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More cars (and), more congestion in Colombo

More cars (and), more congestion in Colombo

Is this a building?  The latest car carrier to dock at the Hambantota harbour last week resembles a huge building. The K’ Line car carrier M/V Hyperion Highway unloaded 523 motor vehicles from Japan at the port. Port sources said another 15 vehicle carriers are expected to arrive at Hambantota port in late January mainly [...]

Central Bank to restructure, recapitalise and sell troubled Entrust Securities

Auditor KPMG, under the aegis of the Central Bank (CB), is carrying out an audit on the beleaguered primary dealer Entrust Securities Ltd based on which the regulator will restructure, recapitalise and ultimate sell off the unit, a top official said. CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran told the Business Times on Wednesday that Entrust has been ‘quarantined’ [...]

Used, not new, cars in future for government servants

The cash-strapped government will stop the practice of buying new vehicles for government agencies and instead hire used or reconditioned vehicles as a cost cutting measure. This decision was announced at a high level meeting held at the Finance Ministry in Colombo, last week, official sources revealed adding that the Treasury will call for bids from [...]

Soros-funded, 3-year economic development plan for Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan government, in the face of serious economic issues, is to present a three year economic development plan next month with the assistance of a team of local economic experts, senior officials and Harvard University academics, official source revealed. Billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros and the Open Society Foundation is funding this effort. [...]

Trade unions to meet EU team on GSP+

Trade unions representing workers in apparel factories in the country have prepared a road map to regain the European Union (EU) trade concession through the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) + to be submitted next week. The proposal would be forwarded to the EU delegation arriving in the country next week to discuss with  the relevant [...]

Presidential commission becomes the order of the day to solve GK mystery

Presidential commission becomes the order of the day to solve GK mystery

With the release of over Rs. 3 billion from the Treasury funds to complete the second phase of the repayment of 41 per cent of deposits ranging from Rs. 2 million to Rs.10 million of the failed Golden Key Credit Card Company (GK) depositors, the task of selling the GK assets to recover the public [...]

World-class forums futile without rectifying economic fundamentals

World-class forums futile without rectifying economic fundamentals

The recently concluded Sri Lanka Economic Forum seems to have brought home the same old message – the path to economic prosperity is not smooth. The country’s economic growth cannot be accelerated without proper housekeeping.  Reforms are essential in public finances and other critical areas. The recent experience in Sri Lanka, however, has proved that [...]

Three cooks in a budget soup

A joke doing the rounds in Sri Lanka is that the only remaining part of Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s 2016 budget speech is “Honourable Speaker …”Everything else has been amended, changed or suspended … at least a large part. That’s not all … consider the confusion. Gazette notifications or Treasury circulars – two processes that [...]

Sri Lanka’s DNA specialist offers quick diagnosis on bacterial or fungal infections

Credence Genomics (Pvt) Ltd, a Sri Lankan firm which specialises in cutting edge DNA technology, says it is now able to diagnose within 24 hours whether one has a bacterial or a fungal infection. “This is a simple, cost efficient test which will tell you whether it is necessary for you to take antibiotics,” the [...]

Why is economic justice not on the transitional justice agenda?

Why is economic justice not on the transitional justice agenda?

Respect for the right to truth is recognised as central to post-war justice. The rightful demands of victim-survivors and their families for justice and the truth regarding many grievous harms and human rights abuses are at the heart of emerging transitional justice processes in Sri Lanka. But what about economic harms and injustices? After all [...]

Sri Lanka offers better quality of life than Venezuela, says former Venezuelan economist

Sri Lanka offers better quality of life than  Venezuela, says former Venezuelan economist

Sri Lanka is ‘one more’ country that was dramatically poorer than Venezuela 20 years ago but now offers a better quality of life than what Venezuela can offer, according to Ricardo Hausmann, Director of the US-based Centre for International Development, adding: “We must change this!” Hausmann, also Professor of the Practice of Economic Development at the [...]

Crisis in Sri Lanka’s age-old toddy industry as licence fees rise sharply

Crisis in Sri Lanka’s age-old toddy  industry as licence fees rise sharply

A recent 2016 Budget proposal to sharply increase the annual licence fee for toddy bottling plants and collection centres may well result in the death knell of an ages-old industry in which thousands of families depend on.  It is affecting the bottom end of the employed society where the toddy tapper is said to be [...]

Sri Lanka remains a country without a water development policy

A water development policy is a critical need in Sri Lanka but despite many discussions in parliament and the government, nothing has happened in formulating one, says Parliamentary Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. He made this statement while addressing the 8th International Perspective on Water Resources and the Environment (IPWE) Conference held at the Cinnamon Grand in Colombo [...]

On-arrival visa fee permitted in 5 currencies at Colombo airport

Tourists seeking an on-arrival visa at the Bandaranaike International Airport can now pay the visa fee in five popular foreign currencies instead of only in US dollars earlier, the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Affairs announced on Wednesay. It didn’t say what the other currencies were but the most frequently used currencies in hotels and [...]

CES 2016: Netflix adds over 130 countries, including Sri Lanka

CES 2016: Netflix adds over  130 countries, including Sri Lanka

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held once again in Las Vegas two weeks ago, this time breaking attendance records with over 170,000 visiting, of which 50,000 were international delegates. It also reportedly hosted around 3,800 exhibitors, utilising in excess of 2.5 million square feet of exhibition space, while also being covered by 6,000 [...]

