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Labouring a point!

Labouring a point!

Panellists (from left) – Dinesh Weerakkody, Chairman of the National Human Resource Development Council of Sri Lanka; Samantha Ranatunga, Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce; Prof. Athula Ranasinghe, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo and Nimal Ranasinghe, Controller General of Immigration and Emigration (speaking), at a discussion on Tuesday on labour [...]

Request to appoint ‚Äėoutsider‚Äô as CB Deputy Governor

The Central Bank‚Äôs Monetary Board recently fielded a request from Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to appoint an ‚Äėoutsider‚Äô as Deputy Governor, which is contrary to the usual practice of such appointments being made from amongst senior bank officers based on seniority and experience. The request was made by Treasury Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga at a [...]

BIA check-in between four-five hours

The Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), which is under construction, is planning to allow travellers to arrive between five and four hours before departure. This is instead of the compulsory five hours enforced in January 7 when runway maintenance began. Counters will close about 90 minutes before departure. Airport and Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (AASL) [...]

Conflicting views on SriLankan Airlines’ intended partners

More than eight months after the government called for bids to resurrect the national carrier SriLankan Airlines, the authorities are groping in the dark in the bid to find a management or equity partner. Conflicting reports on who is in the front running to get the cash-strapped airlines comes almost each day with some parties [...]

A330 air bus deal sends SriLankan Airlines into a tailspin

Debt-ridden national carrier SriLankan Airlines has been sent into a tailspin following the almost, near-crash of its much hyped A 330 air bus deal with Pakistan Airlines (PIA). After five months of the A 330 Aircraft wet lease to PIA., SriLankan Airlines is being pushed to a precarious situation as a result of PIA’s insistence [...]

Touchwood investors to vote on two options

Creditors of bankrupt Touchwood Investments have been called for a February 8 meeting to vote on how they could get back their dues. A meeting of all the creditors of mahogany, vanilla and sandalwood plantations will be held at 3.00pm at the BMICH, Touchwood Liquidator Sudath Kumar told the Business Times on Monday. However investors [...]

Complexity of labour

Complexity of labour

Consider this: On one side, there is a shortage of labour, we are told by the pundits. On the other side, the youth unemployment rate is rising ‚Äď more than 20 per cent compared to 4 per cent of total unemployment. Add to this equation the shortage of workers in the garment sector ‚Äď 30,000 [...]

Bleak outlook for what was once the ‘granary of the East’

Bleak outlook for what was  once the ‘granary of the East’

Once upon a time Sri Lanka was the granary of the East. But those days are long gone by decried Prof. Buddhi Marambe thanks to inept policy decisions combined with the vagaries of nature – leaving the country with enough rice to feed its people only until the middle of this year. Usually any story [...]

Using AI for software development effort estimation

Software development involves a number of interrelated factors which affect development effort and productivity. Since many of these relationships are not well understood, accurate estimation of software development time and effort is a difficult. The most significant activity in software development is to develop projects within the confined timeframe and budget. As accuracy plays a [...]

First Graphite promotes Sri Lanka’s vein graphite for energy saving gadgets

First Graphite (FGR), a listed company in Australia that sources premium quality graphite from Sri Lanka, will be entering the international market as a supplier of rarest and most valuable vein graphite which is used as one of the raw materials in the manufacture of the best and most innovative energy saving technology products in [...]

Six parties eye SLPA’s 3 acre land in Colombo Port

More than six companies are eyeing the 3-acre land at Colombo Port, advertised by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). Informed sources said that representatives of some parties including McLarens Group, Aitken Spence and Prima Group inspected these lands late last month. The SLPA called for a tender to develop them last month in order [...]

27th J.E Jayasuriya Memorial Lecture

The 27th J.E. Jayasuriya memorial lecture will be delivered by Dr. Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka. The lecture will be on the topic: ‚ÄúNon-State Actors in Higher Education in Sri Lanka: Issues and Challenges‚ÄĚ. The event will take place on Monday February 13 at 5 pm at [...]

Sri Lanka ranked 12th in the world by IBM for BPO‚Äč, the fastest growing online career portal in Sri Lanka, has in a new report said that jobs in the Information Technology (IT) sector led the demand for jobs in Sri Lanka in 2016. The report says IT has been at the ‚Äėtop of the pops‚Äô in the hiring industry and one of the most [...]

National strategy for exports being prepared

The Export Development Board EDB has initiated action on the preparation of a National Export Strategy (NES)  for the next five years. The EDB is empowered by the Sri Lanka Export development Act to prepare a national export strategy, according to EDB media release. The initial consultative meeting was held recently at the EDB chaired [...]

