Columnists

Lessons to be learnt from the British parliamentary elections

Views - 2665 Friday, 15 May 2015 00:00

 The general elections of the United Kingdom are over. There are two main features of the election results. One is that after a long time the incumbent Government increased its parliamentary majority and the other is that the Scottish Nationa


Ranil Wickremesinghe: The good, the bad or the ugly?

Views - 8821 Tuesday, 28 April 2015 00:09

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is considered a political strategist by many. LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran once feared his actions. He takes certain bold decisions in the situations where other leaders are reluctant to act. On the other han


Should SC be empowered more in constitutional amendments process?

Views - 2800 Friday, 17 April 2015 03:52

The United States of America introduced the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution on 24 March 1947. It went on to say: “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or a


Political consensus drifts away

Views - 2906 Friday, 10 April 2015 00:05

  We face an unprecedented situation in the political history of this country and in the political history of any other democratic country in the world. The common opposition and the civil society got together to defeat the most autocrat


What is this Lichchavi system the PM talks about?

Views - 3595 Monday, 9 February 2015 00:00

The current Sri Lankan Parliament is in a unique position and it would be quite interesting to watch its proceedings. The President is the Head of the Government and the Cabinet of Ministers and on the other hand he is the Leader of the main Oppositi


The end of the kingship

Views - 2888 Friday, 16 January 2015 00:05

An epilogue to Rajapaksa regime The presidential election ended and power was transferred from Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was referred as the ‘King of Sri Lanka,’ to a commoner. Rajapaksa, when he was the Minister of Labour


Independence and impartiality of the Judiciary

Views - 3147 Wednesday, 10 December 2014 00:00

In my last article, ‘Democratic Values vs. Sri Lankan Values,’ I mentioned that justice was a democratic value as indicated in the Declaration of Independence of United States in 1776 and in the preamble of the Constitution of United States. I al


Democratic values vs. Sri Lankan values

Views - 2966 Friday, 28 November 2014 01:24

An assessment in light of the presidential election 2015 The presidential election was declared and there will be two opposing candidates, incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa and common Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena. It is likely to


Where does the power come from?

Views - 2897 Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

Leaders throughout the world exercise power; some were derived from authority and some were derived from personal capacity. Some exercise legitimate power and some exercise illegitimate power. In some societies when illegitimate power is exercised i


Thinking behind the economic policies of the Government and the Budget

Views - 2003 Wednesday, 5 November 2014 00:00

The Government has presented the Budget for the fiscal year 2015 and there is widespread accusation that it is a giveaway budget aiming at anticipated elections in early next year. At the same time, the Budget is praised by the private sector for its


Warmongering and statesmanship

Views - 2353 Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:00

In defeating the LTTE, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, then Army Commander and the then military leaders did a wonderful job by way of strategic military plans and implementing the same. Sun Tzu, a military commander who lived in China


Suppression in Sri Lankan society

Views - 5904 Thursday, 18 September 2014 00:00

There was a news item in the media a few weeks back about a girl, namely Thilini Amalka, delivering a series of slaps to a young man at the Wariyapola bus stand. The incident was videoed and published on the web by a freelance journalist. This result


Nudity and sex in cinema

Views - 4680 Friday, 12 September 2014 01:38

I was watching movies directed by world-acclaimed artistes one after the other shuttling among the theatres of Regal, NFC, MC Superior, Empire Cineplex and Goethe Institut. It was a wonderful experience. The movies showed during the film festival we


Checks and balances

Views - 7343 Friday, 15 August 2014 01:23

The term ‘checks and balances’ is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as follows: “Counterbalancing influences by which an organisation or system is regulated, typically those ensuring that power in political institutions is not concentrated in th


Following people instead of leading them

Views - 1693 Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00

When leaders are forced to take decisions related to racial sentiments or sentiments where the nation is divided very sharply, then it is a hard task. Farsighted leaders who lead from the front take strong decisions in such times and take the nation


Government rushes in where angels fear to tread

Views - 2481 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 00:00

In July 1983, Tamils who were residing in predominantly-Sinhala areas were attacked systematically. Although it was not proved beyond any doubts, the attack was planned by the forces behind the Government. Attackers were not simply emotional. The at


Who are the war heroes?

Views - 5736 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00

By Harsha Gunasena When a war is fought between two parties, there are rules agreed upon and applied. War is a test of strength and in the civilised world it is understood that the parties to it would follow the rules of war. Mahabharatha was the ol


Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and India

Views - 3965 Tuesday, 10 June 2014 00:13

New Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi representing the Bharathiya Janatha Party captured more than 50% of the seats in Lok Sabha. After decades India is having a strong government in the centre. It was mentioned that a strong India is good for Sri


Why isn’t the Western form of democracy effective in the East?

