FT View

UN and SL

Views - 5 Friday, 22 September 2017 00:00

Statements made by presidents at important forums may not necessarily reflect the sentiments of their countrymen, but bridging this divide is crucial for political survival

Labour conundrums

Views - 13 Thursday, 21 September 2017 00:00

It the battle to improve trade, labour intensive sectors are increasingly lobbying the Government to liberalise migration, so that Sri Lanka can import workers from neighbouring countries including India, Bangladesh and Nepal. But this issue needs to

Managing math

Views - 21 Wednesday, 20 September 2017 00:00

Forty-two schools have been selected by the Government to participate in a pilot program that aims to allow students who have failed mathematics at Ordinary Level to continue their education.

Climate change resurgence

Views - 22 Tuesday, 19 September 2017 00:00

After Irma and Harvey swept through Florida and parts of the Caribbean they left behind damage that is expected to exceed $ 150 billion, according to Moody’s Analytics, on par with the cost of Hurricane Katrina. Tragic as the cause is, the two cycl

Bagging the right way

Views - 28 Monday, 18 September 2017 00:57

Sri Lankans have been inspired to think of alternatives to polythene with ordinary people and academics joining together to try and make a difference.

In defence of three-wheelers

Views - 79 Saturday, 16 September 2017 00:00

Sri Lanka has a productivity issue, which coupled with its low unemployment has exacerbated the need for workers. Many pundits have been heard to say, especially at conferences, that a key challenge to improving productivity are three-wheelers becaus

Weed exports: Is Sri Lanka ready?

Views - 99 Friday, 15 September 2017 00:00

Sri Lanka will establish a 100-acre farm in Ingiriya to farm cannabis to ensure high quality supplies for the indigenous medicine industry as well as for lucrative exports to the US market, the Government announced this week.

Platforms and policy

Views - 34 Thursday, 14 September 2017 00:00

Establishing regulatory frameworks for an industry can be tricky because technological advances can throw challenges that require nimble changes but they can only be made after much discussion. Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is facing such a challeng

Land takeovers

Views - 42 Wednesday, 13 September 2017 00:00

President Maithripala Sirsena this week announced plans to issue a gazette notification under existing laws to give all private and public lands which are not cultivated to those who are willing to cultivate them.

Politics and public service

Views - 40 Tuesday, 12 September 2017 00:00

As elections inch closer, the appointment of public employees has resulted in headlines. Recently a school in Kurunegala received a driver even though there was no vehicle for him to drive, and as the principal could not assign other duties the emplo

Polls and politics

Views - 15 Monday, 11 September 2017 00:29

Elections have returned to the limelight again with the Government working with other parties to proceed with polls under a mixed system.

A misguided light?

Views - 26 Saturday, 9 September 2017 00:00

The launch of a movement against the proposed new Constitution by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has added fresh urgency to the already much-delayed Government process and throws additional challenges on the journey towards reconciliatio

Implementing tax

Views - 70 Friday, 8 September 2017 00:00

The passage of the new Inland Revenue Bill is a crucial element of wide-ranging tax reform promised by the Government. The legislation has already been hailed for being simpler and easier to understand but its real test will be compliance.

All in the bag

Views - 29 Thursday, 7 September 2017 00:00

As the polythene industry and the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) battle over when the plastic bag ban will come into effect and its related details, what has become urgent is for a stronger policy discourse on the many ramifications of this st

Time to implement

Views - 37 Wednesday, 6 September 2017 00:00

Progressive policy making is only the first stage of development; to achieve meaningful growth, the Government has to set about implementing its ideas through new laws, reforms and projects.

A whole new tech game

Views - 34 Tuesday, 5 September 2017 00:00

Cheating at exams is as old as exams itself, but the use of technology has changed the playing field. A student sitting for the Advanced Level chemistry paper has been slapped with a lifetime ban on State exams, essentially ending his formal educatio

Youth and politics

Views - 17 Monday, 4 September 2017 00:00

Youth are losing interest in politics. After decades of corruption, mismanagement and subjective policymaking young people are saying enough is enough.

