Columnists,Ajith de Alwis

Our chit-chat – Can conversations make a nation?

Views - 156 Thursday, 13 December 2018 00:00

We are living through fascinating times dominated by online conversations with offline taking backstage. From the Arab spring to Yellow vests in France, the online has proven its potential and power – be it destructive or constructive! A reading o


Where every other day is a holiday!

Views - 559 Thursday, 29 November 2018 00:00

So Sri Lanka – we have just been declared by the Lonely Planet as the place of choice for visiting topping the list for 2019. Simply excellent and it is actually nice to read the Lonely Planet’s Best in travel 2019 book which has this line – Pe


Paradise burning and ignited minds

Views - 129 Thursday, 15 November 2018 00:00

I may not exactly be sure why this title caught your eye at this time if you have decided to read this, but this is about an actual inferno in a Paradise along with bursts of creativity in ignited minds across the globe. Yet I want to ask the questio


Leaders are readers – Kalana mithuru poth sumithuru!

Views - 229 Thursday, 1 November 2018 00:29

The month of October has come to an end and the end indeed had real surprises. Some may say that if one can read writing on the wall, some of these surprises are not really surprises. Reading the writing on the wall is different and understanding cha


Miracle on the Han River: Can Kelani emulate?

Views - 489 Thursday, 11 October 2018 00:00

If a country has grown with science and technology driven by its own internal research and development and deployment, Korea should enter into anyone’s mind – or does it? Certainly when one hears the story of the miracle on the Han river, the sto


STEAMing STEM – Moving from horoscopes to telescopes!

Views - 235 Thursday, 20 September 2018 00:00

Walking into an inventors’ exhibition should give one an experience similar to an immersion into the future. The world change with inventions and inventors lead the change. The creativity displayed is an indicator of the creativity of the society f


Oh my education! I am two years behind!!

Views - 797 Thursday, 6 September 2018 00:05

This column gave rise from many a communication and observations after a discussion with my Head of Department at University of Moratuwa.


It’s time for different fuels – equations are only equations!

Views - 245 Thursday, 23 August 2018 00:00

In 2017 Sri Lanka spent an estimated $ 3,427.9 m in importing crude oil and refined petroleum products. Sri Lanka interestingly spent a lot on importing vehicles too. The value indicated is $ 772.7 m, the most significant of the non-food imports. Sr


The power of small miracles

Views - 265 Thursday, 9 August 2018 00:00

Quite a few years back we became quite familiar with the term ‘small miracle’ which never took to the stage it was intended but contributed perhaps definitely to the use of few hundred millions of rupees as no process is expense free. However, I


Robots are coming! Time to enjoy leisure

Views - 260 Thursday, 26 July 2018 00:00

It was Isaac Asimov who coined the three laws of robotics in his 1950 classic ‘I, Robot’ – A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm; A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except


A real Swiss lesson – Merci!

Views - 506 Thursday, 5 July 2018 00:00

This is all about an experience but more so placing on record an experiential learning. Those who read this may take their own interpretations or reflect with more questions. I am giving a perception I do value. Landing in Switzerland coming from Sr


Let’s educate ourselves for change!

Views - 327 Thursday, 21 June 2018 00:00

Ordinary Level Examinations are over. Results are in. What should I be doing at Advanced Level? Science, Commerce or Arts? And what subject combinations? This always is a burning question for some and also for parents. This question is usually answe


Greening my fuels: Empowering with sugar, seeds and waste

Views - 209 Thursday, 31 May 2018 00:00

I walk pass many cars parked in multiple places in multiple ways during the course of a working day. It is not that uncommon to witness and hear of parked vehicles with someone asleep inside with the engine humming to power the air conditioner. May n


My kind of economy: Trust your process industry

Views - 343 Thursday, 10 May 2018 00:00

In manufacturing and in processing, we appear to have been complacent when we can import something and if dollars come in as a result. Some still appreciate when more rupees can be realised from a dollar received! It is enjoying a weakness as a stren


Exporting bras with imported fibre!

Views - 505 Thursday, 26 April 2018 00:00

In a recent World Bank publication, ‘South Asia’s Turn,’ two Sri Lankan organisations – MAS from apparel and Dilmah from agribusiness – receive recognition as global champions. While Dilmah is in control of its value chain and that was its


Exporting rubber and importing erasers!

Views - 574 Thursday, 12 April 2018 00:00

Another year’s growth data has been released and some of us may be red-faced!


Avoiding a Day Zero: Turn on the taps of conservation and innovation for water

Views - 171 Thursday, 29 March 2018 00:00

On 22 March I was reading the supplements in the press over World Water Day. In Sri Lanka it is a matter of pride that in this particular day we can reminisce and claim on our proud hydraulic heritage and even coming to the recent times declare of ou


Analogue mindsets delivering digital leadership: Paradise misled!

