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Leading lights behind ‘Oust Rajapaksa’ campaign now target CB Governor

Leading lights behind ‘Oust Rajapaksa’ campaign now target CB Governor

Twenty organisations, including top personalities who led a civil society campaign to oust former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, this week turned the guns on under-fire Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. The protestors are urging the President not to re-appoint him for a fresh term.    Pic by M.D. Nissanka

East Container Terminal’s govt. stake in the balance

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority’s (SLPA) stake in the East Container Terminal (ECT) is to be reduced significantly (to 15 per cent) despite Cabinet approval being given in February for a 51 per cent stake, a top official at the authority said.  The previous announcement by the Ports Ministry in a media release issued on [...]

Harvard University’s ‘CID’ to diagnose Sri Lanka’s economic growth ills

The deeply-indebted Sri Lankan government has been forced to seek foreign expertise to identify the most binding constraints that hamper economic growth at this specific point of time as it is necessary for the implementation of the 4-year economic development plan which is to be unveiled soon.  In this backdrop, US based Harvard University’s Center [...]

IMF directs CB to adopt inflation-targeting

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has directed the Central Bank (CB) to employ a system of inflation targeting for the first time under the US$1.5 billion worth, 3-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF), economists said.  The government’s economic reform agenda should be expedited under six pillars including inflation targeting, revenue mobilization and reduce public debt, etc [...]

SriLankan in talks with Turkish Airlines to lease A350s

SriLankan Airlines is in talks with Turkish Airlines to lease out its new three Airbus A350s as per an earlier government agreement of exiting from these new aircraft due to rising debt, officials said.  The state-owned carrier had already made arrangements to find a buyer for one aircraft of these four planes (that were on [...]

South East Asia’s first 4.5G Demo Clocks 1GBps on Dialog’s LTE Network

South East Asia’s first 4.5G Demo Clocks 1GBps on Dialog’s LTE Network

Sri Lanka established yet another milestone on the region’s Broadband Technology landscape on Friday with an exposition of South East Asia’s first 4.5G demonstration featuring download speeds in excess of 1Gbps (Gigabits per Second).  The ground breaking technology capability test was carried out on the Huawei Technologies’ LTE infrastructure of Dialog Axiata, the country’s leading [...]

CAKE LABS opens new Operations Centre as customer base expands

CAKE LABS opens new Operations Centre as customer base expands

Silicon Valley based tech company CAKE LABS recently unveiled its new Operations Centre, a state- of- the- art facility in the Iceland Business Centre in Colombo 03.  The facility that has been designed using latest industry trends such as open floor plans and hot-houses to aid communication, as well as sleeping rooms and games areas [...]

Brandix’s social responsibility grows with 367 water projects in 18 districts in 2015-16

The Brandix Group’s continuing efforts to improve access to water in rural communities resulted in 367 water supply projects being completed in 2015-16.  The company said the projects implemented included wells, pipe-borne water connections, water supply systems, tube wells, deep tube wells, rainwater harvesting systems and water filters over the 12 months, all funded or [...]

Appointments to state bodies

The Prime Minister, under attack in the past few weeks over his defence of the Central Bank (CB) Governor Arjuna Mahendran who is seeking a new, 5-year term, must be commended over a recent proposal to set up clear and transparent criteria in the selection of chairpersons and directors to boards of state companies.  Laudable [...]

CA Sri Lanka Strategy Summit: 4 International Strategy Gurus on one platform

Come this July, Sri Lanka’s corporate leaders will be given the opportunity to listen to four top international gurus on ‘Business Strategy’ at the Strategy Summit organised by the Business School of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka).  The summit, which is held for the second consecutive year, will be [...]

Flexi Term Investment – Novel product from Amãna Bank

Amãna Bank, Sri Lanka’s premier non-interest based licensed commercial bank, has introduced a novel investment account to the Sri Lankan banking industry, with the launch of its Flexi Term Investment Account.  In a media release, the bank said that Amãna Bank’s Flexi Term Investment Account provides customers the flexibility of depositing additional funds to one [...]

Sri Lanka through the eyes of a travel blogger

Sri Lanka through the eyes of a travel blogger

TRAVELLING WITH VISITING BLOGGERS – There is always something unique a country can offer its tourists, a totally new experience, it may be either food, culture, people, places, beaches, festivals and many more. The reason for a tourist to visit another country is to enjoy and experience what is not available in their home country. [...]

