FT View Editorial

Decision-making time?

Views - 15 Monday, 16 September 2019 00:16

They say death and taxes come to everyone. For most people living in a democracy, there is arguably a third – elections. Since the passage of the 19th Amendment in the first quarter of 2015, it was apparent that by the end of President Maithripala


Healthcare milestones

Views - 30 Friday, 13 September 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka is readying to celebrate another healthcare achievement of being declared free of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Syphilis by the World Health Organization (WHO). Over the last year or so Sri Lanka has reached several milestones inc


Adding to the SOE problem

Views - 76 Thursday, 12 September 2019 00:18

State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in Sri Lanka are a contentious subject even in the best of times. But now with Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) sessions open to media the amount of shocking details coming to the surface has increased exponential


Elections in the time of social media

Views - 70 Wednesday, 11 September 2019 00:00

The Elections Commission has stepped up to push organisations posting about politics on social media platforms such as Facebook to abide by Sri Lankan laws, and refrain from mudslinging and misinformation campaigns that could be used to swing voters


Need for new thinking

Views - 104 Tuesday, 10 September 2019 00:04

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Sunday laid out an extensive blueprint of his plans to develop Sri Lanka. One aspect that was mentioned in the lengthy speech was import substitution for selected agricultu


Not all candidates are equal

Views - 113 Monday, 9 September 2019 00:00

The Elections Commission is expecting about 20 candidates to contest the upcoming Presidential Elections and has called on political parties to submit their intention on whether or not to field a candidate. The surprising inclusion in that, at least


Parliament responsibilities

Views - 51 Saturday, 7 September 2019 00:01

Parliament is at the centre of a firestorm after key Government Ministers failed to show up in the House to respond to questions raised by the Opposition. In a tense session on Thursday all 15 questions that were to be replied by Government Parliamen


Women and politics

Views - 97 Friday, 6 September 2019 00:00

For the first time in 20 years a woman candidate has been named to contest at the upcoming Presidential Election. Environmentalist Dr. Ajantha Perera being nominated is largely seen as a positive sign for increased women representation in Sri Lankan


Power perceptions

Views - 66 Thursday, 5 September 2019 00:56

Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. For Sri Lankan politicians, one can argue, power is also in the eye of the beholder. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) National Convention that wrapped up on Tuesday was to be the platform where Presi


Togetherness for growth

Views - 77 Wednesday, 4 September 2019 00:00

Reconciliation is usually discussed as a political imperative but it is also essential for economic growth. When the Easter Sunday attacks took place, Sri Lanka was devastated and none more so than the tourism sector, which saw its 10-year growth run


Fresh challenges

Views - 127 Tuesday, 3 September 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka’s economy is grappling with the need for reforms and increased competitiveness in the wake of the country being catagorised as an upper-middle income country. One of the biggest challenges will be access to concessional programmes and fun


Take action

Views - 64 Monday, 2 September 2019 00:00

Public officials have weighty responsibilities, which is why their integrity is important. This is why reports that 70 Government officials, including district secretaries and divisional secretaries, being reported on a rage of charges including sexu


Tolerance for peace

Views - 65 Saturday, 31 August 2019 00:01

An old woman waiting at the Trincomalee bus stand was arrested and taken to the Police station because the sari that she was clad in had a motif that was viewed as being similar to the head of the Buddha. A monk in the area then arrived at the Police


RTI impact

Views - 73 Friday, 30 August 2019 00:00

Right to Information (RTI) legislation was a landmark moment for Sri Lanka and arguably one of the most important and progressive efforts by the Government. However, passing legislation and implementing legislation are two different things and Sri La


Genuine value

Views - 59 Thursday, 29 August 2019 00:00

Tourism earnings for the first half of the year has predictably declined, but still managed to post $ 1.8 billion in earnings when compared with $ 2.1 billion earned in the same period the previous year. The arrival numbers are also improving slowly,


Gagging hate speech

Views - 115 Wednesday, 28 August 2019 00:00

UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Ahmed Shaheed, concluding his visit to Sri Lanka this week, has called for the prosecution of anyone responsible for violence, as well as to develop systems to respond to hate speech in line with


Unions in the tech age

Views - 68 Tuesday, 27 August 2019 00:00

Unions are making a comeback. Trade unions, sometimes derided, have been an essential component in fighting for labour rights for decades. In Sri Lanka they have lost their lustre in recent years as constant strikes and protests have dimmed their all


