The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

Home » Business Times



In the good old days, the ‘parana coat karaya’ went from house to house exchanging aluminium or plastic kitchenware for old and nearly new clothes. That era has vanished. Sunday Times photographer Indika Handuwala recently captured this picture in Colombo of a virtual shop-on-wheels, another transformation from an era where all types of brooms were [...]

Sri Lanka’s once-tailor shop garment sector now makes its own brands

Sri Lankan brands are quietly entering the global platform to compete with internationally renowned apparel wear with the latest being plans by Emerald to enter the African continent next year.  A company that has completed 60 years in specializing in men’s wear, Emerald will be entering Kenya and South Africa mid next year, Group Managing [...]

Sri Lanka urgently needs a mini budget: JVP leader

Sri Lanka’s 2016 budget has become a non-entity after eight months of its presentation in parliament following sweeping changes made to it by the Prime Minister in March this year and some amendments proposed by the President last year.  The implementation of the tax proposals has been hampered due to the delay in the enactment [...]

CB to decide fate of 6 struggling finance companies

The Central Bank (CB) is ‘critically’ evaluating six struggling finance companies and will finalise a ‘decision’ on their fate before this year ends, a CB official said.  This was revealed when the Business Times asked whether the CB will stop finance companies from mobilising public deposits, a move by former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran which [...]

Govt. to discuss EOIs for SriLankan with partners by Jan 2017

The Government will be discussing with potential partners for SriLankan Airlines interested in its restructure by next January after sorting out the Expressions of Interest (EOI).  ”We extended the EOIs’ closing date till end of this month. By about end of September to October we’ll be collecting the EOIs. Once we go through them, we [...]

The measure of a real man is not in the clothes he wears but the things he does

The measure of a real man  is not in the clothes he wears but the things he does

RATMALANA: Charity begins at home, well at least close to his work place in Borupana Road. For just a few metres down the dusty road is Hindu College, one of 25 schools which Fouzul Hameed supports through his My Friend initiative, a project which helps underprivileged children in and around Colombo.  It is morning break [...]

Shaping Sri Lanka’s future

That Sri Lanka lacks proper policies to move forward is a common grouse while the creation of too many committees working independently and in different directions has given rise to the popular saying “too many cooks spoil the soup”.  What has panned out is that these committees are working on different areas and not converging [...]

Budget proposal to abolish reduced-duty car permits in reverse gear

Reversing the 2016 budget proposal to abolish the reduced-duty vehicle permit scheme, the Finance Ministry has again offered this benefit for senior state officials in accordance with a recent cabinet approval, a circular issued by the ministry revealed.  Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal submitted by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to introduce [...]

Need for more start-up work spaces in Sri Lanka

Need for more start-up work spaces in Sri Lanka

While start-ups are the future of business using technology, a set space for start-ups to settle down and do business is something that Sri Lanka lacks. The need for a space for start-up companies to showcase their ideas and knowledge to the people is much needed in today’s context of development. More work-spaces like the [...]

Look for cash in gems, President says at Economic Summit

Look for cash in gems, President says at Economic Summit

Sri Lanka’s unity government is gearing to grant special concessions to gem miners and their industry in a bid to give these cash-rich businessmen a better impetus to invest in other sectors in the country, President Maithripala Sirisena said this week.  Addressing the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2016 in Colombo on Tuesday, he said that [...]

Resorting to price controls ‘idiotic’- Prof. Sally

Resorting to price controls ‘idiotic’- Prof. Sally

A top economist, while charging that the country’s economic policy has deteriorated to the ‘supreme idiocy’ of resorting to price controls, called on the new administration to aim for ambitious trade agreements and not focus on the usual suspect countries to ink deals.  “There has been the supreme idiocy of imposing price controls, which I [...]

Govt. determined to resurrect loss-making state companies

The Sri Lankan Government is determined to resurrect loss-making state-owned enterprises (SOE) by way of a combination of restructuring and listing of non-strategic SOEs in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) as well as selling some of those assets, Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama said at the final session of the Sri Lanka [...]

Independent port regulator for Sri Lanka ports

The government is looking at the possibility of establishing an independent port regulator. Sri Lanka Ports Authority Managing Director Sarath Premachandra said on Tuesday that there were plans to create an independent regulatory body to maintain quality competitiveness at the Colombo port among the three operators. He made this announcement during the International Trade and [...]

GSP+ possibly in Q1 2017

The government is confident of regaining trade concessions from the European Union (EU) in the first quarter of next year.  Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said on Tuesday at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit’s International Trade Development and Logistics forum that the government was given this assurance during meetings with top EU [...]

‘Coconut plantations sell at Rs. 20 while traders market it at Rs. 50′

To ensure pure coconut oil for the consumers, the Coconut Growers Association of Sri Lanka (CGA) is urging the Government to impose regulations on coconut oil in bottled form with mandatory labelling.  Lionel Fonseka, newly elected President, CGA at its 22nd AGM held at the Sri Lanka Foundation last week, while presenting the annual report [...]

