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Opinion

Govt. meeting the challenges ahead

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It’s a fact that the global coronavirus pandemic is certainly going to make life difficult for all Sri Lankans, and people all over the world, in the coming years. Two main areas the government should focus on, especially with regards to the economic, front are:

A) To minimize imports and prevent money going out of the country. In this regard it would be pertinent to ban the import of all items that can be locally produced and made available to the people, e.g., chocolates; biscuits; cereal; beer; toiletry; etc. In particular, a moratorium on the import of all types of vehicles should be put in place for at least three years.

B) The government should take immediate and effective steps to make Sri Lanka self-sufficient with regard to the basic and essential needs of the people, e.g. food, clothing, etc. It would be a step in the right direction to encourage and facilitate the people to grow their own food. Encourage the youth of this country to take to farming by providing them with land that is not utilized, and also ensure the required infrastructure facilities, including provision for better storage, made available to them. Measures should be taken to make farming not only a lucrative practice but a reputable form of employment like in New Zealand and other countries in the so-called developed world. In whatever area we become self-sufficient and have a surplus, the government should try to find export markets for such produce.

Finally, the government should make a sincere effort to cut down on wastage and curb corruption. But, most importantly, the government should start believing that no matter what others may say, whatever challenges that may come, especially in the economic front, because of the current pandemic situation in the world: That Sri Lanka is going to prevail. The government should get people also to think on these lines, with conviction, by setting a good example. For it is a proven fact that positive thinking will bring about positive results. Let the government, elected by the people, galvanize itself to look at challenges ahead as opportunities, and explore all possible avenues to prevail…

SIMPLY SRI LANKAN

 

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Opinion

A case study of graduate reality

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Date:14th September , 2020

Venue:Hikkaduwa Vocational Training Institute

Objective:The first day on the management of the training workshop conducted for the newly appointed graduates of the government

My Session that day was on “Introduction to management and implications”. On the first day, about 175 graduates participated and were given the following short case study, which I prepared as a practical activity.

Kelum and Sisira

Kelum and Sisira joined the public service in 2010. Both of them have the same degree from the same university. Kelum is from Kalutara and always arrives at work 30 minutes before the scheduled office hours. Kelum is very friendly with the people who come to meet him and he is always willing to help and directs the things he cannot do according to their needs. He is a great listener and uses the office phone professionally and in a friendly manner with great Public Relationship skills. Kelum is willing to extend his support for the people who come from remote areas to get the service from the office, and if they want to come back to the office he contacts them and updates them as he knows the value of time, money, and energy of poor people. Kelum, who is also the secretary of the organization’s welfare association, has donated blood eight times so far. He is always active in public affairs such as the institution’s sports festival and enjoys a very simple life.

Kelum’s friend Sisira also comes from Kalutara. He always comes to the institution late and it has become a habit. It’s not a problem for him. He also proudly states that he is a graduate and constantly compares himself with others. He constantly scolds some of his subordinates, calling them “idiots.” Also, friends say that Sisira has taken huge loans from financial institutions and is stuck in a debt trap by taking more loans to pay it off.

 

Expectation case study as

1. To educate Participants on some of the concepts related to management, such as planning, time management, communication, leadership, financial management and literacy, customer satisfaction.

2. To awaken the minds of the newly appointed graduates through socialization (with teamwork as a group) focusing on “attitude ” factor

3. As a practical activity, breaking away from traditional lectures, group discussions enhance the “sense of team spirit” and the ability to “present” oneself in front of a group of people.

I have seen their commitment to the preparation of group presentations and discussions for the activity, with enthusiasm and passion . The question we were asked in connection with this case study is how each group comprehends the case study, identifies the management concepts in it, and how to apply it to their lives. To our amazement, those graduates meticulously studied and presented the given case on “Kelum and Sisira” . They went ahead of our expectation and came with a critical analysis of work-life balance, motivation, interpersonal relationships, organizational hierarchy, social responsibility, authority, discipline, internal marketing of ethics, performance appraisal, and so on. This is all about high order thinking with ” Synthesizing ” in education! . Moreover that was one of my best sessions, which I experienced and enjoyed in the last two decades as a teacher.

 

Conclusion

Even if one passes the highly competitive Advanced Level examination, it is a challenge to enter the national universities in Sri Lanka. My observation, at Hikkaduwa, has a clear indication of the ability and talent of Sri Lankan graduates. The business consultant, Rasika Kaluarachchi, who lectured with me, said that polishing this gem (with better KSA – Knowledge, Skills and Attitude) is a task that leaders need to do. That should be one way in which we can achieve our sustainable economic growth for mother Sri Lanka!

 

Prof. NALIN ABEYSEKERA

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Opinion

‘Pol’ @ Rs.100

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The alarming news of Rs.100/- per coconut appears in all newspapers and politicians have ‘Gone to Town’ to impress the public, and hide the mismanagement of authorities to avoid such an increase in an essential item of food.

They seem unaware, or ignorant, of the reason for such an increase. In my view, the new trend in converting coconut to coconut powder by manufacturers, has brought about the shortage in the open market. These manufacturers buy almost all mature coconuts, at auctions, or from large producers, leaving only small coconuts for day-to-day buyers, thus there is a shortage; resulting in a price hike. In fact, I bought two small sized coconuts at Rs.75/- each at the local boutique yesterday, though not fully matured.

Authorities should see a way to reduce the price and at the same time not crumple the manufacturing industry. The packetted Coconut Milk Powder eases the working mothers of the time taken to grate fresh coconuts on a ‘Hiramane’. The only disadvantage is, we miss our POL SAMBOLA and grated coconut for our MALLUM’

CK
Boralesgamuwa

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Opinion

Jackals in protest

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There were recent reports about jackals (Nari or Hivallu) attacking villagers. Even nations, and boxers, know that attack is the best form of defence and so do animals, including cobras and other crawly creatures, like serpents. So, it is obvious why these jackals have attacked villagers. They, too, like to live and let live, if left alone, unlike ferocious animals, like leopards and tigers. Jackals are mainly scavengers and not man-eaters. There are no foxes or wolves in our country.

As recently as 65 – 70 years ago, in places about 25 – 30 miles away from Colombo, howling of jackals could be heard in the night. As children lived 27 miles out of Colombo, and frequently heard these howls, and our elders would ask us not to be frightened.

This was in the Gampaha District, 11 miles inland from Negombo and even then fairly well populated. Of course, there were the village drunkards and our neighbour was one of them, and we heard him bursting into songs, practically every night, after a good tot of kasippu (there was no kudu then). Whether the jackals were joining him, or howling because they were disturbed, we do not know.

The main reason, as I could see, why these innocent animals attack the villagers is due to the village “Chandiyas” trying to impress the other villagers that they are brave men, by going in groups with big poles. Now it is easy to see who the real culprits are. These Nariyas can’t afford to go on demonstrations carrying placards and blaming their MPs and government officials, unlike the two-legged Nari, even though there are some MPs and officials who belong to their own species!

ND

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