Columnists

Seven new facts we learnt about mobile and internet use in Sri Lanka

Views - 299 Friday, 5 July 2019 00:00

LIRNEasia is a pro-poor, pro-market think tank with researchers scattered across Asia in a virtual network with a prominent ground presence in Colombo. Its mission is catalysing policy change through research to imp


The legal fiction of law and order

Views - 344 Thursday, 4 July 2019 02:10

I am watching the high charade unfold. No matter how many important people know the difference between right and wrong – or should – it is criminal the number of times the law collars the wrong person – or the right ones for the wrong reason


Systematic car parking is a zero budget answer to the traffic congestion

Views - 288 Thursday, 4 July 2019 02:04

Car parking is a demanding and important component in all the cities. Cities are congested mainly due to the haphazard planning of car parking. This is mainly due to concept of car parking for sideways trading places on roads in Sri Lanka, which was


Should Sri Lanka stick with the IMF?

Views - 282 Thursday, 4 July 2019 01:57

The understandable desire to stimulate the economy in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks by loosening the Government’s purse strings, has led to some calls to rethink Sri Lanka’s lending arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (I


‘Shilpa Sena’ exposition – Show, tell and inspire!

Views - 983 Thursday, 4 July 2019 01:53

This month and more specifically on 18-21 July at the BMICH, hopefully Sri Lankans will see and experience something different when the ‘Shilpa Sena’ exposition gets underway at its premises. This is designed to be an exhibition with a difference


The great American nation: Quest for the preservation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

Views - 50 Thursday, 4 July 2019 00:21

Today, 4 July, Americans celebrate the 243rd Independence Day. This is the most important date in American political, social and cultural history. The dawn of Independence Day is celebrated with fireworks, parades on the streets with musical bands,


Become a corporate athlete

Views - 246 Thursday, 4 July 2019 00:15

Last week Sri Lanka staged ‘Rotary Performance Awards 2019’ at the Cinnamon Grand with a packed audience of almost 600 people. The attendees included Past Global President K. Ravindran and Governor 2018/19, former Sri Lankan cricketer Dushan Soza


A critique on governance in Sri Lanka

Views - 253 Wednesday, 3 July 2019 00:00

Governance is an open subject. Corporate governance is a great subject. Governance leads to management. Management leads to governance. Good governance has to follow finance and administration rules and regulations. The governance of a country is ba


Professor’s lament: Sarath Wijesooriya talks in an academic prism

Views - 114 Tuesday, 2 July 2019 00:00

Professor Sarath Wijesooriya is a personage much to be admired although his recent outburst against the Yahapalanaya (YP) Government and its Prime Minister is clearly out of focus. I was in Sri Lanka during the 2015 landmark elections and I keenly w


Autocratic leadership: Deceptions and convenient lies

Views - 70 Tuesday, 2 July 2019 00:00

Independence is important for a country because it’s the very reason of the country’s existence. This independence gives a nation the right to decide its own fate and for this reason The RT D.S. Senanayake founded the United National Party on 6 S


Contextualising the US- Sri Lanka defence proposals

Views - 592 Tuesday, 2 July 2019 00:00

Recent parliament debates concerning defence and security in Sri Lanka were mainly focused on the status of forces agreement (SOFA) between the USA and Sri Lanka. News outlets such as the Maharaja Corporation sensationalised the agreement as a ‘thr


Sexual harassment in public transport and measures to improve bystander interventions

Views - 402 Tuesday, 2 July 2019 00:00

Recently I was invited to do the keynote speech by Oxfam to speak at their launch of ‘Not on my Bus’ campaign as part of the global ‘Enough’ campaign. The objective was to drive a national campaign to address social norms that justify violenc


Present economy – Threats and opportunities

Views - 386 Tuesday, 2 July 2019 00:00

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera recently stated that the 2018 losses of the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) had doubled. Sixteen SOEs reported net losses of Rs. 157 b last year, up from Rs. 87 b in 2017. He stressed on the need to rethink contin


Analysing the role of leadership in plantation sector reform

Views - 359 Tuesday, 2 July 2019 00:00

Leadership is a topic that has always been heavily focused on in Sri Lanka, especially in the political sphere. In the plantation industry, however, this has received less scrutiny over the years. Last week in my ‘Beyond the Plants’ series, I de


Digitalisation transforming customer experiences in Southeast Asia

Views - 196 Tuesday, 2 July 2019 00:00

Today, the responsibilities of marketing go far beyond branding with CEOs relying on CMOs to be the interconnecting layer that joins the dots between each part of the business—from sales to finance through to product and customer experience. This s


Joan de Zilva Moonesinghe: A tough banking examiner to the end

Views - 3308 Monday, 1 July 2019 00:00

The departure of a tough banking examiner Joan de Zilva Moonesinghe who made a sudden departure from us last week wore many hats in her relations with me. She was my friend, colleague, fan, critic, advisor, and in many respects, mentor. Of late, she


Recap of Paris Airshow 2019

Views - 261 Monday, 1 July 2019 00:00

The 54th edition of the Paris Airshow concluded last week at Le Bourget Airfield. Billed as the world’s oldest Airshow, it has been held biennially since 1919, with interruptions only for the two world wars.


