date extended till Feb. 12
called for essential food imports
Minister Bandula Gunewardena said that the
closing date of quotations from the Pettah
trade with regard to the import and supply
of essential food items have been extended
till 3 pm tomorrow
due to popular demand.
was earlier to have had closed on February
said that the purpose of this exercise was
to bring down prices. Gunewardena claimed
that those who were opposed to this scheme
were those importers who were currently
"ripping off" consumers by selling
these goods at high prices.
said that there were 14 essential items to
which they have had asked for quotations.
Among those were sugar, dhal, red onions,
big onions, dried chillies, sardine, sprats,
dry fish and potatoes.
have been asked to submit their CIF
quotations per kilo. Those quotations will
have to accompanied by a 10% bid bond.
Quotations approved will be submitted to the
Cabinet on Wednesday for ratification.
said that prospective importers had been
informed of this scheme through a list
maintained by his ministry secretary
vis--vis importer lists that had been
earlier maintained at the now defunct
Sathosa. There had been no advertisements
informing the public/importers of this
the distributors under this scheme will be
the cooperatives and the state run Lak
Sathosa retail outlets. Such imported goods
will also me made available in supermarket
of these items will however be done in
consultation with the Agriculture Ministry
so that the local farmer will not be
affected, he said.
is a question of striking a right balance in
regard to both the consumer and the farmer
getting the right price, an exercise which
former Trade Minister Lalith Athulathmudali
was adept at," said Gunewardena.
Dumping will not be allowed.
allegations made by certain sections of the
Pettah trade that the government had already
pre-determined who the buyers were?
Gunewardena asked those who made these
allegations to come to the tender opening
tomorrow to see whether that was really so.
to whether these imports would be allowed
duty free? He said that such a decision
would have to be taken only after consulting
the Finance Ministry.
allegations that this scheme was not
feasible because prices had to be held firm
for three months, whereas prices of such
commodities in actual fact vary once in 15
days, Gunewardena said that they have to
adopt new instruments to see how things
example, who thought of hedging oil prices
those days?" asked Gunewardena.
"As the market develops, we have to
think of new instruments," he said.
the government was calling for quotations
when prices were dearer in the international
market, particularly in India from where
most of these commodities are generally
imported as it was not the harvesting
said that so far they have not taken a
decision as to whether they are to buy these
commodities or not.
has given trade inadequate time
Pettah based Essential Food Importers and
Distributors Association (formerly Pettah
Traders' Association) President S.P. Samy
told The Sunday Leader that they are
reluctantly participating in this
government's quotation call for the supply
of essential food items that opens tomorrow.
said that their reluctance stems from the
fact that the government has not given them
adequate time to prepare themselves for this
quotation call. Samy who heads this 400
strong Pettah merchants' association said
that they were "suddenly" summoned
for a meeting by Trade Minister Bandula
Gunewardena on February 7.
summoning us, the Minister didn't even wait
for 15 minutes to explain to us this
project, but rushed out saying that he has
to attend parliament," said Samy.
Originally the quotation call was
fixed for February 9, but which has been
since extended till tomorrow, however, very
little work could be done because of the
week-end inbetween, where the major supplier
countries such as India and Pakistan too are
on holiday, he said.
whether he suspected that there was
corruption in this whole exercise, Samy said
that he does not know.
may however be possible that some persons
had advised the government that by adopting
this method that prices would come down,
said Samy. But there are a whole lot of grey
areas in this exercise, he said.
it mean that the importer has to find
storage facilities for the imported
perishable items such as potatoes and onions
in a country where there are inadequate
facilities to store products of this type?
present, it is market forces that are in
operation which results in imported
shipments of such kinds being immediately
disposed of without having to be kept in
storage, said Samy. "The buyers are
supposed to be the trade, the same persons,
the wholesalers and retailers whom we
supply, as such the government's involvement
is not clear," he said. Another person
in the trade warned that if the government
goes ahead with this scheme, business
relationships that the trade has established
with overseas suppliers, some of which span
several generations, stand the risk of being
further warned that thousands of jobs in the
local supply chain, such as those employed
in the distribution chain may also be lost
as a result. He claimed that the Indian
harvesting season has begun. As result, sky
high prices of items such as chillies and
onions that are prevailing currently are
bound to come down by several percentage
points within the coming weeks.
if prior to the decline in these commodity
the government goes ahead and signs
contracts with new suppliers under
tomorrow's arrangement, the consumer will
not get the benefit of this price decline.
these new suppliers will be allowed to
import those commodities duty free, whereas
they who would be deprived of this advantage
would find it difficult to compete with the
new suppliers who would have the advantage
of this concession, the source further said.
K. Palaniandy who heads the 250 strong Old
Moor Street Traders' Association alleged
that this whole exercise of the government
was a sham. He alleged that the government
had already pre-selected the suppliers.
organization was expected to take a decision
on Friday afternoon as to whether they would
participate in this quotation call or not.
However, Palaniandy was immediately not
available for comment.
alleged that a leading businessmen had
already been given the contract to supply
sugar under this scheme. He further said
that the government wanted importers to hold
their prices firm for three months which was
a difficult thing to do.
fact prices are changing once in every 15
days, he claimed. Palaniandy further said
that the government was targeting the
season, to make available goods at a
cheaper price during this period. However,
at present it was the off-season in India.
such prices were dear during this period.
But the harvest of items such as potatoes,
onions and chillies would start coming in
from next month and then prices would fall.
He was of the opinion that this scheme would
fail as it was being operated by those who
were not familiar with the trade.
my case, I have been 25 years in the
trade," said Palaniandy.
to invest $ 4 mn. in juice plant
Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd will invest $
four million in their Biyagama plant to
produce fruit drinks in addition to
carbonated soft drinks (CSD), its South
African country manager Basil Gadzios told
The Sunday Leader.
across the globe are shifting away from CSD
to health drinks such as juices and water
and we have observed this trend in Sri Lanka
as well, that's why we want to cash in on
this industry," Gadzios said.
said that their's would be glass bottled
drinks of 190 milli litre capacity, similar
to what Smak, another fruit juice vendor
currently markets. The project will get-off
the ground in the second half of the year.
They are working on the possibility of
having this juice manufacturing company
registered as a BoI venture.
fact that this plant would be operating from
Biyagama and not away, could be possible
drawbacks in having it as a BoI registered
company," he said.
Cola Sri Lanka is a subsidiary of South
Africa Beverage Company (SABCO), an
authorized bottler for Coca Cola USA and a
holder of the Coke franchise. Gadzios
however said that the company will not go
into the production and sale of milk based
flavoured products, while the marketing of
bottled water is in their long term agenda.
valued the country's fruit juice market at
between $ 12-14 million and growing. Other
than the established players in this trade,
there are also a number of regional players
in the fruit juice industry in Sri Lanka,
company has a total of 200 distributors with
its Coke products being found in 72,000 of
the 108,000 outlets islandwide that sell
beverages. Overall, there are a total of
188,000 outlets islandwide. "Two years
ago we serviced only 60,000 outlets,"
he added. Coke Sri Lanka plans to latch onto
this network to market its juices.
who valued the country's soft drinks market
at $ 80 million, said that they occupy 41%
of the country's CSD market, with the market
leader being Elephant House (EH) which has a
market share of some 45-46%.
two per cent of Coke's sales are generated
from the Western Province, with the balance
eight provinces contributing the remaining
58%. Gadzios further said that 45% of the
company's sales are generated by Coke and
the balance by the other brands they own
such as Sprite, Fanta, Portello and Club
said that they obtain the concentrates from
the Coke plants in India and Egypt. However,
Portello and Club Soda are indigenous
brands, said Gadzios. Portello is even
exported by third parties to meet the needs
of Sri Lankans living abroad, he said.
the bulk of Coke Sri Lanka's revenue comes
from local sales.
further said that they plan to be "neck
and neck" with EH by the year end by
expanding their reach and netting in more
micro distributors. "We had only a 36%
market share in April 2004 and was second to
EH, but since then we have been able to grow
to 41%," he said. "It will be 44%
each by the year end," predicted
Gadzios, with the balance 12% being occupied
by smaller players in the market such as
were the market leader in the 1990s, but
lost it to EH after our factory was crippled
by strikes in 1997," said Gadzios.
estimated that Sri Lanka's CSD market was
growing at the rate of 7-8% annually. Survey
reports have indicated that 90% of Sri
Lanka's population between the 16-35 year
category have tasted Coke, he said.
