Humour as a panacea for the bane of politics

Views - 156 Friday, 26 October 2018 00:00

Today your columnist will stray a tad bit off the well-trodden path. To make a foray into the realm of three types of the ‘funnies’. Where the sun is always shining on our blessed isle. If there is a cloud on the

Unhappy is the land that needs a hero

Views - 186 Thursday, 25 October 2018 00:00

“Unhappy is the land that needs a hero” is the heavy-hearted response of Galileo to his pupil Andrea when the latter furious with the astronomer’s recantation tells him, “Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero”. Bertolt Brecht wrote his ep

Lalith de Mel, leader par excellence

Views - 231 Thursday, 25 October 2018 00:00

Having made Sri Lanka proud over many, many years – reaching the pinnacle as the first Sri Lankan on the Main Board of a Top 100 Company in the UK and serving on the boards of 27 companies abroad and 11 companies in Sri Lanka with steady success

Can humans and animals coexist in increasingly limited spaces?

Views - 105 Wednesday, 24 October 2018 00:00

Many wildlife species are close to extinction, or at least threatened, because of human impact. The usual strategies of co-existence are to confine more and more the habitat of wildlife to smaller reserves, parks or other fenced areas, to protect the

The Hindu mess and N. Ram’s tweet on the raw (or RAW) matter

Views - 223 Wednesday, 24 October 2018 00:00

A.S. Panneerselvan ran a story this morning in The Hindu (00.00am, 22 October) titled ‘Don’t blame the messenger,’ referring to the controversial front page report of the same newspaper five days ago by Meera Sirinivasan on ‘Sri Lankan Presid

Buddhism, sustainability and Sri Lanka

Views - 312 Wednesday, 24 October 2018 00:00

Sustainability is fast becoming a very relevant and essential aspect of our lives. This has come about as a response to the high degree of consumerism that prevails in the world today, and the resulting overuse of fast-depleting natural resources, gi

Value of regulated landfills: Megapolis Ministry must communicate

Views - 234 Tuesday, 23 October 2018 00:00

Our policymakers may do the right thing but not do it too well by not communicating the larger purpose of their actions. The current fuss about the proposed Aruwakkalu landfill is one such example. As the Ministry of Megapolis correctly points out,

Virtual banks: Opportunities and challenges

Views - 334 Tuesday, 23 October 2018 00:00

A virtual bank is a bank which predominantly delivers retail banking services through the internet or other forms of electronic channels instead of physical branches. This covers all online transactions whether it be via the web, email, mobile check

Reinvent yourself before reinventing your industry

Views - 134 Tuesday, 23 October 2018 00:00

For the last 19 years Interbrand has been carrying out its Best Global Brands report. This year, the theme of the study is ‘Activating Brave’, which examines the role that brand strength plays in the transformation of the world’s leading busi

Future competencies for Sri Lankans: Rhetoric and reality

Views - 531 Monday, 22 October 2018 00:00

I was humbly happy to be the first Sri Lankan to speak at Fiji Annual HR Convention. It gave me a wonderful opportunity to meet warm people of another island nation. With booming tourism and bountiful natural resources, it appears as one of the most

IPS’s State of the Economy Report 2018 is a demonstration of its independent analysis of the economy

Views - 4682 Monday, 22 October 2018 00:00

Economists are at the receiving end of society today when it comes to economic crises. They have been blamed not only for giving confusing advice, but also for failing to predict accurately the oncoming economic catastrophes.

Challenges in preserving and promoting Pakistan’s Buddhist past

Views - 248 Saturday, 20 October 2018 00:10

The international media has been portraying Pakistan as a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism, especially after the Americans carried out a surgical strike there to kill international terrorist and fugitive, Osama bin Laden.

Pandemonium around condominiums – A public cry

Views - 218 Friday, 19 October 2018 00:00

Way of living There was a time we knew our neighbours. We knew them by names, what they were doing and even what they were planning to do next. Such a close interaction was generally required for co-existence and for mutual benefits, although, on occ

ERP in the Cloud: Realising the full potential for emerging markets

Views - 208 Friday, 19 October 2018 00:00

The world has witnessed a remarkable disruption and digital transformation in technology over the past few years. Many organisations have transitioned from large-scale, resource-intensive implementation exercises to operational investments with lower

Profit before principle: Khashoggi and US-Saudi relations

Views - 195 Friday, 19 October 2018 00:00

The mysterious disappearance of a Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, from inside the Saudi Embassy complex in Turkey on 2 October and an array of circumstantial evidence surrounding his disappearance lead one to suspect that Jamal was possibly abduct

Government’s cohabitation stuck in the past or what?

Views - 319 Friday, 19 October 2018 00:00

The appointment of career judge Nalin Perera as the new Chief Justice, who has served in the judiciary for over 30 years, provides a snapshot into President Maithripala Sirisena’s thought process, amidst various stories of clashes with his coalitio

When shame and honour take the hypocritical centre stage

Views - 268 Friday, 19 October 2018 00:00

As human beings, we experience a gamut of emotions. These help individuals to express themselves, and authorities to exercise control over entire societies. The most common feelings engendered by our race span a spectrum from guilt and shame to fear.

