What should Parliament do about the UNHCR inquiry?

Published : 12:00 am  June 13, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  432 views  |  
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The Government has taken up the position that the UN has no mandate to inquire into the alleged violations of human rights during the war and that it is an encroachment on our national sovereignty. At the UN’s founding Conference in San Francisco in 1945 this is what President Truman said: “We all have to recognise, no matter how great is our strength that we must deny ourselves the license to do always as we please.” Of course the USA has not always followed Truman’s suggestion. The Five Members of the Security Council agreed to be members of the UN only if they were given the right of veto and they have continued to exercise it depending on whether the UN intervention is against one... 

Skills and competencies CEOs must have

Published : 12:00 am  June 13, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Leadership  |  1 Comment  |  555 views  |  
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Generally, CEOs in Sri Lanka are selected based on their branch of learning and because they know how to meet customer demands, by building disciplined operational skills through understanding systems, and by ensuring financial rigor through implementing financial controls. Then some organisations that have the leadership bench strength, have the capacity to respond to changing business conditions, execute strategy, increase investor confidence, and anticipate and deliver those customer requirements, most often get their CEO from within. Another possible criterion for selection which can be harmful is that the CEO candidate is assessed not on the basis of what the shareholders have identified... 

International inquiry: Putting the Cartwright before the horse

Published : 12:22 am  June 12, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  754 views  |  
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In her farewell address to the UNHRC, Madam Navi Pillay drew attention to the need for healing the wounds of Sri Lanka’s civil war, which she rightly noted, had yet to be done. To this intent and purpose she commended cooperation by the Government of Sri Lanka with the comprehensive international inquiry that her office has undertaken. What is bitterly ironic is that the healing of wounds cannot take place by means of a lacerating external inquiry or even an overly extensive and premature internal one. The international inquiry will do just the opposite of assisting any process of healing. It will generate resentment and hatred among the overwhelming majority of the people of Sri Lanka.   Cartwright’s... 

The Rule of Law

Published : 12:00 am  June 11, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  3 Comments  |  950 views  |  
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Aristotle said more than 2,000 years ago, “The rule of law is better than that of any individual.” The Organization of Professional Associations is discussing the principle of the Rule of Law and bemoaning the loss of the principle in our system of government today. But when some say that law and order has eroded, others say no and point out to the ending of the war and remind us that the situation was worse during the period of the war. But this is to confuse the principle of the Rule of law and the prevalence of order in society. Ensuring order and peace No Rule of Law is required to ensure order and peace in society. The Government knows how to do so. So the Government politicians will... 

Petes lucky to scrape past Joes

Published : 1:08 am  June 10, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, Columnists, Sports  |  1 Comment  |  494 views  |  
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Those that made it to the Havies to watch the Joe/Pete game were treated to a shambolic display of rugby by the Petes. The fact that they emerged victorious may have been partly due to the prayers of the number of priests at the game as opposed to any real rugby skill. If there had been any lessons learnt by the Petes from the game against RC, they were not evident. They continued to miss tackles, attempted to tackle high, were unable to counter a rolling maul and lost the ball in contact situations. Their play maker Kutty gained several yards in line breaks but eventually lost the ball or was penalised for holding on in the absence of support. The Petes with ball in hand ran across the field... 

Not mixing apples and oranges: NBFIs to merge as subsidiaries of banks

Published : 12:36 am  June 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Financial Services  |  1 Comment  |  886 views  |  
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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) unveiled its plan to consolidate the financial sector, specifically the banking and Non-Banking Financial Institution (NBFI) sectors early in this year, and now the process is making steady headway with the CBSL announcing in its latest press release on the subject that several financial institutions have already initiated the consolidation process. All banks and NBFIs have been requested to submit their final plans for consolidation by 30 June. Since unveiling the consolidation plan, the CBSL and the banking industry have organised many events to educate the industry and all concerned stakeholders, including the public, of the consolidation process. One... 

Tennis lessons for the Sri Lankan economy

Published : 12:16 am  June 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Rohantha Athukorala  |  4 Comments  |  710 views  |  
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With the French trade organisation Coface predicting Sri Lanka to be the second best performing economic growth country in Asia next to China, I was wondering ‘what next for Sri Lanka?’ In this backdrop, I was watching the French Open Championship 2014, better known as the Roland Garros, staged in Paris. Let me pick up some key ideas that went through my mind. 1) Pick-up 1: War crimes issue Cry baby Andy Murray – a term he earned after his outburst at the last Wimbledon – was up against the colourful and dramatic Monfils who hailed from France. Monfils had very strong crowd support. At one time the referee had to caution the crowd for being too loud. Murray kept his nerve and went on... 

Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and India

Published : 12:13 am  June 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Harsha Gunasena, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  675 views  |  
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New Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi representing the Bharathiya Janatha Party captured more than 50% of the seats in Lok Sabha. After decades India is having a strong government in the centre. It was mentioned that a strong India is good for Sri Lanka. In absolute terms it cannot be and it solely depends on Sri Lanka’s foreign policy. During the time of President Jayewardene, the Sri Lankan Government adopted a pro-Western foreign policy when India was aligned with the Soviet Union although the official policies of both governments were non-aligned. Economically India was following a closed economy where the Sri Lankan economy was liberalised after a difficult period of a closed economy. The... 

Democracy is many things

Published : 12:11 am  June 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  459 views  |  
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“Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many, for appointment by the corrupt few” – George Bernard Shaw Many a visitor to this island has observed the overwhelming power of the State as reflected in the armed strength displayed so openly. In a relatively peaceful country, where the possession of a firearm is strictly controlled, the armed forces act as if anticipating a ‘high noon’ at any moment. Even when investigating the most trivial offence it is not unusual for the Police to arrive at the scene of the crime, armed as if to do battle with a small army. The bodyguard provided for various politicians and high officials of the State are so teeth-rattling fearsome that they... 

Suppressive supervision

Published : 12:00 am  June 9, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  526 views  |  
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“People do not leave organisations, they leave their bosses”. I have heard this many a time here and abroad. The harsh truth is that there is something not so right with regards to supervision. In fact, there are subtle and suppressive ways a supervisor can make an employee’s life miserable. Let’s discuss how suppressive supervision is relevant to Sri Lankan organisations. Overview What is suppressive supervision? As the name suggests, it does harm to the employees. Suppressive supervision has been typically described as “subordinates” perceptions of the extent to which their supervisors engage in the sustained display of hostile verbal and nonverbal behaviour, excluding physical... 

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