Combating human trafficking: Role of multiple stakeholders

Published : 12:00 am  August 2, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,331 views  |  
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Human trafficking is modern day slavery Human trafficking is the form of modern day slavery. It involves trafficking men, women and children for forced labour and sex work. Trafficking in persons is considered to be the second largest criminal industry in the world. It is being second only to drug trafficking. This is growing and has become a grave issue across the globe. Human trafficking in a nutshell is deception, recruitment, transportation and exploitation of men, women and children. In ancient times, when the man was not as civilised as today, slave trade had been a lucrative business around the world. Human beings from the African Continent and poor countries in other parts of the world... 

Unlocking the potential of Sri Lanka’s women entrepreneurs through better business development services

Published : 12:12 am  August 1, 2014  |  Category: Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,341 views  |  

By Sunimalee Madurawala “Women should not restrict themselves to household chores. We have plenty of time to do much more, and this is a time when women have to contribute more to their family’s income,” says Kumari, a 53-year-old entrepreneur, wife and mother of two, living in Matale. Kumari once worked as a typist at the Ceylon Cement Corporation, but quit her job due to family commitments. Kumari’s story, which is captured in a new study by the IPS and Oxfam on female entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka, is just one of many across the country. Although Sri Lanka has achieved most of the MDG-related human development goals, the active female participation in the economy is relatively low.... 

Banks to provision earlier on bad loans under new global rule

Published : 12:06 am  August 1, 2014  |  Category: Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  492 views  |  

IFRS 9 published by Intl Accounting Standards Board Rule requires banks to set aside some capital on day one Also requires full loss on loan to be taken if risks rise EU endorsement needed to apply new rule in Europe LONDON (Reuters): Banks must provision for souring loans much earlier under an international rule published on Thursday that will take effect in 2018, a decade after a global financial crisis the accounting reform seeks to stop recurring. The collapse of Lehman Bros in 2008 highlighted how little capital banks held to cover a slump in the value of the assets on their books, forcing the public to bail out many lenders. Amid a welter of regulatory reforms following the crisis,... 

NDB-DFCC merger should not leave stakeholders feeling stressed

Published : 12:00 am  August 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dinesh Weerakkody, Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  3,507 views  |  
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Seven months ago, DFCC Bank (DFCC), the only remaining development bank, and National Development Bank (NDB), a commercial bank, announced that they, in pursuance of the policies announced by the Government encouraging the consolidation of certain banking businesses, would commence preliminary discussions with a view to achieving such consolidation. In a press ann-ouncement around the same time, the Boards of DFCC and NDB said that there was no definite decisions on any aspect of such consolidation and that final decisions would be dependent, amongst others, on arrangements being agreed keeping paramount the interests of customers, employees (which in the case of DFCC include those of DFCC Vardhana... 

Civil society: The greatest bugbear, the greatest hope?

Published : 12:01 am  July 31, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion and Issues  |  1 Comment  |  2,097 views  |  
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 Mahinda Rajapakse knows the power and impact of civil society because he worked with us – Dr. Nimalka Fernando, lawyer and activist     The young Parliamentarian from Hambantota was trying to board a plane bound for Geneva on 11 September 1990, when he was intercepted by an Assistant Superintendent of Police by the name of Kudahetti. The senior Policeman wanted to search the MP’s baggage for fabricated documents likely to be “prejudicial to the interests of national security or promote feelings of hatred or contempt” towards the ruling Government of the day. The Parliamentarian refused to submit to the search and called up his boss instead. After a brief telephone conversation... 

My glass of used water please!

Published : 12:00 am  July 31, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists, Opinion and Issues  |  1 Comment  |  1,240 views  |  
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Water, water, everywhere, not a drop to drink – a sailor may lament when drifting across the sea minus his craft. Today technology is advanced and commonly available, thus freeing ships of the need to dock at a harbour to take in water. Countries need not divert rivers to meet needs but process sea water, especially in coastal areas. Desalination is a technology serving many a nation and we too use the technology in coastal holiday resorts as well as in major thermal power plants, Lakvijaya at Norochcholai being an example. Reverse osmosis units are also being used in areas where the CKDU (chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology) prevails though this is questionable from the point of view... 

Setting the strategic direction for faster growth

Published : 12:01 am  July 30, 2014  |  Category: Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  638 views  |  

A challenge for both India and Sri Lanka Unrealistic expectations Indian Prime Minister Modi’s elections were hailed as a resounding victory for his pro-growth/pro-business agenda. There was an expectation among pro-market economists and business that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s maiden effort would lay out a vision for five years; introduce major structural reforms; and administer some necessary but bitter medicine in pursuit of fiscal consolidation. Instead, critics claimed that the budget seemed to have been prepared by incumbent bureaucrats and represented unimaginative continuity rather than a bold new vision.   Stopgap budget? One can argue that such criticism is based on... 

Public Procurement Law: Can new laws be enacted to establish level playing field for bidders?

Published : 12:00 am  July 30, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  3,378 views  |  
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Legislative framework required for transparency in public procurement Good governance demands transparency in all areas of government. Once transparency and accountability mechanisms are in place, it could certainly augment governments’ standing in the eyes of the donors, international financial institutions such as IMF, IFC, ADB, World Bank and of course the international community. The Government has come under the microscope of international community which can be gauged from the recent untoward incidents in Beruwala and Aluthgama where UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon too had commented. The Government of Sri Lanka’s public procurement process is governed by two guidebooks issued by the... 

Relevance of freedom of association in 1992 and today: Ratawawi Peramuna and its players

Published : 12:15 am  July 29, 2014  |  Category: Opinion and Issues  |  Leave a Comment  |  3,660 views  |  

By Lakshan Dias Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are the popular punching bag of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL), when its actions are challenged by any individual and/or organisation. Name-calling, brandishing circulars to warn NGOs and now a draconian law to prevent them from raising public issues has been the modus operandi of the regime to curb and crush dissent. The context of the sudden and heightened attack on NGOs is also relevant. Hostilities between the GOSL and the LTTE ended in the decisive victory of the former over the latter. There are no emergency laws in force and reconciliation efforts are purportedly taking place. Efforts are nevertheless being made to undermine the... 

The international advisory panel, Indo-Lanka ties and UN inquiry

Published : 12:01 am  July 29, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion and Issues  |  2 Comments  |  1,081 views  |  
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Half a loaf being better than none, the presidential expansion of the remit of the Disappearances Commission and the appointment an advisory panel of three persons distinguished in international law are to be welcomed. Of course, the final test will be that of credibility. If the re-engineering results in a robust domestic inquiry which in turn leads either to prosecutions in the most outrageous cases – as indicated by the LLRC – or a TRC type outcome, the case of which the pernicious UN International Inquiry rests, namely the absence or of a credible domestic mechanism and the unwillingness or inability of the Sri Lankan State to initiate one, will be undermined. We shall have a better chance... 

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