FT View

Drought policies

Views - 14 Friday, 19 April 2019 00:00

Despite rains in some parts of the country nearly 600,000 people in 21 districts have been affected by the drought, which has renewed the need for the Government to make long term policies regarding climate change to reduce the economic fallout. Acco

Climate-smart agriculture

Views - 78 Thursday, 18 April 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka’s Government and the World Bank has signed two new agreements worth $ 150 million to improve climate resilience and agriculture productivity for small farmers and support priority infrastructure through public-private partnerships. Undoub

Power of transparency

Views - 32 Wednesday, 17 April 2019 00:00

With the New Year over, power cuts have returned to the top of the agenda the Government has to resolve, especially given that the weather situation is showing no signs of improvement. In such a situation it is imperative that the Government works wi

Little new in the New Year

Views - 47 Friday, 12 April 2019 00:00

The New Year is always much looked forward to by all Sri Lankans and this year will be no exception. However, indications are that there will be little new after the New Year dawns this weekend. The political and economic challenges before Sri Lanka

Labour reforms

Views - 110 Thursday, 11 April 2019 00:00

For decades the private sector has called for labour law reforms in Sri Lanka as the current regulations are archaic, inflexible and do not meet modern workplace requirements. The Labour Ministry has kicked off discussions to bring as many as 40 diff

Interest rates and growth

Views - 332 Wednesday, 10 April 2019 01:21

The Government has announced plans to reduce interest rates in an effort to boost growth by allowing businesses to access capital more easily. The logic of this decision, which has been backed by the Central Bank, is that the interest rates implement

A nudge out of limbo

Views - 57 Tuesday, 9 April 2019 00:00

Political uncertainty is not good for business. This is why election years are particularly tricky because in addition to dealing with the usual amount of challenges governments have to convince companies that it is a good idea to expand their busine

Budgets in the time of elections 

Views - 67 Monday, 8 April 2019 00:00

Budget 2019 has finally been passed after many months of delays, including a Constitutional crisis and a Vote on Account. The latest Budget has been viewed as one mixed with election promises and several key reforms but its implementation will be cha

Action that counts

Views - 26 Saturday, 6 April 2019 00:01

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

Growth options

Views - 37 Friday, 5 April 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka’s ageing population and low growth has left the Government sitting on a fiscal time-bomb. After decades of steadily increasing recruitments to the public sector, the State will have to increasingly dole out larger amounts as pensions. In

Outcome-focused education

Views - 54 Thursday, 4 April 2019 00:30

President Maithripala Sirisena had recently defended the decision to abolish the Grade 5 Scholarship Exam, by contending that Sri Lanka should move to improving the quality of education across the board, and that the Scholarship Exam actually had the

Baseless Budgets?

Views - 41 Wednesday, 3 April 2019 00:00

The Parliamentary Committee on Public Finance (CoPF) has issued a highly critical reporting finding the Budget proposals presented in Parliament as lacking accuracy, proper estimates, and basis for proposals not being included in the documents presen

Making funds count

Views - 55 Tuesday, 2 April 2019 00:00

Enterprise Sri Lanka, according to the Finance Ministry has disbursed Rs.7.9 billion in funds to thousands of people in the country ostensibly dreaming of becoming entrepreneurs. While increasing accessible credit is important at a time when interest

Simple steps

Views - 38 Monday, 1 April 2019 00:00

The Government has finally begun construction of a 5,000 ton climate-controlled warehouse at the country’s main farm gate vegetable exchange in Dambulla in the Central Province with grant funding from India. The storage capacity was sorely needed a

No easy solutions

Views - 28 Saturday, 30 March 2019 00:10

Unemployed graduates are an often discussed problem but there are few solutions presented. Sri Lanka is commonly cited as an aging population but there is also widespread demand for better jobs from younger people, which the moderately growing econom

A service to be proud of

Views - 63 Friday, 29 March 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Service has often been tainted by politicisation, and the consequence has been diminishing presence and respect on the global stage.  Many remember with fondness the stature of personalities such as former Foreign Minister Laks

Pathetic power

Views - 175 Thursday, 28 March 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka’s ongoing power cuts have thrown light on the dim underbelly of politicking that has become so agenda-driven that national interest has been replaced by blatant self-interest. The cost is being paid by everyone. Shops are struggling to

