Showing posts from 2010

Richest self-made women in the world

An article in the Economist lists the richest self-made women in the world, many of whom are from China.  Thought it interesting to share, especially also the comment by the Economist that

Over half of the women in the top 20 are of Chinese origin, perhaps because of a communist ethos of gender equality, perhaps because previous generations of Chinese left so little wealth to be inherited. Check it out

Making change the Vasu way...

In an interview with Diane Silva in today's Daily Mirror,  Vasudeva Nanayakkara, the former Leftist firebrand that as an undergraduate I would brave a crowded Arts Theatre to listen to, says

I take the 18th Amendment in its totality and in its entirety and therefore I cannot give the positive features and the negative features separately because the terms are all interwoven into one whole. Therefore my position is that I disapprove of the 18th Amendment in substance.He explains that he voted for the 18th Amendment  in Parliament because the political strategy of his Democratic Left Alliance was to continue its engagement with the UPFA and that that meant that

we had to vote along with the Government while stating our position very clearly.... I am a member of one of the constituent parties of the alliance, and therefore if we had not voted in line with the Government, it would have been incongruous, conflicting, incompatible and impractical. Incongruous, conflicting, incompati…

Inclusive transport - observations from a meeting at the Ministry

NGO Secretariat under Defence Ministry now

Daily Mirror, Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The NGO Secretariat which was previously operated under the Social Services Ministry and thereafter the Internal Affairs Ministry now comes under the purview of the Defence Ministry, following the new Parliament taking office.

“The NGO Secretariat is now under the Ministry of Defence, and the Defence Ministry will be working with them,” Media Centre for National Security Director Laxman Hullugalle told the Daily Mirror. He reiterated that this was by no means a measure taken to monitor NGOs but a simple change in administration.

Earlier the Passport office, the Immigration and Emigration Department and the NGO Secretariat were under the purview of the Ministry of Internal Affairs headed by the then Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka.

a very strange passion

Below extracts from a message from Jean-Claude Roffe, Chairman of the Technical Committee, Chairman of the Organising Committee, 16th IRF World Meeting. For the uninitiated, the IRF is the International Road Federation, and the message was entitled Paving with Passion!

"Congratulations to everyone and my warmest thanks !
to you, the 1,500 passionate participants who came to Lisbon,
to you, the 100 passionate men and women who helped organize the event,
to you, the 80 passionate exhibitors and sponsors who worked hard to support the IRF in 2010

Despite the economic crisis, this event was still a success, thanks to so many strong-willed members of the Road industry.....
Once again, it was clearly demonstrated that Roads are a vector of exchange and development, creating both wealth and growth. Today, responsible development strategies adopted by the Road Industry along with a number of research projects that are currently underway should help pave the way to more sustainable d…

101 East - A new Sri Lanka

I don't have television - or to be very precise, I have yet to connect my television set! So I missed this interview when it was aired on Al Jazeera. It was a topic of conversation at the ADB mocktail party on the 28th (mocktail because it was the Vesak Poya holiday so all we had were non-alcoholic drinks) and is certainly watching. From my own perspective two things stuck out - the sexism in the interview - would H.E. have tolerated such hard hitting direct questions from a man? and also the blanket vilification of NGOs, not good for the third sector.

It does not sound like Greek to me!

"Greeks and Greek-Americans in the U.S. Diaspora, like myself, have been watching the strikes, demonstrations and tragic deaths that have brought our country to a standstill with mixed emotions. The images of Athens burning, tear gas rising and riot police clashing with citizens sharply contrast with images of white sandy beaches, beautiful islands, historic landmarks and mouthwatering cuisine that usually come to mind. Despite feelings of shock, sadness and even anger, to those who know Greek public political culture in its entirety, it is not surprising to most that this day would eventually come. Greek citizens, immigrants and those with strong ties to the country, admit the role that societal norms, mainly tax evasion, nepotism, clientelism and bribery (all very persistent in Greek public political culture) are in part responsible for bringing the country to the brink of collapse. For the past decade, Greek citizens did not heed warning their culture of corruption and the…

"Pri's altruistic what nots": a personal rant

Find it terribly depressing to think that self-interest is a fundamental, unalienable characteristic of human beings. When we do something for others, whether it’s for individuals, or for society, sure we feel good, but our motivation for doing it is not necessarily to feel good, but because we want to help, or because we think as members of society we want to make a contribution – surely that cannot be classed as ‘self-interest’, or even ‘enlightened self-interest’? What about the thousands of mothers who make different kinds of sacrifices for their children, is that self-interest? Freedom fighters like Steve Biko or Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jnr do we reduce their actions to ‘ego trips’? Was Mother Theresa just a crazy Albanian woman who got a kick out of working in Calcutta’s slums? Or Ela Bhatt (the founder of SEWA) a trade unionist merely interested in recognition for herself?
Equally depressing that young women (especially young women) all of whom are at least fiftee…

Pilgrimage to the North: a mother's day photo

(photo taken by Pri)

In peace the sons bury their fathers, but in war the fathers bury their sons

Achieving Change:- Gordon Brown's speech to Citizens UK

Saw this on Fiona's facebook, and wanted to blog it because it really should be an inspiration to anyone who is working towards change, whatever one thinks of the labour party or of Gordon Brown. The words are stirring.


[Apologies - this is not much of a blog, is it? Just some occasional musings. Take it as you wish]

This week two prizes for imagination. One to His Excellency, Mr Mahinda Rajapakse, President of Sri Lanka, for giving Mr Mervyn Silva (or is he Dr?) the portfolio of Deputy Media Minister. Maybe Mervyn is about to make amends for his assault on media personnel including the Rupavahini News Director in 2007. I don't suppose we are expecting him to close down all media like he did all taverns in his electorate. He has vowed to "protect journalists" maybe to achieve patron sainthood of some sort, now that he has an honorary doctorate and is a Honorable (?) Member of Parliament. His responsibility to protect could mean that he incarcerates all journalists and dictates their copy so that no known or unknown persons can attack them by barging into their offices or killing them at close range on the street. This could earn him one of my imagination prizes!

[For those who mis…