Columnists

Students’ troubles in universities: A question of misconceived cultural property rights?

Views - 7295 Monday, 25 July 2016 00:01

   Being the hotbed of trouble in the correct direction is a must Sri Lanka’s state-owned universities have always been hotbeds of trouble. Troubles are good for universities if they are in the right direction. U


Prema-chandra Athukorala Chinthana: Joining production sharing chain is the way out for Sri Lanka

Views - 6831 Monday, 18 July 2016 00:00

  Sharing production with the rest of the world The Sri Lankan-born economist of international repute and Australian National University Don, Prema-chandra Athukorala, offered a new economic policy strategy for Sri Lanka recently. He d


Direct sale of government securities: Demon or servant?

Views - 6363 Monday, 11 July 2016 00:00

  The demonised direct sales of Treasury bonds The Central Bank has been telling the public again and again since March 2015 that the sale of government securities directly to primary dealers is faulty. According to the Bank, the syste


The dream of a train enthusiast: Ride a Viceroy Special to the moon

Views - 5841 Monday, 4 July 2016 00:10

  A railway enthusiast to a fault Hemasiri Fernando is known in Sri Lanka and abroad as a sports administrator, bureaucrat, banker and entrepreneur. He is little known as a train enthusiast, though it was his hobby from his early child


Brexit: Are the UK Universities and the research sector the biggest casualty?

Views - 5005 Monday, 27 June 2016 00:10

Ryan Randall plays the bagpipes outside a polling station in Edinburgh, Scotland, in this Reuters picture. Brexit was fought on emotional grounds rather than on hard core economics or political realities    Brit


Cherry Blossoms – When an economist becomes a creative writer: That is the wonder of Sriyani Hulugal

Views - 5514 Monday, 20 June 2016 00:10

   The cover of Sriyani Hulugalle’s collection of short stories and poems ‘Cherry Blossoms’   An economist becoming a creative writer Economists are known for being heartless because


Bond fiasco and confronting the Auditor General: Monetary Board should be more mindful of its obliga

Views - 5784 Monday, 13 June 2016 00:00

   COPE directing the Central Bank to cooperate with AG A recent news item has reported that the parliamentary watchdog, the Committee on Public Enterprises or COPE had summoned the Central Bank Governor and his deputies on a c


Monetary Board’s latest statement on ‘bond fiascos’: A step backward and waking-up from a demonic dr

Views - 6760 Monday, 6 June 2016 00:20

 Implicit admission of guilt The Monetary Board of the Central Bank has at last chosen to break its stoic silence over allegations against two main Treasury bond fiascos supposed to have taken place in the Treasury bill and bond market in S


Handagama’s latest indictment: Fantasising educated middle class should wake up from their dreams

Views - 7371 Monday, 30 May 2016 00:10

   A film director famous for indicting others Asoka Handagama, an award-winning film director of international repute, has been known for using his medium to serve contemporary society with indictments. His first movie, &lsquo


Coming out of the economic crisis: Time is running out for Sri Lanka

Views - 7394 Tuesday, 24 May 2016 00:10

For Sri Lanka to attain its goal, it is of utmost importance to consolidate the budget which has gone out of control due to falling revenue and soaring expenditure   Crisis manifesting as a foreign exchange shortage Sr


Wisdom of a Monetary Board impassively watching over a fast declining capital base

Views - 6762 Monday, 16 May 2016 00:00

 Central Bank’s response is a salutary development A response issued by the Central Bank (available at: http://www.ft.lk/article/540589/Central-Bank-has-its-say-over--Continuously-loss-making-Central-Bank-is-no-better-than-Sri-Lankan-


Reintroducing repatriation requirement: Have the Finance Ministry and Central Bank gone back on thei

Views - 7021 Monday, 9 May 2016 00:10

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran  – File photo Move to change exchange control into exchange management Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in presenting the Economic


Continuously loss-making Central Bank is no better than SriLankan Airlines

Views - 7126 Tuesday, 3 May 2016 00:02

Central Bank capital depletion is also a landmine under PM’s feet Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, supported by Senior Minister Sarath Amunugama, castigated SriLankan Airlines in a recent press briefing (available at: http://www.ft.lk/


A cherry-picking Monetary Board when another major ‘bond scandal’ is rubbing on its nose

Views - 7036 Monday, 25 April 2016 00:10

Source: EconomyNext  Monetary Board is the authority on monetary policy The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has issued a response (available at: http://www.ft.lk/article/536676/Central-Bank-responds-to--Dilemma-in-Monetary-


Economic crisis management: Consensual logical and consistent policy package is need of the day

Views - 5982 Monday, 18 April 2016 00:05

   Taking a completely contradictory view to the wisdom pronounced by IMF Mission, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran is reported to have dismissed the need for monetary policy tightening   An economic cr


Hilmy Cader’s Fine Advice to Exporters: If the objective is to prosper, confront reality and think s

Views - 6517 Monday, 11 April 2016 00:10

MTI Consulting CEO Hilmy Cader - Pic by Daminda Harsha Perera A powerful shake up of exporters  In a recent forum and discussion on the country’s exports organised by MTI Consulting and Daily FT in Colombo, MTI Head H


Dilemma in monetary policy: Monetary Board being caught in ‘The Devil’s Alternative’?

