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Two leaves and a bud: Will it survive the 21st century?

Two leaves and a bud: Will it  survive the 21st century?

Sri Lanka’s ages-old tea industry is undergoing a major transformation as rising debt, lower prices and the inability to retain a captive labour force threaten  its sustainability for another 100 years. Picture by Indika Handuwala shows a worker holding a tea leaf on Pedro Estate at Nuwara Eliya last week during a visit to the [...]

German investors to the rescue of failed CIFL

German investors to the rescue of failed CIFL

Battered depositors of the failed finance company – Central Investment and Finance Co Ltd (CIFL) – appear to be on luck’s way when on Thursday a 5-member delegation from Vandell Financial Services SA, Germany arrived in Sri Lanka, partly with the intention of investing in and bailing out the local finance company.  According to Wijaya [...]

National Budget leaves tiny space for citizens’ proposals

Public proposals for budget 2017 are pouring into the Finance Ministry in response to newspaper advertisements for representations from citizens while Treasury officials grapple to tackle the massive fiscal deficit, unbearable public debts and adverse trade deficit affecting the country’s economy.  The Finance Ministry’s Trade and Investment Department is now sorting out the proposals from [...]

Samsung Galaxy Note7: Don’t use but can be carried on-board

Global aviation regulators have issued a warning against the use or charging of Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note7 smartphone but passengers are allowed to take it on board in their carry-on luggage  SriLankan Airlines issued a statement on Thursday highlighting that it has “completely banned the use or charging of Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note7 smartphone onboard [...]

Hayleys enters tea bungalow tourism

The Amaya hotel chain is set to open up in Nuwara Eliya with four boutique bungalows on tea estates under the Hayleys Group with an investment of approximately Rs.200 million.  Four tea estates belonging to Kelani Valley Plantations and Talawakelle Plantations are set to open up to the tourism’s niche clientele as boutique ventures in [...]

‘Lankawe Mehema Wenne Nehe …’

‘Lankawe Mehema Wenne Nehe …’

Glancing through the pages of a Sunday newspaper on September 11, my attention was drawn to a government notice calling for public representations on the 2017-2021 National Action Plan for Human Rights.  Ok, this is great, I thought. Here is a government that not only talks of transparency but makes it happen day-in-day-out. I was [...]

Your electricity bill in 2020

Your electricity bill in 2020

By August 2016, electricity sales growth recorded was 9.6 per cent (compared with the first eight months of 2015), the highest since 2010. So there is no relief on the demand front, to call for relief, now that Sampur power plant is delayed, suspended or cancelled. If the Sampur project went ahead, with essential additional [...]

Unit Trusts – a great way to kick off a wealth-building strategy

Investing in Unit Trusts is a great way to kick off a wealth building strategy, according to Ruvini Fernando, Director/CEO Ceylon Guardian Fund Management Ltd, the Fund Management Company of the Carsons Group.  So what are they, the curiosity gets the better of any lay person as this sounds so exquisite.  The popular definition is [...]

US investment firm picks Kandy as its training and research centre

Wisewel LLC, an investment research firm based in Cleveland, US has set up a company in Kandy named Wisewel Sri Lanka to develop a team of Data Scientists and Quantitative Analysts to support its US operations.  In a media release, Managing Director of Wisewel, Chandika Jayawardane, based in the US, says that their primary objective [...]

LankaPay US$ online channels Rs. 1.8 billion worth of transactions during first year of operations

Sri Lanka’s national payment network – LankaPay – is celebrating yet another milestone in its operations by completing one year of successful operations of its innovative ‘USD Online’ service. LankaPay launched USD Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) in July 2015, enabling all member banks to offer same day US dollar transfers within the country, the company [...]

A toy story which has put Sri Lanka on the world map

A toy story which has put  Sri Lanka on the world map

BIYAGAMA: And here I was make-believing that God threw away the mould after he made me. This is something we all like to indulge in, feeding our ego like an obese child merrily stuffing his or her face with candy.  But one look at the factory floor at DSL Lanka (Douglas and Sons) and my [...]

