Saturday, November 26, 2005

sri lanka awaits the word of it's overlord

this is pathetic but true.

since ltte is now appointing our president, it stands to reason that we should pay more attention to it's megalomaniac leader than to our mahinda buffalo, whose speech yesterday opening the new parliamentary session was empty as his head.

buffalo could have shown that he is in control of history during last week but failed. followers can't be leaders. and it's the prabhakaran who leads. if ppl fail to vote for peace, warlords will rule.

meantime rumor mill is grinding at high speed about a possible buffalo-tiger deal before the election to enforce the voter boycott. i personally do not believe that ltte decided on the boycott because of any such deal. but it may be possible that buffalo and co wanted a deal. if so and if any such deal or an attempt at one is made public, buffalo herd is going to pay dear.
that cbk wants to get into the parliament also bodes ill for the buffalo.

so what to expect from the bunker holed? war probably, if not in word.

there is some talk that they might give 14 day notice of withdrawal from cease fire agreement in the hero's day speech. but as far as i know this is not the time of year to start a war because of the rain, unless they already have the necessary forces in correct places (but then ltte is unpredictable in the extreme unlike the buffalo). most probably they will wait about 4 months, but meanwhile expect large scale provocations as they try their best to blame the government.

it's about time they carry ltte tv on rupavahini.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

who is getting better of whom?

poor mahinda buffalo.:-)
on the day he named his cabinet, those dastardly media from bbc down, chose to focus on the infighting and the resignation rather than how his buffalo cabinet was going to implement his 'buffalo chinthanaya'. but then this must be the most boring cabinet reshuffle ever. jobs were given strictly according to seniority and loyalty. buffalo has failed to notice that other institutions where seniority is the main qualification for advancement, like the army or the police are veritable wrecks . even the prime minister was probably appointed based on his seniority than on anything else. i personally think ppl read too much into that particular appointment. one thing is clear, buffalo's main priority is to strengthen the slfp and his own position.

fact is, the most important question facing the country(whether there is going to be a war or not) is being decided in some bunker in vanni and we(including buffalo) have to wait till 27th to know the answer (that is if we get one at all on that day).

while we wait, it might be fun to observe what exactly is going on inside the upfa.

why did jvp not accept any portfolios?

there are two possible reasons and respective consequences .
sunanda deshapriya speaking to afp probably put it best "if the jvp did not take ministries on their own that means they want to hold the 'remote control' over the government, if they were left out because of disagreement, then we can expect an election.'

and it increasingly it seems that the second reason is the correct one. following makes that clear,

that toady sripathy sooriyarachchi, who got what he deserved yesterday and resigned within hours bc that portfolio(who cares what it was) is, "non existent and previously unheard of and is not in keeping with my qualification", also criticized the buffalo (to pti) for keeping the jvp out of the cabinet.
last saturday mangala samaraweera in a news conference after the president's swearing in said jvp has already agreed to accept cabinet portfolios in the rajapakse government.
a cabinet minister speaking off the record to the afp (probably jeyraj fernandopulle) said that there were differences with the jvp about the appointments and the president can improve the strength of the slfp and reduce the dependency on the jvp by going for a early parliamentary election.

so even though jvp might give a bogus explanation today at the press conference they have called, it seems that the buffalo has realized that as long as he has to rely on the jvp and the jhu he will be perceived as weak and wants to change that asap or at least wants to give that impression. he probably tried to rope them in to the buffalo herd by offering some portfolios other than what they wanted and when that failed he decided to play for higher stakes.

it's a risky strategy for both parties. if jvp does not give in we might really end up with an election and both the buffalo and the jvp might lose in the end.

if they contest separately(with jhu doing the same), upfa's collective no of mps will fall, even though their collective no of votes go up, bc unp will end up as the biggest party in many districts and thus bagging the bonus seats for those districts. btw bonus seats have become the main deciding factor in sri lankan elections under current proportional representation system.

on the other hand slfp mps now numbering 71 will probably increase at the expense of jvp. so this strategy is especially dangerous for jvp (jvp has 39 mps at the moment) they can very well end up with less than 20 mps.

bc of this even if jvp decides to contest with the slfp they will be offered less positions in the upfa lists, ensuring lesser no of seats for them, say about 30 or so.

so buffalo seems to be offering two choices for jvp, either
  • take the portfolios he is offering them,
  • or contest the election with slfp( which means they will get less no of mps but will remain part of the ruling coalition).

we could end p with a third possibility, namely buffalo and the jvp fall out, but he does not dissolve parliament in which case (btw this is similar to what has prevailed since jvp went out of government over p-toms) government will not be able to do anything constructive and will become increasingly weaker.

on second thoughts, that third option is not all bad for the country, less action on the part of the buffalo herd and the jvp the better, but will we get that?.

or will jvp give in? or will they go it alone (giving a huge boost to the unp)?

will the buffalo have the strength to carry this out to the end ? will he give in to the jvp?

and what happens if there is a war?

only the time will tell.

