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UK-based firm dispels local gem traders’ fear of invading local mining

Local gem traders have expressed concern over the entry of a British company in gem trading and exploration in Sri Lanka. UK-based Gemfields Plc, one of the world’s largest coloured gem producers, is to launch its Sri Lankan unit in a joint venture with East West Gem Investments (EWGI), a local firm, saying it is [...]

Over 1.2 mln elders in Sri Lanka don’t have access to bank credit

Following the tsunami disaster in 2004 which caused devastation to life and property in Sri Lanka, the micro finance concept has taken a firm foothold in the country to build the lives of those who were severely affected by the tragedy. Central Bank (CB) Assistant Governor D. Wasantha said the CB has forwarded a set [...]

CB encourages use of clean currency notes also as tourism objective

CB encourages use of clean currency notes also as tourism objective

A currency museum was recently opened at Sampath Bank’s Kandy branch with the assistance of the Central Bank for the benefit of school children and the public in the Central Province. Opening the new museum, Provincial Director of the Central Bank D.M. Dissanayake said the aim of the Central Bank is to exchange good currency [...]

Crow Island beach park development gets under way with WB assistance

Crow Island in Mattakkuliya, a landscape similar to that in the Eastern coast with a slum environment, thin lanes tightly packed with dwellings, Hindu kovils and churches is to be developed into a public recreational facility under the Metro Colombo Urba Development Programme (MCUDP) with World Bank assistance next year. This was disclosed by Rosanna [...]

Investors of some banks ‘coerced’ to open margin trading accounts, top governance activist says

Concern has been raised over some banks being influenced and coerced to request independent minority investors (IMS) in Sri Lanka to convert normal overdraft/loan facilities granted for investments to margin trading accounts, a top investor and governance activist has said.K.C. Vignarajah, a well-known fighter of the rights of small investors, said in a letter to [...]

Commercial Bank receives licence from Central Bank of Myanmar

Commercial Bank receives licence from Central Bank of Myanmar

The Commercial Bank has become the first Sri Lankan bank to be granted a licence by the Central Bank of Myanmar to operate a Representative Office in the South East Asian republic of more than 50 million people. “We believe that there is further potential to increase bi-Iateral trade between Myanmar and Sri Lanka, and [...]

Rs 450 million per Govt MP and Opposition MPs who cross over

The Sri Lanka Government is to allocate funding for over 150 special development projects using the carry forward allocations of the earlier 2014 budget, top government sources said. High level government authorities have issued a directive to immediately allocate Rs.450 million per head as development funds to selected parliamentarians. The sources, who declined to be [...]

Earning an honest wage

Earning an honest wage

While government and opposition politicians go hammer and tongs at each other trading accusations of corruption as the presidential election campaigns heat up, this elderly Sri Lankan worker goes about his work in Pettah quietly repairing mobile phones to make an honest living for his family. Pic by Athula Devapriya

Share market on a roller-coaster

The Colombo Stock Market will be on a roller- coaster ride next month, spilling over to the first week of next year, owing to the multitude of political uncertainties impacting traders’ buying patterns, analysts say. “With each evolving development the share market will ebb and flow,” Murtaza Jafferjee, CEO JB Stockbrokers said. However, he also [...]

No relief for private banks over 12% interest issue to seniors

Commercial banks have been informed by the Treasury that the Rs. 30 billion bridging bond to three state banks to enable these institutions to offer 12 per cent annual interest rate for deposits of pensioners and elders will not be extended to private banks, officials said. The Central Bank along with Treasury officials had a [...]

No local alcohol, cigarettes sales at supermarkets

Sri Lanka’s anti-drinking and anti-smoking lobby must surely be celebrating (with soft drinks!) for, since the past month, local alcohol including beer, and cigarettes have been off the shelves at local supermarkets. While these products are available at wine stores and other small shops (for cigarettes), alcohol and cigarettes stopped selling at supermarkets since the [...]

Gold, gold, gold – suddenly Sri Lanka is filled with riches!

Gold locked away in safes and almirahs in Sri Lanka is estimated at Rs. 5 trillion, Central Bank (CB) Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said this week. At the same time (on Wednesday), Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake told reporters that gold seized from the LTTE during the 2009 operations would be returned to 1,900 [...]

Dilemma of a coalition

When former army General, Sarath Fonseka came forward as a candidate at the last Presidential election in 2009, he caught the country by surprise but was then able to mobilise most anti-government factions together to provide a formidable challenge to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President was riding the crest of a wave of national pride [...]

Trade unions, senior citizens’ groups should promote consumer protection

Trade unions, senior citizens’ groups should promote consumer protection

With the lack of consumer protection groups in Sri Lanka, organisations such as trade unions and senior citizens’ civil societies, comprising retired principals, journalists, lawyers, etc should take up this cause, according to Bandula Chandrasekera, Advisor, National Electricity Consumers’ Movement (NECM). Mr. Chandrasekera made this recommendation at the Sunday Times Business Club discussion on “Consumerism [...]

