Columnists

Lead with humility: Leadership lessons from Pope Francis

Views - 5102 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 - 5078 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 - 5781 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 - 4454 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 - 5344 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 - 4540 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 - 4278 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 - 5078 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 - 4041 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 - 4165 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 - 4454 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 - 3666 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 - 3653 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 - 3984 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 - 3523 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 - 3414 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 - 3210 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 - 3166 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 - 3340 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 - 3094 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 - 3379 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 - 4842 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 - 3216 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 - 3848 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 - 3155 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 - 3411 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 - 3223 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 - 4054 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 - 14979 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 - 3137 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


Today's Columnists

Tea with NM

Saturday, 20 July 2019

One of my most treasured memories is that of NM, better known as Dr. N.M. Perera. It was when I was a student in the UK that I first met him. NM was already a formidable left leader in Sri Lanka, an accomplished parliamentarian, a larger-than-life fi


Biosphere will one day be replaced by technosphere

Saturday, 20 July 2019

I am now nearly 90 and in my lifetime I have seen and heard the world changing so fast that homo sapiens (Latin: “wise man”), the species to which all modern human beings belong, are changing into a technology-dependent sub species, . Homo sapien


Expand employer-backed childcare to close the gender gap in Sri Lanka

Friday, 19 July 2019

In Sri Lanka, women’s formal workforce participation is at only 36%, compared with 75% for men. Sri Lanka could raise its gross domestic product by as much as 20% in the long-run by closing the gender gap in the workforce, according to one estimate


Who should be our next president?

Friday, 19 July 2019

After the recent terrorist attacks and the subsequent violence unleashed against innocent Muslims by racists, Sri Lankans are searching for a leader who can save the country. Many have lost faith in the leaders, due to the breakdown in the security a


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