Monthly Archives: February 2018

Operating below potential

Operating below potential

Sri Lanka’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rates unchanged to help bolster an economy that’s been hit by bad weather across the South Asian island. Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy held the standing lending facility rate at 8.75 percent and the standing deposit facility rate at …

Reconfiguration of forces

Reconfiguration of forces

Sri Lanka’s local government election held on February 10 has become more than a mid-term poll that usually helps the opposition. Rather, it has led to an immediate political crisis of sorts, threatening the stability of the present government. While the disunited ruling coalition, jointly …

People want a change?

People want a change?

Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa called on Monday for parliament to be dissolved and fresh elections to be held after a party backed by him won local council polls in the strongest rebuff yet to the unity government. The national election is not due …

Colombo: Beyond concrete and asphalt

Colombo: Beyond concrete and asphalt

In 2014, the island was listed as one of the least urbanized countries in the World Urbanization Prospects (WUP),  with less than 20 percent of the population in urban areas. By 2050, WUP projected that number would rise to only 30 percent. Does this mean …

Political supremacy through crucial polls

Political supremacy through crucial polls

Through the all-island local bodies elections held on February 10, former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s  Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna  has comprehensively established its political supremacy in the country, barring the Tamil-dominated Northern Province which continues to be the bastion of the Ilankai Taml Arasu …

Ensure that the National Child Protection Authority is independent

Ensure that the National Child Protection Authority is independent

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child examined Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Panama, Seychelles, Spain, Solomon Islands, Palau and Marshall Islands during its latest session from 15 January to 2 February in Geneva. In its concluding observations on the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports …

Economic nationalism backfires

Economic nationalism backfires

Classical liberal economists have long argued that free trade leads to peace, and economic nationalism and protectionism (which usually also involves minority oppression and ethno religion fascism) lead to soured international relations and war. Russian tactics to block the import of Sri Lanka tea over …

Local polls crucial for Govt

Local polls crucial for Govt

Some 15.8 million Sri Lankans will vote in the country’s third tier elections on February 10, 2018 to chose 8,293 members to 341 local bodies, namely 24 municipal councils, 41 urban councils and 276 pradeshiya sabhas or divisional councils. A mixed electoral system will be …

Confronting Sri Lanka’s past

Confronting Sri Lanka’s past

At first, the tall, brooding silhouette at her doorstep was unrecognisable. After more than three decades, Sellaiah Manoranjan, an ex-Tamil fighter, returned to a house in Jaffna where he and his family once sought refuge from the Sri Lankan military. It reminded his Sinhalese host …

With Sri Lankan port acquisition, China adds another ‘pearl’ to its ‘string’

With Sri Lankan port acquisition, China adds another ‘pearl’ to its ‘string’

When Sri Lanka’s government first looked to develop a port on its southern coast that faced the Indian Ocean, it went not to China, but to its neighbor, India. Then-Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said he urgently needed funding to transform the harbor of his …