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Special Commission to investigate GK collapse, says President

Special Commission to investigate GK collapse, says President

The beginning of the end of the Golden Key (GK) depositors’ tearful saga dawned at the BMICH in Colombo on Friday with the launch of the government’s repayment process after seven and half years of legal battles, street protests, broken promises and failed action plans. The return of money owed to GK depositors was one [...]

Husein Esufally, new Deputy Chairman at Janashakthi Insurance

In a rare move for family-controlled companies, Janashakthi Insurance this week appointed well-known corporate leader Husein Esufally to a new position of Deputy Chairman. Mr. Esufally is Chairman of the Hemas Group after serving a long spell as its CEO. Business analysts said that it’s unusual for the chairman of a family conglomerate to be [...]

EPF/ETF to be managed by new entity

The EPF and ETF will be removed from Central Bank management and entrusted to a new entity called the “Public Wealth Trust” which will be answerable to parliament, according to the ruling United National Front election manifesto. The move to change the management structure was also referred to by Deputy Minister of Policy Planning Harsha [...]

Presidential Commission to probe stock market irregularities

Complaints on Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) irregularities will be soon probed by the Special Presidential Commission appointed to investigate large scale corruption and fraud in state institutions during the past five years, official sources revealed. The commission has received 820 complaints since April on corruption, fraud and irregularities in public sector institutions including insider trading [...]

Beijing gets Tea Board office

Amidst challenging times for the tea sector, the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) Beijing office opened this month giving a fillip to its black tea exports. In the meantime a new circular is expected this week granting a subsidy on interest for up to Rs.12 billion in capital loans. Planters Association Chairman Roshan Rajadurai told the [...]

Access interested in more property business

Access Engineering (AEL) which bought Horizon Holdings Ventures (Pvt) Ltd and acquired 50 per cent in Horizon Holdings (Pvt) Ltd is eyeing more such investments, officials said. “We are interested in the housing development sector and are interested in more such opportunities,” an AEL official said. Horizon Holdings Ventures (Pvt.) Ltd (incorporated in June 2015) [...]

Commercial Bank rated the strongest bank in Sri Lanka by Fitch

The National Long-Term Rating of Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has been affirmed at ‘AA (lka); Stable Outlook’ by Fitch Ratings Lanka (FRL). The Commercial Bank’s Basel II compliant outstanding subordinated debentures have been affirmed by Fitch at ‘AA-(ka)’. In a recent report, the agency said: “Fitch considers Commercial Bank as the strongest bank in [...]

Former SEC chief Godahewa emerges as a UPFA supporter

Nalaka Godahewa, Sri Lanka’s former high profile Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman, who once said he was not a political appointee, emerged this week – after a near 6-month absence from the public spotlight – as a supporter of the opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). He was shown on a local television station [...]

Germany’s largest travel agency head to visit Sri Lanka

Klaus Henschel, Managing Director of Lufthansa City Center (LCC) – said to be the largest independent travel agency chain in Germany – is visiting Sri Lanka for the first time on July 29-31, a media release issued by Jetwing and LCC stated. Professionally qualified and experienced in the travel and tourism industry, Mr. Klaus will [...]

SLPA to hire consultant for East Terminal

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is currently looking at selecting a consultant to carry out a feasibility study on the East Container Terminal (ECT), a top official at the Colombo Port said on Friday. “We will be calling for a consultant,” to carry out a feasibility study on the joint venture with an international port operator [...]

2015 General Elections and the Economy: Some targets to be set for future MPs

2015 General Elections and the Economy: Some targets to be set for future MPs

When the history of the country is ultimately written, it will be clear how Sri Lanka (SL) has ‘missed the bus’ during the last 40 years or more (30 years of war + 10). This is mostly due to the fact that people themselves thought that there were more imortant things to be done than [...]

President, PM to address corporate chiefs at Economic Summit, just days before Aug. 17 poll

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is among a host of top Government politicians billed to speak at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2015 on August 4-5 at the Cinnamon Grand hotel in Colombo, just days before parliamentary polls. Though not planned but rather coincidental, government leaders get a rare opportunity to address an independently, organised [...]

Asians, incentive travel: Cash cows for MICE tourismBy Sunimalee Dias

The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau has unearthed information from the MICE tourism sector that showcases Asians visiting Colombo more and earnings from incentive travel rated the highest income generator as opposed to exhibitions and conferences. The proportion of international and local MICE events indicates that the former generated only 28 per cent events whereas the [...]

Life and work in an ever-demanding world

Life and work in an ever-demanding world

“I’m loyal to this place because from the day I left school, this has been my second home for 15 years now, but I’m not sure whether this is a healthy environment. Some of us work very hard; too hard in fact. And most of the time, our efforts go unappreciated. They say we should [...]

