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Weweldeniya loses its lustre

Weweldeniya loses its lustre

A cane weaver at work at Weweldeniya, Sri Lanka’s once-popular cane village on the Colombo-Kandy road, where residents are struggling to sustain their livelihoods. See story on Page 7.

Delay in approving 3 finance bills causes Rs. 56 billion loss in state tax revenue

Fears that three crucial finance bills enabling the imposition of the controversial Super Gain Tax (SGT), Mansion Tax and a casino levy, would be defeated in parliament has delayed its presentation and led to a possible loss of Rs. 54 billion in estimate tax revenue. These bills are meant to make effective these crucial levies [...]

SEC flexes its muscles, Lanka Rating Agency risks losing licence

The new administration at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is finally appearing to flex its muscles in the capital market, threatening to cancel the licence of Lanka Rating Agency (LRA) if it fails to comply with laid-down rules. Official sources said the rating agency has not submitted documentation, as at Friday June 12, which [...]

SEC to make telephone records of orders mandatory

Taking a tough stand against wrongdoing in the past by traders that went unchecked or was covered up, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is to make the use of a telephone recording system for stock brokers mandatory, a SEC official said. Though this was incorporated into the stockbroker rules in August 2012 by the [...]

Austrian Airlines resumes flights in Oct.

Austrian Airlines which had stopped flights to Colombo some seven years ago is to resume flying in October, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sources said. “We are eagerly looking forward to Austrian Airlines in Colombo in the ensuing winter season starting in September,” a CAA official said. He said that the CAA met Austrian Airlines’ officials [...]

Toilet excellence awards for Japanese loos

Japan is creating a series of awards to recognise excellence in public lavatories as the country ramps up its facilities for tourists to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The awards were unveiled just days after a panel set up by Haruko Arimura, the minister in charge of women’s empowerment, recommended that the government promote the [...]

150 year-old Kelani railway bridge to be replaced soon

The new Sirisena-led administration has shot down an unsolicited proposal for the replacement of the 150 year-old Kelani railway bridge, which lasts (usage-wise) only till 2022. General Manager Railways Vijaya Amarathunga told the Business Times that they are in the process of replacing the aging bridge on the Kelani river. The old Kelani railway bridge on [...]

Sri Lankan inventor’s efforts to reduce waste in the latex rubber processing

Sri Lankan inventor’s efforts to reduce waste in the latex rubber processing

A lot of wastage occurs in the processing of rubber latex when the milk is collected and processed in rectangular square steel tanks due to many corners in the tanks.  The tanks then have to be cleaned up for the next round of processing. For some time, Sunil Somasiri Gomes of Nungamugoda, Kelaniya has been working [...]

Preserving Sri Lanka’s ‘gems’ – Comment

Today’s issue of the Business Times carries a feature about Weweldeniya and the struggle by residents of this once-popular cane village on the Colombo-Kandy road to survive in the face of foreign competition, politics and a bureaucratic permit system. The village population of 1,500 families, many years ago, has dwindled to a few dozen families [...]

Regaining Capital Market Mojo: Part 2-Integrity

“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful” – Sam Johnson. This quote amply demonstrates all matters Sri Lankan, past and present. Initiatives to get the market on a proper direction obviously meet with resistance from a minority of a once, powerful market mafia. Such resistance must be confronted [...]

New lawyers-committee to probe Central Bank, Treasury, accountants

A new committee of lawyers has been appointed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, this time to probe the affairs of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Treasury, Central Bank and the Registrar of Companies in a move that has raised concerns from veteran lawyers. The committee comprising Harsha Soza – PC, Vinodh Wickramasooriya and Roshaan Hettiarachchi, [...]

SL Cabinet approves ratification of UN Electronic Communications Convention, second in Asia to do so

Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers this week approved this country’s ratification of the United Nations Electronic Communications Convention, and with this approval, which is only the second in Asia, Sri Lanka has even surpassed China, Vietnam and Thailand who are amending their domestic legislation to ratify this Convention. Further, the US is also presently amending [...]

