Author Archive for Sugath Kulatunga

Whither Horticulture in Sri Lanka

Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Sugath Kulatunga I have recently had a disappointing experience with my former department of Agriculture. Being aware of the acute protein malnutrition among our children and having read about the use of dried and powdered murunga leaves (which is around 25 % protein) as a protein supplement in the food of children in India. Murunga […]

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Import of vehicles

Monday, June 3rd, 2024

 Sugath Kulatunga In spite of the bankruptcy of country and the accumulated external debt of 36 billion dollars at the end of 2023, the Governor of the Central Bank has the chutzpa to announce that foreign exchange (FE) can now be released to import vehicles. He has qualified this by stating that this has to […]

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Mahinda Takes A stand.

Saturday, May 18th, 2024

Sugath Kulatunga The present divestiture drive is ostensibly aimed at minimizing govt. expenditure on loss-making state owned enterprises and meeting certain IMF conditions. The ex-President should be applaude for taking firm stand on this burning issue. It would have been more welcomed if the policy of the SLPP was declared much earlier before the SOE […]

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Export or perish.

Thursday, May 16th, 2024

Sugath Kulatunga Founder Director General of the EDB I am delighted to see both the President RW and the leader of the opposition claiming that the only way to tackle the economic problems in the country and to develop the country is to make it export oriented. This message has become a manthra and is […]

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Easter Bombing

Saturday, April 27th, 2024

Sugath Kulatunga Our Parliament is again beating the dead horse of the Easter bombings when the people are beating their breasts on the travails of living. The debate is all about a  Brains (the Maha Mola Karr- MMK) behind the horrible deed. What was his objective? Was it an evil political strategy to gain the […]

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Privatization of Public Enterprises.

Wednesday, April 17th, 2024

Sugath Kulatunga A strident cry we hear now from goverment politicians and economic pundits is that State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) must be privatized to make them efficient and profitable and ease the burden of losses to the state. Majority of them think that a wave of the majic wand of privatization will turn the white elephants to cash cows. Historically in Sri Lanka, SOEs have made a significant contribution to industrial development, […]

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Policy Statements of RW and AKD On Education And Industrialization

Sunday, April 14th, 2024

Sugath Kulatunga It is gratifying to note our President and a leading politician Anura Kumara Dissanayake (AKD) making emphatic and unequivocal statements on two vital policy issues. Present stated repeatedly that the country has to convert itself into an export economy to be a developed nation by 1948. He was in the JR government when […]

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The VAT and the DAT

Tuesday, January 30th, 2024

Sugath Kulatunga The ripple effect of the increase in the VAT rate from 15 to 18 percent has led to another hike in the cost of living causing wide spread agitation against the measure and has rattled the government. It has given another opportunity to traders to inflict one more exorbitant hike in the price […]

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Special Referendum at national intermediate level.

Wednesday, December 20th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga In our democracy the People can use the power of franchise in selecting a government only once in 5 years unless the Parliament is dissolved earlier. In between elections the voice of the People is muted. This makes them to resort to enraged demonstrations and Aragalayas. The government also takes decisions on conjecture. […]

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Ban of Oil Palm

Tuesday, December 12th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga Business Times of December 03, 2023, published a relevant article by Agri experts pointing out that the Ad hoc ban on oil palm deters foreign exchange savings. One was under the impression that Minister Amaraweera had instructed the CEA to conduct further formal research on palm oil cultivation. The knee-jerk ban on Oil […]

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It is not Cricket

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga The controversy on the activities of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLBDC) has gone viral. It is one issue which has involved all three pillars of the government, the executive, legislature and the judiciary. It has brought the warring political parties on common cause of saving the game of cricket. However, one aspect […]

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The Return of the Millennium Corporation Compact (MMC)

Friday, November 17th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga In his budget speech 2024 President RW waxed eloquent on his proposal to give legal ownership of land to 2 million families who are now owning them under a license system. He has tried to give the proposal an undeserving anti-colonial nationalist flavor by referring to this land as lands acquired by the […]

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Misguided action of the ICC

Monday, November 13th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga Even the United Nations is obliged to respect the sovereignty of member nations and refrains from intervening in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction. However, this principle is not respected by the ICC which has considered that action taken under the Sports Law of Sri Lanka is political interference. Suspension of […]

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Politics of Vat

Friday, November 10th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga The recent increase of VAT from 12 to 18 percent has become the target of severe criticism by the opposition particularly by the political economists and of course the leader of the opposition. The main plank of the criticism is that it will increase inflation and the cost of living and will be […]

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Hot Potato of Cricket,

Tuesday, November 7th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga. Cricket has today become virtually the national game of Sri Lanka. It is played in different forms of hard ball to soft ball games in the urban playgrounds and in the village fields. It is watched and enjoyed by spectators of all ages and means. The brilliant performance of our women’s team has […]

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Massacre in Gaza.

