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Tea prepared the old fashioned way

Tea prepared the old fashioned way

Ponnaiah Mahalingam 73 years old now, born in Jaffna, started a tea shop business opposite the Batticaloa railway station in 1966. He returned to Jaffna and established a tea shop in 1973. Looking at his old copper boiler as he prepares the tea, Mr. Mahalingam says copper boiler tea is tasty compared to tea prepared [...]

SL Govt. to revive CEPA amidst Indian pressure

The Sri Lankan Government, throwing caution to the winds amidst expected local industry protests, is bringing back the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to the negotiating table following Indian Premier Narendra Modi’s ‘gentle persuasion’. Highly-placed official sources said a high powered bilateral committee will be set up to prepare a new draft framework for the [...]

Sri Lanka and China FTA go ahead to re-balance ties with Beijing

Sri Lanka and China, despite tensions over the Colombo Port City, will proceed with the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) aimed at strengthening economic and trade ties in both countries, top officials of both countries revealed. President Maithripala Sirisena is due to visit Beijing next week and the FTA and the Colombo Port City project [...]

Circular after circular on 15% issue to senior citizens

Commercial banks have been instructed to accept deposits of up to Rs.1 million at 15 per cent interest from senior citizens over 60 years with no other limitations on periods, the Sri Lanka Banks Association said in a public notice this week. The latest information provides more clarity on the confusion over the 15 per [...]

SEC halts UDA debenture, calls for audited accounts

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has halted the Urban Development Authority’s (UDA) Rs. 10 billion debenture issue and called for its audited accounts of 2012 and 2013, officials said. The state entity was gearing to launch the bond for low-cost housing before last year end, but owing to the political changes it was put [...]

Aloysius family exits JV with Browns

Four days after the controversial Treasury bond issue on February 27, the Aloysius family exited from its joint venture with the Browns Group. On March 3, the Aloysius family company Perpetual Holdings Ltd (part of Perpetual Capital) sold its 50 per cent stake in FLC Joint Venture Company (Pvt) Ltd to Brown Investments PLC, bringing [...]

Parliamentary probe on stock market ‘pump and dump’

Slow and steady wins the race. That appears to be the formula, with fresh winds blowing, at Sri Lanka’s watchdog stock market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Slow, it seems, is the way it is progressing in investigations that were shelved by the former administration. To add to the woes, still around at [...]

Development: The costly price of keeping pace with wealthy nations

Development: The costly price of keeping pace with wealthy nations

I have often wondered about the development projects that are sold to us by the rich countries and eagerly lapped up by mainly the economists amongst us. I have posed this question to many accountants/economists but not had a satisfactory answer and am writing this in the hope that someone could shed some light. This [...]

Making good on promises to the private sector

Over the last couple of months, Sri Lankans have been presented with two budgets for the year 2015. The one in October 2014 was introduced by the previous regime in order to ‘curry favour’ with the public ahead of the presidential election of January 2015. The other came from the newly appointed government following the [...]

Sri Lanka will consider Chinese request to continue Port City work while probe continues

The government will consider a request by China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC), developers of the Colombo Port City project, to continue its work so that no part of the construction gets washed away. In the wake of the oncoming monsoons the CHECH has stated that there was a possibility the construction carried out could be [...]



Despite CB directive, 15% interest scheme in shambles The Government’s 15 per cent interest for deposits of senior citizens continues to raise serious issues due to a lack of communication between the Central Bank and commercial banks. When I went to the Commercial Bank branch at Athurugiriya on Tuesday, they said they have not received [...]

Pan Asia poised for expansion

Pan Asia poised for expansion

The Pan Asia Bank is gearing to strengthen its Return on Equity (ROE) levels in a bid to attract more investment, primarily for expansion, officials say. “Now ROE is at 10 per cent and our targeted ROE is 15-16 per cent by 3Q this year. This we feel will be an appropriate time for us [...]

Sri Lankan plantation companies suffer combined loss of Rs.2.9 bln in 2014

Nineteen Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs), troubled by plummeting tea prices, a rubber market at an all-time low and high production costs, have collectively made a staggering loss of nearly Rs. 2,850 million on rubber and tea in 2014, the Planters Asociation (PA) said this week. By the end of 2014, on average RPCs were making [...]

Ranatunga says likely to return as Cricket Board Chairman

Sri Lanka Cricket may get a boost with veteran cricketer and Ports and Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga set to announce in two weeks about taking up chairmanship at the board. The minister addressing the media on Wednesday said, “If I have time I will definitely come back as Sri Lanka Cricket Chairman,” adding that his [...]

Visakha Vidyalaya wins CA Sri Lanka’s inaugural Business Plan Competition

Visakha Vidyalaya wins CA Sri Lanka’s inaugural Business Plan Competition

Visakha Vidyalaya, one of Sri Lanka’s leading public schools, won the inaugural Business Plan Competition organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka for GCE Advanced Level students from the commerce stream 2015, recently. The first runner-up was bagged by Royal College while the second runner-up was won by Devi Balika Vidyalaya. The [...]

