FT View Editorial

Boosting growth

Views - 14 Saturday, 20 July 2019 00:10

The Central Bank has announced it expects to see interest rates reduce significantly over the next few weeks, encouraging companies, especially small and medium enterprises to invest and expand their businesses. This is indeed a positive step as Sri

Training the public sector

Views - 45 Friday, 19 July 2019 00:00

The Government this week received a Rs. 420 million grant from the Japanese Government to provide more training to Sri Lanka’s public service. Many countries provide training to the public sector, which currently exceeds 1.1 million people, and thi

Freedom to assemble

Views - 42 Thursday, 18 July 2019 00:20

United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur Clément Nyaletsossi Voule will visit Sri Lanka today to assess rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the country. Since the election of this Government in 2015 one positive thing is that

Technology and transport

Views - 69 Wednesday, 17 July 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka’s public transport system took a step forward this week with schedules for buses and trains being made available on Google Maps. The initiative, which is currently limited to major cities, comes after five years of gathering data and atte

A ‘service’ past its time?

Views - 54 Tuesday, 16 July 2019 00:00

Postal services were scheduled to go on strike today demanding the Government resolve key management issues in the 209-year service. This yearly strike is to demand better salaries from the Government but the postal service is largely an outmoded ser

Data and rights

Views - 56 Monday, 15 July 2019 00:51

Today, data is valued higher than oil. Data, containing the most intrinsic and important details, is regularly and routinely collected from citizens. So surely how it’s safeguarded, used, by whom and for what purpose are surely things the citizens

Gearing up for the future

Views - 48 Saturday, 13 July 2019 00:01

Over the next decade, Sri Lanka’s growth trajectory will undoubtedly see technologisation across the economy in varying degrees. Sri Lanka’s workforce will not be immune to the vast technological shifts underway globally, even if the speed and in

Droughts and development

Views - 56 Friday, 12 July 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka is once again in the midst of a long spell of dry weather, which has affected thousands of people and could have a significant impact on the economy. Sri Lanka, as a country extremely vulnerable to climate weather, clearly needs to have com

Healthcare triumphs and challenges

Views - 63 Thursday, 11 July 2019 00:00

Recording its latest healthcare triumph, Sri Lanka has eliminated measles, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) giving its official recognition to the achievement this week. The last case of local infection was recorded in 2016 and healthcare off

Tea travails

Views - 74 Wednesday, 10 July 2019 00:00

Since 2010, the tea industry has been collecting a levy to be used for promotional activities. Over the past eight years, the fund has gathered an estimated Rs. 5 billion that was to be used to promote Ceylon Tea around the world, and attract a bette

Trade deals

Views - 59 Tuesday, 9 July 2019 00:00

With elections around the corner, trade agreement discussions appear to have fallen off the policy agenda. Talks on trade deals that were a key policy of this Government in its first three years in power have gradually fallen off headlines as politic

Karmic consequences?

Views - 115 Monday, 8 July 2019 00:00

The report handed over by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) which investigated into SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka operations from 2006 to 2018 has made some startling revelations, but the question now is whether those responsible wil

Feminising ageing

Views - 73 Saturday, 6 July 2019 00:00

Most people are aware that Sri Lanka has an ageing population. But what they are less aware of is how ageing also has its own gendered demographic challenges. In Sri Lanka the life expectancy for women, on average, is seven years more than for men, w

Protect the regulator

Views - 104 Friday, 5 July 2019 00:01

Monopolies are bad for an economy because competition is a fundamental part of ensuring consumer interests are upheld. But in Sri Lanka, important public service providers’ function as monopolies or duopolies, key among them is the Ceylon Electrici

Dealing with classifications

Views - 120 Thursday, 4 July 2019 01:53

The World Bank this week changed Sri Lanka’s classification from a lower-middle income country to an upper-middle income country, under its latest country income classifications for the 2020 fiscal year. This should come as good news, but there are

Building people’s movements

Views - 68 Wednesday, 3 July 2019 00:00

Social movements can create history but only a handful of people’s movements actually achieve the change they aim for at the start. The National People’s Movement (NPM) is attempting to grow a new type of politician to tackle the governance issue

Bold change

Views - 39 Tuesday, 2 July 2019 00:00

The private sector is capable of transforming Sri Lanka, and new Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya believes it is possible for the country to increase its growth to that of peer countries in the next five years and put the cou

Accountability and SOEs

Views - 69 Monday, 1 July 2019 00:00

The Commission of Inquiry that was appointed to investigate into allegations of large-scale fraud at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka will hand in its report tomorrow to President Maithripala Sirisena. President Sirisena will be

