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Garden city then: Garbage city now!

Garden city then: Garbage city now!

  Piles of garbage seen in this aerial picture of a dump at Lake Crescent, Colombo near the Park Street Mews car park and other key commercial and residential establishments. Residents say the Colombo municipality which uses this space to park their trucks, has turned it into a dump. The stench is unbearable and so [...]

Interest rate shocker for Lankan credit cardholders

Sri Lankan credit card holders numbering over 1.3 million have been shocked and dismayed by the sudden interest rate hike by several commercial banks this week following the Central Bank’s directive to lift the cap on credit card interest rates. The Central Bank (CB) also instructed commercial banks to charge competitive interest rates with effect [...]

SL loses $380 mln annually from disasters

Sri Lanka’s annual average cost from natural disasters is US$ 380 million over a period of 15-20 years, a World Bank study on fiscal disaster risk assessment conducted last year, shows. Official sources also say that according to the post disaster needs assessment conducted by the Ministry of Disaster Management with the help of the [...]

FIU campaigns hard against ‘black’ cash

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has cottoned on to some major money laundering rackets and has stepped up vigilance on black money circulating in the island, senior officials say. The FIU, an arm of the Central Bank (CB) has been following black money trails for some time now, officials said. This week it ran advertisements [...]

Tea workers plucked out of 150-year celebrations

A group, considered the “indispensable backbone of the thriving Sri Lankan tea industry,” by none other than the most important Prime Minister in the world, India’s Narendra Modi, has been left out of any involvement in the 150-year celebrations of an industry that they were born into. Steeped in a colonial past that brought them [...]

New IRD Bill triggers confusion among taxpayers, administrators

The much-hyped and long awaited Inland Revenue Act, a joint product of the IMF and local authorities gazetted by the government last Monday is triggering confusion among taxpayers and government tax administrators, not resulting in an increase in revenue, but a revenue decline, tax experts say. Far reaching changes have been introduced under the new [...]

Two ad industry professionals launch ‘Ad Lab’

Two ad industry professionals launch ‘Ad Lab’

Lilamani Benson and Sandya Salgado, two talented professionals and veterans in the advertising industry space, are making headlines again. The duo has launched an Advertising Education brand called Ad Lab. “’Ad’ very simply because it’s our world,” said Ms. Benson, “and ‘Lab’ because that’s where exploration begins. Where invention happens. And curiosity is celebrated.” To [...]

Rs.4 bln loss to SLPA from ECT

The East Container Terminal (ECT) has reported an estimated loss of Rs.4 billion to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) due to its inactiveness over the past two years, Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said on Thursday. Dodging the crucial questions on how the ECT would be run, the minister insisted that the government [...]

MTI’s case study of USA’s Limoneira set for London launch

MTI’s case study of USA’s Limoneira set  for London launch

Publishers Routledge (part of the Taylor and Francis Group) will be launching in London the book titled ‘Management Consultancy Insights and Real Consultancy Projects’ on August 10 containing two case studies of the strategy-critical project carried out by MTI Consulting for Limoneira, the Nasdaq listed and USA’s largest lemon producer. The two case studies are [...]

Coca-Cola partners with Red Cross for long term flood relief operations

Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd recently joined hands with the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society – Gampaha Branch, to carry out intensive emergency disaster relief and rehabilitation activities following the severe floods which occurred in May. In a media release Coca-Cola said it focused on the immediate needs of distribution of safe, clean water and [...]

Rules ensuring minimum public stakes in listed SL firms effective July 1

New regulations governing non-compliance of minimum public stakes in Sri Lankan listed companies will be effective from July 1 (Saturday). In an announcement on Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) said it has instructed the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) to commence enforcement in respect of its “November-2016 Revision of Rules on [...]

Duo World Inc roadshow in New York

Muhunthan Canagasooryam, Founder and CEO of Duo World Inc., recently completed a roadshow for Duo World’s newly listed shares on the OTC Markets, trading under the symbol DUUO. Duo World’s goal is to introduce itself to the establishments in New York’s investment community and create long-term relationships. During the roadshow, Mr. Canagasooryam visited the OTC [...]

Vista Rooms partners with over 50 SL villa and apartment owners

Vista Rooms, South Asia’s largest chain of affordable stays, is expanding operations to include apartments and villas in their portfolio of properties. Following a wave of success with standardizing and branding budget hotels across the island, Vista Rooms is now set to be a complete turnkey solutions provider for the private stays segment. They offer [...]

