Opinion and Issues

President Maithripala Sirisena – Performance versus promises

Views - 33 Saturday, 16 February 2019 00:10

The writer was among those who, from 2004 onwards, had opposed in the Courts and in the press certain unconstitutional acts of President Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR). It was in this context and in view of Vene


MMDA, ACJU, politicians and women

Views - 46 Saturday, 16 February 2019 00:10

It is 10 years since Justice Saleem Marsoof (JSM) and his committee was appointed to review and make recommendations to reform the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA), passed originally in 1951 and amended in 1954, 1955, 1965 and 1969 before becom


President Trump looked for the failed idea of a wall

Views - 30 Saturday, 16 February 2019 00:00

The talks over the “Wall of Trump” between the US-Mexico Border Security broke down with Congressional leaders over the weekend. After the renewed call for a wall at his second State of the Union, President Donald Trump attended a political rally


‘The Man Who Would Be King’: Remembering Anura Bandaranaike on his 70th birth anniversary

Views - 2379 Friday, 15 February 2019 00:20

‘The Man Who Would Be King’ is the title of a long tale written by Rudyard Kipling in 1888. This very popular story was made into a successful film starring Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer by the well-known director John Husto


The importance of the 2019 Government Budget

Views - 94 Friday, 15 February 2019 00:00

The tension between the SLFP and the UNP was largely triggered after the defeat of the UNP and the President’s SLFP faction at the Local Government polls last year, resulting in a blame game on the two sides. Thereafter no side made a real effort t


The compelling case for greater economic freedom

Views - 59 Thursday, 14 February 2019 01:36

The Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank, published the 22nd edition of its annual Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) report. For a long time, we’ve known that, on average, freer economies are richer, grow faster and have longer life expectanci


Right fiscal reforms, policies can help meet social protection agenda in Asia and Pacific: ADB

Views - 44 Thursday, 14 February 2019 01:34

Manila, Philippines: Countries in Asia and the Pacific have a good chance of achieving the social protection agenda under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) if the right fiscal reforms and policies are in place, says a new study by the Asian De


Some reasons for the impending failure of the ‘New Constitution’

Views - 44 Thursday, 14 February 2019 01:21

It is not only the ‘aekeeya/orumiththandu’ confusion and the ‘draft provisions’ for a new constitution that are questionable, but also the procedure and the process that were followed in drafting them. Under the present circumstances, there i


Sri Lanka now needs visionary leaders

Views - 324 Thursday, 14 February 2019 01:15

In Sri Lanka, our political leaders have forgotten that we had elected them to represent our interests, care for our welfare and to drive the country to greater heights. It is sad that they had forgotten that aspect altogether. It appears they think


Submission for Budget 2019 by an independent group of professionals

Views - 26 Thursday, 14 February 2019 00:15

Since early 1950s foreign currency earnings of Sri Lanka have been less than the foreign currency spent1. A clear case of us living beyond our means. The resulting deficit has been bridged initially via concessional borrowings and in recent years wit


LfD calls upon the President to uphold the Constitution in appointing judges

Views - 12 Thursday, 14 February 2019 00:13

Lawyers for Democracy (LfD) is gravely concerned with the current Constitutional impasse created due to the delay in appointing the President of the Court of Appeal. The process of appointment of judges set out in the Constitution must be respected t


Tipping the balance: Are worker remittances to Sri Lanka really as large as we think?

Views - 124 Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:00

Worker remittances constitute an important component in the Balance of Payments (BoP) accounts in Sri Lanka. In 2017, foreign exchange earnings from worker remittances stood at $ 7.2 billion, well ahead of other major foreign exchange earners, such a


Bank frauds and rising NPAs: Do we have the right people in the financial industry?

Views - 1704 Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:00

There are 33 banks and 48 finance companies in Sri Lanka. The financial industry which mainly consists of the Banking Financial Industry (BFI) and the Non-Banking Financial Industry (NBFI) approximately has an asset base of 12.2 trillion. This compr


The role of religion in conflict, peacebuilding and governance

Views - 227 Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:00

Religious organisations and beliefs are potential drivers of, or barriers to, social change - the transformation of social and political structures in pursuit of, for instance, democratisation, participation, human rights, social inclusion and gende


As India celebrates 70 years as a republic, Sri Lanka’s role in solidifying these bonds

Views - 201 Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:00

India celebrated Republic Day on 26 January which commemorates the adoption of its Constitution in 1950. This Constitution, still in force, gave India’s citizens the power to choose their own government established through a parliamentary model. S


Open appeal to the Northern Province Governor by Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Views - 155 Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:00

88 Chemmany Road, Nallur, Jaffna. 11 February 2019 His Excellency Suren Raghavan Governor, Northern Province. Your Excellency: The Police in Jaffna – Do we need them? In the absence of a Chief Minister and Provincial Representatives who are being v


Commemoration of 71 years of unattained Buddhist wisdom in governance

Views - 159 Tuesday, 12 February 2019 00:25

After 70 years of Sri Lankans ruling this country, has the process of reclaiming our national identity become but a carcass, a dead thing without wisdom? The answer for this was provided publicly by none other than President Maithripala Sirisena at t


Will tourism lose another chance?

