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Ingenuity of Sri Lankan inventors

Ingenuity of Sri Lankan inventors

‘Magura’,  a locally assembled Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV) by two Sri Lankan inventors – Gayashan De Alwis and Kasun Hasantha.

Registrar of Companies open all 7-days

The government is making it easier and quicker to start a business in Sri Lanka by opening the office of the Department of the Registration of Companies (DRC) for business registration and other functions on all seven days of the week barring public holidays. Turning a new page in the country’s history, the operations of [...]

Over 30% drop in WA arrivals, 100s of cancellations

Sri Lankan hoteliers busy at the ITB Berlin travel fair last week are now facing a new challenge of overcoming the impact of the week-long Kandy crisis that led to over 5000 room nights cancelled and of over 30 per cent of the West Asia traffic. Tourist Hotels Association President Sanath Ukwatte told the Business [...]

Hilton, Hyatt sales in limbo due to legal catch

The government’s move to sell Hilton and Hyatt Colombo Hotels will likely be postponed till an amendment to a vital piece of legislation is made, according to Attorney General’s (AG) Department sources. Fifteen local and foreign companies responded to the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development’s call for Requests for Proposals (RFP) to act as the [...]

Two brokerages in hot water

Two stockbrokers have been suspended by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) from buying shares for non-compliance with capital adequacy with a few more expected to be reined in, industry sources said. They are however allowed to sell shares. The suspension was imposed on Nation Lanka and Navara Securities until they bridge the gap in their [...]

Business Times wins important ruling against SLBFE

The Business Times (BT) on Friday won an important ruling by the Right to Information (RTI) Commission against a refusal of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) to release information on MOUs or bilateral agreements with three countries. When the matter came on Friday, the Commission was informed that BT Editor (Feizal Samath) [...]

Sad days to happiness

Sad days to happiness

From a day (or days) of sadness last week, there was something to cheer about this week with news that Sri Lanka had become a ‘much happier nation’ in the year 2017. Our attention was drawn to this when Kussi Amma Sera (KAS) ran out of the house to share a story with her comrade-in-arms [...]

When Motorola pulled out due to political instability

When Motorola pulled out due to political instability

In the field of Economics, there is hardly any need to give an introduction to Prof. Premachandra Athukorala, who served as a Professor in Economics at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. I am also proud to be a student at one time to learn economics from him. I was astonished by the ‘Story [...]

AIA Smart Pensions makes retirement planning smarter

AIA Insurance recently launched AIA Smart Pensions, a comprehensive pensions solution packed with features that helps you plan for retirement in a smart manner. In retirement planning, it is always smarter to start saving early. The earlier you start saving, the more time you give yourself to build a healthy retirement fund. AIA Smart Pensions [...]

HNB explores S. Asian and S. East Asian expansion

The Hatton National Bank (HNB) is scouting for opportunities to expand into countries in South Asia and South East Asia, a top official said. “With our strong capital base and expertise in all spheres of financial intermediation, we continue to explore opportunities for regional expansion into countries in South Asia and South East Asia,” Jonathan [...]

Cooperatives cannot be charitable anymore

Cooperatives are no longer charitable organisations as they have to have considerable revenue to meet their own expenses for survival. They also have to compete with other institutions in liberalised market economies, said the Minister of Industry and Commerce and the Department of Cooperative Development Rishad Bathiudeen who launched the International Cooperative Conference held at [...]

Aitken Spence Aviation employee wins award for airport ops

Aitken Spence Aviation employee wins award for airport ops

Aitken Spence Aviation employee, Vasantha Kudaliyanage (Customer Service Manager, Singapore Airlines) won the award for Airport Operations – Individual Winner, at the Singapore Airlines annual awards 2017 held recently. The award was presented to Vasantha by Regional Vice President Joey Seow in Perth, Australia. The individual winners were selected after a process based on commendable [...]

