Columnists

Lessons from private sector to improve delivery in public service

Views - 2752 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 - 2924 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 - 3028 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 - 6948 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 - 3062 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 - 2305 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 - 2299 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 - 3053 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 - 2192 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 - 2610 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 - 2292 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 - 2357 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 - 2396 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 - 2479 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 - 3323 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 - 2654 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 - 3306 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 - 3499 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 - 9073 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 - 3619 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 - 3299 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 - 2859 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 - 6927 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 - 2839 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 - 3135 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


Why the Super Gains Tax should be avoided

Views - 3414 Friday, 9 October 2015 00:00

  In January, the Sri Lankan business community was obviously unhappy with the imposition of the Super Gains Tax (retrospective tax plan) on large companies through the 100-day Government’s Interim Budget and also with


What Sri Lanka needs from now on is inclusive growth

Views - 2708 Friday, 2 October 2015 00:00

The President surely guided by his advisors has gone on record saying that the Government’s main vision now is promoting sustainable development and reconciliation. However, the specific sustainable development goals to be adopted is still n


Acute skills shortage in key sectors could hold Sri Lanka back

Views - 2812 Friday, 25 September 2015 00:00

Annually, the World Economic Forum ranks countries on the Global Competitiveness Index — a decent gauge of which nations are best positioned to squeeze efficiency out of their businesses and attract companies and investment from overseas. Bu


Sri Lanka should take a cue from Ireland on how to attract FDI

Views - 3177 Friday, 18 September 2015 00:00

   One of Sri Lanka’s major rugby promoters in recent times, Malik Samarawickrema, is the new Minister tasked with attracting FDI. He has had international exposure unlike many others previously on the job because of his in


Legislating a minimum wage; practical or what?

Views - 2672 Friday, 11 September 2015 00:00

For years there has been a sense among many unions that the working class is getting left behind, either it is the EPF getting plundered or the wage increases are insufficient, while the rich got richer. With the elections out of the way now the t


Today's Columnists

Politicians and cricketers: Expected role, selection and performance evaluation (Part 2)

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Before commenting on the selection process, it is better to understand the ground realities and the nature of the beasts. Sri Lanka has a good theoretical education system. This system prompts students to ‘Cram-Remember-Express’ or ‘Read-Rememb


Open letter to M.A. Sumanthiran, MP

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Happy Pongal, Mr Sumanthiran! You and I are from two very different generations. In fact you belong to my uncle’s generation (sadly I don’t get along very well with my uncle). You are a child of the ’70s. I’m a child of the 90s. In a more tex


Why Gota gave me a ‘Gotler’ feeling

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Bourgeoisie venues It is no accident that presidential-candidate hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa holds his Viyathmaga meetings in bourgeoisie spots. Once, it had been Shangri-La. Last Saturday, 12 January, it had been Waters Edge. Gota’s speech offered


A lie is also a truth

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is a determined contender for the presidency. His trenchant lecture to activists of the Viyathmaga forum demonstrated the man’s spiritedness and impulse to act. He is a driven man. What drives him?


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