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Lankans uneasy over Mahinda-CJ clash

Lankans uneasy over Mahinda-CJ clash

An overwhelmingly majority of Sri Lankans in a Business Times (BT) poll this week have expressed concern over the clashes between the judiciary and the President, which has resulted in an impeachment motion being filed by government MPs against the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. The hurried email poll, in which people were given 24 hours [...]

Rajapaksa-controlled ministries consume 45 % of budget

Sri Lanka’s five main ministries controlled by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother Basil are to consume nearly 45 per cent of the total 2013 budget. This includes allocations made to 62 ministries including ministries of senior ministers. A sum of Rs. 604.8 billion has been allocated for five ministries coming under the president and [...]

Tourists seek cheaper accommodation

Tourists, this winter season are looking for low-priced accommodation, a development that has affected hotels and resorts with the season not attracting travellers to today’s “expensive” hotels. More visitors are arriving and the target of one million arrivals would be achieved but they find star-class hotels too expensive since the war ended with prices increasing [...]

Online auction for Lankan nuts

Sri Lanka will, for the first time, establish an online system to conduct coconut auctions aimed at streamlining the procedure for the benefit of all stakeholders – auctioneers, brokers, dealers and producers, officials said. A senior official of the Ministry of Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development told the Business Times that the Coconut Development [...]

New system to track mobile phone theft, illegal phones

Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) is to establish an Equipment Identity Register (EIR) to control access to mobile networks, deter mobile phone theft and fraud as well as sale of illegal handsets, a top official of the TRC said. Anusha Palpita, Director General of the TRC told the Business Times that the new system [...]

Blatant manipulation, corrupt practices in CSE must stop:MPs

Eminent economists and concerned parliamentarians called out to stop blatant manipulation and corrupt practices in the stock market and bring crooks to justice. They stressed the fact that the ‘stock market mafia’ is real and not a term used randomly generalising the stockbroking industry, but stated in the context to highlight robbers and their barons [...]

National Budget: Some thoughts and issues

National Budget: Some thoughts and issues

The budget is a portraiture that shows the country’s development path and the policy directions for the coming year. Legislature, executive and the judiciary which constitute the administrative machinery of any country, and also the general public are concerned, vigilant and awaiting for the budget. In short, the budget presents the next year’s work programme [...]

‘Unuth ekai, munuth ekai’

The sequence of events leading to the proposed impeachment of the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake is reminiscent of the pithy Sinhala saying “Unuth ekai, munuth ekai, thopith ekai (They’re all the same).” JR (Jayewardene) did it and now MR (Mahinda Rajapaksa) is doing it! JR (Sri Lanka’s first Executive President in 1978) appointed Neville Samarakoon [...]

Czech central bank cuts key rate to record low 0.05%

PRAGUE, (AFP) – The Czech central bank CNB cut its key two-week interest rate by 0.2 percentage points to 0.05 percent on Thursday, the lowest level since the country became independent in 1993. “The CNB board decided to cut its two-week repo rate by 20 basis points to a record low of 0.05 percent”, from [...]

LOLC Group now rated by ICRA Lanka

LOLC said this week that its parent company LOLC as well as subsidiaries, Lanka ORIX Finance PLC and Commercial Leasing & Finance Ltd, have been independently rated by ICRA Lanka Ltd since July this year. ICRA Lanka Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of ICRA Ltd, which is an associate of Moody’s Investors Service, the [...]

SLCB and SriLankan host MICE contingent from India

The Sri Lanka Conventions Bureau (SLCB) and SriLankan Airlines, under the joint programme between the two organisations, this week arranged to bring in over 75 MICE operators cum meetings’ planners and incentive houses as well as Indian media in order to give them a “real life experience to promote Sri Lanka among their clientele”. In [...]

TRC plans mobile phone serial number required for connection

The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) is considering an island-wide programme whereby mobile operators must register the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, or serial number, of any device before allowing it access to networks, according to Dharmasiri De Alwis, the regulator’s Director of Projects. Further, he also noted that the Sri Lankan [...]

Skills training centre at the Taj Samudra hotel

A new Skills Certification Centre was recently established at the Taj Samudra Colombo, equipped with the latest technology and resources to offer world class training to its employees. The India-based, international hotel chain said in a media release that, having had its operation in Sri Lanka for over 25 years, the Taj group feels that [...]

UNEP surveys to establish new regulations for Sri Lanka tourism

UNEP surveys to establish new regulations for Sri Lanka tourism

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry will be adequately regulated to enhance its sustainability by assessing its needs and priorities, a key UN environmental expert said recently. “We are doing a survey that analyses the priorities and needs for sustainable tourism,” United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Tourism and Environment Programme Officer Helena Rey De Assis told the [...]

