Columnists

Roots of the crisis

Views - 196 Saturday, 14 December 2019 00:02

The candidates who had genuinely contested the Presidential Election had elaborate and attractive election manifestos. But none of them had a pragmatic program to address the basic question of how to overcome the extensive crisis Sri Lanka is facing.


What price reforms now that progress rules?

Views - 169 Friday, 13 December 2019 00:30

It was a famous victory. A shadow of a doubt persists after an election commission member spoke up recently, after the event, about an alleged irregularity somewhere in the voting system works. But this would be churlish, buffoonish and academic to t


De-stigmatising sexuality education for gender equality – it is a right

Views - 103 Friday, 13 December 2019 00:00

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which fell on 25 November, started the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. It is an annual international campaign that runs for 16 days until 10 December (Human Rights


How to select top officials to public corporations

Views - 555 Friday, 13 December 2019 00:00

It is commendable that the President wants to select suitable decision-makers to public corporations without them being mere and ad hoc political appointments. However, the process thus far seems somewhat weak. Various people are complaining about th


Assessment of fitness and propriety of directors and officers

Views - 326 Friday, 13 December 2019 00:00

In the early ’80s, a businessman turned financier from the hill capital started a public deposit canvassing drive by offering 20% interest per month. The depositors were offered on the spot payment of 20% as interest for the first month for their d


Presidency and Sangha: virtuous or villainous duo?

Views - 314 Thursday, 12 December 2019 01:24

President GR should be ever indebted to the Sangha, because without its tireless canvassing he would not have achieved what he did on 16 November. Given the volatile ethno-religious cleavages and unpredictably shifting alliances in the country, it wa


The task of convincing the President and the majority

Views - 385 Thursday, 12 December 2019 01:19

The President said that he was the President of all Sri Lankans, including the people who did not vote for him. The election results were highly polarised along ethnic lines. It is important to note that minorities did not vote for the extremist can


For an educated society: Can KIT replace current Sri Lankan teachers?

Views - 131 Thursday, 12 December 2019 01:11

Students learn from teachers in a school. Very few would argue with that statement. We have in our current school system a prominent place for the teacher; the front of the class with all students, one row after the row facing the teacher. This is th


The future of the UNP

Views - 1029 Wednesday, 11 December 2019 01:52

Each time Ranil Wickremesinghe is faced with a threat to his leadership, he comes up with a band aid solution which either postpones his day of reckoning, and/or worsens the situation for the Party, creating internal chaos and bringing it down in the


The twin tower trends of today’s politics

Views - 186 Wednesday, 11 December 2019 01:20

I live in two worlds. In one, everything is clear, sharp, light. The new President has lots of potential to boost Sri Lanka into the developmental stratosphere. He has spoken out strongly on national sovereignty and set a personal....


Buddhist philosophy to attract tourists

Views - 66 Tuesday, 10 December 2019 00:00

It was early this year that the proposal was made to declare the Theravada Tripitaka, sacred scripture of Buddhists or commonly called ‘three baskets of Dhamma,’ as a UNESCO World Heritage. This was supported by all the Buddhist countries in the


Sri Lankan youth, wall paintings and tourism

Views - 486 Tuesday, 10 December 2019 00:00

At the moment, we can witness some unique developments happening in Sri Lanka. More importantly, we have many challenges to overcome as well. Refer to the statement by Winston S. Churchill, a former British Prime Minister who is considered a hero to


Taxes, budgets and greasy fingers

Views - 375 Tuesday, 10 December 2019 00:00

There is no doubt that to the average citizen, the recent reductions in various taxes were indeed good tidings. For those earning a fixed income, the tax burden had become intolerable. The new Government’s tax reductions are aimed at relieving the


De-stigmatising sexuality education for gender equality – it is a right

Views - 392 Tuesday, 10 December 2019 00:00

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which fell on 25 November, started the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. It is an annual international campaign that runs for 16 days until 10 December (Human Rights


The important role of the new Power and Energy Secretary

Views - 538 Tuesday, 10 December 2019 00:00

New President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed new secretaries for the ministries. The most important ministry under the current situation is the Ministry of Power and Energy, now including CEB and the petroleum sector. The important position of the Sec


Making BIMSTEC happen is the role of the business community too

Views - 176 Tuesday, 10 December 2019 00:00

Simply what is the use of a regional or global trading bloc if the citizens and businesses are not engaged in trade-related activities through such economic corporation? If not, then they become pure political instruments and talk shops for bureaucra


Building your own personal brand

Views - 209 Monday, 9 December 2019 01:09

Sunil Gavaskar is one of India’s greatest batsman. But he also has a very unique sense of humour. And he used that tongue-in-cheek humour to make a point at a press conference. This was a time when the Indian cricket team was touring abroad and the


