Columnists,W. A. Wijewardena,Opinion and Issues

Those who go by social proof are easy prey to crafty schemers

Views - 5683 Monday, 17 June 2019 00:20

Going after social proof Swiss writer and novelist, Rolf Dobelli, in one of the essays in his 2013 book ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’, has given a fine warning to his readers. He has warned against going by ‘social proof’ or ‘majority view


Nationalism helps democracy to survive, but only up to a limit

Views - 6160 Monday, 10 June 2019 00:20

Claim that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala-Buddhist country Sri Lanka is hailed by many, mainly by those who are ethnically Sinhalese and religion-wise Buddhists, as a Sinhala-Buddhist country. This is not an arrangement which it has got under its Constitutio


Institutionalise macro policy to make it sustainable: Dr. Coomaraswamy

Views - 4075 Monday, 3 June 2019 00:20

Delivering the first memorial oration of the late A.S. Jayawardena in Colombo last week, the incumbent Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy emphasised the need for institutionalising the macroeconomic policy being presently pursued by the


Disregard of governance principles by political leadership should come to an end

Views - 6216 Monday, 27 May 2019 00:20

In this uncertain world, there is one thing about which Sri Lankans can be absolutely certain. That is, they can be pretty sure that they would wake up every morning to news of gross disregard of good governance principles by the country’s politica


Enemies of democracy Part 3: Democracy has no meaning if mobocracy can rob the people’s property

Views - 6263 Tuesday, 21 May 2019 00:00

Property rights are the corner stone of any economy Property rights of people are at the foundation of any economic system, whether it is free-market, statist, or socialist. People do what they do in an economy if they can enjoy the fruits of their l


Educated youth leaving the shores of Sri Lanka: Is it brain drain or brain gain?

Views - 6123 Monday, 13 May 2019 00:20

Many have expressed their concern about the rising incidence of educated youth leaving the country for employment in developed countries. This is specifically a relevant issue in a background of Sri Lanka’s labour force falling as observed by the W


Economy is not in proper shape in the paradise island

Views - 4702 Monday, 6 May 2019 00:10

The Annual Report of the Central Bank for 2018 analysing in minute detail the state of the country’s economy today and outlining the prospects for the next five years has just been released (available at: https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/en/publications/eco


Global terrorism threatening democracy should be tackled at global level

Views - 5077 Monday, 29 April 2019 00:10

Call for rising above narrow prejudices or biases The gruesome killing of unsuspecting civilians in Sri Lanka by an extreme Islamic group connected to Islamic State or IS last week has been roundly condemned by local – religious, political, and civ


USJ does it: Bold attempt at combining innovation with art

Views - 6141 Monday, 8 April 2019 00:20

Relying on manpower or divine powers? The University of Sri Jayewardenepura or USJ, celebrating its 60th Anniversary as a recognised university this year, had hosted two main events to mark it. One involved in kicking-off of USJ’s long-term vision


Ven. Rahula’s Sathyodaya: Let truth be awakened in top leaders and CEB people

Views - 9195 Monday, 1 April 2019 00:29

Two events bearing on each other Two events that had no direct connection to each other but could have a bearing took place in Sri Lanka last week. One was the AFP report about an unconventional method used by the country’s power producer, Ceylon E


Handagama’s Asandimitta: Not mere psychoanalysis; sociocultural, political and economic analysis too

Views - 6950 Monday, 25 March 2019 00:30

Sri Lanka’s award winning film director, Asoka Handagama, screened his latest creative work, Asandimitta, before an invited audience in Colombo last week. This was a prelude to its public release, which was to be commenced immediately. Handagama i


Dissecting the 52-day saga: A forensic analysis by a forensic expert

Views - 6273 Monday, 18 March 2019 00:00

It was 7:30 in the evening on 26 October 2018. The day being a typical Friday, Sri Lankans had been settled for yet another uneventful weekend. Many had sat in front of TV sets watching their favourite teledramas. Suddenly, viewers got alerted by a n


‘Khema’s Boy’ does it: Comes up with a non-election budget in an election year

Views - 7427 Monday, 11 March 2019 00:10

Speculation that Budget 2019 will be an election budget Prior to the presentation of the Budget 2019, there was wide speculation that it would be an election budget. There were at least two elections in the pipeline and the expectation was that Finan


Budget 2019 should not fall into the pitfall of being an election budget

Views - 6333 Monday, 4 March 2019 00:20

Race to offer free goodies to voters in election years The tradition in all developing countries has been that just before elections, politicians in power choose to offer the general public a host of unaffordable free goodies in the hope of winning t


Budget 2019 should be an innovation-inspiring budget

Views - 6463 Monday, 25 February 2019 00:10

It is the habit of every finance minister to call his budget a development budget. This is despite all budgets since around 1956 having allocated a bulk of resources – about 75% – for consumption and not for capital formation. Even then, the mon


SL growth profile: Arrest moving down the staircase immediately to avoid hard landing on the floor

Views - 6308 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:50

Strong message in the Sri Lanka Development Update 2019 Sri Lanka Development Update for 2019 was released by the World Bank last week. This document contains a review by the bank’s residential staff of the present state of the country’s economy


Attack on ATMs: The use of the ‘eyeball test’ involving vigilance is the best

Views - 6261 Monday, 11 February 2019 00:20

It seems that the genetic code of modern Homo sapiens is not different from that of other species. The latter is guided not by thinking but by instincts. Similarly, Homo sapiens is still embedded with the ‘gene of fear’ that compels it to ‘figh


