Columnists

STG who became SDG of the Central Bank

Views - 6162 Monday, 26 August 2019 00:00

When Dr. S.T.G. Fernando, fondly known as STG, was appointed as Director of Economic Research of the Central Bank in 1979, his fame – or perhaps, notoriety – as a hard taskmaster had travelled to us in the Department before he made his physical p


No bourgeoisie, no democracy

Views - 186 Monday, 26 August 2019 00:00

In the dark, forbiddingly bleak topography of our dysfunctional democracy, the emergence of the National People Power (NPP) coalition is a refreshingly propitious development. The centre-left intelligentsia could not resist comparing it to the mass


Go digital now

Views - 245 Monday, 26 August 2019 00:00

It’s a no brainer. An agency head I know recently said to me: “The jury is still out on the impact of digital advertising on client business in Sri Lanka.” I said: “What makes you say that.” He was clear. He said: “No numbers to support i


The Presidential Election: Into anarchy or out of anarchy?

Views - 207 Saturday, 24 August 2019 00:10

In politics there are no absolute truths, rights or wrongs: all is relative. Politics is about choices and alternatives. It is also the art of the possible. The best policy for the people is to work through the give


The presidency and the dilemma of the Presidential Election

Views - 575 Friday, 23 August 2019 00:00

J.R. Jayewardene created a presidential system not because the parliamentary system of governance that preceded it had failed. He wanted to take over all the powers of the State and assume the status of ancient kings who ruled the country in the past


The Provincial Council Elections – The charade goes on

Views - 182 Friday, 23 August 2019 00:00

Originally the SLPP was keen to hold the Provincial Council Elections (PCE) immediately after the Local Government Election results as they felt the PCE would go in their favour. PCE were held under the Proportional Representation system. The relevan


We need to challenge climate change doubters before it is too late

Views - 87 Friday, 23 August 2019 00:00

Imagine a London where the entire subterranean region is engulfed with dirty water. Crammed train carriages that once barrelled along 249 miles of track transporting busy office workers, builders, teachers, civil servants, cleaners and students now r


Enough power in the presidency for the right person

Views - 162 Friday, 23 August 2019 00:00

The presidency has not much power some say, but I would say there is plenty for the right person. By intention or otherwise, our Constitution leaves the presidency to be defined by the person occupying the chair. Maithripala Sirisena (MS) showed us t


Will the real JVP – Joke; Vital cog; Party poopers – please stand up?

Views - 880 Thursday, 22 August 2019 00:20

THE REDS ON THE GREEN HAVE TAKEN THE LIE OF THE LAND – and it is a highly-publicised stand, being the largest political rally of late. It’s a red flag planted claiming a space in the electoral pantheon, which is open to a plethora of interpretati


Solar power can save country from blackouts

Views - 377 Thursday, 22 August 2019 00:00

The country faced country-wide power-cuts (except Colombo) in March when electricity generated failed to meet the demand, as the current Government failed to establish even a single major power generation plant or even award for construction. Heavy r


Amendment of People’s Bank Act: Any sinister motive?

Views - 245 Thursday, 22 August 2019 00:00

Parliament of Sri Lanka is scheduled to debate a Bill presented by the Minister of Finance on 24 May and Published as Bill No. 282 in the Gazette (erroneously dated as 9 July 2018). The legal effect of this Bill is stated as follows: nClause 2: This


Viewing PR as a marketing tool is missing the point!

Views - 115 Wednesday, 21 August 2019 00:00

When times are tough, businesses often cut the PR budget first – and small businesses may not have one at all. After all, PR is just one part of the marketing mix, right? Wrong! To view PR as just another marketing tool is to limit the scope of PR


“Doing something” about social media?

Views - 269 Wednesday, 21 August 2019 00:00

Since the tragic terrorist incidents and pogroms of April and May, concerns about social media have been reverberating throughout our society. We are under pressure to “do something,” even without fully understanding the problems we seek to solve


The meaning of our slogans

Views - 163 Wednesday, 21 August 2019 00:00

Sri Lankans undoubtedly are inclined towards slogans, and the time of elections is the high season. They appear everywhere; on walls, bus stands, huge boulders, vehicles and even on the garments worn by the campaigners. Usually we are given somewhat


The 1915 pogrom: Where were all the women?

Views - 464 Wednesday, 21 August 2019 00:00

The 1915 anti-Muslim pogrom in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) is usually analysed through the lenses of ethnicity, religion, or class. Gender – and specifically women – appears to be absent in the narratives on this colonial-era conflict. Such absence i


Emerging signals of a US recession

Views - 531 Wednesday, 21 August 2019 00:00

US stocks plunge on fears of an economic downturn Last week’s turbulence in financial markets was a reaction to the fresh evidence of a possible recession in the US economy. The Dow Jones Industrials Average dropped a whopping 800 points or 3% last


Will ‘10 February’ be repeated?

