W. A. Wijewardena

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

Views - 1762 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 - 1053 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 - 898 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 - 930 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 - 1409 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 - 13577 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 - 1482 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 - 1049 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 - 645 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 - 1143 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 - 721 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 - 874 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 - 901 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 - 1171 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 - 2218 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 - 767 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 - 2701 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 - 1832 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 - 1208 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 - 1385 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 - 982 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 - 1301 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 - 1133 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 - 1696 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 - 892 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 - 997 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 - 866 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 - 705 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 - 907 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 - 645 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.


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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