The Pathfinder Foundation held an interesting discussion last Friday (27th) on Sri Lanka’s ‘Government Enterprises’ as they called it, and what needs to be done about them. I chaired the session, and delivered some concluding remarks. Let me recap some of those views here. ‘Government’ enterprises are called different things at different times – State-owned […] ...

While researching on the new trends in industrial policy for some writing on the role played by the state in Asian growth and what lessons Sri Lanka can draw from it for its own efforts, I came across this cracker of a line that captures the challenge nicely, “Focus now should be not on policy […]

Image by author Mobile phone usage is so ubiquitous in Sri Lanka today it’s not unusual to see even informal/petty vendors being able to afford and use one. Pictured here is a seller of “blessing strings” at the shrine of ‘Sella Kataragama’, in Sri Lanka’s Moneragala district. He sells one if these for just 20 […]

Image by author Mobile phone usage is so ubiquitous in Sri Lanka today it’s not unusual to see even informal/petty vendors being able to afford and use one. Pictured here is a seller of “blessing strings” at the shrine of ‘Sella Kataragama’, in Sri Lanka’s Moneragala district. He sells one if these for just 20 […]

Sri Lanka’s electricity sector is in perpetual crisis – either a malfunctioning coal power plant built with costly funding, or severe contractions in hydropower generation. Despite all this, electricity supply to people and businesses has by and large been steady and predictable, unlike, say, 15 years ago. (of course bearing in mind the random blackouts and […]

Sri Lanka’s electricity sector is in perpetual crisis – either a malfunctioning coal power plant built with costly funding, or severe contractions in hydropower generation. Despite all this, electricity supply to people and businesses has by and large been steady and predictable, unlike, say, 15 years ago. (of course bearing in mind the random blackouts and […]

As we near the 5 year mark since the end of the war in 2009, I’ve been reflecting on Sri Lanka’s economic journey since then. A discernible trend in post-war growth is that it has been led largely by growth in what economists’ call the ‘domestic non-tradable sector’ – construction, domestic transport, utilities and wholesale […]

As we near the 5 year mark since the end of the war in 2009, I’ve been reflecting on Sri Lanka’s economic journey since then. A discernible trend in post-war growth is that it has been led largely by growth in what economists’ call the ‘domestic non-tradable sector’ – construction, domestic transport, utilities and wholesale […]

For a newspaper that rarely rocks the Lankan media boat, I thought that Daily Mirror’s front page marking World Press Freedom Day 2014 made a pretty bold statement. The paper had a unique, faux front page, where all the text and images were flipped, and made to look the wrong way around. (However, the inside […]

For a newspaper that rarely rocks the Lankan media boat, I thought that Daily Mirror’s front page marking World Press Freedom Day 2014 made a pretty bold statement. The paper had a unique, faux front page, where all the text and images were flipped, and made to look the wrong way around. (However, the inside […]

India truly is a place of incredible contrasts and it was strikingly noticeable to me on a recent visit there, which took me from the heart of glitzy Mumbai to dusty Nagpur. Both Mumbai and Nagpur are in the same state of Maharashtra, separated by a 1.5 hour plane ride or a 8-10 hour road […]

India truly is a place of incredible contrasts and it was strikingly noticeable to me on a recent visit there, which took me from the heart of glitzy Mumbai to dusty Nagpur. Both Mumbai and Nagpur are in the same state of Maharashtra, separated by a 1.5 hour plane ride or a 8-10 hour road […]

Just read this very interesting article which posits that the removal of lead from motor fuels like petrol may have triggered a reduction in crime in the West, stemming from effects that lead has on the human brain. This lead-crime hypothesis interestingly tracks the levels of crime against the the levels of lead exposure in the […]

Just read this very interesting article which posits that the removal of lead from motor fuels like petrol may have triggered a reduction in crime in the West, stemming from effects that lead has on the human brain. This lead-crime hypothesis interestingly tracks the levels of crime against the the levels of lead exposure in the […]

In a thought-provoking op-ed in the FT recently, Tim Harford (of ‘Undercover Economist’ fame) asks whether the nexus between behavioural economics and public policy is indeed a feasible one and whether this new ‘sexy’ stream of economics is living up to the hype. He asks, “Is behavioural economics doomed to reflect the limitations of its intellectual parents, […] ...

In a thought-provoking op-ed in the FT recently, Tim Harford (of ‘Undercover Economist’ fame) asks whether the nexus between behavioural economics and public policy is indeed a feasible one and whether this new ‘sexy’ stream of economics is living up to the hype. He asks, “Is behavioural economics doomed to reflect the limitations of its intellectual parents, […] ...

Avurudhu season is hotting up and nearly all the credit card companies are falling over themselves to offer the most attractive discounts and offers. I for one eagerly took advantage of a couple of them last week. Today’s hot spots were at the Race Course where HSBC was running a 20% discount and ‘fashion hawker […]

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