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Community participation in fighting forest fires

Community participation in fighting forest fires

The rains have come at last and the drought is over. The drought has been the cause of many forest fires in the recent past. The Forest Department says in the last month over 1500 acres of forest land had been destroyed by fire. The magnitude of the threat of forest fires is such that [...]

Sri Lanka-China FTA deal during Chinese President’s visit next month

Sri Lanka will be launching its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China making the biggest leap forward in relations between the two countries in more than 60 years, during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the island next month, official sources revealed. Mr. Xi will be accompanied by a 150-member top level delegation including [...]

Hoping for a million bucks

Hoping for a million bucks

A sweep ticket vendor grins to the camera as a hoping-for-a-million-rupees’ customer tries his luck in the backdrop of the new floating market in Pettah. Pic by Amila Gamage

Local firms put int’l funding in backburner: Domestic borrowing cheaper

Sri Lankan companies vying for overseas funding have halted their plans owing to high interest rate costs, industry source said. “When we borrow from international funding lines, the Central Bank (CB) has to step in to ‘cover’ the exchange rate risk. This cost is now at 5 per cent, (which is high) and we have [...]

Army launches Operation Kandy city development

Sri Lanka Army will soon kick start the historic Kandy city development project and city beautification by refurbishing dilapidated structures and improving infrastructure facilities, officials said. Modern city planning and development will transform the entire city of Kandy into a major tourist attraction under the World Bank funded strategic city development project. The World Bank [...]

TPG says to acquire maximum 70% in Union Bank

TPG, the USA-based global private investment firm has informed Union Bank (UB) that they’ll acquire up to 70 per cent of the latter as permitted by law under the mandatory offer, at an offer price of Rs 25 per share, according to a circular to shareholders. This will provide TPG with an aggregate shareholding of [...]

Touchwood former directors to be held liable

The Touchwood case on Thursday took a new twist in the Commercial High Court when lawyers said the former directors should also be held accountable. The company’s former directors and not only the present Touchwood Chairman/CEO Lanka Kiwlegedera could also be held liable for the company it was stated in court. Avindra Rodrigo, Counsel for [...]

Lankan citizens need better treatment when taxed by the State

The recent controversy over an attempt to impose a retrospective tax by gazette notification on interest free loans for housing and some other benefits given to employees illustrates the need for the state and rulers to treat Sri Lankan citizens with more respect similar to people treated in freer countries. The Sunday Times ran a [...]

Absurd … then refreshing

There were two developments this week that caught our attention: one of which was refreshing while the other bordered on total absurdity and insanity – at least in the Sri Lankan context. This is the ice bucket challenge that has gone viral, attracting many Sri Lankans (for the wrong reasons) and a refreshing counter, the [...]

Hayleys Agriculture cultivates seaweed in the Mannar Basin

Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Ltd, the agri-business arm of the Hayleys Group, recently began its dry seaweed project in the Mannar Sea Basin. This project, implemented in the North Western coastal area of Sri Lanka, assists local fishing families to naturally cultivate a specific type of seaweed that has a growing global demand, especially in the [...]

Over 100 foreign buyers at this year’s FACETS Sri Lanka trade show

FACETS Sri Lanka 2014, the international Gem and Jewellery Show, will be attended by over dozens of buyers from China, India, Myanmar, Dubai, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, USA, Russia and Germany. Already 76 buyers from China and over 35 Indian buyers have confirmed their participation at the September 5th exhibition in Colombo. The final stall [...]

Global unions slam visa refusal by Aussie authorities to trade union leader Marcus and two others

International trade unions have slammed a decision by the Australia Government to deny visas to three Sri Lankan trade union activists for a series of meeting there in connection with a workers’ dispute at the Australian-based Ansell factory at Biyagama. The visa applications were rejected two days before the planned arrival of Anton Marcus, Joint [...]

Ceylinco Insurance distributes water to drought-affected Polonnaruwa

Ceylinco Insurance distributes water to drought-affected Polonnaruwa

Employees of Ceylinco Insurance – General actively recently distributed water to several remote areas of the drought affected areas in Polonnaruwa district. The company said over 8,500 one and a half litre bottles of drinking water were distributed in these areas, in the first phase of the project. Further, following the initial project, water was [...]

