FT View

Climate realities

Views - 13 Saturday, 22 September 2018 00:10

As pockets of drought return Sri Lanka has to realise that broad economic challenges caused by weather is the new normal, whether they be reducing tea production volumes or paddy harvests.


Macroeconomics and vehicles

Views - 57 Friday, 21 September 2018 00:00

The Central Bank this week directed Licenced Commercial Banks (LCBs) to impose a 100% margin deposit requirement against Letters of Credit (LCs) for the importation of motor vehicles with immediate effect. This step is aimed at reducing stubbornly hi


Stop the rod

Views - 20 Thursday, 20 September 2018 00:00

There is a renewed effort to ban corporal punishment from Sri Lankan schools that deserve to be supported. Earlier this year the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has published its findings on children’s rights in Sri Lanka, which


Human development

Views - 44 Wednesday, 19 September 2018 00:00

Sri Lanka is ranked 76 in the latest Human Development Index (HDI) out of 189 countries, posting the highest spot in South Asia and indicating the country’s best opportunity for development. The HDI-2018, which was compiled by the UNDP and release


Education reform

Views - 46 Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:00

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during a recent speech focused on the importance of education reform. However, this is massively challenging as the unwieldy sector covers public and private stakeholders as well as millions of students and parents


Pipeline problems

Views - 51 Monday, 17 September 2018 00:00

The leak in the Muthurajawela pipeline that resulted in the waste of an estimated 10 to 15 metric tonnes of oil and resulted in environmental damage of an area that is legally protected is a massive failure by an important State enterprise, and signi


Finding a better way

Views - 43 Saturday, 15 September 2018 00:10

Over the last few years, the world has been moving to zero-waste shops, supermarkets have been rejecting plastic and a mini-international war has been declared on plastic straws. But, in Sri Lanka, the changes feel more cosmetic than genuinely effect


Chair swapping

Views - 54 Friday, 14 September 2018 00:00

Western Province Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara this week ordered the cancellation of 144 luxury chairs after massive public outcry but the incident showcased positive aspects of public engagement that is central to good governance. When news of t


Human rights and social welfare

Views - 50 Thursday, 13 September 2018 00:00

United Nations Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, wrapping up a visit to Sri Lanka this week, called for the Government and other organisations funding development to assess the human rights impact of their pr


Bangladesh FTA

Views - 129 Wednesday, 12 September 2018 00:00

The Government is planning to launch a joint feasibility study with its Bangladeshi counterpart for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries. This is a positive effort that should be supported as the two countries have many synergies th


Drought and food security

Views - 53 Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:00

Over a 100,000 families in 11 districts, primarily from the agrarian areas of Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Mannar and Mullaitivu, are facing severe water shortages as drought returns to the region. One result of repeated droughts is food insecu


Election rumblings

Views - 54 Monday, 10 September 2018 00:00

President Maithripala Sirisena over the weekend ruled out early Presidential elections and insisted he would complete his full term, paving the way for a politically turbulent 2019. But as the days count down to a bitter faceoff between the United Na


Role of Parliamentarians

Views - 39 Saturday, 8 September 2018 00:10

On Thursday Parliament had to be postponed after only 16 Parliamentarians turned up for sittings. The inability to form a quorum, which needs just 20 Parliamentarians, was a disappointing indication of how unimportant Parliament has become when other


Protest aftermath

Views - 101 Friday, 7 September 2018 00:00

Trying to gauge the political pulse of the people through protests can be a complex task. This is largely because protests should ideally be the result of a strong grassroots movement. In present day Sri Lanka, rallies are manufactured by political p


People, power and democracy

Views - 69 Thursday, 6 September 2018 00:07

Power in a democracy is often created by the people. It is the masses who decide their leaders, what policies should be followed, and on what principles a country should be governed. This is all the more important in democracies that do not have stro


The heartbreak of ragging

Views - 453 Wednesday, 5 September 2018 00:00

There has been public outcry after an appeal from a mother of a student who committed suicide after allegedly being ragged mercilessly at the Sabaragamuwa University. The complaint to the police was made three and a half years after the tragic incide


Belt and Road project

Views - 95 Tuesday, 4 September 2018 00:21

China’s One Belt One Road project, which has just marked its fifth anniversary, is seen as undergoing some interesting changes as it looks at continuing to build one of the largest infrastructure linkages ever attempted. Perhaps the most significan