"We are however growing faster
than the overall market," Gadzios
brings down sales to a 10th
petroleum dealer from Trincomalee at a
Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) dealer
conference on Wednesday, complained to The
Sunday Leader that his sales have been
reduced to a tenth due to the deteriorating
years ago turnover was between Rs
4.5-5 million a month, but now, daily sales
have been reduced to Rs 15,000 or Rs 450,000
a month," said H.W. Pangnadasa (58) who
operates a CPC shed in Trincomalee town.
peak daily sales of 100,000 litres of
kerosene, 3-4,000 litres of diesel and 1,000
litres of petrol, sales have since dropped
to 150 litres of kerosene and 200 litres
each of petrol and diesel, he said.
was then booming because of tourism and
fishing, he said. But the ground situation
began deteriorating after the recent
presidential elections. "Tourism is
dead and there are restrictions on fishing
because of the security situation, as a
result diesel and kerosene sales have taken
a hit," said Pangnadasa.
tsunami also added to our woes as it
destroyed several fishing boats and guest
house," he added.
further said that the 1.5% commission paid
by the CPC was not enough to sustain the
survive because I have other business like
transportation-of Prima flour from their
milling factory in Trincomalee to Colombo
and the transport of fuel by my bowser
fleet," he said.
said that he would be requesting the CPC to
increase this commission to 3%. "Some
of the sheds in Colombo can manage with this
1.5% commission because their daily sales
are over Rs one million, but I with a Rs
15,000 turnover cannot survive," he
said that the shed
which he operates formerly belonged
to their family, but was taken over by the
then government when the petroleum retail
business was nationalised
in 1962. "Previously this shed
was owned and operated by my father who was
a dealer for Esso, Pangnadasa a Sinhalese
originally from Ahangama, but now domiciled
in Trincomalee said.
having to pay taxes to the LTTE?
"When they look at
my books and realize that I don't
make any money on
the petroleum business they refrain
from charging any taxes," Pangnadasa
person whom this reporter met at the dealer
conference was Sanath
Wimalat-unga who operates a shed near
the Sugathadasa Stadium. He said that this
shed was given to him by former CPC chairman
E.S. R. Cumaraswamy in 1975 after their
family run shed as Buttala was taken-over by
the government and given to the cooperatives
to run it.
said that daily sales at his shed was Rs
300,000, 20 times more than that of
Pangnadasa's. Wimlatunga also runs a liquor
store at Buttala.
was also announced at this conference, that
the some 107 filling stations that had
earlier been earmarked to a third player in
the petroleum retail industry, would be
re-absorbed by the CPC at no extra cost.
was also said that CPC has over a 70% market
share in the petroleum retail industry,
while the balance is held by Lanka Indian
Oil Company Ltd., the second player in the
petroleum retail industry and a subsidiary
of the Indian government
to raise $ 50 mn.
Chartered Bank (SCB) targets to net in $ 50
million by selling rupee denominated
treasury bonds convertible to dollars to
foreign investors lined-up in Singapore, it
Thursday, a team from the Central Bank and
SCB flew over to Singapore to tap these
potential investors, some 13 of them. The
mission returned to Colombo yesterday.
market, given a thrust by retailers,
returned a turnover of Rs 796.4 million at
Friday's trading where high networth
individuals (HNWI) and institutions remained
in the sidelines due to the unstable
political environment and the breakdown in
peace talks, market sources said.
benchmark ASPI gained by 12.37 points to
close at 2,973.57, while the more sensitive
MPI gained by 23.44 points to close at
4,121.19 points. The day's trading recorded
a net foreign outflow, with foreign
purchases recorded at Rs 107.8 million and
foreign sales Rs 193.6 million.
industry looks at China
fourth Asian Conference On Claims Management
In Insurance With A Special Focus On China,
organised by the prestigious Asia Insurance
Review, was held at the Shanghai Hilton in
China, recently, said a statement.
forum which brought together global giants
of the insurance industry saw Ceylinco
Insurance Co. Ltd. taking pride of place yet
again, with Ceylinco Insurance Director
(Technical) Jagath Alwis addressing the
conference had as its theme 'Efficient
Claims Management As A Strategic Business
Tool For Success' and discussed several key
topics, including Claims Management As A
Definite Strategy For Growth And
Development, Setting World Class Standards,
Effective Loss Mitigation Measures, Big
Claims And Epidemics, Including Large And
Long-Tail Complex Liability Claims,
Tsunamis, SARS and Avian Flu, Use Of
Forensic Science In Claims Management, The
Fraud Challenge and Legal Issues In Claims
focus was also given to China, Australia,
Big Claims and Epidemics and Motor Insurance
Claims. The conference brought together a
plethora of insurance professionals
discussing the field of claims management as
a major area of interest and concern in the
fast growing markets of Asia and included
participants from China, Singapore, India,
Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia and
the Middle East (ME), among a host of
for the second consecutive time (having
addressed the same forum in Singapore in
2005), Alwis presented a paper on 'Claims
Management On Motor Insurance From A
Strategic And Practical Point Of View' and
discussed the challenges facing motor
insurers in Asia, strategies to underwrite
motor profitably and the dynamics of motor
insurance from a claims perspective.
from experience, he also presented an actual
case study of a multi-claims scenario.
Following on from his elaborate presentation
at this premier forum, several insurance
companies from throughout Asia and the ME
have shown a staunch interest in working
together with Ceylinco Insurance to improve
their standards of claims settlement.
super-fast claims settlement methods were
first brought to the fore and won worldwide
acceptance after Ceylinco Insurance won the
award for the 'Innovation Of The Year' for
the VIP On The Spot Motor Insurance Policy
at the Asia Insurance Industry Awards in
Alwis issued a call to action to the
Insurance Industry at large, calling on the
industry to band together to take a stand
against fraudulent claims and thereby help
settle genuine claims more efficiently and
4th Asian Conference On Claims Management In
Insurance was organised by the Asia
Insurance Review and jointly sponsored by
Maphilindo International Sdn Bhd, Malaysia
and Insight Group Of Companies, Singapore
and featured prominent speakers from most
parts of the Insurance World, including John
Pyall, Senior Manager/Head of Regional
Non-Life Claims and Underwriting Services of
Munich Re, Stephen Thorpe, President of the
Australasian Institute of Chartered Loss
Adjusters, James Ong,
CEO and Managing Director of
Maphilindo International Sdn Bhd, Peter Ye
Hui-Wen, Assistant Vice President - Claims,
AIU Insurance Company, China and Prof Chin
Tsu Kuang, Chief General Manager, China Affairs, Singapore Reinsurance
were among a host of members from a
distinguished panel who addressed the forum
throughout the two days.
Alwis is also a Deputy Chairman of
Ceylinco Consolidated and holds the
Education arm of the group under his
purview. He is a Fellow of the Institute of
Chartered Insurers UK (FCII) and the Indian
Insurance Institute (FIII).
has held numerous positions in the local
Insurance Industry and is currently the Vice
President of the Insurance Association of
fetes 400 top performers
Insurance felicitated over 400 of its top
performers for their exceptional performance
during the year 2006 at the annual Achievers
Congress held at the Colombo Hilton
recently, said a statement.
the gathering Managing Director Deepal
Sooriyaarachchi said that as a member of the
Aviva Group Eagle is doing well.
"Though ours is a small country, Aviva
has placed much confidence in Sri
Lanka," he said.
also pointed out the importance of teamwork
and the need for all to consider themselves
as one team. "Your performance affects
another's performance. Have performance
standards. Have targets. Work on achieving
those targets," he said.
on the need for integrity, Sooriyaarachchi
counted integrity as one of the most
important aspects in one's life. Speaking at
length on the subject of trust, he described
trust as something very fundamental and
something vital for survival.
trust in yourself'," he insisted and
went on to discuss how along with trust
there is predictability. "Trust is
shattered when promises are not met,"
gave a formula to the Eagle top achievers on
how to make promises and keep them.
