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That’s life!

That’s life!

Matter of life and death for this toddy tapper as he treds carefully on ropes on a coconut plantation outside Colombo. See story inside on Page 9. Text and Pix by Quintus Perera

EPF undergoes IT transformation to prevent fraudulent deals

The Employees’ Provident Fund’s (EPF) information technology process is to be improved by developing an integrated computer programme network in combination with the Department of Labour and the Central Bank (CB). The aim is to prevent fraudulent transactions and maintain transparency in all activities of the fund, Labour Ministry sources revealed. Information relating to the [...]

SL- Japan negotiations on Ceylon Tea

Sri Lankan authorities are negotiating with the Japanese authorities to resolve concerns regarding the residue levels of pesticide found in Ceylon Tea. Japan has introduced a set of revised regulations impacting on Ceylon Tea as well since the authorities have requested that residue levels of certain types of weedicides need to be at very low [...]

Going to the UAE for work? Need ‘good conduct’ certificate

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have imposed a new rule for foreigners seeking work – a certificate of good conduct – effective from February 4, according to media reports. A Gulf News report said that the UAE Coordination Committee has approved a Cabinet resolution issued in 2017 “stipulating that UAE work visa applicants [...]

Jaffna Chamber wants its own candidate

JAFFNA – Unheard of in Colombo, but in Jaffna, chambers of commerce pick a candidate to support at local elections. The Jaffna Chamber of Commerce has decided, not to extend its support to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in future as their request to nominate the former chamber president R. Jeyasegaram as the Jaffna Mayoral [...]

LAUGFS Hambantota Terminal issue in limbo

Despite numerous discussions with the country’s topmost officials, the issue on LAUGFS LPG import and export terminal remains unresolved. LAUGFS Holdings Chairman W.H.K. Wegapitiya told the Business Times that on Friday he met with President Maithripala Sirisena and earlier in the week he had met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and all the officials downwards [...]

Tourism: Ready, steady … no go!

Tourism: Ready, steady … no go!

The distractions were a-plenty but for me, there was a singular purpose this morning; I mean the topic for discussion. Kussi Amma Sera had brought the morning tea and in her usual style tried to get me interested in a conversation about a change in policy where the Government this week cancelled an archaic law [...]

Economics of the double tongue

Economics of the double tongue

Recently, one of my colleagues, an Economics Lecturer, Indrajit Aponso, was explaining to me “how disciplined drivers lose against reckless drivers”. It is customary that “road indiscipline” has become a hot topic so that everyday many including all types of media have something to say about it. I remembered speaking on the same subject to [...]

Jetwing Symphony, Lanka Energy Fund gives CSE ‘dream start’

The Jetwing Symphony Ltd and Lanka Energy Fund (LVL) Initial Public Offering (IPO) issues presented the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) with a ‘dream start’ for this year, CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike says. He said this at the opening of trading of LVL on Tuesday at the CSE. This company, art of HNB Group with thermal [...]

CareerMe offers a lifeline for students

CareerMe offers a lifeline for students

Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor? Or was it doctor, proctor, engineer, accountant as was usually the case of career paths open for teenagers in the good old days in Sri Lanka? We are reminded of this as we walk into a new start-up which gives answers to the burning question which every teenager faces in [...]

CAL to go regional with digital capital market products

Capital Alliance PLC’s digital innovation arm, Finnovation has major plans to venture into the region with its digital capital market products, top officials say. At the recent launch of its latest innovation, CALiper, a state-of-the-art digital app that facilitates online bond trading with the click of a button, Ajith Fernando, Managing Director Capital Alliance Group [...]

Strong faith the bedrock of success for Ramya Weerakoon

Strong faith the bedrock of  success for Ramya Weerakoon

In April, it would have been 47 years since that fateful day which changed the life of Ramya Weerakoon forever. She recollects vividly every detail in minutiae of how her world fell apart, and then, how she picked up the pieces and created a business empire through sheer courage and determination. It’s been an awe-inspiring [...]

France seeks Lankan support for World Expo bid

France is optimistic in garnering international support including Sri Lanka for its bid to host 2025 World Expo, 125 years after the 1900 World Expo in Paris, the inter-ministerial delegate for the French candidacy Pascal Lamy said in Colombo recently. Mr. Lamy, a former Director General of the World Trade Organisation who visited the island [...]

