Columnists

Ranil abused and subverted parliamentary democracy

Views - 1404 Tuesday, 13 November 2018 00:00

TIME: What was the immediate reason for calling an election? President Kumaratunga: I was forced into it by a total breakdown of cohabitation in Government. The Prime Minister (Ranil Wickremesinghe) was determined to harass me and chase me out. He ha


President rushes in where angels fear to tread

Views - 68 Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

Maithripala Sirisena is trying to settle his personal political rivalry with Ranil Wickremesinghe in an unconstitutional way and has plunged the whole country into chaos in the process. He has virtually taken over the Government by force. This is not


Flimsy theories and 19A created the crisis: Dissolution best option

Views - 176 Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

Have you heard about the Orange Book Liberal, Nick Clegg? He is in our Constitution, rather distortedly, stealthily crept in through the 19th Amendment in Article 70. Luckily, most strange (or orange) theories are still in Ranil Wickremesinghe’s (R


Alien regime where nothing is foreign

Views - 194 Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

A college professor of mine once told me the definition of an intellectual is ‘one who cannot lie’. But in the heady atmosphere of cerebral activity around a tattered piece of paper called the Constitution, I’m compelled to revisit that ancient


The Bench must ensure that the judges will continue to be trusted

Views - 745 Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

In the backdrop of the recent developments and the strong arguments that have been presented against the dissolution of Parliament saying the President has no constitutional power to do so, before four and a half years into a Parliamentary term, as s


The flash election: A political way out or an instance of one mistake leading to another?

Views - 6378 Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

Adverse economic consequences of executive action In a flash move, Parliament was dissolved last Friday by President Maithripala Sirisena, claiming he had powers to do so under the Constitution. It was not a sudden executive action, but the culminat


Saudi Arabia and China stand by Pakistan in its hour of need

Views - 447 Saturday, 10 November 2018 00:10

With the US and the IMF acting tough, Pakistan’s time-tested friends, Saudi Arabia and China, have come to its rescue at a time when its economy is in dire straits. The woes of Pakistan’s economy are many. The Pakistani Rupee has been devalued f


Testing time for cricketer Prime Minister

Views - 227 Saturday, 10 November 2018 00:02

A High Court’s acquittal of Asia Bibi, a Christian lady, previously sentenced to death and forced to live in a secret location since 2009 for allegedly blaspheming Islam and its prophet, has brought a blood thirsty fana


The delights of a rural existence: Terrorism in the ‘Colony’

Views - 147 Saturday, 10 November 2018 00:01

The disintegration of a large plantation adjacent to us, resulted, first, in the plunder of timber trees, rubber, cocoa and other less-valuable large vegetation, followed by a mass “squatter intrusion,” for lack of a better term, on what was from


Time for a sane Constitution

Views - 355 Friday, 9 November 2018 00:00

“For forms of government let fools contest; whatever is best administered is best” – Alexander Pope “Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist” – Edmund Burke “This is quite a game, politics. There are no permanent en


40 years of creating careers

Views - 145 Friday, 9 November 2018 00:00

Mankind International Ltd., one of Sri Lanka’s leaders and pioneers in employment placement, celebrates 40 years in operation this year. Better known as Maritime Placements Ltd. or Maritime International Ltd., a brand name which created many a care


What Sri Lanka needs is a fair break from its leaders

Views - 780 Friday, 9 November 2018 00:00

Kumar Welgama, a senior member of Rajapaksa’s party and an influential Sri Lankan politician, told reporters yesterday: “We are the laughing stock of the world. One Prime Minister is in the Official Residence and the other is in the PM’s Office


The fault line in our joint fate

Views - 179 Friday, 9 November 2018 00:00

As we struggle to put it down in black and white today, the writing on the wall is still visible if fading. It suggests that Sri Lanka as an emerging democratic republic has been weighed in the scales and found wanting in the balance. And not simply


Prosperity of a nation

Views - 156 Thursday, 8 November 2018 00:45

The prosperity of a nation depends on how fair the distribution of wealth is across the economic value chain comprising of consumers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and Government. As countries progress economically, there tends to be fairer dist


The quagmire concerning our Parliament

Views - 199 Thursday, 8 November 2018 00:00

The recent decision by the President to appoint a Prime Minister following a changing of the composition of the Cabinet of Ministers and the simultaneous prorogation of the Parliament has caused a mayhem leading to a tense political situation. Sever


Politicians: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Views - 282 Thursday, 8 November 2018 00:00

I have been following Eran Wickramaratne for a long time. Not in the creepy way political animals hunt, track, or sniff each other out to play, mate, or slaughter. There is not much to be said for a mutual admiration society in which one servile crea


Sri Lankan Parliament is not the supreme

Views - 454 Thursday, 8 November 2018 00:00

“...do hereby adopt and enact this CONSTITUTION as the SUPREME LAW of the DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA.” (The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka – Page xvii) Above is the enactment clause of the Consti


It’s time for ‘Governance Model Disruption’

