Ajith de Alwis

Danger: Science illiteracy ahead!

Views - 2147 Thursday, 3 May 2012 01:45

Education had always being in the news in Sri Lanka – for good or bad! The city walls, billboards and others always inform us on the best of classes to be had from internationally-renowned lecturers. Newspapers are full of advertorials ex


Balangoda Man and a bridge not too far!

Views - 4745 Thursday, 19 April 2012 00:42

April in Sri Lanka means a national holiday with immense significance as this is the month when the nation’s New Year dawns and Sri Lankans for the second time within four calendar months wish each other Happy New Year and take time off! While


Small is beautiful!

Views - 1093 Thursday, 5 April 2012 00:00

‘Small is Beautiful’ is the title of the famous book authored by E.F. “Fritz” Schumacher, which was at one time rated among the 100 most influential books to come out after World War II (by the Times Literary Supplement). It


Granary of the East – Hopes rekindled with nano!

Views - 2920 Thursday, 22 March 2012 00:29

Dr. Banibaratha Pandey who is the Vice President and Head of Emerging Technologies Division of NFCL a $ 3 billion asset enterprise from Hydrabad in India, was equivocal – we read about what you have done in the Journal Current Science.  Th


Dark sands of Pulmoddai

Views - 2673 Thursday, 8 March 2012 00:00

The announcement of last week of an intention by way of an MOU to start up a titanium dioxide enterprise between Laugfs Holdings Ltd and SLINTEC (Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology) should be seen as a major event in the calendar though many may n


Death of substance

Views - 1568 Thursday, 23 February 2012 00:11

‘Let style be your substance’ screams at me from a billboard in Colombo as I find my way through traffic generated by one of our No. 1 imports – motor vehicles. Latest models pass me, blaring their horns in a hurry to get to their d


Viva la Simoundou!

Views - 1321 Thursday, 9 February 2012 00:00

Indeed with some Spanish and Ptolemy’s nomenclature, it is our sincere wish ‘long live Sri Lanka’ on passing its 64th year of independence from the British. Our period of independence is not greater than the period we were under, bu


Unique you!

Views - 1634 Thursday, 26 January 2012 00:00

A common boat owner’s son, India’s most distinguished living technocrat, ex-President of India, People’s President – whatever the description that you have for A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, India’s love for this man is unquestiona


Treasure island in nano times: Welcoming 2012 in Sri Lanka

Views - 2152 Thursday, 12 January 2012 00:00

There are many quotes and comments that we Sri Lankans repeatedly reiterate in tourist literature and with pride. As another year dawns, some statements may again be recalled with fond memories as it is important to have that positive outlook.It is a


Listen with your eyes

Views - 1172 Thursday, 29 December 2011 00:38

With so much emanating from overused vocal cords and much of it senseless utterances with little or no meaning, it is perhaps better to retire into a world of silence avoiding the cacophony and practice and enjoy listening with eyes. Anyway we know t


See what you can do for science in Sri Lanka!

Views - 1319 Thursday, 15 December 2011 00:38

As you read this column, an important three-day event in Colombo is coming to an end and as the day ends, it would have resulted in many deliberations, exchanges of different ideas and some concrete suggestions taken down to communicate to planners a


Bringing the world to Sri Lanka

Views - 1522 Thursday, 1 December 2011 00:00

Countries get known for various reasons and some labels stick for long time. Citizens almost always mould the character of the nation. It is usual to hear the efficiency and punctuality of Germans. We Sri Lankans boast of being known for our hospit


Good evening, Sri Lanka!

Views - 1753 Thursday, 17 November 2011 00:00

Once I did carry the title ‘Good Morning Sri Lanka!’ for this same column. Times have passed and I do not see any improvements along the lines that I advocated or expected to happen in mornings. Indeed sad, but in advocacy and especiall


Give me my space, please: Seven billion and counting!

Views - 1341 Thursday, 3 November 2011 00:00

When a little baby girl arrived into this world on the dawning of Monday 31 October, she received a little more attention than usual. She was one of the early members of the seven billion club, to which the human society has now grown. Demographers


Come to the market please! ‘Show and Tell to Industry’

Views - 1972 Thursday, 20 October 2011 00:22

On 24 and 25 October, the BMICH will see a market place with a difference and an important difference at that, considering current national needs. Hopefully this would spin a differ ence to the way we hope to develop our economy in the mindsets of


As we think so we become

Views - 1491 Thursday, 6 October 2011 00:00

This may sound too religious! Yet the objective is to show the attitude and the direction needed in our words and deeds today in terms aligning ourselves to national economic development. The essence of the statement is that thoughts manifest as wo


Justify your existence

Views - 1302 Thursday, 22 September 2011 00:00

Swami Vivekananda, the Vedanta thinker, once stated: “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just le


Remember your humanity

Views - 1405 Thursday, 8 September 2011 00:00

‘Remember your humanity’ is a phrase that was made famous by the Russel Einstein manifesto issued on 9 July 1955. This document is considered as the final major document that Albert Einstein signed before his death in 1955 and is quite a


Nature – The final frontier!

