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Coolest eatery in the world – 18 feet under the sea!

Coolest eatery in the world – 18 feet under the sea!

Fancy having an exotic 4-5 course meal at the bottom of the sea inside a glass enclosure surrounded by fish? I did … being provided a rare, pre-opening opportunity on Monday to visit the luxury Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives. It opens next month. The resort has the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant, 18 [...]

GSP + no “child’s play”

Negotiations between the government and the European Union (EU) on child rights in Sri Lanka have  centered on the contentious issue of age of marriage as a broad subject in order to regain the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) + benefits by next May the latest. The EU has been negotiating with the government on [...]

Sri Lanka to replace text books with tablets

Sri Lanka plans to move away gradually from the traditional text book education system towards digital technology based education with the first step being the provision of tabs to GCE AL students, officials said. As the technological world continues to advance rapidly, the Education Ministry will take measures to integrate technology within the classroom with [...]

Audit underway at Agalawatte Plantations

Amidst a partly-averted courtroom drama between siblings, the audit that the Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board asked Browns Group, the new owners of Agalawatte Plantations, to do on Agalawatte will be completed by next month, sources said. This is in a bid to examine the statements of liabilities in the company, according [...]

Renuka Holdings in forefront for PPP of state plantations

The Plantations Committee under the Public Enterprise Development Ministry is to submit a proposal by Renuka Foods PLC on a Public Private Partnership project to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management next week, officials said. This is for the setting up of a diversified organic farming project for exports and also a dairy project, an [...]

Mother of all battles

Mother of all battles

Answer this question: Where is the mother of all battles? In Iraq? No. Kashmir? No. Aleppo? No. South Sudan? Or is it closer home where pitched battles in Parliament may qualify? No. Then is it the cost of living?? Still No … then where? Simple. It’s the daily battle of wits in the capital Colombo [...]

Budget 2017: Unwise move to reduce plantation lands for RPCs

Budget 2017: Unwise move to reduce plantation lands for RPCs

Budget 2017, it must be stated, is comprehensive in its coverage and includes almost all the key result strategies (and sub strategies) required for boosting economic development in Sri Lanka (SL) despite certain shortcomings. The national development strategies suggested by this budget to achieve the goals and objectives are: a) strengthening democracy/governance, b) adoption of [...]

Merrill J – the entrepreneur who beat all odds to succeed in his venture

Merrill J – the entrepreneur who beat all odds to succeed in his venture

There have been no Sri Lankan entrepreneurs in the country in the past where tea, coffee or the cocoa industry was concerned and none had access to markets or had their own brands except for the fact that only developed countries had such solutions and value addition to these products, according to Dilhan Fernando, Director [...]

AFD promotes Integrated Water Resources Management in the East

AFD promotes Integrated Water Resources Management in the East

As part of its mandate to promote green and socially inclusive growth in Sri Lanka, the French Agency for Development (AFD) is exploring the possibility of implementing a development project in Mundeni Aru Basin in Batticaloa and Ampara districts. This project estimated to cost more than 100 million Euros would benefit the population among the [...]

Right of Reply

“Doubts over take-over of key CB functions”  Transact Lanka Ltd Managing Director Sunil Wijesinghe has sent the following letter to the Business Times with reference to the article published in the newspaper in the Business section last week under the above heading: “We wish to inform you that Transact Lanka has only developed a web [...]

Port city officials begin inspecting granite quarry sites

Port city officials begin inspecting granite quarry sites

The Megapolis Ministry, Colombo Port City and the project contractor China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) have begun inspections of the quarries that will be supplying  material for the Port  City project. According to the SEIA (supplementary EIA), only licensed quarries can be used for the supply and the inspection tours are to ensure that all [...]

ADB support for Sri Lanka heavy on infrastructure but less effective on fiscal reforms

MANILA, PHILIPPINES —The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has released an independent evaluation report that assesses its US$5.5 billion programme for Sri Lanka in the 10 years to the end of 2015. The programme made a substantial contribution to expanding infrastructure services in the country especially in lagging regions and former conflict-affected areas, the organization said [...]

