Columnists,Dinesh Weerakkody,Opinion and Issues

South Asia’s opportunity to become economically independent

Views - 187 Saturday, 30 November 2019 00:01

Even in today’s glum economic climate, the average American is seven times as prosperous as the average Mexican, about 20 times as prosperous as the average person of sub-Saharan Africa and about 40 times as prosperous as the average citizen of an


Gotabaya’s opportunity to shine in Sri Lanka

Views - 2097 Friday, 22 November 2019 00:10

In January this year an iron curtain had descended to end Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s elusive dream to become the 7th president of Sri Lanka. Then, several legal battles threatened to put the final full stop to his political ambition to be the President.


Getting priorities right for Sri Lanka post-2020

Views - 173 Monday, 28 October 2019 00:00

Indonesian President Jokowi who was re-elected for a second term has made startup founder Nadiem Makarim the country’s education minister. The minister was quick to say that Indonesia thrives on talent and if Indonesia is to produce more high-quali


Avoiding the middle income trap

Views - 501 Friday, 4 October 2019 00:25

Dhammika Perera speaking at the International Tourism Leaders Summit at the BMICH on Saturday said majority of the labour entering the market did so without any training and Perera argued that it was essential to give skills to people to increase pro


Sri Lanka needs to invest more on soft infrastructure

Views - 278 Friday, 20 September 2019 00:00

Developing countries like Sri Lanka will have to prepare for further downside risks in 2020 with the growing debt problems and the growth problems in Europe and the slowdown in Asia. Slower growth is already visible in weakening global trade and comm


Sri Lanka needs a president hungry for success, not power

Views - 863 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

The late John F. Kennedy described politics as a “noble adventure, an adventure in which one joins hands with the masses for the service of man”. Not that the Kennedys didn’t play “politricks” in their heyday. But playing “politricks” w


Social media has changed our country for the better, or what?

Views - 203 Wednesday, 7 August 2019 00:00

In Sri Lanka, fake, unsubstantiated and fabricated stories posing as serious journalism is slowly becoming the order of the day, and not likely to go away as they have become a means for some unscrupulous writers to make money and potentially influen


Leaders vs. leadership

Views - 255 Friday, 26 July 2019 00:00

HR Guru Professor Dave Ulrich, Rensis Likert Professor at the Ross School of Business says in this exclusive interview that an individual leader matters, but an organisation’s leadership matters very much more over time. In the interview Prof. Ulri


The HR mantra that guides great workplaces

Views - 234 Friday, 12 July 2019 00:00

Great Place To Work Institute held its award program for the sixth time last week. Great Place to Work Institute Sri Lanka has been conducting studies to understand and recognise the best workplaces in Sri Lanka since 2013. A great place to work fro


When fake news and targeted misinformation rule the day

Views - 354 Wednesday, 5 June 2019 00:00

In Sri Lanka, fabricated stories posing as serious journalism is gradually becoming the order of the day, and is not likely to go away as they have become a means for some unscrupulous writers to make money and potentially influence public opinion fo


Cardinal Ranjith’s voice of sanity

Views - 729 Thursday, 9 May 2019 00:00

Anglican Bishop of Colombo, Rt. Revd. Dhiloraj Canagasabey speaking at a media briefing said politicians are ruining Sri Lanka. Rt. Revd. Canagasabey called on religious leaders, civil society and all citizens who truly love Sri Lanka to unite and fo


The day the nation was let down by their leaders

Views - 1059 Monday, 29 April 2019 00:07

On Easter Sunday, my wife and I attended the Easter Sunday Mass at 6.30 a.m. at All Saints Church Colombo 8, then visited Cinnamon Grand, and returned home by around 9.15, only to hear reports of explosions in three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa an


What will it take to make Sri Lanka a developed nation?

Views - 1350 Tuesday, 9 April 2019 00:00

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and business tycoon Dhammika Perera gave their perspectives at the packed Fireside, organised by the Daily FT, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Sri Lanka, and CIMA at Hilton Colombo on 19 March saying Sri Lanka ha


Stimulating the Sri Lankan economy, the need of the hour

Views - 384 Tuesday, 19 March 2019 01:38

The sluggish economic growth in the country needs to be stimulated through a clinical strategy before Sri Lanka once again falls behind her regional neighbours. The continuous decrease in GDP from 5% in 2014 to 3.1% in 2017 and a marginal increase to


Regulating foreign workers now a top priority

Views - 406 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


The importance of the 2019 Government Budget

Views - 507 Friday, 15 February 2019 00:00

The tension between the SLFP and the UNP was largely triggered after the defeat of the UNP and the President’s SLFP faction at the Local Government polls last year, resulting in a blame game on the two sides. Thereafter no side made a real effort t


