Thursday, 9 October 2003  
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Prime Minister, Ken Balendra head LMD opinion poll

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been voted as the most effective national leader since independence while veteran business leader and former Group Chairman of John Keells Holdings Ltd Ken Balendra has been voted as the most effective business leader since independence in an opinion poll published in the October 2003 edition of the Lanka Business Digest.

Former Presidents R. Premadasa and J.R. Jayewardene have been voted as the second and the third in the effective political leaders poll while Ceylinco Group Chairman Lalith Kotelawela and Distilleries Group Chairman Harry Jayawardena have been voted second and third in the Most Effective Business Leaders poll.

The edition, in a report published on pages 100 and 101 states: "Who does the LMD readership think are the most effective Sri Lankan leaders since independence? The result of the LMD's Readership Survey arrived at what was apparently a foregone conclusion that our Premier is regarded as the most effective national leader, whilst Deshamanya Ken Balendra is the top choice from among the leaders in the business community.

Incumbent Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe took the coveted first place in a landslide victory over two former UNP and national leaders, late President Premadasa (who came in second) and the PM's great uncle-J.R. Jayewardene (a close third).

Out of 50 readers who responded to the survey, a staggering 33 (or 66 per cent) nominated Wickremesinghe as one of their five most effective national leaders, out of which 14 felt that he deserved to be regarded as the most effective leader. Nineteen out of 50 respondents (38 per cent) nominated Premadasa and 17 (35 per cent) Jayewardene. The former took second spot by a whisker.

The second segment of the LMD readership survey asked who has, or had, what it takes it to be the most effective business leader in Sri Lanka. With a wide and varied line up to choose from, two names that cropped up frequently were that of Balendra and Deshamanya Lalith Kotelawela. Balendra- a former John Keells Holdings Chairman- was nominated by 56 per cent of respondents as being one of the five most effective business leaders since independence, while Kotelawela- who chairs Ceylinco Consolidated- came in second with 50 per cent of the nominations and with 28 per cent of the votes cast, business tycoon Harry Jayawardena has been regarded as being the third most effective business leader in Sri Lanka, the report said.

The general consensus is that to be an effective business leader in Sri Lanka, for both in the national and business context, one must have a clear vision to be able to visualise the outcome of one's endeavours even if it means having limited means to achieve it, the report said.

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