"You make a promise because you have
the capability. Have a plan of action to
keep to that promise. And keep monitoring to
see that the promise is met."
the way to success, he identified several
areas where the field force could move on at
a professional level. Just as much as
qualifications are important, there is a
need to follow the code of ethics which
Eagle has evolved right at the start.
conduct was equally vital and so is
professional compliance. All this would lead
to building trust with customers. The
Company itself possesses qualities that
would assist the field force to achieve good
results. Eagle has a well defined vision and
it has financial stability. From the point
of view of institutional knowledge, Eagle
boasts of the most advanced training that
the industry provides. And on corporate
governance, Eagle has won recognition and
announced the Eagle theme for 2007 as 'First
in Trust' and went on to explain the way to
set about the task of building trust.
"You cannot achieve success without
trust," he reiterated and advised that
there are no short cuts to success.
Insurance, in line with its "human
talent management" strategies
continuously supports the development of the
"Eagle Team with Wings" members to
qualify for international standards in
professionalism and distribution
is the first Company outside the UK to have
its in-company training recognized by the
Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) UK
and provides comprehensive training and
development to all its sales persons.
branch office has a training centre
supported by the fully fledged training
centre in Colombo. In its effort to broaden
the horizons of the sales force, the Company
has sent a large number of sales persons on
overseas tours, conventions and training
Insurance gained due recognition for its
commitment to training and development of
staff and field force when National Human
Resources Award for "Best Training and
Development Strategy and Practice" was
awarded to the Company at the first ever HR
Awards in Sri Lanka.
schols. to 'A' Level students
Institute of Personnel Management
(IPM) Sri Lanka offered 20
scholarships to the island's best GCE 'A'
Level students at a ceremony recently
concluded at its Secretariat building, said
Island Best first five students in the order
of merit in Bio Science, Physical Science,
Arts and Commerce streams at the GCE 'A/L'
exam 2006 were the recipients of the awards.
award winners will get the opportunity to
follow the IPM Foundation Course in Human
Resource Management free of charge. IPM Sri
lanka President Sanjiv Wijayasingha awarded
the scholarships to the students.
said that awarding scholarships is one among
several corporate social responsibility
projects launched by the Institute.
Immediate Past President/CEO Daya Bollegala
and Director Studies Bandula Ratnayake also
addressed the gathering.
principals and other representatives from
the schools of the award winning students
were among the participants. IPM
Scholarships were offered to the following
H. A. Dissanayake, Nalanda College,
Colombo, H. G. P. K. Wijerathne, Maliyadewa
Boy's School, Kurunegala, A. M. N. L. de
Silva, Dharmashoka Maha
I. C. I. Kahadawaarachchi
C. J. Kottegoda, Ananda College,
Science Stream: B. H. M. M. T. Herath, Royal
College, Colombo, T. R. Bandaragoda,
Richmond College, Galle, W. M. B. S.
Wijerathna, Maliyadewa Boy's School,
K Rajeevan, Vavuniya Tamil Madya Maha Vidyalaya, Vavuniya and H. T.
Ananda College, Colombo.
M. N. Fernando,
Girls High School,
Kandy, A. M. M. Firnas Sammanthurai
Muslim M M V Sammanthurai. H M M T H
Maduwalthenna, Ranabima Royal College,
Peradeniya, D Siriwardena,
Anula Vidyalaya, Nugegoda and G. V.
S. D. Godagama,
Hunumulla Madya Maha
Stream: R. A. P. Weliwatta, Nalanda
College, Colombo, S. A. P. I. Dias, Sirimavo
Bandaranaike Balika Vidyalala, Colmbo, K. A.
Kegalle Balika Maha Vidyalaya,
Kegalle, P. G. G. Kalhari, Sangamitta
Balika Vidyalaya, Galle and S. P. Sedera,
Ananda College, Colombo.
Paul Goodwin will lead two CIMA
"master" courses on February 13-14
on 'Judging the Future: Effective Planning
for a Dynamic Business World' and
'Management Decision Making: a Blueprint for
Best Practice' at Trans Asia hotel, said a
has advised organisations including South
Western Electricity (UK), DSTL and the UK's
Departments of Health and Work and Pensions
on forecasting and decision making. He is a
Director of the International Institute of
Forecasting and a member of the editorial
boards of several international journals
including the International Journal of
Forecasting, the Journal of Behavioural
Decision Making and Foresight.
2004 he won the MBA Teacher of the Year
award at Bath University and the third
edition of his co-authored book, Decision
Analysis for Management Judgment was
published by Wiley in the same year. He has
just completed a three-year UK-government
funded study of forecasting in supply-chain
"'Judging the Future: Effective
Planning for a Dynamic Business World' will
look at how judgmental biases and group
dynamics can distort the way in which we
look at the future."
will then consider how to make the best use
of expert management judgment when making
forecasts for the short, medium and long
term. This seminar will also demonstrate the
role that scenario planning can play in
alerting managers to possible changes in the
environment and overcoming dangers of
programme is aimed at senior managers and
CEOs who are engaged in strategic planning
and managers who have to plan for the short
and medium term. Managers who are
undertaking forecasting and planning are
also expected to benefit.
second course on 'Management Decision
Making: a Blueprint for Best Practice' will
examine the reasons why decisions can go
wrong. It will demonstrate a number of
techniques that allow crucial and difficult
decisions to be handled in a structured way
so that new insights emerge and a documented
and defensible rationale for the decision is
established. The course encompasses
inappropriate decision frames, decisions
involving multiple objectives, risk
assessment and group decision making.
these courses participants will gain an
awareness of the dangers of frame blindness
in decision making and the ability to handle
complex decisions with insight and
confidence. They will also be able to make
better judgements about risks, recognise
common biases in the way people handle
uncertainty and gain familiarity with
methods designed to avoid pitfalls of group
programme is ideal for general managers
facing decisions involving multiple
objectives, managers facing decisions that
involve considerable risk and uncertainty,
purchasing managers who have to make choices
between suppliers, IT managers who have to
choose between competing systems or
suppliers, accountants engaged in investment
appraisal and purchasing decisions as well
as marketing and operations managers.
Registrations for this programme are now
accepted at CIMA Sri Lanka Division.
for Future Leaders' summit
year, Presidential Classroom brings together
550 student leaders from 45 countries to the
Future World Leaders Summit in Washington DC
USA to explore International relations,
diplomacy and the changing world economy,
said a statement.
year Sri Lanka will send 53 delegates from
12 schools to this unique summit designed
specially for teenagers. They leave to USA
on July 21. The summit is held at Georgetown
University and all delegates will live on
campus during the eight days.
selections are made on the recommendation of
the school principal and are sponsored by
their parents. Presidential Classroom is the
oldest civic education organization in the
USA and founded in 1968 in the tradition of
President John. F. Kennedy who challenged
the young Americans to be committed to
the summit these student leaders who are
16-19 years and with a high command of the
English language, experience better debating
skills in a democratic environment, learn
how to ask smart questions, how to become
better listeners and how to appreciate
diversity by debating current world issues
with peers from a variety of backgrounds and
cultures. Participation at this summit gives
the Sri Lankan delegates an advantage to
gain admissions to American universities on
Sri Lankan delegates for the 2007 July
summit are, Asian International School:
Edirisinghe, Umeshi Rajeendra, Brindini
Selvar-ajah, Nafeesa Jafferjee, Nave-endran
Rajendran, Sindhiya Soundaraj, Rodric
Francis, Rashmin Sappideen, Rush-enka Jayah,
Kulani Panap-itiya, Sakina Esufally, Seya-nga
De Silva, Nadeesha Seneviratne, Ranmali
Hatha-rasinghe, Janith Rupasinghe, Shohan
Attapattu and Hassa-nally Esufally.