New Mission Director for USAID in Sri Lanka arrives

New Mission Director for USAID in Sri Lanka arrives

Reed J. Aeschliman has assumed duties as the new Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for Sri Lanka and Maldives this month. His arrival, the US Embassy said in a media release, corresponds with the launch of several new initiatives and more than Rs. 4.5 billion in programmes that advance [...]

PABC sees accelerated growth in 2017

Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC (PABC) has seen increased profit in 2017, “demonstrating the resilience in operating in a challenging market place where the margins came under pressure and the growth moderated,” the bank said in a media release. Pre-tax profit was Rs.1.88 billion while post tax profit was recorded at Rs.1.4 billion, up by [...]

‘Sleepy’ insurance stocks gaining traction at CSE

The recent Janashakthi Insurance PLC Rs. 16.4 billion deal last month of its general insurance business to multinational insurer, Germany’s Allianz has re-rated the insurance sector at the Colombo stock market which is now seeing rising high networth investor attention, analysts say. It was a sector that has always been trading at book value (the [...]

Nawaloka Petroleum plans to expand operations

Nawaloka Petroleum (Pvt) Ltd, a fully-owned subsidiary of Nawaloka Holdings Ltd recently announced plans in 2018 to expand operations in a bid to become the preferred automotive solutions provider in the country. Established in 2010, the company in a media release said that in a short span of eight years it has become the complete [...]

Finlays Colombo’s new property development and future strategy

Finlays Colombo’s new property development and future strategy

Finlays Colombo Ltd recently entered into a joint venture agreement with two wholly owned subsidiaries of the John Keells Group for the development of its land at 186, Vauxhall Street. Commencement of the joint venture is subject to satisfaction of conditions precedent (including approvals from or filings with relevant authorities), the company said in a [...]

Uncertainties on 15 per cent VAT on residential condominiums

While the residential property market is growing exponentially in Sri Lanka, the 2018 budget proposal of a 15 per cent VAT on residential condominium units from April 1 has raised a lot of speculation and uncertainty whether this will come into effect from next month. The VAT amendment has not yet been passed into law. [...]

Rigours of life paved the way for his success

Rigours of life paved the way for his success

Karunadasa Rubasinghe was deprived of an early education in life due to family commitments as he had to struggle hard to help his mother put food on the table to feed a family of nine . It was a gargantuan task and a hard struggle for the young boy to wake up early in the [...]

Dinuk Hettiarachchi appointed new COYLE Chairman

Dinuk Hettiarachchi appointed new COYLE Chairman

The Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) has announced the appointment of Dinuk Hettiarachchi as its new Chairman, following its 19th anniversary celebrations held on March 10 in Colombo. Mr. Hettiarachchi is the Managing Partner of Nihal Hettiarachchi & Co, a leading audit and accounting firm in Sri Lanka, and the Chairman of 3DH International [...]

NKAR partners AIESEC Asia Pacific Conference 2018

AIESEC, the world’s largest youth run organisation, has partnered with NKAR, a leading destination management company and tour operator to host the Asia Pacific Conference comprising over 24 countries from the region, a media release issued by the organisation said. AIESEC will be hosting the annual assembly of its leaders from the 24 countries in [...]

Travel industry – Govt. tete-a-tete on Kandy at Berlin travel fair

Travel industry – Govt. tete-a-tete on Kandy at Berlin travel fair

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was able to clear the air directly with their international counterparts following a meeting with the authorities during the ITB fair in Berlin last week – at the same time communal tensions flared up in Kandy. With most cancellations happening in the Kandy hotels alone some other hoteliers opined there could [...]

Chandra opens Rs. 600 mn “Ayurvie Weligama” – the ayurveda resort

Theme Resorts & Spas’ launched ‘Ayurvie Weligama’ on Thursday as the latest addition to its collection of experiences. The resort opens its doors to guests today, after Thursday’s ceremonial opening held with the presence of Minister John Amaratunga, Minister of Tourism and Christian Affairs and French Ambassador Jean-Marin Schuh. Situated on the southern coast of [...]

