Columnists,Opinion and Issues,Financial Services

Central Bank, oversight and 2018 targets: A critique

Views - 227 Friday, 11 January 2019 00:00

Both growth1 and inflation2 have fallen below the targets set by the Central Bank. This failure, however, is going unnoticed due to the constitutional treason that has taken place. The Central Bank has failed on oversight of board appointments to sys

Development, international relations and policy transfer

Views - 108 Friday, 11 January 2019 00:00

Some writers claim that the recent political struggle in Sri Lanka reflects the geopolitical rivalry between China and India in South Asia. There has been a shift in foreign policy under both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe, whereby inclination towards I

An unsolicited offer and its ramifications

Views - 52 Friday, 11 January 2019 00:00

By Dr. A.C. Visvalingam The writer had strongly recommended in an article published in June 2018 in several newspapers that no more coal-powered power stations should be built in Sri Lanka and that LNG should become the fuel of choice. Not only would

One of my quotients is falling – A society in decline!?

Views - 258 Thursday, 10 January 2019 00:37

Today four technology revolutions are on the cards and of the lot the most recent is neurotechnology. Neurotechnology is adding to biotechnology, nanotechnology and information technology. This technology really addresses the core essence of humanit

Darkening prospects: Global economy to slow to 2.9% in 2019 as trade, investment weaken

Views - 94 Thursday, 10 January 2019 00:33

Global economic growth is projected to soften from a downwardly revised 3% in 2018 to 2.9% in 2019 amid rising downside risks to the outlook, the World Bank said on Tuesday. International trade and manufacturing activity have softened, trade tensions

Reforming public corporations and enterprises: Focus on performance not inputs

Views - 218 Thursday, 10 January 2019 00:29

Recently the President issued a circular on recruitments to boards of public corporations and enterprises, overriding the prerogative of ministers to appoint boards to such entities under their jurisdictions. The new process includes the review of a

Malcolm Ranjith’s mouth shuts when it should open and opens when it should shut

Views - 396 Thursday, 10 January 2019 00:25

Our Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith holds the highest office in the Catholic Church in our country. By virtue of his position, he holds a direct link to the Holy Sea at Rome. I get the instinct that this gentleman isn’t conscious of his eminent position a

Behind the Mawanella bigotry (2)

Views - 200 Thursday, 10 January 2019 00:23

When I published an earlier piece on this topic on 30 December 2018, I did not intend to add another part to it. However, what happened in the Court when one of the culprits was produced before the Magistrate has compelled me to add another. In the f

President Sirisena’s world outlook: A foreign policy of transition for a world in transition

Views - 126 Thursday, 10 January 2019 00:18

President Sirisena’s foreign policy, just as that of any other leader anywhere in the world, must be seen in relation to several factors. These are the success or otherwise of the policy he inherited, the character of his own foreign policy as it e

DCSL, Lion Brewery cry foul over Excise Duty anomalies

Views - 4585 Wednesday, 9 January 2019 00:00

An in-depth investigation conducted by a team of private sector professionals has revealed that the Government is losing a whopping Rs. 10-12 billion annually in Excise Duty from illicit manufacturers of alcohol. They claim that the legal beer and a

Morality and conscience among politicians is non-existent in today’s political toilet bowl

Views - 97 Wednesday, 9 January 2019 00:00

By Zulkifli Nazim “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” – Marcus Aurelius All politicians claim they are against wanton spending of the taxpayer’s hard-earned

Diminishing values

Views - 37 Wednesday, 9 January 2019 00:00

It is most disheartening to see the present generation paying scant respect to the ‘value system’ which in the past people held in very high esteem. Amongst the recent incidents witnessed by all were the behaviour of members of our Parliament. A

Appointing of chairmen and directors to public institutions

Views - 434 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:20

To improve SOEs’ performance and following many controversial appointments to State-Owned Enterprises in the past, President Maithripala Sirisena has issued fresh instructions on selection criteria in a bid to eliminate controversial and poorly-qua

Why followers follow bad leaders

Views - 895 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:15

Maithripala Sirisena. Mahinda Rajapaksa. Ranil Wickremesinghe. We’ve had different leaders with the same unhappy results for decades. At the core of this country’s political gridlock and dysfunction is a failed leadership culture and not a few me

What they did to my father and why they did it

Views - 17677 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:00

I first came to know of the MiG Deal in August 2007. I was living in Canada with family when my father called me from Colombo. He told me that The Sunday Leader had reported on a shady military contract involving Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Air Force.

Is China the friend and US the enemy?

