Travel agents renew call to abolish minimum rates

• Say Sri Lanka Tourism and all stakeholders will reap benefits in long term

Travel agents have welcomed the Government’s move to abolish minimum room rates though city hotels have objected, prompting Tourism Minister John Amaratunga to hint that the current status quo would remain in place for two more years. 

“There were proposals made to remove the minimal rate of Colombo City Hotels. We said we will consider it and we will implement it. However, we have not decided anything. We were expecting feedback from different angles whether we should implement it or not. Currently, the view is that it should remain in place for at least another couple of years,” the Minister said last week in a clear change of stance since the Ministry in July announced it would end minimum room rates in Colombo from March 2017.

China’s yuan joins elite club of IMF reserve currencies

Reuters: China’s yuan joins the International Monetary Fund’s basket of reserve currencies on Saturday in a milestone for the government’s campaign for recognition as a global economic power.

The yuan joins the US dollar, the euro, the yen and British pound in the IMF’s special drawing rights (SDR) basket, which determines currencies that countries can receive as part of IMF loans. It marks the first time a new currency has been added since the euro was launched in 1999.The IMF is adding the yuan, also known as the renminbi, or “people’s money”, on the same day that the Communist Party celebrates the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

“The inclusion into the SDR is a milestone in the internationalization of the renminbi, and is an affirmation of the success of China’s economic development and results of the reform and opening up of the financial sector,” the People’s Bank of China said in a statement.

Merrill finally renames listed company as Dilmah

Merrill J Fernando 

Ceylon Tea Services Plc will be changing its name to Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company Plc. 

A CTS Board resolution to this effect was passed at its meeting on 28 September 2016.

The name change comes after 35 years of the establishment of CTS. The company was quoted in 1982.

Dutch Ambassador in Sri Lanka Joanne Doornewaard handed over the final report with President Maithripala Sirisena

The government of The Netherlands, on a special request made by the President Maithripala Sirisena, agreed to provide support to conduct research activities necessary for prevention of kidney disease in the country.

The Dutch government, responding positively to President Maithripala Sirisena’s request in July 2015 for assistance from the diplomatic community on the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) issue, has offered the services of the Dutch Risk Reduction (DRR) Team.

Accordingly, the government of the Netherlands has sent a Dutch Risk Reduction (DRR) team of four experts for evaluation and recommendation on the current water provision in the endemic areas of the country.

Flays critics; reassures deposit holders and investors

The Central Bank on Friday revealed that it was initiating a number of steps to turn around struggling finance companies under its purview while cautioning the public to disregard what it termed “erroneous news” about these institutions.

The following is the full statement.

The Central Bank has observed certain erroneous news items published in a few newspapers raising concerns over financial problems confronted by a few licensed finance companies. Therefore, the Central Bank wishes to clarify the facts behind the inaccuracy of such news in the public interest.

Head of Mission of Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Guangzhou, Consul General Shanika Dissanayake joins Minister Rishard Bathiudeen at the Nanning opening session

  • 15 Chinese and ASEAN leaders at Nanning’s CAEXPO 13
  • Sri Lanka honoured, pleased about China’s interest in Sri Lanka: Rishad
  • Says pleased of China’s interest in Sri Lanka
  • ASEAN bloc is future destiny of China
  • 2015 China-SL trade tops $ 4 b

In a remarkable public health achievement, Sri Lanka was yesterday certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for having eliminated malaria, a life-threatening disease which for so long afflicted the island nation.

“Sri Lanka’s achievement is truly remarkable. In the mid-20th century it was among the most malaria-affected countries, but now it is malaria-free. This is testament to the courage and vision of its leaders, and signifies the great leaps that can be made when targeted action is taken. It also demonstrates the importance of grassroots community engagement and a whole-of-society approach when it comes to making dramatic public health gains,” WHO Regional Director Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh said in Colombo.

World Bank Country Director Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough and Treasury Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga exchange one of the agreements signed yesterday

  • Signs three key support projects worth $ 187 m in assistance
  • Extends $ 100 m to boost Govt.’s economic reform push
  • Inks $45 m credit to help protect natural habitats and resources
  • Offers $42 m credit to protect people and infrastructure from climate-related risks

The World Bank appears to be getting more bullish as it committed $ 187 million for Sri Lanka yesterday for three key projects including supporting the Government’s push for economic reforms.