Opinion and Issues,Letters to the Editor

The Sri Lanka saga

Views - 43 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 - 49 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 - 49 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 - 146 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.


Serious questions to Central Bank on FDIs

Views - 136 Tuesday, 14 May 2019 00:00

Recently we were told that the largest ever FDI to Sri Lanka worth $ 3.8 billion would be received for an oil refinery project. FDIs are frequently highlighted by experts as a key ingredient for growth. However there are many deficiencies in the way


The 1953 hartal: From an octogenarian

Views - 444 Monday, 13 May 2019 00:00

I was Private Secretary to R.G. Senanayake, Minister of Trade and Commerce, a very powerful Minister in the Senanayake ruling clan. In 1953 there was a hartal organised by the LLSP heading towards Temple Trees where Dudley Senanayake was residing. At


Improve arrivals procedure at BIA

Views - 112 Thursday, 9 May 2019 00:27

All those involved in the Government and the tourism sector would like to see tourists coming back to this country. Firstly they should do something about the disastrous arrangements made at the airport for arrivals. Departures are handled well. Ther


Journey into the past

Views - 22 Wednesday, 10 April 2019 00:00

Last week I travelled to Jaffna by train instead of taking a bus. I made the decision as the reported road accidents have been frequent and tragic with many victims of deaths and injury. My last train journey to Jaffna was nearly 50 years ago when I


Repeal PTA, but reject CTA

Views - 43 Friday, 5 April 2019 00:00

The strongest argument to my mind against a counter-terrorism law is that the state of being anti-terror is a terrible choice of status quo—for any society, by any state. It’s true that terrorism can be ‘narrowly’ or ‘objectively’ define


Cancer medicine becoming unaffordable

Views - 32 Wednesday, 3 April 2019 00:00

A lady, 70 years old was stricken with cancer few years ago. She is a spinster and was a maths teacher at a government school before retirement. I know the family well. They are respectable and socially responsible, determined as far as possible not


Is the President xenophobic?

Views - 65 Wednesday, 20 March 2019 00:00

Is the President xenophobic when it comes to insurance? According to a leading English weekend paper, the President has ordered that the ‘Suraksha’ insurance scheme to provide benefits to both Government and private school students be given to


Resolving the foreign debt trap

Views - 83 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00

My attention was drawn to an unanswered issue in the press on the captioned subject which inter-alia revealed the following data to explain what a foreign debt trap is.


“Be a woman!”

Views - 48 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00

Sunday family breakfasts are a tradition when it comes to my family. In our Muslim Memon community, breakfast is a blend of palette-tingling curries, savoury eggs, rotis and sides of pickled vegetables. One morning, my mother’s legendary savoury e


10 points that will make this Budget and make the Government

Views - 13 Tuesday, 5 March 2019 00:00

1) A strategy to reduce the interest rates in the country. No business can be done by borrowing at 14-20%. 2) Pay the money due by the State to the private sector to ensure the companies can pay for their upkeep. 3) Have in place a strategy to attrac


Lord Nasebyresponds to ‘On Lord Naseby’s Sri Lanka whitewash’

Views - 231 Tuesday, 26 February 2019 00:05

Sri Lanka’s civil war ended tragically; so says Taylor Dibbert, a freelance Yankee journalist. There was nothing tragic about the annihilation of the LTTE Tamil Tigers; terrorists proscribed in 32 countries who had plagued the life of Sri Lanka for


Remedy for Cabinet minister mania and dubious national governments

Views - 116 Friday, 8 February 2019 00:00

The mass media are now agog with news involving unsavoury tactics adopted to increase the number of Ministerial Portfolios merely to appease the greedy politicians in search of power and filthy lucre. The President has gone to the extent of using the


Public views on National Policy for Conservation and Management of Wild Elephants

Views - 84 Thursday, 31 January 2019 01:14

At the outset I thank the Department of Wildlife Conservation for compiling and publishing a policy statement on the captioned subject requesting public views. Apparently, policy statements 1 to 4 reveal a short- and medium-term strategy to deal with


Expedite low-cost ‘humps’ at all unprotected rail crossings

Views - 81 Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:00

Rail crossing tragedies are reported quite regularly with the latest at Thudella, Jaela with a death toll of four. Low cost ‘humps’ on either side of the crossing again would have prevented this tragedy too. Recently, I was surprised to learn f


Karunanayake’s vain attack on W.A. Wijewardena

Views - 666 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

If I were to say that I was swept off my feet after reading Karunanayake›s vain attack (See http://www.ft.lk/opinion/Ravi-K-alleges-W-A--Wijewardena-involvement-in-private-placements-of-Treasury-bonds/14-670991) on a much respected personality it