Right to Strike is inalienable from the Right to Freedom of Association

The Director General of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) Ravi Peiris has instinctively responded to the letter written by me giving cover to a Memorandum submitted to the Minister of Labour and Labour Relations by 29 unions including 11 members of the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC). The Memorandum calls for the introduction of [...]

Kramski invests Rs.160 mln in factory expansion

Kramski invests Rs.160 mln in factory expansion

Kramski Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a premier German venture at the Katunayake Export Promotion Zone, has begun construction on a new factory building estimated to cost Rs.160 million in order to increase its production capacity in Sri Lanka. The company is a subsidiary of Kramski GmbH, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high performance stamping [...]

Major skills shortage in SL construction industry

The local construction industry is facing a shortage of skilled employees, primarily those with undergraduate degrees, according to Surath Wickramasinghe, President of the Chamber of Construction Industry of Sri Lanka. This is despite the construction industry offering benefits in excess of other professions. Speaking at the recent launch of BuildSL 2013, the national construction industry [...]

Bharti Airtel, fourth largest mobile operator in the world

New Delhi – Bharti Airtel, a leading telecommunications service provider with operations in 20 countries across South Asia and Africa moved up one notch in the world- wide ranking to be the fourth largest mobile operator in the world in terms of subscribers, the company said. The top five operators are China Mobile, Vodafone Group, [...]

HDDES launches AURA Brand

Fragrance Sticks to the local market The Aura range of Fragrance Sticks, manufactured and distributed by HDDES Group which is an export- oriented company, was recently introduced to the local market. The range comes with 100 per cent natural fragrances of Rose, Sandalwood, Jasmine and Blue Lotus, the company said. “The new range of Fragrance [...]

‘AVANI Kalutara Resort’, second Avani resort to open in Sri Lanka

Serendib Leisure Management in partnership with Minor Hotel Group, has announced the opening of the second AVANI resort – AVANI Kalutara Resort, on Sri Lanka’s south west coast. Formerly known as Kani Lanka Resort & Spa, the resort has reopened after a significant renovation and refurbishment representing a Rs. 550 million investment. “Located south of [...]

jobfactory helps young adults with disabilities find jobs

jobfactory helps young adults with disabilities find jobs

jobfactory, an HR firm, recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Leonard Cheshire Disability Livelihood Resource Centre (LCD-LRC) offering a platform for young adults with disabilities to be recruited by renowned employers through a thorough recruitment and selection process which is absolutely free of charge. Any employers who wish to offer recruitment for the young [...]

Sri Lanka’s successful marketing of virgin coconut oil in UK stores

Sri Lanka’s successful marketing of virgin coconut oil in UK stores

The ubiquitous coconut has been a much talked about product in recent decades. Earlier it said that too much coconut oil triggered cholesterol while now health circles and food scientists have apparently accepted that coconut oil in fact is healthy and contains disease prevention properties. Various authorities and data from the worldwide web indicate a [...]

IronOne Technologies wins gold at National Best Quality Software ICT Awards 2012

IronOne Technologies wins gold at National Best Quality Software ICT Awards 2012

IronOne Technologies has clinched the Green Technology Award at the 14th National Best Quality ICT Awards (NBQSA), organised by the NBQSA Organizing Committee (NBQSA) in conjunction with the British Computer Society (BCS), The Chartered Institute for IT. The company received the award in ‘recognition of its innovative use of technology in offering a paperless Board [...]

Lankan brokers to promote stock market, locally and internationally

The Colombo Stock Brokers’ Association (CSBA) has promised to promote Sri Lanka’s capital markets to local and international investors, in a bid to give a much-needed boost to the market t to regain investor confidence. “We wish to place on record that the new Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman and commission members reviewed our requests [...]

Pelwatte in debt, petition to wind up company

Agstar Fertilizers Plc has filed action in the Colombo High Court seeking the winding up of Pelwatte Sugar Industries over the non-payment of dues. In its action filed recently, the petitioner states that Pelwatte owes the Agstar over Rs 18 million in unpaid bills. Agstar is a company dealing in fertilizer imports and sales while [...]

Trade experts shout out for ‘paperless trade’

Trade experts called for ‘paperless trade’ at the fourth Asia Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum held in Colombo recently. Drawing from his experience, Don Lee, representing KTNET (Korean Trade Network) at the first technical session which was on ‘Paperless Trade and Single Window in Sri Lanka – Single Window Readiness’ noted that the economic impact of [...]

Gigantic $7.5 bln order from SIA for more A380s and A350s

Singapore Airlines has agreed to order five more Airbus A380s and another 20 A350s for additional capacity growth and fleet renewal. The firm order commitments are valued at US$7.5 billion based on Airbus’ published list prices. Deliveries are due to begin in 2017, the airline said in a statement. SIA currently operates 19 A380-800 superjumbos [...]

