Lalith De Mel

Do not allow the bond saga to end up as a damp squib or pus vedilla

Views - 276 Friday, 8 September 2017 00:00

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a squib is a slow-burning firework.After burning slowly it explodes with a bang with sparklers.A damp squib (a common English expression) is one that is damp and burns slowly anddoes not end with a bang.


We need microcredit to develop the rural economy

Views - 1188 Wednesday, 9 August 2017 00:00

In the rural economy and the SME sector there is a dire shortage of capital. Without capital the rural economy will not move from stagnation to growth. A very large part of the population, estimated at around 75%, lives in the rural areas. To get


Budget has a welcome focus on the rural economy

Views - 1203 Thursday, 29 June 2017 00:00

 The wellbeing of the people of this country is closely linked to the rural areas which have approximately 75% of the population. The rural economy encompasses all of our agriculture, and related activities, and fishing, and a raft of various


Privatisation is bad, peoplisation is good

Views - 2498 Wednesday, 5 April 2017 00:11

Privatisation is selling a state-owned asset to the highest bidder. Peoplisation of a state-owned entity is creating a new public company and selling its shares to the public and ensuring that no single individual owns more than point one percent


Where are all the unemployed hiding?

Views - 1835 Friday, 17 March 2017 00:00

There are jobs but no takers. The Government says it plans to create a million jobs. This objective can be achieved only with mega investments in industry. But are there a million unemployed, who will bless the gods for the opportunity a


Closure on the bond saga

Views - 2461 Friday, 3 February 2017 00:00

The fires keep burning and the pot keeps simmering. But by itself this is not useful. There has to be some end to the saga. An end that meets three objectives.  It must satisfy the many who fell deeply angry about what has happened. It must


Yahapalanaya and investment

Views - 2148 Friday, 13 January 2017 00:00

There was a new dawn with the new President’s election. The sky lit up beautifully, with the aura of Yahapalanaya. A great dawn does not guarantee a nice evening .Yahapalanaya is a little like that. The rest of the day has not turned out as


Getting the maximum out of tourism

Views - 2635 Tuesday, 20 December 2016 00:15

I have said it before and I will say it again: Tourism is Sri Lanka’s oil well. Like with oil, revenue will flow from it for a long, long, time. With oil, the task is to find it. Afterwards you can lick the fingers and count the cash. 


“Cannot see the wood for the trees” in the bond saga

Views - 3364 Thursday, 24 November 2016 00:01

A great deal of noise about the bond saga. Many column inches in the papers. Committees of investigation. Many reports. But after all this, little clarity, about any scope for any action! These goings-on reminded me of that old English proverb,


UNP-SLFP coalition could be the best form of Government for Sri Lanka

Views - 2733 Thursday, 17 November 2016 00:01

If we too adopt a model where the authority is divided between a UNP prime minister and a SLPF deputy prime minister and the policies of each side are conjoined, and the resources are equitably shared, we will have a more democratic and f


The challenge of creating a fine tourism product

Views - 2755 Tuesday, 25 October 2016 00:02

Marketing a country is like marketing a product. They must both ideally entice the customers by offering a functional benefit which also provides a motivating emotional experience. Others offering a similar product will endeavour to do the same. T


Tourism: Thailand vs. Sri Lanka

Views - 3365 Tuesday, 27 September 2016 00:01

China is a growth market for us; Thailand gets eight million tourists from China and it is still growing. We must learn from the Thai experience     Thailand gets 25 million tourists a year. Sri Lanka gets close t


Tourism can be Sri Lanka’s oil well if we drill with the correct marketing tools

Views - 5075 Monday, 29 August 2016 00:02

  Branding is a promise that will persuade tourists to come to Sri Lanka. It must be based on meeting the needs of the tourists from our target markets.The real challenge is to really understand these needs Success depends on


If Government does not move to an inclusive growth strategy, it will be political hara-kiri

Views - 2702 Wednesday, 3 August 2016 00:00

  The current strategies of the Government are not likely to be perceived as beneficial or supportive of the rural/people’s private sector. To gain the political support of the rural/people’s private sector, the Government


Political ideology vs. economic reality

Views - 3039 Friday, 1 July 2016 00:10

Very soon it will be tennis at Wimbledon. We will be watching the scintillating long rallies. The ball whizzing back and forth from one side to the other. Whilst ruminating about watching some good tennis, an interesting thought crossed my mind. T


