Of ‘Cardinal’ sin, error, virtue, etcetera

Views - 526 Tuesday, 2 October 2018 00:00

Of late, the deep state has been the least of my worries. It has not kept me awake at night since the doldrums of the post 2015 revolution – fiasco though that has turned out to be. But it is deeper states of mind – to do with faith and philosoph

Has the New Inland Revenue Act paralysed the Double Tax Treaty Network of Sri Lanka? Part 1

Views - 591 Tuesday, 2 October 2018 00:00

1.Introduction Due to the influence of International Monetary Fund, the income tax law of Sri Lanka witnessed a near paradigm shift with the introduction of Inland Revenue Act No.24 of 2017 (new IRA) by repealing Inland Revenue Act No.10 of 2006 with

International Day of Older Persons and Children Enable them, not disable! Rights need to be real

Views - 107 Monday, 1 October 2018 00:00

The International Day of Older Persons has been observed on 1 October each year since 1991. The focus of this year’s celebrations is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), as it turns 70 this year.

The fate of the rupee Part II: Need for addressing issues at root

Views - 1202 Monday, 1 October 2018 00:00

In the previous part, we looked at how the Sri Lanka rupee has been continuing its one way journey to depreciation ever since the country gained independence from Britain in 1948 (available at:

Lankan pop singer A.E. Manoharan failed to shine as film actor ‘ Ceylon Manohar ’

Views - 7509 Saturday, 29 September 2018 00:20

Anthonypillai Emmanuel Manoharan known to the world at large as A. E. Manoharan was a multi-faceted personality possessing many talents. He was a singer, musician, broadcaster and stage and screen actor but it was his singing that brought him great h

Sri Lanka FTA with Singapore within the norms of economic diplomacy

Views - 375 Saturday, 29 September 2018 00:10

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Maithripala Sirisena witnessing the signing of the FTA between Singaporean Minister of Trade and Industry S. Iswaran and Minister for Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samara

Sirisena introduces a new and critical requirement for reconciliation

Views - 172 Saturday, 29 September 2018 00:10

It is generally stated by liberals and the human rights community that for Sri Lanka to achieve ethnic reconciliation, the Government will have to implement Resolution 30 (1) and 34 (1) passed by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2015 and 2017 r

Is it time for a rate cut?

Views - 330 Friday, 28 September 2018 00:00

If you look at the successful economies of our region they have followed economic policies that are diametrically the opposite of what our nation state has followed. These economies had; 1. Low nominal interest rates 2. Competitive to slightly deprec

Dollar rally hurting Sri Lanka and other emerging markets

Views - 534 Friday, 28 September 2018 00:00

The Sri Lankan Rupee in the last eight weeks has taken a beating like many other Asian currencies as a result of the dollar rally. The Government rightly pointed out that many of the other currencies had taken a bigger beating. This week the rupee hi

Megalomaniacal Megalopolises

Views - 237 Friday, 28 September 2018 00:00

I note with interest the incumbent administration’s determination to develop our country’s rural periphery and the many paths it sees to get there. Then, as I read the related newspaper articles more closely, my active interest changes to anxious

Will Gods support paddy cultivation this Maha season?

Views - 129 Thursday, 27 September 2018 22:47

Normally rains for Maha cultivation season arrive around 20 September and the Meteorological Department has been forecasting incoming rains. Its website informed on 13 Sepetmber Mahiyanganaya received 50mm of rain. The Accuweather website, which giv

Rohan Masakorala speaks on maritime, shipping and logistics as IMO turns 70

Views - 273 Thursday, 27 September 2018 12:11

Rohan Masakorala is the CEO of the Shippers’ Academy Colombo and the Chairman of the Logistics Advisory Committee for EDB on the National Export Strategy of Sri Lanka. In this interview he speaks about maritime, shipping and logistics. Following ar

Protest, Arab Spring and Zimbabwe

Views - 278 Thursday, 27 September 2018 00:00

On 5 September, the city of Colombo awoke to an unusually quiet morning and an uneasy air. Something big was going to happen. The sitting Government may even fall, blood could be spilt. There were fewer vehicles on the roads and the buses had less t

Sustainability now: The flaws of plastic straws

Views - 170 Thursday, 27 September 2018 00:00

We all are used to them since our childhood, we see them every day when we visit a restaurant, bar or buy juice drinks at a grocery store: Plastic straws. Despite being small, they are one of the major contributors to plastic pollution on land and in

Rupee crisis: Mahinda cries “ehi passiko”

Views - 316 Thursday, 27 September 2018 00:00

“Ehi passiko” is a methodological statement in expressed in Pali and attributed to the Buddha. The sage asserted that his Dhamma must be experienced to be proven. “Come and experience” (ehi passiko)! Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sai

The camel is a horse designed by a committee

Views - 114 Thursday, 27 September 2018 00:00

This expression has been around for a long time, to deride reports made by committees. There has always been a widespread view that committees are a waste of time and achieve very little of benefit to anyone. This has led to many statements that expr

Of love and struggle: The interconnected feminist movements of South Asia

Views - 320 Wednesday, 26 September 2018 00:05

The last Cat’s Eye column observed all that there is to celebrate in the recent Supreme Court of India’s judgement on Sec. 377, which decriminalised adult consensual same-sex sexual activity in private. We used this ‘magnificent’ decision, wh

