Columnists

From death to a larger liberty

Views - 372 Wednesday, 9 January 2019 00:00

Why are they all here? The mournful friends and grief-stricken family. That sly fox of a phoenix-like politico. Those happy humbugs. These hysterical hyenas with their hopeful platitudes. Their hypocrisy hamstrung only by the disbelieving silence of


Sri Lanka: Target exports from $ 37 to $ 50 billion

Views - 656 Wednesday, 9 January 2019 00:00

It was great to see the communique that Sri Lanka has reached $ 17 billion in exports in 2018, registering a growth of 15% in the backdrop of the Colombo Stock Exchange reporting the worst trading recorded in the last 10 years last Friday. The 2018 e


Appointing of chairmen and directors to public institutions

Views - 455 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:20

To improve SOEs’ performance and following many controversial appointments to State-Owned Enterprises in the past, President Maithripala Sirisena has issued fresh instructions on selection criteria in a bid to eliminate controversial and poorly-qua


Why followers follow bad leaders

Views - 967 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:15

Maithripala Sirisena. Mahinda Rajapaksa. Ranil Wickremesinghe. We’ve had different leaders with the same unhappy results for decades. At the core of this country’s political gridlock and dysfunction is a failed leadership culture and not a few me


A Malaysian lesson

Views - 38 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:00

From a broad sweep of post-colonial history one can discern a number of parallels between Sri Lanka and Malaysia. For example, in demographic size, growth and its pluralist makeup, in the type of Government and struggle for independence, and in promo


The culture of silence that allows harassment in the workplace to continue

Views - 243 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:00

The #MeToo movement has led to women the world over coming forward with stories of harassment. This issue is not confined to a single company or industry. It is an endemic problem which spreads far beyond the cases of sexual abuse that hit the head


Sri Lanka ranked top country for travel in 2019 by Lonely Planet – Who takes the credit?

Views - 657 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:00

A few months ago the entire tourism and hospitality trade in particular, and the general population of Sri Lanka, were pleasantly surprised and proud that the tiny island of Sri Lanka had been rated as the best country to visit in 2019, by the Lonely


Accessible tourism is tourism for all

Views - 203 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:00

There is an increasingly strong financial incentive for those involved in tourism to make their facilities safe and accessible equally to everyone. For different reasons – including rapid ageing, numerous debilitating medical conditions (that ofte


Sri Lanka’s deep economic crisis:Wasted four years and a wasting election year

Views - 7158 Monday, 7 January 2019 01:30

By the time the present Government came to power in 2015, Sri Lanka was in a deep economic crisis. Its growth had slowed down from a peak of 9% in 2012 to 3.4% in 2013 before recovering temporarily to 5%, still a low rate, in 2014. Exports had been


Universal Basic Income to solve the effects of artificial intelligence?

Views - 1386 Monday, 7 January 2019 01:28

800 million jobs are expected to be lost by 2030 due to automation according to a study by the Mckinsey Global Institute. That is a fifth of the global workforce. This is the reality the world is facing as automation is increasingly taking over many


Man is born free but corrupt political system has chained us without any mercy (Part 2)

Views - 188 Monday, 7 January 2019 00:59

Ours is a country where politicos abuse and manipulate political office, with efficiency and effectiveness, to maximise the outcomes to themselves. The public authorities do not hold investigations or inquiries. Due to interference and manipulations,


Violating our supreme law: Parliament’s constitutional duty to act

Views - 212 Monday, 7 January 2019 00:54

Article 33A of the Constitution states that the President “shall be responsible to Parliament for the due exercise, performance and discharge of his powers, duties and functions under the Constitution and any written law”. Parliament, therefore,


‘The Frozen Fire’: Art and political reality

Views - 169 Monday, 7 January 2019 00:46

There are diverse views about the politics of the JVP and the inherent limitations contained in their political discourse. In particular, many of the views that exist regarding the politics of comrade Rohana Wijeweera and his assassination have contr


Remembering Lasantha Wickrematunge on the 10th anniversary of his assassination

Views - 3852 Saturday, 5 January 2019 00:15

‘Spotlight’ shines for the first time in the new year. Although devoted in principle to films, film personalities and film-related matters, the column will deviate in practice this week to focus on a renowned Sri Lankan newspaper Editor whose con


Ayubowan 2018/19!

