Diplomatic efforts in Australia and New Zealand reap dividends

Published : 12:00 am  November 27, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  493 views  |  

As a Sri Lankan expatriate currently residing in Australia and having also lived in New Zealand, the outcome from the recently-concluded Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is an opportune time to reflect on the sterling efforts of our diplomatic representatives in these two trans-Tasman countries. Sri Lanka’s high commissioner in Australia Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, ably supported by the Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in New Zealand Aruna Abeygoonesekara, has worked tirelessly over the last few years to ensure that key leaders in these Commonwealth neighbours, as well as the public, are presented with an accurate representation of the situation in Sri Lanka. We should be grateful... 


Renewed call to promote south-south cooperation in intellectual property field

Published : 12:00 am  November 27, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  611 views  |  

  Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Chairman of the Personal Representatives of the Group of Fifteen (G-15), has urged WIPO to take measures to promote South-South Cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property for Development. He said: “WIPO should act as a catalyst to increase triangular cooperation between developing countries and LDC’s, through initiatives to identify best practices in the use of intellectual property for, inter alia, technology transfer, public health, food security, and other global challenges in which intellectual property has an important role to play.” Ambassador Aryasinha made these observations... 


Is Sri Lanka making use of its ocean resources for economic take-off?

Published : 12:00 am  November 27, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  690 views  |  

By Kanchana Wickramasinghe Being an island nation, Sri Lanka is blessed with enormous ocean resources, and related opportunities, that can be utilised for the country’s economic development. There is a wide array of ocean resources, which include both biological and non-biological components. A number of economic activities including tourism, fisheries, etc., are based on ocean resources and even now are contributing a considerable share to the national economy. The possible discovery of oil and gas resources in the Mannar Basin will open new avenues for novel economic activities which can have significant impacts on Sri Lanka’s economic growth. However, it has been long discussed that the... 


Sustainability management is risk management

Published : 12:00 am  November 27, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  451 views  |  

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently” – Warren Buffett By Ruchi Gunewardene and Tiara Anthonisz There have been many local and international examples in the recent past, of situations where things have gone horribly wrong unexpectedly, which have severely damaged corporate reputations and threatened the viability and sustainability of businesses as a whole. These situations have arisen due to a lack of corporate responsibility, unsustainable business practices, but in some instances even due to no fault of their own. When implemented effectively, the agenda of ‘sustainability’ from a business... 


Transition to middle income economy challenging but achievable through appropriate policies

Published : 12:00 am  November 25, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  827 views  |  

IPS SOE 2013 The Institute of Policy Studies or IPS, Sri Lanka’s independent economic policy think-tank, has issued its review of the State of the Sri Lanka’s Economy in 2013 or SOE 2013 under a theme which is both current and opportune. The theme is how Sri Lanka should ensure a smooth and seamless transition to a middle income economy. Ensuring sustainability and tackling middle income trap are issues in Sri Lanka This may be puzzling to many because Sri Lanka is already in the Middle Income Country Category as claimed by the country’s top policy makers. Then why should IPS talk about the country’s transition to a middle income country now? The reasons are many. One is that though... 


Outcomes of CHOGM 2013

Published : 12:00 am  November 23, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  875 views  |  

The recently-concluded Commonwealth Summit issued four statements reflecting the outcomes of their deliberations: the Colombo Declaration on Sustainable, Inclusive and Equitable Development; the Kotte Statement on International Trade and Investment; the CHOGM 2013 Communiqué; and the Magampura Commitment to Young People.   The Colombo Declaration on Sustainable, Inclusive and Equitable Development Sri Lanka, as the host Government, chose sustainable, inclusive and equitable development as the Special Theme for the recently-concluded Commonwealth Summit. Following their deliberations, the Heads agreed that achieving growth with equity and inclusivity must be one of the key priorities of... 


Google’s Schmidt predicts end of censorship within a decade

Published : 12:00 am  November 23, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  520 views  |  

Reuters: Google Inc Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has a bold prediction: Censorship around the world could end in a decade, and better use of encryption will help people overcome government surveillance. In a lecture at Johns Hopkins University on Wednesday, the executive of the world’s biggest web search company made a pitch for ending censorship in China and other countries with restricted freedom of speech by connecting everyone to the Internet and protecting their communication from spying. “First they try to block you; second, they try to infiltrate you; and third, you win. I really think that’s how it works. Because the power is shifted,” he said. “I believe there’s a real... 


Father of Web says China will dismantle ‘great firewall’

Published : 12:00 am  November 23, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  2,471 views  |  

Reuters: China’s rulers will ultimately take it upon themselves to dismantle the “great firewall” that limits its people’s access to the Internet because doing so will boost China’s economy, the inventor of the World Wide Web said. In an interview about his World Wide Web Foundation’s rankings of the way 81 countries manage the Internet, Tim Berners-Lee, a London-born computer scientist who invented the web in 1989, also scolded the United States for undermining the Internet’s foundations with its surveillance programmes. Revelations about the scale of that surveillance and poor rural penetration rates pushed the United States from second place into fourth in the survey, which examined... 


Sri Lanka’s Potemkin peace: Democracy under fire

Published : 12:00 am  November 22, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  649 views  |  

Latest report from International Crisis Group The International Crisis Group has released its latest report titled ‘Sri Lanka’s Potemkin Peace: Democracy Under Fire’. Here is the executive summary and recommendations from the report Sri Lanka’s ethnically-exclusive regime continues to close political space and consolidate its power. Recent moves that create a perception of progress have not weakened the power of the president, his family or the military or brought reconciliation, ended human rights abuses or reduced impunity. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won a landslide victory in September’s long-awaited Northern Provincial Council elections. Yet, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s... 


Dehiwala-Mt. Lavinia Municipal Council failing badly

Published : 10:33 am  November 20, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  3,708 views  |  

At the time the then Urban Council or UC was upgraded to a Municipal Council (MC), it was one of the best run local authorities. However, sadly, instead of making things better, this elevation only resulted in a gradual decline of services to rate payers. Party made no difference. Under UNP as well as SLFP, it was a question of where to bend the rule to accommodate one’s cronies. That said, the present PA turned UNP mayor and his officers in the planning departments are now not only bending rules but blatantly breaking established rules and regulations to favour selected property developers ignoring even UDA regulations. Some of these violations are: Permitting high rise constructions without... 


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