Columnists,Ajith de Alwis,Opinion and Issues

On time – Only for a week! A must-change!

Views - 210 Thursday, 18 April 2019 00:00

We are in April and the month where we witness the declaration of a new year as per our traditional practice. It is that period of time when a huge majority of our population, which certainly can be counted in millions, intends to act in unison and q


Colombo – The one and only!

Views - 423 Thursday, 4 April 2019 00:31

Last year in October something quite interesting happened. Now I think most of you would be jumping to a conclusion, which indicates how much we know about things political but not at all about very important developments with respect to our nation


Sanitation to the fore: Ensure fait accompli!

Views - 152 Thursday, 21 March 2019 00:00

The Budget speech of 5 March positioned sanitary facilities or rather the absence across the country to a new height, bringing attention to a subject much less talked about. To repeat what the Minister of Finance stated: “Mr. Speaker, in spite of


Planning sans science and technology: Life for us is going to be costly if not painful!

Views - 195 Thursday, 7 March 2019 00:55

Sri Lanka is in a period of extreme challenge and the reasons are manifold – However, I really do not see whether we understand the way out! ‘Sri Lanka: A country trapped in debt’ and ‘Repayment of debt – the biggest nightmare for Sri Lank


‘Made in Everywhere Except Here’! Dependence of our independence

Views - 172 Thursday, 21 February 2019 01:25

Seventy-one years since 4 February 1948 is what our senses had been informed living in this beautiful isle since independence. Over the last 71 years we also have constantly described ourselves as a developing nation. As the day approaches having pla


Refreshing research! Hantana Vision

Views - 212 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 - 155 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 - 312 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 - 577 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 - 309 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 - 590 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 - 155 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 - 298 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 - 558 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 - 274 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 - 821 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 - 282 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 - 294 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 - 316 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 - 518 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 - 342 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 - 219 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 - 356 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 - 525 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 - 610 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 - 183 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 - 216 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 - 357 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 - 159 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 - 324 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


Today's Columnists

Poignant pondering on a patriarch

Monday, 22 April 2019

Almost five months have gone. It is with a profound sense of sadness that we experienced the demise of our veteran teacher, respected author, legal luminary, an accomplished ambassador, an eminent public servant and an amazing human being, Dr. Wickre


Enemies of democracy – Part I Demand for a strongman to rule the country

Monday, 22 April 2019

I posed the following question to a group of university students recently: ‘Do you desire to have a strongman to rule Sri Lanka today?’ The students, made up of both genders in the age group of 25 to 35, chorused the answer in the affirmative. Wh


The sad demise of Jet Airways

Monday, 22 April 2019

Jet Airways of India, once the premier full-service carrier of the sub-continent, has ceased operations. “Jet Airways and its Board of Directors have been forced to take this extreme measure, as prolonged and sustained efforts with lenders and auth


No more stones to break Sri Lankan bones

Friday, 19 April 2019

Trial by fire is not a new ordeal to Christian community. It predates Notre Dame and Nazism by millennia. In fact, a decade or so before Nero torched believers to light Roman avenues, Jewish religious leaders put Jesus-followers to the test as the Ch


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