Category Archives: Consumer Reports

seo sri lanka

SEO Sri Lanka: Problems With Local Search Engine Optimization Experts

seo sri lankaBelow you can see Google search engine statistics that show the number of times Search Engine Optimisation or SEO Sri lanka related word phrases (known as keywords/terms) are were being searched locally in Google every month. This shows that Sri Lankan people and businesses are slowly but surely realizing the value of Internet Marketing via SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.

Search Term      –  Monthly Searches

“SEO”                           – 590 times
“SEO Company”      – 110 times
“SEO Services”        – 73 times
“search engine optimization” – 260 times
“what is seo”   – 91 times
“SEO Software” – 480 times

This is good news for the SEO service providers in Sri Lanka. That is because for a long time  local SEO specialist have been providing their services for foreign businesses and websites only. Now it looks like businesses and people in Sri Lanka are also interested in getting their SEO services.

However the problem starts here. Seeing this demand, we see many people, specially in the Sri Lankan Web Design and advertising industries claiming they are SEO experts too and charging high rates from clients for their services. Its okay to charge high rates if they delivery ROI for businesses and websites for their services.

However we see many socalled SEO experts in Sri Lanka who can’t even do SEO optimization and rank their own websites for competitive search terms locally are claiming to be SEO experts. Zeeron Solutions gives a good example of such a local company and how to spot a dubious SEO expert in the article called, Questionable SEO Company In Sri Lanka.

In addition recently, I also heard about a Colombo businessmen who paid 40,000 rupees for several months to a “Internet Marketing specialist” and got in return at the end only a dubious looking Facebook fan page for his local business with 500 likes (all from irrelevant foreigners).

I think the reason many businesses get caught with dubious SEO specialist is because many of these businesses and advertisers in Sri Lanka still have no clue about what is SEO and don’t do their homework of researching about SEO and finding good experts.

They hear about the online marketing success stories of foreign companies and think to jump in the band wagon. They just hire the first SEO company or specialist they come across to optimise there websites and get more business through the Internet.

Our local marketing agencies, web design companies and IT specialist also get request from customers for SEO and Internet Marketing. Most often they are experts in their fields. But when it comes to SEO they are inexperienced. Most probably they have read a few articles about SEO and think they know to do SEO for websites. So they take on SEO jobs and charge the industry standard high rates from the unsuspecting customers.

This cycle seems to playing out with many big and small companies. The end result is companies and business realise it sooner or later that these SEO experts are only taking there money and there is no return for their investments and give up SEO and Internet Marketing. If things goes like this people will form a very bad opinion about SEO and Internet Marketing. That is bad for all involved.

sri lanka food restaurant

Sri Lankan Malay Food At Dehiwala Malay Restaurant

sri lanka food restaurant

A Special Malay Rice Dish Called “Nasi Goreng”

Have you tasted Sri Lankan Malay foods? Frankly, until recently I handn’t. So I went with a friend to have dinner at this place auspiciously called as the, “Malay Restaurant” in Dehiwala Hill Street.

When we went we saw they had several special Malay dishes I wanted to tryout like Malay Dum Buriyani, Mee Goreng Egg Noodles and Malay pickle mixed Arabic rice. In addition they also had other general Sri Lankan food like various kinds of mouth watering Buriyani, Pittu, Parata, Naan Rottis, Lamprais, Burgers and Sandwiches. These food looked good too. I think people generally like this restaurant if I were to go by the crowd of people stopping their vehicles and waiting for their take away food order in front of the Malay restaurant.

restaurants sri lanka

Because  we can’t taste all the dishes at once, my friend and I settled on a special Malay rice dish called “Nasi Goreng” mixed wit Sea Food. The top photo here shows the Malay rice dish we got (which I photographed before eating so that I may one day write about it here on Sri Lankan News Online) . I assure you this Nasi Goreng rice dish stuff tasted as good as it looked. It had a unique taste of its own. If you really want to know the taste like any food cousines its hard to describe but imagine something like what sea food like cuttle fish and buriyani rice mix dish taste like. They also had this Nasi Goreng rice dish with Chicken, Beef or Mutton to select but we went with the sea food.

