EU lifeline to SL
Midway application clause in
new GSP + scheme
The EU has amended the new GSP Plus rules by
allowing a Third World country meeting the
necessary economic criteria to make an
application for this facility midway.
A summarized version of EU's new set of GSP
+ rules that were out on their website on
Thursday has made this provision, a Joint
Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) source who
did not want to be named told The Sunday
JAAF is the country's apex garments body.
The source said that this notice had stated
that in the event countries that do not yet
meet the GSP + qualification criteria this
year (2009), the new regulations provide for
an additional opportunity in mid 2010 to
apply for this facility.
The new GSP + facility will be operational
for a three year period beginning from next
The source said that in the event Sri Lanka
is disqualified for the renewal of the GSP +
concession applicable from next year, this
midway application clause gives it time to
amend its ways and to enjoy this facility
for at least another year.
This facility of making an application
midway was not there in the existing GSP +
scheme which came into being for the first
time for a three year period beginning from
has been enjoying the current facility since
July 2005, six months before its official
launch, on sympathetic grounds because of
the tsunami, the source said.
The present facility which allows for over
7,000 items to enter the EU region on a duty
free basis expires at the end of this year.
The new GSP + regulations remain virtually
unchanged compared with the existing
regulations except for a few technicalities,
and of course, the inclusion of this midway
application clause, the source said.
The items covered are also almost the same,
Sri Lanka, as a beneficiary of the existing
GSP + facility, has seen its prime export,
garments, enjoying double digit growth to
the EU region thanks to this concession.
Other exports like fish too have been
enjoying remarkable growth rates to the EU
region due to this concession, though in
numerical terms this increase is
comparatively small relative to garments.
The GSP + facility however is connected to
the observance of some 27 conventions, not
least human rights (HR) by the recipient
developing country. Doubts have been
expressed by various quarters as to whether
Sri Lanka would enjoy this facility for
another three years after the expiry of the
current GSP + facility because of its
alleged parlous HR record.
The source said that
has time till October 31 to make an
application for the new GSP + facility,
after which the EU will come out with its
new list of beneficiary countries on
Dhammika wants two Hayleys Board seats
Business magnate Dhammika Perera increased
his stake in blue-chip Hayleys PLC to 19%
when he bought some 700,000 shares of this
conglomerate at Rs. 142 a share at Friday's
The sellers were Diesel & Motor Engineering
Dhammika's investment adviser Nimal Perera
told The Sunday Leader that now that they
were nearing their target of achieving close
to a 21% stake (earlier he told this
reporter that their target was 20%) in
Hayleys, they were expecting the company to
provide them with a second Board seat.
Already Dhammika has joined the Hayleys
Board, with the Dhammika/Nimal duo expecting
another Board seat as well.
"We have made an application for two board
seats," added Nimal.
At present there are no vacancies for an
additional board seat, they will therefore
have to amend their articles to accommodate
one of Dhammika's nominees, otherwise it's
not fair, he alleged.
Dhammika is Hayleys' single biggest
"We will not exceed our holding in Hayleys
to be above 21%, that's the agreement that
we have with the Board," Nimal further said.
When The Sunday Leader asked Hayleys
Chairman N.G. (Tanky) Wickramaratne in
regard to Dhammika's application for two
board seats, he said that decisions made by
the company in regard to such matters would
be communicated through public
announcements, and refused to comment any
$ to trade in Rs. 107/60-90 band
The Central Bank (CB) in order to check
rising call money market rates (the rates at
which commercial banks lend to each other)
opened the reverse repo window ( the rates
at which it lends to banks at concessionary
interest rates) to meet their liquidity
requirements for the third consecutive day
and provided Rs. 4.1 billion at 12% interest
On Thursday too the CB lent almost a similar
amount to the market (Rs. 3,477 million),
following a sum of Rs. 2.5 billion lent to
banks the previous day (Wednesday) as well.
The CB, for the second day running on
Friday, also did not conduct open market
operations to mop up excess liquidity.
Average overnight call money market rates
which opened the week at a low of 13.36%,
shot up by more than 500 basis points (bp)
because of market illiquidity within a space
of four days to hit a high of19% on
Thursday, before closing the week in the
16-17% levels (weighted average rate 17.13%)
due to the continuous injection of liquidity
by the CB in the last three market days of
Meanwhile, the US dollar closed the week at
the Rs. 107/65/68 levels, with market
sources alleging that the CB wants to keep
the dollar in the Rs. 107/60-107/90 levels,
fearing that a further appreciation of the
dollar (beyond that range) would cause
"They also don't want the dollar to go below
the Rs. 107/50 levels amidst concerns that
such a dip would affect exporters," the
Meanwhile, last week's Treasury Bill (T
Bill) auction saw the weighted average rate
of 91 day T Bills declining by 5 bp to
17.36%, 182 day T Bills increasing by 7 bp
to 18.41%, while those of 364 day T bills
remained unchanged at 18.63%.
The CB reneged on its original schedule by
accepting offers for the sale of only Rs.
459 million worth of maturing T Bills of 364
day tenure, whereas earlier it had informed
the market that it would be accepting offers
for as much as Rs. 3,000 million for this
The CB also accepted offers worth Rs. 1,735
million for T Bills of 91 day tenure, nearly
double the amount of Rs. 1,000 million
originally informed to the market and offers
worth Rs. 1,948 million for T Bills of 182
day tenure, consonant with their original
notice that they would be offering T Bills
of Rs. 2,000 million of this tenure to the
This weekly auction was for the re-issue of
Rs. 6,000 million worth of maturing T Bills
of which Rs. 4,142 million was accepted from
the market and the balance (Rs. 1,858
million) rejected, a verb, identified by the
market that the CB got captive funds to
invest in this amount at rates which were
less than what it was demanding.
Chevron's PAT up 29%
Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC, in the quarter
(Q) ended June 30, 2008 saw net profits grow
by 29.4% year on year (YoY) to Rs. 212.2
The company in the first half ended June 30,
2008 saw net profit grow by 37.9% YoY to Rs.
Huejay makes Rs. 1 mn., loss
Huejay International Investments Ltd., has
declared a Rs. one million loss in the first
Q (1Q) ended June 30, 2008 as compared with
a Rs. 700,000 net profit in the
corresponding quarter the previous year.
Kalamazoo Rs. 500,000 in the red
Kalamazoo Systems Ltd., made a Rs. 500, 000
loss in the 4Q ended March 31, 2008 as a
against a Rs. 4.5 million net profit in the
corresponding 4Q the previous year.
The company saw net profit in the financial
year (fy) ended March 31, 2008 decline by
93.6% YoY to Rs. 600,000.
Autodrome's PAT up 64%
Autodrome Ltd., in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008; saw net profit increase by 63.5% YoY
Rs. 8.5 million.
A, Cap makes turnaround
Asia Capital Ltd., in the 4Q ended March 31,
2008 made a net profit of Rs. 238.1 million
as against a Rs. 22.3 million loss in the
corresponding 4Q the previous year. The
company in the fy ended March 31, 2008 made
a Rs. 96.6 million net profit as against a
Rs. 30.9 million loss the previous year.
(John Keells Stock Brokers)
From cream crackers to market leadership
Maliban, one of
largest biscuit manufacturers has launched a
new cream cracker targeting the youth of
Chairman A. G.R. Samaraweera told reporters
on Wednesday that the cream cracker segment
comprised 40% of
total biscuit market valued at Rs. 14.4
billion and growing both in volume and in
However, the market leader in the cream
cracker industry is Munchees with an 80%
share, while Maliban currently has only a
15% market share in this segment.
Maliban, once the overall market leader in
the country's biscuit industry with a 70%
share, has since been relegated to second
place with a 28% market share, while the new
leader Munchees has twice that number-a 56%
market share, with the balance 16% shared
by a number of other players in the market.
Several factors had led to Maliban losing
its leadership position, not least a six
month strike that took place three years
ago, where the company lost Rs. one billion
The strike also affected its exports, which
currently contribute around Rs. 150 million
to its top line.
This resulted in the company's market share
going down to 15%, but which decline it has
since recouped, to go upto 28%.
