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Peace and calm replaced by impunity, lawlessness, BT-RCB poll reveals

Peace and calm replaced by impunity, lawlessness, BT-RCB poll reveals

Most of the Sri Lankans who took part in an opinion poll this week on the 5th anniversary-end of the conflict, say that while the end of the war has ensured peace and calm a new culture of violence, lawlessness and impunity is undermining that ‘very’ peace. “People have no faith in the police, and [...]

ST Biz Club discusses ‘new India’ equation

Senior Minister Tissa Vitharane will join a panel discussion on Thursday organised by the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) to assess the impact on Sri Lanka arising out of a new BJP Government in India. Other panellists are Opposition MP Eran Wickramaratne and Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Suresh Shah who will express their views [...]

Food vs Forests: Challenges for Sri Lanka

Forests are indiscriminately destroyed; land is cleared in the name of development but ostensibly for other purposes; Sri Lanka’s food import bill is rising. According to official statistics, the country’s forest cover fell to 29.7 per cent of total land area in 2010 from 36.4 per cent in 1990. The debate between clearing land for [...]

Touchwood depositors get tough with Maloneys

A group of Touchwood investors filed complaints with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Friday, also aimed at obtaining an international warrant against the company former owners, the Maloneys. The Touchwood Stakeholders Association (TSA) Co-ordinator lawyer Lakshan Dias told the Business Times that they had filed 12 complaints with the CID against Roscoe and Swarna [...]

Compulsory new licence for passenger transport drivers from August

Passenger transport drivers in Sri Lanka will be compelled to re-apply for a fresh driving licence in August under new rules for regular passenger transport vehicles. This applies only to drivers in private and state-run buses, and staff and school van drivers. It doesn’t apply to other passenger vehicles like hiring vans or tourist buses. [...]

Lanka Clear innovates for cashless transactions and real time fund transfers

Lanka Clear innovates for cashless  transactions and real time fund transfers

Lanka Clear is aiming at ensuring the Sri Lankan society takes to card payment in the future and real time transactions through banks and other financial institutions by September 30. The project to ensure a cashless society would have its infrastructure in place by May next year. The September 30 deadline set by the Central [...]

Fact: Discrimination against females comes from both males and females

Like in a marriage, careers are first and foremost a commitment. We all know that careers and jobs are different. Jobs can be temporary but careers are ideally more or less for life. This article on women in leadership is based on a series of interviews on the experiences of females who follow a career [...]

“Rapid increase in FDI flows in recent years”

Dr. Mohamed Z. M. Aazim’s response to my recent economic analysis of May 4th under the title “Rapid inrease in FDI flows in recent years ” has given me another opportunity to dispel inaccurate, if not erroneous, views on the Sri Lankan economy. Readers may be reminded that my Sunday Times column of May 4th [...]

Mobitel to add 1,800 base stations

Sri Lanka’s Mobitel will be adding 1,800 new base stations island-wide to its network as part of its current stage of expansion, from its 3,500 present, with the ultimate goal being 100 per cent population coverage. Highlighting this and other points as part of its commemoration of this year’s International Telecommunications and Information Society Day, [...]

Commercial Bank posts Q1 pre-tax profit of Rs. 3.3 bln

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC said last week that it has “made a measured start to 2014 despite excess liquidity, lower demand for credit and thinning margins”. In a media statement, the bank reported operating profit before VAT and NBT of Rs 3.897 billion for the three months ended 31st March 2014, reflecting growth [...]

Sadaharitha urges housewives to grow Agarwood and earn income

Sadaharitha Plantations Ltd is offering housewives a novel way in which to engage in productive income generating opportunities through Agarwood cultivation, a media release issued by the company stated. Agarwood is one of the world’s most expensive wood with growing demand from the Middle Eastern and European countries. The company’s latest venture is promoting Agarwood [...]

Does Sri Lanka need micro finance?

There are few key fundamental elements one should ensure in best practice micro finance aimed at poverty reduction. They are collateral-free credit, credit-plus services like enterprise development and motivation training, and affordable interest rates for loans whilst ensuring sustainability of the agency. Amongst the key decision makers in the government, both political and bureaucratic, there [...]