Lab and Medical Expo will showcase technology that can even detect dangerous particles in the air

Sri Lanka will host the Lab and Medical Expo 2016 next week where over 150 internationally reputed pharmaceutical and medical companies from 10 countries will participate to showcase their state of art products related to analytical, scientific and bio technology instruments.  The exhibition will be held from 18th to 20th August at the Sri Lanka [...]

Global economic ripples impact Sri Lanka’s exports

The global economic turmoil has ripple effects on the country’s exports and this issue was echoed at the launch of the 26th ‘Facets’, the International Gem and Jewellery Exhibition held this week in Colombo.  Indira Malwatta, Chairperson, Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), said that they have lost the traditional markets – Middle-East – due [...]

MTD to streamline 88-year-old manual filing system

Sri Lanka’s Motor Traffic Department (MTD) will streamline its 88-year-old manual filing system of maintaining vehicle registration records, details of driving licences and other related documents and its ages-old storage system with the construction of a new storage facility at a cost of Rs.50 million, official sources revealed.  This will be an interim arrangement until [...]

Regency Automobiles, no more agent for Jaguar cars

Regency Automobiles, no more agent for Jaguar cars

Regency Automobiles (Pvt) Ltd, the 20-year-old premium car service provider, announced that the company has ceased to be the official importer and dealer for Jaguar cars in Sri Lanka with effect from July 3.  In a media release issued by the company, Regency Automobiles said it was parting ways with the British car brand due [...]

EBL Hybrid Hub links up with two Singaporean firms

EBL Hybrid Hub links up with two Singaporean firms

With the increase in hybrid and electric vehicles in the country and the growing trend towards eco-friendly modes of transport, Edirisinghe Brothers (Pvt) Ltd, (EBL) founded by Don Simon Edirisinghe 70 years ago, has ventured into providing specialised maintenance services for this burgeoning segment, officials of the company said.  The EBL has opened doors at [...]

All new Toyota Fortuner debuts in Sri Lanka

All new Toyota Fortuner debuts in Sri Lanka

The new-generation Toyota Fortuner has debuted in Sri Lanka and now on display at Toyota Lanka show rooms in Colombo, Toyota Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, the sole authorised distributor for Toyota vehicles in Sri Lanka announced.  The Toyota Fortuner is based on an all-new platform called TNGA which stands for ‘Toyota new-generation Architecture. The new platform [...]

Ford goes beyond business to assist Sri Lanka’s rural poor

The Ford Motor Company has showed its commitment to Sri Lanka in not just business but extending assistance to uplift the living standards of rural poor, Ford’s local franchise holder disclosed in a media release.  In this endeavour, Ford Motor Company, represented in Sri Lanka by Future Automobiles (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Softlogic Holdings, [...]

All-new BMW 7 Series unveiled in Colombo

The all-new BMW 7 Series made its entry into Sri Lanka recently introducing iDrive operating system, the electronic speedometer; Park Distance Control and brand new technology to the local luxury car market, Prestige Automobile, Chairman/Managing Director of Prestige Automobile Heinz Reuter announced at the unveiling ceremony of two new BMW variants in Colombo recently.  The [...]

Range Rover Evoque hits five years of UK production

The world’s most recognisable and luxurious compact SUV, the Range Rover Evoque, reached a milestone this week – celebrating its fifth year of production at Jaguar Land Rover’s advanced manufacturing facility near Liverpool, UK, a media release revealed.  With over half a million sold globally in more than 180 countries (Sri Lanka since 2011), the [...]

Crisis at Sri Lanka’s Co-operative society banks

We refer to the news item in the Business Times section of the Sunday Times last week under the heading “Sri Lanka’s Co-operative society banks face credit and deposit risks”.  It highlights the importance of urgent intervention by authorities to arrest the plague of corruption, fraud, malpractices and financial mismanagement of the cooperative administration that [...]

AV Digitech offers innovative advertising solutions for new digital age

AV Digitech offers innovative advertising solutions for new digital age

AV Digitech, an emerging Sri Lankan advertising venture, has come up with some innovative solutions with its entry to new age digital advertising solutions.  The company recently introduced a Mobile LED Trailer that is ideal for a multitude of purposes such as advertising and sponsorship activities, as well as live outdoor TV screenings, branding exercises [...]

Organisations warned to be vigilant over cyber-crimes

While the world is moving towards different forms of technology it also possesses a serious threat in the form of cyber-crimes. Organisations and companies in the financial services sector need to focus and be more secure, vigilant and resilient, it was disclosed at a forum recently.  Last Monday, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd (DTTL) and SJMS [...]

Maldives scraps old currency notes

The Maldives Central Bank on Monday August 1 officially halted circulation and transactions of the old Maldivian currency series sans the MVR 5 cash note, according to media reports.  The Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) stated that the old currency notes cannot be used for transactions August 1 onwards, but a period of five years has [...]