Monday, November 21, 2005

what mahinda buffalo would do if he has any sense

first he would have to understand what his situation really is.

that means admitting to himself that,

1. ltte wanted him in power in the belief that he is a weak leader beholden to sinhala buddhist extremist like jvp and jhu, and in case of war (provoked by them but blamed on him) world sympathy will come their way while in the south economy will collapse due to bad policies.

2. that jvp and lot of others are under the impression that they can manipulate him and get what they want. in jvp's case that means strengthening their party using state resources while slowly eroding slfp before bailing out to oust the government and destroy the slfp.

3. government is basically broke

4. investors and private sector believes him to be a socialist with the dimmest idea about how a economy in the modern world works and expect total collapse or slow but accelerating decline of the economy.

5. minorities everywhere(from muslims to christians) believes him to be under the thumb of sinhala buddhist extremists and will start a war in addition to trampling on their basic rights.

6. some in the slfp did not want him to win

his first priority must be to get rid of these impressions(unless they are actual facts which is probably the case).

he should,

1. give no opportunity to ltte to go back to war.
tell everybody that he is for very high degree of devolution of power. get the norwegians down and send them (on perhaps useless) missions to the tigers repeatedly.
at the same time emphasize that tigers acted against the tamil ppl and disenfranchised them in last election and get the foreign governments to condemn that
third, arm the karuna faction and get them to attack as many ltte cadres in the east as possible but never get the army or the stf involved. make the ltte see what they will lose in case of real war.

2.appoint a centrist opposed to jvp as the prime minister and if there are unp defections get some in to cabinet in prominent positions. release s.b. to encourage defections and generally make trouble for unp.

3.make jvp realize who is the boss immediately. give them ministries, but ones he wants, not ones they demand. he should give them some really troublesome ministries like transport or health. he should also appoint mixed teams to ministries, say a slfp minister with a jvp deputy minister and not allow jvp to monopolize some ministries like the agriculture. they will not be in a position to refuse so soon after the election without losing face. if buffalo obeys the jvp now, he will be completely under the jvp in 3 months time.

4. stick with the budget presented at the beginning of the month as much as possible (buffalo already missed a good opportunity to reassure the investors by saying he will present a new budget with his buffalo 'chinthanaya' instead- that budget has some ideas as to cutting ruinous subsides (for fuel etc.) that would make the government's financial position much stable and he could have blamed the ill effects on ordinary ppl on cbk.)
stick with the current finance minister(in spite of his lukewarm support during the election) and treasury secretory. they are not complete idiots.

5. cut the cabinet to 20, that way ppl he is forced to demote, bc of not supporting him, will not secretly hold grudges while still ministers, as they will know same thing happened to lot of others as well and the situation is clear to all. it will definitely save money

6. give every thing the minorities demand that can be given. get cwc and slmc in to government. tell the jhu to get lost with the anti conversion bill. buffalo really do not need them and most of the jhu monks can after all be bought with money.

7. do not dissolve parliament. that will not increase the no of upfa mps. only the jhu seats will get split between the upfa and unp. but jvp will gain inside the upfa.

if he really does most of these things, he may even last more than one year with real power and i might stop calling him a buffalo. unfortunately he is a real buffalo so he won't.
so expect him to get lame soon.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

so why did ranil lose? and buffalo win?

at the moment few theories are flying about.

in a mostly positive forward looking post, this is what indi has to say,

Ranil lost not because his policies are bad or unsuccessful, but because they simply weren’t communicated. He lacked the language and frames to structure his ideas, so his accomplishments just hung in the air... UNP had no talking points, no message discipline, no coherent branding, and no comprehensible theme. Part of this is because the media unit is rephrehensibly bad and Ranil isn’t the most brandable of candidates. Moreso, it’s because there is no intellectual infrastructure to support his policies...'

in unp's own blog some (moderated) comments place the blame on branch organizers who expected a easy win because of minority support and thus neglected basic campaigning work.