Lanka Tiles to outsource much-in-demand tiles

Lanka Tiles PLC (Tiles) is gearing to outsource products that aren’t produced in Sri Lanka, but has a strong demand for customers here, officials said.  ”Things like ‘polished glazed porcelain tiles’ aren’t manufactured here. So, we want to outsource these tiles as they have a strong demand”, an official told the Business Times. He said [...]

London SE group hires 100 high tech workers for Colombo ops

London SE group hires 100 high tech workers for Colombo ops

The London Stock Exchange Group’s Business Services division (LSEG BSL) in Sri Lanka has completed the first stage of its set-up operations, with over 100 tech sector professionals recruited for the group’s new 26,000 sq ft technology centre at Expert City in Maradana.  Set up in May 2016, this new LSEG facility will be manned [...]

Veteran trade unionist urges PM to resolve outstanding labour issues

The Ceylon Federation of Labour (CFL) has urged Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe not to implement a set of planned labour sector reforms until some outstanding labour issues are resolved.  T.M.R. Rasseedin, CFL Deputy General Secretary and a veteran trade unionist himself, said in a letter that while they respect the government’s prerogative to adopt laws [...]

NIBM charts strategic direction with MTI

The National Institute of Business Management (NIBM) has selected MTI Consulting to develop a Ground Zero based 6-year Corporate Plan for the period 2016 – 2021 to strategize the institute’s future direction.  In a media release, Jason Cordier, MTI’s Senior International Consultant said “The Corporate Plan will focus on developing implementable actions to equip NIBM [...]

Of banana leaves, German handbags and idling van drivers

In more affluent parts of the world, the guarantee of profit attracts a wealth of inventions that tackle needs of all size and choice. As technology disruption persists and evolves at an intense pace, the market demand for new inventions only continues to rise as the economic and business value of patents is appreciated. Of [...]

Smartphones to monitor malnourished children!

Smartphones to monitor malnourished children!

In my column of September 2015 I presented a scenario where health care workers in the field will be using smartphones to monitor patients in the future. This lead to a flurry of ‘Internet chatter’ questioning when this would really happen and whether it is really possible in Sri Lanka. Well folks, we are on [...]

4th Industrial Revolution: Are we prepared for iGen?

4th Industrial Revolution: Are we prepared for iGen?

There is a looming threat of being victims of the 4th Industrial Revolution unless we prepare with necessary knowledge to face it now. Generation Z, also known as iGen (Centennials) are those born after 1996 following the Millennials. iGen are now in the education stream. Those born before that would belong to Generations X, Y, [...]

Inventus Technologies launches Internet business directory, a new website was launched this week by Inventus Technologies in an effort to fill a demand for a comprehensive Internet business directory.  In a media release the company said that the use of Internet in Sri Lanka has undergone rapid growth. In this backdrop there has been a high demand by the public [...]

Some imported confectioneries contain substances banned in Sri Lanka, say local manufacturers

Sri Lanka’s confectionery industrialists – responsible for providing that sweet taste in your mouth – last week expressed concern that the Anti-Dumping Regulations Bill is yet to be placed in Parliament despite being approved by the Cabinet.  The Lanka Confectionery Manufacturers Association (LCMA) referred to this issue during its 24th AGM held in Colombo.  Shanasz [...]

‘Pain and agony of one community shifts to another community’

‘Pain and agony of one community  shifts to another community’

Garbage in many countries has been transformed into a productive and environmentally-friendly exercise.  However in Sri Lanka dumping of garbage is still a major issue. The big ‘land mudalalis’ cash in by offering marshes they own particularly at Muthurajawela from Wattala to Negombo to reclaim the land by dumping garbage after which workplaces and factories [...]