Their menu card was surprisingly detailed about the special Malay foods they had on it. For instance this Nasi Goreng rice dish was describe as made out of basmathi rice, stir fried vegetables, pineapple stew, Chutney, egg Omelette and Chilli Paste.

While their dinner with this Malay spice rice stuff was excellent, I was disappointed and felt cheated out with what I got served for dessert. You see, for dessert on their menu we could select 1) Wattalappam, 2) Cream Caramel, 3) Ice Cream Topped Fruit and lastly 4) Fruit Triffle. The first three dessert are their in almost all Sri Lankan restaurants so my friend and I thought to go for Fruit Triffle. That was a bad idea. Their Fruit Triffle turned out to be nothing more than Custard Pudding topped with Jelly. Add insult to injury, it was premade and was a very small quantity in a small yoghourt cup like disposable plastic container. Not worth Rs. 50 let alone Rs. 150/= we were charged for the dessert.

sri lankan food

But despite the bad experience with that dessert I’d recommend this restaurant for their well made and special Sri Lankan food belonging to the small Malay community of this island. Its not every where you find authentic Malay food restaurants in Sri Lanka like this one. So if anyone wants to try out Malay food in Sri Lanka this will be a good place tryout.

Price wise this restaurant is a middle class Sri Lankan restaurant with food not very cheap nor very expensive. The one portion of asi Goreng rice dish we got was Rs. 380 and it was enough for two hungry 25 year old guys. The place caters to the middle to lower upper class citizens of Sri Lanka I think but it suitable to take even a foreign tourist guest you have. It is also a very busy place (specially on weekends) so you have to wait at least half an hour before they serve the food. Take away orders are not that delaying and they also seem to get lot of takeaway orders on small call center like reception area they got here. I must add a word about the the restaurant’s staff. They are not the most friendly or cooperative but that maybe because I caught them at the busy time.

Overall they do have some very tasty and special Malay food dishes with Malay sounding terms (they give a full glossary like menu leaflet, see in the photo below). So you might like to try out these Sri Lankan Malay food stuff sometime here.

sri lankan food menu

Update: This Malay food restaurant also has a good updated website with food prices, contact details etc. at www.malayrestaurant.lk . Their sites homepage says, the restaurant, located at the heart of Hill Street at No. 115, Hill Street, Dehiwela with a well equipped kitchen attached, which recently underwent expansion and the restaurant too underwent expansion to accommodate more dining guests, and will be very soon to accommodate four fold of our present capacity of dining guests.

nolimit sri lanka

NOLIMIT: Sri Lanka’s Biggest Fashion Store Chain & Best Place For Shopping Clothes

What is the best place to buy clothes in Sri Lanka?

I get queried often about the fashion stores in Sri Lanka, shopping in Colombo and about Colombo cloth shops. So I made the below list of the what I think are the Top 10 Fashion Stores in Sri Lanka.

nolimit sri lankaNolimit Fashion Store in Wellawatte, Colombo 6

This list of top 10 fashion and cloth shops in Sri Lanka is based on my experience and observation. Such a top 10 list is always a judgmental call and I’m sure not everyone will agree with it. I’d love to see you come up with your own list of top 10 clothing stores in Sri Lanka. You can leave  your list in the comments below or post in your blog and let me know so that I’ll link to your post from SriLankaNewsOnline.com)

My Top 10 Fashion Stores in Sri Lanka

1. Nolimit Sri Lanka
2. Odel Sri Lanka
3. Fashion Bug Sri Lanka
4. House of Fashion Sri Lanka
5. Hameedia’s (Menswear specialist)
6. Ranjanas (Pettah, Colombo 11)
7. Kandy Fashion Store (Kiribathgoda)
8. Ranjanas (Pettah, Colombo 11)
9. Bavery Street Sri Lanka
10. Romafour (Bambalapitiya, Colombo 4)

I may eventually get around to write in detail about each of these leading fashion stores in Sri Lanka. In the meantime out of these top 10 fashion stores, here are some details and my experience and opinion of the best and largest fashion store, NOLIMIT Sri Lanka.

