Digitalising financial inclusion – Digital financial literacy an imperative

Views - 326 Thursday, 4 October 2018 00:00

The recent statement by Minister Eran Wickramaratne on the assurance that the digitalisation of financial inclusion has full Government support provokes the assertion that any Government initiative in this regard by way of support or formulation itse

Has the New Inland Revenue Act paralysed the Double Tax Treaty Network of Sri Lanka? Part 2

Views - 252 Wednesday, 3 October 2018 00:00

7.What are Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement (MAAAs) The new IRA defines the “Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement” to mean a tax information exchange agreement or other international agreement for mutual administrative assistance

Looming financial crisis and fixing the economy

Views - 140 Wednesday, 3 October 2018 00:00

A tailor is the best to stitch a patch in a torn cloth. He can apply himself professionally. There is a saying “a stitch in time saves nine”! But asking a dentist to do a cardiac surgery will not help. Closing the stable door after the horse has

Curing the crash of the currency

Views - 241 Wednesday, 3 October 2018 00:00

The rapid depreciation of the Sri Lankan Rupee at present is due to two main factors. The first is the strengthening of the US dollar on account of the return of the US dollar funds invested in various other countries of the world back to the US due

Time to celebrate: Politico perks surrender in face of externally-imposed import curbs

Views - 171 Wednesday, 3 October 2018 00:00

Doom and gloom Amidst the doom and gloom vibes that Donald Trump’s economic measures have given countries like Sri Lanka, there emerges some fallouts that bring more than a smile on our faces. Here is one and let us celebrate: the oppressively unfa

Comprehending China’s diplomacy: Insights on strategising

Views - 138 Wednesday, 3 October 2018 00:00

By George I. H. Cooke Strategic decision-making in governance is considered the catalyst for success. When examining China and the model being created and grown, the impact of strategising resonates in every policy that is formulated, statement that

Teacher Ma, an example to today’s world

Views - 393 Wednesday, 3 October 2018 00:00

Recently, I was on route to Sri Lanka from India and was killing time at the Kochin airport when I got my hands on the autobiography of the owner of the world’s top brand, Alibaba. The founder’s actual name was Ma apparently and he had started b

Muslim leadership: Imperative for change

Views - 151 Tuesday, 2 October 2018 00:00

Wealth and piety had been the historical legitimisers of Muslim leadership in Sri Lanka. Wealth was accumulated either through inheritance or from trade and commerce. Of the two, trade has a special relationship with the religion of Islam. It remains

Of ‘Cardinal’ sin, error, virtue, etcetera

Views - 512 Tuesday, 2 October 2018 00:00

Of late, the deep state has been the least of my worries. It has not kept me awake at night since the doldrums of the post 2015 revolution – fiasco though that has turned out to be. But it is deeper states of mind – to do with faith and philosoph

Has the New Inland Revenue Act paralysed the Double Tax Treaty Network of Sri Lanka? Part 1

Views - 541 Tuesday, 2 October 2018 00:00

1.Introduction Due to the influence of International Monetary Fund, the income tax law of Sri Lanka witnessed a near paradigm shift with the introduction of Inland Revenue Act No.24 of 2017 (new IRA) by repealing Inland Revenue Act No.10 of 2006 with

International Day of Older Persons and Children Enable them, not disable! Rights need to be real

Views - 94 Monday, 1 October 2018 00:00

The International Day of Older Persons has been observed on 1 October each year since 1991. The focus of this year’s celebrations is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), as it turns 70 this year.

The fate of the rupee Part II: Need for addressing issues at root

Views - 1175 Monday, 1 October 2018 00:00

In the previous part, we looked at how the Sri Lanka rupee has been continuing its one way journey to depreciation ever since the country gained independence from Britain in 1948 (available at:

Lankan pop singer A.E. Manoharan failed to shine as film actor ‘ Ceylon Manohar ’

Views - 6217 Saturday, 29 September 2018 00:20

Anthonypillai Emmanuel Manoharan known to the world at large as A. E. Manoharan was a multi-faceted personality possessing many talents. He was a singer, musician, broadcaster and stage and screen actor but it was his singing that brought him great h

Sri Lanka FTA with Singapore within the norms of economic diplomacy

Views - 336 Saturday, 29 September 2018 00:10

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Maithripala Sirisena witnessing the signing of the FTA between Singaporean Minister of Trade and Industry S. Iswaran and Minister for Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samara

Sirisena introduces a new and critical requirement for reconciliation

Views - 161 Saturday, 29 September 2018 00:10

It is generally stated by liberals and the human rights community that for Sri Lanka to achieve ethnic reconciliation, the Government will have to implement Resolution 30 (1) and 34 (1) passed by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2015 and 2017 r

Is it time for a rate cut?

Views - 323 Friday, 28 September 2018 00:00

If you look at the successful economies of our region they have followed economic policies that are diametrically the opposite of what our nation state has followed. These economies had; 1. Low nominal interest rates 2. Competitive to slightly deprec

Dollar rally hurting Sri Lanka and other emerging markets

Views - 513 Friday, 28 September 2018 00:00

The Sri Lankan Rupee in the last eight weeks has taken a beating like many other Asian currencies as a result of the dollar rally. The Government rightly pointed out that many of the other currencies had taken a bigger beating. This week the rupee hi

Megalomaniacal Megalopolises

Views - 219 Friday, 28 September 2018 00:00

I note with interest the incumbent administration’s determination to develop our country’s rural periphery and the many paths it sees to get there. Then, as I read the related newspaper articles more closely, my active interest changes to anxious

Will Gods support paddy cultivation this Maha season?