Reunion of Sri Lankan liver transplant patients who underwent surgery in Indian hospital

Dr. Gomathy Narasimhan – Senior consultant, Transplant Surgeon (Hepato Pancreato Billiary and Liver Transplant), Global Health City, participated in the re union of Sri Lankan patients who underwent liver transplantations at Global Health City, Chennai over the last four years. “The reunion stands as a testimony to the fact, that organ transplantation is a safe [...]

Lower interest rates help LOLC to stronger growth, profits

LOLC Group’s 2014 first quarter results saw its pre-tax profit (PBT) for the three month period reach Rs. 1.35 billion, up 45 per cent over the last year’s Rs. 934 million. “This is a reflection of the strong profitability recorded from its operating activities which grew by 23 per cent compared with end June 2013,” [...]

Dell supports student entrepreneurs through new university programme

Dell, Sri Lanka’s leading IT solutions provider, has launched – what it calls – a unique programme to inspire and support young Sri Lankan entrepreneurs. The Dell Power Pitch programme caters to university students and aims to develop a new breed of student entrepreneurs that will help drive economic development, the company said in a [...]

Lanka-Vietnam trade links established in Hanoi

The first-ever Sri Lanka Vietnam official trade mechanism went live in Hanoi on August 21 with the establishment of a Joint Trade Sub Committee (JTSC), a media release issued by the Industry and Commerce Ministry said last week. “I am convinced that setting up of a Joint Working Group (JWG) or Joint Trade Sub Committee, [...]

DFCC Bank helps in drought relief

DFCC together with its commercial banking subsidiary, DFCC Vardhana Bank recently initiated a relief programme to support the most affected villages in the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Moneragala districts, supplying water tanks totalling a capacity of aproximately 25,000 litres together with drinking water and dry rations. Arjun Fernando, CEO, DFCC Bank said, “Caring for the society [...]

Kumar’s new Corporate Etiquette Consultancy service

Kumar’s new Corporate Etiquette Consultancy service

Public relations and media consultant Kumar de Silva recently launched his latest venture – Corporate Etiquette Consultancy. “Having worked with the corporate sector of different levels for nearly three decades, I feel the time is opportune for me to share my vast hands-on experience and expertise with all those entry-level and mid-level Sri Lankan corporates [...]

Entrepreneurship Forum by COYLE in October

The Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) is holding its inaugural Entrepreneurial Forum “Dare to Be Different’: The COYLE Sampath Bank Entrepreneurial Forum” on October 1st. The forum will involve a panel of exceptional entrepreneurs and impact leaders in the areas of ICT, consumer goods, and infrastructure development to an audience of business managers and [...]

Sri Lanka’s red clay industry to produce export oriented ceramic products

The Sri Lanka Ceramics Council is keen to develop the red clay industry in the country and move away from old machines which doesn’t give the right finished product for export. Mahendra Jayasekara, President of the Sri Lanka Ceramics Council (SLCC), told the Business Times on the sidelines of the 11th AGM held at in [...]

Targeted marketing wanted to fill rooms on the beach, says expert

Consumer oriented marketing is required to attract the upper traveller segment, a travel expert said on Thursday highlighting that Sri Lanka was not obtaining the needed arrivals for the upmarket hotels. Atiken Spence Hotels Consultant Malin Hapugoda speaking with the Business Times said that the fact that increased numbers coming into Sri Lanka were not [...]

Banks ruin livelihoods; far worse than air accidents, says PATA CEO

An international travel expert last week asserted that banks were worse off killing people’s livelihoods in paying off fines than airline crashes that lose lives. The global travel industry does far more to help humanity than hinder whereas the banking sector hinders humanity for the gain of an extremely small percentage of people who fundamentally [...]

300 Mega Taxi Advertising Campaign in Germany receives high response

Under the guidance of the Ministry of Economic Development, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) launched a mega taxi advertising campaign in Germany early this year with the ceremonial launch of the campaign taking place in March at Messe Berlin firground during the ITB Travel and Trade Fair, a media release issued by Sri Lanka [...]

Unusual Maldives culinary competition: Soups and cakes brought in boats

Unusual Maldives culinary competition: Soups and cakes brought in boats

MALE – Imagine delicately balancing a bowl of soup or steadying a cake perched on a stand on a rocking boat in the high seas? That’s how Gissur Gudmundson, President of the World Association of Chefs Societies (WORLDCHEFS) jokingly described the landmark Culinary Challenge held in the Maldives earlier this week coinciding with the 3-day [...]

