The reform agenda and Opposition options

Published : 12:05 am  August 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  3 Comments  |  962 views  |  
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Here’s the scenario for one year from now: one, possibly two more members of the ruling family will almost certainly be in Cabinet, while a bloodless Night of the Long Knives would have seen off the SLFP barons suspected of allegiance to the deposed queen. I ain’t got no dog in this fight, but I would like the political situation to have far greater balance and wouldn’t like the System to be even more top-heavy than it is. Simply put, I wouldn’t like Sri Lanka to function, or rather, dysfunction, ridiculously like a medieval kingdom in the 21st century. Now if you think appearing as a kingdom or transitioning from a republic to a kingdom is a good thing provided roads get built, real... 

A ‘Child’s Guide’ to the IMF’s press release on Sri Lanka

Published : 12:00 am  August 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, W. A. Wijewardena  |  1 Comment  |  7,180 views  |  
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An IMF mission with a mission The International Monetary Fund, better known as the IMF, has issued a press release on July 29, 2014 after its Executive Board had discussed the report presented to it by the Staff Mission that had visited Sri Lanka in May 2014 (available at: The staff mission had been fielded by the IMF under Article IV of its Articles of Agreement which is the constitution governing the Fund. This Article has stipulated that the IMF should have discussion with member countries, usually once a year, on their economic development and policies. The report submitted by the staff mission is discussed by the IMF’s Executive... 

EDB turns 35

Published : 12:00 am  August 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  403 views  |  
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A review of its contribution to the nation The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) celebrated its 35th anniversary on 1 August. As an apex national organisation in export development and promotion, the EDB deserves a high degree of praise for its remarkable contribution made towards socioeconomic development of the country. Since its inception, it was the dedicated effort of the talented and qualified staff that strengthened EDB to become the leading institution of export development in the nation for the last 35 years. The Government elected to power in 1977 introduced the Open Economic Policy mainly to establish export-oriented economy with the objective of developing the supply of... 

Stockholm syndrome and Sri Lanka

Published : 12:00 am  August 4, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,651 views  |  
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Sri Lankan media gave much publicity to a kidnapped child, Dinidu from Megalewa, recently. It is yet another emotional episode involving several key players. Reflecting on multiple dimensions of this event, I thought of perusing on the strange relationship between captors and captives. Stockholm syndrome is a case in point. Let’s see what it is and how it connects to Sri Lankan workplaces.   Overview Stockholm syndrome is also known as capture-bonding. It essentially speaks of what happens when hostages express sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors. It is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, Sweden. The event took place... 

Social media empowers democracy

Published : 12:00 am  August 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,010 views  |  
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In this day and age, the relevance of social media in almost all spheres of human life cannot be overlooked, as it has become an integral part of our daily lives, making us aware of social, political and economic activities happening locally and around the world. It is a mirror of the society and times we live in and it shows us the bare truth and the harsh realities of life. In a nation as diverse as Sri Lanka, the need for information in order to build a relationship between the government and its citizens is crucial because the social media can sometimes act as an informative bridge between the government and the general public. The media as a whole are part of a constitutional balance of... 

Four shipping alliances to control 95% of market share

Published : 12:00 am  August 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Shipping / Aviation  |  Leave a Comment  |  958 views  |  
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Four shipping alliances to control 95% of market share In the wake of the formation of the 2M alliance by Maersk Line and MSC, their former P3 partner CMA CGM is expected to team up with China Shipping and UASC. Based on their present involvement in services as a vessel operator, CMA CGM, China Shipping and UASC (referred to as CCU) should be able to offer a combined number of 18 weekly plus one fortnightly service on the east-West routes, deploying 154 ships of average 8,100 TEU, total 1,250,000 TEU nominal capacity. If CCU materialises, the Europe-Fax East trade will consist of four separate marketing consortia only, most of which are also active on the Transpacific and Transatlantic routes,... 

Sri Lanka as training hub of Asia to fill the void in training and development market

Published : 12:00 am  August 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, HR  |  2 Comments  |  384 views  |  
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One of the critical aspects of raising a country’s level of human competence in today’s global environment is the emphasis on training and development that is encouraged and driven across the broader spectrum of business, commerce and the public sector – in fact across the entire nation. Gone are the days when a mere academic or professional qualification can be taken as a level of competency to deliver above board – or even mere satisfactory – performance levels in the changing, enhancing and extremely competitive environment that exists in every field of human endeavour. The mindset that still exists among Sri Lankan organisations is that employees at all levels, including management... 

Combating human trafficking: Role of multiple stakeholders

Published : 12:00 am  August 2, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,169 views  |  
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Human trafficking is modern day slavery Human trafficking is the form of modern day slavery. It involves trafficking men, women and children for forced labour and sex work. Trafficking in persons is considered to be the second largest criminal industry in the world. It is being second only to drug trafficking. This is growing and has become a grave issue across the globe. Human trafficking in a nutshell is deception, recruitment, transportation and exploitation of men, women and children. In ancient times, when the man was not as civilised as today, slave trade had been a lucrative business around the world. Human beings from the African Continent and poor countries in other parts of the world... 

NDB-DFCC merger should not leave stakeholders feeling stressed

Published : 12:00 am  August 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dinesh Weerakkody, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,953 views  |  
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Seven months ago, DFCC Bank (DFCC), the only remaining development bank, and National Development Bank (NDB), a commercial bank, announced that they, in pursuance of the policies announced by the Government encouraging the consolidation of certain banking businesses, would commence preliminary discussions with a view to achieving such consolidation. In a press ann-ouncement around the same time, the Boards of DFCC and NDB said that there was no definite decisions on any aspect of such consolidation and that final decisions would be dependent, amongst others, on arrangements being agreed keeping paramount the interests of customers, employees (which in the case of DFCC include those of DFCC Vardhana... 

Civil society: The greatest bugbear, the greatest hope?

Published : 12:01 am  July 31, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  1,881 views  |  
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 Mahinda Rajapakse knows the power and impact of civil society because he worked with us – Dr. Nimalka Fernando, lawyer and activist     The young Parliamentarian from Hambantota was trying to board a plane bound for Geneva on 11 September 1990, when he was intercepted by an Assistant Superintendent of Police by the name of Kudahetti. The senior Policeman wanted to search the MP’s baggage for fabricated documents likely to be “prejudicial to the interests of national security or promote feelings of hatred or contempt” towards the ruling Government of the day. The Parliamentarian refused to submit to the search and called up his boss instead. After a brief telephone conversation... 

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