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Olu rice

Olu rice

PUTTALAM: Water lilies at Udaththawa tank that was breached in the recent floods have become a lucrative income source for women in Kanuketiya, Puttalam as they sell these dark bead-like seeds taken from the fruit of the (Olu) flower as a substitute for rice. Pic by Hiran Priyankara Jayasinghe

Ministries barred from purchasing new vehicles

Government ministers have been directed not to purchase new vehicles to Ministries or for their official use as the Treasury has to handle new expenditure costs like compensation for flood victims and damages to their property running into billions of rupees, official sources said. At Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, ministers were urged not to buy new [...]

Monetary Law to be amended to suit inflation targeting

Amendments to the Monetary Law Act (MLA) is to be present to Parliament next year to suit the Flexible Inflation Targeting (FIT) frame-work with the aim of maintaining 4-6 per cent inflation a year from 2020, Central Bank (CB) officials said. These amendments are now being drafted and it would include strengthening the mandate of [...]

SL seeks $500 mn apparel trade deal with India

Sri Lanka is hoping to convince India to remove the existing quota system for the apparel industry and instead requesting a US$500 million worth trade deal. Negotiations are currently underway between the two sides to ascertain whether the existing quota system for the sale of garments to India that is limited to eight million pieces [...]

Ramachandran turns down SEC appointment

The Ministry of Finance has accepted a letter by Chandrakumar Ramachandran turning down an appointment to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ministry officials said. He was amongst the newly appointed five Commissioners to the SEC board. In his letter he has expressed his inability to accept the responsibilities that come with this appointment as [...]

Navin rooted in oil palm; decries opponents

Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayake is gearing up for another head-on battle with those opposing state plans to establish 20,000 hectares of oil palm in the country. He called on the rubber and oil palm industry to come up with a set of guidelines to earmark the plan for the future of the oil palm industry [...]

Privacy: The New Fear

Privacy: The New Fear

“H ang-genna beha, putho (you cannot hide son), Hang-genna beha,” Kussi Amma Sera was saying to her chatty neighbour Serapina. Both were in conversation under the giant mango tree in the garden on this bright Friday morning. What was this all about? Revelations by former Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera receiving a Rs. 1 million political campaign [...]

Man-made disasters: Economics of Ecosystems

Man-made disasters: Economics of Ecosystems

Sri Lankans, more than two-three decades ago, didn’t hear a lot about disasters from floods and even earth-slips as we do today. Now, with just after a few days of rain, there are floods and earth-slips. It is obvious that the frequency and intensity of these natural hazards have multiplied and, their negative impact on [...]

Tea Board to adopt foolproof sugar tests

Sri Lanka amendments to tea regulation and drafting of a foolproof mechanism to ward off the ills of the tea industry particularly sugar found in the beverage is currently in the pipeline. Authorities are commencing a new methodology to test sugar added in the manufacture of tea with samples collected from end June, Sri Lanka [...]

Sunshine Holdings ends FY2017/18 with strong growth

Diversified Sri Lankan conglomerate Sunshine Holdings PLC has reported strong growth in turnover and profitability during the year ended 31st March 2018, with the group’s consumer and agribusiness, sectors leading growth while its sizeable healthcare segment remained the major contributor to total group revenues. During the year in review, the group’s top line expanded by [...]

Experiences, not sun-sea-or-sand, the new mantra in tourism

Experiences, not sun-sea-or-sand, the new mantra in tourism

COLOMBO: When hospitality branding specialist QUO founder/CEO David Keen walked into the lift of the new Jaz hotel in Amsterdam on opening day some years ago, he was surprised to find a saxophonist and a singer in that tiny space. “The duo started to play as the 1 metre x 1.5 metre lift became moving. [...]

Deepal returns with his ‘Leadership Code’ sessions

“What makes a great leader?” Dave Ulrich, Norm Smallwood, and Kate Sweetman set out to answer this question- to crack the code of leadership, says local people’s development guru Deepal Sooriyaarachchi He said the authors, drawing on decades of research experience, conducted extensive interviews with the thought leaders in this field- and heard the same [...]

Medical Tourism (Pvt) Ltd awarded US medical tourism certification

Medical Tourism (Pvt) Ltd has secured the Medical Tourism Certification from the US-based Medical Travel Quality Alliance (MTQUA) by demonstrating a high commitment to providing quality in care and services for medical tourists according to MTQUA international quality standards. “Our team has been most impressed with Medical Tourism (Pvt) Ltd as a facilitator for medical [...]

Organisational insecurity

Organisational insecurity

It was with much enthusiasm and expectations that Chanaka walked into the first day of his new job at the company he had always aspired to join. This was his second job, and he hoped that given his can-do attitude and openness to learning, he would be a valuable resource. In the first few weeks, [...]

