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” Who is your presidential candidate?”

” Who is your presidential candidate?”

CNN business journalist Richard Quest interviewing Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Cinnamon Future of Tourism summit on Monday in Colombo. The first question asked that drew laughter, was: “Who is your Presidential candidate?” Pic by Indika Handuwala.

Revenue loss of $60 m in 2019/20 at national carrier

SriLankan Airlines, snowed under a mountain of debt, is estimated to end the current financial year – April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020 – with a loss of US$60 million largely due to the hit the national carrier took in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bombings. “Since the April Easter Sunday attacks, our [...]

Commercial banks impose service charge on ATM users

Commercial banks are collecting a massive sum of over Rs. 130 million daily by levying a service charge of Rs. 5 from credit or debit card holders for every financial transaction using Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), an official audit report revealed. The banks used to levy an additional charge of Rs. 2 for the receipt [...]

Sierra Leone says energy, agriculture projects welcome by SL firms

SIERRA LEONE – Improving the business setting and wooing foreign investors are top priorities for Sierra Leone as it endeavours to rid itself of over-dependency on an import-led economy. Investing in the country’s future in order to assure the country’s large youth population that a better future lies ahead, with better schools and improved economic [...]

NIC smart card white- collar scam exposed

In what appears to be a major white collar scam, top officials have been found to have misled the Cabinet of Ministers by submitting a false report for the procurement of one million pre-printed smart cards to the Department of Registration of Persons with the aim of siphoning off around Rs. 60 million, an official [...]

SL tourism shows resilience for comeback

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has been observing more and more tourist arrivals since the Easter bombings occurred though numbers are still less than the same period last year. Post attacks the total visitor arrivals has been down by 71 per cent in May at 37, 802, down by 57 per cent in June at 63, [...]

Street wars

Street wars

Serapina was livid. She had gone to Fort the other day on some work but had to return due to traffic congestion and some roads being closed due to a protest. “Balanna-ko Akke, loku virodhata nisa mata mage veda karaganna bari vuna (See Sister, because of protests I could not get my work done),” she [...]

Impossible possibilities

Impossible possibilities

One day a journalist raised an interesting point in a conversation with me over the phone: “It has taken 72 years from Independence for Sri Lanka to reach $4,000 per capita income level. How many more years would we need to become a ‘rich’ country?” When I began to ponder the point he raised, it [...]

Opportunities galore in tourism’s darkest days

Opportunities galore in tourism’s darkest days

Tourism has the eye for opportunity in a crisis and analysts believe that discounting rates at a time like this would not hold well neither would it be good to have all the eggs in one basket and depend on single markets for sustenance. This was the focus at the recently concluded Cinnamon Future of [...]

Mercantile Investment’s Integrated Annual Report recognised

Mercantile Investments and Finance PLC (MI) was once again a winner in corporate reporting at the CMA integrated reporting awards held recently. MI’s integrated annual report of financial year 2018/19 was adjudged a winner among the “10 best integrated annual reports” of Sri Lanka for 2019. “In the backdrop of a power packed judging process [...]

Thailand sets its tourism benchmark at a high notch

Thailand sets its tourism benchmark at a high notch

Pattaya – One of the biggest assets of any country is its people. Also the culture that has prevailed within the country for centuries and how it is portrayed to the tourists plays a pivotal role. Thailand is one of the countries of the world that has proven why it is must-see destination. The Business [...]

SriLankan Engineering welcomes latest customer Air Seychelles

SriLankan Engineering welcomes latest customer  Air Seychelles

SriLankan Engineering, the aircraft Maintenance-Repair-Organisation (MRO) of SriLankan Airlines, recently welcomed a new airline customer – Air Seychelles – for which it carried out an ‘A-check’ on an Airbus A320 aircraft in its specialised A320/A321 hangar at the national carrier’s main hub at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). SriLankan Engineering has positioned itself as an emerging [...]

Eminent economist advocates CB’s independence devoid of political influence

The Central Bank should maintain its monetary policy prudently protecting its independence while preserving accountability but if it uses its monetary authority recklessly to satisfy irresponsible political leaders the end result will be disastrous, an eminent and veteran economist said in Colombo. Delivering the public oration on Central Bank Independence, former Central Bank Governor Dr. [...]

Case for radically restructuring SriLankan Airlines

Introduction Disruption and innovation are closely interlinked phenomena that are at this critical juncture in time when the established world order is becoming increasingly under strain and unpredictable. It is therefore essential that Sri Lanka’s leaders start applying creative disruption as a means to radically reform and modernise the country’s economy. Against this backdrop the [...]

Sri Lanka’s canned fish industry on the brink of collapse

Sri Lanka’s canned fish manufacturers are now grappling to survive due to a flood of imported canned fish as a result of lowering import duty. The Finance Ministry has reduced the import duty to Rs. 50 from Rs. 102 per kg bringing down the price of canned fish which has resulted in the flood of [...]

Ceylonta re-launched with an improved blend

Lipton Ceylonta, celebrating its rich and long history as a brand of Pure Ceylon Tea that energised generations in Sri Lanka, is being re-launched with the taste of goodness in the perfect cup of tea. Lipton, armed with a 129-year-old legacy, has been instrumental in bringing the wholesome goodness of a freshly brewed cup of [...]

Hambantota International Port: No longer a White Elephant

Hambantota International Port: No longer a White Elephant

Eighteen months to the formation of Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG), the public private partnership between CMPort and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), to manage the Hambantota International Port (HIP), the company has made phenomenal progress. The venture has successfully been turned around, bringing the port into the limelight and strategically positioning it within [...]

