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Tracking new consumption trends

Views - 62 Saturday, 12 January 2019 00:00

Measuring economic activity is a crucial part of evaluating an economy. Sri Lanka needs to have reliable data to base policy decisions on and to prioritise areas that can get the best returns through policy intervention to fast track growth but there

Growth prospects

Views - 66 Friday, 11 January 2019 00:00

This year will be a crucial one for Sri Lanka, given its high debt repayment commitments and elections. However, the expectation for a growth recovery after a disappointing 3% growth in 2018 will also pose challenges, given the projected slowing of t

New growth path

Views - 74 Thursday, 10 January 2019 00:37

Research and Development is at the centre of economies attempting to get out of the middle income trap and evolve into high growth economies. R&D is also crucial for a small country like Sri Lanka, with an aging population, to diversify its exports a

Untangling Budgets

Views - 47 Wednesday, 9 January 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka is once again in the process of passing a Budget, which will have heightened significance given that elections are likely this year as well as historically high debt repayments. The Appropriation Bill, which received Cabinet approval this w

Protect freedom

Views - 83 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:00

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Lasantha Wickrematunge’s assassination. It is a day to remember the impressive journalist that Lasantha was, but also provides a sobering moment to understand just how far Sri Lanka is still from achieving justic

SOE management

Views - 113 Monday, 7 January 2019 00:36

Management of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) has always been tricky in Sri Lanka with respective political parties preferring to appoint their loyalists to the posts with little or no oversight. The details emerging from the Presidential Commission o

Boosting exports

Views - 79 Saturday, 5 January 2019 00:10

Sri Lanka ended 2018 with Government statistics showing merchandise and service exports to have hit an all-time high of $ 17 billion, up 15% from a year earlier, and setting the stage for policymakers to set the target at $ 20 billion in 2019. But th

Rebranding education options

Views - 72 Friday, 4 January 2019 00:00

The recent discourse on the Advanced Level exams overlooks a critical point: what happens to the thousands of students that fail the exam, some all three subjects? It is important that these young people are given options, and given the chance to ser

Education without barriers

Views - 100 Thursday, 3 January 2019 00:48

The Advanced Level examination results are a pivotal moment for students. In what is arguably the most competitive exam they will face in their lives, over 300,000 students usually sit for the exam, of which about one third receive the minimum result

A new start

Views - 66 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

Every New Year dawns with much hope and optimism. For Sri Lanka an extra dose of hope is needed given the significant political, economic and social challenges placed before it in 2019. As a country that is heading for high debt repayments this year,

Hopes for 2019

Views - 73 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

The New Year dawns with many challenges for Sri Lanka. In 2019, Sri Lanka will have to face dual challenges of elections and large debt repayments. In many ways, these two realities counterbalance each other and create a narrowing space for crucial e

Investment focus

Views - 109 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:00

Even though 2019 is an election year, the focus should remain on improving the economy and reforms should continue to increase growth beyond just handouts. Given Sri Lanka’s large debt, limited reserves and dire need to improve exports and attract

Childcare spending

Views - 71 Saturday, 29 December 2018 00:10

Growth, whether it is for a country or for a person, takes place when things are done differently and better. Sri Lanka’s economy could be given a boost by assisting women to have access to better childcare, which would also encourage more equitabl

Inclusive policies

Views - 60 Friday, 28 December 2018 00:00

As Sri Lanka moves towards 2019, economic and political goals are starting to converge, partly because of elections in the New Year. Economic imperatives rise to the surface when elections come around, largely because the measure of political compete

Climate proofing infrastructure

Views - 52 Thursday, 27 December 2018 00:16

The season is mixed with sadness as thousands of people struggle with floods in several parts of Sri Lanka. Yet climate disaster is the new normal for Sri Lankans, and it’s time this gets factored into national policymaking. These are the harsh re

Christmas musings

Views - 43 Tuesday, 25 December 2018 00:00

This year has been an eventful one, and Sri Lankans will be looking forward to the chance to spend time with their loved ones on Christmas Day. The festive season is a time to evaluate the events of the year, as well as consider what may take place n

Growth solutions

Views - 75 Monday, 24 December 2018 00:00

Recent modest growth figures have raised questions on what can be done to push up growth in Sri Lanka. Possibly, this can be done by understanding which sectors would best promote growth and tailoring policies to support those segments. Even though p

Accountability and development

Views - 45 Saturday, 22 December 2018 00:10

For a small country, Sri Lanka’s focus on politics at times borders on the obsessive. So deep does the adherence to politics run, it can be argued that politics has taken precedence over the economy at policymaking level since Independence. Politic

Time to work

Views - 78 Friday, 21 December 2018 00:00

After days of haggling, the Cabinet was appointed with few surprises. However, it is likely that these appointments will be expanded over the next few days, as the United National Party (UNP) looks to forming a coalition Government led by the United

Ailing growth

Views - 90 Thursday, 20 December 2018 00:00

Despite the normalising political situation, Sri Lanka’s economy continues to be challenging, with the latest growth numbers showing the country’s economic growth in the third quarter had slumped to a historic low of 2.9% in comparison to 3.2%. T

Rise beyond rhetoric

Views - 107 Wednesday, 19 December 2018 00:00

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s plans to build a new coalition titled the National Democratic Front (NDF) to win a two-thirds majority at a future general election to abolish the executive presidency can be viewed as a positive move given the

Migrant workers

Views - 109 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 - 85 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 - 187 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 - 925 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 - 114 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 - 40 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 - 100 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 - 117 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 - 61 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

Today's Columnists

MMDA, ACJU, politicians and women

Saturday, 16 February 2019

It is 10 years since Justice Saleem Marsoof (JSM) and his committee was appointed to review and make recommendations to reform the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA), passed originally in 1951 and amended in 1954, 1955, 1965 and 1969 before becom

President Trump looked for the failed idea of a wall

Saturday, 16 February 2019

The talks over the “Wall of Trump” between the US-Mexico Border Security broke down with Congressional leaders over the weekend. After the renewed call for a wall at his second State of the Union, President Donald Trump attended a political rally

‘The Man Who Would Be King’: Remembering Anura Bandaranaike on his 70th birth anniversary

Friday, 15 February 2019

‘The Man Who Would Be King’ is the title of a long tale written by Rudyard Kipling in 1888. This very popular story was made into a successful film starring Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer by the well-known director John Husto

Of pseudo-democrats, discipline and the coming death of liberty?

Friday, 15 February 2019

I despair of our politicos and would-be politicians. Not that they are not all honourable men. From the honourable prime minister to the former defence secretary discharging his duty honourably after premature retirement! But that honour often dresse

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