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Amnesty for Sri Lankan Swiss bank account holders

Amnesty for Sri Lankan Swiss bank account holders

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake speaks to the media on Friday while announcing an amnesty for Sri Lankans having secret accounts in Swiss bank, wishing to bring their money home. Pic by Amila  Gamage. Facebook pic of the Minister and the Singapore capital markets expert at the Colombo meeting.

More than 200 CB staff transferred; Governor says it’s ‘routine’

More than 200 officers and minor staff were transferred within the Central Bank (CB) on Thursday which Governor Arjuna Mahendran says is routine but has raised concerns amongst staff. Earlier on September 18, a batch of 15 senior officers were served with transfer orders including officials who had given evidence in the Central Bank bond probe [...]

New tax system to reduce dependence on cigarette, liquor duties

In a prompt response to President Maithripala Sirisena’s call to deviate from the over dependence on alcohol and tobacco taxes to raise revenue for state coffers, the Treasury is considering the option of further broad-basing and simplifying the tax base while minimising tax exemptions, government officials said. Although the Treasury was not in a position [...]

Falck ambulance svc quits, says India’s free service will affect business

Falck, the world’s largest ambulance service, said it was pulling out of Sri Lanka on October 31 – just two years after its entry – stymied by the new Indian Government-backed free ambulance service. “We are indeed exhilarated that the Sri Lanka government is offering this service free of charge to all citizens, in partnership [...]

CPC to be made a self financing entity

Sri Lanka’s huge loss-making Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is making another attempt to structure its business model by divesting stakes in distribution and imports.  Previous attempts of a similar kind to make the CPC a self-financing entity have been blocked by unions, workers and political parties fearing it would increase prices. Officials said the government [...]

China ‘ghost in the room’ at first-ever South Asia Economic Conclave

China ‘ghost in the room’ at first-ever South Asia Economic Conclave

The first-ever South Asia Economic Conclave was held this week in New Delhi, India, with a few hundred delegates attending, representing the entire region. Organised by the Chamber of Indian Industries, this conference took on the de-facto role of a forum for the private sector to network and air its grievances with regard to South [...]

CB Governor says Sri Lankan economy on even keel

Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran this week assured the Sri Lankan public that the country’s economy is in an even keel with strong and robust growth performances, trade deficit not growing sharply and imports have been relatively contained. However at Monday’s briefing, called a day after a Sunday Times report of rumblings of discontent at [...]

Sri Lanka’s burgeoning Cinnamon brand gathers momentum for sustainable travel

Sri Lanka’s burgeoning Cinnamon brand gathers momentum for sustainable travel

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry should be braced for a revolutionary change in catering to the growing demands of the future traveller, experts at the Cinnamon Future of Tourism 2015 summit in Colombo said on Monday. The numbers are also saying interesting outcomes with more people expected to travel from emerging economies above the international average number [...]

“Pinnawala Express” twice weekly luxury bus service launched to popular Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

“Pinnawala Express” twice weekly luxury bus service launched to popular Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

In an effort to further promote the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, already a must-stop for many tourists visiting Sri Lanka, the Tourism Ministry has launched a new, twice-weekly luxury bus service between Colombo and Pinnawala with effect from last week. Dubbed the “Pinnawala Express”, the new service was launched by the Minister of Tourism Development and [...]

CSE joins UN initiative on sustainable stock exchanges

CSE joins UN initiative on sustainable stock exchanges

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has joined the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, a partnership among the UN, UN-supported organisations, stock exchanges, investors, companies, regulators and governments around the world. CSE Cairman Vajira Kulatilaka made the public announcement of its entrance to the SSE during a special Leadership Luncheon on September 24 at [...]

Technology and opportunities in Bhutan highlighted at New Delhi summit

Technology and opportunities in Bhutan highlighted at New Delhi summit

NEW DELHI – A small landlocked country in the north of South Asia, at the foot of the Himalayas, Bhutan sits between two economic giants, India and China, with its goods having to cross the borders of these two countries for any sort of international trade to happen. Bhutan was also famously the last country [...]

Ransomware, kidnapping your information, from files to photos

Ransomware, kidnapping your information, from files to photos

When someone is abducted or kidnapped against his will and held captive unlawfully, this is typically to obtain a ransom or is part of an extortion scheme. Ransom or money is extorted using force or threats. Such crimes have evolved over the years and are now prevalent in the cyber world and known as ‘ransomware’. [...]

Is Sri Lanka ready for Digital Health? Yes, but we need the political commitment to make it happen

Is Sri Lanka ready for Digital Health? Yes, but we need the political commitment to make it happen

My column last month on how Google Loons and a Cloud Based Health Record System can transform healthcare in Sri Lanka attracted much attention. I received emails from across the world, all positive. It was even posted on a LinkedIn group ‘Healthcare Board’ with the caption “Is Sri Lanka ready for Digital Health?” My answer [...]

