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After a hard day’s work

After a hard day’s work

A park worker relaxes watching two ducks at play at the end of a day’s work at the Weli Park at Nugegoda.  A small group of eight workers maintain a large section of the park and its environs while the Navy maintains a small section.

US$6 mln for tourism global promo push

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry’s long overdue global promotion campaign will get a further boost with the planned investment doubling to US$6 million. The original budget for the global campaign was US$3 million but Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (sltpb) Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara told the Business Times that they would increase this figure as the current [...]

Credit cards: “Boon or bane?”

The Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) is hosting a panel discussion titled “Credit Cards: Boon or Bane? ” on July 25 at the Kingsbury Colombo. Three panellists representing government agencies, commercial banks and a sociology professor will be discussing a range of issues pertaining to the use of credit and debit cards. Uncontrolled spending by [...]

Speculation over national carrier chairman quitting

Speculation was rife this week that under-pressure SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajit Dias is considering stepping down at the end of July. Sources close to the board of directors said Mr. Dias is believed to have told friends that he intended to step down from his position. However, airline officials, who declined to be named, said [...]

New Beira Lake project in the offing

Turning upside down, the former regime’s project to restore the Beira Lake and develop the surrounding area spearheaded by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, this showpiece lake is to be developed under a new plan soon. Earlier plans to relocate all the casinos to a special zone in Colombo’s D.R. Wijewardena Mawartha/Beira Lake area have [...]

CB to liquidate six ‘bad’ finance cos.

The Central Bank (CB) after ‘critically’ evaluating six finance companies that are in the dumps are likely to liquidate them after paying off depositors, a CB official said. “We’re trying to resolve this and many discussions on this have been going on for a while now. It’s taking a toll on all concerned parties – [...]

Spilling the beans, mistress and all!

Spilling the beans, mistress and all!

It was again Kussi Amma Sera (KAS) who prompted the idea for this week’s column. As the sun’s rays crept through the trees, KAS, sweeping the garden as she usually does every morning, was mumbling to herself. Annoyed, I said: Speak up. “Kathakaranna bayawenna epa.” Looking up, she says, “Mahattaya hari wedai — ara EPF [...]

Planters, estate staff and workers ignored in 150th year Ceylon Tea festivities

Planters, estate staff and workers ignored in 150th year Ceylon Tea festivities

Given that planters, estate staff and workers are synonymous with the tea industry, having played a significant role in ensuring the tea industry survived for 150 years in Ceylon/Sri Lanka, the above is an event eagerly looked forward to by planters, staff on estates and workers who were the architects in ensuring the tea plantations [...]

Double whammy on Lankan economy from floods, drought

Sri Lanka’s economy took a double-hit in the first quarter of 2017 owing to floods and drought which affected agriculture and inflation and registered a drop in economic growth, according to official data released by the Ministry of Finance. According to the Ministry’s Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report 2017 published on June 30, economic growth in [...]

BOC’s new “apply online’ facility launched

Sri Lanka’s Bank of Ceylon on Monday re-launched its website with an “Apply Online” facility, and with this laid claim to become the first local bank to automate all business processes and to provide customer convenience to apply for account opening, loans, and other service requests from anywhere at any time. The bank said in [...]

Sri Lanka’s robust growth potential challenged by high debt burden, Moody’s says

While Sri Lanka’s economy shows robust medium-term growth prospects, credit challenges including large borrowing needs and a fragile external payments position are worrying factors, a report by Moody’s Investors Service has revealed. The report, credit analysis titled “Government of Sri Lanka — B1 Negative” elaborates on Sri Lanka’s credit profile in terms of Economic Strength, [...]

Freemasons celebrate 300 years

Freemasons  celebrate 300 years

The United Grand Lodge of England [UGLE] constituted on June 24, 1717 marks 300 years of existence this year under its current Grand Master, His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent. Freemasonry, under the UGLE, is one of world’s oldest secular fraternal societies, a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values, whose members [...]

Tourists on stilts

Tourists on stilts

Tourists on stilts in Galle in a balancing act to catch fish. This has today become an interesting activity for travellers to do while holidaying on the Southern coast. Pic. by Indika Handuwala.

SriLankan zeroes in on “commis” to agents

SriLankan zeroes in on “commis” to agents

Four months after Sri Lankan travel agents were shocked by the news that the national carrier planned to stop paying commissions on tickets, the decision has begun to bite from this month. With the zero per cent commission on ticket sales proposal being granted an extension earlier on its effective date, it has now come [...]

