Columnists,Harsha Gunasena,Opinion and Issues

Reconciliation: Sinhalese attitude, Buddhist perspective and Indian solution

Views - 508 Saturday, 30 March 2019 00:10

Through the entire period of independence Sri Lanka experienced ethnic conflicts. The majority Sinhalese had conflicts with Tamils of Indian origin, Sri Lankan Tamils and Muslims. After the independence, especially after 1956, the Burgher community o

When primordial identity turns predatory

Views - 72 Saturday, 30 March 2019 00:08

The carnage in Christchurch, New Zealand, that killed almost 50 worshipping Muslims inside two mosques was not the first crime of Muslim hatred in history and will not be the last. The unassailable stand that Prime Minister Jacinda A

What Brexit means for UK-SL trade

Views - 137 Friday, 29 March 2019 00:00

London: The United Kingdom is one of the major trading partners of Sri Lanka, amounting to over 10% of the total annual trade. The trade between two countries has been on the upsurge for the last 18 years. In this context, the GSP+ scheme under whic

Labour law reforms: A Trojan horse for deregulation

Views - 230 Friday, 29 March 2019 00:00

Since coming into power in 2015, every Budget of the Yahapalana Government has faithfully advanced a labour law reform agenda. The 2019 Budget proposals attempt to frame labour law reforms as a solution to address the low participation of women in th

Grade 5 Scholarship Examination: Make it smarter, abolish not!

Views - 277 Friday, 29 March 2019 00:00

The President has made headlines declaring an intention by the Government to abolish the Grade Five Scholarship examination. The President is free to express his opinions but policy making has to be led by the Minister of Education and ratified by th

After Indo-Pak tensions, Sri Lanka should look to the Bay of Bengal

Views - 157 Thursday, 28 March 2019 00:07

The recent escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan has dashed any hopes that the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) can be revived in the next year or so. Sri Lanka should instead focus its regional efforts on maximisi

India’s new economic vision can transform South Asia in just a decade

Views - 237 Thursday, 28 March 2019 00:00

In South Asia, the India’s Economic Vision of 2022 is an upcoming economic model launched in June 2018, which is to change the social and economic status of the eight South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations. South Asia cons

Belt and Road friend in need: China and Sri Lanka

Views - 407 Thursday, 28 March 2019 00:00

In recent years, with the continuous improvement of the economic and trade cooperation between China and Sri Lanka, Chinese enterprises have made leaps and bounds in their investment in Sri Lanka and signed contracts to invest in large-scale projects

Enterprise Sri Lanka: empowering the merchants and nurturing the bankers

Views - 93 Thursday, 28 March 2019 00:00

In the lead up to the Budget Speech for 2019 by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, critics of this Government’s economic policy had anticipated either a populist ‘election Budget’ or an austerity-loaded ‘IMF Budget’. What we got instead

Tackling Non-Tariff Barriers at international and regional levels

Views - 139 Thursday, 28 March 2019 00:00

During past decades, tariffs have been reduced all over the world due to various reasons such as bilateral, regional and multilateral trade agreements, etc. Despite such reduction in tariffs, the wide range of Non-Tariff Barriers is on the rise that

The big disappointment

Views - 38 Thursday, 28 March 2019 00:00

Ranil Wickremesinghe celebrated 70 years this week. Unlike any other UNP leader before him, he has the record of being the longest-serving UNP Leader, being appointed as Prime Minister five times, and also the longest-serving Opposition Leader. While

Addressing Sri Lanka’s macroeconomic challenges

Views - 262 Thursday, 28 March 2019 00:00

By Utsav Kumar and Dushni Weerakoon Sri Lanka is widely recognised for its rapid development progress—as shown by various development indicators—but underperformance on growth. The country’s growth slowed to 3.2% in 2018. So what is holding ba

Bringing world-class facility management practices to Sri Lanka

Views - 113 Thursday, 28 March 2019 00:00

Evbex-Asia CEO and Partner Richard Davies recently visited Sri Lanka to make presentations to the National Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Facilities Management and to the University of Moratuwa on the subject of Facilities Management (FM). Whi

Who, when, where? Improved data and information for tourism development in Sri Lanka

Views - 159 Thursday, 28 March 2019 00:00

Since the end of the conflict in 2009, Sri Lanka’s tourism sector has seen unprecedented growth, with the number of tourist arrivals to the island increasing annually. Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka has increased by more than 2.8 times during the la

Electing a set of effective leaders who could lead the country to prosperity

Views - 79 Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:00

Readers might remember the article by this writer that appeared in the Daily Financial Times on 26 February titled ‘How can Sri Lanka avoid imminent economic collapse and extreme poverty?’ (

Worms destroying agriculture

Views - 113 Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:00

By mid-March the majority of paddy farmers have completed harvesting their Maha crop; some with financial issues have already disposed their stocks to middlemen. Others are fighting to get a reasonable price for their stocks. The Paddy Marketing Boa

