Dispute between UDA and PCs goes to President View(s):President Maithripala Sirisena’s intervention is being sought to resolve the tussle over the Urban Development Authority (UDA) now exercising some functions of the Provincial Councils. He did not give details but Ministry officials said issues had arisen over the wording of the Concurrent List in the Provincial Councils Act. He said these were powers vested in the UDA Law “which came long before Provincial Councils were established.”He pointed out that “original powers vested with the UDA and the functions carried out by it remained intact”. Therefore, he claimed, “in that sense, this action by UDA has not affected the functions exercised by Provincial Councils”. However, Western Province Chief Minister Isuru Devapriya said the powers vested with the Provincial Councils had been delegated to the local councils.
Retracing their steps By Joshua Surendraraj The book, ‘Everest; A journey with Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala and Johann Peiris’ which illustrates the teamwork and challenges faced by the duo along their journey was launched recently View(s): View(s):What do you do when there’s nothing but snow around you? Johann would say, “It’s just in your mind.” That day Jayanthi knew if she didn’t make it, her expedition would end there. Whenever we felt down, we had each other to comfort, to console and give us strength, Johann recalls. Jayanthi recalls the hardest part of the journey, was climbing back down. Looking at us they thought we were nuts,” Johann recalls.
Rice, vegetables, fish, burn hole in pocket amid cheap political talk By Kasun Warakapitiya View(s): View(s):In the biggest markets of the country, prices of our staple food, many vegetables, fish and meat, and spices have galloped away, doubling in some cases this month compared with the same month of last year. Rice trader Ananda Nawam, 57, said imported rice is costlier than what the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government expects it to be sold. A housewife from Maradana, EA Ramani, said the rice prices were high. “We feel it may be better to eat boiled vegetables,” she said adding, she buys cheap vegetables to save money. Grocery retailer Mohomad Alli Mohomad said the most striking increase was in coconut prices.
Suspicious minds! Umpires force Malinga to turn out his pockets View(s):The Sri Lankan speedster was walking back to his bowling mark in the 17th over of Australia’s innings when umpire Mick Martell approached him and questioned what was in his pocket. Malinga, in the balls previous, kept placing his bowling hand in his pocket which prompted commentator Michael Clarke to reveal the 33-year-old keeps a hand warmer in his pocket. ‘He normally has a hand warmer in pocket as it’s a little bit cold here at the MCG at night,’ Clarke said during the coverage. The game was a nail biter with the tourists securing a thrilling final ball victory.
Stirring guitar riffs at ‘Guitar Fest’ By Joshua Surendraraj View(s): View(s):The soft strumming of the guitar, captures one’s attention. The excitement of what’s in store at this year’s Guitar Fest, stirs. This was the very first Guitar Fest, which was held at the Russian Cultural Centre. The conversation leads us to what the show is about, and to Andrew, Guitar Fest is much more than music. “The initial thought was to experiment Guitar Fest with school children and it was a success.
That unholy fracas over a judicial appointment View(s):Heated controversy surrounding the recent appointment of a Batticoloa lawyer as a Northern High Court judge by President Maithripala Sirisena raises a fundamental point of contention. Unfortunate context of these questionsThis problem surfaced in public after the BASL was challenged by the Judicial Services Association (JSA) to disclose exactly what part the Bar played in that appointment. However, it is useless for the BASL or others to thunder that the process of judicial appointment in this case has been politicized when the behaviour of its responsible officers has been monumentally indiscreet, even to the charitable mind. Hence we have the natural confusion of both the Chief Justice and the President who had apparently succumbed to the understanding that the BASL had formally approved what amounted to a ‘recommendation’ for judicial appointment. But all this is omitted from the BASL letter.
The presence of Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy and his deputy Nandalal Weerasinghe underscored the gravity of the situation. In 2010 it stood at 4,590 billion, 2011 Rs 5,133 billion, 2012 Rs 6,000 billion, 2013 Rs 6,793 billion and 2014 Rs 7,391 billion. Provisional figures for 2015 had been placed at Rs 8,503 billion and 2016 Rs 9,429 billion. After the weekly ministerial meeting ended, President Maithripala Sirisena chaired a meeting of SLFP ministers and parliamentarians at the Presidential Secretariat. It transpired that Central Bank Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe, who briefed ministers on Tuesday, was to give the briefing on the economy for SLFP ministers and parliamentarians.
Pocket, prominence and performance View(s):This is the 21st century Tennis. It’s a world where prominence can fill the pockets of players as much as their performance. In the sixties when professionalism was not permitted in sports, the only money players earned was appearance money to cover the cost of travel and free accommodation. A leading Tennis magazine called the “World Tennis” reported it. Players became advertising icons and that ‘prominence’ gave more money than performance to players.