LSEG Sri Lanka launches Diversity and Inclusion programme

The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) Sri Lanka has launched an internal programme focussing on diversity and inclusiveness within the group. The launch, themed “Building an Inclusive Culture “, was attended recently by employees from MillenniumIT Malabe and LSEG Colombo, the company said in a media release. The launch was followed by a panel discussion [...]

Absorbing foreign workers

This makes reference to the above article by Dr. Sirimal Abeyratne in his column “Down-To-Earth Economics” appearing in last week’s Business Times. Firstly I must stress, the article by Dr. Abeyratne was indeed very educative, innovative in terms of facts, inspiring to the core and very appropriate. As a citizen of this country, I need [...]

Education: Women dominate in Sri Lankan universities over men

While there are more educated women than men in Sri Lanka, this development impacts on the economy and when that happens, it’s the women who eventually suffer, according to Dr. (Ms) Sulochana Segera, Founder/Chairperson, Women in Management. She was speaking at a media briefing to launch the ‘Top 50 Professional and Career Women Awards Sri [...]

New IT platform initiative from iTelaSoft

iTelaSoft, announcing its active engagement in the narrowband IoT Solution space, has recently come up with its latest innovations, IoT Test Platform providing an invaluable tool for feasibility testing and deployment planning of IoT solutions for both telcos and IoT implementers. Having helped one of the largest global telcos to assess the readiness of their [...]

DirectFN excels in IT Software Biz Quiz

DirectFN excels in IT Software Biz Quiz

The DirectFN Quiz Team recently ventured into a new territory with lots of enthusiasm and motivation, securing the Category Runner-Up Award in the IT/Software category in Biz Quiz, a major corporate quiz competition in Sri Lanka sponsored by Glitz. “DirectFN is outstanding with regard to constantly providing an encouraging platform for their employees to express [...]

Empowering women through handlooms sector

Companies that were doing CSR projects to enhance their image are now embedding sustainability and fair trade practices into corporate strategy to differentiate and succeed. ‘Selyn Handlooms’ and ‘LIFE’ are two unique organizations that seek to empower communities in Sri Lanka and make a paradigm change and work toward incorporating sustainability for the benefit of [...]

John talks only about food

Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga was on Friday conspicuously silent on the CNN promotion kicking off this week and instead highlighted Sri Lanka’s hidden treasures found in the local cuisine. Addressing the opening ceremony of the 18th Culinary Art Food Expo at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Convention Hall, the normally talkative minister said that this [...]

JKH to move out of MSCI

John Keells Holdings (JKH) is likely to be removed from the MSCI Frontier Markets 100 Index, which captures large- and mid-cap shares across 29 frontier markets, sources said. This will be done as part of the May 2018 Semi-Annual Index Review (SAIR) as the company failed to meet the minimum liquidity requirement. At the time [...]

“China delays Hambantota Port deal’s final tranche”

Nalin Aponso, Chief Manager (Communication and Public Relations) of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), has sent a letter saying last week’s story under the above headline is “misleading and inaccurate”. Given below is the full text of the letter with the Business Times response: “It states among other things that the gazette notifications for [...]

SL Auto Parts Show 2018 at US event in August

SL Auto Parts Show 2018 at US event in August

CEMS-Global USA in association with `CEMS Lanka’ is to present the `Sri Lanka Auto Parts Show 2018’ on August 2–4, 2018, which will be a glittering showcase of the world auto-component industry along with car parts and accessories, organisers said. The ‘Sri Lanka Auto Parts Show 2018’ will provide manufacturers and distributors direct access to [...]

Sri Lanka’s oldest Italian Fiat car in Jaffna

Sri Lanka’s oldest Italian Fiat car in Jaffna

JAFFNA: What an opportunity- the chance to own Sri Lanka’s oldest Italian Fiat car in Jaffna – and that too, one that is only functional, old Italian car. Sixty-year old Kumarasamy Ravichandran, a resident of No. 906/12 Point Pedro Road, Jaffna, is the owner of this car. Mr. Ravichandran says the car has manual horn [...]

CB advocates cutting vehicle imports

The Central Bank (CB) has stressed the need to clamp down on vehicle imports as it is affecting the country’s Balance of Payment (BOP), the CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy told a media conference recently. He noted that the country’s banking regulator is very concerned about the increase in motor vehicle imports despite measures taken to [...]

Japanese high tech firm to set up electric vehicle manufacturing facility

As a major step towards launching a large scale Sri Lankan Electric Vehicle industry (EV), a Tokyo based high-tech research and development start-up is planning to set up an EV manufacturing facility, Ministry of Industry and Commerce sources said. The Tokyo start-up will also be setting up international standard EV charging systems known as ‘micro-grid’ [...]

Japanese imports badly hit by ‘currency’ unrest

Japanese vehicle imports have been badly hit by present currency fluctuations as the cost of used and brand new vehicles imported from Japan have gone up due to the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar and appreciation of the Japanese yen against the dollar and other factors like the government restriction on imports, vehicle [...]

