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Sugar goes up in smoke

Sugar goes up in smoke

Hundreds of acres of sugarcane cultivation belonging to Sevanagala farmers have been destroyed by a  fire ignited by scorching heat. Pic by Sumanasiri Gunatillake

Swiss help to probe SL’s Airbus deal

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera   Swiss investigators are flying into Colombo next month to investigate the Airbus agreement with SriLankan Airlines as part of an international probe on allegedly corrupt deals by the France-based aircraft manufacturer.  While the government here is independently probing whether there was any corruption in the Airbus deal with SriLankan Airlines, [...]

Depositors wary of Central Bank’s payment plan for 4 failed fincos.

By Quintus Perera   Depositors representing three of the four failed finance companies that are being bailed out by the Central Bank (CB) cautiously welcomed this week’s move but sought a ‘confirmation in writing’ on the decision.  Earlier this week, the CB said it has decided to repay depositors of the Standard Credit Finance Ltd [...]

Estates to cough out Rs.4 bln more to pay workers

By Sunimalee Dias   The new collective agreement reached between Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) and estate unions would result in an additional cost of Rs.4 billion to the owners.  The new pact envisages raising the current wage of Rs. 620 to Rs. 730 effective October 15 for both tea and rubber. However with statutory dues [...]

Helavation to lead innovations in apparel sector

Helavation, a subsidiary of Hela Clothing and its innovation centre which started as a strategic initiative in January this year, has three US patents pending for apparel sector innovations, a top official said.  ”Helavation’s aim is to add value to existing customers as well as to tap into an untapped market while the end result [...]

Guinness Book records and ego trips

Guinness Book records and ego trips

The world’s tallest Christmas tree at Galle Face. “Budo Ammo, mahattaya, monavada mei,” my old dhobi (laundryman) would have said, if he was still in the land of the living. I am not the only one who is not only disturbed but also perturbed. I did a quick poll among my editorial team and they [...]

If Sri Lanka’s unemployment is 400,000, why create jobs for 1 million? ETCA discussion panel asked

If Sri Lanka’s unemployment is 400,000, why create jobs for 1 million?  ETCA discussion panel asked

Dispute over unemployment figures in Sri Lanka, opposition to foreigners being given freedom to engage in the retail trade and a national trade policy that appears to have ignored many sectors were some of the key points that emerged at a Colombo discussion on Wednesday over proposals connected to the proposed Economic and Technology  Cooperation [...]

Southern teas left in the lurch

Southern teas left in the lurch

By Sunimalee Dias KALUTARA – Tea smallholdings have become the model that the regional plantation companies seem to want to catch up with in view of lower productivity on company estates. However today the yield on these tea estates too (owned by smallholders) have declined substantially and without adequate government funding and new factories permitted [...]

Algeria’s richest man steps in to revive Sri Lanka’s sugar industry

Algeria’s richest man steps in to revive Sri Lanka’s sugar industry

By Bandula Sirimanna Algerian firm Cevital, one of the biggest sugar refiners in North Africa with a project plan to revive sugar production in Sri Lanka, is ready to make the first investments of its kind in more than half a century in Sri Lanka. Algerian billionaire Issad Rebrab, founder of Cevital told Business Times, [...]

Innovative technologies to reduce medical cost

By Jayampathy Jayasinghe One of the computer systems available in Sri Lanka’s health sector is to link the Central hospital with the Central Medical Supply Division on the availability of drugs needed by the hospital. “About 30 hospitals in the country have began compiling records of OPD data on computers not connected to the central [...]

CB refers pyramid scheme probes to CID, AG

 By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera The Central Bank (CB) after probing five entities dealing in pyramid-like bogus deposit-taking has handed these investigations over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), top officials said. “The CB investigated some multi-level marketing firms that are dealing in pyramid schemes,” a CB official told the Business Times adding the most of [...]

Tourism Fest 2016 at the Arcade

Tourism Fest 2016 at the Arcade

Tourism Fest 2015 at Independence Arcade  The upcoming festive season will be one to look forward to with the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs making plans to attract both foreign and local tourists to the city of Colombo, the ministry said. This year’s edition of Tourism Fest 2016 will be a major [...]

Sri Lanka needs to make “urgent” progress on raising taxes, says the IMF

 By Bandula Sirimanna Sri Lanka needs to make “urgent” progress on raising taxes if it is to secure its fiscal future, the IMF mission chief to the country Jaewoo Lee said in an interview in Washington with the Business Times recently. “The urgency for implementing fiscal reforms has increased,” he said adding that the essential [...]

LankaClear – first in South Asia to launch online transfer mode for CITS

LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd, the operator of Sri Lanka’s National Payment Network – LankaPay, is completely automating the cheque clearing cycle by introducing the online transfer mode of the Cheque Imaging and Truncation System (CITS). With this revolutionary initiative, Sri Lanka is the first in South Asia to launch the Online Transfer Mode of CITS, which [...]

