India chooses: But what will happen when it is the thinking of 2 leading economists being put to vote?

Published : 1:42 am  April 16, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, W. A. Wijewardena  |  2 Comments  |  3,301 views  |  
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Two contenders for leadership with stark differences India, the world’s supposed-to-be the-largest democracy if one goes by the number of voters, is now in the process of choosing its next leadership. The two leading contenders have stark differences. The incumbent government party, United Progressive Alliance or UPA, is led by young Cambridge University MPhil Degree holder Rahul Gandhi, an heir of the famous Nehru-Gandhi family born to rule the country. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP is led by a commoner, one-time canteen runner at a bus terminal and a street-educated politician, Narendra Modi, commonly known in India now as ‘Namo’. Modi v Rahul becoming Bhagwati v Sen But... 


Published : 1:45 am  April 11, 2014  |  Category: Hilmy Cader, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  943 views  |  

The joint initiative of Dialog and Etisalat for the mobile money platform is a classic example of co-opetition – whereby conventional competitors, motivated by their consumer needs and commercial synergies, decide to co-operate while still competing on other fronts. (Coincidentally this was highlighted in my previous column on the learnings from the Royal Thomian!) Contrast this with what happen in Sri Lanka’s insurance industry a few years back. Two of the major players started ‘attacking’ each other via a highly egoistic advertising campaign. Imagine if these funds (which finally the policyholder pays for!) were used to ‘Ad-ucate’ non-insurance users and expand the market size,... 

Should State protect Buddhism as a Constitutional provision?

Published : 12:00 am  April 11, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Harsha Gunasena  |  11 Comments  |  6,900 views  |  
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For a long time as a nation we have been talking about a new constitution in place of the existing Constitution of 1978. During the time of President Kumaratunga, a new constitution was drafted and she was not able to get it approved by the Parliament. Recently the United National Party also has proposed the basic elements of a constitution and it was said that they were in the process of discussing with various stakeholders to get their views in order to draft the Constitution. Rev. Maduluwawe Sobhitha wants to become the common candidate of the Opposition at the next presidential elections if there is no one else to be the common candidate, with the sole intention of abolishing the executive... 

A visa, a vote and realities

Published : 12:00 am  April 11, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  3 Comments  |  1,208 views  |  
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“I have been to England so many times! But that is no consideration when it comes to visa formalities at the embassy. The number of questions they ask you is unbelievable! How much money do you earn, how much do you spend in a month? You have to answer all kinds of trick questions and then await a password to proceed to the next stage. My computer knowledge is only basic. After all I am only a housewife! This process is so taxing and so appalling!” The elderly lady was indignant. Her aging face turned dark with anger at the memory of the humbling experience. A protected childhood, educated at a prestigious Christian girls’ school in Colombo, early marriage to an up-and-coming young man... 

“Rajapaksa regime is sponsoring extremist groups for its survival”

Published : 12:00 am  April 11, 2014  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu, Columnists  |  4 Comments  |  7,505 views  |  
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The Bodu Bala Sena and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress are extremists sponsored by the Rajapaksa regime to create tension among communal groups for the survival of the Government, says Mujeebur Rahman, Member of the Western Provincial Council. “These extremist groups don’t care about the Sinhalese or the Muslims and their existence is purely for political benefit. Now that the war is over, they want to create some tension in order to keep the extremist votes with the Government,” Rahman points out. Rahman, who is also the United National Party Co-organiser for Colombo Central, speaks about the UNP’s victory and the Government’s defeat at the recently-concluded provincial council elections.... 

The evolution of computing and innovation of technology

Published : 12:59 am  April 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  910 views  |  
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In the early 1880s Herman Hollerith created a device to help automate the United States of America’s census process. It was the punch-card tabulator. The idea was simple but brilliant. By punching a series of holes in paper, information about a certain population could be stored. For example a hole in a predefined location in the paper would indicate that a family had two children. Seeing the advantage of such a process, the Census Bureau put Hollerith’s machine to good use in the 1890s census. This new phenomena improved the tallying procedure, making it much more quicker for the Bureau to tabulate the census taken than it had in the 1880 round, even though the country’s population had... 

Procuring our way out of existence!

Published : 12:53 am  April 10, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  6,933 views  |  
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This column is a humble attempt to open up our minds to the fact though we are in the 21st century with so many technological opportunities, some of our internal processes are still archaic. When making economic progress, what really matters is our competitive substance and system innovation capabilities. However the exact needs perhaps are not exactly understood by the practical system constructs which are applicable today especially within the public sector. We have not been able to adopt by way of operational adjustments to the technical innovations that surround us. A case in point is rules and pathways in current logistics and public procurement systems, which is one area that needs definite... 

Jinxing the game

Published : 12:48 am  April 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians  |  1 Comment  |  2,272 views  |  
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“Our cricket embodied everything in our lives, our laughter and tears, our hospitality our generosity, our music, our food and drink. It was normality and hope and inspiration in a war-ravaged island. In it was our culture and heritage, enriched by our myriad ethnicities and religions. In it we were untouched, at least for a while, by petty politics and division. It is indeed a pity that life is not cricket” – Kumar Sangakkara, MCC Spirit of Cricket Lecture, 2011   President Mahinda Rajapaksa is a true Sri Lankan hero in many respects. As the Head of Sri Lanka’s first post-war Government, the Mahinda Rajapaksa story evokes much political romanticism. The quintessential ‘ape miniha,’... 

A review of the working of Provincial Councils: Legislative powers

Published : 12:00 am  April 9, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  1 views  |  
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The 13th Amendment Article 154C says: “Executive power extending to the matters with respect to which a Provincial Council has power to make statutes shall be exercised by the Governor of the Province for which that Provincial Council is established, either directly or through Ministers of the Board of Ministers, or through officers subordinate to him, in accordance with Article 154F.” The principles that underlay the 13th Amendment were based on the Westminster system. But the 1978 Constitution established a hybrid form of government where the principle of separation of powers required of an Executive Presidential form of government was not adhered to. Instead, the Executive arm of the... 

Team effort and execution of a game plan

Published : 12:14 am  April 8, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  805 views  |  
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Pardon me to digress from my regular rhetoric on Rugby to Cricket. After 18 years we stand once again basking in glory as we are crowned T20 champions of the world. There were a couple of standout items during the entire tournament. There was the issue of player contracts at the start and despite that the team kept its focus. When the chips were down and we needed a miraculous effort, Herath provided the same in only his first game of the tournament. Without that stupendous performance SL would have been on an early flight home. The decision of the Skipper to stand down in order to maintain the balance of the team is something that we all need to be proud of. As much as the jokes that were doing... 

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