National Olympic Committee

Views - 122 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

Further to the exposure in your newspaper by Jayantha Gunawardena on the control of the so-called National Olympic Committee (NOC) by shadowy businessmen, very few readers are aware that the current office bearers of this Committee are claiming that


Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake deserves post of Secretary to Ministry of Ports and Shipping

Views - 304 Thursday, 27 December 2018 01:37

I was very happy to learn from your esteemed paper of 24 December that Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake has been appointed the Secretary of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping and Southern Development. Dr. Dissanayake’s performance as Chairman has been exc


Bashing Sirisena

Views - 178 Monday, 24 December 2018 00:09

The attempt of Dilkie (http://www.ft.lk/opinion/Bashing-Sirisena/14-669334) to bend the truth cannot be left unchallenged because her (assuming she is a lady by the sound of her name) entire ‘piece of writing’ contains presumptions, twisted facts


Adverse effects of continual depreciation of the rupee

Views - 36 Friday, 21 December 2018 00:00

The government seems to be quite satisfied to let the external value of the Rupee to slide downwards continuously. But there are the adverse effects of exchange rate depreciation on our Terms of Trade which cannot continue to be ignored. When the Rup


Bashing Sirisena

Views - 178 Friday, 21 December 2018 00:00

Since 27 October there has been a constant assault on the President. It is most disturbing and troubling to witness the obvious partisan assault by the news media and social media. The President on more than one occasion explained his motives for the


Parliament no longer supreme?

Views - 163 Saturday, 17 November 2018 00:10

It is the UNP and its cabal which has destroys the supremacy of the Parliament by appealing to the Supreme Court. Worse off, it had sought for an injunction at Supreme Court clearly making it subservient to Supreme Court. In the days of Phillip Guna


What has Tax Department done about Swiss accounts?

Views - 40 Tuesday, 30 October 2018 00:55

More than two years have now gone since our major newspapers exposed Sri Lankan citizens secretly having Swiss and Cayman Island bank accounts. Some of them had both husband and wife as separate account holders to dodge taxes even in those countries.


Does the SEC grant licenses for the wealthy to avoid paying taxes?

Views - 157 Saturday, 27 October 2018 00:00

Does the SEC grant licenses for the wealthy to avoid paying taxes? As you and I are aware, the SEC or the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka is charged with the task of regulating the capital markets of the country. You may then wonder h


What right has GMOA to dictate terms to the Health Minister ?

Views - 31 Friday, 26 October 2018 00:00

What right has the GMOA to dictate terms to the Minister of Health who stands up against bullying by the GMOA? The Minister represents the people while the GMOA represents a trade union masquerading as a professional group. Professional associations


Public transport and man hour losses

Views - 28 Tuesday, 2 October 2018 00:00

I refer to the news item in your esteemed newspaper where Gayani De Alwis, Chairperson of the Chartered Institute of Logistics has stated the country faces enormous financial and man hour losses in workplaces estimated at billions per year. Won’t s


Sri Lanka doesn’t deserve more time at the UN Human Rights Council

Views - 183 Tuesday, 2 October 2018 00:00

A recent Daily FT op-ed (‘Transitional justice efforts in Sri Lanka fall short’) correctly explains that the implementation of the Coalition Government’s transitional justice agenda has gone terribly. The author then suggests that further (and


Today's Columnists

A case for reviewing plantation management

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Last week, I elaborated on ‘Going Beyond Agronomic Research for Plantation Reform’ with the aim of beginning a conversation on the importance of non-agronomic research to understand the many problematic areas that plague the plantation sector, in


How are we doing in e-government?

Thursday, 23 May 2019

It is customary to assess some aspect of the performance of a country using a composite index such as the Ease of Doing Business Index or the Network Readiness Index. For government services, there is the e-Government Development Index (EGDI), issued


National introspection in the aftermath

Thursday, 23 May 2019

“The immediate task for the Government is to guaranty the safety and security of all innocent Muslims and prevent a recurrence of 1983 … One cannot eradicate one evil with another” – Anatomy of an Islamist Infamy (III), CT, 9 May. In this, th


Dhammika Perera an anti-establishment candidate

Thursday, 23 May 2019

During the holy Vesak weekend the phones were buzzing all over Sri Lanka over a story that appeared on a web page. The story said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had met with business tycoon Dhammika Perera whose business empire contribute


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