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Laughing, happy children

Laughing, happy children

What a wonderful, positive picture of children amidst the politicking and uncertainty in Sri Lanka. This picture accompanied a media release issued by Pannipitya Private Hospital which has made arrangements to provide free treatment to all schoolchildren who own Suraksha Insurance cards introduced recently by the Education Ministry. We also wish our readers a pleasant [...]

Small car taxes likely to fall

Sri Lanka is mulling to reverse the tax increase on small cars while even mid-sized sedans will become cheaper under a new taxation system following intense pressure and lobbying of motor traders at the end of a political crisis, official sources said. Amidst concerns expressed by Indian automobile manufacturers, the Finance Ministry is likely to [...]

USAID partners with the government to strengthen the judiciary

Sri Lanka’s judicial institutions have been weakened by several years of authoritarian governance of the previous regime and the recent political impasse violating the Constitution, legal professionals alleged. Since coming to power in 2015, the government has publicly committed to reforming the justice system and strengthening the rule of law but no action has been [...]

IRD headless for over 100 days

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD), which accounts for 52 per cent of the country’s revenue, is functioning without a head for 106 days as the post of Commissioner General (CG) has been vacant since September 13, official sources revealed. This position fell vacant following the retirement of former head Ivan Dissanayake. Deputy Governor of the [...]

Rupee depreciation unusual

The Sri Lankan rupee, which has depreciated by almost 20 per cent against the US dollar this year, is heading for uncertain territory in the first few weeks of January 2019. Money brokers said that the first few weeks will decide the movement of the rupee which tumbled this week (December 24-28) to 183.35 per [...]

CSE nearly 6% down in 2018

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) this year has seen a near 6 per cent index drop compared to 2017, data show. CSE’s main All Share Price Index was down 5.51 per cent as at Thursday compared to a 2.26 per cent increase in 2017. There was a net foreign outflow with frantic foreign selling in [...]

Just another day

Just another day

The somewhat rainy weather had improved on this Thursday morning for Kussi Amma Sera to have her usual under-the- Margosa tree conversation with down-the-lane friends, Serapina and Mabel Rasthiyadu. With Christmas just gone by and New Year looming ahead (three days more), the trio were in an animated discussion about year 2018 that was to [...]

2018: Year of exposure

2018: Year of exposure

After all, I consider that the year 2018 was not a bad one. At least from the angle that I look at the events and circumstances, it was more a year of “exposing” than “achieving” things. It exposed many hidden things in both economics and politics; it exposed even the hearts and minds. From an [...]

Sri Lankan crisis: Political… to Financial?

Sri Lanka is facing a banking and currency crisis, according to economist Carmen Reinhart, a Professor at Harvard university and one of the world’s foremost authorities on financial crises. The learned economist spoke to the writer on whether Sri Lanka’s political crisis could evolve into a financial crisis.  How likely is a financial crisis in [...]

Interest rates unchanged for December/January- CB

The Central Bank on Friday announced that interest rates will remain at current levels. After the Monetary Board of the Central Bank (CB) met on Thursday, December 27, it was decided to maintain policy interest rates at their current levels. Accordingly, the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) of the [...]

SLT, Mastercard encourage electronic payments with cash back rewards

SLT, Mastercard encourage electronic payments with cash back rewards

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the national ICT solutions provider in Sri Lanka, recently announced a partnership with global electronic payments major, Mastercard, to steere the adoption of electronic payments in Sri Lanka. Under this partnership, Mastercard cardholders will receive a cashback reward of Rs.100 on each SLT bill payment of more than Rs.1,000 made using [...]

IBM ‘s new Country General Manager

IBM ‘s new Country General Manager

IBM has announced the appointment of Riza Wadood as the new Country General Manager for Sri Lanka. In his new role, Mr. Wadood will be responsible for business growth and leadership of IBM in Sri Lanka. He will lead the team to support the country’s strategic roadmap towards digital transformation and shape market opportunities by [...]

