Columnists

Strategic planning for boosting organisational performance despite political and economic turmoil

Views - 215 Wednesday, 5 December 2018 00:00

Modern strategic planning is all about winning a highly competitive game whose rules can change almost overnight. It is all about having the courage to modify your business model and reinvent your organisation to sustain success under fast-changing c


Sri Lanka’s “Chief Servant” – He has to go!

Views - 1567 Wednesday, 5 December 2018 00:00

When President Maithripala Sirisena addressed the nation in 2015 after being sworn in as the Executive President of Sri Lanka with 6.25 million of us having voted for the man – a political nonentity – we did so with the sole purpose of getting ri


Democracy: a tale of two strategies

Views - 287 Tuesday, 4 December 2018 00:56

The problem with democracy these days is that it tends to be defined not by the people, but by the politicians they elected to represent them. In both parliament and presidency, the players strut and fret their hours upon the stage. And expect us cit


Right to franchise and to vote is from the Constitution: No Constitution, no franchise

Views - 610 Tuesday, 4 December 2018 00:54

Who is against motherhood? No one. I owe my existence to my mother who bore me. I can never be against motherhood. However, that does not mean we make every girl a mother through forced marriage, artificial insemination, or whatever other means we ha


Betrayal of a nation

Views - 341 Tuesday, 4 December 2018 00:00

Was there a betrayal? If is the answer is in the affirmative, then who betrayed whom? Who are the victims of the betrayal? Who is the offender? The victims have sought the intervention of Court. The offender has tried to justify the betrayal. The of


The plate tectonics of local-global coup politics

Views - 239 Monday, 3 December 2018 00:45

We live in interesting times. The tension for some time now has been between a stifling volatility and a vapid sameness. On the one hand: political volatility for over a month is stifling country prospects, international support, and any real Governm


Imperial Airways and colonial airlines

Views - 274 Monday, 3 December 2018 00:27

Europe in the 1920s was still reeling from the devastation of the Great War. With their treasuries emptied, a whole generation of youth dead or wounded and societies in turmoil, the governments of the day turned to aviation to try resurrecting their


Accelerate progress against HIV/AIDS by making quality testing accessible to all

Views - 52 Monday, 3 December 2018 00:00

Ensuring all people everywhere have access to quality HIV testing and can know their status is critical to preventing and controlling HIV/AIDS. Across the WHO South-East Asia Region, as across the world, many people living with HIV (PLHIV) lack acces


Political instability, economic growth and sustainable development

Views - 230 Monday, 3 December 2018 00:00

Sri Lanka is again facing a period of political chaos, leaving many speechless considering what is taking place in and outside parliament. Where many experts expected Mahinda Rajapaksa to return to some sort of leadership, how this took place was sti


Something is rotten …

Views - 301 Monday, 3 December 2018 00:00

It was said in a recent newspaper article that in the early 1990s, the export earnings of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were roughly on par, approximately about 9 billion US dollars. Today, a quarter of a century later, the writer points out that our exp


‘In the opinion of the President’ doesn’t mean arbitrary choice, but going by simple arithmetic

Views - 6808 Monday, 3 December 2018 00:00

President is not first master, but first servant of the Republic The man-made constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka has now entered its second month with no solution in sight. It has entailed enormous costs on the economy, eroded the credibility of the


Right of reply Election 2019 and psychological bond scams

Views - 447 Saturday, 1 December 2018 00:34

As a preface may I say that I was amused and saddened to see a young man, a self-confessed card carrying member of the UNP, a party which while in government (its current leader was a frontline Minister), was politically, morally and ethically respon


Crisis and chaos in Parliament: Parliamentary and presidential elections are necessary

Views - 160 Friday, 30 November 2018 00:00

The sittings in Parliament during the last two weeks have been symptomatic of a deep crisis in parliamentary democracy, and in the political system in general. These are undoubtedly leader-made, and not at all people-made crises. The culpable key lea


Understanding the root cause of the crisis

Views - 1771 Friday, 30 November 2018 00:00

Presently, the Sri Lankan State has lost its dignified existence and the prowess that a state ought to have. Evidently, it is moving towards a virtual collapse. This, in my opinion is a direct outcome of the rotten state of affairs associated with th


Good governance is the key to sustainability

Views - 230 Friday, 30 November 2018 00:00

To begin, after the financial crisis, regulators and funds came up with a new bunch of new governance structures and rules that they wanted their companies to practice and adopt. This new governance regime brought about new challenges for the chairma


Sri Lanka beaten by Algeria and Ukraine now

Views - 1284 Thursday, 29 November 2018 00:00

Whilst Sri Lanka has been grappling on the ’Governance’ criteria in the last one month, we see how the world is passing us by – not only Singapore, Malaysia or Bangladesh but now countries like Ukraine and Algeria as per the latest data release


Where every other day is a holiday!