"We have got over this problem with all the
bad eggs, some 800, having allegedly left
us last year," Samaraweera told The Sunday
Leader. "Now we outsource our labour
Samaraweera said that the company which
was in the red for several years was now in
the black, with this transformation taking
place last year.
"But I don't know how we will fare this
year," Samaraweera referring to the
country's current economic crisis said.
But Maliban's Marketing Head Ms. Kumerini
Candappa assured Samaraweera that this year
would be good.
The company's strategy is to regain lost
market share, said Nirosh De Silva, the
He however set no time frames to achieve
this goal, but added that they had a 42%
market share at the time of the strike and
said that they plan to regain this status
quo in two years.
Candappa said that their new cream cracker
has no preservatives nor animal fat and
comes in a new package and is available in
The company, other than water and salt, has
to import all the other raw materials such
as wheat flour, sugar and cooking oil for
its biscuit manufacture, with the cost of
these raw materials escalating in the world
Samaraweera said that though Prima had
reduced the price of wheat flour by Rs. 4 a
kilo, that was insufficient to bring in a
price reduction in biscuits. He alleged that
this reduction was made because Prima's
competitor, Serendib Flour, a subsidiary of
based Al Ghurair Group, had reduced their
prices. He said that Serendib was expected
to reduce their prices further.
Of the possibility of exporting their
products to India, De Silva said that it was
difficult to compete with Indian biscuits
given the fact that wheat, sugar and cooking
oil were cheaper in India than in Sri Lanka,
with imports of the latter products being
zero rated, while there was a duty on
cooking oil imports to Sri Lanka. Further,
advertising in India is costly, he said. A
30 second TV commercial would cost US$
20,000. On trying to gain market share in
niche market in
because allegedly Munchees and Maliban were
superior in quality compared to the Indian
biscuits, he said that that would be in the
second stage of their operations. "Sri
Lanka's biscuit consumption is some 2.3 kg
per capita, whereas in the UK it was 32 kg,
so there is room to grow locally," said De
Silva. A company note said that as the
country grows, its per capita consumption of
biscuits would increase to 10 kg in the
No foreign affiliation, but still tops
Though beginnings were small with a staff of
only six way back in 1983, Creative Services
Ltd (CSL), after 25 years of advertising and
presently having 17 on the roll, can now
look back at their achievements with a sense
of pride and happiness, having handled a
multitude of brands and accounts,
underscored throughout by ethical
"Talk of inauspicious beginnings," says
Managing Director Herman Gunesekera with a
smile. "We started operations on July 15,
1983 and one week later it turned out to be
worst time in recent history, now dubbed
Black July," he said, speaking to The Sunday
However, undaunted, they put their
collective shoulders to the wheel and gave
the operations a kick-start.
In reply to a question on how CSL came into
being, Gunesekera said that the agency, an
off shoot of De Alwis Advertising was formed
to handle "conflicting" accounts at the
"Unlike today, at that time no agency could
handle two accounts of the same product-for
example it was considered unethical to
handle two hotels or two of any given
product," he said. To overcome such
conflicts of interest, CSL was set up.
Explaining why CSL did not tie up with an
international agency or invite foreign
experts to come on board, Gunesekera said
that in his view there didn't seem to be
anything of significant value or benefit in
such tie-ups adding that media institutions
that have such relationships do have the
advantage of having advanced technology and
other advantages that come with
international expertise. "Having been on our
own, we have no regrets," he quipped.
On a question posed on the annual
advertising awards that have run into a lot
of controversy in the recent past,
Gunesekera who served as a Trustee of the
recently held Chillie Awards said that in
his view creativity should be judged by the
consumer as well. "I have suggested that the
consumer should mark on 50% while the
industry can arrange for the balance 50%.
After all, if marketing is discovering the
wants and needs of the consumer, and
advertising is communicating the benefits of
a product or service catering such needs, it
should logically follow that the Consumer
should have a say in the matter." he opined.
During his tenure as IAA Hony Secretary, he
had worked on a draft to establish an
Advertising Standards Authority and
suggested that it be passed in parliament so
that it could then be implemented. However,
this has still not seen the light of day.
"Every country has such a body, a watchdog
so to speak, to oversee the industry," he
Gunesekera's initial exposure to advertising
came from his relationship with the late Dr
Anandatissa de Alwis- who was affectionately
known to marketing professionals as the
'Chief.' Additionally, his brother the late
Elmo Gunesekera was also in advertising. He
took up a Directorship at AJN Seneviratne &
Sons, another well known Ad agency at the
Explaining how they revolutionised
advertising that reached out to the
grassroots, Gunesekera went on to explain
that CSL had the challenge of promoting
Ceypetco Agro Chemicals-a product of Ceylon
Working on this account gave CSL an
understanding on the importance of going to
the masses which meant that they had to
personally go to rural areas to see how best
they could create awareness of the product.
"The farmer, the dealer, all stakeholders
had to be tapped. The sale of agro chemicals
then were near dormant and CSL faced the
challenge by effectively conducting
campaigns that produced results. The initial
budget of Rs.150,000 set aside for the
campaign by CPC rose to over Rs 5 million (a
huge budget at the time) and turnover
tipping Rs.100 million in three to four
years," said Gunesekera.
"We received tremendous support from CPC
management with Daham Wimalasena at the helm
at the time and Leon Wijeratne who was Agro
Chemical Division Manager.
It's not easy to come by such professional
clients and we consider ourselves fortunate
in having some of the best clients in the
country even today. Clients of the calibre
of Hemaka Amarasuriya and Asita Abeyasekera
of Singer (Sri Lanka) , Nimesh & Rajen
Udeshi of Siedles (Pvt) Ltd., Sunimal
Salgadoe of Suzuki Motors Lanka Ltd, Gamini
Ranasinghe and Sumedha Fernando of Orient
Financial Services Corporation Ltd fall into
this category. By best, we mean the
professionalism by which they conduct
themselves" he added
The success of Ceypetco Agro-chemicals had
conditioned their minds that they cannot sit
in air-conditioned rooms in Colombo and
handle advertising, resulting in that
winning formula being extended to other
clients as well.
Some of our earliest Clients like Singer,
Siedles , Suzuki Motors are still with us
and we see this as tremendous
encouragement. Amongst its more recent
acquisitions is Orient Financial Services.
Such relationships are a joy and rarity in
the Ad industry. CSL also developed a
reputation to understand the local idiom-the
single biggest factor that had contributed
to their overall success over the years.
"But today, advertising has taken many
different dimensions and clients are also
very cost conscious and demanding.
Advertising budgets are down, inflation is
running high and the challenges that the
industry has to face are greater. However,
advertising is one of the most interesting
professions to be in with new challenges and
new assignments coming in almost on a daily
basis," he said.
CSL marked 25 years in the field, with
religious blessings in their premises
followed by staff awards and a day out. "We
have written letters of appreciation to all
our employees, including those who have
served us from the beginning and we are also
presenting them with a memento-a plaque to
mark the occasion," said Gunesekera, making
mention of Rohan Gunaratne in particular,
all of whom through their creativity,
professionalism and loyalty made what
Creative Services is today. "Such people are
hard to find today,' he opined.
Commenting on future plans Gunesekera said
that CSL is concentrating more on other
areas of advertising-web advertising and
developing web sites. "TV is another area
that continues to have potential. In fact
Sri Lanka has more TV channels than even
Australia. But there is only one cake and to
distribute the right share is a tremendous
challenge. We have to do a lot of research
and have the right media mix," he added.
"We still go on market tours and surveys
periodically to assess the ground situation
and our advertising has never been
irresponsible. Two factors that have stood
us in good stead," Gunesekera said.
The Agency's operations are headed by Rohan
Dassenaieke who joined the Agency just over
a year ago. Dassenaieke has the unique
combination of been a Creative Artist,
having served in companies and advertising
agencies as a designer and creative director
and as a journalist and freelance designer
at Upali Newspapers Ltd., and Leader
Publications (Pvt) Ltd.
Dassenaieke has also covered areas of
promotional activities and specialized in
design work in below-the-line activities.
His combined experience in Journalism,
Commercial Art and Planning and Management
has strengthened the overall services at CSL.
