Columnists

From bomb disaster to bond disaster: How to restore the lost reputation of the Central Bank

Views - 7973 Monday, 23 March 2015 00:10

The Central Bank was left severely damaged after being struck by the deadly terrorist bombing of 1996     Central Bank being hit by two disasters In a recent conversation, a top central bank officer mentioned to this writer, p


Prof. Lalith Samarakoon: As US interest rates rise, no space for Sri Lanka to wait and see

Views - 8822 Monday, 16 March 2015 01:07

Two contrasting developments associated with USA and EU Two contrasting developments are now taking place in the global monetary arrangements. On one side, US Federal Reserve, known as the Fed, which had introduced an unconventional monetary stimulu


To have or not to have IFRS: CB should not make hasty decision

Views - 7977 Monday, 9 March 2015 00:10

Dropping IFRS should not be an arbitrary and hasty decision to be made by the Central Bank’s current management. Before they reach such a decision, they should listen to both sides and that should be a part of Central Bank’s good governance


Questionable governance when loss-incurred CB has made a profit transfer to Government

Views - 7424 Monday, 2 March 2015 00:01

Massive losses incurred by Central Bank in 2013 A very vital piece of information relating to the Central Bank which has been missed by many has been the incurrence of a massive loss amounting to Rs. 24 billion in its ordinary operations during 2013


Supporting Sustainable Development: Bangladesh Bank Governor’s bold attempt at promoting green finan

Views - 6695 Monday, 23 February 2015 00:00

    Tendency to hail faster economic growth Countries, both rich and poor, have been long pursuing long policies for fast-growing the volume of material goods and services available to their citizens. When growth rates of close t


Delay in fighting corruption: An impatient electorate shouldn’t be taken lightly

Views - 7606 Monday, 16 February 2015 00:00

    Learn from Modi’s mistake Narendra Modi became India’s Prime Minister in 2014 in an anti-corruption wave. His election slogan ‘Good governance and lean government’ appealed to India’s middle class voters who had bee


EPF should exit banking sector and Central Bank should leave private banks in private hands

Views - 9254 Monday, 9 February 2015 00:10

EPF should quit the banking and financial sector as fast as possible and the Central Bank should leave private banks in the hands of the private sector. That is in line with good governance in central banking       Mone


Public servants’ salary hike, productivity improvement and lessons from Dompe eHospital Project

Views - 8890 Monday, 2 February 2015 00:00

A mega salary increase to public servants A mega giveaway offered in the Interim Budget 2015, presented to Parliament last week, has been the proposal to increase the salaries of public servants across the board. In terms of this proposal, the salar


Listing Central Bank under PM: Unworkable legally and operationally but a step toward bank’s indepen

Views - 8877 Monday, 26 January 2015 00:00

The Central Bank under the Prime Minister The gazette notification issued by President Maithripala Sirisena allocating subjects and institutions among different ministries has placed the Central Bank of Sri Lanka under the Ministry of Policy Plannin


To regain lost credibility, Central Bank should act as ‘impartial spectator’ and not as ‘policy owne

Views - 8882 Monday, 19 January 2015 00:05

The loss of credibility The conduct of Sri Lanka’s Central Bank in the recent few years has drawn a lot of criticism from the concerned public. One such criticism has been that it has functioned as a branch office of the ruling party defending ins


The triumph of good governance: Sri Lanka has shown that it is a true ‘Wonder of Asia’

Views - 8314 Monday, 12 January 2015 00:01

Two different election platforms by the two main candidates The two main contenders to the presidency at the recently-concluded elections fought their battle on two different election platforms. The former President Mahinda Rajapaksa sought to sell


Choice at elections: Rationally ignorant people will decide the final outcome !

Views - 6411 Monday, 5 January 2015 00:00

Electors who do not read manifestos Just three more days to go for the election of a President, this writer asked a group of acquaintances whether they have gone through the election manifestos of the two main contenders to the post before they made


Two parables of a burning house: Both are relevant and useful to Sri Lankans today

Views - 8569 Monday, 29 December 2014 00:00

Bertolt Brecht going viral in social media At a recent political discussion on a private TV channel, a leading Sri Lankan author, Gamini Viyangoda, concluded his presentation with the Sinhala rendering of a poem by playwright Bertolt Brecht (availab


Tumbling of crude oil prices: Economic laws say that this is a temporary phenomenon

Views - 6323 Monday, 22 December 2014 00:00

A drastic reduction in crude oil prices Crude oil prices in the world market have tumbled and they are still tumbling. The average price of the West Texas Intermediate category of crude oil stood at a level of $ 100 per barrel, which is equal to 159


Developing SL pharmaceutical industry: Concentrate on research and producing biomedical scientists

Views - 7529 Monday, 15 December 2014 00:00

A worthwhile suggestion that has been ignored At the pre-Budget meeting which the Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera had with business leaders, an important proposal to take Sri Lanka to the future was made by Hemas Holdings Chairman Husein Esufall


IPS State of the Economy 2014: A critical probe shows hidden risks and defects of policies

Views - 6483 Monday, 8 December 2014 00:00

IPS, the forerunner in reviewing the country’s economy The Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), in issuing its 2014 State of the Economy Report, has drawn attention of Sri Lanka’s economic policy makers to a number of hidden risks and defects of t


Constitutional Reforms are meaningless unless opposing views are tolerated

Views - 6080 Monday, 1 December 2014 02:02

Wear the same tie as the boss but don’t agree to his unlawful orders Bank of Ceylon’s retired General Manager Sarath de Silva, addressing the Sri Jayewardenepura University’s Public Administration Alumni Association last week, left an importan


