Columnists

Government very badly needs a PR machine to highlight the positives

Views - 5343 Friday, 24 February 2017 00:00

When the BJP was getting a lot of bad press all over the world and particularly in the US, to counter the bad press, Lal Krishna Advani, then BJP President, decided to launch an overseas wing to educate American lawmakers, the American people and


PM’s 1 million jobs project – The real challenge: Shortage of labour

Views - 5391 Friday, 17 February 2017 00:00

Based on industry surveys, at least a minimum 400,000 jobs are available in the hotel, tourism, and industrial sectors per annum in the next three years.  According to a survey conducted by Prof. Athula Ranasinghe, Dean of the Faculty of Ar


The business of business isn’t just only about making money

Views - 4876 Monday, 13 February 2017 00:40

The National Centre for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), a conservative think tank, recently in the US requested Apple to refrain from putting money in green energy projects that were not profitable. The chief executive of Apple Tim Cook shot back


Government must keep a tab on public opinion

Views - 4667 Friday, 3 February 2017 00:00

It has now become a national pastime for howls and protests on our streets on a daily basis. Are these protests because the Government has so far failed to deliver on the promises they made on 8 January to the public, or what?  The latest p


Lead with humility: Leadership lessons from Pope Francis

Views - 4947 Friday, 27 January 2017 00:00

The connection that exists between a leader and those being led is, like most relationships, seldom easy to understand or take out. The satisfaction that leaders derive from having an impact over others is not easy to unpack.  Generally, th


What we need to do to ensure the FTAs don’t go begging

Views - 5031 Friday, 20 January 2017 00:10

    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that Sri Lanka would soon have access to four major markets at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. He requested that local and international investors start ventures in


Labour shortage in key sectors will hold Sri Lanka back

Views - 5418 Friday, 13 January 2017 00:00

The Daily FT Cover Story on Tuesday highlighted the 10 most important things to look for whether a country is rising or falling, quoting Ruchir Sharma’s latest book, ‘The Rise and Fall of Nations,’ one of them the country’s


Time to ensure State enterprises deliver value to the public

Views - 4410 Friday, 6 January 2017 00:00

The former administration, unlike any other previous regimes, made a conscious effort to extend its dominance in many economic spheres. All governments in Sri Lanka in the last 25 years have in many forms tried their hand in running commercial ent


President Maithripala Sirisena’s opportunity in 2017

Views - 5172 Friday, 30 December 2016 00:10

Maithripala Sirisena hails from the North Central Province. He is an agriculturist by vocation. He joined mainstream politics in 1989 as an MP and has held several ministries since 1994. He was the General-Secretary of the SLFP and the Minister of


Expectations from the Government in 2017

Views - 4490 Friday, 23 December 2016 00:00

In a country where many people feel powerless, many right-thinking people watched with alarm and disappointment in 2014 the steady decline in the moral values of our nation with politics for material benefits overtaking our cherished valu


Importing labour should only be a short-term option

Views - 4243 Friday, 16 December 2016 00:10

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the Sri Lanka Human Capital Summit 2016     Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaking at the Sri Lanka Human Capital said that while the country had made


Youth underemployment: Tragedy of a generation

Views - 4965 Friday, 9 December 2016 00:10

Out of the 7.8 million employed population, 1.2 million people are estimated to be three-wheeler drivers. This is a staggering 15.4% of the working population. As a result today many sectors of the economy today are starved of critical ma


Investing in education and leaving it to markets is no longer an option

Views - 4008 Friday, 2 December 2016 00:01

If you invest in education, then incomes will develop  – Pic by Shehan Gunasekara In the last 10 years global HR thought leaders have created a very powerful human capital view, that if you invest in your own educatio


Hefty fines and laws alone cannot ensure a just society

Views - 4121 Friday, 25 November 2016 00:00

    One political leader whose stock has gone up by leaps and bounds in the last few months has been Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s, the JVP Leader, a local university graduate and a former Cabinet Minister of Agricultu


What makes some countries rich and others prone to poverty?

Views - 4335 Friday, 18 November 2016 00:00

  Many years ago as primary students we were taught that a nation’s environment is the result of a combination of human effort and policies, which can and are influenced by leaders and that rich countries were in the n


Nationalism and populism helps Trump to triumph

Views - 3626 Friday, 11 November 2016 00:01

Donald Trump, 70, the real-estate developer and reality-TV star, a Republican who has never held public office, defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton after a punishing campaign that exposed searing divides in the American public. Though a t


Restructuring the EPF is now a must

Views - 3608 Friday, 4 November 2016 00:01

 We have a history of Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) money being blatantly and rampantly abused by governments to buy shares and bonds in the secondary market, including the bail out of various ailing Government-linked companies. 