"My ambition is to see that the
establishment of an Advertising Standards
Authority in this country before I retire
from the field," said Gunesekera who
concluded that he was appreciative of his
clients, media, suppliers and staff, who
have all along given him and the
organisation every support and cooperation.
Central banks' impact on economies
Longer the length of time a government
remains in office, more likely are the
chances that the necessary structural
reforms would be made, an economist said.
Dr. Bandid Nijathawarn, Deputy Governor Bank
of Thailand, speaking at a Central Bank
seminar on Monetary and Financial Stability
in Emerging Economies on Wednesday said
that the enshrinement of central bank
independence helps to insulate monetary
policy from short term political
consideration and paves the way for monetary
stability in the long run.
"When a central bank lacks independence, its
performance is likely to be more easily
influenced for short term political ends
with adverse macro economic consequences,"
Nijathawarn also said that the weights in
the food basket of the consumer price index
in many developing economies are high when
compared with developed economies. As a
result when food prices rise, inflation in
such economies is higher than in industrial
He was referring to the current global
economic crisis, impacted by rising food and
"When a country is a net food and oil
importer, in the current context of rising
commodity prices, inflation in such
economies is driven up," Nijathawarn said.
He further said that high economic growth in
emerging economies also tend to drive-up
inflation due to demand side effects (ie
because of the increase in disposable income
among the populace).
Nijathawarn said that these ill effects
could be mitigated by removing subsidies,
which would result in a reduction in sales
(consumption) and thereby inflation
CSE examines feasibility of indices
The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has
employed external professionals to make
recommendations as to whether there needs to
be a change in the present market indices,
as a question mark has appeared as to
whether those indices reflect the
performance of the CSE.
The only tangible improvement that the
Colombo stock market experienced in the
financial year (fy) 2007/08 was the
reduction of broker risk through the
adoption of a uniform "T + 3" settlement
cycle, abandoning the "unique" two tier
settlement cycle that was previously
practiced by the CSE, its Chairman Nihal
Fonseka in his review of the bourse's
performance in the fy 2007/08 said.
Besides the current high inflationary and
high interest rate regime and the security
situation, some of the other factors that
affect the performance of the Colombo Stock
Market according to Fonseka, which he said
was elaborated in the previous annual report
were: "The ownership structure and legal
constitution," small number of actively
traded issues and the resultant low level of
liquidity, long settlement cycle and related
broker risk, insufficient attention to good
principles of corporate governance
especially by some closely held family owned
issuers, insufficient variety of traded
instruments, high transaction costs, low
level of awareness of capital markets among
the potential investor pool and relatively
low level of analytical information on
equities and an under-developed fund
Foseka further said that some improvement to
the level of disclosure relating to
corporate governance among listed entities
should be apparent this year conse quent to
the coming into operation of the comply or
explain phase of mandatory corporate
governance requirements stipulated in the
Retiring at 42
High achievers have a purpose and goal in
life, said Board of Investment of Sri Lanka
Investment Promotions Consultant Dr. Nalaka
Speaking at the Eagle Insurance Awards Night
which feted their best salesmen, he
highlighted the importance of working
towards achieving one's goals.
He said that he came up in life through
persistence and commitment.
Godahewa who was the chief guest at this
occasion said: "I studied hard and believed
in myself that when I set a goal for myself
I would always achieve it. My ambition was
to retire at 43 but I surpassed my own goal
by retiring at 42."
He said that one needs to see what one can
learn from other people who have been
successful in life. "Also keep in mind that
work is not everything in life. Your family
should be a priority. Also make time to
pursue new challenges" he added. Eagle's
Managing Director Deepal Sooriyaarachchi in
his address congratulated the winners and
commended them for their hard work that
ensured their success. Sooriyaarachchi
emphasised the importance of determination
and courage to achieve success despite
adversity. He described perseverance and
determination as fundamental and vital for
survival and a successful life.
This convention was held at Hilton, Colombo.
Colombo's Mahesh Jayawarna was adjudged
"Best Sales Person" and Pushparaj
Fernandopulle was declared "Best Senior Team
Leader," while Gunathilaka Bogahakotuwa was
adjudged "Best Senior Business Development
Adviser" and D P K Samarawickrama won
the"Best Team Leader" award. Twenty nine
"High Achievers" walked away with the
"Higher Achievement Awards" while
"Achievement Awards" were presented to 21
Swamped by Big Brother
By A Special Correspondent
India is large-colossal, with a billion plus
people and puny Sri Lanka with 20 million
people inundated with fast moving consumer
goods (FMCG) made by industrial giants,
saying yes sir, no sir to Periyar Dorai.
An Indian influx needs no elaboration. It is
happening without the Indo-Lanka
Comprehensive Economic Partnership (CEPA).
Look at today's scenario. Indian companies
with or without BOI
approval allegedly have large numbers of
Indians working in industries, offices, in
trading establishments, in restaurants and
even as personal drivers after having
obtained permission for employment of
Indian restaurants are allegedly blatantly
employing Indians. Waiters and even the
cashier are Indian and a nominated
Parliamentarian spoke with an industrialist
and tried to persuade him to employ Indians.
He volunteered to get the labourers from
India dangling a carrot again.
"They work harder and would be much
cheaper." But patriotism prevailed in this
Indian drivers are allegedly designated as
engineers, clerks as accountants and
waiters-trained hospitality workers.
BOI has been the worst offender, allegedly
recommending work permits without scrutiny.
LIOC allegedly employed Indians saying we
have no competent welders but Sri Lanka
welders have proved their exceptional
expertise in the dockyards.
A former chamber president whose alleged
connections with India are well known that
even spouses for the progeny are chosen in
India and our five star hotels are deprived
of hosting fabulous wedding banquets in our
Such is the patriotism of some of the
chamber people who are supportive of CEPA.
At a press conference a former director of
the BOI said that when he noticed a worker
easing himself in public outside the
factory, "and on making inquiries, the
Indian factory had no toilets."
We also experienced copper workers allegedly
lowering the living standards in the Horana
district to the annoyance of the public who
Our laws are lax and implementation is weak
and the landlord who is tempted by rental
tolerates six or more people in a room.
In India there are barriers for Sri Lankans.
Sri Lankan industries in India are less than
the number of fingers in one hand. The
flagship venture of Ceylon Biscuits had to
close down their operation in
North India due to no fault of theirs.
The important question is why are we signing
Over 50% of our income is from Services and
is the intention to dilute Sri Lankan
employment opportunities and open the
floodgates to Indians?
What are the benefits to the country? What
are our commitments in return to receive
these benefits and what are the threats?
Lets look at CEPA not only from an academic
point of view but with
emphasis on the ground realities that Sri
Lanka is facing, which are
likely to become serious threats if CEPA is
Lets look at it from the standpoint that
admits our limitations and our inability to
stem a potential threat.
Have we forgotten the past, the recent past
when India trained and supplied arms to the
LTTE overtly, disregarded our sovereignty
and violated air space?
is a world power-the big brother and once
yielded we will not be in a position to
retract. A Sri Lankan journalist in one of
his columns made reference to Mark Twain, in
Tom Sawyer: "I asked Tom if countries
apologised when they had done wrong and he
says ' Yes, the little one does'".
This should echo and re-echo loudly in our
Why are we signing CEPA? Is it due to
political pressure or subtle but potent
dictates from the very big brother? Or
economic strangulation or are there in fact
mutual benefits? Or may be a combination of
If it is political pressure we should use
diplomacy to neutralise this pressure
especially when the SAARC summit could be
made the forum to focus a common CEPA with
all of its members.
But if it is dictatorial pressure, we
certainly have to negate it and under no
Economic strangulation cannot be a serious
threat in today's open economy. But India
has allegedly imposed restrictions as and
when it suits her at short notice to the
joint partner (Sri Lanka), violating the
spirit of the Indo-Lanka Free Trade
Of course we have been affected but we can
We all know the reasons behind the closure
of Copper and Vanaspathi industries.
Free entry was allegedly cancelled in a
dictatorial manner and prohibitive duties
were suddenly imposed. When imports are
injurious to any one-country, duties could
be clamped, but the manner in which it was
implemented allegedly violates the spirit of
Pepper exports are another example. The
question that we should ask ourselves is can
we as equal partners have acted with such
blatancy? In our case we may have had to
retract and apologise.
