Who, when, where? Improved data and information for tourism development in Sri Lanka

Views - 161 Thursday, 28 March 2019 00:00

Since the end of the conflict in 2009, Sri Lanka’s tourism sector has seen unprecedented growth, with the number of tourist arrivals to the island increasing annually. Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka has increased by more than 2.8 times during the la

Electing a set of effective leaders who could lead the country to prosperity

Views - 79 Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:00

Readers might remember the article by this writer that appeared in the Daily Financial Times on 26 February titled ‘How can Sri Lanka avoid imminent economic collapse and extreme poverty?’ (

Worms destroying agriculture

Views - 114 Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:00

By mid-March the majority of paddy farmers have completed harvesting their Maha crop; some with financial issues have already disposed their stocks to middlemen. Others are fighting to get a reasonable price for their stocks. The Paddy Marketing Boa

Govt.’s 2019 Budget proposals are detrimental to women and children

Views - 294 Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:00

The focus and attempt to create a gender-progressive Budget this fiscal year is indeed welcome. However, reading through the Budget proposals, it is alarming to see how many of its allocations to address women’s issues tend to further discriminate

Making Sri Lanka go to the ‘MICE’

Views - 155 Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:00

Whilst Sri Lanka continues to show a year-on-year growth in tourists, the focus thus far has only been on the number of tourists coming in, instead of the cash inflow and subsequent economic development. As of 2018, the local tourism sector is said t

AI and political marketing

Views - 1374 Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:00

Artificial Intelligence has become a hot topic in the recent past in Sri Lanka, with an eminent business personality explaining how his companies like Singer and HAYLEYS are using this technology to better serve the customers. Let me do a deep dive i

Political bait to woo the professionals or a genuine effort to build the economy?

Views - 117 Tuesday, 26 March 2019 00:00

It has been a forgone conclusion that Sri Lanka’s current economic woes have been precipitated by the debt burden the country has to serve in the short term and the negative Balance of Trade. Whilst improving tax collection is a temporary measure t

Christchurch massacre and the Australian Labor Party

Views - 82 Tuesday, 26 March 2019 00:00

“He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety, and that is why you will never hear me mention his name… He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless… And to others I impl

4-day work week: A solution to many problems?

Views - 532 Tuesday, 26 March 2019 00:00

A three-day weekend every week and only four days of work a week. The idea would seem too good to be true for many. But this is an idea that is being experimented in the West and some companies have already started out on a four-day work week. How ab

Handagama’s Asandimitta: Not mere psychoanalysis; sociocultural, political and economic analysis too

Views - 6887 Monday, 25 March 2019 00:30

Sri Lanka’s award winning film director, Asoka Handagama, screened his latest creative work, Asandimitta, before an invited audience in Colombo last week. This was a prelude to its public release, which was to be commenced immediately. Handagama i

From Vacation to Workation: Lessons for Lankans

Views - 390 Monday, 25 March 2019 00:00

Vacation is something we know and look forward to in our lives. What about workation? The relatively newer term comes with a mixed bag of promises and pitfalls. Some even call it a sad trend of our times. How do we Sri Lankans behave? Are we drifting

M.N. Nambiar: Birth centenary of Tamil cinema’s greatest screen villain

Views - 5337 Saturday, 23 March 2019 00:55

Thursday 7 March this year was the birth centenary of Indian film actor Manjeri Narayanan Nambiar known to the world at large as M.N. Nambiar. The great Thespian who made a name for himself by acting in negative roles was hailed by many as the greate

Historic betrayal of SLMC and ACMC

Views - 107 Saturday, 23 March 2019 00:00

It appears, according to a news report that the leaders of SLMC, ACMC and DPF during a meeting with President Sirisena to discuss constitutional reforms have “reneged on their promise to back the ongoing efforts to abolish the executive presidency

An innocent utopian dream

Views - 137 Saturday, 23 March 2019 00:00

In an article published in the Daily FT on 19 February 2015, I predicted the trajectory of the ‘Yahapalana’ Government. In that piece of conjecture captioned ‘Maithri’s Mandate and Ranil’s Royalist Regency’ I said that Sri Lanka was witne

Sathyodaya for salvation

Views - 186 Friday, 22 March 2019 00:00

Professor Ven. Walpola Rahula (1907-1997), a Buddhist rationalist and free-thinker of international repute, was a unique intellectual, teacher and writer who never minced his words when speaking truth to power, a rare quality fast disappearing in a w

Playing with history

Views - 379 Friday, 22 March 2019 00:00

First of all, I was delighted to note a counter criticism ‘A reply to Victor Ivan’s ‘What went wrong with Sri Lanka?’ published in the Financial Times on 11 March in response to my article which appeared in the same newspaper on 22 February.

Sanitation to the fore: Ensure fait accompli!

Views - 152 Thursday, 21 March 2019 00:00

The Budget speech of 5 March positioned sanitary facilities or rather the absence across the country to a new height, bringing attention to a subject much less talked about. To repeat what the Minister of Finance stated: “Mr. Speaker, in spite of

Lip service to AML requirements: Are Sri Lankan designated institutions skating on thin ice?

