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Sri Lanka fares well at Fairtrade awards

Sri Lanka fares well at Fairtrade awards

Sri Lankan individuals and companies swept the board at the first-ever Fairtrade awards organised by Fairtrade International held last month. Pioneer Sri Lankan fair-trade entrepreneur Sarath Ranaweera was conferred the title of “Fairest Fairtrader” while the Marginalised Organic Producers Association (MOPA) in Sri Lanka won in the category “Small Producer Organization – Asia” and the [...]

Confusion over UAE contracts for domestic workers

Absolute confusion reigned in Sri Lanka last week in the sector dealing with migrant workers after United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities introduced a new ‘unified’ contract for domestic workers, officials said. The new contract, effective since June, is an agreement between the employer (sponsor) and the worker and doesn’t need the authentication of the embassies [...]

Shipping industry protests over increased port levy

Sri Lanka’s shipping industry is up in arms against recent developments over the upper limit issued for delivery charges at the port of Rs. 6,000, protests against which have fallen so far on deaf ears of the Director General of Merchant Shipping (DGMS). The industry says this unfair upper limit imposed on the shipping companies [...]

Asian travel bloggers meet in Colombo

Asia’s first-ever international Travel Bloggers Conference will be held in Colombo in November hosted by the Cinnamon Hotels group and the Professional Travel Bloggers Association (PTBA), local officials said. Titled “Cinnamon TBC Asia (Cinnamon Travel Bloggers Conference Asia)” it will be held on November 14-18 with more details to be presented to the media tomorrow.The [...]

Krrish group faces stay or depart directive

Krrish group faces a stay or depart directive issued by the government that allows them time till September – a final deadline – to pay the Colombo Fort Transwork square balance land lease payment, Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told journalists in Colombo on Thursday. The company had been given time till July 15, [...]

Heads roll at IRD in shake-up after failure to meet revenue targets

With the tax collection targets gone awry by Rs.44 billion in the first five months this year, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has been directed towards a major management and administration re-structuring process making changes in tax collection divsions and rolling some heads. These changes in the higher administration structure come a few months or [...]

Current development model all about greed and making money, says India’s top philosopher

Current development model all about greed  and making money, says India’s top philosopher

A new model of global development has been called for by an internationally-reputed philosopher and thinker, who says she strongly believes that the current concept of development is measured by ‘the art of money making’. Vandana Shiva, Indian philosopher and thinker, environmental and civil society activist, told an audience in Colombo on Monday that the [...]

Seeds, greed and TNCs

The debate over multinationals taking over the businesses of countries at the lower end of the wealth table using the power of money and politics has now (in the Sri Lankan context) swung to the very essence of the survival of mankind. According to civil society and farmer activists, multinationals or transnational corporations (TNCs as [...]

Justice delayed in condo issues

Justice delayed in condo issues

“Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied”. So what? Seems to be the attitude of all the guardian angels of law. This includes all the Courts of law and other law enforcing authorities like the Consumer Affairs Authority, Condominium Management Authority (CMA), Colombo Municipal Council, Urban Development Authority and the like, who are supposed to dispense justice [...]

Marina Lanka featured at World Marinas Conference in Istanbul

Marina Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., – a Sri Lankan company servicing the yachting industry – was featured at the World Marinas Conference (WMC) held in Istanbul, recently. One of Marina Lanka’s projects was featured in prime position by Arrol Ltd., – the world’s No.1 independent marina consultancy firm – which had the largest exhibition at the [...]

LAHES launches ‘Leadership Development’ programme for plantation sector

LAHES, the corporate campus and education arm of diversified business conglomerate LAUGFS Holdings, is to launch, what it calls ‘a unique programme addressing the development needs in the plantation sector’. This programme is titled ‘LAHES Executive Diploma for Leadership in Agri Business’, according to a company media release. It said the plantation sector, the highest [...]

Depression and workplace counselling

Depression and workplace counselling

Depression is not something to be ashamed of. The more we deny it the more we stereotype is as a ‘nervous breakdown’ that is unacceptable. The stigma has cost the peace of mind and the future of many functional individuals and their families. This almost dehumanises these same persons whose depression is exacerbated by the [...]

