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Lifting standards

Views - 9 Saturday, 23 February 2019 00:12

Political entitlement is a reprehensible part of Sri Lanka’s political culture. The incident of a group of Parliamentarians being stuck in an elevator is a prime example of this entitlement. Just weeks after they complained of what in reality was s

Bounties create bankruptcy

Views - 23 Friday, 22 February 2019 00:00

Pumpkin farmers have had a bumper harvest, but instead of celebrating the bounty, farmers are struggling to sell their crop and face bankruptcy. The situation has become so dire that Agriculture Minister P. Harrison appealed to women to consume more

Fix procurement

Views - 43 Thursday, 21 February 2019 01:01

Sri Lanka’s tender process has long been a concern for anti-corruption activists and watchdogs. The tender process to award massive projects, as well as procurement of crucial items such as coal, LPG, and fuel, have been frequently questioned for l

Dairy deeds

Views - 53 Wednesday, 20 February 2019 00:00

President Maithripala Sirisena recently deplored milk powder imports to Sri Lanka, calling for more local production and insisting that a vibrant dairy industry is vital for development. His remarks come after claims made in Parliament by Industry an

MPs and perks

Views - 29 Tuesday, 19 February 2019 00:00

Every few years the issue of increasing salaries for parliamentarians throws up a storm of controversy, so much so that when it was proposed last time the Government decided to postpone it. However, this has never stopped the flow of luxury vehicles

Reject the rod 

Views - 40 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:46

Corporal punishment in schools and elsewhere has ignited a spirited debate on what punishment for students should entail and whether physical punishments should be banned. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child last year recommended

Discipline is not democracy

Views - 30 Saturday, 16 February 2019 00:10

In a recent interview, former Defence Ministry Secretary and presidential-hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa had outlined his views on why Sri Lanka has failed to achieve its potential and continues to struggle in almost all aspects of its social, cultural a

Productivity niches

Views - 27 Friday, 15 February 2019 00:00

The only solution to Sri Lanka’s slow economic growth is to increase productivity. But there is a challenge in finding where that productivity should come from. Given the population dynamics of Sri Lanka and the aspirations of people, improving pro

Innovation for growth

Views - 40 Thursday, 14 February 2019 01:32

Sri Lanka is a country hungry for innovation. This need is twofold. On one hand innovation related industries are at the core of growth and on the other Sri Lanka’s demographic transition demands that the country progress to higher value addition f

Smart classrooms

Views - 82 Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:00

Infusing technology into classrooms has become a focus with the Government unveiling the first smart-classrooms complete with tabs for children. For decades Sri Lanka has been used to the standard paper, pen, pencil and chalk method of training and w

Budgeting for people

Views - 55 Tuesday, 12 February 2019 00:00

Budgets made by Sri Lankan governments, especially for an election year, tend to be focused on political gains rather than financial ones. But there are ways to ensure that people’s needs are prioritised without sacrificing fiscal prudence. Gender-

Education for all

Views - 65 Monday, 11 February 2019 00:00

The Government has started a voucher system to enable 5000 students interest free loans up to Rs. 800,000 to study at private universities. This is a positive development as for the first time public funds are assisting students outside of the public

For the sake of votes

Views - 36 Saturday, 9 February 2019 00:10

As elections loom closer the Government is proceeding with plans to recruit 20,000 new graduates into the public sector, with many more jobs likely to be handed out in the coming months. Over the years successive governments have increased recruitmen

Climate change as policy

Views - 79 Friday, 8 February 2019 00:00

The United Nations in a recent report ranked Sri Lanka as second among countries most affected by extreme weather events in the 20 years since 1998. The latest index highlights several large-scale droughts, floods, landslides and other disasters that

Protecting public employees

Views - 35 Thursday, 7 February 2019 00:29

Sri Lanka’s public sector is often derided for being inefficient, corrupt and bureaucratic. It is usually seen as an overstaffed behemoth that is overregulated and impedes economic growth. Much has been said and written about how the public service

Political crosswinds

Views - 53 Wednesday, 6 February 2019 00:00

There is much to be unpacked from President Maithripala Sirisena’s Independence Day address, largely because of the political statements that were made. During what is arguably the most important annual address to the nation, the President discharg

Foreigners and independence

Views - 51 Tuesday, 5 February 2019 00:07

On Independence Day, much public debate took place on and off mainstream media and social media platforms about Sri Lanka’s relationship with foreign countries and how it has evolved since 1948 as well as how it might evolve beyond 2019. Tied intri

Give freedom meaning

Views - 23 Monday, 4 February 2019 00:00

As Sri Lanka celebrates 71 years of independence, evaluating our achievements as a nation over these many decades has to be approached carefully and, usually, with mixed sentiments. This is largely because there are many, many things yet to be done t

Markets before capital?