Concerns of sliding Sri Lanka – Pakistan trade expressed at recent chamber meeting

The importance of Sri Lanka and Pakistan working together towards resolving impending trade issues between the two nations, immediately, was stressed by Pakistani High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Maj Gen (R)Syed Shakeel Hussain.  Speaking at a meeting of the members of the Sri Lanka – Pakistan Business Council (SLPBC) at the Ceylon Chamber office last [...]

Book review- “Crossing Frontiers by Tarun Das”

Book review- “Crossing Frontiers by Tarun Das”

The author is the former CEO of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), now known globally as the voice of Indian Business. The flap of the book has a short description of the author and characteristically tells the reader very little about the author apart from highlighting that he has been associated with the organisation, [...]

UNWTO helping with quake-hit Nepal recovery

MALDIVES, Male – The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has pledged support to rebuild earthquake hit-Nepal, saying it was providing toolkits and (rebuilding) guidelines for the tourism industry and local communities. “We are not an aid agency but we come (and help) after everybody else (in the first wave of support) like the Red Cross [...]

Windows 10 to debut as free upgrade on July 29

Microsoft, in an international media statement, has announced the July 29, 2015, availability of its much-anticipated Windows 10 platform. Offered in 190 countries, with Sri Lanka also likely included, the new operating system will initially be accessible as a free upgrade for PCs and Tablets presently running Windows, as well as Windows 10 devices. Reservations [...]

Textured Jersey wins prestigious “Firm of the Year” title at World Textile Awards

Textured Jersey Lanka PLC (TJL) emerged the overall victor at the World Textile Awards in London, winning the topmost award across all categories and being bestowed the much sought after global title ‘Firm of The Year.’ Apart from the highest honour, Textured Jersey also won the World’s Top Spot in their respective category award as ‘Dyer [...]

Is a low wage worker forced to resort to bribery and corruption?

Two views about the reasons for Sri Lankans resorting to corruption emerged at an interesting discussion this week in Colombo: One was that low wages led to people demand bribes (to make ends meet) while the contrary view was that even highly paid workers resort to corruption. Both views are valid, authorities on the issue [...]

Emirates Skywards celebrates 15th anniversary with a million miles for 15 lucky winners

Emirates Skywards, the award winning frequent flyer programme, is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year by giving 15 lucky members the chance to win one million Skywards Miles each. Emirates Skywards Members in select markets who travel to any Emirates destination during the promotional period (29 May and 31 December 2015), and answer three multiple choice [...]

Outer Circular Highway phase 3 gets under way with reduced costs

The Government is compelled to obtain a massive loan of Rs.66.7 billion from the Chinese Exim Bank owing to contractual agreement between the previous regime and the Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd despite the present administration’s efforts to reduce the cost for the construction of the Outer Circular Highway phase 3, officials said. The 3-member [...]

Encouraging whistleblowing is the panacea for all corporate ills!

Encouraging whistleblowing is the panacea for all corporate ills!

The Business Editorial of The Sunday Times on May 17th rightly questions the wisdom of encouraging whistleblowing (WB) by employees and shareholders with suitable guidelines in an effort to ward off corporate scandals that have raised its ugly head in an unprecedented manner in the last two decades. Whilst commending the editor for visiting the [...]

Dinushika, new Executive Director at LST

Dinushika Dissanayake, lawyer and researcher, has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the Law and Society Trust (LST) with effect from June, taking over from Mala Liyanage who led the organisation since 2010. In a media announcement, LST said Ms. Dissanayake brings a wealth of knowledge and a demonstrated commitment to human rights to [...]

ACAP joins Japanese partners in Maldivian resort project

Asia Capital PLC (ACAP) is joining with its Japanese partner, Belluna Co. Ltd to build a resort in the Maldives.The company said in a statement that it has signed the lease and acquired the property and would handle all investment banking aspects of the project including deal structuring, capital raising and project management, providing Belluna [...]

CEB payments thro’ MasterCard Credit and Debit Card

Global Payments Inc, a leading worldwide provider of payment technology services, announced this week that its Sri Lankan subsidiary, Global Payments Asia Pacific Lanka Pvt Ltd. (Global Sri Lanka), has entered into an agreement with Ceylon Electricity Bord (CEB) and MasterCard to enable consumers to pay electricity bills using their MasterCard credit and debit cards. [...]