Lalith Obeyesekere takes over as PA Secretary General

Lalith Obeyesekere takes over  as PA Secretary General

The Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) has appointed Lalith Obeyesekere as its Secretary General, effective from January 1. A respected, plantation industry professional and an active member of the PA, Mr. Obeyesekere headed the Association as its Chairman from 2010 to 2013 and has played a vital role in promoting the collective interests on all [...]

Innovative all-purpose safety helmets with eco-friendly material

Innovative all-purpose safety  helmets with eco-friendly material

The helmet is a safety headgear normally used for riding motorcycles, for industrial purposes in construction sites and in sports like cricket and for other purposes. They are all made out of synthetic materials. The world is increasingly moving towards finding a replacement for synthetic material that is eco-friendly to reduce the impact on the [...]

Chamber discussion on Sri Lanka’s 2018 economic outlook

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has lined up a distinguished panel of experts to discuss the economic outlook and its implication for business in 2018. The discussion on January 22 at the chamber auditorium will also cover the impact on key sectors including tea, apparel, retail, construction, and tourism. Titled “Building on Stability”, the focus [...]

Mr. Pure Ceylon Tea plans a long-awaited break this year

Mr. Pure Ceylon Tea plans a long-awaited break this year

RAJAGIRIYA – After 12-14 hour work days and slowing down a few months ago, Sri Lanka’s iconic Mr. Pure Ceylon Tea plans to take a much-needed break this year – visit numerous friends overseas and devote more time to his twin passions: engaging with plantation workers and hundreds of differently abled children. While Dilmah, the [...]

SL’s first functional Lower Extremity Exoskeleton Robot to help the needy

SL’s first functional Lower Extremity Exoskeleton Robot to help the needy

Several decades of civil war has affected the socio-economic development of Sri Lanka and the country is currently in the rebuilding process. In that context, Department of Mechanical Engineering of University of Moratuwa believes that it is its duty to boost this process through technological innovation. In particular, the department is focused in providing suitable [...]

IFC and CB to jointly create National Strategy on Financial Inclusion

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) to develop the country’s first National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) to promote a more effective and efficient process to improve financial inclusion across Sri Lanka. IFC, over the course of the project, will provide technical assistance to [...]

NDB’s major successes in 2017

Last year was a “massive” success for National Development Bank PLC which – as a customer oriented organisation – succeeded in introducing products that not only made life easier but also proved how important the bank’s client base is to them, the bank said in a media statement. “NDB has thus far made continuous efforts [...]

PwC to fight Indian audit ban to limit franchise impact

MUMBAI REUTERS Jan 11 – Price Waterhouse will contest a two-year auditing ban by India’s market regulator over a fraud nearly a decade ago at a company it audited, but even if it succeeds in preventing the move Indian business experts expect damage to the auditor’s business. The firm, which audited software services exporter Satyam [...]

PickMe partners with University of Moratuwa to foster product innovation

Taxi hailing software provider PickMe, this week announced a partnership with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) and the newly-established Center for Data Science (DataSEARCH) at the University of Moratuwa, This emerged from a mutual interest in strengthening and extending the capacity of research and development needed to foster a culture of technological [...]

Government initiates action to resolve public vehicle ownership issues

Government initiates action to resolve public vehicle ownership issues

The Sri Lanka Government has resorted to administrative action to resolve registered ownership issues of state-owned vehicles as several public institutions are using vehicles which were registered under some other state agencies without their registration being transferred, Finance Ministry sources disclosed. Public institutions were continuing the practice of obtaining vehicles from other state agencies to [...]

Indian international truck makers eye Sri Lankan market

India’s international truck makers are eying the Sri Lanka market where the growing supply chain and logistics sector in the country is anticipated to drive expansion of commercial vehicle fleet over the next five years, industry sources said. Truck sales in Sri Lanka, which almost entirely depend on imports, have been increasing gradually with major [...]

Sri Lanka’s new vehicle registrations drop by 45,000

Sri Lanka’s  new vehicle  registrations drop by 45,000

Sri Lanka’s new vehicle registrations fell by 45,000 units last year compared to 2016, Commissioner General of Motor Traffic Department (MTD) A.H.K Jagath Chandrasiri revealed. 448,625 vehicles have been registered with the MTD in 2017, he said adding that nearly 70 per cent of them was motor cycles. Registrations in November 2017 were lackluster except [...]

