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Crisis with Russia: A James Bond thriller

Britain’s war-time Prime Minister had some memorable words to describe Russia – “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” he called it. “However, there is a key. The key is Russia’s national interest,” he added. The latest tea vs. asbestos fiasco between Sri Lanka and Russia epitomises this Churchillian quote.The Cabinet of Ministers [...]

Ignoring all the domestic counsel and going for foreign advisors

The inability of successive Governments to implement a plethora of reports on financial matters has now resulted in the advent of a permanent foreign anti-corruption adviser to the Cabinet of Ministers, on offer by a foreign Government that has put Sri Lanka in the basket of most corrupt countries in the world. Despite nearly 70 [...]

A matter of ‘commissions’ and omissions

The Budget vote for independent commissions in Parliament earlier this month has led to Sri Lanka’s new Right to Information (RTI) Commission finally getting its own fund to the relief of the anxious people who have been ceaselessly bombarding the Commission with information requests. The RTI Act required the Fund to be in place at [...]

Parliament’s honour at stake

The Commission of Inquiry on the Central Bank Bond scam concluded its public hearings earlier this week and as they say in legal circles, it unearthed some exhilarating evidence ‘beyond a shadow of doubt’. It will now be the onerous duty of the Commission to distil that evidence and pronounce its recommendations. A powerful Cabinet [...]

Beer, Booze and the new intoxicants

The ‘Mangala Budget’ of the new Finance Minister ran into two or three obstacles – from shipping agents, and also those opposing his move to reduce beer prices aimed at weaning people from hard liquor. In the first cases, it was more the lobby wanting protectionism and in the latter, those who believe prohibition is [...]

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry

The petrol crisis was something the Finance Minister could have done without as a forerunner to what he famously called his ‘designer Budget’. The shortages hit all parts of the country throwing grave doubts over the management skills of the Government. When Sri Lanka’s economy was in the doldrums in the 1970s, it was referred [...]

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