Scholarship effectiveness

Views - 70 Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:00

The Year Five Scholarship exam has returned to the limelight after President Maithripala Sirisena reportedly said that it would be discontinued in the future. The Government has been discussing the pros and cons of the exam for months but this is the

Flexibility for skills

Views - 43 Tuesday, 26 March 2019 00:00

Countries around the world are diversifying their education options as the future moves to more technology driven and unpredictable areas. As Sri Lanka looks to attract more investment to foster growth it is imperative that skills are developed so th

Showing up assumptions

Views - 25 Monday, 25 March 2019 00:00

Productivity is an essential component of economic growth. Therefore, it is not surprising that much attention is usually focused on increasing productivity, especially since it is a critical part of making an economy more competitive. However, when

A world centred on water

Views - 16 Saturday, 23 March 2019 00:10

Water, or rather the lack of it, is beginning to define Sri Lanka. For centuries Sri Lankans found ways to manage its water resources competently, making water-centric industries such as agriculture, plantations and hydro-electricity the backbone of

Faster reforms

Views - 51 Friday, 22 March 2019 00:00

Last year Sri Lanka grew only by 3.2%, in 2017 it was 3.4% and projections are not much better for 2019 with the World Bank predicting 3.5% growth. Solutions for Sri Lanka’s slow growth are many, but implementing them will require efficiency and be

Solving the STEM problem

Views - 52 Thursday, 21 March 2019 00:00

The Budget 2019 proposal to retrain Arts graduates into different Science and Technology streams by bearing the cost during their retraining period is a positive step by the Government. But resolving the overdependence on the Arts stream requires pol

Sensible polices

Views - 38 Wednesday, 20 March 2019 00:00

Increasing domestic production to meet demand and reduce imports sounds attractive, but it can at times result in colossal losses in public funds. Sri Lanka has been attempting to increase its dairy production for decades, with the industry enjoying

Jobs for the future

Views - 171 Tuesday, 19 March 2019 01:08

Over the next decade, Sri Lanka’s growth trajectory will undoubtedly see technologisation across the economy in varying degrees. Sri Lanka’s workforce will not be immune to the vast technological shifts underway globally, even if the speed and in

Beyond policies 

Views - 39 Monday, 18 March 2019 00:00

The Government will today launch a national plan to combat corruption and bribery aimed at proving its commitment to the mandate that brought it to power in 2015. But the latest Transparency Index released by international corruption watchdog Transpa

Destruction of humanity

Views - 29 Saturday, 16 March 2019 00:00

The attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which killed 49 people and is estimated to have seriously injured nearly as many, is a brutal reminder of the consequences of building polarising ideologies in the modern world. Reacting with d

Political bargains

Views - 39 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00

Political bargaining has begun between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), with both sides attempting to put together an alliance to contest the upcoming elections together. The conjoining of the two parties mak

Permit pain

Views - 269 Thursday, 14 March 2019 00:53

The Finance Ministry has announced that the Government is likely to start issuing vehicle permits to public workers from 1 May, partially to offset criticism of higher vehicle prices introduced in Budget 2019. Vehicle permits have long been a controv

Discourse sans data

Views - 31 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

Budgets are increasingly receiving more importance but whether they have an impact with the public is anyone’s guess. For starters the annual Budget presentation has become a catalyst for providing handouts to the people, especially in an election

Today's Columnists

No more stones to break Sri Lankan bones

Friday, 19 April 2019

Trial by fire is not a new ordeal to Christian community. It predates Notre Dame and Nazism by millennia. In fact, a decade or so before Nero torched believers to light Roman avenues, Jewish religious leaders put Jesus-followers to the test as the Ch

Wounding the social psyche

Friday, 19 April 2019

In this article, I intend to discuss the serious wounds inflicted on the psyche of Sri Lankan society, which have not received adequate attention, but need immediate cure, for they might develop into a dangerous cancer if not treated without further

What 5G could be to Game of Thrones (and vice versa)

Friday, 19 April 2019

We will be hearing a lot about these two seemingly unrelated topics this month. In a hurriedly but meticulously organised event, Dialog Axiata recently demonstrated 5G applications for the first time in South Asia. 5G will be commercially available

On time – Only for a week! A must-change!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

We are in April and the month where we witness the declaration of a new year as per our traditional practice. It is that period of time when a huge majority of our population, which certainly can be counted in millions, intends to act in unison and q

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