Growth plan without social objectives is like an egg without salt

Published : 11:21 am  September 26, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  338 views  |  
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Chamber Economic Summit At the recent Chamber summit, two leading apostles of the ‘Mahinda Chinthana,’ the Governor of the Central Bank and the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, made excellent presentations. They were very complimentary of each other. The Governor said they were like batsmen rotating the strike. It was so different from the past, when it was more fun listening to them as they were kicking each other under the table. The new brotherly spirit is of course good for the country.   Economic performance They set out in great detail the very impressive economic achievements. All the key indicators were good. GDP growth was impressive, debt to GDP was moving in the right... 


Challenge of getting more women into leadership roles

Published : 12:52 am  September 25, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dinesh Weerakkody  |  4 Comments  |  822 views  |  
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Today despite all the hype, at the top, only 24 of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women, which is less than 5%. In Sri Lanka going by the Business Today Top Twenty Five Rankings for 12/13, it is less than 1%, which is clearly not a productive economic outcome. Socially, most business leaders want to treat gender equally and be gender-neutral when picking people for key jobs. It is the right thing to do. But, women are often and have historically been disadvantaged in those choices and not given an equal chance for those jobs. This situation could be due to the following; nWoman may not have had the experiences, training, or skills… because they were not in the workforce for a long period when compared... 


‘Man of the match’

Published : 12:10 am  September 25, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians  |  9 Comments  |  2,801 views  |  
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Never before has a winning party licked its wounds so defensively. Never before has a losing side been so jubilant in defeat. The Uva provincial election will be epoch-making in more ways than one. But for bringing his party back with a fighting chance, it is young Harin Fernando who should take the biggest bow. There is poetry surrounding discussions about the outcome of the Uva Provincial election in political circles. To begin with, there is poetry in the name: Uva-Wellassa, land of a hundred thousand rice fields, granary of the Kandyan kingdom, refuge of freedom fighters. The 1817 Uva rebellion was waged so ferociously against British rule that after the uprising was quelled, the colonial... 


Do not cry for us, Sri Lanka

Published : 12:07 am  September 25, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  600 views  |  
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Apologies to Evita, Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, etc., but you did really make Argentina famous through the line which I have paraphrased. Even though the initial view of placing Argentina to be a damper in the lyrics, this really did not happen and the song did its rounds and still does! Why ‘us’ instead of ‘me’ and what is the difference here? I am looking at the broader human resource issue in Sri Lanka, looking at it personally as well as collectively. Education, both formal and informal, is well connected to human resource development and consequently the nation. One can almost say that we do not have a strong education system today as sports and functions have taken over the time available... 


The fiasco at Tesco, and value of accountants and independent interim limited scope engagements

Published : 12:00 am  September 24, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  980 views  |  
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A colleague in the profession, now working in the UK, alerted me on Monday (22) morning, to a news item which she said was in the public domain. She did so because of its relevance to what I had discussed with her, more than a decade ago, articulating the value of inviting independent professionals/external auditors to perform reviews of interim financial statements, before they are released to the public. These are ordinarily undertaken as limited scope engagements, to add strength to, even a perceived to be robust, in house accounting and reporting infrastructure. Limited scope – non-opinion – engagements Having functioned as a Manager of Deloitte overseas while in my audit years, I had... 


Sri Lanka’s hub strategies reassessed

Published : 12:00 am  September 24, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  709 views  |  
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A hub is the central part of a wheel, rotating on or with the axle, and from which the spokes radiate Back in early 2010, I wrote about the hubs that were central to the UPFA election manifesto. At that time, the hub strategy was simply words in a manifesto. Four years later it is possible to assess progress and see what changes are needed. Colombo is at present India’s second largest container port, with more than 70% of its volume being Indian transhipment traffic. With the opening of the region’s only deep-water facility in 2013, its position as a maritime hub was strengthened. Yet, the Colombo Port’s role in the Indian transport system is not recognised in the NTPDC Report, in contrast... 


Chinese secret agenda?

Published : 12:01 am  September 23, 2014  |  Category: Opinion, Rohantha Athukorala  |  1 Comment  |  1,473 views  |  
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27 agreements signed between Sri Lanka and China in 2014 The recent visit by the Chinese President that chalked up $ 4 billion on projects was interesting, but a point to note is that the investment in India by the Chinese that was signed post the visit to Sri Lanka added to $ 90 billion, which showed the appetite of the Chinese economy for global trade. The words of late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar – “even though the overall lending by China is touching $ 4.1 billion, China has never sought to influence the domestic politics of Sri Lanka” – are interesting, given that the TNA was called for a meeting post the visit to Premier Modi in India. Whilst acknowledging the overall... 


‘Japana Hapana’ and ‘Cheena Patas’

Published : 12:01 am  September 23, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  879 views  |  
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The story begins in 1951, to be precise, on 8 April. The day on which the Treaty of San Francisco, between Japan and part of the Allied Powers who fought World War II, was signed. It was signed by 48 nations, at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. The Treaty came into force on 28 April 1952. This Treaty served officially to end World War II. It ended Japan’s position as an imperial power, it allocated compensation to Allied civilians and former prisoners of war who had suffered Japanese war crimes, and to end the Allies’ military occupation of Japan and return sovereignty to that defeated nation. The Treaty of San Francisco and the Security Treaty signed the same day signifies... 


The morning after Uva: Govt. and opposition at the crossroads

Published : 12:00 am  September 22, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Special Report  |  5 Comments  |  2,535 views  |  
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Perhaps the fundamental thing about the Uva result is that it demonstrates that the fundamentally democratic system – most importantly the electoral mechanism and the Commission of Elections – is working, notwithstanding the incidents of coercive electioneering. The Uva election achieved certain things but not others. The Americans, as always, have a phrase for it: ‘close but no cigar’, which means good work, but not quite good enough to win the prize of victory. That is true of the Opposition’s creditable performance, which however fell short of victory. Any government anywhere in the world would be grimly satisfied with the narrow win it achieved despite twenty years of incumbency. Thanks... 


Lesson from Nigeria: Discovery of a natural resource by a country without good governance is a curse

Published : 12:00 am  September 22, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, W. A. Wijewardena  |  3 Comments  |  5,277 views  |  
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The Nigerian news that shocked the world During the last 12 month period, three pieces of news coming from Nigeria shocked the world. The first was the sacking of the Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, by Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan in February 2014 (available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/world/africa/governor-of-nigerias-central-bank-is-fired-after-warning-of-missing-oil-revenue.html?_r=0 ). His crime: Warning the government that billions of dollars in oil revenue due to the Treasury had been stolen at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation or NNPC. Thus, his hint was that culprits who had committed this theft had been associates of the incumbent President. But... 


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