Columnists,W. A. Wijewardena,Opinion and Issues

Sri Lanka’s deep economic crisis:Wasted four years and a wasting election year

Views - 7158 Monday, 7 January 2019 01:30

By the time the present Government came to power in 2015, Sri Lanka was in a deep economic crisis. Its growth had slowed down from a peak of 9% in 2012 to 3.4% in 2013 before recovering temporarily to 5%, still a low rate, in 2014. Exports had been

Man is born free but corrupt political system has chained us without any mercy (Part 2)

Views - 188 Monday, 7 January 2019 00:59

Ours is a country where politicos abuse and manipulate political office, with efficiency and effectiveness, to maximise the outcomes to themselves. The public authorities do not hold investigations or inquiries. Due to interference and manipulations,

Violating our supreme law: Parliament’s constitutional duty to act

Views - 212 Monday, 7 January 2019 00:54

Article 33A of the Constitution states that the President “shall be responsible to Parliament for the due exercise, performance and discharge of his powers, duties and functions under the Constitution and any written law”. Parliament, therefore,

‘The Frozen Fire’: Art and political reality

Views - 169 Monday, 7 January 2019 00:46

There are diverse views about the politics of the JVP and the inherent limitations contained in their political discourse. In particular, many of the views that exist regarding the politics of comrade Rohana Wijeweera and his assassination have contr

China and US play the Great Game in South Asia

Views - 124 Monday, 7 January 2019 00:39 COLOMBO -- In the Great Game being played across the Indian Ocean, the U.S. Navy has its eye on Sri Lanka’s northeastern port of Trincomalee to serve as a logistics hub for South Asian waters churned by India, Japan and China. West

Some stark reminders for Sri Lanka’s East

Views - 96 Monday, 7 January 2019 00:36

Hindu: For Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, the New Year began with two stark reminders. It was the year 1948, when young American Jesuit priest Father Benjamin Henry Miller, or Fr. Harry Miller as he was better known, arrived in Batticaloa. He spent

Remembering Lasantha Wickrematunge on the 10th anniversary of his assassination

Views - 3852 Saturday, 5 January 2019 00:15

‘Spotlight’ shines for the first time in the new year. Although devoted in principle to films, film personalities and film-related matters, the column will deviate in practice this week to focus on a renowned Sri Lankan newspaper Editor whose con

Ayubowan 2018/19!

Views - 114 Saturday, 5 January 2019 00:10

Our customary few lines that usually accompany my New Year’s wish-list this time comes from the land of Skippy the Kangaroo and boxing day MCG cricket (sans the sand-paper of course); hence the slight

What is wrong with self-rule?

Views - 93 Friday, 4 January 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna spokesperson Mahindananda Aluthgamage was quite vocal in denouncing the Government for attempting to install self-government in the north and east through a new Constitution that would be introduced stealthily in the fort

Investors may be underestimating the political turbulence in Sri Lanka

Views - 226 Friday, 4 January 2019 00:00

By Harini V CNBC: What might seem as a crisis averted in Sri Lanka – is actually far from being over and investors could potentially be underestimating the level of uncertainty in the country, an expert told CNBC. The hostility between the country

PR system has come to stay

Views - 138 Thursday, 3 January 2019 01:00

I allude to the recent article by R.W.W appearing in the press under the caption ‘Right to vote’. Since the writer apparently finds the Proportionate Representation (PR) voting system as the main culprit for the existing political culture in our

Wickremesinghe’s reappointment as Sri Lanka PM opens door to the ‘Indo-Pacific’

Views - 274 Thursday, 3 January 2019 00:58 For the past two months Sri Lanka’s deeply divided political community has been fighting to protect democracy in one of the oldest democracies in Asia. One side wants a general election to elect a new Parliament claiming the

Should houses have been built at all out of taxpayers’ funds?