Indraratna Chinthana on sustained development: Still valid and will be valid forever

Views - 6344 Monday, 24 November 2014 00:00

The need for critically debating policy proposals Colombo University’s Emeritus Professor and Sri Lanka Economic Association’s President A.D.V. de S .Indraratna has just released in book form an updated and revised version of the SLEA presidenti


Single digit inflation for 5 years: Now the challenge is to get out of ‘Lowflation Trap’

Views - 7340 Monday, 17 November 2014 00:01

Driving down CCPI through administrative measures When the annual increase in the cost of living of average consumers in Colombo and suburbs declined from 3.5% in September to 1.6% in October 2014, the Central Bank could not hide its joy. In its pre


My View at 200: Objective was to change the monologue culture to dialogue and then to multilogue; bu

Views - 5864 Monday, 10 November 2014 00:00

Unbroken 200 runs Today’s My View – Economics Matters marks its 200th article published in this series on the economy, society, politics and global developments. It has appeared without failure on every Monday for nearly four years and maintaini


Now that Representative Democracy has become a mockery, the solution may lie in Liquid Democracy

Views - 9293 Monday, 3 November 2014 00:00

Discipline among Parliamentarians in good old days     This writer had an opportunity to observe a Budget debate in the old parliamentary building at Galle Face in 1974 when N.M. Perera, popularly known as NM, was the Minister of Finance. In that


Strategy in public policy: Continuous public consultations a must

Views - 8254 Monday, 27 October 2014 00:00

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka? The official name of the country called Sri Lanka is the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. One may wonder what this means because many other countries have chosen to call themselves just Republic


When the engine of growth gets into a comfort zone, it is the engine driver who gets into trouble

Views - 6262 Monday, 20 October 2014 00:01

Private sector is the engine of growth and public sector is the engine driver Private sectors in modern economies are branded as ‘Engines of Growth’. They have earned this brand name due to their innovative power, resilience, foresight and abili


Governments are losing monopoly over economic statistics; it means markets better-informed now

Views - 6661 Monday, 13 October 2014 00:00

Offering a yielding handto politicians Politicians love to show better economic performance pictures to their voters. The statistics-producing bodies of governments love to please politicians by generating exactly the reports which the latter would


‘The Money Pipeline’: A worthy read by all

Views - 5975 Monday, 6 October 2014 00:00

The former Central Bank Deputy Governor and presently Chairperson of HNB cum Presidential Advisor, Ranee Jayamaha, has shared her decades-long experiences in payment systems and banking stability with readers in Sri Lanka as well as outside. Her book


Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Review: Is there a hidden macroeconomic anomaly?

Views - 9168 Monday, 29 September 2014 00:00

The monthly monetary policy review The Central Bank issued its monthly Monetary Policy Review on 23 September 2014 (available at http://www.cbsl.gov.lk/pics_n_docs/02_prs/_docs/press/press_20140923e.pdf) Monetary Policy Review, September 2014). The


Lesson from Nigeria: Discovery of a natural resource by a country without good governance is a curse

Views - 6320 Monday, 22 September 2014 00:00

The Nigerian news that shocked the world During the last 12 month period, three pieces of news coming from Nigeria shocked the world. The first was the sacking of the Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, by Nigeria’s President Goodlu


Sannasgala ‘Chinthana’: A worm’s eye view of village and society

Views - 11268 Monday, 15 September 2014 00:00

Two messages from Sannasgala’s ‘Amma’ Upul Shantha Sannasgala, popular Sinhala teacher cum writer, in his latest semi-autobiographical fiction, ‘Amma’ or ‘Mother,’ has left two pieces of thought for intellectuals to ponder. One is that


Sri Lanka can ‘leap-frog’ into the future through Nanotechnology

Views - 7024 Tuesday, 9 September 2014 00:17

Open campaign for learning nanotechnology When the new students arrived in the Bangkok-based international university, Asian Institute of Technology a month ago, a poster displayed practically on every wall on campus had invited students to offer co


Creative minds of writers can predict the future

Views - 6046 Monday, 1 September 2014 00:00

At the launch of ‘Asirimath Greesiya’ or ‘Wonder that is Greece’ by dramatist-novelist Ranjith Dharmakeerthi last week in Colombo, Colombo University’s senior Don Sarath Wijesoriya, who introduced the book to the audience, drew its attentio


Today's Columnists

A case for reviewing plantation management

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Last week, I elaborated on ‘Going Beyond Agronomic Research for Plantation Reform’ with the aim of beginning a conversation on the importance of non-agronomic research to understand the many problematic areas that plague the plantation sector, in


How are we doing in e-government?

Thursday, 23 May 2019

It is customary to assess some aspect of the performance of a country using a composite index such as the Ease of Doing Business Index or the Network Readiness Index. For government services, there is the e-Government Development Index (EGDI), issued


National introspection in the aftermath

Thursday, 23 May 2019

“The immediate task for the Government is to guaranty the safety and security of all innocent Muslims and prevent a recurrence of 1983 … One cannot eradicate one evil with another” – Anatomy of an Islamist Infamy (III), CT, 9 May. In this, th


AI + BI + CI x DI = Empowering, enriching and impacting society and environmental wellbeing

Thursday, 23 May 2019

There has never been a time like today where many are raising concerns for society’s wellbeing, survival and thriving, despite many progressive advancements in the digitally transformed world. We are already in the so-called Fourth Industrial Revo


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