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Manifesto: no mention of Amendment 19 or Amendment 20

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Pray Sri Lanka pray as five judges deliberate on the country’s future 

by Pro Bono   

Nowhere in the Manifesto has Gota said that he is repealing 19A and introducing 20A to the Constitution. It appears that he has a penchant for being economical with the truth.     

 Gota obtained a two thirds majority by deceiving the people; he posed off as the leader of the anti-MCC Movement. With his ill-gotten majority, he is attempting to push-through 20A for which he does not have the people’s mandate; he would sup with the devil to achieve his ends. 

Terrorist suspect released 

In the meantime, one of the prime Islamic-terrorist suspects in the ‘Easter bombing has been released from custody, purportedly due to lack of evidence 

The country is on tenterhooks while five judges from the Supreme Court, sit in judgment on 39 petitions challenging one of the most controversial amendments to the Constitution ever proposed.  The case promises to be a landmark in Sri Lanka’s political, judicial and cultural history as Sri Lanka’s very existence as a sovereign Nation State may depend on the judicial determination made. 

 

Government MPs plan to vote against party lines  

Analysts say that a popular Government, in a matter of months, has succeeded in making itself most unpopular by attempting to bulldoze the proposed 20th Amendment through Parliament, with its two thirds majority. 

 Many, within the Government ranks, are opposed to some very controversial aspects in the proposed Amendment; the people are demanding from their representatives to openly vote against party lines if the Amendment are voted on in Parliament; they say that those representatives voting against party lines have the people’s support.     

 The opposition, which only yesterday looked so hopelessly disunited and deflated, has suddenly got a second wind as a result of the proposed Amendment. 

 Strangely, with the massive opposition to 20A, its ‘author’ can be found; Ali Sabry has disclaimed ownership, forcing Gota to claim it as his own! 

 

 Fast becoming a political joke 

Gota, described by some as a good administrator, has made some serious and embarrassing gaffes, described in certain circles as ‘military buffoonery’. He is fast becoming a political joke and critics cite these instances to make their point: They point out that out of the blues he issued an illegal gazette on Sept. 10, 2020 to give ownership of State land to those squatting  on such land in total violation of an existing statute which is about  ‘Recovering State Land’ from squatters; the gazette was to override a Statute.  

He was caught with his pants down, furtively withdrawing the illegal gazette on getting wind that it would be torn to shreds in a court of law by anyone challenging the illegal gazette. 

Critics also point out to Gota megalomaniacally making ex cathedra type statements and insisting that words flowing from his mouth are like pearls of wisdom having the validity of government circulars.  

 They also refer to his frivolous use of the gazette as when a gazette was published regularizing coconut sales based on caliper and measuring-tape readings.   

 

Popularity plummets to an all time low 

Some analysts say that within 11 months his popularity rating has plummeted from a 70 percent to a low of 48 percent.  

 His present popularity rating is not entirely due to his non-ending gaffes; Gota secured his victory and his two thirds majority in Parliament by deceiving the people of Sri Lanka; he posed off as Sri Lanka’s flag bearer against the MCC, the most burning issue facing the country  

When the people realized his deception and called his bluff, he ingloriously fell from his pedestal and found it difficult playing a geo-political charade. 

 

Playing the role of house-negro 

Soon, he was collaborating with the Americans on the MCC Plan to take-over Sri Lanka.   

Today, with Trump going down with COVID, Gota’s actions evoke memories of Malcolm X and his explicit description of ‘House Negros’.  

 

Sri Lanka fulfills conditions precedent for MCC Land investment 

Much of Gota’s executive actions are based on ‘Conditions precedent for MCC land investment’, the conditions that Sri Lanka is mandated to fulfill, before the Americans condescend to ink the MCC Agreement.  

 In fact, it is being alleged that the so-called ‘bastard’ Amendment 20 was in fact impregnated by the Americans.  

 

Et tu Gota 

Embarrassed by the faux pas of his younger sibling, Mahinda attempted to rescue Gota from the trap that he was walking into setting up a committee to study and report on the draft of the proposed Amendment.  

