Met men caught napping
President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the opening of the Southern Highway
said it was time for the private sector too to get involved in the
country’s development process.
The private sector is today more responsible and this was evident
when they invested Rs 650 million to support the Commonwealth Games bid.
In addition they have stood with the government on many such occasions
specially when the country’s chips were down and in natural disasters
like the tsunami.
The government cannot expect the private sector to fund and maintain
the Meteorological Department and the Disaster Warning Centre. This like
the Fire Department is a 100 percent responsibility of the government
but sadly this is becoming a questionable institution.
When the tsunami struck and wiped away over 20,000 lives and
livelihoods of thousands of people along with livestock and business it
was found there was no one to monitor the movements in the Department
since it was a holiday.
However neither person responsible for this irresponsible act
resigned nor any officials was suspended or even an inquiry held.
Similarly when the sudden atmospheric disturbance stuck Galle
district last week and sent over 30 fishing boats missing and killed 20
people and over 13,000 families were displaced no serious prior warning
was issued by the Meteorological Department.
The government responsibility was to pay compensation for the dead
and provide dry rations and the usual social service. If the Government
had suspended a few officials at the Meteorological Department for the
debacle after the tsunami they would have acted more responsibly last
However, Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera rightly said
that he would look into this matter and people are eagerly waiting to
see the outcome of this.
If this is not done even this time around, when the next tidal wave
or sudden atmospheric disturbances strike Colombo it may wipe off or
even the proposed Shangri-La Hotel that is being built.
This is the era where there is satellite technology available to
monitor weather patterns and it’s a crying shame that the Meteorological
Department could not issue a serious warning and save the lives of over
40 people and property.
If this issue is taken from a business perspective, new business
premises have to be set up for damaged units, vehicles have to be
replaced, power sector have to restored and in some instances uncalled
for insurance claims too have to be met. They may also have to relaunch
fresh CSR projects. And in some instances entrepreneurs may have to pay
compensations if their employees were killed or injured. From a tourism
perspective, tourists will have second thoughts when visiting beach
destinations that do not issue prior warnings of would be natural
These small negative factors have to be corrected when the country is
successfully marching towards being the wonder of Asia.
Shirajiv Sirimane - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Colombo bourse recovered sharply on account of the bullish
sentiments brought down with the expectation of the positive outcome of
the meeting between the President and the brokering community. During
the day significant level of intra-day rallies were prominent in retail
Moreover all the sectors in the exchange recorded gains except for
oil palm sector.
ASI closed at 6,022.24, up 216.48 points (+3.7%) to while sensitive
MPI ended at 5,233.23, up 180.32 (+3.6%). Market RSI was recorded at 39
(Previous day 23).
Market turnover was registered at Rs 1.2 billion.
Notable level of retail activity was witnessed in the market where
HVA Foods Plc (Rs 153.9 million) contributed heavily to the daily
turnover with aggressive level of trading.
In addition Colombo Land and Development Plc (Rs 94.2 million) and
Blue Diamond Nonvoting (Rs 60.0 million) made noteworthy contributions
to the turnover.
Meanwhile retail counters such as Colombo Land and Development Plc,
East West Properties Plc and PC house Plc attracted heavy investor
Foreign participation stood at 6.4% of the total market activity and
at the end of the day foreign investors were the net sellers with a net
foreign outflow of Rs 104 million.