Columnists,Wijith DeChickera,Opinion and Issues

“How dare you?” – A Sri Lanka edition!

Views - 870 Friday, 27 September 2019 00:30

I AM NOT SURE IF my readers have realised that I’m not a 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl bent on saving a crooked world from a sticky end. But it is fairly certain that a discerning readership – and viewership – would realise and acknowledge tha


The dark tower – a lighter loftier look after its initial illumination

Views - 656 Thursday, 19 September 2019 00:50

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE LIGHTS CAME ON AT THE LOTUS TOWER? Wait, what? Are you being serious? Do you mean in the midst of our sea of troubles – from addressing poverty to abolishing presidencies – a singular erection has stolen their thunder? (I


Not good news!

Views - 646 Thursday, 12 September 2019 00:30

THERE ARE THREE KINDS OF PEOPLE: those who make things happen; those who watch while things happen; and those who wonder what happened! The first of these are perhaps evenly split between the best and worst of them… while most of us fall squarely i


‘50% plus one’ captures public fancy but have we forgotten about abolishing EP?

Views - 255 Friday, 6 September 2019 00:30

IF ALL GOES WELL, in a little over three months from now the voting population of Sri Lanka will go to the polls to elect the country’s next executive president. Now the focus of the polity seems to have shifted to the numbers game, as some early n


Change of heart and mind could upset presidential race apple cart

Views - 438 Thursday, 5 September 2019 00:57

I AM BY NO MEANS SANGUINE about politics as the practice of the possible. We have invested too much over the years in this art of the attainable to let it go to rack and ruin now. But time and again the men, the machines, and movements we have truste


The room in the elephant: a space, the potential, some strange destiny

Views - 278 Wednesday, 28 August 2019 00:30

Politics used to be the art of the possible – at least in days gone by. It was so in 1971 when Butler popularised the phrase. And it was certainly the art of the attainable when Bismarck made an obscure Prussian prince the Emperor of all the German


Will the real JVP – Joke; Vital cog; Party poopers – please stand up?

Views - 896 Thursday, 22 August 2019 00:20

THE REDS ON THE GREEN HAVE TAKEN THE LIE OF THE LAND – and it is a highly-publicised stand, being the largest political rally of late. It’s a red flag planted claiming a space in the electoral pantheon, which is open to a plethora of interpretati


Me, that’s who: I’m afraid of Gota!

Views - 1521 Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:30

NO OFFENCE, BUT THE QUESTION BEGS ITSELF. In a piece titled ‘Who is afraid of Gotabaya (sic) Rajapaksa?’ Daily FT contributor Sarath de Alwis made a cogent argument as to why he was not reassured by Basil’s brief about his brother’s “inhere


Civil strategies contra presidentialism: has political society run out of steam?

Views - 199 Wednesday, 7 August 2019 00:20

SRI LANKAN CITIZENRY AT LARGE HAVE A MIXED BAG OF CHARACTERISTICS. In adversity, we’ve garnered a reputation for being resilient: surviving wars, surmounting insurgencies, emerging from chaos to try and rebuild a broken nation. Under pressure in th


Presidential polls: when the head knows not what the heart wants?

Views - 404 Thursday, 1 August 2019 00:30

SOME THINGS ARE HARD TO GET RID OF. Bad habits – like Bruce Willis in the eponymous movies – ‘die hard’. Even good stuff lurks, in one’s fridge for instance, well past its expiry date. Ugly bits and pieces float around after a night of fat


More power to the people; and more people to power!

Views - 270 Friday, 26 July 2019 00:20

IN THE LEAD UP TO THE PRESIDENTIAL POLL… several trends persuade me that, this time, “something’s gotta give”. Change is in the air; and it’s conflicting with custom, ritual and tradition. First, there’s “the usual suspects”: the arr


Reimagining our reality: the last best hope for us?

Views - 109 Friday, 19 July 2019 00:00

Imagination can be a powerful tool for shaping everyday reality. We use it to construct everything from the mundane to the mystic. A down-to-earth example would be our subscription to the idea of the intrinsic value and worth of every human being. I


The legal fiction of law and order

Views - 354 Thursday, 4 July 2019 02:10

I am watching the high charade unfold. No matter how many important people know the difference between right and wrong – or should – it is criminal the number of times the law collars the wrong person – or the right ones for the wrong reason


11 times ‘Game of Thrones’ got it right about Sri Lanka’s state of politics

Views - 533 Friday, 31 May 2019 00:20

All good things must come to an end. Good Governance, ‘Avengers,’ ‘Game of Thrones’. While the first was not very good and the second went mostly well but was bad in bits with a sad endgame, the last of these got ugly in the season and series


17 things ‘Avengers: Endgame’ teaches us about the state of our superheroes

Views - 662 Friday, 24 May 2019 00:10

Art imitates life. Even movies do. Maybe especially so. In these lean times, there’s nothing like a little laughter to stop the press, stem the blood pressure, ease that stress in life. So here goes. Trust you’ll take these tongue-in-cheek. Or pe


Black Easter’s aftermath: dark ‘narratives’

Views - 1133 Monday, 29 April 2019 00:20

As heads roll (or not, in a prime case), and political ambition among other ignoble motives sees state responses to last Sunday’s carnage descend from the supercilious to the surreal, many questions remain in the minds of Sri Lanka’s average citi


Come, let us build!