 When this report was submitted to the cabinet, Gota, either resenting challenges to his authority or prompted by the Americans, consigned the report to the ‘waste-paper basket’.  

 

Government has no mandate from the people to repeal or make amendments 

News from the grapevine is that the Americans are following the Supreme Court proceedings with great interest.  

 Although it is being parroted that Gota had included in his Manifesto that the 19th Amendment would be repealed and a 20th Amendment would be introduced, many voters are bewildered as they are unable to find any mention of this in the Manifesto 

 Analysts say that if such a pledge is not in the Manifesto, it would mean that the people have not given Gota a mandate to repeal 19A nor bring in 20A.  

 It would follow therefore that in addition to a two thirds majority in Parliament, the bill would require the peoples’ consent at a referendum. 

 

Eelamists strategy for a UDI- Dual citizenship 

The proposed 20A includes a section which calls for the repealing of Article 91 (1)(d) (x111) of the present Constitution that debars a foreign citizen from holding political office. 

 If this barrier is removed, the path is cleared for the Americans to capture political power in the Provincial Councils in the North and the East of Sri Lanka through their diaspora-Eelamists having dual citizenship.  

 The Eelam diaspora in the US and other Western countries are awaiting the ‘starting-gate’ to be opened with the passing of 20A.    

Some votaries of Eelam and mercenaries of the US argue that contending for political office and representing people in a political chamber is a right of any citizen of Sri Lanka; they choose to ignore the crux of the counter argument which is not about rights and duties but ‘National Security’. This is the yardstick applied to many rights (for instance ‘The Right to Information’ is denied) when there is a lurking danger to National Security.   

 And to quote Gota from his own Election Manifesto, his priority number One is National Security. It does not require a rocket scientist to understand that dual-citizenship is a major threat to National Security.  

 The danger to our National Security can be perceived given the oath, taken by Rudra Kumaran, Emmanuel, Basil, Hoole and others.    

“I, ……., hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform non-combatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”   

 

The unfolding American scenario 

The scenario to be considered is this:  

On dual citizens being granted political rights, the diaspora Eelamists capture political power in the North and the East by controlling the Provincial Councils and all other lesser units in those provinces. 

The Americans, (see the MCC document) demand that all State Land – 83 percent of the country – be privatized. (As per the MCC document, the success of the MCC project will be measured by the amount of State Land privatized).  

 

The dual citizens buy up all State Land in the North and the East 

The US demands for itself the corridor of 1.2 million acres between Trinco and Colombo that will separate and demarcate the North from the South. (See the MCC document; This is where the electrified railway line would run). 

Wigneswaran, who worked on a USAID project on retirement, makes statements to stir up memories of a separate Tamil State; this is a forerunner to a UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence). 

The MCC document re Privatization of State Land runs into flak {Land (Special Provisions) Bill}. 

Gota comes to America’s rescue by issuing an illegal gazette to ‘privatize’ State Land to squatters et al; an open sesame for any one (squatter or otherwise) to register their names as owners of State Land, as per that gazette. 

When land is thus privatized it no longer comes under the control of the Government (the Centre), but that control is automatically devolved to the local provinces and councils. (Without much fuss Amendment 13 has been implemented, circumventing the legal and other barriers). 

Now that these State lands have been privatized it can be sold to any citizen, diaspora or otherwise.  

Gota is caught out and he is forced to withdraw the illegal gazette.  

With Gota’s moves frustrated, MCC partner India steps in; Modi threatens Mahinda, in a  Zoom Conference, to not impede any measures Gota may take to implement 13A which relates to devolving land and Land power to the North and the East. 

When all land in the North and the East are owned by the diaspora Eelamists, when the Councils in those provinces are controlled by the diaspora Eelamists, when there is a definite border separating the North from the South as is the Trinco-Colombo Corridor of the US, the Eelamists have a strong case to Unilaterally Declare Independence. 

If Sri Lanka expresses its opposition to the UDI, and attempts sending troops to the affected area, US troops manning the Colombo-Trincomalee Corridor would prevent that.  UDI is then a done deal, a fait accompli. 

