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Sweeping changes on future CB governor and Monetary Board appointments

Sweeping changes on future CB governor  and Monetary Board appointments

The Governor of the Central Bank (CB) and members of the Monetary Board will, in future, be appointed via the Constitutional Council process under the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution, a UNP deputy minister said. Currently the Governor and members of the Monetary Board are appointed by the President. “In the proposed 19th Amendment [...]

Govt. to seek AG’s advice on SriLankan probe

While the Government is to refer the SriLankan Airlines probe report on malpractices to the Attorney General for advice on how to proceed, several heads of departments against whom strong strictures were made in the report continue in their respective posts. Deputy Aviation Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told the Business Times that the report would [...]

Laojee tea and a free bus ride for Avurudu commuters

Laojee tea and a free bus ride for Avurudu commuters

Laojee, Unilever Sri Lanka’s prominent local tea brand, on Friday offered free bus rides from the Colombo main bus stand to any outstation location and vice versa for commuters visiting their villages for the Avurudu season. Under the campaign, passengers on state-owned buses will be offered a free ride and a cup of steaming hot [...]

SEC will fry big fish on dubious stock deals

It seems that only the ‘small fish were fried’ while the big ones have managed to escape through the very large holes in the (fraud) net, according to a vociferous campaigner against financial mismanagement. Deputy Minister of Economic Planning Dr. Harsha de Silva told the Business Times that this regime is in the process of [...]

Central Bank begins a comprehensive audit on GK

With the intervention of the Finance Ministry to settle the long dragging Golden key (GK) fiasco, the Central Bank (CB) has launched a comprehensive situation audit into the past and present dealings, assets and liabilities of the GK Company as an initial step towards finding redress for around 8200 depositors. A senior CB official told [...]

Dissolve Parliament by April 23, keep your promise, says BT-RCB opinion poll

An opinion poll this week tracking the progress of the new Sri Lankan Government and its 100-day programme has concluded that most of the respondents want parliament to be dissolved by April 23 as promised. The poll was conducted earlier in the week before the President on Thursday announced the April 20th debate on the [...]

SL to straighten human rights record by Sept.

SL to straighten human rights record by Sept.

Sri Lanka is set to straighten out its human rights track record by September this year, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said at a business forum in Colombo on Wednesday. During a speech at a luncheon meeting organised by the American Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (AmCham) to the business community, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the [...]

Cronyism and conflict of interest

Dealing with conflicts of interest in the political, public and private sectors has been one of the biggest challenges society has faced in Sri Lanka. When the conflict between Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius whose firm Perpetual Treasuries figured in the recent Treasury bond issue, was once again raised at [...]

Defence headquarters for fresh tenders

Defence headquarters for fresh tenders

The Akuregoda-based Defence Headquarters project that was recently stalled will be calling for fresh tenders with the cancellation of the existing contract. Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardena responding to a query at the American Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (AMCHAM) business forum on Wednesday in Colombo said the government would cancel the contract and [...]

Sri Lanka Customs embarks on 24×7 operations amidst lacklustre response from the trade

Sri Lanka has embarked on an ambitious round-the-clock-operation of customs clearance to improve efficacy in the service which frequently is considered to be slow due to bureaucratic red tape, lethargy, excessive paperwork, bribe-taking and corruption.The aim is to improve all divisions of the Customs Department to clear import and export cargo within a matter of [...]

Sri Lanka lifts temporary ban on fresh coconut exports from May 1

Sri Lanka is lifting a 4-month temporary ban imposed on raw coconut exports from May 1, to maintain the country’s foreign market share, a top official of the Coconut Development Authority (CDA) told Business Times. The recent ban was enforced from January 15 to April 31. The CDA has been imposing a ban on the [...]

BT offer gets good response

There has been a good response to the recent Business Times (BT) call to help struggling inventors and those with innovative ideas, profiling their stories and enabling them to pursue their dreams to commercialise their products. With regard to the story published in the BT on February 22 about the inventor of a Massage Machine [...]

