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Migrant worker challenges Govt. over restrictive rule

A courageous Sri Lankan migrant worker is challenging the Government over a new rule where women must apparently be permitted by their husbands or other officials to work abroad as domestic workers, saying it is not only a gender bias but also violates her fundamental rights to equality under the Constitution. Filing a petition in [...]

Gems of Sri Lanka

Gems of Sri Lanka

Was our photographer Susantha Liyanawatte enthralled by the beauty of this gem of a stone or the lady behind the small torch as she intensely examined this precious mineral at the Facets Gem and Jewellery exhibition in Colombo this week? Your guess is as good as mine.

Perpetual Capital makes more than Rs 67 mln profit on HDFC stake sale

Perpetual Capital Holdings, an investment fund controlled by Aloysius family-led Arjun Aloysius and the owners of liquor manufacturer, W.M. Mendis and Company has made a capital gain (profit) of more than Rs 67 million when it sold a near 12 percent or 7.5 million shares in HDFC to Thurston Investments Ltd last week, market analysts [...]

Common ATM Switch attracts banks

The Common Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Switch that was launched in July with Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank linking over 900 ATMs of those two banks, has seen interest from some major banks in joining this system, officials said. “HNB has completed testing this system with us and they will join soon. Also Seylan [...]

Krrish chairman, CEO in hush-hush visit to Colombo

aTop executives of Krrish, the multi-million dollar stalled project at Transwork House in Fort, made a secret visit to Sri Lanka last week, without even informing the local office that they were in Colombo. The failed project has run into funding issues and is embroiled in allegations that pay-offs were made to some influential parties [...]

‘Miris Trail’ experience for eight Australian couples

A Sri Lankan entrepreneur based in Australia, hard on the heels of the new era of incentive travel and ‘enjoying an experience’, is organising the ‘Miris Trail’ – a culinary tour of the island for just eight couples. It is not enjoying lunu miris or kochchi miris in the real sense of the word but [...]

Bad side of ‘free’ education

Bad side of ‘free’ education

Like most things in life, many good things can become bad and destructive – fire, water, electricity, medicine are all the same. Over the centuries, we have mastered the safe use of these essential and dangerous tools by learning through bad experiences, and generating rules of safety from successive generation to generation. The ‘free education’ [...]

Equal rights for migrant workers

In today’s world very few people challenge the Sri Lankan establishment in a court of law other than human rights groups, NGOs or some institution to assert their rights. For that matter, only a few individuals do. Thus our report about a migrant worker challenging the government on her fundamental right to travel and against [...]

Airtel launches social media competition for 2014 Digital Calendar

Sri Lanka’s Bharthi Airtel unit recently launched a social media competition for its 2014 Digital Calendar, whereby any Sri Lankan national can submit “photographs, memes, memorable status updates, instagrams and other graphics or text” via the celco’s local Facebook page. The top 25 entries will be shortlisted in terms of Facebook likes, with the final [...]

Sri Lanka mulls around 200,000 Chinese tourists under a mega promotional campaign

Sri Lanka mulls around 200,000 Chinese  tourists under a mega promotional campaign

A far reaching promotional and awareness campaign by Sri Lanka to penetrate the growing Chinese outbound tourism market has begun, officials said. Chinese tourists arrivals to the island has recorded around 73 per cent increase to 16,582 in the first six months of this year compared 9,622 during the same period last year, Chairman of [...]

New security system to protect social media

ESET has launched a new Social Media Scanner for Sri Lankan Internet users which is designed to protect one’s profile and its contents from malware distributed through social networking sites. The Social Media Scanner monitors new social media content (for example, wall postings containing links or unknown ‘friend requests’ on Facebook) and looks for malicious [...]

Malaysian crackdown on illegals affects Lankan migrant workers

Malaysia has launched a crackdown from September 1 to arrest, detain and deport hundreds of illegal workers in a decision that would impact on many Sri Lankan workers. Kuala Lumpur-based TENAGANITA Women’s Force says that over 100,000 refugees who lack any legal protection in Malaysia may also be arrested, deported and detained in the country’s [...]

Central Bank moves to reduce motor vehicle imports

The Central Bank (CB), in a bid to stem a sudden increase in motor vehicle imports owing to favourable currency depreciations, on Friday imposed new margin levels on opening Letters of Credit for such imports “The Monetary Board at its meeting held on 27th August decided to impose a 100 per cent margin deposit requirement [...]

Softlogic Finance debenture oversubscribed at Rs 500 mln

Softlogic Finance PLC said on Thursday that its Debenture Issue had been oversubscribed. Hoping to raise Rs. 250 million, the issue was oversubscribed and further debentures amounting to Rs.250 million were issued, taking the total transaction to Rs. 500 million. The issue opened on August 22 and closed on the following day with keen interest [...]