Sunday, November 5th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres again called for a ceasefire in fighting between Israel and Hamas during a Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters on Tuesday, October 24. He said that It is important to also recognise the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum. The Palestinian people have been […]

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cricket

Sunday, November 5th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga We all love cricket which gave us a place in the sun in the world of cricket and also brought us fame and money. We are saddened at the shocking performance of our team and angry with the cricket administration. For a county which was once a world cup winner and runner up […]

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Indian IIT

Thursday, October 19th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga It is good news that the President is keen on establishing a branch of an Indian IIT in Kandy. It appears that Prime Minister Modi has agreed to support the Chennai IIT to launch the project. It is never too late, but the President should not consider that one IIT is the panacea […]

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Enter IMF-EXIT Democracy

Friday, October 6th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga Lessons from History Let us revisit that historic conjuncture of the early 1980s. The military dictatorships were collapsing not only because of internal resistance but also because key external actors such as the United States, European Union, the World Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF) withdrew their support from them. Now, one of […]

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Theoretical Justification of the Neo Liberal doctrine of the IMF

Saturday, September 30th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga When the Mont Pelerin Society first met, in 1947, its political project did not have a name. But it knew where it was going. The society’s founder, Friedrich von Hayek, remarked that the battle for ideas would take at least a generation to win, but he knew that his intellectual army would attract […]

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IMF Blocks Repatriation of Export Proceeds

Thursday, September 7th, 2023

Vichara In December last year the Governor of the Central Bank appealed to exporters to repatriate export proceeds in full within the stipulated period. He does not want to bring in regulations to force them to do this on the argument that will deter foreign investment. A think tank of Peradeniya University has pointed out […]

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Need for A Windfall Tax

Friday, September 1st, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga In recent times there were many instances where unscrupulous business houses have made massive scandalous profits in trade or on investments with the collusion of errant politicians and public agencies. Typical examples are the ill-gotten gains in the sugar scandal and the outrageous embezzlement in the Central Bank bond case. So far the […]

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International Education Center

Wednesday, August 30th, 2023

Sugath kulatunga. A few days back the media reported that the Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Paul Stephens revealed that the Australian government has put forward a new proposal to establish Sri Lanka as a key international education center. He had stated that by launching of Sri Lanka as an international educational center, the […]

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Special Referenda at national intermediate level.

Monday, August 28th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga In our democracy the people can use the power of franchise in selecting a government only once in 5 years unless the Parliament is dissolved earlier. In between elections the voice of the people is muted. This makes people to resort to enraged demonstrations and Aragalayas. The government also takes decisions on conjecture. […]

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Overhaul the system of Education.

Sunday, August 20th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga  A few days back the President stated that the education system has to be radically changed to meet the skills essential for the future development needs of the country. It is most encouraging that the President has become enlightened in such a critical need at least now after more than for long decades. […]

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COMMENTS ON THE SPEECH OF THE PRESIDENT

Sunday, August 13th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga ( Text of the speech is in ITALICS and the comments are in smaller fonts) 1.… we recently organized an all-party conference, which saw participation from representatives of various political parties, for which I am appreciative.  However, during the conference, we couldn’t arrive at a comprehensive agreement on power devolution. In the Sinhala […]

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RANDOM Comments

Tuesday, August 8th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga Crisis Management: The present crisis in Uda Walave of the inability to provide water not only for irrigation but even for household use is tragic. But what is more tragic is the typical pollical game of passing the buck by our political leaders which is deplorable. They do not seem to realize that […]

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Import Liberalization

Friday, August 4th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga The opposition has awakened from their slumbers on the recent liberalization of food and fruits and vegetables. Any person who had read the IMF staff papers and the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) signed by the President and the Governor Central Bank which sets out the specific plans and policies that […]

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Merrill J Fernando

Monday, July 24th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga Merrill Fernando the pioneer of branded teas and the creator of the internationally recognized Dilmah Tea is no more. With his demise there has been a number of articles of appreciation in the media. In his path of triumph, he had to face many problems both in the market and on the domestic […]

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EDUCATION POLICY

Tuesday, July 11th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga Sri Lanka does not possess an abundance of physical resources for large-scale industrial development but is blessed with ample human resources. It is on this comparative advantage that the country has to develop its economy. Education is the driving force with which the optimal benefit could be derived from this rare advantage and […]

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