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Surge in Sea Street due to Hindu festival gold rush

Surge in Sea Street due to Hindu festival gold rush

Despite a tax hike on gold, hundreds of customers countrywide especially women, made a beeline on Wednesday to gold and jewellery shops in Sea Street, Pettah to buy glittering gold jewellery to celebrate the Akshaya Tritiya Hindu festival, an auspicious day for buying gold and other valuable items. Jewellery merchants, who had announced a slew [...]

Weird or crazy: Now best toilet awards

Call it weird or crazy in the world of awards. An Aussie-based group has organised the 2018 International Toilet Tourism Awards, for the second year running. Focused mainly on experiences by tourists visiting a country, has invited nominations from across the world for the following categories – Best location; Best design, Quirkiest toilet experience; [...]

New SEC Commission by end April?

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been rudderless for the past three months. Officials say a new commission will be appointed before the end of this month but others dismiss this as just rhetoric. This is the first time the capital market regulator is without a Chairman and a commission in its entire history, [...]

TV network company offers free Digital TV switch

Television and Radio Network (TRN), a Sri Lankan company, is ready to launch countrywide Digital TV using modern technology amidst the long delayed ‘Digitalisation of Television Broadcasting’ project funded by Japan. Digital TV broadcasting offers many advantages over Analog systems (currently in use) for end-users, operators and regulators. Apart from increasing the number of programmes [...]

STF to patrol tourist hotspots

The government will be deploying the Special Task Force (STF) to patrol the beaches of Mirissa after the recent violent attacks on tourists allegedly by a mafia group operating in the area as beach boys, with local political backing. IGP Pujith Jayasundera told reporters on Friday that the police required more officers and infrastructure to [...]

Enemy of the state

Enemy of the state

Any faithful reader of Kussi Amma Sera’s exploits in the kitchen – lunu miris, kochci miris and katta sambol included and her fiery explanation of economies – would be perturbed about this headline. ‘Enemy of the state? What! Who! Why! Hold your horses; it’s a definition that arose during a tele-conversation with my jolly-mood economist [...]

Dysfunctional “economy and elitism”

Dysfunctional “economy and elitism”

Much of the economic news I heard during the past few weeks was about the Sri Lankan state being dysfunctional. I am not referring to the standstill of normal activities due to the Sinhala and Tamil New Year vacation. But it is a similar thing extended for a much longer period, resulting in a state [...]

“Insurance takeovers: The next big thing”

Reference to the Business Times story last week headlined “Insurance takeovers: The next big thing”, two companies named in the story – Janashakthi Insurance Plc and HNB Assurance Plc – have denied its contents. In letters to the newspaper, HNB Assurance said the news item is inaccurate while Janashakthi also said that the story was [...]

Multiple Listing Service for property sales being developed in Sri Lanka

While investments (both local and foreign) on properties seem to increase drastically in Sri Lanka, there’re weaknesses among property developers in terms of transparency and professionalism in disclosing certain information about the property, some real estate agents state. RE/MAX Sri Lanka Chairman and CEO, Sujan Shan in an interview with the Business Times stressed that [...]

Lakdanavi wins Kerawalapitiya 300MW LNG power plant tender

After a string of bureaucratic hullabaloo in tender procedure, the much delayed Kerawalapitiya 300MW Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) power plant bid was recently awarded to Lakdanavi Ltd, the largest independent power producer in the country, a top bureaucrat divulged. The 18 month impasse in selecting a suitable bidder to build the 300MW Kerewalapitiya LNG Power [...]

Unions go ahead with May 1 rallies, ignoring official May 7 change in date

Lankan trade unions are to ignore a Government decision to change May Day, saying they will go ahead with May 1 rallies and processions – bracing for a possible confrontation on the streets with the authorities. The Government has declared May 7 as the May Day holiday instead of May 1 Tuesday, which is the [...]

CB cautions against the use of virtual currencies in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank (CB) this week alerted the public to the dangers of dabbling in cryptocurrencies which it said “may pose significant risks in terms of financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks to their users as well as to the economy”. In a public announcement on Monday, the CB – wading [...]

Public unhappy over performance of state enterprises

A survey conducted by the World Bank and other counterparts have found that many Sri Lankans are not happy about the performance of state enterprises due to issues of political interference and has stressed the need for better governance. Revealing this data, Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank’s Country Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives, said that [...]