Much ado is made about the enhancement of
the FTA. The FTA is comprehensive and the
so-called enhancement is for whose benefit?
The disparity in the trade balance with
India is growing before enhancement and if
more items "from the 300 given for
consideration to be liberalized from
India's negative list," one does not need imagination to
predict the gravity of the threat which
would allegedly eventually seal the deathbed
of our few thriving industries.
The carrot dangled to our negotiators is to
relax the category of Tic Tac to enter under
"After eight years of continuous refusals
and after foreign investors having had no
option and shifted operations to India, that
has had severe consequences to the Sri
Lankan industries." Let horse sense prevail
for the belated offer. Why is the sudden
This mechanism is available in the FTA to
review periodically and enhance the negative
list. So why CEPA? Are we wrong to suspect a
hidden agenda? To slip in the 300 items? Is
it, to diffuse attention on the inclusion of
the service sector? Or is it like the trade
union tactic, yield to one but get the
What benefits would Sri Lankans derive from
the exchange? India would reciprocate and
open the doors and say there we are, Sri
Lankans can apply for jobs in India. Why
blame CEPA if you don't make use of our
offer? Some would argue, quite rightly, so.
But look at the reality without blinkers and
step down from lofty pedestals to terra
firma to study the problem.
Could we stand a chance to obtain employment
Managerial advertisements to any position in
India would attract over thousands of
applicants. Let alone of being a successful
candidate, would any Sri Lankan be even
called for an interview?
The BOI bought land and allegedly built the
structure for HSBC. The architects,
engineers and the construction firm were
allegedly from India, labourers were
allegedly Bangaladeshi migrants from India
and the telephone operators for the call
centre, allegedly again from India as Sri
Lankans cannot speak English was the
Chamber's response on TV to the influx of
foreigners. And this very Chamber is
supportive of CEPA.
No Sri Lankan firstly would get
opportunities and salary scales on
Offer allegedly in
for them and will not be commensurate with
the going rates. Labour force and some
others would not opt to go as
offers much more in environment, sanitation
and living standards.
Are we to to ignore these realities and sign
CEPA with no love and patriotism to our
The Central Bank Governor allegedly said,
look at USA, where it had to give in to
Chinese imports. I cannot understand the
relevance. India produces FMCG and other
goods much cheaper than
having the advantage of cheaper raw
materials, energy and large scale of
"And now advertisements of Indian FMCG are
allegedly aired in TV channels without
curtailment, totally free, and the
regulatory body says they haven't the
wherewithal to prevent this.
However, this is a sad reflection on us when
a poorer nation in the SAARC, monitor and
delete overseas advertisements that do not
bring revenue to the country.
The comparison of the Governor is the
reverse. We would not be able to resist
purchasing Indian goods especially when our
purchasing power is recurrently and rapidly
being depleted and the Governor says we do
not want to strengthen the rupee because of
exports. Our Governor, Our plight."
Let's look at EU when it enrolled poorer
countries from Eastern Europe as members.
There were mutual benefits. The standards of
the poorer countries rose sharply. The
shortage of labour in the rich countries was
eased and factories were set up in Eastern
Europe. "Maharajahs too would have to put
up their shutters soon."
Ironically, there is no level playing field
for Sri Lankans discriminated in their own
country which is totally different to the
Indian attitude of 'India Always.'
With recognition of
as a world power this is more pronounced
today and unprecedented hype was seen when a
Japanese co., wanted to buy out an Indian.
Even at Immigration there is no separate
line for Sri Lankans. This is the ground
situation and our case is unique which the
negotiators should realise and not make
comparison with other countries where the
situation is not compatible to ours.
We have to correct our shortcomings, our
weakness, and not offer our country for
exploitation to Indians under CEPA and the
Pattipola, Ambewela dairies see 50% yield
Lanka Milk Foods (LMF) has ventured into new
fields in keeping with the country's need
for hygienically produced milk products.
This is in addition to marketing the well
renowned brand of full cream milk powder 'Lakspray.'
They have through their subsidiaries
introduced many new products that cater to
In 2001 LMF took on lease the Ambewela and
Pattipola dairy farms and over the last
seven years have shown vast improvements in
the quality of milk, which is now
manufacture red up to the best standards in
Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The yield of milk per cow has increased by
50% over this period. These significant
achievements have been recognized by the
Agriculture Department which in 2007 awarded
Pattipola farm the title of 'The Best Large
Scale Dairy Farm in Sri Lanka.'
Pattipola also has the honour of having the
title of 'The Best European Cow in Sri
Lanka' amongst its herd.
Ambewela Farms Finance & Administration
Director Ranjit Attygalle says, 'The lush
green fields where the cows graze in the
cool and misty climate of Nuwara Eliya
provides an ideal environment to produce the
best quality milk. In addition, the herd is
under the supervision of a resident
veterinary surgeon and the feed given to
them other than grass is based on a formula
specially designed by professionals in this
"To supplement this feed we have improved
the quality of the grass at the farms by
importing 16 consignments of Rye Grass Seeds
from New Zealand, in the face of numerous
obstacles. High quality cattle semen also
imported from New Zealand ensures that the
breed of the herd is constantly up-graded to
be on par with international standards.
Ambewela Dairy Farms is the market leader in
liquid milk production in Sri Lanka and
produces quality fresh milk from 'Ayrshires'
and 'Friesians', both high yielding European
breeds of cattle".
"As most of you are aware, nutritive quality
of milk is extremely sensitive. Thus Alfa
Laval milking machinery is used at our farms
for automated milking, in order to prevent
the introduction of any kind of bacteria in
the milk. Bacteria in milk will double in
twenty minutes. In other words if left
unrefrigerated, after a few hours the milk
becomes coloured water without any
nutritional value. In order to prevent this
problem, the milk at our farms is
immediately chilled to 4 degrees centigrade,
and the chilled milk is thereafter
transported to our factory in Welisara in
temperature controlled bowsers. These
procedures ensure that our milk maintains a
bacteria count below 100,000 units per
millilitre which is equivalent to the
bacterial count in milk produced in Western
Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. We can
also proudly say that Ambewela milk is
untouched by human hands from the udder of
the cow until it is poured in to a glass at
Ambewela Products (Pvt) Ltd was formed with
a long term vision to improve the dairy
industry in Sri Lanka. "We have embarked on
an initiative of national importance and are
in the process of setting up a brand new
state-of-the-art dairy plant, one of a kind
in South Asia with an investment worth over
Rs.1 billion." The dairy plant is scheduled
to be completed and begin operations by
December this year. With the new plant,
Ambewela Farms are ready to take a giant
leap forward by giving consumers a wide
variety of milk packs and dairy products
such as cheese and yoghurt which is
manufactured to the highest international
standards. This plant has a capacity to
produce 9.6 million litres of milk and milk
based products, thus easing the dependence
Sri Lanka currently has on imported full
cream milk powder.
Marketing Director Lal Saranapala says that
the "dairy industry in Sri Lanka is in its
infancy. "Thus, we cannot continue to rely
on importing full cream milk powder when the
prices keep on escalating.
Sri Lanka's requirement of liquid milk is
around 1 billion litres per year, and we
currently import about 60,000 MTs of milk
powder per annum which is 80% of our
requirement, thus draining valuable foreign
exchange from our country. Our goal is to
contribute, in no small measure to improve
the dairy industry in this country, and we
have made this huge investment as patriotic
corporate citizens in order to commit to the
improvement of the national dairy industry.
Our current portfolio of fresh and flavoured
milk products available in 200ml and 1 litre
packs are Ambewela Fresh Milk and the Daily
brand flavoured milk in Vanilla, Chocolate,
Strawberry, Banana, and Iced Coffee flavours.
I'm also pleased to announce the
introduction of two new refreshing flavours
available for the first time in Sri Lanka,
namely Kulfi and Faluda. I'm certain these
two flavours will be a hit with consumers.