New Rs 10 coin slips into circulation

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank (CB) in March gave Mincovna Kremnica of the Slovak Republic the contract, for the supply of 175 Million Rs.10 denomination circulation coins during the period from 2013-2015. To minimize cost of production the order was for pure steel with no nickel plating which helps prevent rusting. The Nickel Plated Steel Rs [...]

CB’s response on economy must be countered

It is with interest (perhaps with amusement) that I read the response of the Central Bank (CBSL) titled “Central Bank rejects dismal picture of the economy” to Dr. Nimal Sandaratne’s (Nimal S) article titled “External Finance and Fiscal consolidation: What is the real position?” which appeared in the Sunday Times on July 21. Nimal S’s [...]

Untold success story in apparel business

Accidents are not always tragic, or even bad, as my accidental visit to Polytex Garments Ltd. factory in Yakkala proved to be on Tuesday, August 27. It was workers in this factory, over 1,100 in all, who struck work on the trade union call for a token strike against the increased electricity bill on May [...]

Pros and cons of promoting casinos in Sri Lanka

Casinos are not the playgrounds for the rich and the dashing anymore. The era when it was gentlemen in black tie and ladies in glistening jewels and evening dress is over. It is neither super-sophistication. A large number from all walks of life plays the wheel; nor is it Westernisation. Casinos have sprung up in [...]

Conflict and Growth: They are on the same page

Ishan’s role at work is to collect data to support the sales team. He gathers as much information as possible and spends a great deal of time transferring this information into colourful spreadsheets. He loves his job, values integrity and enjoys working with the sales team. He is diligent and motivated to support the organization [...]

Sri Lanka fast becoming a global hub for Sapphires

Sri Lanka fast becoming a global hub for Sapphires

Sri Lanka, against Bangkok, is on the threshold of becoming the hub of Sapphires in the world with the Facets – Sri Lanka International Gem & Jewellery Show (SLIGJS) being one of the leading Gem and Jewellery dealers meeting place in the world.The 4-day SLIGJS show took off on Thursday at the BMICH with a [...]

EFutures opens sales office in Vancouver, Canada

EFutures (Pvt) Ltd, a Colombo-based provider of enterprise, mobile, cloud and infrastructure based solutions and products, has opened a sales office in Vancouver, Canada. Employing over 150 Software Engineers, EFutures is an off-shore development company that caters to Fortune500 companies, Wall Street financial institutions and Silicon Valley startups. While experiencing steady growth in foreign markets, [...]

Etisalat widening coverage options in SL with better speeds

Etisalat Lanka, while having services across the island, is aiming to further expand its coverage in Sri Lanka in terms of speed, etc, according to Dumindra Ratnayaka, Director/CEO of Etisalat Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. Speaking to the Business Times on the sidelines of the launch of the loyalty programme ‘Epic Rewards’ held in Colombo this week, [...]

OVIKLO creates eco-friendly kids play area at Biyagama police station

OVIKLO creates eco-friendly kids play area at Biyagama police station

OVIKLO International (Pvt) Ltd, a warehousing and logistic service provider in Sri Lanka, organized its latest cooperate social responsibility (CSR) programme alongside its ISO certification scheme. OVIKLO constructed an eco-friendly children’s park with all amenities at the premises of the Biyagama Police Station since many small children accompany their elders to the station. This eco [...]

Fonterra resumes Sri Lankan operations

Fonterra on Tuesday said it was resuming consumer operations in Sri Lanka after a 5-day suspension over allegations of contaminated milk powder. The decision followed a thorough assessment by management that there is no risk to Fonterra staff and that the situation has now stabilised. Chief Executive Theo Spierings said: “Last Friday we took the [...]

ComBank helps Marawila students prepare for Year 5 scholarship exam

The Marawila branch of Commercial Bank recently hosted a one-day seminar for students preparing for the Year 5 scholarship examination, under the banner of the Bank’s ‘Arunalu’ Children’s Savings Account. Nearly 500 students from eight schools participated in the seminar, which was conducted by an award-winning teacher in the area using PowerPoint and video presentations. [...]

CHOGM: SL seeking business deals from outside Commonwealth nations

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin and the Consulate General in Frankfurt have organized a preparatory conference for the CHOGM Business Forum from 5 to 11 September in Frankfurt. Fifty leading companies with global recognition will be participating in the meeting with Neomal Perera, Deputy Minister of External Affairs, and Nivard Cabraal, Governor of [...]

Top kitchen brand, Häcker enters Lankan market

Top kitchen brand, Häcker enters  Lankan market

German-made Häcker kitchens was launched in Sri Lanka recently with the opening of its exclusive showroom at Nawala, Rajagiriya. Catering to an upmarket clientele, the ‘new generation’ kitchens are positioned not just as a workplace but more as a place where enjoyment and relaxation unite, enabling an enhanced lifestyle where friends and family could be [...]

