Tea: Link producers with exporters?

Published : 12:41 am  July 8, 2014  |  Category: Opinion, Rohantha Athukorala  |  Leave a Comment  |  723 views  |  
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The Ministry of Finance and Planning Annual Report of 2013 states that Sri Lanka’s tea industry generates over $ 1.5 billion in revenue to Sri Lanka, whilst provides almost a million jobs to the economy. Though privatised business of the industry generates only 35% to the total production of the country, it drives the sector with modern management technique infusion and value chain development with some companies out beating global international brands in the local market that indicate the talent base in the industry. Tipping point If one were to go back in time, we can see that the gap between the Cost of Production (COP) and Net Sales Average (NSA) was 9.4% in 2001. Over time due to varied... 


Pathana aiming for the triple

Published : 12:00 am  July 7, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, Columnists, Sports  |  Leave a Comment  |  321 views  |  
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Round up The schools knockout rounds are in their final stages. Whether the same has evoked the level of interest and excitement that it should is debatable. Maybe the FIFA World Cup and the Wimbledon has had an adverse effect. As anticipated Pathana played quality rugby and progressed to semi-final with ease. As I write they are to take on giant killers Science College who downed a struggling Petes outfit last week. As someone quipped, the Petes were scientifically dismantled and their track record of last gasp efforts in crunch games deserted them and they had no answer. Rugby has always been and will be a team game and whilst brilliant individuals win games, quality and consistent teams win... 


Mind over matter: ‘Five S’ revisited

Published : 12:00 am  July 7, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  551 views  |  
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Better housekeeping, higher orderliness, enhance productivity are some of the ways the benefits of a popular approach called ‘five S’ have been described. It is no stranger for the Sri Lankan workplace. I think it has much depth and breadth than that. Today’s column is an attempt to go one step ahead in calling it ‘Five S for the mind’. Five S in a nutshell “Five S” originated in Japan, and stands for five Japanese words that start with the letter ‘S’: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke. An equivalent set of five ‘S’ words in English have likewise been adopted by many, to preserve the “Five S” acronym in English usage. These are: Sort, Set, Shine, Standardise,... 


European Commission extends antitrust exemption

Published : 12:00 am  July 7, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Shipping / Aviation  |  Leave a Comment  |  564 views  |  
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European Commission extends antitrust exemption Despite opposition from shippers, the European Union has extended by five years an antitrust exemption for liner shipping consortia. The regulation, which will now run through April 2020, allow carriers with a combined market share below 30% to enter into cooperation agreements to provide joint cargo services. The European Commission, the EU’s executive agency, said that following a public consultation, it “concluded that the exemption has worked well, providing legal certainty to agreements which bring benefits to customers and do not unduly distort competition and that current market circumstances warrant a prolongation.” The extension... 


Central Bank does it again: Shoot the messenger while ignoring the message

Published : 12:00 am  July 7, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, W. A. Wijewardena  |  4 Comments  |  7,022 views  |  
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The heat-up of the debate on external debt sustainability is beneficial The Central Bank has renewed the public debate on Sri Lanka’s external debt sustainability by issuing a fresh clarification on 4 July through its Public Debt Department or PDD (available at www.cbsl.gov.lk/pics_n_docs/latest_news/press_20140704e.pdf). This is a salutary development since in democracies, the public has the right to express their views freely on action taken by authorities and the authorities have a responsibility to clarify their position on the issues raised. Those who serve in public authorities are not owners but trustees who hold their position in trusteeship to the public. This has been eloquently... 


Spilling the beans: Refresh relationships, connect better and transform your company performance

Published : 12:28 am  July 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Management  |  Leave a Comment  |  974 views  |  
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Conversations matter. Flip through any of the 20,000+ leadership books currently available on Amazon and you’d be hard-pressed to find one that doesn’t extol the virtues of good communication. Recent research puts a business twist to the tale; studies performed over the early 2000s show that companies with more effective communication strategies enjoy a 57% higher shareholder return compared to those whose techniques were less than ideal. In addition, separate research shows that such firms (regardless of whether they are public or private) registered a 30% increase in valuation over the first years of this century. Put simply: good leadership, and hence good business performance, rests on... 


Whitewashing saffron fascism

Published : 12:24 am  July 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  6 Comments  |  1,157 views  |  
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What is the role of the regime and state in a multiethnic, multilingual, multi-religious, multicultural i.e. pluralist setting and in a fraught, conflicted, actually or potentially violent situation? How should and how do the regime and state function? Are the UPFA regime and the State a neutral umpire –as it should be– between the constituent communities of Sri Lanka where all citizens are constitutionally equal, or are they a biased (“hora”) umpire? If the case is the latter do the rulers and state managers not know or care that there is an ‘action replay’ at work in the international system in the 21st century? Do the regime and the state apparatuses under its command,... 


American diplomacy and global challenges

Published : 12:00 am  July 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  543 views  |  
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Today, 4 July, is American Independence Day, during which Americans celebrate the adoption of the ‘Declaration of Independence’ on 4 July 1776, severing links with Great Britain. Independence Day is a grand celebration for Americans. The festive atmosphere is adorned with fireworks, street parades and performances, barbecues at family reunions and gatherings, carnivals, fairs and exhibitions, picnics, concerts, and baseball games. Those who cherish American values and accomplishments vent their feelings through political communications in the print and electronic media. The city mayors and the local and national politicians are busy delivering their political speeches outlining American democracy,... 


Aluthgama: A game without winners

Published : 12:40 am  July 3, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion  |  10 Comments  |  2,481 views  |  
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As sporadic attacks against the Muslim community continue two weeks after the Aluthgama riots and instigators of the vicious religious violence roam free, fingers are still pointed against the Government for inaction and complicity. Politically there can be no victors in this ugly ethno-religious game   The first dawn after the crescent moon sighting, which signalled the beginning of the Ramazan fasting season for Sri Lanka’s Muslim community this year, was marked by violence. It was the kind of shadowy, isolated attack that has been quietly besieging the Muslims of Sri Lanka for 18 long months, ever since the birth of the Bodu Bala Sena brought Sinhala Buddhist hardliners to the frontlines... 


Sri Lanka to digitalise TV broadcasting

Published : 12:00 am  July 3, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  1,410 views  |  
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In the midst of the digital revolution, the digitisation of terrestrial television broadcasting has become a worldwide trend. Broadcasters are now turning to digital technologies to reduce their operating costs and offer enhanced services to the public. Television broadcasting is a universal service and is an important infrastructure, which most people rely on as a source of information. It is therefore essential to make television more accessible to people in order to allow Sri Lanka to keep pace with the rest of the world. The Government aims to take dedicated efforts to achieve the complete digitisation of terrestrial television broadcasting, by adopting Japan’s Integrated Service Digital... 


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