Caution against 2.5 mln target

Sri Lanka should be cautious in trying to achieve a target of 2.5 million tourist arrivals in 2016 as there is a major gap between forecasts and actual figures, a tourism expert said. Manav Thadani, Chairman, HVS South Asia and an international consultant on the hospitality industry, said in a presentation made at the Jetwing [...]

Lifetime achievement Asian insurance award for Chandra Schaffter

Lifetime achievement Asian insurance award for Chandra Schaffter

C.T.A. Schaffter, considered by many as the ‘father of insurance in Sri Lanka’ has won a prestigious lifetime achievement award at the 16th Asia Insurance Industry awards last week in Malaysia, his company, Janashakthi Insurance said. The awards were hosted by the Asia Insurance Review. Mr Schaffter, currently Deputy Chairman and Director of Janashakthi Insurance [...]

Bairaha plans Maldives,Dubai opportunities

Bairaha Foods is planning to set up in Maldives and Dubai as a part of its expansion plans, officials said. “We are exploring expansion possibilities to the Maldives and Dubai,” Udaya Athukorala, Head Sales and Marketing told the Business Times. He said that they have seen interest for Bairaha in these countries. “We had discussions [...]

Janashakthi Full Option steers vehicle owners towards better auto care

Janashakthi held their first ever “Motor Clinic” in Anuradhapura last weekend. Car owners at this clinic were allowed free vehicle health check up. They were also educated about comprehensive car care mechanisms. “Janashakthi ‘Motor Clinic’ is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka’s insurance industry. Janashakthi joined hands with Sri Lanka Automobile Institute of [...]

Piramal Glass reports post-tax profit of Rs. 414 mln

Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC (PGC) said its first half results for the year saw 8 per cent growth in turnover to Rs. 2.6 billion and marginal growth of post-tax profit to Rs. 414 million. The company said domestic sales value grew by 12 per cent to Rs. 2 billion with a dip in the overall [...]

hSenid Founder/CEO recognised as the Most Outstanding Contributor in ICT at NBQSA Awards 2012

hSenid Founder/CEO recognised as the Most Outstanding Contributor in ICT at NBQSA Awards 2012

Dinesh Saparamadu, Founder and CEO of hSenid Group of Companies was awarded the “Most Outstanding Contribution Award” at the National Best Quality ICT Awards (NBQSA) awards held recently in Colombo. These awards recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in Sri Lanka who / which have contributed to the development of ICT to create [...]

Calm before the storm

Calm before the storm

Harsha de Silva, UNP MP and economist, and JVP MP Sunil Handunnethi in light conversation during a panel discussion on the stock market organised by the European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka in Colombo on Thursday. There was a heated exchange between some brokers and Dr De Silva over the reference to a ‘stock [...]

SL GDP growth 6.5% this year, 7% in 2013 : RAM

Sri Lanka’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth will be at 6.5 per cent in 2012 followed by 7.0 per cent in 2013, according to a report published last week by ratings agency RAM. The report, entitled “Sri Lanka Economic Outlook 2013″, further elaborated, saying; “Despite Sri Lanka’s stellar growth in recent years, global headwinds and [...]

Liquor tax hikes seen eroding Distilleries’ margins

The Sri Lankan government announced a tax hike on wine, arrack, foreign liquor and beer with effect from early this month which saw Distilleries Company increasing the prices of all varieties of liquor by Rs 20-40 a bottle, keeping a modest margin which would reflect in its earnings, analysts say. “The impact on demand for [...]

Trade gap continues to haunt Sri Lanka

The balance of trade expanded to four per cent year on year and 72 per cent month on month to US$ 921 million in August this year, a Lanka Securities Research report said. “Exports declined 13 per cent year on year to $ 829 million while imports fell five per cent year on year to [...]

AIA plans bancassurance to penetrate industry further

American International Assurance Company Ltd (AIA) which signed a deal to buy a 92.3 per cent stake in Aviva NDB Insurance for US$ 109 million, from British insurer Aviva and Sri Lanka’s National Development Bank (NDB) earlier this month, plans to strike bancassurance partnerships with local banks, officials said. “We want many bancassurance partnerships with [...]

Coco Lanka plans to become Sri Lanka’s leading F&B companies

Coco Lanka PLC (Coco) is expanding its focus from the agri business sector to a fullyfledged food and beverage investment holding company. Coco will function with the objective of becoming one of the largest companies in this segment, the company said in a media statement. The company is also being renamed Renuka Shaw Wallace PLC, [...]

Haycarb improves 1H PAT to Rs 485 million

Haycarb PLC, the Hayleys Group’s multinational activated carbon manufacturer, says top and bottom line growth was strong for first half of the financial year. The company reported revenue of Rs 5.9 billion for the six months ending 30th September 2012. Profit before tax for the period improved to Rs 574.9 million, while net profit for [...]

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