From humble beginnings to heady heights

Published : 12:48 am  September 5, 2014  |  Category: Marianne David  |  6 Comments  |  1,735 views  |  
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A highly-respected business leader in Sri Lanka who spearheaded CIC Holdings’ transformation from a chemicals-oriented company into a leading conglomerate, B.R.L. Fernando stepped down from his position as Non-Executive Chairman of CIC Holdings last month. Fernando served the company in various senior management positions for 36 years and helped it become one of the largest conglomerates in Sri Lanka during his time at the helm, as its Managing Director/CEO from 1988 to 1995 and Chairman from 1995 to 2009. Fernando, who leaves a substantial legacy at CIC, will continue to serve on the boards of some of CIC Holdings’ subsidiary companies, while turning his attention to a new challenge –... 

Let the new money boost growth

Published : 12:00 am  September 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  560 views  |  
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Yes, there is a lot of new money! One little symbol of this money is the flood of grand cars on the roads. Soon there might be more Mercs than nano cabs! ‘What is new money?’ one may well ask. It is a lot of money with people who previously had little or no wealth and also great new wealth with those who previously had some wealth. Economic history Economic history narrates numerous stories of how a sudden accumulation of wealth has led to bursts of economic growth. When a few other important pieces are put in place, this new money can turbo-charge a sustained phase of growth in Sri Lanka. In the 19th century, the flow of wealth (from trading and plunder) from the colonies to the UK started... 

Corruption can snowball into destroying a country, along with those corrupt

Published : 12:00 am  September 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  4 Comments  |  2,377 views  |  
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A lesson from Venezuela Country and the resources Venezuela, as most of the readers may know, is the country that the charismatic leader President Hugo Chavez ruled from 1999 till his unfortunate death due to cancer in March 2013. He was loved by the masses in his country and many millions the world over for his brave leadership against Western powers and his rhetoric against the American economic empire. Venezuela is a country with a land mass of 912,000 Sq Km (14 times bigger than Sri Lanka) with a population of 29 million people. Per capita income of the country in 2012 was $ 13,800 with 95% of export revenue coming from crude oil (source: Index Currency of Venezuela is ‘Bolivars’... 

Nuclear neighbours and Sri Lankan energy

Published : 11:23 am  September 2, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  663 views  |  
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Sri Lanka has the potential to reap the benefits of nuclear positives, especially to prosper the energy sector. Neighbours support on technology is vital Nuclear is a much discussed topic in the present day international and political arena and security forums. Although the designed out put of nuclear capability is deterrence and destruction, the different nations use this as a power tool or a political tool to achieve the higher status of the regional hegemony. Though countries discussed about regional cooperation, power sharing, and free trade etc the nuclear assets and capabilities contribute vise versa in order to destroy the said important development concepts. This is very much imminent... 

Building ‘Brand Sri Lanka’ over and over again

Published : 3:03 am  September 2, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Rohantha Athukorala  |  Leave a Comment  |  648 views  |  
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Last week we saw some key events unfolding in Sri Lanka, the first being the announcement officially that Sri Lanka is engaging a global PR agency to give a balanced picture of Sri Lanka in the US market and the other being the staging of Miss China for Miss Universe 2014 in Sri Lanka. A thought that crossed my mind from the many interactions that I have had with the global expert in Nation Branding Simon Anholt was him mentioning that nation branding is a process where respect is earned with a series of actions over a long period of time rather than just orchestrated activity. In this ethos if we evaluate Sri Lanka we a mixed bag if one Googles Sri Lanka.                               Sri... 

Bharat’s Pradhan Sevak

Published : 2:59 am  September 2, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  2,562 views  |  
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Modi speaks on India’s 67th Independence Day Politicians, especially populist ones, campaign in poetry and govern with prose. Most times it with a repressive and harsh prose that they govern. This has not happened yet in India, but in the build-up to the traditional address to the nation from the ramparts of Delhi’s 17th century Mughal era Red Fort, the feeling was that the inspiring poetry of the Modi tsunami, which swept the cow belt in Bharat and showed a strong performance in other areas to enable the BJP to have an absolute majority in India’s lower house of Parliament, was fast turning into dull prose. In the election campaign, the Modi rhetoric was all about sweeping market reforms... 

Carriers to blank sailings for China’s Golden Week

Published : 12:00 am  September 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Shipping / Aviation  |  Leave a Comment  |  3,014 views  |  
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Carriers to blank sailings for China’s Golden Week Carriers in the east-west head-haul trades may opt to cancel fewer sailings this year in response to reduced volumes of China during the country’s Golden Week holiday in early October. The reason is that despite volumes that significantly fall off during the national holiday week, which will be 2-7 October this year, or week 41, 2014 overall is a stronger year in the head-haul east-west trades, making carriers possibly more hesitant to cancel or ‘blank’ scheduled sailings out of China to Europe and the US.   But it’s a high-wire act, or sorts, because if carriers misjudge the market and keep too much tonnage on the water, they may... 

Creative minds of writers can predict the future

Published : 12:00 am  September 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, W. A. Wijewardena  |  1 Comment  |  5,408 views  |  
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The Little Red Book of Authoritarian Regimes and the Green Book response by global powersAt the launch of ‘Asirimath Greesiya’ or ‘Wonder that is Greece’ by dramatist-novelist Ranjith Dharmakeerthi last week in Colombo, Colombo University’s senior Don Sarath Wijesoriya, who introduced the book to the audience, drew its attention to a short story written by Dharmakeerthi some 20 years ago. The short story titled ‘A man who has become isolated’ is wound around a writer who is being interviewed by a journalist to get his views on the year just past. It was a series of questions and answers relating to a wide spectrum of topics. About artistes, the writer says they are a group of sycophants... 

Revitalising public service performance

Published : 12:00 am  September 1, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  1,683 views  |  
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I am happy to be a part of a small but significant step in developing a new performance appraisal mechanism for the Sri Lankan public sector. It is jointly developed by the Public Services Commission (PSC) and the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM). We have started a pilot run with more than 10 organisations.  Today’s column is all about that endeavour with prospects and pitfalls. Overview Performance appraisals are not uncommon to Sri Lankan public service. How it is currently done is the question. In Sri Lanka, measuring of individual employee performance had been introduced by a Public Administration Initiative way back in 1998. The objective was to link the granting of annual increments... 

Ice Bucket Challenge: Is it the best use of ‘social energy’?

Published : 4:42 am  August 30, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Hilmy Cader  |  Leave a Comment  |  619 views  |  
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The ‘power’ of a great marketing idea going ‘viral’ was amply demonstrated by the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’. However, it also demonstrates the lack of effective strategy when it comes to social-cause marketing. Is this the most pressing socio-health challenge that the world faces today? Every year 1.5 million children die due to poor nutrition; 66 million children attend school hungry across the developing world; hunger kills more people than AIDS, TB and Malaria combined. In no way am I undermining those suffering from MND, instead highlighting the need to channel ‘social energies’ in a prioritised manner.  Read More →

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