Please mind the gap

Published : 12:00 am  November 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  3 Comments  |  426 views  |  
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Suppose you are in the middle of a crummy burb of Colombo. Imagine that you need to whisk yourself from where you are stationed to a last-minute client meeting that starts in just under thirty minutes at one of the myriad Cinnamon establishments that pepper the city. Let us be a tad more specific. Let us say that you don’t have access to your own petrol-guzzler, that you only have a couple of hundred rupees and that you are entirely reliant on our public transport. You stand at the edge of the main street that slices through the crummy place in question, you are dressed to put Don Draper to shame; you are armed, of course, with confidential client documents and you need to emerge at the said... 

My View at 200: Objective was to change the monologue culture to dialogue and then to multilogue; but silence of majority is crippling society

Published : 12:00 am  November 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, W. A. Wijewardena  |  2 Comments  |  5,262 views  |  
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Unbroken 200 runs Today’s My View – Economics Matters marks its 200th article published in this series on the economy, society, politics and global developments. It has appeared without failure on every Monday for nearly four years and maintaining that unbroken record for such a long period is by no means a simple task. Social media sites such as Facebook are facilitating multilogues that are creating 3.0 citizens The objective was to change the monologue to dialogue and then to multilogue The objective of the series was to change the ‘monologue culture’ that had practically numbed the intellectual curiosity of people in the recent past. Sri Lanka has been famous, throughout its post-independence... 

Budget 2015: Pushing up employer EPF contribution to 14%: Good or bad?

Published : 12:01 am  November 7, 2014  |  Category: Dinesh Weerakkody  |  2 Comments  |  1,589 views  |  
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President Mahinda Rajapaksa presenting Budget 2015 said the Government had decided to increase the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contribution from the employer from 12% to 14%. Some Government officials were quick to point out that in Singapore the employer contributes 16% to the CPF; it is also good to note that the employee contributes 20%. According to the EPF Act, an employee is required to contribute a minimum of 8% and the employer a minimum of 12% of the total salary of the employee monthly to the EPF. Unlike many employers, many workers would have welcomed the proposal to increase the employer contribution to 14%, because it helps an average worker to financially secure his retirement. A... 

Amaraweera commends relief ops, fires warning to estate companies

Published : 12:01 am  November 7, 2014  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu  |  Leave a Comment  |  432 views  |  
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Estate companies which fail to provide alternative housing for people in landslide prone areas will be taken over by the Government, asserted Minister of Disaster Management Mahinda Amaraweera, pointing out that the majority of estate companies have not provided ‘suitable’ land and as a result people have refused to leave the areas despite impending dangers. The Minister further pointed out that people have confirmed only half of Koslanda Meeriyabedda residents were provided with alternate housing despite warnings issued in 2005 and 2011. Following are excerpts from an interview with the Daily FT: Q: What are the latest developments with regard to the Koslanda landslide? A: We are compelled... 

Sahasak Nimavum: Spirit of the creative souls

Published : 12:00 am  November 6, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  595 views  |  
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It was indeed exciting to witness the products of active minds at the Sahasak Nimavum exhibition held at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre, championed and organised by the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission (SLIC). This year’s event was for the third consecutive time. This is a service extended by the Commission to provide a platform for the creative souls in our society to display their inventions and to explain the value of their idea to the public. Inventor of the automatic rail gate system, Aruna Samarawickrama   The number of footfalls to the precincts did not number much when compared with a consumer fair when various types of trinkets – most of the times brought down... 

Thinking behind the economic policies of the Government and the Budget

Published : 12:00 am  November 5, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Harsha Gunasena  |  3 Comments  |  660 views  |  
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The Government has presented the Budget for the fiscal year 2015 and there is widespread accusation that it is a giveaway budget aiming at anticipated elections in early next year. At the same time, the Budget is praised by the private sector for its economic direction. While appreciating these criticisms, it is appropriate to examine the thinking behind the economic policies of the Government and the Budget.     Control Previous governments consistently emphasised the point that the private sector was the engine of the growth. This Government, although it has not denied that point, has not emphasised on it either. It appears that the Government would like to control most of the areas... 

Is blogging the future tool of leisure marketing?

Published : 1:38 am  November 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  784 views  |  
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Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts to introduce first-ever bloggers conference in Asia on 18 November The experience of travel is changing as tourism grows, the world globalises and technologies shorten temporal and spatial difference. The phenomena of travel blogging adds a post-modern reflexivity to contemporary tourist practices as journey now uploads their personal experiences to the Internet as they go along Viewed collectively, the large volume of travel stories published on the Internet present a detailed picture of our travel habits: what we do, where we go and our thoughts and feelings along the way. It has also been recognised that the blog space produces its own particular recollections... 

The power to recall your MP

Published : 12:26 am  November 4, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  525 views  |  
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Empowering the voter Recently, in Britain, the Queen in her speech at the opening of a new session of Parliament announced that legislation will be introduced which will allow voters to sack misbehaving MPs. This landmark legislation, called the Recall of MPs Bill, will allow constituents to force a by-election if an MP, in their view, behaves badly. A petition to Recall, as proposed by the Monarch, will require the signatures of a minimum of 10% registered voters, to be obtained and submitted within an eight-week timeframe. As proposed, the new power of Recall will be triggered only if MPs are given a jail sentence or if the House of Commons is of the view that the MP concerned has engaged... 

Sri Lankan marketers see the power of social media

Published : 12:24 am  November 4, 2014  |  Category: Rohantha Athukorala  |  1 Comment  |  1,815 views  |  
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Last week Sri Lanka witnessed a landmark event when we saw an allegedly controversial advertisement by a top biscuit manufacturer back-benched by the adverse comments on social media. The decision was all the more important given that there was no mention of the same from the traditional media, which included the editorials that I scanned.                           From the social media platforms, Facebook was the lead media that was driving consumer thought creation on the alleged controversial piece of communication, which signifies the power of this media. Incidentally, this was the second time we saw the power of this medium.... 

Army squanders advantage in last quarter

Published : 12:05 am  November 4, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  301 views  |  
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The much-awaited Club rugby season kicked off over the weekend, with four games being worked off. As expected the pre-match favourites had it their way, albeit a few anxious moments in two of the games. As expected, a strong Navy outfit simply drowned the Sharks in the shallow waters down south, and it must be heart-wrenching to be on the losing side yet again for the Sharks as they were no match for the firepower of the Sailors. Kandy lived up to their pre-season hype and disposed of the Airmen in clinical fashion. In fact the Airmen almost struggled to take off, except for three successful kicks at goal. Once again, the Airmen were on the losing side and did not look like scoring. There is... 

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