Views - 202 Monday, 12 March 2018 00:01

Today there is much hype on digitisation and digitalisation, etc. We have excellent ideas on process digitisation and system digitalisations.


Putting ‘Yaha’ into ‘Palanaya’ – could standards be the trick?

Views - 339 Thursday, 22 February 2018 00:00

I will from the outset indicate that this is not about politics, even though popular terminology cannot be resisted if one is to get the message across. We are driven by emotions and the media is only adding fuel to the fire. If one takes a step back


Giving voice to the young– missing talent for impact!

Views - 141 Thursday, 8 February 2018 00:00

Listening to Science in Sri Lanka over the airwaves as you travel back home after work? Well, all of us know that it is not possible to find such a program easily, if at all. With so many of our citizens out of touch for so many years, mere availabil


The joy of books! Cuddling up with a wish to explore

Views - 313 Thursday, 18 January 2018 00:00

I walked into a small communication shop to discover that you can buy almost anything from rubber seeds and tree leaves to bird feathers to support a student attending a school. I noted that all leaves are properly and accurately (hopefully!) identif


2018 – A year for reinventing Sri Lanka

Views - 369 Thursday, 4 January 2018 00:00

The start of a new year always offer an opportunity for some fresh thinking and among most an opportunity to have a new resolution. The progress of course will depend on one’s commitment and only time will tell.


Victory in Geneva – Lost in Colombo!

Views - 1260 Thursday, 21 December 2017 00:00

I woke up to a call from a good friend and a classmate who was really happy about his daughter Thivinya – currently a student in a Colombo school (Museaus) – winning a Gold medal for her invention in a competition in Taiwan (Kaohsiung Internation


Moving ahead or looking and living in the past

Views - 311 Thursday, 7 December 2017 00:00

We love history and especially our version of it! Someone said that history is what someone wrote and past is what actually happened. Well then for most of the time we will not have an ability to fathom the past the way it actually unfolded. Yet one


Blue Green and scientific! Do we care, are we aware?

Views - 226 Friday, 17 November 2017 00:05

I see many comments on and summaries of the most recent Budget of the State. It is interesting to note that almost all the summaries ignore the provisions for science and technology made by the Budget. It is always


Power of insight and foresight for Sri Lanka: A regional first!

Views - 293 Friday, 27 October 2017 00:00

When Science, Technology and Research Minister Susil Premajayanth and United Nations Development Program Sri Lanka Country Director Jorn Sorensen exchanged jointly signed documents at Waters Edge on Friday, 22


The future that is coming – but we are unaware of!

Views - 622 Thursday, 12 October 2017 00:12

You walk into a public institution and wait for service and you notice the use of meticulously managed cardboard files with corners taped to prevent tearing. There are significant number of staff who would be responsible for a single file and you may


Think, speak, walk and act with purpose!

Views - 246 Thursday, 21 September 2017 00:00

As a nation we are perhaps positioned within a time period where we need our population to act with purpose rather than with discord. We currently appear to find solace in distress and appear to be a nation in waiting for trouble with all the news al


Let us be more responsive and responsible!

Views - 211 Thursday, 31 August 2017 00:00

If one attribute has to be named that is seriously at an all-time low in Sri Lanka, then that is discipline. Discipline of all types may be but one area stands out. That is our sheer lack discipline with respect to waste management, where no amount o


Polythene and plastics: The guilt is ours!

Views - 2055 Thursday, 3 August 2017 00:02

 The Government of Sri Lanka has declared a ban and restrictions on the use of plastic bags and lunch sheets, etc. The new regulations are to come into effect from 1 September 2017.  The lunch sheet and the bag have been around for a lo


Today's Columnists

Overcoming the crisis: The second freedom struggle

Friday, 14 December 2018

The crisis that has been developing in Sri Lanka, manifesting itself in varied forms at different times since independence, has now taken the form of a constitutional crisis, threatening the survival of the Sri Lankan State. Regardless of the Court


Getting more women in the workforce

Friday, 14 December 2018

The current female labour force participation in Sri Lanka is around 36%. This means that a disproportionate majority of women still remain outside the labour market, with limited or no access to wages, pensions and other benefits tied to gainful emp


Our chit-chat – Can conversations make a nation?

Thursday, 13 December 2018

We are living through fascinating times dominated by online conversations with offline taking backstage. From the Arab spring to Yellow vests in France, the online has proven its potential and power – be it destructive or constructive! A reading o


The vote, the verdict, and the TNA ‘backstop’: Beyond ’56

Thursday, 13 December 2018

“Leader of PLOTE and TNA MP D. Dharmalingam …stated that he believes that Ranil Wickremesinghe has handed in a written assurance of several promises. …The promises are said to include agreements on constitutional amendments, freedom for politi


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