Random Thoughts were Jewels in the Crown
A socio-political commentary of our time is what Renton de Alwis, a recognized professional and the former Chairman of the Tourist Board calls the series of articles he subscribed during 2003/04 to the Sunday FT, under the pen name RAM – Random Access Memory. These articles are now published as a booklet titled “Random Thoughts” and will be launched by the author on election eve - November 16. The publication is dedicated by the author to “Nidahas”- Free Lanka Media Movement, with the hope of enhancing the efforts of the movement towards creating a just and social fabric for Sri Lanka.

The invitation to the book launch is as unique and dedicated “towards creating a just and social fabric for Sri Lanka”, as every article in the book. Renton is a man with a good heart, a unique human character and always dedicated to the forward march of Sri Lanka Inc – a phrase he coined post the airport attack to marshal the forces to rebuild the image of the nation and the shattered tourism industry.

The RAM articles are not Random Thoughts of Renton but jewels in Sri Lanka’s crown a leader can wear with pride. The invitation reads thus “The circus is on again….It’s election time and we have once again dug ourselves deep in a culture of promises and ‘hopeful’ hopes…This is an invitation for you to participate at a discussion cum launch of a book I wrote…. I wrote it out of love…I now want to share it with you…” The articles have been written with love for Sri Lanka and its people.

Renton writes in the book, “I loved writing the RAM column each week. It gave me an outlet to let off my disgust at what is happening around me.
The blatant waste of resources and opportunities angers me.

What we see is a case of too many bad policies, bad decisions, bad attitudes, lack of caring for people, their needs and dominance of selfish agendas of those who claim to serve us.” The hard hitting articles were a reflection of “Ape Kama” the national interest before self interest.

Where to Sri Lanka? Care to look at Care Services-Wanted; Corporate whistle blowers- The private side of private sector- Making ‘ecosystems’ of business- Towards a Sri Lanka Inc, bit by bit- Our mothers and sisters working abroad- Of the people, by the people, for the people- Is our world for sale? Wanted Brands of leaders- Knowing where we are going-Out of the Box ; Mr. Public Servant are only some of the many articles in the book.

What a shame that our leaders contesting the Presidential elections did not refer to this book before they published their manifestos! We would have then avoided an opportunity for Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yu to say “They are at it again in Sri Lanka – The periodic auction of non existent resources is on –this time round from both sides”.

There are a number of good ideas for leaders both in governance and business to implement with commitment, and I hope the winning candidate of the next Presidential election will make “Random Thoughts’ his first read after victory celebrations! I hope also that the Chamber leaders will make this book a compulsory read item for its leadership team and decision making body of members. Hats off to you Renton let us hope your efforts will bear fruit for the sake of Sri Lanka Inc and its present and future generations.
(The writer could be reached at - wo_owl@yahoo.co.uk).

RAM reveals himself!
RAM, a former columnist in The Sunday Times FT, has divulged his identity. Renton de Alwis, former chairman of the Tourist Board and an international tourism professional, wrote this series in 2003/04 under the pseudonym “Random Thoughts by RAM (Random Access Memory).”
He has now published a book with a collection of these articles. It will be launched on November 16 at the BMICH.

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