Residents in Nawala Koswatte up in arms over apartment complex construction

A seven storeyed high-rise apartment complex with 16 apartments coming up in Koswatte Road Nawala, Wettasinghe Mawatha and Hemasinghe Mawatha in a highly residential area is posing a serious environmental threat to residents in the neighbourhood, residents complained. An old house has been demolished with the purchase of the land and construction of the apartment [...]

Doctor, lay down your scalpel for the digital age is here

Doctor, lay down your scalpel for the digital age is here

By Alvin Sallay Wonder what Kay Scarpetta, the central character in the Patricia Cornwell crime novels, will do? Will she lay down her scalpel and pick up a scanner for that is the future of forensic pathology, a future where an autopsy will mean there will be no need to cut up a dead body. [...]

With vulnerability rising, financial regulators globally call for safety net

With vulnerability rising, financial regulators globally call for safety net

The business and technology innovations adopted by the financial services companies to propel growth, innovation, and cost optimization have presented heightened levels of cyber risks. These innovations have introduced new vulnerabilities and complexities into the financial market infrastructures  (FMIs) and ecosystem. The rapid adoption of ATMs, kiosks, Internet, mobile, cloud, and social media technologies as [...]

Commonwealth medical conference in Colombo enhances SL’s position as digital health leader

Commonwealth medical conference in Colombo enhances SL’s position as digital health leader

Vinton G Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google, considered one of the founding father of the Internet, addresses the conference via skype.   The Commonwealth Medical Association’s 24th Triennial Conference 2016, hosted by the Sri Lanka Medical Association and the Health Informatics Society of Sri Lank with the support of the Government [...]

Printing jobs no longer lure Sri Lankan youth

Printing jobs no longer lure Sri Lankan youth

Sri Lanka’s printing industry is currently grappling with attempts to ensure staff turnover is high but youth tend to leave due to the non-attractiveness of being employed in this sector.  Sri Lanka Printing Institute CEO and Board member Sisira Baranage said in an interview that the printing industry should create the right environment to attract [...]

More high tech industries needed in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s labour force needs to migrate to more high tech industries if the country is to achieve what Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea did sometime ago and even to a certain extent what India is doing right now, according to Isuru Tillakawardana, Deputy General Manager, Human Resource Management, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC.  Mr. [...]

Kuwaiti Envoy holds talks with CCC on trade, investments

Kuwait is willing to help Sri Lanka’s development plans with required investments, its Ambassador in Sri Lanka – Khalaf Bu Dhhair has said.  He conveyed this during a courtesy call to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) last week where he held talks with chamber chairman Samantha Ranatunga.  “Kuwait is keen to engage in oil [...]

South Asia’s e-commerce giant, Daraz, expands to Sri Lanka

Daraz, a leading e-commerce platform in South Asia, with operations in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, is expanding services to Sri Lanka.  The company is a business-to-consumer marketplace for a wide range of branded original products from local and international sellers at competitive prices. It was founded in 2012 by Rocket Internet and later backed by [...]

e-bay and Alibaba to start operations focusing on Sri Lanka’s market

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera To help businesses go digital, e-commerce and Internet sales firms e-bay and Alibaba will be launching its services in Sri Lanka, officials said.  Key officials of both these organisations participated at the panel discussions at the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) held in Colombo last week. “They will be coming to [...]

Crescent Global establishes Lloyd’s Insurance and Reinsurance Brokering hub in Sri Lanka

Crescent Global Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers has become the first global player in the insurance and reinsurance business, to have offices and invest right here in Sri Lanka. A broker accredited by the world’s largest insurance market, Lloyds of London is now available here at home, in addition to their presence in all regional markets, [...]

Proposed ADB’s $50 mln investment sets off new chapter of growth for HNB

HNB PLC recently announced that its Board of Directors has granted the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approval to purchase a substantial equity stake in the bank by way of a fresh issue of shares.  Upon securing regulatory approval and shareholder consent at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), to be held next week, the bank will [...]

Food habits which lead to obesity and poor health need radical change

By Sunimalee Dias The government is to adopt severe measures to address issues pertaining to climate change, according to President Maithripala Sirisena. The government has drafted a national policy on climate change in the past 18 months, he said, adding that today people have understood responsibility towards the environment. These observations were made while addressing [...]

Chanuka and four others in Entrust case given bail

All the five directors of Entrust Securities including Chanuka Ratwatte facing misappropriation charges were granted conditional bail by the Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne on Friday.  The suspects were arrested by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division on September 14, produced before the Magistrate and remanded. The other accused in this case are Dharmapriya Bandara Dassanayake, [...]

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