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20-minute ride from Peliyagoda to Katunayake

20-minute ride from Peliyagoda to Katunayake

Business Times senior journalist Sunimalee Dias and photojournalist Indika Handuwela drove on the upcoming Katunayake expressway on Friday. The 25-km road from Peliyagoda to the Katunayake airport is due to open in September. More on their report on Page 4

Nalaka Godahewa exits Colombo Land as Krrish probe continues

Nalaka Godahewa, the top official whose name transpired in the secret pay-off pertaining to the Krrish development project in Colombo, last week stepped down from the Colombo Land and Development Co (CLND) which he chaired. An official statement from the company said Prof. Krishan Deheragoda has taken over as the new chairman with effect from [...]

Sri Lankan casinos under licence system

All casinos, new and old, would have to be henceforth licensed under new regulations to regulate the casino business, officials said. Several proposals to open multi-million-dollar casinos in Colombo are in the pipeline and the government is preparing to issue a gazette notification with necessary regulations which would make the Casino Business (Regulation) Act passed [...]

Mysterious company with Chinese connections gets Maradana land

Controversial state-owned Colombo land deals for mega projects are continuing with lesser known developers grabbing the contracts, opposition parliamentarians alleged. UNP MP and Economist, Dr. Harsha de Silva revealed in parliament on Thursday details of a recent government decision to lease a valuable 29-acre property in Maradana belonging to the Railway Department to Chelina NEB [...]

NSB $1bn bond on roadshow this week

National Savings Bank’s (NSB) roadshow abroad ahead of raising a US$1 billion bond is slated to kick off this week, sources close to NSB said. “The roadshow in Singapore, Hong Kong and the UK will start this week,” a source said, noting that NSB wants to raise international funding this year. The roadshow was planned [...]

CB cuts penal interest rates imposed by banks, finance companies

The Central Bank (CB) on Friday ordered all lending institutions to cut their penal interest rates to a maximum of 2-3 per cent per annum from an astronomical 48 per cent in some cases following complaints from customers. Banks were asked to reduce the penal rates of interest (for late payment) on all loans and [...]

Better public transport key to reducing city traffic congestion, experts say

Better public transport key to reducing city traffic congestion, experts say

Sri Lanka incurs a huge economic loss of around Rs. 40 billion annually due to road traffic congestion and air pollution with too many vehicles on a limited road network. Unless the authorities take measures to modernise and improve public transport, the country cannot curb this massive, unproductive cost, noted University of Moratuwa transport and [...]

Parliamentary Select Committee on Road Accidents inactive

Among the many issues raised at the meeting were: – There is a Parliamentary Select Committee on Traffic Accidents but this committee appointed several years back is inactive. – Increasing road accidents – Road rage – Lack of road manners by motorists – Onerous task of managing traffic during traffic snarls – Breaking the rules: [...]

Police and the Public

Sri Lanka’s Police Department claims to have ‘excellent’ relations with the public but this is not the case as the Business Times discovered this week. Traffic issues and its management in Colombo have led to scores of congestion in all parts of the city not only during rush hour traffic (school opening and closing times, [...]

Gridlock in Colombo

Very soon, city motorists would have to have their meals and refreshments in their vehicles on-the-go as the city reaches gridlock status. A panel discussion on Tuesday heard how poor city planning of roads and the misconception that more roads would ease traffic, was leading to serious issues in traffic management in the city. “More [...]

Colombo Port City project gets underway from China with love

Sri Lanka has finalised a deal with a Chinese company to build a port city on 230 hectares (568 acres) of reclaimed land on the sea adjacent to the Colombo South harbour and Colombo’s historic Galle Face Green seafront, officials said. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has signed the agreement with China Communications Construction [...]

Hemas Pharmas provides Rs 4 mln ETU to Aralaganwila Hospital

Hemas Pharmas provides Rs 4 mln ETU to Aralaganwila Hospital

Hemas Pharmaceuticals (Pvt) Ltd, a leading distributor of pharmaceuticals and surgical products in Sri Lanka, recently undertook and successfully completed the task of constructing an Emergency Treatment Unit (ETU) at Aralaganwila hospital in Polonnaruwa district at a cost of over Rs 4 million. The ETU was formally opened by Maithripala Sirisena Minister of Health on [...]