Views - 696 Tuesday, 20 August 2019 00:00

Whilst Sri Lanka is in election mode, the thought crossing every Sri Lankans mind is, ‘Will the 10 February 2018 elections behaviour be repeated?’ given the head-start that ‘Brand Gota’ has got. Whilst many are speculating who will be the fig


Company Law intertwined with Income Tax – Understanding the nexus! Part II

Views - 296 Tuesday, 20 August 2019 00:00

A comparison and analysing the impact of corresponding provisions of Companies Act No. 7 of 2007 and Inland Revenue Act No. 24 of 2017 reveals invaluable insights corporate management must be aware of in day-to-day management activities as well as st


Trendvertising: The new world of communication in a hashtag world

Views - 254 Tuesday, 20 August 2019 00:00

Rahul Bose, an Indian actor, caught a lot of attention for a video post that went viral, where he complained about the price of bananas during his stay at a five-star hotel in Mumbai. As he explained in his story – he went to the gym at his hotel w


Shanta Devarajan: Economist who cannot get disconnected from his motherland

Views - 7084 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:25

For me, Shanta Devarajan, formerly the Acting Chief Economist of the World Bank Group succeeding the Nobel Laureate Paul Romer and presently Professor at Georgetown University, USA, was a legend by himself. When I met him in early part of the new mil


Sri Lanka’s next President: let’s get it right this time

Views - 1062 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

President Sirisena is a few months away from completing his tenure as the President of this country. Despite his ability to seek re-election, he is likely not to do so as his popularity has plumped ever since he was installed to the top most position


Does legality matter at all?

Views - 210 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

There has been a recent flurry of media attention paid to the potential candidacy of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the candidate of the Pohottuwa group at the next Presidential Election. While his is obviously a very well-financed campaign if the demonstrati


Vibrancy of ‘Vijayaba Kollaya’: Lucid lessons for Lankans

Views - 708 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

I enjoyed watching the first 3D Sinhala movie last week. It is ‘Vijayaba Kollaya’ directed by Emeritus Professor Sunil Ariyarathne. It happened to be the last screenplay written by late Dr. Tissa Abeysekara. The story is based on a classical nove


Religion is a problem in Sri Lanka; can it be a solution?

Views - 265 Saturday, 17 August 2019 04:01

Generally, it is expected that religion should be a solution to a problem. Ironically in Sri Lanka religion is the problem. Therefore, what would be the solution? When religion becomes a problem of a country....


Orthodoxy and change: A perennial Muslim issue

Views - 107 Saturday, 17 August 2019 03:54

Whether Muslims live as minorities in non-Muslim countries or as majorities in a total of fifty seven countries, the clash of orthodoxy with modern challenges is a perennial issue that bedevils progress on several fronts in these communities.


Company Law intertwined with Income Tax – Understanding the nexus!

Views - 358 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

Corporate Actions have significant income tax ramifications. The Inland Revenue Act does not exist in a water tight compartment. The Companies Act has much influence on Income Tax laws of Sri Lanka. Corporate Actions Corporate Actions more often th


Failure of the Left Movement

Views - 170 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

The growing socio-political crisis in Sri Lanka has affected all political parties. Leaders of all political parties have, in one way or another, begun to lament over their failure. Lal Kantha can be considered the person to bring this lament to the


What non-Muslim Sri Lankans should know about Islam and Sri Lankan Muslims: Part II

Views - 222 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

3. The concept of Islam as an individual/group identity The concept of identity is one which has become embedded in our modern lives. From our gender, social, cultural, religious status to identities of political parties, identities of perpetrators o


National security strategy, a top priority for Sri Lanka

Views - 293 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

Realists view the state as a sovereign entity guided by national interest to protect its integrity by use of power. At its most fundamental level, national interest is generic and easy to define: all states seek to preserve their political autonomy a


Making the MCC Compact work for Sri Lanka

Views - 560 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

It is a sign of these political times that even an apolitical issue like a foreign aid program becomes a hot topic in Sri Lanka. In April 2019, the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) approved a compact program for Sri La


Today's Columnists

The real cost of dengue

Monday, 23 September 2019

Rainy season not only brings much-needed water to Sri Lanka, but also an increase in mosquitoes and thus: dengue. As in many southern countries, Sri Lanka faces the challenge of controlling this mosquito-borne disease. Up to September 2019, the Epide


State of the economy of Sri Lanka

Saturday, 21 September 2019

I am not an economist nor do I profess to be an economic analyst. The views expressed in this presentation are those of a layman who has always been interested in the economic progress of Sri Lanka.


Premadasa, Père et Fils

Saturday, 21 September 2019

We are what time, circumstances and history has made of us. We are trapped in history. At age 77, I refuse to trap history in my mind. This essay is an obligation to history. Although J.R. Jayewardene introduced ‘Executive Presidentialism’, coer


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