SriLankan flies to Hyderabad onboard new Neo aircrafts

SriLankan Airlines launched its entry into India’s fourth largest city Hyderabad on Wednesday aboard its latest airbus aircraft newly acquired. Accordingly, the airline will be offering a four-times-a-week service to Hyderabad, connecting the state’s capital to the world through its global route network, a media release from the airline said. Hyderabad is one of three [...]

Charters from Poland to add volume

Aitken Spence has increased its generation of tourist traffic from charters cruising back to a popular past trend to increase the numbers by adding on the Polish market this year. Considered the largest tourism company in the country, the company was able to bring in 153,000 travellers last year with a growth rate of 19.9 [...]

Travellers concerned by dengue epidemic

The dengue epidemic has raised concerns among travellers to Sri Lanka with the rising incidence of mosquito-related deaths and diseases, state tourism authorities said on Monday. Newly-appointed Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara told the Business Times that the number of arrivals was “a bit stagnant due to the dengue situation – so [...]

Level-playing field key to tourism growth

Level-playing  field key to  tourism growth

Sri Lanka is a destination with a high degree of peace with the entire world knowing the fact that our troubled times are over. However we still are struggling to ensure a reasonable bottom line for all the industry investors. The main reasons are being the supply of government- approved, star-rated accommodation providers being far [...]

Cinnamon Grand recognises and rewards outstanding staff

Cinnamon Grand recognises and rewards outstanding staff

Cinnamon Grand held its quarterly Associates’ meeting for the first quarter of the financial year 2017/2018 to appreciate and reward noteworthy contributions of dedicated associates, the hotel said in a media release. The event held at the hotel’s ballroom room on July 11, saw the participation of over 400 associates and heads of departments. The [...]

Asia’s policy makers vow to tackle tax avoidance of multinationals

Asia’s high level policymakers have emphasised the need of introducing strong tax reforms and strengthening tax systems as a key development priority for the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). They recognised that strong tax systems are essential for enhancing state building and international tax reforms are integral to domestic tax system development. [...]

New IRD Act is investor-friendly, says Finance Minister

The main objective of the new Inland Revenue Bill is to simplify the tax system in the country in order to create an investor- friendly environment that will attract more foreign direct investments in the near future, says Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera During a discussion with representatives of the trade unions [...]

Commemorative coin to mark 150 years of Ceylon Tea

Commemorative coin to mark 150 years of Ceylon Tea

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) has issued a commemorative coin with a face value of Rs. 10 to celebrate 150 years of Ceylon Tea and to recognise its contribution to the national economy as an important and long-standing export- oriented commodity in Sri Lanka. The CB said in a media release that the [...]

D. Essuwaren felicitated by Duty Free Trader’s Association

D. Essuwaren felicitated by  Duty Free Trader’s Association

The Duty Free Trader’s Association recently felicitated D. Essuwaren on his being awarded Deshabandu, a national honour. The organisers said Mr. Essuwaren had done much in the way of social service and multi religious promotional activities in addition to his success in the field of business. His company, Eswaran Brothers is a leader in the [...]

Be fearless in realising your dreams – Sri Lankan innovations

Be fearless in realising your dreams –  Sri Lankan innovations

Sri Lanka’s knowledge and innovation industry, led by the IT and BPM sectors, has demonstrated explosive growth over the last few years. It is distinct from all other export industries in having over 95 per cent value addition while “democratising success”. The growth potential of this industry over the next five years is even higher, [...]

Disrupt Asia words of advice: Implementation the key, failure part of success

Disrupt Asia words of advice: Implementation the key, failure part of success

While start-ups are, in today’s technologically advanced competitive world, growing rapidly with innovative ideas, ‘business English’ needs to be implemented from kindergarten onwards in Sri Lanka for this ecosystem to succeed. This piece of advice came from Cheryl Edison, CEO of Edison International in San Francisco, a social entrepreneur and global business development expert, at [...]

Codies to the rescue: Beating the Robot

Everything that staff at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) did in the 1950s is now done through a small phone in their pocket. Some experts then said not to worry because technology has always created new jobs while purging old ones, displacing but not replacing workers. But lately, as technology has become more [...]

Aavishkaar eyeing more local start-ups

Indian investment firm Aavishkaar which made its second foray in Sri Lanka by investing in logistics solutions provider Grasshoppers Pvt Ltd is setting its sight on more, early-stage firms, officials said. “We are in discussion with companies in agriculture and technology,” Sanchayan Chakraborty, Partner at Aavishkaar Venture Management Services Pvt Ltd told the Business Times [...]