Economic consequences of opposing what is good and not opposing what is bad

Views - 3180 Friday, 10 June 2016 00:00

 The current Government and the previous have been great addicts to borrowing to bridge the gap between revenue and expenditure. Society looks down on people who live beyond their means with borrowed money. Well, that is what we are doing as


The Fonseca saga

Views - 3491 Friday, 22 April 2016 00:00

If those who have done a Fonseca are not charged, because they have not committed an offence, then having done a Fonseca will become a prestigious social symbol: having foreign companies and foreign bank accounts! What could be more prestigious? I


Some FDI is like taking Panadol

Views - 3871 Friday, 18 March 2016 00:00

The Panadol pack says it provides relief from the symptoms of pain and fever. It does not claim to cure the cause of these symptoms. A tranche of Foreign Direct Investment to buy land, to build apartments or to buy shares is very similar in its im


Nero was fiddling whilst Rome was burning

Views - 3495 Tuesday, 16 February 2016 00:04

We tend to use the word fiddling to impishly imply something improper or dishonest. Whilst Rome was burning, Nero was not fiddling with someone’s toga or negotiating a commission on fire insurance. The fiddling that Nero was indulging in was


Good plans need good people

Views - 3272 Thursday, 14 January 2016 00:00

It is really very simple. Good people are required to develop good plans. The link between good plans and good results is good managers. If this crucial link is missing, good ideas will remain good ideas and not convert to great results. Role mo


Creating more shareholders and a dynamic private sector economy

Views - 3429 Thursday, 17 December 2015 00:00

Premier says “I want to see an expansion in shareholding. According to the newspapers, that was what he said at the SEC. Wide shareholding is important to sustain an inclusive private sector driven economy. The private sector model is comple


Truth, Retribution, Reconciliation

Views - 3875 Friday, 20 November 2015 00:00

What is the end game? Seeking the truth, seeking retribution, and seeking reconciliation are processes, like winding roads, that will twist and turn and lead to somewhere. The question is, where? Will they take you to an end game that is good fo


Zero plus zero will be zero

Views - 2992 Friday, 9 October 2015 00:00

A minister with no academic education or a good knowledge of the subject gained through work experience at a senior level will not be able to create and execute strategies for sustainable growth. So he scores zero for likely high performance in th


Twinkle, twinkle new star, how I wonder what you are?

Views - 2870 Friday, 25 September 2015 00:48

  Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe       Some very old nursery rhymes have survived because they relate in a very simple form a message that was relevant then and is still rel


Can a leopard change its spots?

Views - 2869 Wednesday, 12 August 2015 00:00

    There are two leopards growling at each other. The voting public has to choose one or the other. To the thinking discerning public it is a challenging, stressful, time. Their future, their children’s future and


Beware of those who come bearing gifts

Views - 3331 Thursday, 16 July 2015 00:00

‘Beware of those who come bearing gifts’. The origin of this expression was the Trojan War. The Greeks could not break through the fortifications and get into the city of Troy. The Greeks then built a large elegant wooden hors


Economic growth does not come through the Walter Mitty syndrome!

Views - 2683 Friday, 12 June 2015 00:00

  James Thurber the American author is best known for his famous short story published in 1939 called the ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’. Thurber’s article created the awareness that most people from time to time


A tale of two nursery rhymes

Views - 3071 Tuesday, 12 May 2015 00:01

It is an interesting and exciting time; a new President, a new Constitution and tales of corruption that never cease. The question hanging heavy in the air is ‘what next?’ When you sift away all the froth and bubble, a murky picture


Today's Columnists

Sustainable tourism – New profit for businesses

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

World Tourism Day has been celebrated since 1980 on 27 September, the day in which the Statutes of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) entered into force.


Do economic sanctions matter to Iran?

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Economic sanctions are not a new phenomenon to Iran. It has been 38 years since the Iranian revolution (1979) took place. Since then, the United States, European Union and some other countries have been imposing


It is an uphill task for the Govt. to attain the envisaged targets

Monday, 25 September 2017

In Part 1 of the article series on the Government’s Vision 2025 published last week, it was pointed out that the present vision document was just the fourth of such visions pronounced by the Government during the last two year period.


Women for tourism

Monday, 25 September 2017

Tourism is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industries. In many countries it acts as an engine for development through foreign exchange earnings and the creation of direct and indirect employment.


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