Tuk-tuk meter bills compulsory after June 20

Tuk-tuk meter bills compulsory after June 20

Three-wheeler meters with the facility of issuing a printed bill for customers after reaching their destination has been made compulsory by the government, a senior government official said. The date of implementation of the new tuk-tuk meter bill will be extended to June 20 from April 20, National Council for Road Safety (NCRF) Chairman Dr. [...]

Many vehicle franchise holders facing major drawbacks due to new policy

Many vehicle franchise holders facing major drawbacks due to new policy

Sri Lanka’s well-established corporates have been the main contributors to the economy throughout history. Over the years they have kept the country on the path of growth and have been a major part in how Sri Lanka is seen internationally. The automobile segment in the country has been one such developed sector with many established [...]

Hemas revenue grows but operating profit down amidst acquisitions, expansion

Hemas Holdings PLC (HHL) has reported full year consolidated revenue of Rs.50.9 billion, an increase of 17.2 per cent over last year for the year ended March 31, 2018. Steven Enderby, Hemas Group CEO, in the report, said FY 2018 has been challenging, with robust revenue growth in tough economic conditions and depressed earnings being [...]

Big organisations are most vulnerable to cyberattacks

There isn’t a single umbrella solution to protect businesses against hackers from launching attacks to extract data from their computers, according to Head of Asia Pacific Cloudflare, Singapore, Ms. Aliza Knox. Making a presentation on “Emerging Trends in the Cyber –Security Landscape” at the Shangri La Hotel in Colombo recently at an event organised by [...]

Bates-Burson duo to represent Sri Lanka PR industry at Cannes Young Lions

Bates-Burson duo to represent Sri Lanka PR industry at Cannes Young Lions

Two young, creative IMC professionals from Bates Strategic Alliance’s Burson-Marsteller affiliated Public Relations’ arm, will be the first to represent Sri Lanka in the PR category in the Young Lions competition at the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France on June 18-22. Chanchala Gunewardena, Events & Digital Communications Specialist (right in the [...]

Sri Lankan equities attract wider international audience

Investment flows from the Scandinavian region to the Sri Lankan stock market have made a noteworthy improvement in recent years, where inward investments have grown by 39 per cent per annum (CAGR) since 2013, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) said on Tuesday. In a media release, it said Rs. 2.4 billion in foreign purchases recorded [...]

CAL helps set up single platform for South Asia’s frontier markets

Capital Alliance (CAL) has signed a MoU with AKD Securities Ltd in Pakistan and Lanka Bangla Securities Ltd in Bangladesh with the objective of providing investors with a single investment platform via which they can access South Asia’s leading frontier markets. The MoU, which comes against the backdrop of the successful inaugural South Asia Investor [...]

Milk in crisis: Regulators unaware that butter is made from milk!

Entrepreneurs and state agency officials involved in the dairy manufacturing industry in Sri Lanka gathered last week in Colombo to discuss ways of achieving self-sufficiency in milk in Sri Lanka – with some startling revelations. It was held at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) auditorium and organised by the All Island Dairy Association under [...]

Record 315 % Ceylinco Insurance dividend to shareholder

Ceylinco Insurance PLC has announced, what it calls, “an incomparable dividend” of Rs.31.50 per share to its shareholders for the year 2017, which constitutes a 315 per cent dividend of the original share price. This is also an increase of 14.5 per cent of the dividend declared for 2016. Ceylinco said in a media release [...]

Prime Finance on the right track

Prime Finance PLC, which is to issue a Rights Issue soon in the Colombo stock market, says it has transformed itself into a vibrant, refreshingly innovative and financially strong entity in the highly competitive financial sector in Sri Lanka. Its CEO Rasika Kaluarachchi said the Rights Issue would further improve the core capital of the [...]

EH commissions one of Asia’s most modern ice cream factories

EH commissions one of Asia’s most modern ice cream factories

Situated at the Seethawaka BOI zone, at Avissawella, this factory with the added capacity it brings will lead to a doubling of Elephant House’s existing ice cream production volume. Also, it facilitates Elephant House enhancing its portfolio of products, the company said in a media release. This ice cream factory is operated by The Colombo [...]

IMF releases fifth tranche of Sri Lanka’s EFF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released the fifth tranche of Sri Lanka’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The Executive Board of the IMF was expected to announce this decision on Friday June 1 after completing the fourth review under an economic reform programme supported by a three-year EFF arrangement for Sri Lanka, Central Bank (CB)’s [...]

Facing Facebook’s responsibility

LONDON – When Facebook went public in May 2012, its capacity for effective corporate governance was already in doubt. Fast-forward six years, and Facebook has accumulated massive power, access, and influence – and, in many ways, proved the doubters right. The doubters were no small minority. On the contrary, it was the general consensus among [...]

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