Hahn Air opens the 300 partner airline gateway for local travel agents

Hahn Air opens the 300 partner airline gateway for local travel agents

Worldwide ticketing expert Hahn Air has connected with a new e-ticketing functionality to the global distribution systems of Amadeus and Galileo, making the company, a preferred overseas travel partner, officials said. This link up will enable travel agents in Sri Lanka to issue e-tickets on bookings made with any of Hahn Air’s 300 partner airlines [...]

Emirates offers LinkedIn Learning courses on ice

Emirates has partnered with LinkedIn to provide select LinkedIn Learning courses on ice, its award-winning inflight entertainment (IFE) system. Emirates is the first international airline to make these courses available on board. According to the airline, 85 per cent of the Emirates’ fleet is equipped with free Wi-Fi on board, including all A380 aircraft. In [...]

Lotus in talks with various partners to invest on green power projects

Lotus Renewable Energy Pvt Ltd (LREP) is in talks with energy funds, financial institutions and family offices and like-minded overseas investors in Sri Lanka to get them to power the country into a more prosperous, cleaner, greener future. As a green energy company, Lotus said in a media release that it plans to contribute 5 [...]

Surge in China- Sri Lanka trade

Within a 10 year period to 2015, trade between China and Sri Lanka has seen a 6-fold increase from US$659 to $4 billion. This was revealed by Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industries and Commerce at the inauguration of the 3-day China Products (Colombo, Sri Lanka) Exhibition held this week at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and [...]

Unusual but innovative tech event resembling ‘funeral service’ in Colombo

The invitation simply read: ‘Obituary Notice – Tape backup (1951-2016)’. An unusual invitation, anyone would have thought it was for a funeral service. The event kicked off at the Hilton Residencies in Colombo last week with mournful music played in the background of the ballroom. A picture of the tape recorder was kept for viewing [...]

‘Liberado’ introduces e-shopping for trendy clothing

‘Liberado’ introduces e-shopping  for trendy clothing

Some entrepreneurs are passionate people and they know exactly how to apply that passion to start something of their own and strive to achieve expected results. One such young entrepreneur Hasith Suriyapperuma, with a passion for fashion has entered into the lifestyle apparel arena in Sri Lanka introducing an online platform to market his latest [...]

Capacity building for quality audits

The Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board (SLAASMB) has arranged a series of sessions to be conducted on the Framework for Audit Quality developed by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and on the new International Auditing Standard (ISA) 701 which deals with the auditor’s responsibility to communicate key audit matters [...]

Brandix arms itself with two innovation-led patents

Lately, Sri Lanka has become a ‘silent’ trailblazer in innovation in this part of the world with apparel manufacturers taking the lead in turning out products bred out of necessity. After Hela Clothing and MAS, Brandix says it has secured two international patents related to the healthcare industry and apparel sector. “We built an IT [...]

SL Institute of Digital Health Innovation and Commercialisation – a first of its kind

SL Institute of Digital Health Innovation and Commercialisation – a first of its kind

Here’s some great news. The Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday took an important decision in the right direction for Digital Health in Sri Lanka. They approved the setting up of the Sri Lanka Institute of Digital Health Innovation and Commercialization ( The cabinet recognized that the aggregation of genomic medicine and information and communication technology [...]

Securing the Payment Platforms

Securing the Payment Platforms

The payments landscape is evolving at a rapid pace and digital payments are displaying an exponential growth globally. The ongoing digital and technology revolution, led by the ever-increasing penetration of the smartphones and Internet on mobile, is revolutionizing digital payments. The payment space is also witnessing the entry of several non-banking organizations offering payment services [...]

Sri Lankan – founded Kashmi launches digital banking platform for East Asia

Sri Lankan – founded Kashmi launches digital banking platform for East Asia

Kashmi, a group of Sri Lankan technology entrepreneurs that ventured into the Singaporean market nearly 12 months ago, has transformed the way millennials transact. Now the largest person-to-person mobile payment system in Singapore, it caters to approximately 15,000 account holders and processes around in Singapore $1.5 million in transactions per month, the company said in [...]