In sight but out of mind: Sri Lanka’s domestic work sector

In sight but out of mind:  Sri Lanka’s domestic work sector

The past two decades have witnessed a significant increase in the worldwide demand for domestic work. In a number of countries, domestic work exists as an occupation where women constitute an overwhelming majority of the workforce. According to a recent global and regional estimate released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), at least 52.6 million [...]

Same buzz, larger issues isolated- Comment

The buzz in political platforms these days is about the Central Bank bond issue, ethanol and drug barons, corrupt businesspersons or (emanating from the opposition camp) promises not kept.It’s the same cycle (apart from the bond issue) of negative thought, rhetoric and comment. Rarely have politicians come up with any positive thoughts during an election. [...]

Expolanka drives entrepreneurship spirit amongst senior citizens through microfinance

Expolanka’s CSR arm, in an effort to help address an emerging social problem in Sri Lanka, initiated a microfinance project in collaboration with HelpAge Sri Lanka (HASL) to fund senior citizens to embark on entrepreneurship projects of their own. In order to establish a sustainable eco-system of entrepreneurship by senior citizens, the project aims to [...]

Best of savings for Seylan credit cardholders during August holiday season

The upcoming August holiday season just got bigger and better with Seylan Bank’s Credit Card promotions. Seylan Bank Credit Cards has joined hands with numerous merchant partners to bring the best of the August holiday season for its credit cardholders through a gamut of attractive savings. The seasonal offers range from holiday, travel, clothing, dining, [...]

SL’s 9.5 mln workers must be consulted on social market economy concept, trade union says

Sri Lanka’s nearly 9.5 million public and private sector workers need to be stakeholders in deciding policy to have social justice in a competitive market economy given the discussion by some political parties towards a social market economy, a trade union group said. Anton Marcus, Co-Secretary of the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees [...]

No change in interest rate policy -CB

With inflation at near-zero levels in June, increasing credit use against a low interest regime, and gross official reserves rising (however primarily through borrowed cash), the Central Bank’s Monetary Board, at its meeting on Thursday decided to continue with current interest rates. “Accordingly, the Monetary Board decided to maintain the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) [...]

Reaching for the stars: Sri Lanka aims to connect the entire country with free Wi-Fi

Reaching for the stars: Sri Lanka aims to connect the entire country with free Wi-Fi

Sri Lanka is indeed aiming high and probably seeking to be the first country in the world where free Wi-Fi is available across the island. Deputy Minister of Highways and Investment Promotion Eran Wickramaratne, speaking as chief guest at this week’s CIO Agenda 2015 forum in Colombo, said that a team of experts from Yahoo company [...]

Kantale sugar factory to be revived with Indian assistance

The Kantale sugar factory which was taken over by the Mahinda Rajapaksa-administration under the Underperforming and Underutilised Assets Act in 2011 is to be revived with Indian assistance. The defunct factory will be re-opened soon following the signing of an investment agreement with an Indian company on July 27. The Ministry of Land, Board of [...]

Preventing haphazard use of valuable groundwater

Will the government clamp down on unauthorised groundwater tapping and regularise it for future posterity? The Rathupaswela and the recent Chunnakkam and Kalpitiya groundwater issues have once again surfaced highlighting dangers of consuming polluted groundwater. Groundwater is being tapped in large quantities by industries, industrial promotion zones, hotels, shrimp farms, small scale irrigators, households and [...]

HBL joins LankaPay – Sri Lanka’s largest common ATM network

HBL said this week it has joined the LankaPay network enabling customers to access their HBL accounts, withdraw cash and check their account balance at any other bank ATM in this network. An agreement for this purpose was signed between Regional General Manager, HBL Sri Lanka & Maldives Arif M. Ali and GM/CEO of LankaClear Sunimal [...]

Controversial law permitting foreign land ownership passed in the Maldives

MALE – Foreigners will soon be permitted to own land – instead of only leasing it – in the Maldives under a constitutional amendment passed in parliament on Wednesday but the move raised concerns from former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Some residents and analysts say this would pave the way for Saudi Arabia, China and also [...]

Updating to Windows 10 on July 29, yes or no?

Updating to Windows 10 on July 29, yes or no?

Sri Lankans join an estimated 1 billion people from virtually every country of the world and every walk of life in eager anticipation of Wednesday’s (July 29) launch of Windows 10, the latest version of Microsoft’s still dominant PC-based operating syste (OS). While the PC is said to be dying, allegedly being replaced by increasing [...]

SLMA/Mobitel: DocCall Medical advice at your fingertips

SLMA/Mobitel: DocCall Medical advice at your fingertips

A big vacuum that exists in the health services in Sri Lanka is the non-availability of a telephone call centre service from where the public can obtain reliable initial advice (not treatment) for medical conditions. In 2012, when I was the President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association, I took steps to remedy this situation. The [...]

