FT View

Platforms and policy

Views - 35 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 - 59 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 - 43 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 - 17 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 - 27 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 - 73 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 - 31 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 - 48 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 - 38 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 - 35 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 - 50 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 - 50 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 - 121 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 - 216 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 - 373 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 - 491 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 - 527 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 - 578 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 - 582 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 - 739 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

KPI for ministries

Views - 827 Wednesday, 16 August 2017 22:13

In a positive turn of events, Sri Lanka is taking strides to make its budget process more transparent and effective. As the days tick down for Budget 2018 the Finance Ministry has announced  it will be prepared on a performance basis, as all

Meditation gone wrong?

Views - 1192 Wednesday, 16 August 2017 00:00

Heads of powerful institutions that serve the public need to possess discipline and humility as otherwise they run the risk of abusing their powers. Police are arguably at the top of this list since they uphold the law and in many instances enforc

The election conundrum

Views - 880 Tuesday, 15 August 2017 00:59

Elections, this time Provincial Council polls, have returned into the public focus after the 20th Amendment was approved by the Cabinet, ostensibly attempting to postpone the elections till 2019. The decision, which has now been opposed by the Sri

Budget Office potential

Views - 949 Monday, 14 August 2017 00:01

Policymaking is a difficult and often tricky thing to do because it affects many people and can have unexpected ramifications. This is why many countries have nonpartisan budget offices that formulate long-term policies to anchor the economy and e

Focused Samurdhi

Views - 1032 Saturday, 12 August 2017 00:17

The Samurdhi program has returned to the limelight after opposition parties on Thursday complained the Government has plans to trim the handout. This prompted President Sirisena to assure no change will be made. Yet it is incredibly important for

Just a beginning

Views - 1150 Friday, 11 August 2017 00:00

Sri Lanka’s first waste-to-energy initiative, amounting to a total investment of $ 193 million, kicked off on Thursday with two public-private partnership (PPP) projects in Muthurajawela. However, Sri Lanka is so far behind in the battle aga

Is the Code of Conduct enough?

Views - 1242 Thursday, 10 August 2017 00:01

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Wednesday was given the final draft of the proposed Code of Conduct for parliamentarians, which aims to bring stronger ethics to the House. It has become even more relevant given the recent events linking prominent polit

Today's Columnists

A SME policy finally in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The other day there was a communiqué that Sri Lanka must have a SME policy as per the direction from the leadership of the Yahapalanaya Government. It sure gave breath to the economy that is currently nose diving with a growth at 4.7% and all banks

How can Sri Lanka gain from Asia’s ‘noodle bowl’ of regional infrastructure?

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – a web of intercontinental road, rail and port links – is a hot topic in Sri Lanka

What is more important? Fixing the Constitution or fixing the economy?

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly has produced an Interim Report on six key issues after 73 sessions between April 2016 and September 2017, without basic consensus among the key partners of political party representatives in the C

Top 10 tourist source markets and marketing of Sri Lanka tourism niches

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The tourism sector is a significant that contribute to the economy of the country. Sri Lanka received over two million arrivals in 2016. This was 14% increase compared to last year 2015. In the case of foreign exchange earnings, Sri Lanka’s earning

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