Views - 1837 Thursday, 25 August 2011 00:00

We may have evolved with nature but as time passed and our human attitude turned into a more arrogant way towards conquering what we like, the desire for domination arose.To us Sri Lankans, respecting nature should not be an alien concept though toda


Destination overseas and paradigm shifts

Views - 1127 Thursday, 11 August 2011 00:00

Paradigm shifts are not easy to achieve. Within one’s mindset, to shift a set of beliefs or an understanding to another direction, one needs to understand and understand well. The paradigm shift concept came from the writings of Thomas Kuhn,


Energy crisis: A crisis of our own making!

Views - 1695 Thursday, 28 July 2011 00:00

It is no secret that if ever we had a continuing crisis, that is the energy crisis. Since the first oil price shock of 1973, we have been facing this in many ways. It is quite sad that we have been trying to deal with the issue in a prescriptive ma


Summits of indifference

Views - 1615 Friday, 15 July 2011 00:01

Jack Welch has stated among his many bytes of business wisdom that speed is an essential ingredient for an organisation to be competitive. By speed he was all about simplifying the organisation and instilling confidence, for creating the foundation f


It’s free and we are proud of it!

Views - 1565 Thursday, 30 June 2011 01:02

I have stated before that within the general establishment in Sri Lanka, a prevalent view is that if everyone speaks in English and if private universities are started, our education system can take off, the country will prosper and paradise is withi


Benefiting the nano way!

Views - 1791 Thursday, 16 June 2011 00:47

  ‘Big things come in small packages’ is an old adage and perhaps the word big may be interchanged with good or great and here I certainly am not referring to nano taxi cabs hitting the streets of Colombo! How true this statement is


The clock is ticking! Time is passing! We are at meetings!

Views - 1853 Thursday, 2 June 2011 00:00

It is really important to stress the need for rapid yet informed decision making and maximising the use of time in our organisations and perhaps even as individuals. It is well known that even for those who had gone to the moon, the time available is


Path to enlightenment

Views - 1288 Thursday, 19 May 2011 00:00

Sri Lanka celebrated 2,600 years of birth of Lord Buddha with colour and purpose – an event of immense importance to all Sri Lankans. However, in this type of event and listening to the philosophy that is Buddhism, what is more important is u


Time to be innovative: Even the quo has lost its status!

Views - 1366 Thursday, 5 May 2011 00:00

Another May Day has passed and it is quite predictable what we may be doing on these days! We see the media carrying the most popular picture for the day across their front pages – lifting of heavy vegetable sacks by a man in the Pettah marke


World: One shock away from a crisis... Express no evil!

Views - 1329 Thursday, 21 April 2011 00:56

The three wise monkeys of yesteryear were supposed to see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. This expression stemming from Confucius’s code of conduct was articulated by a Japanese carving in a shrine where it originally appeared in the 1


Our waste for our energy

Views - 1589 Thursday, 24 March 2011 00:35

When the LPG-based three-wheeler bearing number QS-7775 took off with biogas as the fuel derived from university canteen waste and gliricidia leaves, it was quite an important demonstration last Friday (18) at the University of Moratuwa premises. I


Oh, nuts! Coconuts!

Views - 3443 Thursday, 10 March 2011 00:06

The accusations and counter accusations abound. Have we imported coconuts to the country? If ‘yes,’ then that would be for the first time in history... recent history anyway, as we can never say about the past. If ‘no’ is th


Today's Columnists

In the desert of Tamil films, actor Sivaji Ganesan was an oasis

Saturday, 22 September 2018

‘Indian Film,’ first published in 1963 and co-authored by former Columbia University Professor Erik Barnouw and his student Dr. Subrahmanyam Krishnaswamy, is considered a seminal study of the evolution and growth of Indian cinema. The book is cit


Imran may turn blind eye to blasphemy law and persecution of Ahmadiyyas

Saturday, 22 September 2018

There are clear signs that Pakistan’s freshly minted Prime Minister, Imran Khan, will make a sincere effort to reduce corruption and maladministration in the domestic sphere. In foreign affairs he is likely to make a brave attempt to mend fences wi


The rate of exchange, capital flight and the Central Bank

Friday, 21 September 2018

The Central Bank (CBSL) exists for the sole purpose of price stability. Its controls on the financial system and monetary policy exist to maintain price stability. As put forth many times by the Governor, the failing of the CBSL to control inflation


Red flag over the Sri Lankan Navy

Friday, 21 September 2018

Shocking story Rusiripala, a former banker in Sri Lanka, who has taken to writing in Daily FT, is perturbed by the red flag I have raised (Daily FT article 18 September) over the shocking charge that our Navy had operated a ransom gang that had abduc


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