Views - 231 Thursday, 21 March 2019 00:00

The recent announcement by the European Union (EU) blacklisting 20 odd jurisdictions for their failure to adhere to anti money laundering requirements (AML) comes as no surprise as all these jurisdictions have been forewarned by the EU, Financial Act

Ceylon Tea or Sri Lanka Tourism the stronger category brand?

Views - 407 Thursday, 21 March 2019 00:00

The Central Bank officially reported last week that Sri Lanka exports have grown to $ 11.9 billion, recording a growth of 4.7%, which means that the country has not performed up to expectation in 2018. The export volume index has grown by 0.5% in 201

Christchurch carnage and the white supremacist rampage

Views - 125 Wednesday, 20 March 2019 00:00

Multiple shootings and multiple fatalities – this is how many of the initial breaking news captions emerged. An unprecedented shooting spree at two mosques in the city of Christchurch in New Zealand. “One of New Zealand’s darkest days” said N

Global awakening to hazards of madman’s vehicle design

Views - 330 Wednesday, 20 March 2019 00:00

When my eldest son, Arjuna, brought me a copy of Brian Dumain’s ‘Plot to Save the Planet,’ it sparked off a keen interest in me to see what we, in Sri Lanka, could do to support the plot. His chapter 5 titled ‘The car you are driving was desi

Stimulating the Sri Lankan economy, the need of the hour

Views - 318 Tuesday, 19 March 2019 01:38

The sluggish economic growth in the country needs to be stimulated through a clinical strategy before Sri Lanka once again falls behind her regional neighbours. The continuous decrease in GDP from 5% in 2014 to 3.1% in 2017 and a marginal increase to

Why are some resource-rich countries economically poor?

Views - 202 Tuesday, 19 March 2019 01:29

For a country to be economically prosperous, you either need to be blessed with natural resources (including strategic geographical location) or human resources (that can add significant economic value). In some cases, both. Even if you have either o

The Christchurch tragedy and the clash within Islam

Views - 167 Tuesday, 19 March 2019 01:05

There are no words to describe the Christchurch tragedy. The loss of life in such a brutally executed massacre is unimaginable and unpardonable. It begs belief that a human being was capable of such brutality on a fellow human being. It will be impo

Budget of Hopes amidst achievement deficits

Views - 60 Tuesday, 19 March 2019 01:03

Every budget introduced in the Parliament ushers in plenty of hopes and promises but the record of achievements have always fallen short of initial promises. This has been the sad history of Sri Lankan Government budgets, at least until the demise of

Triple E class budget now needs to sail

Views - 88 Monday, 18 March 2019 00:00

In shipping terms Triple E (EEE) stands for economies of scale, energy-efficient and environmentally improved vessels that was developed to cater to the market/industry demands. In my analysis of the 2019 budget proposals, I feel the overall budget o

Dissecting the 52-day saga: A forensic analysis by a forensic expert

Views - 6257 Monday, 18 March 2019 00:00

It was 7:30 in the evening on 26 October 2018. The day being a typical Friday, Sri Lankans had been settled for yet another uneventful weekend. Many had sat in front of TV sets watching their favourite teledramas. Suddenly, viewers got alerted by a n

Trusted smart products – theme of World Consumer Day 2019

Views - 92 Saturday, 16 March 2019 00:00

Era of digitalisation It is a pity that one of the most powerful groups worldwide which is the consumer group in Sri Lanka is a powerless insignificant group in the lowest ebb on consumerism in Sri Lanka due to inaction and lack of organised efforts

The last straw in local politics today

Views - 430 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:10

I don’t despair easily. But a sense of desolation has overtaken me. Since it is abundantly clear that the last of the statesmen is dead and gone in Sri Lanka today. However much you may hold out hope that some knight in shining armour or street-wis

Alcoholic beverages and ganja

Views - 787 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:05

I hope to begin this article with arrack and end up with ganja. Since I have chosen to write about arrack, I think it is fair that I should clarify my relationship with it for the knowledge of the reader. Frankly speaking, I consume a moderate amoun

Today's Columnists

Poignant pondering on a patriarch

Monday, 22 April 2019

Almost five months have gone. It is with a profound sense of sadness that we experienced the demise of our veteran teacher, respected author, legal luminary, an accomplished ambassador, an eminent public servant and an amazing human being, Dr. Wickre

Enemies of democracy – Part I Demand for a strongman to rule the country

Monday, 22 April 2019

I posed the following question to a group of university students recently: ‘Do you desire to have a strongman to rule Sri Lanka today?’ The students, made up of both genders in the age group of 25 to 35, chorused the answer in the affirmative. Wh

The sad demise of Jet Airways

Monday, 22 April 2019

Jet Airways of India, once the premier full-service carrier of the sub-continent, has ceased operations. “Jet Airways and its Board of Directors have been forced to take this extreme measure, as prolonged and sustained efforts with lenders and auth

No more stones to break Sri Lankan bones

Friday, 19 April 2019

Trial by fire is not a new ordeal to Christian community. It predates Notre Dame and Nazism by millennia. In fact, a decade or so before Nero torched believers to light Roman avenues, Jewish religious leaders put Jesus-followers to the test as the Ch

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