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BT Poll: Mixed reviews on Govt. performance

BT Poll: Mixed reviews on Govt. performance

Most respondents to a Business Times (BT) poll this week, assessing the new government’s performance so far, gave a mixed response while on the topic of the cost of living the majority view was that the administration had failed to bring down prices. The survey which posed four questions and requested a Yes (Y), No [...]

Forensic audits on bonds trigger alarm bells

The forensic audits conducted by two international consulting agencies – BDO and KPMG – on the issuance of Treasury bonds and government securities from January 2002 to end February 2015 is certain to raise alarm bells, observers said. The six reports, a synopsis of which is contained on Page 8 and Page 9 of the [...]

Mega tea promo delayed, talks continue on wage hike

With the government determining that the wage hike of estate workers is to be effective from March 1, the plantation companies were in discussion this week on a new model. Should the companies come up with a methodology of a means of earning more, it would amount to a win-win situation for both parties, observers [...]

Special IMF team in March for final EFF review

A special team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be arriving in Sri Lanka in March to reach a staff level understanding on the seventh and final review on the US$1.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF), official sources said. They will meet with Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and various stakeholders and [...]

President assures support for tourism

Sri Lanka’s  tourism industry would receive full support to increase revenue, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said on Friday. In this respect, he had detailed certain plans like streamlining the four boards of the tourism sector. State institutions of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau [...]

Hooliganism in universities

Hooliganism in universities

The phone rang. I had just woken up on a glorious morning with the rays of the sun making their way through the curtained window. Sipping my cup of tea, I watched the trio in conversation under the margosa tree. On the phone was Pedris Appo, short for Appuhamy who is a retired agriculture expert [...]

Spiderman, a spider or a man?

Spiderman, a spider or a man?

Is “Spiderman” a spider or a man? I think the Spiderman fans – both the kids and the adults – must have never thought of a question like that. In fact, for them it should be a weird question as long as Spiderman has supernatural powers and abilities to do “good” things. But a US [...]

Direct flights can spur more tourist arrivals from France

Direct flights can spur more tourist arrivals from France

Non availability of direct flights from France to Sri Lanka has affected French tourists visiting Sri Lanka and to facilitate tourist arrivals from Paris to Colombo direct flights will be beneficial, said the Chairman of Salaun Holidays of France Michelle Salaun following the opening of a Computer Centre at the temple of Audangawa at Sigiriya, [...]

5G, next giant milestone of SLT Broadband Services

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) said last week that it is “ now ready to unveil the next giant milestone in the telco industry” as the company is fully furnished to facilitate the Sri Lankans with 5G experience via fixed wireless broadband access. Modern and advanced technology users of today expect ultra-fast networks everywhere. Even at [...]

Effective campaign needed to promote herbal treatment to tourists

To popularise native herbal treatment in Sri Lanka an effective campaign has to be launched to promote health tourism in the country by using modern technology available to gain quick results, said the State Minister of Tourism Arundika Fernando at a media briefing held at the Galle Face Hotel on Tuesday. The briefing was in [...]

Debt moratorium for SMEs unlikely to support SL’s economic recovery :Moody’s

The Government’s debt moratorium is credit negative for Sri Lankan banks and the ‘sovereign (status)’ because it risks increasing SMEs’ risk appetite and relaxing their attitude toward debt repayments, rating agency Moody’s said this week. This in turn will undermine banks’ asset quality and constrain the sovereign’s credit profile, it said in a statement, referring [...]

Spice industry needs state boost, says industry expert

Spice industry needs state boost, says industry expert

Boosting the sale of quality spices born in Sri Lanka is key to retaining its export market; but recent government moves to ban imports is not the panacea for the industry’s re-export strategy. Stopping imports of spices immediately has caused prices of these products to increase sharply, former Spice Council Chairman and current Silvermill Natural [...]

Five forensic audits on t-bonds cost Rs.275 m, CB says

Of the six forensic audits commissioned by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) based on the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the issue of Treasury bonds, five have been completed with the procurement process of the sixth forensic audit currently underway. This was stated in a CB statement on Tuesday correcting [...]

Tea expert appointed to run Sri Lanka’s biggest telecom firm

Rohan Fernando, a veteran in the tea trade, has been appointed as the new Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) chairman, informed sources said on Wednesday. The new chairman Mr. Fernando has over 40 years of experience in the tea industry and has been involved in developing, promoting and marketing the traditional beverage of tea in many [...]

Better business performance expected in 2020-MTI survey

Nearly 3/4th of Sri Lanka Chief Executives interviewed in a new survey on business performance in 2019 were of the opinion that their businesses performed below expectations last year. In contrast, only 5 per cent of the surveyed CEOs felt that their businesses performed above expectations, indicating a similar trend as in 2018. However a [...]

Commercial Bank marks 100 years of banking in Sri Lanka

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon, this year, is celebrating 100 years of banking in Sri Lanka and began its centenary year with a staff gathering of unprecedented scale. “The dreams of the future and the history of the past were interwoven when more than 4,000 staff members from all over Sri Lanka came together in [...]