The UN Electronic Communications Convention and its impact and overall effect

Recently, Sri Lanka ratified the UN Electronic Communications Convention. This is a significant milestone in the evolution of our ICT law reforms, facilitated by the ICT Agency (ICTA). Since 1990s, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has taken the lead initiative to formulate legal texts to facilitate electronic commerce. These initiatives resulted in the [...]

Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in Sri Lankan research and industry

Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in Sri Lankan research and industry

Computer vision attempts to make the computers “see” as human beings do. This is mainly done through recognising patterns in images and videos. Although humans do these effortlessly, they are complex tasks for the computer. Computer vision and pattern recognition previously seemed alien ideas to Sri Lanka, and as a matter of fact, to the [...]

Hackers, who are they ?

Hackers, who are they ?

Every day, we hear about a new security breach, but who’s behind these attacks? Whether you’re dealing with the “professional mercenary,” the “cyber warrior” or the “malicious insider”, hackers come in many shapes and sizes. They have access to a varying set of resources including tools and utilise a broad range of attack techniques to [...]

Zesta partners AOD in developing tea packaging

Zesta partners AOD in developing tea packaging

Watawala Tea Ceylon (WTC) has extended an opportunity to the students of the Academy of Design (AOD) to enhance their creative skills by engaging them to develop a new packaging design solution for the company’s Zesta brand. Under this partnership, WTC intends to challenge and incentivise the young third year students of AOD to come [...]

CSC’s new ship “MV Ceylon Princess” keel laid

CSC’s new ship “MV Ceylon Princess” keel laid

Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC) last week witnessed in China the ‘keel laying ceremony’ of its 2nd new break bulk vessel. CSC, Chairman Shashi Dhanatunge said the first vessel ‘Ceylon Breeze’ will be delivered by the end of this year while the second ‘Ceylon Princess” is expected to be delivered to Sri Lanka by the 2nd [...]

No more space for cuts to healthcare, education – CB

Sri Lanka is at the point where it must intensify tax collection efforts, as there is no more space for spending cuts, which have historically targetted areas such as healthcare and education, according to the country’s Central Bank Deputy Governor Nandaal Weerasinghe. He also said that, even if one were willing to pay taxes, the [...]

Coffee house Barista now offers meeting space at its restaurants

Coffee house chain Barista Lavazza is now offering meeting spaces for companies and individuals who would like to take their business meetings out of the office. “Following a global phenomenon of out of the boardroom meetings that allow a more relaxed atmosphere for planning, idea generation and brainstorming sessions, the Barista meeting spaces will offer [...]

Seminar on “Good Governance vs Strategy”

The Real World, the training arm of Human Capital Solutions (Pvt) Ltd, is organising a seminar on “Good Governance Vs Strategy” on August 6 at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. At this evening discussion, one of the presenters Mario Fonseka, will highlight the nuances of body language that have either helped or harmed different political leaders [...]

Disrupt Unlimited and Regus to jointly support start-ups

Disrupt Unlimited, the Brandix-led start-up seed accelerator, has entered into a strategic tie-up with Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace solutions, to offer collaborative workspace to business start-ups incubated by the former. Regus has undertaken to provide flexible office space solutions for start-up companies that are born out of the efforts of Disrupt [...]

Currency Swap Agreement for $1.1 bln signed between CB and Reserve Bank

Bank of India The Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Reserve Bank of India recently signed the currency swap agreement in New Delhi enabling Sri Lanka to draw US$1.1 billion. This is in addition to the $400 million made available to the Central Bank in April 2015 under the financing facility for South Asian [...]

Shiromal says leadership begins with honesty and integrity

Shiromal Cooray, Chairperson, Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) and Managing Director of Jetwing Travels says that business leadership begins with honesty and integrity. Sharing her thoughts on corporate governance, sustainability and how the CIMA qualification adds value to the day-to-day operations of professionals, she said, “A business leader must have the ability to understand [...]

Plans to enhance recreational and biodiversity value of Ceylon Tea Trails

The Sri Lanka Business and Biodiversity Platform (SLBBP) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has signed an agreement with Dilmah Conservation to enhance the scenic and biodiversity value of Ceylon Tea Trails – a chain of luxury bungalow resorts; Castlereigh, Summerville and Norwood – developed under the leisure arm of Dilmah. The Castlereigh reservoir is [...]

Hitachi adds Live Insight and Clinical Repository to Social Innovation portfolio

Japan’s Hitachi recently announced that its wholly-owned Hitachi Data Systems Corporation subsidiary has put in place the next phase of its Social Innovation business strategy, adding new solutions and services such as Live Insight for IT Operations, Clinical Repository for connected health, and the Live Insight Centre of Excellence to its existing portfolio encompassing public [...]

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