Lifebuoy, a village favourite, top of the pops in SL and abroad

Lifebuoy, a village favourite, top of the pops in SL and abroad

Lifebuoy soap is not only a brand popular in Sri Lanka but across the world, a new study has shown.  In a ranking of the top 10 FMCB brands in Sri Lanka, Lifebuoy was placed fourth while the product came third in the global rankings.  The latest Brand Footprint study conducted by Kantar Worldpanel had [...]

Electrocution has increased in Sri Lanka due to lack of awareness

Around 200 deaths have been due to electrocution in the period 2008-2012 and destruction caused to property but this figure has come down due to an awareness programme, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) said this week.  “After the awareness campaign in 2013, the death rate dropped to 75 but it climbed again [...]

Logistics International expands container terminal operations with new Sedawatte facility

Logistics International, the inland container depot of Hayleys Advantis, commissioned a purpose built 3,500 TEU inland container depot spread across 5.5 acres in Sedawatte, Colombo, recently. With a 6 acre, 3,000 TEU depot already in operation in Welisara, this move more than doubles the company’s overall container handling capacity.  “We are excited to dedicate the [...]

Sri Lankan vessel helps stranded yacht off Mauritius coast

MV Ceylon Princess, a new bulk carrier owned by Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC), was involved in a rescue effort on Monday after a yacht and its two crew were stranded off the Mauritius coast.  CSC said the incident occurred on September 12 while its ship was en route to South Africa to collect a coal [...]

President, UNCTAD chief and Commonwealth Secretariat Sec-General at global export forum in Colombo next month

President, UNCTAD chief and Commonwealth Secretariat Sec-General at global export forum in Colombo next month

The 16th edition of the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) to be held in Colombo on October 12-13 has an impressive set of speakers led by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.  Jointly organised and co-hosted by the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade of Sri Lanka, through [...]

Tasmania – Looking at an isle-to-isle partnership

Tasmania – Looking at an isle-to-isle partnership

The first-ever high-level business delegation led by Will Hodgman, the Prime Minister of Tasmania, “the ‘holiday isle’ of Australia” visited Colombo last week in an effort to establish government, business and sporting ties with Sri Lanka.  It was his first time to the Indian Ocean isle and was accompanied by a 30-member Aussie delegation from [...]

CEAT in expansion mode, investing Rs. 800 mln in next 12 mths

CEAT Sri Lanka will be investing Rs. 800 million in the next 12 months to expand its radial tyre manufacturing capacity to support growing local and export demand.  ”We’re constantly on the look out to expand and this is also an effort towards that commitment,” Chanaka de Silva, Chairman CEAT told the Business Times. New [...]

Lamudi’s 2nd Real Estate Expo on Sept. 23-24

Lamudi Lanka (Pvt) Ltd is hosting its Second Real Estate Expo in Sri Lanka on September 23-24 at the Taj Samudra North Lawn from 10 am-7pm. The company said in a media announcement that the event will feature the island’s top real estate developers showcasing their finest projects and providing home services to buyers, sellers, [...]

Budget deficit to come down to 4.7% in 2017 from targeted 5.4 % this year, says Ravi

An IMF team met Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake earlier this week during a mission review of the ongoing US$1.5 billion loan approved for Sri Lanka under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to support the country’s economic reform agenda.  Jaewoo Lee, from the IMF’s Washington office and Country Representative for Sri Lanka and Maldives Ms. Eteri [...]

State looks at longer leases, new investors, RPC mergers

Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayake on Thursday night assured estate owners that the glyphosate ban would be lifted for the benefit of the plantation industry.  This was highlighted when he addressed the 162nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Planters Association.  Following discussions with the President and Prime Minister and other related parties the government will [...]

Change is possible within Police, says NPC head

The Utopian dream of turning the Sri Lanka Police into a truly independent body, and one which is not answerable even to politicians is possible, and is the collective responsibility of the public, says the chairman of the National Police Commission (NPC).  “The Police have never been independent, especially over the last three decades, but [...]

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