Columnists

‘Good governance’: waiting for Godot? and other fairy tales!

Views - 2804 Friday, 16 June 2017 00:00

  AWAIT: Godot – while Good Governance was critical of a previous administration bringing the Attorney-General’s Dept. under presidential purview and placing urban development in the hands of the de facto defence minister,


‘Good Governance’: Failure of a five-pillared process?

Views - 3208 Friday, 9 June 2017 00:00

When troubles come, they come not single spies but in battalions. And these days, the woes of the State as well as those of the Government are legion. Two months ago, the tragic collapse of that colossal trash-heap let loose a stink about the way


Nor any drop to drink

Views - 3054 Friday, 2 June 2017 00:04

I’LL DO MY CRYING IN THE RAIN: While the heavens weep, and people go to watery graves, politicians and planners whose principal duty is the welfare of their electorates drown in hypocrisy and cupidity. Then, as the flood waters rece


Mayday! Mayhem in the making?

Views - 3767 Friday, 26 May 2017 00:00

By the time you read this, you would have perused many pieces, no doubt, on the precarious state of the nation of late. The painful memories of April-May – Meethotamulla pitfall and the proposed appointment of a military panjandrum to curb,


Those who wait

Views - 4971 Friday, 7 April 2017 00:00

Today, 5 April, as I write, my heart is strangely at peace. Not because justice has been done… or even looks remotely like it will be done in a singular landmark killing… But because the heart has its own reasons (of which reason kno


‘Storm warning’: Weathering some turbulence with stressful words

Views - 5402 Friday, 31 March 2017 04:55

The weather these days is a little like the political climate. Early sunshine, clouds on the horizon towards afternoon, scattered thundershowers in the late evening. As far as the incumbent administration goes, the bright patches have scurried ove


Of new social contracts and ‘goon squads’ on social media

Views - 5209 Friday, 24 March 2017 02:08

I don’t often quote the United Nations (UN). Not because they don’t say sensible stuff. But because their sound bites are not as memorable as that which their opposition – rogue states, global terrorists – says. Because the


Falsely framing the money shot

Views - 5478 Friday, 17 March 2017 00:00

BOOM AND/OR BUST – on one hand congratulatory enthusiasm by the international monetary and political powers that be, coupled with handouts that underline their largesse as much as global commitment to Sri Lanka’s burgeoning investor an


The Battle of the Blasé

Views - 5413 Friday, 10 March 2017 00:00

IT’S NOT THE ECONOMY, STUPID – As dismal and discouraging as recent commentary in certain quarters might make Sri Lanka’s past and present financial and fiduciary showing to be, it’s stress and tension in other spheres that


A ‘House’ divided, and a country at crossroads

Views - 5742 Friday, 3 March 2017 00:00

In the past week or so, two news items of national interest have driven if not dominated some media discussion. The first was when a spokesman for the governing coalition reawakened a country’s dormant interest in the constitutional reform p


A ‘Big Match’ ban: Monkey business?

Views - 6151 Friday, 24 February 2017 00:00

FEVER – There is a sense in which tradition (not always defensible on rational grounds) is a rite of passage for politicians as much as for schoolboys in which to “Be (Thou) Forever” means players from all walks of life partake i


Of media freedom and other “myth”

Views - 5481 Wednesday, 15 February 2017 10:23

 FOURTH ESTATE, OR FIFTH COLUMN – “I may disagree with what you say. But I will to defend to the death your right to say it.” So much has been said and reams written on the nature and scope of the free media in Sri Lanka whi


A country sans corruption and other soft sixty-niners

Views - 5214 Thursday, 9 February 2017 00:00

 THE POLITICS OF PRINCIPLED PRECEPTS NOT PRACTISED? – When political messiahs ride to the rescue of a republic tottering under the totalitarianism of an oppressive regime, the people expected to be rescued from repression as much as rot


No! To Nugegoda as a Nuremberg?

Views - 6261 Tuesday, 31 January 2017 00:00

    The crowd is large. The scenery is packed with stormtroopers. The energy of the rally is tangible. In the street, banners defy the breeze. On stage, speakers define the new world order. On closer inspection, it appear


Make Sri Lanka great again?

Views - 5103 Wednesday, 25 January 2017 00:00

THE GREAT DIVIDES – While the powers that be plod the ‘Rubber tyres from Marangoni’ route, a more plebeian opposition is still shouting subversive slogans in the ears of folks for whom ‘Rice from the Moon’ is not too


A Prosperity Gospel on the peerless Silk Route

Views - 5110 Friday, 20 January 2017 00:04

  I was down south a little over a week ago today. At the increasingly misnamed Galle Literary Festival (GLF): which, in its more recent incarnations particularly, is more ‘culinary’ than ‘literary’! B


‘Humbugstota’ and more humbling happenings: Moral fable sans morale

Views - 5376 Friday, 13 January 2017 00:00

The sun rises in the south. While Colombo sleeps peacefully and the rest of Sri Lanka slumbers fitfully. Many times before, the first stirrings of dissent have been felt south of the border between patrician illusion and plebeian reality. In time


