Striking the match

Published : 12:14 am  June 26, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion  |  7 Comments  |  3,228 views  |  
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Hardline monks did not riot or burn in Aluthgama and Beruwala last Sunday night. They just struck the match upon their platforms and watched the towns burn “They hold harthals now even for small, small incidents. When the LTTE was killing all communities indiscriminately, nobody held harthals” – President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport on Sunday, 22 June    As the politically-aware citizenry reels from the shock and horror of a 21st century ethno-religious riot, much of the despair stems from the knowledge that the horror of Aluthgama was a long time coming   Inside the Welipitiya mosque premises, the floors and walls of the little... 

Pervasive global corruption leaves boards struggling to cope: Ernst & Young

Published : 12:00 am  June 26, 2014  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,072 views  |  

 EY’s survey of over 2,700 executives across 59 countries highlights that nearly 40% of executives consider bribery and corruption widespread in their country  Emerging risks are not being taken seriously enough, nearly half of respondents consider cybercrime a low risk  C-suite integrity perceived to be in doubt with significant minority of respondents willing to justify financial statement fraud  With management struggling to respond to long-standing and emerging fraud risks, boards put under more pressure EY’s 13th Global Fraud Survey, ‘Overcoming compliance fatigue: reinforcing the commitment to ethical growth,’ has found concerning levels of perceived fraud, bribery... 

Adverse economic impact of ethno-religious violence

Published : 12:00 am  June 26, 2014  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,700 views  |  

 Unite to counter the ugly head of extremism Political stability and social harmony are crucial for creating a conducive enabling environment for sustained development and upliftment of the lives of all Sri Lankans. Any instability on these fronts has serious adverse implications for development. The recent violent disturbances in the country should, therefore, be a matter of the utmost concern to all Sri Lankans.   Domestic economy and local producers Domestically the following negative impacts are likely to materialise: The confidence of domestic investors from all social backgrounds is likely to be eroded. This has implications for employment opportunities and incomes of all communities. If... 

Mission accomplished!

Published : 12:00 am  June 26, 2014  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  326 views  |  

When the current Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, took up his post in 2006, the island nation was a low-income country with little in the way of foreign investment. Its economic outlook was bleak, as the civil war — which would not end for another three years — continued to act as a drain on the public purse. Meanwhile, overseas investors elected to spend their money in more politically stable countries.     Stabilising the economy It was under these challenging economic circumstances that Cabraal took up his new job. Handpicked for the role by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, he was tasked with stabilising the economy and establishing a favourable long-term... 

Lies, deception and hypocrisy is the religion of the politician

Published : 12:02 am  June 25, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  3 Comments  |  1,610 views  |  
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The great virtue of liberal democracy is that, unlike totalitarian states, they require transparency, accountability, and trust between representatives and the represented. The use of secrecy, lies and deception are more characteristic of authoritarian regimes past or present. Mussolini, who hired the killer who killed the Serb king in the 1930s, attended his funeral and wept profusely. Hitler set fire to the Reichstag (the German Parliament) and put the blame on the Communists. Every misfortune or mishap he blamed on the Jews and fabricated evidence to support his contention. Stalin used to talk of the imperialist conspiracy against the former Soviet Union log after the Revolutionary War was... 

Government rushes in where angels fear to tread

Published : 12:00 am  June 25, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Harsha Gunasena, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  1,416 views  |  
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In July 1983, Tamils who were residing in predominantly-Sinhala areas were attacked systematically. Although it was not proved beyond any doubts, the attack was planned by the forces behind the Government. Attackers were not simply emotional. The attacks were spearheaded by a systematic and planned emotion, which was followed by mass-scale idiotic emotion. There was evidence that the attackers were having lists of the targeted homes and shops of the Tamils. People from Colombo were involved in the attacks on cities outside Colombo. It was also evident that the attacks were directed against economic targets as well. One reason may be that the persons who were behind the attacks were jealous of... 

“UK-SL links strong and vibrant”: High Commissioner John Rankin

Published : 12:00 am  June 25, 2014  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,447 views  |  

Following is the address by British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka John Rankin delivered on 19 June at the Queen’s birthday party at Westminster House First Lady Madam Shiranthi Wickramasinghe Rajapaksa, Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development, Members of the Government and Parliament, your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, it was in 1954, 60 years ago, that Queen Elizabeth II made her first visit to Sri Lanka. I am pleased to welcome you to this event today to mark the official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, and to celebrate the close ties between Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. Our two countries of course have a deep historical relationship. We are reminded... 

No limits?

Published : 12:01 am  June 24, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, Other Sectors  |  1 Comment  |  1,962 views  |  
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Southern fascism and the politics of resistance “Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity” – WB Yeats, The Second Coming The Aluthgama attack on the Muslims was followed by several incidents, the exact nature, causes and perpetrators of which have yet to be ascertained. These include the acid attacks on the Police in Mawanella, and the fire that gutted the ‘No Limit’ store in Panadura. To me what... 

Life and debt

Published : 12:01 am  June 24, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,410 views  |  
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A debt crisis in the north east? Recently in Colombo there was an event at which a research study entitled ‘Life and Debt’ was presented. The study was by the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA), initiated and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC). The purpose of the study was to understand whether the Owner-Driven Housing Assistance (ODHA) scheme, being implemented with donor support in post-conflict north and east of Sri Lanka, increased indebtedness of beneficiary households and the implications of such debt on the level of vulnerability of the households to economic shocks. The study was on a sample of 347 households in the Districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi and... 

Wonder of Asia: Debt sustainability through comparing apples with bananas

Published : 12:12 am  June 23, 2014  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  877 views  |  

By a special correspondent I wish to contribute to the ongoing discussion on Sri Lanka’s external debt sustainability based on: 1.Central Bank’s press release ‘Sri Lanka continues to improve on UN-ESCAP Parameters re. Country Indebtedness’ dated 13 May 2014; 2.The articled authored by W.A. Wijewardena (; 3.Central Bank’s press release ‘A Clarification on Certain Media Reports on the External Debt Statistics Published in the Central Bank Annual Report 2013 and Public Debt Department Press Release on “Sri Lanka continues to improve on UN-ESCAP Parameters…”’... 

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