New leadership transformation for the first time in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan brand specialist Michel Nugawela is offering a revolutionary programme for CEOs and emerging leaders on 12 “archetypal dimensions of leadership that are able to significantly enhance and transform their executive roles”. “Through experiential and highly interactive programmes, leaders are provided with a Jungian psychological approach that focuses on the 12 archetypal dimensions of [...]

One out of every 5 households in Sri Lanka had a computer in 2014 – SL Census Dept.

At least one computer was available in 22 per cent of households last year – meaning one out of every five households in Sri Lanka has a computer, a new islandwide survey has revealed. According to survey findings released recently by the country’s Department of Census and Statistics (DCS), this percentage is about 36 per [...]

Intel Sri Lanka commends state plan to provide free Wi-Fi

Intel Sri Lanka has praised the government’s efforts to launch the ‘Free Wi-Fi’ project for the benefit of every Sri Lankan. It has been announced that 250 specific locations across the country will be provided with free Wi-Fi within the next two weeks, led by the Information and Communications Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) [...]

BBDO Lanka named ‘Agency of the Year’ at Effie Awards debut

BBDO Lanka named ‘Agency of the Year’ at Effie Awards debut

BBDO tied for “Agency of the Year” at the Effie Awards held in Colombo recently. The agency said that it also took home a Silver in the Products and Services category for Anchor Newdale and a finalist medal for CEAT Sri Lanka in the Automotive category. BBDO Lanka was nominated for all three of its [...]

World-renowned planning expert Paul Smith to visit Sri Lanka

World-renowned planning expert Paul Smith to visit Sri Lanka

Paul Smith, UK-based author of the globally accepted SOSTAC planning model and consultant to Fortune 500 companies and start ups, is conducting a workshop on “International Planning” in Sri Lanka organised by Synergy London and Colombo on March 30 at the Cinnamon Grand. Mr. Smith is also a trainer and founder of the Sportsmanship programme [...]

Chamber seminar on investment policies of new SL regime

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), with a new Government in place, is organising a seminar on March 27 at the chamber auditorium under the title of “Policies in Place?: Bring in the Investments”. The chamber said the programme is aimed at discussing the new Government’s drive towards attracting foreign investment into the country. Eran [...]

“Clash of the Titans” continues as employers battle unions over wage hike

Disagreement between Sri Lankan employers and trade unions over a wage hike as prescribed in the last budget for the public and private sectors continues with an exchange of letters between the two sides. The latest ‘missile’ was sent on Wednesday by Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC) Director General Ravi Peiris who wrote to a [...]

New truck registration policy at Colombo port

Ports and Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said on Wednesday that the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) would take action against one of its workers responsible for the strike launched by the container lorry transporters at the Colombo port and bring in a new policy for registration of these vehicles. Without mentioning the name of the [...]

SEC to rejuvenate Small Investors Association

SEC to rejuvenate Small Investors Association

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has submitted a commission paper recently at its ever commission meeting – after the advent of the new regime – to rejuvenate a proposal to start a Small Investors’ Association (SIA) which was mooted by the Business Times. Sabotage At a seminar on minority shareholder rights this week in [...]

SEC swamped with complaints over stock trades

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has received a ‘substantial’ number of complaints during the past two months pertaining to share market misconduct, SEC sources say. “We have received files full of complaints. Some are with names and some anonymous,” a source told the Business Times. She said these complaints range from manipulation, insider dreading, [...]

Ranil slams stock market mafia

Ranil slams stock market mafia

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday slammed corrupt sections of Sri Lanka’s private sector to the extent of naming businessmen like Dilith Jayaweera and Nimal Perera. “There are a number of allegations of violations of the Colombo Stock Exchange market rules and Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. The minor ones were compounded. Thirteen large cases [...]

Citrus Kalpitiya ordered to hold EGM on delayed hotel project

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), sequel to complaints by investors over delays in the launch of Citrus Leisure which raised funds more than three years ago, on Friday rapped the owing company Kalpitiya Beach Resort Plc for the long delay.In a letter, the SEC ordered the company to call for an “Extraordinary General Meeting [...]

SL budget proposals positive for large spirit makers -Fitch

The Sri Lankan government’s proposals to impose a minimum excise tax on liquor and beer manufacturers and tighten issuance of liquor licences are positive for larger spirit manufacturers, including Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka PLC (DIST), according to Fitch Ratings. The impact is likely to be neutral for beer manufacturers, including market leader Lion Brewery, [...]

Sri Lanka to launch new warehouse storage and receipts system with World Bank assistance

Sri Lanka will be launching a negotiable warehouse receipts system with World Bank assistance to help farmers gain access to loans from banks and avoid difficulties in the sale of agricultural commodities. This will be a major step towards the setting up of a commodities exchange on the directions of Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, a [...]

