Opinion and Issues,Letters to the Editor

Fresh storm in teacup

Views - 61 Tuesday, 21 January 2020 00:00

I read with interest the Daily FT article titled ‘Fresh storm in teacup’. (http://www.ft.lk/top-story/Fresh-storm-in-teacup/26-693723) Having a background in plantation for two-and-a-half decades, and moreover, having inherited the profession, I


Human ravage and nature’s rage

Views - 14 Tuesday, 21 January 2020 00:00

Scientists say that global warming is caused by carbon dioxide emissions from industrial units – far in excess of what was naturally produced by elements of the earth in earlier times. The writer intends this piece to titillate the minds of average


Let’s go trilingual, nay, quadrilingual with the national anthem!

Views - 160 Thursday, 9 January 2020 00:15

It was reported in the newspapers that the National Anthem will be sung only in Sinhala at the 72nd Independence Day celebrations to be held on 4 February at the Independence Square. This is to request that the anthem be sung in at least three langua


A letter to the President

Views - 108 Friday, 3 January 2020 00:00

Dear President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Happy new year to you and FT readers. I thought of writing to you because you seem to be doing the right things. I was very sceptical when you got elected given the issues that preceded your election. Now that you


Uber gone mad!

Views - 178 Thursday, 2 January 2020 02:02

On 31 December about noon I received a telephone call from an unknown number asking if I had booked an Uber taxi. I had not done anything like that and told him so. A little later there was an email to me saying that I will be charged Rs. 50 for the


Rigid no parking – Police must be reasonable

Views - 104 Tuesday, 10 December 2019 00:00

While we applaud the efforts of the Police to keep the roads in Colombo clear by not allowing unauthorised parking, there is the human factor which must not be ignored. Colombo is not a planned city, and definitely there is inadequate provision for p


Ban on spice imports

Views - 89 Tuesday, 10 December 2019 00:00

The ban on spice imports is an action of great importance by the President. It was a flourishing anti-national operation carried out by influential people. It was perfectly legal. It was alleged that a few Yahapalanaya politicos were involved. Thi


Dr. Indrajit restored the dignity of the Central Bank; please keep him, Mr. President

Views - 569 Friday, 6 December 2019 00:00

Cambridge-educated Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy was in semi-retirement when the call came to run Sri Lanka’s Central Bank. The Central Bank was in total crisis. Other than the former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, no one else wanted Arjuna Mahendran reappo


Pseudo tax revenue from vehicle imports

Views - 163 Friday, 6 December 2019 00:00

I read in a financial newspaper that Sri Lankan Government tax revenue has decreased due to the restrictions and taxes on vehicle imports. Such tax revenue is pseudo tax for to import vehicles huge sums of valuable foreign exchange are remitted. Has


Switching off traffic lights

Views - 106 Wednesday, 27 November 2019 08:31

I am a resident of Colombo 3 and find that the Traffic Police have taken it upon themselves to switch off all the traffic lights along the Galle Road in Kollupitiya. This occurs in the mornings and then in the evenings along Duplication Road. This pr


Open letter to my fellow Sri Lankan Muslims:  A response from a Muslim Sri Lankan

Views - 184 Friday, 22 November 2019 00:02

Living as we do ‘in a pluralistic, multi-ethnic, multilingual and multi-cultural society’, there is much that the various communities have in common while simultaneously possessing sharply differentiating attributes. In our collective effort to f


Open letter to my fellow Sri Lankan Muslims

Views - 522 Tuesday, 19 November 2019 00:00

Dear friends, I extend my personal congratulations to Gotabaya Rajapaksa who has just been elected as the seventh Executive President of Sri Lanka. May I also take this opportunity of conveying the following for your reflection. The elections held on


Gota’s tax proposals: Govt. will lose Rs. 560 b

Views - 67 Thursday, 31 October 2019 00:45

here was so much happiness when Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the SLPP candidate, said he would slash taxes. The Government would immediately lose Rs. 560 billion. He does not however say how he will collect the shortfall of Rs. 560 billion. We need to see his


Blocking vehicle access to railway station inconveniences commuters

Views - 17 Thursday, 31 October 2019 00:18

This is outside Anuradhapura Railway Station; where passengers are forced to walk some distance to their transport in torrential rain or scorching sun: the old and infants; the pregnant and the disabled.


Shameful incident at Chinese cultural show

Views - 369 Friday, 18 October 2019 00:00

The Cultural section of the Chinese Embassy Colombo on 24 September presented a cultural show by Hubei Province to celebrate their 70th anniversary. The public was invited to view it free of charge and seating was offered on first come first served b


BOC refuses to accept water bill payment over the counter?