Children need a high in take of milk in
order to build strong bones and retain
enough calcium in their bodies for later
years. Our flavoured milk under the brand
name 'Daily' makes drinking milk fun as well
There is no doubt that LMF and its
subsidiaries, Lanka Dairies Ltd., Ambewela
and Pattipola Farms and Ambewela Products
Ltd., are moving in the right direction by
providing Sri Lankan consumers with the best
quality milk and developing the dairy
industry to avoid dependence on imported
full cream milk powder.
Com Bank accepts SFIDA
Commercial Bank of Ceylon (Com Bank) has
become one of the first Sri Lankan banks to
open its vaults to foreigners, enabling them
to open bank accounts following the Central
Bank's decision to further liberalize rules
on local banks accepting deposits from
persons resident outside Sri Lanka.
Special Foreign Investment Deposit Accounts
(SFIDA) can be opened in designated foreign
currencies and Sri Lankan Rupees. SFIDA
deposits are offered in a variety of
investment tenures to suit the requirements
of each customer.
Citizens of foreign states, Sri Lankan
citizens resident outside Sri Lanka,
corporate bodies incorporated outside Sri
Lanka and foreign institutional investors
such as country funds, mutual funds and
regional funds can now open SFIDAs with Com
"Through Sri Lanka's largest private sector
bank, we would like to provide great
investment opportunities to overseas clients
and at the same time help the country
attract foreign funds for its development
activities. Investors would have the comfort
of dealing with the Bank enjoying the
highest Credit Rating among all local
private banks," Com Bank's Chief Operating
Officer Ravi Dias said in a statement.
The minimum initial deposit required to open
a SFIDA is US$ 10,000 or its equivalent in
other designated foreign currencies or Sri
Lankan Rupees. All SFIDA accounts are
exempted from income tax, withholding of
income tax and debit tax.
Foreign currency will be accepted in the
form of travellers' cheques, bank drafts or
currency notes brought into the country by
the account holder on declaration to Sri
Lanka Customs as applicable during his/her
temporary visits to Sri Lanka.Outward
remittances, transfers to other SFIDAs and
disbursements in Sri Lanka are possible.
Hyundai among Top 5 automakers
With global sales of 3,961,629 units in
2007, the Hyundai Automotive Group has
emerged as the world's fifth largest
automaker, moving up from sixth place in
2006, according to Automotive News' 2008
Global Market Data Book published recently.
While quantitative growth has been an
important objective in the past for the
Group, the company's efforts are now focused
on qualitative growth in terms of continuous
improvement in corporate social
responsibility, profitability, technological
innovation and brand power. Hyundai has the
momentum to keep on growing.
The Group has seen remarkable growth in the
four decades since Hyundai Motor Co. was
founded. It ranked as the world's eleventh
largest automaker in 1999, the year Hyundai-Kia
Chairman Chung Mong-Koo took over the helm
as the CEO. Since then, under Mong-Koo's
leadership, it has moved steadily up the
rankings ladder, accelerating its push to
globalize operations by building new
manufacturing plants in the USA, China,
India, Slovakia, Czech and Russia.
Counting export sales of 185,114 complete
knock-down kits which are assembled by
overseas partners, the Group's 2007 global
sales reached 4,146,743 units. Automotive
News' methodology excludes CKD sales.
2007 Global Sales Ranking: 1. Toyota Motor
Corp. (9,366,000); 2. General Motors
(8,902,252); 3. Volkswagen AG (6,191,618);
4. Ford Motor Co. (5,964,000); 5. Hyundai-Kia
Automotive Group (3,961,629); 6. Honda
Motor Co. Ltd. (3,831,000); 7. Nissan Motor
Co. (3,675,574); 8. PSA/Peugeot Citroen SA
(3,428,400); 9. Chrysler LLC (2,676,268) and
10. Fiat S.p.A. (2,620,864).
Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Co. has
grown into the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group
which was ranked as the world's sixth
largest automaker in 2006 and includes more
than two dozen auto-related subsidiaries and
Employing more than 75,000 people worldwide,
Hyundai Motor posted sales of US$74.9
billion in 2007 on a consolidated-basis and
US$32.8 billion on a non-consolidated basis
(using the average currency exchange of 929
won per US dollar). Hyundai vehicles are
sold in 193 countries through some 6,000
Child hospitalization cover
One of the areas where we found a dearth of
flexible and affordable solutions was in
health care especially for children.
Having identified this, Union Child Health
Benefit rider was designed and launched to
meet customer aspirations. This benefit had
led to another successful product launch for
Union Assurance which has been taken up by
more than 2,500 customers with in a short
period of two months.
Union Child Health Benefit steps in meeting
up with cost of unforeseen events such as a
child requiring major surgery or
hospitalization due to an illness or
Union Child Health Benefit (UCHB) covers the
cost of 244 major surgeries. In addition, a
daily hospitalization allowance is also
Another key feature is that UCHB continues
until the child reaches his or her 20th
year. The benefits under the plan could be
drawn down regardless of whether the child
was hospitalized in a private or public
Invoices or evidence of actual payments are
not required for settlement. All we need is
proof of admission or surgery performed. In
fact, the major surgery benefit covers
surgeries performed in Sri Lanka and India
which is a boon for parents who most often
have an option of venturing to India for
medical care but are unable to do so for
lack of funds. UCHB allows claims up to
three times the sum assured for multiple
surgeries during the term of the policy and
upto a maximum of Rs. 1 million.
One of the advantageous features is the
flexibility of this plan. Parents have the
flexibility of deciding the extent of the
cover that suits their budget. It also
supplements the range of solutions provided
by Union Assurance covering disability,
accident, family income, critical illness,
hospital daily benefit, premium waiver and
UCHB is an add on option for existing
policyholders, while new customers can opt
for the product with any life insurance
plans including Union Advantage, Union
Sisumaga, Union Parithyaga or Union Jayamaga.
50% reduction in "light" bills
We in Sri Lanka like numerous others in many
parts of the world have been seriously hit
by the energy crisis and escalating
The solution to the problem is to buy energy
saving appliances from Abans that will
reduce your electricity costs by upto 50%
This is the wonder of scientific development
and LG's innovative technology and research
to produce home appliances that consume less
electricity, perform more efficiently and
give you many more years of trouble free
To help you save electricity in your home,
let's start with your refrigerator.
Do you know that every time you open and
close your refrigerator door cool air is
lost and the process of re-cooling to the
required temperature means that the
compressor has to work again consuming more
electricity. LG's Door Cooling Refrigerator
which only LG has an international patent
has vents on the sides as well as the door,
which replenishes cool air faster and shuts
off the compressor quicker everytime the
door is opened and closed.
This not only preserves your food better and
stays fresher, but also results in greater
energy savings and lower electricity bills.
Here are some more tips on how your LG
refrigerator can perform better and save
more electricity: Set the temperature for
only as cold as you need it. The Fridge
should be 36-40 degree F, and the freezer
should be 0-5F (-17 to10 degrees C). Fridges
set 10 degrees lower than needed (or
freezers set 5 degrees lower than needed)
can increase energy use by as much as
To test the fridge temperature, put a
thermometer in a glass of water in the
centre of the fridge and leave it there for
24 hours. To test the freezer temperature,
put the thermometer between two frozen
packages. If the temperature is colder than
needed, then set the fridge to a warmer
Don't put hot foods in the fridge. Though
food safety experts say you should
refrigerate hot food to prevent
contamination, that doesn't mean you have to
refrigerate them immediately. USDA says to
refrigerate within two hours of preparation
(or one hour if the room temp is above 90ř),
one to two hours of cooling off time will
make your refrigerator work less.
Pick a good spot for the fridge. Your fridge
will use less energy if you keep it away
from heat and also place it where the heat
it generates can easily dissipate. Position
your fridge out of direct sunlight and away
from heat sources such as the oven and heat
Help the fridge get rid of the heat it
generates by placing it along an external
If you don't use air conditioning then put
the fridge in front of an open window to let
the heat easily escape.
Door openings result in 7% of refrigerators
energy use, assuming 42 door openings a day.
But poor open/close habits waste 50 to 120
KWH a year, which would be 12-28% of
refrigerators energy use.
