Bharat’s Pradhan Sevak

Published : 2:59 am  September 2, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  662 views  |  
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Modi speaks on India’s 67th Independence Day Politicians, especially populist ones, campaign in poetry and govern with prose. Most times it with a repressive and harsh prose that they govern. This has not happened yet in India, but in the build-up to the traditional address to the nation from the ramparts of Delhi’s 17th century Mughal era Red Fort, the feeling was that the inspiring poetry of the Modi tsunami, which swept the cow belt in Bharat and showed a strong performance in other areas to enable the BJP to have an absolute majority in India’s lower house of Parliament, was fast turning into dull prose. In the election campaign, the Modi rhetoric was all about sweeping market reforms... 

Carriers to blank sailings for China’s Golden Week

Published : 12:00 am  September 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Shipping / Aviation  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,387 views  |  
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Carriers to blank sailings for China’s Golden Week Carriers in the east-west head-haul trades may opt to cancel fewer sailings this year in response to reduced volumes of China during the country’s Golden Week holiday in early October. The reason is that despite volumes that significantly fall off during the national holiday week, which will be 2-7 October this year, or week 41, 2014 overall is a stronger year in the head-haul east-west trades, making carriers possibly more hesitant to cancel or ‘blank’ scheduled sailings out of China to Europe and the US.   But it’s a high-wire act, or sorts, because if carriers misjudge the market and keep too much tonnage on the water, they may... 

Creative minds of writers can predict the future

Published : 12:00 am  September 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, W. A. Wijewardena  |  1 Comment  |  5,307 views  |  
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The Little Red Book of Authoritarian Regimes and the Green Book response by global powersAt the launch of ‘Asirimath Greesiya’ or ‘Wonder that is Greece’ by dramatist-novelist Ranjith Dharmakeerthi last week in Colombo, Colombo University’s senior Don Sarath Wijesoriya, who introduced the book to the audience, drew its attention to a short story written by Dharmakeerthi some 20 years ago. The short story titled ‘A man who has become isolated’ is wound around a writer who is being interviewed by a journalist to get his views on the year just past. It was a series of questions and answers relating to a wide spectrum of topics. About artistes, the writer says they are a group of sycophants... 

Revitalising public service performance

Published : 12:00 am  September 1, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  696 views  |  
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I am happy to be a part of a small but significant step in developing a new performance appraisal mechanism for the Sri Lankan public sector. It is jointly developed by the Public Services Commission (PSC) and the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM). We have started a pilot run with more than 10 organisations.  Today’s column is all about that endeavour with prospects and pitfalls. Overview Performance appraisals are not uncommon to Sri Lankan public service. How it is currently done is the question. In Sri Lanka, measuring of individual employee performance had been introduced by a Public Administration Initiative way back in 1998. The objective was to link the granting of annual increments... 

Ice Bucket Challenge: Is it the best use of ‘social energy’?

Published : 4:42 am  August 30, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Hilmy Cader  |  Leave a Comment  |  524 views  |  
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The ‘power’ of a great marketing idea going ‘viral’ was amply demonstrated by the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’. However, it also demonstrates the lack of effective strategy when it comes to social-cause marketing. Is this the most pressing socio-health challenge that the world faces today? Every year 1.5 million children die due to poor nutrition; 66 million children attend school hungry across the developing world; hunger kills more people than AIDS, TB and Malaria combined. In no way am I undermining those suffering from MND, instead highlighting the need to channel ‘social energies’ in a prioritised manner.  Read More →

Pitfalls in 5Ss and how to avoid them

Published : 1:45 am  August 29, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  541 views  |  
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After many years of experience in the manufacturing industries and successful implementation of lean practices in 55 companies, and five national hospitals, I decided to share my experiences regarding common pitfalls in 5Ss and how to avoid them. It is with gratitude I recall the opportunities afforded to me by Japan Sri Lanka technical and Cultural Association and the Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (AOTS) Japan. The training in Japan and the expert guidance that helped me to enhance my own potential and make a positive contribution to improve productivity is appreciated very much. Collectively along with my clients we were able to raise the standard of the 5S system in Sri Lanka.... 

Board composition and criteria for board appointments

Published : 1:39 am  August 29, 2014  |  Category: Dinesh Weerakkody, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  895 views  |  
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Today’s banking industry is constantly being buffeted by waves of M&A, regulatory and technological challenges. The increased regulatory burden and related costs impact every financial institution in both the approach to doing business and the expense of doing business. The industry is in transition, with many challenges ahead. As a result, there has never been a greater need for well functioning, informed and upright boards of directors. There has also never been a more important time for board members to keep in mind that their responsibilities go beyond the institution they serve. To achieve long-term value for shareholders, bank boards would need to look for ways to strengthen their... 

Echo chamber symphonies

Published : 12:00 am  August 28, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion  |  11 Comments  |  4,143 views  |  
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With repeated reassurances by side players in the international arena, it is no wonder the Government was  surprised by the TNA’s visit to New Delhi and its audience with the Indian Premier    The TNA delegation with Prime Minister Modi at his office in New Delhi    Subramanian Swamy Subramanian Swamy is the new celebrity in Sri Lanka. In the capital, he travels in tinted jeeps with a security detail, presumably because he has been a vocal critic of the LTTE. Swamy is mobbed by reporters eager to hear his views on Indo-Lanka relations and the Tamil issue. He is afforded lengthy television and print interviews, in which he never minces his words. He is vociferously anti-Tamil... 

From greed to green: A change imperative to the economy

Published : 12:00 am  August 28, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  735 views  |  
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   Green growth was the idea that was pushed out at Rio+20. Sri Lankans were there and we must have said yes to the conference communiqué. A lot is expected from the teams once they are back in their home territory It is interesting to analyse our behaviours, needs and aspirations within the current economic system. A simple analysis without much emotional attachments may reveal that we are really keen on more of everything. The more you have, the more you are respected by society and this ‘more’ really means material things. We have listened too much to the ‘Material Girl’. If we have missed in this area of pop culture, the tele-dramas usually reinforce the concept ‘if... 

‘People’s power’ for the public good?

Published : 12:00 am  August 27, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  3 Comments  |  789 views  |  
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Some thoughts on the operation of ‘public trust’ in our Republic…     The people vest their power in “public trust”, temporarily on a government Whilst returning to the island from vacation having experienced firsthand how some in our Asian region have managed to maintain the balance of sovereign power to better serve their peoples to a relatively high degree, a headline in the local paper caught my eye: JVP Leader Anura Dissanayake, MP’s question on irregular appointments to the Diplomatic Corp. This immediately invoked a ‘polisocionomic’ thought process – are we Sri Lankans truly the beneficiaries of the exercise of our sovereign power? Article 3 of the Constitution... 

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