Coalition of stakeholders urged to contribute to gender diversity initiatives

Views - 63 Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:00

Against the backdrop of the 7 March CSE event “Ring The Bell For Gender Equality” to commemorate International Women’s Day (on 8 March), Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) Chairman Ranel Wijesinha shared the following on the

AI and political marketing

Views - 1359 Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:00

Artificial Intelligence has become a hot topic in the recent past in Sri Lanka, with an eminent business personality explaining how his companies like Singer and HAYLEYS are using this technology to better serve the customers. Let me do a deep dive i

Govt.’s 2019 Budget proposals are detrimental to women and children

Views - 290 Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:00

The focus and attempt to create a gender-progressive Budget this fiscal year is indeed welcome. However, reading through the Budget proposals, it is alarming to see how many of its allocations to address women’s issues tend to further discriminate

‘Reconciliation through Economic Development’: Budget 2019’s hollow prescription for north and east

Views - 142 Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:00

A significant focus of the 2019 Budget is ‘Reconciliation through Economic Development’. The section dedicated to it is rife with avenues of debt relief for communities in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, and simultaneously injects money into

Grunting about the disgruntled Tamil diaspora

Views - 68 Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:00

By Sanmugam Kanaga-Ratnam According to legend, on 19 March each year, St. Joseph’s Day, swallows migrate some 6,000 miles from Argentina to San Juan Capistrano in Southern California and people from all over the world come to see this returning

Political bait to woo the professionals or a genuine effort to build the economy?

Views - 115 Tuesday, 26 March 2019 00:00

It has been a forgone conclusion that Sri Lanka’s current economic woes have been precipitated by the debt burden the country has to serve in the short term and the negative Balance of Trade. Whilst improving tax collection is a temporary measure t

Christchurch massacre and the Australian Labor Party

Views - 82 Tuesday, 26 March 2019 00:00

“He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety, and that is why you will never hear me mention his name… He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless… And to others I impl

4-day work week: A solution to many problems?

Views - 531 Tuesday, 26 March 2019 00:00

A three-day weekend every week and only four days of work a week. The idea would seem too good to be true for many. But this is an idea that is being experimented in the West and some companies have already started out on a four-day work week. How ab

The need for a practical election manifesto

Views - 31 Tuesday, 26 March 2019 00:00

Major elections are round the corner. The politicians are already in discussions to make political alliances with the hope of getting more votes. Unfortunately not much regard is paid to policies or a plan for the country. The standard practice is to

Handagama’s Asandimitta: Not mere psychoanalysis; sociocultural, political and economic analysis too

Views - 6870 Monday, 25 March 2019 00:30

Sri Lanka’s award winning film director, Asoka Handagama, screened his latest creative work, Asandimitta, before an invited audience in Colombo last week. This was a prelude to its public release, which was to be commenced immediately. Handagama i

From Vacation to Workation: Lessons for Lankans

Views - 387 Monday, 25 March 2019 00:00

Vacation is something we know and look forward to in our lives. What about workation? The relatively newer term comes with a mixed bag of promises and pitfalls. Some even call it a sad trend of our times. How do we Sri Lankans behave? Are we drifting

All kinds of terrorism

Views - 24 Saturday, 23 March 2019 12:01

In general, terrorism is classified as the use of violence or threat of violence in the pursuit of political, religious, ideological or social objectives. It can be committed by non-state actors or undercover personnel serving on the behalf of their

Malik commends Budget 2019, says it strengthens Vision 2025 ambition

Views - 31 Saturday, 23 March 2019 00:10

Mr. Speaker, the 2019 National Budget has outlined a progressive agenda for action to place the economy on a stronger growth path, with a twin focus on growing enterprises and nurturing the poor. The Budget has also ensured that the macroeconomy is

Mangala condemns Mahinda for “misleading public with misinformation”

Views - 101 Saturday, 23 March 2019 00:10

Following is the response by Minister Mangala Samaraweera to MP Mahinda Rajapaksa’s statement on 17 March instructing the Government on what its position should be when the UN Human Rights Council discusses Sri Lanka’s progress on national r

Today's Columnists

Wounding the social psyche

Friday, 19 April 2019

In this article, I intend to discuss the serious wounds inflicted on the psyche of Sri Lankan society, which have not received adequate attention, but need immediate cure, for they might develop into a dangerous cancer if not treated without further

No more stones to break Sri Lankan bones

Friday, 19 April 2019

Trial by fire is not a new ordeal to Christian community. It predates Notre Dame and Nazism by millennia. In fact, a decade or so before Nero torched believers to light Roman avenues, Jewish religious leaders put Jesus-followers to the test as the Ch

What 5G could be to Game of Thrones (and vice versa)

Friday, 19 April 2019

We will be hearing a lot about these two seemingly unrelated topics this month. In a hurriedly but meticulously organised event, Dialog Axiata recently demonstrated 5G applications for the first time in South Asia. 5G will be commercially available

On time – Only for a week! A must-change!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

We are in April and the month where we witness the declaration of a new year as per our traditional practice. It is that period of time when a huge majority of our population, which certainly can be counted in millions, intends to act in unison and q

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