St. Regis helps save trees with new SLS-certified tea sack

St. Regis Packaging, the first company to obtain SLS certification for Rigid T Sacks and Multiwall paper sacks for bulk packaging of tea, has achieved yet another breakthrough by reducing the environmental impact of one of its paper sacks, significantly supporting the tea industry’s efforts to go green. The invention of the new paper sack [...]

Labour shortage seriously hinders the country’s development progress

Labour shortage seriously hinders the country’s development progress

Noting that Sri Lanka’s industrial, construction and agricultural sectors would find it extremely difficult to grow speedily in the coming years, four eminent experts in the fields of education, commerce,  human resource and immigration cautioned that a labour shortage would be a hindrance for the country’s swing towards speedy development. There is a huge shortage [...]

Sri Lankan business community free to express views without being penalised

Some years ago, under the former regime, those in the business community who made independent views on economic and business issues were penalised by the Finance Ministry and the Treasury. Faiszer Mustapha, Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils speaking as the Chief Guest at the 58th AGM of the National Chamber of Commerce of [...]

Second batch passes out from TRAc hospitality courses

The second batch of students passed out recently from the TRAc hospitality NVQ programme, the training institute said in a media release. The NVQ hospitality course offered by TRAc includes certificates in Housekeeping, Front Office, Bar Stewarding and Restaurant Service. Some additional key areas of focus that would engage students and give them special attention [...]

CEB and LECO ordered to pay interest on consumer security deposits

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has directed the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the Lanka Electricity Company Pvt Ltd (LECO) to pay interest on security deposits of electricity consumers from January 2017 onwards. In a media release on Tuesday, the power regulator issued guidelines to the two agencies on paying interest on [...]

Govt. to host SAARC meeting on public procurement

The Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka will be hosting the Fourth South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference (SARPPC) under the Theme ‚ÄúElectronic Government Procurement (e-GP) in South Asia: Achievements, Opportunities and Challenges‚ÄĚ in Colombo and Kandy from February 20 to 23. President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and [...]

Musical instruments, sports goods donated to Sigiriya children by STBC

Musical instruments, sports goods donated to Sigiriya children by STBC

The Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) recently gifted musical instruments and sports goods to children of the Udawelayagama Vidyalaya at Sigiriya. The CSR project was the second time initiated by the STBC with this school located in the backwoods of Sigiriya. Musical instruments included harmonium, side drum, Melodica, Esraj, mouth organ, bass drum, violin, flute [...]

Homes for children from Give2Lanka

Homes for children from Give2Lanka

It is heartbreaking to note that some children do not have a home they can be secure in! Until recently Sajeed was in this situation, according to a media release from Give2Lanka, a non-profit organisation. “Sajeed is a bright eight-year old boy and has always been serious about his studies. Despite the financial difficulties and [...]

LOLC’s next stop in micro financing РIndonesia

Having inked a joint venture with Pak Oman Mcrofinance Bank Ltd of Pakistan, the LOLC Group plans to go to Indonesia next year with a similar acquisition. Ishara Nanayakkkkara, Chairman LOLC on the sidelines of a media conference and signing ceremony, told the Business Times that LOLC will invest in a microfinance entity in Indonesia [...]

EU seeks 5-yr visas for investors

Sri Lanka has taken a favourable outlook towards granting foreigners residing in the country with 5-year visas and has discussed possibilities of EU companies vying for tenders called by the state.  This was brought to the fore during a discussion between the Board of Investment (BOI) and the International Development Minister Malik Samarawickrama with members [...]

Citi launches app-based login solution for corporate clients in Asia Pacific

Citi has announced the launch of MobilePASS, a new digital solution that eliminates the need for corporate users to carry physical tokens for logins. MobilePASS is an app-based soft token that enables users to leverage their own smartphones to generate dynamic passcodes without any network connectivity to log into Citi’s range of institutional e-banking platforms, [...]

Big data analysing large volumes of data and filters for key decision-making

Big data analysing large volumes of data and filters for key decision-making

Making decisions based on the analysis of Big Data is the secret to success of many organisations in today’s competitive business world. With the aim of providing insight into the new trends of Big Data, the Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT) recently held the Big Data Analytics Tech Forum at the BMICH in Colombo. Several [...]

Agility and speed help win the tech innovation race

When it comes to technology innovation, people tend to think about the new and exciting consumer products and services, for example phones, cameras, new ways of connecting. Innovative technologies – for the most part – improve our lives, help make us more efficient, help us communicate, and speed up the pace at which we share, [...]

