Monday, December 31, 2007

New Tea Factory Development Drive in Sri Lanka

Fifteen new factory units are to be established by the Tea Shakthi Fund (TSF) under its development plan for next year.

The fund also expects to earn a profit of Rs. 112 million next year from factory operations. It is expected to earn Rs. 1,316 million from 5,300 metric tonnes of made tea, to make a profit of Rs. 25 million from fertiliser and Rs. 0.57 million from local tea sales.

According to the Ministry of Plantation Industries Secretary J. Abeywickrama, the TSF has made a positive progress in 2007 by making a profit of Rs. 48 million on factory operations and made an overall profit of Rs. 63.4 million.

TSF is an organisation financed and owned by tea smallholders with the objective of harnessing the full potential of a large community of enterprising small tea cultivators. It operates in a network made of a 1,200-strong tea smallholders’ societies covering a tea growing population of 1.5 million.

Ref: Daily News - http://www.dailynews.lk/2007/12/31/news11.asp

Friday, December 21, 2007

It's Holidays

Today is the last working day before the Christmas and New Year Holidays. We start work again on 2nd January, so its a fairly long holiday period of 11 days in a raw. Hoping to do a lot of travelling here, around Melbourne and a week in Sydney as well. Sasani's parents are here for the vacation, so it's going to be a good vacation. It's about a week since they arrived here and whilst I was working this week, Sasani has been taking them in and around Melbourne. From tomorrow, I will be joining the party.

I wish everyone a happy new year! Have a good break to revitalise yourself to face 2008 even stronger!

Cheers!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Prof. Munasinghe first Sri Lankan to win Nobel honours

Every year since 1901 the Nobel Prize has been awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace.

The Nobel Prize is an international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. Each prize consists of a medal, personal diploma, and a cash award.

Professor Munasinghe is the first Sri Lankan to receive this coveted award, and shares the Prize along with other members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
As Vice Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Professor Mohan Munasinghe shares the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with other IPCC colleagues and Al Gore, for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.

The IPCC is a UN "Think Tank" consisting of the world's leading experts on climate change. It was created by the World Metorological Organisation (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) over 20 years ago. Professor Munasinghe has contributed to all four of the authoritative assessments on climate change produced by the IPCC in 1990, 1995, 2001 and 2007.

In its recently released report, the IPCC states that global warming is unequivocal and very likely caused by human activities that have steadily increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide) since the industrial revolution. Among the alarming outcomes are increased global average temperatures (around 3°C by 2100), sea level rise (about 0.4 metres by 2100), more severe droughts and floods, and increases in extreme weather events like cyclones and storms. Ironically, while greenhouse gas emissions from rich countries have contributed most to global warming, the poor countries will be hardest hit, and poor groups will be the most vulnerable. Thus, climate change will significantly worsen existing problems like poverty, hunger and disease.

More generally, unchecked climate changes will alter and threaten the living conditions of the over 6 billion inhabitants of the planet, who are all stakeholders.

Through the scientific reports it has issued over the past two decades, the dedicated scientists in the IPCC have created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming. Whereas in the 1980s global warming seemed to be merely an interesting hypothesis, the 1990s produced firmer evidence in its support. In the last few years, the connections have become even clearer and the dire consequences still more apparent.

Professor Munasinghe has been in the forefront of the IPCC efforts recognized by the Nobel Prize award, to integrate climate change policies into development strategy, and thereby make development more sustainable. He proposed the Sustainomic Framework at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, to practically achieve this goal, based on the sustainable development triangle (with social, economic and environmental dimensions). The methodology has been widely applied worldwide to jointly address climate change and sustainable development, the two pre-eminent issues of the 21st century.

Professor Munasinghe is also Chairman of the Munasinghe Institute for Development (MIND), which has contributed to the work of the IPCC. MIND is a non-profit body which provides scholarships to Sri Lankan students and conducts research and training work worldwide on climate change and sustainable development. By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC Team and Al Gore, the Nobel Prize Committee is seeking to contribute to a sharper focus on the processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world's future climate, and thereby to reduce the threat to the security of humankind. Prompt action by world leaders and all concerned stakeholders is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond human control. Professor Munasinghe has served his motherland in a number of capacities as a scientist and researcher.

