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Power crisis that stunned the nation

Power crisis that stunned the nation

A shopkeeper works with candles during a power cut in Colombo. Pic by Amila Gamage

Longer wait for elder citizens seeking higher interest on finance company deposits

Confusion continued for the umpteenth time in the arena of higher interest rates for senior citizens in finance companies as this 2016 budget proposal continued to elude those eligible. Not surprising since the higher interest scheme for senior citizens has been dogged by issues ever since its introduction in the Mahinda Rajapaksa budget of October [...]

BT journalist abused at hotel event

A senior journalist from the Business Times (BT) was abused and threatened by Sri Lankan businessman Harry Jayawardena on Monday at the launch of Heritance Negombo, because he didn’t agree with what the reporter had written previously. It was the second time in six years that a reporter from the same paper had been ‘verbally’ [...]

U-turn by Sri Lanka: Suspended TV digitalisation deal back to Japan

The government, after a lull of over a year, and to the dismay of the community of broadcasters, has decided to hand over ‘Sri Lanka’s Digitalisation of Television Broadcasting Project’ back to the Japanese company which was earlier contracted by the previous Rajapaksa regime. This decision has been taken by the cabinet economic management committee [...]

Elephants trumpet animal rights

Sri Lanka’s tourism sector, in the wake of global travel companies not endorsing elephant rides, is studying this issue as the country is a destination that clearly markets its elephants to attract visitors. International travel companies like Australia’s Intrepid Travel Group have clearly stated that they do not endorse elephant rides but on the other [...]

Industry urges govt. to cut tax anomalies on new vehicles

Industry experts have called on the government to tax brand new vehicles on the car manufacturers’ price. “We’re making representations to the Treasury on this. We don’t agree with the current way of taxing brand new cars,” Arthur Senanayake, Chairman IWS Holdings, a company dealing in luxury vehicles, told the Business Times. The most ‘transparent’ [...]

Proposed national minimum wage law: Preliminary victory for workers

A bill was recently passed in parliament on March 11 that ensures private sector workers earning less than Rs. 40,000 will receive a mandated Rs. 2,500 increase. In addition, the bill fulfils a pledge from the Rajapaksa era to institute a national minimum wage of Rs. 10,000. While some details may be modified in the process [...]

IMF New Delhi conference prods on Asia including Sri Lanka towards high growth

IMF New Delhi conference prods on Asia including Sri Lanka towards high growth

Asian countries including Sri Lanka, India , Bangladesh, and Nepal have been directed to maintain high growth and job creation and take further strides in reducing poverty, Asian policy makers declared at the 3-day conference on “Advancing Asia: Investing of the Future in New Delhi”, India recently. Sri Lanka should focus on improving the balance of [...]

Paranthan Chemicals plays key role in the provision of safe drinking water

Paranthan Chemicals plays key role in the provision of safe drinking water

State-owned Paranthan Chemicals Company Ltd said this week that it was associated with the National Water Supply and Drainage Board in the provision of safe drinking water for generations of Sri Lankans by fulfilling chemical requirement in water purification. Issuing a statement to coincide with World Water Day which was marked on March 22, the [...]

Aussie-based, Sri Lankan-owned company mulls expansion in Asia

Sydney-based Business Systems Certification (BCert) owned by a Australian-based Sri Lankan couple recently held a presentation on its business at the Cinnamon Lakeside in Colombo.  The company was formed on October 2012 by Samath Fernando and Samanthie Fernando to provide certification services globally and has been accredited by JAS-ANZ (Joint Accreditation System of Australia and [...]

Mitsubishi Corp to supply and install power transmission cables for CEB

Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), together with J-Power Systems Corporation (subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd) and LTL Projects (Pvt) Ltd (LTL) of Sri Lanka, has been awarded a contract by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) for the installation of underground transmission and distribution cables in the Greater Colombo region of Sri Lanka. MC and JPS will [...]

APCERT conducts ‘cyber drill’ on an evolving threat and financial fraud

The Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team (APCERT) this week successfully completed its annual drill to test the response capability of leading Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT) from the Asia Pacific economies. For the fifth time, APCERT involved the participation of members from the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation – Computer Emergency Response Team [...]

