Shanta Devarajan: Economist who cannot get disconnected from his motherland

Views - 7100 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:25

For me, Shanta Devarajan, formerly the Acting Chief Economist of the World Bank Group succeeding the Nobel Laureate Paul Romer and presently Professor at Georgetown University, USA, was a legend by himself. When I met him in early part of the new mil

Sri Lanka’s next President: let’s get it right this time

Views - 1167 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

President Sirisena is a few months away from completing his tenure as the President of this country. Despite his ability to seek re-election, he is likely not to do so as his popularity has plumped ever since he was installed to the top most position

Does legality matter at all?

Views - 215 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

There has been a recent flurry of media attention paid to the potential candidacy of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the candidate of the Pohottuwa group at the next Presidential Election. While his is obviously a very well-financed campaign if the demonstrati

Vibrancy of ‘Vijayaba Kollaya’: Lucid lessons for Lankans

Views - 770 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

I enjoyed watching the first 3D Sinhala movie last week. It is ‘Vijayaba Kollaya’ directed by Emeritus Professor Sunil Ariyarathne. It happened to be the last screenplay written by late Dr. Tissa Abeysekara. The story is based on a classical nove

Religion is a problem in Sri Lanka; can it be a solution?

Views - 324 Saturday, 17 August 2019 04:01

Generally, it is expected that religion should be a solution to a problem. Ironically in Sri Lanka religion is the problem. Therefore, what would be the solution? When religion becomes a problem of a country....

Orthodoxy and change: A perennial Muslim issue

Views - 111 Saturday, 17 August 2019 03:54

Whether Muslims live as minorities in non-Muslim countries or as majorities in a total of fifty seven countries, the clash of orthodoxy with modern challenges is a perennial issue that bedevils progress on several fronts in these communities.

Company Law intertwined with Income Tax – Understanding the nexus!

Views - 369 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

Corporate Actions have significant income tax ramifications. The Inland Revenue Act does not exist in a water tight compartment. The Companies Act has much influence on Income Tax laws of Sri Lanka. Corporate Actions Corporate Actions more often th

Failure of the Left Movement

Views - 190 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

The growing socio-political crisis in Sri Lanka has affected all political parties. Leaders of all political parties have, in one way or another, begun to lament over their failure. Lal Kantha can be considered the person to bring this lament to the

What non-Muslim Sri Lankans should know about Islam and Sri Lankan Muslims: Part II

Views - 245 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

3. The concept of Islam as an individual/group identity The concept of identity is one which has become embedded in our modern lives. From our gender, social, cultural, religious status to identities of political parties, identities of perpetrators o

National security strategy, a top priority for Sri Lanka

Views - 335 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

Realists view the state as a sovereign entity guided by national interest to protect its integrity by use of power. At its most fundamental level, national interest is generic and easy to define: all states seek to preserve their political autonomy a

Making the MCC Compact work for Sri Lanka

Views - 607 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

It is a sign of these political times that even an apolitical issue like a foreign aid program becomes a hot topic in Sri Lanka. In April 2019, the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) approved a compact program for Sri La

Sri Lanka needs a president hungry for success, not power

Views - 837 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

The late John F. Kennedy described politics as a “noble adventure, an adventure in which one joins hands with the masses for the service of man”. Not that the Kennedys didn’t play “politricks” in their heyday. But playing “politricks” w

Me, that’s who: I’m afraid of Gota!

Views - 1526 Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:30

NO OFFENCE, BUT THE QUESTION BEGS ITSELF. In a piece titled ‘Who is afraid of Gotabaya (sic) Rajapaksa?’ Daily FT contributor Sarath de Alwis made a cogent argument as to why he was not reassured by Basil’s brief about his brother’s “inhere

All presidential candidates must be transparent and must enter into a social contract

Views - 116 Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:00

All presidential candidates, before seeking nominations, must transparently declare publicly, all relevant personal details, including the following; Date of birth and National Identity Card number Highest educational attainment Citizenship A core c

Culture of research: so important yet so difficult to foster

Views - 432 Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka is in need of an active generation that is curious and ready to plunge into exploration. It is an activity that we have missed inculcating in our youngsters starting from a very young age. We are very much not ready to venture out, but ever

Monetary policy changes around the world and implications for Sri Lanka

Views - 520 Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:00

On 31 July 2019, the US Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) lowered interest rates by a quarter-percentage point for the first time since the Great Recession in 2008. What this means is that the Fed reduced its target range for the federal funds rate from 2.2

What non-Muslim Sri Lankans should know about Islam and Sri Lankan Muslims: Part I

Views - 659 Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:00

People will always believe what they want to believe, how they want to believe it, when they want to believe it. The events of Easter Sunday 2019 (Sunday 21 April 2019) triggered a process in Sri Lanka which has exposed the entire Sri Lankan Muslim p

