Daily Archives: October 11, 2006
By Walter Jayawardhana
The proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be reached between the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the main opposition United National Party (UNP) is in trouble mainly because a strong division of opinions on the subject, party sources said.
Already UNP General Secretary, Tissa Attanayaka , a protégé of the party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has expressed his utter dissatisfaction about the statement of government minister Nimal Siripala de Silva that that the MOU will be written subject to the “Mahinda Chinthanaya” the manifesto of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential election.
Meanwhile a meeting between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has been postponed until the differences between party factions are straightened out in the United National Party working committee and parliamentary group, the same sources said .
Party sources said the differences have arisen “between strongly nationalistic forces” who believe political consensus should be found in the South to face the separatists with one voice and factors of the UNP who favor a policy of appeasement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the terrorist group who are engaged in military clashes with the security forces of the government. The latter profess there should be no military clashes like during the era of Ranil Wickremesinghe’s premiership and they also belong to the “anti-war crusaders” of the UNP. Some of them are also connected with certain NGO’s funded by foreign countries. In fact, sources said one was even ready to launch a party re-organization project all over the country with NGO funds.
National organizer of the UNP and former minister S. B. Dissanayaka has already attacked President Rajapaksa saying he was masquerading both as “Dutugemunu” and “Parakramabahu”, two kings who united the country in the past waging war against foreign invasions and divisions.
UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayaka said it was wrong for Nimal Siripala de Silva , as a person who took part in the bi-party talks to have said at a public meeting that the six point MOU would be drafted according to the Mahinda Chinthanaya . He said it was accurate to say that the six point MOU would be drafted according to similar points evident in the SLFP as well as UNP Presidential manifestos.
Tissa Attanayaka said in a statement that he categorically rejected the contention of minister Nimal Siripala de Silva that 80% of the UNP members of Parliament has accepted Mahinda Chinthanaya.
He said such statements of Nimal Siripala de Silva would only obstruct the two parties from getting in to an agreement. Meanwhile former Minister Laxman Kiriella said whatever support the UNP should give can only be given from the opposition benches of the parliament and not by joining the government.
Kiriella has started campaigning among the UNP parliamentarians that they should not accept portfolios in the Mahinda Rajapaksa government. The people who hold that view have privately canvassed the view that by allowing people to hold portfolios in the government there is a danger that those people would not leave the government after the temporary period of the bi-party MOU.
But in a public statement Kiriella said , that the electorate both in the 2004 general elections and last year’s Presidential election did not give the UNP a mandate to hold portfolios but to work in the opposition. Therefore, they should not hold any cabinet positions in the Mahinda Rajapaksa government.
But those who hold the view that the UNP should accept ministerial positions say to implement the common program accepted by the two parties they must have some executive power to implement the program.
Party insiders said there is also an inter-party power struggle inter-connected to these proposals in the party. Some identified the main power struggle as the one challenging the party leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe. They said, Rukman Senanayaka has been made the chairman of the United National Party, mainly a titular position under the party leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe to keep these inter party clashes in check. Immediately after the Presidential election, Rukmnan Senanayaka, the grandson of UNP founder leader D.S.Senanayaka led a large group of rural members of parliament demanding Ranil Wickremesinghe should resign from the party leadership.
President Mahinda Rajapakse has minced no words in telling the representative of the Co-chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference, who met him on Monday that truce or no truce, the Sri Lanka government will exercise its right to resort to military action to thwart arms smuggling by the LTTE.
The ‘credit’ for the LTTE having emerged as a formidable guerrilla outfit should go not only to its leader Prabhakaran but also to southern political leaders who let the grass grow under their feet. With those leaders blundering along in their counter terror campaigns, the LTTE had no need for friends. For, they all allowed it to take the initiative at the battlefront and to abuse peace processes to further its military interests.
Peace talks are the last resort of all terror groups that are driven up a brick wall. The present LTTE offer to negotiate has not emanated from any desire for peace. It is desperate for a breather as Prabhakaran, hoist with his own petard, is obviously at his wits’ end and needs time to get his act together. If someone believes the LTTE is genuinely interested in peace making, the question is why Prabhakaran threatened to resume war as early as last November and worked so tirelessly towards that end. Why did he wait until his military campaign boomeranged to wave an olive branch?
Prabhakaran, who is considered a good military strategist, must now be convinced that he cannot match the armed forces, unless he acquires a superior military capability with which to launch a series of spectacular attacks. Struggling to cope with a severe manpower crisis, he cannot achieve that objective through ceaseless-wave type operations. He needs to bolster his fire power by going for sophisticated weapons to unleash hell on ground troops, the way he did in 2000, when the LTTE captured army camps one after the other with the help of its newly acquired MBRLs and marched right up to the gateway to Jaffna. The LTTE is frantically shopping for arms all over the world. The arrest of a few of its emissaries in the US won’t put an end to its quest for weapons.
The recent arms smuggling attempt by the LTTE, which was aborted by the Navy and the Air Force is a testament to the fact that the group’s arms procurement operations are far from crippled. This may have been the reason why President Rajapakse had to tell the foreign envoys concerned that his government couldn’t afford to compromise the national security interests, simply because of a peace process, given the track record of the Tigers. The LTTE strategy is apparently two-pronged. It is trying to use future negotiations to step up arms procurement and regain sympathy overseas by projecting itself as being amenable to a negotiated settlement.
Negotiations are the only way to find a peaceful solution. Yet, talking will be an exercise in futility if the LTTE is allowed to make negotiations a fa`E7ade for pursuing its military objectives. If its desire for peace is genuine, then the LTTE needs no more weapons. If the LTTE desists from provocative acts, the government will have no way of justifying the continuation of its ‘defensive warfare.’ The Karuna Faction, too, will be without an excuse to unleash violence in such an eventuality. In other words, the best form of self-defence for the LTTE is to refrain from provoking others and providing them an excuse to resort to retaliatory violence.
