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Govt. failed to act against the corrupt, BT-RCB poll respondents say

Govt. failed to act against the corrupt, BT-RCB poll respondents say

A new Business Times (BT)-Research Consultancy Bureau (RCB) poll this week, just as the momentum takes off in the August 17 election campaigning, has concluded that many respondents feel the Government has failed to take action against corrupt persons. A majority view however was that the cost of living had improved under the present regime [...]

Chinese beggars

Chinese beggars

Who are they? What are they doing? This Chinese couple was seen begging near the Kollupitiya Railway Station on Thursday. Due to their inability to understand English or Sinhala, people passing by were unable to get any information from them. Pic by Amila Gamage

Brokers meet Mahinda Rajapaksa

Colombo’s broking community was buzzing over news that some stockbrokers had visited former president Mahinda Rajapaksa at his residence in Hambantota earlier this month. “On Poya Day (1 July) some of them met Mr. Rajapaksa at his residence,” one source told the Business Times. It was unclear as to why they went there while speculation [...]

Prime Minister wants to divert Europeans visiting Tunisia to Sri Lanka

In the wake of the recent terrorist attack in Tunisia, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has asked the tourism industry to grab the opportunity to divert European tourists visiting that destination to Sri Lanka. A follow-up meeting in this regard was held last Tuesday with the Premier and the tourism industry which had made a presentation [...]

SLT integrating all subsidiaries under new Group CEO

The Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) operations have been rearranged under the new management by integrating all subsidiaries including Mobitel with the holding company. The Board of Directors of the company has decided to bring those subsidiaries under the purview of the new Group CEO Dileepa Wijesundera, recently. This decision was announced by the Chairman SLT [...]

Democracy, labour rights and parliamentary elections

A year ago, on July 4, the late Bala Tampoe led a walkout of the trade union leaders in the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC). In a statement signed a month later by Tampoe and four other trade union leaders, they explained the reasons for their walkout to the Minister of Labour saying it was [...]

Tea: Challenge to sustain a 150 year-old tradition

Decades back under regimes governed by J.R. Jayewardene, Ranasinghe Premadasa or Chandrika Kumaratunga, a strike in the tea plantation sector would send ripples across the nation. It would not only get lead story or front-page publicity and dominate TV and radio channels but ministers and officials would be scrambling to negotiate a settlement with the [...]

CEPA is an attempt to eliminate a Sovereign State

CEPA is an attempt to eliminate  a Sovereign State

Mother India is governed by Delhi and their vision is different to that of the politicians. It is an India that includes all countries where Indian labour were taken as slaves by the British and where some Indian population lives, to be declared vassal states of Mother India. So the programme to destabilise the surrounding [...]

Former tech darling Uber comes under fire, literally

Former tech darling Uber comes under fire, literally

It was not long ago that Uber, a ridesharing app aimed at revolutionising taxi services, was a rising star with unparalleled future prospects. So much so that the company was touted, and maybe still is today, as the world’s most highly capitalised start-up with a valuation of approximately US$ 41 billion, including media reports of [...]

SL’s Insurance Board to host Asian Insurance Regulators meeting on 27-28 July

The Insurance Board of Sri Lanka (IBSL) will be hosting the 10th annual conference of the Asian Forum of Insurance Regulators (AFIR), on 27-28 July at the Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo on the theme “Changing Landscape in Insurance Regulation”. IBSL said approximately 30 regulators from Asia, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors based in Basel, Switzerland [...]

Plight of SL’s economy

Sri Lanka’s economic growth has come down 6.4 per cent in first quarter 2015 from 7.4 per cent in same period last year. The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is reporting billions of rupees in losses which in turn will be a burden on the people. The stock market is virtually dead. During the last one month [...]

CSE conducts successful live disaster recovery exercise

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) conducted a successful disaster recovery testing exercise, as a part of its Business Continuity Planning (BCP), from its Disaster Recovery site last week, where all trading and post trade operations took place from this rmote site for a complete market day. “This is the first time such an exercise has [...]

Rural students ask: Why are we discriminated in the study of English and IT?

Rural students ask: Why are we discriminated in the study of English and IT?

An 11 year-old enthusiastic and knowledgeable girl from the Meewanapalana Maha Vidyalaya in Horana asked me when I walked into the school IT lab; “Why are we not taught English Language and Information Technology (IT) just like students in Colombo, who speak English well and know to operate a computer?” She made this query, identifying [...]

D. Samson and Sons into e-commerce with

D. Samson and Sons (Pvt) Ltd, to further its market presence locally as well as globally through virtual avenues of the booming e-commerce network in Sri Lanka as of current, has initiated an online shoe shopping site for Sri Lankans. The company said in a media release that it undertook this scheme with the [...]

