Parliamentary election, mounting crisis, Mahinda factor

Published : 12:00 am  March 31, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  378 views  |  
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The SLFP participation at the Ratnapura rally trumped the cooptation (‘National Government’) tactic of the SLFP Rightwing. The anti-Mahinda tendency of the SLFP is now caught in the coils of its own contradictions. If it follows the dictates of Chandrika “Sonia” Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and facilitates the passage of the 19th amendment in its current reinforced form, it collaborates in transforming the SLFP’s new leader Maithripala Sirisena into a lame duck President, which means weakening his capacity to dispense patronage and which thereby weakens the SLFP while strengthening the PM and therefore the fortunes of the UNP. That would further legitimise the charge of a sell-out and embolden... 

Central banking 18: Governor and board members are trustees and not owners of the central bank

Published : 12:30 am  March 30, 2015  |  Category: Columnists, W. A. Wijewardena  |  7 Comments  |  5,276 views  |  
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A central bank can earn its living by printing money A central bank is a unique species. It does not have to work in order to earn its existence. This is because it has been given a power which no one else in society has. That power is to have all the resources it wants just by assuming a liability through a mere book entry. For instance, suppose it wants to lend to the government by buying a Treasury bill. All it has to do is to debit a Treasury bill holding account in its books and debit that account and credit the value it has lent to the government to the government’s deposit account which it maintains in its books. Then, how does the government make use of the money lent to it by the central... 

Port permits a big racket, should be made online

Published : 12:27 am  March 30, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  294 views  |  
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Last week we saw the exporters and importers of this country being held to ransom by few organised truckers by blocking the movements into the main port of Colombo and disrupting container movements. The loss to the economy for the 24-hour shut down will never be officially calculated, but will run into millions while also disrupting the supply chain, to say the least.     Free market and competition We are into business in an economy which has embraced free market and competition, and the business of ports should be transparent and the most competitive as the local exporters, manufacturers and consumers can be directly affected if the Government doesn’t ensure fair play when offering... 

Rao’s reflections on HR

Published : 12:18 am  March 30, 2015  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  455 views  |  
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It was so special meeting Dr. T.V. Rao after 10 years. Last time, it was at the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) where he conducted a program on Human Resource Development (HRD) Audit. This time it was at the Institute of Personnel Management (IPM) where he was featured as a speaker at a CEO breakfast forum.     Overview The name T.V. Rao is synonymous with the advances of HRD in India. In fact, he is hailed as the father of Indian HRD. His concept of “HRD Scorecard” was even before Prof. Ulrich wrote about his “HR Scorecard”. It is useful to discover this remarkable personality, whose work I have often cited in my teaching and research. A new HRD system emerged in... 

Do Ministers ‘spend’ or ‘invest’ time?

Published : 12:00 am  March 30, 2015  |  Category: Columnists, Hilmy Cader  |  2 Comments  |  403 views  |  
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The socioeconomic challenges that Sri Lanka encounters today require fundamentally effective solutions as opposed to ‘knee-jerk’ responses and ‘patchwork’ solutions. This in turn, requires all relevant stakeholders to jointly engage in deep thought and sincere ‘soul searching’. Therefore, Ministers should spend more time analysing and strategising and far less time on ‘ceremonising’ and ‘sermonising’. (The author has been and will always be politically neutral and uninvolved. The intention here is to urge good governance by asking the hard questions.)  Read More →

M.R., M.S., and Mr./Ms. Machiavelli?

Published : 12:00 am  March 27, 2015  |  Category: Columnists, Wijith DeChickera  |  Leave a Comment  |  558 views  |  
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  There are at least three ways to view the sudden swell in the numbers of government ministers earlier this week. The first is a charitable one – that “these things happen” and it’s all to be expected (and even accepted) as par for the course in island politics. The second is a cynical one – suggesting that “there’s more to this than meets the eye”, hinting at hidden agendas and vested interests, necessitating some pragmatic horse-trading and wheeler-dealing. The third is a critically subversive one – “who knows what” – knowing but not really understanding; and winking with a nod at the potentially paradigm-shifting game-changing going on behind the scenes, in front... 

Creating 1 m new jobs

Published : 12:00 am  March 27, 2015  |  Category: Columnists, Dinesh Weerakkody  |  1 Comment  |  440 views  |  
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For a start, we need to focus our education and training investment primarily to deliver the skills to leverage FDI and regional manpower opportunities     The new Government of President Sirisena in its 100-day program talks of creating a strategy to overcome the unemployment problem that affects our young people by putting in place a million jobs program for local and foreign employment and for self-employment. One option would certainly be to export more labour oversees. Today, Sri Lanka’s total remittance from abroad is in excess of $ 6 billion. Many of our young unskilled people want to go oversees to mainly improve their earning capacity. Therefore, if we are serious about... 

UNP is united and stronger than ever: Marikkar

Published : 12:00 am  March 27, 2015  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu, Columnists  |  4 Comments  |  597 views  |  
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Young Western Provincial Councillor and UNP organiser for Kolonnawa upbeat of party’s prospects in upcoming general election but insists fulfilling of pledges made to people is key Western Provincial Councillor and UNP Organiser for the Kolonnawa electorate S.M. Marikkar who polled highest votes at the last Provincial Council poll is upbeat of party’s prospects in the upcoming General Election. However he warned that expeditious fulfilment of the pledges made to people in the run up to 8 January Presidential election is key. In a no holds barred interview with the Daily FT, Marikkar makes a critical assessment of the status of national politics so far. Following are excerpts of an interview... 

I really am unique! Look after me with care!

Published : 12:57 am  March 26, 2015  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  658 views  |  
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It is indeed nice of United Nations to mark a day – 22 March – to honour me for the role that I play in supporting life and indeed I feel thrilled when many nations, international agencies and institutes spend quite a time celebrating and appreciating me and requesting others to really take care of me. I feel touched when kids across the world show their appreciations through essays, posters and dramas. I however feel saddened after a few days this show of gratitude is lost and many a wasteful habit resurfaces. I cannot understand why the human mind is so fickle and why so many good words do not end in good deeds. Yet I pledge to myself that I will continue to serve in the best way I can. However,... 

Corruption corrodes the whole economy

Published : 12:40 am  March 25, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  3 Comments  |  555 views  |  
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Will the President’s commission be the death of corruption? When corruption is rampant, the fear of demands for bribes will reduce local investment and severely impact foreign investment. To foster investment and growth, corruption must be eliminated       President Maithripala Sirisena has sent a very strong signal that he will act against corruption The President has heard There was a plethora of stories of corruption during the election campaign. The public were titillated by the prospect of big names being dragged through the courts to jail. When there were no convictions in sight, all eyes turned towards the President. His wings had not been clipped as yet, and... 

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