 

The Nolimit Sri Lanka Fashion Chain

What makes me say Nolimit is the top fashion store in the Sri Lanka are their 20 or so showrooms located throughout the country. In addition they also sell cloths at reasonable prices, have a large selection of clothing available in their stores. The cloths are also of acceptable quality and the staff are quite helpful when you ask their assistance. Nolimit showrooms are also very modern and look like any international fashion chain stores such as Addidas or Levi’s showrooms in Colombo.

As for the products they sell, Nolimit offers all kinds of clothes and accessories for men, women and children. Their cloth prices are reasonable and within reach of average Sri Lankan citizens buying ability. Nolimit showrooms also have the biggest collection and selection of clothing types and designs I have seen anywhere in Sri Lanka. So personally, I’m a big fan of Nolimit even though their cloths are not of the high quality I expect for the money I pay.

Below is a snapshot of some shirts and a t-shirt I bought from Nolimit and their sister store,Glitz recently. They are not designer cloths or the of the best quality nor were they the cheapest in the market but overall I’m happy with them becausse they look good and they are comfortable to wear. My more fashion conscious cousins and friends have also said they look good  and are made of good mixed cotton and polyester materials.nolimit srilanka fashion store

Nolimit Sri Lanka is also the unmatched leader in this fashion store business in the country with around 20 showrooms so far which are located in strategic towns and cities across the country such as Colombo, Kandy, Dehiwela, Mount Lavinia, Rathnapura, Negambo among others. No other fashion store or clothing shop in Sri Lanka has so many outlets. So NOLIMIT in their advertisements claim they are biggest fashion chain in Sri Lanka. They are also opening more clothing showrooms all over the island. In fact, their popularity is such that in recent years they have also garnered fear and hate attacks from certain extremist groups in the country because the owners of this store is from the a minority community.

In the last year or two, the owner of Nolimit seems to have split his single flag-ship fashion chain into 3 fashion chains named Nolimit, Glitz and Pallu respectively. So in addition to Nolimit clothing showroom, they have opened several large specialized fashion & clothing stores in Colombo called Glitz and Pallu. The Pallu chain of showrooms specialize in traditional and eastern clothing such as expensive Indian Saris, Panjabis, Shalwar Kameez, etc while in Glitz chain seems to be aiming to become a high class fashion store with expensive and designer clothing.

In the meantime the normal Nolimit shops you find all types of clothing from really cheap ones to expensive items. They also have some discount cloth shops called NOLIMIT Discount Store. I have visited one of their discount shops in Dehiwela Hill street and found it had some decent cloths for dirt cheap prices. You can find more about Nolimit through their website at www.nolimit.lk

So what’s your experience with Nolimit and other Fashion Stores in Sri Lanka? Feel free to share them below.

Retail Shop Using Counterfeit Money Detector To Catch Fake Money

Most of the people think detecting counterfeit money using technological devices is done only at banks. However this is no longer true. As you can see from the photos here, today even normal retail shops in Sri Lanka have started to use technological devices known as counterfeit money detectors to detect fake money. I managed to take these photos of one such device for Sri Lanka News Online at a mobile phone selling shop in Ratnapura area.

counterfeit bill detector
This first photo shows the counterfeit detector used at that mobile phone shop. It is actually a very simple device. Primarily it has a surface on which to place the bank note you want to check/detect. Under the surface you got bulbs that emit normal light and ultra-violet light. Once you place a Sri Lanka bank note, US dollar bill or any currency note on the surface, it has the ability to highlight and show hidden watermarks using either the normal white light or the ultra-violet light.

