Opinion and Issues

A constitution for politicians and not the people

Views - 37 Saturday, 19 January 2019 00:10

Do we need a new constitution? Unquestionably yes! But the one that is being promoted at the moment is no better than our earlier Constitutions. Whilst there are many who are quibbling over the fine details of what has been published for public comme


Unless addressed, wages issue will keep troubling Bangladesh’s garment industry

Views - 101 Saturday, 19 January 2019 00:10

The recent week-long mass protests by garment workers in Bangladesh came to an end after an upward revision of wages for six classes of workers. But even after the upward revision, the Bangladeshi garment worker gets less than what workers in compara


Women in times of disaster: Gender dimension of disaster management in Sri Lanka

Views - 53 Saturday, 19 January 2019 00:10

“Incessant monsoonal rains during the last week of May 2017 triggered floods and landslides across Sri Lanka, affecting over half a million people and according to national authorities, killing over 200 people. “I was five months pregnant when th


Is the Navy lying? Is our press serving us well?

Views - 375 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

Newspapers of 16 January report Indian poachers turning on our Navy. An earlier incident of 23 December where poachers really used violence was hardly reported. All this mis- and non-reporting raise questions of the veracity of our Navy and the irres


Elimination of bribery and corruption

Views - 337 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

Bribery and corruption can be regarded as a malicious cancer that has penetrated into almost every strata of Sri Lankan state. It can be considered a major factor affecting Sri Lanka’s poverty, backwardness and indebtedness. Abuse of power by thos


King’s Counsel, Queen’s Counsel and President’s Counsel in UK and Sri Lanka

Views - 99 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

President’s Counsel are appointed by the President of Sri Lanka by powers derived from Article33(c) which states that the President has the power to appoint as President’s Counsel, Attorneys-at-Law who have reached eminence in the profession and


Sinhala Sign Language the main communication mode for the Deaf in Sri Lanka

Views - 68 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

Deaf people in Sri Lanka and those who are involved in serving them encounter difficulties to communicate with them.  To penetrate this impasse and to fill this void, Professor R.G.N. Meegama from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and Dr. M. Pu


Chorus growing for need to enact the Animal Welfare Bill

Views - 54 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

A media conference was organised by Justice for Animals, a community project under the Sri Bodhiraja Foundation, to discuss the enactment of the Animal Welfare Bill. The panel consisted of three key speakers: Sri Bodhiraja Foundation President Ven. D


Evaluation of economic performance: 4 years into Yahapalana Government

Views - 281 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

The Yahapalana Government completed four years on 8 January this year. The four-year journey was a rough ride with a clear rift between the President and the UNP; the ruling party. The Government continues to face severe criticism from both inside an


Is GDP the ideal metric of the future?

Views - 266 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

In an age of stark contradictions, we live in a world where the exclusive 1% enjoy access to an abundance of wealth and resources but also a world where a billion people scarcely have enough to eat and have limited access to health and education. Whi


W.A. Wijewardena responds to Ravi K

Views - 9112 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:22

Karunanayake’s response is welcome since it allows the readers to make a judgment about the issues having considered all the arguments. However, my reading is that it is a personal attack rather than a professional response. My pension is a way bel


Ravi K alleges W.A. Wijewardena involvement in private placements of Treasury bonds

Views - 586 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:12

W.A. Wijewardena, a retired Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, through a column in Daily FT severely criticised the policies adopted while I was serving as Minister of Finance, making a shameless effort to interpret the ongoing economic crisis as a


SL power system expansion – Coal vs renewable energy

Views - 96 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:09

Dear Minister, I wish to share my views about the present power system expansion program in Sri Lanka. A joint ADB/UNDP report released in 2017 glowingly expressed the belief that Sri Lanka can meet its current and future electricity demand through


Sri Lanka-South Africa diplomacy at 25: Forging a new pathway towards SAARC-SADC cooperation

Views - 128 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:07

By Srimal Fernando and Mizly Nizar From the inception Sri Lanka and South Africa have made enormous strides in diplomatic cooperation. 2019 is a special milestone for both nations when they celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations while looking to


By giving a ‘war criminal’ the top Army post, Sri Lanka proves Tamil lives don’t matter

Views - 40 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka’s abysmal record in dealing with alleged war criminals is well documented. And, with the recent appointment of Major General Shavendra Silva—an alleged war criminal—as second in command in the Sri Lanka Army, the South Asian nation ha


Open letter to M.A. Sumanthiran, MP

Views - 1561 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

Happy Pongal, Mr Sumanthiran! You and I are from two very different generations. In fact you belong to my uncle’s generation (sadly I don’t get along very well with my uncle). You are a child of the ’70s. I’m a child of the 90s. In a more tex


Politicians and cricketers: Expected role, selection and performance evaluation (Part 2)

Views - 129 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:00

Before commenting on the selection process, it is better to understand the ground realities and the nature of the beasts. Sri Lanka has a good theoretical education system. This system prompts students to ‘Cram-Remember-Express’ or ‘Read-Rememb


FCCISL on Government’s road to FTAs: How rational? Part 3

Views - 74 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

(8) An analysis of overall effectiveness of Australian FTAs According to the Australian productivity research report (2010), businesses in Australia have provided little evidence that Australia’s Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements (BRTAs) have


Are we focusing on the wrong deficit?