Technology creates space for new age worker

Sri Lanka’s industries face shortages in workers, a key asset and the emergence of new technology is relevant in most sectors to create a space for the new employee. With many traditional industries like tea changing, there are serious labour shortages in sectors like construction, tourism and plantations and which have created inequalities as well, [...]

MTD Walkers PLC takeover bid swings towards billionaire businessman

One of Sri Lanka’s oldest colonial era construction company MTD Walkers PLC later diversified as Walkers CML Group will be realigning its operations under a new management headed by a local investor who has stepped into make capital infusion amounting to billions of rupees, company officials said. The 165-year-old company has become a victim of [...]

Browns’ Sunbird leads African entry through Sierra Leone

Browns’ Sunbird  leads African entry through Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone – The notion that ‘success at home breeds success abroad’ is a tenet that Sri Lanka’s Browns Investments PLC goes by. Last year they, already owning the local Hingurana sugar factory, characterised this by buying control of a bio-fuel producing sugar farm in the West African coastal state of Sierra Leone which is [...]

Central Bank reduces interest rates by 2 per cent

The Monetary Board of the Central Bank on Tuesday decided to drop benchmark interest rates by 2 per cent to jumpstart Sri Lanka’s economy which slowed down after the Easter Sunday bloody attacks last April. In a statement on Tuesday, the Monetary Board said it decided to order the licensed banks to reduce interest rates [...]

Seylan Bank Introduces ‘Extended Cheque Clearing Service’

Seylan Bank, in response to the demands of integrated banking services, has introduced an extended cheque clearing service for the first time in Sri Lanka. This service will enable Seylan customers to deposit cheques after the scheduled cut off time and have the funds credited the very next day. The bank has taken measures to [...]

Top tea exporter Anverally and Sons wins 3 accolades in 2 days

Anverally and Sons (Pvt) Ltd, one of Sri Lanka’s oldest and most respected exporters of tea with a history of 129 years, won three prestigious awards on consecutive days last week, demonstrating the company’s continuing dynamism. Currently ranked one of the largest tea exporters in Sri Lanka, Anverally Teas was awarded a Presidential Export Award [...]

Sri Lanka’s MCC Compact unpacks in its final stages

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement is currently a topic of contention in the public domain. Misinformation is widespread, and many valid concerns about the agreement have gone with the wind. Sri Lanka still has a chance of gaining the largest ever American grant of US$480 million offered by MCC to improve transport infrastructure and [...]

AFC sustainability efforts recognised for the 3rd time in a row

AFC sustainability efforts recognised for the 3rd time in a row

Alliance Finance Company PLC has been internationally recognised for the third consecutive time since 2018, this time at the Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards held recently in Germany for “its genuine commitment and contributions towards sustainable value creation”. The Certificate of Merit was awarded for the Outstanding Sustainability Achievement by successfully integrating Sustainability in the Corporate [...]

Hemas wins grand award for Asia’s Most Socially Responsible Company of the Year

Hemas wins grand award for Asia’s Most Socially Responsible Company of the Year

Hemas won the Grand Award for Asia’s Most Socially Responsible Company of the year at the Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability (ACES) Awards Ceremony held recently in Bangkok, Thailand. The award was presented to Hemas for its commendable efforts in championing sustainable and responsible business whilst adopting an ethical and holistic approach to profit, planet [...]

Disrupt Asia 2019: Sri Lanka’s one-of-a-kind catalyst conference fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in Oct.

The Disrupt Asia Conference and Innovation Festival is Sri Lanka’s one-of-a-kind catalyst conference and premier event offering inspiration, invaluable networking and continuous educational opportunities, whilst providing access to a distinct community unlike any other. Built on the success of previous years, the 4th edition ‘Disrupt Asia 2019: Augmented Living’ to be held on October 12, [...]

Bingiriya export processing zone to kick off in 3 phases

Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama recently met representatives of six companies which have expressed interest in starting operations at the Bingiriya Export Processing Zone (EPZ). The Minister was assisted by Nalin Bandara, Deputy Minister Development Strategies and International Trade; Mangala Yapa, Chairman Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) and Ms. Champika [...]

JASTECA promotes Kaizen through seminars

The JASTECA Institute of Management (JIM) will be promoting Kaizen – the Japanese philosophy of improvement – by conducting public seminars and workshops as well as company-based seminars. While initially the demand for Kaizen training came from the manufacturing sector, the demand for Kaizen courses by the services sector as well as service units of [...]

HLB shortlisted for “Network of the Year’

LONDON – HLB, the global advisory and accounting network, has been selected as one of the finalists in the category of ‘Network of the Year’ at this year’s Digital Accountancy Awards, to be held in London on October 3. To be considered for this award, nominees had to demonstrate the execution of profitable growth strategies, [...]

Mobitel and University of Peradeniya to conduct research on air pollution in Kandy

Mobitel and University of Peradeniya to conduct research on air pollution in Kandy

With air pollution becoming a major health hazard, Mobitel has joined hands with the University of Peradeniya to conduct research on air pollution in Kandy. Mobitel will be the connectivity partner to facilitate data transmission of air pollution monitoring sensors. The study will focus on measuring air pollution in Kandy using KOALAs (Knowing Our Ambient [...]

Minister taken aback by invitation to alcohol and tobacco event

A Sri Lankan Minister on Monday expressed surprise at being invited to an event relating to alcohol and tobacco taxes and not being advised that the event was on these issues. “I was surprised to learn that the Research Intelligence Unit’s (RIU) report of the Economic Form Platform consisting of representatives from the alcohol and [...]

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