W. A. Wijewardena

An economic crisis worsened by a political crisis: Time is running out for Sri Lanka

Views - 2006 Monday, 19 February 2018 00:10

The Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy, while announcing the Bank’s monetary policy stance for the next two months


University ragging: Destroying the creativity of a generation

Views - 1101 Monday, 12 February 2018 00:10

Lucky and unlucky students Those who can secure admission to a state university in Sri Lanka consider themselves a lucky lot. That is because the state university system has a few places far short of the number that qualifies for admission at the GCE


Chapa factor and USJ’s move to groom its students

Views - 1144 Monday, 5 February 2018 00:00

In the previous part of this series (available at: http://www.ft.lk/w-a-wijewardena-columns/How-to-groom-intellectuals-for-the-future--Two-contrasting-views-from-Thailand-and-Sri-Lanka--Part-1/885-648278)


How to groom intellectuals for the future? Two contrasting views from Thailand and Sri Lanka: Part 1

Views - 1331 Monday, 29 January 2018 00:00

Two intellectual discourses have recently taken place in Thailand and in Sri Lanka, one month apart from each other, relating to the development of intellectuals in the respective countries for the 21st century.


Now that Bond Commission too has said it, Govt. cannot postpone the reform of Central Bank any more

Views - 948 Monday, 22 January 2018 00:10

The Deputy Minister of National Policy and Economic Affairs, Dr. Harsha de Silva, commonly known as Harsha, is reported to have announced the engagement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the Government to amend the present Monetary Law Act


Professor Indraratna: Economist who refused to bow to pressure

Views - 1242 Monday, 15 January 2018 00:10

It was the presidential election time in 2010. The incumbent President after a five-year rule and a conclusive victory over the Northern rebels had sought another term.


Ravi K’s critique of Central Bank – Part 2

Views - 1092 Monday, 8 January 2018 00:10

The former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, in an interview with Daily Mirror, had put the Central Bank’s management on its toes by making some scathing allegations against the bank


Ravi K’s critique of Central Bank: An instance of rendering the blame unto Caesar?

Views - 1641 Tuesday, 2 January 2018 00:10

Blaming the Central Bank for all economic ills Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake in an interview with Daily Mirror is reported to have pronounced that the Central Bank is absolutely corrupt and inefficient (available at: http://www.dailymirro


Rao’s Guide to Lime Pickling: A novella on the other side of human suffering

Views - 692 Tuesday, 26 December 2017 00:10

A novelist in the making Sandali Handagama has been known by Sri Lanka’s film fans for her role as the rebellious but innocent and naive daughter of a family which was being torn apart by the personal incompatibility of the parents in the movie, L


Coomaraswamy Chinthana: The rationale of the country’s economic policy package

Views - 963 Monday, 18 December 2017 00:10

Economic policies have always been mysteries to laymen. They have become mysteries because top economists often present them in a language not comprehendible by ordinary people.


Lloyd Yapa’s treatise on export competitiveness: A must reference book for SL economic policymakers

Views - 815 Monday, 11 December 2017 00:45

A pressing economic problem faced by the present Government, and any government that would come to power in the future, is the dwindling export earnings.


SLIATE Keynote 2017 Prosperity through research and development

Views - 674 Monday, 4 December 2017 00:10

I am honoured to be invited to deliver the keynote address at the 2017 Research Symposium of Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technical Education, popularly known as SLIATE. It is both encouraging and


Central Bank’s move to flexible inflation targeting: Wide public education is needed

Views - 777 Monday, 27 November 2017 00:55

Delivering the Henry Steel Olcott Memorial Oration 2017 in Colombo recently, the Central Bank’s Senior Deputy Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe outlined the change of the game plan of conducting monetary policy by the bank in the years to come (ava


Mangala’s Mangala Budget – Part 2: Go for reforms but permanently fix the country’s rising debt prob

Views - 620 Monday, 20 November 2017 00:05

Mangala’s Mangala Budget was approved in its Second Reading by a two-thirds majority in Parliament last week.


Promising and committed, but his Cabinet colleagues have to walk the talk

Views - 749 Monday, 13 November 2017 00:30

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s Mangala Budget (Maiden Budget) was presented to Parliament last week. A budget is simply a one year financial plan of the government.


Going for inflation targeting: ‘Yes’ but free the Central Bank from Ministry of Finance first

Views - 828 Monday, 6 November 2017 00:05

The Vision 2025 released to the public in August as well as the Economic Policy Statement delivered in Parliament in October has reiterated the Government’s commitment to maintaining a low inflation regime in the country.


