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Blessings not on Sri Lanka

Blessings not on Sri Lanka

A severe drought and long-delayed rains have wreaked havoc across Sri Lanka affecting rural communities, farmers and agriculture production. Picture by our Chilaw correspondent Augustin Fernando shows the parched bed of the Pallama Wewa which provides water for all farm lands in Chilaw. In several paddy-growing areas, residents have been praying for rain with ‘kattadiyas’ [...]

‘Guilty’ SriLankan Airlines staff could face suspension

The government is flexing its muscles and plans to suspend certain officials at SriLankan Airlines based on the Weliamuna Report which accused top officials and employees of financial misappropriation, Public Enterprise Development Minister Kabir Hashim told the Business Times.  He vehemently rejected SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias’ claims on Tuesday October 4, saying, “I reject [...]

IMF rejects union claims on taxes

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week rejected claims that the proposed new Inland Revenue Act has provision for handing over the tax collection to private parties.  Trade unions and other groups have been opposing the proposed Act on the grounds that it was counterproductive and also that it contained provision to take away the [...]

PTL subdued during trades in the money markets

The Central Bank (CB) this week acknowledged that a confidential report on an internal probe on controversial bond trader Perpetual Treasuries Ltd (PTL) was an authentic copy though it had been unauthorised for public circulation.  This was contrary to claims by some politicians including Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake that it was a fake report  On [...]

‘Big guys’ barred from regional contracts

In a new move, the Government is barring large scale contractors from bidding for contracts estimated at up to Rs. 50 million and limiting these to only smaller contractors.  The plan is aimed at helping regional contractors to prosper. Normally large contractors crowd out smaller ones even in their own regions resulting in smaller contractors [...]

Aiyo … what a stink!

Aiyo … what a stink!

Many moons ago, my Kussi Amma once exclaimed “Aiyo Mahattaya … mehema nevai…” She was referring to my sorry attempt to make a cup of tea which ended up with too much milk, too little tea dust and I forget the sugar. It was neither tea nor milk.  “Mahattaya – mevata kremayak thiyanawa,” she said [...]

How King Bhumibol shaped modern Thailand

How King Bhumibol  shaped modern Thailand

King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s pivotal role in modern Thailand’s development tends to obscure the fact that when he acceded to the throne in 1946, the status of the monarchy was not secure, and the young king himself was unprepared to take on the job. Until 1932 Thailand had been ruled by an absolute monarchy, with the king [...]

New public-private unit to improve public services

The Sri Lanka government is to establish a Public Private Partnership Unit (PPPU) with World Bank funding for long-term contractual arrangements between the public and private sectors in the delivery of public services.  In this scenario, PPPs involve three main features including transfer, long-term contracts and partnership agreement, National Policy and Economic Affairs Ministry sources [...]

Residents disrupt traffic at Ja-Ela in protest over garbage issue

Thousands of residents brought traffic to a standstill in Ja-Ela town near Negombo on Tuesday protesting against attempts to transfer the Meethotamulla garbage in Colombo to a proposed new dumpsite at Ekala (on the Minuwangoda road).  The protest commenced from Ekala Junction at 9 am with thousands marching in opposition to the move and then [...]

4As and SLPI Certificate in Corporate Communications and PR third intake starting

With the success and popularity of the Corporate Communications and Public Relations Certificate course conducted by the Accredited Advertising Agencies Association (4As) in partnership with the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) which has generated much goodwill, regard and demand from employers, practitioners and students, the organisers have announced its third intake starting mid-October.  With the [...]

Growth possible only thro’ exports not remittances – PM

Growth possible only thro’ exports not remittances – PM

Sri Lanka’s exports which has been facing a major crisis in the past decade is re-looking at the markets and opportunities worldwide. The country has decided to refocus attention on exports, growth and expansion of employment, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaking at the World Export Development Forum 2016 held in Colombo on Wednesday. “The forum [...]

ITC and Alibaba to issue guidelines on using e-commerce to tackle trade in China

ITC and Alibaba to issue guidelines on using e-commerce to tackle trade in China

To help businesses go digital, International Trade Centre’s (ITC) and Alibaba will be launching a new publication spelling out how Asian firms – including Sri Lankan companies – can use e-commerce to break into the Chinese marketplace.  Alongside these transformations in investment and trade, a revolution is underway on the consumption side, as consumers increasingly [...]

IronOne to set footprint in 3 countries

IronOne Technologies, a software design, development company is eyeing to lay its footprint in South Africa, Norway and Argentina, its Chairperson, Lakmini Wijesundera said. She told the Business Times on the sidelines of the ‘Ring the bell for the SheTrades initiative’ at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) on Thursday that the Sri Lankan mobile software solutions [...]