Chase Technologies to promote renewable energy use in Sri Lanka

Chase Technologies to promote renewable energy use in Sri Lanka

Chatham House (Pvt) Ltd (CHL) and Automotive and Solar Environmental Technology Trading Company (ASET), two pioneers in their trade, have entered into a joint agreement branded as CHASE Technologies to promote renewable energy solutions in Sri Lanka. CHL said in a media release that it has secured major government infrastructure development projects in Sri Lanka [...]

Hayleys records PBT of Rs. 5.1 bln in 2013/14

Sri Lanka’s Hayleys Group has posted Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 5.1 billion in FY 2013/14 that was attributed to the organisation’s “strong bottom line” in the diversified entity. In a filing to the Colombo Stock Exchange this week, the blue chip conglomerate reported a revenue growth of 8 per cent from the previous [...]

INWARD BOUND: Mindfulness as an Executive Capability

INWARD BOUND: Mindfulness as an Executive Capability

(Author – Deepal Sooriyaarachchi. Published by Olympia Publishers, London and available only at Sarasavi bookshops in Sri Lanka). Reviewed by Rohan Wijesingha Nilambe in Galaha, on the crest of the range of that name, that connect the hills of Kandy to those of Nuwara Eliya, where the only sound that intrudes on the sighing of [...]

Travelport Smartpoint now available in Sri Lanka

Consumer trends in Sri Lanka signal that travellers are open to a greater degree of self-indulgence, willing to pay additional amounts for higher service levels, according to ITQ Lanka, the local partner for global travel distribution service Travelport. Further, the ITQ’s local unit also noted that “customers make impulsive decisions at the point of purchase, [...]

Praise for the President, criticism on corruption and economic issues

Economic issues and corruption have taken over the focus of many Sri Lankans, polled in an opinion survey on the war, who believe that the country is yet to reach absolute peace. An analysis of the results of joint poll by the Business Times (BT) and the Research and Consultancy Bureau (RCB) on the 5th [...]

National Unity Act equating all Lankan citizens urged in BT poll

National Unity Act equating all  Lankan citizens urged in BT poll

Promulgating a ‘National Unity Act’ and working toward a Sri Lankan identity were some of the suggestions received during a Business Times (BT) opinion poll this week on ways of commemorating the end of the war. The email poll was held to mark the 5th anniversary of the end of the war in May 2009, [...]

Informatics to set up Avid training centre in SL

Audio Visual production technology developer Avid has plans to operate a training and certification centre in Sri Lanka. The centre will be set up in cooperation with Avid’s 20-year local partner Informatics, according to the latter’s Group Managing Diretor Hiran Wickramasinghe, quoted in a recent statement. The same statement also highlighted the view of Varghese [...]

Sri Lankan police to tighten security at banks, financial institutions

Inspector General of Police N. K. Illangakoon has ordered police stations across Sri Lanka to closely liaise with banks, financial institutions and other business enterprises in their areas to review and ensure security measures are in place, a top chamber said on Monday. This direction has been sent, consequent to a meeting organised by the [...]

Textured Jersey posts Rs.1.2 bln profit for FY 2013/14

Textured Jersey Lanka PLC (TJL) reported a strong 14 per cent year-on-year growth in net profit to Rs. 1.2 billion for the year ended 31st March 2014, supported by growth in turnover. The company’s strong cash position has allowed TJL to maintain its trend of very generous dividend pay-outs with Rs. 0.80 per share being [...]

‘Record’ 2014 revenue for Virtusa

US-headquartered IT company Virtusa recently released its consolidated results for full year fiscal 2014, reporting a “record” revenue of US$ 396.9 million, for the 12 months to end-March 2014, up 19 per cent year-on-year over last year’s $333.2 million. The company also estimated 2015 fiscal year revenue in the range of $468 million to $486 [...]

Watawala profits dip to Rs.434 million for FY14

Watawala Plantations PLC reported revenue of Rs.6.2 billion for the year ended 31 March 2014 (FY14), up 14.9 per cent YoY. Net profit declined to Rs.434 million for FY14, from RS.725 million recorded in the previous year, the company stated in a media reease. The overall decline in YoY PAT is mainly attributed to the [...]

Sri Lankan motor traders worry over Customs valuation of imported vehicles

Sri Lankan motor traders have urged the Treasury to direct the Department of Customs to ensure valuation of imported vehicles in a transparent manner when calculating duty and taxes on vehicle imports. According to Finance Ministry guidelines issued recently, the customs authorities have been empowered to make the valuation of the imported vehicle without considering [...]

