PM Modi’s paisa

Published : 12:01 am  July 22, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  601 views  |  
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India’s 2014/15 Budget Regionally, India’s economy is so big, that what happens in India affects all of us in South Asia. On 10 July, Arun Jaitely, the Minister of Finance in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new Government, presented a new Budget. Expectations were high. The Mumbai stock market on Dalal Street was up by a fifth. A hitherto shaky rupee had steadied and consumers, who had the money, seemed to be on a spending splurge. Jaitely in his pre-Budget comments insisted that fiscal prudence will prevail over ‘mindless spending and populism’. Although analysts felt that the target of shrinking the Budget deficit to 4.1%, which Jaitely inherited from the former Minister of Finance... 


Duplicity of the world: SL has faced many MH17s!

Published : 12:01 am  July 22, 2014  |  Category: Opinion, Rohantha Athukorala  |  1 Comment  |  687 views  |  
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Duplicity of the world Many of us may have been privy to the global backlash on the downing of the MH17 by Ukrainian rebels. It was a lead story in every single news channel. All world leaders were expressing their outcry. When I was watching the share of media, my mind went to the time that Sri Lanka had so many MH17s, be it the CTB bus that was exploded near the Moratuwa University, the buildings that were on fire when the Central Bank was attacked by LTTE rebels which took away 86 lives and injured 1,338 people, the attack on Dalada Maligawa that killed 12 people and injured 13, the attack on Anuradhapura town that killed 120 people and wounded 85, the Dollar and Kent Farm attack which led... 


SL external debt sustainability: Intervention by Practical Economist keeps the debate live

Published : 12:03 am  July 21, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, W. A. Wijewardena  |  5 Comments  |  7,359 views  |  
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Practical Economist’s re-entry to the fray In a welcome move, an economic analyst writing under the penname ‘Practical Economist’ has responded (available at: http://www.ft.lk/2014/07/16/a-view-of-sri-lankas-external-debt-situation-with-neutral-glasses/) to this writer’s previous articles on Sri Lanka’s external debt sustainability highlighting the misleading conclusions of a press release issued by Central Bank’s Public Debt Department or PDD due to data incompleteness. These articles could be accessed by visiting the following links: first: http://www.ft.lk/2014/05/26/sri-lankas-external-debt-sustainability-complacency-based-on-incomplete-analysis-may-be-the-worst-enemy/; second:... 


Sensing the ‘S’ Curve

Published : 12:02 am  July 21, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  445 views  |  
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Survival and success are closely associated with managers, global and local alike. I came across the interesting concept of “Sigmoid Curve”. What it is all about leads us to an informative and insightful discourse. Today’s column is all about the “S Curve” and its applications to Sri Lankan managers. Overview The Sigmoid Curve is named after “sigmoid”, the Greek word for the letter “s”. It represents the curve of a new life cycle emerging from an existing one, much like an “S” on its side. It was much referred to by Charles Handy, the Irish-born management guru. In the book, “Age of Paradox”, Charles Handy argues that to survive and grow, all individuals and institutions... 


Future vessel sharing to lag P3 scope

Published : 12:02 am  July 21, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Shipping / Aviation  |  Leave a Comment  |  611 views  |  
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Future vessel sharing to lag P3 scope Container lines will continue to look to vessel sharing agreements (VSA) to reduce their operational costs, but new alliances will likely be less ambitious following the Chinese rejection of the P3 Network. Although Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., and CMA CGM will likely come back with major VSA plans as it has already, those will be pared down; the risk of spending a year planning an alliance only to see regulators deny it is too high, SeaIntel maritime Analysis CEO Lars Jensen told the JOC, Chinese regulators shocked the shipping industry. The largest proposed VSA in terms of capacity, saving the alliance would be anti-competitive. The demise of... 


Do CEOs encourage bad news?       

Published : 12:01 am  July 21, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Front Page, Hilmy Cader  |  Leave a Comment  |  603 views  |  
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CEOs, much like politicians, tend to get ‘surrounded’ by ‘yes-men’ who fear delivering bad news.  Given the tendency to ‘shoot’ the messenger of bad news, constructive feedback/ground realities tend to get suppressed and decision making gets ‘politicised’. Smart CEOs build a culture of encouraging open and objective feedback. They go for the ‘ball’ rather than the ‘player›! Assigning a relatively senior manager to play the role of a fulltime critique could be one way to achieve breakthrough. Of course this depends on the CEO’s ‘appetite’ to confront the brutal truth, however bitter it may taste! Bon appétit!  Read More →


Economic woes in the West getting worse or what?

Published : 12:00 am  July 18, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dinesh Weerakkody, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  450 views  |  
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The International Monetary Fund appears to believe economic momentum has slackened since April. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in a speech at the annual Davos in Provence meeting in France on Sunday pointed out that while we are seeing global activity pick up, the momentum could be less robust than expected because potential growth is weaker and investment remains lacklustre. Lagarde was also quoted as saying in its most recent World Economic report that global growth could rise from 3% in 2013 to 3.6% in 2014 to 3.9% in 2015. Its Chief apparently did not indicate in her speech the size of the hinted downward revision in her organisation’s overall projections. However, Lagarde did... 


Swords, scales and blindfolds: The Law has let us down again

Published : 12:00 am  July 18, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  1,663 views  |  
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When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty – Thomas Jefferson Justice stands boldly, armed with a sword and tempered with scales. Her blindfolds demonstrate her impartiality. She wields the Law and bends it to her will. Yet the Law is prone to misuse when stripped from its true mistress and usurped by tyrants. They use her sword to strike the innocent; manipulate her scales to subjugate citizens; and apply her blindfold to conceal atrocities. Law without Justice is perhaps worse than no law at all. Throughout history, unjust laws have compelled resistance. The civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. sought to repeal or revise oppressive laws that deprived the African... 


Electoral stakes and reconciliation non-starters

Published : 12:00 am  July 17, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  792 views  |  
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With presidential elections in the offing and the incumbent setting his eyes on an unprecedented third term in office, the prospect of reconciliation and a final political solution to resolve Sri Lanka’s ethnic question looks as remote as ever Ten months ago, the Tamil people of the Northern Province who were liberated from the clutches of the LTTE by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his security forces went to the polls to elect a provincial government for the first time in 25 years. During a heated election season, the Government pledged to continue its ambitious development drive in the region, repeatedly recollected life under the LTTE yoke and issued subtle threats of a resumption of... 


Making the impossible possible!

Published : 12:00 am  July 17, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  641 views  |  
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We are easily persuaded to look the other way or do nothing when confronted with an idea that appears to be quite daunting, however important that idea may be for our collective progress. In the same way when we allow ourselves to come out with ideas in a brainstorming session, what is observed is the simplicity and unsophisticated level of our wish list. This may not be quite true of statements with a political outlook but I am only looking at professional statements. This state of affairs needs to be changed. Unless one takes on making the impossible possible, nothing much of significance is going to happen. We will simply chug along the incremental growth platform succeeding to some extent... 


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