Columnists

Manage the foreign consultants, don’t complain about them

Views - 3230 Wednesday, 7 September 2016 00:01

  The Sri Lanka Government is a trillion rupee company for which we perpetuate the myth that it is owned by the people Sri Lanka has enough talent when it comes to producing the variety of players needed to constitute an inter


Yahapalana record of the Government

Views - 2839 Wednesday, 24 August 2016 00:01

  Even today, after a historic defeat of an all-powerful President and removal of substantial powers of presidency and the establishment of independent commissions, the three wheels of good governance – the Government, the State


The socio-cultural dimension of the human capital question and technology solutions

Views - 2277 Wednesday, 17 August 2016 00:02

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Pic by Upul Abayasekera At the Human Capital Summit which was held last week, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his opening address perhaps gave the most rounded policy statement from the g


Public or Private: All medical students should pay-up?

Views - 3450 Wednesday, 3 August 2016 00:00

Lost in the for-or-against-SAITM debate is the ethicality of exchanging a medical degree obtained free-of-charge for higher remuneration in private practice locally or abroad, when the Government medical sector is in need of doctors in r


Let us say ‘Black July: Never again’ through the right electoral system

Views - 2407 Wednesday, 27 July 2016 00:00

    The challenge in constitutional reforms is to have the long-term goal of a Sri Lankan identity, while giving the space for identity politics in the short term and convincing the Sinhala majority the necessity for doing s


Mediocrity and ethnic rivalry: A toxic combination in University of Jaffna?

Views - 3196 Wednesday, 20 July 2016 00:00

  If we care about higher education in Sri Lanka, we need to maintain or reduce the State-funded opportunities, put more money into existing institutions and enforce accountability of faculty to educate themselves before they 


Cabinet portfolios after one year: Spotlight on education

Views - 2737 Wednesday, 13 July 2016 00:09

The Cabinet of the new Government elected on 8 August 2015 made nearly 700 decisions during the last 11 months, and 36 of these decisions concerned education or technological knowhow   On 9 September 2015, soon after


Education and social mobility: A broken link?

Views - 3037 Wednesday, 6 July 2016 00:10

   Free education may have served the purpose of politicians by keeping up a façade of equality, but it is time to take off our rose-tinted glasses and begin to look at the reality of education and social mobility in Sri L


Brexit success and the response of universities

Views - 2198 Wednesday, 29 June 2016 00:10

 W.A. Wijewardena in his Daily FT column on 27 June questions whether the UK Universities and the research sector is the biggest casualty in the aftermath of Brexit. Apart from the financial implications, if Brexit is a sign of a trend toward


Higher education in Asia: Making the most of private investments for public objectives

Views - 2548 Wednesday, 22 June 2016 00:01

    If the Government does the needed regulation, private investments in higher education can be directed towards the pubic objective of enriching human capital stock in a country. In Sri Lanka, Government is inactive, op


Electoral reforms should not be left to politicians

Views - 2109 Wednesday, 15 June 2016 00:00

Electoral reforms are back on the political agenda. By all accounts, the present proportional representation (PR) system is to be changed to a ‘mixed member’ proportional representation (MMPR) system where seats in the Parliament are a


Higher education in Asia and the Public-Private distinction

Views - 3025 Wednesday, 8 June 2016 00:10

    There are burning issues in higher education in Sri Lanka, but the notion that “state universities are good - others are bad” has been allowed to dominate the discourse in the mainstream without adequate c


Is a degree worth the cost?

Views - 2482 Wednesday, 25 May 2016 00:00

If a family can afford to pay, higher education is worth the cost. However, when tax revenues are spent or  students borrow to attend college, we as a society need to question whether a degree is worth the cost  


Men, women and the public space

Views - 2071 Wednesday, 11 May 2016 00:00

Earlier I wrote about men, women and their relationships. It was more about the personal space within our family units.  Women rule the personal space. As Upul Shantha Sannasgala, a keen observer of human nature, observed in the Lankadeepa


Non-workers on parade on workers day

Views - 1957 Thursday, 28 April 2016 00:00

Since the famous Haymarket riots in Chicago in 1884 that led to international recognition for a day dedicated to rights of workers, May Day has become an officially sanctioned day for protests    The 1 May celebr


Understanding our youth

Views - 2210 Wednesday, 20 April 2016 00:00

  Beginning this decade, Sri Lanka will experience a decreasing youth population and the dividend potential will decrease accordingly. The window is expected close in around 2037. A comprehensive human capital strategy for youth is neede


Avurudu: When we eat the same thing at the same time

Views - 2489 Wednesday, 13 April 2016 00:00

  This is one day when we can bridge many divides in our society and almost all of us eat the same thing at the same time   Today at 7:48 p.m., the sun crosses an imaginary line that separates the constellation Pi


Vocational-professional continuum: Antidote to the vocational-academic divide?

