Columnists,W. A. Wijewardena

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

Views - 2907 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 - 862 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 - 678 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 - 850 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 - 1510 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 - 790 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 - 572 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 - 1450 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 - 1591 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 - 2368 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 - 2376 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 - 2053 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 - 2219 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 - 2810 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 - 3282 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 - 3685 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 - 4696 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


Sri Lanka has no choice but to grow with giants

Views - 3748 Monday, 19 June 2017 00:10

Sri Lanka has no choice but to adopt a development strategy that helps it to grow with giants – Pic by Shehan Gunasekara   Nature while creating giants has empowered dwarfs with overpowering cunningness One can accuse


Asking a wings-clipped Finance Minister to fly is a classic repeat of ‘Dunna Dunugamuwe’

Views - 4525 Monday, 12 June 2017 00:01

An unorthodox and illogical functional allocation President Maithripala Sirisena has issued the Extraordinary Gazette Notification dated 7 June 2017 allocating functions among the newly sworn-in Ministers a week ago. In this notification too, th


Missing the bus to prosperity: Sri Lanka should now go for comprehensive reforms instead of savourin

Views - 5459 Monday, 5 June 2017 00:10

Samaraweera’s commitment to policy reforms Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, lamenting over the country’s missed opportunities in the past due to not making correct decisions at the correct time, has reiterated his commitmen


New Finance Minister has a Herculean task ahead; he will win only if he moves with foresight

Views - 4434 Monday, 29 May 2017 00:05

New Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera officially assuming duties at the ministry  – Pic by Pradeep Pathirana   Promise to continue with economic reform program The new Minister of Finance, Mangala Sa


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

Views - 4801 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 - 5136 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 - 5695 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 - 5894 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 - 6871 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 - 6667 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 - 7102 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 - 6719 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 - 7753 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


Today's Columnists

Economic growth through fragmentation and global value chain

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

The global value chain will continue to enhance economic growth, create better job opportunities and shrink poverty in developing countries. As far back as the 1990s, through international trade, global value chain benefits were experienced by poorer


Sri Lankan housewife in trouble again?

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

After almost six quarters of negative growth, starting from Quarter 1 2016, Sri Lanka saw overall general trading conditions recovering to register +4.1% GDP growth in Q1-2019 and +3.7% in Q2-2019 which was a welcome sign to a typical Sri Lanka hous


Their investigations and our investigations

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

There must be very few subjects in this country more investigated than the alleged wrongdoings in relation to Government issued bonds. Beginning with the so-called Pilipino committee (appointed by persons whose very conduct was germane to the inquir


Education and vocational training: lessons learnt from Singapore

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

In the 1960s, Lee Kuan Yew, the eminent leader and founding father of Singapore, once said that he wants to build Singapore as Sri Lanka. But what has happened today? Sri Lanka is lagging behind Singapore in many aspects. Singapore has no natural res


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