Columnists,Ajith de Alwis,Opinion and Issues

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

Views - 845 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 - 240 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 - 183 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 - 362 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 - 260 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 - 456 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 - 163 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 - 205 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 - 191 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 - 226 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 - 163 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 - 335 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 - 669 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 - 320 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 - 604 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 - 165 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 - 342 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 - 601 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 - 289 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 - 833 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 - 304 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 - 301 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 - 335 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 - 528 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 - 349 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 - 228 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 - 363 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 - 533 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 - 624 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 - 190 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


Today's Columnists

Tea with NM

Saturday, 20 July 2019

One of my most treasured memories is that of NM, better known as Dr. N.M. Perera. It was when I was a student in the UK that I first met him. NM was already a formidable left leader in Sri Lanka, an accomplished parliamentarian, a larger-than-life fi


Biosphere will one day be replaced by technosphere

Saturday, 20 July 2019

I am now nearly 90 and in my lifetime I have seen and heard the world changing so fast that homo sapiens (Latin: “wise man”), the species to which all modern human beings belong, are changing into a technology-dependent sub species, . Homo sapien


Expand employer-backed childcare to close the gender gap in Sri Lanka

Friday, 19 July 2019

In Sri Lanka, women’s formal workforce participation is at only 36%, compared with 75% for men. Sri Lanka could raise its gross domestic product by as much as 20% in the long-run by closing the gender gap in the workforce, according to one estimate


Who should be our next president?

Friday, 19 July 2019

After the recent terrorist attacks and the subsequent violence unleashed against innocent Muslims by racists, Sri Lankans are searching for a leader who can save the country. Many have lost faith in the leaders, due to the breakdown in the security a


Columnists More