Freezers that aren't frost-free should be
defrosted before the frost exceeds a
quarter-inch thick. Excess frost makes the
freezer work harder.
Make sure the gasket is in good shape. The
gasket is the strip of rubber going around
the door that seal the door to the
refrigerator. If it doesn't seal well, cold
air will escape and the compressor will work
longer to re-cool. If parts of the gasket is
coming off, then re-attach it with some
glue. You don't have to turn the fridge off
to save electricity. The compressor won't
work unnecessarily as long as the inside
Only when the ice melts and starts losing
its effect, the compressor will work
automatically, and you won't have to worry
about your food spoiling.
Air Conditioners, if improperly used
consume high electricity for cooling. But
not so if you are smart enough to invest in
an LG Inverter Air Conditioner. LG Artcool
airconditioners with new inverter technology
slows down the compressor speed and permits
the compressor to work efficiently even at
low speeds while maintaining the desired
This process results in electricity savings
of upto 44% in addition to low noise levels,
powerful cooling and healthy, clean germ and
dust free air which is a unique feature of
its Plasma Air Purifying System. Follow
these guidelines to make your LG Inverter
Air Conditioner give you better and more
energy saving performance.
Replace your old AC after it has served you
for 10 to 12 years. New ACs use 30-50% less
electricity than 15-year-old models.
"Whatever make you buy, look at the energy
ratings (SEER for central systems and the
EER rating." Make sure your AC capacity is
correct for your requirement. It is
important to use the right capacity AC. An
AC that's too small or too big will be
inefficient and waste energy.
Clean the filter. A dirty filter makes your
AC work harder, which uses more energy.
Make sure your doors and windows are well
sealed. You'll pay a lot more to cool your
home when the cold air easily escapes. Make
sure to caulk around the holes where pipes
go into the wall under sinks.
Use drapes or blinds to block sunlight. Keep
direct sunlight out. Direct sunlight can
raise the temperature of a room by 10-20
degrees. The less heat that gets into your
home, the less you have to pay to remove it.
Drapes block sunlight and heat better than
Reduce heat from lighting. Lights create a
lot of heat which your AC system has to
remove. Replace your lights with compact
fluorescent (CFL) bulbs which use 75% less
energy and create 70-90% less heat at the
same time. "Regular lights give off 10%
light and 90% heat, while CFL's give off 90%
light and 10% heat."
Whatever kind of lighting you have, turn it
off when you're not using it. It's not just
using electricity, it's adding heat. Reduce
heat from cooking. Any heat you create from
cooking has to be removed by your AC.
Reduce cooking heat by using a microwave
oven. Move your gas or electric oven to be
along an exterior wall if possible.
Disconnect the power plug when the air
conditioner will not be used for a long
The washing machine in your home also
consumes high electricity if not used
properly. This is because most housewives
are ignorant of the economical way to do the
laundry. LG TROMM (Large Capacity) washing
machines take in large wash loads of up to
12kg. saving wash time and electricity.
The Intellowasher Technology in LG Tromm
washing machines are an innovative feature
which automatically senses the washing load,
texture and quality of the fabrics and the
stains, quantity of dirt and grime to be
It then effectively determines the required
water level and duration of washing, and
automatically adjusts same, permitting
smaller loads to be washed economically,
thereby saving water and energy and giving
you the quickest, cleanest wash ever. Here
are some more tips how you can save: Always
use cold water for the rinse cycle. Using
warm or hot water for the rinse cycle
doesn't get your clothes any cleaner.
Try using warm or cold water for the wash
cycle instead of hot water. Hot water
shrinks your clothes, anyway. Hot water also
fades and wears your clothes out quicker. If
you feel that warm water doesn't clean as
well for you as hot, then just use a warm
pre-soak. Soaking clothes in warm water is
usually just as good or better as hot water
with no soak.
Use a centrifuge like the Spin Dryer which
removes most of the water from washed
clothes by spinning them fast. That means a
lot less time in the dryer, saving energy.
Front-Loading Washing Machines:
Front-loading machines use 40-60% less water
and 30-50% less energy than typical
top-loaders They cost a little more up front
but they can slash your energy bill.
Your clothes will also last longer with a
front-loader because they gently tumble your
clothes instead of jerking them around with
an agitator. But they still get your clothes
just as clean as a regular washer.
Front-load washers squeeze more of the water
out of your clothes, so you'll spend less to
dry your clothes. Front-loaders usually have
a higher capacity, so it's easier to wash
large items like bedspreads and rugs.
Another innovative LG product that can save
you a lot on electricity cost is the LG
SolarDOM Lightwave Oven. This unique
microwave oven has a curved cavity making
the turntable 27% larger to accommodate as
much as 60% more. Further more, it has
three unique light heaters that cook both
inside and outside of the food, retaining
the nutrients and taste of the food,
minimizing harmful ingredients like fat and
preserving the beneficial ones such as
proteins. Its efficient heaters cook 4 times
faster than an ordinary oven reducing
electricity usage by upto 50%.
Abans, the market leader for the world's
best brands of home appliances, is the sole
agent for LG in Sri Lanka. A wide range of
innovative energy saving LG products can be
viewed at Abans showrooms islandwide or by
logging on to their shopping portal. All
products sold by Abans carry the hallmark of
quality and the trusted Abans guarantee of
an efficient and quick after-sales-service.
HP, No. 1 in Asia/Pacific
HP on Monday announced that it took the No.
1 position in overall UNIX Server revenue in
Asia Pacific (inc. Japan) in CYQ1, 2008
according to industry analyst firm IDC. (1).
HP captured 31.7% revenue market share of
the Asia Pacific UNIX Server market in CYQ1,
2008. UNIX server revenues for HP in Asia
Pacific (inc. Japan) grew more than five
times faster than the overall UNIX server
market growth on a Y/Y basis. The company
also held the No. 1 positions in the
High-end Enterprise and Midrange Enterprise
segments of the UNIX server market in Q1
2008 garnering 41.2% and 34.4% of the
Customers' requirements in terms of
high-availability, security, scalability and
virtualization were the major reasons for
the growth of HP-UX in Asia Pacific.
Companies across industries have been
deploying business critical applications for
core banking, payments, billing, mediation
and ERP/SCM on HP Integrity Servers with
HP-UX as operating environment. HP Integrity
with HP-UX is also used to power key
Business Intelligence infrastructure
projects in the region.
Other key drivers for the increase of UNIX
Server revenue include a significant growth
in migration projects from mainframes to HP
Integrity, rapid implementation of blade
servers including HP Integrity BL870c and
the adoption of HP Superdome servers.
"We replaced our mainframe systems with HP
Integrity servers to reduce high operational
and maintenance costs in managing hardware
and software applications caused by
proprietary legacy technologies," said
Samsung Life Insurance Information Strategy
Team General Manager Sang-Ho Yoon.
"The HP systems helped to move into
next-generation data centre environments by
significantly reducing costs of more than
US$30M over four years while enhancing
business agility and flexibility."
In the x86 blade server market in Asia
Pacific (inc. Japan), HP continued to lead,
securing 40.3% unit shipments share in Q1
2008. HP's x86 blade server shipments
achieved 39.1% growth year-on-year (YoY) in
Q1 2008. HP also led in the x86 blades
segment in revenue terms, capturing 35.5%
market share and recorded a Y/Y growth of
54.2% in Q1 2008.
By successfully delivering on its 'blade
everything' strategy, HP blade servers
continued to ramp up quickly as both
enterprise and midsize customers
significantly embraced the award-winning HP
BladeSystem c-Class design to accelerate
their business growth and keep their
infrastructure costs in check.
"With significant performance, energy usage
and cost advantages, it is clear why
customers have adopted HP Integrity servers
and HP BladeSystem to manage their growing
workloads," said HP Asia Pacific and Japan
Enterprise Storage and Servers vice
president and general manager Anthony
McMahon. "HP Adaptive Infrastructure
solutions are the preferred choice for
customers, delivering˙business benefits via
risk mitigation, lower cost of ownership and
a platform to help their businesses grow."
HP continued to lead globally in the fastest
growing $1.19 B blade segment of the server
market in CYQ1, 2008. The company took the
overall number one spot in the blade server
market share with 46.9% in factory revenues
and with 49.9% in unit shipments (2).