National College: Dewruk Rajapakse, from
British School in Colombo: Sonalie
Bogollagama, Prabhashi Wijayakumara,
Dhusanthan Ravindran Ethan Sivarajah,
Josiena Chokatte, Mitheshe Vidanagamage and
International School: Tarika Jayaratne,
Shavesh Mendis, Sineth Weerasinghe, Suhayb
Sangani, Nirusha Karunaratne, Amirally
Abdulhussein, Rukshan Attapattu, Kunal
Amalean, Shruthi Mathews, Dinesh Rajendran,
Akshay Amalean, Rahul Hundlani, Nazneen
Jeevunjee, Sabina Ambani, Dhushiyanth
Arunasalam, Ayala De Mel and Hussein Faiz.
Moir School: Zara Mathew and Charlotte
Ballard (a British Student living in Sri
Lanka since year 5), Gateway College Kandy:
Sampath Hemachandra and Sidath Hemachandra,
S. Thomas' College, Mt. Lavinia- Danushka
Fernando and Raveen Wickremasinghe, Ladies
College -Nihara Gunesekera,
Nalanda College, Colombo: Janith
College: Keminda Attygalle and Sahan
Kulatunga, Overseas School of Colombo:
Dineeka De Silva and St. Bridget's Convent -Romali
Boteju. Ms. Rochelle Melder a senior teacher
from Asian International School is the
Delegation Manager for 2007 that will
supervise their orientations in Colombo and
accompany the delegates
Lanka has been participating in the Future
World Leaders Summit as a full country
delegation since 2000 and over 300 Sri
Lankan student leaders have attended this
summit and all have returned to Sri Lanka
after the summit," says Ananda
Rajapakse, Honorary South Asia
Representative for Presidential Classroom
Inc. USA who introduced this leadership
programme to Sri Lanka in 2000.
those delegates who participated in the
summit, 194 of them have obtained financial
scholarships to complete their higher
education in American, British and
Australian universities. "Eight of the
first two batches of 20 Sri Lankan teens who
went for the summit have graduated and are
now employed in Sri Lanka, while others have
obtained further scholarships for post
graduate studies" said Rajapakse.
of TUTA Healthcare
international trading ltd and TUTA health
care Australia launched a joint venture
company Ceylinco TUTA Health Care (Pvt) Ltd.
as its Asian regional office operating from
Sri Lanka. TUTA are vendors of medical
equipment, some of which are vital by
comes with 5 year guarantee
is a popular brand of bathroom fittings and
accessories in Sri Lanka with Swellco
International (Pvt) Ltd, of Nawala Road,
Nugegoda being the sole distributor and
selling through a reputed dealer network,
said a statement.
established in 1985, is a supplier to the
global plumbing industry, mainly engaged in
manufacturing various types of
mixers and other sanitary applications.
products feature solid brass construction
categories and flow regulators that won the
trust of customers around the world.
a professional manufacture, the company lays
emphasis on quality control and its QC
policy is in conformance with international
of the production facility and sales system
has won ISO 9001 certification which also
proves the excellence of the product.
Momali is marketed worldwide and its
products are used by households and
commercial applications. They are designed
to the requirement of international market
needs and experience an assembly output in
excess of 200,000 units monthly.
quality, attractive designs and reasonable
pricing are provided with enhanced
competitiveness in overseas and domestic
markets. Excellent service and on time
delivery have helped Momali to win great
popularity among users.
the local market Momali is one of the best
selling faucets and popular all over the
country. Backed by professional and
excellent after sale service, Momali offers
a five year international guarantee against
any kind of manufacturing defects.
competition was held among dealers
islandwide, named " Fly with Momali
2006," based on points awarded for the
amount of sales. The winners of three
categories were awarded overseas tours and
valuable gifts. The event was held at the
makes inroads in electronics market
Raheem, a modest businessman started his
business in 1999 under the name
"Capital Watch" that sold and
marketed Capital wristwatches, said a
making it a success with sheer drive and
business acumen, he ventured out into
marketing electronic items. In 2003 in the
volatile Pettah Market area, he began
trading in various brands of electronic
products out of which "Sonica" a
Chinese brand stood out with it's versatile
range of products.
2005 in this highly competitive market, he
was adjudged the "Best Performer"
in the sales of Sonica brand of electronic
items. So much so that its parent company in
China appointed him as the sole agent for
Sonica products in Sri Lanka.
to the rapidly increasing demand for the
brand with its good looks and competitive
pricing, the business took on a new shape
and in 2006 it was converted to a limited
liability company under Raheem's able
five companies within the Sonica Group are:
Sonica (Pvt) Ltd., Sonica Imports (Pvt)
Ltd., Sonica International, Capital Watch
and Raheem Brothers.
said, "Our goal envisions us to become
the market leader in electronic products by
the year 2012, ensuring a Sonica branded
item in every home within the next five
company. Is located in Hong Kong and
China, having four factories with each
factory employing over 1500.
organization has five showrooms displaying
its wide range of products. In addition
their latest showroom was opened at
Minuwangoda last month. In the radio market
they are the market leader with 12,000 sales
Added Services: Interest free hire purchase
scheme for all Sonica products from all
sonica showrooms and products freely
available in all parts of the country
through its islandwide dealer network.
launches education loans
Bank (NDB) has introduced yet another new
product to its range "to make your
dreams come true," said a statement.
is the "Dream Maker Education Loan (DMEL)"
which will enable customers to overcome any
financial constraints while pursuing their
The product, launched to coincide
with the EDEX Education Fair held recently,
is specifically aimed at parents who wish to
provide a better education for their
children to pursue undergraduate studies
either locally or internationally,
professional studies or even high-school
The DMEL is also ideal for salaried
employees or professionals who wish to
continue their postgraduate studies such as
an MBA or any other professional discipline.
Vice President for Consumer Banking and
Marketing Indrajit Wickramasinghe explained
that unlike most loans, "It's hassle
free, plus quick cash.
In short, it's the simplest way to
get an education loan."
amount of the loan can range from Rs.50,000
upwards, depending on the customer's
The loan can be settled over a period
of five years. The applicant is also able to
enjoy the "best interest rate"
good education is a lifetime investment.
It offers many opportunities to
achieve one's life's ambition. DMEL is all
about overcoming obstacles and making dreams
come true," Wickramasinghe added.
aquires Nortel's radio business
(Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU)
announced that after all regulatory
approvals were met, the acquisition of
Nortel's UMTS radio access business (UTRAN)
and related assets was completed recently,
said a statement.
recent weeks, the two companies have
achieved a number of significant milestones,
the most important being the signature of
the definitive agreement. Nortel received a
closing cash payment of US$ 320 million less
this acquisition, one in four UMTS operators
- about 40 customers around the world - use
Alcatel-Lucent UMTS solutions. Together with
strengthened R&D and a broad products
and solutions portfolio, Alcatel-Lucent is
now positioned to lead the network
technological evolutions from 3G to 4G -
relying on its OFDMA, SDR and MIMO*
expertise - to address the customers' needs
of today and tomorrow while realizing
economies of scale.
acquisition will enable the development
teams to leverage additional capabilities
from the integration into the broader
Alcatel-Lucent and we count on the focus of
the teams to deliver superior performance in
the UMTS domain going forward," said
Vivek Badrinath, France Telecom Group EVP
Information Technology Networks &
on the deal, Boris Nemsic, CEO of mobilkom
austria said, "we count on Alcatel-Lucent
to serve the needs of mobilkom group moving
customers will benefit from the high value
this acquisition brings and the
pre-integration work has progressed very
combined expertise and portfolios will
enable us to deliver the most compelling
UMTS offer for our customers, allowing them
to provide their subscribers with innovative
and high-speed 3G services. Our aim is to
achieve the optimum combination of Alcatel-Lucent
and Nortel's technologies, with minimum
customer disruption. We are well positioned
to capture the UMTS market growth
opportunity," said Mary Chan,
Alcatel-Lucent's wireless activities
its undisputable wireless technology
portfolio, encompassing CDMA/EV-DO, UMTS/HSPA,
GSM/EDGE and WiMAX, Alcatel-Lucent is the
only player positioned to craft 4G, taking
the best from all technologies to shape the
future and deliver mobile broadband for all.
adds 11 more freighter flights
Pacific Airways will add 11 extra freighter
flights each week to three major cities in
Europe: Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Manchester
from this month, said a statement.
the extra services, the number of freighter
flights operated to Europe every week by the
airline will rise from 25 to 36 - an
increase of almost 50 per cent. The addition
of the 11 flights, which are still subject
to Government approval, will further
strengthen Hong Kong's position as one of
the world's leading airfreight hubs.
total of five weekly flights are being added
to Frankfurt, Germany's main cargo hub,
operating every Monday, Thursday, Friday,
Saturday and Sunday. The extra flights
routed through Dubai will take to 11 the
number of flights Cathay Pacific operates
between Hong Kong and Frankfurt each week.
other six new flights all follow a Hong
Kong pattern, departing Hong Kong every day
of the week except Friday. Cathay Pacific
already operates a freighter service to
Manchester with eight weekly flights, while
Amsterdam will be a new freighter
destination for the airline.
