Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Vajira Chitrasena, The grand dame of dance, Interviewed By GroundViews

In magerata, magerata video, studies on October 22, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I watch, listen to many a interviews on Groundviews. I get my weekly dose of internal information that I am unable to get from anywhere else from those authors of Groundviews. That does not mean that I agree with the views of groundviews authors all the time. In fact, most of the time my comments are from the oposite side of the table. I always try to be civil, when I express my views, which may not be grounded very well, due to the simple fact, I am very far away from the grounds of Sri Lanka.

I am truly thankful to Groundviews for providing a platform for people to air their views. In fact Sri Lanka needs a place like it because we Sri Lankans tend to think it is my way or highway, when we are fixated on an idea, specially online. Over the years, I have seen the receding waves of filth and bad language from the comments, not only at Groundviews but Lankan blogsphere as a whole. But what ever the our alliances are, it is good place for dialog. I firmly believe, dialog among people can solve many of the problems.

The main reason I am writing about Groundviews today is because of entirely another reason. I came across a fine interview done by Groundviews. A long due interview, too bad it is not on video, yet it is a fine one.  The Deshabandu Vajira Chitrasena was interviewed. (I had to get help of a few people to find out what Deshabandu means and now I understand what it is, I think it is very befitting her.) If you are at least tiny bit interested in Magerata and a woman who devoted 60 of 78 years of her life, for dancing and promoting the craft she matured, let the interview play in the background while you surf. It is worth the time.

Sanjana has done a fine job of recording just about half an hour appropriately  recorded at the Chitrasena and Vajira Dance School (The Chitrasena Kalayathanaya);

Vajira looks back at her life and recalls how she began to dance, what dance means to her, what’s changed from when the time she was an active dancer, her legacy alongside that of Chitrasena’s, what and who inspired her, the changes she brought about to traditional Kandyan dancing and the future of the Dance School in the hands of her children and grand-children.

Vajira Chitrasena, who had danced when Sri Lanka gained independence from the British and her presence in the field easily felt even today through her work and the Chitrasena Kalayathanaya. At the prime age of 78 years old, I some time wish to see her dance one more time. But I guess I have to settle to work of her grand children, which is fine because all of them are “Dancing For The Gods!” (ignore my uneducated comment if you read the article 🙂 )

Colombo Stock Market Back In Strength.

In Colombo Stock Exchange, magerata, Sri Lanka tea, Sri Lankan Rupee on October 21, 2010 at 2:41 am

After a few days of ups and downs, the Colombo stock market came back with strength yeaterday. It gained over 1%, and made me one of the best student investers! If these swings continues as they are, instead of applying for jobs, I might be able to walk into a few board of directors meetings, directly. On top of increasing the investments in the stocks and certain shares, the rallies of last few days allowed me to make some money as well, which I will be reinvesting, soon, back in to the market, perhaps in the Tea sector. I am very much interested in the tea sector and I am learning the theoretical Sri Lankan Tea Market these days, from a few very good teachers.

The market rallied at the end of the day after what seemed like a walk in molasses during the morning,  sending ASPI and MPI up by 1.22% and 1.73%. The turnover toped the Rs. 3 billion mark.

Even with the current situation, the Colombo stock exchange Index is still the Asia’s best performer in 2010 with a 98 percent gain. This is solely due to the island’s economy rebuilding with vigor, after the end of a civil war in May 2009. The market index shed 6.2 percent since hitting an all-time high of 7,207.75 on 4th October 2010. According to Thomson Reuters, the Colombo Stock Exchange’s 14-day relative strength index is at 57.7, between the neutral limits of 30 and 70.

John Keells Holdings was the highest contributor (Rs. 582 million with 1.8 million shares traded) to the market turnover with four crossings (850,000 shares at Rs. 307 each and 100,000 shares at Rs. 310 each). The price increased by Rs. 1 (0.32%) and closed at Rs. 310. Foreign holding in JKH decreased by 1.1 million shares.On the money market side, the rupee closed at 111.85/87 a dollar from Monday’s 111.85/88, as state banks sold dollars at 111.85 rupees each.

