The new Government’s real agenda

Published : 3:39 am  January 24, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  11 Comments  |  1,263 views  |  
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Who and what do we take more seriously? Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s promise made to the Sri Lankan Parliament of ‘the implementation of the 13th Amendment within the unitary state’, or that which his Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has disclosed in New Delhi, India, while “talking to a select group of journalists”? I’d go with the latter, not only because of the venue, but also because Samaraweera is known to be the bridge between Wickremesinghe and his influential political ally and partner, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.                           The Foreign Minister has given us the first clear... 


JVP disgusted by greed and fight to grab best ministries: Anura Kumara

Published : 12:01 am  January 23, 2015  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu, Columnists  |  12 Comments  |  2,096 views  |  
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The JVP has certain concerns about the newly-appointed Cabinet of Ministers, stated JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Despite the Cabinet only being an interim one formed for just 100 days, the fight to grab the best ministries has disgusted the party, he asserted. “The Minister of Education barely has one school term to carry out his work. The Minister of Agriculture doesn’t have one farming season. The Maha season has already commenced and before the Yala season Parliament will be dissolved. The Minister of Housing will not be able to lay the foundation to build a house within this 100 day period. This clearly shows how temporary this is. Unfortunately, when we see how greedy they have... 


Building credible mechanisms for domestic accountability and transitional justice: Prosecutions and criminal justice

Published : 12:00 am  January 23, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  1,665 views  |  
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This article is the first in a series by the author that focuses on the set of measures that together form the core of transitional justice. In particular, it considers the benchmarks that the new Sri Lankan administration must set itself, but also to which the Government must be held if their claims about an effective domestic process are to be credible. In doing so, it points to areas where international support for the Government and Sri Lankan civil society – financial, personnel or technical – are most needed and may meaningfully be deployed. This article deals with prosecutions and criminal justice   Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has already signalled to the Indian media... 


Mangala should get Sri Lanka’s Foreign Service back to work

Published : 12:00 am  January 23, 2015  |  Category: Columnists, Dinesh Weerakkody  |  2 Comments  |  648 views  |  
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During the last administration, of the 49 posts, 35 heads of diplomatic missions were filled with political appointees, and this practice turned the Foreign Service into a branch of the UPFA. The politicisation of the Foreign Service led to the dismal state in the foreign relations sphere in the country. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera   Diplomacy plays a direct role in addressing the root cause of insecurity. Diplomatic initiatives build partnerships so nations can work together to address bilateral and multilateral issues. Diplomacy refers to communication or negotiations tactics that use political and legal channels to address both bilateral and multilateral issues. Good diplomacy... 


What’s next: The role and future of HR

Published : 12:00 am  January 23, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  439 views  |  
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HR professionals: The challenge of today and the vision of tomorrow     Introduction While the term ‘Strategic Human Resource Management’ (SHRM) may sound like an oxymoron to some, many companies recognise that effective HRM is key to their competitiveness. It is widely acknowledged and accepted in business that the sources of sustained competitive advantage lie not only in access to finance or capital, but within the organisation, in people and processes capable of delivering business strategies such as customer satisfaction or rapid innovation (Bawany, 2004). HR professionals who have the business acumen to contribute to business strategy at the highest organisational levels are... 


How should appointments be made under Yahapalanaya?

Published : 12:00 am  January 23, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  1,021 views  |  
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Certain circles in Colombo are abuzz in conversations about who should be appointed to what positions. If one is part of these circles, one feels important. If not, one feels excluded and angry about the wrong decisions being made. This is part of the ritual of the changing of the guard in Sri Lanka. But should it continue in the context of how bad the results of the capricious appointments have been and the Yahapalanaya promises that were the centerpiece of the successful campaign? The Government owns certain companies (e.g., SriLankan Airlines and the ICT Agency) and corporations. Exercise control in the same way that any entity owning shares in a company exercises control: appoint members... 


How do you solve a problem like the Chief Justice?

Published : 1:39 am  January 22, 2015  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians  |  4 Comments  |  2,812 views  |  
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Two years ago on 15 January, the Rajapaksa Government had to deploy elite police guards, water cannons and barricades to install Mohan Peiris in the Chief Justice’s chair at Hulftsdorp. As police prevented lawyers and journalists from entering through the main gates of the Supreme Court, Peiris was driven in through a side entrance and hustled up to the fifth floor of the superior courts complex. Outside the barred gates, activist lawyers who had fought hard against the illegal sacking of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake lit candles in bright sunlight to symbolise the onset of ‘darkness at noon’ as Sri Lanka’s upper judiciary tumbled into the hands of the incumbent regime. The intervening... 


Veni, Vidi, Vici

Published : 12:00 am  January 22, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  4 Comments  |  285 views  |  
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zVeni, vidi, vici’ (I came, I saw, I conquered) a classical Latin phrase: Its popular usage reportedly originates from a letter Julius Caesar wrote to  the Roman Senate around 46 BC, in the city of Zela (now in Tokat Province in Turkey), after achieving victory in his short war against Pharnaces II of Pontus at the Battle of Zela. The phrase is used to refer to a swift, conclusive victory. Our hero today though, not even remotely related to Julies Caesar, earned a swift and emphatic victory at the recently concluded presidential election in Sri Lanka, palpably heralding a new era for the people. It was a historical triumph. People were relieved and happy at the turn of events and it... 


‘Hire and fire’ of State-Owned Enterprise boards

Published : 12:49 am  January 21, 2015  |  Category: Columnists, Hilmy Cader  |  2 Comments  |  648 views  |  
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With every regime change, the entire board of most major State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are ‘sacked’ and replaced with an entirely new board, often with no formal transition or ‘knowledge transfer’ process. This can be detrimental to the business. However, two effective practices that can be considered are: nUnder the auspices of the Auditor-General, the Government should recruit a pool of professional non-executive directors, who can be rotated among the SOEs. They should be truly independent and cannot be politically dislodged. This can be in addition to the political appointees (if they must really resort to that!). nMake it a compulsory legal requirement for any outgoing SOE board... 


Were our leaders praying or taking insurance against lightning strikes?

Published : 12:00 am  January 21, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  388 views  |  
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Were the leaders of this State, including those political, official, business, academic, journalism and civil society leaders, who participated in the process of compiling, presenting, endorsing and sometimes misrepresenting and deceiving the public by promoting the National Budget 2015 as well as the leaders who made presidential election promises by way of published vision statements/manifestos, action programs, presentations and platform pronouncements, praying to the Aruchchana Deviyo (the god purported to control thunder strikes) for protection or taking insurance covers to protect and mitigate risk against possible lightning strikes or doing both?   Has the Budget 2015 conformed to... 


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