Modi does a Wigneswaran in India. He has awakened the South Indians to their once Greater Eelam dream. The saga of greater Eelam is perhaps not over; the Balkanization of Sri Lanka will catalyze the Balkanization of India.  

With the diaspora Eelamists controlling Eelam, Eelam would be America’s 53rd State; the 53rd State of the US has scope for expansion when ‘Greater Eelam is annexed to Eelam.  

 

Strong statement by Bar Association 

The Bar Association has come out of its slumber and has done a copious study of the 20th Amendment. That, is a good sign. They have decried that dual citizenship should not be allowed under any circumstances. That is a legal opinion of great import. 

 

The clock begins to tick 

On May 9, 2019, Gammanpila castigated the US in open Parliament for attempting to exert undue influence on ten judges who were under training in the US; this was telecast by Adaderana News channel; see the link given below. http://www.adaderana.lk/news/55005/us-exerted-influenced-on-sl-judiciary-gammanpila?fbclid=IwAR1gR44V9Gb9EEiK6tIhB8cfYrAo-Zv0F22EcM5eMfZuDSj3jPEUkB1SPE0 

 

 Today, three of those judges referred to by Gammanpila, are hearing the petitions on the 20th Amendment.  

 It is a trying time for Sri Lanka and the future of the country hangs on a thread; it hinges on the judicial determination that will be made by the five-member bench. 

 Sri Lankans of all ethnicities and faith, you are exhorted to pray for your country and the bench of judges hearing the petitions. They need your prayers and blessings. Pray that they be granted wisdom and strength of character to act righteously to protect our beloved country.



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Features

An air of discontent prevails

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We have had a series of “Avurudhu parties” here in Aotearoa. No shortage of Kavum, Kokis, Athiraha, and even Wali Thalapa. Buffalo curd available locally and of course imported treacle in abundance. Yours truly has assumed the role of a fly on the wall during these festivities and gleaned much information, worth talking about.

First to get on to the Pearl, the talk of the botched-up vaccination plan and running out of the second dose of vaccine. Bizarre permutations as to what would happen if the second dose was not available on time and to who would be press-ganged into getting the “dodgier” types of vaccine from China and Russia, etc. The possible repercussions of getting a second dose of another type of vaccine to the original, the speculations of which left me rather glad that the general populace of Aotearoa has not been vaccinated to date. The talk moved on to the Easter bombings and the recent comments by leaders of the Roman Catholic church as to the possible perpetrators of the attack. Some increasingly obvious conclusions as to those responsible for the planning and funding of same are being reached by those other than some of us who dared to voice our opinions over a year ago! This combined with the increasing and very rapid unpopularity of the person they elected to high office hoping he was genie of the magic lamp type, and the possible reverse of Hong Kong that could take shape on the reclaimed land near the Colombo port, does not bode well for an already dubious future. By reverse of Hong Kong, I mean Hong Kong is trying to hold out as a bastion for democracy, whilst the proposed port city seems to be modeled on the opposite!

Moving on to Aotearoa, the rest of the world seems to be praying for a leader such as our own Jacinda Ardern, but the fat cats of Aotearoa are getting rather sick of her. Those who own multiple houses and have been setting off their interest payments against their taxes due to a loophole in the law that has now been plugged are grumbling. The fact that most young people can’t afford to buy their first houses due to rich people and property developers snapping up all available property, happily funded by banks who are only interested in the bottom line, is of no consequence to them. The fact that this could lead to so much discontent that it could even lead to armed insurrection doesn’t bother them. They seem to have forgotten that we have had almost no deaths and hardly any Covid 19 cases in our community when they say that the lockdowns, we underwent were too excessive and how the economy and business sector has suffered. These very people throng the stadia during the rugby and cricket games and enjoy music concerts with gay abandon. Megacorporations are not happy about the restrictions that are coming on with regard to the use of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) due to environmental concerns. To top it all off I had a lecture from my 13-year-old daughter about how I am being “led by the nose” by Jacinda Ardern and her propaganda! Where she got that from could only be from her elder brothers whose get rich quick schemes have seen a setback due to certain leftist policies coming in from the Labour government that is in power with an absolute majority.