TBCasia 2018 launched at ITB Berlin

TBCasia 2018 launched at ITB Berlin

TBCasia 2018, an Asian bloggers event organised by Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts and due to be held later this year, was launched at ITB Berlin fair last week. Picture shows Dileep Mudadeniya Head of Brand Marketing – Cinnamon Hotels Resorts with the winners of the ITB tweet up at the event.

National Bartenders competition 2018

The 26th National Bartenders Competition 2018 organised by Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association (CHSGA) together with SLITHM and sponsored by Beverage Partner M/s. Rockland Distilleries, will be held from May 15 to June 15. The preliminary rounds of the competition which is a judge-exclusive event is already under way, with several bartenders vying for one [...]

Hilton sees a Sri Lanka in its Golden Age of tourism

Hilton sees a Sri Lanka in its Golden Age of tourism

Sri Lanka’s biggest asset is its workforce that has experience in the hospitality industry and those trained overseas need to come back home to live in the country’s now golden age of tourism; this is an endorsement from a hotel chain set to turn a hundred years next year. As one of the few nations [...]

Some reflections on SriLankan Airlines

Some reflections on SriLankan Airlines

Much has been written about the loss-making national carrier for some time in the media and now a Commission has been appointed to investigate and inquire into alleged irregularities committed in connection with the Sri Lankan Airlines, Sri Lankan Catering and Mihin Airline. This is a welcome sign but such an endeavour should not be [...]

US steel tariffs: Trade war on world’s poor

PRAGUE – US President Donald Trump’s steel tariffs have brought the prospect of a trade war closer to reality. The European Union warns that it has “a whole arsenal at our disposal with which to respond,” while China threatens “a justified and necessary response.” Economists, politicians, and public figures have all raised concerns about the [...]

CASA’s young shipping professionals organise “CASA OPEN QUIZ 2018″

The CASA open quiz 2018 conducted by the Young Shipping Professionals of Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) in collaboration with the International Quizzing Association (Sri Lanka branch) on March 3 was a resounding success with the participation of 34 teams covering various industry sectors, the organisers (CASA) said in a media release. Held at [...]

CFW to “Celebrate Colombo” sans state backing in 2018

The Colombo Fashion Week has entered its 15th year but lacks credible government assistance to ensure its future growth, the organisers of the event highlighted on Tuesday. It was noted that the CFW that had received limited support from the Tourism Ministry last year had found no interest in 2018 leaving the organisers wondering if [...]

Sri Lanka to spend Rs. 2 bn on minimising post-harvest fish losses

Sri Lankan government agencies will be seeking to position the country’s fisheries industry as a major export earning sector while catering to the local fish demand for consumption by minimising the post harvest loss in fish quality, a senior cabinet minister disclosed. According to National Aquatic Resource Agency, the country’s post harvest fish quality loss [...]

Failed Standard Credit depositors urge CB to liquidate company

Due to the action taken by the Central Bank to liquidate one of the failed finance companies – Central Investment and Finance Ltd (CIFL), depositors of another failed finance company are also interested in getting their deposit money back, expedited and to commence the liquidation process of that company too. Ravi Rajapathirana, a depositor of [...]

Moody’s and J-pura University enter into a knowledge-sharing partnership

Moody’s Analytics Knowledge Services (MA Knowledge Services) and the Department of Finance of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (DFin-USJP) have entered into an agreement to share MA Knowledge Services’ expertise in global investment research and capital markets training. This venture aims to enhance the knowledge and employability of the students of DFin-USJP. MA Knowledge Services [...]

Young Lankan inventors develop path-breaking remote-controlled underwater camera

Young Lankan inventors develop path-breaking remote-controlled underwater camera

They are two youngsters who, when reaching senior classes in school forms, started treading on paths where others of their age never thought of. Gayashan de Alwis, after completing his tertiary education, read in a newspaper about a lost city submerged in undersea somewhere in the Aegean Sea. As he recollects he could just remember [...]

