Columnists

Women’s bodies as tools of State control

Views - 351 Friday, 8 March 2019 00:00

Last week men on social media celebrated Women Police Constables (WPCs) being the barrier between student protesters. This was apparently an achievement for gender equality. It is commonplace for Male Police Constables (MPCs) to get all the ‘actio


Planning sans science and technology: Life for us is going to be costly if not painful!

Views - 195 Thursday, 7 March 2019 00:55

Sri Lanka is in a period of extreme challenge and the reasons are manifold – However, I really do not see whether we understand the way out! ‘Sri Lanka: A country trapped in debt’ and ‘Repayment of debt – the biggest nightmare for Sri Lank


Rev. Pitiduwe Samanthabhadra: Pretender or savant?

Views - 325 Thursday, 7 March 2019 00:34

Judging by the crowds he is gathering around him, this latest monk-sensation in Sri Lanka is on a success tide. Thousands pilgrimage to him at home. The rich and the poor liberally donate pirikara or gifts. Ambitious politicians flock around hoping f


Absolute power corrupts absolutely

Views - 140 Thursday, 7 March 2019 00:23

Advocacy of a system of government according to constitutional principles and the rule of law are the central features of any political democracy that respects human rights. An independent judiciary, the essential guardian of the rule of law, is the


Democracy and development: Sri Lankan style – Part II

Views - 232 Thursday, 7 March 2019 00:00

The Government is keen to expand the Cabinet to accommodate those who shifted allegiance to the new Government. Do we need more of the above people? Certainly not. An increase in the size of the Cabinet is totally unnecessary and could only lead to t


Are Colombo malls listening to consumers’ pulse?

Views - 141 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

Retail stores inside the malls were empty with few shoppers even when its common spaces like the lobby areas, food courts, etc. bustled with people. Mall-going culture the very essence of urban living has not been norm in Colombo so far due to the la


Role of Sri Lankan academics in national policy development

Views - 92 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

“Who can save Sri Lanka?” This was the caption of an article published in a mainstream newspaper a few months ago. The author, T.M. Premawardana, presented numerous historical examples to highlight how the Sri Lankan public saved this country at


What ails the tea industry and what can be done to boost tea export revenue

Views - 258 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

The note under reference, hopefully will help the Government to boost exports out of Sri Lanka and formulate policies for potential sectors to collectively go beyond a $ 25 billion export economy and perhaps retain a surplus after debt redemption in


Democracy and development: Sri Lankan style – Part I

Views - 317 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka’s political scene has always been in turmoil. The sacking of the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the 26 October 2018 was unprecedented in Sri Lanka. This is yet another sign that the cascade of policy failures in Sri Lanka will con


Is Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda to be the sacrificial lamb at the altar of the 40th UNHCR session?

Views - 379 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

The 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva is currently underway. The report on Sri Lanka will be formally submitted on 20 March. Less than a week before the Geneva Sessions commenced on 25 February, former Navy Co


Addressing the white elephant in Lankan economic development in tourism

Views - 428 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

In the past, Sri Lanka has focused on increasing the number of tourists coming into the country and showcased the increase in tourism without much concentration on the growth of our economy in retrospect. Lonely Planet listed Sri Lanka as the number


Are deeply-insolvent, licensed, deposit-taking financial institutions the norm in a well-regulated financial system?

Views - 238 Tuesday, 5 March 2019 01:25

My attention was drawn in the above regard to the very recent Press Notice of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) on one of the large pioneer finance companies in the country, The Finance Co. (TFC). What was most profound in this Notice was that TFC w


Will SL Budget 2019 capture key trends globally?

Views - 741 Tuesday, 5 March 2019 00:10

As per the latest estimates of the World Bank, the South Asian region is ranked the fastest growing with a whopping 6.9% GDP growth in 2018, whilst the estimated growth in 2019 is to be 7.1% which indicates the appetite that private sector has and no


Service availability and readiness for elderly healthcare

Views - 91 Tuesday, 5 March 2019 00:05

Median age of the population of Sri Lanka is increasing because of declines in fertility and mortality rates. The growing number of older adults increases demands on the public health system and on medical and social services. Chronic diseases, which


Budget day!

Views - 240 Tuesday, 5 March 2019 00:02

The Budget Speech or the second reading of the Appropriation Bill will take place at 2 p.m. today. As the uncertainty of the elections looms, the content in the Budget 2019 may be the barometer to gauge the Government’s thinking and the level of c


Budget – Lessons from success stories

Views - 95 Tuesday, 5 March 2019 00:01

In this column we have kept on saying that reducing the budget deficit should not be the priority of the Government. We’ll touch on the topic one more time, as the Government presents the budget today. While the deficit was targeted to be reduced t


Confronting chauvinism

Views - 124 Tuesday, 5 March 2019 00:00

After I presented an old article in which I displayed and criticised the rantings of a Sinhala extremist named Chand Wijeywickrema (a Peradeniya graduate of my vintage), I was directly challenged by two Facebook members to clarify my depiction of Wij


Budget 2019 should not fall into the pitfall of being an election budget

Views - 6319 Monday, 4 March 2019 00:20

Race to offer free goodies to voters in election years The tradition in all developing countries has been that just before elections, politicians in power choose to offer the general public a host of unaffordable free goodies in the hope of winning t


European Commission’s Stakeholders’ Consultation on Draft AI Ethics Guidelines

Views - 113 Monday, 4 March 2019 00:00

The Commission’s document was structured as follows, A. Rationale and Foresight of The Guidelines B. A Framework for Trustworthy AI I. Respecting Fundamental Rights, Principles and Values - Ethical Purpose II. Realising Trustworthy AI 1. Requiremen


Tamils’ hopes fading: Every village is Sinhalese? Raghavan sacked?

