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Thoughts on the Budget and what comes next

Views - 978 Friday, 15 December 2017 03:40

The recent Budget definitely improves on previous budgets. It is a promising debut for Mangala Samaraweera, the new Finance Minister. He sees...


Scenarios for world trade

Views - 721 Thursday, 4 May 2017 00:00

International trade is in trouble after the global financial crisis, and, with the new Trump administration, the world faces a protectionist onslaught. Here I present three scenarios for international trade – one “more likely”, a


Sri Lanka: Three scenarios for the future

Views - 6771 Friday, 17 March 2017 00:10

Last December I gave a lecture for Advocata Institute in Colombo on three scenarios for Sri Lanka’s future. Here are the three scenarios. Scenario One I call “Drift”, Scenario Two “Take-Off”, and Scenario Three &ldquo


Economic and social rights in the new constitution: A terrible idea

Views - 3640 Tuesday, 4 October 2016 00:15

Prominent individuals and NGOs now clamour for economic and social rights in the new constitution. They want them incorporated as “fundamental rights” in a new Bill of Rights.  To quote a recent Daily FT column, such rights woul


Six lessons in policy reform

Views - 3587 Wednesday, 11 November 2015 00:10

       This year Sri Lanka has its best opportunity for market reforms since 1977. The presidential and parliamentary election results give the Government a mandate for it, alongside constitutional refor


Sri Lanka at another crossroads: A half-outsider’s view

Views - 3053 Wednesday, 17 December 2014 00:00

Sri Lanka has thrown up a few surprises in the past month. Only a few months ago, the hegemony of the Rajapaksas seemed assured for years ahead. Then cracks appeared with the Uva Provincial Council election results. President Rajapaksa called a snap


Southeast Asia and the global economy

Views - 1292 Friday, 23 May 2014 00:00

What is the economic outlook for Southeast Asia at a time of general growth slowdown in emerging markets, and when global monetary conditions are set to tighten? Is it realistic to talk of a “regional” outlook, given extreme intra-regional divers


China, India and the emerging markets slowdown

Views - 18926 Friday, 1 November 2013 00:00

China and India are in the vanguard of a historic ‘shift to the East’. While economies in the West shrunk during the global financial crisis (GFC) and remained in a funk afterwards, China, India and other emerging markets bounded ahead. But then


Today's Columnists

The glyphosate story – CKDu, food security and national economy

Thursday, 19 April 2018

We in Sri Lanka have a history to be proud of. According to our historical record, the golden age of Sri Lankan agriculture production centres around Polonnaruwa during reign of King Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186 AD).


President is powerless to remove the Prime Minister

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Some commentators have persistently advanced the proposition that, notwithstanding the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the President’s power to remove the Prime Minister is intact. It is a view that relies on a literal reading of the Sinhala te


The ‘Trafficbathgoda’ town of Kiribathgoda

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Getting through Kiribathgoda town particularly in the evening after work is a real nightmare. Even the morning is equally bad, creating a huge pileup of vehicles along the main road. In particular, in the evening, to move from Tyre Corporation Junct


Beware of evidence-independent recommendations from academics in positions of power

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

It was just over a year ago that I wrote in this newspaper about the need to fact check politicians and pundits (http://www.ft.lk/article/592541/Fact-checking-politicians-and-pundits). That column was triggered by an evidence-independent claim made a


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