Not enough safety signage in Colombo’s new high-rises

Colombo’s upcoming high-rise buildings do not have the necessary safety signage and procedures in place to facilitate evacuation in case of a fire or Emergency blackout, according to research conducted by Zeppelin Advertising Services. A recent statement by this homegrown Sri Lankan advertising firm, said “The City of Colombo has suddenly evolved into a burst [...]

Lessons of co-existence between a Sri Lankan village and a fabric manufacturer

Lessons of co-existence between a Sri Lankan village and a fabric manufacturer

Narthupane Estate, NEBODA – It sounds like a script for a Sri Lankan movie or a television-drama series. A factory, once the economic centre for the village, collapses over a range of problems including the inability of the management to co-exist with the villages and allegations that factory waste is being dumped in a nearby [...]

Bank of Ceylon GM sent on leave pending inquiry

Bank of Ceylon (BOC) General Manager D.M. Gunasekara has been sent on leave pending investigations to ensure the conduct of ‘independent and impartial’ investigations, the bank chairman said on Wednesday. “We will take all steps to complete these investigations and clear the issues, within a short period of time,” said BOC Chairman Ronald C. Perera [...]

Commercial Bank, HNB select Providence and WKFS to implement Sri Lanka’s first IFRS systems

Commercial Bank PLC and Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB), Sri Lanka’s largest private banks, have both selected the internationally renowned OneSumX Finance solution for implementation of IFRS in their respective institutions. This implementation will position Commercial Bank and HNB as the first Sri Lankan banking institutions to be completely compliant with international reporting standards as [...]

‘MONKEY KINGDOM’- Sri Lanka in Disney’s Spotlight in the US

Sri Lanka Tourism said this week that apart from its aggressive marketing that it is engaged in the focused markets of China and Germany the country is set to receive a massive boost from in its seventh key market USA with a top billed Disney movie ‘Monkey Kingdom’, a feature-length wildlife documentary billed to debut [...]

Nuclear talks between US-Iran could help ease Sri Lankan oil imports

Recently concluded nuclear talks between the United States and the Republic of Iran would be beneficial to Sri Lanka if sanctions on Iran were lifted so that Sri Lanka will be able to import cheap Iranian crude oil as before thus saving a considerable amount of foreign exchange, a senior minister said. “We are also [...]

Cinnamon Grand Colombo – now Sri Lanka’s most intelligent building

Cinnamon Grand Colombo – now Sri Lanka’s most intelligent building

Cinnamon Grand, on the verge of realising its sustainability vision of becoming the most sustainable 5-star city hotel by 2015, today holds the pioneering status of being the country’s most intelligent building. The state of the art Schneider Building Management System (BMS) is the first in a hotel in South Asia, controlling, monitoring and quantifying [...]

Dialog TV adds 15 new channels increasing offerings to 112 channels

Dialog Television, Sri Lanka’s leading direct-to-home satellite entertainment network, has added 15 new exciting channels to its line-up at no additional fee to the customer. These new channels offer viewers some of the very best international and local programming with the advent of CNBC, the Outdoor Channel, Zoom, Disney Junior, Star Gold, MGM, Sundance Channel, [...]

Top international CSR specialist to address Sri Lankan audiences on sustainable CSR

Dr. Wayne Visser, founder of CSR International and Director of think tank Kaleidoscope Futures, will be presenting a series of keynote speeches on transformative CSR from April 22 to 24. He is here at the invitation of CSR Sri Lanka, the local organisation said. In a media statement CSR Sri Lanka said the country spends [...]

Exploring Biomedical Engineering projects at the University of Moratuwa

Exploring Biomedical Engineering projects at the University of Moratuwa

Where would medicine be today without engineering? The answer to this leads to a very interesting discussion and this column is a small step towards highlighting the role of engineering in medicine and biology, and how Sri Lanka can contribute to this rapidly evolving field. What is Biomedical Engineering? Biomedical Engineering (BME) is, simply, offering [...]

Sri Lanka lacks proper mindset for IT industry growth, says start-up expert

With evolving new trends and modern applications coming into the IT industry, people need to change their mindset and invest in something that is going to be about the future of innovations. The poor knowledge people have in Sri Lanka and the lack of a right attitude is what makes them step back from experimenting [...]