Norway concerned over Sri Lanka’s power crisis; SL to expect power cuts from March

Last year it was during end March that power cuts were imposed across the island due to severe dry weather while the national grid capacity failed to meet the increased demand for power and due to limited power generation. The same scenario could happen this year from March, concerned authorities say. Why is Sri Lanka [...]

PM wants demutualisation fast -tracked

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has urged the Colombo Stock Brokers Association (CSBA) to fast-track demutualisation (the process through which a member-owned company becomes shareholder-owned) of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) which has been discussed for more nearly a decade. He had stressed this at a meeting with the stock brokers on Monday. This process has [...]

BOC-sponsored Sri Lankan students, excel at International Junior Science Olympiad

BOC-sponsored Sri Lankan students, excel at International Junior Science Olympiad

The Bank of Ceylon (BOC), as part of assisting Sri Lankan youth to excel as young scientists at global level, sponsored six Sri Lankan students who won bronze medals at the 16thInternational Junior Science Olympiad-(IJSO 2019) in December. The IJSO 2019 was held in Doha, Qatar on December 3-12. The event was organised by the [...]

DFCC’s Salary Partner to offer ‘all in one’ proposition

In this connected generation, our old expectations now look quite different. This is truer in a fast growing industry such as banks as customers are changing their expectations. The connected customer wants banking services that integrate with their connected life, says Aasiri Iddamalgoda, Senior Vice President of Branch Banking and SME at DFCC Bank. “This [...]

Ceylinco Life takes potentially life-saving medical help to 3,000 + in 2019

More than 3,000 people were provided free access to doctors, underwent health checks and received medical advice on diagnosed conditions in 2019 under a potentially life-saving country-wide community initiative of Ceylinco Life. In its 16th year, the life insurance leader’s ‘Waidya Hamuwa’ (Meet the doctor) programme principally benefitted lower-middle income families from many parts of [...]

Emerging Media invests Rs.100 m in start-up XpressJobs

Emerging Media invests  Rs.100 m in start-up XpressJobs

Emerging Media, a location-based digital advertising company has invested Rs. 100 million in XpressJobs in exchange for a 25 per cent stake in the company. The agreement was signed between Sanjeewa Rajapakshe, Founder and Managing Director of Emerging Media, Tyner Fernando Director of Emerging Media, Chathum Henegama Chief Executive Officer of XpressJobs and Dr. Oshadie [...]

Sri Lanka ‘stagnant’ in Corruption Perceptions Index 2019

Sri Lanka remains stagnant in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), compiled by Transparency International (TI), the global coalition against corruption. Sri Lanka has scored 38 on the CPI 2019 retaining the same score from the previous year; on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). TI Sri Lanka in a media [...]

INSEE honoured for “Leadership in Environmental Sustainability”

INSEE honoured for “Leadership in Environmental Sustainability”

INSEE Cement Sri Lanka, a leading provider of cement in the country, was the recipient of the ‘Leadership in Environmental Sustainability Award’ and‘Excellent Green Commitment Award – Corporate Sector’ at the Annual Green Building Awards 2019 held recently. The event was organised by the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka (GBCSL), the nation’s leading authority [...]

Microsoft will be carbon negative by 2030

The scientific consensus is clear. The world confronts an urgent carbon problem. The carbon in our atmosphere has created a blanket of gas that traps heat and is changing the world’s climate, Microsoft said in a statement this week. “Already, the planet’s temperature has risen by 1 degree centigrade. If we don’t curb emissions, and [...]

Toronto’s old streetcars, a symbol of city, leave the rails

Toronto’s old streetcars, a symbol of city, leave the rails

(AFP) Toronto, AFP,,- Toronto, Canada’s biggest city, is known for a few things: the iconic CN Tower, the ice Hockey Hall of Fame, great food from around the world and its historic streetcars. But by year’s end, the trolleys will be retired and replaced with sleek new trams — a decision that has been met [...]

NLB shortage of lottery tickets, now normalised

The National Lotteries Board (NLB) has been experiencing a shortage of lottery tickets as a result of a State Printing Corporation (SPC) machine break down, lottery agents complained. The NLB could not supply the demand to its agents from the outstations who called over at its head office at Kollupitiya during the past two months, [...]

YKG completes 7th CEO Connect Programme

CEO Communication specialist YKG has announced the completion of its seventh 12-week communication coaching and training programme for managers under its “CEO Connect” (CC) training brand. CC has enriched the leadership talent of YKG’s banking, automotive, engineering, IT, and manufacturing sector clients by fine-tuning their speaking, writing, and English language skills – as well as [...]

LAUGFS Eco Sri contributes to water purification efforts in North Central Province

LAUGFS Eco Sri  contributes to  water purification efforts in North Central Province

LAUGFS Eco Sri, a pioneer in Vehicle Emission Testing in Sri Lanka, started the New Year by continuing its philanthropic efforts, providing a water purification system for the benefit of the students of Gonuhathdenawa Vidyalaya, Kebithigollewa, in the North Central Province. With an investment of over Rs. 1 million, this project also provided 235 deserving [...]