Views - 352 Tuesday, 15 October 2019 00:00

When I visited the Bank of Ceylon, 94, Main Street, Pettah last Thursday to settle the  water bill, the young lady teller refused point-blank to accept  the payment (please note that all three tellers were free as there wasn’t a queue at all)


UK garbage

Views - 30 Tuesday, 8 October 2019 00:00

UK garbage What happened to the container loads of garbage that were lying at the Colombo Port? Did the Medical Research Institute and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Council submit their respective reports to the Government Analyst pertaining to the ab


Let’s stand by our friends in Pakistan

Views - 36 Thursday, 19 September 2019 01:11

As a continuation of the cornea diplomacy started by us during the stewardship of a much respected High Commissioner for Pakistan in Sri Lanka Gen. (R) Shakeel Hussein and his able Deputy Dr. Sarfaraz Sipra almost five years ago, the Delegation of th


Flooding due to blockage of drain

Views - 46 Tuesday, 10 September 2019 00:05

Under the Gamperaliya program, interlocking paving stones have been fixed in our garden and even the drain was made larger than what it was. In spite of the renovation which would have cost the Municipality a colossal sum, the entrance to this garden


Private banks and interest rates

Views - 210 Monday, 2 September 2019 01:22

In this time of very slow economic growth, in order to stimulate the economy our Central Bank has substantially reduced the interest rates, including the lending rates. This was an essential move after the 21 April incident as it destroyed our econom


US really misjudged Sirisena and Coalition Government

Views - 214 Monday, 26 August 2019 00:00

I enjoyed reading Uditha Jayasinghe’s thoughtful interview with the US State Department’s Alice Wells (‘Snapshot of US-SL ties’). I was, however, disappointed that the exchange didn’t address the ways in which US-Sri Lanka relations have ev


High-tech fibre optic home phone system could go dead in an emergency

Views - 118 Wednesday, 7 August 2019 00:00

SLT is boasting and aggressively promoting sophisticated landline fibre optic and VoIP telephone systems. But there’s one possible drawback they don’t highlight: losing your phone service during a power outage. Fibre services will only work as lo


A low-cost solution for unprotected rail crossings

Views - 94 Tuesday, 30 July 2019 00:00

Two more tragic accidents took place recently at Veyangoda and at Thudella, Jaela with a death toll of three. Again, low cost ‘humps’ on either side of the crossing would have prevented these tragedies. It is reported that the Government proje


‘Sri Lanka, A Land Like No Other’ – Wakeup call: A response

Views - 32 Wednesday, 26 June 2019 00:40

With reference to the above column on Saturday 22 June. It is dismaying and unnerving to read the remarks (within quotes) made by the Chief Prelate of the Asgiriya Chapter. To say the Reverend Monk is a “most highly respected” Buddhist Prelate i


J. J Ratnasiri a class by himself in the PSC proceedings

Views - 91 Friday, 21 June 2019 00:00

This note is in reference to the evidence given by JJ Ratnasiri Secretary Public Administration (S/PA) before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), a few days ago. JJ Ratnasiri stood out there in a class by himself in the PSC proceedings. Ratna


Milinda’s National Service proposal

Views - 128 Tuesday, 28 May 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka was a complex crisis even before the Easter Sunday suicide attacks. Now, in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks, the country has plunged into a deeper and bigger crisis, which is more complex than it was before. Milinda Moragoda has prop


The Sri Lanka saga

Views - 109 Thursday, 23 May 2019 01:29

In the 1940s Ceylon/Sri Lanka was awash with a huge sterling reserve for war reparations. Politicians were shouting from rooftops that ‘we are going to make Ceylon a paradise’. The first act was to give every citizen – the entire population


Let us be vigilant, but let’s not give these cowards the ability to scare us

Views - 69 Tuesday, 21 May 2019 00:00

Easter Sunday 2019 was the saddest day our nation has faced since the end of the war. As we mourn for those we have lost, and rebuild the damage caused by these attacks, it is now time to start thinking about how we as a nation react and respond to t


Enough is more than enough

Views - 65 Tuesday, 14 May 2019 00:00

By Rienzie Wijetilleke The Archbishop of Colombo has quite rightly called upon all those responsible for the Easter Sunday terror attack including the politicians to step down from their positions. We, however, find that the political leadership that


Ban Pirai TV and Pirai FM

Views - 266 Tuesday, 14 May 2019 00:00

We were shocked to read that Ask Media Network has launched the first 24-hour Islamic Tamil TV channel – Pirai TV. We also understand that there is a radio channel, Pirai FM. As soon as Peace TV was banned, this suddenly springs up out of nowhere.


Today's Columnists

Forensic Audits part of bond scam cover-up

Saturday, 25 January 2020

From the time the bond scam was carried out by the Ranil Wickremesinghe administration, that administration under the guidance of the former Prime Minister had been avoiding the law by regularly bringing up various distractions so that the true natur


Halting mega projects is untimely; Govt. can explore other options

Friday, 24 January 2020

In a Sunday newspaper on 5 January a news item titled ‘Mega projects on hold until August budget,’ ‘Drop in revenue after tax reductions prevents spending on major constructions,’ was not a development-friendly headline. It may be accurate o


Is any further expenditure on the Port City a waste of money?

Friday, 24 January 2020

Erase from the mind all that you have read and heard about it. Then take a blank piece of paper, draw an irregular circle, and draw a line to divide it into two. On the bottom half write 300 acres. That is our Port City! To get the size into a proper


Foundations of incivility

Friday, 24 January 2020

The lack of advanced political consciousness and democratic discipline can be considered as one of the main reasons for the crisis and the failure that Sri Lanka is facing. This can be considered a situation that has prevailed since independence. Sri


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