Columnists

Strengthening Yahapalanaya in the financial sector

Views - 3238 Friday, 24 July 2015 00:00

The Government decision to pay GK depositors highlights over and over again the need for better regulation, the need to make people accountable and improve governance in the financial sector     The level


Shareholder capitalism needs to be redefined

Views - 2403 Friday, 17 July 2015 00:00

Shareholder value creating is a refreshingly simple construct i.e. companies that grow and earn a return on capital that exceeds their cost of capital, create value.  The 2008 financial crisis is the most recent reminder that when executive


Importance of a National Employment Policy

Views - 2561 Friday, 10 July 2015 00:00

Most countries that adopt a framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth as the instrument for sustainable growth, acknowledge the role of skills development in that framework, stating that through its own national policies they look to s


Improving competitiveness should be a top priority for the next Government

Views - 2515 Friday, 3 July 2015 00:00

An issue that needs urgent attention is the colossal losses in the State-Owned Enterprises, especially, the top three – CEB, CPC and SriLankan       As a country we have slid from the 6


Restructuring the EPF is a must

Views - 2734 Friday, 26 June 2015 00:34

In 2014 the Government attempted to increase the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contribution for the employer from 12% to 14%. State officials defending the move were quick to point out that in Singapore the employer contributes 16% to th


The private sector must be ready to take advantage of shifts in Government policy

Views - 2665 Friday, 19 June 2015 00:00

    Sri Lanka in the early stage of economic development had excellent education attainment but now lags far behind many middle income and most high-income countries due to low public investment in education. Therefore to


Slamming a no confidence motion on Ranil is unfair

Views - 1659 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 - 1739 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 - 1690 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 - 3369 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 - 792 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 - 929 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 - 984 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 - 1274 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 - 1309 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 - 1138 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 - 849 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 - 1632 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 - 1112 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 - 1113 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 - 2908 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 - 3718 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 - 2506 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 - 2673 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 - 2650 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 - 930 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 - 1308 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 - 1117 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 - 1103 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 - 1281 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


Today's Columnists

The Brahmin footprint in Sri Lankan history

Saturday, 17 November 2018

It is generally said that there are no genuine “Sri Lankan” Brahmins in the island today, and that those Brahmins who officiate as priests in Hindu kovils (temples) are of Indian origin with close ties with Tamil Nadu.


Country paying for Sirisena’s childlike behaviour

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Many were surprised on 26 October to see former President Rajapaksa being appointed Prime Minister by the very man who defeated him a couple years ago, at a considerable risk to himself and to those who helped him win the election. Then events beca


The JR-MR effect

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Sri Lanka over the last few weeks has experienced a twin crisis. One is political provoked by its Constitution, and the other economic engendered by its politics. However, this crisis is the combined effect of two previous presidencies, those of J.R.


The fish that swallowed the whale

Friday, 16 November 2018

This is an easy-peasy, elementary effort of an ordinary citizen to comprehend the mad scramble for power among the political class. It is undertaken in the belief that the crisis we face is an opportunity to reject the family kleptocracy of Mahinda R


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