Columnists

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


Simply increasing Govt. spending on education is not an option

Views - 3338 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 - 4736 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 - 3179 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 - 3758 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 - 3113 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 - 3373 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


Trade and FDI needs a one-stop-shop, not one more stop

Views - 3069 Friday, 22 July 2016 00:00

Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple’s office in Ireland. Apple has publicly stated that it wants to significantly expand its operations in Ireland Many foreign investors I engage with want Sri Lanka to emulate Ireland, or even Vietn


Nisha Biswal wants Lanka to be the next Singapore

Views - 4016 Friday, 15 July 2016 00:00

 US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal, currently on her sixth visit in 20 months to Sri Lanka in her current capacity as US Assistant Secretary of State responsible for South and Central Asian Affairs, speaking to a group of senior bu


Ranil must rise to the challenge and deliver before it’s too late

Views - 14918 Friday, 8 July 2016 00:00

  Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe   From April 2004 to 8 January 2015, Ranil Wickremesinghe unlike Maithripala Sirisena had to stay a decade in Opposition, facing many challenges from within the party, includi


Building capacity at board level in the financial sector should be a top priority

Views - 3111 Friday, 1 July 2016 00:15

Given the governance issues in the NBFIs, the regulator’s initiative to assist commercial banks and NBFIs to achieve the highest standards of personal and organisational performance by conducting regular bank directors’ symposiums to e


Our FDI effort needs a makeover

Views - 2736 Friday, 24 June 2016 00:00

 Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaking at a press conference in Davos     Today for Sri Lanka to attract investment, we all know we need good institutions favouring economic freedom and the ease of doi


Towards a stable and competitive NBFI sector

Views - 3734 Friday, 17 June 2016 00:00

    The Daily FT reported that the Minister of Finance had proposed to set an upper limit of Rs. 10 million on banks to do leasing business, to which the heads of the commercial banks had protested during their meeting.&n


Why do people run for political office, to serve or to be served?

Views - 3378 Friday, 10 June 2016 00:00

    Dudley Shelton Senanayake (19 June 1911 – 13 April 1973) was the second Prime Minister of Ceylon. Senanayake was an unassuming man who led his people and ruled the country not for his personal benefit but out of


ETCA and FTAs alone cannot attract investors

Views - 2990 Friday, 3 June 2016 00:00

Businessman and National List MP Malik Samarawickrama, a Minister in the current Government who is spearheading the Free Trade Arrangements (FTA) with India, China and now Singapore, stated that all the FTAs in the pipeline would give investors ac


The promise of Yahapalanaya should not get washed away

Views - 3159 Friday, 27 May 2016 00:00

 President Maithripala Sirisena presenting his campaign manifesto to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe where the first-order of priority was clearly the promised anti-corruption probes     On 8 January, nea


Why Sri Lanka needs a national vision and strategy for labour

Views - 2934 Friday, 20 May 2016 00:10

Recently, at a FT-Colombo University forum it was noted that Sri Lanka very badly needs a national vision for labour, backed by funding, realistic targets, an implementation strategy and all the government agencies working together and also far gr


Financial sector needs urgent reforms to achieve Govt. development goals

Views - 3888 Friday, 13 May 2016 00:08

Introduction Banks accept deposits and make loans and derive a profit from the difference in the interest rates paid and charged to depositors and borrowers respectively. The process performed by banks of taking in funds from a depositor and the


Global economic outlook for 2016 not very encouraging

Views - 2609 Saturday, 7 May 2016 00:00

Larry Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus, Harvard University; former Secretary, US Treasury and former Director, National Economic Council, speaking at the CITI pension and endowment conference in New York obser


MS-Ranil Government on firm ground; time to focus on getting things done

Views - 3045 Friday, 29 April 2016 00:00

To those public servants, businessman and politicians sitting on the fence waiting for the unexpected, President Maithripala Sirisena at the breakfast meeting with the editors on Wednesday fired on all cylinders at certain MPs and former President


Lessons from private sector to improve delivery in public service

Views - 2734 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 - 2888 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 - 3000 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 - 6655 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 - 3034 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 - 2282 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 - 2281 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 - 3019 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 - 2174 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 - 2582 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


Today's Columnists

2017 a decisive year; what’s in store for 2018?

Friday, 15 December 2017

‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World’ is be the goal of the World Bank and the IMF in 2018. In the last 12 months the global...


Thoughts on the Budget and what comes next

Friday, 15 December 2017

The recent Budget definitely improves on previous budgets. It is a promising debut for Mangala Samaraweera, the new Finance Minister. He sees...


Media freedom – the other side of democratic midnight

Friday, 15 December 2017

Last week I challenged the powers that be to walk the talk on media freedom. Because it had become increasingly obvious that only murder and...


Churchill as Finance Minister (Chancellor of the Exchequer)

Friday, 15 December 2017

Very few of today’s readers are aware that Winston Churchill was one time the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1924-29), a position comparable to....


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