Pacific Director/General Manager Cargo Ron
Mathison said: "Europe is an important
cargo market for Hong Kong and we are
pleased to be able to further
strengthen our presence in the continent
through these additional flights. The Cathay
Pacific name has a good reputation in Europe
and we believe the enhanced services will
help us to better meet demand out of Hong
Kong and the Mainland, at the same time
giving a further boost to the Hong Kong
Pacific currently operates a fleet of 17
freighter aircraft, including seven Boeing
747-200s, six 747-400s and four 747-400
"Boeing Converted Freighters".
Amsterdam will become the airline's 32nd
airline is committed to building Hong Kong
as an airfreight hub by adding new
destinations, increasing frequencies and
strengthening its freighter fleet. Two more
"Boeing Converted Freighters" will
be delivered in 2007 and six long-range
Boeing 747-400ERFs are on firm order, with
deliveries starting in May 2008.
60 mn. saving by hedging
Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) which has
employed three foreign banks with branches
in Colombo to hedge against oil prices will
initially confine it to diesel before
expanding it to crude oil imports, its
Deputy General Manager (Finance) Lalith
Karunaratne told The Sunday Leader.
banks would be paid a commission for
providing these hedging services. He however
refused to disclose as to how much this
commission would be. The CPC has adopted
hedge instruments to minimize its import
bill which went on a steep incline last year
because of rising oil prices.
Karunaratne said that he was unable to
quantify as to how much CPC would save by
adopting this hedging mechanism. But CPC
chairman Ashantha de Mel is reported to have
had said that the CPC would be able to save
around $ 60 million because of this hedging
Mel is reported to have had said that
initially 25% of CPC's diesel import
portfolio would be subjected to hedging,
while Karunaratne said that it would be
between 20-30%, de Mel was not immediately
available for comment.
the three banks, Standard Charted Bank has
been signed-up for a period of six months on
this hedging contract, while the other two
banks, Citi Bank and Deutsche Bank are
expected to follow suit.
said that the range of the hedge price would
$ 67.50-74. Currently, a barrel of
diesel is around $ 72, he said. "If the
price goes beyond $ 74, the price that the
CPC would have to pay would be the spot
price less $ 2," he said. For instance,
if the spot price is $ 75, then what the CPC
would have to pay would be $ 73 for a
barrel, he said.
if the price goes below $ 67.50 a barrel,
still the CPC would have to pay the banks
the "floor price" price of
$ 67.50, Karunaratne said.
present CPC makes its oil purchases by
tender. CPC imports around five million
barrels of diesel annually, of which there
is a marginal annual growth of around 2-3%,
addition CPC imports around 13-14 million
barrels of crude oil annually which is
refined at its facility at Sapugaskande.
"We cannot increase our crude oil
imports because of Sapugaskande's limited
capacity," he said.
said that they plan to extend this hedging
facility to crude oil imports as well before
the year end. "There is no necessity to
extend it to petrol, because we sell petrol
at market rates," he said.
on kerosene oil? "As it is we take a Rs
12 hit by selling kerosene oil at a
subsidized price of Rs 48 a litre, as such I
do not want to take a risk by hedging
against kerosene," said Karunaratne.
Kerosene is a by-product of jet-fuel used by
aeroplanes. That fuel is not subsidized, he
added. The subsidy on kerosene is reimbursed
to the CPC by the Treasury. Petrol and
diesel however are not subsidized, said
in the financial year ended December 31,
2006 saw turnover grow by 40% year on year (YoY)
to Rs 160 billion because of price hikes in
retail petroleum products, while profit
after tax more or less remained static at Rs
7.7 billion, Karunaratne said.
was not in a position to forecast their
growth targets for the current year.
Bank's profits drop by 12.6%
Commercial Bank Group, comprising Sri
Lanka's leading private sector bank and its
subsidiaries and associates, in the
financial year ended December 31, 2006, saw
Group post tax profit of Rs 2,060.3 million
as against Rs 2,358.0 million reported in
2005, recording a drop of Rs 297.7 million
or 12.63%, said a statement.
sharp increase in the Group's income tax
liability to Rs 2,251.4 million for 2006
from Rs. 1,309.9 million for 2005, an
increase of Rs 941.5 million or 71.88%,
resulted in the Group recording a drop in
post tax profits.
unusual increase in corporate tax liability
was primarily due to the increase in
corporate tax rate from 30 to 35% in 2006
and a sum of Rs 1,669.7 million out of the
provision for the restructured pension
scheme being disallowed for tax
purposes," Commercial Bank's Senior
Deputy General Manager (Finance and
Planning) Ranjith Samaranayake said.
after discounting these two items, the Group
recorded a normalized pre tax profit of Rs
5,188 million, a growth of Rs.1,520 million
or 41.44% over the previous year. Similarly,
the normalized post tax profit of the Group
amounted to Rs 2,897.3 million, reflecting a
growth of Rs 539.2 million or 22.87% over
the previous year, a noteworthy achievement,
Group's Bangladesh operations continued to
perform well and repatriated US $ 2.7
million to Sri Lanka during the year under
tax profit of Rs 4,311.7 million for 2006
was an increase of Rs 643.8 million or
17.55% over 2005. This profit includes a
gain of Rs 749.8 million realised on the
disposal of DFCC shares and a provision of
Rs 1,746.2 million on account of
contribution made for the restructured
pension scheme, two exceptional items during
This growth in pre tax profit was
achieved despite the increase recorded in
the Special VAT liability to Rs 971 million
from Rs 624.6 million, an increase of Rs
346.3 million or 55.46% which in turn was
due to the increase in the Special VAT rate
from 15% in 2005 to 20% in 2006.
profits up 76% to Rs. 5.4 bn.
Lanka Telecom Ltd.'s (SLT), for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2006, saw a revenue
of Rs.40.7 billion, up by 25% year on year (YoY),
net profit of Rs.5.4 billion up by 76%,
Earnings Before Interest, Taxation,
Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) of
Rs.22.7 billion up by 34%, operating margin
of 31% and net margin of 13% and earnings
per share of Rs.3.01 up by 76%.
