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

Views - 163 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 - 1782 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 - 237 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 - 1295 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 - 579 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 - 196 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 - 947 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 - 509 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 - 388 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 - 373 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 - 530 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 - 565 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 - 6726 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:

Parliament Conduct: Root cause?

Views - 216 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 - 393 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 - 597 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 - 150 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 - 244 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

Neoliberalism vs. the nation and the State: The real fight in Sri Lanka

Views - 705 Saturday, 24 November 2018 00:09

The main contradiction, and the main fight, in Sri Lanka today is between neoliberalism and the nation. Or more correctly between, on the one hand, the elite which is the agency of the project of neoliberal globalisation and its corollary, the ideolo

A salute to a heroic Speaker

Views - 7612 Friday, 23 November 2018 00:20

The Sri Lankan Legislature has witnessed many controversial happenings over the years. The august assembly’s humdrum existence and insipid routine has often given way to bursts of excitement by the unusual, irreverent conduct of its members.

The present crisis is likely to end up in a serious disaster

Views - 3232 Friday, 23 November 2018 00:15

Of the Executive Presidents who ruled the country prior to Maithripala Sirisena, J.R. Jayewardene and Mahinda Rajapaksa can be described as those who mostly and increasingly exhibited the majesty and the prowess of the post. Both had adequate powers

The unholy trinity of coup politics’ realpolitik

Views - 447 Friday, 23 November 2018 00:10

Much has been made of Sri Lanka being a sort of ‘anti-Cloud Cuckoo Land’… a nation in a state of absurdly overoptimistic fantasy or unrealistic idealism where everything is perfect. And once upon a time, this was never if ever true. But things

Presidentialism in Sri Lanka and the 19th Amendment – Some reflections

Views - 868 Friday, 23 November 2018 00:05

President Sirisena on 26 October dismissed Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister (PM) and his Cabinet1 and appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM2. Thereafter the President dissolved Parliament on 9 November 20183 and fixed a date for a General Election

Who is more neoliberal? Mahinda or Ranil?

Views - 257 Friday, 23 November 2018 00:00

Former President and current Member of Parliament Mahinda Rajapaksa has undertaken his second great humanitarian rescue effort. This time, he has come forward at the invitation of President Maithripala Sirisena to retrieve and restore the national ec

MS, RW and MR must put the country first

Views - 133 Friday, 23 November 2018 00:00

The events that unfolded on 26 October have led the country towards an unprecedented chaos. Almost a month later, we are still awaiting a firm interpretation of the decisions and the credibility of actions while pondering if all the sudden changes ha

JVP and minorities: Towards a third way

Views - 328 Thursday, 22 November 2018 00:00

As Sri Lanka moves toward a political show down between the UNP and SLFP/SLPP traditional political rivals, there is a third force with great potential strength emerging as a decider in any final outcome, provided that force remains united. By this

Ghosn’s ‘magic’ uncovered!

Views - 180 Thursday, 22 November 2018 00:00

Another iconic global business leader has been exposed. Greed, both personal and corporate, it seems is the root cause. This mirrors the conduct of many political leaders around the world. Is it time to have much greater checks on CEOs, may be power-

Rising dollar and bank NPA, brothers in arms?

Views - 762 Wednesday, 21 November 2018 00:00

The rising Non-Performing Advances (NPA/NPAs) is a matter of concern to the entire financial industry. It is a nightmare. The weekend papers have published some articles based on interviews journalists conducted with respective bank CEOs and also bas

Ramsar accreditation of Colombo Wetlands: Rebranding Colombo as a Wetland City

Views - 438 Wednesday, 21 November 2018 00:00

Colombo, once known to be “kolonthota,” has always been identified as a wetland complex at the heart of the Kelani river delta. Today this city is increasingly drying up, with around 20 sq km left as wetlands which continue to be threatened every

Reaching global quality standards through Deming Award

Views - 162 Wednesday, 21 November 2018 00:00

The importance of quality in the contemporary competitive business environment cannot be over-emphasised. Total Quality Management (TQM)is a company-wide, all pervasive management philosophy, which organisations globally, in many business sectors hav

Today's Columnists

Prudential banking and saga of MTD Walkers

Monday, 18 February 2019

The matters referred to in the article under this title published in the Daily FT (15 February) are spotlighted in more detail under this scrutiny. While the general attention of the public remains more focused on recently arrested underworld kingpin

SL growth profile: Arrest moving down the staircase immediately to avoid hard landing on the floor

Monday, 18 February 2019

Strong message in the Sri Lanka Development Update 2019 Sri Lanka Development Update for 2019 was released by the World Bank last week. This document contains a review by the bank’s residential staff of the present state of the country’s economy

Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s empty rant

Monday, 18 February 2019

The rant Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe (WR) has joined President Sirisena’s reckless verbal onslaught on the Constitutional Council (CC) that was set up by the 19th Amendment (Daily Mirror 15 February). I use “verbal onslaught” intentionally s

Perfidious politics of Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe PC

Monday, 18 February 2019

Inject truth to politics. Then you will not have any politics. The Nazi legal theorist Carl Schmitt stressed on the importance of rhetoric to create fear of imminent danger threatening the state. The first step in the process was to create open hos

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