Sri Lanka’s road traffic signs to get a facelift

Sri Lanka’s road traffic signs are to get a facelift with the introduction of new road traffic regulations by a gazette notification – all aimed at transforming the country’s road network including express highways, a top official of the Motor Traffic Department (DMT) said. Under this initiative, over 100 new road traffic signs will be [...]

Sri Lankan Land Rover owners to get off-road safari experiences

Sri Lankan Land Rover owners to get off-road safari experiences

Sri Lankan Land Rover owners are to get an opportunity to explore some of the wildlife destinations in the country through professional and authentic off-road safari experiences planned by Frontier Automotive, the sole representative for Land Rover in Si Lanka in collaboration with Cinnamon Nature Trails, the wildlife and adventure tourism division of Cinnamon Hotels [...]

DIMO opens doors for young Lankan women to pursue automobile training

Diesel and Motor Engineering (DIMO) Plc is opening its doors for Sri Lankan young women to pursue automobile training at DIMO Automobile Training Schools (DATS) in Colombo and Jaffna, a top official of the company revealed. Ranjith Pandithage, Chairman and Managing Director of DIMO told the Business Times that this decision has been taken to [...]

Land Rover Defender sales gain momentum in Sri Lanka

Despite the slowdown in automobile sales growth due to heavy taxes, the sale of Land Rover Defenders in Sri Lanka has gained momentum during the past few years, Sheran Fernando, Managing Director, SML Frontier Automotive, sole representative for Land Rover, revealed. Mr. Fernando told the Business Times that the average sales per year are around [...]

AMW to market Nissan petrol SUV in Sri Lanka

AMW to market Nissan petrol SUV in Sri Lanka

Associated Motorways (Pvt) Ltd (AMW) is to market the luxury, new Nissan Patrol Y62 in Sri Lanka soon. The vehicle dubbed the “ultimate luxury Sport Utility Vehicle” (SUV) first appeared at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Motor Show, and has since then been the popular choice in off-road regions like the Middle East and the outback [...]

Mobitel unit launches Ultrasonic Fuel Sensor in Sri Lanka

Mobitel Business Solutions, a unit of Mobitel Pvt Ltd under its ‘mAutomotive’ initiative, is launching the Ultrasonic Fuel Sensor, a state-of-the-art technology that is expected to revolutionize the monitoring mechanism for fuel consumption of vehicles in the most reliable and efficient manner for the first time in Sri Lanka. “The Ultrasonic type fuel sensor uses [...]

Taj renovation results in Rs.530 m loss in FY 2013/14

Taj Hotels has reported a loss of Rs.530 million for the year ending March 31, 2014 compared to profits amounting to Rs.221 million last year, unaudited accounts released by the hotel management stated in a stock exchange filing. It was noted that the operating loss was at Rs.433.7 million compared to the profits of Rs.286.2 [...]

Lanka Hydraulic Institute Ltd designs harbour in Algeria

Lanka Hydraulic Institute Ltd (LHI) a leading Sri Lankan engineering consultancy firm in the Asian region in the fields of coastal, water resources and urban water engineering, successfully finalised the design of a commercial fisheries harbour at Messid, in Algeria. This project comes immediately after completion of a similar design of a commercial port facility [...]

Kandy’s Theva Residency awarded 2014 TripAdvisor certificate of excellence

The Theva Residency Hotel – Kandy has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award, a media release issued by the hotel stated. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excllence are [...]

Logistics International commissions Container Handling Equipment with Kalmar

Logistics International Ltd (LIL) recently automated its container depot with a brand new Double Container Handler, making it the only facility in Colombo with such technology. “The commissioning of this brand new Kalmar double stacker solution DCF100-45E6 enables LIL to increase the productivity of their container depot in Welisara,” the company said in a statement. [...]

SLT Wi-Fi “hotspots” for the first time in Sri Lanka

SLT Wi-Fi “hotspots” for the first time in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has announced the introduction of cutting-edge “carrier-grade” public Wi-Fi technology in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankans will be able to experience the next evolution in wireless broadband connectivity in the very near future, as SLT xpands Sri Lanka’s first carrier-grade Wi-Fi network, the telecom firm said on Thursday. The official ceremony in [...]