Views - 110 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka is known to be plagued by twin deficits: The Government budget deficit (income being far less than expenditure) and the external current account deficit (importing a lot more goods and services than exporting). Main focus is on budget defic


Chandra J’s Budget proposal: An essential reform for macroeconomic advancement

Views - 21 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

Good governance activist Chandra Jayaratne has written to Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera on 10 January on an essential reform for macroeconomic advancement. Jayaratne has copied his written submission to the President, Prime M


Politicians and cricketers: Expected role, selection and performance evaluation (Part 1)

Views - 113 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

I am an apolitical person. I am neither a political analyst nor a sports analyst. However, I closely observe both activities. I attentively observed recent political turmoil in Sri Lanka from a remote location via mass media. I watched the performan


Morals and ethics take a nosedive in Sinhala-Buddhist Sri Lanka

Views - 713 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

As a Sri Lankan first, as a member of the predominant ethnic community, Sinhalese, as a follower of the Buddhist philosophy and as a grandmother, I have taken it upon myself to address the youth and young adults of Sri Lanka, amongst them – the fut


Guidance to a futuristic political perspective

Views - 36 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

These are profound and intense words of wisdom, unbelievably, from The Greek Iron Age - a period of time between the collapse of the Mycenaean civilisation around 1100 BC and the beginning of the Greek Archaic Period of 800 BC. These are ancient word


The way to send political professionals to Parliament and PCs

Views - 76 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

By Bernard Fernando For long we have witnessed the recurring, unprofessional conduct and unproductive contributions from many of our undisciplined ‘Mace-raiders’ masquerading as politicians, who make a mockery out of august assemblies such as the


A lie is also a truth

Views - 491 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is a determined contender for the presidency. His trenchant lecture to activists of the Viyathmaga forum demonstrated the man’s spiritedness and impulse to act. He is a driven man. What drives him?


Why Gota gave me a ‘Gotler’ feeling

Views - 490 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

Bourgeoisie venues It is no accident that presidential-candidate hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa holds his Viyathmaga meetings in bourgeoisie spots. Once, it had been Shangri-La. Last Saturday, 12 January, it had been Waters Edge. Gota’s speech offered


FCCISL on Government’s road to FTAs: How rational? Part 2

Views - 152 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:08

(5) Approach to FTAs of other countries (a) Lessons from India-EU FTA negotiations It is good for Sri Lankan negotiators to learn from their counter parts in India and EU. This is an exemplary occasion where negotiators from both India and EU showed


India and leadership of global democracy

Views - 361 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:03

After shouldering the leadership of global democracy for over seven decades, the United States is seen withdrawing from the rest of the world. The European Union is not as united as it once was with Brexit and far right movements getting more likely


Shutdown

Views - 85 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:00

A phrase that does not have much meaning with the rest of the world yet an integral part of the American political way of life. A distinct dysfunction of a working democracy in that. A default mechanism that works wholly and totally against the peopl


IPS and IIED explore private insurance to mitigate Human-Elephant Conflict

Views - 37 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:00

In Sri Lanka, 80 people are killed by elephants and 230 elephants are killed by people each year, an expert on the Human-Elephant Conflict pointed out recently. International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), UK Chief Economist Paul


Today's Columnists

Unless addressed, wages issue will keep troubling Bangladesh’s garment industry

Saturday, 19 January 2019

The recent week-long mass protests by garment workers in Bangladesh came to an end after an upward revision of wages for six classes of workers. But even after the upward revision, the Bangladeshi garment worker gets less than what workers in compara


Is GDP the ideal metric of the future?

Friday, 18 January 2019

In an age of stark contradictions, we live in a world where the exclusive 1% enjoy access to an abundance of wealth and resources but also a world where a billion people scarcely have enough to eat and have limited access to health and education. Whi


Evaluation of economic performance: 4 years into Yahapalana Government

Friday, 18 January 2019

The Yahapalana Government completed four years on 8 January this year. The four-year journey was a rough ride with a clear rift between the President and the UNP; the ruling party. The Government continues to face severe criticism from both inside an


Elimination of bribery and corruption

Friday, 18 January 2019

Bribery and corruption can be regarded as a malicious cancer that has penetrated into almost every strata of Sri Lankan state. It can be considered a major factor affecting Sri Lanka’s poverty, backwardness and indebtedness. Abuse of power by thos


Columnists More