Sri Lanka’s debt- ridden independence

Views - 2181 Friday, 1 February 2019 00:05

On 4 February, Sri Lanka will clock 71 years since we got our independence from the British. Sri Lanka, today, has an estimated $ 87 billion GDP, an economy which is much bigger than what the numbers really reflect. However, the $ 87 billion economy


Appointing of chairmen and directors to public institutions

Views - 485 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:20

To improve SOEs’ performance and following many controversial appointments to State-Owned Enterprises in the past, President Maithripala Sirisena has issued fresh instructions on selection criteria in a bid to eliminate controversial and poorly-qua


The clash of the two Titans: what next?

Views - 382 Friday, 28 December 2018 00:00

The ideologies of the UNP and the SLFP have shaped the political experience of both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe. These ideologies, experiences, struggles and for dominance over the other have been the root cause of these recent confrontations. True,


UNF Government should not squander this last opportunity

Views - 451 Friday, 21 December 2018 00:00

President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a 29-member Cabinet yesterday after two months of political turmoil. It was reported that the UNP has sent in 36 names to the President to be appointed as Ministers and that President Sirisena had struck off


Getting more women in the workforce

Views - 1129 Friday, 14 December 2018 00:00

The current female labour force participation in Sri Lanka is around 36%. This means that a disproportionate majority of women still remain outside the labour market, with limited or no access to wages, pensions and other benefits tied to gainful emp


Good governance is the key to sustainability

Views - 276 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


The Bench must ensure that the judges will continue to be trusted

Views - 854 Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

In the backdrop of the recent developments and the strong arguments that have been presented against the dissolution of Parliament saying the President has no constitutional power to do so, before four and a half years into a Parliamentary term, as s


What Sri Lanka needs is a fair break from its leaders

Views - 866 Friday, 9 November 2018 00:00

Kumar Welgama, a senior member of Rajapaksa’s party and an influential Sri Lankan politician, told reporters yesterday: “We are the laughing stock of the world. One Prime Minister is in the Official Residence and the other is in the PM’s Office


Government’s cohabitation stuck in the past or what?

Views - 374 Friday, 19 October 2018 00:00

The appointment of career judge Nalin Perera as the new Chief Justice, who has served in the judiciary for over 30 years, provides a snapshot into President Maithripala Sirisena’s thought process, amidst various stories of clashes with his coalitio


Lankan stock market needs serious State intervention

Views - 1211 Friday, 12 October 2018 00:00

The ASPI decreased eight points or 0.14% to 5,872 on Wednesday 10 October from 5,880 in the previous trading session and on Thursday down to 5,840. Historically, the Sri Lanka stock market (CSE All Share) reached an all-time high of 7,811.82 in Febru


Labour imports must be managed professionally to avoid destabilisation

Views - 359 Friday, 5 October 2018 12:00

A group of professionals belonging to several agencies said in one voice on Tuesday that foreign worker policies must be carefully drafted and should not in any way be allowed to destabilise the local labour market. The known facts about Sri Lanka


Dollar rally hurting Sri Lanka and other emerging markets

Views - 673 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


Skilled foreigners to compete with Sri Lankans for jobs; or what?

Views - 505 Friday, 14 September 2018 00:00

There is a perception that the Government will allow skilled foreigners to compete with our citizens for good jobs. The GMOA has said professionals such as doctors will be disadvantaged through the influx of human resources to the country through the


Fireside Chat ignites a debate on true role of the private sector

Views - 468 Friday, 7 September 2018 00:00

Sri Lanka’s top business leaders on Wednesday speaking at the packed Fireside Chat at Hilton Colombo attended over 900 plus private sector people organised by the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) in partnership with the Chartered


Today's Columnists

Statesmanship and moral leadership

Friday, 6 December 2019

“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil?


Trust science and technology to deliver: Let innovation be the key

Thursday, 5 December 2019

A new leadership for the country is at the helm. One that is known to believe in focus and intent as well as the power of execution. While execution of plans is critical – we have seen awful delays and procrastination over what is important – it


The professional leadership selection committee

Thursday, 5 December 2019

The political storm has subsided. A proven veteran has weathered the storm. He is now entrusted with the utmost responsibility to rebuild the nation and to reposition the country in the Asian economic landscape. Living abroad, I attentively observed


What the private sector needs more than tax cuts

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Few things have stood out in the first two weeks of the new President. Firstly the significant tax cuts, ranging from reduction in VAT, reintroducing tax exemptions and abolishing other taxes such as NBT and WHT. Secondly the public announcement that


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