Future of ‚ÄėInsider Threats‚Äô

Future of ‚ÄėInsider Threats‚Äô

 The greatest threat to an organisation is no longer the hacker attacking from beyond the physical and network walls but the insiders already within those walls, and equipped with an all-access pass. An insider threat may be a malicious employee or stakeholder who consciously or unwittingly exfiltrates data, sabotages IT systems, or manipulates data and [...]

Unlocking Sri Lanka’s true potential through immigration

Unlocking Sri Lanka’s true potential through immigration

In the 21st century the most important asset a country can have is its people or what you would term human capital. Sri Lanka, while being beautiful and a land of plenty, lacks natural resources that can be easily being sold in the world market (oil, coal, gas, etc). The cash crops that we have [...]

Unions happy with Peace Airways proposal to include their members on SriLankan Airlines board

At least one staff union at SriLankan Airlines is looking to meet Texas Pacific Group (TPG), a US based investment group that’s ahead of three bidders to partner the state-run SriLankan Airlines. TPG, Peace Airways and Super Group were shortlisted out of eight that responded to the Ministry of Public Enterprises’ expression of interest to [...]

SL to borrow Rs.375 bln overseas in 2017, up from Rs. 275 bln in 2016

Borrowing under the 2017 budget will rise, with the government expecting to tap international markets for Rs.353 billion, equivalent to 2.6 per cent of GDP, up from the 2016 total of Rs. 275 billion or 2.2 per cent of GDP, according to the Oxford Business Group (OBG). It said that even with measures introduced to [...]

Mövenpick Hotel Colombo holds official launch party

Mövenpick Hotel Colombo holds  official launch party

Colombo’s first 5- star hotel to launch in the city after 25 years, provided a whole new level of entertainment and gastronomic delights. Over 500 guests were invited to be a part of this uniquely themed party carried out in five different locations of the hotel from the ground floor to the rooftop on January [...]

RN Constructions celebrates 20th anniversary in construction

RN Constructions (Pvt) Ltd, one of the leading construction companies in Sri Lanka, recently marked its 20th anniversary at a special event that felicitated its employees, selected clients and consultants. RN Group of Companies provides technologically-advanced, high-quality construction solutions through its six specialised group companies. The parent company – RN Constructions (Pvt) ltd – began [...]

Simplex expands its reach across Sri Lanka

Simplex Delivery, the local pioneer in next-day, to-your-doorstep e-commerce deliveries, has expanded its network to cover the whole of Sri Lanka from January 25. A ‘last mile’ delivery service for e-commerce companies, Simplex Delivery’s competitive edge is undoubtedly its ability to get its customers’ products to the remotest locations in Sri Lanka within the shortest [...]

UN tourism agency slams US travel ban on nationals of seven countries

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the UN specialised agency for tourism, on Tuesday expressed ‚Äėdeep concern and strong condemnation‚Äô over the recently announced travel ban by the US on nationals of seven countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The travel ban, based on nationality, is contrary to the principles of freedom [...]

Blue Ocean’s new condo breaks ground in Colombo

Blue Ocean Group of Companies, one of the largest condominium developers in the country, broke ground on Thursday for its new apartment complex in Colombo at 15A, Layards Road, Bambalapitiya. However similar to the Blue Mountain launch of its mega condo complex opposite Majestic City a few weeks ago when President Maithripala Sirisena didn’t turn [...]

Capital Alliance offers high value management trainee/ internship programme

Capital Alliance Ltd (CAL), has launched a new Management Trainee¬† and¬† Internship Programme called ‚ÄėCAL Talent Circle‚Äô to attract and nurture talent in the financial services industry. This programme offers graduates, undergraduates and school leavers a unique opportunity to learn and contribute in a dynamic setting and a fast-paced environment coupled with professional development and [...]

Billions lost in exports as Sri Lanka ‘brand’ drags its feet

 Alaborious process in facilitating trademark registration has resulted in fewer Sri Lankan brands and has cost billions of rupees to the export community. And this is despite the government having given the green light and approved Rs.100 million in the last budget to help speed up entry to the foreign alliance which would help local [...]

Symphony at Jetwing hotels

Symphony at Jetwing hotels

Jetwing opened something more than just a city hotel РJetwing Colombo Seven Рat Ward Place the former location of the residence of the company’s founder Herbert Cooray, which was also a vision since he started out the business. This is also the first to join the Jetwing Symphony. Jetwing Colombo Seven is a [...]

Sri Lanka’s first international Black Belt in retail programmes this month

3W Consulting (3WC), Sri Lanka’s leading Enterprise Renewal and Management Consultants together with the Global Retail Association (GRA) has announced the launch of the international Retail Mastery Programme, which will introduce the country’s first International Black Belt in the Retail Series. The first Retail Mastery Programme will be launched on February 8-9 in Colombo and [...]

