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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

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THOUGHT for the Day

The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership - Harvey S. Firestone

 

Commitment as a key to national success

I thank the MBA Alumni Association of the University of Colombo for having invited me to be the Chief Guest at this Management Conference. The theme chosen for this year’s conference, 'Beyond Traditional Boundaries' is a very appropriate one. Sri Lanka is now one of the most peaceful and stable nations in the Asian region. All of us are stakeholders in this country’s future, and we have an opportunity to build on the foundation of peace to take Sri Lanka to the next level.

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Economist with a social conscience

This week reminiscences features Professor W. D. Lakshman, an internationally renowned economist and a highly respected university teacher. The former Vice Chancellor of the Colombo University, Professor W. D. Lakshman is surprisingly unassuming yet self assured and self confident. “I was born in a village in the Southern Province called Mihiripenna, about eight or nine Kilometres from the Galle - Matara highway line. I had my early education up to Grade Five in the village school. My father W. D. P. de Silva was a small businessman and my mother, Nonahami Kumarasinghe, was a housewife. I had one younger brother and two older sisters. After Grade Five I went to Vidyaloka College. It was a small school at the time, and I enjoyed life there with a small number of students,” said Professor Lakshman.

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Role of youth leadership in reconciliation

I work through a multi-talented diverse network I have build myself ever since schooling at St Bridget's Convent, Colombo which kept growing as I attended several universities and then worked as a Conflict Transformer across continents. The experience of having worked in the humanitarian field since 2003, seeing the volatile ground reality, change of attitudes among the victims and offenders during and post conflict, I believe broadened my understanding and sensitize me towards the deeper needs of the beneficiaries.

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Unforgettable personalities - Comrade Colvin

In 1940, Colvin along with the other LSSP activists were thrown behind the bars. They succeeded in breaking free from their incarceration at Bogambara prison and fled to India where they lived incognito for a considerable period of time. Their freedom was short lived; the Police swooped on them and they found themselves back on Sri Lankan soil, behind the bars. Colvin did not idle while in incarceration. He came up with a fine book titled 'Brithanya Palanayata Yatahwu Lankawa' (Ceylon under British Rule). Colvin continued his relationship with Bolshevik, Leninist party - in India and extended his fullest co-operation to the strike launched by the Madras Worker's Union at the Buckingham and Carnatic Factory.

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