TVS Lanka revenue jumps to Rs. 2.7 billion in 2014/15

TVS Lanka, a premier automotive company in the country specialising in motor cycles, scooters and three wheelers, says it has recorded “a ground breaking performance” surpassing all key performance indicators significantly during the financial year of 2014/2015. “The 2014/15 performance was very significant and in fact a major turnaround with Rs.2.7 billion revenue growth which [...]

SL’s Central Bank drags GK action plan

The Monetary Board of the Central Bank, failed for the third occasion in the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, to submit a cabinet-approved proposal to repay 41 per cent of the deposited money of Golden Key (GK) depositors. The proposal presented by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on June 17 was aimed at repaying depositors with deposits [...]

MTI strengthens Sri Lanka board with international appointees

MTI Consulting Sri Lanka, with a view on related business diversifications, has strengthened its Board of Directors with four new international appointments in the capacity of Non-Executive Directors, according to a media release from the company. Darshan Singh is the Bahrain-based Senior International Consultant for the Middle East and African region, spearheading MTI’s HRM advisory [...]

Finance Minister orders probe into tsunami relief vehicles

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has ordered a probe into imports of high-value vehicles for (2005) post-tsunami relief which were allegedly given to third parties without paying taxes and depriving the state of billions of rupees. This was brought to light when a vehicle imported for a UN agency to carry out tsunami relief work in [...]

How effective are ‘Independent Directors’ in Sri Lanka?

There are a couple of interesting issues which follow the two matters raised by Charitha Silva in his article on ‘Some aspects of Corporate Governance’ published in the Business Times last week. My thoughts on this subject are as follows: In Sri Lanka, according to research, most public listed companies are controlled by major [...]

Sri Lanka regains US GSP amidst concerns on workers’ rights

Sri Lankan exporters have regained preferential duty-free entry into US market with the recent restoration of US Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) facility amidst persisting worker rights issues, trade unionists say. Free Trade Zone and General Service’s employees Union, Joint Secretary, (FTZ&GSEU) Anton Marcus told the Business Times that Sri Lanka is yet to comply [...]

LBO LBR Summit 2015 next week

The LBR LBO Annual Enterprise Summit will be held on July 14 in Colombo with a total of 30 speakers both local and foreign under the title “Sri Lanka – technology drives disruption: embrace or face extinction”. At a media briefing, Founder Publisher of LBO, Lakshaman Bandaranayake, said “disruption is not new to civilisation. Since [...]

GSK launches series of international webinars for doctors in Sri Lanka

A new initiative using web seminars or ‘webinars’ to disseminate information to medical professionals on the latest developments in the treatment, management or prevention of diseases has been launched in Sri Lanka by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Pharmaceutical. Intended to enable doctors to participate, from the comfort of their own homes or offices, in live webcasts of [...]

Work-Life boundaries in Sri Lanka

This week we focus only on the individual responsibility in achieving work-life balance. The organisational responsibility will be discussed in my next article. The scenarios mentioned are from some of my coaching conversations and are printed with the ermission of the individuals/organisations. (1)‘Oh this is what I love to do; life is work and work [...]

Sri Lankan telcos under strain

At least two telcos will exit the Sri Lankan market given the saturation in the industry and its fragmentation where margins are squeezed to the hilt, telco analysts say. “The market is saturated so much that consolidation of telcos has to happen in the medium term,” an analyst said. Views on consolidation were also echoed [...]

LRA gears for new tie-up to get fresh licence

Lanka Rating Agency’s (LRA) is gearing to strike a fresh deal with an international firm in a bid to reapply for a rating licence which the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cancelled recently, company officials said. “A team (from the international agency) met with the regulator and we are working towards a partnership with a [...]

President opens new Dialog Corporate Headquarters

President opens new Dialog Corporate Headquarters

The new corporate headquarters of Dialog Axiata, Sri Lanka’s premier telecom service provider, was declared open in Colombo adjoining its former main office by President Maithripala Sirisena. Seen here is President Sirisena looking at some of the mobile phones in the presence of Dialog Axiata Group Chief Executive- Dr Hans Wijayasuriya and Dialog Axiata Chairman [...]

FACETS marks its 25th anniversary, 150 stalls at Sept. fair

Starting off with just 45 stalls at its inaugural event in 1991, Facets – the annual International Gem and Jewellery Show – this year has grown to 150 stalls with a sizable number of SMEs involved. The event will be held in September. According to Nawrooz Azmi, Member, Facets Organizing Committee who spoke at the [...]

Moratuwa uni start-up selected for RISE HK

Emojot, a local company incubated out of the University of Moratuwa that uses ‘emoticons’ (emojis) as a real-time customer feedback methodology, has been selected to participate at the Web Summit-organised RISE conference, to be held on July 31 in Hong Kong. According to a company statement, “Emojot was selected out of thousands of applications submitted [...]

