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Top labour union opposes attempts to exploit labour at BOI zones

Top labour union opposes attempts to exploit labour at BOI zones

A top labour union has protested to Sri Lankan authorities over attempts to allow companies to, what it calls, ‘exploit labour. “We are totally opposed to this approach of allowing companies to exploit labour on two counts. One, it allows inhuman and unfair labour practices with heavy exploitation. Two, such approach will not in any [...]

Taj Hotels mulls northeast expansion

India’s Taj Hotels’ Group is expanding into northeast Sri Lanka, aiming for three new resorts with a total of around 300 rooms in the first phase of this initiative, officials said. Rohit Koshla, Director Operations – Taj Hotels and Resorts, Area Director Sri Lanka and General Manager Taj Samudra, said that they are looking at [...]

Improving transportation in the north

Improving transportation in the north

Workers engaged in the finishing touches last week to complete the new Kilinochchi Railway Station. The station was opened yesterday by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Touchwood case one of a kind

The recent state of affairs at the forestry management company, Touchwood is so unique that it’s the first time in the history of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that extensive complaints of such a nature had come to them, sources close to SEC sad. Touchwood founded in Sri Lanka in 1999 by Chairman Roscoe [...]

Krrish scandal sets stage for a major shake-up at SEC

The Colombo Krrish Square scandal over alleged kickbacks received by a prominent official to secure the legal rights to develop the Transworks property at Colombo Fort is to claim its first victim setting the stage for a major shake-up in the country’s capital market regulator, informed official sources said. The government has taken a decision [...]

Are you aware of the manufactured date of what you consume?

When buying grocery and food items from a boutique or super market, consumers mainly check the expiry date, price, the contents, etc. But it is only a few who look at the manufactured date of the product. The manufactured date plays an important role in the sustainability of a product. The expiry date depends on [...]

Finance companies: Again and again!

Sri Lanka’s financial sector has been awash with news and regulator intervention as a crisis builds up in the finance company sector. Adding fuel to the fire are reports that a senior regulatory official is in hot water over aiding and abetting some finance companies to inflate their valuation by re-valuing the assets! At least [...]

Wealth of a country depends on the productivity of labour, says educationist

The wealth of a country depends on the productivity of labour, stated Prof. Indra De Zoysa, Warden of S. Thomas’ College at a media conference of ‘Adyapana’ Education Exhibition launch held at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management this week. While saying that the wealth of a country depends on its productivity, [...]

Sri Lanka seeks joint ventures with Chinese apparel manufacturers

BEIJING – Sri Lanka is seeking joint venture partnerships with Chinese apparel manufacturers as the Chinese are under strong pressure to consider cutting production costs and moving production sites to other lower-wage countries, government officials said. Sri Lankan companies are spotting an opportunity in China’s vast manufacturing capability and the equally strong purchasing power and [...]

Sri Lanka blows away millions of rupees owing to lack of support for ‘entrepot’ trade

Sri Lanka is losing millions of rupees owing to the Customs Department, through a course of negative action, thwarting the growth of entrepot trading which has a huge potential in Sri Lanka, a logistics expert has complained. “There is huge potential for this business and is a step forward in President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s concept of [...]

Karunaratne, Lankan flag-bearer of the ubiquitous Jakfruit

Karunaratne, Lankan flag-bearer of the ubiquitous Jakfruit

In the face of fast deteriorating health and behavioural patterns of society, many with common sense now tend to revert to roots to ensure good health and invigorate the rural economy. One such individual is 80 year-old Mahinda Karunaratne hailing from Habarakada, Galle – a remote village, who has taken upon himself to promote the [...]

Commercial Bank joins Dialog in new mobile banking facility

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has extended its mobile banking facility to a wider cross section of Sri Lankans by offering the service to subscribers of Dialog. This facility is operated on USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) technology used by GSM phones to communicate with their service providers’ computers, the bank said. The USSD-based mobile [...]

SL’s Central Bank to bail out troubled finance companies

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) on Saturday introduced a scheme seen as bailing out troubled finance companies, a number that has been growing in recent times. A public announcement from the Bank said it was “implementing a Liquidity Support Scheme (LSS) for any licensed finance company (LFC) that faces liquidity constraints, thereby enabling [...]

Chinese mesmerized by Ceylon Tea

Ceylon Tea is increasingly becoming popular in the Chinese market and most of the Ceylon Tea brands are now available in China. Sri Lankan Ambassador in China Ranjith Uyangoda told the Business Times that the import of Ceylon Tea into the Chinese market has continued to increase for the last several years. Last year China [...]

Maldivan resort with one of the largest villas in the Indian Ocean

The Soneva Group in the Maldives and Thailand is creating the largest, single private residence to be built in the region, an 8-bedroom secluded stronghold on Soneva Fushi in the Maldives which will open next month. Rental prices will range from $11,300 – $30,000 per night depending on the season, the resort company said in [...]