We too have a damage control plan says Coach Graham Ford View(s):Australia will demand more runs at the top of the order and must find a way to combat Sri Lanka’s “damage-control” mantra in their must-win Twenty20 clash in Geelong Today. Sri Lankan coach Graham Ford said the tourists also had a “damage-control” mentality enforced when opposition batsmen look to go into overdrive. “I think the damage control was really good – it’s something they talk about a lot. “I think at the end he was not necessarily searching for wickets, he was searching to control the run-rate – damage control. Australia claimed a 2-0 T20 series win in Sri Lanka last year when Warner, Maxwell and Starc were in the side.
There is no doubt that the major solution to this problem is effective leadership accompanied by what is referred to as ‘Emotional Intelligence’ as proven by the likes of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Mahathir Mohammed of Malaysia. But my research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence (or Emotional Quotient) is the sine qua non (most essential ingredient) of leadership …and excellent performance”. Goleman says however, “It is fortunate that emotional intelligence can be learned”. Leadership stylesAccording to Goleman (Harvard Business Review, March April, 2000) the effectiveness of leadership also depends on leadership style. The authoritative leadership style has the most positive effect, but affiliative, democratic, and coaching follow closely behind.
Dilee D’s techno vibes By SoundGimmick View(s): View(s):Having been invited to play at one of Malaysia’s leading clubs Zouk, Dileepa Aponso has firmly rooted his talents in the Techno genre. Making music under the name ‘Dilee D’, he has a passion for collecting music and listening to new genres. When he was 7 he started playing the triangle and was selected to be in the junior school band. Upcoming projects include but aren’t limited to Blind Octaves (Original Mix) [Small Records] Norway / February 2017, Subconscious (Original Mix) [Neverest Records] – Bangkok / March 2017 and The Playground (Original Mix) [Neverest Records] – Bangkok / March 2017. He likes melodic techno for his own music because he loves having more instruments in the music.
UMT holds 2nd Annual National Level Regional Youth Leaders conference View(s):The Unity Mission Trust (UMT), a non-profit Trust that has been working towards developing unity amongst the youth of Sri Lanka since May 2009, held their 2nd Annual National Level Regional Youth Leaders Conference at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute auditorium and the residential site in Athurugiriya from January 27-29. The highlights of the conference included 100 selected youth from 17 regions gathering together to map out grassroot community service initiatives and inter regional programmes for 2017. The key speakers at the conference were a group of corporate and civil leaders who spoke on “Building Lives, Fostering Unity and Strengthening Sri Lanka”. A few Unity Mission Trust Regional Youth Leaders from Colombo, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Elipitiya and Matara also addressed the conference. Sasha Pinto-Jayawardena chaired the conference assisted by Nimesha Jayamanne from Colombo with all multi-lingual translations being done by the regional Leader of Kandy.
National Day Celebrations in Abuja View(s):Sri Lankaâ€™s 69th National Day was celebrated at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Abuja, Nigeria. High Commissioner Thambirajah Raveenthiran addressed the gathering on the significance of the occasion and requested the Nigerians to visit Sri Lanka to enjoy its scenic beauty. He thanked the Sri Lankan community and Nigerian friends for their support and contribution in making the celebrations a great success. The event was covered by the popular Silverbird Television and Nigeriaâ€™s prestigious dailies. Documentaries on Sri Lankaâ€™s tourism and investment opportunities were screened at the event which concluded with a recention where traditional Sri Lankan cuisine was served.
Agricultural development and economic growth essential for food security View(s):The development of agriculture and economic growth are imperatives for food security. The need to increase food production or have the capacity to import our increased food requirements is indisputable. Undoubtedly increasing domestic food production is important in making available adequate food supplies, but self-sufficiency in food production is not necessary to achieve food security. However food security is not dependent on agricultural and food policy alone, but good overall economic management and social policies. Rapid economic growth, a diversified economy, a rational and productive agriculture, a good distribution of incomes and interventionist policies to assist people left behind in the process of economic growth are needed to ensure food security.
Disaster Prevention View(s):Did Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, now Dr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, overreact in asking the Cabinet to declare a State of Emergency and to call out the troops to meet the challenge of an impending drought? In this instance it was not a clash of political ideologies but just a restraining order of sorts on the PM by a Minister in charge of Disaster Management clearly backed by the President. According to official statistics of the Disaster Management Centre, the number badly affected is close to a million people. That is not disaster management; it is a natural disaster. The RTI Commission must be allowed to function properly lest its members quit in disgust.