Seminar on Sri Lanka-China ties

Seminar on Sri Lanka-China ties

Dr. Sarath Amunugama, senior Minister and Chairman of the Sri Lanka Centre for Social Research recently signed a memorandum of understanding in Colombo with Yanwei Cai, Chairman of the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing (see picture). The two institutions will be sponsoring a 3-day seminar on “Sri Lanka – China relations” in [...]

UDA halts illegal sites in Mt.Lavinia

The Urban Development Authority (UDA) visited the seaside area in Mount Lavinia on Tuesday morning in a bid to inspect sites where developers had submitted building permits that were expired. All these developers were instructed to stop construction immediately and obtain fresh permits if they wish to begin construction, UDA sources and residents in the [...]

Workshop on “Herbal Tea Bags”

The Technical Services Division of the Industrial Development Board of Ceylon (IDB) is conducting a one-day, technology transfer workshop on “Herbal Tea Bags” for industrialists and other interested groups on July 20 from 9 am to 4 pm at the IDB’s Technical Services Division, 615, Galle Road, Katubedda. Subjects to be covered in this workshop [...]

Top experts share insights at LKI’s Foreign Policy Conference

Politicians, policy makers, scholars from universities and think tanks, media, representatives from the private sector and civil society, and students converged in Colombo at the recently-held dialogue on “Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy: Choices in a Changing World.” The two-day event was organised and held at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies [...]

Ceyline’s CINEC offers quality seafarers to the world

Sri Lankan seafarers are in demand for their quality training and continue to serve global carriers becoming a cut above the rest, a feat achieved through the initiation of the Colombo International Engineering and Nautical College (CINEC) at Malabe. The nautical college run by the Ceyline Group of Companies has recently entered into a joint [...]

Colombo Port City leads with Urban Design Idea Competition

Colombo Port City leads with Urban Design Idea Competition

Design competitions should be made a practice for all landmark projects in Sri Lanka, according to the President of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA), D. H Wijewardene. He was speaking at the award ceremony of the International Conceptual Urban Design Idea Competition for the Financial District and Marina of the Colombo Port City, [...]

US innovation expert collaborates with Lankan IT entrepreneurs

As part of its efforts to advance US-Sri Lankan economic ties and prosperity, the US Embassy here recently supported Cheryl Edison, American innovation expert, to work with Sri Lanka’s leading IT entrepreneurs, engineering students, and Information and Communications Technology Agency (ICTA) representatives. Ms. Edison was also the keynote speaker for this year’s Disrupt Asia conference [...]

Special new award at Presidential Export Awards

Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) has begun accepting applications from holding companies/conglomerates registered in Sri Lanka for a Special (Overall) Award on “Leadership Excellence in the Export Drive” in recognition of their contribution to the export development drive of the country during the year 2016. Companies possessing management expertise, local and international reputation, business [...]

Dr. Saman Kelegama: A legacy that lives on in his purpose and his people

Dr. Saman Kelegama: A legacy that lives  on in his purpose and his people

Dr. Saman Kelegama was a once in a generation individual. Everyone who interacted with him in any way would have memorable recollections of him in different contexts. While I could never do justice writing about his many achievements in, and contributions to, the economics profession in Sri Lanka and South Asia, this article of appreciation [...]

Early detection of hearing inability can save many children from being completely deaf

In Sri Lanka many new born babies do not undergo a hearing test at most of the national or private hospitals. Parents come across the issue of their children not being able to hear properly only after sometime when they mumble words to themselves without pronouncing clearly, according to Renuka Fonseka, Manager of the Ratmalana [...]

Schokman & Samerawickreme celebrates 125 years in auctioneering

Sri Lanka’s pioneering Chartered Auctioneers Schokman & Samerawickreme celebrating 125 years of business in the country. Celebrating the milestone, the third generation of the Samerawickreme’s, grandsons of Edwin De Alwis Samerawickreme and Shirley Samerawickreme’s sons, Navinda and Anuja last week unveilied the country’s first live auction site via its auction portal, Due to go [...]

Nepal, Sri Lanka need to move forward on trade and investment

Sri Lanka and Nepal are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations with close cultural and religious ties but trade and investment between the two countries are almost insignificant despite several bilateral trade agreements between the two countries. This was stated by Prof. Bishwambher Pyakuryal, Nepal Ambassador to Sri Lanka speaking at the presentation of ‘Bilateral [...]