Indo-Lanka FTA trade surges to $5 bln in 2012 from $600 mln in 2000

The Indo- Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement has resulted in a 10 fold increase in trade between India and Sri Lanka to US$5 billion in 2012 from $6 million in 2000 during this 12-year period, noted Zohra Chatterji, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Governmen of India. She quoted these figures at the signing of the Memorandum [...]

Job quotas for recruitment agents to the Middle East challenged in the SC

A recruitment agent of domestic workers and other categories to the Middle East has filed a fundamental rights case in the Supreme Court challenging the refusal of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) to give him a recruitment quota under new rules. Wijaya Undupitiya, Managing Director of Saranaseva Pvt Lt (SSPL), through his [...]

Mihin Lanka exceeds expectations, says IATA and TAASL members

Mihin Lanka exceeds expectations, says IATA and TAASL members

Mihin Lanka, Sri Lanka’s budget carrier, came in for praise recently when it flew all 127 members of two premier Sri Lankan tourism industry bodies to Indonesia and back for their annual meeting. The Annual General Meeting of the IATA-Sri Lanka and TAASL associations was held in Jakarta, Indonesia where Rizmi Reyal, Chairman-Managing Director of [...]

RAM Ratings for EAP media companies

RAM Ratings Lanka has examined EAP Broadcasting Company Ltd (EAPB) and EAP Films and Theaters (Pvt) Ltd (EAPF) and given new ratings. In the case of EAPB its long- and short term corporate has been given credit ratings of BBB and P3 and concurrently, a long-term rating of BBB has been assigned to EAPB’s proposed [...]

Justice for depositors of CIFL and Touchwood

Some affected parties contacted me and requested me to help them by intervening on their behalf. I politely declined and jokingly told them that I was neither the Central Bank (CB) nor the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the official watchdogs. Irate depositors said that the so-called regulators were sleeping dogs at best and lapdogs [...]

Attracting investors to Sri Lanka

Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, flanked by Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Nalaka Godahewa and Colombo Stock Exchange Chairman Krishan Balendra, speaks at the “Invest Sri Lanka” Investor Forum held in Hong Kong on Monday. A section of the audience is also seen in the picture. (Courtesy – SEC).

Spence hotels, despite troubled national arrival statistics, do well in 1stQ 2013/2014

The opening of Heritance Negombo (formerly Browns Beach Hotel) by Aitken Spence Hotels Holdings (ASHH) has been delayed until 2014 against the previously planned opening in winter 2013, according to a report by John Keells (JK) Stock Brokers Ltd. It said the property would add a further 150 rooms to the group which “coupled with [...]

High taxes, unethical business practices shift demand towards illicit liquor – Harry J

The sharp rise in tax on alcoholic beverages is disproportionate to the increase in income level of daily wage earners, fishermen and plantation workers, thereby compelling them to shift their demand towards illicit liquor, according to the Distilleries ompany of Sri Lanka (DCSL) annual report for 2012/13. “This is a notable change that has taken [...]

MAS Holdings, Brandix, Maliban and Munchee urged to go public on the Lankan bourse

Sri Lanka’s garment giants, MAS Holdings and Brandix along with top biscuit brands – Munchee and Maliban are among some 150 private companies being urged to go public and list in the Colombo Stock Exchange. These companies along with Tudawe Brothers, Hirdaramani’s, Finco Group’s ICC and Sanken Lanka, among others, have been invited to a [...]

Slowness in economy will affect company earnings

The slowness in Sri Lanka’s economy will continue to partially affect company earnings amidst lower consumer demand, in the coming months. However banking earnings are likely to rebound with the currency depreciation leading to exchange gains, analysts say. “Telecom, Food and Beverage and Trading sector earnings are likely to be adversely affected with the currency [...]

Ceylon Tea Brokers reports loss but confident of the future

The Ceylon Tea Brokers Ltd, the only tea broker listed on the stock exchange, has reported a post-tax profit drop to Rs 39.8 million in the 2012-13 financial year, down from Rs 56.7 million while quantity of tea sold rose to 29.6 million kg vs 27.4 million and the value increased to Rs. 12.4 billion [...]

Default Board transfers

The Colombo Stock Exchange has announced that 17 companies have been transferred to the Default Board with effect from 10-09-2013 due to non-submission of the 2012/2013 annual report. They are — Asia Capital, The Autodrome, Ceylon & Foreign Trades, Central Investments & Finance, C. T. Holdings, East West Properties, Huejay International Investments, PC House, People`s [...]

CIFL repayment plan – could it be bettered?

The story in the ‘Sunday Times’ of the Sri Lankan who returned home from foreign employment with his lifesavings of Rs: 5 million is heart rending. This happened as recently as June this year, a time that had been indicated by the Central Bank (CB) as a time as good as any before, for investment [...]

