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Message in a bottle!

Message in a bottle!

1980s’ song “Message in a bottle” made famous by British band Police and its charismatic leader Sting was transformed into a unique invitation for a recent Sri Lankan event promoting glass as a healthier packaging material than plastics. Picture by Anuradha Bandara shows the ‘message in a bottle’ invitation.

Sri Lanka’s monorail plan shelved; light rail on the cards

The Government has abandoned the widely anticipated monorail system for Sri Lanka and instead opted for light rail in the short run as a remedy to heavy traffic congestion in Colombo, official sources revealed. Light rail is a metropolitan electric railway system which operates single cars or short trains along exclusive right of way at ground [...]

GSP+ benefits for just 7 years!

After all the ha-ho over GSP+, it appears that Sri Lanka would now enjoy these concessions – that is if the European Union (EU) approves Sri Lanka’s application – for a maximum seven years. This is on the basis that Sri Lanka is set to reach upper middle income country status by end 2016 and GSP+ [...]

‘Entrust’ files to Police for action

The ‘Entrust files’ pertaining to irregularities at Entrust Securities, a primary market dealer, have been handed over to the Police Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) for action against involved officials, a top official said on Thursday.  ”We have handed over the case (files on the probe) to the FCID for action,” Central Bank (CB) Governor [...]

Customs, IRD continue protest amidst Ravi’s denials

Sri Lanka Customs and Inland Revenue Department (IRD) officers held protest campaigns this week against alleged attempts to set up an investigations unit to monitor revenue collection and outsourcing tax collection. Responding to a question raised by the Business Times at a media briefing on Friday, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said there were no protest campaigns and [...]

Resurrection of CBSL bond probe: May the truth prevail

With the resurfacing of a probe on the Central Bank bond issue by COPE (Committee of Public Enterprises), there is likely to be a serious public focus on the matter. It was considered an important issue due to various underlying aspects with allegations f fraud and improprieties in addition to raising issues of good governance [...]

Monetary and financial issues missing in WB report on poverty

Monetary and financial issues  missing in WB report on poverty

The World Bank, in its Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) report titled “Sri Lanka – Ending Poverty and Promoting Shared Prosperity” which was launched at the soothing environs of ‘Ape Gama’, Battaramulla on February 16, presents an assessment of the constraints and drivers of progress towards the twin goals of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity. [...]

ETCA vs CEPA: Fear of the unknown

The only difference is that the shoe is on the wrong foot; this is old wine in a new bottle or that the actors have changed places.  The issues are the same; the fears unchanged, particularly fear of the unknown. It is a virtual replay of the same game – if one uses cricketing parlance [...]

Ambitious super electric car manufacturers ‘Vega’ to upgrade performance

Ambitious super electric car manufacturers ‘Vega’ to upgrade performance

Sri Lanka’s first super electric car manufacturers ‘Vega’, plans to upgrade some of its performance features similar to that of the performance of world-renowned Lamborghini and Ferrari cars.  The Vega super electric car which is designed to accelerate from 0 to 100 km per hour in 3.6 seconds will be modified to accelerate the same [...]

Inland Revenue Department Employee Protest against Finance Ministry

Inland Revenue Department Employee Protest against Finance Ministry

Employees of the Inland Revenue Department staged a protest demonstration this week against the department’s attempt to outsource the collection of defaulted tax on the directions of the Finance Ministry. But Minister Ravi Karunanayake denied the claims as baseless stating that trade unions have been misled on tax collection measures.

STC introduces GrainPro’s hermetic storage ‘Cocoon’

Sri Lanka’s public sector State Trading Corporation (STC) has partnered with GrainPro to introduce hermetic storage technology locally via a product named “Cocoon”.  Interestingly, hermetic storage technology was first developed by Israeli scientists in 1989. Later, it was trialled for a six month period with the help of Sri Lanka’s Sarvodaya Movement, after which the [...]

Mars recalls chocolate bars from 55 nations including SL

THE HAGUE, (AFP) – Chocolate giant Mars on Tuesday ordered a massive recall of Mars and Snickers bars from 55 countries after a piece of plastic found in one bar was traced back to its Dutch factory. “As far as we know there are 55 countries involved,” Eline Bijveld, Mars corporate affairs coordinator for the Netherlands [...]

More than 100 foreign investors for March ‘Sri Lanka Investment Business Conclave’

The upcoming ‘Sri Lanka Investment and Business Conclave,’ has attracted 100 plus overseas investors with the largest group expected to come from Kuwait, numbering over 20 investors. The 3-day conclave on March 8-10 will see investors from countries such as Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, China, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Georgia, Kuwait, Maldives, Pakistan, South Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Vietnam [...]

Iran- Sri Lanka talks end well with further cooperation proposed

Iran- Sri Lanka talks end well with  further cooperation proposed

The 11th Session of the Sri Lanka Iran Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation organised by the Department of Commerce with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce concluded in Colombo on Wednesday. The Sri Lanka delegation was headed by the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen and included officials from the key ministries while the Iranian [...]