Weweldeniya, Sri Lanka’s famous cane village, now a virtual ghost town

Weweldeniya, Sri Lanka’s famous cane village, now a virtual ghost town

WEWELDENIYA – Is Weweldeniya, the village made famous for cane furniture in Sri Lanka, losing its allure? At some point or other, a sizable segment of Sri Lanka’s population would have purchased an item at the once- ubiquitous cane village on the Kandy-Colombo road, just near Cadju Gama (Cashew Village), either while passing-by or going [...]

Miss Earth commends Colombo as top fastest growing tourist cities of 2015

Miss Earth commends Colombo as top fastest growing tourist cities of 2015

With the arrival of Miss Earth Jamie Harrel into Sri Lanka, the country was ranked number 1 by the Master Card in the 10 fastest growing cities in the world which was commended by the Philippine beauty when she met the Sri Lanka tourism promotion bureau chief Dr. Rohantha Athukorala, a media release issued by [...]

Govt. dilemma in allocating 672 new vehicles to state entities

Sri Lanka’s transitional government is in a dilemma in allocating 672 more vehicles for new ministries and state institutions which has delayed clearance of these vehicles and lying in the backyards of four main motor traders for the past five months. Motor traders said that the failure to clear these vehicles out of an order [...]

Cars and classics at recent motor show

The Ceylon Motor Show 2015, organized by the Ceylon Motor Traders Association and the Classic Car Club of Ceylon was held at the BMICH in Colombo recently. CMTA President Gihan Pilapitiya said “This show has set the standard of an international show giving the car enthusiasts with a wider range of classics and cutting edge [...]

Sri Lankans shift towards online car sales

Sri Lanka’s online retail websites are paving the way for a wider sales path for new and used vehicles providing necessary details for increasing numbers of computer savvy local buyers, mostly new rich youths, a report released by a car classifieds site revealed. Many customers are browsing the web to select vehicles of their choice [...]

Sri Lanka police to crack down on mot

Sri Lanka police to crack down on mot

In the wake of an ever increasing road traffic accidents, Sri Lanka Police is strictly implementing motor traffic laws with effect from June 10 against motor cyclists who violate the law. The Traffic Police will be tough on motor cyclists who breach lane discipline on roads as it has become a major cause of motor cycle [...]

Tata India’s sedan ‘Zest’ and hatchback ‘Bolt’ coming to Sri Lanka

Tata Motors on Tuesday launched compact sedan ‘Zest’ and hatchback ‘Bolt’ in Sri Lankan market as the Indian auto major aims to consolidate its position in the island nation. The Mumbai-based company has launched the two models in collaboration with Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO), a media release issued by the company revealed. “With the [...]

CEAT’s new plant in Lanka launches ‘Gripp’ high performance tyres

Four new high performance tyres with sophisticated features have been launched in Sri Lanka by Asian Tyres (Pvt) Ltd, the new motorcycle tyre plant commissioned recently with an initial investment of Rs. 95 million by CEAT Kelani Holdings, the company sad. Branded Gripp, the four tyre sizes fit nearly 30 models of motorcycles , from [...]

Carbon offsets now in cook stoves, water bore holes, community reforestation, etc

Carbon offsets now in cook stoves, water bore holes, community reforestation, etc

Five years ago carbon offsets were predominantly for renewable energy projects. Now, the methodologies involved in accrediting carbon offsets have also resulted in more diverse projects, one of which is improving the awareness and utility around cook stoves, in turn helping to empower women. This is according to Vivian Frost, Regional Manager for the Carbon [...]

Commercial Bank begins Myanmar operations with opening of Yangon office

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon opened its representative office in Yangon on Monday, June 8, formally launching its operations in Myanmar. Initially this would through the form of advisory services to Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi businesses wishing to enter that country, and to arrange banking and advisory facilities, funds transfer and encashment services. Commercial Bank said [...]

MAS Contourline re-affirms its commitment to a vastly reduced carbon footprint

The MAS Active (Pvt) Ltd Contourline Division, a leading garment manufacturer within the MAS Holdings group, recently reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing the sustainability of its environment conservation activities while reducing the overall carbon fotprint of the facility. “Set to further its conservationism goals, the factory is set to move forward with its strategy to [...]

