Opinion and Issues

Public institutions: Independence against or performance within the elected governments?

Views - 22 Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:00

By P. Samarasiri The article is intended to provide a set of views on the subject of independence of central banks in the context of some of views expressed by W.A. Wijewardena in his article published in the Daily Financial Times. Opening words The

Loud call to ‘spare the rod’ 

Views - 44 Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:00

East Container Terminal blunder: Learn from Chinese

Views - 663 Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:00

Minister for Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe informed the press in August that Cabinet has approved the development of East Container Terminal (ECT) of Colombo Port by the Ports Authority. According to approval: nPorts Authority would develop

Peculiar strategy of the Central Bank

Views - 128 Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:00

The Rupee had been weakening sharply in recent months. This may not be seemingly surprising considering the performance of the Indian Rupee or the Indonesian Rupiah which have performed even poorly. However when one considers the recent movement of

The meaning of money supply

Views - 52 Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:00

There are different meanings to money supply. It could refer to the legal tender which is the official money printed and issued by the monetary authority which everybody in the particular state is required to accept when proffered in settlement of a

Wide inequalities in people’s well-being cast a shadow on sustained human development progress

Views - 79 Tuesday, 18 September 2018 00:00

New York: Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Ireland and Germany lead the ranking of 189 countries and territories in the latest Human Development Index (HDI), while Niger, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Chad and Burundi have the lowest scor

Prof. Ananda Jayawardena calls for university-industry collaboration

Views - 148 Monday, 17 September 2018 00:00

Falling in line with the global trend of entrepreneurship coupled with value addition, universities have to be entrepreneurial universities focusing on value addition, moving away from silos of knowledge to embrace a result-oriented interdisciplinary

Democratic societies and economic growth

Views - 51 Saturday, 15 September 2018 00:10

There seems to be a direct relationship between free and open democratic societies where there is freedom of speech and association on the one hand and faster economic growth on the other. Communist countries which did away with free markets found th

Northern Provincial Council’s demands out of sync with geo-political realities

Views - 162 Saturday, 15 September 2018 00:00

The Provincial Council of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution which put forth three very radical demands to the UN Human Rights Council (UHRC). But these hyperbolic demands seem to be unrealistic

Memories of late leader Ashraff

Views - 58 Saturday, 15 September 2018 00:00

By Ashraff A. Samad It is almost 18 years since he left us never to return. Leaders are born everywhere in the world and the services rendered by them for the good of their community are many. Although such services are remembered by the people now a

Criminalising the expression of the right to love is profoundly cruel and inhumane

Views - 242 Friday, 14 September 2018 00:00

In a landmark judgement delivered on 6 September 2018, the Indian Supreme Court in the case of Navtej Singh Johar and Others v. the Union of India has ruled that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which criminalises homosexuality, is unconst

The peril of low “economic complexity’: Endangering Sri Lanka’s future prosperity

Views - 328 Friday, 14 September 2018 00:00

Improving hygiene factors are a necessity, but sustainable export growth can be achieved only by building new productive capacities. Sri Lanka was the 61st largest economy in 2017 according the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) GDP (PPP) estimate

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera speaks at Cambridge University

Views - 202 Thursday, 13 September 2018 00:00

Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (INSSSL) Director General Asanga Abeyagoonasekera was invited to speak at the 36th International Economic Crime Symposium held at Jesus College Cambridge University from 2-9 September. Abeyagoonaseker

Real ‘janabalaya’ is yet to come

Views - 311 Wednesday, 12 September 2018 00:00

By Himal Kotelawala The thing about people’s protest marches in Sri Lanka, at least in recent years, is that they are rarely, if not ever, organic. An overwhelming majority of the participating masses, often numbering tens of thousands, are invaria

Talking over tea: The true dilemma of climate reality

Views - 104 Wednesday, 12 September 2018 00:00

By Aisha Rupasingha “When it comes to the environment, academics talk and nobody listens.” Latent frustration filled Dr. Timotheues Gaasbeek’s voice. He surveyed the room of graduate students before him, then raised a cautionary finger. “But

Forgiveness is nothing but reconciliation

Views - 97 Wednesday, 12 September 2018 00:00

By Harsha Gunasena Rahul Gandhi, President of the Congress Party, India said at the Bucerius Summer School in Hamburg, Germany on 22 August 2018 that he and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were not happy after the terror group LTTE’s chief Prabhak

Appreciation of Deshamanya Al Haj Bakeer Markar

Views - 76 Wednesday, 12 September 2018 00:00

By Austin Fernando Deshamanya Marhoom Al Haj Mohammed Abdul Bakeer Markar’s ancestry is traced to Sheik Jamaluddeen-Al-Maghdoomi, an Arab settler who settled down in Beruwala. His father Hakeem Alia Marikkar Mohomed Marikkar belonged to a family of

No time for different fuels; we are No. 4 in Climate Risk Index listing

Views - 355 Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:00

There is absolutely no time for different fuels as suggested by Prof. Ajith de Alwis in his article titled ‘It’s time for different fuels; equations are only equations’. We are at No. 4 slot in German Watch’s Climate Risk Index listing, havin

Has the private sector outperformed Government?

