Columnists

The promise of Yahapalanaya should not get washed away

Views - 3196 Friday, 27 May 2016 00:00

 President Maithripala Sirisena presenting his campaign manifesto to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe where the first-order of priority was clearly the promised anti-corruption probes     On 8 January, nea


Why Sri Lanka needs a national vision and strategy for labour

Views - 2970 Friday, 20 May 2016 00:10

Recently, at a FT-Colombo University forum it was noted that Sri Lanka very badly needs a national vision for labour, backed by funding, realistic targets, an implementation strategy and all the government agencies working together and also far gr


Financial sector needs urgent reforms to achieve Govt. development goals

Views - 3930 Friday, 13 May 2016 00:08

Introduction Banks accept deposits and make loans and derive a profit from the difference in the interest rates paid and charged to depositors and borrowers respectively. The process performed by banks of taking in funds from a depositor and the


Global economic outlook for 2016 not very encouraging

Views - 2643 Saturday, 7 May 2016 00:00

Larry Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus, Harvard University; former Secretary, US Treasury and former Director, National Economic Council, speaking at the CITI pension and endowment conference in New York obser


MS-Ranil Government on firm ground; time to focus on getting things done

Views - 3076 Friday, 29 April 2016 00:00

To those public servants, businessman and politicians sitting on the fence waiting for the unexpected, President Maithripala Sirisena at the breakfast meeting with the editors on Wednesday fired on all cylinders at certain MPs and former President


Lessons from private sector to improve delivery in public service

Views - 2758 Friday, 22 April 2016 00:00

A few weeks back, I spoke to a group of public servants about good HR private sector practices and how some of those people practices can help them to improve productivity in their departments, improve engagement of their staff and also to deliver


Delivering the skills for the tourism sector: Some options

Views - 2935 Friday, 8 April 2016 00:00

The Hotel School that produces most of our graduates and trainees does not have the capacity to deliver the numbers and the talent required for the tourism industry     The tourism industry in Sri Lanka w


Steps to take to ensure a strong capital market

Views - 3038 Friday, 1 April 2016 00:00

Today our capital market could do a lot more to rev up our economy like in some other markets in the region. Market capitalisation to GDP currently is less than 25%; in 2010 it was around 39%. In Singapore it is over 250% and Malaysia 160%. 


Sri Lanka’s debt situation: What are our options?

Views - 6988 Friday, 25 March 2016 00:00

The external financing situation for Sri Lanka is certainly a big worry for both the Government and the private sector. This is largely due to monstrous financial profligacy of the past not yet fully explained. However, it is also due to a large t


Holding our leaders accountable

Views - 3069 Friday, 18 March 2016 00:00

Mihin Lanka as an entity currently owes the State banks billions, a debt that has been outstanding for years with no action being taken by the State institutions to get their money back. The mismanagement of SriLankan Airlines is another


Why FTAs are important for South Asia

Views - 2314 Friday, 11 March 2016 00:00

Over the next few decades, South Asia needs to grow its economies at a much faster pace to eradicate poverty     Often changes in international markets can have a direct, positive or negative, impact on a


A tripartite partnership key for shared prosperity

Views - 2309 Friday, 4 March 2016 00:42

  Given the current political and economic challenges facing Sri Lanka, our political leaders who are committed to economic and social development need to work in collaboration with industry and labour stakeholders to get th


Docs on warpath with Ranil over ETCA: Dialogue is what is required

Views - 3066 Friday, 26 February 2016 00:00

  Many local professional bodies fear Indian professionals would flood Sri Lanka and take away the limited lower middle level jobs. On the other hand the Prime Minister argues that it will pave the way to create a million new jobs


Continuing with our disjointed TVET sector will not solve our skills problem

Views - 2198 Friday, 19 February 2016 00:00

Education, skills development and technical training providers are central to create productive employment opportunities for our young people. They prepare mostly young people for work in the formal and informal sector and thus play an important r


Good government requires leaders to put public good above their personal interests

Views - 2621 Friday, 12 February 2016 00:00

Lee Kuan Yew, the man behind modern Singapore, died at the age of 91, and while many Singaporeans are still mourning the loss of a respected politician, many people all over the world still continue to join them at many international foru


Foreign policy implementation should be led by Foreign Ministry

Views - 2298 Friday, 5 February 2016 00:00

The Sunday Times last Sunday had a headline that said a Committee headed by Charitha Ratwatte, a one-time UNP Chairman, will with immediate effect oversee the working of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). The committee would be called


Dimmer 2016 for developing countries – or what?

