What happened in Monaragala?

Published : 12:00 am  July 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Rohantha Athukorala  |  2 Comments  |  981 views  |  
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Whilst the overall growth of the country is commendable, reaching 7.5% in the last four years and overall poverty being reported at 6.7%, I was quite surprised to see the performance of Monaragala District, where the poverty level has increased to 20.8% in 2012/13 from the 14.5% registered in 2009/10. The first thing is to confirm if this data is correct and if so why this has happened given the focus by many private sector companies in setting up BPOs and agricultural projects in the Monaragala District. Inclusive growth? Tracking back to a Poverty Alleviation Conference I attended in ADB headquarters in Manila, Inclusive Growth (IG) was defined as all sectors of the economy contributing to... 

Rev. Dr. Walpola Rahula: Trailblazer in Sri Lanka’s university education

Published : 12:00 am  June 30, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, W. A. Wijewardena  |  8 Comments  |  6,722 views  |  
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Contributions made by Rev. Dr. Walpola Sri Rahula to Buddhism, comparative religious studies and higher education in Sri Lanka and abroad are to be commemorated at a ceremony to be held at BMICH on 3 July by Reverend Walpola Sri Rahula Institute of Buddhist Education. Today’s My View is an appraisal of his path-breaking contributions to the management education at Sri Lanka’s universities. A man both hated and loved Reverend Dr. Walpola Rahula became the Vice Chancellor of the then Vidyodaya University of Ceylon in October 1966. He left the post abruptly in July 1969. The period he served as the Vice Chancellor was very short. But that was a period of extreme turbulence in Sri Lanka’s university... 

Crisis proliferation, state of siege and the coming crack-up

Published : 12:00 am  June 30, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  1,106 views  |  
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The crisis is proliferating by the week. Which will come first, the crack-up or the state of siege? Which is the egg and which the chicken? There are two ways in which a country, a nation state, is destroyed. One is by supra-state/supra-national forces, i.e. external forces of hegemonic interventionism. The other is by sub-state/sub-national forces i.e. internal forces of fragmentation. Sri Lanka is being destroyed by both, and the two are feeding off each other. Insofar as the Rajapaksa administration is unable to resist and defeat the first category, the external forces, by the correct foreign policy and diplomatic strategy), it is unable to defend the country from hegemonic external interventionism... 

Winning reflections of an HR professional

Published : 12:00 am  June 30, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  691 views  |  
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It was a moment of pride and pleasure. It was also a moment of confidence and conviction that I have made the right move in transitioning from “an engineer of electrical to an engineer of hearts and minds”. This is definitely not a monkey praising its own tail. Neither is it an attempt for self-glorification. What my intent is to reflect as an HR professional and also as (most probably) the youngest winner of the IPM Lifetime Gold Award 2014. Overview The Institute of Personnel Management (IPM) has been having this cherished tradition of awarding the Lifetime Gold Award to an outstanding HR professional annually in conjunction with its National HR Conference. It can be regarded as the highest... 

A new world… old battles

Published : 3:41 am  June 27, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  706 views  |  
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Once I read a story about a butcher in England, who in order to hurt his only rival in the same town began to convert the town folk to vegetarianism! I was reminded of this story when reading about the closure of Muslim-owned businesses last week as a mark of protest. No trader will like to close his business, especially when there are other competitors on the field. Such things happen only when irrationality takes over. As history has repeatedly shown us, sectarian conflicts, whether racial or religious, is pure insanity. It is with profound sadness that we read about the troubles between the Muslims and some Sinhalese in certain parts of the country. With the end of the war against LTTE terrorism,... 

Striking the match

Published : 12:14 am  June 26, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion  |  7 Comments  |  3,104 views  |  
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Hardline monks did not riot or burn in Aluthgama and Beruwala last Sunday night. They just struck the match upon their platforms and watched the towns burn “They hold harthals now even for small, small incidents. When the LTTE was killing all communities indiscriminately, nobody held harthals” – President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport on Sunday, 22 June    As the politically-aware citizenry reels from the shock and horror of a 21st century ethno-religious riot, much of the despair stems from the knowledge that the horror of Aluthgama was a long time coming   Inside the Welipitiya mosque premises, the floors and walls of the little... 

Lies, deception and hypocrisy is the religion of the politician

Published : 12:02 am  June 25, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  3 Comments  |  1,224 views  |  
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The great virtue of liberal democracy is that, unlike totalitarian states, they require transparency, accountability, and trust between representatives and the represented. The use of secrecy, lies and deception are more characteristic of authoritarian regimes past or present. Mussolini, who hired the killer who killed the Serb king in the 1930s, attended his funeral and wept profusely. Hitler set fire to the Reichstag (the German Parliament) and put the blame on the Communists. Every misfortune or mishap he blamed on the Jews and fabricated evidence to support his contention. Stalin used to talk of the imperialist conspiracy against the former Soviet Union log after the Revolutionary War was... 

Ramya Weerakoon: Triumph through tragedy

Published : 12:01 am  June 25, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Leadership, Marianne David  |  2 Comments  |  1,444 views  |  
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Listening to Ramya Weerakoon as she tells her tale of triumph through tragedy, it is obvious that she is a woman who was determined to succeed, no matter what. Seated in her Kadawatha office, Ramya is perfectly turned out and speaks ever-so-softly, but her strength and determination shines through. Ramya, who recently turned 70, was widowed at an early age. Her late husband Major Noel Weerakoon was the first officer of the Sri Lanka Army to be killed in action. He was shot while heading a special mission to Anuradhapura, transporting weapons and leading a contingent of soldiers to maintain law and order over the civil unrest in the North Central Province. Noel was ambushed by the insurgents and... 

Pathana, a class act throughout the season

Published : 12:00 am  June 25, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, Columnists, Sports  |  Leave a Comment  |  690 views  |  
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If KCK had entertained any thoughts of a win against the marauding green army, they vaporised pretty quickly at the Havies on Sunday. For a brief period of time they threatened similar to the fickle weather that Colombo has been experiencing over past few weeks. Pathana were cool, calm and collected and played as if they were out for a stroll in the park. The fact that they were playing on home turf, with their alma mater just a stone’s throw away must have made them feel extremely comfortable. Pathana does not boast of any big stand out names but they play as a single cohesive unit, with each one appreciating the skill of the other and enjoying the game taking the good with the bad in their... 

Government rushes in where angels fear to tread

Published : 12:00 am  June 25, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Harsha Gunasena, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  1,390 views  |  
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In July 1983, Tamils who were residing in predominantly-Sinhala areas were attacked systematically. Although it was not proved beyond any doubts, the attack was planned by the forces behind the Government. Attackers were not simply emotional. The attacks were spearheaded by a systematic and planned emotion, which was followed by mass-scale idiotic emotion. There was evidence that the attackers were having lists of the targeted homes and shops of the Tamils. People from Colombo were involved in the attacks on cities outside Colombo. It was also evident that the attacks were directed against economic targets as well. One reason may be that the persons who were behind the attacks were jealous of... 

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