Columnists

Government on firm ground, but needs quick course correction

Views - 3508 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 - 3390 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 - 3155 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 - 3150 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 - 3294 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 - 3069 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 - 3361 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 - 4801 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 - 3199 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 - 3813 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 - 3135 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 - 3392 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 - 3161 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 - 4035 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 - 14952 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 - 3122 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 - 2756 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 - 3824 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 - 3402 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 - 3007 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 - 3184 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 - 2960 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 - 3917 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 - 2629 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 - 3060 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 - 2749 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 - 2919 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 - 3025 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 - 6930 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 - 3059 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


Today's Columnists

Greening China and BRI: Chinese legal framework for sustainable environment protection

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

The concept and scope of greening the belt and road The Greening BRI is to add the ‘greening’ notion along with the ‘BRI’. Building a ‘Greening BRI’ means adhering to the concept of green development, balanced development, harmony betwee


Political evil paralysing Parliament

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Our politics has arrived at a point when we must insist on recognising the niceties of human nastiness. Organised horror in Parliament is either trivialised or ignored by most of mainstream media print and electronic.


10 theses on Sri Lanka’s existential crisis: Roots, dynamics, dimensions

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

1.The crisis has deep national, social and psychological roots. Our island contains two consciousnesses or two types of consciousness, two competing states of mind. Contrary to myth, the periphery of our island has the longest uninterrupted colonial


Make toilets and safe sanitation services accessible to all

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

All people everywhere should have access to safe sanitation services, including hygienic toilets that are connected to quality sewage systems. For many people across the WHO South-East Asia Region, as across the world, access to these services never


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