EDB turns 35

Published : 12:00 am  August 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  276 views  |  
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A review of its contribution to the nation The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) celebrated its 35th anniversary on 1 August. As an apex national organisation in export development and promotion, the EDB deserves a high degree of praise for its remarkable contribution made towards socioeconomic development of the country. Since its inception, it was the dedicated effort of the talented and qualified staff that strengthened EDB to become the leading institution of export development in the nation for the last 35 years. The Government elected to power in 1977 introduced the Open Economic Policy mainly to establish export-oriented economy with the objective of developing the supply of... 

Stockholm syndrome and Sri Lanka

Published : 12:00 am  August 4, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  327 views  |  
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Sri Lankan media gave much publicity to a kidnapped child, Dinidu from Megalewa, recently. It is yet another emotional episode involving several key players. Reflecting on multiple dimensions of this event, I thought of perusing on the strange relationship between captors and captives. Stockholm syndrome is a case in point. Let’s see what it is and how it connects to Sri Lankan workplaces.   Overview Stockholm syndrome is also known as capture-bonding. It essentially speaks of what happens when hostages express sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors. It is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, Sweden. The event took place... 

Social media empowers democracy

Published : 12:00 am  August 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  798 views  |  
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In this day and age, the relevance of social media in almost all spheres of human life cannot be overlooked, as it has become an integral part of our daily lives, making us aware of social, political and economic activities happening locally and around the world. It is a mirror of the society and times we live in and it shows us the bare truth and the harsh realities of life. In a nation as diverse as Sri Lanka, the need for information in order to build a relationship between the government and its citizens is crucial because the social media can sometimes act as an informative bridge between the government and the general public. The media as a whole are part of a constitutional balance of... 

Four shipping alliances to control 95% of market share

Published : 12:00 am  August 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Shipping / Aviation  |  Leave a Comment  |  670 views  |  
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Four shipping alliances to control 95% of market share In the wake of the formation of the 2M alliance by Maersk Line and MSC, their former P3 partner CMA CGM is expected to team up with China Shipping and UASC. Based on their present involvement in services as a vessel operator, CMA CGM, China Shipping and UASC (referred to as CCU) should be able to offer a combined number of 18 weekly plus one fortnightly service on the east-West routes, deploying 154 ships of average 8,100 TEU, total 1,250,000 TEU nominal capacity. If CCU materialises, the Europe-Fax East trade will consist of four separate marketing consortia only, most of which are also active on the Transpacific and Transatlantic routes,... 

Sri Lanka as training hub of Asia to fill the void in training and development market

Published : 12:00 am  August 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, HR  |  2 Comments  |  291 views  |  
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One of the critical aspects of raising a country’s level of human competence in today’s global environment is the emphasis on training and development that is encouraged and driven across the broader spectrum of business, commerce and the public sector – in fact across the entire nation. Gone are the days when a mere academic or professional qualification can be taken as a level of competency to deliver above board – or even mere satisfactory – performance levels in the changing, enhancing and extremely competitive environment that exists in every field of human endeavour. The mindset that still exists among Sri Lankan organisations is that employees at all levels, including management... 

Combating human trafficking: Role of multiple stakeholders

Published : 12:00 am  August 2, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  442 views  |  
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Human trafficking is modern day slavery Human trafficking is the form of modern day slavery. It involves trafficking men, women and children for forced labour and sex work. Trafficking in persons is considered to be the second largest criminal industry in the world. It is being second only to drug trafficking. This is growing and has become a grave issue across the globe. Human trafficking in a nutshell is deception, recruitment, transportation and exploitation of men, women and children. In ancient times, when the man was not as civilised as today, slave trade had been a lucrative business around the world. Human beings from the African Continent and poor countries in other parts of the world... 

NDB-DFCC merger should not leave stakeholders feeling stressed

Published : 12:00 am  August 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dinesh Weerakkody, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  617 views  |  
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Seven months ago, DFCC Bank (DFCC), the only remaining development bank, and National Development Bank (NDB), a commercial bank, announced that they, in pursuance of the policies announced by the Government encouraging the consolidation of certain banking businesses, would commence preliminary discussions with a view to achieving such consolidation. In a press ann-ouncement around the same time, the Boards of DFCC and NDB said that there was no definite decisions on any aspect of such consolidation and that final decisions would be dependent, amongst others, on arrangements being agreed keeping paramount the interests of customers, employees (which in the case of DFCC include those of DFCC Vardhana... 

Civil society: The greatest bugbear, the greatest hope?

Published : 12:01 am  July 31, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  1,615 views  |  
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 Mahinda Rajapakse knows the power and impact of civil society because he worked with us – Dr. Nimalka Fernando, lawyer and activist     The young Parliamentarian from Hambantota was trying to board a plane bound for Geneva on 11 September 1990, when he was intercepted by an Assistant Superintendent of Police by the name of Kudahetti. The senior Policeman wanted to search the MP’s baggage for fabricated documents likely to be “prejudicial to the interests of national security or promote feelings of hatred or contempt” towards the ruling Government of the day. The Parliamentarian refused to submit to the search and called up his boss instead. After a brief telephone conversation... 

My glass of used water please!

Published : 12:00 am  July 31, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  670 views  |  
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Water, water, everywhere, not a drop to drink – a sailor may lament when drifting across the sea minus his craft. Today technology is advanced and commonly available, thus freeing ships of the need to dock at a harbour to take in water. Countries need not divert rivers to meet needs but process sea water, especially in coastal areas. Desalination is a technology serving many a nation and we too use the technology in coastal holiday resorts as well as in major thermal power plants, Lakvijaya at Norochcholai being an example. Reverse osmosis units are also being used in areas where the CKDU (chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology) prevails though this is questionable from the point of view... 

Public Procurement Law: Can new laws be enacted to establish level playing field for bidders?

Published : 12:00 am  July 30, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  444 views  |  
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Legislative framework required for transparency in public procurement Good governance demands transparency in all areas of government. Once transparency and accountability mechanisms are in place, it could certainly augment governments’ standing in the eyes of the donors, international financial institutions such as IMF, IFC, ADB, World Bank and of course the international community. The Government has come under the microscope of international community which can be gauged from the recent untoward incidents in Beruwala and Aluthgama where UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon too had commented. The Government of Sri Lanka’s public procurement process is governed by two guidebooks issued by the... 

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