Views - 578 Thursday, 29 November 2018 00:00

So Sri Lanka – we have just been declared by the Lonely Planet as the place of choice for visiting topping the list for 2019. Simply excellent and it is actually nice to read the Lonely Planet’s Best in travel 2019 book which has this line – Pe


Adapt or die?

Views - 189 Wednesday, 28 November 2018 00:00

‘Psychometrics’ may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, where a white coated scientist plugs electrodes in to a person’s brain to monitor their brain waves and thoughts. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to learn that many peo


The swing districts of Sri Lanka: A study of Sri Lanka’s past elections

Views - 935 Wednesday, 28 November 2018 00:00

Does Sri Lanka have its own Florida and Ohio? Puttalam, Gampaha and Polonnaruwa would be the closest to being the swing districts of Sri Lanka. This is a study of the past 15 times the people of Sri Lanka voted in a major election or referendum. I h


Election 2019

Views - 485 Wednesday, 28 November 2018 00:00

This article is written in the backdrop of a constitutional coup whose long-term impact on the democratic lives on everyday Sri Lankans could be longstanding. It is widely felt amongst civil society that given the media landscape the public might not


When we came abreast of the crevasse

Views - 385 Tuesday, 27 November 2018 00:00

Three UNP strongmen, MPs Eran Wickramaratne, Dr. Harsha de Silva and Mangala Samaraweera in a recent public statement declared that the “economy is at edge of “abyss”!


The Responsibility to Decide (R2D) and the Courts

Views - 369 Tuesday, 27 November 2018 00:00

One often sees the opinion expressed in print that all hopes are now reposed in the Supreme Court and that the very survival of liberal democracy or even democracy in general, rests upon its verdict. Almost all those who express this view mean that t


Sovereignty and some poetry

Views - 525 Tuesday, 27 November 2018 00:00

At his Sunday meeting with foreign correspondents, President Sirisena did not play any trump cards. It appears that he has either put all his cards on the table or has run out of trumps.


China’s siren song, Macbeths of the developing world, citizens who reject both and the aftermath

Views - 560 Monday, 26 November 2018 01:12

Allow me to make two points at the start. Firstly, this is going to be a longish piece so please make time to read through, those of who you are interested. Secondly, I’m fully aware that I’ve got my metaphors completely tangled up and that I nee


Moody’s downgrade of SL sovereign debt: A pat for Central Bank, while slapping the President

Views - 6707 Monday, 26 November 2018 01:11

Moody’s Investors Service, in a recent ratings change, downgraded Sri Lanka’s sovereign debt from B1 to B2, while improving the country’s economic Outlook from Negative to Stable (available at: https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-downgrades-


Parliament Conduct: Root cause?

Views - 212 Monday, 26 November 2018 00:55

Every human action, barring insanity, has a reason behind it. Their reasons could be self-justified or driven by others. What we see in Parliament is only the manifestation.


A new Constitution to rescue country from political instability and economic stagnation

Views - 385 Monday, 26 November 2018 00:36

It may be noted that it is mainly because of high inflows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that the ‘tiger’ economies of South East and East Asia have prospered. According to UNCTAD, as of 2016,...


PIM MBA in Bangladesh: A Sri Lankan pride

Views - 575 Monday, 26 November 2018 00:00

It was indeed memorable to organise an inauguration of a brand-new MBA batch at the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It was encouraging to see the spirit of Sri Lankans in Bangladesh who actively supported our endeavou


The post-war years and the start of the airlines

Views - 145 Monday, 26 November 2018 00:00

On 11 November 1918, at exactly 1100 hours European time, the Armistice that ended the “war to end all wars” came into effect. The guns fell silent after four years leaving Europe devastated. Four great empires had fallen; almost 20 million had d


New Maldives regime likely to follow balanced foreign policy

Views - 231 Saturday, 24 November 2018 00:10

The newly-elected Ibrahim Mohamed Solih Government in the Maldives is likely to follow a balanced foreign policy rather than one which is slanted towards one foreign power or the other. Given the defeat of the manifestly pro-China Abdulla Yameen in


Today's Columnists

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

Laos experience  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 vis


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


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

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

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


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