Sunday 20th April 2014

How powerful brands can support Sri Lanka

Published : 1:01 am  March 18, 2014  |  Category: Rohantha Athukorala  |  Leave a Comment  |  813 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... 

China, Africa, Myanmar and Lanka

Published : 12:41 am  March 18, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte  |  Leave a Comment  |  602 views  |  
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Lessons to be learnt An analyst has commented after reviewing the People’s Republic of China’s recent economic and political incursions into the continent of Africa that “Africa is China’s honey pot. Where else would China find political leaders so easy to buy!?” China has over the last 10 years carried out a sustained political and investment push into Africa. Visits have been made at the highest political level to several leading African countries; loans, grants and investments have been made in logistics and natural resources; and thousands of Chinese citizens have migrated to work, to carry on business and trade in African countries. There has also been, at the same time, large... 

Six leadership lessons from Pope Francis

Published : 12:37 am  March 18, 2014  |  Category: Dinesh Weerakkody  |  Leave a Comment  |  558 views  |  
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Leadership is very hard to define, mainly because it means different things to different people. We know it requires knowledge, competence, courage and empathy. We expect leaders to be just, to share our values and provide direction. For me, it is what leaders like Pope Francis represent. An encounter with Pope Francis leaves you inspired and spiritually moved. The Pope is warm, inviting, and sincere. From choosing to live in a simple apartment instead of the papal palace, to washing the feet of men and women in a youth detention centre, Pope Francis’s actions contradict behaviours expected of a modern leader. He shows how his words and deeds reveal spiritual principles that have helped him... 

Potential output of Sri Lanka: It is dangerous to speed the car beyond installed engine capacity

Published : 12:00 am  March 17, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS, W. A. Wijewardena  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,514 views  |  
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Impatience of politicians to accelerate the engine of growth Politicians, no matter where they are in the globe, are like youngsters at the wheel of a racing car. They want to kick-start an economy, have a quick pick-up and accelerate it to a speed never ever achieved by their predecessors. Their impatience for a rapid economic growth is not matched by the slow pace in which things are happening around them. The quick-fix methods suggested to accelerate growth push everyone over the limit resulting in a state of panic which then leads to stress. A story circulating among economists about a ruler in an East Asian country gives a very good example of the impatience of politicians. When this ruler... 

Communication challenges

Published : 12:00 am  March 17, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  326 views  |  
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We looked at the what, why and how of communication in relation to managers last week. In moving further, let’s look at some key challenges of communication. They are being discussed in many a forum local and global alike. The attempt here is to relate, reflect and reinforce the realms of communication. Overview The way we understood last week, communication comes from the Latin root ‘communis,’ meaning to share. It is to keep information in common. Therefore, communication, in brief, is information exchange. It even goes beyond. It is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behaviour. We... 

Protecting consumers

Published : 6:18 am  March 14, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  297 views  |  
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World Consumer Day is on 15 March Theme this year ‘Fix your Phones Right’ Consumerism Consumer movement is an effort to protect consumers through an organised social movement which is in many places led by consumer organisations. It advocates the rights of consumers, especially when these rights are infringed upon by the actions of corporations, governments, and organisations which provide products and services to consumers. Consumer movement is a subset of the discipline of “consumerism.” In Sri Lanka it is not only the consumer organisations that are responsible for the protection of the consumer from bad practices by traders and industrialists. There are regulators and statutory... 

Are we heading down the same disastrous way of the LTTE?

Published : 12:00 am  March 14, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS  |  10 Comments  |  968 views  |  
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There are many similarities of the behaviour of the Liberation Tigers and the present Sri Lankan Government. Autocracy The Liberation Tigers adopted a violent approach right from the beginning. They did not tolerate different views and opinions. They have gone to the extent of killing the members of rival militant groups with different viewpoints who also fought for the liberation of the Tamils. Thereafter the activities of such groups were seized and were restricted to name boards only. Political leaders of democratic political parties who had different views were also killed and thereby kept those parties under their direction. In addition to that the intellectuals who critically supported... 

Strengthening institutional framework for holistic social and economic inclusion

Published : 12:00 am  March 14, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS  |  Leave a Comment  |  342 views  |  
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Lessons from Ukraine We have seen during the last few weeks the events that have unfolded in Ukraine, the prolonged unrest finally leading into change of regime. It all started presumably on the Government rejection of joining the EU association agreement and eventually membership worth billions of Euros to Ukraine to modernise its economy and giving access to the single market. Ukraine was one of former members Soviet Union Republic, economically and politically the second largest behind the Russian Federation. However, Ukraine struggled to bring economic inclusivity and development across to her people since independence in 1991 compared with some the other Eastern European countries. High... 

The two Sri Lankas

Published : 12:00 am  March 13, 2014  |  Category: COLUMNS, Dharisha Bastians  |  5 Comments  |  1,671 views  |  
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Strongly opposing views north and south of the island about human rights, the US draft resolution and the prospect of international intervention tells a damning story about how deep ethnic and ideological divisions run in Sri Lanka five years after the war ended     Five years after the end of a brutal war, the north and south of Sri Lanka have vastly different heroes. On a humid November day last year, throngs of men, women and children flocked to the dusty grounds of the Nallur Temple in Jaffna. At the appointed time, they moved near the Duraiyappah Stadium, a place where VVIP helicopters typically land. Placards, photographs and black armbands come out, as the crowd stands single... 

Being true sons of our soil!

Published : 12:00 am  March 13, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, COLUMNS  |  1 Comment  |  607 views  |  
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Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, once declared that the nation that destroys its soil destroys itself. He had many reasons to make such a profound statement having seen the impact of bad practices firsthand in a nation that was trying to grow at a pace that was above average. In the early 1930s, the United States witnessed a significant harvest after turning a significant land area under the plough to grow wheat, etc. The harvest was a boon to the growing population and added wealth to the economy as in those times there was the direct correlation between the extent of produce, income and economic growth. However these practices, which brought in monoculture on... 

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