Ref : http://www.news.lk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4215&Itemid=44

Thursday, December 6, 2007

First Year Anniversary of Blogging

Today marks the first year anniversary for my blog. It’s been an interesting thing to do really, even though I had extended periods of not blogging due to other priorities. However, I have managed to keep it going at a pretty consistent rate. I have enjoyed it and hope to continue as well.

This is my 83rd post, so I have posted at an average rate of about 3 posts for 2 weeks. (83/52 weeks)

Looking back, the areas I have written fall into many areas, but IT and Career related ones seems to be the majority.

Number of posts under each category

Business Analysis (7)
Business Consulting (7)
IT Industry (26)
Life (40)
Project Management (6)
Sports (9)

I started to track the web traffic to the blog in May 2007, so that's only the latter 6 months of the first year of the blog. During that period, I’ve had following stats:

3,561 Visits
2,579 Absolute Unique Visitors
5,315 Pageviews
1.49 Average Pageviews
00:01:28 Time on Site
75.20% Bounce Rate
72.51% New Visits

Readers have arrived here through following ways:

Referring Sites 48.33%
Search Engines 40.41%
Direct Traffic 11.26%

I have had most visitors from the US! (Not Australia or Sri Lanka). The first 5 countries from where most users have come are:

United States, Sri Lanka, Australia, UK and India.


Business Analysis/Consulting and other IT related posts have been by far the most favourites.


Hope the readers would continue to come during the next year too!


Thanks for coming here!

Sri Lanka’s Test Win Against England : A tribute to Sanath and Murali




Sri Lanka’s Test Win Against England is a true tribute to Sanath and Murali.

Its nice to see Sanath retiring on a winning note, whilst having fully contributed to the win. His last test innings is a snapshot of what he portrayed in the cricket scene for almost 20 years, the aggressive positiveness. His six fours in a single over reminds how he devastated so many bowlers and teams over the years, in both one day and test formats. We are lucky to see him for a little while in one-day matches. Whilst his test performances including the 300+ score against India would be never forgotten, his role in revolutionising the one-day game (together with Kalu) in 1996 is a major milestone in the history of cricket.

Murali, undoubtedly the best ever bowler in cricket passed the world record for highest number of test wickets by any bowler in this winning match, at his hometown, Kandy, Sri Lanka. His achievement is a gift not only for his great talent, but also for his courage, fighting against the baseless forces that wanted him out of the scene. However, on and off the field, he won his battles as a true hero with no other bowler coming even close to his performances and records.
Murali is the ultimate legend of the game of cricket.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

50 Great e-Businesses and the minds behind them



I have just completed reading the book “50 Great e-Businesses and the minds behind them” by Emily Ross and Angus Holland. The book uses informative case studies to explore the great idea, how the business started, the business models and what made them different from the crowd.

This book features 50 stories of successful Internet businesses and the people behind them, including successful Australian e-businesses such as Wotif.com, CarSales.com.au, Seek, RealEstate.com.au, Crickey and AussieBum.

It also investigates big names like Facebook, MySpace, Skype, YouTube, Google, Paypal, eBay and Amazon. It hasn’t forgotten blogging sites such as PerezHilton, Treehugger, Blogger and Twitter and also includes some interesting success stories like Pandora, Digg and Flickr.

It’s amazing to read some of the stories where the inventor even in his wildest dreams didn’t imagine that his idea would be this successful, for instance eBay, Facebook etc. However, the uniqueness and the greatness of the idea meant that users started to flood into their sites within a very short period of time. However, on the other end of the spectrum, sites like RealEstate.com.au have gone through serious tough times before it really started to tick. In the case of sites like RealEstate.com.au, Seek and NYCGarages, the challenge has been engaging the tech-phobic industry with this new idea of e-business.

I am happy to categorise this book as one of the best books I have ever read.


Another book by the same authors is “100 great businesses and the minds behind them”.