Views - 185 Wednesday, 7 November 2018 01:35

nWhy do we need MPs to represent us in Parliament?  nCan’t we all directly/digitally express our choices on issues of national importance and a well-managed civil service effectively execute such decisions? nWhat if we do away with party politics


Concept note: Linking ‘Grama Shakthi’ program with export-oriented agricultural value chains

Views - 176 Wednesday, 7 November 2018 00:53

Sri Lanka’s economy is built on agriculture. Sri Lanka is rich with biodiversity, climatic variations, water sources and soils that can accommodate large number of agricultural crops. Regardless of whether these crops are native or introduced our f


Democracy in crisis: Current composition leading Sri Lanka to bankruptcy

Views - 371 Wednesday, 7 November 2018 00:42

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing – Edmund Burke (1729-1797) The term of ‘democracy’ is derived from two Greek words – demos (people) and kratos (rule). In simple term, then, democracy is the rule of t


Greed and fear that sparked this crisis

Views - 280 Wednesday, 7 November 2018 00:37

Two dynamics: Fear and greed In the first place, the current crisis in Sri Lanka is not a constitutional crisis. It is misleading to call it so since the constitutional guidelines set out in the 19th Amendment for the removal of a prime minister and


In the time of the butterflies

Views - 158 Wednesday, 7 November 2018 00:31

‘In the time of the butterflies’ is a novel by Latin American novelist Julia Alvarez. In it she fictionalises the lives of the ‘Mirabel sisters ‘who were tortured and slaughtered for their opposition to the voracious dictator Rafael Trujillo


Of hype, hypocrisy, hysteria, homophobia – and, hope?

Views - 228 Wednesday, 7 November 2018 00:26

It is ironic that the rally to ‘guard a glory of the land’ gathered in plain sight of the empty grandeur of Parliament. For days before that, and since the presidential coup which undemocratically replaced one prime minister with another, irate p


Automating loan recoveries: A top priority for banks

Views - 151 Wednesday, 7 November 2018 00:00

Many argue that performance of banks is more market driven. Better performance is no more a choice and it has become mandatory to sustain competiveness by satisfying diverse interests of stakeholders. Lending is a key function of banks and non-bank f


Cards on the table, crisis in the House?

Views - 340 Tuesday, 6 November 2018 00:10

I am a democratic-republican, I believe. I believe in the will of the people as exercised through a majority mandate being invested in elected representatives. The checks and balances that the three arms of government bring, commonly known as divisio


The problem of crossovers

Views - 372 Tuesday, 6 November 2018 00:08

The plan was to slowly ease back into writing by focusing on the challenges posed by new technologies such as artificial intelligence and distributed ledgers. But my readers’ minds are on other things, like cross overs by Parliamentarians.


What I owe my mother, Lakshmi

Views - 596 Tuesday, 6 November 2018 00:05

For historical, cultural and civilisational reasons, the Kremlin means much more to the Russian people, but to those of us from the global South, it has been a centre of a special kind of power – a power that balan


Evolving disaster: Agreeing to call an election might be the best option

Views - 172 Tuesday, 6 November 2018 00:05

The ‘dismissal debate’ has now turned into a ‘prorogation debate.’ The latest statement by liberal/left academics and professionals demands to revoke the President’s prorogation and call the Speaker to reconvene Parliament forthwith. The co


Democracy under House arrest

Views - 466 Monday, 5 November 2018 00:10

At a recent launch of another of its public interest initiatives, Verité Research asked the provocative question: “Who owns the audience?” It was in relation to the media, and the Colombo-based think tank was seeking to keep the reading and view


Required: Authentic leaders to navigate the nation

Views - 407 Monday, 5 November 2018 00:02

Overview Much has been said about the legal position regard to the current political phase we are going through. I am reluctant to take a side to argue or counter-argue with regards to recent actions and inactions. For me, it surely proves what we de


Today's Columnists

Reaching global quality standards through Deming Award

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

The importance of quality in the contemporary competitive business environment cannot be over-emphasised. Total Quality Management (TQM)is a company-wide, all pervasive management philosophy, which organisations globally, in many business sectors hav


Ramsar accreditation of Colombo Wetlands: Rebranding Colombo as a Wetland City

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Colombo, once known to be “kolonthota,” has always been identified as a wetland complex at the heart of the Kelani river delta. Today this city is increasingly drying up, with around 20 sq km left as wetlands which continue to be threatened every


Coup Sri Lanka: some winners, mostly losers

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

As a president proves shockingly stubborn, a nation waits with baited breath as to what His Excellency the loose cannon on a rocky slope will do next. Two Prime Ministers and the fates of their respective parliamentary groups hang in the balance lik


Rising dollar and bank NPA, brothers in arms?

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

The rising Non-Performing Advances (NPA/NPAs) is a matter of concern to the entire financial industry. It is a nightmare. The weekend papers have published some articles based on interviews journalists conducted with respective bank CEOs and also bas


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