Pathana-Trinity clash: Pick of the week

Published : 4:55 am  April 25, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  764 views  |  
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The school season is back after the extended holidays. The game that’s up for grabs is a big one as Pathana takes on unbeaten Trinity. We have not seen Trinity play in Colombo and this will be their first outing. Having watched Trinity courtesy of YouTube and not live, it is apparent that the two teams are playing very different styles of rugby. Pathana as customary plays a hustle and bustle game with some hard bone crunching tackles in addition to a liberal dose of spoiling rugby. I do not say it in a bad sense but given an opportunity they are great spoilers. Into the mix you need to add that they have shown glimpses of individual brilliance be it with ball in hand or executing something... 

Foreign policy, defence strategies and the public

Published : 1:33 am  April 25, 2014  |  Category: Harsha Gunasena  |  1 Comment  |  503 views  |  
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It looks like it is complicated and difficult to understand world affairs today. Many say that there are double standards, hypocrisy and hidden agendas in international relations. It is simple to understand the complicated situations if one can go to the basics. What are the basics? Those are self-protection and self-interest. Let us try to understand the complicated scenarios objectively by examining the basics. Foreign policy of any super power is based on the defence strategy of that country and then comes trade interests. American foreign policy is based on the defence strategies of America. When the defence strategies are considered those are not based on rules and regulations. Those are... 

Big data goes green

Published : 1:21 am  April 25, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  587 views  |  
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How analysing data in the power grid is set to drive a new wave of energy efficiency I’ve recently made the effort to be more environmentally friendly. I turn the TV off at the mains when I’ve finished watching it, and I’ve stopped letting the tap run when I brush my teeth. Did you know that you can save up to eight gallons of water a day doing that? We’re constantly asked by governments and utility companies to be more energy efficient in our day-to-day lives, so I wanted to do my bit. I hope you are too. There’s no hiding from the fact that we all need to be more energy efficient to reduce harmful carbon emissions and to satisfy growing demand for energy from the ever-increasing... 

“UNP has no faith in Government investigation of Mattala attack”

Published : 12:00 am  April 25, 2014  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  673 views  |  
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The United National Party claims it has no faith in the way the Government is carrying out the investigation on the Mattala attack and is therefore compelled to take it to the international level. UNP Parliamentarian Ajith Perera who was a victim of the attack stresses: “If we don’t get a positive response, we are compelled to complain to the International Parliamentary Union. We need justice done. ” Following are excerpts of the interview: Q: What happened in Mattala? A: This was a fact finding mission. Our team comprised Eran Wickramaratne who is a banker and an economist, Ajith Mannapperuma an engineer, R. Yogarajan a civil engineer, Nalin Bandara a well-known civil contractor and a... 

An intelligent system?

Published : 12:00 am  April 25, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  365 views  |  
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In the final analysis every system will be judged by its delivery. However high-minded its initial intention, however appealing its concept, a system breathes and bleeds in the streets where it meets the people it is to serve. When it comes to the legal system this is even truer, given that the purpose of its existence is to bring justice to the people. Without venturing into endless discussions on the meaning of justice, we can simply conclude that a legal system should be seen to work in a manner that is acceptable to a reasonable person. If most of society begins to view the system as essentially unfair or unnecessarily oppressive, we can conclude that the system has failed us. During this... 

Mob rule and the ‘Hambantota Doctrine’

Published : 12:14 am  April 24, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians  |  8 Comments  |  2,381 views  |  
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Marauding saffron armies and increasingly unruly pro-Government mobs are casting long shadows on Sri Lanka’s future Hambantota is Rajapaksa country. The rest of Sri Lanka may be in the vice grip of a raging personality cult, but the southern district is a ruling family fiefdom. The Hambantota District is home to Medamulana in the Beliatta Polling Division, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ancestral village and the seat of his power. Since the President assumed office, mega development projects have been channelled into the dry and sparsely populated agricultural district, turning the sleepy region into an infrastructure hub that will one day, according to the Rajapaksa Government’s vision,... 

Stakes of sanitation in Sri Lanka

Published : 12:02 am  April 24, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  834 views  |  
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According to the 2012 statistics of the Sanitation Bureau, only 2.4% of the Sri Lankan population has access to collective sanitation while 84% of the population uses individual sanitation which consists of a septic tank that then discharges into a combined (wastewater and rainwater) sewer network without further treatment. The rest of the population uses latrines. As drinking water coverage is almost 100%, sanitation is now becoming one of the main priorities in terms of public investment, and cities in Sri Lanka will experience tremendous change in the coming years. Assessment Lack of effective sanitation has a negative effect on public health: Everyone can appreciate that wastewater in open... 

Financial sector consolidation: What risks lie ahead?

Published : 12:00 am  April 24, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  5 Comments  |  1,174 views  |  
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The current headlining issue in the financial media of Sri Lanka is the financial sector consolidation mooted by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) through the ‘Master Plan on Consolidation of the Financial Sector,’ which deals with the consolidation of the banking sector and Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFIs) or finance companies. This consolidation plan comes in the wake of another CBSL-supervised finance company falling in troubled waters, namely, CIFL and prior to that the string of finance companies under the Ceylinco umbrella that met with a similar fate. The CBSL has put forward lofty objectives as being the drivers of this consolidation plan such as; creating a larger capital... 

Profit optimisation through optimal capital utilisation: Banking sector

Published : 12:00 am  April 24, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  461 views  |  
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The Sri Lankan commercial banking sector has been solvent due to proactive and extra precautionary regulatory requirements exceeding that of global standards. CAR and SLAR When the European and US banking system strives to follow bare minimum requirement of regulatory standards, the Sri Lankan banks hold 5% to 10% in excess of certain regulatory requirements such as CAR (Capital Adequacy Ratio) and SLAR (Statutory Liquid Asset Ratio). On one hand this has reduced the systemic risks for the economy, however on the other hand it has brought in complacency in management aspects of banks. This impacts the return on equity (ROE) for the share holders. Additionally Sri Lanka is not exposed to derivative... 

Knock ‘t’ off can’t

Published : 12:00 am  April 24, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  842 views  |  
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We may have embraced several New Year resolutions in January and some may find it hard to recall these resolutions. Come April we may have engaged with more traditional practices and again ventured to set our minds on a few more resolutions. It is easier to mentally sign on to well-intended resolutions and retrospectives but few days down the line more established habits surface and drown out most of our good intentions. There is however an aspect in our Sri Lankan psyche that definitely needs some correction and that is with regard to saying ‘Yes! We can!’When a question is raised on coming out of our economic woes through manufacturing, especially in the process industry, the answer almost... 

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