Columnists,Ajith de Alwis,Opinion and Issues

Refreshing research! Hantana Vision

Views - 179 Thursday, 7 February 2019 00:29

There is always the question, what have our universities contributed by way of research towards national needs and to the cause of development? This question is asked in many ways in many a forum. I am quite sure that most of those who question have


Catwalk beyond 400 PPM – Consuming towards disaster!

Views - 138 Thursday, 24 January 2019 00:46

Catwalks sizzle! What’s on the catwalk – the skin, the silk, lycra parading endlessly broadcast to the world whatever new and popular in clothing and accessories and it also communicates desirable dimensions too in a not-too-subtle manner. Knowi


One of my quotients is falling – A society in decline!?

Views - 277 Thursday, 10 January 2019 00:37

Today four technology revolutions are on the cards and of the lot the most recent is neurotechnology. Neurotechnology is adding to biotechnology, nanotechnology and information technology. This technology really addresses the core essence of humanit


Ecosystems, not just institutions – Homagama, our own Silicon Valley!

Views - 508 Thursday, 27 December 2018 00:16

Silicon Valley in USA, Boston again in USA, Tel Aviv in Israel, Eindhoven in Netherlands are well-known in today’s world – they are economic hotspots! I am not too sure of a similar understanding in the local context when one considers the expre


Our chit-chat – Can conversations make a nation?

Views - 298 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 - 579 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 - 144 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 - 266 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 - 531 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 - 254 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 - 811 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 - 263 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 - 283 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 - 287 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 - 513 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 - 334 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 - 213 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 - 349 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 - 514 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 - 587 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 - 175 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 - 208 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 - 346 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 - 149 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 - 318 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 - 378 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 - 1278 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 - 317 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 - 230 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 - 305 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


Today's Columnists

MMDA, ACJU, politicians and women

Saturday, 16 February 2019

It is 10 years since Justice Saleem Marsoof (JSM) and his committee was appointed to review and make recommendations to reform the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA), passed originally in 1951 and amended in 1954, 1955, 1965 and 1969 before becom


President Trump looked for the failed idea of a wall

Saturday, 16 February 2019

The talks over the “Wall of Trump” between the US-Mexico Border Security broke down with Congressional leaders over the weekend. After the renewed call for a wall at his second State of the Union, President Donald Trump attended a political rally


‘The Man Who Would Be King’: Remembering Anura Bandaranaike on his 70th birth anniversary

Friday, 15 February 2019

‘The Man Who Would Be King’ is the title of a long tale written by Rudyard Kipling in 1888. This very popular story was made into a successful film starring Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer by the well-known director John Husto


Of pseudo-democrats, discipline and the coming death of liberty?

Friday, 15 February 2019

I despair of our politicos and would-be politicians. Not that they are not all honourable men. From the honourable prime minister to the former defence secretary discharging his duty honourably after premature retirement! But that honour often dresse


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