Views - 329 Thursday, 3 January 2019 00:53

The question is not “who built more houses?” President Ranasinghe Premadasa, his son Minister of Housing Sajith Premadasa or the latest claimant for building houses, Champika Ranawaka. This is the question that has been highlighted as a one-way t

The biggest security threats in 2019

Views - 55 Thursday, 3 January 2019 00:49

REUTERS: With an ongoing trade war between the United States and China, Russian military posturing in Eastern Europe at its greatest since the Cold War and the most unpredictable US administration in living memory, 2019 may offer no shortage of strat

Our vulnerability to climate risk: Second only to Puerto Rico

Views - 404 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

On 4 December, German Watch published its Climate Risk Index (CRI) listing for 2019, based on data collected for year 2017 at Munich Re, the reinsurer. Out of 182 countries considered, we, Sri Lanka, who jumped 94 slots from 98th in listing based on

Sri Lankan economy in 2018 and 2019 outlook

Views - 3088 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

We are at the beginning of a new year with new hopes. As a country, where are we now? What were our achievements and what we missed in the previous year? What would be our targets for the New Year and what would be the possible challenges? Everyone

Revolution 4.0: An intriguing case of the man and machine

Views - 246 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

We sway on the cusp of a technological revolution that will forever reconstruct the very fabric of our society, the way we live, work and socialise with one another. The transformation that will most certainly sweep us off our feet is one that we are

Employment: Is it an imperative for today’s youth?

Views - 385 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

A strange, inexplicable situation that had started creeping up slowly is now progressing rapidly. Young people are appearing to be shying away from work. The initial rush of interest in applying for a position that may be advertised or heard of throu

Christmas chats…

Views - 291 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

Colombo turns festive in December; the bracing air, lively parties, Christmas decorations, bright lights, visiting Sri Lankans in their flashy casual clothes; the nondescript city by the ocean is transformed. After months of lean sales, the big stor

Expect 2019 to test global stability

Views - 46 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

John Lloyd REUTERS: The resignation of US Defence Secretary James Mattis stands not only as a radical disassociation from the actions of the president he served, but as a foreboding for the future, a warning for 2019 and beyond. And, for all the assu

Infrastructure projects – Good ones and bad ones

Views - 506 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:02

A top Government official recently said: “The planned Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in Colombo will need Government subsidies and Sri Lanka should also look at other options such as improving the bus service.” If this is a precursor to abandoni

Circles of political vengeance and end of Yahapalanaya!

Views - 127 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

Maithripala Sirisena left Mahinda Rajapaksa four years ago, after a hopper treat, because he was not given due recognition as a Minister, and the PM position. That may be true. Otherwise, he even voted for the 18th Amendment to allow the possibility

Marketing a political candidate in 2019: Is it right?

Views - 375 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

If we track back at last year, the highest share of voice topic was undoubtedly ‘politics’. Many are speculating now that 2019 will be the year of elections, starting from the Provincial Council elections to General elections and subsequently the

Making sense of Sri Lanka’s 2018 political crisis

Views - 158 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00 President Maithripala Sirisena’s sacking of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on 26 October ended the National Unity Government, which was formed in 2015. The President installed an administration headed by former Pr

Should individual MPs who cross over on moral grounds be expelled?

Views - 39 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

There are those who argue that the individual conscience should be paramount in its dictates and that parties should not therefore be allowed to expel from office those who have crossed over from the party to another political party or even choose to

Impeachment or censure; a moral imperative

Views - 342 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

After the unenthusiastic reinstatement of Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister, the President delivered a belligerent broadside to the UNF hierarchy. He made some revealing pronouncements. They represented the core values of the man we mistakenly

Deterrent punishment to vandalism is a categorical imperative

Views - 52 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

We read the dismal, heart-breaking and saddening news that several Buddha statues had been damaged in Mawanella over the past few days. We all stand witness to the mindless devastation of human values and principles of Buddhism – the sacred teachin

The world we want for a loved land

Views - 205 Monday, 31 December 2018 01:50

I write for many of us. But not as many as one would hope. Since we’re badly divided on community, polity, unity. However, it’s false hope at best or flagrant hypocrisy at worst to think anyone has all the answers – and is actually right about

Binod Chaudhary’s wisdom: You can make it big if driven by an undiminished passion for achievement

Views - 7313 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:00

I recommend Binod Chaudhary’s autobiography – ‘Making It Big’ – to all readers. As the title says, the message is that if it is small now, make it big. By implication, it also advises us to make it bigger if it is big and the biggest if it

Man is born free but corrupt political system has chained us without any mercy (Part 1)

Views - 122 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:00

Our representative democracy and bureaucratic organisations need vast changes. Both are suffering from increasing deficiencies and legitimacy too. It looks as if we are close to being a ‘failed state’. The country therefore is facing enormous com

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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