Depreciation of the rupee and Sri Lanka’s dilemma

Views - 1578 Wednesday, 26 September 2018 00:00

The rupee depreciated by Rs. 29 from 2005 to 2014 and the average year-on-year depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee was 2.8% per year. Official foreign reserves increased from $ 2.7 billion to $ 8.2 billion over the same period. In stark contrast, th

Over-tourism: The new buzz word in tourism

Views - 292 Wednesday, 26 September 2018 00:00

Periodically the tourism industry is in the habit of coming up with some interesting name to describe a new emerging trend or situation in the industry. Sometimes the phenomena is not new, but has become relevant and topical enough to ‘package’ a

Accessibility at buildings and places – Indispensable need to enjoy civil rights

Views - 80 Wednesday, 26 September 2018 00:00

Have you not yet realised that the chances are now very high that at any stage or any moment in life, for a short time or for a long time, for different reasons, you or your loved ones could experience physical and/or sensory impediments, and fall in

Southbound rupee and northbound CoL

Views - 155 Tuesday, 25 September 2018 00:00

The Sri Lankan Rupee hit a record low of 170 per $ last week, and the Minister of Finance warns of further depreciation. This is inevitable given the chaotic state of the nation’s economy. While the rupee turns south, CoL (cost of living) has no o

The fate of the rupee: Central Bank is caught with ‘Devil’s Alternative’

Views - 2594 Tuesday, 25 September 2018 00:00

Not all are losing when the rupee depreciates The recent depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar in the market has apparently driven the entire nation to a panic mode. While it had been a field day for the media and opposition law makers, the

Laurels of ‘Living Together’: Refreshing reflections

Views - 328 Tuesday, 25 September 2018 00:00

It was a memorable evening with a mega gathering for a meaningfully different reason. It was not just another book launch with ego-boosting speeches about the author. It was also not an event where a popular politician coming late and preaching about

In the desert of Tamil films, actor Sivaji Ganesan was an oasis

Views - 5205 Saturday, 22 September 2018 00:15

‘Indian Film,’ first published in 1963 and co-authored by former Columbia University Professor Erik Barnouw and his student Dr. Subrahmanyam Krishnaswamy, is considered a seminal study of the evolution and growth of Indian cinema. The book is cit

Imran may turn blind eye to blasphemy law and persecution of Ahmadiyyas

Views - 498 Saturday, 22 September 2018 00:00

There are clear signs that Pakistan’s freshly minted Prime Minister, Imran Khan, will make a sincere effort to reduce corruption and maladministration in the domestic sphere. In foreign affairs he is likely to make a brave attempt to mend fences wi

Red flag over the Sri Lankan Navy

Views - 447 Friday, 21 September 2018 00:00

Shocking story Rusiripala, a former banker in Sri Lanka, who has taken to writing in Daily FT, is perturbed by the red flag I have raised (Daily FT article 18 September) over the shocking charge that our Navy had operated a ransom gang that had abduc

The rate of exchange, capital flight and the Central Bank

Views - 673 Friday, 21 September 2018 00:00

The Central Bank (CBSL) exists for the sole purpose of price stability. Its controls on the financial system and monetary policy exist to maintain price stability. As put forth many times by the Governor, the failing of the CBSL to control inflation

The bald truth about fake news, etc.

Views - 226 Friday, 21 September 2018 00:00

In its most innocent forms, we may all enjoy a bit of ‘fake news’ and go to bed with a lighter heart and clean conscience. A meme on Facebook urging social media consumers to caution – “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet

Withholding Taxes – What, why, when?

Views - 552 Thursday, 20 September 2018 23:05

The tax regime in Sri Lanka historically imposes WHT on both domestic as well as cross border payments. WHT on domestic payments eases revenue collection (e.g.: PAYE) while WHT on cross border payments are adopted by most countries to ensure that the

Modi celebrates birthday whilst making India strong – Lesson for SL

Views - 280 Thursday, 20 September 2018 00:00

The Indian Prime Minister celebrated his birthday earlier this week in the backdrop of India growing at a blistering performance of 7.1%. The January-March quarter saw the highest GDP growth in the last seven quarters with India becoming the sixth la

Today's Columnists

Constitutional paradox: There is no such thing called Election Commission

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Our Constitution, which was certified by Parliament on 31 August 1978, has 19 amendments; the First Amendment to the Constitution was certified by the Speaker in the same year on 20 November. By the end of 1988, there had been 14 amendments made to t

‘So Sri Lanka’ – upgrade staff, processes, infrastructure at BIA arrivals to be world’s best!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

24 October, time 12:47 p.m., place – my residence in Colombo My phone buzzes with a WhatsApp message from my old colleague Prasad Fernanado now with Saudi British Bank in Saudi. I am thrilled to see the message ‘Sri Lanka top country for travel i

Qatar crisis: From the Sri Lankans’ point of view

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The aim of this article is to examine the Saudi blockade over Qatar and its impact in the past 17 months on the country. A special focus will be given to the Sri Lankan workers who have been living in Qatar for the past two decades. The reason why th

The reality of Sri Lanka – household end!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Whilst Sri Lanka is debating what is right and wrong on the governance of the country, the Sri Lankan household is falling part due to escalating costs, as per the latest data released by respected research agency Nielsen. For the seventh quarter in

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