Salience of ‘Strategy Safari’: Lessons for Lankans

Views - 375 Monday, 1 July 2019 00:00

‘Strategy Safari’ by Henri Mintzberg and others is a book that I keenly read a couple of times. Every time I read it, new insights with fresh perspectives were quite common. As a book, it’s a bit old but still gold. I referred to it recently to


Is your brand fit?

Views - 553 Monday, 1 July 2019 00:00

I went through a personal transformation. I lost 18 kgs, reduced six inches on my waist and went from looking chubby and well-built to lean and mean. People noticed. I got good comments. And overall I felt energised and pumped up. The entire process


When the sleeper wakes, the Sri Lankan version

Views - 181 Saturday, 29 June 2019 00:10

‘The Sleeper Awakes’ (1910) is a dystopian science fiction novel by English writer H.G. Wells, about a man who sleeps for 203 years, waking up in a completely transformed London where he has become the richest m


28 June 1914: The gunshot that changed history

Views - 231 Saturday, 29 June 2019 00:10

Before the guns of August (1914) blew it to smithereens, to the casual observer, Europe was a picture of solidity, successful and stable. Having created the ground for the industrial revolution, Europe now carried limitless potential; enjoying high


Kitchen and the State

Views - 378 Friday, 28 June 2019 00:20

Apart from the urgent need for having a major structural change in the State and the system of governance, Sri Lanka must seriously contemplate making a significant change in food habits of its people, what they eat and how they cook them. This is a


Orphaned Muslims under siege

Views - 192 Friday, 28 June 2019 00:00

In a number of short but provocative pieces that Daily Financial Times published, the pathetic state of Muslim political and religious leadership, its lack of vision about the community’s future in this country, and the leaders’ incapacity to und


Axe-ing local carpenters

Views - 138 Friday, 28 June 2019 00:00

On 6 June, for World Environment Day, the President stated that he will ban carpentry sheds, and will ban the import of machinery used to cut down trees. Since that statement, there has been considerable policy confusion. It is unclear whether the Ga


Soaring heights of NPLs in banking

Views - 787 Thursday, 27 June 2019 01:47

Capital inadequacy, political interference, abuse of power, wasteful and unproductive expenditure, corrupt deals, circumventions of regulatory directions, unscrupulous lending operations, imposed IMF and WB conditions for reforms, and window-dressed


New Land Policy: Ideal alternate development strategy, but accompanying policies needed

Views - 142 Thursday, 27 June 2019 00:51

It is reported that the Government has prepared a law to grant freehold possession of farm land held under lease from the Government. This may be a revision of the Land Development Ordinance (LDO) of 1935. This article proposes to discuss the pros a


Need for an education revolution: Future of our kids and the nation is at risk – Part II

Views - 144 Thursday, 27 June 2019 00:16

A journalist of New York Times requested Hideki Shirakawa, a Nobel laureate, to describe Japanese culture. He said, “Fundamentally, Japanese culture is based on rice farming. Rice cultivation requires a lot of water, and water must be shared evenly


Country’s reconciliation with English and Moragahakanda

Views - 236 Thursday, 27 June 2019 00:08

When the country received independence from British, it was blessed with an efficient administration, a high standard in education, and also sound foreign exchange reserves; the country was admired by other countries. The three major and several mino


Implementing SC Orders

Views - 126 Wednesday, 26 June 2019 00:56

The Supreme Court on 18 April has ordered six Ministries, their Secretaries and three Government authorities to take immediate several effective measures to be enforced in the design and construction of all parts of new buildings and services the pub


Need for an education revolution: Future of our kids and the nation is at risk – Part I

Views - 387 Wednesday, 26 June 2019 00:47

It is said that a country is only good as her people. A country belongs to her people. In a democratic country, people elect the leaders to manage the country on their behalf. Hence, to be hailed as a progressive country, it is paramount for a countr


Today's Columnists

The Presidential Election: Into anarchy or out of anarchy?

Saturday, 24 August 2019

In politics there are no absolute truths, rights or wrongs: all is relative. Politics is about choices and alternatives. It is also the art of the possible. The best policy for the people is to work through the give


We need to challenge climate change doubters before it is too late

Friday, 23 August 2019

Imagine a London where the entire subterranean region is engulfed with dirty water. Crammed train carriages that once barrelled along 249 miles of track transporting busy office workers, builders, teachers, civil servants, cleaners and students now r


The Provincial Council Elections – The charade goes on

Friday, 23 August 2019

Originally the SLPP was keen to hold the Provincial Council Elections (PCE) immediately after the Local Government Election results as they felt the PCE would go in their favour. PCE were held under the Proportional Representation system. The relevan


The presidency and the dilemma of the Presidential Election

Friday, 23 August 2019

J.R. Jayewardene created a presidential system not because the parliamentary system of governance that preceded it had failed. He wanted to take over all the powers of the State and assume the status of ancient kings who ruled the country in the past


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