Columnists,W. A. Wijewardena

The fate of the rupee: Time to stop playing the ‘blame-excuse-blame games’

Views - 4137 Monday, 15 October 2018 01:27

As I have presented in a previous article titled ‘Rupee’s Sad Destiny of One-way Journey to Depreciation’ (available at: http://www.ft.lk/columns/Rupee-s-sad-destiny-of-one-way-journey-to-depreciation/4-654254), it has been a historical tragedy


Sri Lanka can still open the window of opportunity: Dr. Amarakoon Bandara

Views - 1516 Monday, 8 October 2018 00:00

My former colleague at the Central Bank and presently Senior Economic Advisor to UNDP, Dr. Amarakoon Bandara, delivering a public lecture at the Bank on Growth Dynamics, has opined that Sri Lanka can still open its window of opportunities if proper p


The fate of the rupee Part II: Need for addressing issues at root

Views - 1161 Monday, 1 October 2018 00:00

In the previous part, we looked at how the Sri Lanka rupee has been continuing its one way journey to depreciation ever since the country gained independence from Britain in 1948 (available at: http://www.ft.lk/columns/The-fate-of-the-rupee--Central-


The fate of the rupee: Central Bank is caught with ‘Devil’s Alternative’

Views - 2497 Tuesday, 25 September 2018 00:00

Not all are losing when the rupee depreciates The recent depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar in the market has apparently driven the entire nation to a panic mode. While it had been a field day for the media and opposition law makers, the


Part III of the Central Bank Anniversary Oration Central Bank should play role of a smart wife to mo

Views - 301 Monday, 17 September 2018 00:00

In Parts I and II of this series, it was presented that Central Banks, created by society and not by politicians, have the mandate to preserve the value of money which the public holds on trust. The Central Banks could do so by producing money by usi


Part II: Central Bank Anniversary Oration 2018 Hawks, doves, swingers and pigeons in Central Banks

Views - 404 Monday, 10 September 2018 00:03

In the previous part (available at: http://www.ft.lk/columns/Revisiting-Central-Bank-s-independence/4-662019 ), it was presented that Central Banks are required to use their power to print money responsibly, so that people who hold those moneys have


Revisiting Central Bank’s independence

Views - 409 Monday, 3 September 2018 00:00

It is good to be back after 9 years, if I use a slightly amended phrase borrowed from Madonna, the pop singer. When she visited Argentina, 13 years after she had played the main role ‘Eva’ in Evita, to sing to an ecstatic live audience ‘Don’t


Challenge of learning is how to transform information to wisdom: Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai

Views - 640 Monday, 27 August 2018 00:00

The outgoing President of the Thailand-based Asian Institute of Technology or AIT, Professor Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, is an unconventional academic.


Singapore miracle – How SL could benefit from trade with Singapore

Views - 1641 Monday, 20 August 2018 00:00

According to a media report released by President’s Media Division, a committee of experts has been appointed by the President to examine and report on ‘the practical impact and use of the proposed officer policy guidelines and recommendations on


Part III: National Export Strategy 2018-22: Focus on selected sectors welcome but challenging

Views - 519 Monday, 13 August 2018 00:52

In the previous two parts of this series (available at: http://www.ft.lk/columns/Part-I--National-Export-Strategy-2018-22--Disrupt-the-economy-fast-if-the-goals-are-to-be-attained/4-659860; http://www.ft.lk/columns/Part-II--National-Export-Strategy-2


Part II: National Export Strategy 2018-22: Introducing measurable physical targets

Views - 449 Monday, 6 August 2018 00:00

In part I of our analysis of the National Export Strategy or NES (available at: http://www.ft.lk/columns/Part-I--National-Export-Strategy-2018-22--Disrupt-the-economy-fast-if-the-goals-are-to-be-attained/4-659860), we commended the Export Development


Part I: National Export Strategy 2018-22: Disrupt the economy fast if the goals are to be attained

Views - 783 Monday, 30 July 2018 00:00

Sri Lanka’s Export Development Board, better known as EDB, released the country’s National Export Strategy, dubbed as NES, last week after conducting a series of national consultations for over a year with main stakeholders (available at: http://


Graduates have responsibility to impart digital knowledge to fellow citizens

Views - 434 Monday, 23 July 2018 00:10

Let me congratulate all those who receive their degrees today at this General Convocation on the achievements they have made.


Disruptive economy and poverty of knowledge: Sri Lankans have a lot to learn

Views - 758 Monday, 16 July 2018 00:00

The poor are usually defined as those who are below a given level of income that would be insufficient to meet their basic needs. In my view, the poor – no matter whether it is an individual, family or a nation – are those who are unable to read


Resolving the paradox of rice-poverty amidst plenty

Views - 936 Monday, 9 July 2018 00:10

Sri Lankans are great rice eaters. On average, they eat 108 kg of rice per person per year as against the world average of just 54 kg per head. A plate of rice eaten by an average Sri Lankan is usually equated to Adam’s Peak or Samanala Kanda.


The killing of ‘the leopard’ and call for the return of ‘a Hitler’

Views - 923 Monday, 2 July 2018 00:00

Last week, the mainstream media as well as social media was abuzz with two explosive stories.