Heat over ETCA

SLAAS Auditorium at Vidya Mawatha, Colombo 7: The crowd is sparse at the auditorium of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science on Wednesday evening but the speeches – some fiery – emanating from a panel discussion on a controversial topic – the Economic and Technol ogy Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) -, are explosive. You [...]

SLT says it now provides island-wide telephone and network coverage

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the national telephone service provider which started its ‘i-Sri Lanka’ project in 2011,says it has covered every nook and corner of the country in providing telephone and network coverage. The closing ceremony of the project will be officially held tomorrow (28 March) at the Waters Edge in Colombo, as stated at [...]

New feeder service between Colombo and Yangon by SAR MARITIME

Continental Shipping Line Pte Ltd (CSLPL) this week announced the commencement of a feeder service connecting Colombo directly with Yangon for the first time and subsequently Chennai with the arrival of the M.V. Pathein Star with a capacity of 1468 TEU on March 19. The vessel is also able to accommodate small parcels of break bulk [...]

ETCA more detrimental than beneficial to Sri Lanka, professionals say

The Sri Lankan government’s plan to enter into an Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India, which has stirred a lot of controversy in recent weeks, was torn to bits by speakers at a public forum on the issue organised by the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) at its auditorium [...]

IWS Holdings accepting orders for Volvo XC90

IWS Holdings accepting orders for Volvo XC90

The IWS Holdings Group, known for dealerships in major luxury vehicle brands, is taking orders for Volvo XC90, a mid-size luxury crossover SUV on the back of its newly secured dealership, officials said. Appointed as the new dealer of Volvo in Sri Lanka last August, IWS Holdings Group (IWS) has many plans to market this brand [...]

Further strengthening of the bamboo industry in Sri Lanka

Further strengthening of the  bamboo industry in Sri Lanka

A workshop was held recently in Colombo on “Strengthening the Bamboo Processing Industry in Sri Lanka” organised by the UNIDO Country Programme under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to promote and strengthen the bamboo sector in Sri Lanka. ”Bamboo Processing Sri Lanka” reflects the principles of Inclusive Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) which is the core [...]

Latest tech applications for competitive garment sector introduced by DMS

Overcoming issues like sufficient labour, ensuring high efficiency and controlling overheads, etc in Sri Lanka’s garment sector is one of the main challenges of this highly, competitive global export industry. To overcome these challenges DMS Garment Technologies (Pvt) (DMS) Ltd, promoters of the world’s best solutions towards lean manufacturing, has been supporting the Sri Lankan garment [...]

Pelwatte Dairy now offers special unsalted butter packs for hotels, industry

Pelwatte Dairy Industries Ltd, a leading manufacturer of locally produced dairy products, is introducing a range of specially packed bulk unsalted butter specifically for the hotel and catering industries. Targeting the upcoming festive season, the bulk packs will come in three sizes and will be available directly on-order from Pelwatte Dairy, the company said. The pack [...]

CA Sri Lanka launches new Integrated Reporting Council

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), in a fresh initiative to further enhance best practices of financial reporting amongst corporates in the country, has launched the Integrated Reporting Council (IR Council), comprising professionals from the accounting and non-accounting sectors, regulators and academics. The inaugural meeting of the IR Council was held [...]

‘idea2fund’, the venture challenge platform initiated by MTI

Corporate Finance (MTI) has shortlisted 60 entry applications for the next round of concept presentations on March 26-27 at the Hilton Colombo Hotel. ”The task of shortlisting entry applications was a tough one given the overwhelming response to the first wave of the ‘idea2fund’ platform which saw almost 250 entry applications being received. Out of the [...]

‘Small is beautiful – the Nano revolution at Homagama’

‘Small is beautiful – the Nano revolution at Homagama’

HOMAGAMA – Let’s cut to the chase immediately. This sheet of newspaper you are holding in your hand is about 100,000 nanometres thick. This is the minute, nay micron, scale on which 70 local scientists hidden in Homagama, a few km outside Colombo, are working on trying to engineer this country’s emergence as a tech-savvy [...]

Fourth industrial revolution and speed of innovation

Fourth industrial revolution and speed of  innovation

The Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) invited me to be the Chief Guest at the second session of their convocation last month and to deliver the convocation address. I accepted the invitation readily because I felt that it was an opportunity for me to share some ideas that may help shape the future [...]