I laugh to myself and think about other examples I have seen of self-proclaimed pundits never being content with their lot. My education was in a very large Government school. As a perfect and a member of some sports teams we handled the administration and some of the governance of this school. Later in life when my children were attending a private school I got involved in the Executive committee of the PTA of that school. The “problems” faced by the private school and the vast dramas that were involved in trying to solve those problems were laughable when compared to those faced by even us, senior students (a much lower level in the administration) of the Government school.

It led me to believe that people always grumble. They are never content with their lot and there is always someone plugging their case and trying to sow the seeds of discontent among the populace. If those living in Aotearoa, in the present situation and well aware of the chaos and mayhem that is prevailing in the rest of the world are dissatisfied, when will anyone be satisfied? Everything is relative and one should try to step outside the confines of one’s own situation and look at the broad picture. In the words of learned barristers, I rest my case!

This week’s missive will not be complete without a tribute to the memory of Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He lived through some of the best and worst times of human existence on this planet and conducted himself impeccably. He showed his humanity and his failings, with a few bloopers down the line but most of those had an undercurrent of humor and couldn’t really be construed as offensive, despite the best efforts of the media and others to make them so. He served as consort to her Majesty the Queen with loyalty and aplomb and he leaves behind an enviable legacy in the world of conservation and youth affairs. It is hoped that his heirs will be up to the task for they face a task which in cricketing terms could be classed as coming into bat after the great Sir Vivian Richards had just scored a century, in his prime. Something very difficult to surpass in skill and entertainment value. Unfortunately, the Duke made just 99. May he rest in peace!

 

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We have much to learn; and emulation is no disgrace

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“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” said Oscar Wilde who, through sharply ironic wit, often proclaimed the absolute truth.

Cassandra quotes him today as she wants to point out how much we in Sri Lanka can benefit by reaping some ideas from the recent royal funeral in Windsor. And she does not excuse herself for placing stress on our mediocrity as juxtaposed with greatness. Nationalists may shout themselves hoarse and bring down a few more majestic trees by decrying the comparison. They can justifiably claim we have a cultural heritage of two and a half millennia but have we remained cultured, following faithfully and correctly the four great religions of the world? A loud NO from Cass, echoed by millions of others. Though Britain’s development of the English language, culture, arts and science was later than our civilization, they outstripped all countries at one time and are again elevated, while we are poised on bankruptcy, with the begging bowl in hand and thugs and thieves as legislators. We in Sri Lanka are mediocre if not degraded against the greatness shown by the Brits in many spheres. This is no Anglophile speaking but a dame who was born when the Brits were leaving us to govern ourselves and grew up with our statesmen doing a jolly good job of it; Sinhalese, Tamil, Burgher, and a few Muslims taking the lead graciously and effectively with complete honesty, to serve the people. They maintained and improved our country so it was admired by others and even some desiring to imitate Ceylon as Singapore’s Lee Kwan Yew admitted. And where are we now? Except the Rajapaksa family from Medamulana, wearing rose tinted glasses or with eyes shut by arrogance, and their followers and throngs of sycophants, others see our country and our people for what it, and the people, really are. No need to elaborate.

 

The funeral of Prince Philip juxtaposed against customs here

The low-key funeral observing all Covid-19 restrictions was noteworthy for being utterly devoid of bombast and vainglory. It was dignified and moving. Cass wonders how many of her readers watched the funeral on Saturday 17, late evening here. Prince Philip had detailed all arrangements from the Navy being prominent and other Forces joining in plus the substitution of the gun carriage with a jeep he had helped design. The horse carriage he was adept at racing was stationed close by the entrance to the chapel. He has bequeathed it to the daughter of his youngest son and Sophie; the Wessexes having been very close to him and the Queen.

The entire proceedings proved first and foremost that the royal family observed strict pandemic restrictions like mask wearing and physical distancing. There was no one rule for them and another rule for us, thus proving beyond doubt that England (usually), and more so the Royal Family (definitely) are a country and an institution despising double standards. The monarch decreed and abided by the same regulations that have restricted everyone else in the UK, sharing their fate. An anecdote is relevant here. The Queen learned that lesson long ago. She was 14 when her mother said, after Buckingham Palace was bombed in September 1940, that she “could look the East End in the face now.”