but i have to disagree, numbers do not support both these arguments, as i have already commented elsewhere unp's vote tally increased in this election from 40.39% in 2004(including slmc and ucpf) to 48.4% (by 8.01% , 952,105 in votes) that is a very very good swing. both the unp(in 2000 to 2001) and the upfa (in 2001 to 2004) were able to change governments using a 7.5% or less swings in votes.

in my scenario calculation before the election, i put forward what i thought could be the minimum requirements for ranil to win. three of the requirements were 2.5% swing from upfa, additional 1.5% from ppl who stayed away in 2004, and a third of jhu vote(i.e.2% from total 6%) going to unp. in other words a addition of 6% to the unp total in the south. in a situation where 75% of the 2004 tna voters stayed away that would have been enough for a win.

but that crucial fourth requirement did not materialize 25% of tna voter did not vote. in most northern polling divisions less than 0.1% voted. i thought i was being conservative when i included only 25% (based on the fact over 30% voted in the postal voting held last week) but i was wrong.

most of the tamils in north decided to follow ltte's wishes of their own free will. may be they were afraid for their lives as some ppl argue, but while we can excuse ppl living in ltte controlled areas, we have no such excuse for ppl living in government controlled areas. they just obeyed the ltte because of some vague fears quite forgetting that there is security in large numbers. even if ltte killed a few afterwards using its clandestine units that operate in those areas, most had nothing to fear seriously. they would have done better to reflect on the consequences and deaths in a restarted war.
ppl who do not exercise or demand their rights do not deserve them. ppl in the south who voted in 1988 election inspite of jvp boycott backed up by real killings showed how real democrats should act on such a occasion.

so the main reason why ranil wickremasinghe was defeated and mahinda rajapakse the buffalo( i will continue to refer to him that way in the future till he gets lame) won is clear, ltte wanted it that way and tamils in northeast obliged.

so why does ltte want the buffalo as president?

is it because they want a weak leader in the south ? probably, and they have achieved it. buffalo has to depend on the jvp and jhu even more than cbk. with those ppl in government it will never be strong

is it because they expect the buffalo to start a war? so that
1, ltte leadership can get a firmer control of their organization that has been slowly slipping through their fingers?
2, so that ltte can get the sympathy of international community and the various peacenik ngos?
well they won't get that. government is more or less broke so mahinda can't start a war even if he wanted to. ltte will have to do that by large scale provocations, which i expect them to do after 27th. but that will mean they will have to do without the sympathy and probably at the risk of getting more and more of it's front organizations getting banned in more and more countries for helping terrorists.
nor will they be able to maintain their bases in most of the east, government backed karuna faction will have a field day.

is it because of some remarks by milinda moragoda and navin dissnayake as alleged by some?
that is certainly not the case. what they said ( that ltte is trapped in the peace process and is getting progressively weaker and unp planned that in advance ) was common knowledge to those who were interested in the peace talks. one intention of the the interim administration and the p-toms etc. was the desire to make the ltte a dependent of the government, or failing that of the international community, for money. ltte knew that too, it's very clear from their own proposal for these structures. maybe only jvp, jhu and buffalo were clueless.

whatever the exact (and imo highly dicey) reason, we will know soon enough, as the ltte has only few options left.

did ranil made a mistake by appealing to all communities, especially the tamils and running on a peace platform? no, imo. after all even without the ltte and it's followers he got 48.4% of the vote. and buffalo won by just 28,600 odd majority and a 181,000 lead.
that a slim majority in south and almost all ppl in the north chose war, does not make it the wrong policy. war is always bad policy in my book.

unfortunately, most ppl decided in favor of war, on their own free will, at the ltte's urging and elected the president ltte wanted. they will get what they deserve.

Friday, November 18, 2005

early trends in election.

first the conclusion
mahinda supporters don't be too eager to celebrate. you might lose.

when i calculated the possible election result scenarios i gave what were probably the least requiremets for ranil to win in scenarios no 3
1. a swing of 2.5% from ufpa to unp from 2004 vote
2. additional 1.5%, who stayed away voting for unp
3. jhu vote splitting 2:1 between mahinda and ranil
4. 25% of northeast voters will vote inspite of ltte boycott.

now lets see how the vote is going with regard to above.

