Opinion and Issues

Chorus growing for need to enact the Animal Welfare Bill

Views - 70 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 - 317 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 - 309 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 - 9302 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 - 692 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 - 107 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 - 140 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 - 41 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 - 1617 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 - 133 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 - 80 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 - 120 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 - 23 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 - 116 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 - 748 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 - 514 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 - 514 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 - 161 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 - 365 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


Views - 93 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 - 41 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

National Security Think Tank explainer on ballistic missile proliferation

Views - 269 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:00

Ballistic missiles are rocket propelled weapons systems capable of carrying high explosives and also chemical, biological and nuclear munitions. Ballistic missiles fall into several categories such as strategic missiles (capable of being launched by

Seeking IMF support is necessary, but ailing economy needs permanent treatment

Views - 6629 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:10

Hitting a dying man on the head A high-level delegation led by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has left for Washington DC to meet IMF’s high-ups. The purpose? To negotiate for the restoration of the Extended Fund Facility or EFF temporarily su

Wahhabi Salafi orthodoxy and an apostate

Views - 356 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:04

“Don’t let anyone break your wings, you are free, fight and get your RIGHTS,” were the words tweeted by the 18-year-old apostate, Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun from Saudi Arabia, who renounced Islam, ran away from her family and sought asylum in a f

FCCISL on Government’s road to FTAs: How rational? Part 1

Views - 267 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

The policy debate towards negotiations on Free Trade Agreements (FTA) has been intensified after Sri Lanka signed a Free Trade Agreement with Singapore in 2018. Almost two decades ago, Sri Lanka entered into its first-ever FTA with India, followed by

Significance of sustainable HRM: A salient Sri Lankan effort

Views - 647 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

I witnessed the launch of a book with a difference recently. It was Senior Professor Henarath Opatha, a veteran researcher in the field of HRM presenting his newest contribution titled ‘Sustainable HRM’. Today’s column is about the nature and f

O Democracy! What crimes are committed in thy name?

Views - 100 Saturday, 12 January 2019 00:00

Copious amounts of what has to be construed as democracy administered broadly and expansively to drench a desperate, bewildered citizenry by a rotating leadership of confirmed crooks pregnant with hypocrisy and insincerity have in essence contributed

Narratives from Jaffna

Views - 810 Friday, 11 January 2019 00:19

It is after some months that I visited Jaffna three weeks back, to spend the holiday season. As in almost every visit, I make it a point to go to the Jaffna Public Library. Every time I climb those steps, it is with reverence mixed with a deep sadnes

Today's Columnists

Rolling back big government – The next big challenge

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Preliminary estimates in the 2019 Budget to be presented on 5 March this year include an income of 2.5 trillion and a debt service requirements of a whopping 2.2 trillion, leaving only a net income of 0.3 trillion. As for expenditure, the Government

Lasantha, journalists and diplomats

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

We find scarce little to celebrate in a sullied land, marking our days remembering the tragedies that tell our blood-soaked history. In the troubled decades preceding, many, from the highest in the land to average citizens, have met with violent ends

Automation and machine learning: Helping organisations extract deeper value from data

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The world is in the midst of a data explosion. Humans are generating an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day1, according to Forbes, and more data was created in the past two years than in all of human history. No wonder data now r

SL tourism: From TOM to experience the brand in 2019

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Last week I had just crossed the border that separates Laos from Thailand and was on route via land to Thailand. My mind was on Laos – a country branded globally as ‘Simply Beautiful’ (backed by the ADB in 2018) to attract visitors into the cou

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