Columnists

Politics of short-termism

Views - 82 Monday, 4 March 2019 00:00

Politicians in parliamentary democracies are commonly blamed for their short-termism. Cynics point out that in these democracies the first third of a government’s term is spent in blaming the previous government for all deficiencies, the middle thi


Colombo’s East Terminal can move forward without further delay

Views - 234 Monday, 4 March 2019 00:00

The shipping industry has continuously made it clear to the authorities that the Colombo Port’s capacity needs long-term projections fulfilled to give its clients (the shipping lines) the ability to plan the future without uncertainty. Industry pr


Breaking news example of Yahapalanaya in Australia Cardinal George Pell found guilty and set to go to jail

Views - 209 Saturday, 2 March 2019 00:10

Could this ever happen in Sri Lanka if a Mahanayake of any of the nikayas was found guilty of criminal conduct like sexual abuse and rape of kids under their care? Or a Muslim Mullah? Or even our own Cardinal, Rev. Malcolm Ranjith? However serious t


Cry salt tears against Govt. complicity in crime

Views - 131 Friday, 1 March 2019 00:20

What’s worse? A. A hit-and-run where the perp flees the scene; only to surrender himself to the cops the next day; after any evidence of allegedly DUI has been flushed down the tube; literally; or the local constabulary reviews surveillance camera


What went wrong with Sri Lanka? (Part II)

Views - 573 Friday, 1 March 2019 00:10

The independence movement of Sri Lanka cannot be regarded as a genuine independence movement initiated for liberating Sri Lanka from British dominance. The freedom it gained for Sri Lanka also cannot be considered a realistic freedom. The Indian inde


Critical tax issues for consideration in Budget 2019

Views - 138 Friday, 1 March 2019 00:00

Budget 2019 is much awaited by both the public and the business community. Some of the critical tax issues arising from the new tax regime have been conveyed to the Ministry of Finance. Economic Service Charge Economic Service Charge (ESC) was intro


The free tabs initiative is a worthy investment if the objects are articulated and outcomes monitored

Views - 63 Friday, 1 March 2019 00:00

The Budget of the Government of Sri Lanka for 2017 included a line item for Rs. 5 billion to provide free tabs for students who enter the Advanced Level (A/L) classes in public schools. It was a long overdue allocation of funds to fulfil a campaign p


Political unity to develop Sri Lankan youth… one student at a time

Views - 61 Friday, 1 March 2019 00:00

The learned reader would have been pleasantly surprised to spot a chord of synchrony amongst the highest echelons of political establishments recently, related to proposed modernisation efforts of the education sector with a heavy focus on technology


How marketing can get a seat at the board

Views - 132 Thursday, 28 February 2019 00:00

In today’s digital world where social media can be used to reach wide audiences and engage with them, reaching customers may not be such a challenge. Whilst awareness can be achieved through “boosting techniques” rather than through a brand str


Muslim politics: Three routes to one destination

Views - 177 Thursday, 28 February 2019 00:00

Muslim politics and politicians in post-independent Sri Lanka have been preoccupied with only one objective, and that is, to maximise benefits accrued to the community from governments in power. Unlike the Sinhalese majority, and within them the Bud


Impending disasters and the need for multi-partisan approaches

Views - 83 Thursday, 28 February 2019 00:00

Many countries and their leaders are like crabs in boiling water without realising the impending disasters. Sri Lanka is no exception. While the global warming, the pollution of rivers and seas, and the degradation of arable land are continuing, the


MTD Walkers setting the record straight

Views - 391 Thursday, 28 February 2019 00:00

With due reference to the article in Daily FT of22 February by the Senior Management of the Walkers CML Group, virtually in reply to my write up on the same issue in this paper on the previous day, I wish to further elucidate the following in order t


While we wait for Budget 2019…

Views - 441 Wednesday, 27 February 2019 01:28

The national budget is the tool that a Government uses in order to structure its income and expenditure policies and also to give direction to the economy of the country. In a democratic country, each year the Government presents its budget in Parlia


Bond scam steps into 4th anniversary today

Views - 230 Wednesday, 27 February 2019 01:18

27 February 2015 was a D-day for the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, with several unprecedented events taking place connected to the Treasury bond issue of Rs. 1 billion advertised by the bank. This episode has now gone down in the history of this country


Ease of doing business

Views - 178 Wednesday, 27 February 2019 01:13

Suren is a young entrepreneur, a provider of computer support to small scale businesses. He runs his business operations from a two-roomed extension to a larger house, which the landlord, a retired government servant, occupies. The entire staff of th


The resplendent island; behind the curtain

Views - 122 Wednesday, 27 February 2019 01:02

Sri Lanka is undoubtedly a beautiful island. Its natural beauty is spellbinding. Its history mesmerising. Its multi ethnic and multi religious culture is mystic and rich. Its people its best assets. The country was rated as the top country for travel


Unification, the common dream of all Chinese people around the world

Views - 68 Wednesday, 27 February 2019 00:00

The year 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, and also the heartbreaking 70 years of the split between Taiwan and mainland China. As the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, I would like to talk about the cross-Taiwan Stra


Human rights diplomacy and the release of Hakeem al-Araibi

Views - 96 Wednesday, 27 February 2019 00:00

We all are living in an interdependent world today where issues of human rights are often highlighted in the international media boosted by the new social media. The issue of Hakeem al-Araibi, a refugee living in Australia from Bahrain, and arrested


How can Sri Lanka avoid imminent economic collapse and extreme poverty?

