Opinion and Issues

Infrastructure: Enabling economic growth

Views - 367 Thursday, 2 January 2020 02:07

By Lahiru Karunathilaka Getting it right Infrastructure can drive economic growth and contribute to social cohesion. Infrastructure investment and development is one of the top priorities for governments globally. It is imperative for poverty reduct

Vignarajah writes to GR on uplifting Sri Lanka

Views - 280 Thursday, 2 January 2020 02:03

Dear President, Congratulations, concerns and best wishes to uplift our motherland I have the honour and humility to address you on matters where I have decades of experience, expertise, enterprise and visionary zeal for the betterment of our belov

Uber gone mad!

Views - 178 Thursday, 2 January 2020 02:02

On 31 December about noon I received a telephone call from an unknown number asking if I had booked an Uber taxi. I had not done anything like that and told him so. A little later there was an email to me saying that I will be charged Rs. 50 for the

Strategy dialogue: The role of the board of directors

Views - 413 Thursday, 2 January 2020 01:56

Should corporate boards get involved in strategy dialogues? If so, to what extent and how often? How deep should the board get involved in their strategy dialogues with senior management? These and many other similar questions are at the forefront of

The Rule of Law in Sri Lanka: Gania Banister Francis and British woman in Cyprus

Views - 1118 Thursday, 2 January 2020 01:54

On 25 November 2019, Gania Banister Francis, a Tamil employee of the Swiss Embassy (aged 38) alleged that she was kidnapped by the Sri Lankan Police. She has said she was treated brutally and subjected to coercion and sexual harassment. She added tha

The truth about disharmony and discrimination

Views - 134 Thursday, 2 January 2020 01:30

Excerpts from the wisdom of the ancient: The Constitution of the Five Nations – or – The Iroquois Book of the Great Law. Known as the Great Law of Peace. This law of the Iroquois, guides us to make community decisions that will serve those who wi

Sharing from South Korea with care

Views - 340 Thursday, 2 January 2020 01:24

When a team from Korea visited Sri Lanka in 2016 as part of the Intellectual Property Sharing project initiated by the Korean Intellectual Property Organization (KIPO) and the Korean Invention Promotion Association (KIPA), it was to become a journey

Nationalism versus solidarity

Views - 132 Wednesday, 1 January 2020 00:45

One of the most powerful tools of the nationalist right around the world is convincing people that “others” are to blame for their problems. Those othered need not even be people who exist but could be figures who represent fears. For example, t

Twenty thoughts for a terrific 2020: Essentials for excellence

Views - 1065 Wednesday, 1 January 2020 00:40

A refreshing 31,557,000 seconds in 2020 are with us. A brand new year invites us not only to have brand new thoughts but to convert them into grand actions. As usual, people tend to have New Year resolutions. My suggestion is to go beyond scant resol

SOEs: Do they have the right objectives?

Views - 153 Wednesday, 1 January 2020 00:20

One of the most interesting books I have come across is ‘Who says elephants can’t dance?’ My favourite part of the book was right at the beginning – the way Louis V. Gerstner Jr was hired to IBM. He never applied for the job. In fact, IBM kep

She is more than dollars!

Views - 255 Wednesday, 1 January 2020 00:15

Throughout human history there have been those who went exploring geographies away from their native land. In the early days some went on these type of explorations looking for resources, be it food or other needs or later for more economically valua

A proper mix for economic prosperity

Views - 220 Wednesday, 1 January 2020 00:10

We are just after an election. We have a new president, new cabinet and new state and deputy ministers. However some say even the positions have changed; there is no major change other than the President. We should think fresh and positive when we ha

How do we make this country ‘paradise’ again?

Views - 103 Wednesday, 1 January 2020 00:00

Start medium of education from primary school in a recognised global language which was used in Ceylon. Have common schools for all citizens and eliminate all language/ethnic based schools. This will create harmony and solve many problems such as eth

Inclusive sanitation for Sri Lanka: A realistic goal?

Views - 216 Tuesday, 31 December 2019 01:31

Inclusive sanitation encompasses the aspects such as safe management of human waste along the whole sanitation service chain, effective resource recovery and re-use embracing a diversity of technological solutions, while including the needs of all st

New Central Bank Governor is a great scholar and an independent economist

Views - 676 Tuesday, 31 December 2019 00:54

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has made another excellent decision by appointing Deshamanya Prof. W.D. Lakshman as the 15th Governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka. He assumed duties in his new post on 24 December. Prof. Lakshman is a well-known scholar

Why pay the board members of public institutions?

