Opinion and Issues

No takers from UNF other than Ranil for PM slot

Views - 221 Saturday, 15 December 2018 00:03

By Our Special Political Correspondent Lord Denning M. L., the 20th Century British Judge and Jurist, in his famous book ‘The Family Story’, remarked: “Every Judge, on his appointment, discards all politics and all prejudice. You need have no f


Economic and regional issues upstage Hindutva plank in Indian State elections

Views - 98 Saturday, 15 December 2018 00:01

Results of the recently-concluded State Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram show that economic and regional issues have upstaged “Hindutva” – the ideology of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJ


The Pinguttara of our politics

Views - 302 Saturday, 15 December 2018 00:00

Tale of Pinguttara There is an interesting piece in the LankaEnews of 13 December that refers to President Maithripala Sirisena as a ‘Pinguttara.’ I like to pick up that idea and develop on that. ‘Pinguttara,’ is a term that is ascribed to so


Rationality of Sirisena’s irrationality

Views - 1157 Saturday, 15 December 2018 00:00

Man becomes a little cog in the machine, and, aware of this, his one preoccupation is to become a bigger cog said Max Weber, the founding father of sociology. Maithripala Sirisena became a small cog after the 19th Amendment. Then he decided to be a b


Sri Lanka: How unconstitutional coup is becoming unprecedented threat to Asia’s oldest democracy

Views - 338 Friday, 14 December 2018 00:00

Sri Lankan democracy has recently been burdened by a presidential coup. President Sirisena has overstepped his constitutional limits to sack the sitting Prime Minister and unilaterally appoint a new one. Instead of seeking Parliament’s approval, he


Overcoming the crisis: The second freedom struggle

Views - 714 Friday, 14 December 2018 00:00

The crisis that has been developing in Sri Lanka, manifesting itself in varied forms at different times since independence, has now taken the form of a constitutional crisis, threatening the survival of the Sri Lankan State. Regardless of the Court


The vote, the verdict, and the TNA ‘backstop’: Beyond ’56

Views - 664 Thursday, 13 December 2018 00:00

“Leader of PLOTE and TNA MP D. Dharmalingam …stated that he believes that Ranil Wickremesinghe has handed in a written assurance of several promises. …The promises are said to include agreements on constitutional amendments, freedom for politi


The lies they tell

Views - 869 Thursday, 13 December 2018 00:00

Sri Lanka’s political crisis continues. The attempted coup is a huge mess. No one knows how the imbroglio will end, although the coup has been failing. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the project to illegally put Mahinda Rajapaksa i


In times of a faltering economy, Sri Lankans torn between hatred and support for Rajapaksa

Views - 661 Wednesday, 12 December 2018 00:00

South Asian Monitor: As political uncertainty continues in Sri Lanka after President Maithripala Sirisena sacked the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on 26 October plunging the country into a constitutional crisis, Sri Lankans hold divergent


Sri Lanka: Business as usual

Views - 85 Wednesday, 12 December 2018 00:00

Despite much hyped six-weeks of political turmoil since President Maithripala Sirisena unceremoniously replace Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with Mahinda Rajapaksa – who has himself been since sacked by Parliament and barred from holding this


What is next for middle-income Asia and Sri Lanka?

Views - 478 Wednesday, 12 December 2018 00:00

Decades of sustained economic growth have left the Asia Pacific with few lower-income countries. Absolute poverty levels are and will continue to keep falling. This is cause for celebration. But it also requires a new partnership between countries an


We don’t want an executive presidency

Views - 467 Wednesday, 12 December 2018 00:00

The executive presidency was established in 1978. Since then there has never been as much hope for its abolishment as there is right now. It however still requires many actors to come together to work towards its abolishment. The 20th as brought to


Dr. Wickrema Weerasooria – The multi-tasked man that he was

Views - 24 Wednesday, 12 December 2018 00:00

I know I started on a nearly impossible task. Writing an account of 80 years of Dr. Wickrema Weerasooria will take volumes and years. Mere 80 years is too short a period in a telescopic view on mankind. What matters is not the period of time a person


A tribute to Dr. Wickrema Weerasooria

Views - 81 Wednesday, 12 December 2018 00:00

We are profoundly saddened at the death of Dr. Wickrema Weerasooria, Chairman of the Endowment Trust of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS). Dr. Weerasooria passed away on 4 December. There are many reasons why Dr. Weerasooria will be


Servant Leadership – New wine in old wineskin!

Views - 60 Wednesday, 12 December 2018 00:00

Servant Leadership (SL) is a term, coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in his essay on SL first published in 1970 – in propounding a corporate management technique. The main emphasis of this theory is that a leader should be affectionately considerate to


Capital crisis, as seen from Sri Lanka’s countryside

Views - 100 Wednesday, 12 December 2018 00:00

The Hindu: For Chandrani Mendis, the political crisis gripping Sri Lanka since October 26 has had a specific cost — her pension for November. “After my husband died, I had been receiving Rs. 250 a month as an allowance, but they stopped it last m


Sri Lanka’s high priority – Legislation against crossing the floor

Views - 291 Wednesday, 12 December 2018 00:00

In 1972, the new Republican Constitution, declared Sri Lanka a “Republic” and the monarchy abolished. Thereby the office of the Governor-General was replaced by that of president as head of state and the prime minister continuing to serve as the


