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Stranded tourists

Stranded tourists

Two tourists, with tickets booked online, at the Fort Railway Station after they were stranded on Thursday owing to a strike by railway workers. Pic by M.A. Pushpa Kumara

Tata Nano exits in failed experiment :Enter Nexon

Tata Nano, touted as the people’s budget car, is no more following the discontinuation of manufacturing of this car by India’s Tata Motors, just after a decade since its launch in Sri Lanka, Indian media reports revealed. Confirming the non-availability of Tata Nano in the market the Chairman and Managing Director of DIMO (Diesel & [...]

Treasury removes taxes on artistes, children’s accounts

Several amendments are to be made to the Inland Revenue Act (IRA) this month withdrawing certain taxes imposed on savings accounts of small children and local artistes, Finance Ministry sources disclosed. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will present these amendments in parliament for its approval before the end of this month. The 5 per cent withholding [...]

Korea, Indonesia in trade talks with Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is negotiating with Korea and Indonesia to buy fabric to secure a complete duty waiver exporting to the European Union (EU) under the GSP + concessions. Fabrics from Korea and Indonesia are said to be of a higher quality and purchasing from these countries would help Sri Lanka obtain a complete [...]

Poholiyadde quits RP, joins Lankem

Former head of plantations at Richard Peiris Sunil Poholiyadde is taking over as the new Managing Director at the Lankem Plantations unit. Mr. Poholiyadde, Richard Peiris Group’s Plantations Sector Managing Director resigned from his post according to an announcement on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) filing by the group. He resigned from the boards of [...]

Micro Finance Regulatory Authority to rescue poor debtors

In the wake of debt driven suicides in the East and ever increasing borrowings by women in the North and South for the sustenance of their families, the Finance Ministry is compelled to amend the 2-year old Micro Finance Act No 6 of 2016. The amendment bill which is in the process of drafting will [...]

Walking a tightrope

Walking a tightrope

A small group of mischievous boys were running down the road with one singing, “Avilla, avillaa … karadara kaley … avilla (The troubled period has come)”, to the tune of that popular Avuduru favourite, ‘Avilla… avillaa Sinhala Avurudda avilla’. There was a small commotion near the gate when Kussi Amma Sera along with Serapina and [...]

It was tea, not rice!

It was tea, not rice!

After learning about the economic development history of Sri Lanka, there was a question that made me anxious for many years at that time: Why did British planters during colonial times take so much of trouble and risk in introducing some plantation crops that were totally alien to Sri Lanka? The flip side of my [...]

Jaffna uniquely positioned for dual-hub IT strategy: STAX

Sri Lanka’s leading management consulting firm, STAX, recently launched a research report outlining a dual-hub IT strategy for northern Jaffna. In collaboration with Market Development Facility (MDF), STAX released this report with a view to fostering the region’s substantial potential for IT-related services in line with the national drive to develop a globally-competitive IT industry [...]

Singer revenue grows 16%, consumer demand falls

Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC results for the quarter ending June 30 shows an increase of 16 per cent in revenue amounting to Rs. 15.1 billion, compared to the previous year, in spite of challenging business conditions. While an improvement in the rural economy was noted in April-May, the company in a media release noted that [...]

Ambeon Group continues the winning streak

Ambeon Group continues  the winning streak

Leading multi-discipline diversified conglomerate, the Ambeon Group has shown remarkable and sustained growth throughout the 2017/2018 financial year, according to annual financial results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange recently. Overall, Ambeon Capital PLC posted impressive financial results during 2017/2018, starting with the company’s PBT (pre-tax profit) of Rs. 286 million for 2017/18, which was [...]

Lanka Property Show on Aug 18-19

LankaPropertyWeb (LPW) ( will be the host of “The Lanka Property Show”on August 18-19 at the Galadari Hotel’s main ballroom in Colombo. The event is Sri Lanka’s largest property show, attracting the country’s most renowned property developers, real estate agents and banks coming together under one roof to offer consumers a chance to view, express [...]

Trade unions stirred by proposed EPF reforms

Four weeks after a trade union raised concerns over proposed reforms in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), another group of unions this week urged the Government to conduct a referendum among workers on the new proposal. “The undersigned unions strongly urge the Government to go before the EPF members to verify their views on the [...]

Nations Trust Bank records resilient performance

Nations Trust Bank closed the 6 months period ending June 30 with a post-tax profit of Rs.1,875 million and a pre-tax profit of Rs.3,882 million underpinned by good growth in business volumes and improved operating margins. Despite increased impairment charges slowing the bottom line growth, the bank recorded a resilient performance in the backdrop of [...]