CSE struggles amidst low turnover, net foreign outflow

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) on Monday recorded its lowest turnover in over four years amidst a three week foreign outflow with investor sentiment at its lowest ebb. “It’s the lowest turnover at Rs. 101 million since the last crash in December 2012,” an analyst noted to the Business Times. On Tuesday the turnover recovered [...]

Bates Strategic Alliance’s ‘Festival of our future’ draws high praise

Bates Strategic Alliance’s ‘Festival  of our future’ draws high praise

Bates Strategic Alliance, the pioneer in Integrated Marketing Communications and Public Relations, celebrated its 25th anniversary recently in Colombo with a well-curated ‘Festival of Our Future’ which explored vital issues and future trends in four critical areas – brands, communications, environment and society. The Thought Leadership Sessions which featured all of 32 eminent local and [...]

“Four shortlisted to handle Hilton, Hyatt sale”

In this story published last week, the first para should read as: “Four parties have been shortlisted by the Ministry of Public Enterprise and Kandy Development for the position of advisor to seek suitable investors for the sale of government stakes in the Hilton and Grand Hyatt hotels.” (Making clear that the four were shortlisted [...]

Talented Moratuwa University students need support for international competition

A group of engineering students at University of Moratuwa is on the verge of making Sri Lanka proud by being the first participants at a Formula Student Electric event and is seeking funds to make it a reality. Formula Student competitions are one of the most popular competitions among undergraduates all over the world. These [...]

SriLankan achieves record revenue in 2017/18

SriLankan Airlines has achieved a record un-audited annual passenger revenue of Rs. 126.9 billion (US$830.7 million) for its just ended financial year of 2017/18 – the highest ever in the company’s 38-year history, the national carrier said in a media release this week. The revenue comes on the back of recent expansion of the airline [...]

Government intensifies its fight for economic survival amidst political instability

With just over 600 days more to go in a tenure of governance marred by recent political instability, the debt-laden government is trying to find a short term way out of its economic woes, official sources revealed. The fight for economic survival will be crucial at this moment as the coalition government is being pressurised [...]

Experience the benefits of AWS cloud computing with EFutures

A highly trained EFutures cloud services team is now offering round the clock AWS cloud computing support. Their capabilities are extended to providing assistance to any other AWS requirements as well, the company said this week. AWS offers a secure cloud service platform, with ample compute power, database storage and a myriad of other services [...]

Ceylon Theatres forms landmark partnership with BookMyShow

Ceylon Theatres forms landmark partnership with BookMyShow

Ceylon Theatres (Pvt) Ltd, the entertainment arm of CT Holdings PLC, recently signed a MoU with BookMyShow – India’s largest online entertainment ticketing platform, now present in Sri Lanka. The new synergy will help Ceylon Theatres to gain access to the globally acclaimed Vista ERP system – a fully customisable cinema enterprise solution by New [...]

Government streamlines spending on capital expenditure projects

Faced with the constant threat of rising public sector expenditure, the cash strapped Sri Lankan government is set to rationalise spending on capital expenditure projects, Finance Ministry sources said. The aim is to facilitate the treasury cash management and improve productivity by maintaining fiscal discipline, revenue-based fiscal consolidation and rationalising government expenditure. Cash inflows from [...]

“New Port City’s Hidden Truths Spells Dangers for Future Generation: Reply of CHEC

We wish to clarify the statements made by academics, on the adverse aspects, of this mega Colombo Port City project since the response from CHEC Port City Colombo ( Pvt) Ltd is misleading as reported in your newspaper under the above heading. Prof. G.P Karunaratne Ph.D, EP, FASCE an international land reclamation expert with over [...]

Women’s contribution to SL’s tourism development

Women’s contribution to SL’s tourism development

Tourism has demonstrated its potential for creating jobs and encouraging income-generating activities to benefit local communities in destination areas. However, less attention has been paid to the unequal ways in which the benefits of tourism are distributed between men and women, particularly in the developing world. Women form the majority of the population in Sri [...]

Over 700 money laundering complaints in 2016

The Central Bank (CB) this week reiterated strict rules pertaining to money laundering (ML) amidst a recent (2016) report that shows that 759 Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) were reported in 2016. Of this, 716 alone related to money laundering, according to the report from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Earlier this week the FIU in [...]

CNN media blitz to get 3 % increase in footfalls

Sri Lanka hopes to increase its footfalls by about 3 per cent following the US$650, 000 CNN media blitz scheduled to kick off next month. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam told the Business Times on Monday that plans were underway to kick off the CNN campaign to promote the destination [...]