Extra EPF would cost Rs.466.6 mln more to reeling SL plantations

The additional 2 per cent EPF payment to workers as decided in the 2015 budget will cost Sri Lanka’s already-reeling plantation companies a staggering Rs. 466.6 million annually, the Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC) has said. In a November 25 letter to Gamini Lokuge, Minister of Labour and Labour Relations and copied to the media, [...]

Hospitality training for Sri Lanka’s rural population

The Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism, Sri Lanka (ASMET), in keeping with growing tourist arrivals into the country, is planning to provide hospitality training for youngsters in rural areas. The training programme will begin from January next year. Sam Tegal, re-appointed President of ASMET for 2014 – 2015, told the Business Times [...]

Defence Ministry takes over Lanka Cement property in Jaffna

Sri Lanka’s Defence Ministry has acquired a 104-acre block of land and buildings owned by state-run Lanka Cement Plc at Kankesanthurai in the northern Jaffna peninsula, the company announced on Tuesday. In a statement to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), Lanka Cement, which is a listed stock in the CSE, said it has requested compensation [...]

Millennium IT launches SLIM-backed customer engagement education programme

A Millennium IT-led education programme offering “new approaches in Customer Experience Management” locally has been launched in conjunction with the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), Ezy Infotech and Oracle, according to a statement. Elaborating further, the statement also noted that the “introductory session focused on the current challenges faced by the marketing community with [...]

NSB outsourced workers excluded in plan to make temporary workers permanent

NSB outsourced workers excluded in plan  to make temporary workers permanent

The Budget of 2015 of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in fact appeared to be a ‘Santa Claus’ for the whole country, specially the poor and the working class. But purposely or otherwise, there appears to be omissions here and there. While the government through the Budget has taken action to make permanent casual workers, outsourced workers [...]

Corporate Governance still a top priority in post NBFI consolidation

Corporate Governance remains top on the agenda in the non-bank financial sector consolidation which is now in motion for firms in this sector, according to a top Central Bank (CB) official. “Ensuring fitness and propriety of board members and senior management and ensuring clear demarcation on involvement of the board and senior management in affairs [...]

Rural Sri Lankan entrepreneur develops adjustable coconut plucking pole

Rural Sri Lankan entrepreneur develops adjustable coconut plucking pole

While Sri Lanka’s rural innovative technological talent is wide ranging compared to the talent pool in urban areas, there is need for a process of identifying and promoting them to start up businesses. This is the very task that has been undertaken by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which operates under the purview of Ms [...]

“COMPANY LAW” – the book to be launched on Dec 4

The corporate world and the legal fraternity are soon to be treated to a new treatise on the law relating to companies in Sri Lanka. Authored by K. Kanag-Isvaran, President’s Counsel, Chairman of the Advisory Commission on Company Law, which drafted the Act of 2007, and Ms. Dilshani Wijayawardana, holder of a Masters Degree in [...]

International credit grouping meets in Colombo

The 65th Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) Executive Committee meeting will be held in Colombo from 1st to 3rd December, the organisers said. This year, the Executive Committee will have discussions on the theme “Adaptation and Mitigation of the Impact of Climate Change on Rural and Agricultural Finance”. Since its establishment in [...]

ACECAM holds annual ‘SolidWorks Innovation Day 2015′

Sri Lanka’s ACECAM recently held the “SolidWorks Innovation Day 2015″, an annual event for the local community utilising the Dassault Systèmes-developed SolidWorks 3D computer aided design (CAD) environment. According to a statement by the local company; “Our customers, academia, innovators, engineers, designers, and doers who are involving in 3D design, simulation and data management experienced [...]

Mums in Colombo: More power to strong women building relationships

Mums in Colombo: More power to strong women building relationships

You’ve got a new baby and a mortgage to pay for, so what is it gonna be? Returning to work or staying home to raise Junior? Today’s stay-at-home mom (SAHM) is nothing like what you are familiar with which makes you forget everything you’ve heard about stay-at-home moms. A new generation that is more empowered [...]

Sri Lanka apparel exports depend on high quality garments, says top official

While market access for Sri Lanka’s apparel exports, is not that easy now with some drawbacks in the European Union, unlike countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam for instance which have preferential treatment, Sri Lanka has to depend on high quality and value added products, a top export official has said. This comment was made by [...]

Starting point of anything in life is a dream, says veteran foreign investor

Everyone has a hope of reaching their targets and aspiring to become a successful person. For everything a person does in life,the starting point always is a dream, says Pierre Pringiers, Honorary Consul for Belgium in Sri Lanka. He made this comment presenting the annual oration at the 14th Annual Oration and 8th Chartered Financial [...]

Top hotel brands grab honours at Maldives travel show

Top hotel brands grab honours at Maldives travel show

Well known resort brands grabbed the top awards at the MATATO Maldives Travel Awards 2014 held at the Kurumba Maldives resort on Friday, November 21. MATATO (Maldivian Association of Travel and Tour Operators), the organizer of the only travel awards in the Maldives, also heaped praise on Singapore-based TTG Asia publications for its support to [...]

