Columnists

The world we want for a loved land

Views - 203 Monday, 31 December 2018 01:50

I write for many of us. But not as many as one would hope. Since we’re badly divided on community, polity, unity. However, it’s false hope at best or flagrant hypocrisy at worst to think anyone has all the answers – and is actually right about


The rights of bank deposit holders?

Views - 291 Monday, 31 December 2018 01:45

When a business has disproportionate debt (vs. equity), they are labelled as ‘highly leveraged’ and viewed with a sense of caution. What about commercial banks? If you consider deposit holder funds as debt (which represents 80%-90% of a bank’s


Marine pollution caused by shipping industry: Emerging threat in domain of environmental security

Views - 217 Monday, 31 December 2018 01:16

Oceans play a crucial role in balancing the global ecosystem. Hence, sustenance of a healthy marine environment is of vital necessity for several reasons. At the outset of expansive trade policies in the international arena, freight of goods via sea


A diversion to airships

Views - 183 Monday, 31 December 2018 01:12

Despite all the progress made in the Great War to develop aircraft and engines, significant issues still remained. Even the improved larger aircraft could not fly very far with a significant payload of passengers and cargo. Frequent stops were requir


Binod Chaudhary’s wisdom: You can make it big if driven by an undiminished passion for achievement

Views - 7247 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:00

I recommend Binod Chaudhary’s autobiography – ‘Making It Big’ – to all readers. As the title says, the message is that if it is small now, make it big. By implication, it also advises us to make it bigger if it is big and the biggest if it


Man is born free but corrupt political system has chained us without any mercy (Part 1)

Views - 115 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:00

Our representative democracy and bureaucratic organisations need vast changes. Both are suffering from increasing deficiencies and legitimacy too. It looks as if we are close to being a ‘failed state’. The country therefore is facing enormous com


Behind the Mawanella bigotry

Views - 121 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:00

Who were the bigots who broke Buddha statues in Mawanella and in other places? There are only two possible answers to this question. Either, they were a bunch of urban hoodlums seeking sadistic pleasure from destroying religious icons, or handpicked


A critique of President Sirisena’s decision to hold ministerial portfolio

Views - 170 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:00

It appears to be that President Sirisena continues to violate the Constitution. Prior to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution according to Article 44(2), “President may assign any subject or function to himself”. Since this provision was withd


“Exciting 19” for excellent 2019

Views - 742 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:00

A refreshing 31,557,000 seconds in 2019 are with us. A brand new year invites us not only to have brand new thoughts but to convert them into grand actions. As usual, people tend to have New Year resolutions. My suggestion is to go beyond scant resol


Taliban changes as State power comes within grasp

Views - 92 Saturday, 29 December 2018 00:10

Given the global powers’ very determined efforts to bring peace to war-torn Afghanistan by talking to the Taliban, it is likely that the radical Islamic insurgent group will be in the seat of power sooner or later. The Taliban are no strangers to


The portfolio madness (thathva pissuwa) at Diyawanna and new challenges to political stability

Views - 201 Saturday, 29 December 2018 00:10

The failure of the executive presidential system and the chaos it can bring has been dramatically demonstrated in a different manner over the Sirisena-Mahinda attempted coup that took place recently. Previously, Sri Lank


The second freedom struggle (III)

Views - 368 Friday, 28 December 2018 00:00

John Locke (1632-1704) was the first philosopher to introduce the concept of classical liberalism, a political ideology that argued that the sovereignty of the state rests on the people. The state derives its power from the people. He presented this


The clash of the two Titans: what next?

Views - 354 Friday, 28 December 2018 00:00

The ideologies of the UNP and the SLFP have shaped the political experience of both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe. These ideologies, experiences, struggles and for dominance over the other have been the root cause of these recent confrontations. True,


Three things to remember when working with farmers in establishing agricultural value chains

Views - 323 Thursday, 27 December 2018 01:08

What is the most important element in an agricultural value chain? An agricultural value chain is a collection of many stakeholders. Some of these stakeholders are rent seekers, such as the middle tradesman, transporters and buyers (including exporte


The most wonderful time of the year?

Views - 152 Thursday, 27 December 2018 00:22

Since a few weeks the Christmas mood is on with many among us; one can see and hear it all around town with music, special sales and decorations. Like all over the world, Sri Lanka also indulges in Christmas-related activities independent of religiou


Ecosystems, not just institutions – Homagama, our own Silicon Valley!

