FT View

The heartbreak of ragging

Views - 494 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 - 109 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 - 59 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 - 49 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 - 94 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 - 90 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 - 75 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 - 71 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 - 34 Monday, 27 August 2018 00:00

By all accounts and expectations elections are around the corner.

Changing trade

Views - 51 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 - 103 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 - 104 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 - 41 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 - 65 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 - 32 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.

Investor impressions

Views - 95 Saturday, 18 August 2018 00:10

What makes a country attractive to foreign investors? The list is likely to be exhaustive but local companies investing in Bangladesh would say it is friendly bureaucrats. When Bangladesh hits Sri L

Salaries commission

Views - 74 Friday, 17 August 2018 00:10

Following strikes by powerful trade unions the Government has decided to appoint a salaries commission that would be tasked with evaluating the salary structures of the entire public sector and recommend reforms t

Outsiders and politics

Views - 37 Thursday, 16 August 2018 00:00

For weeks, political circles were abuzz with speculation that cricketer Kumar Sangakkara may enter politics. Even though he has categorically dismissed such an event, the discussions surrounding his potential invitation to run for office gives an int

Prison reform

Views - 39 Wednesday, 15 August 2018 00:10

Welikada prison has become the scene of repeated protests by women, with the latest edition being played out on Monday when a group clambered onto the roof to protest living conditions, and delays in court hearings. Subsequent clashes resulted in fou

Public interest

Views - 41 Tuesday, 14 August 2018 00:00

People vote for politicians, but rarely like them. Recently politicians at both Government and Provincial level have become the target of public censure for mishandling public funds. They have been heavily criticised for discussing a possible salary

PC polls 

Views - 24 Monday, 13 August 2018 01:01

Fresh discussions have emerged between political parties attempting to hold Provincial Council elections. The UNP, TNA and Joint Opposition have expressed their desire to hold polls, and continued discussion would hopefully foster a constructive disc

Equal opportunity

Views - 33 Saturday, 11 August 2018 01:53

The ‘Top 50’ Professional and Career Women Awards 2018 celebrated this week showcased remarkable women leaders from Sri Lanka recognised for their significant contributions within their corporations, communities, or livelihoods.

Meeting targets

Views - 25 Friday, 10 August 2018 00:10

Development is the responsibility of all governments, but achieving it often becomes a challenge for many of them. Almost half of the Government’s development projects and programs managed under 47 line ministries have not reached even 50% of quart

Trade unions and public interest

Views - 68 Thursday, 9 August 2018 00:00

Trade unions are an important facet of democracy, but in Sri Lanka they evoke mixed feelings, as the public views them as both protectors of labour rights and self-serving organisations that have stopped considering the public’s welfare. A lightnin

Protecting migrant workers

Views - 59 Wednesday, 8 August 2018 00:00

Exploitation comes in many forms. During the first seven months of 2018 the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment

Medical justice

Views - 83 Tuesday, 7 August 2018 00:10

Last Friday, public medical services around the country came to a standstill after the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) went on a token strike. The list of demands included reducing taxes for doctors and increasing allowances. Strikes h

MPs of value

Views - 55 Monday, 6 August 2018 00:00

When the topic of raising salaries for parliamentarians rolls around every couple of years the livid public response is a stark reflection of how derided the public’s representatives are by the very people who vote them into power.

Managing State assets

Views - 86 Saturday, 4 August 2018 00:10

Selling State assets, even when they are loss-making, is an extremely contentious issue in many countries. Sri Lanka, with its high debts and limited revenue earning measures, has had to take a hard look at increasing th

Vehicle matters

Views - 142 Friday, 3 August 2018 00:00

Buying a car is a difficult task for the average Sri Lankan. Given Sri Lanka’s high debt and low exports, any spike in vehicle

Parting politics and public service

Views - 40 Thursday, 2 August 2018 00:00

The Government has released a new circular holding heads of State institutions, including ministry secretaries, department heads, and even accountants responsible for paying for employees that have been recruited beyond the approved public sector cad

Today's Columnists

Courting democracy; Housing disaster?

Thursday, 15 November 2018

A small step was taken by a sovereign court the day before yesterday. It was a giant leap for the supremacy of the Constitution over all three arms of government in a recently benighted Sri Lanka. As well as being the tangible proof of intra-governme

Sri Lanka’s Judiciary in its finest hour

Thursday, 15 November 2018

“We must never forget that the only real source of power we as judges can tap is the respect of the people” –Justice Thurgood Marshall

When scholars turn slayers of reason

Thursday, 15 November 2018

“… I think, that the intellectual is an individual endowed with a faculty of representing, embodying, articulating a message, a view, an attitude, philosophy or opinion to, as well as for, a public. And this role has an edge to it, and cannot be

A stable democracy is a prerequisite for the wellbeing of Sri Lankans

Thursday, 15 November 2018

In Sri Lanka, despite the complexity of overlapping policies, the slow pace in implementing economic policies has been of central concern in the past few years. The current political state in Sri Lanka poses a series of e

Columnists More