Govt. to brief WA media on Kandy at ATM

Sri Lanka’s tourism authorities are currently eyeing the next influx of tourists from West Asia as these travellers were said to have cancelled their holiday plans for the post Ramazan season in the wake of the Kandy violence that broke out in March this year. Kandy Hoteliers Association President Samantha Ratnayaka said that they had [...]

Safe holidays in Sri Lanka get mafia bashing

Safe holidays in Sri Lanka get mafia bashing

Travelling safe has become a concern in Sri Lanka in the wake of a few attacks on tourists that have hurt holidaymakers trying to take home a memorable stay on the isle. Accusations have been levelled against mafia groups operating in the southern area of Mirissa who are said to have been carrying out orchestrated [...]

City hotels: A lady comes to town

City hotels: A lady comes to town

Sri Lanka’s city hotels have been inspired by men to service the weary travellers walking through their doors but now the order is set to change and a breath of fresh air has entered Colombo Seven. Ms. Rookamanie Fernando, the new General Manager at Jetwing Colombo Seven with her unique style and mentality is the [...]

Hatch, GIZ launch first maker and co-worker space in Jaffna

Hatch, GIZ launch first maker and co-worker space in Jaffna

Hatch Kalam, the first maker and co-worker space in Jaffna, was officially launched this month following the signing of the agreement between Hatch Works, GIZ SME Sector Development Programme and Yarl IT Hub. The state of the art space focuses on creating opportunities for the local community by acting as a platform for the thriving [...]

IMF makes good progress in talks on Lankan economic reforms

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to make good progress in discussions with Sri Lankan authorities on the economic reform programme supported by the fund at the IMF spring meetings now being held in Washington, the IMF has said. In a reply to an email query, IMF spokesperson Raphael Anspach told the Business Times [...]

Lifted by India, South Asia regains growth lead, still lags on jobs

WASHINGTON – South Asia has regained its lead as the fastest growing region in the world, supported by recovery in India. With the right mix of policies and reforms, growth is expected to accelerate to 6.9 per cent in 2018 and 7.1 per cent next year, according to a new World Bank report. The twice-a-year [...]

Senior citizens can petition President on tax on their deposits

Following the concerns raised by readers over taxes being enforced on deposits by senior citizens, the President’s Office has now created space on its website for citizens to comment on the proposal. Titled ‘Tell the President”, the page can be accessed from the link below: This information was conveyed to the Business Times by [...]

Condo developers and unsuspecting buyers

I refer to two letters to the editor and a news item appearing in the Business Times on April 8 under the captions ‘Property development projects-grave danger to city dwellers” by P. Rubini, ‘Investments on apartments and condos,’ by Mahinda Wimalasena and a news item on ‘Kollupitiya resident complains against high rise builder’. This is [...]

Work with passion; not for paychecks to succeed in life

While life in today’s world has changed over time among the growing young population that work expecting a big fat paycheck, success stories have proven that it’s the passion to work in a particular sector – not the money – that has driven most entrepreneurs to succeed. Women entrepreneurs from various industries shared their success [...]

Unusual step from Central Bank

The Central Bank (CB) last week took the unusual step of explaining to the public and the business community, here and abroad, that the prorogation of Parliament hasn’t affected normal government business. In a statement, the CB’s Public Debt Department said: “By a Gazette notification, with effect from midnight on Thursday April 12, in accordance [...]

Unit Trust taxes clarified by Treasury

The Treasury is recently learnt to have provided some clarity on the recent tax incentives or the lack of it to the unit trust (UT) industry, industry officials say. “We were ‘verbally’ informed that if the UT pays taxes, the unit holders don’t need to pay again,” Dilshan Wirasekara, CEO First Capital Holdings PLC told [...]

SLPA runs its terminals fully occupied during seasonal holidays

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA)-run terminals have been operating to capacity with 100 per cent attendance of operations and all other supportive staff during Sinhala and Tamil New Year season, a media release issued by the authority stated. In this respect, on both days April 13 and 14, the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) and [...]

Roar earns top digital content spot in Bangladesh, eyes India

Roar earns top digital content spot in Bangladesh, eyes India

Sri Lanka-based digital content platform Roar has taken the top spot in its sector in Bangladesh, becoming the No. 1 New Media platform in that country. In India, despite it being a virtually untapped market for the platform, Roar has already shown encouraging growth. And considering India’s current overall Internet penetration is just 33 per [...]

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