MTD’s driving licence procedure under fire from COPA

Sri Lanka’s present procedure of issuing driving licences has come under severe criticism of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) recently. COPA Chairman and Deputy Finance Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna said that malpractices could occur at the Motor Traffic Department (MTD) as all the activities related to issuing of driving licence are carried out by [...]

When will safe-driving green cars be on the roads?

When will safe-driving green cars be on the roads?

The government has launched a range of initiatives to make cars safe for driving and tackle air pollution and remove road unworthy vehicles from roads commencing this year. The 2018 budget contained some important proposals that are being looked at in terms of safety features of vehicles and the environmental impact. What we have seen [...]

ICTA e-services solution in local authorities helps speed transactions

Although Sri Lanka has embarked on digital inclusiveness for its citizens and the public sector, substantial transactions and interactions through traditional channels are still required on a daily basis resulting in significant time and resource constraints for both parties. The Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA)’s eLocal Government (eLG) Project significantly automates [...]

Saga of the toddy drinker and the toddy tapper

Saga of the toddy drinker and the toddy tapper

There is a lot of history associated with the consumption of coconut toddy and the products made out of this toddy is enmeshed in the culture of Sri Lanka from the era of ancient kings. The ‘Mahavamsa’, the historic chronicle of this country, indicates that King Dutugemunu rode Kandula the elephant to the frontline during [...]

Global best practices in “Conduct Risk” in insurance introduced here

The Sri Lanka Insurance Institute (SLII), TCF Consulting (UK) and Global Business Counselling (GBC) recently collaborated to introduce the concept of ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ otherwise known as “TCF” and also more recently referred to as “Conduct Risk”, to the insurance industry of Sri Lanka. The ongoing industry-wide programme was kicked-off with Ceylinco Life Insurance successfully [...]

50,000 Lankan professionals work in Bangladesh, says visiting Minister

50,000 Lankan professionals work in Bangladesh, says visiting Minister

HNB Bank recently hosted Mohammed Abdul Mannan, Bangladesh’s State Minister of Finance, during the latter’s visit to Sri Lanka. HNB hosted a round-table discussion for its clients, currently in business and having a presence in Bangladesh, to meet with the visiting Minister together with High Commissioner for Bangladesh in Sri Lanka, Riaz Hamidullah, for a mutual [...]

Tourism in a tizzy: Minister Amaratunga wants control

Tourism in a tizzy: Minister Amaratunga wants control

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is running helter skelter in an attempt to sort out matters to ensure the much-awaited digital marketing campaign and the global promotion campaign would get underway according to schedule in the wake of the dismissal of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara on Wednesday. The industry has been [...]

UltraTech Cement presents key research findings at top conference on construction issues

UltraTech Cement Pvt. Ltd, actively participated at the recently-concluded ‘8th International Conference on Structural Engineering and Construction Management 2017’, which was held in Kandy. The company was represented by Sandeep Holey – Senior General Manager – Marketing and Technical- UltraTech Cement Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, who shared UltraTech Cement’s research findings at the conference, it said [...]

Cisco unveils new initiative to help Sri Lanka’s digital transformation

Cisco this week increased its commitment in Sri Lanka with the launch of Cisco START- a new initiative specifically designed to help Sri Lankan SMBs build their digital foundation and become globally competitive. This initiative is a demonstration of Cisco’s commitment to accelerate Sri Lanka’s digital transformation and showcase how digitization can fuel economic growth, [...]

SLT’s interim management heads into troubled waters

Sri Lanka Telecom’s (SLT) interim management is heading into troubled waters following the resignation of Group Chief Financial Officer Lalith Fernando recently, SLT sources disclosed. The new interim management team was appointed on December 21 to steer the SLT following the resignation of CEO Dileepa Wijesundera on Wednesday 13 amidst trade union’s allegations of corruption [...]

CB outlines public debt management and control measures

The Monetary Board of the Central Bank (CB) this week outlined measures taken to improve the management and control of the Public Debt and the Employees’ Provident Fund in the light of the issuance of the Presidential Commission report on Treasury bond issue. The Secretary to the President has handed over a copy of the [...]

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