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Migrant workers

Views - 4 Tuesday, 18 December 2018 00:00

International Migrants Day highlights the need for Sri Lanka to establish a comprehensive policy and effective institutional setup governing migrant workers of varying skill levels to effectively develop the Sri Lankan economy. It is important to un

A fresh start?

Views - 50 Monday, 17 December 2018 02:18

The swearing in of Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister yesterday morning saw the end of a constitutional deadlock that undermined Sri Lanka’s Constitution, democratic institutions, created fresh economic challenges, and brought the country to a

Democracy reigns

Views - 155 Saturday, 15 December 2018 00:01

The announcement of MP Mahinda Rajapaksa making way for a Prime Minister that commands majority in Parliament is a vindication of Sri Lanka’s democratic credentials and the millions of people who stood by the rule of law during seven bleak weeks.

Hail the Supreme Court

Views - 846 Friday, 14 December 2018 00:00

Sri Lankans can be justly proud of their democratic institutions after the decision given on Thursday. The Supreme Court has reinforced the people’s faith in the independence of the Judiciary, by deciding President Maithripala Sirisena does not hav

Economic cost

Views - 107 Thursday, 13 December 2018 00:00

People are busy readying to wrap up the year. Many are planning their holidays, sending gifts, planning charity events and shopping for the New Year. This surface calm belies the tense political undercurrents that have swept through Sri Lanka since 2

Defining adaptation

Views - 36 Wednesday, 12 December 2018 00:00

As the constitutional deadlock moves towards completing its seventh week, President Maithripala Sirisena has sought a decision from the Supreme Court as early as possible on the gazette to dissolve Parliament. The move comes after the President’s p

A spark of hope?

Views - 93 Tuesday, 11 December 2018 00:10

Fighting corruption is a popular topic in Sri Lanka. So popular that it regularly gets trotted out by politicians on both sides of the divide and has featured prominently in the constitutional crisis as well. Much concern has been expressed by the p

Two sides of the same coin

Views - 111 Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00

The constitutional standoff, which is entering its seventh week, has perhaps had the most telling impact on the economy. On one hand, the downgrading of ratings, suspension of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, high debt repayments, possi

Progressive changes

Views - 59 Saturday, 8 December 2018 00:10

President Maithripala Sirisena has stated he is open to making changes to fix any procedural shortcomings of the 19th Amendment, while keeping its core democratic values. The fact that President Sirisena has praised the 19th Amendment, which he and h

A twist in the tale?

Views - 168 Friday, 7 December 2018 00:00

As Sri Lanka awaits the decision of the Supreme Court, likely today, most people are hopeful of this signalling a way forward to end the constitutional deadlock that has gripped the country for six weeks. Since 26 October, political turmoil triggere

The middle path

Views - 67 Thursday, 6 December 2018 00:00

Politicians, especially those appointed to the highest positions in the land, are done so by the people so that they can work in the best interests of the public. But there is a caveat, which is, they need to work within the law. The events since 26

Solutions needed

Views - 53 Wednesday, 5 December 2018 00:00

Fitch ratings became the second international rating agency yesterday to downgrade Sri Lanka over the ongoing political crisis. The key reasons for the downgrade given by Fitch are the heightened refinancing risks of debt, uncertain policymaking and

Positive decisions

Views - 76 Tuesday, 4 December 2018 00:00

Sri Lanka’s five-week old Constitutional deadlock took another turn on Monday, after the Court of Appeal decided to issue an interim injunction on the Quo Warranto petition filed against MP Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Cabinet. The interim order would

Tentative hope

Views - 68 Monday, 3 December 2018 00:00

This week is likely to be a decisive one for Sri Lanka as the public awaits further moves from President Maithripala Sirisena and the results of the petitions before the Supreme Court to give a glimpse of a possible resolution to the political crisis

Protecting public finance

Views - 38 Saturday, 1 December 2018 00:10

The importance of public finance spans beyond the economy to be a critical part of governance. The transparent and accountable management of public finance is essential for the smooth functioning of the public sector and the development of a country.