Mt. Lavinia residents say ‘no’ to illegal buildings

Mt. Lavinia residents say ‘no’ to illegal buildings

The Mount Lavinia Residents Association, a group recently formed to protect this city, is lobbying to put a stop to illegal constructions in the area, members said. “We stand to protect Mount Lavinia by raising the issues with the Ministries and will fight against unplanned constructions,” a member of the group told the Business Times. [...]

Guarantee minimum wage to arrest skills shortage in construction

Construction industry professionals are urging the government to guarantee a minimum wage for blue collar workers in a bid to beat the dearth of such talent in the industry. “The Government has approved recruitment of 2500 workers from Nepal and Myanmar and they’re already here,” Surath Wickramasinghe, Chartered Architect and Chairman – Surath Wickramasinghe Associates [...]

Women at the top in construction sector jobs

Women at the top in construction sector jobs

There’s really nothing that women can’t do – in the construction sector at least. In a bid to strengthen the capacities of young women from all strata across the country, thirty-nine women were trained under the aegis of Women in Construction (WIC) Forum– Sri Lanka on painting (walls) skills. “The intention was to train them [...]

Beware of quack contractors

Beware of quack contractors

The recent Wellawatte building collapse has opened up a whole can of worms. Amongst these, rampant corruption stands tall. Also a whole new discussion on issues arising from misinterpretation of design, poor workmanship and use of non-conforming materials has sprung amidst house owners’ failure to produce complete, accurate and well coordinated design and construction documents [...]

EU levies record fine of $2.4 bln against Google

( – Margrethe Bestager, competition commissioner for the European Union, knows how to make a splash with large numbers. Almost a year ago she ordered Apple, the world’s biggest technology firm, to settle taxes owed of up to $13 billion, a sum vaster than any had expected. On June 27 she announced that she wants [...]

Don’t be victims of your own mindset – Binod

Don’t be victims of your  own mindset – Binod

Businessmen in this part of the world tend to become victims of their own mindset, according to a Forbes billionaire. “We tend to be victims of our own mindset. Businessmen need to come out of the comfort zone,” said Binod K. Chaudhary Chairman, CG Corp Global, Nepal speaking at the 178th AGM of Ceylon Chamber [...]

London High-Rise fire: Colombo needs to act fast

London High-Rise fire: Colombo needs to act fast

“Tell my sons I love them”. Trapped in his level 22 flat while roaring flames engulfed the floor beneath him, 65 year-old Tony Disson whispered these words in his final phone call in the face of certain death. Just 18 days ago on June 14 – the Grenfell Tower in West London played a real [...]

Tackling natural disasters during challenging times in Sri Lanka

Tackling natural  disasters during challenging times in Sri Lanka

While accurate weather forecasting is a given in today turbulent times of natural disasters, flood forecasting – alerting communities of an impending flood followed by immediate vacation of their homes – will soon be a reality in Sri Lanka. This emerged during an engaging discussion on “Managing Disasters: Learning lessons” by a panel of experts [...]

Lankan entrepreneur produces high-quality biodegradable bags to protect the environment

Lankan entrepreneur produces high-quality  biodegradable bags to protect the environment

The damage caused to the global environment by dumping of non-biodegradable polythene bags has posed a global threat to the environment as polythene does not perish even after 500 years, according to scientists. Many Third World countries have so far not come up with a plausible solution to counter the use of polythene. The problem [...]

Natural disasters: Connecting the dots – Comment

Natural disasters: Connecting the dots – Comment

An illuminating discussion organised by the Sunday Times Business Club in Colombo on Tuesday on managing disasters (natural or man-made) reminded us of that popular fable where a little Dutch boy plugged a leak in a small dam and thereby saved his town. While the moral of that 19th century tale is to put forward [...]

Transport and congestion: is there a way forward?

Transport and congestion: is there a way forward?

The contribution of transport to the wellbeing of people in today’s world does not require great elaboration. Although improvements in transportation have a direct impact on the development of regional and local economies, such growth is underpinned by the negative effects of air pollution as a result of increased emissions. This is evident in Sri [...]

Scarce water, primary source on the planet, should be the concern of HR managers too

At a Colombo event last week dealing with human resource issues in the workplace, a top management specialist opened a new area of concern for HR managers – that their responsibility extends to an uninterrupted supply chain and whatever affects it. Ravi Fernando, Chairman/CE, Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability Pvt Ltd and Executive in Residence – [...]