The Norwegian Ambassador is reported to have told President Rajapakse, at Monday’s meeting, that the LTTE was concerned about the on-going military operations by the government. Its concern is natural. However, for what is happening it has no one to blame but itself. Hadn’t it captured the Mavilaru anicut, taken the battle to Muttur and tried to make a foray into Jaffna, there wouldn’t have been any war. The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) has blamed the LTTE for initiating the conflagration in the North. TULF President V. Anandasangaree, at a recent discussion with the Indian government, traced the beginning of the present phase of the conflict to the LTTE’s capture of Mavilaru.
The best way that the Co-chairs could help Sri Lanka achieve peace is to ensure that during the talks to be resumed, the LTTE will refrain from violence and arms smuggling. Having done that, they will have a moral right to tell the government to stop its military operations against the LTTE forthwith. Nothing else is going to help prevent future talks going the same way as the previous ones. -The Island Editorial
Dialog ECM (Enterprise Contact Management) – Premier Telco’s latest enterprise offering
Sri Lanka’s premier telco and largest mobile communications provider, Dialog Telekom announced yesterday the commencement of the provision of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services for Sri Lankan and global enterprises.
Branded and marketed as Dialog ECM (Enterprise Contact Management), Dialog’s BPO operation will focus on multi-modal contact management. Dialog ECM will provide a compelling contact outsourcing proposition for enterprises of all sizes based on inherent strengths in multi-modal contact centre infrastructure and rich human skills and experience. Dialog ECM will also provide a wide array of contact options covering the multiple modes of Agent Voice, Automated Voice, SMS, Fax, Email and Web Chat.
Dialog is a reputed leader in multi-modal Contact Management with over a decade of experience and in-depth industry knowledge. “The launch of Dialog ECM represents a leverage of skills and experience developed over many years to assist other Sri Lankan enterprises with their outsourcing needs”, a company source stated.
The Dialog ECM centre currently employs over 500 highly skilled service professionals providing customer support in Sinhala, English and Tamil and handles in excess of a million customer interactions a month. The Company’s ECM services are provided 24/7 across the spectrum of contact channels, which include IVR, Voice (inbound and outbound), Web chat, E-mail, Fax and SMS. The ECM centre currently operates a 250 seat facility from 2 locations making provision for sound business continuity and disaster recovery. Plans are underway to double this capacity in early 2007.
Sandra De Zoysa, Head of Customer Service and Contact Management at Dialog Telekom said, “Through outsourcing, organizations look for strong value propositions–better, faster, reliable, cost effective services and the seamless integration of technology with their own business processes. Dialog ECM is well-positioned to meet these aspirations of Sri Lankan enterprises based on the company’s experience in customer servicing as well as customer contact technologies. Our clients will benefit from a combination of advantages encompassing our world-class infrastructure, proven expertise and extensive domain knowledge. Dialog ECM would be in a position to add value to our client’s business by helping them increase efficiencies, reduce costs and enhance service delivery to their customers”
Dialog ECM’s global client proposition is backed by Dialog Global’s IPLC and VPN services – the best in class global connectivity services based on SeMeWe3 and SeMeWe4 submarine connectivity, and the global footprint of Telekom Malaysia (TM’s) international telecommunications infrastructure featuring Points of Presence (PoPs) in most key cities across the globe.
Dialog Telekom has made extensive and long-term commitments to its customers by investing in state of the art contact centre technology. The Company also places extensive emphasis on quality assurance through the monitoring of customer interactions, training and e-learning and performance management, thereby ensuring consistency in service delivery across multiple channels. For more details on Dialog Telekoms’ Enterprise Contact Management services, please send an e-mail to email@example.com
Dialog Telekom Limited is the largest mobile operator in Sri Lanka with over 2.75 million subscribers representing 60 per cent market share in the cellular sector. Dialog Telekom is also the largest listed company on the Colombo Stock Exchange in terms of market capitalization with a market capitalization (as of 30 June 2006) of LKR146 billion (USD 1.42 billion). Dialog Telekom Limited, a member of the Telekom Malaysia Group (TM), is a subsidiary of TM International, TM’s international investments holding company.
Dialog Global–Dialog Telekom’s international services operation, plays a leading role in Sri Lanka’s international telecommunications services market and provides a host of retail and wholesale international voice and data services based on global connectivity via the SeMeWe3 and SeMeWe4 submarine cables. Dialog Global provides direct connectivity to most key cities across the globe via the Points of Presence (PoPs) of TM’s International network infrastructure. Dialog Broadband Networks (Pvt) Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of Dialog Telekom is a leading provider of wireless broadband access services and wholesale transmission backbone services. The company is also licensed to provide WLL Fixed Telephony services. In addition to its core mobile telephony business and International Gateway Service, the company provides internet services through Dialog Internet – a fully-fledged Internet Service Provider (ISP). Dialog Telekom also operates Dialog SAT, a mobile satellite service.
TM, an emerging leader in Asian communications, offers a comprehensive range of communication services and solutions in fixed-line, mobile, data and broadband. As one of the largest listed companies in Malaysia with a market capitalization of USD 8.38 billion, TM delivers value to its stakeholders in a highly competitive home environment.
The Group places emphasis on continuing customer service quality enhancements and innovations. Currently, with investments and operations in 13 countries around Asia and globally, TM is focused on achieving sustainable growth in both the local and international markets.
TM has interests in nine key markets within Asia – Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Iran. TM has an impeccable track record of adding value to its investments, working closely with its subsidiaries to achieve strong market positions and profitability. -Financial Times