Columnists,Ajith de Alwis

2018 – A year for reinventing Sri Lanka

Views - 385 Thursday, 4 January 2018 00:00

The start of a new year always offer an opportunity for some fresh thinking and among most an opportunity to have a new resolution. The progress of course will depend on one’s commitment and only time will tell.


Victory in Geneva – Lost in Colombo!

Views - 1295 Thursday, 21 December 2017 00:00

I woke up to a call from a good friend and a classmate who was really happy about his daughter Thivinya – currently a student in a Colombo school (Museaus) – winning a Gold medal for her invention in a competition in Taiwan (Kaohsiung Internation


Moving ahead or looking and living in the past

Views - 320 Thursday, 7 December 2017 00:00

We love history and especially our version of it! Someone said that history is what someone wrote and past is what actually happened. Well then for most of the time we will not have an ability to fathom the past the way it actually unfolded. Yet one


Blue Green and scientific! Do we care, are we aware?

Views - 236 Friday, 17 November 2017 00:05

I see many comments on and summaries of the most recent Budget of the State. It is interesting to note that almost all the summaries ignore the provisions for science and technology made by the Budget. It is always


Power of insight and foresight for Sri Lanka: A regional first!

Views - 317 Friday, 27 October 2017 00:00

When Science, Technology and Research Minister Susil Premajayanth and United Nations Development Program Sri Lanka Country Director Jorn Sorensen exchanged jointly signed documents at Waters Edge on Friday, 22


The future that is coming – but we are unaware of!

Views - 632 Thursday, 12 October 2017 00:12

You walk into a public institution and wait for service and you notice the use of meticulously managed cardboard files with corners taped to prevent tearing. There are significant number of staff who would be responsible for a single file and you may


Think, speak, walk and act with purpose!

Views - 256 Thursday, 21 September 2017 00:00

As a nation we are perhaps positioned within a time period where we need our population to act with purpose rather than with discord. We currently appear to find solace in distress and appear to be a nation in waiting for trouble with all the news al


Let us be more responsive and responsible!

Views - 223 Thursday, 31 August 2017 00:00

If one attribute has to be named that is seriously at an all-time low in Sri Lanka, then that is discipline. Discipline of all types may be but one area stands out. That is our sheer lack discipline with respect to waste management, where no amount o


Polythene and plastics: The guilt is ours!

Views - 2199 Thursday, 3 August 2017 00:02

 The Government of Sri Lanka has declared a ban and restrictions on the use of plastic bags and lunch sheets, etc. The new regulations are to come into effect from 1 September 2017.  The lunch sheet and the bag have been around for a lo


We think we cannot, therefore we cannot! Our power of self-doubt!

Views - 2043 Thursday, 20 July 2017 00:00

We need to place a different fuel to drive the economic engine. The fuel that is on everyone’s lips – except ours of course – is innovation and there is hardly any disagreement outside Sri Lanka, that innovation is being


Our tryst with mosquitoes!

Views - 3084 Thursday, 22 June 2017 00:10

This small specie – small in size but quite big in impact – is creating havoc among us these days. The Government has a serious emergency at hand consequent to mosquito bites and specifically the bites of one species – Aedes aegy


Submerged with guilt and neglect!

Views - 3134 Thursday, 8 June 2017 00:00

  Sahana software (www.sahanafoundation.org), which was developed after the tsunami by a few Sri Lankans, is an open source disaster management software and is identified as the world’s most popular open-source information manag


Tiny commitments from a thousand homes – mind separating matter!

Views - 3670 Thursday, 25 May 2017 00:00

     Some may be wondering after Meethotamulla where all the Colombo waste is going. However, I do have a feeling that most had no idea whatsoever where things were disappearing into until the pictures of Meethotamul


Colombo garbage: The smell of death and the despair of inaction!

Views - 4246 Thursday, 4 May 2017 00:09

    Colombo woke up to a rude reality when on Aluth Avurudu day at around 2.45 p.m. the accumulated heap of garbage at Meethotamulla gave way, resulting in the death of 33 with more than eight missing. The number of hou


Joining the greatest hunt in science – Sri Lanka with CERN

Views - 4674 Thursday, 20 April 2017 00:00

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha and the CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heurer sign an Expression of Interest Agreement to begin cooperation between CERN and the scientific c


March with intent and research with impact – SLAYS, you are important!

Views - 6301 Thursday, 16 March 2017 00:00

  Young scientist Shalini Thiruchittampalam was quite eloquent and with subtle humour articulated her research work ‘Probable chemical compounds from Sri Lankan flora for the treatment of neurodegeneration’ at the


Data that we have, situations that we do not see, decisions that we may not take…

Views - 5854 Thursday, 16 February 2017 00:00

A boy going to school on a misty morning up country. More than 500 schools in Sri Lanka are without basic sanitary facilities and only around 1,200 schools have science education going beyond Ordinary Level, while only 1.9% of GDP was use


Look, my streetlights are on!