Views - 2364 Friday, 29 January 2016 00:00

The darling of the Davos political and financial elite Christian Lagarde, the current International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director, warned the financial elite in Davos of the risks posed to global economic recovery from the reduction of t


Why we need to do more to attract FDI

Views - 2409 Friday, 22 January 2016 00:00

Sri Lanka in 2015 was way below the budget set for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). The Government is making a huge effort to attract FDI because today FDI has become the major economic driver of economic growth.  The effort made by the Pr


Will the world economy tank in 2016?

Views - 2486 Friday, 15 January 2016 00:00

In the first two weeks of the year, unlike in the past few years, we saw foreign exchange volatility jump to the most in a month as Chinese stock markets plunged and tensions escalated in the Middle East.  According to Morgan Stanley, swing


Nokia: A lesson in how the high and mighty can fall fast

Views - 3349 Friday, 8 January 2016 00:00

Research suggests that Nokia’s management was certainly aware that a digital revolution was underway, but failed to recognise the increasing importance of software, while overestimating the power of its brand  


Key priorities for 2016 and beyond

Views - 2664 Friday, 1 January 2016 00:00

The people of Sri Lanka on 8 January 2015 made political history. The 8 January election result was clearly a victory for Sri Lankan democracy - a last-minute motley coalition ‘David’ defeated an apparent ‘Goliath’ by doing


People’s expectations post 8 Jan: Opportunity must not be wasted?

Views - 3316 Friday, 18 December 2015 00:00

    Maithripala Sirisena, with the support of Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP, the country’s largest political party, won the election on the promise of “Yahapalanaya” or good governance. Ten months hav


Sri Lanka’s HR Challenge; not enough of the right skills and skilled people

Views - 3572 Friday, 11 December 2015 00:00

Education and skills attainment in Sri Lanka, which in the early 60s was better than that of countries like Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea, has in the last 20 years fallen behind, undermining the country’s growth prospects. Undoubtedly,


Sustainability of a private sector pension scheme

Views - 9090 Friday, 4 December 2015 00:00

  Last week, many unions and politicians were protesting against the proposed EPF-ETF reforms covering the private sector employees. The proposal was to introduce a mechanism to improve the quality of management of the curren


Making Sri Lanka a knowledge and services hub

Views - 3652 Friday, 20 November 2015 00:00

Education attainment in Sri Lanka, which in the early ’50s and ’60s, maybe up to the mid-70s, was better than that of countries like Malaysia, Singapore or South Korea, has now fallen behind, undermining the country’s growth pros


Restructuring the EPF is vital to protect funds of the workers

Views - 3305 Friday, 13 November 2015 00:00

The unions must realise that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is attempting to do a good thing; he is effectively taking the control of the fund away from the Central Bank to an independent body where all stakeholder representatives ca


Leaders vs. Leadership

Views - 2862 Friday, 6 November 2015 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 this interview,


SMEs critical to get Sri Lanka to the next level of growth

Views - 6987 Friday, 30 October 2015 00:00

The SME sector is an ideal platform for the Government to invest and support to reduce the gap between the haves and the have-nots     All governments want Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), whic


SL should avoid blindly pouring money into public education

Views - 2846 Friday, 23 October 2015 00:00

President Maithripala Sirisena has vowed to increase the current allocation of education in the next Budget. I am sure that he is fully aware that Sri Lanka cannot spend its way out of this education malaise. If this was possible Mahinda Rajapaksa


State interest in SOEs should be in policy and regulation

Views - 3145 Friday, 16 October 2015 00:00

Eran Wickramaratne, the Deputy Minister of Enterprise Development, recently in an interview observed that the Government’s interest in State enterprise should be in policy and regulation.   The general thinking worldwide nowadays


Today's Columnists

Come, let us build!

Friday, 26 April 2019

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Best because Sri Lanka was united in what it did well: being at peace, on an extended sabbatical, pursuing the absence of conflict – even mindlessly – and enjoying the fruit of island life. Wor


Black Easter

Friday, 26 April 2019

To Sri Lankan Christians, Easter this year was a day of God where demons reigned. It can be considered an unfortunate day in which the country was plunged again into the uncivilised wretchedness that prevailed in the country during the violent confli


Explaining Sri Lanka’s new Emergency Regulations on ‘publication’

Friday, 26 April 2019

Sri Lanka’s President issued a new set of Emergency Regulations on 22 April. This note explains the contents of Emergency Regulation 15, which concerns the ‘control of publications’, and certain other regulations relevant to publication. There


A secular public space is essential for the safety and wellbeing of all

Friday, 26 April 2019

The heart is heavy and the pen is slow. The environment is thick with the shared sorrow of many. Pain and suffering caused by deaths of hundreds and maiming of more on Easter of 2019 will linger for the rest of our lives. But life must go on and we m


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