Ranjith Rubasinghe appointed CEO of Mobitel

Ranjith Rubasinghe  appointed CEO of Mobitel

Ranjith G. Rubasinghe, a senior officer at Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of SLT Mobitel with effect from June 27, the company announced this week. Mr. Rubasinghe brings with him a wealth of experience in the fields of telecommunications and IT in several national and multinational organisations, including [...]

AB Securitas takes part in INCO Industrial Exhibition 2014

The INCO Premier Industrial Exhibition and Trade Fair 2014 was held during June 27 to 29 at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike International Exhibition centre. In a media release, AB Securitas (Pvt) Ltd said it took part in this exhibition with its wide range of Electronic Security Products such as CCTV surveillance, Burglar Alarm Systems; Central Monitoring [...]

Cargills officially opens banking sector, seeking to acquire another bank or leasing company

Cargills officially opens banking sector, seeking to acquire another bank or leasing company

Cargills, the consumer marketing giant, has diversified into banking and this week officially opened the Cargills Bank head office in Colombo. After the ceremonial opening of this bank, Harris Premaratne, MD/CEO, Cargills Bank responding to a query from the Business Times said the bank fitted (well) into the consolidation process of the country’s financial institutions. [...]

Cinnamon Air completes first year of scheduled domestic air services

Cinnamon Air completes first year of scheduled domestic air services

Cinnamon Air, Sri Lanka’s premier domestic airline this week completed one year of scheduled passenger operations. The airline, operating in code-share with SriLankan Airlines, conducted its first scheduled domestic flight between the Bandaranaike International Airport and Koggala Lagoon on 1st July 2013 and has grown significantly since then. In a statement Cinnamon Air said over [...]

ME group offers comprehensive travel insurance policy

The Orient Group of Companies headquartered in United Arab Emirates (UAE) which was started in 1930s and now grown to one of the largest regional conglomerate in the region with a workforce of 60,000 employees, have been in Sri Lanka since 2009 in a strog association with the Associated Motorways Ltd (AMW) through a huge [...]

ADB Chief concurs that Sri Lanka could become the “Miracle of Asia”, says Treasury head

Asian Development Board (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao, who visited Sri Lanka two weeks back, was so impressed with Sri Lanka that he believed the country would be the ‘Miracle of Asia”. According to Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera, the ADB President sent him a personal note (after the visit) indicating that, “Here is a country that [...]

Triumph’s ‘nude lingerie’ range

Triumph’s ‘nude  lingerie’ range

Global apparel designer Triumph recently announced its range of what it calls “nude” lingerie. “When a woman is comfortable with her lingerie, when it enhances her curves, and yet remains invisible to prying eyes, then what is underneath can make her feel like she can conquer the world. After all, every woman desires inner wear [...]

Jayawickrama appointed new Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels

Jayawickrama appointed new Managing Director  of Aitken Spence Hotels

Aitken Spence Group on Monday announced the appointment of Susith Jayawickrama as the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels Managements (Pvt) Ltd with effect from July 1. He takes over from Malin Hapugoda who served in this position for many years. Company sources said Mr. Hapugoda would be retained as a board director and serve [...]

Dialog presents next evolution of Donor Management System to Blood Bank

Dialog Axiata PLC presented upgrades of its award-winning ‘SMS-Blood’ platform to the Health Ministry under the auspices of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. The upgrades include enhanced donor management and blood stock management systems for the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) in Colombo. The new version will also connect the Head Office with 18 regional Blood [...]

Chinese tourist arrivals soar in Jan-June, beats traditional markets, UK and Germany

Chinese tourist arrivals soar in Jan-June, beats traditional markets, UK and Germany

Chinese tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka are rising to never-before levels and last month broke two records, beating once top markets – the UK and Germany in sheer numbers. Statistics released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority for end June 2014 showed that while Indian arrivals were the highest at 114,238, up 23.6 per [...]

Philips launches DJ headphones and sound bars

Philips launched in Colombo its latest product range for headphones and sound bars through a wide range of price in line with quality and innovation. During the launch Philips unveiled the WOOX Innovations offering consumers the opportunity to enjoy its Philips Fidelio headphone and Fidelio sound bar range. The Fidelio headphone range is made with [...]

Seylan Bank launches Sri Lanka’s first multi-currency ‘Travel Card’

Seylan Bank launches Sri Lanka’s first multi-currency ‘Travel Card’

Seylan Bank this week launched its multi-currency Travel Card, the first ever in Sri Lanka, offering currencies like US dollars, Sterling Pounds, Euros, Saudi Arabian Riyals and Australian dollars that could henceforth be obtained from a machine. The chip-enabled Seylan Travel Card allows users the convenience of simultaneous access to all five currencies at the [...]

