Using mutual recognition agreements to address Non Tariff Barriers in FTAs

Published : 12:00 am  September 25, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  1,045 views  |  

By Subhashini Abeysinghe Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) covering trade in goods bring down tariff barriers. Research has found that when tariffs come down, countries resort to Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs) to protect their domestic industry that is becoming exposed to increased competition from imports. While the current FTAs of Sri Lanka have shown some progress in bringing down tariff barriers faced by exporters in the partner country (which varies from FTA to FTA, with some being more progressive and others being less progressive), they have made very poor progress in having a framework to address NTBs faced by exporters in the partner country. Standards, testing and certification requirements... 


Sharma, CMAG and the Shirani Bandaranayake impeachment

Published : 12:00 am  September 25, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  5 Comments  |  1 views  |  

 How the spectre of the Shirani Bandaranayake impeachment in Colombo continues to haunt the Commonwealth Secretariat and its Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma nine months later, especially after his decision to keep key findings on the legality of her removal from a powerful Commonwealth grouping By Dharisha Bastians Nine months after the Sri Lankan Government ousted Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake from office, her sacking has caused unprecedented problems in a most unlikely place – Marlborough House London, the home of the Commonwealth Secretariat. Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma who promised Sri Lanka would put plans in place to change its legislative procedures to... 


Concerns growing over worsening food security

Published : 12:00 am  September 21, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  672 views  |  

In the last 20 months, parts of Sri Lanka have been hit by a severe drought and two bouts of floodsBy Amantha Perera Thomson Reuters Foundation: Long-term interventions are essential to stem deteriorating food security among victims of frequent extreme weather events in Sri Lanka, experts warn. In the last 20 months, parts of Sri Lanka have been hit by a severe drought and two bouts of floods that experts at the World Food Program (WFP) and the Government say have worsened the food security of victims. In the last five years, according to UN estimates, between 3.5 million and four million people out of a population of little over 20 million have been affected by natural disasters in Sri Lanka. Ismail... 


Govt. lashes out at Germany and US for undermining NPC elections

Published : 12:00 am  September 21, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  864 views  |  

Geneva: Sri Lanka on Thursday expressed dismay at the concerns expressed by the United States, Germany and Ireland at the General Debate of the 24th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva and asked the detractors at HRC not to discredit the Northern PC election process or prejudge its outcome. In a Right of Reply with regard to references made to Sri Lanka by Germany, the US and Ireland under the General Debate at the ongoing session, Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Manisha Gunasekera on Thursday said it is ironic that Germany chose to discredit the election process for the Northern Provincial Council and prejudge its outcome and... 


Towards an innovation economy

Published : 12:00 am  September 21, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  558 views  |  

Following is the statement by Minister of Technology and Research Patali Champika Ranawaka at the 57th Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna, Austria, on 16 SeptemberMr. President, Director General, distinguished delegates, at the outset, let me congratulate you, Mr. President, on your election to this high office. My delegation has no doubt that under your able and inspiring stewardship this important session would be able to achieve a successful outcome. I wish to assure you, Mr. President, of the unstinted support and cooperation of my delegation in your tasks ahead. Our sincere appreciation goes as well to your predecessor, Ambassador Carlos Barros Oreiro of Uruguay for... 


UN calls for a new economic framework for building resilience

Published : 12:33 am  September 20, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  815 views  |  

Building resilience to natural disasters and economic crises is one of the most pressing development challenges faced by South Asian countries, and island nations like Sri Lanka that are frequently affected by various natural disasters like floods and landslides, need to take particular notice according to experts at a regional policy dialogue. Experts from government, civil society, academia, and regional research institutions focused on the key messages of a recent ESCAP report on ‘Building Resilience to Natural Disasters and Major Economic Crises’, and agreed that a new economic framework is needed to confront multiple shocks in the region. The traditional policy approach has been to consider... 


The economics of good HR

Published : 12:32 am  September 20, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  505 views  |  

Commercial Bank of Ceylon Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody speaking at the CPA-AMDISA International Management Conference 2013 observed that good HR practices would help to increase the value of a firm’s human capital and ultimately improve a firm’s competitiveness. Further, he observed that the knowledge, expertise, experience and training that a firm’s employees possess will eventually differentiate one organisation from another. He also pointed out that in most firms the total cost of the workforce represents nearly 70% of the operating expenses. Therefore, the economics of good HR for a firm is the value of the firm’s HR practices and functions to all stakeholders of a firm. If HR practices... 


Army shooting people demonstrating against contamination of ground water

Published : 12:27 am  September 20, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  530 views  |  

Legal provisions relating to deployment of Army to disperse public demonstrations By Saliya Edirisinghe LL.B, Attorney-at-Law Background Inhabitants of a village called Rathupaswala located in the Gampaha District had found that the ground water they were using for their day-to-day living was becoming increasingly unusable. They attributed this to the discharge of industrial effluents from a factory that was manufacturing latex gloves, and wanted this factory to cease operations. The factory management denied the claim of the villagers and refused to stop the manufacturing operations. Protests by the villagers against the continuing operation of this factory gathered momentum over a period... 


Releasing ex-LTTE cadres and developing north are our greatest achievements: President

Published : 12:00 am  September 19, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  1 views  |  

Our greatest achievements since end of the conflict are releasing all the ex-LTTE cadres and development of the north and east that were battered by the war, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. “We released the cadres because we believe that their inherent Hindu culture will help them adapt and assimilate into the culturally similar Buddhist mainstream and that society will help them too, President Rajapaksa said in an interview with Hindustan Times. Asked about allegations by certain sections of the international community of human rights violations during the last phase of the conflict, the President said if we were murdering civilians too, they would have waited there with Prabhakaran rather... 


Strengthening social inclusion with man-designed and built environments

Published : 12:00 am  September 18, 2013  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  428 views  |  

The Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration (MNLSI) backed by the vision of its Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara and the commitment of its Secretary Malkanthi Wickramasinghe and her team along with inputs from Dayani Panagoda formulated the National Policy Framework, the base document of Social Integration in Sri Lanka (NPFSI). This was launched by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 16 July 2012. MNLSI has the objective of promoting this national policy and obtaining the inputs of stakeholders to finalise the Master Plan of Action on Social Integration in Sri Lanka.To facilitate this objective, MNLSI has initiated a series of discussion forums in collaboration with the Lakshman Kadirgamar... 


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