Views - 117 Thursday, 27 September 2018 22:47

Normally rains for Maha cultivation season arrive around 20 September and the Meteorological Department has been forecasting incoming rains. Its website informed on 13 Sepetmber Mahiyanganaya received 50mm of rain. The Accuweather website, which giv

Rohan Masakorala speaks on maritime, shipping and logistics as IMO turns 70

Views - 261 Thursday, 27 September 2018 12:11

Rohan Masakorala is the CEO of the Shippers’ Academy Colombo and the Chairman of the Logistics Advisory Committee for EDB on the National Export Strategy of Sri Lanka. In this interview he speaks about maritime, shipping and logistics. Following ar

Protest, Arab Spring and Zimbabwe

Views - 274 Thursday, 27 September 2018 00:00

On 5 September, the city of Colombo awoke to an unusually quiet morning and an uneasy air. Something big was going to happen. The sitting Government may even fall, blood could be spilt. There were fewer vehicles on the roads and the buses had less t

Sustainability now: The flaws of plastic straws

Views - 158 Thursday, 27 September 2018 00:00

We all are used to them since our childhood, we see them every day when we visit a restaurant, bar or buy juice drinks at a grocery store: Plastic straws. Despite being small, they are one of the major contributors to plastic pollution on land and in

Rupee crisis: Mahinda cries “ehi passiko”

Views - 307 Thursday, 27 September 2018 00:00

“Ehi passiko” is a methodological statement in expressed in Pali and attributed to the Buddha. The sage asserted that his Dhamma must be experienced to be proven. “Come and experience” (ehi passiko)! Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sai

The camel is a horse designed by a committee

Views - 108 Thursday, 27 September 2018 00:00

This expression has been around for a long time, to deride reports made by committees. There has always been a widespread view that committees are a waste of time and achieve very little of benefit to anyone. This has led to many statements that expr

Of love and struggle: The interconnected feminist movements of South Asia

Views - 288 Wednesday, 26 September 2018 00:05

The last Cat’s Eye column observed all that there is to celebrate in the recent Supreme Court of India’s judgement on Sec. 377, which decriminalised adult consensual same-sex sexual activity in private. We used this ‘magnificent’ decision, wh

Depreciation of the rupee and Sri Lanka’s dilemma

Views - 1109 Wednesday, 26 September 2018 00:00

The rupee depreciated by Rs. 29 from 2005 to 2014 and the average year-on-year depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee was 2.8% per year. Official foreign reserves increased from $ 2.7 billion to $ 8.2 billion over the same period. In stark contrast, th

Over-tourism: The new buzz word in tourism

Views - 257 Wednesday, 26 September 2018 00:00

Periodically the tourism industry is in the habit of coming up with some interesting name to describe a new emerging trend or situation in the industry. Sometimes the phenomena is not new, but has become relevant and topical enough to ‘package’ a

Accessibility at buildings and places – Indispensable need to enjoy civil rights

Views - 78 Wednesday, 26 September 2018 00:00

Have you not yet realised that the chances are now very high that at any stage or any moment in life, for a short time or for a long time, for different reasons, you or your loved ones could experience physical and/or sensory impediments, and fall in

Southbound rupee and northbound CoL

Views - 150 Tuesday, 25 September 2018 00:00

The Sri Lankan Rupee hit a record low of 170 per $ last week, and the Minister of Finance warns of further depreciation. This is inevitable given the chaotic state of the nation’s economy. While the rupee turns south, CoL (cost of living) has no o

The fate of the rupee: Central Bank is caught with ‘Devil’s Alternative’

Views - 2513 Tuesday, 25 September 2018 00:00

Not all are losing when the rupee depreciates The recent depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar in the market has apparently driven the entire nation to a panic mode. While it had been a field day for the media and opposition law makers, the

Today's Columnists

Buddhism, sustainability and Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Sustainability is fast becoming a very relevant and essential aspect of our lives. This has come about as a response to the high degree of consumerism that prevails in the world today, and the resulting overuse of fast-depleting natural resources, gi

The Hindu mess and N. Ram’s tweet on the raw (or RAW) matter

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

A.S. Panneerselvan ran a story this morning in The Hindu (00.00am, 22 October) titled ‘Don’t blame the messenger,’ referring to the controversial front page report of the same newspaper five days ago by Meera Sirinivasan on ‘Sri Lankan Presid

Can humans and animals coexist in increasingly limited spaces?

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Many wildlife species are close to extinction, or at least threatened, because of human impact. The usual strategies of co-existence are to confine more and more the habitat of wildlife to smaller reserves, parks or other fenced areas, to protect the

Reinvent yourself before reinventing your industry

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

For the last 19 years Interbrand has been carrying out its Best Global Brands report. This year, the theme of the study is ‘Activating Brave’, which examines the role that brand strength plays in the transformation of the world’s leading busi

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