Columnists

The role of religion in conflict, peacebuilding and governance

Views - 342 Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:00

Religious organisations and beliefs are potential drivers of, or barriers to, social change - the transformation of social and political structures in pursuit of, for instance, democratisation, participation, human rights, social inclusion and gende


Will tourism lose another chance?

Views - 1010 Tuesday, 12 February 2019 00:16

Last week we saw the appointment of another respected business professional to drive Sri Lanka Tourism – the sixth Chairman to drive the entity Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) within a space of just four years. If I may capture since 20


Attack on ATMs: The use of the ‘eyeball test’ involving vigilance is the best

Views - 6234 Monday, 11 February 2019 00:20

It seems that the genetic code of modern Homo sapiens is not different from that of other species. The latter is guided not by thinking but by instincts. Similarly, Homo sapiens is still embedded with the ‘gene of fear’ that compels it to ‘figh


Of Mintzberg and Zuckerberg: Communities and commodities

Views - 467 Monday, 11 February 2019 00:10

Henry Mintzberg, the veteran management thinker, promotes the concept of “community,” stating that leadership should pave way for “communityship”. Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, created the largest social media platform, Facebook, with a


Sri Lankan tourism; all that glitters is not gold

Views - 539 Monday, 11 February 2019 00:00

Tourism in Sri Lanka was said to have reached an all-time high last year with a staggering 2.2 million tourists visiting the country. While news articles widely publicised this never before seen rate, little did anyone pay attention to return in inve


Apple: The Emperor has no clothes

Views - 343 Monday, 11 February 2019 00:00

A Goldman Sachs analyst has compared Apple’s current troubles to that faced by Nokia in 2007. Nokia depended on customer upgrades for sales in a saturated market in 2007 for that era’s phones. Steve Jobs came out with the touchscreen iPhone that


President strident and adamant

Views - 116 Saturday, 9 February 2019 00:10

President Maithripala Sirisena sounds adamant and seems to have taken a couple of strides towards making capital punishment law in the country. He has been talking quite extensively about reintroducing capital punishment. Is this the right way forwar


Catch the corrupt by a system of whistleblowers

Views - 208 Saturday, 9 February 2019 00:10

There aren’t steel-clad “honest persons” In a recent piece I wrote titled ‘Look not for honest men; look for systems that keep persons honest,’ I made the point that Sri Lankans have hitherto relied on appeals to persons in authority to be


Give me liberty – or the right seat

Views - 248 Friday, 8 February 2019 00:20

I am celebrating Sri Lanka’s Independence Day – today. Not because I want to be perverse or contrary. But because well-meaning liberals have told me I can if I want to. And that in a democracy the individual has a choice. There are others who hav


Understanding Sri Lanka through education and agriculture

Views - 309 Friday, 8 February 2019 00:10

Sri Lanka is in a state of backwardness and confusion in terms of its knowledge on things as well as the way it thinks. This backwardness and confusion can be seen rooted even in accepted policies of far-reaching consequences – so much so that it h


Quality circle for a collaborative organisational culture

Views - 217 Friday, 8 February 2019 00:00

Almost all the companies face problems every day and those are very different from the problems that occurred in the past.  Some of them may appear on the surface, but most of them are under the water and creates a hidden factory which is responsibl


Introducing facilities management global best practices to Sri Lanka

Views - 165 Friday, 8 February 2019 00:00

Happier and healthier employees take fewer sick days. According to a 2015 study, health and productivity programs can cut costs by up to $1,600 per employee in reduced leave days. In today’s competitive recruiting climate, healthy and pleasant offi


‘Kanatte’ experiences

Views - 122 Friday, 8 February 2019 00:00

It is perhaps trite to say that we cannot escape our condition, the here and now. While each individual faces a private reality, together we confront a common reality, in a defined place, at a defined time. Living here in Sri Lanka, in these early d


Modernising madrasas for new paideia

Views - 113 Friday, 8 February 2019 00:00

“It is a fact that when disputation and disagreement … on any topic have once risen among a people, it is not possible, after they have taken root, for that disputation and disagreement to be entirely eradicated … the intelligent man will not b


Refreshing research! Hantana Vision

Views - 212 Thursday, 7 February 2019 00:29

There is always the question, what have our universities contributed by way of research towards national needs and to the cause of development? This question is asked in many ways in many a forum. I am quite sure that most of those who question have


Will President-proposed Korean LNG plant result in killing of Mannar gas?

Views - 757 Thursday, 7 February 2019 00:22

After the publication of my article ‘The 50-day Govt. in 7 days, attempts to award biggest value contract in history’ in Daily FT on 9 January, I received number of messages from individuals involved in the industry who upgraded my knowledge. I a


Thriving coastlines: Mangrove restoration in Sri Lanka

Views - 257 Thursday, 7 February 2019 00:02

On the border between land and sea, a unique ecosystem covers tropical and subtropical regions around the world: Mangrove forests. Mangroves are well adapted to saline water and the tides, and they thrive along the coastlines of over 118 countries, i


Let’s play like a girl?