BOI needs to become more competitive

Views - 3849 Friday, 28 October 2016 00:01

  Last week at an economic forum it was mentioned that while Sri Lanka attracted $ 700 million in FDI, Singapore got $ 40 billion and Ireland got $ 30 billion and the low level of Foreign Direct Investment was becoming a serious const


Government on firm ground, but needs quick course correction

Views - 3484 Friday, 21 October 2016 00:02

Minister Rajitha Senaratne and President Maithripala during the 8 January campaign    There was heavy speculation in some quarters that the President’s statement on Wednesday last week that rocked the polit


Boosting exports: Low-hanging fruit and a way to get out of debt

Views - 3358 Friday, 14 October 2016 00:01

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaking at the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) sessions at the BMICH on Wednesday said that the Economic Cooperation and Technical Agreement (ETCA) with India that will be signed soon will enable Sri Lan


What HR can do to improve governance in enterprises

Views - 3114 Friday, 7 October 2016 00:00

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


Getting beyond the rhetoric on education and skills sector reform

Views - 3123 Friday, 30 September 2016 00:01

Annually, 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


Why Sri Lanka needs to appoint competent ambassadors

Views - 3247 Friday, 23 September 2016 00:01

We regularly hear politicians saying diplomacy plays a direct role in addressing the root cause of insecurity and that good diplomatic initiatives help to build partnerships so that Sri Lanka can work together with the world to address some of ou


The business of business isn’t just only about creating profits

Views - 3042 Monday, 19 September 2016 00:01

The renowned economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006) preached that the business of business is to engage in activities designed to increase profits. He certainly in the current context got it horribly wrong. The business of business isn’t jus


Simply increasing Govt. spending on education is not an option

Views - 3325 Friday, 9 September 2016 00:01

  President Maithripala Sirisena handing over the first copy of his manifesto to the late Ven. Sobitha Thero   Respected former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank W.A.Wijewardana reminded the Government that the


Succession planning in business: Why it is so tough

Views - 4728 Friday, 2 September 2016 00:02

    Today, succession planning is a very important leadership process and a growing number of firms have formal plans in place. Yet, many firms and sole proprietors have a great deal of succession planning work ahead of them


Fast-track reforms to address skill gaps

Views - 3176 Friday, 26 August 2016 00:10

 The Sri Lanka Human Capital Summit (HCS) served as a platform for a dialogue between policymakers, business leaders, industry experts and global thought leaders. The conference also served as a platform to identify solutions to bridge the sk


People’s expectations: Fulfilled or what?

Views - 3752 Friday, 19 August 2016 00:01

  Ranil Wickremesinghe and Maithripala Sirisena Margaret Thatcher, Ronnie de Mel, Gamini Dissanayake and J.R. Jayewardene The first year anniversary celebrations of the Good Governance Government will be held


Economic growth with a human face

Views - 3103 Friday, 5 August 2016 00:02

  President Maithripala Sirisena, who has a good understanding of what is happening on a daily basis in a rural Sri Lanka where the majority of our people live, has asked for greater support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) as t


SL can’t sit on the sidelines; we must join the race for trade and jobs

Views - 3368 Friday, 29 July 2016 00:00

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaking recently in Singapore     The Prime Minister’s move to fast-track the FTAs with Singapore and China and a revised ETCA is a good move. He knows we cannot


Today's Columnists

Lessons from Geneva

Saturday, 21 October 2017

‘Mission Impossible – Geneva’ is an inspiring account of developments at the Human Rights Council in Geneva when Dayan Jayatilleka was our Permanent Representative there. It is written by his wife Sanja, which provides for fascinating insights


Xi Jinping to enhance military power while keeping economic growth “moderate”

Saturday, 21 October 2017

In his keynote address on the opening day of the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Beijing on Wednesday, the Chinese President and party supremo, Xi Jinping, made two points of great relevance to the rest of the world. One is tha


Priming the pump to make your MP jump

Friday, 20 October 2017

Here’s a radical idea. What if – instead of liking it or lumping it as you do for years on end – the voter could hold his or her Member of Parliament accountable for their performance?


Eyes wide shut: Fate of our times

Friday, 20 October 2017

‘Eyes Wide Shut’ was the title of a film by famed director Stanley Kubrick. Loaded with Freudian sub-currents, the film was about an occult society that eliminates any one who cross its path. A theme that would no doubt appeal to a buccaneer prim


Columnists More