nature and God gifted one should embrace life in all its fullness. Denial is
incongruous and incompatible with life, provided one adheres to the accepted
standards of polite civil society.
Prof. Sivasuriya lectures saying that animals should be permitted to submit to
Mother Nature as humans do. That will ring the death knell of animal husbandry,
an important money spinning industry which takes humanity forward. Man defies
Mother Nature with the use of drugs and other curative methods. The same is
practised on farm animals and even on animals in the wilds, as Siddhartha did
with the flying swan that came down felled by the arrow of his cousin Devdutta.
He picked up the injured bird, pulled out the arrow, cleaned the wound, gave it
dew to drink, and crooned to the bird until he was able to release it to its
The Bible says that God having created the Earth and the heavens, the stars and
the clouds and everything that is there he got down to creating animals - the
birds and the bees and all animal life. The last were Adam and Eve and told them
that all they could see was theirs. The animals and plants were food for them,
though all life continued to remain sentient and on par with each other.
Prof. Sivasuriya is warned not to confuse the life of Prince Siddhartha the
youth with that of the Buddha, the Philosopher under the Bo Tree. Going further,
cow milk is rewarding business for the dairy farmer, though still the per capita
income is low. Import of milk make up for the balance as the productivity too is
low. Much has to be done. There are private companies involved in dairying.
Presently about Rs. 20 billion leaves the country each year to bring in the milk
that is needed. If that money is saved, it could be utilised to develop the
economy. Dairying will ensure good health to the nation. Please do not make Sri
Lanka a sickly nation grovelling in the economic mud. Cattle slaughter should be
freely permitted after veterinary supervision, preventing truck loads of cattle
being taken into custody. Robbing cattle is a malaise of inadequacy. Breed more
cattle and robbery will subside.
Novel way to English
The novel way to good English is by reading good English novels.
Children revel in it for the enthralling stories. For the adult it is good
relaxation, after work. Henty, Dickens, Scott, Lawrence are English authors.
Translations of the works of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Maupassant will hold the
interest of the reader when unknowingly his comprehension of the language will
seep in. Mugging up will not help. Now there are branches of English -
Communicative English, Pidgin English, Shakespearean English, Singlish as spoken
by many in Sri Lanka, and probably Indish as some Indians may be speaking. There
should be a large variety of English dialects spoken in its many colonies, when
Britannia ruled the waves. England left its mark on much of the world and on
Ceylon too. The Indian Tamil estate workers and more the kankanies who took
orders from the English superintendents use a ticklish sort of English, arousing
suppressed humour and laughter. Despite that the University of Cambridge sports
a photograph of a superlative English orator, hanging in its gallery of
distinguished past students - the picture of S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike complete
with bowtie dressed as the English nobility does - back home from studies he
metamorphosed into a Sinhala orator and was finally responsible for winning true
Political Independence by negotiating the withdrawal of England’s troops from
Winston Churchill is reputed to have spoken Queen’s English, having read all the
volumes of Gibbon’s history of England but Colvin R de Silva, author of ‘Ceylon
under the British’ mesmerised the Privy Council in England with his oratory and
legal skill as a defence attorney. A Ceylonese who was present in court said
that on that day he was truly proud to be a Ceylonese, for there was pin drop
silence as Colvin’s oratory rattled all those present. S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike
is bludgeoned for the Sinhala Only Act .That was a political move to get the
White Pukka Sahibs out of the country. He succeeded. The takeover of estates
completed the coup, the Englishmen went home, and Independence was consolidated.
Now, with the promotion of ‘English as a life skill’ for employment worldwide
and for reaching out to the external world of knowledge that is available in
English, the language is missed. Educationists who followed, in a fit of
patriotism, blundered by making Sinhala the medium of instruction in all
schools. Its need is badly missed. With the Eelam struggle laid to rest, Sinhala,
Tamil and English should be vigorously pursued countrywide in all schools, as
proposed, and with economic development proceeding, soon Sri Lanka will be ready
to take its place amongst the developed world. Sri Lanka has a top seat amongst
most disciplines, presently. With English its place will strengthen and
English teachers should come from England, the home of the English.
Food for thought
I wish to refer to the ICC World Twenty 20 Cricket played in England and
Our Sri Lankan team had 15 players in their squad (like the others). It was a
pity to note that having played so many matches, cricketers of the calibre of
Indika de Saram, Farveez Maharoof or even Thilina Thushara were never given the
opportunity of representing a single match thus, they were in their dugouts
yawning and frustrated.
Then again, cricketers like Chamara Silva and Jehan Mubarak played in almost
every match but failed to make any impact thus making a mockery of it all.
Cricket loving public was surprised at their selections again and again.
The statement made by the captain and a selector stating that they had picked
the best eleven seems a lame excuse as it was evident to cricket lovers, that
probably an inner hand was responsible in trying to “brew a storm in a tea cup”
through favouritism or any other means which would be detrimental to Sri Lanka
cricket in the future.
In conclusion, I must mention that our country having a high literacy rate, it
is time our finger spinning sensation Ajantha Mendis be given a little coaching
in day-to-day English, instead of always having an interpreter whenever he faced
a commentator in the future.
Clarence Anthony Fernando
Teacher with social work at heart
Mrs. Sumanawathi Vidanage, retired Vice Principal passed away recently. She was
the beloved wife of T. G. Karunarathne, retired Accountant, Electricity Board.
Vidanagamage’s residence was at Bogahawatta Road, Pannipitiya. She was serving
as Vice Principal of Dharmasoka Maha Vidyalayaya, Maharagama for a long period.
Her home town was Bopagoda in Akuressa area. As they came to Colombo on
transfer, they built their house close to our residence.
She was an excellent teacher. She was a great help to her husband for his social
services in the area. She rendered a great service to the Buddhist Temples in
the area. Her children are well educated and one son is employed in Australia.
We never expected her sudden death at the age of 66 years. May she attain the
Supreme Bliss of Nibbana.
J. M. Chandrasekera
Dedicated social worker
J.M. Chandrasekera, retired Court Magistrate passed away and his funeral took
place at the Public Cemetery before a large gathering. Chandrasekera’s residence
is close to Pannipitiya junction passing YMBA building. In fact, his home town
was Handapangoda and later on he built his home in Pannipitiya as he was working
in Colombo. I came to know him when he was attached to Homagama Courts.
He was a very dedicated public servant. He was a social worker in the
Pannipitiya area after his retirement. While at the same time he was an
indispensable person to the Buddhist Temples in the area. He was a leading
member of YMBA Pannipitiya.
He was a kind-hearted person who associated with his friends in such a way. I
had never seen him in an angry mood. I really never expected his sudden death so
soon. Fortunately his children also follow his footsteps.
Chandrasekera is no more with us. He had gone to another world without our
knowledge. This is the nature of the journey of life. May he attain the Supreme
Bliss of Nibbana.
Col. Fazly Laphir
In memory of Colonel Fazly Laphir, PWV, RWP, RSP, Commanding Officer, 1st
Regiment Special Forces, who died in action on July 19, 1996 while on the rescue
mission in Mullaitivu.
My dearest darling Fazly
Everyone can prove oneself
If things are well and fair
Greatness lies in how u act
When things are
Tough and unfair
When things were not certain
You gave more than your share
That was the reason
That made you
Much more than rare.
A hero is someone who stands up against fear
And not when you are not afraid.
A man is someone who can be so clear
When everyone else is confused.
This world is so strange - it’s only reality change
In this you were innocent, steadfast and true
I am humbly proud that I could share this life
And it was with someone as natural as you!
Your ever loving Ano