Let my footprint be smart!

Published : 12:00 am  July 3, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  1,874 views  |  
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When reading company annual reports and sustainability reports, various footprint calculations can be observed today. While with high-profile multinationals that is now almost the norm, Sri Lankan companies too are catching up to the style – and hopefully some in substance – of incorporating such figures into their reports. However, in some cases I get the uneasy feeling that someone decided to include the data a few weeks before the deadline and rushed in to determine the value as reporting is not quite coherent. However, the gloss of the paper and the superior info-graphics can drown your misgivings as we truly spend lavishly on our annual reports. The carbon footprint of the effort of... 

The French BHNS: Answer to Colombo’s traffic malaises

Published : 12:00 am  July 2, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  820 views  |  
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BHNS: A French concept born at the dawn of the millennium A new mode of transport has been gaining currency in France since early 2000s, namely, the BHNS (Bus à Haut Niveau de Service – literally – Bus with a High Level of Service). This mode of transport was conceptualised in Nantes – a city in western France – a pioneer in the field of organisation and urban development. In 2004, having already constructed three tram lines, Nantes wanted to develop some supplementary routes. The obvious option was to go for new tram lines. Yet, given the projected daily traffic flow as well as construction and operating costs, this option was not considered best suited to the situation at hand. That... 

The World Corruption Cup

Published : 12:00 am  July 1, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,098 views  |  
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The ‘chewy’ beautiful game – Brazil 2014 The world’s attention is focused on the Football World Cup tournament being played out in Brazil. Once in every four years, the media’s attention worldwide is ritually drawn to this international tournament which decides the world champions for the sport. This time however, Uruguay’s Luis ‘Chewy’ Suarez’s bite into Italian Giorgio Chiellini shoulder has distracted the public! Chewy has done this twice before and also used his hands to save a goal in the 2010 World Cup against Ghana and was sin binned! ‘Chewy’ has been suspended from football participation for four months and a nine-match international ban was imposed by FIFA. The... 

The UN Human Rights System and its relevance to us

Published : 12:00 am  July 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  575 views  |  
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The recent violence against the Muslims in Aluthgama and Beruwala are being discussed in civil society and in the Opposition political party. Discussions are mainly on what happened and who is to blame. Most people end up blaming both communities. Different communities will always have differences of opinion. But resorting to violence is not an option for any community to resolve such differences. Don’t we have a Government which was elected on the Sinhala Buddhist vote? Surely if any Buddhist monk or group of Buddhist monks have a complaint against any other community, shouldn’t he or they take up the issue with the Government? Have they done so? Can anybody in society including Buddhist... 

What happened in Monaragala?

Published : 12:00 am  July 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Rohantha Athukorala  |  2 Comments  |  953 views  |  
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Whilst the overall growth of the country is commendable, reaching 7.5% in the last four years and overall poverty being reported at 6.7%, I was quite surprised to see the performance of Monaragala District, where the poverty level has increased to 20.8% in 2012/13 from the 14.5% registered in 2009/10. The first thing is to confirm if this data is correct and if so why this has happened given the focus by many private sector companies in setting up BPOs and agricultural projects in the Monaragala District. Inclusive growth? Tracking back to a Poverty Alleviation Conference I attended in ADB headquarters in Manila, Inclusive Growth (IG) was defined as all sectors of the economy contributing to... 

Rev. Dr. Walpola Rahula: Trailblazer in Sri Lanka’s university education

Published : 12:00 am  June 30, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, W. A. Wijewardena  |  8 Comments  |  6,549 views  |  
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Contributions made by Rev. Dr. Walpola Sri Rahula to Buddhism, comparative religious studies and higher education in Sri Lanka and abroad are to be commemorated at a ceremony to be held at BMICH on 3 July by Reverend Walpola Sri Rahula Institute of Buddhist Education. Today’s My View is an appraisal of his path-breaking contributions to the management education at Sri Lanka’s universities. A man both hated and loved Reverend Dr. Walpola Rahula became the Vice Chancellor of the then Vidyodaya University of Ceylon in October 1966. He left the post abruptly in July 1969. The period he served as the Vice Chancellor was very short. But that was a period of extreme turbulence in Sri Lanka’s university... 

Crisis proliferation, state of siege and the coming crack-up

Published : 12:00 am  June 30, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  1,058 views  |  
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The crisis is proliferating by the week. Which will come first, the crack-up or the state of siege? Which is the egg and which the chicken? There are two ways in which a country, a nation state, is destroyed. One is by supra-state/supra-national forces, i.e. external forces of hegemonic interventionism. The other is by sub-state/sub-national forces i.e. internal forces of fragmentation. Sri Lanka is being destroyed by both, and the two are feeding off each other. Insofar as the Rajapaksa administration is unable to resist and defeat the first category, the external forces, by the correct foreign policy and diplomatic strategy), it is unable to defend the country from hegemonic external interventionism... 

Winning reflections of an HR professional

Published : 12:00 am  June 30, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  682 views  |  
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It was a moment of pride and pleasure. It was also a moment of confidence and conviction that I have made the right move in transitioning from “an engineer of electrical to an engineer of hearts and minds”. This is definitely not a monkey praising its own tail. Neither is it an attempt for self-glorification. What my intent is to reflect as an HR professional and also as (most probably) the youngest winner of the IPM Lifetime Gold Award 2014. Overview The Institute of Personnel Management (IPM) has been having this cherished tradition of awarding the Lifetime Gold Award to an outstanding HR professional annually in conjunction with its National HR Conference. It can be regarded as the highest... 

A new world… old battles

Published : 3:41 am  June 27, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  699 views  |  
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Once I read a story about a butcher in England, who in order to hurt his only rival in the same town began to convert the town folk to vegetarianism! I was reminded of this story when reading about the closure of Muslim-owned businesses last week as a mark of protest. No trader will like to close his business, especially when there are other competitors on the field. Such things happen only when irrationality takes over. As history has repeatedly shown us, sectarian conflicts, whether racial or religious, is pure insanity. It is with profound sadness that we read about the troubles between the Muslims and some Sinhalese in certain parts of the country. With the end of the war against LTTE terrorism,... 

Striking the match

Published : 12:14 am  June 26, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion  |  7 Comments  |  3,054 views  |  
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Hardline monks did not riot or burn in Aluthgama and Beruwala last Sunday night. They just struck the match upon their platforms and watched the towns burn “They hold harthals now even for small, small incidents. When the LTTE was killing all communities indiscriminately, nobody held harthals” – President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport on Sunday, 22 June    As the politically-aware citizenry reels from the shock and horror of a 21st century ethno-religious riot, much of the despair stems from the knowledge that the horror of Aluthgama was a long time coming   Inside the Welipitiya mosque premises, the floors and walls of the little... 

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