Views - 114 Saturday, 5 January 2019 00:10

Our customary few lines that usually accompany my New Year’s wish-list this time comes from the land of Skippy the Kangaroo and boxing day MCG cricket (sans the sand-paper of course); hence the slight


Kerala’s conservative backlash stems from vote bank politics

Views - 131 Saturday, 5 January 2019 00:08

Kerala has been in unprecedented political and social turmoil since 28 September 2018. It was on that day that the Indian Supreme Court had allowed women of all age groups to worship at the 800-year-old shrine for Lord Ayyappa at Sabarinala.


Making a People’s Constitution for Sri Lanka

Views - 629 Friday, 4 January 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka is plunged into a historic situation in which its Constitution has virtually lost its spirit and the functional strength due to lack of consistency and the proper order that a Constitution ought to have. This situation has created a necessa


Should houses have been built at all out of taxpayers’ funds?

Views - 329 Thursday, 3 January 2019 00:53

The question is not “who built more houses?” President Ranasinghe Premadasa, his son Minister of Housing Sajith Premadasa or the latest claimant for building houses, Champika Ranawaka. This is the question that has been highlighted as a one-way t


Our vulnerability to climate risk: Second only to Puerto Rico

Views - 404 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

On 4 December, German Watch published its Climate Risk Index (CRI) listing for 2019, based on data collected for year 2017 at Munich Re, the reinsurer. Out of 182 countries considered, we, Sri Lanka, who jumped 94 slots from 98th in listing based on


Sri Lankan economy in 2018 and 2019 outlook

Views - 3088 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

We are at the beginning of a new year with new hopes. As a country, where are we now? What were our achievements and what we missed in the previous year? What would be our targets for the New Year and what would be the possible challenges? Everyone


Revolution 4.0: An intriguing case of the man and machine

Views - 246 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

We sway on the cusp of a technological revolution that will forever reconstruct the very fabric of our society, the way we live, work and socialise with one another. The transformation that will most certainly sweep us off our feet is one that we are


Employment: Is it an imperative for today’s youth?

Views - 385 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

A strange, inexplicable situation that had started creeping up slowly is now progressing rapidly. Young people are appearing to be shying away from work. The initial rush of interest in applying for a position that may be advertised or heard of throu


Christmas chats…

Views - 291 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

Colombo turns festive in December; the bracing air, lively parties, Christmas decorations, bright lights, visiting Sri Lankans in their flashy casual clothes; the nondescript city by the ocean is transformed. After months of lean sales, the big stor


Circles of political vengeance and end of Yahapalanaya!

Views - 127 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

Maithripala Sirisena left Mahinda Rajapaksa four years ago, after a hopper treat, because he was not given due recognition as a Minister, and the PM position. That may be true. Otherwise, he even voted for the 18th Amendment to allow the possibility


Marketing a political candidate in 2019: Is it right?

Views - 375 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

If we track back at last year, the highest share of voice topic was undoubtedly ‘politics’. Many are speculating now that 2019 will be the year of elections, starting from the Provincial Council elections to General elections and subsequently the


Impeachment or censure; a moral imperative

Views - 342 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

After the unenthusiastic reinstatement of Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister, the President delivered a belligerent broadside to the UNF hierarchy. He made some revealing pronouncements. They represented the core values of the man we mistakenly


The world we want for a loved land

Views - 205 Monday, 31 December 2018 01:50

I write for many of us. But not as many as one would hope. Since we’re badly divided on community, polity, unity. However, it’s false hope at best or flagrant hypocrisy at worst to think anyone has all the answers – and is actually right about


The rights of bank deposit holders?

Views - 298 Monday, 31 December 2018 01:45

When a business has disproportionate debt (vs. equity), they are labelled as ‘highly leveraged’ and viewed with a sense of caution. What about commercial banks? If you consider deposit holder funds as debt (which represents 80%-90% of a bank’s


Marine pollution caused by shipping industry: Emerging threat in domain of environmental security

Views - 289 Monday, 31 December 2018 01:16

Oceans play a crucial role in balancing the global ecosystem. Hence, sustenance of a healthy marine environment is of vital necessity for several reasons. At the outset of expansive trade policies in the international arena, freight of goods via sea


A diversion to airships

Views - 200 Monday, 31 December 2018 01:12

Despite all the progress made in the Great War to develop aircraft and engines, significant issues still remained. Even the improved larger aircraft could not fly very far with a significant payload of passengers and cargo. Frequent stops were requir


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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