World Bank stresses urgency in expediting Sri Lanka reforms

Sri Lankan Government-led economic reforms to improve competitiveness, maintain macro-fiscal stability and strengthen institutions are being carried out at snail pace owing to difficulties faced in a complex coalition political environment and institutional constraints on policy implementation. This view has been expressed in the new Sri Lanka Development Update (SLDU) report of the World Bank [...]

SL in second round of tapping offshore gas and oil reserves

As hopes grow in Sri Lanka that its off shore Mannar Basin has sedimentary deposits that are thick and old enough to yield high quality oil and gas sufficient for the next 60 years, at least 11 companies including highly reputed major international oil and gas firms have submitted expressions of interest to tap gas [...]

Ceylinco Life takes its Life Fund past Rs. 80 bln

The Life Fund of Ceylinco Life has crossed Rs 80 billion in May 2017, making it the fastest-growing Life Fund in the local industry, the life insurance market leader claimed in a media release this week. The company said this milestone was achieved in a little more than 29 years of operation. To reach Rs. [...]

DFCC introduces Oracle planning and budgeting cloud service

DFCC bank and Synapsys along with their partner Oracle recently launched the planning and budgeting cloud service together with a customer profitability analytics (CPA) system, which is built on Oracle’s leading platform.In doing so, DFCC became the first bank in the ASEAN region to implement cloud-based planning and budgeting services and the first bank in [...]

Finance Minister meets provincial entrepreneurs

Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera this week met the representatives of the Chamber of Provincial Entrepreneurs at the Ministry of Finance and held discussion to iron the difficulties faced by them. The representatives briefed Minister Samaraweera on issues faced by them especially with regard to the calculation of taxes. They also stressed [...]

SLC sends 60-member-strong contingent for MDRT Conference in Florida, US

Sri Lanka Insurance saw 60 of its top Life Insurance sales achievers qualifying for the elite Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Annual Conference 2017 held from June 4 – 7 in Orlando, Florida, USA. Participation at the Million Dollar Round Table is a seal of excellence for the public to trust, that they are working [...]

Mega Thai trade fair in Colombo in July

Thailand Week, an exclusive business opportunity and trade fair organized by the Department of International Trade Promotion of Thailand all over Asia, will be held in Sri Lanka this month. The event organized by the Thai Trade Centre, Chennai the overseas office representing the Department of International Trade Promotion in association with the Ministry of [...]

Give2lanka launches housing for poor project with IT sector

Give2lanka launches housing for poor project with IT sector

Give2Lanka, a not-for-profit organisation that connects donors with impactful poverty alleviation projects, is building houses for the poorest families with the direct participation of corporates in the IT sector. In the first stage of this project to provide 10 such houses for deserving poor families, the staff of IronOne Technologies are partnering with Give2Lanka to [...]

Boardroom and Cybersecurity Oversight

Boardroom and Cybersecurity Oversight

Computer security, Network security, Information security and Cybersecurity are used to describe the protection of information assets. In current discussions of security, there are references to both “cybersecurity” and “information security.” The objective of information security is threefold, involving the critical components of confidentiality, integrity and availability. All three components are concerned with the protection [...]

Need for long term tech solution to foster development and wealth

Need for long term tech solution to foster development and wealth

There is currently a war going on in the region that most Sri Lankans are either not aware of, or don’t seem to care about. This is essentially a war for talent, we are not losing out on this war since we are not fighting it. But if Sri Lanka is to prosper in the [...]

Lack of focus on innovation among Sri Lankan start-ups

While the start-up ecosystem is expanding widely in Sri Lanka, the number of companies creating innovative products is very minimal. The start-up culture should be a scenario in which a brand new product emerges instead of the kind of amazon, facebook or e-bay of Sri Lanka, says Jeevan Gnanam, Director and CEO of Orion City. [...]

Plantation workers propose conditions for out-grower model

Tea workers key union – the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) has proposed to the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) a new model under the proposed employee run plots opening up the discussion on the future of the estate sector. Under this new proposal the CWC has stated that they want two acres of land to be [...]

Janashakthi Contingent in Florida for MDRT Conference

Janashakthi Insurance PLC announced that Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) qualifiers from its Life Insurance Sales team had attended the prestigious MDRT Conference that was held in Florida, USA, recently. Surpassing the record numbers it had set in 2016, the insurer said in a media release that it had recorded its largest ever contingent of [...]

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