Cargills Group in major reshuffle involving Food City business

The Cargills Group, in a major announcement on Wednesday, said that Cargills (Ceylon) PLC, established in 1844, will cease to be involved in retail operations of the Food City business and henceforth function as a holding company giving strategic directin to the group. Under the changes, as explained to the Colombo Stock Exchange, Cargills Food [...]

HSBC issuing credit card statements on email

HSBC this week said it would be delivering credit card statements through e-mail for its credit cardholders. Taking the lead in fostering green banking initiatives across HSBC, this new paperless service provides a highly secure, speedy, and convenient experience for customers anytime, anywhere, the bank said. From 26 August 2013, HSBC customers can receive their [...]



UTE stall at construction exhibition – The picture carried in last week’s Business Times in a story headlined “UTE backs Sri Lanka’s largest construction exhibition for the 5th consecutive year” was of a Senok heavy vehicle and not from the UTE. Above is the correct picture of the UTE stall and its heavy equipment.

BARAKA launches new brand and marketing strategy

BARAKA launches new brand and marketing strategy

Bio Extracts (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of leading conglomerate Expolanka Holdings PLC recently unveiled its new brand logo, total packaging and a renewed brand strategy for its herbal gealthcare product range BARAKA. The new logo depicts a graphic motif of the flower that bears the Black Seed which is known for its medicinal value over [...]

Colonial Motors restructuring

Colonial Motors is being transformed into a property and investment company and will move out of the motor vehicle business altogether, though operating through a subsidiary, it was announced on Wednesday. The restructure of its activities is subject to relevant shareholder approvals at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) after its Annual General Meeting (AGM) next [...]

SL needs new instruments, markets, entrepreneurs and institutions: Cabraal

Sri Lanka needs to look for new instruments, new markets to absorb new capital, new entrepreneurs as well as new institutions, to achieve eight per cent growth target in GDP. Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal made this comment at the Islamic Finance road show held in Cinnamon Grand Colombo this week. “Sri Lanka needs [...]

Dialog connects AIA in SL to Malaysia via iMPLS

Locally dominant celco Dialog has implemented a MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) international telecommunications connectivity solution for AIA, the Sri Lankan unit of the Pan Asian insurance group by the same name. Dialog’s enterprise solution, called “iMPLS”, will connect Colombo, in Sri Lanka, to Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia, where the AIA group has its shared infrastructure [...]

anything.lk overall winner at BestWeb.lk 2013

Sri Lanka’s best website is daily deals site anything.lk, according to BestWeb.lk, a local ‘best website’ competition held on August 14. Aside from winning the Gold award for the best overall website, anything.lk was also further recognised with a Gold aard in the ‘consumer and e-commerce’ category. At the same time, the overall Silver and [...]

Sri Lanka’s biggest IT shopping festival at Unity Plaza on Sept. 2-8

Sri Lanka’s biggest IT shopping festival at  Unity Plaza on Sept. 2-8

Branded laptops, desktop computers, printers, computer peripherals with warranty could be purchased at prices as low as up to 40 per cent (of the normal rate outside) at Unity Plaza – Sri Lanka’s only mall for domestic IT operators and multinational giants. For example, a unit costing Rs 100,000 outside could be purchased at Unity [...]

SLASSCOM forum on Internet and economic growth on Thursday

Local IT-BPO body SLASSCOM will be hosting another installment of its continuing CXO Breakfast Briefings next week, entitled “Impact of policies concerning the Internet on innovation and economic growth”. The event is scheduled for Thursday, September 5 onwards, at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel. Open to the public, those interested in participating are advised to contact [...]

19.5 mln mobile subscribers in SL, says TRC

Mobile subscriber numbers have risen, to 19,533,274 in June 2013, from 19,335,733 in March 2013, according to statistics released by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) of Sri Lanka on August 21. This uptake in mobile subscriber numbers follows a significant drop between 2012 and March 2013, from 20,324,070 to 19,335,733, respectively, that the TRC now [...]

EWIS PC manufacturing plant to trigger new wave of ICT jobs in Hambantota

The EWIS PC manufacturing plant is set to offer a new wave of ICT jobs in Sooriyawewa, Hambantota,an official statement said. Recently at an event, Hambantota Member of Parliament, Namal Rajapaksa handed out the factory’s first set of appointment letters to 50 local youth. Speaking at the event, Mr. Rajapaksa outlined the country’s ICT vision [...]