Sri Lankans have a practice of asking favours all the time, OPA President says

Good governance assures that corruption is minimised, the views of the people are taken into account and the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision making, a top professional said recently.  Prof. Rohana Kuruppu, President of the Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA), speaking at the OPA’s 29th Annual Conference held in [...]

Baraka – Bio Extracts opens first franchise shop in Europe

Bio Extracts (Pvt) Ltd recently announced the opening of its first international franchise outlet for Baraka, the company’s flagship brand, in Bosnia. With a global presence in over 20 countries, this marks the Baraka brand’s first standalone franchise outlet internationally, according to a company media release.  The brand’s expansion in Bosnia comes as a result [...]

Commercial Bank launches ‘Easy POS’- smartphone linked mobile POS system for card transactions

Commercial Bank launches ‘Easy POS’- smartphone linked mobile POS system for card transactions

The Point-of-Sale (POS) enabled merchant base of Commercial Bank of Ceylon is expected to grow significantly with the country’s largest private bank launching mobile Point-of- Sale units in Sri Lanka.  Branded Commercial Bank ‘Easy POS,’ the mobile units introduced in collaboration with CBA Solutions, make it possible for any merchant outlet that has a smartphone [...]

MTD Walkers PLC steps in to resurrect Galle Marina project

Sri Lanka’s ambitious ‘Galle Marina’ project aimed at making the Galle harbour a tourism port which was temporarily halted by the Bodu Bala Sena-led communal tensions in Aluthgama in 2014, is to be resumed soon.  MTD Walkers PLC, an integrated infrastructure and engineering solutions providers has been granted approval to re-commence the construction of yacht/leisure [...]

Demand for quality software products in the Australian and Asia Pacific SME markets

There is significant demand in the small and medium scale enterprise (SME) sector in the Australian and Asia Pacific markets for quality software products, says Jehan Bastians, Director Marketing for Australian Strategic Partnerships.  He made this statement at the rebranding of the company from Strategic Partnership Solutions (SPS) to Australian Strategic Partnerships (ASP) held at [...]

WCIC appoints Rifa Musthapha as Chairperson for second term

WCIC appoints Rifa Musthapha as Chairperson for second term

The Women’s Chamber of Industries and Commerce (WCIC) Annual General Meeting which took place on September 16, 2016 was graced by the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap.  The highlight of the WCIC President Rifa Musthapha’s address was the fruition of WCIC’s long awaited dream – the construction of the WCIC Secretariat. With the [...]

Jayewardenepura Uni to launch degree in tourism and hospitality

The University of Sri Jayewardenepura has proposed to start a Bs.c. Marketing Management (Tourism & Hospitality – Sp.) programme under its Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce.  For this purpose an industry advisory panel has been appointed to review the curriculum of the proposed degree programme. The latest industry advisory panel discussion was held on [...]

Trishaws, heritage sites and trade unions – never a dull moment for Donglin Li

Trishaws, heritage sites and trade unions – never a dull moment for Donglin Li

ILO Country director Donglin Li in conversation with Sunday  Times Business Editor Feizal Samath in a pre-departure interview COLOMBO – Taking a tuk-tuk from Dutch Hospital, Fort to the UN compound in Bauddhaloka Mawatha one day, Donglin Li was asked to fork out 800 rupees for a trip he knew would cost only 250 rupees (maximum). [...]

LTL Holdings to restructure its ownership for profitability

LTL Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, which started off as a Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) subsidiary 34 years ago to produce transformers as a joint venture with Bonar Long (later ABB-Norway), is planning to restructure the ownership for better operational flexibility, a Power and Renewable Energy Ministry official said.  The company has sought the approval of the [...]

Mihin Lanka ran at a loss ever since inception in 2007

Sri Lanka’s budget carrier, Mihin Lanka, has been running at a loss ever since commencing operations more than nine years ago (in April 2007), according to official sources.  In an email response to several queries raised by the Business Times one being whether Mihin Lanka had incurred losses over the years, parent company SriLankan Airlines [...]

MAS unveils dedicated water lab to improve water quality

Apparel and fabrics conglomerate MAS Holdings has unveiled a state-of-the-art laboratory that will be dedicated to analysing the water quality across the group as part of its growing commitments to sustainability.  The CENSURA lab is certified by the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board (SLAB) under ISO IEC 17025:2005. Located inside the MAS Fabric Park in Thulhiriya [...]