Chief Executive Officer Shoji Takahashi
said, "The unparalleled growth in the
net profit for 2006 acts as a catalyst in
raising us to new heights in the ever
competitive and evolving world of telecoms."
increased to Rs.40.7 billion in 2006 from an
already record base figure of Rs.32.5
billion last year. SLT's financial
performance was driven by buoyancy in core
wired-voice services, CDMA, IP and data
services and mobile services.
from local voice services attained a 29%
increase supported by steady per line
revenue of existing wired line customers
joint with the revenue acquired by supplying
over 200,000 CDMA connections.
being a late entrant, this rapid expansion
of CDMA customer base establishes SLT as the
dominant player in the CDMA arena; a fast
paced emerging telecoms service in the
from "IP based and data
services"increased by Rs. 645 million,
a 26% growth over 2005. The broadband
customer base crossed the 20,000 mark during
revenue is still comparatively low, the
significant growth achieved in data services
indicates the high future potential. SLT
will continue to thrust its strategic
initiatives in this space.
has been a significant increase in incoming
traffic and a marginal decrease in the
outgoing traffic which attributes to the
growth in the International voice traffic
revenue by 4% in 2006. International voice
business has been facing a fierce
competition and SLT took a strategic
decision in enhancing it MaxTalk prepaid
card business operating on voice over
internet protocol (VoIP) platform.
the mobile subsidiary of SLT has also posted
an increase in revenue by 49% in 2006 as a
result of revenue increase achieved from
diversified services and a 111% growth in
its customer base.
has witnessed a 34% quantum improvement from
Rs. 17 billion reported in 2005 to Rs.22.7
billion in 2006 maintaining an impressive
margin of 56%.
costs increased by Rs. 2.5 billion (16%) in
2006. Interest expenses and other related
charges have shown a marginal decrease of 5%
from Rs.2.08 billion in 2005 to Rs.2 billon
in 2006 as a result of 9% decrease in
borrowings to Rs.20.8 billion in the fiscal
year ending 2006.
income has grown from Rs.600 million in 2005
to Rs. 1 billion in 2006. Net profit posted
a growth of 76% to a record level of Rs. 5.4
billion. The statutory tax rate increase
from 30% in 2005 to 33 % has resulted in a
higher effective tax rate in 2006.
profit margin shows an increase from 10%
reported in 2005 to 13% in 2006. A one time
expenditure of Rs. 425 million was charged
for the voluntary retirement scheme
initiated by SLT in 2006.
2006 SLT secured some of the largest public
sector projects such as SchoolNet which
connects over 5000 schools, Nenasala
connecting over 200 knowledge Centres, LEARN
connecting all universities and LakGovNet
that inter connects over 350 government
administrational locations. These networks
are expected to contribute
"immensely" to future SLT growth
as they pave the way to provide all the
building blocks of total solution: hosting,
applications, security and managed services.
mobile subsidiary Mobitel doubled its
customer base during 2006 to nearly 900,000
customers. It achieved a revenue increase of
49% and more importantly registered
sustained profits during the last three
coverage no longer a barrier for growth,
Mobitel is now poised to acquire a
substantial hold on the vibrant mobile
market. During 2006 SLT has commissioned
SEA-ME-WE 4 consortium submarine cable
system connecting 15 countries, Bharat-Lanka
(between Sri Lanka and India) and
(between Sri Lanka and Maldives)
bilateral optical fibre cable systems.
Significant investments also went into CDMA,
ICT and data related services.
submarine cable systems will play a pivotal
role in realizing SLT's goal to become a
global IP company. Incorporation of SLT Hong
Kong Ltd creates an important point of
presence (PoP) in Hong Kong, a major
telecoms hub in the South East Asian region.
SLT Hong Kong will be a corner stone of
SLT's future global business.
& co. exonerated
Consolidated Chairman Lalith Kotelawala
in a recent statement said: " I
am delighted that justice has prevailed
after seven years of harassment. I am
referring to a criminal case by way of
private plaint filed by former Deputy Chairman Daya Senanayake being
dismissed on February 7.
charges were made against me, Messrs R.
Renganathan Deputy Chairman, Bandula
Ranaweera Deputy Chairman and Ms Rohini
Nanayakkara former GM of Seylan Bank and Mr
Mendis (deceased) Shipping Clerk.
was not even present nor any excuse given
for his absence by his lawyer. All of us
have now been acquitted of all charges.
Through the seven years Daya Senanayake has
created adverse publicity that I and my
directors are criminals and perpetuated a
fraud. He through newspapers sympathetic to
him, through scurrilous mail and internet had attempted to tarnish my
character. Now the truth has finally been
revealed and Iam
conclusion, I am
happy for the family of Mendis, an
innocent employee of Ceylinco who suffered a
severe stroke and died in hospital during
His wife and family would now be at
peace knowing of his innocence."
for "Dialog" phones by leading
Telekom (DT), Sri Lanka's flagship telecoms
company will be launching "Phone Safe
(PS)," a handset insurance cover with
wide ranging benefits through a partnership
with six of Sri Lanka's leading insurance
providers, said a statement.
in partnership with Union Assurance Ltd.
(UAL), Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Ltd.
(SLI), Janashakthi Insurance Company Ltd. (JICL),
Eagle Insurance Company Ltd., Asian Alliance
Insurance Ltd.(AAI) and Amana Takaful
Insurance (ATI) will be made available to
Dialog's customer base.
which is offered to Dialog subscribers, will
cover accidental damage, accidental loss,
water damage and theft together with an
international cover for "roaming"
customers. The basic insurance
has been made available at a premium of 5.5%
of the value of the phone and will vary
according to value additions.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Hans
Wijayasuriya said, "We are delighted to
have been able to work in partnership with
six of Sri Lanka's premier insurance
companies to offer this benefit to our
confident that this insurance cover -
designed to suit a wide spectrum of
situations and customer specific
requirements- will offer
mutual customers both value for money and
peace of mind."
CEO Ehsan Zaheed said, "The telecoms
industry is experiencing tremendous growth
in Sri Lanka and as an insurance company we
feel it offers an opportunity to reach out
to the discerning insurable population with
easy to access affordable products. We
believe that this approach will help our
industry to move into markets otherwise
these sentiments, AAI Managing Director
Ramal Jasinghe said, "We consider this
innovative collaboration as a stepping-stone
for a beneficial partnership. I believe that
both AAI and DT are determined to provide
many more services to uplift the living
standards of our country."
Insurance Managing Director Deepal
Sooriyaarachchi said, "We
pleased to partner with Dialog and to
provide their customers
unique benefits. Backed by the global
expertise of Aviva we are
to offer a comprehensive mobile insurance
package and customers who opt for this
facility will experience world-class service
and enjoy exclusive benefits in relation to
Eagle's range of general insurance
chief executive officer Prakash Schaffter
said, "We at JICL
look forward to adding value to our existing
and potential customers. We are happy to
associate with DT in a joint effort to
promote insurance to Sri Lanka's mobile
should thank our business partner Finlays
Insurance Brokers in this
which will create many developments in the
Sri Lanka's pioneer insurer, SLI is happy to
join hands with DT to introduce PS as a
further value addition to our
customers" said SLI CEO Nalaka Godahewa.
CEO Mrs. Marina Tharmaratnam said:
"Continuous innovation and offering
value added services are important factors
in meeting the expectations of the modern
a view to fulfilling this, UAL is proud to
continue its partnership with DT to provide
a 'protective solution' for its mobile phone
users to ensure uninterrupted contactability."
an ISO 9001 certified company, operates a
2.5G GSM network and was the first to launch
a commercial 3G service in the South Asian
region. Its local coverage spans all
provinces, while international roaming is
provided in 190+ countries. DT, the largest
cellular service in Sri Lanka and serves a
subscriber base in excess of three million
leader in motherboards
Computers, the sole authorized
agents for ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
(ASUS), in Sri Lanka said that ASUS,
the worldwide leader of motherboards'
is the world's first with 64-bit and
32-bit Windows Vista Premium certifications,
the leading motherboard manufacturer, our
customers have come to expect reliable and
high-performance solutions from us."
said Joe Hsieh, Director ASUS Motherboard
have proven once again our product
development capability by being the world's
first to receive Vista 64-bit and 32-bit
certification." More ASUS motherboards
are expected to be certified soon. To give
users a taste of what to expect with the
Microsoft Vista launch, the ASUS motherboard
comes with a beta driver in the support CD.
driver is included on the ASUS support site
as well. An official driver will also be
available on the support site when Vista is
ties-up with RCGC
Express' (AE') sole franchise holder Nations
Trust Bank (NTB) recently signed up with The
Royal Colombo Golf Club (RCGC) to offer its
members the Automatic Bill Settlement (ABS)
facility through American Express Credit
Cards (AECCs), said a statement.
continues to focus on creating better value
to its card members by constantly
introducing value added services. This is
yet another innovative initiative targeted
at their premium customer segment.
is a unique value added service to RCGC
members who are now offered the convenience
of settling their monthly bills
/subscriptions at the Club through their
a member signs up for this facility, AE and
RCGC will take care of all monthly bills. It
offers the member the convenience of not
having to write multiple cheques. He / she will receive a
consolidated statement at the month end from
AE showing their expenses at the Golf Club.
a result the customer does not need to
follow up with the Club for payments. He /
she can simply settle their golf club bills
simultaneously while settling their credit
card bills. Among those associated at the
event were AECs Senior Manager Acquiring
& Marketing Lewie Diasz, Chief Manager
Nadeesha Senaratne, RCGC General Manager
Chula de Silva and accountant Yogendran.
piggybacking on tea
in pursuance of popularizing Ceylon Spice at
an international level as is Ceylon Tea and
bring a greater economical strength to Sri
Lanka, has been working in varied ways, said
USAID organized Spice Trail is one of these
Three of the world's eminent culinary
wizards will be here to take back the tastes
and the flavours (including tea) of
"our heritage to the world."
