Columnists

When Alice is not in Wonderland…

Views - 2310 Thursday, 7 November 2013 00:00

    It is always exciting to be in a wonderland and that is the principle and the unique selling point of Disneyland. There is excitement, perhaps varied, but excitement for sure, from whatever and wherever the location may be as


Data behind data: A call for more insights!

Views - 9369 Thursday, 24 October 2013 00:00

We are in the era of big data – datasets so massive and complex that they defy simple analysis. However, the benefits of even small data appear to elude us still. Though we spend considerable time and energy collecting data even using taxpayers an


My ‘Future Earth’: Coming soon

Views - 2322 Thursday, 10 October 2013 00:00

The visit of Prof. Yuan-Tseh Lee Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (1986) last month to Sri Lanka was quite important for some of us. It is indeed a pity that such a visit was not important to most of us! There were some who were visibly upset that they we


Exposing the young: Noble ideas from Nobel winners

Views - 1946 Thursday, 26 September 2013 00:00

Mark Twain, who is a famous humorist and writer, said that a person who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them. Twain’s era has changed radically since he passed away in 1910. While the basic truth of his quote


The day after tomorrow: Synthetic existence!

Views - 1800 Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:00

The world is fast changing and in both directions of bad and good. We may be entering into unfamiliar terrain through our own activities. Some are in the driving seats of this change while we wait without even knowing some of these changes and thinki


From Stanford to SLINTEC: Endowments to progress!

Views - 4118 Thursday, 29 August 2013 00:00

The front page picture of the Daily FT of 16 August reporting on a donation by an individual to a Sri Lankan scientific establishment was exciting in many ways. It was on Ricky Mendis becoming the first Platinum sponsor of the Sri Lanka Institute of


A postcard from a student: A lesson for our industry

Views - 2549 Thursday, 15 August 2013 00:00

A simple input can trigger a chain of thought. It is also said that at times only a thought matters to change yourself and perhaps the world too. Even though this is not a groundbreaking thought that I had, a postcard from Australia from a former stu


Tapping the untapped!

Views - 2184 Thursday, 1 August 2013 01:17

Connecting to untapped resources The recently-concluded Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2013 had a session titled ‘Connecting to Untapped Resources’. Inclusion of this session to the summit was an initiative of the Human Resources and Education S


A COSTI is born!

Views - 2455 Thursday, 18 July 2013 00:00

COSTI may be found in Western pharmacopeia but the acronym embedded in the title stands for the Coordination Secretariat for Science Technology and Innovation. As the name implies, the primary purpose of the establishment is to nurture science techno


Igniting innovation

Views - 6408 Thursday, 4 July 2013 00:27

Ideation to action by our human capital It was a warm and dry yet pleasant evening at Anuradhapura. A tour guide sounds pretty excited and full of pride when he explained about the marvels of what our forefathers have done to a group of tourist


Innovation imperative: The only way forward!

Views - 2998 Thursday, 20 June 2013 00:00

Prof. Epasinghe, who is the Presidential Advisor on Science, addressing Ananda College students requested them to invent and make the country rich and united. He was addressing the school’s inventor society gathering. However, we know that a stude


400 PPM: More action and less talk please!

Views - 2530 Thursday, 6 June 2013 01:14

We are in a week in which Global Environment Day will be celebrated and for sure the day would provide room for many to make quite profound statements and make promises to herald change and with eloquence too. Audiences world over will clap and


A tale of two systems

Views - 1496 Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00

With the same inputs but with different systems of management, you will derive different answers as it should be. ‘Garbage in is garbage out’ as well known to information process system designers and software architects, but this is not s


Slave Island, upcountry or another country!

Views - 3865 Thursday, 9 May 2013 00:00

Changes are at times quite slow to show immediate effects. Time will inexorably move forward taking people along with it. Babies will grow into adults and help in shaping the character and the future of the society in which they live and work with th


Economics of incompetency

Views - 3020 Thursday, 25 April 2013 00:44

An economy can suffer and growth affected in two ways when analysed from a non-economist’s point of view. One aspect is gross inefficiencies of all what one does. Inefficiencies in that context were addressed in my earlier column comparing with


Economics of inefficiency: Growth with learning

Views - 1377 Thursday, 11 April 2013 00:37

We live the day thinking about growth and additional action to stimulate more growth. We appear to be in no hurry to analyse what we are doing or what we have done with a view of learning and bringing in more efficient and effective ways of doing thi


Green Hat CEOs for geo responsibility!

