How the VAT changes will affect your internet bill Value Added Tax (VAT) as of late has been a topic spewing as much heat as the weather. Should we be worried though? Early on this month President Maithripala Sirisena himself told his Polonnaruwa gathering that he wasn’t fully on board with the revised rates which threatened to impose a burden on people. Image credits: arabianbusiness.com What is this burden ...

The Government’s controversial 65,000 housing project in the North and East continues to come under heavy criticism with the latest call for review of the entire project by the Tamil National Alliance. A team of experts, all faculty members from the University of Moratuwa has recently released a preliminary report of their comparison of the proposed steel houses by ArcelorMittal ...

His cologne takes your attention before you see him. Forcing your instincts to turn and notice. That his Versace, Patek Phillipe and the rest are real. That you are in the presence of a higher power. A power that does business with men who toy with the fate of nations. Over food, wine and single…

The Sri Lankan rupee has been depreciating rapidly in the last few months and the satirical website NewsCurry suggested that the US dollar to adopted to prevent further depreciation. Although this sounds absurd, as my previous post explained this is actually a workable and serious proposition.A Currency Board would also achieve the same ends and would be easier to implement ...

Field Notes: CMS Africa Summit 2016 Automatticians, the people who build WordPress.com, participate in events and projects around the world every day. Periodically, they report back on the exciting things they do when not in front of a computer. Today I share my experiences meeting and getting to know some of the most active members of the open source community in East Africa during the CMS ...

The inimitable, NewsCurry carries an article claiming that the Finance Minister has proposed adopting the US dollar as Sri Lanka's currency to prevent further depreciation of the rupee. Although NewsCurry is only satire the suggestion is actually very sensible and has been adopted in certain extreme circumstances to stabilise an economy, the most recent being in Zimbabwe.The process is termed ...

Just over a year ago a great controversy erupted over the an issue of bonds by the Government of Sri Lanka. The bonds were bought by a company controlled by the son-in-law of the Central Bank Governor which obtained a large chunk of the bonds on offer at premium interest rates.At the time there was some doubts as to whether ...

Image courtesy CNN “To walk our way and keep our eyes fixed on it Is mankind’s first and foremost obligation.” Iphigenia in Tauris (Goethe) It is a lie, beloved by the powerful, the rich, the privileged, that transparency is inimical to national security and public wellbeing. National security and public wellbeing suffer greater harm, where there is no transparency and ...

Microimage unveils Microimage HCM Cloud It was a Wednesday evening on the 30th of March. As we walked into the Hilton ballroom, we saw that everything was ready for Microimage’s latest event. Titled “Digital Transformation of HR”, this was where Microimage would be unveiling its latest product: Microimage HCM Cloud. The event began with Harsha Purasinghe, CEO of Microimage taking center stage. He started off ...

SAMPUR: Documentary trailer Thousands of individuals from across Sri Lanka have been displaced for years, some multiple times. For over a decade, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (the institutional home of Groundviews) has documented issues related to displacement and returns, advocating reform and litigating on unjust and arbitrary practices. Two cases CPA has followed closely for years, supporting litigation and advocating land ...

I’m sure most of you have heard about Google Business Groups (GBG Colombo) somewhere down the line. I’m writing today, about the latest thing they’re up to – a series of seminar/workshops called “Growth Hacking Talks” that are ideal for small business startups in Sri Lanka. Read on… The Growth Hacking Talks sessions are designed […]

I’m sure most of you have heard about Google Business Groups (GBG Colombo) somewhere down the line. I’m writing today, about the latest thing they’re up to – a series of seminar/workshops called “Growth Hacking Talks” that are ideal for small business startups in Sri Lanka. Read on… The Growth Hacking Talks sessions are designed […]

More Thoughts on Current Orthodoxies Featured image courtesy president.gov.lk Editor’s Note: This piece is in response to Sunil Bastian’s “Some Thoughts on Current Orthodoxies”, which can be read here. I very much like Sunil Bastian’s critical perspective on the current Sri Lankan policy agenda “Some Thoughts on Current Orthodoxies,” dated 14 March. Let me support his case, from an historical perspective. When Maithripala Sirisena ...

Voiceless: Stories of the Displaced On Friday, Groundviews posted a map to the displaced and marginalised, marking the International for the Right to Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims, which falls on March 25. Each of the stories highlighted on the map had a long history of marginalisation, including years of legal battles. Many of the people featured ...

Will the growing momentum of freelancing hurt traditional BPO industries? Traditional BPO firms provide managed services directly to their clients, hire employees and contract workers, and require workers to be centralized in the same physical location. On the other hand freelancers continuously growing in numbers providing ITO/BPO/KPO services, and can deliver faster and more flexible access to a broader pool of workers than traditional approaches, often at lower cost. As ...

The Right To Truth: Mapping The Displaced The right to truth is often linked to healing in the wake of trauma. The International Centre for Transitional Justice says “truth can assist in the healing process after traumatic events; restore personal dignity, often after years of stigmatization; and safeguard against impunity and public denial.” Sri Lanka has its own stories of people who have slipped through the ...

World Meteorological Day 2016: Hotter, drier, wetter. Face the future As the world celebrates World Meteorological Day 2016 under the theme “Hotter, drier, wetter. Face the future”, 2011- 2015 is identified as the hottest period on record. Apart from heavy droughts, climate change is currently contributing to the increased risk of heavy rains and flood. Therefore, it is important to protect lives and property through impact based forecasts. (http://www.wmo.int/worldmetday/sites/default/files/SG-WMD-2016-message_en.pdf) ...

A Rudderless Government Featured image courtesy Colombo Gazette Almost 15 months under the present Sirisena-Wickremesinghe rule, the economy is in no good state. Defeating Rajapaksa at the 2015 January 08 presidential polls was not meant to merely abolish the Executive Presidency (which wasn’t done) but also to lift the country out of the economic abyss. In the Maithripala Sirisena manifesto for the ...

Prof. Dharmawardana has an article that dismisses links between CKDu, glyphosate and chemical fertilizers. However this analysis is severely flawed.To quote Prof. Dharmawardana: New Zealand is one of the biggest users of synthetic fertilizer, applying 1700 kg/hectare in 2012. Other comparative figures (per hectare, World Bank data) are, Malaysia,1600, Singapore 3400, Holland 300, India 165, Sri Lanka 198, Nicaragua 50. ...

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