Aitken Spence Hotels collects 12 awards in one week

Sri Lanka’s leading hospitality chain, Aitken Spence Hotels was recognised at multiple award ceremonies held recently in Colombo, bringing home a total of 12 awards at the 54th Annual Report Awards 2018, National Business Excellence Awards and Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2018. The hotel chain, part of the blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC, started its [...]

H&H Golding real estate helps during Christmas

Real estate agent H&H Golding provided a charitable donation on December 21 to the NGO, ‘Voice for the Voiceless Foundation’ in celebration of the holiday season for 2018. The Good Hope Project aims to provide dry rations for 12 families primarily of single parents and widows located in deeply impoverished areas around Sri Lanka, the [...]

Gamata Tech opens avenues for SL youth entrepreneurs

Gamata Technology, an accelerator platform initiated by youth-tech entrepreneurs covering every corner of Sri Lanka, was officially launched recently at a ceremony held at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre in Colombo. The event was attended by young entrepreneurs, leading tech companies, renowned personalities and others covering 19 districts in Sri Lanka, the organisation said [...]

Politics dominates a year of sluggish growth and it’s “So Sri Lanka”

Politics dominates a year of sluggish growth and it’s “So Sri Lanka”

What a Year! It was So Sri Lanka. We had fun and games in our Parliament. Grabbing the Speaker’s Chair and throwing chili powdered-water has become the pastime of some of our revered politicians. And to think we voted them in. We had two Prime Ministers and one disgruntled and myopic President. And to think [...]

Dialog Axiata, Mastercard to accelerate digital payment innovation

Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, Dialog Axiata PLC and Mastercard, the leading global payments and technology company, recently signed a strategic partnership agreement to drive the adoption of digital payments in Sri Lanka. The partnership will enable opportunities for shared technology platforms and facilitate open loop payments, whilst accelerating the adoption of Mastercard’s digital payment [...]

IMF stands ready to resume Extended Fund Facility Programme discussions

The International Monetary (IMF) has pledged to resume the 3-year US$1.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) Programme discussions to release the sixth tranche of about $ 250 million after the end of the 52- day political impasse triggered by President Maithripala Sirisena. “The IMF welcomes the resolution of the political crisis in Sri Lanka and [...]

Hayleys celebrates 140 years

Hayleys celebrates 140 years

Hayleys Chairman Mohan Pandithage (left) receiving a commemorative first day cover to mark 140 years of the existence of the Hayleys Group in Sri Lanka. The first day cover and postage stamp issuance was held at the Hayleys office in Colombo on December 19. Pic by Ishanka Sunimal.

SLASSCOM aiming for 200,000 IT jobs by 2020

SLASSCOM aiming for 200,000 IT jobs by 2020

The SLASSCOM Skills Day and Industry-Academia Roundtable was held recently at the Movenpick Hotel, with over 100 attendees representing academics from state and private universities, government officials and heads of knowledge services companies. The Skills Day was organised by the Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) and sponsored by the Export Development [...]

Sri Lanka Insurance launches MTI-enabled Strategic Plan

Sri Lanka’s pioneer insurance provider– Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) has recently launched its three-year Strategic Plan, aimed at consolidating its dominant market position and exploring emerging opportunities in risk protection and life investment optimization. The strategic plan was developed in consultation with MTI Consulting, using its internationally applied MTI’s 8S Model® and with the [...]

Women-headed households common occurrence in NE

The Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) last week conducted a half day study session and discussion on a research carried out for 10 months in the Trincomalee and Batticaloa Districts to understand policies and implementation practices at a national and district levels with regard to SMEs. In the war-affected areas there are a large number [...]

LOLC wins big at SLT Zero One, e-Swabhimani Awards

LOLC, at the recently concluded SLT Zero One Awards, took home two top accolades showcasing once again, what the company called “its unparalleled prowess in the digital world”. LOLC’s flagship finance entity and Sri Lanka’s largest Non-Banking Financial Institution (NBFI), LOLC Finance PLC was awarded the best Website in the Financial Sector category. The website [...]