Views - 42 Saturday, 2 February 2019 00:10

An expanded version of Enterprise Sri Lanka is scheduled to be launched today and together with the Gamperaliya programme is clearly at the center of the Government’s election campaign push. By last October Enterprise Sri Lanka had disbursed over R

Micro-plastic and seafood

Views - 93 Friday, 1 February 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka’s garbage problems have a new dimension. Researchers have found micro-plastic particles in coastal waters off Sri Lanka with the highest concentration recorded in the North West and the lowest in the North East. This indicates that not on

Corruption and democracy

Views - 45 Thursday, 31 January 2019 00:53

The latest Transparency Index released by international corruption watchdog Transparency International shows that Sri Lanka’s score has remained largely unchanged since 2013, indicating that despite the Government’s anti-corruption mandate, the p

A national problem

Views - 45 Wednesday, 30 January 2019 00:00

Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya has stepped up to push for Provincial Council elections, going so far as to threaten to resign on 10 November if polls are not held. The Government has not yet responded to Deshapriya’s statements, b

Colliding policies?

Views - 38 Tuesday, 29 January 2019 01:28

Economic policy making is often fragmented in Sri Lanka with different Government decisions being made with little or no coordination. This has been a long-term complaint of the administration and the concern here is that the Government may take a sl

Power problems

Views - 53 Monday, 28 January 2019 00:00

The Sri Lankan Government is considering temporary measures to prepare for a possible drought in 2019 that could see dreaded power cuts return. The proposals vary from emergency power purchases to creating artificial rain in hydro areas to prevent th

Keeping it simple

Views - 25 Saturday, 26 January 2019 00:10

The Finance Ministry has renewed called for public proposals to formulate Budget 2019 but the fresh efforts could be an attempt to reinvent the wheel as the Government had already formulated a Budget that was to be presented in November and further p

Political developments

Views - 41 Friday, 25 January 2019 00:00

Presidential Elections are on the horizon and the political landscape will shift in interesting and unforeseen ways as they edge closer. One indication of these changes is the marginally moderating stance of Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa seen i

Employer-assisted childcare

Views - 46 Thursday, 24 January 2019 00:45

Providing affordable and accessible childcare is essential to increasing the number of women in the formal workforce. In Sri Lanka, the percentage of women who work in the formal workforce has remained at about 34% for years, and policies to promote

Gallery policies

Views - 39 Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:00

Fresh from a visit to the Philippines, President Maithripala Sirisena this week stepped up the rhetoric against drug smuggling, vowing to enact the death penalty, brushing aside concerns over human rights. The President also established a new hotline

New billionaires and the rest

Views - 208 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

As the richest and most powerful people in the world gather at Davos, Switzerland, one topic has come to dominate the meeting – inequality. Ahead of the yearly forum, a report on the world’s income levels have shown that the growing wealth gap is

Transport solutions

Views - 130 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Traffic has become a bane for the many hundreds of thousands of people who travel to Colombo each day. The Government, after committing to a $ 1.8 billion Japanese loan to build a light railway system, is now reported to be in talks with six Chinese

Today's Columnists

Discipline and freedom under the reign of Gota

Saturday, 23 February 2019

There’s nothing like a well-crafted marketing slogan for a prospective Presidential candidate. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is emerging more clearly into the daylight as the Opposition’s candidate for executive president. Against a redone image in the back

The chainsaw massacre and other ‘lawful’ horror stories

Friday, 22 February 2019

Admit it. The headline hooked you. Hope you won’t be disappointed. There are no gory scenes featuring dismembered limbs here. However you might read about the long arm of the law being truncated. Perhaps a chilling scene where the mask of the murde

What went wrong with Sri Lanka?

Friday, 22 February 2019

If Sri Lanka wants to get out of the present miserable situation, it needs to make a profound change, a paradigm shift in the way it views at everything including the religious, political and economic issues. Such a change could be made only by loo

Regulating foreign workers now a top priority

Friday, 22 February 2019

Sri Lanka is today facing a domestic labour shortage in some key sectors and industries. While demographic, social attitudes, expansion of the economy and outward labour emigration are contributing to the shortfall. Generally a lack of interest in ce

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