Thursday 17th April 2014

Gandhi in Asterix land, a story for these times!

Published : 12:00 am  March 21, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS  |  7 Comments  |  1,637 views  |  
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“When Gandhi was studying law at the University College of London, there was a professor, whose last name was Peters, who felt animosity for Gandhi, and because Gandhi never lowered his head towards him, their “arguments” were very common. One day, Mr. Peters was having lunch at the dining room of the University and Gandhi came along with his tray and sat next to the professor. The professor, in his arrogance, said, “Mr. Gandhi: You do not understand… a pig and a bird do not sit together to eat,” to which Gandhi replies, “You do not worry professor, I’ll fly away,” and he went and sat at another table. Mr. Peters, green of rage, decides to take revenge on the next test,... 

“Politics needs professionals”: Nawas Musthaffa

Published : 12:00 am  March 21, 2014  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu, COLUMNS  |  1 Comment  |  447 views  |  
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Nawas Musthaffa, Western Provincial Council candidate of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress, says people are willing to elect fresh candidates with a strong professional background and a proven track record regardless of established party loyalties. “Professionals like me can play a role if elected. My professional exposure and could be put to best use if I am elected to represent the Western Provincial administration,” he said, in an interview with the Daily FT. Following are excerpts: Q: You are a freshman in politics. Who are you and what is your background? A: This may be the first time I am contesting, but I am not a freshman in politics. I hail from a political family. My father is a former... 

The power of teamwork

Published : 12:00 am  March 21, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  347 views  |  
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I was watching the 4×100 men’s relay of 2004 Olympics, live on the television. A few days earlier the 100 metres event was held. Justine Gatlin of USA came first and the legendary Morris Green of USA came third. Shawn Crawford of USA, who was the gold medallist of the 200m, came fourth. In the relay team of USA in addition to these men, there was another person called Coby Miller. The British team was comprised of four average persons. Everyone thought that the USA team would win. I was shocked to see that the British team won the game. I was even more shocked to watch the lousy baton change of the US team. At the end of the event a journalist interviewed the US team. They were giving... 

The inglorious self-goal

Published : 12:26 am  March 20, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS, Dharisha Bastians  |  3 Comments  |  994 views  |  
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So perfectly orchestrated and precisely timed, the detention of human rights campaigners in Sri Lanka over the past week almost looks like internal sabotage to ruin the country’s faltering chances at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva   Here’s a mid-week riddle: What do the Tamil widow Balendran Jeyakumari, activists Ruki Fernando, Father Praveen Mahesan and Sri Lanka’s Justice Minister have in common? They all chose to engage with international human rights mechanisms, including UN rights Chief Navi Pillay. And now they are paying for it. Since her explosive press conference at the UN compound in Colombo, a recurring theme of Navi Pillay’s remarks on the situation in Sri Lanka... 

Sri Lanka in Geneva: Frozen in fixed positions

Published : 12:00 am  March 20, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  378 views  |  
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  With almost exactly a week to go before a crucial vote in Geneva, Sri Lanka seems very much on the back foot. While William Hague, the Foreign Secretary of the UK, makes a direct appeal to the readers of ‘The Hindu,’ presenting four points in support of his country’s call for an ‘international mechanism,’ his counterpart Prof. G.L. Peiris busies himself addressing a series of meetings, not in the member states of the UNHRC but in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Prof. Peiris should rebut each one of the four points and go on to ask his counterpart, in print, in the world’s quality press, whether the failure to conclude inquiries for 28 years into Bloody Sunday indicated... 

BIMSTEC: Sri Lanka’s next FTA?

Published : 12:00 am  March 20, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  358 views  |  
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  The third BIMSTEC Heads of Government Summit concluded on 14 March in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, where very significant decisions were taken in order to accelerate economic growth and social progress in the sub-region. The theme of this third BIMSTEC Heads of Government Summit was ‘Partnership for Harmony and Prosperity’. The hallmark of the BIMSTEC was the initiative of creating free trade area amongst the member countries and expanding it to other countries and regional trade blocs. The declaration of third BIMSTEC Heads of Government emphasises that the leaders decided to move forward towards finalisation of the draft Agreement on Trade in goods with agreed general rules of origin and... 

Schools rugby is back in a new format

Published : 12:00 am  March 20, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  242 views  |  
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The club rugby season has come to an end and the school rugby season is about to begin. The school teams have been placed in two groups in the ‘A’ division. Presumably there is a rationale behind such a classification. The segregation is as follows: Each team will compete within their respective group in the division for the first round. After the completion of the first round, the top four teams in each group will qualify for the second round where the top four teams in one group will play against the top four teams in the other group. The team with the highest points aggregate at the end of the second round will be declared the League winners. The four teams in Division “A” that fail... 

Social impact: The new business benchmark

Published : 12:00 am  March 19, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  516 views  |  
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“Someday people like me will end up in jail for plundering the Earth” – Ray Anderson, American  industrialist For most companies, it’s that time of the year when finance directors show their true colours. Everybody is busy reporting this and that. Narratives are being written for the glossy, heavy, high ‘carbon foot-printed’ annual reports. Among them are the CSR and sustainability stories. I find it quite amusing that companies still spend millions of rupees on ‘printing’ annual reports, annually. It’s doubly amusing that there are competitions to select the best out of those annual reports! Instead of using paper and toxic ink, wouldn’t it be far more effective if they... 

“Contesting alone is the SLMC’s political strategy”

Published : 12:00 am  March 19, 2014  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu, COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  785 views  |  
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Affirms SLMC is part of Govt.; cannot take decisions contrary to Govt.’s political position “If the President does not want our Leader, he can always remove him. But that cannot be held as the point at which the party is expected to keep its mouth shut,” said Sri Lanka Muslim Council Deputy Secretary General Nizam Kariapper. Kariapper, who is also the Mayor of Kalmunai Municipal Council, pointed out: “We joined this Government on invitation. We did not barge in; neither did we canvass a post for ourselves. The day that the Government decides that the actions of my Leader are tolerable and it is time for us to leave, we are ready to leave. It is up to the Government to take up a position.” Accepting... 

How powerful brands can support Sri Lanka

Published : 1:01 am  March 18, 2014  |  Category: Rohantha Athukorala  |  Leave a Comment  |  797 views  |  
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On Sunday, Sri Lanka saw a new chapter unfolding with Femina Miss India staging a part of the pageant in Sri Lanka presented by Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts that received attention the world over, triggering a positive buzz about Sri Lanka. My mind went back to the words of Simon Anholt who mentioned if a country doesn’t like its image – and most countries don’t – then the only way to change, update, enhance or otherwise influence that image is through the things the country does, not by the things it says. Influencing a country’s reputation is primarily a matter of policy, strategy, innovation and investment over a very long period – it has nothing to do with logos, slogans, advertising... 

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