Columnists

Assessment of fitness and propriety of directors and officers

Views - 375 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 - 508 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 - 459 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 - 172 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 - 1097 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 - 208 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 - 98 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 - 1563 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 - 400 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 - 458 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 - 746 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 - 214 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 - 224 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 - 8644 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 - 304 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 - 91 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 - 1778 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 - 232 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 - 408 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 - 533 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 - 1026 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 - 841 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 - 336 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 - 953 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 - 1098 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 - 317 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


A place for each within a space for all

Views - 117 Wednesday, 4 December 2019 00:22

Concerns for physical security secured a foremost place in people’s expectations and influenced the way many voted. An ‘enemy,’ among us but not us, had to be contained. But some of this was already happening. Regular reports on the work of Co


Tapping new tourism source markets

Views - 219 Wednesday, 4 December 2019 00:00

A wide diversity of tourism attractions can also be a weakness in the parlance of marketing communication when the promotional efforts are weak and not consistent. For example, what Maldives can promote in terms of its impact on future tourists, cann


Sri Lanka tourism: Why not an export industry?

Views - 322 Wednesday, 4 December 2019 00:00

In the past there has been some debate on whether the tourism industry qualifies to be an export industry. This argument has been fuelled by the age-old definition of an export industry which is “an industry which exports goods and services produce


Tourism an export industry: Fourth chance?

Views - 514 Tuesday, 3 December 2019 00:32

It took a lot of thought before I decided to put pen to paper. Whilst the key industry stakeholders like THASL and SLAITO have raised the red flag on the industry with almost 70 hotels up for sale, in my view we have got the fourth chance to make Sri


Today's Columnists

Diplomatic drone strike, Indo-Lanka equation and constitutional change

Thursday, 20 February 2020

The ‘diplomatic drone strike’, the dramatic US strictures against the Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva, tells us that Big Brother IS watching. This isn’t the usual suspects, its way out of their league. This is the Big League, the big b


Solar and wind power can resolve electricity crisis, early and cheaper, if allowed

Thursday, 20 February 2020

The country is facing the worst power situation in the history, with electricity generation being unable to meet the demand, with generation costs among the most expensive in the world. With the current scenario, the country cannot be expected to com


Sri Lanka: A great ocean polluter with plastics? No, we are not!

Thursday, 20 February 2020

I was going through the corridors of an impressive State training facility in the heart of Colombo and witnessed the message on each floor as you await the lift that Sri Lanka is the fifth largest marine polluter with respect to single use plastics!


Future of higher education and challenges for public universities in Sri Lanka

Thursday, 20 February 2020

We are constantly told that the workplace or private spaces of the future will be radically changed due to rapid technological changes, but the only certainty about this future is its uncertainty. How do we face such an uncertain future? The consensu


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