Columnists,Opinion and Issues

The Sixth Executive President of our Republic

Views - 249 Friday, 10 May 2019 00:00

The Sixth Executive President is the ‘title’ and the subject of this essay. Dead man walking is a euphemism for a person trapped in an untenable position and is about to lose his exalted roost.

Austin outlines tourism’s resilience and resolve post Easter attacks

Views - 145 Thursday, 9 May 2019 00:30

At the outset, may I thank the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry for inviting me to make a presentation on ‘Strengthening Ties with Sri Lanka’? Your organisation being a business-oriented think tank, you would have expected the delivery of a t

Cost to tourism: LTTE $ 7.8 b, ISIS $ 1.5 b?

Views - 866 Thursday, 9 May 2019 00:10

The country is yet grappling to come to terms with the manmade disaster on 21 April. The attendance at schools is slowly recovering whilst the private sector is returning to normalcy. The Army Commander’s announcement that Sri Lanka is safe and re

Is Sri Lanka a failing State? If so, why not arrest this decline, starting now?

Views - 174 Thursday, 9 May 2019 00:00

The purpose of this article is to discuss whether Sri Lanka (SL) is at present a ‘failing’ (fragile) state or a ‘failed state’. This writer contributed two articles that appeared in the DFT of 26 February and 27 March this year on strategies

Cardinal Ranjith’s voice of sanity

Views - 687 Thursday, 9 May 2019 00:00

Anglican Bishop of Colombo, Rt. Revd. Dhiloraj Canagasabey speaking at a media briefing said politicians are ruining Sri Lanka. Rt. Revd. Canagasabey called on religious leaders, civil society and all citizens who truly love Sri Lanka to unite and fo

Creation of an ecosystem for every Sri Lankan to be responsible and accountable for building Sri Lanka

Views - 313 Thursday, 9 May 2019 00:00

The norm is that there are leaders and there are followers; there are speakers and there are listeners; there is clergy and there is laity. The existing status quo of many of the countries are the strong and active group that dictate terms of the jou

Leadership lessons from the Easter attack

Views - 1283 Wednesday, 8 May 2019 00:00

After a brutal 30 year civil war, LTTE was finally crushed by the military in May 2009. Since then, Sri Lankans were enjoying the peace dividends for the last 10 years despite multiple challenges on different fronts. The Easter attacks have revived t

A Sri Lankan octogenarian speaks

Views - 1151 Wednesday, 8 May 2019 00:00

In my eighties, do I look forward or backward? On Easter Sunday, 21 April, I was numb with grief but my mind went racing with multiple thoughts. Let calm descend over me to take stock of the situation. This reprehensible dastardly act was the work of

Independence Square vigil: A united Sri Lanka

Views - 115 Wednesday, 8 May 2019 00:00

For people of my generation, as Sharika Thiranagama wrote in her recent article, news like the Easter Sunday blasts does not initiate a new fear, it ignites an old one. I do not feel scared or angry. There is just a complete paralysis of the self. A

Anatomy of an Islamist Infamy (II)

Views - 220 Wednesday, 8 May 2019 00:00

It takes two hands to clap and make a noise, and what a deadly noise did Sri Lankans hear during that fatal Easter Sunday? In the first part of this analysis, the Muslim leadership’s hand was identified and discussed. The second part looks at the h

Disaster mismanagement – Are we all part of the misdeed?

Views - 272 Wednesday, 8 May 2019 00:00

Easter Sunday 21 April was a fateful day for Sri Lanka. It was the day that animalistic instincts of a few individuals conquered the rights of scores of humans who wanted to live peacefully. I am not qualified to analyse the ideologies behind those e

Govt. needs strategy to prevent “exclusivism” leading to extremism: Prof. Rohan Gunaratne

Views - 4162 Tuesday, 7 May 2019 00:00

An eminent counterterrorism expert, Prof. Rohan Gunaratne, says that the Islamic State (IS) no longer has the capability to mount a large-scale attack on Sri Lanka as 95% of its network in the country has been dismantled by the security forces since

Deciphering a carnage and a crisis

Views - 216 Tuesday, 7 May 2019 00:00

A comparatively small, disproportionately dynamic, unbelievably influential group calling itself ISIS is seeking to impose a totalitarian version of Islam on the world. To fight an idea, we must understand the idea. The common-sense approach demands

Are we on the correct direction to bring normalcy?

Views - 279 Tuesday, 7 May 2019 00:00

Easter Sunday carnage has left the country in a dilemma leaving all of us in a state of anxiety with a feeling of general insecurity. The events have shaken the peace loving world and brought our country to a virtual dead stop. Focus of attention on

Calm and confidence in Sri Lanka tourism recovering rapidly

Views - 129 Tuesday, 7 May 2019 00:00

Sri Lankans are more resolute than ever to continue building a peaceful nation. They are all too aware that the cowardly suicide bomb attackers have no ideology and are carried out by a faithless few. They have belief that their over 300,000 strong t

How can Sri Lanka recover?

