Let us build up a children-friendly world

Published : 12:00 am  December 6, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  413 views  |  
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Manpower is an important living resource that occupies a prominent place in the world. Among many categories that constitute manpower, children are the most valuable asset that a nation owns. Just as precious as children are for parents, similarly the children’s generation is important and an invaluable asset for a nation. Let us build a child-friendly Sri Lanka where all children can spend their childhood with smiling faces   Children are the future of mankind. Present children are the future citizens who are expected to undertake democratic, economic and social responsibilities in the world. A person between birth and full growth (up to age 14) of a person is considered to be a child.... 


Digital dialogue: Can presidential aspirants make it a winning tool?

Published : 12:00 am  December 6, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  906 views  |  
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It’s that monotonously recurring time once again in Sri Lanka. The nation’s walls are already undergoing a transformation. The process is getting pretty hectic. A mosaic of colour swirls alongside smiling faces of known and unknown politicians giving their best pose. Pictures demonstrating formal greetings, bowings and all kinds of uncouth genuflections. Pictures have splashed city walls and have become both a cynosure and eyesore. The average onlooker feels the palpable cry “vote for meeeee”. The competitive mud-slinging and blatant character assassinations will soon follow. This process will animate both the urban and rural landscapes. Then comes the much-awaited “excreta work”.... 


Sirisena failed as SLFP General Secretary: Yapa

Published : 1:09 am  December 5, 2014  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu  |  4 Comments  |  984 views  |  
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Newly-appointed General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says the party should focus on the victory of President Rajapaksa without fighting with each other. Denying accusations about Rajapaksa family rule, the Minister stresses they have never experienced any of the President’s brothers interfering with others’ work. Yapa also claims that Maithripala Sirisena has failed to fulfill his duties as the General Secretary of the party and therefore he has a bigger task of establishing a close rapport with the members. Following are excerpts from the interview: Q: How shaken is the SLFP following recent crossovers and changes? A: The SLFP has faced this type of desertions... 


MOU with the JHU

Published : 1:05 am  December 5, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  588 views  |  
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Maithripala Sirisena must a be a Deng Hsiao Peng, not a Mikhail Gorbachev “I hate the goddamn system! But until someone comes along with changes that make sense, I’ll stick with it” – Clint Eastwood as “Dirty Harry” Callaghan, in ‘Magnum Force’ (1973) Those who criticise my continued ‘nonaligned’ approach to the presidential election and the candidates, as well as my refusal to convert unthinkingly to the cause of the joint Opposition, make the cardinal error of confusing governance, government and the State. That is not an error a political scientist is permitted; still less one of Marxian and Leninist provenance such as I am. I agree with all the criticisms made by the... 


To make the country a better place

Published : 1:01 am  December 5, 2014  |  Category: Dinesh Weerakkody  |  Leave a Comment  |  422 views  |  
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A professor of management at a recent seminar on leadership in the US asked why people run for president. Is it for power or to do good? He said ‘take a look at Barack Obama before he became president and now. You will notice how much he has aged.’ Therefore, he said, firstly running for president is very tough, and then secondly actually being president is even more difficult, because one needs a special set of skills and competencies to play an effective role and survive in office. Yet he observed that politicians are lining up around the block to consider bids for the presidential nomination in 2016. They’re looking at months of constant public speaking, travel, relentless fundraising... 


“Momentum against executive presidency is unstoppable” - CBK

Published : 12:55 am  December 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians  |  11 Comments  |  3,141 views  |  
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Love her or hate her, ex-President Chandrika Kumaratunga is a force to reckon with. Coming out of a nine-year retirement last month, the former Head of State has joined forces with a broad opposition movement attempting to abolish and reform the presidential office that she once held for 11 years. The declaration of SLFP frontliner Maithripala Sirisena as a common opposition challenger to President Mahinda Rajapaksa has cemented Kumaratunga’s position in the public psyche as polls fever hits the nation. As she struggles alongside Sirisena, the UNP and the civil society movement coalescing around the abolition platform, Kumaratunga is perceived as the leader of the SLFP rebellion that is threatening... 


0-60 MPH in under 4 seconds: All energy to you!

Published : 12:00 am  December 4, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  435 views  |  
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I had a chance to listen to a fascinating session of discussions involving a group of pioneers when attending the 59th LBR LBO CEO Forum at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel recently. The team of Sri Lankans who were going to put the country on the map with some outstanding technology integration was on stage describing their singular goal. A Sri Lankan team is taking on the world’s fastest electric car   Sri Lanka has been on the map in the recent past and mostly for the wrong reasons. The realisation of this objective should change the picture somewhat and one could hope for further catalytic fallout. It is a tribute that this talented team decided to come together to run this idea through on... 


Is freedom the most important part of development?

Published : 12:00 am  December 3, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  396 views  |  
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What is meant by the development of a country? Development is enhancing the wellbeing of people. So is it GDP growth? Is it growth in per capita income? Yes, it is all of those things but perhaps the most important component of development is enhancing freedom.     S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was a leader who recognised the importance of freedom   The most severe punishment From ancient times the biggest punishment handed to a person was imprisonment (if his head was not cut off). Imprisonment is the most severe punishment because it removes a person’s freedom. Even though jail provides an inmate with a roof over his head/her, food and company, people do not want to go to jail because... 


Dubai: Lessons from the world’s fastest city

Published : 12:00 am  December 3, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  415 views  |  
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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven Sheikdoms consisting of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaima, Fujairah, Um Al-Quwainn and Ajman. Emirates Airline at the Dubai Airport   The President of the UAE is Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum is the ruler of the Governorate of Dubai and also the Vice President and Prime Minister of the Federal Government of the UAE. The Office of the President is held by the Ruler of Abu Dhabi according to the Constitution of the Federal Government of UAE. On 2 December UAE celebrated its 43rd National day. It is important to state that there are virtually no controversies among governorates unlike in other... 


Building brand Sri Lanka in 2015

Published : 12:12 am  December 2, 2014  |  Category: Rohantha Athukorala  |  Leave a Comment  |  493 views  |  
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Last week I was invited to address an international audience on the power of Nation Branding. It was an interesting challenge given that Sri Lanka has had its share of economic success while also being up against the issues that the West has driven towards. But the key point that needs to be understood is that if we are to attract top dollar tourists and investors like Donald Trump, who has decided to invest in Sri Lanka, we must ensure that the perception the world has about the country is positive. Some countries invest on concepts like Nation Branding but the reality is that a country cannot paint a positive story. Nation branding experts like Simon Anholt comments that credible statements... 


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