CA Sri Lanka members told to be alert against ‘forced’ mergers

The Institute of Chartered Accountants (CA Sri Lanka) has been ‘alerted’ by a prominent governance specialist to the ongoing financial sector reforms where ‘coerced mergers and acquisitions’ are taking place. In a letter to CA Sri Lanka President Arjuna Herath, Nihal Sri Ameresekere, corruption-buster and veteran governance advocate, has ‘cautioned’ the institute of the “coerced’ [...]

Sampath Bank partners with SLPA to expedite port related payments

Sampath Bank has partnered with Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to expedite port related landing and delivery payments and deliver a hassle-free facility to exporters and importers in Sri Lanka. “This is the first time this landing and delivery payment facility is being made available to private commercial banks in Sri Lanka and Sampath Bank [...]

NDB’s Vajira Kulatilaka adjudged ‘Best Investment Banking CEO’

NDB’s Vajira Kulatilaka adjudged ‘Best Investment Banking CEO’

Vajira Kulatilaka from the National Development Bank (NDB) Group has been adjudged the ‘Best Investment Banking CEO Sri Lanka 2014’ by Global Banking and Finance Review, in recognition of his contribution to the investment banking arena of Sri Lanka. In a media release, the NDB said this is the first time an investment banking CEO [...]

Macksons setting up 100-room service apartment complex in Colombo

Macksons setting up 100-room service apartment complex in Colombo

Macksons Properties (Pvt) Ltd, the newest business venture of Macksons Holdings, is setting up a 100-room luxury service apartment project in the heart of capital (Colombo 3). An agreement for this purpose was signed with the Board of Investment (BOI) last week with the total investment of this project being Rs. 412 million, according to [...]

Reducing finance interest

On 15th May, with one stroke of the pen, the Central Bank (CB) cut the interest rates on fixed deposits in banks and finance companies. All finance companies reduced the interest to a single digit. The National Savings Bank (NSB) too reduced its rates immediately from 11 per cent to 7.75 per cent. That means [...]

2 SL teens win Grand Awards at Intel ISEF

Two Sri Lankan teenagers recently brought back Grand Awards from the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2014, held in Los Angeles, USA. Receiving awards were the “Versatile Field Construction Machine for Paddy Cultivation”, by Namal Udara Pyasiri, and the “Artificial Intelligence Sense for the Blind to Play Video Games using Their Tongue”, by Nipun [...]

New credit guarantee scheme on pawning advances: CB

The Monetary Board of the Central Bank (CB) has granted approval for a new credit guarantee scheme on pawning advances on behalf of the government. The decision was taken at the board’s meeting on Monday ‘in order to counter the effect of the continued decline in pawning advances on productive sectors of the economy’, the [...]

SLASSCOM to hold briefing on increasing workforce diversity

Private sector IT-BPO body SLASSCOM will, on Wednesday morning, host its CXO Breakfast Briefing on “Increasing Diversity and Inclusiveness in the Contemporary Workforce” at the Cinnamon Lakeside. The event features keynote speaker Dr. Astrid Tuminez, Micosoft’s Regional Director for Legal and Corporate Affairs for South East Asia. Most recently the author of “Rising to the [...]

Alumex leads the field

Sri Lanka’s Alumex Group, involved in the construction field, says it performed exceptionally well in the financial year ending 31st March 2014, with revenue growing by 13 per cent to reach Rs. 2.8 billion. Profit before tax of the group was Rs. 464 million, up 23 per cent from the earlier year while post-tax profit [...]

Prof. Liyanage appointed to Singer Board

Prof. Uditha Liyanage has been appointed to the Board of Singer (Sri Lanka) Plc as an Independent Non-Executive Director, filling the vacancy created by the demise of director G.C.B. Wijeyesinghe. Prof. Liyanage holds the position of Professor of Management Postgraduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura and Adjunct Professor of Management of University of [...]

’10 point Action Plan’ to boost Intellectual Property benefits in Sri Lanka

A ’10 Point Action Plan’, between the Government of Sri Lanka and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that would benefit a cross section of sectors dealing with intellectual property in the country has become operational, according to SriLanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha. Mr. Aryasinha made this observation when [...]

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