Columnists,W. A. Wijewardena

Part III: National Export Strategy 2018-22: Focus on selected sectors welcome but challenging

Views - 791 Monday, 13 August 2018 00:52

In the previous two parts of this series (available at: http://www.ft.lk/columns/Part-I--National-Export-Strategy-2018-22--Disrupt-the-economy-fast-if-the-goals-are-to-be-attained/4-659860; http://www.ft.lk/columns/Part-II--National-Export-Strategy-2


Part II: National Export Strategy 2018-22: Introducing measurable physical targets

Views - 548 Monday, 6 August 2018 00:00

In part I of our analysis of the National Export Strategy or NES (available at: http://www.ft.lk/columns/Part-I--National-Export-Strategy-2018-22--Disrupt-the-economy-fast-if-the-goals-are-to-be-attained/4-659860), we commended the Export Development


Part I: National Export Strategy 2018-22: Disrupt the economy fast if the goals are to be attained

Views - 918 Monday, 30 July 2018 00:00

Sri Lanka’s Export Development Board, better known as EDB, released the country’s National Export Strategy, dubbed as NES, last week after conducting a series of national consultations for over a year with main stakeholders (available at: http://


Graduates have responsibility to impart digital knowledge to fellow citizens

Views - 589 Monday, 23 July 2018 00:10

Let me congratulate all those who receive their degrees today at this General Convocation on the achievements they have made.


Disruptive economy and poverty of knowledge: Sri Lankans have a lot to learn

Views - 843 Monday, 16 July 2018 00:00

The poor are usually defined as those who are below a given level of income that would be insufficient to meet their basic needs. In my view, the poor – no matter whether it is an individual, family or a nation – are those who are unable to read


Resolving the paradox of rice-poverty amidst plenty

Views - 1057 Monday, 9 July 2018 00:10

Sri Lankans are great rice eaters. On average, they eat 108 kg of rice per person per year as against the world average of just 54 kg per head. A plate of rice eaten by an average Sri Lankan is usually equated to Adam’s Peak or Samanala Kanda.


The killing of ‘the leopard’ and call for the return of ‘a Hitler’

Views - 979 Monday, 2 July 2018 00:00

Last week, the mainstream media as well as social media was abuzz with two explosive stories.


Crisis-ridden Sri Lanka economy: Time for economics to prevail on politics

Views - 4238 Monday, 25 June 2018 00:10

Sri Lanka’s official statistics bureau, Department of Census and Statistics or DCS, has released the country’s 2018 first quarter provisional economic growth data in its website (available at: http://www.statistics.gov.lk/national_accounts/dcsna_


Craving a world with free migration of Homo sapiens

Views - 697 Monday, 18 June 2018 00:00

During the discussion time following the presentation of a paper by former diplomat Tamara Kunanayakam on the invasion of Sri Lanka’s economic policymaking by neoliberal economic thinkers two weeks ago, Colombo University’s economics don Lalithas


Sri Lanka has lost economic sovereignty, target of neoliberal economic hitmen: Tamara Kunanayakam

Views - 1794 Monday, 11 June 2018 00:00

Tamara Kunanayakam, formerly a UN official and Diplomat and presently, civil and human rights activist cum public voice maker,


Mahathir’s second coming: Lesson for Sri Lankan leaders ‘Deliver what you promise’

Views - 1062 Monday, 4 June 2018 00:10

The election of 92-year-old Dr Mahathir Mohamad, commonly known as Mahathir, to premiership by Malaysian voters, especially the young voters, has been a surprise to many.


Channa de Silva: ‘Technology should be for people’s convenience'

Views - 909 Monday, 28 May 2018 00:10

Channa de Silva, CEO of LankaClear, Sri Lanka’s official clearing and payment services provider, declares convincingly: “I firmly believe that technology should be for improving people’s convenience.”


Mangala’s Gam Peraliya: Good move but essential requirement a village level database

Views - 944 Monday, 21 May 2018 00:10

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, announcing the Government’s decision to move for a flexible fuel price system based on international prices built into a pricing formula, made a side announcement as well.


