“This is not a case for no confidence motion”: Amaratunga

Published : 12:26 am  February 10, 2015  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu, Columnists  |  5 Comments  |  1,330 views  |  
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  Minister of Public Order and Disaster Management John Amaratunga is confident the no-faith motion against him will not be presented in Parliament. “To win it (no confidence motion), they must bring it before the Parliament. That might not happen at all. In three months’ time, there is dissolution in any case,” Amaratunga said, in an interview with the Daily FT. He added: “I strongly believe that this is not a case for no confidence motion. There is a fight with minor injuries. They say the Police did not take adequate action. Are these grounds for a no confidence motion?” Following are excerpts of the interview:                           Q:... 

EPF should exit banking sector and Central Bank should leave private banks in private hands

Published : 12:10 am  February 9, 2015  |  Category: Columnists, W. A. Wijewardena  |  6 Comments  |  7,763 views  |  
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EPF should quit the banking and financial sector as fast as possible and the Central Bank should leave private banks in the hands of the private sector. That is in line with good governance in central banking       Monetary Board acquiring private banks through EPF The latest reports filed by private banks and a few financial sector non-bank institutions with the Colombo Stock Exchange reveal that the Employees Provident Fund or EPF owns shares up to the maximum limit of 10% of the issued share capital of banks and a significant portion of the shares issued by other non-bank institutions. The banks involved are the Commercial Bank, Hatton National Bank, Sampath Bank, Seylan Bank,... 

Super Gains Tax: Even a bad tax should be equitably applied

Published : 12:09 am  February 9, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  3 Comments  |  642 views  |  
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Much of the criticism levelled against the Super Gains Tax has centred on the soft issue of Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake implying that every company that made a profit of over Rs. 2,000 million in 2013/14 did so through foul means       Much has been said and written on the Super Gains Tax proposed in the recent mini Budget of Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake. The Minister identified this one-off tax as a tax on ‘ill-gotten gains’ of companies and individuals. Much of the criticism levelled against this tax has centred on the soft issue of the Minister implying that every company that made a profit of over Rs. 2,000 million in 2013/14 did so through foul means. While... 

21st Century Silk Route in Skies: No stop in Serendib

Published : 12:00 am  February 9, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  335 views  |  
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“Over the last four decades the real cost of travel has fallen by about 60% and the number of travellers increased tenfold. We must continue to provide this great value to individual consumers and to society. To do so we need the right technology, efficient and sufficient infrastructure. And we need financial sustainability.” – Giovanni Bisignani CEO of IATA in 2011, Author of ‘Shaking the Skies’ Interim relief and provisional course corrections were the objectives of the supplementary budget proposals framed in 20 days. One of the course corrections proposed was the merger of the two loss-making airlines – the flag carrier Sri Lankan Airlines and the budget carrier Mihin Lanka. The... 

Nation building is an art, laying foundation and creating the framework is a science

Published : 12:00 am  February 9, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  292 views  |  
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King Solomon, the great King of Israel, in building the nation of Israel during his reign to be one of most successful nations at that time, said: “Where there is no vision, people perish.” He was the third king of Israel, who built Israel to become a most powerful nations with great prosperity its people at that time. History records that many leaders from the many countries visited him to learn from his wisdom and strategy. The story of Queen Sheba from Ethiopia visiting him learned from his wisdom is well known.   Where there is no vision, people perish It is this statement ‘Where there is no vision, people perish’ of King Solomon that was taken in seriously by global corporates... 

Immigrants in a networked world Relinking the diaspora with their homeland is a win-win for all

Published : 12:00 am  February 9, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  5 Comments  |  412 views  |  
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Pluralistic societies of the Western world not only tolerate attachments and allegiances to the old world, but welcome the diversity it creates. What would modern Canada be, for instance, without her Chinatowns, curry houses, noodle shops, shawarma shops and even hopper huts?     Every year in January, India lays out the red carpet to members of the Indian diaspora and hosts them to a week-long junket. The Indian diaspora, smartly referred to as Non-Resident Indians (NRI), travel from the four corners of the globe to participate in networking sessions, information sessions on India’s economic prosperity and to rekindle old memories of the homeland they left behind. The Pravasi Bharatiya... 

What is this Lichchavi system the PM talks about?

Published : 12:00 am  February 9, 2015  |  Category: Columnists, Harsha Gunasena  |  Leave a Comment  |  138 views  |  
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The current Sri Lankan Parliament is in a unique position and it would be quite interesting to watch its proceedings. The President is the Head of the Government and the Cabinet of Ministers and on the other hand he is the Leader of the main Opposition party, the SLFP, in Parliament. Hence he controls the Government and the Opposition. If by any chance the former President enjoyed this position, in a way it would be high fun to watch the behaviour of his subjects mesmerised by him. During the presidential election, the UPFA leadership fought tooth and nail to defeat Maithripala Sirisena. After the election, when the members of the UPFA and mainly the SLFP started to defect, the former President... 

Servant leaders for Sri Lanka

Published : 12:00 am  February 9, 2015  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  147 views  |  
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We are witnessing some interesting changes in the county’s political sphere. Different styles adopted by key political leaders before and now are increasingly becoming evident. In fact, the country needs servant leaders more and more. Let me elaborate why I say so.   Leader as a servant How can a leader be a servant? Looks like a seemingly confusing connection. In a world where leadership is much associated with power, prestige and pageantry, a noteworthy departure of a rare breed is evident. It is perhaps, one of the most ancient forms of leadership, aptly found in all great religious founders. When you consider the 550 Jathaka stories, more than 50% of the time, Bodhisattva is portrayed... 

Restoring independence of Judiciary; a sine qua non

Published : 12:00 am  February 6, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  349 views  |  
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The band that Lady Justice wears to cover her eyes signifies ‘objectivity’ as such people who are called upon to adjudicate disputes must necessarily be above board. Adjudicators have a very high responsibility of ensuring that justice is meted out objectively, without fear or favour and in a fair, equitable and impartial manner. This is the cornerstone of judicial responsibility and integrity. In order to exercise this sacrosanct principle, judges must demonstrate erudition hence a person who is properly trained and learned in law must occupy the position. One’s learning also not sufficient but conduct too adds to the equation.   Genesis of the crisis During the Rajapaksa Administration... 

Leveraging a new future for the next generation

Published : 12:00 am  February 6, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  326 views  |  
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We just celebrated Independence Day. Independence from an external power or authority, presents us with considerable challenge, generates multiple expectations, but most importantly provides us with abundant opportunity to shape our future. We had that opportunity for six-and-a-half decades. Yes, of course for almost a half of that time we had an internal war. But a half-decade ago, we overcame that war. The question before us is whether over the last five years, we rebuilt a new Sri Lanka, which fosters reconciliation, social cohesion, interracial and interreligious harmony and stability. The answer is a “No.” Much more than that, the nation witnessed a polarisation or division even between... 

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