Columnists

Soft exit strategy for silent old guard, while our young republican watchdogs bay for blood

Views - 2364 Wednesday, 29 June 2016 00:00

  The silent treatment   It’s the clever young man who writes a column for another newspaper who made me realise for the first time what’s really wrong. He was so clear and trés articulate that


Heroes, heroin, and the shadow republic

Views - 2323 Wednesday, 22 June 2016 00:00

 Drug busts of gargantuan dimensions signal that detection is ongoing, even if a crackdown on crime cartels in the present does not necessarily mean that past offenders will be brought to book by the same measure. Turf wars of yore which rema


Pragmatic democracy and other disasters

Views - 2426 Wednesday, 15 June 2016 00:00

 How can the new political culture justify excesses such as supplementary estimates amounting to billions of rupees amidst exigencies such as natural and unnatural disasters burying its people under tragedy, death, and taxes? How a superfluit


Attack of the Corrupt Clones

Views - 2280 Wednesday, 8 June 2016 00:00

The London 2016 Global Anticorruption Summit (GAS) may have supplied practitioners of the classic island defence of retreating to the high moral ground when under attack with fresh inspiration and ammunition to ward off hostile media tryi


The sound of silence deafens democracy?

Views - 2339 Wednesday, 1 June 2016 00:00

   Courtesy: Osho News    Before anything critical of our crumbling republican government (the ‘GG’s) is further essayed, one thing must be said. The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on m


Noah’s Albatross and Postdiluvian Politics

Views - 2657 Friday, 27 May 2016 00:00

 APRÈS MOI, LE DÉLUGE! In the aftermath of the Great Flood of 2016, if Sri Lanka is to Build Back Better, the political leadership must be instrumental in syncing Government actors and State agencies in working together with gre


Presidential sonatas in five not-so easy pieces

Views - 2377 Friday, 20 May 2016 00:05

    There’s a nip in the air these days … and I don’t mean the depressive cyclonic weather that we’ve been flooded by. It’s the windy, heady, overflow of adrenaline that comes once in a whil


Has our whole House gone with the wind?

Views - 2550 Friday, 13 May 2016 00:10

 CAPTAIN SRI LANKA: CIVIL WAR – While the nation struggles to transform itself from a post-war to a post-conflict society, our elected representatives appear to have set an ironic agenda for themselves – to bicker and brawl like t


Who let the war-dogs out – again?

Views - 2451 Saturday, 7 May 2016 00:00

We hear with some interest the recent argument of the Prime Minister that the free media has a fair share of the blame to bear for the spread of anti-republican “scare-tactic type” rumours. Speaking on the occasion of a day to commemor


On the fast track – or on the road to dusty death?

Views - 2910 Friday, 29 April 2016 00:00

THE WRITING IS ON THE WALLSTRÖM: Sri Lanka is looking increasingly like the prettiest girl on the beach in this region. Here, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallström parley about the i


A time to reflect – and refocus

Views - 2453 Wednesday, 20 April 2016 00:00

GO EAST, YOUNG MAN/ WOMAN/ AND CHILD! As the sun rises over the shallow waters of Passikudah Bay in Sri Lanka’s once war-torn north-east, the mind’s eye begins to envision what a new nation-state consolidated by its new social


Out with the old, in with the new?!

Views - 2282 Tuesday, 12 April 2016 00:01

Sri Lanka is on the cusp of something. Not just #avurudu, which is *aluth* every new year... when the sun transits from the House of Mina (Pisces) to the House of Mesha (Aries), metaphorically showing a new face to a world it supposedly rules. But


The Mãnâpá Papers

Views - 2492 Friday, 8 April 2016 00:00

April is the cruellest month, I wrote in these columns last Friday. Not only usually because *aluth avurudda* is a time when the unkindest cuts (power outages, price hikes, pointless protests, pretty little progress in poverty reduction) affect th


April the cruellest month, after these unkindest cuts

Views - 2215 Friday, 1 April 2016 00:00

THE WASTE LAND: Government resorting to staging protests, Joint Opposition rallies to regroup split parties with splinter groups, mercurial weather gods, a dry and parched populace bereft of both ‘good’ governance and or &lsqu


Ignorant armies clash by night

Views - 2229 Friday, 25 March 2016 00:00

Power struggles are par for the course in developing political-economies (so they say). People power will be exercised at election time to redress power imbalances (so you hope). Problem is no political party is likely to really want to t


More power to the people

Views - 2108 Wednesday, 16 March 2016 00:00

Denmark produces some 140% of its power demand from alternative energy sources such as wind power – so much more than its domestic needs that it exports electricity to neighbouring Scandinavia and even Germany. Sri Lanka once envisa


Occupy Sri Lanka! Be there, or be square?