Views - 417 Tuesday, 7 May 2019 00:00

The well-coordinated suicide-bombings on Easter Sunday 21 April that left over250 people dead was a catastrophic failure. The world has learned a great deal about how to thwart terrorists since 11 September 2001. A crucial lesson is that it is vital

Counting the cost: Terrorism and its impact on the Sri Lankan economy

Views - 131 Tuesday, 7 May 2019 00:00

Terrorism is not an obvious subject for economic analysis. The greatest cost comes in the form of lives lost and injured. However, terror attacks also aim to disrupt economic life, and how far they succeed needs to be assessed and evaluated. The imme

Don’t give in to polarisation

Views - 57 Tuesday, 7 May 2019 00:00

The Hindu: In Sri Lanka, the challenge is to turn national mourning into a call for coexistence and democracy As reports about those behind the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka emerge, many questions remain about the motives of the extremists. The

Glaring signs in the Central Bank Annual Report

Views - 158 Tuesday, 7 May 2019 00:00

As the Easter Sunday tragedy grabbed the headlines, the release of the Annual Report for 2018 by the Central Bank was hardly noticed. There should be little doubt that it is the economic problems that in most cases lead to other problems – violence

Economy is not in proper shape in the paradise island

Views - 4701 Monday, 6 May 2019 00:10

The Annual Report of the Central Bank for 2018 analysing in minute detail the state of the country’s economy today and outlining the prospects for the next five years has just been released (available at:

Anatomy of an Islamist Infamy: Part I

Views - 472 Monday, 6 May 2019 00:00

The Easter carnage that consumed the lives of nearly 250 innocent worshippers and bystanders including children, opens another chapter in Sri Lanka’s post-colonial bloody history of communalism and majoritarian rule. Unless one is prepared to accep

Sri Lanka’s C.V. Wigneswaran on the Easter Bombings and More

Views - 37 Monday, 6 May 2019 00:00 C.V. Wigneswaran is the Secretary-General of the newly created Tamizh Makkal Kootani (Tamil People’s Alliance), a political party. He was the Chief Minister of the Northern Province from 2013 to 2018. Before that, Wigneswaran w

Bombings crisis exposes Sri Lanka’s intrinsic racism and dangers of a military dictatorship

Views - 572 Monday, 6 May 2019 00:00

According to Human Rights Watch there are some 1,600 asylum seekers in Sri Lanka and they need the urgent protection of the Sri Lankan Government as committed to the UN when they were accepted as refugees. They include Afghans, Iranians and Pakistani

Understanding the ‘prohibition to wear any garment concealing the full face’

Views - 739 Monday, 6 May 2019 00:00

The Sri Lankan Government brought into effect a ban on full face coverings by an Emergency Regulation on 29 April. Difficult and serious questions have arisen on the scope of this ban as well as its impact. In this short piece I offer four arguments

Incompetent Government harassing innocent public

Views - 14 Monday, 6 May 2019 00:00

By Tassie Seneviratne After letting down the people of this country by the gross incompetence on the part of the Government, it is now over-reacting and harassing the people. Houses are searched under Emergency Regulations (ER) with no regard to the

National security and school bags

Views - 491 Monday, 6 May 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Education has said that all schools will be reopened on 6 May after all the security units reach a clear consensus on the security situation in every school. Anyway, just now I got a message that grades 1-5 are going to open

How to respond to an assault on humanity

Views - 4853 Monday, 6 May 2019 00:00

Every suicide bomber has a dream, a fantasy of how their destruction will consummate cataclysmic change. Sri Lanka stamped out such heinous desires once before. Now we are called upon to do so again. At a May Day rally in 1993, a suicide bomber assas

Sri Lanka in peril

Views - 209 Monday, 6 May 2019 00:00

Text and pic by S.D. Nishanka My son Aaron was born in 2009 soon after the conclusion of the war in Sri Lanka. He was born in a peaceful nation brimming with hope, after 30 years of a brutal war. Birth of a child is the most precious aspect of human

An accolade for authentic leadership: Exemplary response for Easter tragedy

Views - 1070 Monday, 6 May 2019 00:00

I live in Negombo and know many who lost their lives in the Easter tragedy that engulfed serene Sri Lanka. There was surely no repetition of ‘black July’ or ‘dark Digana’. It is amazing to see the restrained response of affected masses withgr

How our people’s security came to be sacrificed at the altar of political power-play

Views - 615 Saturday, 4 May 2019 00:10

“…it is not the doctrine of the founder per se but the socio-politico milieu which a religious doctrine inhabits that can give it the horrible potential for intolerance and violence…”

Today's Columnists

Our Cricket Board simply cannot deliver – why not they all quit honourably?

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

“It is necessary, therefore, for the Government to pay serious attention to the doings of Sri Lanka Cricket [board] and take immediate action to lift their game for the progress of our glorious game.” Question for Sri Lanka Cricket (board) Sri La

Yesterday Tamils, today Muslims and tomorrow who?

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

From the time of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s election victory in 1956, one and only one issue had dominated political party campaigns in this country; and that was communalism. The Tamil community was the main focus of these campaigns for over 50 years

Those who go by social proof are easy prey to crafty schemers

Monday, 17 June 2019

Going after social proof Swiss writer and novelist, Rolf Dobelli, in one of the essays in his 2013 book ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’, has given a fine warning to his readers. He has warned against going by ‘social proof’ or ‘majority view

Poson ponderings on positional power: ‘Authority vested’ vs. ‘authority wasted’

Monday, 17 June 2019

We witnessed a serene Poson Poya, in a far more improved security setting in Sri Lanka. Whilst the Sri Lankan life slowly returning to normal, political fronts do not appear to show the same. Has the political power become the people ‘pava’ (sin)

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