Depositors of former CIRL finance company plead for justice

The Deposit Protection Society of The Standard Credit Finance Ltd (formerly CIRL) has written to Central Bank (CB) Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal seeking a meeting to discuss the crisis pertaining to the institution after failing to meet the Governor at a scheduled meeting. In a letter to the Governor, the association said: “At the outset [...]

Mobitel introduces Nokia 105 ultra low cost handset to SL

Mobitel has introduced the Nokia 105 “Ultra Low Cost Handset” mobile phone to Sri Lanka, according to a statement issued by the locally-based celco. Priced at Rs. 2,990, the Nokia 105 offers an “easy to use interface and [battery standby time] that lasts up to [35 days]. Key features include a dust proof key mat [...]

Global tea producers meet in London

Global tea producers meet in London

The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) and IDH – The Sustainable Trade Initiative hosted TEAM UP 2013 in London, bringing together over 100 delegates from across the tea supply chain to discuss the next level in tea sustainability. The event, which welcomed professionals from producing regions, tea companies, retailers, and key NGOs and development organisations, provided [...]

Seminar discusses neoliberalism, militarisation, development and alternatives

At a recent Colombo seminar on the ‘Hartal’ of 1953 and its legacy there was engaging debate and discussion on several themes relevant to the political economy of post-war Sri Lanka, according to the Collective for Economic Democratisation (CED). The discussion addressed alternative forms of political engagement, including the importance of environmental issues and the [...]

Esys obtains temporary order against ex employee

eSys Technologies Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a computer hardware distributor, has obtained a temporary order in the Civil Appellate Court of Colombo against an ex employee restraining him from serving or joining a competitor. The defendant, H.L.M Nasser, a top executive of eSys Technologies, was privy to the highly confidential business strategies and customer profiles of [...]

Lanka’s North records highest GDP growth in 2012, CB says

While the Western province, which includes Colombo and Gampaha provided the highest contribution to GDP last year, its share in overall growth declined to 43.4 per cent from 44.2 per cent in 2011 while the higher rise in growth was seen from the North. This is revealed in the latest figures of regional growth released [...]

Cinnamon Grand’s Nuga Gama Certified as Asia’s first Carbon Neutral® Venue

Cinnamon Grand’s Nuga Gama Certified as Asia’s first Carbon Neutral® Venue

The Cinnamon Grand’s Nuga Gama, the restaurant that brought the concept of the Sri Lankan rural village right into the heart of the city, has been certified as Asia’s very first CarbonNeutral® venue. This ‘Village in the City’, which has from its inception in 2009 striven to imbue an eco-friendly milieu into its overarching concept, [...]

SL has no plans to tackle large number of students who quality for university admission but can’t find placement

Of the 232,000 students who sat the GCE (AL) Examination in 2010, 142,000 were qualified to be selected to the universities, but due to poor resources available only a mere 22,000 were admitted to the universities, according to official statistics. EDEX Expo, a creation by the Royal College Union (RCU) since 2004 has been helping [...]

NSB’s $ bond fetches $2.4 bln orders

The National Savings Bank’s (NSB) US dollar bond saw $2.4 billion orders from some 175 investors, sources close to the NSB said. They said that the NSB raised $750 million at 8.875 per cent, instead of the initial price guidance which was set at 9.25 per cent amid volatile global conditions. “We observed the order [...]

Maldives, amidst polls, to present new 5-year tourism plan later this month

The Maldives is presenting a new, 5-year tourism master plan later this month but its focus may change depending on presidential elections in which opposition candidate and former President Mohamed Nasheed is tipped to win. At the first round of elections on Saturday in which the winner must get over 50 per cent of the [...]

Sri Lanka’s footwear industry faces a threat of collapse

Sri Lanka’s footwear industry is on the verge of collapse due to a flood of imported shoes in the market as a result of duty reductions given from the 2011 budget, manufacturers complained. Local footwear manufacturers are now calling for an import duty increase through the 2013 budget, to safeguard the domestic industry. The duty [...]

50-strong group storms Serene Pavilions resort

A group of influential people had stormed Serene Pavilions at Wadduwa near Panadura on Wednesday morning and forcibly tried to take over the luxury boutique hotel, eyewitnesses said. This had happened when director-shareholders, Sumith Guruge and Jit Warnakulasuriya had arrived at the hotel at about 11 a.m. with a 50-strong entourage which included powerful businessman [...]

Elders and defaulted bank loans – Some striking similarities

It is interesting to note that there are striking similarities and parallels between how elders and defaulted bank loans are created and treated. No malice is intended. For the banks, an advance (loans) is the staple. Like the excessive intake of starch, also causing diabetes, some banks are beyond the pale of even the advanced [...]

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