IATA grants SriLankan Airlines ISAGO registration

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has awarded SriLankan Airlines the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) renewal Registration, following the successful completion of a comprehensive audit of ground-handling operations at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). SriLankan Airlines is the 158 ground handling company in the world to receive the mentioned registration. ISAGO is an [...]

Oliver Impex launches Vijaya Cement for growing construction industry

Oliver Impex (Pvt) Ltd last week launched the latest brand of cement ‚Äď Vijaya Cement – to the highly lucrative and booming construction market in Sri Lanka. It also marks a special day for India and Sri Lanka as this venture is a collaboration between the two countries, the company said in a media release. [...]

Interbrand expands in SL thro’ Michel Nugawela

Interbrand expands in SL thro’  Michel Nugawela

Interbrand, one of the world‚Äôs largest brand consultancy companies, along with its local partner MND has embarked on an expansion programme of Sri Lankan brands globally. ‚ÄúInterbrand first entered the Sri Lanka market in 2016 to rebrand the Hatton National Bank with our Sri Lankan partner MND,‚ÄĚ said Ashish Mishra, Managing Director of Interbrand India [...]

DPL reports steady growth in revenue

Group turnover at Dipped Products for the 9 months of the financial year¬†¬† 2016/17 was Rs. 18 billion, compared to Rs.16 billion for the same period of the previous year. The Hand Protection sector contributed Rs. 11 billion to the group’s top line, while the Plantation sector recorded a turnover of Rs. 7 billion for [...]

Immigration laws to be revised soon to tackle human smuggling

Sri Lanka is to revise the country’s ages-old immigration law with the aim of tackling illegal smuggling of migrants, upgrading immigration and emigration legislation and streamlining the visa procedure, a senior official said. A draft bill has been prepared based on the recommendations of a committee made up of members from the Foreign Affairs Ministry [...]

‚ÄėAIA Vitality‚Äô, a mobile app that brings awareness among public to live healthy and longer

While life insurance penetration in Sri Lanka is very low with people giving more prominence for general and motor insurance than considering the results of losing a life of a family member, AIA Insurance has come up with a strategic model to raise the awareness among the public. ‚ÄėAIA Vitality‚Äô is a mobile application that [...]

Japanese tea ceremony

Japanese tea ceremony

A Sri Lankan Buddhist monk being served tea by a Japanese lady at a demonstration of the world famous Japanese tea ceremony conducted at the BMICH in Colombo on Friday at the Japan Expo. The event was part of a 3-day event that included a celebration of Japanese culture and arts.  

Gmail stops working in Google Chrome 53 and Older, Windows XP users left behind

Google has recently announced that starting February 8, Gmail would no longer be supported by Google Chrome browser version 53 and older, with the company now pushing for users to update to the latest version of the application, according to foreign media reports. While this makes sense given the security improvements that are part of [...]

Shouldn’t CEB/LECO give a rebate for early settlement?

It is reported the power regulator, the PUCSL has issued fresh guidelines to CEB /LECO to pay interest on the security deposit of electricity consumers held by these institutions. It was also mentioned that the service providers are now required to pay 8.93 per cent interest on the security deposit made by each customer when [...]

Huge potential for Sri Lankan exporters in Maldives

FHAM 2017, ‚ÄúFood and Hospitality Asia Maldives‚ÄĚ International Trade Fare is scheduled to be held on April 3 at Dharubaaruge in Maldives, organised jointly by Colombo-based CDC Events and Male-based Dhivehi Expo Services. Over the past years FHAM has been recognized as the main gateway for business in Maldives and an ideal platform for Sri [...]

Colombo shopping festival to be organised by local retailers

The Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA), which aims to harness the resources of the organised retail industry to a common platform, recently met Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to discuss its 2017 plans. During the meeting between Hussain Sadique, Deputy Managing Director of Hameedia and Chairman of SLRA; Asoka Peiris, Group CEO of Singer and Convener [...]

Watawala Plantations extends winning streak at SAFA Annual Report Awards

Sri Lanka’s largest tea and palm oil producer, Watawala Plantations PLC – a subsidiary of Sunshine Holdings PLC – once again received top honours at the recently concluded South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) Best Presented Annual Report Awards 2015. Officials from Watawala Plantations PLC received the award at an international gala event which took [...]

Emirates opens access to its premium lounges at Dubai International Airport

Emirates has launched an additional privilege to extend the usage of its luxury lounges at Dubai International Airport to its Loyalty Programme members and their guests at a minimal fee regardless of their class of travel. The pay-per-visit access will be available to Emirates Skywards members and their guests travelling on Emirates. Business Class travellers [...]

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