Googling Magerata, Googling Sri Lanka.

In development, magerata on October 19, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Someone has expressed his thoughts on an article called “Googling Sri Lanka” (for life of me I could not find the name of the author of the article on Financial Times) which runs very parallel to mine. Parallel because I think more aggressively than him like I envision Sri Lankan exports to be $20 Billion instead of $10 Billion. But you would not know what I am talking about, unless you read the article. The article compares the past results and predicts future results, when on Googles Sri Lanka.

Googling Sri Lanka

I think every Sri Lankan should read the article, Googling Sri Lanka, which of course is oogling Magerata fro me! It might shed some light on what needed to be done as a country, than chanting dictatorship mantra. To guid people to take ownership of the country, not just what they like.

I might make some people sigh for what I am going to write in the next sentence. But I stand for my beliefs. I would rather be under a dictatorship, if there is one, than living with terrorist threats, that killed multitude of Sri Lankan people.

Financial Times article.


New Airbus A320s Coming Sri Lanka Airlines In December.

In development, Economy, magerata on October 19, 2010 at 9:46 am

SriLankan Airlines is getting ready for the first of the five A320s in December and another three brand new planes will be joining the fleet in May next year. I really hope I can fly in Sri Lankan Air lines, at least half way, when I come to visit Sri Lanka in December.

According to Financial times, the national carrier has said that it is acquiring seven more aircraft by end of next year. Within the order are three brand new A320s first of which will be taken delivery of in May next year. The airline recieved the last of the six A330-200s over a decade ago in June 2000. In addition to the five A320s, there will be two twin otter floatplanes joining the fleet.

“We will be celebrating an important new chapter in the history of SriLankan Airlines with the arrival of this large number of aircraft within a short period. They will allow SriLankan to significantly enhance the passenger experience on board our flights, give us the ability to fly to more cities in the Subcontinent, Middle East and Southeast Asia, and to also increase capacity to existing destinations in these regions,.. Our fleet expansion plans are constantly updated to support Sri Lanka’s rapidly growing tourism industry, while keeping in mind the financial requirements of the airline” SriLankan Airlines CEO Manoj Gunawardena said.

The new aircrafts scheduled to be acquired in 2011 will sport the latest comforts and entertainment systems including Audio-Video On Demand (AVOD) in both Business and Economy Classes.All five aircrafts including the two A320s which are to arrive in December 2010 and early 2011, would be on operating leases at very attractive terms of monthly payments.

The two Twin Otters will be used for the re-launch of the domestic service SriLankan Air Taxi this winter.

The seven new aircrafts join SriLankan’s fleet of 13 aircrafts – three A320s, five A330s, and five A340s – with a global network covering 49 cities in 31 countries. The twin-engined A320s operate to destinations in the Subcontinent, Maldives, Southeast Asia, and parts of the Middle East, while the A330s and A340s operate to the Middle East, Europe, and the Far East.

Sri Lankan Government Entities To Offer IPOs Soon.

In Colombo Stock Exchange on October 18, 2010 at 5:32 am

The state owned companies are looking to offer IPO and of course we are to take an interest in what is already ours! at least good folks like us who pay our taxes :).

The companies seeking to offer public shares include SriLankan Airlines Catering, Shell Gas, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), SriLankan Airlines, ITN and Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC).

SriLankan Airlines Catering and Shell Gas will start the trend,( I think it will be an upward one! ) and the rest of the companies will follow the suit. The word on the street is that most of these institutions are debt ridden and need some kind of lifting to stay afloat or march forward to make profits. Government is seeking to do just that with offering up to 20% shares in the Colombo Stock Exchange. Yes I am looking forward to have a piece of this pie.