Our world of Smartphones and Apps

Our world of Smartphones and Apps

Today, the application ecosystem is empowering our lives in ways which it was not possible a few years ago. The mobile web surfing has declined while the mobile app usage increased in recent years. This is primarily because the native app usage on smartphones has continued to grow at the expense of the mobile web. [...]

Blackouts: How risky can it get for your business?

Blackouts: How risky can it get for your business?

‘Gone – gone – gone’ was a frequent echo heard these days, mainly on two fronts.  One was to cheerfully illustrate the towering sixes in the T20 Cricket world cup – courtesy Chris Gayle and the likes. The other was to dejectedly announce the sudden crash of power supply that shook the nation.  Let’s focus [...]

Lanka Walltiles to expand into other businesses

The Lanka Walltiles PLC (LWL), manufacturer and exporter of wall tiles has plans for expand into other businesses, officials said. ”We want to add another production line and expand into related businesses,” an official told the Business Times. LWL group bottomline more than doubled to 119 per cent year on year (YoY) in Q3 FY 16 [...]

Sri Lanka’s poverty line: More than just a number

A recent media report indicated that the national poverty line is to be increased from Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 5,000 per person per month, signalling a much welcome willingness by the government to take a serious look at poverty, which is linked to a wider set of ‘reforms’ in social welfare and protection. The proposed [...]

ZEN Rooms, after Indonesian success, announces expansion to Sri Lanka, other countries

Singapore — ZEN Rooms (powered by Rocket Internet) confirms its top position in the South East Asia budget hotel sector by announcing the opening of operations in four new countries: Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Philippines. In line with its slogan Sleep Well, Pay Less!, ZEN Rooms has assisted thousands of travellers on short and [...]

SL planters say harvesting efficiency of available workforce crucial for industry survival

Sri Lankan Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs), with a view to ensure the sustainability of a rapidly failing industry, are introducing suitable ‘tea harvesters’ on certain estates to improve productivity. To support plantations workers too in improving productivity, RPCs are mulling greater use of manual shears, recent experiments of which have shown early encouraging signs.  In [...]

Depositors of another failed Ceylinco-connected firm say CB yet to give back their dues

Long-suffering depositors of the Standard Credit Finance Co, one of the companies that collapsed in the crash of the Ceylinco empire many years ago, have once again urged the Central Bank (CB) to consider paying them similar to the current payment exercise involving Golden Key (GK).  In a letter to the CB Governor copied to [...]

IFC, Canada invest in Sri Lanka’s Richard Pieris to support ‘green retail growth, create jobs

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with the support of the Government of Canada, is investing US$15 million in Sri Lankan retail chain Richard Pieris Distributors Ltd.  The investment will help the company expand its modern retail network, support job creation, and develop local supply chains. It will also be used to install [...]

Lanka: Promoting equitable access to education

Lanka: Promoting equitable access to education

Sri Lanka has promoted equitable access to roughly 3.2 million students, with 52 per cent of them female students, and improved the quality of education by promoting school-based teacher development and the regular measurement of learning outcomes and through strengthening governance and delivery of education services. The country has approximately four million school children with 215,000 [...]

BOI approves Aban’s Seeduwa IT logistics park

The Board of Investment (BOI) has approved a proposal by the Abans Group to set up an IT logistics park on its 18 acre leased-out land at Seeduwa, officials said.  The land lease was to be revoked by the BOI as no development had taken place on the property, they said. Earlier Abans was expected [...]

CIC-owned Cial brand unveils new range of pens

Cial, a well known brand owned by CIC Holdings PLC, recently unveiled two ranges of pens – the Cial i-teen and Cial Premio. Cial i-teen is aimed at teenagers and school children, while the Cial premio is tailored for academics and executives.  The i-teen pen comes in with novel oil gel concept which assures soft [...]

CSE wins Global HR Excellence Award for Innovation in Training and Development

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) won the award for “The Most Innovative Use of Training and Development” at the recently concluded World HRD Congress in Mumbai, India.  Attracting participation from organizations representing over 100 countries, the Global HR Excellence Awards recognize organizations and HR professionals for excellence in HR strategy and people management, CSE said [...]

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