Views - 2536 Friday, 11 March 2016 00:00

 Occupy The Square – like its inspiration, Occupy Wall Street – was a flash-movement created on social media and driven by the passionate intensity of a few likeminded liberals sensing that an injustice had been done to civilian l


Governance awards: The ‘Oscar’ goes to...

Views - 3017 Friday, 4 March 2016 00:05

  Some things change. Some things don’t. Sometimes, the more things change the more they stay the same. Plus ҫa change. Plus c’est la même chose. The 88th Annual Academy Awards, 2016 – more colloqu


Ravana and his rabid roadhogs

Views - 2449 Friday, 26 February 2016 00:00

    THE KING OF LANKA: Far be it from us to be alarmist! But there may be a move on to tap into the latently mythical psyche of the Lankan soul... And the aggro of road-trippers in a remote village of an ancient kingdom m


The names game

Views - 1879 Friday, 19 February 2016 00:00

  A legendary Aussie PM once said in a speech to the Australian Labour Party: “I do not mind the liberals, still less do I mind the country party, calling me a b*st*rd. In some circumstances, I am only doing my job if they do! But


Flagging belief in freedom’s bells

Views - 2063 Monday, 8 February 2016 00:00

Much ado about nothing? The singing of the national anthem in Tamil on 4 February has generated controversy, constitutional invocations, and no small measure of churlishness, in some quarters of ‘civil’ society. After 68 years of freed


Fourth Estate or Fifth Column?

Views - 1792 Friday, 5 February 2016 00:00

MEN IN THE MEDIA LIMELIGHT: President Sirisena – slated to be Sri Lanka’s last 1978-style chief executive – looks and sounds somewhat uncomfortable under the glare of the unforgiving spotlight these days, despite the pre


Men in not-so-iron masks

Views - 1797 Friday, 29 January 2016 00:00

  TAKES ALL TYPES? There are times when the true nature of leaders leaks through. And then the heart speaks out of the mouth’s abundance. (“Join me, my son!” See copy.) Rest assured however that realpolitik will work wi


Changing the supreme law to shape the culture of society

Views - 1874 Friday, 22 January 2016 00:00

A Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. But practice has proven that this truism can be subverted, or subject to interpretation detrimental to the welfare of the nation-state. So it remains an ambition of the democratic movement o


“Good Governance” at one year: same lame tame afterthoughts

Views - 2665 Wednesday, 13 January 2016 00:00

  President Maithripala Sirisena, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. A triad of issues – and not necessarily whether Government brings brigands under past regimes to book – may well en


Grave matters for our maturing Government

Views - 2227 Friday, 8 January 2016 00:00

The plot thickens: Seven years ago, an iconic senior journalist was brutally slaughtered on Sri Lanka’s post-war mean streets. A year ago – on the sixth anniversary of his slaying – an instrumental change was made to th


The force slumbers: in local political theatres last year

Views - 2370 Wednesday, 30 December 2015 00:00

  I have a bad feeling about this. Essaying any form of evaluation or assessment of Good Governance’s first year in office (or power, if you are in that mood) is bound to come a-cropper. Too cynical, and the powers tha


Stymieing hate speech laws: silent night or saturnalia?

Views - 2566 Wednesday, 23 December 2015 00:10

Today is >Saturnalia, an ancient Roman festival of feasting, mayhem, madness. (Sometimes, still, subtly or subversively, it is observed in Colombo’s bacchanalian quarters!) Tomorrow night, choirs – around Sri Lanka as much as the re


The fast track to lawfulness or a slower lane to legalism?

Views - 2326 Wednesday, 16 December 2015 00:00

THE LONG MARCH: Government is good at walking the talk on anti-corruption drives and is no doubt sincere in the main about stemming the rotten tide. However, civil society together with the genuine elements of the powers that be, have to do more t


4Cs to lead Country, Cabinet, Councils, and Committees

Views - 2799 Wednesday, 9 December 2015 00:00

Leadership can be a sinking ship as long as only driven, darkly charismatic leaders who are lacking in character but are very strong-willed and even temperamental do helm the project – without sufficient regard for relational leader


Today's Columnists

A SME policy finally in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The other day there was a communiqué that Sri Lanka must have a SME policy as per the direction from the leadership of the Yahapalanaya Government. It sure gave breath to the economy that is currently nose diving with a growth at 4.7% and all banks


How can Sri Lanka gain from Asia’s ‘noodle bowl’ of regional infrastructure?

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – a web of intercontinental road, rail and port links – is a hot topic in Sri Lanka


What is more important? Fixing the Constitution or fixing the economy?

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly has produced an Interim Report on six key issues after 73 sessions between April 2016 and September 2017, without basic consensus among the key partners of political party representatives in the C


Top 10 tourist source markets and marketing of Sri Lanka tourism niches

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The tourism sector is a significant that contribute to the economy of the country. Sri Lanka received over two million arrivals in 2016. This was 14% increase compared to last year 2015. In the case of foreign exchange earnings, Sri Lanka’s earning


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