Views - 249 Wednesday, 6 February 2019 00:10

As we complete 71 years of independence and look back on 2018 – it is unmistakable – once again women and girls from Sri Lanka have emerged triumphant in sport! It was heartening to see a series of news headlines, social media posts and videos c


Health systems must provide cancer screening, detection and diagnosis at all levels of care

Views - 78 Wednesday, 6 February 2019 00:00

Cancer is far from an equal-opportunity killer. In 2018 – 18.1 million new cases developed worldwide, while around 9.6 million people died from the disease. 70% of those deaths occurred in low and middle-income countries, including those of the WHO


No Boracay in Sri Lanka please

Views - 635 Wednesday, 6 February 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka has been ranked first in many ratings highlighting the best Asian country to visit in 2019. For so many years Sri Lanka had received amazing reviews and recognition, and now it finally got ranked first and is advertised extensively in magaz


Concept of political power in Sri Lanka in relation to proposed constitution and political culture

Views - 214 Wednesday, 6 February 2019 00:00

It is perceived that in the process of creating a new constitution there are two issues to be addressed. One is about the executive presidency and the other is about devolution of power as a solution to the ethnic issue. Those are not two issues, ra


Is Colombo Municipality (and the country) wasting its waste?

Views - 310 Wednesday, 6 February 2019 00:00

Many people are talking about waste management. So much so it has become only a subject of talk shows! The City of Colombo is the prime focus and the centrepiece. It is seen as a debate that has been continuing for decades under different mayors as w


If God deleted Sri Lanka, who would notice and why?

Views - 3192 Tuesday, 5 February 2019 00:22

Professor Simon Anholt, who coined the term ‘nation brand’, once asked, “If the hand of God should accidentally slip on the celestial keyboard tomorrow and hit delete and Britain went, who would notice and why?” I would like to ask the same


May the good men take care of the public good (Part 2)

Views - 138 Tuesday, 5 February 2019 00:00

The President during his presidential election campaignhad stated: “I will achieve for the country 10 times the development that actually occurred during the past six years only by preventing mega corruption and wastage that existed in the country


Wannabe nations

Views - 186 Tuesday, 5 February 2019 00:00

They look at economically successful countries (built in the few decades) and then try to emulate their looks, not understanding that the high-rise buildings and highways you see in places like Singapore, Japan, Korea and Taiwan are all enabled by an


Good governance and economic development

Views - 6231 Monday, 4 February 2019 00:10

The rationale of economic policy governance could be explained by drawing on the viewpoints expressed by French economist, philosopher and legislator Frédéric Bastiat in two of his publications, one in 1848 and the other in 1850. In the first publ


In dependence – Are we really free?

Views - 327 Monday, 4 February 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) became free from British colonial rule on 4 February 1948. Many opine that ours was more of an after effect of independence granted to India rather than a consequence of a struggle for independence. Be that as it may, we celeb


US mission unaccomplished

Views - 97 Saturday, 2 February 2019 00:10

“If the history of knowledge about Islam in the West has been too closely tied to conquest and domination, the time has come to these ties to be severed completely. About this one cannot be too emphatic. For otherwise we will not only face protract


Dis-imprisoning a Thero

Views - 187 Saturday, 2 February 2019 00:10

The disorderly and bellicose reverend with an irrepressible proclivity for vitriol and incitement met his waterloo of all places inside a courthouse. Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara shouted at the presiding Judg


How and why perceptions count – and corrupt

Views - 168 Friday, 1 February 2019 00:20

Much has been made of it. If you haven’t heard about CPI 2018, you’re probably living under a rock. And if you don’t want to see what creepy-crawlies dwell there alongside a pure in heart you, don’t pick it – the rock, or CPI 2018 – up. B


Today's Columnists

Poignant pondering on a patriarch

Monday, 22 April 2019

Almost five months have gone. It is with a profound sense of sadness that we experienced the demise of our veteran teacher, respected author, legal luminary, an accomplished ambassador, an eminent public servant and an amazing human being, Dr. Wickre


Enemies of democracy – Part I Demand for a strongman to rule the country

Monday, 22 April 2019

I posed the following question to a group of university students recently: ‘Do you desire to have a strongman to rule Sri Lanka today?’ The students, made up of both genders in the age group of 25 to 35, chorused the answer in the affirmative. Wh


The sad demise of Jet Airways

Monday, 22 April 2019

Jet Airways of India, once the premier full-service carrier of the sub-continent, has ceased operations. “Jet Airways and its Board of Directors have been forced to take this extreme measure, as prolonged and sustained efforts with lenders and auth


No more stones to break Sri Lankan bones

Friday, 19 April 2019

Trial by fire is not a new ordeal to Christian community. It predates Notre Dame and Nazism by millennia. In fact, a decade or so before Nero torched believers to light Roman avenues, Jewish religious leaders put Jesus-followers to the test as the Ch


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