Information security watch – BYOD; more technology, more risk

Information security watch – BYOD; more technology, more risk

More and more workers in Sri Lanka have started to bring their personal mobile devices to the office daily. This behaviour is called “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) and by no means that’s the end; it’s just an early symptom of the wider mobility trend infiltrating the corporate world. Mobile devices being used within organizations [...]

New loans scheme to increase dairies, reach self-sufficiency in milk

The Government on Thursday announced a new loan scheme to support dairy entrepreneurs aimed at fulfilling the Mahinda Chinthana (policy) of self-sufficiency in milk and milk products The move comes in the backdrop of local business interests pushing for a ban or restriction on milk powder imports while increasing local production, and a more-than six [...]

Accused pleads guilty in SL’s first SMS harassment case

Sri Lanka’s first SMS harassment case concluded after a lengthy hearing of almost seven years at the Colombo Fort Magistrate Court after the accused Suresh Marcellus, former Managing Director of Trans World Movers (Pvt) Ltd, pleaded guilty recently. When the case was taken up for hearing on the August 22, the accused had pleaded guilty [...]

Peoples’ Bank celebrates International Youth Day

Peoples’ Bank celebrates International Youth Day

Peoples Bank’s YES saving account, targetting young savers in Sri Lanka, has introduced a range of new banking facilities and attractive benefits to the young adults across the country. Celebrating International Youth Day, which fell on August 12, the bank has declared August 12 to September 11 as the YES month and during this period [...]

Central Bank ensures macro- economic stability, Governor says

While defining monetary and the fiscal policy would be easy it is more difficult to define under whose purview such policies fall, said Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor, Central Bank while delivering the 18th Annual Taxation Oration of the Institut of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka held in Colombo this week. He spoke on the topic [...]

Thai Airways in talks with CAA to operate to Mattala

Thai Airways International Public Co. Ltd is in talks with the local Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to explore the possibility of operating direct flights to Mattala from Bangkok, officials said. “We had discussions with the CAA and we are also discussing with the Thai government on this,” Thai Airways International Country Manager Thongchai Tungkasareeruk told [...]

Grant McCann’s Executive Creative Director Russell Miranda on Spikes Asia Panel

Russell Miranda, Executive Creative Director for Grant McCann Erickson in Sri Lanka, has been selected to be a part of the Film Craft Jury for Spikes Asia 2013. The Spikes Asia Awards are the region’s oldest and most prestigious awards for creative advertising recognizing the best in Film, Print, Outdoor, Radio, Digital, Direct, Promo & [...]

Large stockbroking deal off

A large Colombo stockbroking house, which is in the market either for part or full divestment by the major shareholder, will not be sold in a hurry as the prospective buyers have backed out, according to stock market sources. “A party which competed the due diligence wasn’t happy with what they found because losses and [...]

Sri Lanka’s largest food, drink and agri show draws the crowds

Sri Lanka’s largest food, drink and agri show draws the crowds

After a glittering opening ceremony last week, the BMICH Exhibition Centre was transformed into the largest supermarket and trade fair Sri Lanka has ever witnessed when the Pro Foods/Pro Pack and Agribiz exhibition opened its doors to the public. Titled “From the Farm to the Kitchen”, the show took many vistors on a culinary journey [...]

German envoy welcomes use of certified compostable waste bags

The Germany Embassy in Colombo has welcomed the use of certified compostable bags made with BASF’s ecovio to efficiently and effectively divert organic and biodegradable waste from landfills. Ambassador Dr. Juergen Morhard said that “good waste management practices are a worldwide imperative, but particularly here in Sri Lanka, which is trying to identify clean and [...]

Depend less on foreign owned $3.5bn bonds

Central bankers in major economies, particularly the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, always knew that it was extremely risky when they embarked upon quantitative easing. Such a policy has never been tested on such a large scale. However, the central bankers have adopted the position that the cost of a prolonged slump [...]

PCH Holdings’ 58 mln shares sold on the back of margin calls

Some 58 million shares in PCH Holdings Plc (PCH) was traded in three blocks on Friday, with stock market sources saying that this is the second time broking firm, LOLC Stockbrokers had ‘force-sold’ shares in PCH firms in two weeks. Chairman S.H.M. Rishan recently wrote to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) complaining that British [...]

Prospects and impediments in the North and East

The three-decades-long war against the LTTE has unfolded dramatically and the people in the North and East of Sri Lanka are looking forward to a new life. Since the early 1980s, people in the North and East have experienced severe economic hardships and heir living standards have deteriorated substantially. At present, the economy of the [...]

MBSL Director Prof. Bandara resigns over conflict of interest

Prof. Ranjith Bandara, Director Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL) has resigned from his post citing personal reasons, MBSL sources said. They said that this came on the back of allegations of conflict of interest by shareholders at a recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) that Prof. Bandara was also a director at a firm linked [...]

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