Sri Lanka’s Milcris awarded US$70 million road project in Oman

Milcris Pvt. Ltd. (Oman) soon after being declared as the first Sri Lankan Construction Consultant by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has been awarded a contract by the Muscat Municipality, Sultanate of Oman, to build a multilevel new interchange worth US$ 70 million. The new flyover parallel to the existing road will serve [...]

Adverse weather hurts Chevron revenues

Adverse weather conditions and lower demand from thermal power stations led to sluggish lubricants consumption for Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC in the first quarter of the 2012/13 financial year. The company which reported a 5 per cent dip in revenue for the quarter said adverse weather conditions affected the agricultural and fisheries sector. However gross [...]

SL Heritance Hotels secures ISO 50001 certification

Heritance Hotels, Sri Lanka’s leading chain of resorts, has secured the ISO 50001 certification for energy management systems which have been effectively implemented at each resort. It is the first resort to get this certification, the company said. ISO 50001 specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system. The purpose [...]

Sri Lanka’s pioneering entrepreneurial university churning out ‘confident’ entrepreneurs

Sri Lanka’s pioneering entrepreneurial university churning out ‘confident’ entrepreneurs

Sri Lanka’s Uva Wellassa University (UWU) at Badulla trains its students to become confident entrepreneurs. “We innovate programmes with multiple disciplines coming together, to form a cohesive interdisciplinary (or multidisciplinary) programmes, delivering breadth and skills,” its founder Chandra Embuldeniya during his acceptance speech for Honorary Doctorate from the UWU University of Sri Lanka – Convocation [...]

Sri Lanka’s newest beauty: E03-the Katunayake expressway

Sri Lanka’s newest beauty: E03-the Katunayake expressway

ON THE NEW HIGHWAY – Entering Colombo after just landing at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is set to get you in about 20 minutes to the city on the new (Katunayake) expressway E03 scheduled for opening in September this year on a ride totaling 25.6km. The expressway is composed of 100 box culverts and [...]

PayPal a reality in SL ‘soon’ : Lalith Weeratunga

Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, during a recent live twitter question and answer session, received a question about the lack of inward remittances into the country by global e-commerce platform PayPal. Part of a session that was promoted as the first-of-its-type for a Sri Lankan civil servant by government-run website, and carried out via President [...]

Mobitel says it’s the first Lankan brand on Facebook to top 500,000 ‘Likes’

Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel said it reached half-a-million Facebook ‘Likes’ last week, making it the first brand to cross the 500,000 ‘likes’ milestone in Sri Lanka. Mobitel’s Facebook fan page ( is an integral part of its marketing campaign which functions as one of the main digital channels to communicate new product updates and customer [...]

Caltex and AIDS Foundation to enhance HIV/AIDS awareness in the workplace

Chevron Lubricants Lanka, marketer of Caltex branded lubricants in Sri Lanka, has been at the forefront of HIV and AIDS prevention in the country for several years. The company has consolidated its efforts with mainstream HIV and AIDS eradication institutions such as the AIDS Foundation of Lanka and the Lanka Business Coalition on HIV and [...]

Kalpitiya land grab for tourism

Kalpitiya land  grab for tourism

The people of Kalpitiya and its 14 islands have been battling – in collaboration with the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) and Praja Abhilasha Network (PAN) – against the prolific land grabbing taking place, according a report in a recent newsletter issues by the Law and Society Trust (LST). The article titled “Tourism – Boom [...]

More development invariably increases poverty, research shows

Though countries go ‘hammer and tong’ on development projects, research now appears to imply that such development spawns more poverty. Raising this issue, Chaohua Zhang, Lead Social Development Specialist, The World Bank, told the Business Times on the sidelines of a national workshop on ‘Management of Land Acquisition and Resettlement in Infrastructure’ that the debate [...]

Inflation seen falling – CB says

Headline inflation (year-on-year) last month eased to 6.8 per cent from 7.3 per cent in May while core inflation (year-on-year) continued to decrease in the same month to record the lowest figure since its inception, the Central Bank (CB) says. Headline inflation, is explained in international economic literature, as the measure of inflation that takes [...]

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