From Impoverished to Empowered: Sri Lankan women adopt modern biomass technologies

From Impoverished to Empowered: Sri Lankan women adopt modern biomass technologies

In developing countries some 2.5 billion people are forced to rely on biomass—fuelwood, charcoal and animal dung—to meet their energy needs. These people are energy poor, in that they have an absence of choice in the energy they access or use in their daily lives. Therefore, biomass plays an enormously important role in the lives [...]

ComBank launches NFC-enabled Chip& PIN Credit Cards with Mastercard

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has launched internationally-valid NFC-enabled Chip & PIN Credit Cards in collaboration with Mastercard. The new NFC-enabled Chip and PIN Credit Card offers maximum protection against the skimming or cloning of a card and against counterfeit transactions. It also minimises the possibility of fraudulent transactions at Point-of-Sale (POS) due to the [...]

Airbnb signs up for authentic Sri Lankan experiences

Airbnb, the home stay revolutionary company, on Thursday signed up with Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) to establish 40 new authentic experiences for the discerning traveller. Authorities have already worked with the Airbnb officials to ensure that all home stays listed under them are properties registered with the SLTDA, SLTDA Chairman Kavan Ratnayaka told [...]

AIA encourages people to live a healthy lifestyle

AIA encourages people  to live a healthy lifestyle

Articulating the purpose of living a healthier, better and longer life, AIA Insurance made this assurance in its new brand promise at a recent gathering in Colombo. Findings of AIA’s ‘Healthy Living Index’ this year reveal that Sri Lanka is facing a critical illness ‘finance gap’. Sri Lankans are worried that their savings, current levels [...]

Inbound tourism transport sector struggles to survive

Sri Lanka’s inbound tourism transport sector is on the verge of collapse in the midst of a depleting vehicle fleet and the neglect of sustainable practices in the tourist transport service, industry officials warned. They blamed the Tourism Ministry and Treasury authorities for not making any attempt to strengthen the tourist transport service by providing [...]

Sri Lanka Insurance revamps brand identity

For a product to be successful, the logo needs to be attractive which then, draws the attention of the consumer spontaneously. This comment came from Hemaka Amarasuriya, a veteran business professional now heading the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC), when he spoke at the launch of a revamp of the company’s brand identity, last week [...]

Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery exporters up in arms against new taxes

Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery industrialists called on the government to withdraw the 5 to 24 per cent tax imposed on their income under the new Inland Revenue Act (IRD) claiming that the current tax burden was unbearable for small scale direct and indirect exporters earning much needed foreign exchange for the country. The industry [...]

CRYSBRO prepares for a sustainable future

CRYSBRO, a pioneer in Sri Lanka’s poultry industry, in preparing for the company’s 50th milestone year in 2022 has initiated a series of sustainable business processes and plans to become a fully-fledged eco-friendly operation within the next four years. CRYSBRO is the only ISO 14001:2015 certified poultry company in Sri Lanka. The certification sets out [...]

Cinnamon TBC Asia bringing the world’s best bloggers to Sri Lanka

TBC Asia, the Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts’ signature conference for online influencers and travel professionals, will be awarding 30 of the best bloggers in the world, under 10 unique categories at this year’s event. The winners of each category will be announced at an exclusive awards ceremony that will take place on October 31 at [...]

Improving Sri Lanka’s learning outcomes: Get the ABCs right before following others

Sri Lanka’s National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) recently put forward a proposal to eliminate all examinations until students reach 17 years of age, following in the footsteps of world’s top Finnish education system. The proposal was made considering the high levels of stress and anxiety students are subject to, as a result of the highly [...]

Chartered Association of Sri Lanka’s qualification to be recognised globally

The Chartered Association of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) last year assigned a government owned institution in the UK to evaluate the bench mark qualification of CA Sri Lanka to be in line with UK educational standards. On that request, CA Sri Lanka and ACA have been equated to a Masters degree qualification of the [...]

Quebee Den’s Rohanthi recognised as Woman Entrepreneur of the Year

Quebee Den Founder/CEO Rohanthi Wijewickrama has won Gold in the Small Scale Enterprises category at the prestigious “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” awards. “The Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” is the biennial flagship event of Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC), which recognizes outstanding women entrepreneurs who change the world. This most recent honour [...]

Oracle Cloud powers Sri Lankan organisations

Three of Sri Lanka’s most prominent companies shared how they are transforming their businesses and accelerating the adoption of the latest innovations thanks to the use of Oracle Cloud Applications, during a recent media showcase. The event, which focused on cloud-driven innovation, saw participants hearing directly from key business leaders about their experience of how [...]

Piyawara pre-schools focus on early childhood care and development

Piyawara added its 46th and 47th pre-school to the national network with the opening of two Piyawara Pre-Schools in Rambewa, Anuradhapura District and Nerriyakulam, Vavuniya District. Both schools were constructed by the Sri Lanka Army. Initiated in 2002, the Piyawara programme was launched in partnership with the Children’s Secretariat of the Ministry of Women and [...]

