FT View Editorial

Railways to the fore

Views - 9 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 - 49 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 - 48 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 - 46 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 - 72 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 - 73 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 - 66 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 - 95 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 - 73 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

Positives of planning

Views - 76 Saturday, 10 August 2019 00:00

Planned families are positive for the entire society and multiple generations and is a critical part of ensuring that women lead healthy and fulfilled lives.

Changing up the game

Views - 68 Friday, 9 August 2019 00:00

At a time when graduate unemployment is hitting headlines, it is worth looking at opportunities that exist in the job market, and what can be done to direct more people to find gainful employment. A recent survey released by Sri Lanka’s ICT Agency

Earning the right way

Views - 55 Thursday, 8 August 2019 00:30

President Maithripala Sirisena went on record this week saying he will not approve a proposal to pay parliamentarians a Rs. 200,000 allowance, which would be welcomed by many. But the issue of how much public representatives are paid and whether they

Protect whistle-blowers

Views - 71 Wednesday, 7 August 2019 00:00

Controversy is brewing over an official of the Education Ministry being transferred, allegedly by the Education Minister, after he gave evidence before a Presidential Commission probing State sector corruption. If a Government is serious about combat

Exports expansion

Views - 89 Tuesday, 6 August 2019 00:26

Countries around the world are competing to increase their exports, with Sri Lanka struggling to keep up with the competition. Even though Sri Lanka is in the fastest growing region and right next to the fastest growing country in the world, it has s

Power problems

Views - 186 Monday, 5 August 2019 00:30

The power sector continues to lurch from one challenge to the next as the Attorney General has refused to support a barge mounted power plant due to significant issues, and Sri Lanka still remains without any emergency power provisions in the second

Keeping her safe

Views - 145 Saturday, 3 August 2019 00:10

Sri Lanka has jailed a person accused of sexually harassing two British women for five years after getting video evidence on Skype, in a landmark case that shows how accountability can be used to stem a decades-old menace when there is institutional

End to uncertainty?

Views - 90 Friday, 2 August 2019 00:00

For months most Sri Lankans have been feverishly engaged in speculating on the potential Presidential candidates that may be put forward by the respective political parties. As the days tick down, there are clear signs that much of the speculation ma

Taking the fight forward

Views - 68 Thursday, 1 August 2019 00:00

When the ‘Yahapalanaya’ Government came into power in 2015, one of its key campaign pledges was fighting corruption. Four years on one can argue there have been minimal results and this is partly due to the fact that there was no comprehensive st

The unemployment riddle

Views - 95 Wednesday, 31 July 2019 00:00

Just hours before the Government started the process of handing over appointment letters to over 3,000 unemployed graduates, dozens of others were tear-gassed by police during a protest. This sequence of events is sadly not new. During every election

Presidential policies

Views - 80 Tuesday, 30 July 2019 00:00

As Presidential Elections inch closer, the policies that different candidates will propose will need much consideration from voters. Many of them will develop from earlier promises made and in response to the current challenges in the country. One as

Ensuring freedoms

Views - 38 Monday, 29 July 2019 00:00

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, during his recent visit to Sri Lanka, raised multiple points where democratic and fundamental rights were being infringed o

Financing the future 

Views - 78 Saturday, 27 July 2019 04:38

The Central Bank recently launched a new roadmap to make Sri Lanka’s financial system more open to funding projects and policies crucial to improving climate resilience and combating climate change.

The employment challenge

Views - 97 Friday, 26 July 2019 00:00

The issue of unemployed graduates was raised this week in Parliament, with concerns being raised about whether enough of them were being absorbed into the public sector. As a periodic problem that has been at the forefront of Sri Lanka’s productivi

Unwanted waste

Views - 113 Thursday, 25 July 2019 00:00

Imports of clinical waste to Sri Lanka in more than 200 containers have grabbed headlines in the past few days. The containers, reported to be from the UK, underline a huge concern for Sri Lanka and authorities clearly need to get to the bottom of th

Candidate selections

Views - 95 Wednesday, 24 July 2019 00:00

As elections draw nearer, discussions within and between political parties to select the candidate that has the best chance to win are set to get more heated. The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) will have discussions with the Sri Lanka Freedom Par

Funding entrepreneurship

Views - 116 Tuesday, 23 July 2019 00:00

The Government under Enterprise Sri Lanka has disbursed 55,000 loans worth Rs. 88 billion to encourage entrepreneurship and boost economic expansion. The move is largely a good one, as Sri Lanka has a much lower percentage of entrepreneurs as a perce

Sustainable microfinance

Views - 122 Monday, 22 July 2019 01:23

The Government has absorbed more than Rs. 1.25 billion worth of unpaid microfinance debt incurred by 45,139 women in the North, East and North Central Provinces last year, according to its Annual Report. Yet the challenge of microfinance debt remains

Boosting growth

Views - 53 Saturday, 20 July 2019 00:10

The Central Bank has announced it expects to see interest rates reduce significantly over the next few weeks, encouraging companies, especially small and medium enterprises to invest and expand their businesses. This is indeed a positive step as Sri

Training the public sector

Views - 127 Friday, 19 July 2019 00:00

The Government this week received a Rs. 420 million grant from the Japanese Government to provide more training to Sri Lanka’s public service. Many countries provide training to the public sector, which currently exceeds 1.1 million people, and thi

Freedom to assemble

Views - 58 Thursday, 18 July 2019 00:20

United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur Clément Nyaletsossi Voule will visit Sri Lanka today to assess rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the country. Since the election of this Government in 2015 one positive thing is that

Today's Columnists

Emerging signals of a US recession

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

US stocks plunge on fears of an economic downturn Last week’s turbulence in financial markets was a reaction to the fresh evidence of a possible recession in the US economy. The Dow Jones Industrials Average dropped a whopping 800 points or 3% last

The 1915 pogrom: Where were all the women?

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

The 1915 anti-Muslim pogrom in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) is usually analysed through the lenses of ethnicity, religion, or class. Gender – and specifically women – appears to be absent in the narratives on this colonial-era conflict. Such absence i

The meaning of our slogans

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Sri Lankans undoubtedly are inclined towards slogans, and the time of elections is the high season. They appear everywhere; on walls, bus stands, huge boulders, vehicles and even on the garments worn by the campaigners. Usually we are given somewhat

“Doing something” about social media?

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Since the tragic terrorist incidents and pogroms of April and May, concerns about social media have been reverberating throughout our society. We are under pressure to “do something,” even without fully understanding the problems we seek to solve

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