Views - 8740 Monday, 4 April 2016 00:00

Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran    Disappointing the market’s predictions When the Monetary Board of the Central Bank was due to announce its monetary policy decision in March 2016, the market


Right to Information Bill: A defeat of public aspirations for transparency in the Central Bank?

Views - 7265 Monday, 28 March 2016 00:10

 Pledge to allow citizens to get information from public bodies There was an important pledge given by the current government in its Manifesto seeking election to power at the General Elections held in August, 2015. That was to introduce me


What is wrong with our ailing tea industry and where does its cure lie?

Views - 5759 Monday, 21 March 2016 00:01

    Tea should have a wider angle than a mere beverage At a panel discussion following an evening presentation organised by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers or CPM in Colombo last week, a questioner from the a


ETCA or any other policy is destined to fail if not properly managed

Views - 5753 Monday, 14 March 2016 00:00

Critics say that ILFTA has favoured India and not Sri Lanka. This is a misconception and a conclusion arrived at by glancing at the information available on the surface     The best economic policy doesn&


‘Padeniya Chinthana’ on ETCA: Govt. should fight it in intellectual forums, not in the streets

Views - 7487 Tuesday, 8 March 2016 01:19

Management of Economic Policy 4 The crusader of good governance in healthcare system Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya, Medical Specialist and President of the 18,000-member strong Government Medical Officers’ Association – be


Management of Economic Policy 3: Sri Lanka should tap global unbundling opportunities of services un

Views - 6245 Monday, 29 February 2016 00:10

   The need for wide public consultation when trade agreements are signed The first article in this series warned against the secrecy surrounding the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement, now known as ETCA, which the G


ETCA is not CEPA in all respects, but it should be made public to allay fears

Views - 6078 Tuesday, 23 February 2016 00:10

Management of Economic Policy 2  Taking note of the widespread protests which CEPA had run into earlier by a section of the services sector organisations in the country, the new Government, it appears, has presented it in a rebranded


Sri Lanka faces crucial tests ahead with growing opposition to ETCA

Views - 6703 Monday, 15 February 2016 00:00

Management of Economic Policy 1  Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe  Linking Sri Lanka to the global market The proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement or ETCA has been one of the crucia


Central Bank’s clarification on EPF has unwittingly refuted Prime Minister and Minister of Finance?

Views - 5846 Monday, 8 February 2016 00:10

   Selective response by EPF to concerns raised The Central Bank has issued a clarification, carried by Daily FT in its print edition of 1 February 2016, on the Monetary Board’s alleged failure to publish the annual


Hausmann and Govt. in the hot seat

Views - 5841 Monday, 1 February 2016 00:00

Consult two economists and get a multitude of opinions    Ricardo Hausmann - AFP   Economists are a funny species. You speak to two and get three opinions. But in today’s contex


EPF and ETF: Should or shouldn’t they be merged into a separate institution?

Views - 7519 Monday, 25 January 2016 00:02

 Trade unions up in arms against the proposed merger of EPF and ETF In a recent live television discussion on ITN, the President of the Ceylon Bank Employees Union, also known as CBEU, made a very strong case against the proposed merger of


The illusive rescue of the rupee by an elusive Belgian investor: Is the Yahapalana Government on the

Views - 9895 Monday, 18 January 2016 00:00

   An elusive Belgian investor to rescue the rupee According to Reuters, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake is reported to have disclosed that an unidentified Belgian investor has promised to give Sri Lanka $ 1 billion by


Ricardo Hausmann’s message: Restructure exports for growth choosing products over which you can comp

Views - 6747 Monday, 11 January 2016 00:10

Ricardo Hausmann  Sri Lankans’ strange psyche: Exports are good but Imports are bad There is a popular economic belief among Sri Lankans that in order to build Sri Lanka as a strong nation, it should produce everythin


Looming economic crisis: policy approaches are too short and too late while some are unproductive

Views - 6244 Monday, 4 January 2016 00:05

  Open admission of the looming economic crisis Three moves made by the Central Bank in the recent past have been tantamount to an open admission that Sri Lanka is in a deep economic crisis. Of course, the crisis, as this writer had


Today's Columnists

Taking sides – on the side of the law

Monday, 19 November 2018

I am under criticism for “taking sides” in the ongoing dispute between the UNF and UPFA. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has accused me thus: “Yesterday a commissioner from the Elections Commission went to the Supreme Court saying that the P


Hang the House! It’s OUR country, future, etc.

Monday, 19 November 2018

I have rarely if ever empathised with the Sri Lanka Police Department. But when I saw those hapless cops ducking chilli bombs in Parliament, my heart went out to those whom I had previously seen as simply being PC Plods or Mr Goons. Sorry to say that


The only way out

Monday, 19 November 2018

Leaving aside the legalities, politicalities, constitutionalities and the complexities of the current imbroglio in which the nation is grounded (temporarily), the underlying issues in the constitutional crisis can be reduced to one single question: a


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

Monday, 19 November 2018

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


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