Columnists

One Belt One Road Initiative: When Donald Trump closes up, Xi Jinping plans to open up

Views - 4783 Monday, 22 May 2017 00:07

Chinese President Xi Jinping together with Heads of Governments including Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe pose for a group picture at the opening of the Belt and Road for International Cooperation Summit in Beijing,


CB Annual Report 2016: Bold in critical analysis and proactive in policy recommendations

Views - 5122 Monday, 15 May 2017 00:21

Release of CB Annual Report 2016 The Monetary Board released its Annual Report on the state of the economy in 2016, commonly known as the Central Bank Annual Report, two weeks ago. The Governor and the senior officers of the bank had in per


Reform of Exchange Controls – Part III: Proposed Foreign Exchange Act, an improvement on many count

Views - 5649 Monday, 8 May 2017 00:04

Making exchange control a permanent law In parts one and two of this series (available respectively at: http://www.ft.lk/article/610886/Reform-of-exchange-controls--There-is-a-need--but-do-it-correctly-%E2%80%93-Part-I and http://www.ft.lk/


Reform of exchange controls – Part II: Bringing exchange controls to the permanent law book

Views - 5878 Tuesday, 2 May 2017 00:00

 The Central Bank implements ECA as the agent of the Government and for that purpose has to create a separate department called the Exchange Control Department     Exchange controls to fight a war In P


Reform of exchange controls: There is a need, but do it correctly – Part I

Views - 6844 Monday, 24 April 2017 00:01

The first Ceylonese Governor of the newly-established Central Bank N.U. Jayawardena ​ Proposal to reform exchange controls without giving details Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in announcing the economic policy s


Emerging challenges in the power sector: Unless tackled urgently, future growth is gloomy

Views - 6631 Monday, 17 April 2017 00:10

  SLEA to analyse critical economic issues   The Sri Lanka Economic Association, abbreviated as SLEA, under its new President Dr. Upananda Vidanapathirana, has ventured into generating public discussion of cr


Prof. Dharma De Silva: The unforgettable trailblazer in management education in Sri Lanka

Views - 7073 Tuesday, 11 April 2017 00:10

  Professor Dharma De Silva (extreme left) with Vice Chancellor Rev Walpola Rahula (extreme right) at a book donation ceremony to Vidyodaya University by US Embassy in 1966. Also in the picture are Deputy Secretary K.P.G. Wjayasurendr


Alleged losses at EPF: Monetary Board will open itself to outside inquiry by playing slow mode

Views - 6707 Monday, 3 April 2017 00:03

Massive losses at EPF through imprudent bond deals Media reports last week had referred to an alleged loss of Rs 9.5 billion at the Employees Provident Fund or EPF when it had made some scandalous deals with a primary dealer company now und


Education is not a commodity: but it is and it should be negotiable

Views - 7682 Monday, 27 March 2017 00:10

Students claim that education is not a commodity ‘Education is not a commodity’ has been a popular view almost universally held by Sri Lanka’s student community in higher learning institutions. For them, it is non


US interest rate hike: Sri Lanka has no alternative but to follow the suit

Views - 7268 Monday, 20 March 2017 00:01

US interest rate hike is linked to all other interest rates  The Federal Reserve Bank – the central bank of the United States of America – announced last week that its benchmark interest rate would be increased from 0.7


The inconclusive IMF review and challenges ahead for Sri Lanka

Views - 6384 Monday, 13 March 2017 00:01

The Central Bank’s funding of the Government budget is highly undesirable since such funding would be in the form of creating seed money – known as base money or reserve money – that would generate money supply increases


ABC of Trumponomics: Can it make the US a great nation?

Views - 6334 Monday, 6 March 2017 00:01

US President Donald J. Trump Addressing a joint session of the Congress US President Donald J. Trump outlined his economic philosophy – known as Trumponomics – to a joint session of the Congress last week (


Restoring ‘Economic Democracy’: Is it an elusive goal?

Views - 6553 Monday, 27 February 2017 01:47

President Maithripala Sirisena Promised delivery of economic democracy to people One of the pledges made by the present Government in its election manifesto titled ‘The Five Point Plan for creating a new country in 60 mont


SAITM and private medical schools: One bad start should not lead to throwing away a good idea

Views - 8007 Monday, 20 February 2017 00:01

Opposition to SAITM SAITM, the abbreviation for Sri Lanka's newest private university, South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (available at: http://www.saitm.edu.lk/), has been denoting a derogatory meaning in Sri Lankans' pres


Central Bank’s mad rush to mandate credit: Shocking banks is not in accord with PM’s Social Market E

Views - 6569 Monday, 13 February 2017 00:50

  Mandating credit allocation without fanfare The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has, without fanfare or publicised press conferences, issued a one and a half page long circular to commercial banks urging them to maintain a mini


The Good Governance Government should not ignore Sri Lanka’s slipping down on the World Rule of Law

Views - 9417 Monday, 6 February 2017 00:06

King Elara’s observance of the Rule of Law to the letter According to a story in Sri Lanka’s great chronicle, Mahavansa, a Tamil usurper named Elara of the Uju tribe had invaded Lanka in the 2nd century BCE and ruled the northern par


In defence of the Auditor General: The Govt. should not blind its ‘third eye’

Views - 8116 Monday, 30 January 2017 00:26

Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe An Auditor General under fire by political authorities The Auditor General of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, a position created by its Constitution, has been of late at the rece


Steamrolling of Central Bank by Minister of Finance: An unsavoury development?