Biorobotics projects at the University of Moratuwa

Biorobotics projects at the University of Moratuwa

Robots, Robotics, Robotic Technology are well known terms to the modern society, but what is Biorobotics? In short it is the development of biologically inspired robots. In the world-wide context it has become a hot topic over the last decade among reseachers and engineers. As a country where do we stand in this technological saga? [...]

Lankaputhra Development Bank donates medical equipment to rural hospitals in Matara District

Lankaputhra Development Bank donates medical equipment to rural hospitals in Matara District

Lankaputhra Development Bank (LDB) recently donated much-needed clinical medical equipment to rural hospitals in the Matara District. Blood pressure monitors, medicine trolleys, water purification systems and electric fans were some of the donated equipmnt. The equipment will be distributed to the offices of the Medical Officers of Morawaka, Kotapola, Urubokka and Pasgoda. Representatives of the [...]

People’s Bank receives World Finance Banking Awards 2015 for second consecutive year

People’s Bank receives World Finance Banking Awards 2015 for second consecutive year

People’s Bank was recently adjudged Sri Lanka’s ‘Best Banking Group’ and ‘Most Sustainable Bank’ for 2015 by the World Finance Banking Awards 2015 for the second consecutive year. “People’s Bank was presented these awards in recognition of showcasing its excellence in its internal and external operations, differentiation in offering varied financial solutions, innovative systems and [...]

Rumblings at the Central Bank

Rumblings of discontent are emerging at the Central Bank where dozens of transfers have caused a lot of heartburn among senior staff. When Arjuna Mahendran took over as Central Bank Governor, the professional banker decreed that he would clean up the bank, get rid of the ‘rot’ during the former regime and put things right. [...]

LMRB launches “Wallet Monitor”, designed to track spending patterns of most Sri Lankan households

With the recent launch of LMRB’s Wallet Monitor, Sri Lankan marketers can now access an extensive database of the most sought after information areas that can significantly change the way marketers target their potential consumer, the research agency said. “The Wallet Monitor provides a deeper understanding of spending priorities of Sri Lankan households by offering [...]

Nearly 5000 Sri Lankans tour Spain annually

Spain is currently looking at attracting more tourists from Sri Lanka and South East Asia with an official team visiting Colombo this week to meet local travel agents. “In Spain we believe every market is important and has the potential to increase the number of people entering the country,” Tourism Counsellor and Director at Tourism [...]

Anantaya Passekudah, LAUGFS group’s second luxury resort, nearing completion

LAUGFS Group’s second luxury beach resort, Anantaya Passekudah, is nearing completion on Sri Lanka’s eastern coast. LAUGFS entered the leisure sector in 2014 with the launch of its first luxury beach resort, Anantaya Resorts & Spa, in Chilaw under LAUGFS Leisure Ltd. Within the same year, the company began construction of the second hotel of [...]

Renuka Hotels Group rebrands as RCH

Renuka City Hotel has enhanced its competitiveness within the Colombo city hotels by re-launching its branding , refurbishing its rooms and adding a rooftop view from the poolside since its latest improvements. Spending over Rs. 300 million for refurbishing its 99 rooms and adding a gymnasium and rooftop with a pool in addition to increasing [...]

SriLankan Airlines wins “Excellence in Human Resource – South Asia” award at SHRM international Awards

SriLankan Airlines won the “”Excellence in Human Resource – South Asia” award at the annual sessions and SHRM international Award Ceremony, held in India recently. SriLankan was competing with many entities from the South Asian region, excluding those of India, competing under the national category. Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) [...]

Sri Lanka to be transformed to a smart country, says Megapolis Minister

Sri Lanka is to be transformed to a smart country with Colombo remaining as the epicentre for economic activities under the newly-introduced megapolis concept spanning from Negombo to Beruwela; Megapolis and Western Region Development Minister Champika Rnawaka revealed. The entire Western Province will be a megapolis area by 2030, which ensures equal opportunities for every [...]

Stationery specialist ATLAS in unique consumer engagement at recent book fair

Stationery specialist ATLAS in unique consumer engagement at recent book fair

ATLAS, seen as Sri Lanka’s leading brand in school and office stationery, was part of the recent Colombo International Book Fair, now in its 17th year of existence. “Making its presence felt, reaching out to engage with people and communities of all ages and places, irrespective of age or race, the Atlas stall was a [...]

