Opinion and Issues

MTI recommends a strategic approach to ministerial portfolio allocation

Views - 145 Monday, 25 November 2019 00:00

The decision to limit the Cabinet to 15 (sans the entourage of deputies and State ministers), be it motivated by legislation or the new leadership, is certainly a step in the right direction. Hope it stays this way – in terms of the cadre of minist


Where you can find answers to Sinhala and Tamil issues on digital devices

Views - 37 Monday, 25 November 2019 00:00

By Harsha Wijayawardhana Today Sinhala is widely used on computers, mobile phones, and on the internet and Sinhala computerisation has come a long way since the early days in the 1980s. It has been calculated that more than three million Facebook use


Removing the burden of SOEs on our people

Views - 83 Monday, 25 November 2019 00:00

No one seems to know precisely how many business enterprises the Government owns. Official Government figures suggest 55 businesses, but these are only those which are considered to be strategic. The Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report 2019 issued by th


Sri Lanka’s new ‘Terminator’ President polarises nation

Views - 487 Saturday, 23 November 2019 00:00

By Marwaan Macan-Markar asia.nikkei.com: Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s siblings call him the ‘Terminator’, and the 70-year-old cultivated that macho image to win Sri Lanka’s Presidential Election on Saturday. Rajapaksa took 52.2% of the ballots cast t


The leadership of the ‘Grand Old Party’ must face the reality

Views - 171 Saturday, 23 November 2019 00:00

Sajith Premadasa after a huge tussle got hold of the UNP nominations in September, but could not deliver the outcome the members of the GOP wanted. Immediately, his promoters put the blame on those people who they alleged did not support their candid


Public inquiry into corruption in the energy sector

Views - 72 Saturday, 23 November 2019 00:00

It is a shocking fact that Sri Lanka’s energy costs are among the highest in Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, etc. This fact impacts our cost of production and of course has resulted in a retarded development of the economy. Becaus


New President, the custodian of compliance

Views - 77 Saturday, 23 November 2019 00:00

It is heartening to note the civilised approach of Gotabaya Rajapaksa since his ascension to the power and authority in governance of the island nation. As we all witnessed Sri Lanka was not only driven towards economic bankruptcy but also was on the


Gotabaya’s opportunity to shine in Sri Lanka

Views - 2108 Friday, 22 November 2019 00:10

In January this year an iron curtain had descended to end Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s elusive dream to become the 7th president of Sri Lanka. Then, several legal battles threatened to put the final full stop to his political ambition to be the President.


’56 reborn

Views - 1540 Friday, 22 November 2019 00:05

The outcome of Presidential Election 2019 can be regarded as a miracle in the political sphere rather than an ordinary election victory of a political party. The prevailing view in Sri Lanka was that a Presidential Election could not be solely won on


Entrepreneurship and the future focus of Sri Lanka

Views - 464 Friday, 22 November 2019 00:05

Entrepreneurship is a key driver for any economy. Sri Lanka has a very low presence of entrepreneurs in the market numbering less than 1.5% of the population. This compared to some of the other countries in the Asian region such as Vietnam and Thaila


Beyond traditional tourism

Views - 277 Friday, 22 November 2019 00:02

“Travel for pleasure or business” is defined as tourism. Moreover, theory and the practice of exploring, the business of selling the attractions, accommodations, providing entertainment to the tourists, and the commercial tour arrangements of op


Open letter to my fellow Sri Lankan Muslims:  A response from a Muslim Sri Lankan

Views - 164 Friday, 22 November 2019 00:02

Living as we do ‘in a pluralistic, multi-ethnic, multilingual and multi-cultural society’, there is much that the various communities have in common while simultaneously possessing sharply differentiating attributes. In our collective effort to f


Employee to entrepreneur: mindset change needed

Views - 81 Friday, 22 November 2019 00:01

There is nothing stopping you from being like the Chairman of your company except the fact that you do not want to go from working to achieve your Chairman’s dreams to working on your own dreams. If your Chairman or his father (if he inherited his


Open letter to President Gotabaya

Views - 50 Thursday, 21 November 2019 00:00

Dear President, Let me congratulate you on being elected as the seventh Executive President with an overwhelming mandate. I am sure, even you did not expect such a huge majority. Though I did not vote for you, you have got the endorsement from a vast


Power of the spoken word: The inaugural address to the nation by the 7th Executive President of Sri Lanka

Views - 292 Thursday, 21 November 2019 00:00

The Seventh Executive President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa delivered what is perhaps the most focused and succinct inaugural speech at the feet of the historic Ruwanweli Mahaseya Stupa on ironically his brother’s birthday. Despite sharing a w


Air India over Colombo

Views - 817 Thursday, 21 November 2019 00:00

Amidst the busy politicking in November an unexpected appearance of quite a number of packets of air over the country and in particularly over Colombo caused some distractions and elicited few warnings of a different type. This is about the smog-la


Sibling wins, patriarch celebrates and minorities stunned

Views - 567 Thursday, 21 November 2019 00:00

Is there a more precious gift a family patriarch, who himself a former ruler, could expect to receive on his 74th birthday, than to see his own brother becoming the supreme head of the country he ruled? The victory of Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR


An executive presidency and a technocratic Cabinet accountable to Parliament

Views - 470 Thursday, 21 November 2019 00:00

Basil Rajapaksa of the winning party in the 2019 Presidential Election had said that the 19th Amendment (19A) has some good parts and some bad parts. The 19A indeed gives us much despite its flaws. However, the lack of a coherent architecture therein


Post-mortem on UNP defeat

Views - 404 Wednesday, 20 November 2019 23:42

I believe no post-mortems are necessary on the causes for defeat of the UNP candidate as the reasons were very clear seeing the bickering at the very first post-election meeting of the UNP hierarchy held earlier this week. Although at the election th


Ministry of Ports and Shipping: A nation rich in maritime logistics

Views - 446 Wednesday, 20 November 2019 01:25

Goals n Increase total capacity of Colombo port to 21.1 million TEUs. n Develop cruise destination hubs. n Improve efficiency in the ports. Action plan 1. Colombo Port development The Port currently accommodates 7.5 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Uni


New cabinet of ministers: How to make?

Views - 1383 Wednesday, 20 November 2019 01:19

A new cabinet of ministers being appointed after the Presidential Election is inevitable. It is not only fair but also constitutional. However, it must be done intelligently and with understanding. Otherwise, the citizens’ decision on 16 November c


Mr. President, economic policy will make or break you

Views - 417 Wednesday, 20 November 2019 01:15

The election result was probably not a surprise. The economic performance was well below par over the last four years and the outcome was inevitable. On one hand economic growth has plummeted to the lowest in South Asia at around 2%. The per capita


Promoting a peaceful tolerance and coexistence in the Sri Lankan plurality

Views - 173 Wednesday, 20 November 2019 01:08

Epictetus, the Greek stoic philosopher, was accustomed to saying that there are two vices that are by far the most grave and vile of all; lack of endurance and lack of self-control; when either we do not endure or bear the wrongs we ought to bear, or


Unfair to attribute racist dimension to Tamil vote, says Sampanthan

Views - 36 Wednesday, 20 November 2019 01:07

The Hindu: People’s democratic choices must be accepted, says the senior Tamil leader. It is unfair to attribute a “racist” dimension to the Tamil vote in Sri Lanka’s Presidential Election, according to senior Tamil leader R. Sampanthan. His


Presidential Election: Healing wounds is the new task

Views - 81 Wednesday, 20 November 2019 01:04

Sri Lanka’s eighth Presidential Election held on Saturday has produced an outcome that has surprised the winners, the losers as well as the observers. The most obvious, and arguably disquieting, and utterly unanticipated trend that became immediate


It’s time for healing wounds and to define the broader objectives of nation building

Views - 51 Wednesday, 20 November 2019 01:01

Sri Lanka has a new President who has secured a substantial number of votes at the Presidential Election over his main contender Sajith Premadasa. In the context of nation building, no one has won and no one has lost. The voters exercised their democ


The Yahapalanaya experiment is in Gota’s hands

Views - 216 Tuesday, 19 November 2019 00:00

By VLM Last week (see http://www.ft.lk/opinion/Why-Gotabaya-will-win/14-689597) we predicted that the 2019 Presidential Election would fall closely but convincingly to the hands of the Rajapaksas. With a 52%-42% (or 52%-42%+6% if you’re being pedan


Victory over the oppressed

Views - 897 Tuesday, 19 November 2019 00:00

The Presidential Election is over and the new President has taken his oaths. Although there were opinions expressed that there can be a second count of preference votes of the candidates other than the first and second, it was an easy victory for Got


Open letter to my fellow Sri Lankan Muslims

Views - 493 Tuesday, 19 November 2019 00:00

Dear friends, I extend my personal congratulations to Gotabaya Rajapaksa who has just been elected as the seventh Executive President of Sri Lanka. May I also take this opportunity of conveying the following for your reflection. The elections held on


Encouraging creativity in Sri Lankan schools for a productive economy

Views - 394 Monday, 18 November 2019 00:59

By Maya Karunaratne Sri Lanka boasts remarkable progress in terms of basic education indicators including free education since 1947 and an above 90% literacy rate. Unfortunately, take a deeper dive, and the system wreaks of an obsolete, exam-oriented


Today's Columnists

Peace, business and prosperity

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Every nation, every community and each individual is facing the social and political impact along with the impact of violence. Interpersonal violence results in medical, policing and judicial costs immediately after the violent incident occurs and it


‘Data is the new oil’: An introduction to the proposed Data Protection Act

Friday, 6 December 2019

Data protection is not a concept we, in Sri Lanka, are familiar with. Globally, the laws surrounding data protection have been around for about 20 years. And we are only just about getting started. The proposed ‘Data Protection Act’ (hereinafter


Education: An integral part of entrepreneurship development

Friday, 6 December 2019

Governments across the world have recognised the importance of State intervention to encourage private sector innovation towards strengthening entrepreneurships in order to capitalise on comparative and competitive advantages. The main pillar of entr


Moving away from an insular mindset concerning the tea export business

Friday, 6 December 2019

Sri Lanka mainly produces Orthodox teas as opposed to CTC teas which are largely used in producing tea bags. We are ahead of others in the former category but unfortunately way behind on the latter due to our closed and insular policies. Assuming an


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