The public awaits

Views - 94 Friday, 30 November 2018 00:00

President Sirisena extended an olive branch of sorts to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday, marking the first time that the Executive has taken a conciliatory approach to Parliament. Following the meeting, President Sirisena had agreed to meet with th

Public finances

Views - 68 Thursday, 29 November 2018 00:00

Public finance has become the latest and perhaps most important battleground for key political parties on either side of the constitutional deadlock, which continues to drag on with new twists and turns. As the end of the year inches closer, concern

Sidestepping accountability

Views - 67 Wednesday, 28 November 2018 00:00

Over the past few days President Maithripala Sirisena and members of the United National Party (UNP) have been blaming each other for delayed corruption investigations. President Sirisena during a meeting with the Foreign Correspondents Association (

Not compatibility but commitment counts

Views - 59 Tuesday, 27 November 2018 00:00

The public continues to countdown the days till 7 December, especially since President Maithripala Sirisena during a meeting with the Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) made it clear that he would under no circumstances reappoint MP Ranil Wickr

A month of crisis

Views - 166 Monday, 26 November 2018 01:20

Today marks one month since President Maithripala Sirisena appointed MP Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister, removing MP Ranil Wickremesinghe and plunging the country into a constitutional crisis that is set to drag on this week. Despite numerous set

Parliament focus

Views - 98 Saturday, 24 November 2018 00:01

Parliament, which has now become the centre of attention, was the scene of an unusual event yesterday when the group of Parliamentarians who support MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, and were seated in the Government section of the House, staged a walkout in pro

A steady journey

Views - 164 Friday, 23 November 2018 00:00

Nine years ago the Daily FT rolled off the press with the intention of giving readers articles that were largely focused on financial aspects of Sri Lanka. The aim was to give information and insights into a society that was emerging from a prolonged

A time to remember

Views - 61 Thursday, 22 November 2018 00:00

Four years ago, Maithripala Sirisena stepped down as the Health Minister of the government of then President Mahinda Rajapaksa and General Secretary of the Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP), to contest for the presidential election as the Common Candid

Economy over politics

Views - 122 Wednesday, 21 November 2018 00:00

For decades in post-Independent Sri Lanka politics has always held sway over the economy. Crucial policy decisions that needed to be made to develop Sri Lanka’s economy, link it to global value chains and foster growth based on exports and investme

Calm amidst a storm

Views - 126 Tuesday, 20 November 2018 00:00

Parliament on Monday was a calmer affair than what was observed last week, partially because the session was completed within minutes with Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri presiding in the House. But the scenes of surface peace are unlikely to last a

Respect the House

Views - 96 Monday, 19 November 2018 00:10

Parliament is to be convened today with the country waiting tensely for a resolution to a constitutional crisis that is now over three weeks old. The disappointing and unforgivable behaviour of parliamentarians, especially belonging to the MP Mahinda

Conduct unbecoming

Views - 89 Saturday, 17 November 2018 00:10

The fracas that was played out in Parliament for the third straight day has seen the third week of the Constitutional crisis close on possibly the darkest moment for Sri Lanka’s democracy. Sri Lanka is currently without a prime minister, cabinet or

Preserving Parliament

Views - 260 Friday, 16 November 2018 00:00

The preservation of a system of governance or an institution is dependent on respect. The moment respect is dispensed with, then its authority is also undermined. Parliament is the institution that stands for the sovereignty of the people and its lea

Importance of bipartisanship

Views - 47 Thursday, 15 November 2018 00:10

Bipartisanship, or the practice of cooperation of two political parties that usually oppose each other’s policies, is not something that Sri Lankans see frequently. Yet when the chips were down, the Janatha Vimuk

Hail independent institutions

Views - 114 Wednesday, 14 November 2018 00:00

Independent institutions that protect the rights of the people are the hallmark of democracy. It is heartening to know that Sri Lanka still has institutions that the people can depend on to protect democracy and uphold the Constitution. For over two

Today's Columnists

Tweaking the New Inland Revenue Act (Part II)

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

In the backdrop where the recent amendment to the country’s supreme law is called in question, it may be appropriate to recall that the passage of the new Inland Revenue (IR) Act through Parliament was far more controversial. Nevertheless, the new

Advancing gender parity in Sri Lanka

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Asia-Pacific today is a true engine of growth in the world—a region that has barely tapped its potential to develop, invest, and innovate. But as the region speeds ahead, the dynamics of its workforce, one that was predominantly male in the past, i

Things to do in a Democracy when you’re dead…

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

In yesterday’s column, I argued a case for not impeaching the chief executive of the coup that has left our country situation in ruins. At the end of a pitched battle between the forces of unconstitutional ambition on one hand and democratic resist

What’s next after the Supreme Court decision?

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Last Thursday, just before the courts closed for Christmas holidays, the Supreme Court, sticking strictly to a legalistic path, put an end to the controversial issue of defining the powers of President Maithripala Sirisena, leaving the nation to wres

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