Columnists

Lesson from Greece for Sri Lanka: Ignore economic policy governance and be doomed!

Views - 6587 Monday, 20 July 2015 00:10

  Greece’s problem is home-grown and its politicians, past and present, along with the people should take the blame. International creditors are responsible for its woes only to the extent of failing to make a proper assessment


Fear of opening economic borders: Countries to lose instead of gain

Views - 4115 Monday, 13 July 2015 00:10

Ken Schoolland addressing the Bastiat Society Fear of opening economic borders “Don’t harbour fears about opening economic borders. You are to gain rather than losing when economic borders are open.” This was the p


Projects, Projects everywhere: But who knows how to run them?

Views - 5190 Monday, 6 July 2015 00:00

There are projects all over but many of them are failed projects Human history is replete with projects enabling civilisations to deliver marvellous creations through them. But many of them have been failures right from the design stage. Sri Lan


Rendering unto Caesar: the pathetic state of Sri Lanka’s university administration

Views - 5814 Monday, 29 June 2015 00:05

   What the University Grants Commission has done so far is not to promote competition among universities. It has developed a system where all universities have become uniform institutions – Pic by Sameera Wijesinghe


Good governance incomplete without effective mechanism for economic policy governance

Views - 5615 Monday, 22 June 2015 00:10

 Soldiers marching in North Korea. In extractive institutional systems such as North Korea, the state plunders the fruits of hard work by its population through various devices and apportions them among those who support or are made up of the


Little white book of Hilmy Cader’s wisdom: Strategic reflections at one’s fingertip!

Views - 5359 Monday, 8 June 2015 00:00

  MTI Consulting CEO Hilmy Cader   Value of sparsity over verbosity Hilmy Cader, Strategy Master, has chosen sparsity of words over verbosity in communicating his wisdom in his Strategic Reflections, a coll


The issue of continual losses and depleted capital: Central Bank still misses the main point

Views - 4837 Monday, 25 May 2015 00:00

A parable from accounting teachers Accounting teachers are used to relating a story to their students when they are introduced to the concept of profit in an organisation. The objective is to show them that ultimate profits of a bu


A Central Bank missing the main point puts the nation on ‘extra’ red alert

Views - 6246 Monday, 18 May 2015 00:00

Treating losses lightly by the Central Bank The Central Bank has issued a response (available here) to the article of this writer in this series titled ‘The continually loss-making Central Bank puts nation on red alert’


The continually loss-making Central Bank puts nation on red alert

Views - 4784 Monday, 11 May 2015 14:39

        Central Bank making losses in two consecutive years There is an ominously dangerous Trojan horse that has been placed in the Central Bank by its previous administration led by the so-called Monetary


‘Kithul syrup can be Sri Lanka’s maple syrup to the world,’ says scientist Sirimal Premakumara

Views - 9475 Monday, 27 April 2015 00:00

‘Drink Ceylon Tea: The brain tonic’ Some 150 years ago, the British planters introduced a new herbal drink called ‘Ceylon Tea’ to the European markets. Their marketing slogan? “Drink Ceylon Tea: The Brain Tonic”, according to a billboard


‘Solid waste no more waste but like gold’ says Sri Lankan-born scientist C. Visvanathan

Views - 10582 Monday, 20 April 2015 00:01

How would we react to a nauseatingly stinking dump of garbage in the vicinity? Stinking of all kinds of foul odours because it is in various stages of natural decomposition? Many of us would wrinkle up our noses and try to walk away from it as fast a


Is capitalism immoral? Not at all, says Atlas Network’s Tom Palmer

Views - 6992 Monday, 6 April 2015 00:00

[caption id="attachment_403639" align="alignnone" width="360"] Tom Palmer – Pic by Shehan Gunasekara[/caption] Bastiat Society in Colombo “Is capitalism immoral?” This was the question which Tom G. Palmer of Atlas Network – a US-based n


Central banking 18: Governor and board members are trustees and not owners of the central bank

Views - 7190 Monday, 30 March 2015 00:30

A central bank can earn its living by printing money A central bank is a unique species. It does not have to work in order to earn its existence. This is because it has been given a power which no one else in society has. That power is to have all th


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

Views - 7983 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 - 8841 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 - 7984 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 - 7430 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 - 6701 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 - 7613 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 - 9264 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 - 8898 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 - 8887 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 - 8887 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 - 8319 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 - 6416 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 - 8592 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 - 6326 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 - 7546 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 - 6489 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 - 6085 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


Today's Columnists

We need to challenge climate change doubters before it is too late

Friday, 23 August 2019

Imagine a London where the entire subterranean region is engulfed with dirty water. Crammed train carriages that once barrelled along 249 miles of track transporting busy office workers, builders, teachers, civil servants, cleaners and students now r


The Provincial Council Elections – The charade goes on

Friday, 23 August 2019

Originally the SLPP was keen to hold the Provincial Council Elections (PCE) immediately after the Local Government Election results as they felt the PCE would go in their favour. PCE were held under the Proportional Representation system. The relevan


The presidency and the dilemma of the Presidential Election

Friday, 23 August 2019

J.R. Jayewardene created a presidential system not because the parliamentary system of governance that preceded it had failed. He wanted to take over all the powers of the State and assume the status of ancient kings who ruled the country in the past


Enough power in the presidency for the right person

Friday, 23 August 2019

The presidency has not much power some say, but I would say there is plenty for the right person. By intention or otherwise, our Constitution leaves the presidency to be defined by the person occupying the chair. Maithripala Sirisena (MS) showed us t


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