Cisco eyes Sri Lanka’s transformation into a digitised nation

Cisco eyes Sri Lanka’s transformation into a digitised nation

American multinational technology company Cisco Systems Inc is very keen in deploying many of its advanced modern digitised technologies and services in Sri Lanka.  The company is in discussions with the government of Sri Lanka on implementing some of its new services, Amit Malik, Cisco Director for India and SAARC told the Business Times on [...]

SriLankan Airlines expects late delivery of A350 Airbus’ due to financial crisis

SriLankan Airlines expects late delivery of A350 Airbus’ due to financial crisis

Debt-ridden SriLankan Airlines, bidding farewell to its last and the oldest A340-300 aircraft which has been in operation for more than two decades in the fleet, says it is delaying the delivery of an order of eight A350-900 aircrafts from Airbus until its acute financial position is sorted out. In view of the financial situation, the [...]

UK Foreign Affairs Minister urges military collaboration with Sri Lanka

UK Foreign Affairs Minister urges military collaboration with Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom (UK) have very close bilateral military relations in the past and a resumption of this cooperation and collaboration would be very welcome, says Hugo Swire, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the UK during a visit to Colombo.  Mr. Swire made this statement at a media briefing organized [...]

Four years of occupancy, rate stress in SL’s 5 star properties

Sri Lanka’s 5-star hotels are poised to face a “stress in occupancies and rates” for the next four years in the wake of the new hotels entering the market, a tourism expert analyst said on Wednesday. Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels and Hospitality Managing Director Mandeep Lamba told the Business Times, on the sidelines of a media [...]

SL’s stockmarket crime buster objects to new CLDC CEO

Sri Lanka’s top stockmarket crime buster has raised issue over the appointment of the new Chief Exective Officer to Colombo Land and Development Company (CLDC) citing ‘serious conflicts of interest’ issues. In a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Thilak Karunaratne, K. Vignarajah says that Vasula Premawardhana, who has been appointed as the CEO [...]

Uber launches its new, most affordable option in Sri Lanka

Uber, Sri Lanka’s growing on-demand personality mobility app, this week launched ‘uberGO’ which introduces smaller hatchback vehicles at more economical rates.The launch of uberGO in Colombo, less than three months after Uber’s entry into the market, reaffirms the overwhelming support from Sri Lankans for more smarter urban mobility options, the company said in a media [...]

Dankotuwa Porcelain expands to Pakistan

Dankotuwa Porcelain expands to Pakistan

Dankotuwa Porcelain, a brand synonymous with masterful perfection in porcelain tableware, recently tied up with Pakistan firm SFnZ & Co in an effort to introduce uber-stylish tableware brand to that country. Although Dankotuwa tableware is found in prestigious outlets globally such as Macy’s Department Stores, British Home Stores, John Lewis, Jashanmal, El Corte Ingles, Berghoff & [...]

Sri Lankan firm embarks on a Pakistani hydro power project

Sri Lanka’s Eagle Power Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of the SPA Group of companies, has gained a strong foothold overseas as it embarks on a partnership in the development of hydro power plant in Pakistan.The Sri Lankan company, is setting up a 40 MW hydro power plant near Kashmir tributary in Pakistan in partnership with [...]

Social entrepreneurship is crucial part of Sri Lanka’s development

An ordinary villager on Thursday clearly illustrated what social entrepreneurship, a new kind of entrepreneur being actively promoted in Sri Lanka, is and on occasion how hard it is to become successful.Kumari Darmaratne from Wanaraniya, a remote village in the Matale district, was speaking at a forum that discussed ‘Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation and Social [...]

Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines among top 20 safest airlines in the world

Emirates, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines are among the top 20 safest airlines in the world, according to Airline Ratings whose is the world’s best one-stop airline safety and product rating review websiteTop of the list for the third year running was Australia’s Qantas, which has a fatality free record in the jet era, [...]

EZY Racing to develop Sri Lankan racing car

EZY Motor Racing Corporation, an associate firm of longtime local computer hardware and software distributor EZY Holdings, is aiming to develop its own, Sri Lankan-made racing car. This is with the hope that this initiative could also lead to the introdution of a commercial motor vehicle one day, according to the racing company’s Race Director [...]

Transcend launches Car Video Recorder range in SL

Taiwanese computer hardware maker Transcend has launched a Car Video Recorder range in Sri Lanka, together with local partner EZY Distribution.According to a statement, “The growing number of vehicles and the rising traffic levels have given way to a proliferation in road accidents over the years. Road safety has not only become a pivotal issue [...]

“Entrusted with public funds, they failed”

In a letter, the Central Bank has raised some issues with the article under the above headline which appeared last week. It has denied the report that CB’s Deposit Insurance Fund had been used to bail-out the troubled firm. “This is totally incorrect and the Central Bank’s Deposit Insurance Fund has not been utilized to bail-out [...]

SL bank workers protest over plans to privatise state banks

SL bank workers protest over plans to privatise state banks

Sri Lanka’s state owned bank employees have intensified their protest campaign against a government move toward privatisation of state banks by way of outsourcing its major divisions, suppress trade union members and clip its income generation avenues. The People’s Bank branch of the Ceylon Bank Employees Union (CBEU) staged a protest demonstration at the Head [...]

SLPA considers JV for East terminal on PPP basis

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is currently looking at development of the East Container Terminal (ECT) to construct the first berth by itself and the rest through a joint venture initiative, a study carried out on the options available to the port has stated.The November 2015 “Study on Development Options of East Container Terminal [...]

SLINTEC to provide EDB with R&D to help exports

The Export Development Board (EDB) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) to enhance research and development access to Sri Lanka’s exporters. As part of that endeavour EDB has provided space to SLINTEC to open a satellite office at their headquarters in Nawam Mawatha, according to an [...]

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