International rating agency to pin stars on hotels in future

The government is planning to appoint an international rating agency for classification of hotels in the country to improve on their standards and service delivery, a top state tourism official said this week. “We are looking at an international rating company to bring up the standards of the hotels,” Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) [...]

PM says no to one-to-one marketing idea

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has shot down a proposal mooted by a section of the tourism industry for one-to-one promotions to be carried out jointly involving state and tour operator funding. The idea is to conduct promotions that would involve marketing the destination with only a few specific tour operators in the markets that generate [...]

Convention Bureau re- launches MICE Research bulletin after 6 years

Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) will re-launch the MICE Tourism Research Bulletin which has been compiled after a lapse of almost six years. The latest findings will be made available to industry members shortly, a media release issued by the bureau stated. ‘This took us nearly one year and our Research manager was visiting MICE [...]

Jetwing on an expansion drive

Jetwing on an expansion drive

Hotel group Jetwing has unveiled plans for a series of new and expanded properties to be launched in coming months and next year, a media release issued by the company stated. Jetwing has planned to launch two new properties in September this year including the 55-room Jetwing Yarl in the northern city of Jaffna, and [...]

SL industry joins Aussie promo and trade fair

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) together with the industry would be participating for the first time at a travel trade fair and promotion in Australia since numbers from this market have been picking up over the years, an industry spokesman said. Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators Association (SLAITO) President Mahen Kariyawasam told the Business [...]

Sri Lanka counts on hosting 2016 French Travel Agents Congress

The French Travel Agents Association or the Syndicate National des Agencies de Voyages (SNAV) is likely to pick Sri Lanka for their next congress meeting in 2016, officials said. Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) Chairman Vipula Wanigasekara speaking to the Business Times said that they would be flying to France for a meeting with the [...]

Additional baggage allowance for students departing Colombo on Emirates to Australia, Europe or the US

Emirates is supporting students travelling for higher education from Sri Lanka to the USA, Europe or Australia, with an extra baggage allowance on outbound travel till end November. Available for travel booked online on this exclusive extra baggage allowance allows students travelling to USA one additional bag of up to 23 kg, while students [...]

Sri Lanka Tourism search for top Global Ad agency

Sri Lanka Tourism announced a Rs. 200 million Expression of Interest (EOI) to search for a global ad agency after a lapse of five years, a media release issued by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) stated. According to the release, as at now the Sri Lankan Tourism strategy has been essentially driven by [...]

Fewer people, more machines – what’s the “Factory of the Future” going to be?

Fewer people, more machines – what’s the “Factory of the Future” going to be?

AGALAWATTE – On both sides of a road to a green-covered building, are a pond, a garden being prepared to help a few employees maintain cows saved from slaughter, plants of different varieties and forest cover at the back. As the car stops nears the factory cum office entrance, passion fruits at pickable length hang [...]

3-day INFOTEL to kick off on Nov 20

Long-running ICT exhibition INFOTEL will kick off its 14th edition on November 20, 2015, according to an announcement by organisers, the Federation of Information and Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS). Further, this year’s event will be held over three days at Colombo’s BMICH with the theme “Connecting Citizens”. In addition, it also emerged that, in [...]

RDB links up with European Investment Bank to promote renewable energy

Sri Lanka’s Regional Development Bank (RDB) has linked up with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy projects of the micro finance sector, bank Chairman Prasanna Premaratne revealed. The RDB which is stepping into the fourth decade of regional banking this month, has signed an agreement with the EIB to [...]

Nepotism on the rise again, should be stopped:BT-RCB poll

President Maithripala Sirisena has failed the people and ruined his own political future, and the United National Party is likely to win power since the former President is returning with many undesirables — were among a range of comments received in the recently-concluded joint poll by the Business Times and the Research and Consultancy Bureau. [...]

Veteran hotelier steps down after long and illustrious career

Veteran hotelier steps down  after long and illustrious career

A few years after the iconic Bentota Beach Hotel is constructed, a young man armed with a Canadian post-graduate tourism diploma is appointed as its assistant manager. Ten days into the job, the 24 year-old is thrown into the deep end and asked to take over when the general manager steps down. “I was young, [...]

Condo developers association formed in Sri Lanka

Developers in the condo market have come together to form the Condominium Developers Association of Sri Lanka (CDASL). Founding council members of CDASL are Pravir Samarasinghe – Chairman (from Overseas Realty Ceylon Plc-ORL); S. Thumilan – Vice Chairman (Blue Ocean Residencies Pvt. Ltd); Hemaka De Alwis (Fairway Holdings Ltd); Suresh Rajendra (Whittall Boustead Pvt Lt); [...]

SL Budget by 2020 sans liquor or alcohol tax revenue

While alcohol and tobacco constitute an essential component of Sri Lanka’s tax revenue, the Government was working on a strategy by 2020 where tax revenue will be sans these two components which are crippling society. These comments were made by President Maithripala Sirisena when he launched a 5-five year plan to rid the country from [...]

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