Views - 2367 Tuesday, 20 May 2014 00:00

I have received a web response for my last article, ‘From Political Autocracy to Economic Autocracy,’ stating that sometimes autocracy is better than chaos of ‘democrazy’. I have heard this view many a time in Sri Lanka, citing examples of Ea


From political autocracy to economic autocracy

Views - 1656 Friday, 9 May 2014 00:00

It was reported in the Daily FT that Jonathan Alles, CEO and Managing Director of Hatton National Bank, sounded an alarm on the consequences of proposed consolidation of the financial sector. According to the newspaper, he said: “It is not that I


Buddhism, Dhamma, collectivism and individualism

Views - 4737 Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

In today’s context in Sri Lanka it is difficult to understand the role of certain Buddhist monks and lay Buddhists where they do engage in certain activities in order to protect Buddhism but in fact by those very actions they attack the very basics


Foreign policy, defence strategies and the public

Views - 1594 Friday, 25 April 2014 01:33

It looks like it is complicated and difficult to understand world affairs today. Many say that there are double standards, hypocrisy and hidden agendas in international relations. It is simple to understand the complicated situations if one can go to


Should State protect Buddhism as a Constitutional provision?

Views - 37474 Friday, 11 April 2014 00:00

For a long time as a nation we have been talking about a new constitution in place of the existing Constitution of 1978. During the time of President Kumaratunga, a new constitution was drafted and she was not able to get it approved by the Parliamen


Is Lanka combining domestic problem with intl. power struggles like Ukraine?

Views - 3330 Friday, 28 March 2014 00:00

It looks like it is complicated and difficult to understand world affairs today. Many say that there are double standards, hypocrisy and hidden agendas in international relations. It is simple to understand the complicated situations if one can go to


The power of teamwork

Views - 5394 Friday, 21 March 2014 00:00

I was watching the 4x100 men’s relay of 2004 Olympics, live on the television. A few days earlier the 100 metres event was held. Justine Gatlin of USA came first and the legendary Morris Green of USA came third. Shawn Crawford of USA, who was the g


Are we heading down the same disastrous way of the LTTE?

Views - 2721 Friday, 14 March 2014 00:00

There are many similarities of the behaviour of the Liberation Tigers and the present Sri Lankan Government. Autocracy The Liberation Tigers adopted a violent approach right from the beginning. They did not tolerate different views and opinions. T


Mariyakade diplomacy and non-aligned diplomacy

Views - 1353 Friday, 7 March 2014 01:00

Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara, MP for Kalawana electorate at that time, came home late in the night after a visit to his electorate. He was resting when then President J.R. Jayewardene called him and told him to come immediately to discuss an imp


Cultural barriers to innovation in Sri Lanka

Views - 4053 Wednesday, 12 February 2014 00:05

Cumaranathunga Munidasa, one of the great sons of the soil, once said the nation which does not create new things continuously does not rise in the world; when it is impossible to beg further it bogs down after singing the swan song. It is doubtful w


Betrayal of Buddhism by Buddhist monks

Views - 1802 Friday, 17 January 2014 00:19

Sometime back the country has experienced Buddhist monks coming into direct politics. In recent times the country has experienced Buddhist monks grouped under various names rampaging in the streets, engaging in violence against other religions. The


To bridge trade deficit, Sri Lanka’s approach should be offensive

Views - 3180 Thursday, 9 January 2014 00:00

After the presentation of the Government Budget for the year 2014 by the President, the Secretary to the Treasury in a public speech, responding to the criticisms of the Budget, stated that the economic policies of the Government were not defensive.


Today's Columnists

Deep design to the rescue: Solving wicked problems of the future

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Let me begin by stating a controversial opinion: our contemporary lives are defined by 200 years of dehumanisation. From the time of the industrial revolution, the nature of work and labour has changed dramatically. The relationship between man and


Exporting bras with imported fibre!

Thursday, 26 April 2018

In a recent World Bank publication, ‘South Asia’s Turn,’ two Sri Lankan organisations – MAS from apparel and Dilmah from agribusiness – receive recognition as global champions. While Dilmah is in control of its value chain and that was its


The Opposition’s 20th Amendment dilemmas

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

It’s the arithmetic, stupid! A no-confidence motion against the Leader of the Opposition, R. Sampanthan, is logical and legitimate


Sri Lanka: May Day and workers’ rights

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

May Day was declared a holiday in Sri Lanka in 1956 for the Government sector, bank and mercantile sectors.


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