De-politicising

Published : 1:47 am  December 23, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Hilmy Cader  |  1 Comment  |  467 views  |  
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If a country has an independent and competent civil service, there would be checks and balances on the politicians (be they blue, green or red!) and the business community. This trend has now permeated down to the corporate level, where the dividing line between ownership and management has gotten blurred; consequently we have witnessed many cases of compromised corporate governance. If this trend continues, there will be no difference between the conduct of politics and business! Time to ‘live’ true corporate governance, not putting on a show of awards!  Read More →


Choosing the captain

Published : 12:57 am  December 23, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  8 Comments  |  1,163 views  |  
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In October 1988, accepting the UNP nomination at the Sugathadasa Stadium, Ranasinghe Premadasa complained in a bitter, biting aside, that as Prime Minister he had enjoyed “the powers of a peon”. That status is about to change if the Opposition wins, because the Maithri manifesto makes clear that the centre of gravity of executive power will undergo a decisive structural shift from the presidency to the Parliament and the Cabinet. Thus Ranil Wickremesinghe is tipped to be the most powerful Prime Minister since Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike—far more powerful than the infinitely more deserving Premadasa was under President Jayewardene.                             If... 


Why has the reconciliation process taken a back seat?

Published : 12:02 am  December 23, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  459 views  |  
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With the defeat of the LTTE in 2009, the Government went about showcasing the military victory and personalised the victory among the key protagonists. The dissent or an alternative voice or even true reasoning which is quintessential to a healthy democracy was interpreted as being anathema to the true philosophy of the ruling class. It was unfortunate that free media came under severe pressure and journalists were unable to write freely because of fear of reprisals. There was an implied self-censorship, which is still prevalent even after five years of war victory. The war victory was turned into a political show piece and gradually ethnic reconciliation got buried.                           Sri... 


The nutrition crisis

Published : 12:01 am  December 23, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  436 views  |  
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Malnutrition, micronutrient deficiency and obesity The first Global Nutrition Report published recently by the International Food Policy Research Institute has brought out some startling facts on nutrition worldwide. A growing world economy has resulted in poverty being reduced worldwide. But the prevalence of undernourishment – a person eating too few calories to sustain an active life – has in fact fallen only by half the speed of poverty reduction. In 1990 around two billion people were classified as living in poverty. By 2013 this had been reduced to one billion. But in the same year, 1990 one billion people were malnourished – by 2013 this number was around 0.8 billion, a far lesser... 


Convocation as Commencement

Published : 12:00 am  December 22, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  563 views  |  
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I led the organising team for the graduation of 449 extraordinary managers at PIM’s largest convocation ever. That was a celebration of human imagination. We picked the theme as ‘Celebrating Richness of Human Imagination’. Convocation marks the end of one era and the beginning of another era of learning and application. Today’s column is a reflection of that transition. The annual Convocation of the Postgraduate Institute of Management   Overview As Aristotle said, the roots of education are bitter but the fruits are sweet. The convocation day was a time of tasting that sweetness. A good Master’s program should have high quality and relevance. That’s what we at PIM are continuously... 


Tumbling of crude oil prices: Economic laws say that this is a temporary phenomenon

Published : 12:00 am  December 22, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, W. A. Wijewardena  |  Leave a Comment  |  5,329 views  |  
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A drastic reduction in crude oil prices Crude oil prices in the world market have tumbled and they are still tumbling. The average price of the West Texas Intermediate category of crude oil stood at a level of $ 100 per barrel, which is equal to 159 litres a few months ago. It has now fallen to a level of $ 60 per barrel last week. This is practically a decline of 40% in an important commodity within a few months. Supply has grown faster than demand causing prices to fall. The price of any commodity falls mainly due to that commodity having an excess supply. An excess supply can occur due to a fall in demand or an increase in supply or both. In the present situation, when the Northern Hemisphere... 


Reshoring in Europe a concern for shipping

Published : 12:00 am  December 22, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  246 views  |  
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Reshoring in Europe a concern for shipping As reported in the Financial Times, companies in the eurozone are reshoring an increasing number of operations, despite the bloc’s stagnating economy. Off shoring must have been a no-brainer 10 to 15 years ago but the advantage is now less clear, said Johan Hawksworth, Chief Economist at PwC. In research by the management consultancy nearly two-thirds of 384 non-financial companies operating in the euro zone said they had re shored some activities during the past 12 months. Production operations were the biggest activity to have been relocated. Nearly half the companies said they planned to reshore activities in the next 12 months. Italian companies... 


Election 2015: Our choice

Published : 12:00 am  December 20, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  18 Comments  |  2,194 views  |  
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Given what we know of the Opposition’s declared strategy and policy at this stage, I am unconvinced that we should vote Mahinda Rajapaksa out. Change is necessary; even imperative. But what kind of change, where, when and to whom? There is a case for peaceful democratic regime change, but what has the current Rajapaksa regime to do with the decades older Executive Presidential system, which is a form of state? The current choice in Sri Lanka – and the answer to those crucial questions – is excruciatingly simple. On 10 December, International Human Rights Day, Sirisena addressed a civil society coalition and assured it (and the nationwide television audience) that he “was seeking... 


Common candidate has people’s support: Ravi

Published : 12:11 pm  December 19, 2014  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu, Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  999 views  |  
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Although the Government is trying to pit one against the other, the United National Party is united and will ensure that Maithripala Sirisena is made the President on 8 January, stressed United National Party Assistant Leader Ravi Karunanayaka, denying there is division among Party leaders in supporting the common candidate. He further stated that Muslim and Tamil voters have already endorsed Maithripala Sirisena. Following are excerpts from the interview:   Q: How would you describe the progress of the common candidate’s election campaign? A: It is progressing very decently from our side, amidst all the violence from the Government. Even though the Government tries to provoke us at all... 


Blondes and “crossovers”

Published : 12:00 am  December 18, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  772 views  |  
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There is this blonde out for a walk. She comes to a river and sees another blonde on the opposite bank. “Yoo-hoo” she calls out, “How can I get to the other side?” The second blonde looks up the river and then down the river and shouts back “You ARE on the other side” To the confused public observing the endless cross-overs and cross-backs occurring in the political arena in the run-up to the presidential elections, it must be like chancing on a conference of blondes, in this very tropical country!   Choreography of the drama perfected Whether they stand on this or the other side of the river seems to matter little to our politicians merrily changing parties. The choreography... 


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