Views - 86 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:00

During the twists and turns that took place in the political sphere in November, one could also see how the political factions seemed to interpret the reactions of the international community. One faction was quick to accuse the Western powers of be

A Malaysian lesson

Views - 37 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:00

From a broad sweep of post-colonial history one can discern a number of parallels between Sri Lanka and Malaysia. For example, in demographic size, growth and its pluralist makeup, in the type of Government and struggle for independence, and in promo

The culture of silence that allows harassment in the workplace to continue

Views - 233 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:00

The #MeToo movement has led to women the world over coming forward with stories of harassment. This issue is not confined to a single company or industry. It is an endemic problem which spreads far beyond the cases of sexual abuse that hit the head

Sri Lanka ranked top country for travel in 2019 by Lonely Planet – Who takes the credit?

Views - 532 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:00

A few months ago the entire tourism and hospitality trade in particular, and the general population of Sri Lanka, were pleasantly surprised and proud that the tiny island of Sri Lanka had been rated as the best country to visit in 2019, by the Lonely

Accessible tourism is tourism for all

Views - 186 Tuesday, 8 January 2019 00:00

There is an increasingly strong financial incentive for those involved in tourism to make their facilities safe and accessible equally to everyone. For different reasons – including rapid ageing, numerous debilitating medical conditions (that ofte

Sri Lanka’s deep economic crisis:Wasted four years and a wasting election year

Views - 7042 Monday, 7 January 2019 01:30

By the time the present Government came to power in 2015, Sri Lanka was in a deep economic crisis. Its growth had slowed down from a peak of 9% in 2012 to 3.4% in 2013 before recovering temporarily to 5%, still a low rate, in 2014. Exports had been

Man is born free but corrupt political system has chained us without any mercy (Part 2)

Views - 174 Monday, 7 January 2019 00:59

Ours is a country where politicos abuse and manipulate political office, with efficiency and effectiveness, to maximise the outcomes to themselves. The public authorities do not hold investigations or inquiries. Due to interference and manipulations,

Violating our supreme law: Parliament’s constitutional duty to act

Views - 192 Monday, 7 January 2019 00:54

Article 33A of the Constitution states that the President “shall be responsible to Parliament for the due exercise, performance and discharge of his powers, duties and functions under the Constitution and any written law”. Parliament, therefore,

‘The Frozen Fire’: Art and political reality

Views - 126 Monday, 7 January 2019 00:46

There are diverse views about the politics of the JVP and the inherent limitations contained in their political discourse. In particular, many of the views that exist regarding the politics of comrade Rohana Wijeweera and his assassination have contr

China and US play the Great Game in South Asia

Views - 102 Monday, 7 January 2019 00:39 COLOMBO -- In the Great Game being played across the Indian Ocean, the U.S. Navy has its eye on Sri Lanka’s northeastern port of Trincomalee to serve as a logistics hub for South Asian waters churned by India, Japan and China. West

Some stark reminders for Sri Lanka’s East

Views - 83 Monday, 7 January 2019 00:36

Hindu: For Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, the New Year began with two stark reminders. It was the year 1948, when young American Jesuit priest Father Benjamin Henry Miller, or Fr. Harry Miller as he was better known, arrived in Batticaloa. He spent

Remembering Lasantha Wickrematunge on the 10th anniversary of his assassination

Views - 3418 Saturday, 5 January 2019 00:15

‘Spotlight’ shines for the first time in the new year. Although devoted in principle to films, film personalities and film-related matters, the column will deviate in practice this week to focus on a renowned Sri Lankan newspaper Editor whose con

Ayubowan 2018/19!

Views - 112 Saturday, 5 January 2019 00:10

Our customary few lines that usually accompany my New Year’s wish-list this time comes from the land of Skippy the Kangaroo and boxing day MCG cricket (sans the sand-paper of course); hence the slight

What is wrong with self-rule?

Views - 91 Friday, 4 January 2019 00:00

Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna spokesperson Mahindananda Aluthgamage was quite vocal in denouncing the Government for attempting to install self-government in the north and east through a new Constitution that would be introduced stealthily in the fort

Investors may be underestimating the political turbulence in Sri Lanka

Views - 214 Friday, 4 January 2019 00:00

By Harini V CNBC: What might seem as a crisis averted in Sri Lanka – is actually far from being over and investors could potentially be underestimating the level of uncertainty in the country, an expert told CNBC. The hostility between the country

Today's Columnists

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

Questionable (or absurd) official report on poverty indicators

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The latest Report issued by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs on ‘Poverty Indicators’ is both questionable and outrageous.1This Ministry is under the responsibility of the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Most of the sta

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