World Teachers’ Day is on 5 October Invest in the future: Invest in teachers

Published : 12:00 am  October 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  1,615 views  |  
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A teacher is a maker of man. He is the foundation of all education, and thus of the whole civilisation of mankind, present and future. No nation reconstruction is possible without the active cooperation of the teacher – John Adams The teacher is the maker of the nation – Chanakya     By Mohan Lal Grero Professions in the current world are diverse. Among them, there are reputed professions. Some professions are more attractive since they are highly remunerated. Some are respected and privileged. If someone asked me to name the noblest profession, in the world, I dare to say “it is teaching”. Teaching creates and builds all other professionals. Doctors, engineers, vocalists,... 


Buildings continue to marginalise seniors and children

Published : 4:28 am  October 3, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  440 views  |  
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On 1 October this year too we saw a lot of pomp and pageantry about children and elders as the world marked another international day for both these two significant sectors of society. But I soon realised with a heavy heart that there is, still, two significant segments of these very seniors and children for whom 1 October was another day of silent struggle and marginalisation as we continue to make Sri Lanka unfriendly to them!   Open your eyes The ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ states 13.5% of our population is over 65 years old. Sri Lanka has the fastest-ageing population in South Asia. With medical advances, people live longer. When children and pregnant mothers are taken, not less than 20%... 


Election season, external affairs and Modi-Obama

Published : 4:25 am  October 3, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  865 views  |  
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Forget the state of Denmark – something is rotten in the state of Sri Lanka, and our enemies, the secessionists in the Tamil diaspora must be laughing, as they well might. Three recent events indicate the future of Sri Lanka. Two are domestic and one, global. Of the two domestic events, one occurred in an international space. The three events are the Chris Nonis-Sajin Vass episode, the BBS-Wirathu nexus and the Modi-Obama meeting.   Sri Lanka’s external defences are crumbling Sri Lanka’s external defences are crumbling, largely due to undermining emanating from the heart of the State itself, in the shape of bad policy and worse practices. One does not wish to speculate on or sensationalise... 


Some MBAs are not worth the paper they’re printed on

Published : 4:04 am  October 3, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dinesh Weerakkody  |  7 Comments  |  1,593 views  |  
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A few days ago we interviewed seven candidates with MBAs for a senior leadership position. Most of them we concluded could not even manage or lead their way out of a paper bag – but think they’re there, because they have an MBA. Having an MBA doesn’t predict whether you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned to the real world, and – most important – it seems to have very little bearing on whether or not you’ll be able to continue to learn, to keep acquiring the skills and knowledge you’ll need along the way. To add this list today there are some M.B.A. degrees out there that are barely worth the paper they’re written on. For a start an MBA does not really make you a ‘Master’... 


Garbage transformation from liability to an asset

Published : 12:00 am  October 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  4 Comments  |  1,019 views  |  
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Recently, the Sri Lankan Government announced that the Cabinet has approved an environmentally-acceptable and economically-feasible solid waste management project to dispose of the solid waste collected in Colombo City and its suburbs. The proposal envisages the transport of collected garbage by train to a sanitary land-fill in Arukkalu in Puttalam District, to be buried in existing pits formed by the extraction of lime for the Puttalam cement factory. In addition, part of the waste would be used as fuel for the cement factory; what percentages would be used in each section was not indicated. Over the past years, residents of Meetotamulla and Kolonnawa took to the streets with their struggle... 


Comrade Number Eleven (XI)

Published : 12:01 am  September 30, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte  |  1 Comment  |  550 views  |  
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Dynastic politics When President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, visited India, an Indian Doordharshan television newsreader kept referring to the President as “President Eleven Jinping!” Either the newsreader had an irrepressible sense of humour, or whole episodes of human history that passed that worthy by; she did not know that Latin was no longer the ‘lingua franca’ of the world and ‘Xi’ was pronounced somewhat like ‘Shki’ in English, rather than the numerical 11! Definitely Gibbon’s monumental work ‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’ was not on that worthy’s school reading list! Doordharshan promptly fired the lady. But in this era of dynastic... 


Turn East, further link West

Published : 12:01 am  September 30, 2014  |  Category: Rohantha Athukorala  |  1 Comment  |  463 views  |  
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Last week the world saw the launch of the ‘Make India’ campaign by Indian Premier Narendra Modi, branded ‘Turn East – Link West,’ which was an interesting idea given that a new vision was required for brand India with the fast-earning reputation of becoming the ‘Rape Capital of the World’.                               The one thought that crossed my mind was that the theme was so appropriate for Sri Lanka’s export strategy given that over 60% of the export income comes from the West – namely the US and EU – whilst if we look at East, Japan and the rest of the key countries contributed less than 10%... 


Larger ships a worry for shippers

Published : 1:45 am  September 29, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Shipping / Aviation  |  1 Comment  |  1,026 views  |  
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Larger ships a worry for shippers Container lines in coming years will continue to order larger ships and switch membership in vessel sharing alliances in a desperate game of survival that will inevitably lead to further consolidation, industry analyst Lars Jensen said. “This is a dangerous game the carriers are playing,” Jensen, CEO of SeanIntel Consulting, told the South Carolina International Trade Conference. These developments may take a decade to unfold, but the outcome will eventually be a global liner industry with six to eight large carriers dominating the major East-West trades and a handful of niche carriers serving the lower volume trade lanes, he said. Every measure that the... 


A luxury water tax?

Published : 12:59 am  September 29, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Hilmy Cader  |  3 Comments  |  447 views  |  
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Product usage (and wastage) is significantly influenced by the price charged – as percentage of the consumer’s ‘wallet’. If we continue to use (and waste) water the way we do now, catastrophic consequences seem imminent, possibly ‘water wars’.  Less wastage and more equitable distribution of water can certainly help, but the biggest ‘squanderers’ are the ‘top-end’ users. A steep tax on high usage of water may help the environment and the Government’s income.  Of course this must be supported by a multitude of other incentives and deterrents. For instance Los Angeles has a ‘Water Police’ and Rajasthan has ‘Water ATMs’.  Like for solar energy, consider preferential... 


Social media for hiring: Promises and pitfalls

Published : 12:00 am  September 29, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  508 views  |  
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We looked at prospects of luring talent through social media last week. We identified social media as Social Network Websites (SNWs) such as Facebook, MySpace and the more professionally-oriented LinkedIn. Having discussed the origins and options, let’s focus on their promises and pitfalls in the context of hiring. This column is all about it.   Overview Based on extensive studies by Ross Slovensky and William H. Ross from the University of Wisconsin, there is an increasing trend of HR professionals using SNWs for hiring. This is in the broader context of ‘e-cruting,’ or the usage of internet for hiring decisions. According to Forrester Research Institute, 96% of all companies in... 


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