Universal schooling

Views - 34 Friday, 1 September 2017 00:00

The Census and Statistics Department has become the latest organisation to document nearly 15,000 children of school-going age are at home because of extreme poverty. Other studies done have put the number at more than double that and have called for

Reading between the lines

Views - 49 Thursday, 31 August 2017 00:00

Sri Lanka has joined India as one of the few countries in the world where newspaper circulation is growing and continues to be a strong source of political and economic engagement. Causes of this sustained demand and what it says of Sri Lanka’s con

Let’s not hasten to abort the debate on abortion

Views - 46 Wednesday, 30 August 2017 00:00

Cabinet last week approved a draft Bill that will be presented to Parliament allowing the abortion of pregnancies under two specific circumstances. Namely, when the pregnant woman is carrying a foetus with lethal congenital malformation, and/or when

Ceaseless vigilance

Views - 120 Tuesday, 29 August 2017 00:10

The deterioration of a country’s political culture can be measured by how much regard its citizens have for the democratic process. Elections are an integral part of democracy that not only elects the people’s representatives but also

Drought policies 

Views - 215 Monday, 28 August 2017 00:14

Sri Lanka’s ongoing drought is biting deep, with more than 1,300,025 individuals from 377,123 families affected. According to the Disaster Management Centre 20 districts including 143 divisional secretariat divisions were affected following

Balancing poor and development

Views - 371 Saturday, 26 August 2017 00:21

Governments are fond of big projects because they are great at attracting votes. But big projects also come with big consequences for a larger number of people. Megapolis Minister Champika Ranawaka this week outlined plans to remove about half of

Drought results

Views - 414 Friday, 25 August 2017 00:00

Sri Lanka’s ongoing drought is biting deep, with more than 1,300,025 individuals of 377,123 families affected. According to the Disaster Management Centre 20 Districts including 143 Divisional Secretariat Divisions were affected following th

Creating a Constitution

Views - 488 Thursday, 24 August 2017 00:33

Hard decisions are part and parcel of politics. As time ticks down, Sri Lanka’s Government and public are caught between holding elections or pushing forward with a crucial Constitution-making process.  For two years the Government ha

Ban the bag

Views - 521 Wednesday, 23 August 2017 00:00

The banning of polythene bags from 1 September has ignited ferocious debate after the industry protested the deadline as essentially depleting a Rs. 13 billion sector employing over 350,000 people. They argue a complete ban would be impractical an

Hires that count

Views - 576 Tuesday, 22 August 2017 00:28

The Government is making plans to recruit 20,000 development assistants to the National Policies and Economic Affairs Ministry to empower Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The move comes following several promises made to recruit more people to

Politics in the limelight

Views - 580 Monday, 21 August 2017 00:00

Politics has returned to the top of the political agenda with two critical developments expected this week. One is the fate of embattled Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and the second is the ending of the agreement between the Sri Lanka Fre

Setting frameworks

Views - 676 Saturday, 19 August 2017 00:54

Sri Lanka is still awaiting the introduction of minimum standards for medical education, which was promised by the Health Minister many moons ago but is yet to materialise. Surely it is high time it should be expanded to building a framework that

Making welfare count

Views - 737 Friday, 18 August 2017 00:00

The Government has renewed its pledge to refrain from trimming Samurdhi and has gone on record saying the new beneficiaries list has been cancelled. It is the latest twist in a discussion on public welfare that has focused on emotions rather than

Today's Columnists

Media Freedom: alive and not so well… is it?

Friday, 22 September 2017

Today the only corpses in sight are those lining the bullpen – critics and social commentators who have fallen asleep at their desks, lulled by a democracy that offers peace but pre-empts justice. Oscar Wilde,

Rise of sustainable electric automobiles and the end of petrol and diesel vehicles

Friday, 22 September 2017

The past three years have been the hottest in recorded history and 2017 is already projected to be hotter than 2016! The cause for this heating up of the planet is clearly due to the excessive burning of fossil fuels.

The cry of ‘export or perish’ becoming real to Sri Lanka

Friday, 22 September 2017

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaking at the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Annual Committee held in Colombo said for Sri Lanka to promote exports and investment, the Government will soon introduce several laws in

Why are interest rates high?

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The general public is concerned about the high level of interest rates prevailing in the recent past. Interest rates influences the day-to-day life of ordinary people as it is the benchmark for all economic decisions.

Columnists More