Views - 515 Tuesday, 26 February 2019 00:01

General and presidential elections are due to be held in a few months’ time. However, in addition to failing badly to serve the country so far, not a single main political party has announced a set of practical strategies and policies that could me


Budget 2019 should be an innovation-inspiring budget

Views - 6418 Monday, 25 February 2019 00:10

It is the habit of every finance minister to call his budget a development budget. This is despite all budgets since around 1956 having allocated a bulk of resources – about 75% – for consumption and not for capital formation. Even then, the mon


‘Thaala’ shows the way to enriching education through engagement

Views - 436 Monday, 25 February 2019 00:00

Education is in focus these days with much talk on revamping the existing practices with a futuristic outlook, amidst the debate of tablets vs. toilets for the schools. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the family movie, Thaala, the other day. Though it


Power Ministry’s negligence to cost Rs. 750 b over 5 years

Views - 370 Monday, 25 February 2019 00:00

The much-awaited, long overdue decision on Kerawalapitiya LNG plant was taken by the Cabinet, but in a completely unexpected manner. The Cabinet accepted: 1. Authorise CEB to award the tender, issue a Letter of Intent (LOI) and enter into agreement


Discipline and freedom under the reign of Gota

Views - 276 Saturday, 23 February 2019 00:10

There’s nothing like a well-crafted marketing slogan for a prospective Presidential candidate. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is emerging more clearly into the daylight as the Opposition’s candidate for executive president. Against a redone image in the back


The chainsaw massacre and other ‘lawful’ horror stories

Views - 237 Friday, 22 February 2019 00:20

Admit it. The headline hooked you. Hope you won’t be disappointed. There are no gory scenes featuring dismembered limbs here. However you might read about the long arm of the law being truncated. Perhaps a chilling scene where the mask of the murde


What went wrong with Sri Lanka?

Views - 1025 Friday, 22 February 2019 00:15

If Sri Lanka wants to get out of the present miserable situation, it needs to make a profound change, a paradigm shift in the way it views at everything including the religious, political and economic issues. Such a change could be made only by loo


Regulating foreign workers now a top priority

Views - 298 Friday, 22 February 2019 00:10

Sri Lanka is today facing a domestic labour shortage in some key sectors and industries. While demographic, social attitudes, expansion of the economy and outward labour emigration are contributing to the shortfall. Generally a lack of interest in ce


Gota’s predicament: A legal perspective

Views - 236 Friday, 22 February 2019 00:00

This writer is not a card-carrying member of any political party, neither does he have any affiliation to any of the Rajapaksas either personally or officially. This article is purely a legal and political analysis of the stakes involved if Gotabaya


Using the RTI regime as a catalyst for development

Views - 260 Friday, 22 February 2019 00:00

President Barack Obama stated the following in issuing a memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act on his first day in Office in 2009. “The presumption of disclosure also means agencies should take affirmative steps to make information public. A


Public sector and corruption: Who should be accountable?

Views - 328 Thursday, 21 February 2019 01:30

Member of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption Neville Guruge said 25% of the 1.5 million public servants in Sri Lanka were corrupt and that their malpractices were going on unchecked due to the lethargic attitude of the


‘Made in Everywhere Except Here’! Dependence of our independence

Views - 165 Thursday, 21 February 2019 01:25

Seventy-one years since 4 February 1948 is what our senses had been informed living in this beautiful isle since independence. Over the last 71 years we also have constantly described ourselves as a developing nation. As the day approaches having pla


Today's Columnists

4-day work week: A solution to many problems?

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

A three-day weekend every week and only four days of work a week. The idea would seem too good to be true for many. But this is an idea that is being experimented in the West and some companies have already started out on a four-day work week. How ab


Christchurch massacre and the Australian Labor Party

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

“He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety, and that is why you will never hear me mention his name… He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless… And to others I impl


Political bait to woo the professionals or a genuine effort to build the economy?

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

It has been a forgone conclusion that Sri Lanka’s current economic woes have been precipitated by the debt burden the country has to serve in the short term and the negative Balance of Trade. Whilst improving tax collection is a temporary measure t


Handagama’s Asandimitta: Not mere psychoanalysis; sociocultural, political and economic analysis too

Monday, 25 March 2019

Sri Lanka’s award winning film director, Asoka Handagama, screened his latest creative work, Asandimitta, before an invited audience in Colombo last week. This was a prelude to its public release, which was to be commenced immediately. Handagama i


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