Columnists

Youth underemployment: Tragedy of a generation

Views - 5049 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 - 4030 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 - 4153 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 - 4417 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 - 3658 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 - 3640 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 - 3942 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 - 3513 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 - 3401 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 - 3170 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 - 3155 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 - 3322 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 - 3079 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 - 3368 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 - 4816 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 - 3204 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 - 3824 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 - 3143 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 - 3399 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 - 3181 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 - 4042 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 - 14963 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 - 3127 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 - 2765 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 - 3835 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 - 3409 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 - 3014 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 - 3192 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 - 2965 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 - 3924 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


Today's Columnists

Discipline and the devil’s disciples

Monday, 18 February 2019

That coach who repeatedly slapped a boy under his care has generated a storm of controversy on social media. On one side are aunties, bleeding hearts, civil rights champions et al who are outraged or at the very least shocked or surprised. On the oth


SL growth profile: Arrest moving down the staircase immediately to avoid hard landing on the floor

Monday, 18 February 2019

Strong message in the Sri Lanka Development Update 2019 Sri Lanka Development Update for 2019 was released by the World Bank last week. This document contains a review by the bank’s residential staff of the present state of the country’s economy


Prudential banking and saga of MTD Walkers

Monday, 18 February 2019

The matters referred to in the article under this title published in the Daily FT (15 February) are spotlighted in more detail under this scrutiny. While the general attention of the public remains more focused on recently arrested underworld kingpin


Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s empty rant

Monday, 18 February 2019

Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe (WR) has joined President Sirisena’s reckless verbal onslaught on the Constitutional Council (CC) that was set up by the 19th Amendment (Daily Mirror 15 February). I use “verbal onslaught” intentionally since, as


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