FT View

Foreigners and independence

Views - 56 Tuesday, 5 February 2019 00:07

On Independence Day, much public debate took place on and off mainstream media and social media platforms about Sri Lanka’s relationship with foreign countries and how it has evolved since 1948 as well as how it might evolve beyond 2019. Tied intri


Give freedom meaning

Views - 28 Monday, 4 February 2019 00:00

As Sri Lanka celebrates 71 years of independence, evaluating our achievements as a nation over these many decades has to be approached carefully and, usually, with mixed sentiments. This is largely because there are many, many things yet to be done t


Markets before capital?

Views - 52 Saturday, 2 February 2019 00:10

An expanded version of Enterprise Sri Lanka is scheduled to be launched today and together with the Gamperaliya programme is clearly at the center of the Government’s election campaign push. By last October Enterprise Sri Lanka had disbursed over R


Micro-plastic and seafood

Views - 112 Friday, 1 February 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka’s garbage problems have a new dimension. Researchers have found micro-plastic particles in coastal waters off Sri Lanka with the highest concentration recorded in the North West and the lowest in the North East. This indicates that not on


Corruption and democracy

Views - 58 Thursday, 31 January 2019 00:53

The latest Transparency Index released by international corruption watchdog Transparency International shows that Sri Lanka’s score has remained largely unchanged since 2013, indicating that despite the Government’s anti-corruption mandate, the p


A national problem

Views - 53 Wednesday, 30 January 2019 00:00

Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya has stepped up to push for Provincial Council elections, going so far as to threaten to resign on 10 November if polls are not held. The Government has not yet responded to Deshapriya’s statements, b


Colliding policies?

Views - 42 Tuesday, 29 January 2019 01:28

Economic policy making is often fragmented in Sri Lanka with different Government decisions being made with little or no coordination. This has been a long-term complaint of the administration and the concern here is that the Government may take a sl


Power problems

Views - 79 Monday, 28 January 2019 00:00

The Sri Lankan Government is considering temporary measures to prepare for a possible drought in 2019 that could see dreaded power cuts return. The proposals vary from emergency power purchases to creating artificial rain in hydro areas to prevent th


Keeping it simple

Views - 31 Saturday, 26 January 2019 00:10

The Finance Ministry has renewed called for public proposals to formulate Budget 2019 but the fresh efforts could be an attempt to reinvent the wheel as the Government had already formulated a Budget that was to be presented in November and further p


Political developments

Views - 46 Friday, 25 January 2019 00:00

Presidential Elections are on the horizon and the political landscape will shift in interesting and unforeseen ways as they edge closer. One indication of these changes is the marginally moderating stance of Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa seen i


Employer-assisted childcare

Views - 53 Thursday, 24 January 2019 00:45

Providing affordable and accessible childcare is essential to increasing the number of women in the formal workforce. In Sri Lanka, the percentage of women who work in the formal workforce has remained at about 34% for years, and policies to promote


Gallery policies

Views - 45 Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:00

Fresh from a visit to the Philippines, President Maithripala Sirisena this week stepped up the rhetoric against drug smuggling, vowing to enact the death penalty, brushing aside concerns over human rights. The President also established a new hotline


New billionaires and the rest

Views - 219 Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00

As the richest and most powerful people in the world gather at Davos, Switzerland, one topic has come to dominate the meeting – inequality. Ahead of the yearly forum, a report on the world’s income levels have shown that the growing wealth gap is


Transport solutions

Views - 144 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Traffic has become a bane for the many hundreds of thousands of people who travel to Colombo each day. The Government, after committing to a $ 1.8 billion Japanese loan to build a light railway system, is now reported to be in talks with six Chinese


Education for life

Views - 105 Saturday, 19 January 2019 00:10

Education reform has been discussed by parliamentarians over the last couple of weeks with suggestions to include law into the curriculum, while experts have called for economic modules to promote entrepreneurship and financial literacy. As per Stan


Universal rights

Views - 53 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

The quality of a country’s human rights are evaluated by the way it treats its prisoners. Prisoners, despite being a marginalised community, nonetheless should be treated humanely. However, the Justice Ministry this week appointed a three member co


Carbon taxes

Views - 466 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:07

The Government has been roundly criticised for its decision to impose carbon taxes on vehicles. The new tax, which was announced last week, will be levied based on the year and engine capacity of the vehicle, but according to its detractors this woul


Fiscal discipline 

Views - 80 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

When an election year arrives it is usually accompanied by high expectations, especially regarding public sector salaries. Already there are reports on the possibility of salaries being increased, albeit by small amounts, but the Government has to pr


Provincial polls and belling the cat

Views - 58 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka is in the unenviable situation where the majority want elections but the legal system for holding the needed polls is still in flux. Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya described this dilemma as “belling the cat” and called


Pitfalls of policies for polls

Views - 50 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

Elections are a game changer. When governments are heading for polls, the trend is to champion people-friendly policies to gather votes, but this can impact public funds negatively when policies are not clearly articulated and targeted. One such poi


Tracking new consumption trends

Views - 71 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 - 78 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 - 78 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 - 56 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 - 88 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 - 120 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 - 89 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 - 78 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 - 108 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 - 73 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,


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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