Good governance and economic development

Views - 6275 Monday, 4 February 2019 00:10

The rationale of economic policy governance could be explained by drawing on the viewpoints expressed by French economist, philosopher and legislator Frédéric Bastiat in two of his publications, one in 1848 and the other in 1850. In the first publ


Good governance and economic development

Views - 6583 Monday, 28 January 2019 00:30

The presence of good governance at both the public and private sectors in a country has been viewed as a positive contributor to sustained economic growth. At the private sector level, practising good governance principles will enable the stakeholde


Banks should subsume technology before technology subsumes them

Views - 6917 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:08

Returning to IBSL is like ‘coming home’ It is a privilege for me to return to the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka, popularly known as IBSL, after the lapse of some 10 years. I had a long association with IBSL from its very beginning – from ar


Seeking IMF support is necessary, but ailing economy needs permanent treatment

Views - 6689 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:10

Hitting a dying man on the head A high-level delegation led by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has left for Washington DC to meet IMF’s high-ups. The purpose? To negotiate for the restoration of the Extended Fund Facility or EFF temporarily su


Sri Lanka’s deep economic crisis:Wasted four years and a wasting election year

Views - 7334 Monday, 7 January 2019 01:30

By the time the present Government came to power in 2015, Sri Lanka was in a deep economic crisis. Its growth had slowed down from a peak of 9% in 2012 to 3.4% in 2013 before recovering temporarily to 5%, still a low rate, in 2014. Exports had been


Binod Chaudhary’s wisdom: You can make it big if driven by an undiminished passion for achievement

Views - 7386 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:00

I recommend Binod Chaudhary’s autobiography – ‘Making It Big’ – to all readers. As the title says, the message is that if it is small now, make it big. By implication, it also advises us to make it bigger if it is big and the biggest if it


Economy at a crossroads: The way out for Sri Lanka

Views - 6758 Monday, 24 December 2018 00:00

The analysis so far In the previous part, we noted that Professor H.A. de S. Gunasekara, the first Ceylonese professor of economics at the University of Ceylon, was a legend in economics teaching in Sri Lanka. His doctoral thesis to the University of


Sri Lanka’s economy at crossroads: The ignored export sector for creating prosperity

Views - 6695 Monday, 17 December 2018 00:00

The analysis so farIn the previous part, we noted that Professor H.A. de S. Gunasekara, the first Ceylonese Professor of Economics at the University of Ceylon, was a legend in economics teaching in Sri Lanka. His doctoral thesis to the University of


Sri Lanka’s economy at crossroads: The 1972-76 Five-Year Plan and its diagnosis of economic ailments

Views - 6525 Monday, 10 December 2018 02:00

The economist who produced ‘From Dependent Currency to Central Banking’ Professor H A de S Gunasekara, popularly known as HAdeS, was a legend in economics in Sri Lanka. The doctoral thesis ‘From Dependent Currency to Central Banking in Ceylon


‘In the opinion of the President’ doesn’t mean arbitrary choice, but going by simple arithmetic

Views - 6856 Monday, 3 December 2018 00:00

President is not first master, but first servant of the Republic The man-made constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka has now entered its second month with no solution in sight. It has entailed enormous costs on the economy, eroded the credibility of the


Moody’s downgrade of SL sovereign debt: A pat for Central Bank, while slapping the President

Views - 6760 Monday, 26 November 2018 01:11

Moody’s Investors Service, in a recent ratings change, downgraded Sri Lanka’s sovereign debt from B1 to B2, while improving the country’s economic Outlook from Negative to Stable (available at: https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-downgrades-


Man-made constitutional crisis: Personal vendettas should not be allowed to destroy the country

Views - 6595 Monday, 19 November 2018 00:00

President is simply one presiding over an entity of people It all came to surface as the culmination of a personal vendetta between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The country at large knew of it when the Pre


The flash election: A political way out or an instance of one mistake leading to another?

Views - 6503 Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

Adverse economic consequences of executive action In a flash move, Parliament was dissolved last Friday by President Maithripala Sirisena, claiming he had powers to do so under the Constitution. It was not a sudden executive action, but the culminat


Today's Columnists

Timely measures are necessary to save the local industries

Thursday, 20 June 2019

The security situation in the country is gradually improving since the Easter Sunday bombing which brought social life and economic commitments to a standstill. The day-to-day life is getting back to normalcy. International travel adversaries have be


Disinformation is bad; wilful disinformation is worse

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Seya Sadewmi was a five-year-old girl who was abducted, raped and murdered. The body of this little girl, missing from her home for a little more than a day was found near a canal 200 m away. An autopsy revealed that Sadewmi had been sexually assault


A day in the life of a democracy

Thursday, 20 June 2019

When you listen to the news and observe views from the country of the mother of all parliaments, it is quite interesting, and I dare say there is so much to learn from it. I am not in any way referring to pursue subservient veneration nor behavioural


Sri Lankan companies: Be brilliant on basics

Thursday, 20 June 2019

The $ 87 billion Sri Lanka economy is registered a 3.5% GDP growth in Q1 2019 in the backdrop of South Asian growing at 6% which explains how far away we are in relation to our neighbouring countries – India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. I guess the Q2


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