counterfeit money detector
Here in this second photo you can see how a Sri Lanka 2000 Rupee looks like when I kept it on that money detector and switched on the Ultra-violet light. With the help of the blueish ultra violet light you can see some beautiful hidden watermarks and designs in the 2000 rupee note. Some of these designs are visible only when you pass ultra violet light through the note. Counterfeit bank notes don’t have these kind of ultra-violet light watermarks. The retail shop-men who have counterfeit detectors know what ultra-violet light watermarks to look for in different denomination of bank notes. So today they easily identify fake money.
counterfeit money detection

This third photo shows how the same Sri Lankan 2000 Rupee bank note looks like when it is kept on the detector and the normal white light is switched on. Even with this normal light a trained eye can detect several minute details in bank notes that are hard to be counterfeited in bogus money.

Counterfeit money detectors like these are now commonly used by Sri Lanka retail shops and businesses, specially those  that handle a lot of bank notes with high value. In fact today retail shops that deposit their money at the end of the day at a bank are forced to use such counterfeit money detector devices. That is because when counterfeit bank notes are detected at Sri Lanka banks they are required to destroy them. So to not risk losing their money when depositing at banks, retail business owners today try to ensure they don’t accept any counterfeit money from customers. They do this by passing all the notes they get through a counterfeit money detector like this. Examples of normal retail shops in Sri Lanka that use this kind of devices in include gold jewellery stores, gem shops and wholesale merchandise shops.

In this picture here you see a 20 rupee Sri Lanka bank note I placed on the money detector when the ultra violet light is on. According to what the shop businessman told me he identifies fake 20 rupee notes by the “20” mark visible slightly to the left in the center of the note. That “20” is only visible in ultra-violet light.

Another reason counterfeit detectors are increasing being used is the recent advances in printing technology and its easy availability. Today making fake or counterfeit money has become very easy. To make a passable copy of a Sri Lanka bank note all you need is a computer, a image editing software like Photoshop, a colour printer, a scanner and some quality paper. But counterfeit money made like this though sometimes are clever copies of the original, can be identified in several ways including those mentioned above.

But more than 99% of the people don’t take more than a cursory glance at the bank notes that pass through their hands. So unless we are careful, counterfeiters manage to trick us by slipping in one or two counterfeit bank notes along with several genuine notes and manage to pass them among the general public. This has resulted in lot of counterfeit money circulating among the general population of Sri Lanka. However the Government and the Central bank tries to catch such fake money and destroy them by requiring banks and financial institutions to pass all the bank notes they get through devices like these that have the ability to detect counterfeit money.

 

 

 

factory outlet colombo

The Factory Outlet: New High Class Fashion Store in Colombo

These days, if you plan to go shopping in Colombo I highly recommend you check the Factory Outlet fashion store that’s newly opened in Havelock Road, Colombo 05. My cousin who is a highly fashion conscious guy excitedly told me about this new store a few days back. I didn’t believe him when he told me this new place got high quality cloths like trendy shirts for sale at one third the prices they are sold at Colombo’s other top fashion stores like Odel and Glitz. To prove his point, my cousin dragged me with his mum to go shopping yesterday. I found out that though it wasn’t as cheap as he bragged nevertheless things were cheaper than they are in other high class cloth stores in Colombo like Odel, Glitz, Nolimit, House of Fashion or Fashion Bug.
factory outlet colombo
According to my cousin they are able to sell cloths made to latest fashions with high quality materials because they get them directly from rejected order from factories that manufacture cloths for US and European markets. But just because the cloths are from rejected order doesn’t mean they are bad. Sometimes orders get canceled and factories are forced to sell them in the local market and at other times a high quality perfect shirt or trouser may get rejected because a button was not sewn properly. Anyway, at the end of my shopping trip to the Factory Outlet I ended up buying four casual ware shirts and a trouser. My final bill was rupees 5400/= odd. I would guess if I bought the same things at Nolimit they would have cost me maybe about 7500/= or at Odel maybe even 10,000/= rupees.

