Columnists

Trusted smart products – theme of World Consumer Day 2019

Views - 92 Saturday, 16 March 2019 00:00

Era of digitalisation It is a pity that one of the most powerful groups worldwide which is the consumer group in Sri Lanka is a powerless insignificant group in the lowest ebb on consumerism in Sri Lanka due to inaction and lack of organised efforts


The last straw in local politics today

Views - 431 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:10

I don’t despair easily. But a sense of desolation has overtaken me. Since it is abundantly clear that the last of the statesmen is dead and gone in Sri Lanka today. However much you may hold out hope that some knight in shining armour or street-wis


Alcoholic beverages and ganja

Views - 787 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:05

I hope to begin this article with arrack and end up with ganja. Since I have chosen to write about arrack, I think it is fair that I should clarify my relationship with it for the knowledge of the reader. Frankly speaking, I consume a moderate amoun


#trashtag – a trend for change

Views - 169 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00

Recently a new social media challenge has emerged where in various countries individuals or groups are implementing small waste-related activities and take pictures of the area before and after they have cleaned it. The #trashtag challenge has gone v


Recognition of and support for international schools is essential for equity in education

Views - 106 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00

If we are to realistically address the increasing demand for quality education in a debt-strapped developing country such as ours, it is essential to allow a parallel system of private education opportunities within a policy environment that makes en


High time for internal air travel

Views - 200 Thursday, 14 March 2019 00:56

Sri Lanka’s current need is to better grasp the intricacies of the investment climate. Its stakeholders, whether domestic or foreign, have standards which define their confidence to invest, with all other factors being equal. The basic comprises t


Feeling the heat... That’s the gift from climate change! Combating it is in your hands!

Views - 100 Thursday, 14 March 2019 00:00

It’s the prosperous season of the island with new year festivities beckoning around the corner. However, obviously all of us have been feeling the heat lately, in such an intense manner. Many have questioned what the reasons could be for this unbea


Venezuelan crisis, Western interference, democracy and socialism

Views - 166 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

The situation in Venezuela is more complex than what it appears. There are two major crosscurrents in operation. First is between President Nicolas Maduro’s national government and the US, the latter attempting to exploit the existing crisis to bri


Budget 2019 off target?

Views - 482 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

The share of voice (SOV) of the Budget 2019 was very strong with almost every newspaper every media station, paper or radio highlighting the opinions and challenges. But I did not see anyone report the research presentation that was made on 6 March (


Street vendors in urban cities

Views - 290 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

Shaved king coconut with straws. The ‘maalu’ shouts to the residents among the neighbourhood for salty fish. The knotted sacks of the laundry clothes in the tuk. Early morning whisk away of the newspaper at the doorstep. These hustles and bustles


Asset declarations – a myth?

Views - 243 Tuesday, 12 March 2019 00:00

That there are very few role models in our public life is self-evident. The material poverty of the country is reflected in the poverty of its leadership, in as much as our twisted concepts of governance echo in the shoddiness of its delivery. So dis


Export mantra in Vietnam: Lessons for Sri Lanka

Views - 608 Tuesday, 12 March 2019 00:00

Vietnam was very much like Sri Lanka. It went through a 20-year war and was one of the poorest countries in the world but it refused to bow down and made some social-oriented market reforms called Doi Moi Reforms in 1986. Today, the nation is growing


‘Khema’s Boy’ does it: Comes up with a non-election budget in an election year

Views - 7406 Monday, 11 March 2019 00:10

Speculation that Budget 2019 will be an election budget Prior to the presentation of the Budget 2019, there was wide speculation that it would be an election budget. There were at least two elections in the pipeline and the expectation was that Finan


Living the strategy: Lessons for Sri Lanka

Views - 391 Monday, 11 March 2019 00:00

Strategy is an often confusingly used term that may mean different things to different people. I have seen this happening in Sri Lanka, where crafting and executing strategy is cluttered by myriad jargons. We need clarity and commitment towards formu


Making way for a people’s constitution

Views - 136 Saturday, 9 March 2019 00:10

Presently, Sri Lanka is in a state of terrible confusion with no proper constitution. The second Republican constitution, due to continuous and haphazard amendments, has been rendered a frail and disorganised statute deprived of consistency and prope


Fear the pain, curse of the oppressed

Views - 137 Saturday, 9 March 2019 00:10

“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them” – Karl Marx


Abolishing the Executive Presidency is dangerous if electoral system is not changed

Views - 661 Saturday, 9 March 2019 00:00

Only two out of seven times in the last Parliamentary Elections in Sri Lanka has a party or alliance won even a simple majority. Five out of Sri Lanka’s last seven parliaments have started out as hung parliaments. The only two exceptions were in 19


Religion in politics: RIP to good sense, decency and the democratising spirit?