Finishing the job of ending poverty in South Asia

Views - 111 Thursday, 18 October 2018 00:00

“I have a four-year-old son back in my village. I want to make a better life for him,” says Sharmin Akhtar, a 19-year-old employee in one of Dhaka’s many flourishing garment factories. Like thousands of other poor women, Sharmin came down to B

1/3 of your training budget should be spent on developing leaders for boosting corporate performance

Views - 158 Wednesday, 17 October 2018 00:00

“Great companies spend an average of 32% of their training budget on leadership development.” – Brandon Hall’s leadership survey The highest Return On Training Investment (ROTI) comes from helping your managers sharpen the leadership skills

Economy in disarray, banks flourishing; can this be true?

Views - 753 Wednesday, 17 October 2018 00:00

It is earlier reported that the growth in bank credit accelerated in August despite the tight credit and money conditions and rising non-performing loans in the banking sector. It is further reported that the year-on-year (YoY) growth in credit accel

Responsible water stewardship in Sri Lanka

Views - 220 Wednesday, 17 October 2018 00:00

Unlike many of our regional neighbours, Sri Lanka is blessed with an abundant water table. However, many companies do not feel the full value of this precious resource due to the limited regulation and monitoring of fresh water extraction for busines

Depreciating rupee: Avoiding a money-go-round

Views - 745 Wednesday, 17 October 2018 00:00

Sri Lanka’s excessive reliance on foreign capital to finance investment under favourable external financial conditions is now leading to disruptions, as those conditions change in a decisive interest rate tightening phase in the United States. As U

Australian Labor Party Action Plan and takeaways for Sri Lanka

Views - 123 Tuesday, 16 October 2018 00:00

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) launched its Fair Go Action Plan recently, highlighting the following eight points: nTo get the government and the economy working for the people. nTo put people first. nTo get country’s priorities back. nTo fix

The process that brought in the new Chief Justice is a Yahapalanaya achievement

Views - 446 Tuesday, 16 October 2018 00:00

Cheers to Chief Justice Dep! We saw Justice Priyasad Dep come and now we see him going into retirement. The fact that a judge cannot get an extension is also sacrosanct; because if that was permitted it could lead to abuse, with judges giving decisi

Falling rupee and sliding economy

Views - 342 Tuesday, 16 October 2018 00:00

The Central Bank (CB) seems to have given up its effort to defend the depreciating rupee. Not that it does not want to but that it cannot because there are no more reserves to gamble with. The CB, however, is trying to put a positive spin on the surr

The fate of the rupee: Time to stop playing the ‘blame-excuse-blame games’

Views - 5114 Monday, 15 October 2018 01:27

As I have presented in a previous article titled ‘Rupee’s Sad Destiny of One-way Journey to Depreciation’ (available at:, it has been a historical tragedy

What is inflation targeting?

Views - 291 Monday, 15 October 2018 01:26

“Given that Sri Lanka is a twin deficit country, in terms of budget deficit and current account deficit, the chances that Sri Lanka attracting new money at this juncture is very minimal indeed.

Liberalisation of shipping: Fact or fiction?

Views - 477 Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera wrapped up the 2018 budget debate promising to end the country’s ‘nanny state’ approach, and expressed his determination to press ahead with radical liberalisation.

Rwanda: An inspiration for Africa

Views - 1059 Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

Rwanda, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the Singapore of Africa as it’s referred to, is rebranding itself as an economic miracle.

Flip-flopping in Maldivian politics makes prediction difficult

Views - 88 Saturday, 13 October 2018 00:10

It is said that politics is the art of the possible. In other words, politics is about what is possible and opportune, and not necessarily what is best or morally right. Maldivian politics and institutional functioning exemplify this, with opportunis

Today's Columnists

The Brahmin footprint in Sri Lankan history

Saturday, 17 November 2018

It is generally said that there are no genuine “Sri Lankan” Brahmins in the island today, and that those Brahmins who officiate as priests in Hindu kovils (temples) are of Indian origin with close ties with Tamil Nadu.

Country paying for Sirisena’s childlike behaviour

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Many were surprised on 26 October to see former President Rajapaksa being appointed Prime Minister by the very man who defeated him a couple years ago, at a considerable risk to himself and to those who helped him win the election. Then events beca

The JR-MR effect

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Sri Lanka over the last few weeks has experienced a twin crisis. One is political provoked by its Constitution, and the other economic engendered by its politics. However, this crisis is the combined effect of two previous presidencies, those of J.R.

The fish that swallowed the whale

Friday, 16 November 2018

This is an easy-peasy, elementary effort of an ordinary citizen to comprehend the mad scramble for power among the political class. It is undertaken in the belief that the crisis we face is an opportunity to reject the family kleptocracy of Mahinda R

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