Views - 118 Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:00

The views of several business tycoons in Sri Lanka at a recent gathering were seen in social media recently. While the Government was criticised on one hand, plenty of advice was offered to the Government on the other. In that light, it would be inte

Identities can be used to divide, they can also be used to unite; the choice is ours

Views - 193 Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:00

Dear Member, your Council has completed more than half its term in elected office as we begin the month of August 2018. I think this is an opportune juncture to reflect upon what the SLMA set out to do at the beginning of the year and look towards th

Does Sri Lanka really need new hate speech legislation?

Views - 208 Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:00

The question of hate speech legislation has been revived in Sri Lanka following recent communal tensions in the country. This represents an understandable reaction by the public to vitriolic rhetoric and violence from extremist segments of society.

RIU Report: Cigarette smuggling still booming, fuelling criminality

Views - 69 Monday, 10 September 2018 00:08

Cigarettes are one of the most smuggled ‘legal’ products in the world, and cigarette smuggling is a form of transnational organised crime (US Department of State, 2015). Evidence shows many high-profile terrorist organisations such as Al-Qaida, e

Sri Lanka’s rupee and debt burden now at critical stage

Views - 769 Monday, 10 September 2018 00:04

Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy recently stated that the Central Bank is to soon raise $ 250 million through the issuance of Panda Bonds. Such funds would be in addition to the Syndicated Loan of $ 1,000 million that it has already r

Chandra J writes open letter to PM, President and Finance Minister

Views - 99 Saturday, 8 September 2018 00:10

In pursuit of your commitments to the Parliament please take additional steps re: Treasury bond case and ensure upholding the rule of law, justice and promotion of anti-corruption actions

Pakistan army is a paradox: It is both professional and political

Views - 127 Saturday, 8 September 2018 00:10

The Pakistan Army is a paradox. On the one hand, it is a professional outfit run along professional and ‘bureaucratic’ lines. But on the other, it is a highly politicised organisation in as much as it exercises decisive control over Pakistan’s

Dansalas and a home for the aged

Views - 170 Saturday, 8 September 2018 00:10

One of the more notable lay activities during the main Poya days is the dansala. Generally conducted in urban settings, soup kitchens of sorts, these are open houses where those passing by are assured of some victuals, even a proper meal in some plac

The death penalty – Is it not a deterrent?

Views - 10 Friday, 7 September 2018 00:00

People are arguing that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent since the crimes like murder keep on increasing while we still have the death penalty for murder and serious crimes in the law. True, the death penalty is in the legal system, b

Can scientists use AI to save the dwindling elephant population?

Views - 37 Friday, 7 September 2018 00:00

By Jennifer Langston Scientists with the Elephant Listening Project estimate that Africa’s population of forest elephants has dropped from roughly 100,000 animals in 2011 to fewer than 40,000 animals today. But those numbers are largely based on in

Discouraging unconscionable strikes

Views - 43 Friday, 7 September 2018 00:00

By Dr. A.C. Visvalingam The citizens of this country are utterly disappointed by the Government’s pusillanimous responses to the profusion of unconscionable strikes that are called by various groups that cause immense inconvenience and hardship, lo

Tribute to a legendary comrade-in-arms

Views - 48 Friday, 7 September 2018 00:00

By Maj. Gen. Nirmal Dharmaratne Major General Chagie Pamoda Gallage, WWV RWP RSP VSV USP USAWC, a true patriot, a soldier to the inner bone, an inspiring military leader and a gentleman to the fingertips, hung up his uniform on 31 August, after 35 y

Today's Columnists

Accessibility at buildings and places – Indispensable need to enjoy civil rights

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Have you not yet realised that the chances are now very high that at any stage or any moment in life, for a short time or for a long time, for different reasons, you or your loved ones could experience physical and/or sensory impediments, and fall in

Over-tourism: The new buzz word in tourism

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Periodically the tourism industry is in the habit of coming up with some interesting name to describe a new emerging trend or situation in the industry. Sometimes the phenomena is not new, but has become relevant and topical enough to ‘package’ a

Depreciation of the rupee and Sri Lanka’s dilemma

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

The rupee depreciated by Rs. 29 from 2005 to 2014 and the average year-on-year depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee was 2.8% per year. Official foreign reserves increased from $ 2.7 billion to $ 8.2 billion over the same period. In stark contrast, th

Laurels of ‘Living Together’: Refreshing reflections

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

It was a memorable evening with a mega gathering for a meaningfully different reason. It was not just another book launch with ego-boosting speeches about the author. It was also not an event where a popular politician coming late and preaching about

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