Un-branding a country’s economic policy

Published : 1:00 am  December 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Hilmy Cader  |  Leave a Comment  |  398 views  |  
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When it comes to human perception and branding, a rose is NOT a rose by whatever name you call it! (with due respect to William Shakespeare). Therefore, branding the economic policies of a country with the name of a politician (ruling or Opposition) may hinder implementation – even if the contents are economically sound. Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe, the proponent of ‘Abenomics’ should take note of this as he prepares for elections in two weeks. Other ‘Asian Wonders’ may also take note of this, even if their economies are stronger than Japan! A country’s economic policies are best left un-branded, be it ‘Obamacare’, ‘Abenomics’, ‘Chinthanaya’ or ‘Palanaya’!  Read More →

Who will rule?

Published : 12:00 am  November 29, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  3 Comments  |  663 views  |  
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A question from an undecided voter Like the majority of my fellow citizens I am an undecided voter. My father Mervyn de Silva used to characterise me slightly critically as “a Romantic,” and the romantic in me would like to vote for change. But right now, I cannot make that decision because the Realist in me raises a fundamental question: “who rules?” Or rather, who would rule, if Sirisena wins? Sadly, the answer to that question is not “Sirisena, would, of course”. That is because Mr. Sirisena has told us categorically that he would abolish the executive presidency within 100 days. He has also told us that he would appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister, when he could... 

Democratic values vs. Sri Lankan values

Published : 1:24 am  November 28, 2014  |  Category: Harsha Gunasena  |  Leave a Comment  |  796 views  |  
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An assessment in light of the presidential election 2015 The presidential election was declared and there will be two opposing candidates, incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa and common Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena. It is likely to be that at the election platform of the incumbent President, the point of war victory would be brought in. He should get the full credit for that, but not at an election. The intention of this article is to examine this factor in light of the democratic values and Sri Lankan values. Democracy has been established in Sri Lanka for a long time. However, it appears to be that true democratic values have not been established in Sri Lanka. Democracy was established... 

The fundamentals for economic prosperity

Published : 1:10 am  November 28, 2014  |  Category: Dinesh Weerakkody  |  1 Comment  |  571 views  |  
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Many years ago as primary students we were taught that most rich countries were in the North of the globe, and most poor countries were in the South, but later on we were told that it was not geography that causes wealth or poverty. After all, Australia and New Zealand are part of the Southern hemisphere, and both are doing fine. You couldn’t say this of Papua New Guinea, which is the Asian country closest to Australia and New Zealand. A superficial view is to blame racial differences. Black Africa is the poorest and most disordered part of the world, and Haiti, with an almost entirely black population, is the poorest country of the Americas. But the coincidence is accidental. What makes some... 

Mahinda Rajapaksa vs. The Rest

Published : 12:01 am  November 27, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians  |  8 Comments  |  7,675 views  |  
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Saturn has made its mischief and the January presidential contest now looks poised to become a hard-fought battle President Mahinda Rajapaksa smiles while attending the 18th SAARC Summit It all began with the stars. It was apt therefore that less than 24 hours after President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared he would be seeking a third term in office two years ahead of schedule, certain celestial bodies began to wreak all manner of mischief inside his ruling party. Believers in astrology put last week’s political dramas down to the influence of the planet Saturn, the ‘Great Malefic’ of the astrological firmament. There was a major movement of the planet on 2 November 2014, which astrologers... 

Constitutional crisis: A claymore for Sirisena to avoid

Published : 12:00 am  November 26, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  978 views  |  
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The correctness or incorrectness of the political line decides everything – Mao (1971)   Maithripala Sirisena will need to rethink his strategy heading into these presidential elections     As a former student of Mao Ze Dong thought, the genial Maithripala Sirisena may recall Mao’s point that ‘the correctness or incorrectness of the political line decides everything’. He must also hope that Mao was wrong, because the Sirisena campaign has so far, not got its political line correct, to put it mildly. This may sound like the quibble of a political scientist from the Marxian tradition, but it isn’t. The incorrectness of Mr. Sirisena’s political line or rather, the political... 

Reimagining the Silk Road

Published : 12:00 am  November 26, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  615 views  |  
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President Xi Jinping wants to recreate the Silk Road. The world will give him the credit, though Kazakhstan’s President Nazarbayev may have spoken of it earlier. Clearly, the Chinese Government is the prime mover behind this initiative. Figure 1: The ancient Silk Road Source: NASA   Silk Road in history The Silk Road was not known by that name when it was a functioning channel of commerce centuries ago. It was so named in 1877 by Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen, a geographer charged with laying out the trace for a rail road from the German concession in Shandong through the coal fields in Xi’an to Germany. Subsequent research has shown that it was not the trunk route portrayed by Richthofen... 

Obama pick-ups for Lanka’s presidential campaign 2015

Published : 12:16 am  November 25, 2014  |  Category: Rohantha Athukorala  |  5 Comments  |  905 views  |  
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Just imagine a marketing budget on two brands exceeding Rs. 5 billion aimed at getting one brand into the most powerful seat in Sri Lanka. The only thought that will come into a marketer’s mind will be that the most cutting-edge strategies will come into play in the near future. As a professional marketer, in my view, given the strengths of the two brands at play, we as consumers will see how the best strategies that one can think of will be focused on us to move consumer behaviour. The key issue will be, what happens to traditional organisations like soap, toothpaste and mosquito coils or for that matter Christmas-related brands that want to get a share of voice? It will be almost impossible. Obama... 

The ‘other’ Hambantota story

Published : 12:14 am  November 25, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte  |  Leave a Comment  |  470 views  |  
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Alternative human development The city of Hambantota in the arid zone of the dry zone in southern Sri Lanka is the presently, for well-known reasons which do not require repetition in these columns, the cynosure of all eyes. Development with a capital D. That’s the only word which describes the current situation! A harbour, through which all motor vehicle imports into Sri Lanka are routed by administrative fiat; an international airport which averages, reportedly, three flights a day, mainly from Sri Lankan and Mihin; highways, flyovers, roundabouts, international conference centres, an international sports stadium and many, many other things, provincial, regional, national and international. The... 

Chrish Cloete sinks Navy at Welisara

Published : 12:00 am  November 25, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez  |  Leave a Comment  |  243 views  |  
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Kandy travelled to Welisara with a purpose and went back with the tag ‘Mission Accomplished’. The mission was to defeat Navy in their comfort zone at Welisara which also boasts loads of naval vocal support. The conditions were soggy underfoot with heavy rain in the lead-up to the game and thus fast and open rugby was not expected. The play was disjointed at best and one man stood out for the entire duration of the game, Kandy’s number 7, Cloete. He was simply brilliant throughout the game and at times it appeared that it was him against the Navy fifteen. If any youngster wanted to emulate a player at the pivotal position of a flanker here was a shining example. His overall rugby skills... 

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