Permit perks

Views - 131 Monday, 26 August 2019 00:00

As elections creep closer, the Finance Ministry has reportedly sought Cabinet approval to distribute vehicle permits to public sector workers, with some top officials earmarked to get up to Rs. 22 million for new vehicles. Vehicle permits have long b


Long-term care

Views - 61 Saturday, 24 August 2019 00:01

In France an entire village has been converted into a long term care facility for its elders. Walkways have been fixed with railings and ramps, a senior centre has been established to provide company and activities and a meals on wheels service provi


Championing COPE

Views - 60 Friday, 23 August 2019 00:00

The Committee on Public Enterprises (CoPE) has called for a new investigation into the colossal losses of SriLankan Airlines in Parliament, insisting a wide-ranging investigation is needed to understand the causes of the losses of the National Carrie


Land reforms

Views - 73 Thursday, 22 August 2019 00:00

The Government this week withdrew the controversial State Land (Special Provisions) Bill following much controversy. Proponents of the Bill backed it on the basis that it would have provided land deeds to over two million families, largely involved i


Railways to the fore

Views - 112 Wednesday, 21 August 2019 00:00

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to loan Sri Lanka $ 160 million to upgrade its railway system. The agreement, which was signed this week, is expected to kick-off a project that will continue till 2024. This is a positive step as for many


A viable option?

Views - 92 Tuesday, 20 August 2019 00:00

Sundays are becoming more significant in Sri Lanka. It was on a Sunday that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was declared as the presidential candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and just a week later Janatha Vimukthi Peramu


Protecting democratic space

Views - 68 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

As polls draw nearer, election monitors are stepping up to protect the democratic space for free and fair elections, which includes misinformation campaigns, social media, and campaign finance. The latter is particularly important as it can undermine


Data and policymaking

Views - 57 Saturday, 17 August 2019 04:04

As the race to be the next president heats up, increased attention should be focused on the policies presented by the different presidential hopefuls and how realistically they can be achieved.


Transparency for change

Views - 81 Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00

The Committee on Public Enterprises (CoPE) will be continuing its proceedings into SriLankan Airlines, Lanka Sathosa, National Water Supply and Drainage Board, and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) during the next sitting week of Parliament commenci


Protecting free and fair elections

Views - 81 Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:00

Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya has insisted he will take steps to engage with companies such as facebook to reduce mudslinging and misinformation campaigns that could be used to swing voters at an upcoming election. This is a positi


Job policies

Views - 72 Wednesday, 14 August 2019 00:00

Protests by unemployed graduates have become common again, despite efforts by the Government to recruit thousands of them to the public sector. The constant barrage of demands has received mixed responses, but what is clear is that more targeted poli


Candidate fever

Views - 101 Tuesday, 13 August 2019 00:00

There were no surprises in store on Sunday as former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was announced as the presidential candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) by his elder brother. The SLPP being the first party to officially announc


Policy frustrations

Views - 78 Monday, 12 August 2019 00:00

Colombo residents were a discontented bunch last week when the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) suspended the collection of garbage. The issue even made it to Parliament and was somewhat resolved through a court order on Friday that blocked legal obje


Today's Columnists

Industry 4.0, disruptive technology and MAS Matrix: An example for way forward in Sri Lanka

Monday, 16 September 2019

Technology has always been disruptive. When a new technology is introduced, it changes the way the humankind lives, behaves, earns, interacts and communicates. Some 10,000 years ago, when agriculture and animal breeding were domesticated through the


Radically reinvented reality: Relevance to Sri Lanka

Monday, 16 September 2019

I am delighted to be involved in the National HR Conference 2019, the largest HR event in South Asia. This time it is on the theme ‘Radically Reinvented Reality’. We need to take another look at the way we act institutionally and nationally, in u


Boeing in MAX-imum trouble

Monday, 16 September 2019

Boeing, America’s mighty aircraft manufacturer, is in deep trouble. The controversy surrounding the best-selling 737 MAX has refused to go away. The Federal Aviation Administration, the US aviation regulator, has spent over 110,000 hours addressing


Gotabaya Rajapaksa at Viyathmaga: Vision with an authoritarian zeal!

Monday, 16 September 2019

Gotabaya Rajapaksa has unveiled his national strategy or vision as a presidential candidate with an authoritarian zeal. This is clear from his Viyathmaga speech. He should be commended however for his fairly clear expression of views and objectives.


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