Columnists

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

Views - 8489 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 - 7103 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 - 7693 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 - 6737 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 - 5531 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 - 5613 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 - 5788 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 - 5589 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 - 5230 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 - 7089 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 - 5398 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


The Monetary Board’s wake up from slumber while hunting a whistle-blower

Views - 5774 Monday, 17 October 2016 00:02

  In two press releases issued last week just four days apart, the Monetary Board of the Central Bank has shown that it is now ready to stand up to its responsibility by the nation.  Silencing a whistle-blower The first press


Whistle-blowing on Perpetual Treasuries: Embarrassing but vindication of CB’s supervisory staff

Views - 9728 Monday, 10 October 2016 00:01

  A whistle-blower in the Central Bank The market last week was livid with a leaked on-site examination report, claimed to have been prepared by Central Bank’s primary dealer supervision staff, on the controversial primar


A Governor transforming adversity to prosperity

Views - 5052 Monday, 3 October 2016 00:10

Governor A.S. Jayawardena with President Chandrika Kumaratunga   The devastating attack on the Central Bank AS became the Governor of the Central Bank in December 1995, a kind of a ‘coming-back-home&rsquo


Techno City is the first step in the right direction but there is much more to be done to attain the

Views - 5941 Monday, 26 September 2016 00:02

Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe signs on the digital drawing of the Techno City during its launch yesterday while Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka and Science, Technology and Research Minister Susil Premajayantha


Sri Lanka’s bloodless revolution on 8 January: Malith Jayathilake has now spoken out

Views - 8420 Monday, 19 September 2016 00:02

Malith Jayathilake presenting the book to President Maithripala Sirisena  Architects of 8 January revolution are speaking out Those who were behind the scene leading to the bloodless revolution of 8 January have started to


Fear of ETCA: Is it Davids fearing to fight Goliaths?

Views - 10146 Tuesday, 13 September 2016 00:05

Small fellows can beat big fellows through proper brain power Malcolm Gladwell’s 2013 book ‘David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants’ is about how small fellows should fight with big fe


The falling education and healthcare expenditure ratios should worry the Yahapalana Government

Views - 6691 Monday, 5 September 2016 00:01

The promise to increase the expenditure on education and healthcare services University academics had agitated from around 2012, coupling with their demand for a hike in salaries and other perks, for an increase in government expenditure on edu


Economics of A.S Jayawardena Part III: AS’s short spell as Central Bank’s Economic Research Director

Views - 6423 Monday, 29 August 2016 00:10

The summary of the episodes so far The first part of this series looked at how AS, a radical socialist economist in his young days, was converted to a free market economic thinker. The second part dealt with how he took forward the mission of th


Be warned! Monetary Board is losing its powers as well as its independence

Views - 6985 Monday, 22 August 2016 00:02

   Two ominous measures by the Ministry of Finance Two disturbing news items that appeared in the press last week portended that the Monetary Board of the Central Bank was fast losing its powers as well as its independence. Bot


Economics of A.S. Jayawardena Part II: Our man in the Bank of Ceylon

Views - 6284 Monday, 15 August 2016 00:01

   A.S. Jayawardena   The story so far In Part I of this series we looked at how AS was transformed from a radical socialist economist to a free market economic thinker. It was noted that both the London Sc


Economics of A.S. Jayawardena 1: The birth of an extraordinary economist

Views - 6337 Monday, 8 August 2016 00:00

   Many Faceted ASJ Amarananda Somasiri Jayawardena, fondly addressed as AS by his friends, celebrated his 80th birthday last week. His friends, followers and disciples got an opportunity to pay tribute to this legendary man at


Good sign that the Monetary Board has finally risen to discharge its obligation to the nation

Views - 6967 Monday, 1 August 2016 00:01

   The Monetary Board decides to tighten monetary policy The Monetary Board in its latest monetary policy review done last week has decided to make money more expensive to people. People here include all within Sri Lanka &


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

Views - 7335 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 - 6875 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 - 6408 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 - 5915 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 - 5020 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 - 5538 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 - 5797 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


Today's Columnists

Let sanity prevail

Saturday, 18 May 2019

To those of our generation it will appear that Sri Lanka is in a near permanent state of conflict; now hidden, now open, citizen against citizen, brother against brother. There are interruptions to the theme of violence, these breaks are mistaken for


The crisis and constitutional violations

Friday, 17 May 2019

Sri Lanka was in a deep and complex crisis even before the outbreak of the Easter Sunday attacks. Now, in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks, the country has plunged into a deeper and bigger crisis, which is more complex than it was before. The ec


Who are we?

Friday, 17 May 2019

Faced with a tragedy of the scale we have just witnessed, I don’t believe it’s enough to ask how it happened, or what happens next. We must ask a much more fundamental question, which is, who are we? The easy answer is to say we are Sri Lankans,


Mangala’s mistake

Friday, 17 May 2019

The script of ‘Mangala’s mistake’ is simple and straightforward. It begins with a pervasive silence of our collective complicity with an untruth. Mangala decides to pierce the conspiracy of silence with the obvious truth. It is a grave mistake


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