Democracy is many things

Published : 12:11 am  June 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  455 views  |  
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“Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many, for appointment by the corrupt few” – George Bernard Shaw Many a visitor to this island has observed the overwhelming power of the State as reflected in the armed strength displayed so openly. In a relatively peaceful country, where the possession of a firearm is strictly controlled, the armed forces act as if anticipating a ‘high noon’ at any moment. Even when investigating the most trivial offence it is not unusual for the Police to arrive at the scene of the crime, armed as if to do battle with a small army. The bodyguard provided for various politicians and high officials of the State are so teeth-rattling fearsome that they... 


Suppressive supervision

Published : 12:00 am  June 9, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  522 views  |  
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“People do not leave organisations, they leave their bosses”. I have heard this many a time here and abroad. The harsh truth is that there is something not so right with regards to supervision. In fact, there are subtle and suppressive ways a supervisor can make an employee’s life miserable. Let’s discuss how suppressive supervision is relevant to Sri Lankan organisations. Overview What is suppressive supervision? As the name suggests, it does harm to the employees. Suppressive supervision has been typically described as “subordinates” perceptions of the extent to which their supervisors engage in the sustained display of hostile verbal and nonverbal behaviour, excluding physical... 


Sri Lanka’s Governance Scorecard: The declining indicators should ring warning bells for everyone

Published : 12:00 am  June 9, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, W. A. Wijewardena  |  3 Comments  |  5,563 views  |  
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Real growth should improve quality of life All countries aspire to attain high economic growth in the belief that high growth will improve the welfare of the people. For instance, Sri Lanka’s avowed economic goal has been to double the per capita income or PCI from $ 2,000 six years ago to $ 4,000 by 2015 and increase the size of its economy from $ 67 billion in 2013 to $ 100 billion by 2016. These are noble goals since they make available a bigger volume of material goods and services to people on average if one ignores the disparity among different segments in society in the sharing of that high material prosperity. The presence of disparities tarnishes the quality of growth. Issues relating... 


Amalgamation: Where ignorance is bliss

Published : 12:00 am  June 9, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Financial Services  |  Leave a Comment  |  554 views  |  
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  A blending and fusion of two companies and continuance as a single company It is evident that there is much ambiguity and ignorance looming in the business circles and statutory authorities in Sri Lanka with regard to the concept of amalgamation. This article demystifies and sheds light on the concept as the exact legal nature thereof is of paramount importance in determining the associated tax consequences   Modes of combining companies Perhaps an apposite beginning to the analysis would be the judicial dicta pronounced by the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of R. vs. Black & Decker Manufacturing Co. “There are various ways in which companies can be put together. The... 


Game of Thrones: Rajapaksa Regime Mark III

Published : 12:00 am  June 7, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  3 Comments  |  1,070 views  |  
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The news, based on an exclusive interview – that Gotabaya Rajapaksa may formally enter mainstream politics by contesting Colombo at the parliamentary election (Deshaya and Daily FT) casts a significant light – some may say shadow – on the character of the regime as it will emerge recomposed after that election which will almost certainly be in the first quarter of 2015. The declaration of willingness by Gotabaya Rajapaksa to toss his hat into the ring is a response to two factors; a challenge and an imperative – secession and succession. It is a combination of intra-clan dynamics, the logical progression of the increasing influence of the security establishment, and above all, an entirely... 


What is the scope of national reconciliation?

Published : 12:00 am  June 6, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  562 views  |  
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People, including scholars, are talking about national reconciliation in Sri Lanka. They are blindly following the transitional justice model proposed by Western scholars to deal generally with post conflict situations. They say former enemies may have a long history of violence between them and may find themselves faced with the challenge of implementing a new negotiated structure for the future management of their differences. They then argue that one of the biggest obstacles to such future cooperation is that, because of the violence of the past, their relations are based on antagonism, distrust, disrespect, hurt and hatred. But how true is this in the case of the Sri Lankan context? No personal... 


The Saints go marching in

Published : 12:00 am  June 6, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, Columnists, Sports  |  1 Comment  |  565 views  |  
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Local rugby After last week’s rolling maul lesson by the Royalists, the Petes take on traditional rivals the Josephians in the 44th battle for the Rev. Fr. Basil Wiratunga memorial shield. The Joes have on and off played some good rugby but with no real level of consistency. Their levels of skill need loads of improvement, but in their favour is their attitude. Given a sniff they will grab it with both hands, and are considered great spoilers, not in the bad sense and opportunists. However these are not adequate in the modern game, and thus the Petes should not have much difficulty against them. The Petes too are far from being a settled side, and are very much a ‘work in progress’ as... 


Tower apartments for slum dwellers

Published : 12:00 am  June 6, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  833 views  |  
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Recently, the foundation stone was laid for the redevelopment of lands in Slave Island – formerly occupied by low-income settlements – as an undertaking by the Indian giant ‘Tata Housing’ with a proposed investment of $ 430 million. The Government claimed that the project, having accumulated nearly 500 small land plots for development, is the first of its kind. Prior to the event, a number of newspaper articles featured the Government’s program; however, spokesmen for Opposition parties and articles by local organisations with foreign connections were highly critical of the resettlement process. Colonial era housing During early British times, urban Colombo stretched from Port to Mattakkuliya,... 


The last coffin to the cemetery!

Published : 12:34 am  June 5, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  673 views  |  
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It is important to face reality and take appropriate measures if the situation so demands. However, in the absence of some sense prevailing it is equally important to put forward ‘the issue’ strongly so as to receive attention and to indicate growing despair on observing business as usual while ignoring all signs of a growing crisis. What a better time than the week when we all across the globe would be celebrating or reminiscing on our environment – hopefully with right intentions? It is also taking place at a time when Mother Nature in our country has unleashed her brute force towards some of our communities in quite a few locations and has already claimed many lives.                       We... 


The uncommon problem

Published : 12:27 am  June 5, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion  |  4 Comments  |  1,363 views  |  
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“You don’t want to run the risk of sclerosis in a democratic society. You want to keep the blood running. You don’t want to get the idea that any country…is dependent on any one person. You look at a lot of these dictators that have been deposed in the last few years…almost all of them at one time were young and idealistic and incredibly capable. And they really meant to do something good. They just kind of outstayed their welcome” – Former US President Bill Clinton on why presidential term limits are important, in an interview with CNN in September 2012 The die is cast, unofficially at least for a presidential election in January 2015.                   When... 


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