Columnists,Rohantha Athukorala

Move from politics to district development

Views - 175 Tuesday, 3 April 2018 00:00

Last week I was invited to speak to the senior management team of an eminent bank in Sri Lanka on the topic ‘What Sri Lanka must do’. Rather than getting into the rhetoric of Sri Lanka, I thought of focusing on a sample district and then doing a


Googling Sri Lanka today

Views - 444 Tuesday, 27 March 2018 00:00

The other day I received a call from Germany from the Sri Lankan Tourism team attending the premier tourism exhibition ITB. The objective of the call was whether I could support the task of implementing the ‘destination marketing campaign’ for Sr


Strong brands can sustain shocks!

Views - 191 Thursday, 22 March 2018 00:00

The recent media highlighted the impact of communal violence on the tourism industry. The press conference earlier this week threw out a number as high as 10% whilst the actual cancellation was around 500 room nights around the Kandy vicinity was rep


Life without Facebook

Views - 399 Wednesday, 14 March 2018 00:00

Recent media over the weekend has been highlighting the blockage of Facebook and social media networks.


Sri Lanka cannot have another terror backlash 

Views - 209 Thursday, 8 March 2018 00:00

The recent incidents in Ampara, Teldeniya and Digana and the declaration of a state of emergency for 10 days across the country was very disturbing to me personally given that I was part of the larger team that fought the ruthless terrorist organisat


Sri Lankan consumer under pressure

Views - 378 Wednesday, 21 February 2018 00:00

Whilst Sri Lanka is grappling to understand how to structure the Government to run the country, the reality is thWhilst Sri Lanka


Why did voter behaviour change on 10 Feb?

Views - 1457 Tuesday, 13 February 2018 00:00

What Sri Lanka saw on 10 February, 2018 will go down in history as a show of the ‘power of a Sri Lankan voter’. A typical Sri Lankan may look submissive, quiet, and gentle but they are decisive and are change agents. We saw this on 15 January, 2


SL must reach ASEAN via Singapore FTA

Views - 193 Thursday, 8 February 2018 00:00

Whilst the Share of Voice (SOV) is currently focused on the local elections, the fact of the matter is that Sri Lanka is at a crossroads to pay almost a $ 10 billion debt in the next three years. With our income sources not very competitive, with exp


10 Federer lessons for Sri Lankan sportsmen

Views - 242 Thursday, 1 February 2018 00:00

Last Sunday when Roger Federer won the 2018 Australian Open, it sure shocked the world as all the top players were eliminated earlier in the championship 2 sets all and going into the 5th set speculation was rife whether a 37-year-old could pull it t


Sri Lanka Tourism lives on the edge

Views - 221 Wednesday, 24 January 2018 00:00

One of Sri Lanka’s focused industries which has attracted dollar investments and share of voice globally in the last three years is the tourism sector. Essentially private sector-driven, the industry has crossed the $ 4 billion mark and attracted o


Marketing and war are similar; who will win on 10 February?

Views - 406 Wednesday, 17 January 2018 00:00

If we watch any media channel today, the focus is on the 10 February elections in Sri Lanka. For the first time we see how


IPL brand crosses $ 5.3 b; pickups for Sri Lanka’s Global Rankings

Views - 464 Wednesday, 10 January 2018 00:00

When an economy is growing at around 4% and the size of the economy is around $ 80 billion, the consumer is challenged when it comes to purchasing power. Inflation in November is at 8.4%


Sri Lanka’s No. 1 brand BOC dented by bond scam?

Views - 691 Wednesday, 3 January 2018 00:00

The highest share of voice(SOV) event of Sri Lanka in 2017 was undoubtedly the alleged bond scam of the Central Bank. Via TV, radio


Politics move to the village, will it work?

Views - 222 Friday, 29 December 2017 00:00

Whilst the economic challenges remain in Sri Lanka stemming from exports to foreign remittances, from tourism to FDIs in the backdrop of a sluggish economy growing at 3.4%, we now move to the political battle at the village level.