The store is located at no. 192, Havelock Road, between the Thibirigusyaya Juction and Dickman road Junction in Colombo 05. The Factory Outlet is convenient in anther way because they have a fair size car park at the front where customers can park their vehicles and shop like at Odel. The interior of the store is also similar to the interior of Odel with suitable bright lighting and space for moving around. The selection of cloths they already have is large for both men and women and they also got miscellaneous stuff like trinkets for girls, lovers and toys for kids and gifts for infants. I heard they will bring more stuff including branded denims meant for developed markets.

If you visit the store I’d like to hear your thoughts.

 

Rotary Club Requests Fatal Road Accident Photos For Large Hoardings

Here is a chance for you to contribute to our country in a big way with a small gesture.

The Rotary Club of Sri Lanka is going to launch a Community Awareness Project for Accident Prevention in Sri Lanka. As part of this project they are going to print fatal accident photos in large hoardings and display by the road side appealing to Drivers to drive safely. For this purpose they are in need of photos of fatal accidents in Sri Lanka you might have.

If you got any such photographs or images please contact Mr. Wijaya Undupitiya, the President of Rotary Club of Sri Lanka through his mobile number: 0777-661738

Thank you.

Sri Lanka Car News – Tax Increased for Three Wheelers And Hybrid Cars

Seems like the Sri Lanka honeymoon with Hybrid vehicles is over. I received the following SMS Ada Derana News Alert on my Dialog powered mobile phone. It’s about new total tax regulations for Hybrid and other vehicles to Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Treasury Secretary has informed that these new tax laws are effective from 21st April.

Total taxes on hybrid cars with below 2000cc will increase from 38-50% 2000-3000cc 75%, above 3000 cc to 100% – Adaderana.lk

Total taxes on cars below 1000 cc increased from 95-120%, 1000-1600 cc from 119%-128%, Trishaws 38%-50.

Total taxes on all petrol and Diesel cars above 1600 cc are to be remained unchanged.

These taxes seems to be effective regardless of whether they are imported or made in Sri Lanka. another blow for locals. Expect the prices of  Sri Lanka cars for sale to skyrocket within the next few days.

There was a good inducement in Sri Lanka in the past few months for people to buy hybrid vehicles because of the tax concessions those vehicles enjoyed. And that was one of the few good things for the SL consumers because it encourages and enabled middles class Sri Lankans going to buy a new car to buy a good quality, ecofriendly and fuel efficient hybrid vehicle. But now with this tax increases I don’t know how competitive the hybrid cars will be in future. That’s sad

A Sri Lankan Consumer Tips And Tricks Website

Hi all,
It is a long time since I updated this news blog about Sri Lanka. But God willing, from today onwards I hope to regularly update this blog. The things I hope to write about on Sri Lanka News Online in future are as follows..

1) Write firsthand reports and reviews about my and others experiences with consumer products in Sri Lanka.

2) How to get things done in Sri Lanka
(e.g. I recently applied and got my Sri Lankan Passport. I hope to write about how I got it done so others who want to get it can read and benefit from a firsthand account of how another Sri Lankan got it.)

3) The best place to buy things
e.g. last month I wanted to buy a office table for my home office so I can do use it and do my online work. I checked the new furniture stores and the kind of desk I wanted cost around 10,000 – 15,000 rupees. I tried to check where I can buy second hand stuff but couldn’t find any place even though I asked from known people and even searched the Internet for such places in Sri Lanka. So I thought if I want to buy a table I’ll have to spend more than ten thousands rupees. Then I happened to speak to my cousin and my need and he happened to have seen a banner ad for a furniture auction in Bambalapitiya, Colombo 4, on his way to work. I went to the auction and man wasn’t I lucky. I ended up buying FOUR office desks from the auction for just 12,000 Rupees!

See how much money you can save if you go to the right place. Just imagine how many people in Sri Lanka maybe buying those new desks when they can get four or five of them for the same price if they go to the correct place? So I hope to make Sri Lanka News Online a website where people can read tips and news like this and benefit from them.

* Do you have experiences like this you would like to share with others? Please send them to:  news@srilankanewsonline.com