Columnists

Where every other day is a holiday!

Views - 563 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 - 172 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 - 898 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 - 432 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 - 379 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 - 366 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 - 518 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 - 550 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 - 6665 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 - 207 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 - 371 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 - 532 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 - 139 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 - 219 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 - 663 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 - 7585 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 - 3202 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 - 434 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 - 746 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 - 226 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 - 122 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 - 300 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 - 174 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 - 700 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 - 271 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 - 150 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


Coup Sri Lanka: some winners, mostly losers

Views - 1529 Wednesday, 21 November 2018 00:00

As a president proves shockingly stubborn, a nation waits with baited breath as to what His Excellency the loose cannon on a rocky slope will do next. Two Prime Ministers and the fates of their respective parliamentary groups hang in the balance lik


Make toilets and safe sanitation services accessible to all

Views - 73 Tuesday, 20 November 2018 00:00

All people everywhere should have access to safe sanitation services, including hygienic toilets that are connected to quality sewage systems. For many people across the WHO South-East Asia Region, as across the world, access to these services never


10 theses on Sri Lanka’s existential crisis: Roots, dynamics, dimensions

Views - 627 Tuesday, 20 November 2018 00:00

1.The crisis has deep national, social and psychological roots. Our island contains two consciousnesses or two types of consciousness, two competing states of mind. Contrary to myth, the periphery of our island has the longest uninterrupted colonial


Political evil paralysing Parliament

Views - 401 Tuesday, 20 November 2018 00:00

Our politics has arrived at a point when we must insist on recognising the niceties of human nastiness. Organised horror in Parliament is either trivialised or ignored by most of mainstream media print and electronic.


Today's Columnists

Will Kyaukpyu overtake Gwadar and Hambantota?

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

China last month signed a $1.3 billion contract for Myanmar’s Kyaukpyu port project. The figures doing rounds in media in the run up to this port deal were as high as $7.9 billion which had ignited enormous curiosities. The Chinese had been negoti


Fruits, flowers and futile triumphalism at Galle Face?

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Every morning, I play voyeur and watch that nice neighbourhood uncle pluck flowers to pooja-fy his guardian deities. He is quite religious about it. And industrious to boot. The problem, of course, is that he doesn’t restrict himself to his garden.


Things to do in a Democracy when you’re dead…

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

In yesterday’s column, I argued a case for not impeaching the chief executive of the coup that has left our country situation in ruins. At the end of a pitched battle between the forces of unconstitutional ambition on one hand and democratic resist


Tweaking the New Inland Revenue Act (Part II)

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

In the backdrop where the recent amendment to the country’s supreme law is called in question, it may be appropriate to recall that the passage of the new Inland Revenue (IR) Act through Parliament was far more controversial. Nevertheless, the new


Columnists More