Daily Archives: September 20, 2006
Following on from the success of the UK ethics roadshows held in June, CIMA (The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) will be expanding the presentations internationally.
This new series of roadshows will be held in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa during September, October and November and have been set up to discuss CIMA’s new Code of Ethics and how it can be applied in practice on a day-to-day basis. The roadshow in Sri Lanka will be held on September 29 at the CIMA Sri Lanka Division Auditorium.
CIMA launched the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants in January 2006, which sets out the fundamental principles of professional behaviour that members and students are required to follow. It also describes potential threats to these principles and possible safeguards that can be implemented to mitigate these.
In support of the Code of Ethics, CIMA has also launched an ethics helpline at email@example.com (or ring from the UK 0800 358 7663 or international +44 (0)20 8849 2303 10am-4pm BST/GMT Monday-Friday), which is a free, confidential helpline offering guidance to CIMA members and students who are facing an ethical conflict. The Helpline can also provide clarification on aspects of the Code of Ethics and how they can be applied.
These ethics roadshows, which are free to CIMA members and students, are designed to give participants an understanding of the new Code of Ethics and how it adds value to the CIMA qualification. Staying up to date with ethics also forms an essential part of Continuing Professional Development, which is applicable to all CIMA members since January 2006.
The roadshows will cover: The fundamental principles of CIMA’s new Code of Ethics and how these can be applied; How ethics add value to the CIMA qualification and why they are a crucial element of membership; Using real-life case studies, discussions will be held on how to identify and deal with an ethical conflict; Explanation of the support available from CIMA for members and students facing ethical dilemmas.
The eight roadshows held throughout the UK during June had a high turnout and CIMA has received some excellent feedback from members who attended.
Charles Tilley, Chief Executive of CIMA, stated:
“We are extremely pleased with the success of our UK roadshows held earlier this year and we hope to expand on this success with our international presentations. CIMA is committed to supporting its members in maintaining the high ethical standards that our profession requires.”
Following this series of roadshows, CIMA is looking to expand the presentations into its other international regions next year.
by Damien McElroy
It has been compared to a hurdle race between seven dwarfs. Campaigning to become next secretary general of the United Nations enters the final stretch today without a clear leader in sight.
When the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly opens in New York this morning, seven declared candidates will have their best opportunity to make their case to the 192 members of the world body.
Kofi Annan, the secretary general, is due to step down on December 31 after 10 years in the job, but observers say there is complete confusion about his successor.
Ban Ki-moon, South Korea’s foreign minister, has emerged as a weak front-runner.
The latest hopeful to enter the fray is Vaira Vike-Freiberg, the Latvian president.
Although the popular Baltic leader has drawn support as a realistic choice for first woman leader, few diplomats believe she will win.
Asian nations have united to demand the next secretary general must be the first from the continent since the
Burmese U Thant in the 1960s. As a permanent member of the Security Council, China is said to be determined the winner is Asian.
Candidates must be approved by the council before going to the wider assembly for affirmation. Straw polls of its 15 members show Mr Ban leading other long-standing candidates, including Sri Lanka’s Jayantha Dhanapala and Thailand’s Surakiart Sathirathai.
The top internal candidate is Shashi Tharoor, the under secretary general for information.
An Indian citizen, Mr Tharoor was brought up in Britain. His candidacy has been dogged by US suspicions that he is too close to the outgoing UN regime.
American and British hopes revolve around Prince Zaid Hussein, the Jordanian ambassador to the United Nations.
Prince Zaid, 42, has actively sought the backing of Muslim nations. At a time of high tensions between the Western world and Muslim radicals, Prince Zaid claims to be ideally placed promote reconciliation.
All the hand-shaking and back-slapping in New York this week could still be for naught. No one has ruled out a last-minute candidate tying-up the nomination.
One such candidate, who has taken soundings but not yet declared, is the former Malaysian deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim.
(C) The Telegraph Group London 2006
via… The Island
n Dr. Amunugama highlights country’s great resilience and resolve despite many challenges
n Welcomes reforms and new initiatives in Bretton Woods Institutions but says their credibility needs to be improved for effective role in world economy
n Reiterates need for creation of special medium term oil facility; support for countries that have moved into middle in come group
By Nisthar Cassim
Singapore, September 19. Head of the national delegation Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama today told a landmark Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the IMF that Sri Lanka was resilient despite many challenges heading for 7-8% growth and committedto peace.
“Our economy is displaying great resilience, despite many challenges. A broadbased GDP growth of 7-8 per cent is expected in 2006. We have launched a programme to ensure a steady growth of around 8 per cent, to achieve sustained growth with social justice and equity,” Dr. Amunuagama told the joint annual meetings of the World Bank and the IMF in Singapore.