Views - 208 Tuesday, 31 December 2019 00:19

I earlier wrote about ‘How to select officials to public corporations’. We see these appointments from time-to-time from the congratulatory Facebook posts by their minions with a selfie taken with the appointee. It’s unbelievable how the Selec

A block to be unchained? Blockchain implementation in Sri Lanka

Views - 126 Tuesday, 31 December 2019 00:15

By Malitha Goonaratne The Fortune Business Insight estimated that the global blockchain technology market size is expected to reach $ 21,070 million by the end of 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 38.4%, showing a promising start for the up

Prasanna Jayawardena, the boss, the banker, the lawyer and the friend

Views - 77 Tuesday, 31 December 2019 00:14

By Hiran Perera I joined HSBC in 1984 and in 1986 Prasanna Jayawardena was transferred from the Books Department to become the new ‘boss’ of the Credit Department. I was a relatively new recruit to the department and was navigating through a comp

What a brand means to me

Views - 1403 Tuesday, 31 December 2019 00:10

The year gone by was an interesting year given the chaos in the market place. Starting from the Easter attack and fear psychosis that gripped the nation and wiped out the buoyant economy of Sri Lanka. The quarter-two GDP crashed to 1.6% with tourist

Professor W.D. Lakshman: A social democrat to the end

Views - 7094 Monday, 30 December 2019 01:50

It was 1972 and I was an assistant lecturer at the then Vidyodaya University. The permanent lecturer taking the second-year monetary economics class had fallen ill and was not to come to the university for about one month. I was asked by the Head of

South Asia; Economic integration – A reality or fantasy?

Views - 557 Monday, 30 December 2019 01:33

South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was initially formed in 1985 as an organisation aimed at political, economic, social and cultural cooperation and integration with seven member states such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives

Good economics for hard times

Views - 271 Monday, 30 December 2019 00:53

I used the above title of a non-fiction book released on 12 November by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, both professors of Economics at MIT, the winners of the Nobel Prize. It shows how economics, when done right, can help us solve the thornies

South Asian brand – are we missing out on massive potential?

Views - 155 Monday, 30 December 2019 00:00

South Asia has a population of 1.8 billion people which is close to 25% of the world’s population. Its GDP (PPP) is at $12.7 trillion. The emergence of India as a global power, the massive investments by China in Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Gwada

Sri Lanka – Egypt relations and strengthening Sri Lanka’s relations with the African continent

Views - 426 Monday, 30 December 2019 00:00

It is indeed an honour to speak to you at the prestigious Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs. I must thank the Ambassador of Egypt in Sri Lanka Hussein El Saharty for encouraging me to visit the Council and address you. As you know, I am in Cairo

Joy of singing the National Anthem in Sinhala and Tamil: An appeal to the President

Views - 869 Saturday, 28 December 2019 00:05

On 24 December, the Daily Mirror reported that, according to the Public Administration Ministry, the 72nd Independence Day celebrations will be held on 4 February at Independence Square in Colombo on a grand scale and the national anthem would be sun

Central Bank Governor W.D. Lakshman speaks on his new role, plans and objectives

Views - 520 Saturday, 28 December 2019 00:05

A privilege – an honour to have been appointed to the esteemed and celebrated position of great consequence, coming as the 15th in the wake of a long succession of great men who decorated this position over the last 69 years. This succession of Gov

Wigneswaran on the Rajapaksas’ return, Tamil rights and more

Views - 207 Saturday, 28 December 2019 00:02

C.V. Wigneswaran, a former Supreme Court Justice in Sri Lanka, is Secretary General of the new Tamil political party Thamizh Makkal Kootani. In this interview he speaks about the Rajapaksas’ return, Tamil rights and more.

The vicious cycle of revenge

Views - 1011 Friday, 27 December 2019 00:30

Revenge from opponents can be considered a tribal legacy that we have inherited. It is a deeply ingrained characteristic in Sri Lankan political culture. This shows that the Sri Lankan society has become democratised only superficially and not from t

The Anglican Church of Ceylon: Two self-proclaimed Archbishops?

Views - 424 Friday, 27 December 2019 00:00

The Anglican Church is a lot about authority, elitism, and identifying with those in power. At the Church of England’s very founding Henry VIII of England broke off from the Church founded by Jesus Christ, and proclaimed himself ‘The Supreme Head

Condemn Saudi’s travesty of justice

Views - 81 Friday, 27 December 2019 00:00

The most barbaric of murders ever committed in the history of journalism and shocked the civilised world was, when Saudi-born Jamal Khashoggi, an insider turned critic of Saudi regime, chopped into pieces inside the premises of Saudi Consulate in Ist

Today's Columnists

Tourism ahoy!

Monday, 27 January 2020

I was making my way out of the Cinnamon Grand Hotel lobby when I heard someone calling out my name. It was a heavy European accent and for an uncomfortable moment I could not recognise the caller seated in the lounge chair. Then, it connected, Robert

World war III is not US vs. Iraq

Monday, 27 January 2020

World War III is the longest war yet and probably the final end game. This war is not the war between the US and Iraq. World War facts History states that World War I began in 1914 with Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire (the

A child’s guide to price determination in the market: Tax cuts won’t always reduce prices

Monday, 27 January 2020

Asani has been an alert student reading for her Advanced Level exam. She is an inquisitive student and makes it her business to probe into matters that are economics about which she has no clear understanding. Fortunately, her Grandfather – Sarath

Bitter reality of a battered fraction: ‘Vishama Bhaga’ displays the ‘Other Half’

Monday, 27 January 2020

I was surprised to hear that the first time in Sri Lankan cinema, a movie had won 50 awards and yet has not received the needed recognition from us. It is the first Sinhala film produced by a Buddihst monk with the noble aim of donating the entire pr

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