Columnists,Ajith de Alwis

The power of small miracles

Views - 206 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 - 220 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 - 493 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 - 308 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 - 199 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 - 332 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 - 489 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 - 541 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 - 162 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 - 192 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 - 332 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 - 121 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 - 299 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 - 352 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 - 1225 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 - 303 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 - 217 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 - 279 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 - 610 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 - 239 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 - 200 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 - 1920 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


We think we cannot, therefore we cannot! Our power of self-doubt!

Views - 2026 Thursday, 20 July 2017 00:00

We need to place a different fuel to drive the economic engine. The fuel that is on everyone’s lips – except ours of course – is innovation and there is hardly any disagreement outside Sri Lanka, that innovation is being


Our tryst with mosquitoes!

Views - 3040 Thursday, 22 June 2017 00:10

This small specie – small in size but quite big in impact – is creating havoc among us these days. The Government has a serious emergency at hand consequent to mosquito bites and specifically the bites of one species – Aedes aegy


Submerged with guilt and neglect!

Views - 3112 Thursday, 8 June 2017 00:00

  Sahana software (www.sahanafoundation.org), which was developed after the tsunami by a few Sri Lankans, is an open source disaster management software and is identified as the world’s most popular open-source information manag


Tiny commitments from a thousand homes – mind separating matter!

Views - 3637 Thursday, 25 May 2017 00:00

     Some may be wondering after Meethotamulla where all the Colombo waste is going. However, I do have a feeling that most had no idea whatsoever where things were disappearing into until the pictures of Meethotamul


Colombo garbage: The smell of death and the despair of inaction!

Views - 4218 Thursday, 4 May 2017 00:09

    Colombo woke up to a rude reality when on Aluth Avurudu day at around 2.45 p.m. the accumulated heap of garbage at Meethotamulla gave way, resulting in the death of 33 with more than eight missing. The number of hou


Joining the greatest hunt in science – Sri Lanka with CERN

Views - 4624 Thursday, 20 April 2017 00:00

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha and the CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heurer sign an Expression of Interest Agreement to begin cooperation between CERN and the scientific c


March with intent and research with impact – SLAYS, you are important!

Views - 6218 Thursday, 16 March 2017 00:00

  Young scientist Shalini Thiruchittampalam was quite eloquent and with subtle humour articulated her research work ‘Probable chemical compounds from Sri Lankan flora for the treatment of neurodegeneration’ at the


Data that we have, situations that we do not see, decisions that we may not take…

Views - 5830 Thursday, 16 February 2017 00:00

A boy going to school on a misty morning up country. More than 500 schools in Sri Lanka are without basic sanitary facilities and only around 1,200 schools have science education going beyond Ordinary Level, while only 1.9% of GDP was use


Today's Columnists

Identifying traitors: I cannot wait until Dr. Padeniya presents his point scheme

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Cause for excitement I am excited! A way of identifying and measuring a traitor is soon to be unveiled; by no less than the President of the GMOA! Hasn’t he also qualified in some department of neurology? All the more reason to justify my excitemen


The evils of translocating wild elephants

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

The subject of translocating wild elephants has been a much-debated topic recently, after the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC), acting on the orders of the Minster for Wildlife, wanted to move the only two wild elephants habituating the Sin


Climate scientists cheating us to a $ 12 b/year economic loss in 2050

Monday, 20 August 2018

Local news media carried the disturbing pronouncement by World Bank economists to the effect that Sri Lanka will become an extremely hot territory with 30C temperature rise and $ 12 billion per year economic loss by 2050.


Singapore miracle – How SL could benefit from trade with Singapore

Monday, 20 August 2018

According to a media report released by President’s Media Division, a committee of experts has been appointed by the President to examine and report on ‘the practical impact and use of the proposed officer policy guidelines and recommendations on


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