Reforms for growth

Views - 38 Saturday, 29 June 2019 00:01

Setting the economy back on its feet after the Easter Sunday attacks has taken much focus and effort, but in terms of ensuring more employment and social justice there is a range of changes that must also take place to increase productivity in an inc

Resilient infrastructure

Views - 84 Friday, 28 June 2019 00:00

The World Bank has approved a $ 310 million to loan to improve climate resilience in Sri Lanka, especially to reduce floods in the Kelani basin and provide better support to poorer communities that are more vulnerable to climate change. Making infras

Bricks and tabs

Views - 57 Thursday, 27 June 2019 01:05

Cabinet this week approved providing tabs to all Advanced Level students, but it is worth considering whether this is the best use for taxpayer funds given the cost is estimated at Rs. 5.2 billion annually. For decades Sri Lanka has been used to the

Unfair practices

Views - 49 Wednesday, 26 June 2019 00:56

The Wennappuwa Pradeshiya Sabha has blocked Muslims from selling wares at the weekly fair in an illegal and blatantly racist move that is deeply problematic, especially given it is a Government institution. This is another dimension to boycotts of Mu

Dangerous policies

Views - 83 Tuesday, 25 June 2019 00:00

President Maithripala Sirisena is once again reported to be readying to implement the death penalty, raising concerns over implementing a policy that could have serious implications for Sri Lanka’s social, economic, political and judicial systems.

Defining the boundaries of power

Views - 48 Monday, 24 June 2019 00:00

President Maithripala Sirisena has gone on record saying that the 18th and 19th Amendments to the Constitution need to be removed, as in his view they have not benefited Sri Lanka. In the run-up to the Presidential Election, amidst fervent speculat

Education is not a race

Views - 66 Saturday, 22 June 2019 00:01

The Government has announced an end to giving island rankings to students passing the Grade Five scholarship exams to reduce competition. The move is a positive one as it prevents children from being unnecessarily high

Greening the financial system

Views - 44 Friday, 21 June 2019 00:00

The Central Bank this week launched a new roadmap to make Sri Lanka’s financial system more open to funding projects and policies crucial to improve climate resilience and combat climate change. Earlier this year, Sri Lanka was categorised as one

Samurdhi and poverty

Views - 94 Thursday, 20 June 2019 00:00

The news report that an 11-month infant had died of starvation in Thissamaharama is shocking in a country that prides itself on its welfare and Buddhist principles. The public service is a structure that is supposed to be aware when these instances

Dairy dilemma

Views - 89 Wednesday, 19 June 2019 00:05

Losses of State-Owned Enterprises growing has already been flagged by the Finance Ministry but it is worth seeing why these losses occur and what can be done to stem them. It has been reported that Milco Ltd., a State-run firm, has slipped further in

Retirement planning for all

Views - 80 Tuesday, 18 June 2019 00:00

The Finance Ministry has unveiled plans to remove pension anomalies from 500,000 retired public servants from next month with Rs. 12 billion earmarked for the change. The Government policy, which clearly targets upcoming elections, shows how difficul

Security and rights

Views - 70 Monday, 17 June 2019 00:00

The Government is proposing several new measures including fresh regulations with tougher punishments for fake news, a new cyber security bill, and plans to set up a comprehensive data base with extensive details of citizens. They have also said that

Today's Columnists

Tea with NM

Saturday, 20 July 2019

One of my most treasured memories is that of NM, better known as Dr. N.M. Perera. It was when I was a student in the UK that I first met him. NM was already a formidable left leader in Sri Lanka, an accomplished parliamentarian, a larger-than-life fi

Biosphere will one day be replaced by technosphere

Saturday, 20 July 2019

I am now nearly 90 and in my lifetime I have seen and heard the world changing so fast that homo sapiens (Latin: “wise man”), the species to which all modern human beings belong, are changing into a technology-dependent sub species, . Homo sapien

Expand employer-backed childcare to close the gender gap in Sri Lanka

Friday, 19 July 2019

In Sri Lanka, women’s formal workforce participation is at only 36%, compared with 75% for men. Sri Lanka could raise its gross domestic product by as much as 20% in the long-run by closing the gender gap in the workforce, according to one estimate

Who should be our next president?

Friday, 19 July 2019

After the recent terrorist attacks and the subsequent violence unleashed against innocent Muslims by racists, Sri Lankans are searching for a leader who can save the country. Many have lost faith in the leaders, due to the breakdown in the security a

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