No decent work with precarious work

No decent work with precarious work

The purpose of this article is to discuss some matters regarding the efforts taken by the ILO to improve decent work at workplaces and the role of EFC towards that effort. There are so many projects organised by the ILO to improve tripartite relationships when settling workers issues. In this regard the recent Evaluation Workshop organised [...]

Bharti Airtel Lanka – first telecom unit in Sri Lanka to be ISO 27001:2013 certified

Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, this week said it has successfully completed the stringent audit process for the upgrading of certification for ISMS (Information Security anagement System) and the surveillance of BCMS (Business Continuity Management System) thereby receiving the upgraded standard – ISO 27001:2013 [...]

Sri Lanka’s construction industry growth at 20% annually

The Sri Lankan construction industry last year continued to grow at 20.2 per cent on the back of declining interest rates and low inflation, according to an industry report.  Alumex PLC annual report for 2014 /15 has said that in 2014 Sri Lanka GDP growth was at 7.4 per cent with the major contribution from [...]

Cable manufacturer ACL group turnover reaches Rs. 14.5 bln for 2014/15

ACL Cables PLC, the market leader in cables with over 70 per cent market share as a group, and the pioneer of Sri Lanka’s cable industry since 1962, has recorded an impressive group turnover of Rs. 14.5 billion, for the 2014/2015 financial year, according to a company media statement. Group Profit After Tax (PAT) for [...]

New sizes for cabin bags from IATA on all aircraft

A new guideline for carry-on bag sizes has been mooted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) allowing almost everyone this facility on a 120 seat aircraft to be accommodated onboard. This has been carried out in a bid to optimise the accommodation of carry-on bags given differing carry-on bag sizes and airline policies, a media [...]

Most of Sri Lanka’s development will be implemented through provincial councils

Most of Sri Lanka’s development will be implemented through provincial councils

Most of Sri Lanka’s development work in future will take place under the provincial councils under a cabinet proposal, according to Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs, Harsha de Silva. He was speaking at an event in Colombo last week where the European Union (EU) launched its first website of the EU –Support to [...]

Ambitious Visit Maldives campaign launched with 365 days of free holidays

MALDIVES, Male – 365 days of free holidays for lucky visitors, an international whale shark festival and mega weddings are part of an ambitious Visit Maldives Year 2016 campaign launched last week at a UNWTO conference here. While the campaign cost is likely to be known only by August, industry officials said it would close to [...]

E-tel launches new smartphone – ‘Curiosity L2’

A new smartphone that will dramatically demolish perceptions of the high cost of top-end technology, has been unveiled in Sri Lanka by E-tel, with the launch of its ‘Curiosity L2’ – a Full HD, Octa Core processor powered, best-in-class mobile phone at an incredibly affordable price, the company said this week. Launched in association with [...]

Post tax profits at CDB up 25% at Rs 701 mln

Post tax profits (PAT) at Citizens Development Business Finance PLC (CDB) grew by 25 per cent to notch Rs. 701 million in the year ending March 2015. According to a company statement to the media, the upward trajectory in performance continued as CDB’s Balance Sheet showcased growth of 13 per cent at Rs 38.01billion. Net Assets [...]

SEC urged to stop de-listing companies

Sri Lanka’s top stock market governance activist is urging the authorities to stop the de-listing of public listed companies, saying they should be instead probed for alleged malpractices. In a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Thilak Karunaratne, K.C. Vignarajah – who in a separate communication to the SEC commending its decision to suspend [...]

Kingsbury hotel reports profit of Rs.300 mln

The Kingsbury PLC, the luxury five star city hotel in Colombo, says it “recorded an impressive financial performance for the FY 2014/15, within its second year of operation post –refurbishment”.  The company posted a revenue of Rs.2.33 billion, up 9 per cent from last year while pre-tax profit before tax was Rs. 300 million, its [...]

Govt. upset with rubber traders

The government has hit out at the rubber industry sharply criticizing its members for not doing enough to curtail the growing downward trend of its production levels that have fallen. Plantation Minister Lakshman Kiriella addressing the Colombo Rubber Traders Association (CRTA) AGM in Colombo last week said the future of the rubber industry was dependent on [...]