+ TV channels from Dialog TV
Media (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Sri Lanka's
flagship telecoms company Dialog Telekom
Ltd, on Thursday launched Dialog Satellite
TV - a premier satellite television service
set to revolutionize direct to home
television in Sri Lanka, said a statement.
out to Sri Lankan audiences through quality
TV programming, Dialog TV features world
class entertainment and the widest spectrum
of channels with a special focus on news,
entertainment and knowledge based
we start yet another journey of technology
innovation with a single minded focus on the
Sri Lankan consumer," said Dr Hans
Wijayasuriya, Director Asset Media and Chief
Executive of Dialog Telekom Ltd.
will deploy digital broadcasting technology
to connect Sri Lankans from all parts of Sri
Lanka to the ever expanding wealth of
knowledge and entertainment available both
locally and overseas. Our focus is on
providing TV content which will educate,
inform and entertain
from across our country."
at the launch of Dialog TV, General Manager
Sales and Marketing Dialog Telekom Nushad
Perera had this to say:"Dialog TV will
bring high quality, affordable programming
to every segment of society. Our programming
will offer our customers unprecedented
choice in terms of viewing options and
affordable packages configured to meet
individual budget and taste."
Satellite TV uses state of the art digital
video broadcasting through satellite (DVB-S)
technology and aims to be a trend-setter in
digital satellite TV broadcasting in Sri
Satellite TV features over 30 international
channels including CNN, A1, AXN, Cartoon
Network, Nickelodeon, TVMusic Television,
SET, Discovery, Animal Planet, Reality TV,
National Geographic Channel, The History
Channel, Star Sports, BBC, Discovery Travel
& Living, POGO, ANIMAX, VH1, HBO, HBO
Signature, Cinemax, ESPN, ZEE TV, Z Caf‚,
Z Studio, Z Trendz, Z Cinema, Z Music and Z
TV promises an aggressive expansion
programme which will deliver a large number
of channels to Sri Lankan viewers over the
Telekom, an ISO 9001 certified company, is a
subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia. Dialog
operates 2.5G and 3G mobile communications
networks supporting the very latest in
multimedia and mobile internet services.
Company has the distinction of being the
first 3G operator in South Asia to start
Telekom, the "largest and fastest
growing" cellular service in Sri Lanka,
serves a subscriber base in excess of 3.2
million Sri Lankans.
free phone banking by HSBC
Sri Lanka and Maldives CEO David J.H.
Griffiths speaks about the advantages of
phone banking with HSBC in this interview
with The Sunday Leader.
is phone banking all about? How many phone
banking customers has HSBC got by end 2006?
(A): Phone banking is essentially a
fast, simple, convenient and flexible way
for customers to carry out banking
transactions - without ever having to step
into an HSBC branch!
introducing this service in Sinhala, Tamil
and English and also making it toll-free, we
are taking increasingly significant steps to
increase customer convenience . so that
customers can carry out their banking, pay
their bills, etc. wherever they may be. We
also know that this is in line with the kind
of services our customers want of us - so
it's win-win all round.
toll free numbers are: Suntel:011472299,
Lanka Bell: 0115472299, SLT: 011247-2299,
Mobitel: 0714472299, Dialog: 0772472299,
Tigo (Celltel): 0722472299 and Hutch:
banking allows customers to carry out over
40 banking transactions through the system
and if you wish you can also transfer and
speak to a call centre agent who can help
you out straight away.
bank has a significant number of existing
customers registered for phone banking and
this alone speaks for the convenience and
usefulness of the services offered.
Is phone banking and internet banking the
same, or is internet
banking a part of phone banking?
These are different systems because
internet banking enables customers to access
your finances via the internet, while phone
banking enables access via any telephone.
However, majority of the functions offered
are similar, eg. balance enquiries,
transfers, bill payments, etc. We also offer
toll free phone banking in all three
languages to our customers.
internet banking, customers need access to a
PC / telephone line / internet account, but
you obviously only need a phone for Phone
banking. We know that telephone penetration
is much higher than PC penetration and this
therefore makes phone banking a much more
convenient and accessible option for our
customers which is another reason why it was
so important that we made the system and
service even more user-friendly.
What advantage do you think this phone
banking service will have for your
We hope that customers with more
straightforward queries such as balance
enquiries, credit card activation etc. will
use the automated systems like HSBC CC or
even the phonebanking service itself - which
will provide them with the same information
faster and more conveniently than if the
customer was to contact a call centre agent.
The idea is that we can then give our call
centre agents more time to spend on
customers who call us with a series of
questions or need help in dealing with
Can loans and advances be given
through phone banking?
No, we do not offer this service.
However, customers can inquire and initiate
a loan by speaking to a call centre agent.
How is HSBC's credit card business
Credit cards is one of the areas in which
HSBC is performing particularly well. We are
the undisputed market leader - with over
250,000 credit cards in circulation. Being
established as the market leader of course
means that we cannot let up on the pressure.
You see, part of our mission in Sri Lanka is
to be the most sought after financial
service provider, admired by all and so we
are constantly on the lookout for ways to
improve the benefits we offer our
saw a significant growth in our card numbers
in 2006 which took us to over 250,000 credit
cards issued. We hope this will only be the
beginning of a long growth period for us and
not just in the cards business either! HSBC
remains committed to its presence in Sri
Lanka and we hope to see a similar growth
trend for some time to come in all areas of
our banking operations.
was a sad day at Laugfs Holdings Ltd. late
last month when they received a letter from
the secretary to the media minister calling
for the halt of a brand new "ad"
campaign designed to promote patriotism and
unity in Sri Lanka.
problem, according to the ministry was that
the campaign used the image of the lion,
including those at historically important
locations such as Sigiriya commercially to
promote a product.
this is a valid argument, was the campaign
geared towards promoting the product only,
or, was the idea behind it
more to "awaken the lion
the people of this land? asked Laugfs
Chairman W K H Wegapitiya.
Lanka has gone backwards, socially,
economically and in every sense, since
independence, whereas other nations in the
region have taken giant leaps forward,"
to him, the reason for this is a lack of
unity and focus, the lack of a strong
cultural identity and death as it were of
patriotism. "If you take India,
Malaysia or Singapore, they are also
multi-ethnic societies, but they have strong
cultural individuality as a nation which
allows them to focus on developing their
country," he said.
India as a prime example, Wegapitiya said
Indians tended to stay at Indian owned
hotels whenever they could and gave first
preference to Indian products, even when
they were in foreign countries.
is not that Sri Lanka lacks history, culture
or resources, human or otherwise, to achieve
greatness - which is why the lion is used to
symbolize its people. But right now that
lion is sleeping, and through our ad
campaign we strove to awaken this
further said the media ministry had no legal
grounds to ban the ads, as they had not used
the lion in the national flag as it is.