NITF presents National Natural Disaster Insurance Scheme at Poland conference

NITF presents National Natural Disaster Insurance  Scheme at Poland conference

Sri Lanka’s National Natural Disaster Insurance Scheme (NNDIS) was one of the main topics taken up at this year’s second “InsuResilience” Global Partnership Forum which took place in Katowice, Poland, during the UN Climate Conference (COp 24) earlier this month. On December 10, the National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) participated at this forum held on [...]

Policy dilemma in drinking water supply services in Sri Lanka

Policy dilemma in drinking water supply services in Sri Lanka

Compared to several countries in the region, India (88 per cent), Pakistan (52 per cent), Bangladesh (73 per cent) Sri Lanka (89.7 per cent) are doing well with respect to providing access to safe drinking water and sanitation to its people (source: WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation & IBNET). Sri Lanka [...]

LSEG Technology successfully implements Settlement and Depository Solution for Singapore Exchange

LSEG Technology has successfully implemented a Settlement and Central Securities Depository functionality for Singapore Exchange (SGX). In live operation from December 10, this was a whole market implementation, involving brokers, custodian banks, settlement banks, registrars and retail investors. Built upon the same technical and hardware framework as the Clearing (Central Counterpart) module, implemented at SGX [...]

Maruti Suzuki recalls pickup trucks

REUTERS, Dec 26 – Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country’s top-selling car maker, said on Wednesday it would recall 5,900 mini pickup trucks to inspect a defect in the fuel filter of some units. The automaker will inspect the likely defect in its Super Carry vehicles manufactured between April 26 – Aug 1 this year, [...]

Jaguar Land Rover/Cinnamon Life present Mamma Mia in Sri Lanka

A world renowned musical extravaganza Mamma Mia is now being staged at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre for an eight day run as part of their international tour till December 30. SML Frontier, sole agents of Jaguar Land Rover in Sri Lanka, was the official transport provider in Colombo in partnership with Cinnamon Life for their [...]

Indian cars with Italian designs soon on Lankan roads

Indian cars with Italian designs soon on Lankan roads

Sri Lankans will soon see innovative Indian cars with Italian- based Pininfarina’s automotive design prowess on local roads as result of a joint venture between Sri Lanka’s Ideal Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra of India, Nalin Welgama, founder and executive chairman Ideal Group told the Business Times. The Mahindra and Mahindra company has acquired Pininfarina [...]

GT Radial Bonanza on tyres

The first raffle draw of GT Radial Bonanza on tyres was held at Douglas and Sons Ltd and 10 customers were rewarded with 10 Bangkok trips. The draw was held under the observation of an independent monitoring board. The event was the first of three draws offering every GT Radial customer a chance to win [...]

Nissan to make fewer cars in China

TOKYO, REUTERS, Dec 28 – Nissan Motor Co will produce 30,000 fewer vehicles in the coming months in China than what it had planned, a person briefed on the matter told Reuters, as global automakers grapple with falling demand in the world’s biggest car market. After Ford Motor Co and Hyundai Motor Co, Nissan becomes [...]

Uber’s safety kit for riders, drivers

Uber, the world’s largest on-demand ride-sharing company which celebrates three years of existence in Sri Lanka, considers the safety of the riders and drivers its greatest responsibility and to ensure this safety, the company has introduced a three-pronged ‘safety toolkit’. Prabhjeet Singh, Director, Business Operations, India and South Asia, Uber announced this at a media [...]

Indian car manufacturers aim to rebuild battered Lankan market

Indian automobile manufacturers are eying new avenues to rebuild their fifth largest and fastest growing car market in Sri Lanka badly hit by the recent political turmoil and a recent raft of measures towards curtailing vehicle imports, industry sources said. The value of Indian car imports came down to US $36 million in 2017-18 from [...]

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