Schneider Electric expands spanking new office

Schneider Electric expands spanking new office

Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation with operations in over 100 countries, expanded its state of the art office at Valiant Towers, Nawam Mawatha recently in a bid to step up its current commitments to Sri Lanka. “We are committed to Sri Lanka and Schneider Electric will continue to offer integrated [...]

Manpower agencies and the increase in precarious employment

Manpower agencies and the increase in precarious employment

As the private sector workers are campaigning to secure the Rs. 2,500 increase to their monthly salaries, manpower workers in public and private sector jobs are faced with a difficult struggle. Using manpower agencies to recruit employees has been a common practice in the private sector for filling low-skilled manufacturing jobs and foreign employment opportunities. [...]

Smartphones and faster Internet boosts Lankan remote workers, survey shows

With a growing number of professionals working outside the main office at least some of the time, use of remote working tools has also radically increased across the globe. A staggering 86 per cent of workers have used at least one tool enabling remote working in the previous month. This was one of the many [...]

Accreditation helps in building credibility and quality of products, SLAB chief says

The main objective of establishing the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board (SLAB) is to develop and strengthen the national quality structure in Sri Lanka, said Thilak Wickremasinghe, Director/CEO, SLAB at the World Accreditation Day – 9 June in Colombo. Explaining the importance of accreditation, he said that businesses that supply or receive accredited conformity to show [...]

Royal Ceramics expands global footprint into North American Market

Royal Ceramics Lanka PLC (Rocell) is aiming to expand its global sales footprint with the addition of the North American market. Laying the ground work for the entry, Rocell participated in the prestigious Coverings ’15 exhibition held in Orlando, USA in April. ‘Coverings’ is a premier international trade fair and exhibition, the largest of its [...]

SEC revisits all licensing fees

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking at reviewing its licensing fee structure, officials said. “We want to restructure licensing fees for all purposes as we found that these are drastically low,” an official told the Business Times. New fees of fund managers, rating agencies and all such institutions that come under regulation will [...]

Colombo Lotus Tower embroiled in a legal tussle with Micro Holdings

The construction of the US $ 104 million Colombo Lotus Tower at D.R. Wijewardana Mawatha continues amidst allegations of a breach of trust by the authorities in awarding a contract for the high speed elevators and escalators, the joint venture partner of a Japanese company entrusted with the task originally, claimed in a petition filed [...]

LBCH Partners with tourism association ASMET to promote HIV and AIDS awareness

The Lanka Business Coalition on HIV and AIDS (LBCH) recently signed a MoU with The Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism Sri Lanka (ASMET) with the aim of promoting HIV and AIDS awareness among its members. ASMET President Sam Tegal signed the MOU on behalf of ASMET and Nadija Tambiah, Chairperson of the [...]

EDB & JAAF showcase Lankan apparels to Latin America

As Sri Lankan annual apparel exports closed in on the crucial US$5 billion mark, South America’s largest apparel market was given a preview of Lankan fashion when the Brazil International Apparel Sourcing Show 2015 (BIAS 2015) opened in Sao Paulo on May 27. Lanka’s EDB and Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) officials led a delegation [...]

National Business Excellence Awards to kick off in November this year

The 12th consecutive National Business Excellence Awards (NBEA) organized by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) will be held on 24th November this year at the Colombo Hilton. The official launch was held on Wednesday at the same venue. NCCSL President Thilak Godamanna speaking at the event said that, last year 150 [...]

Expolanka and Expo Freight (EFL) in ‘Bulb for Bulb’ campaign

Expolanka and Expo Freight (EFL) recently conducted a campaign to give away free Light-emitting diodes, or LED bulbs to its employees and a 1000 homes in Orugodawatta area in exchange for incandescent bulbs to celebrate World Environment Day. In addition, the campaign sought to induce participants to explore other energy saving methods such as harvesting [...]

JLanka: The first solar company to reach 5GWh Green Energy Generation milestone in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s pioneering solar power solutions provider, JLanka Technologies has achieved the 5 GWh (Giga Watt Hours) Green Energy-generation milestone with the company’s island-wide installations since 2011.  Celebrating this rare and significant achievement, Technical Manager of JLanka, Channa Mudhalige said that the company is delighted to achieve this 5GWh milestone through over 750 solar energy [...]

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