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Eight years of empowering Sri Lankans!

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 23 November 2017 00:00

For eight years, the Daily FT has faithfully recorded and given insights into the major economic, political and social developments and issues unfolding in a rapidly-changing Sri Lanka. It has kept track of people’s manifold aspirations and assisted in advocating important policy changes and kept track of reform implementation. As the Government attempts to steer Sri Lanka into a new age of liberalisation and transformation, this role has renewed resonance.

Launched as Sri Lanka’s only dedicated business newspaper in 2009, Daily FT came alive at a historic juncture. With the war over, focus was shifting to fixing the economy, attracting investment and catching up on the development lost during the long war years. The thread of reconciliation, which has always been part of the country’s post-independence narrative, gained new importance and the world waited for Sri Lanka to finally take-off.

But a once-rosy picture took on a distressing hue, just years later. Corruption increased, unviable projects multiplied, exports and public revenue declined, debts rose and foreign investors decided to seek greener pastures. New extremist religious groups began to multiply with frightening frequency and sectarian violence reared its ugly head. 

Towards the end of 2014, the winds of change began to stir again. Daily FT readers would remember clearly the heady events that swept President Maithripala Sirisena and his coalition Government into power in January 2015. But there were deep challenges awaiting them and nearly three years later the progress of the Government, founded on the principles of transparency, good governance and democracy, remains mixed. 

From an economic perspective, Budget 2018 has initiated an attempt to reset Sri Lanka’s economic and development narrative, setting out ambitious liberalisation measures and reform of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), improving ease of doing business, rejuvenating reconciliation, resetting political discourse and redefining the role of Government. Next year these proposals and legal changes are expected to be unleashed, which along with Local Government elections will write new signboards for the kind of future Sri Lanka is journeying towards.

The Daily FT journalists, photographers, columnists, staff and various other contributors remain committed to spending each day documenting the good, bad, and at times ugly developments of the economic and political dimensions of Sri Lanka. The journalist’s or columnist’s job is often an unglamorous one, with hours spent trying to scrounge out facts in a mire of information flowing in different directions, chained to deadlines and prey to opinions beyond their control. But as American abolitionist and liberal activist Wendell Phillips once observed, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

For journalists exercising eternal vigilance on behalf of their community and readers, the public’s interest is the final measure of their work. Evaluating a newspaper can be done in many ways but most of those paths should begin and end with public interest.

As Sri Lanka moves towards unprecedented change, Daily FT, as it has done over the past eight years, will continue to inform, engage and entertain with the key issues and topics of the day. Its dedicated staff will strive to introduce new topics, sections and sectors to the paper that will broaden the interests of the private sector and give greater information to policymakers as they attempt to change course on the country’s economy. For any journey to be a true success it has to be taken together and the Daily FT is here to build a bridges between stakeholders for the benefit of Sri Lanka.

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