A Reform Agenda 6 – Business development Business opportunities need to be developed throughout the country. Though infrastructural development has been good in many parts of the country, the people need to be empowered to make use of new facilities and opportunities. As I was told a couple of years back, in the Wanni, by a representative of a Women’s Rural Development Society, they were grateful for ...

Groundviews had published an analysis on the election. I wrote this as a comment: The problem, which the business community and anyone else who argues for continuity has ignored is the state of the public finances.We have an unsustainable level of public expenditure, which is being funded largely by foreign borrowings. Thanks to a general slowness in the economies of ...

A Social Network for Gamers: a Q&A With Sean Fee Not so long ago we stumbled across a social network for gamers called player.me. And we wrote about it. Now, the concept wasn’t really new. Gaming networks have a way of evolving – cross-breeding between forums and gametrackers like Xfire to create lively digital communities. But we liked player.me, and we liked the idea of a social media-slash-portfolio that could ...

An unexpectedly detailed description of our big data session was included in the Day 3 highlights: Big data is usually in the headlines for the wrong reasons – surveillance, exploitation of personal data for commercial or governmental ends, intrusion of privacy – but can also serve a valid and immensely exciting social purpose for development. Kicking off a fascinating, packed ...

Much of what is discussed as “big data” does not include the poor, because smartphone penetration is still low, social media are not used by all classes and datafied records are rare in developing countries. Therefore, the session focused on research that has been/is being done on pseudonymized mobile network big data in developing countries. Instead the usual “battle of ...

As I move from several productive conversations about big data for development in London to Doha where we will be exploring the potential of mobile network big data in the context of three presentations on research insights that have been drawn from big data, the question that preoccupies me is whether we can afford to let these data go waste, ...

I think this should be essential reading for the gurus who negotiate or issue bonds for the SL govt directly or indirectly. e.g. The Petroleum Corp, oil price hedge fiasco.How Russia outmanoeuvred the west in Ukrainian finance by John Dizard“F*** the EU!” Victoria Nuland, US assistant secretary of state, commenting on Ukrainian policy on her mobile phone, as recorded and ...

A new book, being published by the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) this month, traces life stories of 25 extraordinary men and women who excelled in various fields of science, technology and engineering. Titled ‘Seekers and Builders of Our World: Inspiring Stories of 25 Scientists’, the 350-page book highlights the vital […]

Synthetic development, commodification of the body and the vote under neo-liberal economic policies: Where to now? Photo credit Marvellous Sri Lanka In modern day governance, there are certain principles that peace-loving people expect the rulers to implement. One of them is accountability. Accountability for the actions, expenditure, decisions, and appointments that governments make. In advanced democratic societies, there are mechanisms to ensure accountability with vested powers to seek and collect information, summon officials before parliamentary ...

The Government has issued a menacing statement on the status of the privatised estate companies warning that "underpeforming" companies would be taken over by the Government.Taken at face value the statement seems innocuous - what is wrong with cancelling the lease and taking over something that is underperforming? The question is, what is defined as "underperforming" ? Returns below par? ...

In conversation with Selyna Peiris Selyna Peiris is an Attorney-at-law and Director at Selyn Handlooms. She is also President of the Sri Lankan Liberal Youth organisation and was elected Chair of the Asian Liberal Youth Caucus. We begin by talking about Selyna’s work around entrepreneurship and fair-trade certification, looking at what the future for traditional industry is in post-war Sri Lanka, with an economy ...

Four PCs from Bank of Ceylon Horizon Lanka students using PCs donated by Bank of Ceylon Horizon Lanka is in need of computers. It has only 4 used PCs. So, Mr. Kularathna Rajapaksha, one of the directors of HLF, informed one of his friends, Mr. Priyantha Rathnayake, a Quantity Surveyor in Qatar about the need. Then Priyantha contacted Bank of Ceylon Head Quarters and the BoC ...

ShipXpress to Expand Offshore Engineering Team in Colombo ShipXpress Inc., a Florida based company that is one of the leading providers of cloud-based supply chain management software solutions, has announced a major expansion plan for its offshore engineering team based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. “We started back in 2000 with the vision that rail shippers could significantly improve the performance of their supply chains through reliable rail shipment ...

A Presidential visit up North Photo courtesy Yahoo By all accounts, President Rajapakse’s unprecedented and rather controversial third term re-election campaign, though unofficial, has begun in earnest. Last week he presented the Cabinet of Ministers with a proposal to increase communal harmony in the country and implement the LLRC proposals, though a few weeks earlier the defense establishment, had facilitated a convention of an ...

Liberia, Ebola, Firestone and a Rubber Farm Liberia and Ebola is in the News. A Rubber Farm (Estate for us Sri Lankans) leased by Firestone is also in the news as one of the few places where Ebola has been stopped from spreading.What the articles dont mention about the Rubber Farm is that it is a million acres (4% of the land in Liberia), and in 2005 ...

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