Views - 165 Friday, 8 March 2019 00:20

I read recently that the problem with failed societies is that they listen to their politicians and not their poets. Not once did I read it, but thrice, and in as many forums. There must be something the universe is trying to tell us? Just hope the p


Exploitation of rural women

Views - 352 Friday, 8 March 2019 00:15

It was Dr. Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur and civil society leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner, pioneer of the concepts of micro credit and finance and the founder of Grameen Bank , who initiated the system of granting small loan


Women’s bodies as tools of State control

Views - 350 Friday, 8 March 2019 00:00

Last week men on social media celebrated Women Police Constables (WPCs) being the barrier between student protesters. This was apparently an achievement for gender equality. It is commonplace for Male Police Constables (MPCs) to get all the ‘actio


Planning sans science and technology: Life for us is going to be costly if not painful!

Views - 195 Thursday, 7 March 2019 00:55

Sri Lanka is in a period of extreme challenge and the reasons are manifold – However, I really do not see whether we understand the way out! ‘Sri Lanka: A country trapped in debt’ and ‘Repayment of debt – the biggest nightmare for Sri Lank


Rev. Pitiduwe Samanthabhadra: Pretender or savant?

Views - 324 Thursday, 7 March 2019 00:34

Judging by the crowds he is gathering around him, this latest monk-sensation in Sri Lanka is on a success tide. Thousands pilgrimage to him at home. The rich and the poor liberally donate pirikara or gifts. Ambitious politicians flock around hoping f


Absolute power corrupts absolutely

Views - 140 Thursday, 7 March 2019 00:23

Advocacy of a system of government according to constitutional principles and the rule of law are the central features of any political democracy that respects human rights. An independent judiciary, the essential guardian of the rule of law, is the


Democracy and development: Sri Lankan style – Part II

Views - 232 Thursday, 7 March 2019 00:00

The Government is keen to expand the Cabinet to accommodate those who shifted allegiance to the new Government. Do we need more of the above people? Certainly not. An increase in the size of the Cabinet is totally unnecessary and could only lead to t


Are Colombo malls listening to consumers’ pulse?

Views - 140 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

Retail stores inside the malls were empty with few shoppers even when its common spaces like the lobby areas, food courts, etc. bustled with people. Mall-going culture the very essence of urban living has not been norm in Colombo so far due to the la


Role of Sri Lankan academics in national policy development

Views - 92 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

“Who can save Sri Lanka?” This was the caption of an article published in a mainstream newspaper a few months ago. The author, T.M. Premawardana, presented numerous historical examples to highlight how the Sri Lankan public saved this country at


What ails the tea industry and what can be done to boost tea export revenue

Views - 258 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

The note under reference, hopefully will help the Government to boost exports out of Sri Lanka and formulate policies for potential sectors to collectively go beyond a $ 25 billion export economy and perhaps retain a surplus after debt redemption in


Democracy and development: Sri Lankan style – Part I

Views - 314 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka’s political scene has always been in turmoil. The sacking of the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the 26 October 2018 was unprecedented in Sri Lanka. This is yet another sign that the cascade of policy failures in Sri Lanka will con


Is Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda to be the sacrificial lamb at the altar of the 40th UNHCR session?

Views - 379 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

The 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva is currently underway. The report on Sri Lanka will be formally submitted on 20 March. Less than a week before the Geneva Sessions commenced on 25 February, former Navy Co


Addressing the white elephant in Lankan economic development in tourism

Views - 428 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

In the past, Sri Lanka has focused on increasing the number of tourists coming into the country and showcased the increase in tourism without much concentration on the growth of our economy in retrospect. Lonely Planet listed Sri Lanka as the number


Today's Columnists

Will power cuts solve electricity crisis?

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

The country faced electricity power cuts, reminding citizens of early 1990s, which resulted in private power producers supplying electrical power with long-term power supply agreements. Today, most have completed their agreement period, but some were


Easter attack: Going beyond condemnation

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Yesterday was Easter Sunday; 227 persons [at the time of writing] have been killed, and many times more injured. The primary targets were churches and international hotels. It seems clear that the extremist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria


Easter Sunday nightmare

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

This is the most important day of the year for Christians – the Peaceful Easter Sunday or Easter Day was shattered by deadly explosions in several Christian churches throughout the country; and we excoriate such hatred in our beloved country. We th


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


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