Views - 9186 Monday, 23 January 2017 00:38

An unsavoury rift between the Central Bank and Minister of Finance A growing rift between Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and the senior management of the Central Bank is surfacing now, worrying both financial markets and prospective fo


GSP + may be restored but Sri Lanka has to act fast to harness its full benefits

Views - 7425 Monday, 16 January 2017 00:05

A positive report by EU on Sri Lanka A report published by the European Union or EU on 11 January 2017 (available at: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/155236.htm ) has concluded that Sri Lanka has completed all the requirements needed


When a Governor speaks like a Governor.....

Views - 8498 Monday, 9 January 2017 00:15

Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy When a Governor speaks frankly, the market responds positively When a Governor of a central bank speaks like a Governor, he is sure to receive two types of response. His candid spe


Formalising economic management through Development Bill: Another communication failure by the Unity

Views - 7113 Monday, 2 January 2017 01:15

A development bill running into a messy situation The Unity Government managed to have its Budget 2017 passed in Parliament by a two third majority. From the public pronouncements which the top leaders had made, one could infer that it had boost


Economy 2017: The alarming signs should not be ignored

Views - 7703 Tuesday, 27 December 2016 00:05

Year 2017 marks two anniversaries The year 2017 dawns with two anniversaries. One is the sixth anniversary of this series analysing economic and related issues. The other is the second anniversary of the good governance government tha


Reform the Central Bank, but don’t erode its independence

Views - 6756 Monday, 19 December 2016 08:46

     Prime Minister wants a more independent Central Bank Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in the economic policy statement he presented to Parliament in November 2015, pledged that his Government would ‘


Thriving in a digital age: Digital currencies pose the biggest threat to banks – Part III

Views - 5539 Monday, 5 December 2016 00:05

  This is the final part of a revised and improved version of a paper published in the Association for Professional Bankers 2016 Annual Convention Publication titled ‘Thriving in a Digital World’.  Part I of this paper


Thriving in a Digital Age: Digital currencies pose the biggest challenge to banks – Part II

Views - 5620 Monday, 28 November 2016 00:01

  This is part II of a revised version of the paper published in the annual publication of the Association of Professional Bankers or APB under the title ‘Thriving in a Digital World’ in conjunction with its 28th anniversa


Thriving in a Digital Age: Digital currencies pose the biggest challenge for banks – Part I

Views - 5802 Monday, 21 November 2016 00:01

  The Digital Age is not new or alien to the financial services industry. When the new breakthroughs of information and communication technology (ICT) hit the world in the early 1960s, it was the financial services industry that embra


Budget 2017: Significant improvement if not marred by policy inconsistencies and interference with t

Views - 5598 Tuesday, 15 November 2016 00:18

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake delivering the Budget Speech     A significant improvement in Budget 2017 The Budget 2017, presented by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake in Parliament on


EPF should be investigated promptly as recommended by COPE

Views - 5243 Monday, 7 November 2016 00:05

  COPE recommendation: Investigate EPF fully The COPE report on the bond scam in the Central Bank from February 2015 to May 2016 has come up with, among others things, a very strong recommendation relating to EPF.  It has rec


The COPE report on bond scams: Not two reports as claimed but single one by 25 members

Views - 7117 Monday, 31 October 2016 00:01

  COPE report on bond scams The much talked about report by the Committee on Public Enterprises or COPE on the irregularities that are alleged to have taken place in the issue of Treasury bonds by the Central Bank from February


Fiscal reforms: An imperative for sustained growth

Views - 5411 Monday, 24 October 2016 00:01

SLEA 2016 keynote   Above 7% growth is needed to sustain the economy Sustained growth is normally viewed from two different angles today. One is from the point of environment and depletion of non- renewable resource


Today's Columnists

The real cost of dengue

Monday, 23 September 2019

Rainy season not only brings much-needed water to Sri Lanka, but also an increase in mosquitoes and thus: dengue. As in many southern countries, Sri Lanka faces the challenge of controlling this mosquito-borne disease. Up to September 2019, the Epide


State of the economy of Sri Lanka

Saturday, 21 September 2019

I am not an economist nor do I profess to be an economic analyst. The views expressed in this presentation are those of a layman who has always been interested in the economic progress of Sri Lanka.


Premadasa, Père et Fils

Saturday, 21 September 2019

We are what time, circumstances and history has made of us. We are trapped in history. At age 77, I refuse to trap history in my mind. This essay is an obligation to history. Although J.R. Jayewardene introduced ‘Executive Presidentialism’, coer


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