Columnists,W. A. Wijewardena

Professor Indraratna: Economist who refused to bow to pressure

Views - 901 Monday, 15 January 2018 00:10

It was the presidential election time in 2010. The incumbent President after a five-year rule and a conclusive victory over the Northern rebels had sought another term.


Ravi K’s critique of Central Bank – Part 2: Is the bank responsible for disappointing economic perfo

Views - 908 Monday, 8 January 2018 00:10

The former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, in an interview with Daily Mirror, had put the Central Bank’s management on its toes by making some scathing allegations against the bank


Ravi K’s critique of Central Bank: An instance of rendering the blame unto Caesar?

Views - 1482 Tuesday, 2 January 2018 00:10

Blaming the Central Bank for all economic ills Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake in an interview with Daily Mirror is reported to have pronounced that the Central Bank is absolutely corrupt and inefficient (available at: http://www.dailymirro


Rao’s Guide to Lime Pickling: A novella on the other side of human suffering

Views - 550 Tuesday, 26 December 2017 00:10

A novelist in the making Sandali Handagama has been known by Sri Lanka’s film fans for her role as the rebellious but innocent and naive daughter of a family which was being torn apart by the personal incompatibility of the parents in the movie, L


Coomaraswamy Chinthana: The rationale of the country’s economic policy package

Views - 848 Monday, 18 December 2017 00:10

Economic policies have always been mysteries to laymen. They have become mysteries because top economists often present them in a language not comprehendible by ordinary people.


Lloyd Yapa’s treatise on export competitiveness: A must reference book for SL economic policymakers

Views - 720 Monday, 11 December 2017 00:45

A pressing economic problem faced by the present Government, and any government that would come to power in the future, is the dwindling export earnings.


SLIATE Keynote 2017 Prosperity through research and development

Views - 591 Monday, 4 December 2017 00:10

I am honoured to be invited to deliver the keynote address at the 2017 Research Symposium of Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technical Education, popularly known as SLIATE. It is both encouraging and


Central Bank’s move to flexible inflation targeting: Wide public education is needed

Views - 660 Monday, 27 November 2017 00:55

Delivering the Henry Steel Olcott Memorial Oration 2017 in Colombo recently, the Central Bank’s Senior Deputy Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe outlined the change of the game plan of conducting monetary policy by the bank in the years to come (ava


Mangala’s Mangala Budget – Part 2: Go for reforms but permanently fix the country’s rising debt prob

Views - 591 Monday, 20 November 2017 00:05

Mangala’s Mangala Budget was approved in its Second Reading by a two-thirds majority in Parliament last week.


Promising and committed, but his Cabinet colleagues have to walk the talk

Views - 718 Monday, 13 November 2017 00:30

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s Mangala Budget (Maiden Budget) was presented to Parliament last week. A budget is simply a one year financial plan of the government.


Going for inflation targeting: ‘Yes’ but free the Central Bank from Ministry of Finance first

Views - 705 Monday, 6 November 2017 00:05

The Vision 2025 released to the public in August as well as the Economic Policy Statement delivered in Parliament in October has reiterated the Government’s commitment to maintaining a low inflation regime in the country.


Some more compelling reasons for Sri Lankan banks and firms to go for blockchain technology

Views - 1052 Monday, 30 October 2017 00:10

Imagine a situation like this. You make an online payment to your internet service provider using your bank’s internet banking portal


Need for tax reforms: Government should not lose it this time but go for them early

Views - 674 Monday, 23 October 2017 00:00

In the first economic policy statement, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made a number of pledges related to taxes and tax reforms. One was that the Government would review whether the tax concessions given to investors have really delivered the e


The bond robbery and CB’s reputation: Yahapalana Government should stop playing hide and seek

Views - 2052 Monday, 16 October 2017 00:00

Immediately after the Treasury bond auction on 27 February 2015, the news of a massive impropriety that had taken place in the auction spread across the market like a wildfire.


Vision 2025 Part 4: PM’s alleged instructions to remove direct placements are against the Vision

Views - 787 Monday, 9 October 2017 00:00

Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Dr. Harsha de Silva, in an email to this writer, has clarified that what is meant by the goal of being ‘enriched’ in V2025 is not to become a rich country in terms of the World Bank class


Budgetary consolidation and resolving the country’s debt crisis permanently

Views - 625 Monday, 2 October 2017 00:10

It was shown that all these visions had one underlying economic philosophy to go by, namely, the establishment of a ‘knowledge based highly competitive social market economy’, a concept borrowed from post-war Germany.


It is an uphill task for the Govt. to attain the envisaged targets

Views - 770 Monday, 25 September 2017 00:00

In Part 1 of the article series on the Government’s Vision 2025 published last week, it was pointed out that the present vision document was just the fourth of such visions pronounced by the Government during the last two year period.