Cooperation on clean energy technology between Norway and Jaffna Universities

Cooperation on clean energy technology between Norway and Jaffna Universities

The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences recently signed a collaboration agreement with the University of Jaffna on capacity building and establishing of a research consortium in nanomaterials for clean energy. This collaboration which is worth 6.2 million Norwegian Kroners (Rs. 112 million) over a period of three years is funded by the Norwegian Embassy [...]

Microsoft commends for ‘smart schools’ project in Sri Lanka

Microsoft commends for ‘smart schools’ project in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s successful transformation of 65 schools into ‘smart schools’ capable of deploying digital learning protocols, is to be showcased in the Asia Pacific region by Microsoft. The global technology giant recently invited, the company that coordinated the country’s single largest deployed smart schools project, to present a case study on the initiative in [...]

Sri Lanka’s coconut growers dismayed by plans to import fresh coconut

Sri Lanka’s coconut growers dismayed  by plans to import fresh coconut

Proposed plans by the government to import fresh coconuts have sent shock waves amongst the Coconut Growers Association (CGA) who say such a move will have serious repercussions on the industry. In an interview with the Business Times (BT) this week, CGA President Lionel Fonseka said that the moment they heard about the news of [...]

Wells run dry in Gampaha owing to haphazard industrial use

The Gampaha district is gripped with a serious crisis where almost all the wells are getting dried up owing to the digging of a large number of deep-wells by industrialists. It has caused serious environmental pollution and other disasters and inconveniencing residents. To plan out a strategy to protest and demand the government for solutions, [...]

Proposed new tax laws need input from all stakeholders

Proposed new tax laws need input from all stakeholders

The government has proposed to introduce a new Inland Revenue Act with the objectives of simplifying and modernising our income tax laws. It is a welcome move to change the tax laws in keeping with the times. However, such laws have to be country specific and suit the needs and demands of the country. Each [...]

Abdul Cafoor Mawatha residents angry

The Business Time’s stories two weeks ago in the specialised “Real Estate section’ has stirred up a hornets’ nest with many people writing in to express their anger, dissatisfaction on the related issues and gratitude on providing a platform to discuss them. One such letter was on the complex of nearly 60-80 perches in extent [...]

Public sector units recognised at inaugural Best Annual Reports & Accounts Awards

Several public sector organisations including universities, statutory boards, research institutes, provincial and urban councils were recently recognised at the inaugural Best Annual Reports and Accounts Awards held in Colombo and organised by CA Sri Lanka’s public sector wing, the Association of Public Finance Accountants of Sri Lanka (APFASL) for high quality financial reporting. A total [...]

SEC allows DVP to stop payment risks

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in a bid to reduce risk and increase efficiency in settlement arrangement at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), has given stock broking houses the nod for the Delivery Versus Payment (DVP) process. DVP settlement system ensures that securities delivery will occur only if a payment occurs. The system acts [...]

Spectrum to transform the future of young corporate leaders, business enterprises

A unique training and development programme themed “Building Skills: Overcoming Challenges: Transforming the Future” will be held on July 28 at Cinnamon Lakeside. It was designed and is being launched by newly initiated corporate entity, Spectrum Trainers & Corporate Consultants. In a media release, the company whose founder- Chairman is Bertal Pinto- Jayawardena, a Chartered [...]

Exclusive Thai- S Lanka park at Horana Industrial Zone

Plans are underway to set up a joint Thai -Sri Lanka industrial park on a 600 acre estate in Horana which will be the first industrial zone to be set up in recent times where Japanese, Chinese and others will set up 200 factories. “We hope to sign a MOU in about two months’ time, [...]

Lankaputra Development Bank celebrates 11th anniversary

Lankaputra Development Bank  celebrates 11th anniversary

The Lankaputra Development Bank celebrated its 11th anniversary at its headquarters in Colombo recently. The ceremony was headed by present Chairman of the Bank Ruwan Gallage and officials of senior management including Acting General Manager/ CEO Ranjith Dissanayake and working Director of the Bank Thuan Riza Hameed were also present at the occasion, a media [...]

EFC Director General appointed to ILO unit

Director-General/CEO of the Employers Federation of Ceylon, Kanishka Weerasinghe, was recently appointed to the Standards Review Mechanism (SRM) Tripartite Working Group that functions under the aegis of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The appointment was made during the 330th Session of the ILO Governing Body following the conclusion of the 106th [...]

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