Columnists

Slamming a no confidence motion on Ranil is unfair

Views - 1651 Wednesday, 10 June 2015 00:00

I launched a book a little over a year ago titled ‘In The Best Interest Of My Country’ and Ranil Wickremesinghe in his speech said a country cannot progress unless you have leaders who have both the passion and competence and he went o


The role of HR in creating a good governance culture

Views - 1716 Friday, 5 June 2015 00:00

I was recently asked to speak about how HR can make a meaningful and a more strategic contribution towards integrating governance into a company’s DNA.  To begin, after the financial crisis, regulators and funds came up with a new bun


For Sri Lanka to move on, it needs a radical change in policy

Views - 1676 Friday, 29 May 2015 00:00

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


SMEs will be critical to sustain our economic growth in next 5 years

Views - 3361 Friday, 15 May 2015 01:21

    Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), which form the backbone of our economy, are expected to play a greater role in the development of our economy in the coming years as the market expands and becomes more compe


The state of our State enterprises

Views - 787 Sunday, 10 May 2015 13:36

Two State enterprises, the National Paper Company and SriLankan Airlines, alone generated a combined loss of Rs. 41 billion from May 2013 to September 2014. Sri Lanka Railways lost another Rs. 5 billion     Sri Lanka’s Pa


The state of our State enterprises

Views - 924 Friday, 8 May 2015 00:00

Two State enterprises, the National Paper Company and SriLankan Airlines, alone generated a combined loss of Rs. 41 billion from May 2013 to September 2014. Sri Lanka Railways lost another Rs. 5 billion     Sri Lanka’s Parlia


Independence for Foreign Service and Public Service through 19A

Views - 981 Friday, 1 May 2015 00:00

The administrative system, adopted and incorporated into Sri Lanka’s first Constitution after independence, suffered serious interference in 1972, when the Civil Service Commission was abolished and most of its functions were passed on to the cabin


The leadership and economic legacy of Lee Kuan Yew

Views - 1272 Friday, 17 April 2015 04:01

In 2011, I listened to Lee Kuan Yew officially launch his book titled ‘Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going’ at the St. Regis, Singapore. He spoke passionately of the need to promote meritocracy. Undoubtedly, his uncompromising stand


The critical recipe for economic prosperity

Views - 1303 Friday, 10 April 2015 00:05

According to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, it is people’s innovativeness, entrepreneurship, and their work ethic that gives a country that sharp edge in competitiveness     Business-savvy Prime Minister Ranil Wickremes


Creating 1 m new jobs

Views - 1135 Friday, 27 March 2015 00:00

For a start, we need to focus our education and training investment primarily to deliver the skills to leverage FDI and regional manpower opportunities     The new Government of President Sirisena in its 100-day program talks o


Government should stay away from running enterprises

Views - 846 Friday, 20 March 2015 00:00

Many public enterprises continue to make big losses and get away with total impunity. For instance, the two transport enterprises, Railways and SLTB, have made operating losses year after year since 2000 amassing cumulative losses of billions of


Private sector and State sector must work together to build future-ready workforce

Views - 1625 Friday, 13 March 2015 01:28

The new Government recently proposed that the spend on education would be increased from 1.3% to 6% in the future. This move is certainly good for the country given that the World Bank South Asia recently reported that the poor quality of education i


Regulator should not get involved in appointing directors to banks

Views - 1110 Friday, 6 March 2015 00:00

By Dinesh Weerakkody Today globally the banking industry is constantly being buffeted by waves of financial, regulatory, technological and operational challenges. The increased regulatory burden and related costs impact every financial institution i


Need for a new labour market strategy

Views - 1110 Friday, 27 February 2015 00:01

Workers in Sri Lanka – File photo     ng countries like Sri Lanka will have to prepare for further downside risks with the growing debt problems and the growth problems in Europe and the slowdown in Asia. Slower growth is alr


Why we need to attract more Foreign Direct Investment

Views - 2895 Friday, 13 February 2015 00:00

Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) have today become the major economic driver of globalisation. The most profound effect has been seen in developing countries where yearly FDI flows have increased. Today, China is at the forefront of FDI growth, follo


One-off Super Gain Tax for biz: Good or bad?

Views - 3711 Friday, 6 February 2015 00:00

    The Sri Lankan business community was obviously unhappy over the imposition of the Super Gain Tax (retrospective tax plan) on large companies through the new Government’s Interim Budget. The biz community was also unhappy w


Banking sector needs reform: Can Ranil and Ravi deliver?

