Columnists

Financial sector needs to be future-ready to ride the next wave

Views - 4811 Friday, 21 April 2017 00:00

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said many times that Sri Lanka needs a new phase of economic transformation to keep pace with the major changes in global and regional growth.  The proposed Colombo Port City project according to the


Boosting exports a solid way to get out of our debt crisis

Views - 5120 Friday, 31 March 2017 04:59

Sri Lanka’s debt has increased from Rs. 7.3 trillion to Rs. 9.4 trillion in the last two years, with domestic rates moving up from 6% to 10.74%. On a domestic portfolio of Rs. 4,277.8 billion there would be an additional cost of around Rs. 2


Jobs and no takers, or what?

Views - 5304 Friday, 24 March 2017 09:49

IT and Commerce Minister of Telangana State Minister Rama Rao speaking at the Sri Lanka Human Capital Summit in Colombo said that the Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge created a platform between Government, academia and industry t


Building sustainable organisations through talent, leadership, culture

Views - 4899 Friday, 17 March 2017 00:00

New Deloitte research shows that culture, engagement, and employee retention are now the top talent challenges facing business leaders. More than half business leaders rate this issue “urgent” – up from only around 20% last year.


Retooling the Foreign Ministry to focus on commercial diplomacy

Views - 5586 Friday, 10 March 2017 00:00

Saudi King Salman on Sunday kicked off a multi-nation month-long trip to Asia last week aimed at boosting economic ties with Asia. It is King Salman’s first visit to Asia since he took the throne in January 2015. The last Saudi monarch to vi


Demonetising the Rs. 5,000 note; good or bad?

Views - 6367 Friday, 3 March 2017 00:00

Recently when a news item appeared in a newspaper that the Government was preparing to demonetise the Rs. 5,000 currency note, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake was quick to react. The Finance Minister told the media that what he said in Parliame


Government very badly needs a PR machine to highlight the positives

Views - 5347 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 - 5393 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 - 4883 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 - 4677 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 - 4967 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 - 5044 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 - 5531 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 - 4417 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 - 5187 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 - 4494 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 - 4249 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 - 4982 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 - 4010 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 - 4130 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 - 4350 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 - 3643 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 - 3613 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 - 3857 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 - 3494 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 - 3363 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 - 3119 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 - 3129 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 - 3267 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 - 3050 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


Today's Columnists

The SLFP’s crisis

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

The SLFP’s crisis is a crisis of ideological identity. It is also an existential crisis. The SLFP is divided into two tendencies, a Minority (‘Menshevik’) faction with 44 seats in Parliament, led by President Sirisena, not all of them elected,


Investments in listed securities and best practices to follow

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Investment in financial instruments has never been easier than today. With the sphere of new technology, an investor is able to invest not only in his or her own jurisdiction but also in other countries’ financial markets. The capital market is an


Law, society, power and morality

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

On 28 November, I wrote a small op-ed which was received with mixed emotions, and hence I believe this follow-up will put the record straight. My sentiment throughout the article was that the state had the obligation to enact legislations which corre


Lloyd Yapa’s treatise on export competitiveness: A must reference book for SL economic policymakers

Monday, 11 December 2017

A pressing economic problem faced by the present Government, and any government that would come to power in the future, is the dwindling export earnings.


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