Jan-June 2016 sees strong growth at Singer Sri Lanka with group net up115 %

Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC Group’s second quarter financial results continued to display excellent growth fuelled by an increase in revenue and net income, the company said in a statement.  “There was stronger impetus in the thrust product categories where smartphones sales grew by 53 per cent, deep freezers 31 per cent, computers by 24 per [...]

Scope for a Sri Lankan (Silicon) Valley

Success stories of many start-ups in US-based Silicon Valley are based just on pure talent and the belief people put on themselves to reach great heights. ‘You are the most powerful force in your life’ and do not worry about what others say and judge about one’s success. In Sri Lanka people grumble about the [...]

Trade agreements are crucial for economic growth

Trade agreements are crucial  for economic growth

Looking at Sri Lanka, from a Singaporean perspective, the proposed ECTA (trade and services pact) with India and the FTA with China are opportunities that should not be missed along with the proposed FTA with Singapore.  Japan too should not be forgotten, said Ambassador at –large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore Bilahara Kausikan [...]

Gulf Air launches global dynamic interline pricing tool in Sri Lanka

Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, recently launched its ‘Instant Book and Price’ tool for travel agencies in coordination with its General Sales Agent (GSA) Mack Air, technology partner Clarity Airline Solutions and Global Distribution System (GDS) partner Travelport in Sri Lanka.  Held at the Travelport office in Colombo, Gulf Air GSA Vice President Shaminda Fernando, [...]

Many SL pharma firms now moving into local manufacture of drugs

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) have a common objective in ensuring the delivery of effective, high quality safe and affordable pharmaceutical products to satisfy the varying needs of patients.  “It is our strong belief that if the MOH, other regulatory bodies and the Chamber work together, [...]

Sri Lanka’s Human Capital Summit seen charting a course for the future

The 2-day Sri Lanka Human Capital Summit 2016 on August 11-12 is partly aimed at developing strategies for the country’s future development process and a Human Capital Vision 2020 for Sri Lanka.  “… we don’t know what talents we might need by 2020 are. We will develop a strategy with the help of other relevant [...]

Rapid pollution of the environment impacts the lives of humans and animals

Though there is a struggle to save mankind and the earth from pollution, humans are polluting the environment so rapidly that if this continues, there won’t be air to breathe not only for people but animals!  These thoughts emerged during a presentation by Dr. Rohan Karunarathne, President, Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB), speaking at the [...]

Leading Internet TV service, iflix, launched in Sri Lanka

Set to revolutionise the local TV watching experience, the world’s leading Internet TV service, iflix, launched in Sri Lanka on Monday, making its vast library of the latest and most popular global TV shows accessible to viewers across the country.  While there are currently several options available in the Lankan market for TV enthusiasts, iflix [...]

SriLankan Airlines and BOC launch real-time card transactions for on-board duty free purchases

Passengers purchasing items from SriLankan Airlines’ ‘Serendib Treasures’ on-board duty-free collection from August 1 have access to a new electronic credit and debit card system developed in partnership with the Bank of Ceylon to provide real-time processing of transactions.  The new system gives passengers a purchasing power that is equal to their card limit, and [...]

Plantations Committee close to calling EOI for state plantations

The Plantations Committee under the Public Enterprise Development Ministry is to put forward a paper for restructuring state plantations to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) next week.  Officials said that they have identified 20,000 hectares (ha) of productive agricultural lands including forests and timber land and in one month’s time aim to call [...]

On privatisation

I was delighted to read the news that Minister Malik Samarawickrama had announced at the recent Economic Summit that all state-owned enterprises (SOEs) would be privatised.  This is a vindication of what I have been preaching for over 30 years. It is the first time that any Government has had the courage to demolish the [...]

Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri takes over the reins of IPM

Sri Lanka Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri, one of Sri Lanka’s top academic and professional personalities, was recently elected President of IPM Sri Lanka for the year  2016/17 at its AGM held at IPM Sri Lanka head office “HR House” situated in Colombo 5.  IPM comprises over 1000 professional members who serve in both public and private [...]

MillenniumIT unveils revolutionary matchmaking platform for CSR Sri Lanka

MillenniumIT (a member of London Stock Exchange Group) together with CSR Sri Lanka, recently launched Mahoga; a revolutionary matchmaking platform that paves the way for corporations to engage in meaningful corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.  The launch was held in the presence of CEO MillenniumIT Mack Gill, Chairman CSR Sri Lanka Chandula Abeywickrema and Board [...]

Expected economic reforms in ‘window of opportunity’ and regime change, missing

While Sri Lanka’s macro-economic policies in  Sri Lanka have been a perennial problem since independence, the window of opportunity for economic change with last year’s regime change has not been taken advantage of with credible and needed reforms.  This was stated by Dr. Razeen Sally, Chairman of the Institute of Policy Studies, while addressing the [...]

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.