1. a swing of 2.5%

best place to test is in rural districts where jhu was not a factor in 2004.
i will take two
first horowupotana in anuradhapura district.
2004: upfa 56.63% unp 41.42% jhu got 1.14%
2005: mahinda 53.72%(down 2.91%), unp 44.94% (up 3.52%)

next beliatta in habantota district
2004 upfa 64.06%, unp 35.28% jhu did not contest in hambantota in 2004.
2005 mahinda 64.56% (up 0.5%) unp 34.01%(down 1.27%)
remember that hambantota is mahinda's home and jvp's strongest

results for other divisions show same kind of thing
what to make of it?maybe this: there is a small swing in districts outside of southern province, in south mahinda just holding on to his votes.

2. 1.5% additional votes

this is very difficult to measure, so i will not. but here is what happened in colombo central(one of the main unp strongholds).
in 2004, upfa+jhu got - 26,562, unp- 71,599,
this time mahinda 20,395(6167 less) ranil 78,908 (7309 more)
difference other than swing is 1142, this is 1.14% of 2004 total votes. make of that what you will.

3. jhu split

i will test this using maharagama data where unp famously came 3rd after upfa and jhu in 2004.
in 2004, upfa - 43.92%, jhu - 29.41%, unp - 25.87%
in 2005, mahinda - 59.37% , ranil - 39.91%
as you see unp vote went up by 14.04% while mahinda's went up by 15.45% so it seems jhu vote is splitting 2:1 or better in favor of ranil.

4. 25% of northeast voters voting

here there are differing results according to district.
in jaffna less than 1% (some time less than .01% ) are voting even in cleared areas.
but in mannar 29.69% voted, ranil getting 88.72%


so in case of assumptions 1 and 2 requirements are only partly fulfilled, but the evidence is not conclusive.
as for 3, split in jhu is better than expected for ranil.
in case of northeast votes we will have to see how ppl are going to vote in east, but in jaffna district this not going to happen.

so the conclusion still stands, mahinda don't celebrate too early, you can still lose.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

election results online

vote first.
let the bloody warmongers from both sides know what you really think about their ideas.

then if you want to check election results online in real time following sites may help.

election department website.

last time they updated as results came out (at the same time as results were released to all other media). they say they will do it this time too. old election data available for reference. some of the links are broken due to bad html but the data is there.

the lanka academic result page

they are testing the page as i write this, with fake data. last time kept the results updated in a very easy to read format. they also had some sort of predicting mechanism last year. reports about past elections by various ngos (cmev etc.) available if you want to read.

upali newspaper group election website.

a dedicated site, upto date. worked well last time. pity about the group's racist newspapers.

lanka newspapers election site

didn't check this one last year, so unproven. they are also testing as i write. but seems to have the right format since results will come out according to polling divisions. they have a handy comparison option for each division too. hope it will work with real data.

another new one, at least to me. will have to wait to pass judgment.


i later learned that wikipedia site also updated election results in real time last year. no sign of that this year.

i might (might mind you) post something here with comparisons (not results) from time to time if i get bored and am not sleepy. i will probably edit the same post instead of posting new ones each time

now i have to go get my finger painted.

Monday, November 14, 2005

elections statistics and scenarios

i was inspired to write this by the article presidential election 2005 : outcome revealed by rajiv de silva in lankabusinessonline website. while i will come to similar conclusions here, i think that some assumptions made in the article are way too optimistic (from a unp point of view). it also fails to explain clearly how exactly the figures for north and east were arrived at. i will explain why and how my more conservative assumptions differ from article's as we go along in more detail.

first i will start with the 2004 general election figures taken from election department website.

table 01
party votes percentage
upfa 4223970 45.60%
unp 3504200 37.83%
tna 633654 6.84%
jhu 552724 5.97%
slmc 186876 2.02%
ucpf 49728 0.54%
epdp 24955 0.27%
others 86625 0.94%
9262732 100.00%

please note that in following scenarios the actual numbers are meaningless and are there for calculation purposes only, it is the percentage that counts.

scenario 01 : a crude add and paste from 2004 results

here i am going to make the following assumptions.

1. nobody has changed their minds from 2004

2. there wasn't any increase in voter registration( please note that except in north east there is no significant increase anyway. as for the increase in north east given the unofficial but real ltte boycott situation i am going to assume(in line with the conservative policy on assumptions here) that will also not matter. more on boycott later.

3. upfa, jhu, and epdp votes will go to mahinda rajapakse

4. unp,slmc,ucpf votes will go to ranil wickremasinghe.