AASL turns to outsourcing of Katunayake airport fixed assets

In an attempt to reduce costs and increase revenue by preventing malpractices, Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd (AASL) is now outsourcing some of the fixed assets at the Bandaranaike international Airport (BIA), Chairman of the state-owned entity, Saman Ediriweera said. The aim is to open up the airport service provision to the private [...]

Govt. on drive to snuff out tobacco, cigarette puff

The government is determined to ban the cultivation of tobacco in Sri Lanka but following discussions with farmers the relevant authorities are said to have withheld the release of the new circular in this regard. Introduced in 1956 the cultivation of tobacco has been assisting livelihoods numbering 300,000 with 20,000 farmers currently involved in the [...]

CIFL depositors allowed to proceed in case against CB

When the fundamental rights application filed by the CIFL (Central Investment and Finance Ltd) Depositors Association (CIFLDA) against the Central Bank (CB) was taken up on Friday by a 2- member Bench of the Supreme Court, Justices Prasanna Jayawardene and Ms. Eva Wanasundera granted leave to proceed and the case will be taken up on [...]

SLT Chairman reacts promptly to President’s directive

Heeding to the directive issued last week by President Maithripala Sirisena, his Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) Chairman-brother P.G. Kumarasinghe Sirisena has assured the employees that he will take necessary action against officials involved in corrupt practices. He has informed that this action against corrupt officials will be taken after receiving the report of the special [...]

Kandy crisis “irreparable damage” to industry, says hoteliers

The Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) on Friday condemned any kind of violence in the country and considered the cancellations on bookings during the period of tension was an “irreparable damage.” In a media release issued in the aftermath of the communal clashes that erupted in Kandy the previous week, THASL President Sanath [...]

Mobility transforming workplaces, big or small

From the large enterprise to the small-to-medium business, mobility is transforming the workplace. Until recently, rising demands of the millennial workforce’s use of personal mobile devices to access company data encouraged widespread BYOD policies. A new state of mind is trending across today’s workforce and will influence those that follow. By 2020, millennials will represent [...]

HNB unregistered scrip shares likely to be sold

The Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB) is gearing to sell some 900, 000 voting shares accrued on account of scrip dividend payments made by the bank in 2012, 2015 and 2016 to certain parties whose names were struck off the HNB shareholders’ register in 2010 to comply with the law, industry sources say. The shares [...]

JAT Holdings setting up world-class stadium for tennis

JAT Holdings setting up  world-class stadium for tennis

JAT Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, recently commenced a joint-initiative with the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA), laying the foundation stone for the state-of-the-art “JAT Stadium” at the SLTA premises. This was during the official visit of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and the Countess of Wessex Sophie to Sri Lanka. Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara, Managing [...]

Exporters urge decisive state action against future unrest

The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) has expressed “deep concern” regarding the civil unrest which prevailed in certain parts of the country recently and urged that full compensation be paid to the victims to rebuild their lives. In a statement to the media, the chamber said it was strongly of the view that the actions [...]

CORRECTION: “Lack of recognition for innovation in Sri Lanka”

Last week the Business Times ran a story titled ‘Lack of recognition for innovation in Sri Lanka’ which should have read as “Lack of recognition for innovation during commercialisation in Sri Lanka.’ (The words “during commercialisation” had erroneously dropped from the headline). Dr. Pujitha Silva from the University of Moratuwa, who was quoted in the [...]

BoardPAC concludes successful CRM event in Malaysia

BoardPAC, home-gown multinational board meeting automation solutions provider, successfully conducted a special customer relationship management (CRM) event in Malaysia recently, which attracted a number of BoardPAC customers of the country. The meeting was a perfect platform to deliberate how boardroom level paperless automations by BoardPAC brought radical changes for their companies in 2017, BoardPAC said [...]

Start-ups alarmed by communal violence, calls for urgent action

Sri Lanka’s start-up community this week came together to issue a strong statement against the recent communal violence. The group condemned the attacks that have recently taken place in certain parts of the country, saying: “We may be Muslims, Tamils, Burghers and Sinhalese. We may practise Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. But we are all [...]

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