Columnists

#trashtag – a trend for change

Views - 178 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00

Recently a new social media challenge has emerged where in various countries individuals or groups are implementing small waste-related activities and take pictures of the area before and after they have cleaned it. The #trashtag challenge has gone v


Recognition of and support for international schools is essential for equity in education

Views - 120 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00

If we are to realistically address the increasing demand for quality education in a debt-strapped developing country such as ours, it is essential to allow a parallel system of private education opportunities within a policy environment that makes en


High time for internal air travel

Views - 201 Thursday, 14 March 2019 00:56

Sri Lanka’s current need is to better grasp the intricacies of the investment climate. Its stakeholders, whether domestic or foreign, have standards which define their confidence to invest, with all other factors being equal. The basic comprises t


Feeling the heat... That’s the gift from climate change! Combating it is in your hands!

Views - 112 Thursday, 14 March 2019 00:00

It’s the prosperous season of the island with new year festivities beckoning around the corner. However, obviously all of us have been feeling the heat lately, in such an intense manner. Many have questioned what the reasons could be for this unbea


Venezuelan crisis, Western interference, democracy and socialism

Views - 168 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

The situation in Venezuela is more complex than what it appears. There are two major crosscurrents in operation. First is between President Nicolas Maduro’s national government and the US, the latter attempting to exploit the existing crisis to bri


Budget 2019 off target?

Views - 488 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

The share of voice (SOV) of the Budget 2019 was very strong with almost every newspaper every media station, paper or radio highlighting the opinions and challenges. But I did not see anyone report the research presentation that was made on 6 March (


Street vendors in urban cities

Views - 299 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

Shaved king coconut with straws. The ‘maalu’ shouts to the residents among the neighbourhood for salty fish. The knotted sacks of the laundry clothes in the tuk. Early morning whisk away of the newspaper at the doorstep. These hustles and bustles


Asset declarations – a myth?

Views - 244 Tuesday, 12 March 2019 00:00

That there are very few role models in our public life is self-evident. The material poverty of the country is reflected in the poverty of its leadership, in as much as our twisted concepts of governance echo in the shoddiness of its delivery. So dis


Export mantra in Vietnam: Lessons for Sri Lanka

Views - 624 Tuesday, 12 March 2019 00:00

Vietnam was very much like Sri Lanka. It went through a 20-year war and was one of the poorest countries in the world but it refused to bow down and made some social-oriented market reforms called Doi Moi Reforms in 1986. Today, the nation is growing


‘Khema’s Boy’ does it: Comes up with a non-election budget in an election year

Views - 7413 Monday, 11 March 2019 00:10

Speculation that Budget 2019 will be an election budget Prior to the presentation of the Budget 2019, there was wide speculation that it would be an election budget. There were at least two elections in the pipeline and the expectation was that Finan


Living the strategy: Lessons for Sri Lanka

Views - 403 Monday, 11 March 2019 00:00

Strategy is an often confusingly used term that may mean different things to different people. I have seen this happening in Sri Lanka, where crafting and executing strategy is cluttered by myriad jargons. We need clarity and commitment towards formu


Making way for a people’s constitution

Views - 149 Saturday, 9 March 2019 00:10

Presently, Sri Lanka is in a state of terrible confusion with no proper constitution. The second Republican constitution, due to continuous and haphazard amendments, has been rendered a frail and disorganised statute deprived of consistency and prope


Fear the pain, curse of the oppressed

Views - 143 Saturday, 9 March 2019 00:10

“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them” – Karl Marx


Abolishing the Executive Presidency is dangerous if electoral system is not changed

Views - 668 Saturday, 9 March 2019 00:00

Only two out of seven times in the last Parliamentary Elections in Sri Lanka has a party or alliance won even a simple majority. Five out of Sri Lanka’s last seven parliaments have started out as hung parliaments. The only two exceptions were in 19


Religion in politics: RIP to good sense, decency and the democratising spirit?

Views - 168 Friday, 8 March 2019 00:20

I read recently that the problem with failed societies is that they listen to their politicians and not their poets. Not once did I read it, but thrice, and in as many forums. There must be something the universe is trying to tell us? Just hope the p


Exploitation of rural women

Views - 367 Friday, 8 March 2019 00:15

It was Dr. Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur and civil society leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner, pioneer of the concepts of micro credit and finance and the founder of Grameen Bank , who initiated the system of granting small loan


Women’s bodies as tools of State control

Views - 361 Friday, 8 March 2019 00:00

Last week men on social media celebrated Women Police Constables (WPCs) being the barrier between student protesters. This was apparently an achievement for gender equality. It is commonplace for Male Police Constables (MPCs) to get all the ‘actio


Planning sans science and technology: Life for us is going to be costly if not painful!

