Not mixing apples and oranges: NBFIs to merge as subsidiaries of banks

Published : 12:36 am  June 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Financial Services  |  1 Comment  |  1,202 views  |  
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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) unveiled its plan to consolidate the financial sector, specifically the banking and Non-Banking Financial Institution (NBFI) sectors early in this year, and now the process is making steady headway with the CBSL announcing in its latest press release on the subject that several financial institutions have already initiated the consolidation process. All banks and NBFIs have been requested to submit their final plans for consolidation by 30 June. Since unveiling the consolidation plan, the CBSL and the banking industry have organised many events to educate the industry and all concerned stakeholders, including the public, of the consolidation process. One... 

Tennis lessons for the Sri Lankan economy

Published : 12:16 am  June 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Rohantha Athukorala  |  4 Comments  |  864 views  |  
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With the French trade organisation Coface predicting Sri Lanka to be the second best performing economic growth country in Asia next to China, I was wondering ‘what next for Sri Lanka?’ In this backdrop, I was watching the French Open Championship 2014, better known as the Roland Garros, staged in Paris. Let me pick up some key ideas that went through my mind. 1) Pick-up 1: War crimes issue Cry baby Andy Murray – a term he earned after his outburst at the last Wimbledon – was up against the colourful and dramatic Monfils who hailed from France. Monfils had very strong crowd support. At one time the referee had to caution the crowd for being too loud. Murray kept his nerve and went on... 

Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and India

Published : 12:13 am  June 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Harsha Gunasena, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  1,015 views  |  
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New Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi representing the Bharathiya Janatha Party captured more than 50% of the seats in Lok Sabha. After decades India is having a strong government in the centre. It was mentioned that a strong India is good for Sri Lanka. In absolute terms it cannot be and it solely depends on Sri Lanka’s foreign policy. During the time of President Jayewardene, the Sri Lankan Government adopted a pro-Western foreign policy when India was aligned with the Soviet Union although the official policies of both governments were non-aligned. Economically India was following a closed economy where the Sri Lankan economy was liberalised after a difficult period of a closed economy. The... 

Democracy is many things

Published : 12:11 am  June 10, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  520 views  |  
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“Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many, for appointment by the corrupt few” – George Bernard Shaw Many a visitor to this island has observed the overwhelming power of the State as reflected in the armed strength displayed so openly. In a relatively peaceful country, where the possession of a firearm is strictly controlled, the armed forces act as if anticipating a ‘high noon’ at any moment. Even when investigating the most trivial offence it is not unusual for the Police to arrive at the scene of the crime, armed as if to do battle with a small army. The bodyguard provided for various politicians and high officials of the State are so teeth-rattling fearsome that they... 

Suppressive supervision

Published : 12:00 am  June 9, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  664 views  |  
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“People do not leave organisations, they leave their bosses”. I have heard this many a time here and abroad. The harsh truth is that there is something not so right with regards to supervision. In fact, there are subtle and suppressive ways a supervisor can make an employee’s life miserable. Let’s discuss how suppressive supervision is relevant to Sri Lankan organisations. Overview What is suppressive supervision? As the name suggests, it does harm to the employees. Suppressive supervision has been typically described as “subordinates” perceptions of the extent to which their supervisors engage in the sustained display of hostile verbal and nonverbal behaviour, excluding physical... 

Sri Lanka’s Governance Scorecard: The declining indicators should ring warning bells for everyone

Published : 12:00 am  June 9, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, W. A. Wijewardena  |  3 Comments  |  5,802 views  |  
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Real growth should improve quality of life All countries aspire to attain high economic growth in the belief that high growth will improve the welfare of the people. For instance, Sri Lanka’s avowed economic goal has been to double the per capita income or PCI from $ 2,000 six years ago to $ 4,000 by 2015 and increase the size of its economy from $ 67 billion in 2013 to $ 100 billion by 2016. These are noble goals since they make available a bigger volume of material goods and services to people on average if one ignores the disparity among different segments in society in the sharing of that high material prosperity. The presence of disparities tarnishes the quality of growth. Issues relating... 

Amalgamation: Where ignorance is bliss

Published : 12:00 am  June 9, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Financial Services  |  Leave a Comment  |  675 views  |  
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  A blending and fusion of two companies and continuance as a single company It is evident that there is much ambiguity and ignorance looming in the business circles and statutory authorities in Sri Lanka with regard to the concept of amalgamation. This article demystifies and sheds light on the concept as the exact legal nature thereof is of paramount importance in determining the associated tax consequences   Modes of combining companies Perhaps an apposite beginning to the analysis would be the judicial dicta pronounced by the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of R. vs. Black & Decker Manufacturing Co. “There are various ways in which companies can be put together. The... 

Game of Thrones: Rajapaksa Regime Mark III

Published : 12:00 am  June 7, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  3 Comments  |  1,365 views  |  
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The news, based on an exclusive interview – that Gotabaya Rajapaksa may formally enter mainstream politics by contesting Colombo at the parliamentary election (Deshaya and Daily FT) casts a significant light – some may say shadow – on the character of the regime as it will emerge recomposed after that election which will almost certainly be in the first quarter of 2015. The declaration of willingness by Gotabaya Rajapaksa to toss his hat into the ring is a response to two factors; a challenge and an imperative – secession and succession. It is a combination of intra-clan dynamics, the logical progression of the increasing influence of the security establishment, and above all, an entirely... 

What is the scope of national reconciliation?

Published : 12:00 am  June 6, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  637 views  |  
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People, including scholars, are talking about national reconciliation in Sri Lanka. They are blindly following the transitional justice model proposed by Western scholars to deal generally with post conflict situations. They say former enemies may have a long history of violence between them and may find themselves faced with the challenge of implementing a new negotiated structure for the future management of their differences. They then argue that one of the biggest obstacles to such future cooperation is that, because of the violence of the past, their relations are based on antagonism, distrust, disrespect, hurt and hatred. But how true is this in the case of the Sri Lankan context? No personal... 

The Saints go marching in

Published : 12:00 am  June 6, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, Columnists, Sports  |  1 Comment  |  702 views  |  
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Local rugby After last week’s rolling maul lesson by the Royalists, the Petes take on traditional rivals the Josephians in the 44th battle for the Rev. Fr. Basil Wiratunga memorial shield. The Joes have on and off played some good rugby but with no real level of consistency. Their levels of skill need loads of improvement, but in their favour is their attitude. Given a sniff they will grab it with both hands, and are considered great spoilers, not in the bad sense and opportunists. However these are not adequate in the modern game, and thus the Petes should not have much difficulty against them. The Petes too are far from being a settled side, and are very much a ‘work in progress’ as... 

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