Khiri Travel Sri Lanka becomes new DMC

The Galle Face Hotel Management Group announced this week that it will partner with Luxe Asia and Khiri Travel to create the latest destination management company in Sri Lanka. The joint venture named Khiri Travel Sri Lanka will be a member of the Galle Face Hotel Management group which owns and operates the Galle Face [...]

CANTALOUPE LEVELS opens next month in Rumassala

LEVELS, an intimate Luxury and Lifestyle boutique hotel near Galle, is the second property under the Cantaloupe Villas portfolio costing US$600,000 and expected to be opened next month, a media release issued by the company stated. Following its success as a sought after leisure destination in Unawatuna, the second property project Cantaloupe Levels in Galle [...]

Lean luxury at Cinnamon Red opens tomorrow

The Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts chain as the country’s first ever ‘lean luxury’ hotel opens a new lifestyle experience in city hospitality on Monday based on an investment of Rs.3.5 billion. Keenly attuned to the empowered contemporary traveller whose needs are discerning, detailed and exact, Cinnamon Red combines unique ambience and elegant interiors to fulfil [...]

South Asia leadership changes most in JWT history – Regional CEO

South Asia leadership changes  most  in JWT history – Regional CEO

The recently announced leadership shake-up encompassing the Indian and Sri Lankan offices of advertising giant J. Walter Thompson (JWT) has been the most number of changes in maybe the international network’s long history, according to Colvyn Harris, the Chief Executive Officer of the agency’s South Asia region headquarters. Speaking to the Business Times alongside Joy [...]

Amana Global, Asset and Capital gear for growth with new brand identity

Amana Global recently unveiled a new brand identity along with its partner companies, Amana Capital and Amana Asset Management, all under the Amana Holdings Ltd umbrella. Having undergone a thorough brand and purpose transformation, the group has reinvented itself under the same familiar name with a contemporary new outlook, according to a media statement release [...]

More modern housing units for estate workers

The Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA), in an ongoing endeavour to enhance the living standards and lifestyles of estate workers, has announced its latest housing scheme for estate workers across the seven regions of Hatton, Nuwara Eliya, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Galle, Kandy and Badulla. It is being implemented by the Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT), a [...]

Advanced technology for Sri Lanka’s development through SMEs will benefit masses

During a high powered panel discussion on ‘Technology and Development – Can Nanotechnology Leapfrog the Development Process in Sri Lanka” in Colombo recently, one of the panellists pointed out that these advanced technological innovations should trickle down to the masses through SMEs (Small and Medium scale Enterprises) which constitutes around 80 per cent of Sri [...]

Mobitel recognised for excellence in engineering services

Mobitel was recently honoured with the ‘Engineering – Services’ Award at the prestigious Excellence in Engineering Awards organised by the Institute of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) for best practices in project management designed to operate Mobitel’s sophsticated engineering systems and processes. The awards which was held this year under the theme of ‘Engineering Excellence through [...]

Saudi firm, key sponsor of Sri Lankan Plastics exhibition

Saudi firm, key sponsor of Sri Lankan Plastics exhibition

Saudi-based TASNEE (National Petrochemical Industrialisation Marketing Co), was the platinum sponsor for the second edition of Sri Lanka Plastics Exhibition—International Plastics Exhibition, which was held from August 14–16 in Colombo. The exhibition was organised by Enterprising Fairs (India) Pvt. Ltd. (EFIPL) in collaboration with the Plastics and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka (PRISL). The event [...]

Sampath eyes finance firm through subsidiary, Siyapatha Finance

Sampath eyes finance firm through subsidiary, Siyapatha Finance

Sampath Bank (Sampath) is currently evaluating some finance company proposals to acquire one through its subsidiary Siyapatha Finance, a top official said. “We’re closely negotiating with a few finance companies. We want to acquire one company through Siyapatha Finance,” Aravinda Perera, CEO Sampath Bank told the Business Times. He said this is in line with [...]

Lack of commitment from upcoming young employees; a challenge most businesses face today

The Sri Lankan Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector with its ambitious target of achieving US$5 billion by the year 2022 is facing numerous problems with the upcoming IT experts. There is a lot more talent among the uiversity graduates and IT/BPO experts, but many of them lack in commitment. Most businesses [...]

Gender and Post-Conflict Development: Experiences of female-headed households

An increase in female-headed households is one of the most significant features of post-conflict realities in Asia and Africa. It is, therefore, imperative that we foster a better understanding of the implications for post-war development and, in particular, the experiences of women who are the economic and social bulwarks of such families. The gendered dimensions [...]

