Columnists

Lasantha, journalists and diplomats

Views - 121 Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:00

We find scarce little to celebrate in a sullied land, marking our days remembering the tragedies that tell our blood-soaked history. In the troubled decades preceding, many, from the highest in the land to average citizens, have met with violent ends


Teaching the younger generation to observe professional ethics is the need of the hour

Views - 160 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

When Sri Lanka got independence in 1948, it was one of the most promising nations both in Asia and in the Commonwealth countries. It had luckily emerged unscathed after the Second World War unlike our neighbours. Sri Lanka furthermore did not have to


Questionable (or absurd) official report on poverty indicators

Views - 135 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

The latest Report issued by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs on ‘Poverty Indicators’ is both questionable and outrageous.1This Ministry is under the responsibility of the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Most of the sta


SL tourism: From TOM to experience the brand in 2019

Views - 285 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

Last week I had just crossed the border that separates Laos from Thailand and was on route via land to Thailand. My mind was on Laos – a country branded globally as ‘Simply Beautiful’ (backed by the ADB in 2018) to attract visitors into the cou


Automation and machine learning: Helping organisations extract deeper value from data

Views - 208 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

The world is in the midst of a data explosion. Humans are generating an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day1, according to Forbes, and more data was created in the past two years than in all of human history. No wonder data now r


All the presidents’ mien

Views - 262 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:10

I’m conflicted about the presidency we have. Do we need it like a fish needs a bicycle, or a baboon needs a parliament? Has the opportune time come for stakeholders as diverse as civil society led by a free media movement, conscientious objectors t


Banks should subsume technology before technology subsumes them

Views - 6133 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:08

Returning to IBSL is like ‘coming home’ It is a privilege for me to return to the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka, popularly known as IBSL, after the lapse of some 10 years. I had a long association with IBSL from its very beginning – from ar


AI in 2019: Start small, win big

Views - 50 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

A new generation of point AI solutions will prove themselves in 2019. They’ll build new trust, urgency and understanding of what ‘AI’ actually is, and just how much it can deliver. Voice-driven solutions will lead the charge. And we’ll see pi


Sri Lanka needs better focus on logistics and distribution beyond 2020

Views - 182 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

The time has come for Sri Lanka to make all efforts to transform its advantage of speed and connectivity into a major logistics hub in the Indian Ocean which can have many positive spinoff effects in terms of becoming a more vibrant manufacturing, tr


Making democracy a national heritage

Views - 104 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

We are in the year of elections. It is the season of political name calling. Everybody is busy conferring some name on some body. Neo liberal, liberal, dictator, fascist, neo fascist, NGO agent, imperialist lackey are some of these devices that come


Ravi K’s discourse on W.A. Wijewardena’s involvement in Treasury bond issue

Views - 2816 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

In his article published previously in the Daily FT, Ravi Karunanayake (the MOF during the period of the infamous CBSL bond scam) appears to have attemptedto pull wool over the eyes andto make a mountain out of a molehill. This exercise gives an impr


Unless addressed, wages issue will keep troubling Bangladesh’s garment industry

Views - 170 Saturday, 19 January 2019 00:10

The recent week-long mass protests by garment workers in Bangladesh came to an end after an upward revision of wages for six classes of workers. But even after the upward revision, the Bangladeshi garment worker gets less than what workers in compara


Is the Navy lying? Is our press serving us well?

Views - 451 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

Newspapers of 16 January report Indian poachers turning on our Navy. An earlier incident of 23 December where poachers really used violence was hardly reported. All this mis- and non-reporting raise questions of the veracity of our Navy and the irres


Elimination of bribery and corruption

Views - 382 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

Bribery and corruption can be regarded as a malicious cancer that has penetrated into almost every strata of Sri Lankan state. It can be considered a major factor affecting Sri Lanka’s poverty, backwardness and indebtedness. Abuse of power by thos


Evaluation of economic performance: 4 years into Yahapalana Government

Views - 315 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

The Yahapalana Government completed four years on 8 January this year. The four-year journey was a rough ride with a clear rift between the President and the UNP; the ruling party. The Government continues to face severe criticism from both inside an


Is GDP the ideal metric of the future?