ADB to co-finance project in Sri Lanka with new AIIB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to co-finance a yet to be identified project in Sri Lanka with the newly-created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). ADB President Takehiko Nakao, who was in the country for a two-day visit, said at a media briefing in Colombo this week that the ADB would be happy to co-finance [...]

Crowdfunding to boost aspiring SL entrepreneurs

While on the one hand new innovations are emerging with technology development and new ideas flowing into the mind of an aspiring entrepreneur, financial stability on the other hand plays a key role in executing the developed product. Backed by an experienced consortium of founders, online platform ‘Crowdisland’ was launched last week at the Cinnamon [...]

Waters Edge aims at US$ 500 mln full hotel facility by 2030

Waters Edge Battaramulla is aiming to transform its hotel facility into a US$ 500 million revenue generating entity by 2030.  The hotel will be expanded with an investment of Rs. 13 billion, said Chamath De Silva, Chairman of the hotel. He made this statement at the opening of the ‘Project Implementing and Monitoring Office’ at [...]

Glass – healthier way to store foods

A key manufacturer in the glass industry has come forward together with government agencies to campaign for the use of glass bottles for safety and health concerns related to storage of foods. Piramal Glass CEO Sanjay Tiwari told the Business Times on the sidelines of a media briefing held on Wednesday that a new movement for [...]

Emirates delivers a 14,000km flight in the shortest time

Emirates Airline’s first non-stop service between Auckland and Dubai will be one of the longest air routes in the world by distance, but with the assistance of clever technology and good planning, passengers will get to their destination in the shortest possible time.  Emirates will be using flexible routes, which can vary by day, taking [...]

hSenid partners with Moota Telcom at MWC

Sri Lanka’s hSenid Mobile has signed a strategic partnership with Norway-based Moota Telecom at the recently concluded Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016, held in Barcelona, Spain, according to a company statement. As per the statement, “Moota Telecom pioneers in device configuration solutions ensuring telcos get control over subscriber mobile devices, whereas hSenid Mobile enables telcos to [...]

Ceylon Chamber welcomes ETCA but urges ‘White Paper” for public scrutiny

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) welcomed the Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament this week explaining the government stance on the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India but urged regular consultations and an “information sharing process with the private sector”.  “Any bilateral or regional agreement that Sri Lanka forges must be supportive [...]

ETCA is essential for Sri Lanka but transparency in draft process also necessary

There was consensus at a high-profile panel discussion this week on the need to implement the Indo-Lanka Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), which has stirred controversy in recent times similar to its earlier, proposed version, CEPA (Coprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) which has been abandoned.  There was general consensus too that the draft should be [...]

Singapore High Commissioner imparts knowledge on best investment practices at BOI discussion

Singapore High Commissioner  imparts knowledge on best  investment practices at BOI discussion

The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) recently conducted an interactive discussion with Chandra Das, High Commissioner of Singapore to Sri Lanka.  The High Commissioner shared his first-hand experience in the development of Singapore from Third World to First with leads in many development aspects, particularly in the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment, according [...]

Incompatible ‘archetype’ could limit leader’s effectiveness

Incompatible ‘archetype’ could limit leader’s effectiveness

A main cause of team or organisational dysfunction, or even executive failure, could be incompatibility between a leader’s “archetype” and the organisation in which they operate, leading to limited effectiveness, according to top brand development consulant Michel Nugawela. Mr. Nugawela made these comments at a recently concluded Chevron Lubricants Asia Pacific leadership team meeting, which [...]

Household Transfer Management Project to introduce digital transactions

The government will be expediting the implementation of the Household Transfer Management Project (HTM) with the aim of introducing National Digital Identity (NDI), which will ensure that all financial and non-financial digital transactions to be transpired in a secure manner. The NDI will have a unique number in all other relevant data bases namely – [...]

Resurgence in Sri Lanka’s economy soon

A well-known economist has said that the Government has launched a viable economic plan for the country, and, with the end of a long drawn conflict, an economic resurgence is expected. Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Advisor to the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade and former Director Economic Affairs of the Commonwealth Secretariat, making the keynote [...]

Signature Living bringing contemporary vertical living out of the box

Zamlank Developers Pvt Ltd through its brand ‘Signature Living’ said last week that it is bringing personalised luxury to Sri Lanka with the unveiling of two development sites in Nawala.  Situated in the rapidly growing hub of the Rajagiriya-Koswatte precinct, Signature Living intends to create elegantly designed spacious apartments with high-end modern features and fixtures. [...]

Singapore Exchange (SGX) goes live with Millennium PostTradeT

MillenniumIT, London Stock Exchange Group’s proprietary technology business, this week announced that it has successfully implemented its Millennium PostTradeT platform to support SGX’s Central Depository Pte Ltd’s (CDP) business.  Millennium PostTradeT, a highly integrated, real time clearing, settlement and depository platform will initially enhance SGX’s securities clearing and connectivity capabilities and provide a solid technology [...]

Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease in Weligama: Promising solution for Southern Coconut Growers

The Coconut Research Institute (CRI) at Lunuwila on the Northwest coast, has found a favourable solution to the Coconut Leaf Wilt disease affecting plantations in the south. This disease was first reported in 2006 in the Weligama area of the Matara district and was named as the Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease (WCLWD).  Later, the surveys [...]

Industry urges cohesive approach to build and market ‘Ceylon Tea’

Despite retaining nearly one-third of the orthodox tea market, Ceylon Tea industry is still subject to volatility and long-term price stresses. Industry stakeholders at a recently-held ‘Tea Strategy Workshop’ in Colombo this week made a call to build on its historic strongpoints to develop brands, form marketing partnerships, and move closer to the end-consumer in [...]

Few NGOs implement good governance practices, Verite Research says

Only a small number of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) implement good governance practices. Most CSOs either lack a clear distinction between the roles and responsibilities of the organisation’s management and board of directors, or disregard existing management structures in day-to-day operations, a new report by a Colombo-based research agency has said.  “Instead, the leadership of [...]

Most Sri Lankans in favour of scrapping executive presidential system, CPA poll shows

More than 36 per cent of Sri Lankans are ‘extremely agreeable’ to replacing the Executive Presidency system with one where the country is headed by a directly elected Prime Minister while 29.4 per cent say that they are ‘somewhat agreeable’, an opinion poll by Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy [...]

Inflation in January eases from December 2015

Inflation in January  eases from December 2015

Inflation, measured by the change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) (2013=100) compiled by the Department of Census and Statistics, fell by 0.7 per cent in January 2016 from 4.2 per cent in December 2015, on year-on-year basis mainly due to the higher base of the corresponding period in 2015.  In a media release, [...]

China excited about SL; Seeking deals with local banks – Mahendran

Chinese banks are more than keen to work with their local Sri Lankan counterparts, Central Bank (CB) Governor Arjuna Mahendran, after a recent 2-day visit to China, said.  ”China is excited about us. They are awaiting the Port City (construction). They want to refinance our banks and invest in agricultural based projects etc. They also [...]

EU and FAO support advancement of marine finfish farming in Sri Lanka

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the National Aquaculture Development Authority (NAQDA) is constructing a marine finfish hatchery in Tharmapuram, Batticaloa to fulfil the national objectives to promote marine finfish farming in the country.  The hatchery is being constructed with funding from the European Union’s Support to District [...]

Internet penetration and its likely impact on Sri Lanka’s economy

Sri Lanka is likely to bring in the benefits of the Internet service with improvements after it entered into a partnership agreement with the tech giant Google Inc. in July 2015 to launch the Loon, the balloon-based Internet service. Incidentally a Loon balloon landed in Sri Lanka last week as per schedule. Internet has dominated the [...]

Colombo port East Terminal call for EOI in March

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) will be calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) next month to enter into partnership for the construction of the East Container Terminal (ECT). SLPA sources told the Business Times that the EOI will be called for in March and that they had signed an agreement for consultancy services from the [...]

OPPO launches F1 ‘Selfie Expert’ in SL

Chinese phonemaker OPPO has locally launched its F1 “Selfie Expert” smart phone, which is available for Rs. 36,990 from this week onwards. This also follows the formal global launch of the OPPO F1 in Shenzen, China, on January 15, 2016, wherein potential customers from all over over the world got to pre-order the phone online [...]

SLT engineers continue work to rule for second week

The Telecommunication Engineers’ Union (TEU) of SriLanka Telecom (SLT) this week continued its trade union action of work to rule for the second week, saying the new management headed by Dileepa Wijesundera, Group CEO, is yet to fulfil their demands. These include settling vehicle allowances and related issues, arrears of transport allowance and related issues, duty [...]

Young Leaders of the Economic Forum on a journey of Culture and Heritage with Sri Lanka Tourism

A cultural event with authentic Sri Lankan food was arranged by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) to showcase the rich Sri Lankan culture and heritage to Young Global Leaders. The event was organised to coincide with WEF (World Economic Forum) Young Global Leaders South Asia Bridge Initiative Strategy Meeting held in Sri Lanka on [...]

TAC partners with Earth Hour Sri Lanka as official social media agency

Team TAC has partnered with the Sri Lankan operations of WWF’s global environmental movement Earth Hour.  In a media release, TAC said that as a local social media agency with clients across the globe it will be enhancing the Facebook presence of Earth Hour in Sri Lanka by developing content to be published through which [...]

Village communities need to get involved in the disaster management process

The ‘Sendai Spring – turning risk to resilience – is an agreement by global leaders in March 2015. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) for the first time sets targets and acknowledges risks that go beyond natural hazards and highlights the role of various stakeholders, specially the local civil society. In Sri Lanka alongside [...]

Triple win for Club Hotel Dolphin

Serendib Leisure Management, a member of Hemas Holdings, said this week that its Club Hotel Dolphin has won back-to-back awards concluding a very successful 2015.  The hotel has been recognised in the “Top Hotels” category of the 2016 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice™ awards for Hotels, where the Top 25 hotels in each country are selected and [...]

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