Do all our people follow rules common to everyone? Oh! My heavens NO! There are differentiations according to layers in society. Shangri La would host a party for a hundred when only 30 are allowed to gather. During the height of the first wave when restrictions were strict, SLPP electioneering saw hordes thrust together and baby carrying, patting heads and hand clasping mostly by Mahinda Rajapaksha sans a mask. He has a charismatic bond with the masses but that needed to be curbed. Sajith Premadasa’s meetings were strict on physical distancing and mask wearing.

Only 30 were invited to the extremely solemn and yes, beautiful funeral service at Windsor Chapel. This meant eliminating even close relatives of the Family; but it was done. The Queen sat distanced from her daughter and sons and their spouses. Her now diminutive figure seated alone emphasized the loneliness she must be feeling after a close and successful marriage of 73 years.

This brings to mind our First Ladies. Cass steps out bravely to say that Elina Jayewardene was a gracious lady of restraint and dignity, the only perfect consort so far. Cass remembers Hema Premadasa beating her breast (true) and crying over the coffin of her late husband’s remains – in the true sense of the word – at the Prez’s funeral at Independence Square. There is dignity in restraint of even tears over a death in public. Among the women Heads of the country, the mother completely beat the daughter in dignity and ability.

We Sri Lankan women are now much more restrained in our mourning at funerals. Time was when widows even hoarsely wailed their sorrow, coiled and roiled with grief, and begged the dear departed “To look once more; say one word.” Cass in all the expressed grief of such funerals suppressed her laughter with difficulty. How would it be if the corpse obliged?

The choir at the funeral of Prince Philip was just four – one woman and three men. But their singing resounded in the high vaulted, completely majestic, centuries old church. The lone kilted piper within the Chapel evoked much. The service itself was short, just a Reading, prayers and listing of the multitude of honours bestowed on the Duke of Edinburgh, whose medals and decorations were on display beside the alter. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Dean of Windsor, David Conner conducted the service.

To conclude, the Duke of Edinburgh had advised and laid stipulations on a simple funeral with the necessary pomp and pageantry but low key and very unostentatious. The actual funeral was even more low-key with mourners requested not to be on the streets or place flowers. The latter they did in all the residencies of the Royal Family in appreciation of a man who faithfully stood by the Queen and in his own way gave service to the nation.

Coming back to Free Sri Lanka, we seem to stress on that first word Cass inserted to the country name, even in these dire times of no crowds. And the worst is milling crowds are apparently encouraged to boost popularity of certain VVIPs by sycophants and by the preference/orders of the VVIP himself.

Consider the funeral of Minister Thondaman: crowds in Colombo and all VIPs wishing to register their presence before the body, and then the commotion at the actual cremation Up Country. Consider this year’s Sinhala New Year celebrations which were very dignified at the President’s residence but were inclusive of all traditions and a large gathering in the PM’s home, even raban playing by the Second Lady, and milling crowds outside.

 

Roller coaster ride of the country continues

Cass is relieved she had a topic to write on; namely that we should emulate the manner in which the much admired Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral was conducted, abiding by his stricture of it being low key and the country’s Covid restrictions. Our leaders especially must accept the saying I quoted at the beginning.

The country continues its roller coaster bumpy ride with some crying out the country is being sold to the Chinese, we will be a colony of theirs after they occupy the Port City; and others in remote areas sitting down for days on end, some near 100 days, drawing attention to the human elephant conflict. Much is touted about the Bill relating to the rules to govern the Port City.

Cassandra listens to all, and is somewhat warned and frightened, but cannot comment. However, one matter she speaks about loud and clear. The people must be told the status quo of the pandemic – daily numbers catching the infection and numbers dying. This is not for interest sake or ghoulish appetites; but to know how things are so we relax a wee bit or shut in more stringently. The Covid-19 Task Force, or the Health High Ups (not Pavithra please) should tell the country of the true situ of the pandemic as it holds the country in its grip. We want to know whether the grip is tightening or weakening. Please give us daily statistics. This newspaper announces total numbers. No help. Are we expected to jot down figures, subtract, and give ourselves daily infection and death statistics? No! It goes to prove that other matters – political slanted, ego boosting and economics – are more important than warning, containing the pandemic, and saving lives.

