Harnessing thoughts on harmony

Published : 12:00 am  September 15, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  716 views  |  
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We looked at the ‘elusive’ work-life balance last week. The reader response was overwhelming. It all began when I had to write a paper and make a presentation at the Asia Pacific Conference of the Federation of Unions. Then I did an evening presentation at the Institution of Personnel Management. All what I could see clearly is that work and life matter and people have loads of related issues. Today’s column is a continuation of how to ensure work-family-society harmony. From balance to harmony Balance requires equal attention to different elements. Is this really possible? Covey (1991) in his best seller, ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ advocated managers to “begin with... 

Sannasgala ‘Chinthana’: A worm’s eye view of village and society

Published : 12:00 am  September 15, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, W. A. Wijewardena  |  1 Comment  |  5,472 views  |  
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Two messages from Sannasgala’s ‘Amma’ Upul Shantha Sannasgala, popular Sinhala teacher cum writer, in his latest semi-autobiographical fiction, ‘Amma’ or ‘Mother,’ has left two pieces of thought for intellectuals to ponder. One is that real village and its economy are far from what is being depicted in popular songs, creative art or national level numbers. The other is that village youth can no longer rely on education to rise in the social hierarchical ladder – called social mobility – as their previous generations had done. The fearless critic Sannasgala is known as a fearless critic of the prevailing social, economic and artistic order. He does not mince words and is not... 

Profound philosophy of Buddhism on democratic governance and present day context application

Published : 12:00 am  September 15, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  563 views  |  
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Today is International Day of Democracy 2014 – 15 September The history of governance dates back to period even before the Lord Buddha. There are evidence from ancient Indian sub continent (present Pakistan) and Egypt, formerly known as Mesopotamia on the existence of highly-sophisticated civilisations. These two systems of civilisations were known as Indus valley (Mohenjo-Daro Harappa) civilisation and Nile Valley Civilisations respectively. Archaeologists have confirmed that there had been well organised network of social and economic infrastructure, developed culture and a people friendly system of governance in these areas. The two civilisations tell us that the concept of good governance... 

Container carriers still in deep trouble

Published : 12:00 am  September 15, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Shipping / Aviation  |  Leave a Comment  |  325 views  |  
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Container carriers still in deep trouble The 1st half 2014 overview of the financial results of nineteen main container liner operators shows that many of them are still in deep trouble. A combined net half-year profit of $ 500 million would have sounded positive if Maersk Line alone had not posted a net income of $ 1 billion. Standing out in a positive manner are CMA CGM, OOCL, SITC and Wan Hai again recording substantial profits.   China Shipping turned the situation to the better. The profits of the three Japanese carriers (“K” Line, MOL and NYK) are largely attributed to their other business segments, as in two of the three cases their operating results on container operations are negative.... 

Antonioni masterpiece ‘L’Avventura’ at International Film Festival Colombo

Published : 12:40 am  September 13, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, D.B.S. Jeyaraj, FT Lite  |  Leave a Comment  |  3,628 views  |  
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In my earlier writings on the film scene in Sri Lanka before launching the ‘Spotlight’ column, there were two things I emphasised as being necessary for the upliftment of serious cinema in the island – one was the need to establish a fully-fledged Film Institute; the other was about holding an international film festival on a regular basis in Colombo. The second of my dreams – namely, an international film festival in Colombo – became a reality last week thanks to the efforts of a committed group of filmmakers, film personalities, film enthusiasts and generous sponsors in Sri Lanka and abroad. The festival was conducted by the International Film Festival Colombo (IFFCOLOMBO) in association... 

Do our graduates lack key skills sought by the private sector?

Published : 1:43 am  September 12, 2014  |  Category: Dinesh Weerakkody, Opinion  |  3 Comments  |  579 views  |  
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The World Bank South Asia recently reported that the poor quality of education is holding back South Asia. No doubt Sri Lanka needs a well-educated workforce if we are to sustain long periods of growth. Therefore, the secondary schools would need to turn out graduates with the hard (specific teachable abilities) and the soft skills (personal attributes) employers want. To do this, all our key institutions do have an obligation to work together to ramp up the skills of our nation’s talent pool and for that they need to engage with employers to understand the skills and competencies our employees need now and in the future. Skills mismatch Many reasons have been given by very eminent people both... 

Nudity and sex in cinema

Published : 1:38 am  September 12, 2014  |  Category: Harsha Gunasena, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  1,467 views  |  
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I was watching movies directed by world-acclaimed artistes one after the other shuttling among the theatres of Regal, NFC, MC Superior, Empire Cineplex and Goethe Institut. It was a wonderful experience. The movies showed during the film festival were not censored, which was an achievement considering the fact that there is a Cultural Police operating in Sri Lanka and sometime back when Fanny and Alexander by Ingmar Bergman was brought in for a film festival, some scenes were censored and the organiser TissaAbeysekara had to withdraw the film from the festival. Recently the film Aksharaya was banned from public screening. Sex is taboo in Sri Lankan society mainly in middle class where Victorian... 

Learnings from the Odel-Softlogic deal

Published : 12:07 am  September 12, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Front Page, Hilmy Cader  |  Leave a Comment  |  462 views  |  
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Passion and entrepreneurial venturing (without self-imposed inhibitions) can build ‘unlimited’ businesses (Otara) Not letting ‘passion’ get in the way of logical business decisions and knowing when to ‘move on’ (Otara) Visioning the future of retailing in the country, ‘dreaming big’ and relentlessly pursuing acquisitions and agencies (Ashok) The challenge for Softlogic will be to integrate its other retailing businesses, while maintaining the ‘spirit’ of Odel. Softlogic shakes up retail biz with Odel buy >>> Otara exits Odel to enjoy Embark >>>    Read More →

Battling the ghosts of Aluthgama

Published : 1:05 am  September 11, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion  |  6 Comments  |  1,407 views  |  
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In the lead-up to crucial UN Human Rights Council Sessions in March next year, the Government is in overdrive to win over the new top Envoy on Human Rights Prince Zeid, and retain the support of the Islamic bloc in Geneva, despite the long shadows cast by the Aluthgama riots When the Sri Lankan Government pins its hopes too dearly on a particular thing, it is almost a certainty that disappointment, disillusionment and bitter resentment are soon to follow.  Major expectations were placed on Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, mere mortal and new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, successor to Navi Pillay who has pursued and plagued the Rajapaksa Government – or so it believes – with a vendetta... 

Bug power to our economy!

Published : 12:57 am  September 11, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  502 views  |  
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Why not get bugs to power our economy!? We can and we should and the sad aspect is that we have discussed very little about this. Of course liquor is generated courtesy of bugs and production taxes are perhaps an important source of revenue. Knowing that there is another unequal amount of State revenue consequently spent on health and accident expenditure, this perhaps is not the best way to use bugs to power the economy. A discussion is emerging. On 18 September there will be a conference with a difference in Colombo. It is the National Biotechnology Conference on the theme ‘Biotechnology for Wealth Creation’ and the venue is Hilton Residences. This conference is organised by COSTI (Coordinating... 

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