"You can't use the national flag symbol
- the lion with the sword, however there is
no law regarding cultural sights or the use
of a lion per se," he said. He added
that what LAUGFS attempted to do was
something the government should have done a
long time ago.
in response to the media secretary's letter
has sent an explanation and a request to
re-telecast the eye catching, creative and
inspiring campaign. "I am awaiting a
response so we won't do anything for the
moment, but I've spoken to my lawyers about
possible legal action," he said. (KKA)
profits grow by 51%
Assurance Ltd.'s (HNBA's) net profit after
tax year on year grew by 51% to Rs.91.3
million for the year ended December 31,
2006, said a statement.
company, which recently became the fastest
in the local insurance industry to generate
an annual turnover of one billion rupees
ended the year 2006 with a combined turnover
of Rs.1,122 million, a 36% growth.
company was able to register an impressive
profit growth from both life and general
insurance business in 2006. The company's
net profit before tax from general insurance
grew by 20.6% to Rs.62.7 million. It was
also able to transfer a surplus of Rs.30
million from the life fund to the
shareholder's account compared to the
surplus of Rs.10 million recognized in 2005.
a consequence of the increased level of
profitability, the company recently
announced a 10% dividend to its
shareholders. The company also intends to
reward its loyal life policyholders by
declaring attractive bonus rates in the near
company spokesman described the results
achieved in 2006 as a clear signal of the
company's determination to reach the top
rungs of the local insurance industry before
Skyline, epitome of luxury, leisure
latest addition to Sri Lanka's condominium
complexes is Torino Skyline located in the
heart of Wattala, said a statement.
comprise 165 apartment units including
twelve duplex penthouses in nine and eight
types ranging from one to four bedrooms,
each built with style, attention to detail
and the high quality standards that SST
Property Developers (Private) Ltd., is
one bed room apartment starts with
approximately 1,040 square feet and goes up
to 4,230 sq. ft. for a four bed room
apartment unit. The cost of Torino Skyline
is estimated to be Rs. three billion and is
being built using modern concepts in
architecture and engineering, said SST
Business Development Manager Jeevantha Salgadoe.
apartment complex is set in the heart of
Wattala and will be surrounded by amenities
including schools, hospitals, supermarkets,
playgrounds and places of worship, all of
which are located within walking distance
from the apartment complex surrounded by
apartment is being built with emphasis
placed on comfort and safety as well as
privacy. The apartment units are designed
using maximum natural ventilation with large
living areas and "superior"
said that each apartment consists of
spacious bedrooms, living and dining rooms
with fittings and finishes are of the
highest international standards ensuring
quality at all times.
CEO Linton Fernando said that he believes
that apartments will continue to grow in
abundance outside Colombo as the capital
city gets more congested each day.
He said, "People will always
need to be around Colombo due to their work,
this is why SST embarked on this project to
offer more space at reasonable prices at a
great location. Due to this many Sri Lankans
are moving in to the trend of secure and
Skyline apartments will emerge in three
towers, reaching up to 16 stories occupying
an area of over two and half acres. The
pilling for Torino skyline will start in mid
March this year, followed by construction.
is expected to be completed in two and a
added that each apartment is equipped with
modern fittings and designs and fine
finishes. In addition to this, the entire
development will incorporate state of the
art technology to cater to the future
residents of Torino Skyline.
living space with comfort to keep you
company and a stunning view to take your
breath away, Torino Skyline will provide
it's proud owners with a refreshing cozy
home experience in a new aura of luxury
available are the exclusive duplex
penthouses which is contemporary lavishness
personified and luxury living redefined.
Torino Skyline offers to its residents
facilities such as a large swimming pool,
kiddies pool, two squash courts,
launderette, mini mart, lobby and reception
area, gymnasium, day care centre, yoga and
aerobics centre, private party room,
children's play area, library and indoor
addition a walking, jogging and cycling path
and what's more steam and sauna, video
library, a BBQ deck and Nature Park. "Torino
Skyline reflecting luxury and leisure."
connections from Singer outlets
Lanka Telecom Mobitel (SLTM), the national
mobile service provider and Singer Sri Lanka
recently exchanged agreements whereby the
country's leading appliance retailer will
now be included among Mobitel's ever
expanding distribution network as an
authorized retailer, said a statement.
strategic advancement in their relationship
is certain to lead to mutually fulfilling
and successful results for both parties. As
an initial step under the recent agreement,
purchase of SMART connections and Reload
Cards would be made possible from over 270
Singer outlets islandwide, while providing
of "smart" reloads, purchase of
post-paid connections and bill
settlements along with a host of joint
promotions are already being planned to
new partnership is an elevation of the ever
strengthening relationship between the two
parties which started over six years ago. In
fact at present Mobitel is already having a
popular remote branch presence at each of
the nine Singer Mega stores whereby
customers have the opportunity to access
almost all Mobitel services imaginable, from
hire purchase connections to bill payments.
the new arrangement, this relationship is
expected to grow even stronger as a union
between the "operator with the best
customer pull" and the power brand
appliance retailer would spell out the
recipe for success.
on the partnership, SLTM's chief executive
officer Suren J. Amarasekera indicated that
this event was a positive step for the two
companies which share a customer centric
attitude. "We as the national mobile
service provider are proud to be associated
with Sri Lanka's No.1 Power Brand - Singer
and are certain that this is only the
initial phase of many more mutually
benefiting projects to be carried out
between Mobitel and Singer."
commenting at the event, Singer Chairman
Hemaka Amarasuriya said that "through
this alliance, Singer and Mobitel will be
able to extend services to offer further
convenience to customers in fulfilling their
mobile communication requirements while
enhancing the presence and demand for these
two brands in the market."
has been in Sri Lanka since 1877 and today
Singer is a large, diversified company with
a presence throughout Sri Lanka. It remains
a member of the worldwide franchise of
Singer. Singer's product portfolio has
diversified to encompass a highly successful
multi-brand strategy combining products of
top world brands with the company's own
products across a range of household,
industrial and financial categories.
the national mobile service provider - is
wholly owned by SLT.
In January 2004 the company launched
its full-fledged GSM network that is EDGE/GPRS
enabled and designed to operate on dual
bands. Investments committed to date in its
3G and GSM service offering totals over
US$200 million and is set to increase its
present coverage of over 600 base stations
to 1,500 base stations by the end of this
signs MoU to faciliate GC
Sri Lanka division signed an MOU with the
United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) to
facilitate collaboration on UNGC's local
activities, said a statement.
and the UNGC Local Network will work
together to raise awareness of the UNGC's
corporate citizenship initiatives, organise
training programmes focused on the
principles of Global Compact
(GC) and recognise Sri Lankan
business organisations through an annual CSR
Sri Lanka division will also facilitate the
work of the local network, including hosting
UNGC local network meetings, the first which
took place at the CIMA Auditorium recently
The meeting brought a cross-section of key
industry leaders from Aitken Spence,
Commercial Bank, Dialog Telekom, Hayleys,
John Keells Group, Mabroc/Kelani Valley
Plantations, MAS Holdings and Unilever, who
together create a local network steering
GC is a UN initiative that seeks to bring
businesses together with UN agencies, labour
organisations and civil societies to work
together to support 10 universal principles
in the areas of human rights, labour,
environment and anti-corruption. Through the
power of collective action GC seeks to
promote responsible corporate citizenship
and work towards the realisation of the
vision of a more sustainable and inclusive
Director UN Global Compact office in New
York Georg Kell in his message on the launch
of the UNGC Sri Lanka Network said: ˙"I
am confident that the establishment of this
steering committee will help GC take root in
your country and contribute to a better life
for the people of Sri Lanka. My office
stands ready to support your efforts to
contribute to a more sustainable and
inclusive global economy."
at the signing of the MOU, CIMA Sri Lanka
division President Shanthikumar Sadanandan
commented: "In an age of ever
increasing globalisation it is essential
that business organisations across the world
work together to adopt and promote the
principles of the UNGC. We are proud of the
role we have to play with the local network
and look forward to helping catalyse the
actions of Sri Lankan organisations to
support the UN's goals."
UNGC Focal Point for Sri Lanka Ravi Fernando
added, "It is my vision to take the
best practice of UNGC signatory companies
and feature it on the global platform to
help position Sri Lanka's best."