Xi Jinping: China’s story of Moses

Views - 867 Wednesday, 12 December 2018 00:00

Xi Jinping’s story resembles the story of Moses in many ways. Moses (Prophet Musa as known to Muslims) though an Israeli, was adopted by the Egyptian Pharaoh. Moses was known as the Prince of Egypt, until he fell out of favour with the Pharaoh and


Active Liability Management Act: Not a conduit for CB to increase debt stock

Views - 84 Tuesday, 11 December 2018 00:08

By P. Samarasiri I read several official comments made by the Central Bank (CB) that it has an additional space of borrowing of Rs. 310 b under the Active Liability Management Act (LMA) (certified on 28 March) in addition to the annual borrowing limi


Sri Lanka’s number one problem

Views - 1230 Tuesday, 11 December 2018 00:08

Did any Sri Lankan emigrate in search of a better political system or “democracy”? During the ethnic unrest in 1983 and the height of separatist war in 2009, some would have emigrated in search of safety. But by and large most people emigrate in


Why didn’t they tell the President?

Views - 879 Tuesday, 11 December 2018 00:01

The President appears to believe that he still possesses the full executive powers he derived from the Constitution when he was elected to his office in January 2015. Three months later, he sat during a tumultuous session in Parliament, and witnessed


The implications and consequences of the verdict, whatever it is

Views - 713 Tuesday, 11 December 2018 00:00

Quite obviously I haven’t the slightest notion of what the Supreme Court verdict will be, unlike my friend Eran Wickramaratne who announced publicly (and rather curiously) that he doesn’t have the slightest doubt about it. However I do know, as a


Sri Lanka’s economy at crossroads: The 1972-76 Five-Year Plan and its diagnosis of economic ailments

Views - 6391 Monday, 10 December 2018 02:00

The economist who produced ‘From Dependent Currency to Central Banking’ Professor H A de S Gunasekara, popularly known as HAdeS, was a legend in economics in Sri Lanka. The doctoral thesis ‘From Dependent Currency to Central Banking in Ceylon


Sri Lanka needs its own leaders

Views - 452 Monday, 10 December 2018 00:22

We are in the era of chaos. Breaking news has now become very common because of some sections of media. People talk about corruption, discipline, and all the weaknesses of politicians. But how many among the general public in Sri Lanka would like to


Immigration control & border security: Another distraction?

Views - 109 Monday, 10 December 2018 00:10

From the US to Australia, and all Western democracies in between, immigration control and border security have taken centre stage in political campaigns. These issues are a 21st Century avatar conveniently discovered to distract from the growing publ


Sri Lanka provides right ground for implementing ‘China-India Plus’ plan

Views - 334 Monday, 10 December 2018 00:08

Sri Lanka’s recent political crisis has attracted global attention with the appointment of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new prime minister. Many observers link the leadership change to the contest for influence in South Asia between Ch


Sino, Indo, Lanka tri-nation centric foreign policy to end interference by other nations

Views - 87 Monday, 10 December 2018 00:06

The Sri Lankan foreign policy conundrum cannot be overcome by attempting to please every Nation at every time. At one time, decades ago, what was then termed a ‘non-aligned’ policy appears to have worked, but the jury is out on whether that polic


Bystander effect in Sri Lankan society: perils and pitfalls

Views - 229 Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00

It was indeed shocking to hear the inactivity of the observers in preventing a murder committed by a group of school students in Matara recently. It was equally shocking to see a video circulated in social media, showing how a person strangled his fi


With hope in our hearts, we will walk on

Views - 299 Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00

When you walk through a storm Hold your head up high And don’t be afraid of the dark At the end of a storm There’s a golden sky And the sweet silver song of a lark Walk on through the wind Walk on through the rain Though your dreams be tosse


Sri Lanka will do well without politicians

Views - 559 Saturday, 8 December 2018 00:10

It is now nearly one week since Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Government was forced to stand down by Court. The interim order issued by the Court of Appeal prevented purported Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Government from functioning in office


Today's Columnists

All the presidents’ mien

Monday, 21 January 2019

I’m conflicted about the presidency we have. Do we need it like a fish needs a bicycle, or a baboon needs a parliament? Has the opportune time come for stakeholders as diverse as civil society led by a free media movement, conscientious objectors t


Banks should subsume technology before technology subsumes them

Monday, 21 January 2019

Returning to IBSL is like ‘coming home’ It is a privilege for me to return to the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka, popularly known as IBSL, after the lapse of some 10 years. I had a long association with IBSL from its very beginning – from ar


Ravi K’s discourse on W.A. Wijewardena’s involvement in Treasury bond issue

Monday, 21 January 2019

In his article published previously in the Daily FT, Ravi Karunanayake (the MOF during the period of the infamous CBSL bond scam) appears to have attemptedto pull wool over the eyes andto make a mountain out of a molehill. This exercise gives an impr


Making democracy a national heritage

Monday, 21 January 2019

We are in the year of elections. It is the season of political name calling. Everybody is busy conferring some name on some body. Neo liberal, liberal, dictator, fascist, neo fascist, NGO agent, imperialist lackey are some of these devices that come


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