SOEs and employment

Views - 47 Monday, 3 September 2018 00:00

Employment, whether it is in the private or public sector, should ideally be based on merit. But, this may change if a feudalistic proposal is accepted into law, possibly worsening existing challenges of overstaffing, wastage and mismanagement within


Freedom of expression

Views - 43 Saturday, 1 September 2018 00:00

The right to freedom of expression is a fundamental pillar of a democracy. However, this freedom is not absolute, and its boundaries have to be carefully balanced in the best interests of society. Sri Lanka, as many other countries, has found this fi


Finding humanity

Views - 84 Friday, 31 August 2018 00:10

Enforced disappearances are a scourge around the world. In Sri Lanka, it is estimated that thousands of people of all ethnicities are still waiting to find out what happened to their loved ones, sometimes decades after they disappeared. The issue of


Public anger

Views - 81 Thursday, 30 August 2018 00:00

Professionals should be respected because they provide a service to the public. But when professionals leave aside public interest and focus more on personal interest, the results can be worrying for everyone. The assault on the property and staff o


Learning from change

Views - 67 Wednesday, 29 August 2018 00:00

Efforts by the Bangladesh Government recently to improve relations with Sri Lanka, especially in economic engagement,


Vocational training overhaul

Views - 62 Tuesday, 28 August 2018 00:00

The recent controversy over imposing an age limit for three-wheeler drivers also encapsulated the challenge of attracting young people to vocational training and supporting them to find alternative livelihoods with higher productivity. One challen


Restoring political systems

Views - 29 Monday, 27 August 2018 00:00

By all accounts and expectations elections are around the corner.


Changing trade

Views - 45 Saturday, 25 August 2018 00:10

The Government last week released the draft measures for the long awaited Trade Assistance Program (TAP) that aims to cover new machinery and skills retraining for workers of companies that would be affec


Branding for tourism

Views - 97 Friday, 24 August 2018 00:00

New country branding for Sri Lanka Tourism will be unveiled at the World Travel Mart (WTM) in London in November,


Import taxes

Views - 96 Thursday, 23 August 2018 00:00

Import taxes are an important part of an economy. They provide tax revenue, raw materials and products that directly affect the lives of people. However, a recent study has found that Sri Lanka’s import tax exemption schemes are too opaque, resulti


Bars on humanity

Views - 36 Wednesday, 22 August 2018 00:00

The latest protest by female detainees at Welikada Prison resulted in eight jailors getting injured and 52 prisoners being


Economic freedom

Views - 49 Tuesday, 21 August 2018 00:00

The proposal to limit the age of three-wheeler drivers to 35 or above is a serious breach of economic freedom and could actually adversely affect the economy of average people and the standard of life of poorer classes that would be detrimental to su


Placate or stand firm?

Views - 27 Monday, 20 August 2018 00:00

This week opens with the Government staring down the barrel of a second possible train strike with powerful railway trade unions unless their salary demands are met by Thursday.


Today's Columnists

In the desert of Tamil films, actor Sivaji Ganesan was an oasis

Saturday, 22 September 2018

‘Indian Film,’ first published in 1963 and co-authored by former Columbia University Professor Erik Barnouw and his student Dr. Subrahmanyam Krishnaswamy, is considered a seminal study of the evolution and growth of Indian cinema. The book is cit


Imran may turn blind eye to blasphemy law and persecution of Ahmadiyyas

Saturday, 22 September 2018

There are clear signs that Pakistan’s freshly minted Prime Minister, Imran Khan, will make a sincere effort to reduce corruption and maladministration in the domestic sphere. In foreign affairs he is likely to make a brave attempt to mend fences wi


The rate of exchange, capital flight and the Central Bank

Friday, 21 September 2018

The Central Bank (CBSL) exists for the sole purpose of price stability. Its controls on the financial system and monetary policy exist to maintain price stability. As put forth many times by the Governor, the failing of the CBSL to control inflation


Red flag over the Sri Lankan Navy

Friday, 21 September 2018

Shocking story Rusiripala, a former banker in Sri Lanka, who has taken to writing in Daily FT, is perturbed by the red flag I have raised (Daily FT article 18 September) over the shocking charge that our Navy had operated a ransom gang that had abduc


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