Signing up for extinction

Published : 12:00 am  October 9, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists  |  3 Comments  |  1,172 views  |  
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Nothing is permanent and as per economists in the long run we are all dead. That we should well know, yet we keep on planning and working with a different future in mind. However, this impermanency is also a philosophy and a process with a different speed. Our awareness of this ‘unsustainability’ does not mean that we should stop all our work and wait by the wayside awaiting the demise that is certain – extinction by karma! No, it is all about how we behave responsibly with complete awareness of ourselves as well as others to follow us. The present man on planet, however, has expedited the rate of decay while all the time thinking that what we are actually doing is the opposite. We even... 

Wel Lakshe Wedi Handa

Published : 2:21 am  October 7, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  431 views  |  
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 Gunshots from the ‘Land of a Hundred Thousand Paddy Fields’ Many moons ago, ‘Wel Lakshe Wedi Handa’ was a very popular Sinhala drama, about a revolution brooding in the Uva Wellassa region, of South East Sri Lanka. At one time in our history, the area which is now described as Lower Uva, parts of the Badulla, Moneragala, and Hambantota Districts, were depicted as a fertile rice bowl to parallel the Raja Rata. Thousands of cascades of small irrigation tanks in the plains and in the mountainous regions, small and medium anicuts were used to divert, store and husband rain fall from the South West and North East monsoons, from seasonal oyas and perennial gangas, nurturing a civilisation... 

Why keep hurting brand Sri Lanka?

Published : 1:32 am  October 7, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Rohantha Athukorala  |  4 Comments  |  685 views  |  
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The corporate sector of Sri Lanka was shocked at the unfolding events at the New York ‘private party’ that emerged initially via digital media and was then absolutely mismanaged at the weekly press briefing of the Government and subsequent declaration at the Vatican and finally the official announcement by the order of the President for an official probe.                             Live the promise I recall the words of nation branding guru Simon Anholt, the nation branding expert who has advised over 59 global leaders on building the image of nations: “Your reputation as a country is what you earn over time. You cannot... 

‘Seven Ups’ for HR professionals

Published : 12:00 am  October 6, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  442 views  |  
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HR professionals play a vital role in driving the “people factor” for organisational results. Are they on the top or still at the tap? This has been an ongoing debate. In the context of every manager having a people role to play, the contribution of HR professionals has become increasingly important. Today’s column will shed light on this aspect, with emphasis on the Sri Lankan scenario. Let’s discuss ‘Seven Ups’ for HR professionals. When every manager plays a “people role”, the HR professional’s role is becoming increasingly strategic. He/she has to act like an internal coach, guide, policy setter and an architect of strategy   Overview An HR professional can be viewed... 

‘The Money Pipeline’: A worthy read by all

Published : 12:00 am  October 6, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, W. A. Wijewardena  |  8 Comments  |  4,262 views  |  
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The former Central Bank Deputy Governor and presently Chairperson of HNB cum Presidential Advisor, Ranee Jayamaha, has shared her decades-long experiences in payment systems and banking stability with readers in Sri Lanka as well as outside. Her book, ‘The Money Pipeline: A Pillar of Financial Stability,’ containing her experiences on the subject has just been released.   Money flows in a pipeline A reader might wonder how a pipeline has got any connection with money which is just a token of wealth and means to acquire things necessary for a good life. This puzzle has been solved by the Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal who has written the Foreword for the book. Says Cabraal:... 

World Teachers’ Day is on 5 October Invest in the future: Invest in teachers

Published : 12:00 am  October 4, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  938 views  |  
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A teacher is a maker of man. He is the foundation of all education, and thus of the whole civilisation of mankind, present and future. No nation reconstruction is possible without the active cooperation of the teacher – John Adams The teacher is the maker of the nation – Chanakya     By Mohan Lal Grero Professions in the current world are diverse. Among them, there are reputed professions. Some professions are more attractive since they are highly remunerated. Some are respected and privileged. If someone asked me to name the noblest profession, in the world, I dare to say “it is teaching”. Teaching creates and builds all other professionals. Doctors, engineers, vocalists,... 

Buildings continue to marginalise seniors and children

Published : 4:28 am  October 3, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  415 views  |  
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On 1 October this year too we saw a lot of pomp and pageantry about children and elders as the world marked another international day for both these two significant sectors of society. But I soon realised with a heavy heart that there is, still, two significant segments of these very seniors and children for whom 1 October was another day of silent struggle and marginalisation as we continue to make Sri Lanka unfriendly to them!   Open your eyes The ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ states 13.5% of our population is over 65 years old. Sri Lanka has the fastest-ageing population in South Asia. With medical advances, people live longer. When children and pregnant mothers are taken, not less than 20%... 

Election season, external affairs and Modi-Obama

Published : 4:25 am  October 3, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  793 views  |  
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Forget the state of Denmark – something is rotten in the state of Sri Lanka, and our enemies, the secessionists in the Tamil diaspora must be laughing, as they well might. Three recent events indicate the future of Sri Lanka. Two are domestic and one, global. Of the two domestic events, one occurred in an international space. The three events are the Chris Nonis-Sajin Vass episode, the BBS-Wirathu nexus and the Modi-Obama meeting.   Sri Lanka’s external defences are crumbling Sri Lanka’s external defences are crumbling, largely due to undermining emanating from the heart of the State itself, in the shape of bad policy and worse practices. One does not wish to speculate on or sensationalise... 

Some MBAs are not worth the paper they’re printed on

Published : 4:04 am  October 3, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dinesh Weerakkody  |  7 Comments  |  1,093 views  |  
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A few days ago we interviewed seven candidates with MBAs for a senior leadership position. Most of them we concluded could not even manage or lead their way out of a paper bag – but think they’re there, because they have an MBA. Having an MBA doesn’t predict whether you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned to the real world, and – most important – it seems to have very little bearing on whether or not you’ll be able to continue to learn, to keep acquiring the skills and knowledge you’ll need along the way. To add this list today there are some M.B.A. degrees out there that are barely worth the paper they’re written on. For a start an MBA does not really make you a ‘Master’... 

Garbage transformation from liability to an asset

Published : 12:00 am  October 1, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  4 Comments  |  938 views  |  
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Recently, the Sri Lankan Government announced that the Cabinet has approved an environmentally-acceptable and economically-feasible solid waste management project to dispose of the solid waste collected in Colombo City and its suburbs. The proposal envisages the transport of collected garbage by train to a sanitary land-fill in Arukkalu in Puttalam District, to be buried in existing pits formed by the extraction of lime for the Puttalam cement factory. In addition, part of the waste would be used as fuel for the cement factory; what percentages would be used in each section was not indicated. Over the past years, residents of Meetotamulla and Kolonnawa took to the streets with their struggle... 

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