Trafficking in wild fauna and flora a huge global issue and needs to be nipped swiftly

The second highest global illegal trade, after drugs, is the trafficking of illegal wild fauna and flora and annual ivory trade alone amounts to a gigantic US$ 19 billion, a Biodiversity Forum to commemorate the ‘World Environment Day 2016’ was told last week.  This was stated by a retired Customs official – Samantha Gunasekera who [...]

Bartleet and BPO Connect in strategic merger

The Bartleet Group is entering into a strategic partnership with the BPO Connect Group to usher in better technology and a brighter future. The objectives of this strategic partnership are to renew focus, provide cutting edge solutions and provide customer focused solutions to the ICT industry in Sri Lanka. BPO Connect group through its subsidiary [...]

Nine Sri Lankan Marcom professionals to compete with the best at Cannes

Nine young marketing communications professionals from Sri Lanka have been selected to represent the country at the Young Lions Competitions and the Roger Hatchuel Academy, which are part of the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. These young professionals were selected to represent Sri Lanka at a local competition which had in excess of [...]

Protected areas and state lands raped by unplanned and unregulated development

Mini hydro projects on state forest reservation are the cause of environmental degradation, experts say.  Several mini hydro projects are being built or planned today in many protected areas such as in state forest reservations that result in environmental degradation, said Dr. Eric Wikramanayake, a senior scientist, speaking on the topic “Awareness Session for Financial [...]

SLPA rejects claims of port workshop being used for Ranatunga’s private use

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) on Wednesday dismissed allegations against Minister Arjuna Ranatunga claiming that the port workshop was used to manufacture furniture for his private use.  At a media conference held at the ministry auditorium, Vice Chairman Prof. Prasanna Perera said that these allegations were baseless and pointed out that this workshop was [...]

Innovation Ecosystems: Sri Lanka’s place as an emerging and thriving economic engine for South Asia

Innovation Ecosystems: Sri Lanka’s  place as an emerging and thriving  economic engine for South Asia

As the guest speaker for the upcoming Ray Wijewardene Memorial Lecture, it is truly an honour to have this opportunity to provide some preliminary thoughts around my upcoming guest lecture and visit to Sri Lanka as a 2016 Eisenhower Fellow. When Sunday Times Business Editor Feizal Samath reached out to discuss with me on my [...]

CIC Agri Businesses and AIPL to support dairy farmers and industry

CIC Agri Businesses together with the Presidential Secretariat, the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), and the National Agri Business Development Programme (NADep) recently launched a project to support dairy farmers and the dairy industry in Sri Lanka. The project which comes under NADep’s “Enabling Farmers to Become Agri- Entrepreneurs” initiative will initially support dairy [...]

World Bank $55 million loan to develop Jaffna

The World Bank this week approved a $55 million loan to Sri Lanka to improve urban services, preserve cultural and environmental assets, and improve livability in Jaffna, adding the city to an existing project to develop Galle and Kandy.  The loan will add development of rapidly urbanizing Jaffna to the existing Strategic Cities Development Project [...]

Singapore Central Bank to set up anti-money laundering department

REUTERs, Singapore, June 13 – The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, will set up a dedicated department to combat money-laundering and strengthen its enforcement capabilities, it was announced on Monday.  Singapore last month ordered the closure of Swiss bank BSI’s operations in the city-state, while Switzerland began criminal proceedings against the [...]

Eagle Logistics expands to the Maldives

Eagle Logistics, a Sri Lankan supply chain logistics company, has expanded its network to Maldives by opening a new branch in the city of Male. Managing Director of Eagle Logistics Asanga Weerackody said that Maldives is a country strategically situated in the middle of the Indian Ocean along key east-west trade routes and have always [...]

ADB, Sri Lanka sign $2 mln grant for flood and landslide relief

The Government of Sri Lanka and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) this week signed a US$2 million grant agreement to finance relief efforts in the country following recent floods and landslides which claimed the lives of around 100 people and damaged homes and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands more.  “Considering the scope of the damage [...]

Government’s vehicle tax policy drives Micro cars towards a slow lane

Government’s vehicle tax policy drives Micro cars towards a slow lane

Forced into the slow lane by the government’s sudden tax hike, high interest rates and lowering the car leasing facility to 70 per cent from 100 per cent, Sri Lanka’s only maker of assembled cars, Micro Cars Ltd has cut down production almost by half this year compared to the production last year.  Founder of [...]

Italian delegation in Sri Lanka

Italian delegation in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka – Italy Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently organised a presentation on “Opportunities Available for Collaboration between Italy and Sri Lanka” in the renewable energy sector. This business delegation had accompanied the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Italy, Benedetto Della Vedova on his official visit to the country. The [...]

