Columnists,Opinion and Issues

Why not sing the National Anthem in Sinhala and Tamil at the Independence Day celebration?

Views - 169 Tuesday, 21 January 2020 00:00

There is debate whether the National Anthem of Sri Lanka should be sung only in Sinhala or in Tamil as well. Hopefully, this debate and the discussions that are going on will contexualise this issue to what is relevant and best for Sri Lanka, and not

Cultural dynamics and the beauty of multi-ethnic society in Sri Lanka

Views - 119 Tuesday, 21 January 2020 00:00

Modern world is full of multidimensional and multidisciplinary conflicts involving use of physical and psychological violent tools. The panacea for conflict resolution requires revivalist research in the mind of an individual and physical outburst is

Saving Gotabaya

Views - 1006 Tuesday, 21 January 2020 00:00

Nearly two months have passed since Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) was elected to the presidency. Although it is too soon to make any informed judgement on his administration, his achievements so far, in improving efficiency and productivity in public admin

Strategic thinking and planned processes key to economic development

Views - 314 Tuesday, 21 January 2020 00:00

Higher education cannot be experienced, nor can it function in isolation from its relevant industries. We need to be aware of the country’s demand for resources and an effective workforce that will support industries to take the economy to the next

Fresh storm in teacup

Views - 63 Tuesday, 21 January 2020 00:00

I read with interest the Daily FT article titled ‘Fresh storm in teacup’. ( Having a background in plantation for two-and-a-half decades, and moreover, having inherited the profession, I

Limping merchandise exports: Gota should not make the same mistakes as the previous governments

Views - 7133 Monday, 20 January 2020 02:20

Sri Lanka’s sluggish export performance Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports have been limping from around 2011. Exports which amounted to $ 10.6 billion in 2011 have changed at a very slow rate since then. During 2011-18, the average annual merchandi

2020 – What will the decade ahead hold for aviation?

Views - 291 Monday, 20 January 2020 02:16

Crystal balls are murky things, and predicting what is ahead for the next decade is fraught with pitfalls. This is especially true in the aerospace industry as there is so little history to go on. As readers of this column are aware, the airline indu

UNP’s leadership crisis, democratic balance and stability

Views - 509 Monday, 20 January 2020 01:12

The UNP is in decline not because it divided, but because its leadership is in a state of advanced deterioration and decay. The party has failed to replace or separate itself from the incubus of its hopelessly out of touch and durably unsuccessful Ol

US-Iran standoff could hurt South Asia

Views - 254 Saturday, 18 January 2020 00:05

The killing of the second most powerful leader in Iran by the US military a few days back immediately resulted in investors fleeing away from volatile assets and also helped to destabilise the region once again. The US could very well find itself wit

SOEs, meritocracy mixed with idiocracy and shady people: Soup is getting spoilt?

Views - 1013 Saturday, 18 January 2020 00:05

No doubt most of the State-Owned Enterprises in Sri Lanka are run worse than a wayside boutique. Public officials towing political lines have ruined them systematically over a period, they have become politicised,

Tea and Empire

Views - 263 Saturday, 18 January 2020 00:02

For more than a century, tea has been a major stay of our economy; a primary earner of foreign exchange, an income source for many thousands. Like all commercial crops organised as labour intensive plantation industries, earnings range from the lavi

University teachers of Sri Lanka in solidarity with Indian students and teachers

Views - 92 Saturday, 18 January 2020 00:02

We as university teachers from Sri Lanka are shocked by the recent attacks on democratic freedoms in India. Since the introduction of the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act in India, we have seen courageous protests emerge all over India by peo

Is assisting Election Commission a disqualification to serve on ICTA Board?

Views - 924 Friday, 17 January 2020 00:10

I was saddened by the criticisms of the suitability of two of the current directors of the ICT Agency Sanjiva Weerawarana, Wasantha Deshapriya to hold office because they had assisted the Election Commission develop its technology capabilities on th

Introduction to Unicode and how to type and store in Sinhala using Unicode fonts

Views - 119 Friday, 17 January 2020 00:10

Sinhala and Tamil are categorised under complex scripts at the time Unicode technology was created to render them on computers. Sinhala had taken a long and arduous computerisation journey, in the outcome of which it stands on its own shoulder to sho

Replacing the 300MW proposed expansion of Norochcholai Power Plant with a floating solar power plant in Puttalam Lagoon

Views - 493 Friday, 17 January 2020 00:09

A 300MW addition to Norochcholai should provide 1,800GWh (at 75% plant utilisation). To match this, we need 1,200MW of floating solar PV – to be installed in Puttalam lagoon – using 725ha, a mere 2% of the lagoon surface area. This can be broken

Nudity exposed

Views - 1330 Friday, 17 January 2020 00:09

The collection of recorded telephone conversations of Ranjan Ramanayaka can be said to have become a kind of collection of short films that reveal the degeneration of the entire institutional system of the country while conveying the message of it to

Tea industry has the power to ignite economic resurgence for new Govt. led by Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Views - 268 Friday, 17 January 2020 00:06