Crisis-ridden Sri Lanka economy: Time for economics to prevail on politics

Views - 1529 Monday, 25 June 2018 00:10

Sri Lanka’s official statistics bureau, Department of Census and Statistics or DCS, has released the country’s 2018 first quarter provisional economic growth data in its website (available at: http://www.statistics.gov.lk/national_accounts/dcsna_


Craving a world with free migration of Homo sapiens

Views - 598 Monday, 18 June 2018 00:00

During the discussion time following the presentation of a paper by former diplomat Tamara Kunanayakam on the invasion of Sri Lanka’s economic policymaking by neoliberal economic thinkers two weeks ago, Colombo University’s economics don Lalithas


Sri Lanka has lost economic sovereignty, target of neoliberal economic hitmen: Tamara Kunanayakam

Views - 1346 Monday, 11 June 2018 00:00

Tamara Kunanayakam, formerly a UN official and Diplomat and presently, civil and human rights activist cum public voice maker,


Mahathir’s second coming: Lesson for Sri Lankan leaders ‘Deliver what you promise’

Views - 1000 Monday, 4 June 2018 00:10

The election of 92-year-old Dr Mahathir Mohamad, commonly known as Mahathir, to premiership by Malaysian voters, especially the young voters, has been a surprise to many.


Channa de Silva: ‘Technology should be for people’s convenience'

Views - 822 Monday, 28 May 2018 00:10

Channa de Silva, CEO of LankaClear, Sri Lanka’s official clearing and payment services provider, declares convincingly: “I firmly believe that technology should be for improving people’s convenience.”


Mangala’s Gam Peraliya: Good move but essential requirement a village level database

Views - 876 Monday, 21 May 2018 00:10

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, announcing the Government’s decision to move for a flexible fuel price system based on international prices built into a pricing formula, made a side announcement as well.


Introduction of fintech regulatory sandbox by Central Bank is a move in correct direction

Views - 1124 Monday, 14 May 2018 00:10

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has recently announced its intention to create a sandbox for financial institutions to experiment with new financial technologies


Rohan Pallewatta: Man who has proved that Sri Lanka can also do

Views - 8720 Tuesday, 8 May 2018 00:10

A speaker with a guitar Imagine a scenario like this. You invite a CEO of a successful start-up company to speak to your students. Your wish has been to drive the message home to students that they do not have to live with a constant defeatist mental


Rupee’s sad destiny of one-way journey to depreciation

Views - 1369 Tuesday, 1 May 2018 00:10

Sudden fall in the value of the rupee The recent media reports have been abuzz with a sudden fall in the value of the Sri Lanka rupee against the US dollar, the benchmark currency used by Sri Lanka to quote the external value of its currency. The C


Designers of Sri Lanka’s Future: Episode I Nihal Ranasinghe

Views - 875 Monday, 23 April 2018 00:10

To sustain economic growth, Sri Lanka needs a critical pool of daring people who would see things differently and design a new future.


Success at issue of dollar notes should not be a substitute for taking early measures to fix economy

Views - 627 Tuesday, 17 April 2018 00:57

The Central Bank has brought $ 2.5 billion to the country by issuing Sri Lanka Government Sovereign but ‘Senior Unsecured Notes’ in the international markets (available at: https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/en/news/the-democratic-socialist-republic-of-sri-


Now that CB has done its job, RW & Harsha should pick up the ball & play the game

Views - 1114 Monday, 9 April 2018 00:10

The Central Bank in its second monetary policy review in 2018, released last week, has cautiously and partially relaxed the tight policy package it had introduced earlier when inflation was rearing its ugly head causing chaos to investment initiative


Belated transfer of CB back to Finance Ministry is welcome, but some more follies to be rectified

Views - 657 Monday, 2 April 2018 00:10

A confusing folly committed by the new government in January 2015 happened to be the listing of the Central Bank and other financial institutions away from the Ministry of Finance.


Policy disagreement in Unity Govt. has been the killer of the economy

Views - 839 Monday, 26 March 2018 00:00

According to the data released by the Department of Census and Statistics or DCS – the country’s official statistics bureau – Sri Lanka’s economy has grown in 2017 by 3.1%


Today's Columnists

Challenges in preserving and promoting Pakistan’s Buddhist past

Saturday, 20 October 2018

The international media has been portraying Pakistan as a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism, especially after the Americans carried out a surgical strike there to kill international terrorist and fugitive, Osama bin Laden.


Government’s cohabitation stuck in the past or what?

Friday, 19 October 2018

The appointment of career judge Nalin Perera as the new Chief Justice, who has served in the judiciary for over 30 years, provides a snapshot into President Maithripala Sirisena’s thought process, amidst various stories of clashes with his coalitio


Profit before principle: Khashoggi and US-Saudi relations

Friday, 19 October 2018

The mysterious disappearance of a Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, from inside the Saudi Embassy complex in Turkey on 2 October and an array of circumstantial evidence surrounding his disappearance lead one to suspect that Jamal was possibly abduct


When shame and honour take the hypocritical centre stage

Friday, 19 October 2018

As human beings, we experience a gamut of emotions. These help individuals to express themselves, and authorities to exercise control over entire societies. The most common feelings engendered by our race span a spectrum from guilt and shame to fear.


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