Sajith’s intimidation at Badulla

Views - 851 Wednesday, 14 August 2019 00:00

What happened on Wills Road in Badulla on 12 August was, if anything, plain attempted intimidation of the United National Party leadership by a prominent member of the party leadership itself – its Deputy Leader, Sajith Premadasa; its Minister Hari

What a brand architect means to me – Rev. Fr. Trevor G. Martin

Views - 1063 Wednesday, 14 August 2019 00:00

I still remember the day that my mentor Rev. Fr. Joe Wickramasinghe bid adieu to St. Peter’s College; the thought that flashed through my mind was that we would never see this calibre of administrator at college again, given that Fr. Joe ran the en

NBFI consolidation and its untold consequences on the industry’s human capital

Views - 271 Tuesday, 13 August 2019 00:00

Hoping to find a better life, dockworker Kingsley Ofasa and eight other Ghanaian refugees stowed away on a Ukrainian cargo ship headed for the United States via France. The ship’s sailors discovered the refugees when they searched for water. Becaus

Lions in the military context: Leadership lesson for the corporate world

Views - 403 Tuesday, 13 August 2019 00:00

Napoleon Bonaparte said, “If you build an army of 100 lions led by a sheep, in any fight, the lions will die like sheep. But if you build an army of 100 sheep led by a lion, all sheep will fight like lions.” A similar statement made by General C

E-mail productivity: Your email is a reflection of you

Views - 975 Tuesday, 13 August 2019 00:00

Very often I am subjected to poorly composed, or ambiguous emails, with careless spelling and poor grammar. In the companies I worked, I always provided email guidelines to the staff and this made a significant difference and even enhanced the image

Sri Lanka should adopt an alternative financing strategy to achieve universal healthcare

Views - 222 Monday, 12 August 2019 22:41

Healthcare is something that touches all of us, given the most basic human goal which is that we all want to live healthy lives. The World Health Organisation defines that “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and no

The issue of an independent Central Bank: Should it be or should it not be?

Views - 6594 Monday, 12 August 2019 00:30

Public debates on public policy should create informed citizens With the news release that the Government is going to introduce a new Monetary Law Act, commonly known as MLA – the law under which the present Central Bank (CBSL) has been established

Elections coming, are you ready?

Views - 302 Monday, 12 August 2019 00:21

“All happy families are alike, but an unhappy family is unhappy after its own fashion” opens Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy’s monumental novel, acclaimed by many literary critics to be the greatest novel ever written. With a masterful grasp of the

A political party isn’t a bastion of open democracy – Reply to Minister Eran Wickramaratne

Views - 245 Monday, 12 August 2019 00:16

The other day, Minister Eran Wickramaratne bemoaned that his own party, the United National Party, lacks democracy in its internal operations. This theme is doubtless going to be repeated by the Sajith Premadasa faction while pursuing its various gyr

Why aren’t our millennials at work?

Views - 229 Monday, 12 August 2019 00:00

Today is International Youth Day; a day described by the United Nations as the ‘annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change’. Everyday, we see young people across the globe emanating entrepreneurial drive

Brewing tensions: Talking tea and terror from the south

Views - 213 Saturday, 10 August 2019 00:00

“Trade friction [was] started by the US, if the US wants to talk we will keep the door open. If they want to fight, we will fight until the end…Bully us? No way,” – Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe at Shangri-La Dialogue 2019

Two more warnings go unheeded and one was from the World Bank

Views - 498 Saturday, 10 August 2019 00:00

The Easter Sunday disaster which occurred at six locations close to the oceanic boundary of the country is said to have been known to the powers who could have acted on that information. Two powerful ministers represent two of the locations closer to

Real threats to our security

Views - 154 Friday, 9 August 2019 00:00

A secure tomorrow is first and foremost our ability to leave home without fear of bodily harm. Whether it is bodily harm, or other less obvious forms of insecurity, there is a limit to what we can do ourselves. There are external factors beyond our c

Today's Columnists

An efficient energy sector for economic growth

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

When I saw the advertisement about an Energy Forum organised by PUCSL for a Policy Dialogue on the importance of an efficient energy sector for economic and investment growth, I was very happy as I have been interested in this relationship for more t

Will the rule of law, ethics, and morality be above family rule and crony rule?

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

The two main contenders for the Presidency of Sri Lanka are Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sajith Premadasa. That is stating the obvious. No doubt, some others may have a limited impact on the outcome. Minority votes may benefit Premadasa, while the Sinhala

Addressing past harm

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

The approach towards an inclusive and equal society, where all human beings are to be treated equally before the eye of law and every human being should have the right to remedy for the harm done to them, seems nothing but a façade when our memories

Jaffna International Airport

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

17 October was a great day for residents of Jaffna and for all Sri Lankans, when an ATR-72 turboprop airliner of Alliance Air (a regional subsidiary of Air India) landed at the brand-new Jaffna International Airport (JIA), the first international fli

Columnists More