Columnists,Janaka Seneviratne,Opinion and Issues

Role of Sri Lankan academics in national policy development

Views - 82 Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:00

“Who can save Sri Lanka?” This was the caption of an article published in a mainstream newspaper a few months ago. The author, T.M. Premawardana, presented numerous historical examples to highlight how the Sri Lankan public saved this country at


Politicians and cricketers: Expected role, selection and performance evaluation (Part 2)

Views - 157 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

Before commenting on the selection process, it is better to understand the ground realities and the nature of the beasts. Sri Lanka has a good theoretical education system. This system prompts students to ‘Cram-Remember-Express’ or ‘Read-Rememb


Politicians and cricketers: Expected role, selection and performance evaluation (Part 1)

Views - 134 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

I am an apolitical person. I am neither a political analyst nor a sports analyst. However, I closely observe both activities. I attentively observed recent political turmoil in Sri Lanka from a remote location via mass media. I watched the performan


Pandemonium around condominiums – A public cry

Views - 265 Friday, 19 October 2018 00:00

Way of living There was a time we knew our neighbours. We knew them by names, what they were doing and even what they were planning to do next. Such a close interaction was generally required for co-existence and for mutual benefits, although, on occ


The public sector: The paradise where age is a blessing in disguise

Views - 419 Saturday, 13 October 2018 00:10

The Sri Lankan public sector is a symbol of equality, at least, in terms of employees’ age. I would say that the public sector is a unique place to work. Naturally, a public sector employee expresses empowerment and authority, because he or she re


Selecting a competent construction worker: A conjecture?

Views - 294 Thursday, 30 August 2018 00:00

Once, I wanted the service of a plumber to install a new, natural gas line for an outdoor built-in barbeque structure. This was as an extension to the existing gas supply line. It is noted here that, in Australia, where I live, natural gas supply lin


An infrastructure failure – A wake-up call?

Views - 194 Thursday, 23 August 2018 00:00

Infrastructure disaster in Italy The collapse of Genoa Bridge in Italy sent shockwaves around the globe. A section of the bridge measuring about 200m fell at around 11:30 local time (09:30 GMT) on Tuesday, 14 August. It has been reported that 39 peop


Playing with ammonia

Views - 162 Tuesday, 15 May 2018 00:00

A Tale of Two Cultures I entered the interview room, brimming with confidence. The interview panel hurled all sort of deliveries at me. It was not a game I could afford to play defensive. So, I attacked from the beginning. The interview was nearing t


National disregard on ‘quality construction’ – A few lessons

Views - 160 Wednesday, 18 April 2018 00:07

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intentions, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives” – William A Foster


Are Sri Lankan public sector organisations afraid of using simplified language?

Views - 482 Monday, 12 March 2018 00:01

Once, a Tamil colleague in my Australian workplace wanted personal help. He had a letter written in Sinhala, addressed to his wife.


Do we value ‘time’ as a nation?

Views - 319 Thursday, 15 February 2018 00:05

Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back. -Harvey MacKay Once, an Australian psychologist who conducted a management train


Wake up, drifting mega infrastructure development professionals!

Views - 342 Thursday, 18 January 2018 00:00

Infrastructure investment is a key driver of a stronger and productive economy. Stakeholders, especially the public and the international funding agencies, demand greater transparency and scrutiny on infrastructure decision as the Government spend th


The total worth of employees – Do the bosses have any idea?

Views - 323 Thursday, 11 January 2018 00:17

“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know” – Do


Customer service in public sector organisations

Views - 551 Thursday, 30 November 2017 00:00

Healthy customer service is important for any public or private sector organisation. However, there is a subtle difference here. The private sector organisations’ fate is decided on how they treat the customers as their customers have alternative


In search of the standard brick – The mission impossible

Views - 239 Thursday, 2 November 2017 00:00

Context Benjamin Franklin is known as the Father of United States of America. He was witty and intelligent. Once he said: “If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the


Before dancing with Sarah

Views - 226 Thursday, 7 September 2017 00:00

I was riding in the middle of an organisational storm. You could call it a business take-over or a merger. The term doesn’t matter. What matters is the induced “change” would affect all stakeholders, including customers, employees and even the


Risk management: Everyone’s business!

Views - 1362 Friday, 18 August 2017 00:00

Home truths   Organisations and their employees takerisks and also managerisksevery day.  Of course, it is a part of the business and the service delivery operations. However, often, the management of risks is confined to the treatment of risk


Solid waste management: A way forward

Views - 1490 Tuesday, 25 July 2017 00:11

  The buss word vibrating in town is “waste management”. There is enough stench in the air for public to feel something is not right. This reminds us of the adage “comments are free but facts are sacred”. The public make all sort of


The need of the hour: A building code for Sri Lanka

Views - 2473 Tuesday, 11 July 2017 00:00

Buildings are ‘live assets’ which are intimately interactive with human lives on a daily basis. It is expected that a building is designed and constructed in a manner that the building occupants would feel safe and comfortable to accommodate the


Today's Columnists

M.N. Nambiar: Birth centenary of Tamil cinema’s greatest screen villain

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Thursday 7 March this year was the birth centenary of Indian film actor Manjeri Narayanan Nambiar known to the world at large as M.N. Nambiar. The great Thespian who made a name for himself by acting in negative roles was hailed by many as the greate


An innocent utopian dream

Saturday, 23 March 2019

In an article published in the Daily FT on 19 February 2015, I predicted the trajectory of the ‘Yahapalana’ Government. In that piece of conjecture captioned ‘Maithri’s Mandate and Ranil’s Royalist Regency’ I said that Sri Lanka was witne


Historic betrayal of SLMC and ACMC

Saturday, 23 March 2019

It appears, according to a news report that the leaders of SLMC, ACMC and DPF during a meeting with President Sirisena to discuss constitutional reforms have “reneged on their promise to back the ongoing efforts to abolish the executive presidency


Playing with history

Friday, 22 March 2019

First of all, I was delighted to note a counter criticism ‘A reply to Victor Ivan’s ‘What went wrong with Sri Lanka?’ published in the Financial Times on 11 March in response to my article which appeared in the same newspaper on 22 February.


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