Some more compelling reasons for Sri Lankan banks and firms to go for blockchain technology

Views - 1311 Monday, 30 October 2017 00:10

Imagine a situation like this. You make an online payment to your internet service provider using your bank’s internet banking portal


Need for tax reforms: Government should not lose it this time but go for them early

Views - 732 Monday, 23 October 2017 00:00

In the first economic policy statement, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made a number of pledges related to taxes and tax reforms. One was that the Government would review whether the tax concessions given to investors have really delivered the e


The bond robbery and CB’s reputation: Yahapalana Government should stop playing hide and seek

Views - 2195 Monday, 16 October 2017 00:00

Immediately after the Treasury bond auction on 27 February 2015, the news of a massive impropriety that had taken place in the auction spread across the market like a wildfire.


Vision 2025 Part 4: PM’s alleged instructions to remove direct placements are against the Vision

Views - 817 Monday, 9 October 2017 00:00

Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Dr. Harsha de Silva, in an email to this writer, has clarified that what is meant by the goal of being ‘enriched’ in V2025 is not to become a rich country in terms of the World Bank class


Budgetary consolidation and resolving the country’s debt crisis permanently

Views - 644 Monday, 2 October 2017 00:10

It was shown that all these visions had one underlying economic philosophy to go by, namely, the establishment of a ‘knowledge based highly competitive social market economy’, a concept borrowed from post-war Germany.


It is an uphill task for the Govt. to attain the envisaged targets

Views - 802 Monday, 25 September 2017 00:00

In Part 1 of the article series on the Government’s Vision 2025 published last week, it was pointed out that the present vision document was just the fourth of such visions pronounced by the Government during the last two year period.


Vision 2025: Part 1: Need for moving from a wish list to a concrete plan

Views - 1405 Monday, 18 September 2017 01:14

The Unity Government released its newest economic policy statement titled V2025 – the marketing tag for the goals it has set for realisation from 2017 to 2025 – two weeks ago.


Eradication of corruption: ignoring Harsha’s warning may be catastrophic to Yahapalana Government

Views - 739 Monday, 11 September 2017 00:00

Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development Dr. Harsha de Silva in an emotion-filled intervention during a live television discussion program berated the whole administrative system of the country (available at: https://www.youtube.co


The role of universities in bringing continued economic prosperity to Sri Lanka

Views - 491 Monday, 4 September 2017 00:05

This is an expanded version of the Convocation Address delivered at the 13th General Convocation of the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka on 30 August.


USJ VC to students: Destroy the image of the university to your own peril

Views - 1392 Monday, 28 August 2017 00:11

A VC’s warning The Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura Professor Sampath Amaratunga addressing a section of the students last week at a university event, delivered an important message to them. That was not to play wit


Sri Lanka’s march toward emerging sciences: A rugged road but not impossible to tread

Views - 1373 Monday, 21 August 2017 00:00

Minister Susil Premajayantha speaking at the biotech degree launch Northumbria University’s biotechnology degree in Sri Lanka At a recent event at which the UK-based Northumbria University’s BSc Honours Degree in biotec


Issue of Treasury bonds: CB has finally vindicated direct placements

Views - 2020 Monday, 14 August 2017 00:02

The reintroduction of the direct placement system under a new format by the Central Bank is a welcome sign   Restoration of direct placements in Treasury bond issue after two years Effective from 27 July 2017,


Plotting to breach the confidentiality of the Central Bank? Not a matter to be ignored

Views - 2308 Tuesday, 8 August 2017 00:00

Why should someone plot to obtain information pertaining to the Central Bank? That is because such information has economic value and could be used by those who get the advance information for their own profit    


Education should be reformed to create creative capital and not mere human capital

Views - 1998 Monday, 31 July 2017 00:10

The objective of education should be to create relevant and applicable wisdom among students The continued economic prosperity of a nation depends on its having a critical pool of wisdom. Those with wisdom learn from the past


Today's Columnists

Maximum Residue Level: Dilemma of agricultural product exporters in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Due to increased emphasis on consumer health, majority of developed countries such as EU, Japan and the US insist on MRL testing of food items which has to be done by the exporter. The Codex Alimentarius Commission which is an inter-governmental bod


East Container Terminal blunder: Learn from Chinese

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Minister for Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe informed the press in August that Cabinet has approved the development of East Container Terminal (ECT) of Colombo Port by the Ports Authority. According to approval: nPorts Authority would develop


President Sirisena, playing with fire, must take note that smoke will get into his eyes

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Penchant for playing with fire President Gamaralalage Sirisena has always had a penchant for playing with fire. He did fire-play at the local government elections when he made a disastrous U-turn and went round country blasting the party and its lea


Response to claims that Sri Lanka was in a ‘debt trap’ in 2014 due to ‘Chinese loans’

Monday, 17 September 2018

Several Western analysts have carried out a relentless media campaign in keeping with their own geopolitical agenda, to suggest that China was luring Sri Lanka into a carefully engineered debt trap.


Columnists More