Views - 2499 Friday, 30 January 2015 00:00

The FT on Wednesday highlighted the very divergent views expressed by the Finance Minister and the new Central Bank Governor. The Finance Minister certainly knows the game better than the Governor because he has been a vocal critic of the previous ad


Mangala should get Sri Lanka’s Foreign Service back to work

Views - 2671 Friday, 23 January 2015 00:00

During the last administration, of the 49 posts, 35 heads of diplomatic missions were filled with political appointees, and this practice turned the Foreign Service into a branch of the UPFA. The politicisation of the Foreign Service led to the disma


Maithri and Ranil now need to demonstrate “yahapalanaya”

Views - 2643 Friday, 16 January 2015 00:06

Many right-thinking people watched with alarm and disappointment the steady decline in the moral values in our nation with politics for material benefits overtaking our cherished values. The breakdown of our religious values, traditions and cult


National competitiveness should be key priority for next president

Views - 927 Wednesday, 7 January 2015 00:03

As a country we have slid from the 65th to the 73rd position this year in the Global Competitiveness Index (among 144 countries). What is causing this? It is clearly a couple of top line issues in our national priorities. In general, our national


2015 will be a decisive year for Sri Lanka

Views - 1305 Thursday, 1 January 2015 00:00

2015 could be a very decisive year for Sri Lanka. For the two main presidential candidates it’s either a saga of gloom or doom, but from a more realistic view for Sri Lanka, it could be a balance of the two. What happens inside Sri Lanka between no


When the best employees are left alone

Views - 1113 Friday, 12 December 2014 06:07

Many managers think that their top talent (top performers) does some wonderful and innovative things when left alone by their managers. Most employees when they join an organisation are usually very enthusiastic, committed, and ready to be advocates


To make the country a better place

Views - 1100 Friday, 5 December 2014 01:01

A professor of management at a recent seminar on leadership in the US asked why people run for president. Is it for power or to do good? He said ‘take a look at Barack Obama before he became president and now. You will notice how much he has aged.


The fundamentals for economic prosperity

Views - 1277 Friday, 28 November 2014 01:10

Many years ago as primary students we were taught that most rich countries were in the North of the globe, and most poor countries were in the South, but later on we were told that it was not geography that causes wealth or poverty. After all, Austra


Leadership capability increases confidence in future results

Views - 912 Friday, 21 November 2014 01:34

Effective leadership is one of the most elusive keys to organisational success. A number of organisations worldwide have successfully cracked the code; however, today’s flatter, faster, more flexible organisations, facing intense competition in a g


FDI, skills and GDP growth of Sri Lanka

Views - 1908 Friday, 14 November 2014 02:15

A senior business leader recently observed that despite Sri Lanka’s high growth story (GDP growth of 6%-7.5% over three years) the FDI inflow into the country has been very low and the reasons for this, he said, should be identified and addressed.


Budget 2015: Pushing up employer EPF contribution to 14%: Good or bad?

Views - 6231 Friday, 7 November 2014 00:01

President Mahinda Rajapaksa presenting Budget 2015 said the Government had decided to increase the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contribution from the employer from 12% to 14%. Some Government officials were quick to point out that in Singapore t


Budget 2015: Education allocations must target youth unemployment and labour productivity

Views - 1509 Friday, 31 October 2014 01:44

The 2015 Budget speech of the President included a commitment to increase the number of students entering universities to 100,000 by 2020 and also to allocate more funds for vocational training. The current intake to Government universities is aroun


NDB-DFCC merger: Case for a strong development bank

Views - 1928 Friday, 24 October 2014 00:38

In focus: Banking sector consolidation Parliament on Tuesday despite opposition from Opposition lawmakers that there was no rationale for a merger between a commercial bank and a development bank passed a bill to pave the way for DFCC Bank, the on


NBFI sector consolidation: Learning the hard way

Views - 1310 Friday, 17 October 2014 00:00

One of the most intensely-debated issues more behind closed doors rather than publicly has been the consolidation of the NBFI sector. Sri Lanka’s financial sector regulator since last year has been pushing for the amalgamation of the financial sec


Today's Columnists

In the desert of Tamil films, actor Sivaji Ganesan was an oasis

Saturday, 22 September 2018

‘Indian Film,’ first published in 1963 and co-authored by former Columbia University Professor Erik Barnouw and his student Dr. Subrahmanyam Krishnaswamy, is considered a seminal study of the evolution and growth of Indian cinema. The book is cit


Imran may turn blind eye to blasphemy law and persecution of Ahmadiyyas

Saturday, 22 September 2018

There are clear signs that Pakistan’s freshly minted Prime Minister, Imran Khan, will make a sincere effort to reduce corruption and maladministration in the domestic sphere. In foreign affairs he is likely to make a brave attempt to mend fences wi


The rate of exchange, capital flight and the Central Bank

Friday, 21 September 2018

The Central Bank (CBSL) exists for the sole purpose of price stability. Its controls on the financial system and monetary policy exist to maintain price stability. As put forth many times by the Governor, the failing of the CBSL to control inflation


Red flag over the Sri Lankan Navy

Friday, 21 September 2018

Shocking story Rusiripala, a former banker in Sri Lanka, who has taken to writing in Daily FT, is perturbed by the red flag I have raised (Daily FT article 18 September) over the shocking charge that our Navy had operated a ransom gang that had abduc


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