Columnists,Opinion and Issues

Learning Lee Kuan Yew’s lessons for Lanka

Views - 1127 Thursday, 13 February 2020 00:00

Unarguably, Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) is the most universally respected Asian statesman of our time. He is esteemed from Washington to Havana, from Moscow to Beijing; from East to West and North to South, both for the quality of his mind and his conspicuous

Who cares about industrial security in this country?

Views - 39 Wednesday, 12 February 2020 00:00

By Felix Nihal De Alwis Industrial security, commonly known as ‘private security’, originated in Sri Lanka in 1957 with the setting up of MIS security by two respected gentlemen namely Newton Dassanayaka and Uduman, who attempted to join the Cey

Muslims, be vigilant over distasteful scenarios

Views - 230 Wednesday, 12 February 2020 00:00

Changing times bring in a variety of changes in people’s thinking, faiths, ideologies, lifestyles, interactions, etc. One’s changes in thinking or behaviour should not affect others. People speak and act without any regard for others, and call it

Nature’s fury and the final frontier

Views - 123 Wednesday, 12 February 2020 00:00

Each passing day in 2020, it is news about nature’s fury. The situation is becoming worse each day for the citizens of Planet Earth. Of the four great elements, three of them are probably at the peak of their fury. Since January this year 2020, her

New perspective on Australia-South Asia foreign policy

Views - 228 Wednesday, 12 February 2020 00:00

By Srimal Fernando and Ellise Camilleri There is much scholarship on the rising power of Southeast Asian countries. Australia’s foreign policy reflects this attention on Southeast Asia with much being done to secure relationships with major powers

Public sector lets down the people of Sri Lanka?

Views - 514 Wednesday, 12 February 2020 00:00

Last week shocked every Sri Lankan when the global media revealed the Rs. 17 billion scandal at SriLankan airlines on the purchase of aircrafts from Airbus. Given that the investigation was done at a global level, the credibility of the facts are st

Measuring poverty within Sri Lanka’s new reality as an upper middle income country

Views - 175 Tuesday, 11 February 2020 00:38

Sri Lanka achieved ‘Upper Middle Income Country’ (UMIC) status in July 2019, as the country’s Gross National Income (GNI) increased from $ 3,840 per capita in 2018 to $ 4,060 per capita in 2019.

Mendacity: The political hypocrisy

Views - 110 Tuesday, 11 February 2020 00:34

Why individuals choose to remain silent is when they believe that their view isn’t held by the majority. This unwillingness to speak out is due to fear of social isolation. It is also due to the expected negative consequences of going against the p

Girls in STEM: How is Sri Lanka faring?

Views - 170 Tuesday, 11 February 2020 00:28

Sri Lanka is well recognised as a leader in gender-equal education in the developing world; World Bank statistics show that primary and secondary school enrolments and completion rates are similar for girls and boys...

The 2030 economic precipice for Sri Lanka

Views - 431 Tuesday, 11 February 2020 00:22

A knowledgeable individual gave his frank opinion of the economic strategy that I have proposed – “it is too risky”. Of course, I respect his opinion. However, though it may appear risky, in my mind what’s more risky is a continuation....

Other people’s money: Lessons from the Airbus corruption case

Views - 676 Tuesday, 11 February 2020 00:18

An insightful writer I follow had written that the corruption revealed in the Airbus case, technically described as a deferred prosecution agreement, is intrinsic to capitalism or to the market system. The implication is that it may not be intrinsic.

SLFP a significant third force for election victories

Views - 364 Tuesday, 11 February 2020 00:04

In Sri Lanka, election victories largely depend on the right formation of political alliances. Based on the last Local Authority Election in February 2018, which is the most recent election that parties contested individually....

Parliament COPE findings have become things of the past!

Views - 211 Tuesday, 11 February 2020 00:01

Matters that came up for investigation before the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) sometime back, debated with much ardour, appear to have lost the passion and consigned to oblivion.

“If India agrees to postpone debt by three years, we can convince others too”: MR

Views - 142 Monday, 10 February 2020 00:20

We did speak about several agreements and we have agreed to some of the projects that [the Indian side] were interested in. It was a fruitful and successful meet, for both sides, I would say. The housing pr

Russia’s diplomatic performance in 2019

Views - 58 Monday, 10 February 2020 00:19

By Yury Materiy On 10 February each year the Russian diplomatic service celebrates its professional holiday – Russian Diplomats’ Day – which was established by Presidential Decree in 2002. The date is closely associated with the history of Russ

Cupid vs. corona: Valentine’s Day vandalised?

Views - 680 Monday, 10 February 2020 00:14

Fear and anixiety since the coronavirus outbreak is spreading across the globe. The love and romance associated with Valentine’s Day is somewhat subdued this year due to health alerts. Having celebrated 72 years of Independence last week as an isla

Demonise the devils, not honest men and women at EPF

Views - 12347 Monday, 10 February 2020 00:08

Asani: Grandpa, of late, many have started demonising EPF for losing the monies belonging to members through fraudulent investments. They have named some devils in EPF in both pre-2015 and post-2015 periods. Their source is the recently-released fore

Coronavirus – natural phenomenon, accident or well-planned bio-terrorist attack?