Views - 199 Thursday, 7 March 2019 00:55

Sri Lanka is in a period of extreme challenge and the reasons are manifold – However, I really do not see whether we understand the way out! ‘Sri Lanka: A country trapped in debt’ and ‘Repayment of debt – the biggest nightmare for Sri Lank


Rev. Pitiduwe Samanthabhadra: Pretender or savant?

Views - 330 Thursday, 7 March 2019 00:34

Judging by the crowds he is gathering around him, this latest monk-sensation in Sri Lanka is on a success tide. Thousands pilgrimage to him at home. The rich and the poor liberally donate pirikara or gifts. Ambitious politicians flock around hoping f


Absolute power corrupts absolutely

Views - 148 Thursday, 7 March 2019 00:23

Advocacy of a system of government according to constitutional principles and the rule of law are the central features of any political democracy that respects human rights. An independent judiciary, the essential guardian of the rule of law, is the


Democracy and development: Sri Lankan style – Part II

Views - 235 Thursday, 7 March 2019 00:00

The Government is keen to expand the Cabinet to accommodate those who shifted allegiance to the new Government. Do we need more of the above people? Certainly not. An increase in the size of the Cabinet is totally unnecessary and could only lead to t


Are Colombo malls listening to consumers’ pulse?

Views - 154 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

Retail stores inside the malls were empty with few shoppers even when its common spaces like the lobby areas, food courts, etc. bustled with people. Mall-going culture the very essence of urban living has not been norm in Colombo so far due to the la


Role of Sri Lankan academics in national policy development

Views - 99 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

“Who can save Sri Lanka?” This was the caption of an article published in a mainstream newspaper a few months ago. The author, T.M. Premawardana, presented numerous historical examples to highlight how the Sri Lankan public saved this country at


What ails the tea industry and what can be done to boost tea export revenue

Views - 274 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

The note under reference, hopefully will help the Government to boost exports out of Sri Lanka and formulate policies for potential sectors to collectively go beyond a $ 25 billion export economy and perhaps retain a surplus after debt redemption in


Democracy and development: Sri Lankan style – Part I

Views - 343 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka’s political scene has always been in turmoil. The sacking of the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the 26 October 2018 was unprecedented in Sri Lanka. This is yet another sign that the cascade of policy failures in Sri Lanka will con


Is Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda to be the sacrificial lamb at the altar of the 40th UNHCR session?

Views - 399 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

The 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva is currently underway. The report on Sri Lanka will be formally submitted on 20 March. Less than a week before the Geneva Sessions commenced on 25 February, former Navy Co


Addressing the white elephant in Lankan economic development in tourism

Views - 435 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

In the past, Sri Lanka has focused on increasing the number of tourists coming into the country and showcased the increase in tourism without much concentration on the growth of our economy in retrospect. Lonely Planet listed Sri Lanka as the number


Are deeply-insolvent, licensed, deposit-taking financial institutions the norm in a well-regulated financial system?

Views - 253 Tuesday, 5 March 2019 01:25

My attention was drawn in the above regard to the very recent Press Notice of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) on one of the large pioneer finance companies in the country, The Finance Co. (TFC). What was most profound in this Notice was that TFC w


Will SL Budget 2019 capture key trends globally?

Views - 765 Tuesday, 5 March 2019 00:10

As per the latest estimates of the World Bank, the South Asian region is ranked the fastest growing with a whopping 6.9% GDP growth in 2018, whilst the estimated growth in 2019 is to be 7.1% which indicates the appetite that private sector has and no


Service availability and readiness for elderly healthcare

Views - 100 Tuesday, 5 March 2019 00:05

Median age of the population of Sri Lanka is increasing because of declines in fertility and mortality rates. The growing number of older adults increases demands on the public health system and on medical and social services. Chronic diseases, which


Today's Columnists

17 things ‘Avengers: Endgame’ teaches us about the state of our superheroes

Friday, 24 May 2019

Art imitates life. Even movies do. Maybe especially so. In these lean times, there’s nothing like a little laughter to stop the press, stem the blood pressure, ease that stress in life. So here goes. Trust you’ll take these tongue-in-cheek. Or pe


Sri Lanka needs urgent surgery!

Friday, 24 May 2019

Sri Lanka was on the slippery slope of a serious crisis, heading for a great disaster of the State, even before the outbreak of Easter Sunday attacks. Now, in the aftermath of the ruthless Easter Sunday attacks, the country’s crisis has become exac


Who built the Matara/Beliatta railway line?

Friday, 24 May 2019

In 2019, after 70 long years of independence, Sri Lanka succeeded in adding to the rail network left behind by the British when we extended the southern line from Matara to Beliatta, a distance of less than 20 miles. While the network left in place b


Occupational prestige further propagates a divisive society

Friday, 24 May 2019

Occupational prestige is regarded by society as an individual’s social standing based on the occupational position in the hierarchical social structure of an aggregate of occupations. Accordingly, the general public perceive certain occupations hig


Columnists More