In the Asia Pacific (inc. Japan) total disk
storage market (3), HP maintained its
leadership in shipments with 19.9% market
share of terabytes (TB) shipped in CYQ1,
2008. The TB shipments for the quarter had a
YoY growth of 46%.
HP's Intel r Itanium r (EPIC)
processor-based server factory revenues grew
at 44.2% YoY in the Asia Pacific (inc.
Japan) region in CYQ1, 2008. The Y/Y growth
of combined HP Non-x86 (RISC and EPIC)
server revenues was recorded at 16.9 percent
in CYQ1, 2008.
In Asia Pacific (inc. Japan), HP also had
the largest market share of factory revenue
in the Windows and the Linux servers segment
in CYQ1, 2008 with 27.2% and 26.2%
respectively. HP continued its leadership
for the 24th consecutive quarter (since
CYQ2, 2002) in x86 server unit shipments
with 29% market share in CYQ1, 2008.
Key Innovations in 2008: HP further
strengthened its blade portfolio with the
creation of two of the world's firsts in
blade server technology, the HP NB50000c and
HP ProLiant BL2x220c. NB50000c supports high
transaction volumes and provides real-time
response capabilities in a mission-critical
environment. The BL2x220c combines two
servers in a single blade form factor to
achieve top application performance while
lowering data centre costs and space
To affordably meet the power-efficient
computing needs of the midmarket customers,
HP introduced ProLiant BL260c G5 servers and
the market's first Quad-Core AMD Opteron
processor-based x86 platforms. For storage
midmarket customers, the new disk array, HP
StorageWorks 4400 Enterprise Virtual Array
reduces costs and management complexity. The
HP StorageWorks 2000 Modular Smart Array
family, a new generation of entry-level,
Fibre Channel and iSCSI disk arrays,
provides enterprise storage features at
affordable price points.
(1). IDC Asia/Pacific Quarterly Enterprise
Server Tracker Q1 2008, June 2008
(2). IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker,
(3). IDC Asia/Pacific Quarterly Disk Storage
Systems Tracker Q1 2008, June 2008
Luxury cruises on offer
A luxury ocean cruise usually associated
with the world's rich and famous, is on
offer to five Sri Lankan families as grand
prize, in the latest promotional
extravaganza unveiled by Ceylinco Life as
part of its effort to drive penetration of
life insurance in the local market.
The life insurance leader is also offering a
day's outing at the Leisure World theme park
to 600 families in the 2008 edition of the 'Ceylinco
Life Family Savari'which promises to be one
of the largest community interactions by a
corporate entity in this country to date.
Ceylinco Life Chief Executive Director R.
Renganathan said:"It is a massive
undertaking to conceptualise, organise and
conduct a full day's outing for 2,400
people. The logistics alone are mind
In previous Ceylinco Life Family Savari
events, Ceylinco Life provided all-expenses
paid holidays for 258 people in Singapore
and a day's outing at Leisure World for
Covering all existing policyholders as well
as new policyholders who purchase life
insurance between August 1 and December 31,
2008, the promotion is intended to generate
greater awareness of and interest in life
insurance in market segments as yet
unprotected through insurance, reward
existing policyholders for keeping their
policies active and provide an incentive to
others to revive and maintain their
"The scale of this promotion, its reach in
to even the remotest hamlets of our country
and the grandeur of the prizes have grown
phenomenally over the years," Renganathan
A maximum of five winners from each Ceylinco
Life branch will win family trips to Leisure
World, ensuring that all districts of the
country would be represented.
A winning family may include the
policyholder, spouse and two children. If
the policyholder is unmarried, he or she can
nominate three other immediate family
Sri Lanka's most successful life insurer,
Ceylinco Life also offers its policyholders
multiple benefits such as 'Pranama'
scholarships for policyholders' children,
'65-plus' free medical cover,' Aloka'
educational grants for children of deceased
policyholders, home loans and discounted
Business Today Top 10 Awards
The best corporate performer of the year
2006/2007 award in Business Today Top 10
Awards which was held at Temple Trees
recently went to Dialog Telekom. The award
was received by its CEO Dr Hans Wijayasuriya.
At second place was Sri Lanka Telecom
followed by Distilleries Company of Sri
Lanka. John Keells Holdings and Aitken
Spence and Company were at fourth and fifth
At sixth place was Hatton National Bank, and
Commercial Bank came in at seventh place.
NDB Bank was ranked at eighth place with
Ceylon Tobacco Company coming in at ninth
and The Bukit Darah at tenth.
PATA Gold for JKH hotel
Cinnamon Island Alidhoo, Maldives has been
named Grand Award winner in the 'Education
and Training' category of the Pacific Asia
Travel Association (PATA) 2008 PATA Gold
The Cinnamon Island Alidhoo award-winning
project is a new School of Hospitality at
Sector Head-Resort Hotels Jayantissa
Kehelpannala said: "What is both satisfying
and humbling is that we have been chosen as
a Grand Winner from a total of 258 entries
from 108 travel and tourism organisations.
This is also a reflection of the strength
and spirit of the brand."
Cinnamon Island Alidhoo is the flagship
resort of Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts- the
John Keells Group's premier hospitality
brand-and was the first Cinnamon branded
resort in the Maldives, unveiled on July 1,
The other three PATA Grand Awards have been
given to Singapore Airlines in the Marketing
category; Delhi Tourism and Transportation
Development Corporation for Heritage; and
Nihiwatu Resort, Indonesia for the
Environment. In addition to the four Grand
Awards, there were 22 Gold Awards that have
also been given. All 24 travel-related
organisations and individuals will receive
their awards at a presentation luncheon at
PATA Travel Mart 2008 in Hyderabad, India,
on September 19.
The "School of Hospitality" initiative
began as a local recruitment drive and
gradually snowballed into an opportunity for
the women and young people of Barah and
Utheem islands in the Maldives to transform
themselves into -trained hoteliers.
Starting this year, the resort's parent
company, Keells Hotel Management Services
Ltd., invested to operate a hotel school in
which the curriculum is focused on providing
the youth of the islands neighbouring
Cinnamon Island Alidhoo with skills that
would equip them to enter the industry.
In an economy which has the hospitality
industry as its axis, the School of
Hospitality is a boon to the population,
endowing the interested with the proficiency
and expertise to break into the industry.
Kehelpannala said: "To us, it is a
validation of what we are doing as a
team-not just that we are doing the right
thing, but also that we are going about the
right way in implementing it. The School of
Hospitality is the offspring of our foray
into sustainable development, which lives by
a win-win ethic. This is an initiative that
benefits the people as much as the industry
and I'm glad we have been instrumental in
making a difference."
War, poverty, fodder for AIDS spread
Over 50 CEOs and Business Heads congregated
at the Cinnamon Grand recently for the
second General Assembly of the Sri Lanka
Business Coalition on HIV and AIDS (SLBCH).
The meeting which was chaired by American
Ambassador in Sri Lanka Robert O Blake and
showcased the resource pool of trainers that
member organizations would have access to,
including Standard Chartered Bank's (SCB's)
HIV Champions, John Keells Holdings CSR
Champions, and ILO and Labour Ministry
The coalition is also driving Sri Lanka's
business sector to implement much needed HIV
Work Place Policies throughout their
organizations. The policy would provide a
framework for action to reduce the spread of
HIV/AIDS, avoid stigma towards those living
with the disease and manage its impact on
the labour force. The Coalition provides
awareness training sessions and customized
policy development services at no cost to
the organizations. It also provides a
platform for centres of expertise, resources
and material to be shared.
SCB Chief Executive Officer and SLBCH
Chairman Clive Haswell said, "Sri Lanka is
the only low prevalence country to have a
Business Coalition and it is essential that
the SLBCH maintains its proactivity when
dealing with this epidemic in a country that
has the right combination for it to swell to
epidemic proportions: poverty and war.
We as Sri Lanka's business leaders must
provide our commercial sectors, from large
corporates to even the SMEs the support they
need, as most of our at-risk population is
in the workforce, amongst our migrant
workers and garments sector."