Views - 810 Tuesday, 12 February 2019 00:16

Last week we saw the appointment of another respected business professional to drive Sri Lanka Tourism – the sixth Chairman to drive the entity Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) within a space of just four years. If I may capture since 20


Tourism: From $ 4 b to $ 15 b

Views - 111 Tuesday, 12 February 2019 00:14

If one is to pinpoint a single sector that has performed exceptionally well in Sri Lanka in recent years, it would be the tourism sector. Tourism earnings have grown from a paltry $ 350 m in 2009 (during the height of war) to $ 2.4 b by 2014. The gro


Appreciation Nirmali (de Silva) Fernando – my mother at my alma mater

Views - 23 Tuesday, 12 February 2019 00:00

It was exactly half a century ago last month, January 1969, that Nirmali de Silva came into my life. I was a seven-year-old impressionable little brat at Wesley College Colombo and she was our beautiful 23-year-old Grade 2 class teacher. My father J


GSLF urges UN to withdraw Sooka’s biased report on SL

Views - 226 Tuesday, 12 February 2019 00:00

The Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF) has called the UN Secretary General António Guterres to commence an immediate official probe into alleged dealings of a member of the Panel of Experts (PoE) Yasmin Sooka with the Tamil NGOs, LTTE terrorists and sim


Wijewardena dodged key questions: Ravi K

Views - 139 Tuesday, 12 February 2019 00:00

My last response to Wijewardena and his aids made important revelation about his involvement in notorious private placement causing massive loses to the Government and the economy at large. (Refer article here: http://www.ft.lk/opinion/Ravi-K-hits-ba


Attack on ATMs: The use of the ‘eyeball test’ involving vigilance is the best

Views - 6121 Monday, 11 February 2019 00:20

It seems that the genetic code of modern Homo sapiens is not different from that of other species. The latter is guided not by thinking but by instincts. Similarly, Homo sapiens is still embedded with the ‘gene of fear’ that compels it to ‘figh


Of Mintzberg and Zuckerberg: Communities and commodities

Views - 318 Monday, 11 February 2019 00:10

Henry Mintzberg, the veteran management thinker, promotes the concept of “community,” stating that leadership should pave way for “communityship”. Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, created the largest social media platform, Facebook, with a


President strident and adamant

Views - 106 Saturday, 9 February 2019 00:10

President Maithripala Sirisena sounds adamant and seems to have taken a couple of strides towards making capital punishment law in the country. He has been talking quite extensively about reintroducing capital punishment. Is this the right way forwar


Catch the corrupt by a system of whistleblowers

Views - 192 Saturday, 9 February 2019 00:10

There aren’t steel-clad “honest persons” In a recent piece I wrote titled ‘Look not for honest men; look for systems that keep persons honest,’ I made the point that Sri Lankans have hitherto relied on appeals to persons in authority to be


Sri Lanka and Maldives hail ties, issue joint communiqué

Views - 77 Saturday, 9 February 2019 00:02

On an invitation by His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Republic of Maldives undertook a State visit together with First Lady Fazna A


Russian diplomatic service celebrates its 470th anniversary

Views - 56 Saturday, 9 February 2019 00:01

On 10 February each year the Russian diplomatic service celebrates its professional holiday – Russian Diplomats’ Day, which was established by the Presidential Decree in 2002. The date is closely associated with the history of Russia’s first f


Give me liberty – or the right seat

Views - 183 Friday, 8 February 2019 00:20

I am celebrating Sri Lanka’s Independence Day – today. Not because I want to be perverse or contrary. But because well-meaning liberals have told me I can if I want to. And that in a democracy the individual has a choice. There are others who hav


Understanding Sri Lanka through education and agriculture

Views - 249 Friday, 8 February 2019 00:10

Sri Lanka is in a state of backwardness and confusion in terms of its knowledge on things as well as the way it thinks. This backwardness and confusion can be seen rooted even in accepted policies of far-reaching consequences – so much so that it h


Today's Columnists

MMDA, ACJU, politicians and women

Saturday, 16 February 2019

It is 10 years since Justice Saleem Marsoof (JSM) and his committee was appointed to review and make recommendations to reform the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA), passed originally in 1951 and amended in 1954, 1955, 1965 and 1969 before becom


President Trump looked for the failed idea of a wall

Saturday, 16 February 2019

The talks over the “Wall of Trump” between the US-Mexico Border Security broke down with Congressional leaders over the weekend. After the renewed call for a wall at his second State of the Union, President Donald Trump attended a political rally


‘The Man Who Would Be King’: Remembering Anura Bandaranaike on his 70th birth anniversary

Friday, 15 February 2019

‘The Man Who Would Be King’ is the title of a long tale written by Rudyard Kipling in 1888. This very popular story was made into a successful film starring Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer by the well-known director John Husto


Of pseudo-democrats, discipline and the coming death of liberty?

Friday, 15 February 2019

I despair of our politicos and would-be politicians. Not that they are not all honourable men. From the honourable prime minister to the former defence secretary discharging his duty honourably after premature retirement! But that honour often dresse


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