South Asian tensions seen dominating Indian BRICS summit

NEW DELHI, REUTERS, Oct 14 – India will take its drive to isolate Pakistan and rally the international community against cross-border militancy to a summit of emerging market powers this weekend (Oct. 15-16), when it hosts BRICS nations in the western state of Goa.  For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the gathering of leaders from Brazil, [...]

Germany’s cricket boom poised to hit the silver screen

BERLIN, AFP, Oct 14 – A boom of interest in cricket in Germany, fuelled by the influx of asylum seekers from Pakistan and Afghanistan, is a tale poised to hit the silver screen.  The season has just finished, but as Brian Mantle, chief executive of the German Cricket Federation (DCB), explained, 2016 has seen clubs [...]

Architect with a pyramid of problems to climb

Architect with a pyramid of problems to climb

It has only been a week since Rukshan Widyalankara stepped down from his prestigious position as president of the Commonwealth Association of Architects. Although pleased with his three-year term, he is left frustrated on the home front for there are many unresolved issues.  The handful of burning topics include the bureaucracy and red tape the [...]

Sri Lankan medical students stranded in Manipal University

Foreign students who recently enrolled in medical courses in Indian institutions have been left high and dry due to a recent Supreme Court of India (SCI) ruling requiring a compulsory National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) to be taken before admission.  In the case of one well-known institution, Manipal University, a flurry of court cases, [...]

Of great stories and turning ideas into gold

The stories the young entrepreneurs shared on the opening day on Wednesday of the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) in Colombo were inspiring. Asked to relate one story each which stimulated and moved them to change the world, each of the panellists had a tale which would have been a handy addition to Scheherazade’s One [...]

Sri Lanka has impressive human development indicators, says veteran development economist

For many years Sri Lanka has attracted interest for its development experience and has demonstrated that it can achieve human development while still at modest levels of income. Making this comment, Sir Richard Jolly, a leading development economist and Research Associate, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, noted that Sri Lanka could be a model [...]

Fast fashion is the game for SL – Industry expert

Fast fashion is the game for SL – Industry expert

The Sri Lanka apparel industry should improve on its ‘turnaround’ time and be speed conscious in a bid to get ahead in this competitive world of fashion, a top international industry expert says.  Dominic Mcvey, a founding and managing partner of investment firm Ellestone Apparel LLP, the holding company which is the controlling shareholder of [...]

PwC and SLASSCOM join hands to empower start-ups in Sri Lanka

In a joint effort to empower start-ups in the country, PwC Sri Lanka has joined hands with SLASSCOM (Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies) to introduce Sri Lanka to Europe’s largest and leading annual start-up and technology event, SLUSH, while also giving local start-ups a unique opportunity to help solve pressing challenges the [...]

China tops US in numbers of billionaires

BBC – China’s annual rich list has indicated that, once again, the country has more dollar billionaires than the US, and the gap is widening.  Property magnate Wang Jianlin of Dalian Wanda tops the list of 594 billionaires in the country, ahead of 535 billionaires in the US.  Alibaba’s Jack Ma was second, with his [...]

MTI’s ‘idea2fund’ launches 2nd round

The 2nd round of MTI’s idea2fund was launched recently with the expectations of an even larger number of entries, covering a diverse range of business domains.  MTI’s idea2fund is a venture challenge platform for prospective Sri Lankan entrepreneurs to present their venture ideas, be challenged and receive constructive feedback, get linked with investors / funders [...]

Many countries interested in investing in Sri Lanka – ITC Director

After two days of intense and continuous discussion on potential business opportunities available globally, many countries have shown interest and enthusiasm in investing in Sri Lanka, says Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director for International Trade Centre (ITC).  She was speaking to the media at the conclusion of the two day World Export Development Forum 2016 held [...]

WSO2 to host CIO Forum on ‘Digital Transformation’

WSO2 Inc, on the heels of a successful user conference held in Colombo earlier this year, will host a CIO Forum titled ‘Digital Transformation: Are You Ready?’ tomorrow – October 17, at Cinnamon Lakeside.  It will discuss how companies in Sri Lanka can take advantage of open source technologies to build their respective digital strategies [...]

SriLankan Airlines assists UK medical charity in its work in Sri Lanka

SriLankan Airlines is once again facilitating the air travel of the Take Heart Mercy Mission (, a team of medical specialists from the United Kingdom who travel to Sri Lanka every year to perform life-saving heart surgery on young children with life-threatening heart defects.  This is the 12th consecutive year that the medical team from [...]

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