Columnists,Ajith de Alwis,Opinion and Issues

Trust science and technology to deliver: Let innovation be the key

Views - 280 Thursday, 5 December 2019 00:00

A new leadership for the country is at the helm. One that is known to believe in focus and intent as well as the power of execution. While execution of plans is critical – we have seen awful delays and procrastination over what is important – it


Air India over Colombo

Views - 826 Thursday, 21 November 2019 00:00

Amidst the busy politicking in November an unexpected appearance of quite a number of packets of air over the country and in particularly over Colombo caused some distractions and elicited few warnings of a different type. This is about the smog-la


My vote goes to… Voting without much confidence

Views - 230 Thursday, 31 October 2019 00:31

Democracy at crunch time is all about counting the votes and those who have one each are the most important actors in this period. Capturing the hearts and minds in one’s direction is all that the candidates have to do and a multitude of ways and m


Innovation conundrum: We do or don’t do!

Views - 214 Thursday, 17 October 2019 01:08

It is perhaps important to highlight the need for seriously considering an aspect that we need to embrace and embed if we are ever to transform our economy from a dependent deprived status to a one worthy of emulation. The aspect in question is innov


Need waste-to-energy, not energy-to-waste!

Views - 417 Thursday, 19 September 2019 00:42

Some appear to think of a leader just by visualising a strong person. Blindly believing with that mentality, hoping for the destination to be delivered is being naïve at its very best. I confess that I would like to see knowledge and understanding w


A solid waste of time, resources and energy!

Views - 505 Thursday, 29 August 2019 00:00

Most of our days from the recent past appear to belong to waste! Beating politics and robberies, traffic-related deaths and related mayhem waste managed to garner headline space in press and media. While there were many discussions and emotional out


Culture of research: so important yet so difficult to foster

Views - 447 Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka is in need of an active generation that is curious and ready to plunge into exploration. It is an activity that we have missed inculcating in our youngsters starting from a very young age. We are very much not ready to venture out, but ever


Business 2 People (B2P) and coming closer to you!

Views - 197 Thursday, 1 August 2019 00:13

Imagine an 18-wheel big truck meandering its way through the rural countryside with expert personnel on board with an economic mission. The environment may be classified as rural but this rural countryside belongs to the world’s first economy – t


‘Shilpa Sena’ exposition – Show, tell and inspire!

Views - 1081 Thursday, 4 July 2019 01:53

This month and more specifically on 18-21 July at the BMICH, hopefully Sri Lankans will see and experience something different when the ‘Shilpa Sena’ exposition gets underway at its premises. This is designed to be an exhibition with a difference


A day in the life of a democracy

Views - 266 Thursday, 20 June 2019 00:00

When you listen to the news and observe views from the country of the mother of all parliaments, it is quite interesting, and I dare say there is so much to learn from it. I am not in any way referring to pursue subservient veneration nor behavioural


De-bureaucratise bureaucracy – Combat soft terrorism for growth!

Views - 214 Thursday, 6 June 2019 00:00

I know this can be a difficult topic and a difficult set of words to digest but I believe that this is an imperative tool if we are to move ahead in this island of ours. Cost of inefficiency has to be turned around for opportunity through action. Af


Time to depoliticise politics! We are very much equal!

Views - 382 Thursday, 16 May 2019 00:10

Depoliticise politics – am I saying something of an oxymoron?! Today we are a society sadly in painful transition to a new normal after 4/21. How we react or rather act in these days may define the new normal – act wisely it has the power to posi


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

Views - 287 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 - 485 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 - 181 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 - 231 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 - 231 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 - 256 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 - 180 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 - 386 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 - 897 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 - 342 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 - 633 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 - 182 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 - 430 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 - 643 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 - 343 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 - 852 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 - 345 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 - 319 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


Today's Columnists

Roots of the crisis

Saturday, 14 December 2019

The candidates who had genuinely contested the Presidential Election had elaborate and attractive election manifestos. But none of them had a pragmatic program to address the basic question of how to overcome the extensive crisis Sri Lanka is facing.


What price reforms now that progress rules?

Friday, 13 December 2019

It was a famous victory. A shadow of a doubt persists after an election commission member spoke up recently, after the event, about an alleged irregularity somewhere in the voting system works. But this would be churlish, buffoonish and academic to t


Assessment of fitness and propriety of directors and officers

Friday, 13 December 2019

In the early ’80s, a businessman turned financier from the hill capital started a public deposit canvassing drive by offering 20% interest per month. The depositors were offered on the spot payment of 20% as interest for the first month for their d


How to select top officials to public corporations

Friday, 13 December 2019

It is commendable that the President wants to select suitable decision-makers to public corporations without them being mere and ad hoc political appointments. However, the process thus far seems somewhat weak. Various people are complaining about th


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