Views - 899 Monday, 10 February 2020 00:03

When this article is published, the number of people affected with the virus would probably have exceed 30,000 and the number of deaths more than 700. There is no doubt this virus is spreading and fatalities are increasing. In a well-researched artic

Sri Lanka electricity supply – Seeking fossil-fuelled security

Views - 238 Monday, 10 February 2020 00:00

The Sri Lankan Cabinet recently approved the construction of two coal plants and two-LNG plants. The planned capacities of these new plants would exceed 1,000 MW. This decision is a 180-degree turn from the earlier pronouncements made by the Presiden

Producing management graduates of global quality: Challenges for Sri Lankan universities

Views - 287 Monday, 10 February 2020 00:00

In Sri Lanka, we talk about the role of a citizen with different interpretations. How we can contribute to the development of the nation as citizens is something which should be redefined in this context. But this article aims to discuss the challeng

Sajith Premadasa in a hole

Views - 1045 Monday, 10 February 2020 00:00

Never, ever, known as adept in strategic thinking, Sajith Premadasa seems to be getting himself into a deeper and deeper hole. Presidential campaign Sajith’s whole Presidential Election campaign exhibited folly in strategic play. He grabs nominat

Addressing the gap between the haves and have-nots

Views - 221 Saturday, 8 February 2020 00:10

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa speaking at the 72nd Independence Day ceremony at Independence Square said: “The public will only achieve true freedom when social and economic inequalities are minimised.” Even today, he said, “There is a large gap

Philip Gunawardena: Highly intelligent, well-read and acutely observant master of trade

Views - 114 Saturday, 8 February 2020 00:05

By Dr. Sarath Amunugama I feel honoured to be invited to write an introduction to a collection of Parliamentary speeches of Philip Gunawardena, one of the most distinguished of Parliamentarians to grace our Legislature, from the days of the pre-indep

Smoke on the water

Views - 61 Saturday, 8 February 2020 00:01

For some time we have been hearing that smoking is on the decline with fewer youth taking up the habit. Having looked at the category of cigarettes, one of the key findings has been that cigarette smoking creates tribes – a band of kindred souls wh

Evaluating GR’s Independence Day remarks

Views - 95 Saturday, 8 February 2020 00:01

Regarding President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s purported commitment to democracy and the rest of his Independence Day remarks (‘President commits to deliver true democracy and development’), Rajapaksa’s actions (still) speak louder than his words.

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit could relaunch India-Lanka-Maldives NSA dialogue

Views - 19 Saturday, 8 February 2020 00:00

ET: Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa visit from February 7-11 will seek to revive India-Sri Lanka-Maldives NSA level dialogue and trilateral maritime security coop in Indian Ocean Region amid growing Chinese interests. A pact to establish air links co

A hunt for a nanny goat?

Views - 154 Friday, 7 February 2020 00:20

The term ‘scapegoat’ has its origin in the Old Testament. It is in Chapter 16 of the Book of Leviticus. God instructed Moses and Aaron to sacrifice two goats every year. One goat was to be killed; its blood sprinkled upon the Ark of the Covenant.

Decline of the Judiciary

Views - 393 Friday, 7 February 2020 00:00

Despite the Legislature and the Executive of Sri Lanka being backward and corrupt, still the country could have been saved from its present state of wretchedness, provided it had a Judiciary with a proper vision on its social responsibility. Yet, unf

Is Sri Lanka really open for business?

Views - 1023 Friday, 7 February 2020 00:00

At a recent press conference, the newly-appointed ‘Investment Promotion’ Minister Prasanna Ranatunga is quoted as having said that the Government is eyeing $ 2.5 b worth of foreign direct investment (or ‘FDI’) for 20201. An ambitious objecti

The President’s strategy of appointing good people: Will it produce results?

Views - 406 Friday, 7 February 2020 00:00

The problem Many State-Owned Enterprises are making losses. This problem has been persisting for years and is a major drain of Government revenue. The President has rightly given priority to eradicating this financial cancer. His solution is to appoi

Today's Columnists

Withering of expectations and prospects of new ones

Friday, 21 February 2020

The election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as President at the last Presidential Election can be said to have been the ultimate wish of the majority of Sinhala Buddhist people. Yet, the people were not aware that the President they were electing does not hav

Upsurge of populism

Friday, 21 February 2020

“Populism: denies the pluralism of contemporary societies. It promotes hostility to “enemies” and flirts with violence. It is generally gripped by a territorial mentality that prioritises borders and nation states against ‘foreigners’ and

Diplomatic drone strike, Indo-Lanka equation and constitutional change

Thursday, 20 February 2020

The ‘diplomatic drone strike’, the dramatic US strictures against the Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva, tells us that Big Brother IS watching. This isn’t the usual suspects, its way out of their league. This is the Big League, the big b

Solar and wind power can resolve electricity crisis, early and cheaper, if allowed

Thursday, 20 February 2020

The country is facing the worst power situation in the history, with electricity generation being unable to meet the demand, with generation costs among the most expensive in the world. With the current scenario, the country cannot be expected to com

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