Columnists

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

Views - 6251 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 - 6089 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 - 6710 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 - 5849 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 - 5848 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 - 7548 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 - 9920 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 - 6756 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 - 6250 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


President’s war against polythene and tobacco

Views - 6597 Monday, 28 December 2015 00:05

   President Maithripala Sirisena has declared war against two products. In speeches in Parliament as well as outside, he has proclaimed that both these products would be banned beginning from 2016. One of the products to be bann


Wijedasa Liyanarachchi case: A lesson for perpetrators of human rights

Views - 6924 Monday, 21 December 2015 00:15

  Ravindra Fernando’s book ‘Death of a Lawyer in Police Custody: The Wijedasa Liyanarachchi Case’ Almighty governments fighting with citizens When an almighty government is at war with a section of its own


Budget 2016 and education and health expenditure: Playing numbers games isn’t in accord with good go

Views - 7983 Monday, 14 December 2015 00:10

   Chief of the IMF Mission to Sri Lanka, Todd Schneider, has questioned the accuracy of some of the figures presented in Budget 2016 - AFP Controversy over education and health numbers A controversy has arisen relating


The Great November Revolution: The inside story according to Dinesh Weerakkody

Views - 6799 Monday, 7 December 2015 00:00

Author Dinesh Weerakkody presents his book ‘The Great November Revolution’ to President Maithripala Sirisena at its launch held at the BMICH. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne and Deputy Fo


EPS and Budget 2016 Part 4: The establishment of a viable social security system for an ageing popul

Views - 5885 Monday, 30 November 2015 00:00

Providing old-age social security is a national issue Sri Lanka’s population is ageing and an ageing population needs a viable old-age social security system. In this regard, the Economic Policy Statement or EPS of the Government has pledg


Budget 2016: Has it laid foundation for implementing the policy outlined in EPS of Yahapalana Govern

Views - 5161 Monday, 23 November 2015 00:05

Economic Policy Statement has vowed to discipline the budget The Budget of the new Yahapalana Government for 2016 was presented by Minister Ravi Karunanayake in Parliament last week. This budget follows the economic policy statement or


EPS of Yahapalana Government: Necessity for introducing machinery for sustaining the reform program

Views - 6344 Monday, 16 November 2015 00:10

   A fourth wave of policy reforms The economic policy statement presented by the new Government has vowed to introduce a reform program laying a firm foundation to place the economy on the right track so that it can sustain gr


Economic Policy Statement of Yahapalana Government: Building concrete plans for implementation out o

Views - 7913 Monday, 9 November 2015 00:10

An economic policy statement at last Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe outlined the economic policy to be pursued by his Government in the next five-year period in Parliament last week (available at: http://www.ft.lk/article/492945/


Paradox in Central Bank’s monetary policy: Not everyone approves of the policy direction

Views - 6591 Monday, 2 November 2015 00:00

IMF’s Resident Representative for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Dr. Eteri Kvintradze Wrong monetary policy direction of the Central Bank The IMF’s Resident Representative for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Dr. Eteri Kvin


IPS’s SOE 2015 has delivered a strong message to Govt. which it cannot ignore: ‘Reform or Perish’

Views - 7258 Monday, 26 October 2015 00:00

  Fine advice on the need for reforms by IPS The Institute of Policy Studies, better known as IPS, has just released its Sri Lanka: State of the Economy 2015 with a sub tagline ‘Economic Reforms: Political Econom


Part 6: Social Market Economy – Education should be reformed to create creative capital and not mere

Views - 6611 Monday, 19 October 2015 00:10

  Should the objective of universities be just producing graduates? Sujata Gamage, columnist, writer and campaigner for education, had responded to Part 4 of the article under this series titled ‘Universities and research ins


Part 5: Social Market Economy – Go for complex production system, facilitate entrepreneurship

Views - 6422 Monday, 12 October 2015 00:05

  Inventions and innovations go hand in hand Part 4 of the article in this series argued that Sri Lanka should create an ‘innovation economy’, and not just a knowledge economy, by using the research think-tanks at


Part 4: Social Market Economy: Universities, research institutions as catalysts of an innovation eco

Views - 6360 Monday, 5 October 2015 00:00

It is not pure knowledge economies, but innovation economies Modern economies are called ‘knowledge economies’ because they rely on human knowledge for economic prosperity. However, this designation describes a modern econom


Part 3: Social Market Economy – Innovations are a must for delivering economic prosperity

Views - 6929 Monday, 28 September 2015 00:00

   Need for modelling growth on knowledge As pointed out in the previous two parts, Social Market Economy to be set up in Sri Lanka has been qualified by two attributes by its proponents. It is to be ‘knowledge-based


Part II: Delivering Economic Democracy will lead to controversy unless it is defined properly

Views - 6179 Monday, 21 September 2015 00:10

 Economics Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman   Promise of economic democracy to people As mentioned in the previous part of the article in this series under the title of ‘The Promise of a Social Market Economy:


Part I – The promise of a Knowledge-based Competitive Social Market Economy: What does it herald for

Views - 7029 Monday, 14 September 2015 00:10

 The onus of creating and running an economic democracy will lie chiefly on the newly-appointed National Government     The promise of ushering in a social market economy The election manifesto of the


Part II – Governance and institutions are needed to check the big government

Views - 5267 Monday, 7 September 2015 00:00

  One malady which a society should avoid is having a big government which uses scarce resources of a society without giving it back a matching amount of benefits   In a society of robbers, good governance is


Part I: Governance and institutions have now become important in Sri Lanka

Views - 5187 Monday, 31 August 2015 00:00

The proliferation of much-hated bribery and corruption directly relates to the presence of a big government Governance and institutional framework go hand in hand A new Government promising the delivery of good governance t


Ministerial aspirants should be good learners too

Views - 4738 Monday, 24 August 2015 00:05

  Fourth Century Indian Guru Kautilya offers several pertinent lessons for Sri Lanka’s new Government The late Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew made certain that all his ministers possessed the virtues of compete


Google Loon: Test tube for Sri Lanka but promises massive dividends if successful

Views - 4782 Monday, 17 August 2015 00:30

ICT Agency CEO Muhunthan Canagey (second from left) exchanging the MOU with Google Vice President Mike Cassidy. Others from left are Highways and Investment Promotion Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wij


Singapore at 50 ready to reach next level; Can Sri Lanka follow?

Views - 3726 Monday, 10 August 2015 00:10

    Singapore is presently celebrating its 50th year of independence with much fanfare and delight. Since gaining its independence, the country has blossomed into an ideal example of how a small but determined nation can tra


Today's Columnists

Lasantha, journalists and diplomats

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

We find scarce little to celebrate in a sullied land, marking our days remembering the tragedies that tell our blood-soaked history. In the troubled decades preceding, many, from the highest in the land to average citizens, have met with violent ends


Automation and machine learning: Helping organisations extract deeper value from data

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The world is in the midst of a data explosion. Humans are generating an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day1, according to Forbes, and more data was created in the past two years than in all of human history. No wonder data now r


SL tourism: From TOM to experience the brand in 2019

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Last week I had just crossed the border that separates Laos from Thailand and was on route via land to Thailand. My mind was on Laos – a country branded globally as ‘Simply Beautiful’ (backed by the ADB in 2018) to attract visitors into the cou


Questionable (or absurd) official report on poverty indicators

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The latest Report issued by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs on ‘Poverty Indicators’ is both questionable and outrageous.1This Ministry is under the responsibility of the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Most of the sta


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