Despite the generally rosy economic numbers that are frequently in the news I don't think the economy is in good shape. Some of these weaknesses are evident in the recent Central Bank report.Crucially, FDI in 2013 was down 2.7%, (to US$ 916m) and youth unemployment roseto 19.2%, (in 2012 it was 16.8%). Looking behind the FDI numbers reveals and even ...

Another grave site has been discovered, this time in Mullaitivu. The GoSL blames the LTTE. We do not have much to go on, but an analysis of the reporting of the story tells us quite a lot. To begin with this is a major story, especially a month ahead of the UNHRC summit in Geneva.The news of the discovery emerged ...

It's time to be patriotic again and the assorted fools, knaves, thieves and courtiers almost seem to be falling over themselves, trying to be the most patriotic of all. A good time then to take a step back and ask ourselves what this all means. The rocker Bob Dylan wrote a number of songs that became anthems of the US ...

I moved in to a new job some months back. It has been a fairly tough period involving a lot of learning. Its in a completely new industry and one that is highly technical.There is also the problem of added responsibility, having to carry the can, so too speak.The pay is better, the work is 'real'-grappling with day to day ...

Two Provincial council elections are around the corner and voters have a choice of actresses, singers and other sundry characters, mostly unsavoury to choose from. I am wondering if it is even worth voting at all.Should there be some sort of qualifying criteria for politicians? The problem with electoral democracy is that such a thing is not possible; it would ...

I was telephoning a few hotels in Embilipitiya, trying to find accommodation for staff on a site visit. I called a place that looked nice, had a decent review and was cheap.The conversation was in Sinhalese and the fellow who answered the phone first wanted to know where I was calling from. I answered: Colombo. He then asked: local or ...

How many people bother to pick up and read a newspaper nowadays? I used to be an avid reader of the local press but my interest has waned in the last year or so.The problem is that there is very little that is in any way challenging or interesting. Even when a decent story emerges coverage tends to be superficial.I ...

I was amazed to read that there is now a new and growing aerial menace. Are we being threatened, once again by the LTTE's air arm? Hordes of flying cockroaches? Perhaps vampire bats that descend from the heavens to suck the blood of the sleeping townsmen? No, we are now being threatened by peacocks; not vampire peacocks, or even vampire ...

Our Rulers want to make Sri Lanka a hub for aviation, tourism and many other things. Will they inadvertently end up creating something like Spetses?Spetses is a small Greek island, a an exotic playground for rich tycoons. Once a destination for cheap package holidays, the country moved up-market in the 1990's and now caters mostly to the super-rich who can ...

Tales of public buildings in Sri Lanka "Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts—the book of their deeds, the book of their words, and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the two others; but of the three, the only quite trustworthy one is the last. The acts of a nation may be triumphant by its good ...

I know cooking is one of the more popular topics on Kottu, so let me take a stab at my own, a Christmas Special, if you like. I am a great fan of plantains, sometime referred to as banana's. I was looking for some interesting things to do with banana's (for the record I do not possess a dirty mind) ...

The fightinme had written something about Sri Lanka being in the spotlight.It is true that some of the criticism is orchestrated by the Tamil/Tiger diaspora; I’m never sure where the Tamil diaspora ends and where the Tiger diaspora begins. Whatever criticism made needs to distance itself completely from the Tigers, which unfortunately it does not. As I pointed out ...

Something strange seems to be going on in the Pradesheeya Sabhas. Many of them, despite having a majority seem unable to pass their budgets.For a while I was wondering if there was some sort of conspiracy or some underground opposition activity that was manifesting itself. It sounds unlikely but was a possibility; given that the opposition members and some ruling ...

Food prices and the budget for 2014 The satirical LBO piece, A Dress to Kill Budget, apart from being very entertaining is quite seriously, best summary of the main thrust of this years budget. They could have added that defined professionals (including accountants, lawyers, accountants, engineers and some academics) were given a tax reduction (to a maximum of 16% compared to the current 24%) and, even better, ...

Scenes from my childhood I had to pay a visit to one of the company's sites today in Embilipitya. I had not realised quite how far this was, somewhere off Ratnapura and the site itself yet further into the interior.It was pretty much off the main tourist track, the only thing of any note being an abandoned paper mill.I enjoyed the ride on deserted, ...

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