Sunshine Holdings records 8% top line growth in 1QFY19

Diversified Sri Lankan conglomerate Sunshine Holdings PLC SUN) has reported top line growth of 8.0% YoY to Rs.5.6 billion during the first quarter of the current financial year (1QFY19). The increase was mainly due to strong performances in consumer and healthcare sectors, and despite a slight degrowth within the agribusiness sector, the company said in [...]

People’s Bank rejects allegations of favouritism in loans

The People’s Bank has issued a statement rejecting allegations that it favoured a director of the bank in providing loans to a company he works for. In a statement to the media issued by its chairman Hemasiri Fernando, the bank said that loans given to MTD Walkers and Walkers Group in a total sum of [...]

Aitken Spence PLC records 29 per cent drop in pre-tax 1Q 2018

Blue chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC reported a drop of 29.3 per cent pre-tax profit to Rs. 480 million in the first 2018-19 quarter from Rs. 678 million over the previous year. Revenue for the same period eased by 9.2 per cent to Rs. 10.6 billion from Rs. 11.6 billion in the same quarter last [...]

SLT profits up by 13.5% in 1H2018

The SLT Group in the six months to June 2018 continued its growth momentum across all key business areas including Fixed, Mobile, Broadband, Enterprise solutions, Wholesale and PayTV to record consolidated revenue of Rs. 39.4 billion, up by 5.5 per cent from the same 2017 period. The group reported a Rs. 2.8 billion net profit [...]

Lankasoy enters European market

Lankasoy enters European market

Convenience Foods (Lanka) PLC, pioneer and market leader in the manufacture and marketing of textured soy protein products under the Lankasoy brand in Sri Lanka, recently announced that it has successfully entered the European market. A subsidiary of the country’s premier food manufacturer – Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL), Convenience Foods recently tied up with a [...]

Staff shortage in hotels in 5 years

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry’s dynamics are bound to change in five years with more foreign workers joining the sector but this could be turned around if at least half the three wheel drivers opt to work in leisure. Jetwing Chairman Hiran Cooray spelt out the booming problem to the Business Times on Tuesday stating that [...]

Sri Lanka’s e-Motoring project gets underway after prolonged delay

Sri Lanka’s e-Motoring project is getting off the ground after a long delay of around 13 years since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the ICT Agency and the Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) on May 20, 2005. The project implementation is now underway following the approval given by the cabinet of [...]

Sri Lanka shuts door for small cars; wide open for luxury cars

Sri Lanka shuts door for small cars; wide open for luxury cars

Sri Lanka has been hard-pressed by balance of payment issue triggering imports substitution and ad hoc controls on vehicle imports. Taxes on imported cars by the government would be intended to protect the country’s economy, but recent ad hoc policy decisions do more harm than good, motor traders warned. Local motor traders will lose sales [...]

MG cars return to Sri Lanka market via Micro Cars

MG cars return to Sri Lanka market via Micro Cars

Sri Lankans will soon see the return of MG cars – not in familiar sports or racing car models – but in semi luxury fashion with the launch of the MG ZS small utility vehicle (SUV), designed and engineered in Britain. It was the first all-new MG to be launched in 16 years and also [...]

Jaguar Art of Performance Tour begins in Sri Lanka

Motor enthusiasts in Sri Lanka have been given the chance to witness Jaguar Art of Performance Tour in the island a series of driving experience events at the Katukurunda Racing track being held today (Sunday August 12). It is organised by SML Frontier Automotive, sole agents of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in Sri Lanka in [...]

Used car dealers justify claim to bid for government tenders

Sri Lanka is losing a colossal sum of money by allowing only franchise motor dealers to bid for government vehicle procurement tenders as a matter of policy, used car dealers alleged at a media conference in Colombo recently. The Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka (VIASL) appealed to the Government to remove the current monopoly [...]

Top regional auto experts to unveil industry insights at LANKAAUTO 2018

Sri Lankans involved in the automotive industry have been given an opportunity to gain insights on latest developments and technology in the industry at a technical symposium organised to coincide with the LANKAAUTO 2018 (fair). It will take place on August 24-26 at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre in Colombo. This is the [...]

Water footprints: A guide to efficient water use in plantations

Water footprints: A guide to efficient water use in plantations

The world economic forum in 2016 has ranked the water crisis as the highest concern over the next decade. We in Sri Lanka are beginning to sense this crisis and the uncertainties in weather patterns further aggravate this issue. Different parts of the country experience shortages of water for day-to-day activities including drinking and for [...]

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