Dinesh Weerakkody

Government must win back public confidence

Views - 267 Friday, 8 September 2017 00:00

The President and Prime Minister sat down together this week at the BMICH to answer questions from the public. It was a good show for the Coalition Government. But, ironically today people measure their leaders by action not by what they say in publi


Sri Lanka needs more women in the workforce

Views - 844 Friday, 1 September 2017 00:00

The current female labour force participation in Sri Lanka is around 36%. This means that a disproportionate majority of women still remain outside the labour market, with limited or no access to wages, pensions and other benefits tied to gainful emp


The nation must focus on accomplishing something worthwhile

Views - 698 Friday, 25 August 2017 00:00

The Government has been in office for two years, and its agenda to many people still seems to be disconnected from the hopes and expectations of those who elected it to office on the promise of good governance. However the Government needs to be c


When political power is wielded by a small elite

Views - 1348 Friday, 18 August 2017 00:00

How did some nations, like a Japan, China, United Stated, become wealthy and powerful, while others remain stuck in poverty? And why do some of those powers, from ancient Rome to the modern Soviet Union, prosper for periods and then collapse? Pol


Black money and the war on cash; the challenge for the Government

Views - 1389 Friday, 11 August 2017 00:00

Last year India in an effort to combat corruption, tax evasion and counterfeiting, withdrew all 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes from circulation. Many international bankers argue with me that India failed miserably in its demonetisation effort.&nbs


A National Economic Council to override the CCEM; or what?

Views - 2322 Friday, 4 August 2017 00:00

President Maithripala Sirisena submitted a Cabinet Paper last week seeking approval to appoint a new National Economic Council (NEC) under his purview to take key decisions on all the economic and development projects of the Government. The Presid


Should the BOI be shut down?

Views - 2253 Friday, 28 July 2017 00:10

Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe very boldly stated at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit on Wednesday that the Board of Investment should be shut down. The BOI is the PM’s brainchild and an offshoot of the GCEC.  Wijeyadasa went


Quality of leadership key to performance

Views - 2099 Friday, 21 July 2017 00:10

Steve Jobs, Henry Ford and Lee Kuan Yew. What did these titans have in common? They had a clear vision of the future, and the leadership skills to manifest the future they desired. They also surrounded themselves with great people; delegated autho


Why FDI must be pursued with greater vigour

Views - 2078 Friday, 14 July 2017 00:00

Last week a TV channel and a newspaper highlighted that a project that had been submitted for approval to the BOI had been approved without proper assessments being done. This type of negative publicity can result in the credibility of the BOI and


Taking back control of the country

Views - 2210 Friday, 7 July 2017 00:08

    The President this week said that anyone watching TV would feel there is no government. While some people may argue that it is a creation of some sections of the media and the opposition, some others would sa


What good HR can do for a firm – public or private

Views - 2620 Friday, 30 June 2017 00:05

Great Place to Work Institute on Wednesday for the fifth consecutive time recognised some of the best work places in the country.  The keynote speaker bestselling author Bob Lee expressed his surprise at the extent to which the best work pl


Education allocations must target youth unemployment

Views - 2602 Friday, 23 June 2017 00:00

There is now a commitment to increase the number of students entering universities by 2020 and also to allocate more funds for vocational training.  The current intake into government universities is around 25,000 per year. Nearly 60% (150,


The future of Sri Lankan exports

Views - 3395 Friday, 16 June 2017 00:10

Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake speaking at the FT Forum ‘Grow with Giants’ on Wednesday said Sri Lanka’s exports have dwindled due a lack of competitiveness over the years, from $ 17 billion to $ 11 billion and that there is


Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero on a collision path with Govt.

Views - 3456 Friday, 9 June 2017 00:00

MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero, a key architect of the 8 January revolution, said his dreams to get good and valuable things done from the present Government were shattered and he is now left with only one dream, and that is to prevent the Gover


Swift response needed for flood relief to minimise the fallout

Views - 3256 Friday, 2 June 2017 00:07

With Sri Lanka facing the worst-ever floods in 27 years, the Sri Lankan economy has begun to feel the pinch of climate change. The Government immediately appealed for foreign assistance to recover from the floods that caused an estimated Rs. 300 b


A Cabinet reshuffle must be done with a clear purpose

Views - 4158 Monday, 22 May 2017 00:02

The President and Prime Minister must make changes in the best interests of the country  By Dinesh Weerakkody Events, as they say in politics, have conspired to force the President to reshuffle his Cabinet, to sharpen Government and


Sri Lanka’s debt situation: Getting better or what?

Views - 4237 Friday, 19 May 2017 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 tr


Overall governance in the financial sector

Views - 4364 Friday, 5 May 2017 00:10

The world-renowned HR guru Prof. Dave Ulrich, speaking to a group of board executives, said that every board is responsible for governing its firm in the best interest of the shareholders and other stakeholders. They are responsible for their acti


Govt. needs to move on post-GSP+ to excite the electorate

Views - 4395 Friday, 28 April 2017 00:00

The GSP+ going through is no doubt a big victory for Sri Lanka given the many challenges the Government has been facing in the last few months and the negativity surrounding it. The Prime Minister needs to be congratulated for his efforts to resto


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

Views - 4853 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 - 5157 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 - 5352 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 - 4974 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 - 5629 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 - 6459 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 - 5385 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 - 5453 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 - 4929 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 - 4720 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 - 5093 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


Today's Columnists

Our Cricket Board simply cannot deliver – why not they all quit honourably?

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

“It is necessary, therefore, for the Government to pay serious attention to the doings of Sri Lanka Cricket [board] and take immediate action to lift their game for the progress of our glorious game.” Question for Sri Lanka Cricket (board) Sri La


Yesterday Tamils, today Muslims and tomorrow who?

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

From the time of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s election victory in 1956, one and only one issue had dominated political party campaigns in this country; and that was communalism. The Tamil community was the main focus of these campaigns for over 50 years


Those who go by social proof are easy prey to crafty schemers

Monday, 17 June 2019

Going after social proof Swiss writer and novelist, Rolf Dobelli, in one of the essays in his 2013 book ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’, has given a fine warning to his readers. He has warned against going by ‘social proof’ or ‘majority view


Poson ponderings on positional power: ‘Authority vested’ vs. ‘authority wasted’

Monday, 17 June 2019

We witnessed a serene Poson Poya, in a far more improved security setting in Sri Lanka. Whilst the Sri Lankan life slowly returning to normal, political fronts do not appear to show the same. Has the political power become the people ‘pava’ (sin)


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