Views - 1550 Thursday, 28 March 2013 00:00

Waste is a necessary evil with our existence and needs to be managed to ensure us a civilised living. The process of waste management is not straight forward and today the way we do it may in fact define our economic system as with recycling economy,


In a world full of standards, why are we sub-standard?

Views - 3150 Thursday, 14 March 2013 00:29

As we have moved on with varying degrees of societal development models, from conquering each other to democracies with different practicing models, the observable qualities of processes and systems differ widely. Economists simplify by allocat


Our sons must know: Knowing precedes care!

Views - 1172 Thursday, 28 February 2013 00:00

In 1971, the American Society for Advancement of Science asked this question: How can we live a quality life in a finite world? John Ruskin, who was admired by Mahatma Gandhi for his economic thoughts, stated there is no wealth but life. Our own phil


In land we trust: The next gold rush

Views - 1705 Thursday, 14 February 2013 00:00

We have witnessed a few recent events of going after gems on gravel placed on stretches of road down south or of immersing oneself into the Kelani River desperately in search of pure gold. After a few days, it is no longer news for the media and f


Regulating the unseen!

Views - 1958 Thursday, 31 January 2013 00:00

The issues that one faces with regulating the known are quite well-known and have been well-experienced. With multiple systems and complexities, regulating has never been an easy task and all are never satisfied. The world has seen executive or


Let boldness be our guide!

Views - 2182 Thursday, 17 January 2013 00:00

As we come into 2013, we will be looking at what has happened as well as what we would like to do – that is of course if we are serious about results and progress. Such people will reflect on the past and would be imaginative about the future.


Waking up to reality

Views - 1182 Friday, 28 December 2012 00:01

The year 2012 had been an eventful year, but aren’t all years more or less like that? It is just that this year and all its events are fresher in our minds. This human aspect of forgetfulness has been a factor in our existence and may be mor


Red Lady for our economy

Views - 2231 Thursday, 13 December 2012 00:14

This is not dressing up the article with the colour of Santa and fantasising as the year come to a close but about a fruit and an economic impact. Some may anticipate with bated breath numbers emanating from immigration about the tourist arrivals to


Outlook of Serendib: We are what we do!

Views - 6875 Thursday, 29 November 2012 00:00

Doing good is catching on in developed economies and for some the impending doomsday concept has meant the urgent need of some positive deeds under their belt. Maybe we have had decades of action devoid of this objective and concentrated too much o


Don’t drink but blend!

Views - 2168 Thursday, 15 November 2012 00:00

This was a short line I coined in a submission to a national committee around 2005/’06 when Sri Lanka was seriously contemplating both ‘Mathata Thitha’ and biofuels for transport. At that time price of crude oil was rising up to U


Tryst with Nature

Views - 1111 Thursday, 1 November 2012 00:07

As I write coastal lines in several countries in many parts of the world are bracing themselves to hurricanes and typhoons and cyclones and Sri Lanka too is not an exception. We know that they mean the same thing but are named by us differently to un


The General support!

Views - 1247 Thursday, 18 October 2012 00:00

While we may be gazing at scoreboards and enjoying 20 times the normal value on usual interactions on a plot of grass, there is a need to understand the importance on investing on your future and what we may be really missing out in the present.


OMG: Oh My Garage!

Views - 1449 Thursday, 4 October 2012 01:12

A Sri Lankan doctor who is domiciled in Australia writing to a Sri Lankan business magazine once stated that if Sri Lankans take care of their bodies as much as they take care of their vehicles, the country would have much less health-related issues.


Be visible and stand tall

Views - 2447 Thursday, 20 September 2012 00:18

Help in the change that we all want to be! This is not about personalities getting onto the stage to be visible. Today stages are a plenty, propelling many to stardom. The emphasis is about making national institutions productive and then making a


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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