Innovations with disruptive technology

Published : 12:00 am  April 6, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  233 views  |  
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The Internet Age, or the ‘connected age’, highlights the benefits of getting ‘digitalised’ while acknowledging issues related to fields of digital content, privacy, digital literacy and employment. Yet, the opportunities and disruptions disruptive innovation offers cannot be ignored in a changing environment where market transformation appears to be driven not only by innovation but competition as well, resulting in ‘change’ as has never been witnessed or felt before. The way forward for Sri Lanka is with education, global awareness and participation and innovation that attract investment. Most sectors in Sri Lanka have now become data and computer-based with technology building bridges... 

Working towards a mine-free Sri Lanka

Published : 12:40 am  April 3, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  967 views  |  
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Tomorrow (4 April) marks the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action as well as 10 years since the declaration of such a day for the world. UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Subinay Nandy shares his thoughts on the importance of this day and Sri Lanka’s own success     Every year, mines, explosive remnants of war, and unexploded ordnance, kill or injure thousands worldwide. The human toll is terrible. The disruption to lives and livelihoods and other costs to communities are equally devastating. For post-conflict nations, it is a threat to the safety and welfare of the people living in or returning to these areas, and... 

“Kya Karun? What shall I do?”

Published : 12:05 am  April 2, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  4 Comments  |  891 views  |  
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“But he is roused by the Hindu-Moslem massacres in Bengal and goes to the district of Noakhali. Sad last pilgrimage; embittered people scatter broken glass on the roads he is to walk. Seventeen years before, on the Salt March, at the other end of India, the poor had sometimes strewn his path with cool green leaves. Now in Bengal, he has nothing to offer except his presence, and he knows it. Yet he is heard to say to himself again and again, ‘Kya karun? Kya karun? What shall I do?’” – India: A wounded Civilisation- V.S. Naipaul There is an element of tragedy pervading the frenetic campaign by elements of the former Government to revive the political career of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the... 

Banking on governance?

Published : 12:00 am  April 2, 2015  |  Category: Columnists, Hilmy Cader  |  1 Comment  |  568 views  |  
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The Govt. has described some commercial bank boards as a ‘stinking mess’. So how do we prevent history from repeating itself in the form of new ‘odours’? Let’s think about: n How are new appointees selected? Is the selection process transparent and if so, to whom? Is it based on a pre-defined profile or based on opinions? n Does the current percentage shares held by the GOSL warrant a single shareholder to unilaterally make such appointments in commercial banks? n What about the ‘voice’ of the minority shareholders? May the new ‘flavours’ linger for the good of all stakeholders! (The author is a politically independent strategist)  Read More →

Who’s the April fool now?

Published : 12:10 am  April 1, 2015  |  Category: Columnists, Wijith DeChickera  |  5 Comments  |  580 views  |  
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Today, on the first day of a new month, my mind goes back to that dawn, no more than three moons ago, when some of us had our legs pulled. It was a dawn of hope in which many democratic-republicans waxed eloquent about the change that was to be. But it – that much vaunted change, touted as both desirable and doable – is now waning to a bleak horizon of dashed hopes; broken promises; and some dreams lying in tatters. That sea-change into something rich and strange – that a genuinely good and accountable government could coalesce in less than a third of a year – has not materialised, some seven dozen days out of a hundred later. Instead, as some of us argued – hoping against hope that... 

Rugby musings

Published : 12:00 am  April 1, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  295 views  |  
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With the CWC done and dusted the Lankan sporting public will now turn their eyes to the schools rugby season, which has been underway for the past 10 days. The Lankan performance was average at best and the fact that we got thus far was in itself an achievement. Building for the next CWC will be the talk now and when the squad is to be selected, we will in all probability see a new hymn being sung as done this year. Club Rugby The club rugby season too has come to an end with Kandy bagging a double after a lapse of two years. After the conclusion of the presidential elections in January which now appears to be a distant memory, the scale of interest dropped noticeably. Thus when the knock outs... 

A Primer on Treasury Bonds – Part II: Economics of Treasury Bond yields

Published : 4:00 am  March 31, 2015  |  Category: Columnists, Lalith Samarakoon  |  2 Comments  |  1,434 views  |  
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In my previous column, ‘A Primer on Treasury Bonds’. Daily FT 24 March 2015 (read here), I discussed the key features of Bonds in the context of the Sri Lankan Treasury Bond market. I explained some of the main technical terms such as face value, maturity, interest rate, yield and price as well as the basic market information such as the primary and secondary markets. This technical and market information is essential to understand the operation of Bond markets. Today’s column builds on this basic technical knowledge and elaborates on the economic foundations of Treasury Bond yields.   What is the risk-free rate of interest in the economy? This may seem like an unusual question. After... 

Jayampathy on 19th A, electoral reforms and 100-day program

Published : 3:55 am  March 31, 2015  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu, Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  837 views  |  
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President’s Counsel Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne expressed the importance of abolishing the executive presidency and electoral reforms under two different constitutional amendments. Dr. Wickramaratne, who is involved in constitutional reforms, expressed his candid views about the 19th Amendment, electoral reforms and the 100-day program. He is also a member of the National Movement for Social Justice and a dissident of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP). Following are excerpts:                           Q: What are your remarks about the 19th Amendment? A: The 19th Amendment that was gazetted has now been presented to Parliament.... 

What are the priorities in this transitional time?

Published : 1:37 am  March 31, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  409 views  |  
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There appear to be a significant number of people who believe that the vote on 8 January was a complete mandate perhaps like that received by the UNP led by J.R. Jayewardene back in 1977 or by the BJP led by Narendra Modi in May 2014. If you share this view you would be wanting the Government to lay down new directions for the economy and get excited about the offering of 100 MB a month through Wi-Fi in public places. If, on the other hand, one understands that a stable new government would emerge only after the general election that has to be held before 2015 April, the expectations will be quite different. Here, the focus will be on ensuring that the votes necessary for Constitutional changes... 

Parliamentary election, mounting crisis, Mahinda factor

Published : 12:00 am  March 31, 2015  |  Category: Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  387 views  |  
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The SLFP participation at the Ratnapura rally trumped the cooptation (‘National Government’) tactic of the SLFP Rightwing. The anti-Mahinda tendency of the SLFP is now caught in the coils of its own contradictions. If it follows the dictates of Chandrika “Sonia” Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and facilitates the passage of the 19th amendment in its current reinforced form, it collaborates in transforming the SLFP’s new leader Maithripala Sirisena into a lame duck President, which means weakening his capacity to dispense patronage and which thereby weakens the SLFP while strengthening the PM and therefore the fortunes of the UNP. That would further legitimise the charge of a sell-out and embolden... 

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