Introduction of fintech regulatory sandbox by Central Bank is a move in correct direction

Views - 1449 Monday, 14 May 2018 00:10

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has recently announced its intention to create a sandbox for financial institutions to experiment with new financial technologies


Rohan Pallewatta: Man who has proved that Sri Lanka can also do

Views - 14729 Tuesday, 8 May 2018 00:10

A speaker with a guitar Imagine a scenario like this. You invite a CEO of a successful start-up company to speak to your students. Your wish has been to drive the message home to students that they do not have to live with a constant defeatist mental


Rupee’s sad destiny of one-way journey to depreciation

Views - 1498 Tuesday, 1 May 2018 00:10

Sudden fall in the value of the rupee The recent media reports have been abuzz with a sudden fall in the value of the Sri Lanka rupee against the US dollar, the benchmark currency used by Sri Lanka to quote the external value of its currency. The C


Designers of Sri Lanka’s Future: Episode I Nihal Ranasinghe

Views - 1067 Monday, 23 April 2018 00:10

To sustain economic growth, Sri Lanka needs a critical pool of daring people who would see things differently and design a new future.


Success at issue of dollar notes should not be a substitute for taking early measures to fix economy

Views - 649 Tuesday, 17 April 2018 00:57

The Central Bank has brought $ 2.5 billion to the country by issuing Sri Lanka Government Sovereign but ‘Senior Unsecured Notes’ in the international markets (available at: https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/en/news/the-democratic-socialist-republic-of-sri-


Now that CB has done its job, RW & Harsha should pick up the ball & play the game

Views - 1152 Monday, 9 April 2018 00:10

The Central Bank in its second monetary policy review in 2018, released last week, has cautiously and partially relaxed the tight policy package it had introduced earlier when inflation was rearing its ugly head causing chaos to investment initiative


Belated transfer of CB back to Finance Ministry is welcome, but some more follies to be rectified

Views - 732 Monday, 2 April 2018 00:10

A confusing folly committed by the new government in January 2015 happened to be the listing of the Central Bank and other financial institutions away from the Ministry of Finance.


Policy disagreement in Unity Govt. has been the killer of the economy

Views - 882 Monday, 26 March 2018 00:00

According to the data released by the Department of Census and Statistics or DCS – the country’s official statistics bureau – Sri Lanka’s economy has grown in 2017 by 3.1%


Harsha’s plan to innovate the economy is welcome but time is running out for him

Views - 908 Monday, 19 March 2018 00:48

The State Minister for National Policies and Economic Affairs, Dr. Harsha de Silva, in his second incarnation in that ministry, has acted promptly to propose a strategy to convert Sri Lanka into an innovation and entrepreneurship economy.


Economy suffers with few people acting on the slogan ‘Sri Lanka is ours and not theirs’

Views - 1181 Monday, 12 March 2018 00:10

The slogan that is being shouted in an angry loud voice by a minority section of Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhala Buddhist population conveys a non-negotiable message to minorities in the country.


Dhammika Perera: An economist par excellence though not trained formally as an economist

Views - 2231 Monday, 5 March 2018 00:10

Humans who forget that they are wired as economists Dhammika Perera, businessman, entrepreneur, wealth-creator and many more, admits humbly that he has never been formally trained as an economist. But, that is an under-assessment, since there is an e


Number-twisting game may be self-pleasing but not in accord with economic laws

Views - 850 Monday, 26 February 2018 00:10

The local government elections that concluded on 10 February 2018 have shaken the ruling United National Party(UNP)to its foundation.


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

Views - 2735 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 - 1963 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 - 1216 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 - 1395 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 - 988 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


Today's Columnists

A 4D presidential ‘laugh-a-thon’ that’s not on

Thursday, 24 October 2019

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Where once we had a paucity of presidential candidates, we now have a superfluity of them. You would think that from this panoply of contenders who’ve thrown their hat in the ring, we’d be spoilt fo


Forgotten tranquil train journeys in Sri Lankan landscapes

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Railway transportation is considered as the multifaceted economic booster in the world. Switzerland is the role model in utilising railways in envisaging the above concept. The Nuwara Eliya railway line was an exclusion for tourism and freight. Back


Zero waste: a wish come true?

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Zero Waste is a concept, which focuses on waste prevention where essentially resource life cycles are redesigned in such a way that all products are used and no waste is created. It is well-aligned with a circular economy approach, which facilitates


Sri Lanka’s obsession with plastic bags

Thursday, 24 October 2019

At a time where the world expresses growing concerns about climate change, Sri Lanka is still oblivious to the impact of single-use plastic on the environment, marine biodiversity and humans. Ignorance may be bliss in some instances but, not when we


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