Views - 621 Friday, 26 April 2019 00:20

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Best because Sri Lanka was united in what it did well: being at peace, on an extended sabbatical, pursuing the absence of conflict – even mindlessly – and enjoying the fruit of island life. Wor


The worst time in this global war: healing in failure and brokenness?

Views - 416 Thursday, 25 April 2019 00:20

These are the worst of times for us all in our belovéd blesséd battered bruised broken bleeding isle. And I’m thinking dark thoughts that the twitterati and other tender-minded philosophers would deem unprintable. But will be publish and be damne


No more stones to break Sri Lankan bones

Views - 847 Friday, 19 April 2019 00:10

Trial by fire is not a new ordeal to Christian community. It predates Notre Dame and Nazism by millennia. In fact, a decade or so before Nero torched believers to light Roman avenues, Jewish religious leaders put Jesus-followers to the test as the Ch


The last straw in local politics today

Views - 456 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:10

I don’t despair easily. But a sense of desolation has overtaken me. Since it is abundantly clear that the last of the statesmen is dead and gone in Sri Lanka today. However much you may hold out hope that some knight in shining armour or street-wis


Religion in politics: RIP to good sense, decency and the democratising spirit?

Views - 181 Friday, 8 March 2019 00:20

I read recently that the problem with failed societies is that they listen to their politicians and not their poets. Not once did I read it, but thrice, and in as many forums. There must be something the universe is trying to tell us? Just hope the p


Cry salt tears against Govt. complicity in crime

Views - 157 Friday, 1 March 2019 00:20

What’s worse? A. A hit-and-run where the perp flees the scene; only to surrender himself to the cops the next day; after any evidence of allegedly DUI has been flushed down the tube; literally; or the local constabulary reviews surveillance camera


The chainsaw massacre and other ‘lawful’ horror stories

Views - 272 Friday, 22 February 2019 00:20

Admit it. The headline hooked you. Hope you won’t be disappointed. There are no gory scenes featuring dismembered limbs here. However you might read about the long arm of the law being truncated. Perhaps a chilling scene where the mask of the murde


Discipline and the devil’s disciples

Views - 431 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:55

That coach who repeatedly slapped a boy under his care has generated a storm of controversy on social media. On one side are aunties, bleeding hearts, civil rights champions et al who are outraged or at the very least shocked or surprised. On the oth


Money is the root of all politics

Views - 126 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:21

It is true, politicians have an extremely poor reputation - but if you assume that every politician is like this, then sad to say, it is devoid of good sense or judgment. If they were, then whole infrastructure would collapse before you could even sa


Of pseudo-democrats, discipline and the coming death of liberty?

Views - 184 Friday, 15 February 2019 00:15

I despair of our politicos and would-be politicians. Not that they are not all honourable men. From the honourable prime minister to the former defence secretary discharging his duty honourably after premature retirement! But that honour often dresse


Give me liberty – or the right seat

Views - 287 Friday, 8 February 2019 00:20

I am celebrating Sri Lanka’s Independence Day – today. Not because I want to be perverse or contrary. But because well-meaning liberals have told me I can if I want to. And that in a democracy the individual has a choice. There are others who hav


How and why perceptions count – and corrupt

Views - 189 Friday, 1 February 2019 00:20

Much has been made of it. If you haven’t heard about CPI 2018, you’re probably living under a rock. And if you don’t want to see what creepy-crawlies dwell there alongside a pure in heart you, don’t pick it – the rock, or CPI 2018 – up. B


Paranoia in the nanny state

Views - 207 Tuesday, 29 January 2019 02:40

A week is a long time in politics. In terms of the type of realpolitik practised in certain republics, it’s a grain of sand. Or, to coin a phrase, a line of crack on a glass table. Today (your yesterday, dear unsuspecting reader), marks the end of


Of Dil-scoops, Blake’s 7 and drug busts

Views - 280 Friday, 25 January 2019 00:10

In mid-2018, national cricketer and erstwhile captain Tillakaratne Dilshan sang the praises of President Maithripala Sirisena for taking a certain executive decision. That was to implement the death penalty – customarily commuted to life imprisonme


Today's Columnists

Facing the chill wind: Decline in agricultural exports in Sri Lanka

Thursday, 17 October 2019

During the past two years, there is a marked increase in the export revenue as indicated in table 1. The export earnings from January to July 2019 also grew by 2.8% compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, despite the uncertainties


The ‘Strategic Blueprint’ of your firm: Articulating your competitive strategy

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Why do many firms fail to achieve their ambitions and growth targets in revenue and profitability? Several reasons can be found and one of the fundamental issues lies with the firm’s leadership not being able to articulate its competitive strategy


Innovation conundrum: We do or don’t do!

Thursday, 17 October 2019

It is perhaps important to highlight the need for seriously considering an aspect that we need to embrace and embed if we are ever to transform our economy from a dependent deprived status to a one worthy of emulation. The aspect in question is innov


Palaly comes to life again

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Today, 17 October, Sri Lanka is scheduled to re-open the Palaly Airport as its third international aerodrome. There will be many who will applaud and give praise for the refurbishment and upgrading of the new airport; and there will be others who wil


Columnists More