Views - 6334 Thursday, 2 February 2017 00:10

I remember late Arthur C. Clarke used to write to the press quite often when we had power shortages – and there were many such instances I must say, indicating lit streetlights in Colombo in the middle of the day even in times of power short


Loosening ties and strengthening the economy

Views - 6245 Thursday, 19 January 2017 00:00

The Cabinet recently approved the guidelines for maintaining buildings in public institutions as green buildings and the proposal was made by President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment.&


A year in and a year out! What to do?

Views - 6951 Thursday, 5 January 2017 00:00

Dubai hosts one of the most expensive New Year’s Eve displays. Fireworks are launched from the Burj Khalifa,  the world’s tallest building     December 31st and January 1st are just two


Servants as Masters: Clouding judgment, stifling real growth

Views - 7025 Thursday, 22 December 2016 00:00

    Today we do have to ask some questions quite seriously from ourselves and others. What exactly are our goals that we have accepted and are supporting?  In Public Administration is it sacred conformance to circu


Researchers and elephants – we have a problem!

Views - 7153 Thursday, 8 December 2016 00:01

 John Dewey said that “every great advance in science has come from a new audacity of imagination” and these acts of imagination have to come from researchers. The numbers for Sri Lanka appear to be really worrying as the critica


From rhetoric to reality: Hot air to a hot climate!

Views - 7149 Thursday, 24 November 2016 00:01

Chunks of sea ice, melt ponds and open water are all seen in this image captured at an altitude of 1,500 feet by the NASA’s Digital Mapping System instrument during an Operation IceBridge flight over the Chukchi Sea on Saturday, 16


A City of Prosperity: A Tale of Two Commitments

Views - 8531 Thursday, 10 November 2016 00:00

It is interesting to view the Pittsburgh skyline at night from after going up the Duquesne incline, the means to which too is designed and provided. The sight and sounds demonstrate a city in business and today it is one of the most livable cities


Please don’t allow usual slips between the cup and the lip!

Views - 7535 Thursday, 27 October 2016 00:00

  The spectacle of a garbage dump burning and schools being closed and the residents moving around with handkerchiefs covering their noses and mouths at Badulla was news for more than one day. Even Air Force helicopters had t


Lest you forget! Please recycle from a damn good budget – S&T wise at least!

Views - 7931 Thursday, 6 October 2016 00:00

As a scientific citizen with a firm belief that the way out from this ‘economic near mess’ is by way of rapid use of science and innovation, I believe firmly that the Budget for 2016 presented last year had so many positive ideas and a


Colombo Resolution: Be resolute in action!

Views - 8738 Thursday, 15 September 2016 00:00

Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to South Africa and Singapore Shehan Rathnavale of COSTI/Ministry of Science, Technology and Research presenting the Colombo Resolution at STS Forum Sri Lanka 2016     An impo


Science and Technology for Society: The Colombo Gathering

Views - 9244 Thursday, 1 September 2016 00:08

In 2015 the STS Forum in Japan witnessed the presence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe     It is quite rare that we have big scientific forums in Sri Lanka. Even though we speak of MICE tourism, Sri


An Ode to a Father: Reading makes a full man!

Views - 7723 Thursday, 18 August 2016 00:00

  In the landscape of Sri Lanka today reading is a rarity. Public libraries or public resource spaces are much less visual in towns and city centres than hoardings of places to fill you up! Even though millions are spent at t


The Future We Want: Foresight for Sri Lanka

Views - 9302 Thursday, 19 May 2016 00:00

In the Oval Office, FBI Director Robert Mueller (centre right), Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (far left) and other security advisers brief President Barack Obama (foreground, right) following the April 15, 2013, Boston Mara


Today's Columnists

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

Thursday, 18 April 2019

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


Unholy trinity is unholy to Sri Lanka from all fronts

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Let us see the background of the unholy trinity or impossible trinity or trilemma. Every country is challenged with international monetary policy which will in return decide the fate of the economic growth. Three strategies available are;


Is it the plane or the pilot?

Thursday, 18 April 2019

The two recent crashes involving Boeing 737 MAX twin-engine jetliners have brought flight safety into sharper focus than ever after many decades. This is in many ways a story of success breeding complacency. Airline safety has improved beyond belief


Is Sri Lanka capable of a course correction?

Thursday, 18 April 2019

The genesis of Sri Lanka’s current political and economic problems can very well be traced back to several structural issues of the country, both politically and culturally. It is no secret that from the outset of the war in Sri Lanka, the country


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