Speaking at the plenary sessions which kicked off yesterday following the ceremonial opening of the Annual Meetings, Dr. Amunugama also said: “The President of Sri Lanka has reiterated the government’s commitment to a peaceful resolution of the long-standing conflict in the country and has called upon the LTTE to renounce violence and enter into negotiations.”
Formerly Minister of Finance, Dr. Amunugama who is now the Minister of Public Administration is heading the Lankan delegation as the Governor for the Bank and the Fund at the 2006 Annual Meetings. President Mahinda Rajapaksa picked him to lead the Lankan team for the Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank in May this year as well.
Though exactly limiting his speech to the allotted six minutes (given to each governor) Dr. Amunugama succeeded in highlighting0 national as well as regional and international issues of Sri Lanka’s importance at the Annual Meeting which is being hosted by an Asian country after a decade. It is also a landmark gathering as contentious (in terms of effectiveness and addressing poor nations demands) yet much desired institutional reforms and governance came under much debate earlier on before member countries of both gave their approval. (See FT of September 19).
The Annual Meetings were preceded by the ministerial-level meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the IMF’s policy-guiding body, and the Development Committee, a joint IMF-World Bank forum.
Dr. Amunugama said that the Sri Lankan government has responded appropriately to the sustained sharp rise in oil prices. Oil subsidies, which had been an enormous burden on the budget, have been eliminated. “These price adjustments, in the context of growing domestic incomes and investment activity, have led to some upward price pressure. We are committed to strengthening macro economic stability. In this regard, the process of fiscal consolidation is under way,” he said. Noting that the Central Bank has appropriately tightened monetary policy, the Minister said: “We have also strengthened our financial systems to maintain international best practices. Laws to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities have been strengthened and a Financial Intelligence Unit is now fully operational.”Focusing on issues of the region and global, Dr. Amunugama said it was a privilege to speak in Singapore, at a time when Asian economies are the focus of attention.
“The global economy has continued to perform strongly and the growth has become more broadbased since we last met in Washington DC. However, we are concerned about continuing high risks and vulnerabilities. The consequences of large global imbalances that loom over us feed instability,” he said. “The high oil prices have had a severe impact on oil importing countries like my own. Despite the recent reductions, future price directions remain quite uncertain. There are signs of emerging inflation, although major countries and regions have moved swiftly to meet this challenge. International developments clearly demonstrate that if the global economy is to maintain steady growth, a co-operative effort from all players, in particular the major ones, is badly needed,” the Minister added. Dr. Amunugama emphasized that Sri Lanka have always been of the view that organizations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have a significant role to play in sustaining global economic growth and strengthening stability. “Hence, we welcome the multilateral consultations that have been initiated recently. We also support the focus on increased surveillance in the Fund’s medium term strategy. Such surveillance would help identify weaknesses and reduce the possibility of crises.” The efforts of the Bretton Woods Institutions to help countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals was also appreciated by him. In line with one of the Fund’s basic purposes of helping countries encountering balance of payments difficulties, Sri Lanka also reiterated its call for the creation of a special medium term oil facility to assist countries that have been adversely affected by the sharp increase in oil prices.
Whilst welcoming the initiatives to assist low income countries, Dr. Amunugama told the World Bank IMF annual meetings that it was also important to consider the needs of those countries which have successfully moved into the middle income group.
“The legitimacy and credibility of the Bretton Woods Institutions need to be improved for them to continue to play an effective role in the world economy. While we fully support and appreciate the increase in quota for China, Korea, Mexico and Turkey, we are reassured by the Managing Director’s statement that this is the first step of a more fundamental reform in the governance of the Fund, based on a broadly acceptable change in voice and representation,” Dr. Amunugama said expressing hope that this year’s Annual Meetings will help to underpin the current dynamism and resilience in the world economy.
via… Financial Times
The massacre of Muslims who were engaged in repairing an anicut at Radella is shocking. The LTTE stands accused of having committed the heinous crime, which bears its trademark, while SLMC Leader Rauf Hakeem and a section of the media have pointed an accusing finger at the STF. The LTTE has, true to form, denied any involvement.
We are wary of giving character certificates to either the police or the armed forces, as we are aware of their capability of committing excesses. It was only on Monday that we, in these columns, refused to buy the government’s claim that the violence against the Tamils in Colombo is being perpetrated by the LTTE. In a culture of indemnity, as is common knowledge, anyone can commit anything and get away with it.
But, why should the state forces resort to massacres at a time when they are doing extremely well on the battle front? The identities of the victims were known to the state intelligence as ordinary civilians and the Muslims are not suspects in the eyes of the STF, which maintains close links with them. So, is there any need for the STF to target Muslims?