Tax cuts: Control the damage before the unconventional stimulus backfires

Views - 8045 Monday, 9 December 2019 00:27

In a background of some contrasting signals from various parties regarding the generous tax cuts introduced by the Government, the Finance Ministry has attempted to do a damage control exercise by issuing a press notice last week. The confusion was o


Peace, business and prosperity

Views - 175 Saturday, 7 December 2019 00:05

Every nation, every community and each individual is facing the social and political impact along with the impact of violence. Interpersonal violence results in medical, policing and judicial costs immediately after the violent incident occurs and it


Statesmanship and moral leadership

Views - 81 Friday, 6 December 2019 00:00

“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil?


Dilemmas of Sri Lanka

Views - 1651 Friday, 6 December 2019 00:00

Whatever may be the history of Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the way he thinks, he has to function as the President of the people who voted for him as well as those who voted against him, during his tenure. The Sinhala Buddhist majority constituted the maj


Opportunities for scaling up climate finance in Sri Lanka

Views - 178 Friday, 6 December 2019 00:00

The National Consultation on Climate Finance Mechanisms for Financial Institutions in Sri Lanka organised by ICC Sri Lanka together with UNESCAP brought together professionals from several sectors to discuss pressing issues in promoting climate-resil


Moving away from an insular mindset concerning the tea export business

Views - 351 Friday, 6 December 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka mainly produces Orthodox teas as opposed to CTC teas which are largely used in producing tea bags. We are ahead of others in the former category but unfortunately way behind on the latter due to our closed and insular policies. Assuming an


Education: An integral part of entrepreneurship development

Views - 379 Friday, 6 December 2019 00:00

Governments across the world have recognised the importance of State intervention to encourage private sector innovation towards strengthening entrepreneurships in order to capitalise on comparative and competitive advantages. The main pillar of entr


‘Data is the new oil’: An introduction to the proposed Data Protection Act

Views - 658 Friday, 6 December 2019 00:00

Data protection is not a concept we, in Sri Lanka, are familiar with. Globally, the laws surrounding data protection have been around for about 20 years. And we are only just about getting started. The proposed ‘Data Protection Act’ (hereinafter


The professional leadership selection committee

Views - 761 Thursday, 5 December 2019 00:00

The political storm has subsided. A proven veteran has weathered the storm. He is now entrusted with the utmost responsibility to rebuild the nation and to reposition the country in the Asian economic landscape. Living abroad, I attentively observed


Trust science and technology to deliver: Let innovation be the key

Views - 280 Thursday, 5 December 2019 00:00

A new leadership for the country is at the helm. One that is known to believe in focus and intent as well as the power of execution. While execution of plans is critical – we have seen awful delays and procrastination over what is important – it


What the private sector needs more than tax cuts

Views - 918 Wednesday, 4 December 2019 00:36

Few things have stood out in the first two weeks of the new President. Firstly the significant tax cuts, ranging from reduction in VAT, reintroducing tax exemptions and abolishing other taxes such as NBT and WHT. Secondly the public announcement that


The newest instrument of the bond scam cover up saga: The forensic audit

Views - 859 Wednesday, 4 December 2019 00:29

In its series of Recommendations from page 911 to page 922 of its Report, the Presidential Commission to Inquire into the Bond Scam (Bond Commission) has, inter alia, recommended as follows: “As set out earlier, there is adequate evidence before us


Sri Lanka and UNESCO: Seven decades of partnership

Views - 230 Wednesday, 4 December 2019 00:25

14 November 2019 marked the 70th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Over the last seven decades the country has worked closely with this UN agency in its fields of


Today's Columnists

Roots of the crisis

Saturday, 14 December 2019

The candidates who had genuinely contested the Presidential Election had elaborate and attractive election manifestos. But none of them had a pragmatic program to address the basic question of how to overcome the extensive crisis Sri Lanka is facing.


What price reforms now that progress rules?

Friday, 13 December 2019

It was a famous victory. A shadow of a doubt persists after an election commission member spoke up recently, after the event, about an alleged irregularity somewhere in the voting system works. But this would be churlish, buffoonish and academic to t


Assessment of fitness and propriety of directors and officers

Friday, 13 December 2019

In the early ’80s, a businessman turned financier from the hill capital started a public deposit canvassing drive by offering 20% interest per month. The depositors were offered on the spot payment of 20% as interest for the first month for their d


How to select top officials to public corporations

Friday, 13 December 2019

It is commendable that the President wants to select suitable decision-makers to public corporations without them being mere and ad hoc political appointments. However, the process thus far seems somewhat weak. Various people are complaining about th


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