Maldivian investors keen on buying SL apartments

Sri Lanka has taught tourism to the Maldives which has become one of the top tourism destinations in the world today. “Today we have 20,000 Maldivians resident in Sri Lanka. For centuries Sri Lanka has been close to Maldivians when looking at the outside world. The cultural ties that existed between the two countries have [...]

PTL colluded with DFCC, BDO report says

The BDO report said that on February 27, 2015, the PDD discontinued the Direct Placements as a method for raising public debt based on the instructions given by Arjuna Mahendran. Mr. Mahendran’s son-in-law, Arjun Aloysius, was the CEO and Director of PTL during 2014 till January 16, 2015. During the review of call log records [...]

Forensic audits on bond scams raise alarm bells, expose dealings between officials and private parties

Forensic audits on bond scams raise alarm bells, expose dealings between officials and private parties

The forensic audits conducted by two international consulting agencies – BDO and KPMG – on the issuance of Treasury bonds and government securities from January 2002 to end February 2015 covering the tenure of two governments, has opened a can of worms, exposing high officials particularly former Central Bank (CB) Governor Arjuna Mahendran and their [...]

On Cabraal’s conflict of interest

On Cabraal’s conflict of interest

The BDO India report said that in investments through direct placements, during January 1, 2003 and February 28, 2015, in 2,028 (tender value Rs.3,554 billion) out of 2,673 Direct Placements by the PDD (tender value Rs. 5,888 billion), the EPF has not made any investments in approximately 60 per cent of total offered by the [...]

Report on EPF’s primary and secondary market transactions

In BDO India’s report on the EPF primary and secondary market transactions, it said that observations in this report are subject to completion of an interview with the former Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal. During January 2003 till February 2015, the PDD conducted 465 auctions. The EPF, although a primary dealer, has not participated in 190 [...]

BDO reports on bond deals runs into 1200 pages

BDO reports on bond deals runs into 1200 pages

BDO India was assigned most of the forensic audit work in relation to the probe on bond transactions. In its report on bond transactions from January 2002 to end February 2015 by the Public Debt Department (PDD) of the CB, it said: Following concerns being expressed in the public domain about the propriety of former [...]

Creating infrastructure towards making Sri Lanka the global hub for apparel industry

Sri Lanka’s apparel industry has stressed the importance of creating an enabling environment to make the country the hub for the global apparel industry by managing front office operations as the apparel industry in Sri Lanka has more or less reached its full capacity. This was stated at a meeting newly appointed Chairman of the [...]

KPMG probe on EPF investments over 19-year period

KPMG India was asked by the Central Bank to undertake a forensic audit on investments by the EPF from 1998 to December 2017 . Its report said that the EPF is the largest superannuation fund in Sri Lanka with 18.6 million members and approximately 86,200 employers as at December 31, 2018. Its assets under management [...]

Local Government authorities in Galle, Batticaloa and Vavuniya ‘Give Back Life’ to PET Plastic Bottles

Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd, with funding from The Coca-Cola Foundation and the support of The Asia Foundation, Environment Foundation Ltd and Eco Spindles (Pvt) Ltd, collaborated with Local Government authorities to establish three Give Back Life PET plastic bottle collection centres in the South (Galle), East (Batticaloa) and North (Vavuniya) of Sri Lanka. These [...]

nCinga acquired by Zilingo, a Singapore-based technology platform, in Dec 2019

nCinga acquired by Zilingo, a Singapore-based technology platform, in Dec 2019

Global technology platform Zilingo has acquired Sri Lanka-based start-up nCinga Innovations resulting in cash and stock worth approximately Rs. 2.8 billion (US$15.5 million) changing hands. This landmark deal was one of the largest Sri Lankan tech buy-outs in recent times. Sri Lanka-Singapore based Venture Capital fund BOV Capital, the lead investor in this landmark deal, [...]

Inflation rose in December, DCS says

Headline inflation in Sri Lanka as measured by the year-on-year (Y-o-Y) change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI, 2013=100) increased to 6.2 per cent in December 2019 from 4.1 per cent in November 2019. This was driven by monthly increase of prices of items in the Food category along with the statistical effect of [...]

ATL Life’s DeerghaYOU Plus can help in retirement

Amãna Takaful’s (ATL) DeerghaYOU Plus continues to help Sri Lankans across the country achieve greater financial freedom and independence when they retire. “Saving for your future, should not be left for the later stages of your life, your golden years should be a time filled with relaxation and enjoyment. By investing in DeerghaYOU Plus, you [...]

AIA’s new IVR to enhance customer convenience

AIA Insurance has announced the launch of its latest customer convenience initiative; Automated Call Centre Services. This sees the application of a new and sophisticated, fully automated and integrated IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system to the Inbound Call Care Centre, making AIA a life insurance industry first in Sri Lanka to introduce such a system, [...]

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