Doing business in Sri Lanka 2017

Views - 471 Wednesday, 20 December 2017 00:00

The other day I was at the Daily FT-Interbrand awards 2017 presentation and global expert from Holland was explaining how a country brand can be calculated and if the brand is strong then we can attract higher quality tourists,


Kodak moments for Sri Lanka Tourism

Views - 477 Wednesday, 13 December 2017 00:00

It was quite disheartening to see the tourism numbers for November 2017 dropping to 167,511 visitors at 0.2% growth against


Top global brand being destroyed: Lesson for SL

Views - 218 Wednesday, 6 December 2017 00:00

One of the key issues faced by Sri Lanka is the reduction in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from $ 1.5 billion in 2014 to $ 0.8 billion in 2016


Private sector must help build beaten brand Sri Lanka 

Views - 266 Wednesday, 29 November 2017 00:00

Let’s accept it, brand Sri Lanka has received a severe beating in the last three years due to the overall performance suffering from all fronts.


Ceylon Tea: go back to basics

Views - 440 Tuesday, 21 November 2017 00:00

During the last couple of weeks the banter between a brand owner for Tea and the Tea Exporters Association was very interesting. Ultimately the editor of the said newspaper mentioned that no more correspondence would be


Budget 2018: Enterprise Sri Lanka must address realities

Views - 449 Wednesday, 15 November 2017 00:02

The other day at a post-Budget forum the Minister of Finance said that Enterprise Sri Lanka needed to take off just like the USS Enterprise in the movie Star Trek with innovative solutions while venturing into places that no man


Tourism marketing impacts total country performance

Views - 275 Tuesday, 7 November 2017 00:00

At the recently concluded Colombo university Tourism research symposium 2017, one of the key insights shared by a World Bank speaker was that ‘you have a wonderful product but the world does not know about this’. We have heard this comment many t


Sri Lanka’s global image dented to $ 77 b

Views - 441 Wednesday, 25 October 2017 00:48

When the previous regime lost favour with the people on 8 January, the new Government was elected on the expectation of building a new Sri Lanka.


A SME policy finally in Sri Lanka

Views - 928 Wednesday, 18 October 2017 00:00

The other day there was a communiqué that Sri Lanka must have a SME policy as per the direction from the leadership of the Yahapalanaya Government. It sure gave breath to the economy that is currently nose diving with a growth at 4.7% and all banks


Sri Lanka: Have we lost the way in 2017?

Views - 425 Wednesday, 11 October 2017 00:00

When the country voted in the current Government, the private sector wanted a progressive government which is market-driven with strong governance given the issues of corruption that existed in the previous regime


Sri Lanka Tourism: Carrying capacity and differentiation

Views - 377 Wednesday, 4 October 2017 00:00

The recent focus by many on the tourism sector from restaurant owners to hoteliers and travel agents given is a view of the value chain development taking place in the country


Sloane Stephens’s lessons for parents of child stars

Views - 180 Thursday, 28 September 2017 00:00

I yet remember taking my son when he was five years old to our family paediatrician, who said, “If you don’t make him active, he will be a diabetic in three to four years.” The only sport I knew was karate and his life of being a martial arts s


Is Sri Lanka ready for the 2025 growth agenda?

Views - 403 Tuesday, 19 September 2017 00:00

The other day the President and Prime Minister launched the 2025 vision for Sri Lanka which was incidentally the third policy statement of the Government since coming to power in 2015. My view is that the continuous changes to policy is important and


Lessons for the public sector chairman

Views - 463 Wednesday, 13 September 2017 00:00

If anyone has served the public sector in any capacity, the decision last week by a High Court on the highest-ranked Government officer of the country sure sent shockwaves.


Fake goods increase to 41 million across the EU border

Views - 108 Friday, 8 September 2017 00:00

Whilst it was refreshing to see the 2025 national economic policy being launched by the President and Prime Minister, a point that needs to be highlighted is that the trade gap has increased from 8.1% in 2014 to 8.4% in 2015 and 9.1% in 2016 which do


Tourism: Issues Sri Lanka is facing are similar to Japan

Views - 692 Wednesday, 30 August 2017 00:00

After having engaged the tourism industry for the last 10 years at operational and policy level, one thing is very evident in Sri Lanka. Everybody is an expert in developing the tourism industry of Sri Lanka, be it a cab driver to parking attendant.


Today's Columnists

Syria: A case of using ‘false flags’ or fake news to start a war

Saturday, 21 April 2018

The airstrikes carried out by the US, UK and France on alleged chemical weapons fa


Has the ‘colonial diarchy’ come to Sri Lanka again?

Friday, 20 April 2018

For the last three four months, Sri Lanka has not been moving forward as it should have been. The most affected are the economy


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


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