“Massacre of the Innocents (Senior Citizens)”

The recent ridiculous reduction of interest rates has come as a shock to all senior citizens. This is more particularly felt with the rising cost of living. However, it appears not to be felt by those responsible who introduce such schemes, for they wine and dine at posh hotels and the use of helicopter transport [...]

CTC, Nestlé Lanka and Unilever Sri Lanka launch WICE to promote women as future leaders

CTC, Nestlé Lanka and Unilever Sri Lanka launch WICE to promote women as future leaders

Multinationals Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC), Nestlé Lanka and Unilever Sri Lanka recently launched WICE (Women-Inspire-Connect-Empower) to promote the interests and rights of women as future leaders of their organizations. A joint media release by the organizations said Sri Lanka is currently ranked 55th among 136 countries across the world in terms of gender gap, down [...]

Reports on Touchwood

With reference to last week’s report headlined “Touchwood: A case of deception and confusion”, Channa Abeygunawardene has written in to say that he was appointed the CEO of the company in February 2010 and not 2004, as reported. The CEO between 2004 and 2010 was Asitha Koralage, he said in the letter. The error is [...]

COPE urged to re-open probe into SLIC major frauds

Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) employees are urging the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) to re-open the probe into corrupt practices and irregularities of the state-owned insurer during 2009-2010 as there was no conclusion still on these matters raised before the committee three years ago, President of the SLIC Employees Union R.S. Nandalal told [...]

Inflation drops further in June

Inflation, as measured by the change in the Colombo Consumers’ Price Index (CCPI) (2006/07=100), fell to 2.8 per cent in June 2014, on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, from 3.2 per cent in the previous month. “It is noteworthy to mention that inflation continues to remain at single digit levels for the 65th consecutive month in [...]

Sri Lanka steps up efforts to combat cyber warfare in the banking arena

Sri Lanka is stepping up security efforts to effectively handle and protect the banking financial sector information from the growing threat of computer hacking and cyber crimes which could paralyse the country’s economy. A pragmatic initiative has been made to establish a centralised body to coordinate cyber security measures of the banking sector spending hundreds [...]

Global Shapers hub under the World Economic Forum in Kandy

The Kandy Global Shapers Hub was recently established and the inaugural meeting was held with the participation of the founding Curator of the Colombo Hub Asanga Abeyagoonasekera with the founder members of the Kandy Hub, Prof. Daya Amarasekara, Thusitha Nimalsiri (Deputy Curator), Dakshitha Choliya Bandara, Darshani Chandrasekara, Chamod Dharmadasa, Udara Amarathunga and Pradeepa Anthony. This [...]

Venture Engine 2014 sees many of the finalists with funding options

The 2014 edition of start-up funding competition Venture Engine concluded this week, with several of the 14 finalists receiving funding commitments from a pool of 300 potential investors comprising the Lankan and Indian Angel Networks, which partnered this competition. According to a recent statement, the finalists comprised “AirDrops, a socially-active premium drinking water extraction company; [...]

Avian launches Kaspersky 2015 AV products, says it is ‘unmatched’

Avian launches Kaspersky 2015 AV products, says it is ‘unmatched’

Local company Avian Technologies recently launched the latest, 2015 edition of Kaspersky Lab’s home user product portfolio in Sri Lanka, Anti-Virus 2015 and Internet Security 2015. Further, according to the launch announcement, the new products also feature a number of improvements over previous editions, including “Safe Money Technology; Wireless Network connection security verification; Intelligent service [...]

Mobitel hosts 3,000-person Google I/O Extended in SL

Mobitel hosts 3,000-person Google I/O Extended in SL

Sri Lanka’s Mobitel recently hosted its second Google I/O Extended event, featuring the participation of an audience of 3,000 made up of IT industry leaders and professionals, developers, university students, etc. This was in comparison to last year’s conference, which witnessed about 1,000 attendees. According to a statement by the local celco, the event included [...]