“The time is right (to list) and all indicators are pointing favourably at listing. The concept of the government at present is to ‘give to the people’ so that they will have a say,” Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told the Business Times confirming that the government is favourably looking at selling stakes in these institutions. Minister Rambukwella added that the government is constantly realigning its strategy and will infuse private sector participation while keeping the people’s interest at heart when going for Initial Public Offerings.

Read more on the subject at Business Times Article.

Monetary Policy Review for October 2010 To Be Released On Tuesday, 19 October 2010 at 7.30 a.m.

In CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA, magerata on October 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm

The Director of communications of Central Bank of Sri Lanka has informed that the Monetary Policy Review for October 2010 will be released on Tuesday, 19 October 2010 at 7.30 a.m. and not on 21 October 2010 as previously announced. Once released, we will post the information here on Magerata.

Sri Lankan Stocks Settle After Diving Deep

In Colombo Stock Exchange, Economy, magerata on October 14, 2010 at 4:37 am
#CSM, #colombostocks
Sri Lankan stocks closed up 1.4 percent after what seemed a wild ride on Wednesday. The benchmark index fell 5.7% during intra-day trade but late institutional purchases brought the index back up. The benchmark All Share Price Index closed at 94.81 points at 6,628.83 points recovering a part of the 4.4 percent loss a day earlier.
According to LBO, the Milanka Index of liquid stocks closed up 0.56 percent (47.13) at 7,166.88.
The Colombo stock exchange intervened and halted trading for half an hour till 10.59 am after the index fell more than 5.0 percent after one hour of trading as investors dumped stocks. But it was also an opportunity presented to those who are familiar with the numbers.
The intra day dive of 5.7 was only surpassed by the January 27, 2005 dip of 6.97, Bloomberg reported.
Sri Lanka stock market was prepared and the watchdog put limits on margin trading and also price curbs to prevent the formation of large bubbles which can collapse and hurt everyone.
Most Sri Lankan stocks are non-liquid and they are easy to manipulate. The overall market was valued at 25.1 times historical earnings at the day’s close. Sri Lanka’s stocks were up more than 110 percent at the beginning of the month.

Following stocks gained support of buyers and made me smile.

John Keells Holdings closed up 6.70 at 320.30 after falling as low as 300.00 with 3.0 million shares traded.

Dialog Axiata,  fell to 11.00 rupees before closing flat at 12.00.Hatton National Bank closed up 4.40 rupees at 220.60 after falling as low as 200.00 rupees.

National Development Bank closed up 4.70 at 360.20 after falling as low as 336.00.

Nestle Lanka closed up 16.10 at 665.00 after falling as low as 630.00.

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings closed up 11.40 at 778.00 after falling to 680.00.

Disclosure, I own stocks of some of the companies listed above and I am good.

XKCD, Forget the Borders, Follow the New Map of the World

In Hiking the world on October 11, 2010 at 5:37 am

A lot has changed in the online world and even the map. The original Online Communities Map, shown small below the larger and new social world map, done by XKCD in 2007  is drastically altered for 2010. Enjoy the map double click and click again to see a larger version! 🙂  Little Girls could look for Bieber bay!

The Old Social Map of the world;

The old social map

Google Car, Info Revealed.

In Google, The United States on October 11, 2010 at 4:57 am

GoogleCar, We don't have to drive any more.

#Googlecar As Google CEO was hinting at the TechCrunch Disrupt, about intelligent cars, today Google revealed news about it’s GoogleCar, the self driving robotic car(s). There were many Google Prius that run around in San Francisco Bay area, specially the South Bay. But most of them are Google Street View cars. But yes the above is one of the self driving cars.

So we have developed technology for cars that can drive themselves. Our automated cars, manned by trained operators, just drove from our Mountain View campus to our Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard. They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe. All in all, our self-driving cars have logged over 140,000 miles. We think this is a first in robotics research.

You can read more about the news at Google Blog You can see a video of the above car at facebook.