An Epiphany for Egregious Governance

Views - 5267 Friday, 6 January 2017 00:00

THE USUAL SUSPECTS – While those who committed the media crime of the century still skulk about, an unhappy band of pilgrims continues to make an annual commitment to a graveside vigil. When Government will act with true vigour and


The Grinch that stole Good Government’s Christmas gift

Views - 5757 Thursday, 29 December 2016 08:15

GOOD GOVERNANCE GIVETH, AND GOOD GOVERNANCE TAKETH AWAY – The unspeakable, unutterable, unfathomable gift was the focus of Christmases past. Maybe as the New Year dawns and the Caravans of Constitutional Republicanism hasten toward


A voice from the past

Views - 4895 Thursday, 22 December 2016 00:00

A DEAD RINGER FOR DUPLICITY – While the republic reels under the regime-normalising deceptiveness of realpolitik, voices from the past speak to their former readership from beyond the grave and their present polity in funereal tones


Is the Ship of State listing to Port?

Views - 5090 Friday, 16 December 2016 00:05

SHIPWRECK? – Between the Scylla of statesmanship turned sour and the Charybdis of allegations of corruption and politicisation, the ship of state is floundering in troubled waters. But it doesn’t have to end in tears; for thos


Governance: On the bus! Or has it missed the bus?

Views - 5089 Friday, 9 December 2016 00:01

‘ISSARAHA BAHINAWAA’ – civil society’s proclivity is bow out of a crowded bus when private interests and partisan agendas win the argument over reason and responsibility; but now, more than ever perhaps, is the tim


Plod, Goon, and other PG-rated plug-uglies

Views - 4685 Friday, 2 December 2016 00:01

I have a confession to make. A visit to the local constabulary reduces me – never the bravest of scribes, anyway (because I have far too much imagination to be sanguine about such things) – to a gibbering wreck. Of course, to be fair,


State monies and shadow missions

Views - 4838 Tuesday, 29 November 2016 00:01

My wife earns more than I do. I sometimes feel a worm on account of it. And other times I rationalise the income disparity. To each their own. We all make choices in life. Political, social, economic. One opts to work full-time in the formal econo


We all live in a Whitened Submarine

Views - 3299 Thursday, 24 November 2016 00:01

CROSSING GUARD – Perhaps we don’t need to enact new legislation to curb the free flow of dangerous chauvinist traffic into the mainstream of political discourse. Maybe a more meaningful response to moonstruck madness would be


The last trump, the last trick

Views - 3370 Friday, 18 November 2016 00:00

Some men lead lives of quiet desperation. Poets, philosophers, people in the street or on plebeian public transport, taxpaying citizens hard-pressed by budgetary policy and burgeoning prices. Far from the cut and thrust of parliamentary politics,


Jackboot off Journalism?

Views - 3522 Tuesday, 8 November 2016 00:01

DEAD AND ALIVE – The ghosts of a generation of lost journalists still haunt the corridors of power today. Their deaths, or abductions, or disappearances, may have taken place under a previous government’s myopic watch. True en


COPEing with the fallout

Views - 2914 Tuesday, 1 November 2016 00:01

The COPE report on the CBSL imbroglio was a shower of blessings. In the end, it was evidently unbiased and unabridged. It looked the chief suspects of the bond scam squarely in the eye, collared them, and didn’t pull its punches. The Full Mo


Who will guard the guards, when the wardens ward off the law for friends?

Views - 3050 Friday, 28 October 2016 00:01

  SIT IT OUT, NOT QUIT IT!? – Concur or conquer, the machinery of state as in CIABOC as much as the engine of legislative oversight per COPE must be paramount over petty politicking and personal agendas. Pity, then, that agents


Aiyo, sirrah! The last hurrah?

Views - 3380 Thursday, 20 October 2016 00:00

While you were sleeping, some of us dreaming, the world of words changed overnight. Quietly, while almost no one was watching, a superb Sri Lankan expression entered the English language. “Aiyo.” The perfect interjection or exclamation


Today's Columnists

Discipline and the devil’s disciples

Monday, 18 February 2019

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


SL growth profile: Arrest moving down the staircase immediately to avoid hard landing on the floor

Monday, 18 February 2019

Strong message in the Sri Lanka Development Update 2019 Sri Lanka Development Update for 2019 was released by the World Bank last week. This document contains a review by the bank’s residential staff of the present state of the country’s economy


Prudential banking and saga of MTD Walkers

Monday, 18 February 2019

The matters referred to in the article under this title published in the Daily FT (15 February) are spotlighted in more detail under this scrutiny. While the general attention of the public remains more focused on recently arrested underworld kingpin


Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s empty rant

Monday, 18 February 2019

Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe (WR) has joined President Sirisena’s reckless verbal onslaught on the Constitutional Council (CC) that was set up by the 19th Amendment (Daily Mirror 15 February). I use “verbal onslaught” intentionally since, as


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