5. tna votes won't go to anybody.

the result in such a situation will be

mahinda 4801649 55.64%
ranil 3740804 43.35%
others 86625 1.01%

total polled
8629078 100.00%

tna 633654


of course this is a totally unrealistic outcome but this will be the base.

scenario 02 :


1. there will be a 2.5% swing(of total votes) away from upfa to unp. (in lbo article it was assumed that there was a 1% swing in all district except in colombo where the swing was assumed at 3%. i don't understand the difference between colombo and the rest especially considering assumptions they made regarding the jhu vote, see below). a 2.5% swing is realistic and is in fact conservative in comparison to historical record of swings in sri lanka. for instance unp lost about 7.5 from 2001 to 2004 and pa almost the same from 2000 to 2001.

2. there will be an additional 1.5% of total votes for the unp. that a large portion of unp supporters stayed away was the only explanation for reduction(much larger than votes gained by upfa and jhu) in it's vote from 2001 to 2004. all evidence suggests that party base is much more enthusiastic than in 2004. i am also conservatively not assuming a similar phenomenon will affect the upfa this time, though it is more than likely given the internal divisions within the slfp.

3. jhu vote will split 2:1 for mahinda and ranil. in lbo article it was assumed jhu 'majority will accrue to UNP notwithstanding the JHU’s political alliance with the UPFA candidate. This assumption was made after a careful analysis of the GE 2004’s voting patterns.' imo that is too optimistic, though perhaps not unrealistic if recent opinion poll data are correct. anyway i am assuming that only one third of 2004 jhu vote(concentrated mainly in western province) will go unp way.

4. that most north east tamils ignore the unofficial boycott, 60% of those who voted for tna will vote and the vote will split 85:15 between ranil and mahinda. for what will happen if there is a more successful boycott see below. as for the split it is in fact very conservative, mahinda's support among tamils actually do not go over 10 % and please note that i have already added epdp votes to mahinda separately.

5. there wasn't any increase in voter registration, same as 2 on scenario 01

under above assumptions outcome will be :

mahinda 4439183 48.53%
ranil 4622403 50.53%
others 86625 0.94%

9148211 100.00%

in other words a 2% win for ranil though he goes over 50% by only a whisker. given that third party candidates 's second preferences if counted will probably split equally, 50% rule won't matter in any case.

scenario 03 : a more effective ltte boycott


assumptions 1,2, and 3 are the same as in scenario 2.

4. more tamils obey the ltte boycott and only 25% of the tna votes are cast this time( which will split 85:15 as before). unofficial postal voting numbers seems to indicate that about one third voted but i will be more conservative.

5. there wasn't any increase in voter registration, same as 2 on scenario 01. i am in effect assuming that all the new north east voters will obey the boycott.


mahinda 4405917 49.36%
ranil 4433891 49.67%
others 86625 0.97%

8926432 100.00%

a very marginal victory for ranil.

please note that i do not expect ltte to actively encourage votes for mahinda though they seem to have concluded that a victory for mahinda is in their best interest.(i will post separately on this stupid and seemingly illogical conclusion).


in conclusion i am still fairly confident of a unp victory even with a ltte boycott . more so because i have made fairly conservative assumptions in calculating above scenarios.

by far the main and most important assumption is the 2.5% swing against the upfa, without it ranil will not win, period. imo the swing will be larger, but this is the minimum percentage required, anything below this will mean we will have that idiot mahinda in power on 18th..

btw i have been predicting a unp victory here and in other places for some time though i must say i did not expect a ltte boycott, anyway in light of the above i will continue to predict the same.

i have calculated several other scenarios which confirm the above conclusion. if any body wants to find out what will happen on different assumptions please feel free to post them as comments, i will try to calculate and post the results back.

if there are any errors in calculations please point them out.

Friday, November 11, 2005

new versions of software

new versions of my most used applications came out during last week or so. 2.0

i have been using this productivity suite for such a long time i have forgotten when i first installed it. however i do remember that i uninstalled the ms office in all my pcs somewhere in 2003.
it has been able to fulfill all my expectations of such software (especially the spreadsheet called 'calc') and i recommend it to anyone.
i downloaded the new version last week, so far it works fine.
read more about it here.

firefox 1.5 release candidate 1
Get Firefox!

this is the first release candidate of next generation firefox browser, to be released later this year. it is not a final release and is made available for testing purposes only. but so far i had no problems whatsoever( i downloaded it 5 days ago).

read about it here.

