Columnists,Opinion and Issues,Front Page

Sri Lanka’s Electronic National ID carries serious risks

Views - 661 Thursday, 14 September 2017 00:00

According to a news report, the Department for Registration of Persons (DRP) is to issue a new ‘smart ID’ within the next two months.


Automation, machines replacing humans and what’s in store for Sri Lanka

Views - 384 Thursday, 14 September 2017 00:00

Automation has been playing an increasingly important role in improving efficiency and reducing costs in many industries and sectors. It has also been sought after for addressing the challenges of skills shortage in certain industries while also thre


Ambassador Wells on ‘Maintaining US Influence in South Asia: The FY 2018 Budget’

Views - 57 Wednesday, 13 September 2017 00:00

Following is the statement by Ambassador Alice Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, US Department of State before the HFAC Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on ‘Maintaining US Influence in South Asia: The


Decriminalise abortion in Sri Lanka: Statement by human rights defenders and women’s groups

Views - 90 Wednesday, 13 September 2017 00:00

As a collective of organisations and individuals who work on women’s human rights in Sri Lanka, we are keen to add our voices to the prevailing debate in public fora around legislation governing abortion.


Family businesses: Taking over the mantle

Views - 153 Wednesday, 13 September 2017 00:00

On 2 August, global strategy consulting firm STAX and Sri Lanka Institute of Directors unveiled the results from the first-ever survey of Sri Lankan family businesses and convened a stimulating panel discussion


The 3 Es of effective Board Leadership

Views - 119 Wednesday, 13 September 2017 00:00

knowledge.insead.edu: Boards of directors often get media attention when something goes wrong. The board of VW, for instance, was recently in the news after it received a terrible corporate governance rating based on the 2015 emissions scandal and it


South-South investment: A necessary synergy with development finance

Views - 53 Tuesday, 12 September 2017 00:00

Even though 35 developed countries pledged to provide 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI) to foreign aid, only six nations - the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, and Sweden - currently fulfil this obligation.


The pre-1977 closed economy: Lest we forget

Views - 655 Saturday, 9 September 2017 00:00

This article is composed of what the writer could recollect when functioning as the Deputy Controller Imports and Exports during the pre-1977 period. It is intended to draw attention to the negative effects of a Closed Economy which we may be heading


Positive occurrences over the last 3 months in Sri Lanka

Views - 1601 Saturday, 9 September 2017 00:00

When it comes to the recent state of events in Sri Lanka, especially relating to politics, there has been a lot of talk of negative issues. Recent issues include the constant strikes burdening the public, the garbage problem, the threat of dengue and


Some realities of poverty alleviation

Views - 113 Saturday, 9 September 2017 00:00

The year 2017 which began nobly with President Maithripala Sirisena dedicating it as the ‘Year of Poverty Alleviation’ was soon enough engulfed with drought, muck-slides, mudslides and floods. As is always the case, it is the low-income-earning s


Are we sure we are leaving no one behind?

Views - 64 Friday, 8 September 2017 00:00

The underlying theme for the 2030 Agenda is that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals should be achieved without a disparity between different groups; everybody should progress at the same rate to ensure the development of a country and with it, the


“As long as there is suffering somewhere, no one is safe”

Views - 58 Thursday, 7 September 2017 00:00

Following is the Valedictory Address delivered by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary Prasad Kariyawasam at the Colombo Defence Seminar 2017 themed ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ on Tuesday 29 August


A poverty-free future?

Views - 89 Wednesday, 6 September 2017 00:00

Although great strides have been taken to address this issue, the problem of poverty persists in society to this day. The history of post-independence Sri Lanka has been characterised by its substantial provision of social protection programs, partic


Ajith Nivard Cabraal’s statement on Greek bonds and his extravagance

Views - 338 Wednesday, 6 September 2017 00:00

I refer to Janitha Devapriya’s letter on the above subject (Daily FT 31 August) and the very interesting points he highlighted in respect of the Central Bank’s investments in Greek bonds in response to the statement issued by former Governor.


Sri Lanka should be watchful – Our economic development program under the Maritime Silk Road

Views - 279 Friday, 1 September 2017 00:00

The OBOR (One Belt and One Road), also known as the BRI (Belt & the Road Initiative) launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September 2013 has become a popular subject of discussion involving China’s intentions, participating countries’ expe


Former Governor Cabraal’s statement on Greek bonds – A comment

Views - 583 Thursday, 31 August 2017 00:56

The statement of former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal in the Daily FT of 26 August, where he defends the investment of Central Bank in Greek bonds in 2011 as a ‘wise’ move in risk management strategy of the foreign exchange reserves


SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka offers a loving home for children who have lost parental care

Views - 108 Wednesday, 30 August 2017 00:00

Currently there are 340,000 children who have lost parental care due to various reasons in Sri Lanka. These children grow up without basic human needs such as food, water, clothing, shelter and also lack sanitation, education and healthcare. Some of