Mr. Hakeem has called for a UN probe into the crime. He is entitled to his views and has a right to call for a high level investigation. His predicament is not difficult to understand. He cannot afford to confront the LTTE like other Muslim leaders. (Minister Fowzie has not minced his words in blaming the LTTE for the massacre.) Mr. Hakeem has to juggle with three roles as a Muslim leader, liberal in the Colombo-based NGO circuit and signatory to an MoU with the LTTE. If he admits that the LTTE is the perpetrator, he will prompt his rivals to ask him about the pact he signed with the Tigers in the wake of the CFA to protect the Muslims of the East. He got himself photographed with Prabhakaran and came out of Kilinochchi flaunting the MoU, in which, Mr. Hakeem boasted, the LTTE had promised to return the land captured from the Muslims. Having to eat his or her words is a difficult proposition for a politician.
The contention of Mr. Hakeem notwithstanding, the Radella slaughter needs to be put into perspective. Before that massacre, twelve casual irrigation workers, who were all Sinhalese, had been slaughtered by the LTTE in the same execution style at Welikanda in May. They, too, had been returning after repairing an irrigation canal. A few weeks later, a group of irrigation workers escaped death at the hands of the LTTE at the Mawilaru anicut, which the outfit captured.
The LTTE strategy is clear. It is all out to take control of the irrigation network in the Eastern Province, the be-all and end-all of its Eelam. It would not stop at the Mawilaru anicut, we pointed out in the aftermath of its capture, if the government took it lying down. Had the government baulked at recapturing that anicut, the LTTE would have been emboldened to capture many other irrigation schemes. The LTTE therefore had to be stopped in its tracks, though the outfit took the battle to Muttur, causing suffering to the Muslims in that township.
The LTTE has learnt a bitter lesson from the Mawilaru battle and may not want a repeat performance. But, it has not given up and if it cannot capture irrigation schemes, it will at least try to disrupt their operations and drive the people away from the areas surrounding them. Ethnic cleansing, it should be recalled, is part and parcel of the LTTE strategy. In 1990, the LTTE drove over 50,00 Muslims out of Jaffna, having plundered their properties. It tried its hands at ethnic cleansing in the east by massacring Muslims at Eravur in July 1990 (121 killed), in Batticaloa in July 1990 (103 killed), at Eravur in August, 1990 (122 killed), and at Palliyagodella in October 1992 (161 killed), to name only a few.
If the Muslim leaders shut their eyes to the real danger to the Eastern Province Muslims and continue to play politics with the situation, they will only be driving those hapless people to disaster. The string of battlefield debacles and the prospects of a bleak future have made the Tigers step up its brutal violence, out of desperation. Nothing constitutes a bigger obstacle to the LTTE’s campaign to annex the Eastern Province to its terror empire than the Muslim community, which refuses to live in a merged North and East under the LTTE. The price they have had to pay for their resistance is huge as evident from the LTTE’s sustained violent campaign against them.
While independent probes are called for into the killing of civilians, especially barbaric massacres like the one at Radella, and the culprits, be they members of the armed forces or the police or anyone else, must be hanged, if found guilty, it behoves the Muslim leaders to be wary of playing into the hands of the propaganda Tigers, whose mission is to provide the LTTE with escape routes. -The Island
GENEVA, Tuesday — The United Nations high commissioner for human rights called yesterday for international monitors for Sri Lanka, where 10 Muslim men were found hacked to death in the east. The government and the LTTE traded blame for the massacre.
“There is an urgent need for the international community to monitor the unfolding human rights situation, as these are not merely cease-fire violations, but grave breaches of international human rights and humanitarian law,” the commissioner, Louise Arbour, said at the opening session of the Human Rights Council here.
Sri Lanka has a team of unarmed monitors from Nordic countries, whose job is to investigate violations of the 2002 cease-fire between the government and the LTTE.
But the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, as it is called, has no mandate to look into human rights violations.
In the latest phase of its ethnic conflict, now more than 20 years old, Sri Lanka has witnessed a re-emergence of some of its most frightening ghosts: disappearances, abductions and killings by unidentified gunmen. Nearly 2,000 people, a majority of them civilians, have been killed since the beginning of the year, according to the Nordic monitoring team.
On Monday, the New York-based Human Rights Watch called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to dispatch “a mission of inquiry into recent massacres and other atrocities.” The group also urged the Sri Lankan government to accept the deployment of a United Nations human rights monitoring mission to areas of conflict.
The killing of 17 aid workers in eastern Sri Lanka last month drew attention to the dangers facing aid agencies in the country. Ms. Arbour said that “restrictions on humanitarian access have been imposed by both sides,” making things worse for civilians trapped by fighting.
via… Daily Mirror