Harnessing the potential of m- and e-Health, Big Data and Genomics

Harnessing the potential of m- and e-Health, Big Data and Genomics

In today’s fast moving world, health is wealth, and keeping healthy is all about ‘monitoring’ your ‘vital signs’ and reminding you about those essential things in life that you forget. This, for example, is that you have not walked enough today, that you need to take your medicine on time (if you are on medication [...]

ICTA steps into its next project, ‘ICT for Citizen Journalism’

ICTA steps into its next project,  ‘ICT for Citizen Journalism’

Wi-Fi is predominantly used by the rich and wealthy in a country since the poor, who can’t afford it, don’t make use of it. When it comes to information and technology, it should not be limited to a certain category of people in society; it should be equally available to all citizens. The so called [...]

11 tips for secure computing

11 tips for secure computing

We have become more dependent on smartphones, laptops and desktop computers for storing and sharing more information than ever before. Any disruption caused by spywares, viruses, Trojans, identity theft, hardware and application malfunctions, has a huge impact on our lives. No matter how technology savvy the user, secure computing practices are a combination of physical [...]

Disappointment over slow progress on corruption issues, RCB poll respondents reveal

While the majority of the respondents in the RCB street poll were of the view that parliamentary elections should be held according to promised dates, they were also disappointed at the progress of taking action against corrupt politicians and officials. Here are excerpts of their comments: On corruption: = How can you reveal corruption when [...]

Cleaning up banks? Process imperfect but has to be done, says Deputy Minister

Cleaning up banks? Process imperfect but has to be done, says Deputy Minister

Good governance essentially means that the Executive, Judiciary and the Legislature have to be independent of each other’s functions. It also means the establishment of the rule of law, said the Deputy Minister of Highways, Investment Higher Education Eran Wickramaratne at a panel discussion of the Government’s 100-day programme at the monthly meeting of the [...]

Dilmah’s Merril J selected as Oslo Business for Peace 2015 Honouree

Dilmah’s Merril J selected as Oslo Business for Peace 2015 Honouree

Norway-based Business for Peace Foundation this week announced the selection of Dilmah founder – Merrill J. Fernando, as one of the 2015 Oslo Business for Peace Honourees by the Award Committee of Nobel Laureates in Peace and Economics. In addition to Mr. Fernando, the first ever Sri Lankan Honouree, Juan Andres Cano (Colombia), Zahi Khouri [...]

SLTDA investigation report handed over to Prime Minister

A committee probing alleged malpractices of the former administration at the Sri Lanka Tourism Authority (SLTA) handed over its report to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday. Present on the occasion was Tourism and Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake. The 3-member ministerial committee comprised former Public Administration Ministry Secretary (Chairman) D. Dissanayake, former Deputy Treasury Secretary [...]

Vajira, new Director General at Sri Lanka’s stock market regulator

Vajira Wijegunawardene has been appointed the new Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with immediate effect, sources at the commission said on Friday evening.He has been on the staff of the commission for several years and his last position was Director, Capital Markets Development. Dhammika Perera, Officer in Charge and Deputy Director [...]

$100 entry fee at casinos won’t deter customers

The imposition of a casino entry levy of US$100 in the next few months is unlikely to reduce the number of high spending visitors frequenting Colombo casinos, industry sources said. These casinos are yet to charge the entry levy, announced in the past budget, as the gazette notification was issued only on March 30. The [...]

Avoid mergers, says banking reforms committee report

The report of the committee headed by banking expert Dinesh Weerakkody examining proposed financial reforms in the banking sector which was presented to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday has said mergers between banks should be avoided, official sources said. “Mergers to be carried out within a stipulated time frame as stipulated in the Central [...]

Audit firm KMPG to update CIFL accounts

The Central Bank (CB) is exploring the possibility of merging the now-defunct Central Investments and Finance PLC (CIFL) with a prospective financial institution to assist it to come out from the present financial abys, CB sources said The CIFL has now been included in the CB’s financial sector consolidated 2014/5 programme to find redress for [...]

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