EDB signs MoU with Chinese trade promotion council

Sri Lanka exports broke fresh ground last week with the cementing of a MoU in Colombo between the export Development Board (EDB) and Chinese authorities. “President Xi Jinping, during his visit to Sri Lanka in September, along with Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa reached consensus to deepen the strategic partnership and joint construction of 21 [...]

Impartiality of banking regulator

Recently while watching the nightly news on a private channel, an advertisement was shown featuring the Governor of the Central Bank. His message was how the country would transform itself to a prosperous country in 2020. It is no secret that the presentGovernor is a mouthpiece of the Government. I am surprised by his behaviour [...]

Anantaya provides drinking water to neighbouring schools daily

Anantaya Resorts & Spa, Chilaw, as part of a community development project, is providing drinking water to two underprivileged schools on a daily basis, reaching out to 250 students. The two schools, Karukapane Government Tamil School & Korayapura Sinhalese School, are situated in the neighbourhood of Anantaya in Karukapane and face many challenges due to [...]

ICC World Chambers Federation Director visits Ceylon Chamber

Anthony Parkes, Director of the ICC World Chambers Federation who was in Sri Lanka recently to conduct two training programmes on ‘Certificate of Origins’ and ‘ATA Carnets’, visited the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce office during his visit. Mr. Parkes held a brief meeting with the CEO / Secretary General of the Ceylon Chamber Mangala P. [...]

2014 UN Global South-South Development Expo ends by showcasing 70 successful solutions to poverty challenges

Washington, DC – Nearly 700 participants from 174 government agencies/Institutions, permanent missions and embassies joined 24 UN System partners, 71 private sector representatives, 180 non-governmental organisations and several academic institutions at this year’s United Nations Global South-South Development Expo (GSSDE) in Washington held last week. In a media statement, the UNDP said the 2014 event [...]

John Keells launches “Project WAVE: Working Against Violence through Education”

John Keells launches “Project WAVE: Working Against Violence through Education”

John Keells Holdings (JKH), ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which was celebrated on November 25, officially launched “Project WAVE:Working Against Violence through Education”, the group’s latest social responsibility initiative which is planned and executed by CSR arm, John Keells Foundation (JKF). In a media release, the company said [...]

SL receives second NOA ‘Offshoring Destination of the Year’ award

Local private sector IT body SLASSCOM has announced that Sri Lanka has received the UK-based National Outsourcing Association Awards’ “Offshoring Destination of the Year Award 2014″. Further, this is the second, consecutive year that this country has received this honour. The announcement by SLASSCOM is as follows: “Sri Lanka won the National Outsourcing Association (NOA) [...]

Paid politicians and their cohorts in the state dedicated to only enriching themselves

Poverty, unemployment, youth disillusionment, social and Institutional degradation and disintegration, and environmental despoliation continue relentlessly to haunt the world and our country. All this takes place in the back drop of widening gaps between the super-rich and rich, rich and the middle class, and, the middle class and the desperately poor, neglected, lower class. Let’s [...]

Top CEOs at Microsoft’s ‘Enabling a Responsive Organisation with Technology’ Forum

Microsoft Sri Lanka, at a recent forum organised by the software giant, told a gathering of over 30 top CEOs that the company was ready and waiting to offer digital and work life experiences that will enable new and different ways for organisations and individuals to become more effective. The forum, conducted exclusively for CEO’s, [...]

TV Audience Measurement Advisory Committee holds inaugural meeting

Sri Lanka recently witnessed the inauguration of the Television Audience Measurement Advisory Committee (TAMAC), a local group comprising marketers, advertising and media buying agencies and TV networks tasked with marketing research best practices. TAMAC was brought together by the Lanka Market Research Bureau (LMRB), the developer of the “RapidMeter” TV audience measurement system. According to [...]

Emirates announces special fares from Colombo to 46 cities in Europe, US

Emirates, the Dubai-based global airline, this week announced a series of special fares which it says makes travel from Sri Lanka to 46 destinations in Europe and USA ‘significantly more affordable’. Covering the 37 European and nine US cities served by the award-winning airline, the fares for Economy Class as well as Business Class travel, [...]

U-Tron (Beijing) provides solar power lighting for villages

U-Tron (Beijing) Electronics Co Ltd is expanding its operations in Sri Lanka to assist the government’s power-for-all programme by providing solar power for houses in rural areas that cannot be reached through the national grid, company officials said. The company plans to introduce advanced solar powered LED (light emitting diode) lighting products to meet the [...]

Lankan wealth creation measured by corporate impact on society and the environment

Lankan wealth creation  measured by corporate impact on society and the environment

The Sri Lanka Business and Biodiversity platform was launched by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, IUCN and the Dilmah Conservation two years ago at a national level initiative to bring policymakers, academics, the business community and the public togeher to promote and conserve the country’s biodiversity. To date 55 businesses have enrolled in the programme, [...]

Trapped at the Katunayake Free Trade Zone

Trapped at the Katunayake Free Trade Zone

The opening scene of ‘Modern Times’, a satirical comedy written and directed by Charlie Chaplin, portrays a line manufacturing process during the Great Depression in England. Chaplin, a factory worker, is bolting screws and loses track of his work as he takes a few minutes off to scratch his hand. He fights with his supervisor [...]

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