Views - 487 Thursday, 27 December 2018 00:16

Silicon Valley in USA, Boston again in USA, Tel Aviv in Israel, Eindhoven in Netherlands are well-known in today’s world – they are economic hotspots! I am not too sure of a similar understanding in the local context when one considers the expre


Sustaining democracy

Views - 184 Tuesday, 25 December 2018 00:00

St. Augustine’s ‘City of God’ was perhaps the book Sirisena was following since the beginning of his presidency in 2015. A kind and calm leader from humble beginnings was seen trying to be righteous yet appeared cornered, isolated and perhaps p


Imran Khan takes guard

Views - 413 Tuesday, 25 December 2018 00:00

Imran Khan, the new light radiating in South Asia. A troubled geographical area not known for prolonged, incremental and sustained “light”. Activities under the constant watchful eyes of Uncle Sam. Any semblance of righteous effulgence socio-eco


The polarisation of American politics: Lessons for Sri Lanka

Views - 1311 Tuesday, 25 December 2018 00:00

Back in 1984, President Ronald Reagan won 49 out of 50 states in America. Reagan was a Republican (same party as Donald Trump). President Johnson (Democrat) won 44 out of 50 states in 1964. Today, it would be beyond a miracle if a Republican can win


And so are they all: ‘honourable men’

Views - 1098 Monday, 24 December 2018 00:12

The appointment of the Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, MP as the Minister of Power and Energy has set the polecat among the pigeons. It has got a knowing glance from the national press. While setting social media ablaze. And one can see why. But one might al


Undercover Islamophobia and rebirth of anti-globalisation

Views - 205 Monday, 24 December 2018 00:04

From the USA to Australia, and all Western democracies in between, immigration control, border security and population planning have taken centre stage in political campaigns. The last of these is looming as an election issue in Australia. These iss


Tale of two leaders: A Christmas reflection

Views - 476 Monday, 24 December 2018 00:00

Leaders and laggards are much in talk these days in the midst of a political turbulence that ravaged the country. Christmas is approaching with its associated festivities as usual. Apart from the traditional message of peace and harmony, this “fest


Economy at a crossroads: The way out for Sri Lanka

Views - 6600 Monday, 24 December 2018 00:00

The analysis so far In the previous part, we noted that Professor H.A. de S. Gunasekara, the first Ceylonese professor of economics at the University of Ceylon, was a legend in economics teaching in Sri Lanka. His doctoral thesis to the University of


The rise and fall of the hardest-working man in the brutally-competitive auto industry

Views - 122 Monday, 24 December 2018 00:00

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault Corporations who is also known as Mr. 7-11, Mr. Fix or Mr. Turnaround according to Economic Times, has had a stunning fall from grace due to financial misconducts at


Bangladesh elections: Will authoritarianism dent Hasina’s developmental plank?

Views - 205 Saturday, 22 December 2018 00:10

As Bangladesh goes for general elections on 30 December, the million dollar question in people’s minds is whether or not Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s authoritarian actions will dent her impressive developmental plank. Hasina’s 10-year tenure


Aftermath of a political coup

Views - 207 Saturday, 22 December 2018 00:10

Along with the Supreme Court (SC) order to quash the proclamation of the President to dissolve the Parliament, and the declaration that the said proclamation was null and void, the coup launched by the President to forcibly acquire State power was de


Rightfully restored Premier Ranil may hold early Parliamentary elections

Views - 5470 Friday, 21 December 2018 00:01

The seven-week-long curse which blighted this beautiful and bountiful land from 26 October onwards ended over the mid-December weekend.On Saturday 15 December former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa terminated his illegitimate t


The Second Freedom Struggle (Part II)

Views - 425 Friday, 21 December 2018 00:00

Although the political group that deserved the ruling power has been reinstated on account of the lawful and bold judgment given by the Judiciary, it will not act as a deterrent in preventing the collapse and the decadence of the State. The malicious


MS tries ambitious agricultural stroke and is caught in the deep

Views - 374 Friday, 21 December 2018 00:00

In cricketing parlance, the concept of a textbook shot by a batsman is attributed inter-alia to class, perfection, command, etc. It’s usually executed with authority, accuracy and authenticity. Not everyone can do it. There are some essential pre


UNF Government should not squander this last opportunity

Views - 422 Friday, 21 December 2018 00:00

President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a 29-member Cabinet yesterday after two months of political turmoil. It was reported that the UNP has sent in 36 names to the President to be appointed as Ministers and that President Sirisena had struck off


Today's Columnists

Politicians and cricketers: Expected role, selection and performance evaluation (Part 2)

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Before commenting on the selection process, it is better to understand the ground realities and the nature of the beasts. Sri Lanka has a good theoretical education system. This system prompts students to ‘Cram-Remember-Express’ or ‘Read-Rememb


Open letter to M.A. Sumanthiran, MP

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Happy Pongal, Mr Sumanthiran! You and I are from two very different generations. In fact you belong to my uncle’s generation (sadly I don’t get along very well with my uncle). You are a child of the ’70s. I’m a child of the 90s. In a more tex


Why Gota gave me a ‘Gotler’ feeling

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Bourgeoisie venues It is no accident that presidential-candidate hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa holds his Viyathmaga meetings in bourgeoisie spots. Once, it had been Shangri-La. Last Saturday, 12 January, it had been Waters Edge. Gota’s speech offered


A lie is also a truth

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is a determined contender for the presidency. His trenchant lecture to activists of the Viyathmaga forum demonstrated the man’s spiritedness and impulse to act. He is a driven man. What drives him?


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