No frills for Mihin, no frills at BIA

While SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Air would merge according to state plans, the budget carrier would however operate mainly to carry pilgrim traffic, Ports and Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said in Colombo on Wednesday. Speaking to the Business Times on the sidelines of a media briefing, he noted that while the merger would take place [...]

Ceylinco Insurance, Sri Lanka’s biggest insurer, has turned in a post tax profit of Rs 2.1 bln in 2014

Sri Lanka’s biggest insurer, Ceylinco Insurance has reported another successful year, reporting a post-tax profit of Rs.2.1 billion for the year ended 31st December 2014. In a statement on Monday, the company said the General and Life Divisions of Ceylinco Insurance, recorded profits after tax of Rs.780 million and Rs.1,363 million, respectively. “Moreover, the consolidated [...]

Trekurious curating ‘One of a kind’ experiences

Trekurious curating ‘One  of a kind’ experiences

There is a bit about a moment in time that can’t be replicated; an experience that is your very own; an adventure with others that is intensely personal and memorable. Holidaying in ‘Mù S¡on’, a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples constructed between the 4th and the 14th century AD in Vietnam changed [...]

Key suspect in Serene Pavillions’ abduction case arrested

The main suspect involved in the abduction of hotelier Anura Lokuhetty, former CEO of boutique hotel Serene Pavillions at Wadduwa 18 months ago, was arrested this week and remanded pending an identification parade, police said on Wednesday. The suspect is said to be a security manager working for a firm of security guards hired by [...]

Asian entrepreneurs’ group links with SL unit to mould successful entrepreneurs

Asia Pacific Elite Entrepreneurs Association (AEEA) has linked up with Vican Holdings Pvt Ltd to make its presence in Sri Lanka to mould successful entrepreneurs within the Asia Pacific region providing necessary training and education and other assistane, officials of the company revealed. The association comprising the top 30 elite entrepreneurs and investors from all [...]

Payment delays by Govt. badly hit small and medium contractors

The cash-strapped Sri Lanka State Engineering Corporation’s (SEC) delay in paying over Rs.1 billion of outstanding payments for 11 small and medium scale construction firms has brought the housing development programme for under-served settlements in Colombo and suburbs to a standstill, a top official of the SEC disclosed. The construction of housing units at Kalinga [...]

SL business says investment policies unclear, unpredictable

Many Sri Lankan businessmen lament over the lack of clear policies by the new government, which has forced them to halt their ventures till the proposed political transformation after April via elections. “We’re awaiting clear policies. It’s now unpredictable. The government hasn’t come up with a concrete policy pertaining to business,” the chairman of a [...]

Lankan researchers in major breakthrough in genetic technology in rice research

Lankan researchers in major breakthrough  in genetic technology in rice research

A Sri Lankan university research team has achieved a major breakthrough in genetic technology in the field of rice research. The Human Genetics Unit (HGU), Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo together with John Keells Research (JKR), a unit established by John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) to carry out futuristic scientific research, on Monday announced [...]

Daya adds to flying experience on Airbus helicopter

Daya adds to flying experience on Airbus helicopter

Daya Aviation has added to its fleet of helicopters, the Airbus EC 130 T2 – 7-seater, worth US$3.6 million, one of three such aircraft in South Asia. As a multi-role rotocraft, the helicopter includes a vibration control system and many safety features and is one of the first such aircraft brought down to the country, [...]

New regime elected by Sri Lankans, says British envoy, denying involvement of UK or US intelligence agencies

Two British Universities will be set up in Sri Lanka next year under an overseas plan to enable Sri Lankan students to pursue studies here and for those who cannot afford to proceed to UK for higher studies. Students will be able to read for a British degree while in Sri Lanka, said the British [...]

Ananda Sirisena & Co assists in creating corporate legal personalities

Incorporating a company the right way and making sure that all documentation and legal requirements are fulfilled can be a cumbersome task. Ananda Sirisena & Co, a registered corporate secretaries and incorporator, having identified this need for a knowldgeable partner said it was introducing a comprehensive company registration package to anyone who wishes to start [...]

Yapa presents memento to Dammu Ravi in New Delhi

Yapa presents memento to Dammu Ravi in New Delhi

Vijitha Yapa, President of the Afro Asian Book Council recently presented a memento to Dammu Ravi, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Commerce, New Delhi. Mr. Ravi was the Chief Guest at the silver jubilee celebrations of The Afro Asian Book Concil. The council, with headquarters in New Delhi, has 19 countries as [...]

Owners of controversial armoury ship seek its release

Sri Lanka Shipping Co, owners of the vessel Mahanuwara which has been hired by controversial security firm Avant Garde to store an armoury on board, on Thursday filed a motion in the Galle Magistrate’s Court seeking the release of the ship. The company said that the ship is 40 years old and in a deteriorating [...]

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