Views - 1880 Wednesday, 6 April 2016 00:00

The red and white barber poles in old barber shops in Europe and USA is a relic from the time when barbers also functioned as surgeons. The pole is apparently symbolic of the bloodied towels that were used.  Such are the humble origins of p


Bridging the vocational-academic divide

Views - 1922 Wednesday, 30 March 2016 00:00

  The Budget for 2016 targeted a substantial increase for education with little attention paid to systemic changes     The separation of tertiary education as higher education and technical/vocational


Power in the park and the Horapalana-Jathika Chintana toxic combination

Views - 1941 Wednesday, 23 March 2016 00:00

    Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka writes that the joint Opposition crowd that gathered at Hyde Park on 17 March represents leftists, anti-imperialists and progressives in the Right vs. Left, Reactionary vs. Progressive and Pro-im


Present public universities as leaders of innovation: An oxymoron?

Views - 2022 Wednesday, 16 March 2016 00:00

 An oxymoron is a situation where seemingly contradictory elements are brought together. In the present case the contradictory elements are innovation and public universities. I have been hearing so much about our public universities as leade


Men, women and their relationship

Views - 1922 Wednesday, 9 March 2016 00:10

We should start from the basics of giving more life skills to both boys and girls in our education by gradually moving to mixed educational settings in all our leading schools   The first International women’s


Arts and Humanities education deserves a second look

Views - 1749 Wednesday, 2 March 2016 00:00

Dedicated to Late Prof. Senake Bandaranayake, Professor of Archaeology and a champion of Arts and Humanities education, on his first death anniversary The Arts and Humanities stream of study has come to be seen as the problem child in university


Provinces are asserting authority in education, finally

Views - 1476 Wednesday, 24 February 2016 00:00

To date the Central Government has either maintained or expanded its bureaucratic arm in regard to the devolved subjects, with education being a prime example     As we begin discussions on constitutional


Sinha-Le and the ethno-religious identity wars

Views - 1938 Wednesday, 3 February 2016 00:00

 Minorities assert their identity by overtly ethno-religious or other ideological displays as a reaction to dominance by a majority. The majority feels threatened and jacks up its own displays of identity, ensuing an escalation of identity wa


Governability in the absence of a powerful executive presidency

Views - 1521 Wednesday, 27 January 2016 00:00

    Abolishing the executive presidency and reforming the electoral system are two key issues under consideration in the proposed constitutional reforms. During the 8 January to 19 June interregnum of 2015, a new Presiden


A constitution is only as good as its society

Views - 1842 Wednesday, 20 January 2016 00:00

These are not ideal times for constitutional changes, in Sri Lanka in particular. There is still too much meanness and the atmosphere is still racially charged. But we may not have another chance. The present national government, strange


Values for the 21st century

Views - 1365 Wednesday, 13 January 2016 00:00

     President Maithripala Sirisena was elected on a platform that emphasised values. “A man to restore disappearing human values” was the theme of the campaign video. It is not an easy undertaking and th


National Human Resources Development Council should be more strategic

Views - 1751 Wednesday, 16 December 2015 00:00

It is good news indeed that the National Human Resources Development Council (NHRDC) has been rescued from obscurity and placed under the Ministry of Policy Planning, Economic Affairs, Child, Youth and Cultural Affairs, under the guidance of the P


A skills development policy framework for achieving Budget 2016 objectives

Views - 2348 Wednesday, 9 December 2015 00:00

The 2016 Budget of the Government of Sri Lanka identifies several key issues facing skills development in the country. Foremost is the familiar story about gaps in the supply of skills and the mismatch between supply and demand. More significant i


Today's Columnists

The Brahmin footprint in Sri Lankan history

Saturday, 17 November 2018

It is generally said that there are no genuine “Sri Lankan” Brahmins in the island today, and that those Brahmins who officiate as priests in Hindu kovils (temples) are of Indian origin with close ties with Tamil Nadu.


Country paying for Sirisena’s childlike behaviour

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Many were surprised on 26 October to see former President Rajapaksa being appointed Prime Minister by the very man who defeated him a couple years ago, at a considerable risk to himself and to those who helped him win the election. Then events beca


The JR-MR effect

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Sri Lanka over the last few weeks has experienced a twin crisis. One is political provoked by its Constitution, and the other economic engendered by its politics. However, this crisis is the combined effect of two previous presidencies, those of J.R.


The fish that swallowed the whale

Friday, 16 November 2018

This is an easy-peasy, elementary effort of an ordinary citizen to comprehend the mad scramble for power among the political class. It is undertaken in the belief that the crisis we face is an opportunity to reject the family kleptocracy of Mahinda R


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