Ajith de Alwis

To be or not to give: The GDP dilemma

Views - 3732 Thursday, 6 September 2012 01:07

Sincere apologies, Hamlet! This distortion is to highlight the current impasse and to stress the need for thinking beyond short-term situational measures. The impasse is in getting the public university system going and in dealing with demand


Conference maketh a ready man!

Views - 1906 Thursday, 23 August 2012 00:00

With apologies to Francis Bacon whose quote is misquoted but not in essence of what he meant. Bacon’s comment that “reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man” is to be seriously looked at today in e


Elephants and academics: Extinction in Paradise

Views - 2507 Thursday, 9 August 2012 01:10

This may sound startling and an unwarranted call, but as extinction is forever, it is better to take heed before it is too late. Waiting for the reality to sink in and to derive some satisfaction by uttering didn’t I say so is not what one want


This Fourth of July!

Views - 1315 Thursday, 26 July 2012 01:15

This is a day quite dear to some 300 million plus people in United States of America. Irrespective of their land of origin, the day is celebrated as the day of independence commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and the Foundin


Our own special science park: Going beyond Jurassic Park!

Views - 1789 Thursday, 12 July 2012 01:54

When Michael Crichton scripted ‘Jurassic Park,’ Steven Spielberg was interested in making it into a film even before the book hit the stands. The film was an epic and till ‘Titanic’ came along, held the highest grossing film s


Our planet: The current burning platform!

Views - 13113 Thursday, 28 June 2012 01:20

Rio+20 has come and gone. For some, with June gone, the task may be looking at the flavour of the month for July to prop up different hoardings. The conference was concluded successfully and most of the final photos and comments indicated it was well


Let us green our economy: No greenwashing please!

Views - 1633 Thursday, 14 June 2012 00:03

We are in the month of June where stirrings of environmental conscience or rumblings of environmental activities are heard and reported. Corporate big guns line up many photo events. Some may be eagerly waiting to get down to business in Rio where


Made in Sri Lanka and being proud about it!

Views - 7785 Thursday, 31 May 2012 00:26

Every day we wake up to news from the economic front – and that is the war we declared after the conclusion of the 30-year conflict and with some zeal – and sometimes the figures and news are not quite enthralling, maybe to some extent we


A tale of two countries

Views - 1059 Thursday, 17 May 2012 01:53

It is important to understand that when your processes are efficient and effective, your system is on a growth curve. Equally, it should be understood that when you spend hours and hours discussing much but achieving very little, you are only pushing


Danger: Science illiteracy ahead!

Views - 2154 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 - 4764 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 - 1106 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 - 2934 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 - 2687 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 - 1576 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 - 1331 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 - 1643 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 - 2159 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 - 1178 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 - 1328 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 - 1528 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 - 1774 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 - 1349 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 - 1977 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 - 1505 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 - 1311 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 - 1416 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 - 1855 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 - 1136 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 - 1795 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


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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