Disabled most marginalised in commonwealth – CTO Sec Gen

Disabled most marginalised in commonwealth – CTO Sec Gen

The most marginalised group amongst Commonwealth countries comprises people with disabilities, even more so than women, according to Prof. Tim Unwin, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO). He also added that vulnerable groups had to receive special attention in terms of ICT adoption because otherwise, as economic growth accelerated, they were often [...]

Laugfs introduces EGI Hybrid Technology

EGI Hybrid Centre, a subsidiary of Laugfs Holdings Limited recently announced an alternative fuel called, EGI Hybrid Technology, a company media release said. EGI stands for Electronic Gas Injection, and is similar in functionality to the well-known EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) system used in modern day vehicles. Chief Operating Officer of EGI Hybrid Dr.Ravi Mudalige [...]

English Language taught at no cost

English Language taught at no cost

“… I was afraid to speak in English. Now I can speak English very well. When I was informed that I was selected for the next level, I was really happy…” declared Vishaka Jayathunga from Negombo. Launched in 2004 with the intention of serving deprived youth from around the country, the John Keells English Language [...]

Gemmologists meet

Gemmologists meet

The Annual General Meeting of the Gemmological Association of the University of Moratuwa was held at National Park Wilpattu on August 24 under the patronage of Prof. P.G.R.  Dharmarathna, Senior Lecturer, Earth Resource Engineering Dept; Prof. N. Munasinghe; Association President  S. Baratha Perera and    Secretary – Janaka Hemachandra. Picture shows the members and officials [...]

BOI Board on the stock exchange to be set up by mid September

The Board of Investment (BOI) has signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with six companies vying to set up a range of projects mainly for mixed development and the investment promotion agency’s target to form the new board on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is that much closer, Lakshman Jayaweera, Chairman BOI says. “By mid next [...]

“MC CURRIE” MASALA from Lanka Spice

Lanka Spice (Pvt) Ltd (LSL), brand owners of the famous culinary delight “Mc Currie” keeping in mind the busy housewife, launched its Masala range at the Pro-Food Exhibition in Colombo recently. The Masala range consists of curries for chicken, fish, prawn, mutton/beef and squid (cuttlefish), a media release issued by the company stated. They are [...]

Ramanan to unlock value at Industrial Asphalt

G. Ramanan, the new major shareholder at Industrial Asphalts (Ceylon) PLC (IAP), says that he has a game plan to turn the company around and unlock its true potential. “This is a 50-year old iconic company. I want to rebuild the company and give life to all the brands and unlock its true value,” he [...]

MAS Holdings picks MillenniumIT as its Enterprise Partner for Microsoft Office 365

MAS Holdings picks MillenniumIT as its Enterprise Partner for Microsoft Office 365

MillenniumIT (MIT), a leading technology solutions provider and Microsoft License Specialist (LSP), this week said they have signed a Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise Agreement with MAS Holdings, the largest licensing agreement of its kind in Sri Lanka. MAS Holdings will soon be able to take advantage of Microsoft’s cloud services to enable their global workforce [...]

SLID presents Cornell University Professor on ‘Strategy Transformation at Board Level’

Dr. Phil Young, a finance and strategy expert and a Professor at Cornell, University of California, Columbia one of the world’s most prestigious business schools, will address the director community on developing strategy, business and financial acumen throughout the organization at a ‘Power Evening’ on September 16 organized by the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors [...]

‘LankaPay’ enhances digital transaction reach connecting Central Finance to the National Electronic Fund Transfer Network

‘LankaPay’ enhances digital transaction reach  connecting Central Finance to the National  Electronic Fund Transfer Network

Central Finance Company PLC (CF), Sri Lanka’s leading financial solutions service provider, recently joined the Sri Lanka Interbank Payment System (SLIPS) operated by LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd enabling its customers to enjoy greater service and convenience on electronic payments. With the advent of CF on to the ‘LankaPay’ SLIPS electronic fund transfer network, its customers can [...]

SL CB and Chinese CB to invest in bonds, reserves

China’s Central Bank is to invest in Sri Lankan Central Bank bonds while the latter will in turn invest its reserves in the Chinese currency under an agreement signed on Monday. The Bilateral Investment Agreement on bond investments between the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the People’s Bank of China the Central Bank to [...]

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