Views - 305 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

In an age of stark contradictions, we live in a world where the exclusive 1% enjoy access to an abundance of wealth and resources but also a world where a billion people scarcely have enough to eat and have limited access to health and education. Whi


Open letter to M.A. Sumanthiran, MP

Views - 1613 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

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


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

Views - 132 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

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


The birth of airlines in the USA

Views - 40 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

The first non-stop trans-Atlantic flight took place in 1919, when two English flyers, John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown, flew a modified Vickers Vimy bomber from Newfoundland, Canada to County Galway in Ireland. While this won them knighthoods and


FCCISL on Government’s road to FTAs: How rational? Part 3

Views - 79 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

(8) An analysis of overall effectiveness of Australian FTAs According to the Australian productivity research report (2010), businesses in Australia have provided little evidence that Australia’s Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements (BRTAs) have


Politicians and cricketers: Expected role, selection and performance evaluation (Part 1)

Views - 115 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

I am an apolitical person. I am neither a political analyst nor a sports analyst. However, I closely observe both activities. I attentively observed recent political turmoil in Sri Lanka from a remote location via mass media. I watched the performan


Morals and ethics take a nosedive in Sinhala-Buddhist Sri Lanka

Views - 747 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

As a Sri Lankan first, as a member of the predominant ethnic community, Sinhalese, as a follower of the Buddhist philosophy and as a grandmother, I have taken it upon myself to address the youth and young adults of Sri Lanka, amongst them – the fut


A lie is also a truth

Views - 513 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

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?


Why Gota gave me a ‘Gotler’ feeling

Views - 513 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

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


Sri Lanka must focus on quality of exports rather than value

Views - 237 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

Whilst Sri Lanka needs to be commended on the exports value of $ 17 billion that was achieved last year (the numbers include merchandise and export of services), a point to note us that Sri Lanka is ranked the lowest in our part of the world for new


Critical review of accountancy education in Sri Lanka

Views - 181 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka is having three accountancy bodies, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL-www.casrilanka.com) which was founded in 1959 by Act of Parliament, Association of Accounting Technicians of Sri Lanka (AAT-www.aatsl.lk) which w


FCCISL on Government’s road to FTAs: How rational? Part 2

Views - 160 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:08

(5) Approach to FTAs of other countries (a) Lessons from India-EU FTA negotiations It is good for Sri Lankan negotiators to learn from their counter parts in India and EU. This is an exemplary occasion where negotiators from both India and EU showed


India and leadership of global democracy

Views - 364 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:03

After shouldering the leadership of global democracy for over seven decades, the United States is seen withdrawing from the rest of the world. The European Union is not as united as it once was with Brexit and far right movements getting more likely


Shutdown

Views - 87 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:00

A phrase that does not have much meaning with the rest of the world yet an integral part of the American political way of life. A distinct dysfunction of a working democracy in that. A default mechanism that works wholly and totally against the peopl


Seeking IMF support is necessary, but ailing economy needs permanent treatment

Views - 6626 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:10

Hitting a dying man on the head A high-level delegation led by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has left for Washington DC to meet IMF’s high-ups. The purpose? To negotiate for the restoration of the Extended Fund Facility or EFF temporarily su


Today's Columnists

Lasantha, journalists and diplomats

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

We find scarce little to celebrate in a sullied land, marking our days remembering the tragedies that tell our blood-soaked history. In the troubled decades preceding, many, from the highest in the land to average citizens, have met with violent ends


Automation and machine learning: Helping organisations extract deeper value from data

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The world is in the midst of a data explosion. Humans are generating an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day1, according to Forbes, and more data was created in the past two years than in all of human history. No wonder data now r


SL tourism: From TOM to experience the brand in 2019

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Last week I had just crossed the border that separates Laos from Thailand and was on route via land to Thailand. My mind was on Laos – a country branded globally as ‘Simply Beautiful’ (backed by the ADB in 2018) to attract visitors into the cou


Questionable (or absurd) official report on poverty indicators

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The latest Report issued by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs on ‘Poverty Indicators’ is both questionable and outrageous.1This Ministry is under the responsibility of the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Most of the sta


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