google reader

i have been using mozilla thunderbird to read feeds of various kinds, which meant that since i use 3 pcs (2 windows, one linux) in three different places i have to deal with a lot of clutter. so when i found this web-based feed reader in google labs, i transferred all my blog feeds to it. it is still in beta. but as long as the blogs subscribed don't update too frequently (as in 20 posts a day) it works fine. i don't recommend it for news feeds and other such 'heavy' feeds yet.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

time for ltte and tamils to decide whether they want peace or war.

with prime minister mahinda rajapakse appealing almost exclusively to the sinhala buddhists and probably expected to get around 50% to 60% of that vote, (sinhala buddhists comprise compromise around 70% of the total electorate) this election's result will depend on how the minorities vote. while there is no doubt that a big majority of christians, muslims, and upcountry tamils will vote for opposition leader ranil wickremasinghe the main deciding factor in this election could very well be the tamils in northeast.

most observers including myself expect tamils to vote for ranil ,and with some reason too. a victory for mahinda would mean going back, to war maybe, or more likely to more of present stalemate and low intensity war. result will be bad for sri lanka but especially for the northeast tamils. so if they think about their own well being they do not have much choice.

as for the ltte, things get more complicated. to some people in the ltte leadership, war in itself or the present stalemate may not seem bad at all. contrary to what most people in the south believe ceasefire has in fact weakened the ltte. it's discipline is going overboard, cadres are getting increasingly corrupt and recruitment is falling, in this relatively peaceful atmosphere. this is to be expected. all authoritarian organizations need a high intensity struggle to remain cohesive. of course ltte can over time evolve in to a more democratic political party but that would entail the present leadership giving up some of its powers and dictatorial ambitions. this is still possible, south asian political history is filled with almost dictators getting their way without being homicidal maniacs. mr velupillai prabhakaran has to decide whether he chooses to follow that path in the future or not. problem is he may be incapable of doing this. now is the time to decide.

that doesn't mean ltte has to endorse ranil. given that tough negotiations will have to take place in the future they will probably be better off and ranil will also be better off if they stay neutral. but they should definitely not endorse a election boycott or in any way hinder the ordinary tamils from voting in the election.

conflicting signals

so what does all those conflicting signals that seem to be coming from the ltte during the last few days mean. are they deliberately willing a mahinda victory by starting a boycott? what do they hope to achieve by that? if they think they will be able to occupy moral high ground and get international sympathy in the event mahinda wins and starts a war, they are sadly mistaken. reality will be the opposite and ltte will once again be considered terrorists in a world that abhors terrorists.

a ltte backed boycott at this stage can mean only one thing: ltte leadership has decided against peace and is for war. period.

if things come to that we should all support the government (whoever is elected) and the resulting war effort (in the same way if there is no boycott we should all make sure that the government make every effort to achieve peace.)

war would mean suffering all around. that is why ltte and all those who can influence it should not let it come to that.

time to decide.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

update : court interference temporarily saves combank's amarasuriya

last minute stay order from appeals court (after district court refused one in the morning) preventing harry j's cos from voting(till nov 16) at extraordinary general meeting of shareholders saved combank chairman.

I bloged about the issue earlier.

more details on todays happenings can be found here. though i must say lanka business online and it's tv programs are covering this in a totally one sided way (very unusually for them). though lbo is generally pro market and rational in covering issues, they seems to have got carried away with this, giving no reason for their open preference for one side. btw minority share holders were not relevant to today's events, lbo story made a mistake there.

anyway given that central bank and securities and exchange commission have already held that banking laws were not broken, it is hard to think that this stay order being anything more than a temporary respite for mjc amarasuriya.

shareholders will and should get their way eventually, in spite of irrational courts, unions and small number of crazy minority shareholders. otherwise there is no point in having limited liability public companies.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

update: sri lanka telecom turns down trc request to cut phone links

i had a post yesterday about the telecommunications regulatory commission of sri lanka(trc) requesting sri lanka telecom(slt) to cut idd to solomon islands, vanuatu, the cook islands, the wallis and futana islands, papua new guinea, nauru, tuvalu, tokelau, western samoa, niue estonia, and kiribati for three months.

it seems that slt has refused and has appealed saying that the request is 'not practical' and it 'cannot act as a nanny to clamp down on its customers'. see more details in lbo story here. I am glad they did this.

though when slt goes against the trc it is usually to protect it's dwindling monopoly privileges and to stifle competitors, in this case i agree with them 100%.

it's about time that trc people realized that they are there to make the market more competitive and not to make silly new regulations.