Budget 2017 has imprint of international agencies and USAID

The Ceylon Federation of Labour (CFL) has said that next year’s budget has the imprint of the World Bank, IMF and USAID. “The international monetary agencies such as World Bank, USAID and IMF are bound very largely by conventional economic wisdom and their priorities are quite different from the human priorities espoused by developing countries [...]

LOLC-owned Riverina Resort opens under prestigious Club Med brand in 2018

LOLC-owned Riverina Resort opens under  prestigious Club Med brand in 2018

While tourism is booming in post-war Sri Lanka and big brands are eying the country, Club Med is one of the biggest global brands to get into the resort business here.  On Friday, the LOLC Group and Club Mediterranee, France inked an agreement to brand, market and manage the Riverina Resort in Beruwela, heralding the [...]

Norway partners ILO partner to support livelihood projects in the North

Norway and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Sri Lanka this week signed a partnership agreement to extend the Government of Norway’s support to the conflict affected communities in the North. The project will address the immediate needs of decent work and livelihood opportunities at the grass root level in the conflict-affected North, the Norwegian [...]

Travel easy with The Fields Travel Co help

The Fields Travel Company, Sri Lanka’s newest travel startup, says it focuses on bringing personalized travel planning for the enthusiastic traveler. Founded by Savindri Talgodapitiya and Vindhya Buthpitiya, the company makes sure clients have the best trip possible every time, whether you are a first-time adult traveler or an experienced jetsetter. “What is unique about [...]

Questions still ahead as Sri Lanka prepares for EU scrutiny for GSP+ resumption

Questions still ahead as Sri Lanka prepares for EU scrutiny for GSP+ resumption

Marriages are made in heaven they say, but even this as a basis of child rights among a host of other issues from torture of detainees to tackling hate speech and equality of minorities in Sri Lanka are hot topics in Brussels where the European Union (EU) is currently drafting the recommendation likely to allow [...]

Concessions in the budget for real estate sector

Real estate portal Lamudi has done an assessment of the positive impact of the budget on the real estate market. Here is a synopsis of their view: Until now, Sri Lanka’s government imposed laws upon the property sector, preventing foreign ownership and thus quelling sales. Since construction began to boom following the declaration of peace [...]

Microsoft invests in NGOs becoming tech-ready

Microsoft, in collaboration with Sarvodaya Fusion, recently conducted a seminar for local NGOs on the importance of adopting digital technology to improve efficiency and better serve their beneficiaries. The briefing, ‘Tech4good 2016’ focused on preparing and enlightening NGOs on the digital transformation that the world is currently facing. The seminar demonstrated how local NGOs can [...]

Raising minimum cap for banks will benefit sector – Fitch

The proposed increase in the minimum capital requirements for Sri Lankan banks should help strengthen the capitalisation of some banks, says Fitch Rating. It says this appears aimed at bringing about consolidation in the banking sector, which should raise systemic stability of the sector in the long term. The budget proposal seeks to double the [...]

Land Bill next year

The draft Land Bill on establishing a land bank under the Ministry of Lands is now being perused by the Legal Draftsman and will be presented to Parliament early next year,  Tourism, Christian Religious Affairs and Lands MinisterJohn Amaratunga said. He told the Business Times that this Bill will primarily promote outright titles to land [...]

Hayleys PLC wins the ‘Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award’ 2016 and the ‘Grand Slam Award’

Hayleys PLC wins the ‘Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award’ 2016 and the ‘Grand Slam Award’

Hayleys PLC emerged as the winner of the ‘Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2016,’ for the fifth successive year and won the ‘Grand Slam Award’.  The awards presentation of the   annual event held in Colombo on Thursday is organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to recognize ‘sustainable champions’ of the local corporate world.

Senior citizens’ 15 per cent interest scheme faces chaotic state of affairs

The senior citizens’ 15 per cent interest scheme on a deposit of Rs.1 million announced in last year’s budget 2015 which was then extended to Rs.1.5 million in the 2016 budget benefiting elders of 55 years and over, has run into all kinds of problems. The Business Times has repeatedly highlighted  the need for the [...]

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