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Do you pump Octane 95 Petrol to your car to get better performance?

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If your answer is YES, this article is for you

Dr. Saliya Jayasekara.

Senior Lecturer Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Moratuwa

Many passenger vehicles, including three-wheelers and motorcycles are fueled by octane 95 gasoline when octane 92 gasoline (petrol) is available at a lower price. 

Otto engine (petrol engine) is an internal combustion spark ignition engine invented by a German engineer Nicolaus Otto in 1876 and used in most of the light weight vehicles including cars, three wheelers and motor bicycles. Otto engines can burn most of the hydrocarbon fuels (including hydrogen and ethanol) that can mix with air by evaporation (low boiling point). But the combustion characteristics of different hydrocarbons are not the same when burned inside an engine. If an Otto engine is designed for a particular fuel, it would not perform similarly with a fuel that has a different chemical composition.

In a well-tuned Otto engine run on gasoline for which the engine is designed, the combustion of the gasoline (petrol) / air mixture will continue smoothly from the spark plug to the piston head by igniting successive layers of the mixture as shown in Figure 1 (a).

If low grade gasolines are used, the combustion of some of the air/ fuel mixture in the cylinder does not result from propagation of the flame front initiated by the spark plug, but one or more pockets of air/fuel mixture explode (Detonate) outside the envelope of the normal combustion front as shown in Figure 1 (b). This detonation can cause severe damage to the piston and the head of the engine while deteriorating thermal performance of the engine (low efficiency)

Gasoline is a petroleum-derived product comprising a mixture of different hydrocarbons ranging from 4 to 12 carbon atoms in a carbon chain with the boiling point ranging of 30–225°C. It is predominantly a mixture of paraffins, naphthenes, aromatics and olefins. Additives and blending agents are added to improve the performance and stability of gasoline. The engine designers learned that straight-chain paraffin have a much higher tendency to detonate than do branched-chain paraffin.

The tendency of a particular gasoline to detonate is expressed by its octane number (ON). Arbitrarily, tri-methyl-pentane, C8H18 (iso-octane) is assigned an ON of 100, while the straight-chain paraffin n-heptane, C7H16 is given an ON of zero. Hence, a fuel sample with the same anti-detonation quality as that of a mixture containing 90% iso-octane and 10% n-heptane is said to have an ON of 90. Gasoline is made up of a mixture of mostly branched-chain paraffin with suitable additives to give an ON in the range 90 –100. It was also learned through experiments that the ON of a gasoline blends (e.g. gasoline and ethanol) can be calculated by using weighted average ON of each compound. Most importantly, the octane number has nothing to do with the heating value (Calorific value) or the purity of the fuel.

Engine thermodynamics show that engines with a high compression ratio offer higher thermal performance than engines with a low compression ratio. These engines having high compression ratio require high octane gasoline (for example octane 95) to avoid detonation. However, using gasoline having higher octane ratings for the engines designed for a low octane rating (for example, 92 octane) would not provide an additional benefit or loss, other than increased fuel cost.

Therefore, it is important to know the designed octane number of the engine before fueling (refer owner’s manual of the vehicle). For example: the minimum ON requirement for two and three wheelers in south Asia is 87 (The World Bank). Most of the Toyota, Honda and Nissan models including hybrid engines recommend 92 octane gasoline.

Dr. Saliya Jayasekara received the B. Sc. degree in mechanical engineering from university of Moratuwa in 2001, and the M.Sc. and PhD degrees in decentralized power generation systems from Royal institute of technology Sweden and the Melbourne University Australia in 2004 and 2013 respectively. He has well over 13 years of national and international experience in design and installation of centralised/decentralised power plants, boilers (utility/package) and heat exchangers. Currently he is serving as a senior lecture at University of Moratuwa, a visiting lecturer and fellow at Deakin University Australia.

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