ASUS adds Transformer T100, priced at Rs. 64,500

Taiwanese computer maker ASUS recently added two devices to its Sri Lankan product portfolio, the Transformer Book T100 and the Zenbook UX302 ultra book. Speaking during the local introduction of these two products, Rajeev Chaudhari, ASUS India’s Country Product Manager for Sri Lanka, indicated that the Transformer Book T100 would be priced at Rs. 64,500, [...] launches largest online store (Pvt) Ltd this week launched Sri Lanka’s largest online store using the latest innovative Internet Payment Gateway(IPG) solution provided to Commercial Bank by Paycorp International. is a popular online portal which specialises in online promotions. will be a fully-fledged Internet shopping mall which will feature electronic appliances, building materials, and many [...]

The role of ethical hacking in changing the threat landscape

The role of ethical hacking in changing the threat landscape

Security breaches can be costly and yet are difficult to quantify or to predict. IT security is often a hard cost to justify, particularly for those outside the IT industry, who perhaps aren’t aware of the risks and the consequences of poor security practices and how easy it is for an attacker to breach poorly [...]

Sri Lanka prepares National R and D Investment plan to avoid middle income trap

With an ambitious aim of avoiding middle income trap, brain drain, a wide income gap between the rich and poor and the balance of payment crisis, the Ministry of Technology and Research has prepared a National Research and Development (R&D) Investment plan to foster scientific innovation and support the Sri Lankan economy and moves into [...]

Sri Lanka-Malaysia Business Council to encourage more JVs

The Sri Lanka – Malaysia Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is focusing on encouraging more joint ventures to take place between Sri Lankan and Malaysian firms, the council has said. Ms. Nilrukshi De Silva, who was re-elected as the President of the SLMBC for a second successive year, during the Council’s AGM [...]

SLCPI appoints new committee for 2014

SLCPI appoints new committee for 2014

Maithripala Sirisena, Minister of Health was the Chief Guest and Rumy Marzook, Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), was the Guest of Honour at the recently concluded Annual General Meeting and Lifetime Awards Ceremony of the Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical  Industry. Seen in the picture from left are Pradeep Edward–Hon. Secretary-SLCPI; Sanjeewa [...]

Sri Lanka should brand its handlooms in niche market segment, says British expert

Sri Lanka should brand its handlooms in niche market segment, says British expert

Sri Lanka needs to strengthen its design and promotion capacities and ensure that its handloom designs continue to have that special identity, an international design expert has said. “Sri Lanka has been known for its handloom textiles. Rather than moving into fast fashion handloom cycles, Sri Lanka can elevate its special handlooms brand by building [...]

Vidullanka commissions 4mw Lower Kothmale Oya mini hydro power project

Vidullanka PLC, one of the pioneers in the Sri Lanka mini hydro power industry, commissioned its seventh mini hydro power project (MHPP) in Kothmale, Nuwara Eliya last week. The Lower Kothmale Oya MHPP is a “Run of the River” type mini hydro power project which does not require the erection of a dam and storing [...]

Assetline to acquire Lisvin Investments; TKS to acquire Asian Finance

The Monetary Board of the Central Bank (CB) has given formal approval to Assetline Leasing Company Ltd to acquire Lisvin Investments Ltd and TKS Finance Ltd to acquire Asian Finance Ltd under the ongoing consolidation process of financial institutions.In an updating of this process, the CB said the consolidation process had made progress as planned, [...]

Adam Investments prepares for a takeover of PCH Holdings, PC Pharma

In an effort to take control, Adam Investments made a mandatory offer for PCH Holdings PLC and PC Pharma PLC on Thursday after increasing its stake in the two stocks at 42.96 per cent and 31.15 per cent, respectively. PC House has been involved in a number of increased transactions lately on the Colombo Stock [...]

Sri Lanka’s economic success shared in Mongolia in IMF-supported event

Sri Lanka’s economic success shared in Mongolia in IMF-supported event

Sri Lanka’s recent experiences in macroeconomic management were highlighted at the Conference for High-Level Officials on the Macroeconomic Outlook for Mongolia, held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on June 25. The event was organised by the Mongolian Government and the Central Bank of Mongolia, with the assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. [...]

No change in Sri Lanka over Nokia acquisition, Microsoft says

Microsoft’s recently revealed planned phase-out of the iconic Nokia brand, for which it currently holds the right of use, will not have an immediate impact for Sri Lankan consumers, according to Poojitha Rajapakse, Director OEM at Microsoft Sri Lanka.Speaking to the Business Times on the sidelines of the launch of two computer products locally, Mr. [...]

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