Ceylinco Shriram and Celestial Residencies

I am a victim of the collapse of Ceylinco Shriram Company. I deposited over Rs. 16 million in this company and I have got back only Rs. 1.5 million, less than 10 per cent of the investment. My wife and I were living in a rented house and we were trying to sell a property [...]

GSK to sell cardiology drug Benitec in Sri Lanka

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (GSK) has strengthened its portfolio of cardiology drugs in Sri Lanka with the introduction of Benitec™, the original Olmesartan Medoxomil developed by Daiichi-Sankyo, for the treatment of hypertension. “Proven to reduce systolic blood pressure by -12 mmHg over 24 hours and also provide blood pressure (BP) control for the early morning BP Surge1 [...]

Sri Lanka’s SMEs: Lot of interest but yet to reach its full potential

Though there is a great interest and emphasis on Small and Medium scale enterprises (SMEs) as the engine of growth and job creation especially in the rural and former conflict affected areas, the SME sector is yet to be developed its full potential. nderstanding this factor and the potential, several institutions have attempted to reinvigorate [...]

Sri Lanka putting together social market economy model

The Sri Lankan Government in the coming months will embark on reforms on a social market economy model that encompasses the participation of the private sector, the trade unions and others. This, according to Parliamentary Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, is to a chieve the five-fold development strategy put forward by the Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe to [...]

Stress management workshop in Colombo

“Stress and the Mind”, a workshop organised by the Young Muslim Women’s League (YMWL) will be held on Sunday, October 18 at the Alliance Francaise de Colombo at Barnes Place, Colombo. Starting at 9 am the workshop will be conducted by Shyama Fuad who is a practising Psychologist at Bridging Borders in Australia. Ms. Fuad [...]

ADB to assess the railway system for re-hauling

Chandrasekera The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will initiate project preparatory technical assistance to assess the railway system in the Colombo Metropolitan Region (CMR), officials said. This is in line with expanding its operations into highways in addition to their conventional investments in highways, water supply and sanitation. “(In terms of expanding into railways, the ADB) [...]

Business Bio Diversity Platform works towards sustainable businesses

The concept behind the Business and Bio Diversity Platform launched jointly with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in August 2012 was to create awareness among its stakeholders such as businesses to understand issues related to bio diversity. Although the project is termed as the Bio-Diversity Platform it includes a whole gamut of environmental issues as [...]

Ravi meets Singapore markets expert, but insists it’s ‘private’

Magnus Bocker, former CEO of the Singapore Stock Exchange had a meeting in Colombo on Monday with Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on the capital markets, which was labelled as ‘a private meeting’ by the latter. The Minister on the sidelines of the Fourth Forum of the “Ease of Doing Business” on Thursday asked by the [...]

State push for tea price hike

The government has plans to artificially boost tea prices aimed at assisting the industry in the wake of crisis faced by the exporters. Plantation Minister Navin Dissanayaka addressing the media at the ministry office in Battaramulla said that since tea prices were falling, the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) would be called to purchase tea [...]

Classic Travel supports International Coastal Clean Up project

Sri Lankan travel solutions provider, Classic Travel stepped forward to support ‘International Coastal Cleanup 2015’ from September 9-23 in collaboration with the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA), Sri Lanka at the Galle Face Green. Event organizers, South Asia Co-coperative Environmental Programme is an inter-governmental organization established by the governments of South Asia in 1982. The [...]

US help to strengthen SL reforms and justice system

The US Government is granting US$2.6 million under a new programme to help reform Sri Lanka’s justice system including training to improve individual skills, promote policies to professionalize criminal justice institutions and practitioners and ensure better coordination between police and prosecutors. In addition a separate programme will help build Sri Lanka’s capacity to handle complex [...]

Hayleys buys Sri Lanka shipping bunkering arm

Hayleys PLC recently bought Sri Lanka Shipping Company’s bunkering arm Lanka Maritime Services Ltd (LMTS) in a strategic takeover, Hayleys officials said. “Hayleys wants to control its logistics while being a supplier of bunkering services (Bunkering is a process of transferring oil, sludge or cargo to and from ship) to the region,” an official told [...]

Ma’s Foods says it’s providing a sustainable future for local agriculture

Ma’s Food Processing (Pvt) Ltd, a 25 year-old top food manufacturer, has been moving more and more of its products in line with organic farming and production principles over the last 10 years. This family- owned company prides itself in constantly working towards the betterment of its employees, suppliers and consumers, according to a company [...]

Retired officers of the Central Bank badly hit by aggravating pension anomalies

One observes a sense of satisfaction amongst Government pensioners who have received justifiable increases of their pensions after making prolonged agitation over a long period. This is undoubtedly a reward they rightly deserve for their long and edicatd services throughout their careers. There are strong grounds to justify superannuation benefits offered to employees to be [...]

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