Views - 351 Monday, 4 March 2019 00:00

In 2015 nearly all Tamils had hoped for a new era. The Government co-sponsoring UNHRC Resolution 30/1 increased our hope that we Tamils would be included in Sri Lanka and that those who murdered us and raped our women (including our murdered women) w


Politics of short-termism

Views - 87 Monday, 4 March 2019 00:00

Politicians in parliamentary democracies are commonly blamed for their short-termism. Cynics point out that in these democracies the first third of a government’s term is spent in blaming the previous government for all deficiencies, the middle thi


Colombo’s East Terminal can move forward without further delay

Views - 257 Monday, 4 March 2019 00:00

The shipping industry has continuously made it clear to the authorities that the Colombo Port’s capacity needs long-term projections fulfilled to give its clients (the shipping lines) the ability to plan the future without uncertainty. Industry pr


Breaking news example of Yahapalanaya in Australia Cardinal George Pell found guilty and set to go to jail

Views - 216 Saturday, 2 March 2019 00:10

Could this ever happen in Sri Lanka if a Mahanayake of any of the nikayas was found guilty of criminal conduct like sexual abuse and rape of kids under their care? Or a Muslim Mullah? Or even our own Cardinal, Rev. Malcolm Ranjith? However serious t


Cry salt tears against Govt. complicity in crime

Views - 140 Friday, 1 March 2019 00:20

What’s worse? A. A hit-and-run where the perp flees the scene; only to surrender himself to the cops the next day; after any evidence of allegedly DUI has been flushed down the tube; literally; or the local constabulary reviews surveillance camera


What went wrong with Sri Lanka? (Part II)

Views - 605 Friday, 1 March 2019 00:10

The independence movement of Sri Lanka cannot be regarded as a genuine independence movement initiated for liberating Sri Lanka from British dominance. The freedom it gained for Sri Lanka also cannot be considered a realistic freedom. The Indian inde


Critical tax issues for consideration in Budget 2019

Views - 164 Friday, 1 March 2019 00:00

Budget 2019 is much awaited by both the public and the business community. Some of the critical tax issues arising from the new tax regime have been conveyed to the Ministry of Finance. Economic Service Charge Economic Service Charge (ESC) was intro


The free tabs initiative is a worthy investment if the objects are articulated and outcomes monitored

Views - 78 Friday, 1 March 2019 00:00

The Budget of the Government of Sri Lanka for 2017 included a line item for Rs. 5 billion to provide free tabs for students who enter the Advanced Level (A/L) classes in public schools. It was a long overdue allocation of funds to fulfil a campaign p


Political unity to develop Sri Lankan youth… one student at a time

Views - 79 Friday, 1 March 2019 00:00

The learned reader would have been pleasantly surprised to spot a chord of synchrony amongst the highest echelons of political establishments recently, related to proposed modernisation efforts of the education sector with a heavy focus on technology


How marketing can get a seat at the board

Views - 140 Thursday, 28 February 2019 00:00

In today’s digital world where social media can be used to reach wide audiences and engage with them, reaching customers may not be such a challenge. Whilst awareness can be achieved through “boosting techniques” rather than through a brand str


Muslim politics: Three routes to one destination

Views - 194 Thursday, 28 February 2019 00:00

Muslim politics and politicians in post-independent Sri Lanka have been preoccupied with only one objective, and that is, to maximise benefits accrued to the community from governments in power. Unlike the Sinhalese majority, and within them the Bud


Today's Columnists

In the tropical terrain, tourism thrives, but!

Friday, 26 April 2019

In business school an oft repeated refrain in the marketing module is ‘get your product right’. It’s a task easier said than done, especially when it’s a service. Marketing of a service characteristically has to negotiate both lucidity and am


A secular public space is essential for the safety and wellbeing of all

Friday, 26 April 2019

The heart is heavy and the pen is slow. The environment is thick with the shared sorrow of many. Pain and suffering caused by deaths of hundreds and maiming of more on Easter of 2019 will linger for the rest of our lives. But life must go on and we m


Social media could be our egregious enemy, sometimes

Friday, 26 April 2019

One of the first moves the Government considered after the 21 April tragic events of coordinated Easter Sunday bombings of churches and hotels in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa was a temporary block of social media. There was no debate about requisi


Terrorism, violence, and incompetent political leadership

Friday, 26 April 2019

Incompetent people, the researchers found, are not only poor performers, they are also unable to accurately assess and recognise the quality of their own work. These low performers are also unable to recognise the skill and competence levels of other


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