Hemas ‘Piyawara Singithi Diriya’ Prison Project to enrich and empower children

Views - 71 Wednesday, 30 August 2017 00:00

The Hemas Outreach Foundation (HOF), in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Welikada Prison Authorities, launched ‘Piyawara Singithi Diriya’, a special project aimed at empowering the lives of children


Justice must be served equally to all

Views - 453 Wednesday, 30 August 2017 00:00

Due to public pressure and the President’s firmness, Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake was forced to resign from his Ministry two weeks ago. Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake is currently being investigated regarding the alleged B


Bloomberg charity scrutinised by India for anti-tobacco funding, lobbying: documents

Views - 73 Wednesday, 30 August 2017 00:00

New Delhi (Reuters): India has been investigating how Bloomberg Philanthropies, founded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, funds local non-profit groups for anti-tobacco lobbying, government documents show, making it the latest foreign non-government


When in the eye of a storm…

Views - 244 Monday, 28 August 2017 00:14

By Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough http://blogs.worldbank.org: This year, yet again, flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains came and receded. Meanwhile, this year alone, more than one million people have been hard hit by the worst drought in 40 year


Ranil Wickremesinghe - A Political Biography by Dinesh Weerakkody

Views - 420 Saturday, 26 August 2017 00:29

By Ilica Malkanthi Karunaratne This book by Dinesh Weerakkody, a top private sector executive who has many publications to his credit, traces the political journey of an extraordinary statesman and should be of interest to all citizens of Sri La


EU boost not enough to revive Sri Lanka’s garment industry

Views - 708 Friday, 25 August 2017 00:00

  Sector has fallen well behind rivals such as Bangladesh  By Munza Mushtaq Nikkei Asian Review: Despite a recent move by the European Union to restore Sri Lanka to its highly-favourable Generalised System of Pre


Corruption is crippling Coalition Government

Views - 699 Thursday, 24 August 2017 00:36

By Munza Mushtaq Asia Times: Marred by serious allegations of corruption and mismanagement, Sri Lanka’s much-hyped Coalition Government appears to have very little to celebrate as it completes two years in power. The Coalition Government un


New constitution a must

Views - 588 Thursday, 24 August 2017 00:30

By The Friday Forum  The peoples’ verdict at the presidential election of January 2015 reflected the mandate of the people for a new constitution to remedy democratic deficits in Sri Lanka’s governance arrangements, nearly 40 ye


Make-or-break window for constitutional reform as Unity Govt. crosses 2-year mark

Views - 764 Wednesday, 23 August 2017 00:00

  If the current Parliament fails in its constitution-making effort, the road to constitutional reform will be exceedingly difficult, says Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne By Dharisha Bastians New cons


Expressways to Kandy and to the north and east of Sri Lanka

Views - 1323 Tuesday, 22 August 2017 00:34

By Architect Surath Wickramasinghe Commuters by road between Colombo and Kandy are no doubt experiencing the agony of travelling for at least four hours between these two locations. This has been once again an issue of successive government


Implications of the tourism growth slowdown

Views - 1028 Monday, 21 August 2017 00:00

Slowest growth since 2010; 1.8% drop in July compared to 2016 The airport closure from January to April, floods in May, as well as the recent dengue outbreak are the primary factors that most stakeholders in the industry po


Indian High Commissioner hails ties with Sri Lanka

Views - 900 Saturday, 19 August 2017 00:57

The High Commission of India and the Indian expatriate community in Sri Lanka celebrated the 71st Independence Day of India on Tuesday, 15 August at India House in Colombo. Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu unfurled the National Flag


Sri Lanka’s ‘new Hong Kong’ project risky for all sides

Views - 1111 Saturday, 19 August 2017 00:01

Chinese firms are racing to build a vast port city to rival Dubai and Singapore. Liu Qin visited this controversial project Despite the monsoon making the work risky, two dredgers are digging and ferrying sand 24 hours a day for the


Today's Columnists

Bringing beedi into tax net can yield Rs. 40 b in revenue

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Last week, the Financial Times quoted an AFP article that stated Sri Lanka will start regulating the toddy industry to boost tax revenues from the informal sector. This same principle should be applied to the beedi trade, which has also grown unabate


Grade 5 Scholarship examination and the future of the country

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The Grade 5 scholarship examination results have been released recently. Although this is known as the “Mothers’ exam,” the mentality of the children can be well articulated when children come from the examination halls after the exams. Today w


Need for tax reforms: Government should not lose it this time but go for them early

Monday, 23 October 2017

In the first economic policy statement, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made a number of pledges related to taxes and tax reforms. One was that the Government would review whether the tax concessions given to investors have really delivered the e


Lessons from Geneva

Saturday, 21 October 2017

‘Mission Impossible – Geneva’ is an inspiring account of developments at the Human Rights Council in Geneva when Dayan Jayatilleka was our Permanent Representative there. It is written by his wife Sanja, which provides for fascinating insights


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