In order to make use of the opportunities rampant in the world consumer preferences and to meet such demands by producing quality controlled products at profitable and competitive levels, the overall tea industry must be looked at from a different pe

Collective bargaining demands a democratic opposition

Views - 55 Thursday, 16 January 2020 00:06

The current government is going on a charm offensive in the run up to the Parliamentary Elections. Despite the anxieties of minorities and dissidents, among others, many seem to be convinced by the Government’s ability to get things done. The Presi

Do not exploit the struggle for MMDA reform; reject repeal, support reform

Views - 197 Thursday, 16 January 2020 00:05

We are deeply disappointed that a Bill to repeal the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act of 1951 (MMDA) has been tabled in Parliament by MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana on 8 January. It is claimed that the purpose of the Bill is to address the grievances of M

Trade unions press State to ratify ILO Convention

Views - 110 Thursday, 16 January 2020 00:04

Just over a month ago, Sri Lanka trade unions led by the National Union of Seafarers Sri Lanka (NUSS) launched a gap analysis that looked at the Sri Lankan law in comparison with the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Convention 190 – ‘V

Why foreign earnings could solve the debt problem

Views - 268 Thursday, 16 January 2020 00:01

It was heartening to note that some have read my recent book, although some feedback was critical about some of the contents. “Why do you say external current account deficit is more important than fiscal deficit? Aren’t those two linked anyway?

Are we a zero-sum economy?

Views - 136 Thursday, 16 January 2020 00:00

It is very probable that we have been heading towards a zero-sum economy since the first industrial revolution in 1760. Although demand and supply existed long before the industrial revolution, countries, and regions and brands have sought to gain an

Use resources wisely and change the to circular economy – A call to arms

Views - 159 Thursday, 16 January 2020 00:00

Sri Lanka has a debt of $ 4.8 b to repay this year and this is an enormous burden, to say the least. When we see the income from products in the export basket we should be able to understand that this task has to be achieved after compromising quite

The tale of a National Anthem: What do we know and where do we go from here?

Views - 864 Thursday, 16 January 2020 00:00

The national anthem of a country is considered a national symbol, which is intended to unify a group of people. The language used in an anthem is meant to evoke emotions of belongingness, national identification, and group membership. The psychologi

Election year: Voters, please take note

Views - 339 Thursday, 16 January 2020 00:00

The public is watching with dismay how the main political parties and the respective leaders have commenced canvassing for votes to get back to the Parliament. In this regard I would like to draw the attention of the general public to what we have wi

Public health inspectors/Consumer Affairs Authority should conduct spot raids

Views - 41 Wednesday, 15 January 2020 01:02

It was around 8:30 p.m. yesterday, I went to a leading supermarket housed in the ground floor of a somewhat newly-built apartment located in Sirimavo Bandaranaike Mawatha, Colombo 12 on my way to my daughter’s home at Armour Street....

EU continues to list Sri Lanka’s LTTE as a terrorist organisation

Views - 93 Wednesday, 15 January 2020 01:00

The European Council today renewed the so-called European Union terrorist list, which sets out persons, groups and entities subject to restrictive measures with a view to combating terrorism.

Human Rights Watch calls on Sri Lanka to repeal abusive counterterrorism Law

Views - 93 Tuesday, 14 January 2020 00:20

The New York-based global rights organisation, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the Sri Lankan Government to repeal the draconian counterterrorism law and uphold pledges made to United Nations and European Union. The Sri Lankan Government shoul

Militant monk modernises Muslim marriages

Views - 76 Tuesday, 14 January 2020 00:00

Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera’s private bill in Parliament to altogether remove the MMDA, apparently to save underage Muslim girls from being forcibly married, and to modernise Muslim marriage and divorce, although seemingly progressive to the unin

A century of multilateralism: Will it last another 100?

Views - 132 Tuesday, 14 January 2020 00:00

Wilsonian idealism gave birth to multilateralism a century ago as nation states emerged from the ravages of the Great War, which came to be identified as the First World War in ensuing decades. The depth of the devastation, the incomparable loss of l

Today's Columnists

Strategies towards the vision of ‘Clean Country – Green Environment’

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Sri Lanka is a small island in South Asia. In early times, it was named the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. But what is happening to the pearl now? As a result of urbanisation and increase of population, environmental issues related to solid waste are inc

Has Sri Lanka really understood India’s economic potential?

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

India, a land with a diverse culture and heritage, is no doubt the centre of the South Asia that can take rest of the countries surrounding it to greater economic prosperity within the next few decades. This article is not a technical analysis of Ind

A challenge for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa: The societal, economic and political debt

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

The challenges before President Rajapaksa in balancing and striving towards balancing the societal, economic and political balance sheets is enormous. Although shown separately, these three are interconnected and interdependent, therefore requiring a

Gota’s ‘Viyathmaga’ to the future

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Any critical assessment of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa must take into consideration the salient characteristics that make him stand out from the run-of-the-mill politicians who had occupied the peaks of power.

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