"The advantages of issuing an HIV Workplace
Awareness Certification to organizations
that are looking for more ways to align
themselves to Global standards of awareness
on this illness is something that Sri Lanka
could consider, " said Guest Speaker Dr.
.Pramaulratana is the Thailand Business
Coalition on AIDS Executive Director which
is responsible for running the Thailand's
national 'World of Work' HIV training
throughout the country.
The Business Coalition emerged as a result
of the 8th International Congress on AIDS in
the Asia Pacific (ICCAP) that was held in
Sri Lanka in August 2007. Spearheaded by
SCB, the coalition brought together business
leaders in Sri Lanka for the first time to
discuss their united response to the global
Partnering the corporate sector in this
initiative is the ILO Workplace programme;
Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC);
National STD AIDS Programme; Labour
Ministry's National institute of Labour
studies and UNAIDS. The Coalition's
awareness programme will also be in keeping
with the Health Ministry's National STD
AIDS Programme as well as the policies of
the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce which are
aligned to the UN's Millennium Development
Suntel rewards employees' kids
Suntel is rewarding their employees'
children who have excelled in their studies.
Suntel Ltd., MD Jeremy Huxtable said: "Suntel
believes that a portion of our earnings
should be allocated to develop the education
in our country. It is a practiced philosophy
in our company that all our operations need
to be conducted in a socially acceptable
Suntel Employee Children Awards consists of
The year 5 scholarship exam, ordinary level
exam and the advanced level exam. Three
students who attained the highest results
for a year was selected from each of the
three categories and was rewarded with a
The award winners received their prizes from
Suntel MD at a ceremony held recently in a 5
star hotel. The recipients and their parents
were hosted by Suntel's Management Team.
Only 10% trained masons
A labour market survey carried out by
Moratuwa University revealed that from over
75,000 masons, only 9.6% had undergone any
sort of formal training.
Tokyo Cement Consultant Engineer Mouly
Gooneratne said: "We opened up our own
Vocational Training Centre in Trincomalee in
2001 where five-day resident workshops were
conducted for the masons, and the National
Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority
(NAITA) officials held a practical test for
all participants on the fifth day. Those
that passed were awarded a trade certificate
by NAITA that is recognized both locally and
internationally. Over 500 masons passed out
successfully from our centre. We
unfortunately had to suspend functioning of
our centre in 2007 due to security concerns,
but hope to restart the programme in a
central location shortly." The company
recently concluded a "Masons' Seminar" in
Ministry secs. feted
Federation of Chambers of Commerce and
Industry of Sri Lanka at the recently held
Chamber Competition 2008 felicitated the
services of four top senior government
servants-Ports Ministry Secretary Thosapala
Hewage, Labour Ministry Secretary Mahinda
Madihaheva, Urban Development Ministry
Secretary Dr. Prathap Ramanujan and Trade
Ministry Secretary Dr. R. M. K. Ratnayake.
These four senior governments were
felicitated under the category of
Public-Private Partnership Award of Chamber
Dialog GSM, Sri Lanka’s largest mobile
communications service operator announced
the introduction of ‘Mobile Cert,’ an
instant electronic certificate which enables
customers to establish ownership of their
mobile phone anytime, anywhere by dialling
or by sending an SMS.
Dialog is the first mobile telecoms
operator in the country to pioneer a
validation system on a mobile platform.
The mobile communications technology
based electronic/digital certificate is
tamper proof, said Dialog Mobile Chief
Operating Officer Supun Weerasinghe.
"Dialog’s technology platform will
produce an electronic certificate each time
the system is queried, and will deliver the
same to the mobile phone within seconds. In
addition to the high degree of authenticity
attached to an electronic certificate, this
form of ownership verification and
validation is convenient for mobile phones
users" he said.
The new electronic ownership certificate
will eliminate the need to carry any
tangible form of proof material making
"Mobile Cert" a convenient, secure and easy
to use authentication method for Dialog
Tigo, Ceylon Cold Stores, SriLankan
Airlines and Sampath Bank among others, have
come forward with sponsorships to give Sri
Lanka Tourism the impetus to make the
Hikkaduwa Beach Festival 2008 a success.
A proposed annual event, which objective
is to draw the attention of tourists to the
coastal town taking Hikkaduwa to the world,
as being on par, with other beach
destinations which offer similar fun events
in the region.
This year the event has attracted a host
of local and foreign bookings and with the
publicity the event will generate,
particularly among the visiting media
covering the India Sri Lanka cricket series
and the SAARC summit Hikkaduwa is set to
recapture a lost market.
Hikkaduwa Beach Festival 2008, going for
five nights from Wednesday (July 30) will
see the performances of Ravi Bandu
Vidyapathi, Jananth Warakagoda, Rakitha with
Naadro, the Vibrations , Harsha Makalanda,
Alston Joachim, and the drummers of the
Faculty of Performing Arts display artistry
alongside the likes of Sri Lankan born
Alston Koch (Australia) DJs Paul Mendez
(USA), Jorge Jaramillo (Denmark), Lisa
Littlewood (Scotland), Michael Parsberg
(Denmark), Master J (UK), Godwin Pereira
(Singapore), and Fred Galliano (France).
A beach parade involving around 350
performers from the southern province will
highlight the culture and traditions unique
to this coastal village and its adjacent
Friend at time
Sampath Bank PLC, the pioneering
financial services provider stepped forward
once again in extending their helping hand
towards the needy.
In an action that is evident of the
bank’s commitment towards supporting the
members of the community in their time of
need, Sampath Bank made a financial donation
to A.S.A. Gafoor, a father of three
children, of whom two children, who are
still schooling, are leukemia patients.
LMS' tax liability
John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) Chairman
Susantha Ratnayake told The Sunday Leader
that they were working on the tax liability
of their subsidiary Lanka Marine Services
This was in regard to Monday's Supreme Court
judgement which among other things declared
that LMS' Board of Investment (BoI) status
was illegal and directed the Inland Revenue
Department to collect backdated taxes from
the date the company achieved BoI status.
LMS' BoI status coincided with its sale to
JKH some seven years ago. Previously LMS was
a fully owned subsidiary of the state owned
Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. LMS' main line
of business is ships' bunkering.
Parquet to sell some of its land
Parquet PLC plans to settle part of its debt
by selling a portion of its factory premises
located at Belummahara, Imbulgoda by the
Kandy road in the Gampah District.
The company carries debts to the tune of Rs.
100 million in its books.
"This property at Imbulgoda comprises some
1,000 perches (six acres) and we hope to
dispose of some two acres in the next two
months," the company's managing director
J.A.P.M.Jayasekera told The Sunday Leader.
He didn't want this newspaper to disclose
how much the company plans to raise from
Parquet is a company that makes timber
Jayasekera further said that they plan to
invest another Rs. 10-20 million to start a
new product line at Parquet. He didn't want
to disclose details about this new
manufacturing line. Parquet is an associate
company of Lanka Tiles, a company controlled
by the Page family.
Rs. 420 million
remitted to IRD
The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) remitted a
sum of Rs. 419.9 million to the Inland
Revenue Department (IRD) as collections from
share transaction levies in the financial
The share transaction levy of 0.2% imposed
in January 2005 is charged on all equity
transactions (purchases and sales) executed
on the CSE.
This tax is recovered at the time of
settlement of the transactions and sent
directly to the IRD by the CSE, ensuring
100% collection of the tax.
Since the introduction of this levy, a sum
of Rs. 1.29 billion has been collected and
remitted to the government as taxes.
This revenue excludes the 0.09% charged on
every transaction by the Securities &
Exchange Commission. (CSE Director General
Ms. Surekha Sellahewa in her review found in
the 2007/08 CSE Annual Report)
Maliban sale off
The proposed commercial partnership with the
Hemas Group is off, Maliban Biscuits
chairman A. G. R. Samaraweera told The
Earlier, the company which had been hit by
strikes had plans to sell its franchise to
the Hemas Group.
"Certain family members were opposed to this
sale," said Samaraweera, giving reasons as
to why this transaction didn't take place.
Maliban was founded by Samaraweera's father
A.G. Heeni Appuhamy in the 1950s.
(See also separate story found elsewhere on