Vision 2025: Part 1: Need for moving from a wish list to a concrete plan

Views - 1312 Monday, 18 September 2017 01:14

The Unity Government released its newest economic policy statement titled V2025 – the marketing tag for the goals it has set for realisation from 2017 to 2025 – two weeks ago.


Eradication of corruption: ignoring Harsha’s warning may be catastrophic to Yahapalana Government

Views - 718 Monday, 11 September 2017 00:00

Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development Dr. Harsha de Silva in an emotion-filled intervention during a live television discussion program berated the whole administrative system of the country (available at: https://www.youtube.co


The role of universities in bringing continued economic prosperity to Sri Lanka

Views - 459 Monday, 4 September 2017 00:05

This is an expanded version of the Convocation Address delivered at the 13th General Convocation of the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka on 30 August.


USJ VC to students: Destroy the image of the university to your own peril

Views - 1364 Monday, 28 August 2017 00:11

A VC’s warning The Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura Professor Sampath Amaratunga addressing a section of the students last week at a university event, delivered an important message to them. That was not to play wit


Sri Lanka’s march toward emerging sciences: A rugged road but not impossible to tread

Views - 1318 Monday, 21 August 2017 00:00

Minister Susil Premajayantha speaking at the biotech degree launch Northumbria University’s biotechnology degree in Sri Lanka At a recent event at which the UK-based Northumbria University’s BSc Honours Degree in biotec


Issue of Treasury bonds: CB has finally vindicated direct placements

Views - 1901 Monday, 14 August 2017 00:02

The reintroduction of the direct placement system under a new format by the Central Bank is a welcome sign   Restoration of direct placements in Treasury bond issue after two years Effective from 27 July 2017,


Plotting to breach the confidentiality of the Central Bank? Not a matter to be ignored

Views - 2289 Tuesday, 8 August 2017 00:00

Why should someone plot to obtain information pertaining to the Central Bank? That is because such information has economic value and could be used by those who get the advance information for their own profit    


Education should be reformed to create creative capital and not mere human capital

Views - 1969 Monday, 31 July 2017 00:10

The objective of education should be to create relevant and applicable wisdom among students The continued economic prosperity of a nation depends on its having a critical pool of wisdom. Those with wisdom learn from the past


Rescuing tea industry: Time to act global after thinking global too!

Views - 2073 Monday, 24 July 2017 00:01

A nation savouring small gains An important message was delivered to Sri Lanka’s policymakers and bastions in the tea industry by five experts who participated in a live TV discussion on the subject recently (available at: https:/


Privately funded education vs. publicly funded education: Elimination of myths needed

Views - 2705 Monday, 17 July 2017 00:09

Two issues raised by readers Several readers of the last week’s article in this series (available at: http://www.ft.lk/article/627020/SAITM--A-war-unto-a-finish-to-protect-their-interests-by-monopolies-and-oligopolies) on the SAITM impasse


SAITM: A war unto a finish to protect their interests by monopolies and oligopolies

Views - 3199 Monday, 10 July 2017 00:32

GMOA has been in the practice of announcing wildcat strikes demanding the closure of SAITM, crippling the country’s State-sponsored medicare system – Pic by Shehan Gunasekara   A war between monopolies Economist


Green accounting for sustainable development: Much to be done to convert hype to reality

Views - 2826 Monday, 3 July 2017 00:16

Keynote address delivered at Wayamba University’s research symposium To be of use, green accounting has to be accepted by global community as the framework for measuring output at firm as well as national level   


Saman Kelegama: Even the blood running through his veins is oriented to economics

Views - 4410 Tuesday, 27 June 2017 00:10

The bearded economist who saw shortcomings of Sri Lanka’s liberalisation move My association with Dr. Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies or IPS, dates back to the early 1990s when I had the opportunity to


Today's Columnists

Many roads open

Saturday, 20 January 2018

We have just commenced Yahapalana Year 4. The third anniversary of Yahapalanaya is also the third anniversary of the defeat of the Rajapaksa regime. Both anniversaries coincide happily with the imminence of an island-wide election, the first since 20


Kasur child rape stems from subjugation of women in general

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Since the first week of the New Year, Pakistan has been in turmoil over the abduction, rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl, Zainab, in Kasur, a small town not far from Lahore in the Punjab province.


Demagoguery, deception and decrepitude inherent in most contemporary democracies

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Democracy is well and good as long its erstwhile proponents and players remain committed to high attendant ideals, pursuing with some degree of intelligence and sanity (fast eroding with the ascent of Donald J. Trump). Surely one must be faithful and


Problem is not us women and booze: It’s paternalism and capriciousness in policymaking

Friday, 19 January 2018

The other day the President of Sri Lanka went public expressing his intention to revoke a ministerial order revoking the notion that a woman of any age has no more maturity than a youth less than eighteen years old.


Columnists More