NTB strengthens SMEs with innovative services

Nations Trust Bank has taken a further step forward in its on-going support for the growth and development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises(SMEs) in Sri Lanka.  With the introduction of the ‘Nations Business Conference,’ a strategic initiative under SME business solution the bank has created a platform for interaction and idea sharing for SMEs. [...]

DIMO appoints 4 new directors to the Board

Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO) recently appointed four new directors to its Board effective from June 1. They are Asite Talwatte, Vijitha Bandara, Wijith Pushpawela and Chaminda Ranawana, the company said in a media announcement.  Mr. Talwatte is the former Country Managing Partner at Ernst & Young, a position in which he served for [...]

Toro and Turf Equipment partners Shangri-La Hambantota in developing first golf resort

Shangri-La Hambantota Resort and Spa which opened on June 1 simultaneously saw the opening of the country’s first golf resort.  The hotel has a partnership with Toro and its local distributor, Turf Equipment Ltd as the supplier for the entire range of machinery required to maintain the golf course to international standards, the local company [...]

DFCC’s Vardhana Virtual Wallet already has 1,000 customers

DFCC’s Vardhana Virtual Wallet already has 1,000 customers

Mobile technology has driven advancements in the payments industry that are making it easier to make purchases without ever opening your wallet.  DFCC Bank’s latest mobile innovation the Vardhana Virtual Wallet, a mobile app launched as a financial inclusion enabler has managed to garner some 100 merchants and over a 1000 customers within a short [...]

Aitken Spence eyeing more power plant deals abroad

The Aitken Spence Group (Spence), hot on the heels of renewing its power purchase agreement with the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) for one year through its subsidiary Ace Power Embilipitiya (Pvt) Ltd, has plans to expand in the power sector to the region, officials said.  Ace Power initially won a contract to set up a [...]

LSE keen to collaborate with local capital market

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is keen to partner its Sri Lankan counterpart in various areas in the local capital markets, a top LSE official said.  ”The LSE is used to partnering with other exchanges such as National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) in devising new products for their capital market, etc. We are also [...]

Alumex to go overseas

Alumex PLC, a subsidiary of Hayleys PLC which locally manufactures Aluminium extrusions for various industrial and architectural use, has plans to venture into the region, officials said.  ”Myanmar is a place we’d like to go to,” an official said adding that they aim to set up a plant there. Alumex products are exported to India, [...]

Chevron impacted by flood; aims to manage costs

Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC says that the recent floods have impacted their business badly and the motor industry at large.  ”Many cars and vehicles were under water and the month of May was at a standstill where business was concerned,” Kishu Gomes, Managing Director/CEO of the company told the Business Times. He said that the [...]

TJL Group ‘cautiously’ optimistic about the GSP+

The TJL Group (TJ), part of the Brandix Group in knit fabric manufacturing, says it is ‘cautiously’ optimistic about the GSP+, a preferential tariff system for garment exports.  ”We’re happy about the fact that GSP+ is being negotiated and that Sri Lanka’s chances at obtaining it are positive. We’re cautiously optimistic about it, but we’re [...]

MTD Walkers negotiating infrastructure projects in B’desh; eyes IT Engineering

Integrated infrastructure and engineering solutions provider MTD Walkers PLC says that it’ll cushion the massive drop in profits during the last quarter in the coming year.  The company’s 4Q16 saw a net loss of Rs. 266 million. MTD Walkers has made forays into the Maldives and Bangladesh in construction and is negotiating large infrastructure projects [...]

Micro Holdings enters into condominium developers market

Micro Holdings enters into  condominium developers market

Grappling with a sudden drop in Micro car sales due to government’s tax hike and the slashing of the leasing facility to 70 per cent from 100 per cent, Micro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd has further diversified its business by entering into condominium developers market, through its subsidiary Superlative Properties (Pvt) Ltd, Chairman of the company [...]

Reuters finds readers want quality news, but aren’t willing to pay for it – Reuters in April polled 1,230 of its readers as part of an attempt to figure out its future strategy. The good news: People value quality news. The bad: They still don’t want to pay for it.  Although 81 per cent of respondents said that a news brand is synonymous with trusted content, with [...]

WebXpay launches new product, the recently launched e-commerce solutions enabler, is geared to take up the task of enabling SMEs to enter into the sphere of e-commerce at affordable cost without facing significant barriers. offers services such as Plug and Play websites, Shopping Carts, Payment Gateways and Buy buttons for businesses through social media selling and other [...]

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