CEYLON BUSINESS NEWS
B Braun pioneers cutting-edge veterinary care locally
B. Braun Lanka, a well-known German multinational and leading medical technology Company with a significant presence in Sri Lanka’s medical industry in various segments of hospital, announced its expanded offering to the Veterinary segment in Sri Lanka. At a recent gala event at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, the launch of these products were attended by senior delegates from The Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH), Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences - University of Peradeniya, Ministry of Agriculture and prominent Veterinarians from the Western Province.
B Braun Sri Lanka and Maldives launched a wide range of new products at the event that is aimed at uplifting the standards of veterinary practices, to ensure that pet lovers are able to secure the best care for their loved ones at their local vet. The launch featured a range of highly effective and technologically advanced equipment and solutions that would ensure higher success rates in surgical procedures and treatments. B Braun also assured their commitment towards the maintenance of these products. At the event, Dr. Nathalie de Dieuleveult - Managing Director, B. Braun in Sri Lanka and
Maldives and the team reaffirmed their mandate of the continued upliftment of medical standards in Sri Lanka by expanding their globally recognised offering in both the medical and veterinary segment to protect and improve the health of people around the world.
Image 01 - Dr. Nuwan Wickramasinghe - President, Society of Companion Animal Practitioners of Sri Lanka, Prof. Ashoka Dangolla - Head, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Peradeniya, Nathalie de Dieuleveult - Managing Director, B Braun in Sri Lanka and Maldives, Hemamalie Kottalawala - Director General - Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH), Sanjika Perera, Director - Planning, Ministry of Livestock Development, Samantha
Seneviratne - General Manager, Sales & Marketing, B Braun, Vijitha Bandara- Registrar - Veterinary Drug Control Authority, Department of Animal Production and Health
CAFE 2023 - 20TH EDITION BATTLE OF THE CHEFS
The chef’s guild of Lanka was initially formed in 1988 by late chef Neil Gow with the fellow chef’s community in Sri Lanka namely chef Marie Nugapitaya, chef Nisal Fernando, chef Gerard Mendis, and the team of about 40 senior Chefs from the Colombo City Hotels.
Today we have an executive committee of almost 40 Chefs representing most of the 5-star properties and a membership of almost 4500 Chefs in Sri Lanka representing the Hotels and Restaurants.
The first Culinary Competition in Sri Lanka was held in 1992 with just 75 participants and today it has grown to be one of the most participated Culinary Events in Asia. We were unable to stage this event in the last 3 years due to the situation the country faced, and in 2019 we had 2600 Chefs participating with over 3200 food entries.
This event also creates a platform for our young up and coming chefs to showcase their talent and skills to the public and create the path way for them to pursuer their career in a very professional manner with winning of medals and awards. Due to the lack of space, we are not able to open this event to many other countries that have shown interest in participating and we hope that there will be a professionally built Congress center soon for us to extend this facility globally that would definitely attract many countries.
Many of our Sri Lankan Chefs are today holding high positions in the culinary Industry in many parts of the world, and this is an area of growing demand and we the Chefs Guild of Lanka continuously keep on updating the Culinary Industry in Sri Lanka on global food trends etc. to ensure that we are within the new concepts and global high food standards.
CGL team of chefs has represented Sri Lanka at all the bi annual world congresses since 1992 held globally in order to develop global trends and changing culinary concepts to be adopted and maintained in Sri Lanka. We have attended these Congresses / Forums in Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Dubai, Greece, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, to name a few
This competition categories are being judged by international famous WACS approved judges from America, Europe, Far East, Pacific rim and the middle eastern regions along with the presence of our WORLD PRESIDENT Chef Thomas Gugler.
This year our President Hon Ranil Wickremasinghe has confirmed his attendance as the Chief Guest for the inauguration on the 8th of June at 10 am together with the Hon Minister of Tourism Harin Fernando and many other dignitaries.
CGL received the WORLD HUMANITARIAN AWARD by the World Association of Chefs Societies for the services rendered during the Tsunami by cooking and feeding the refugees in Balapitiya, Koggala and Hambanthota. We cooked 20 thousand meals a day for almost 2 weeks.
We also set up a satellite kitchen during the tail end of the war in the north in Mannar and Cooked meals for refugees in Manik Farm Camp site feeding about 25 thousand refugees for one month. PROFESSIONAL CULINARY DEVELOPMENT CONTRIBUTED TO THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY AND THE YOUTH
identify the talents and skills through training and culinary competitions to select the best and pave the way to get to the international arena
special training and sponsorship of chefs to represent Sri Lankan youth chefs for global culinary competitions SICA, FHA, HOFEX, WORLD CUP IN LUXEMBOURG, World CULINARY OLYMPICS in Germany, world pastry cup in Singapore etc. Sri Lankan young chefs have received over 20 gold medals at every world culinary Olympics event which is held every 4 years in Germany and the World Cup in Luxembourg in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2020.
YOUTH / COMMUNITY PROGRAMS
The CGL has developed the most up to date cookery curriculum with the assistance of AUSTRALIAN AID and endorsed by the VTA, NAITA, NYSC, SLITHM and TVEC and used presently at the training centers. The CGL has completed a full 10-day residential training programmes for the entire VTA, NAITA, NYSC and selected SLITHM faculty and instructors during COVID in 2022 and 2021. The CGL initiated in assisting and organizing the professional training kitchens of 3 centers of NAITA and VTA namely in ANURADHAPURA, KADURUWELA and AHANGAMA.
The CGL nominated 06 chef instructors, initiated and completed the full 06 months training for the center resource person and 125 students from the respective national training centers for NVQ 4 level.
The CGL has developed competitions and criteria for the industry needs and international standards along with multinational companies NESTLE LANKA Ltd by conducting the “NATIONAL GOLDEN CHEFS HAT COMPETITIONS " in Sri Lanka
The CGL developed and managed for 3 seasons since 2018 - 2023 the world renowned “SUPREME CHEF CULINARY CHALLENGE " the tv series which was telecasted over SIRASA TV AND RUPAVAHINI CHANNELS
Every year on the 20th of OCTOBER the "WORLD CHEFS DAY " is celebrated with CSR projects and fellowship for the chefs in all districts in 1 location to develop team spirit, friendship and share professional knowledge
The CGL has initiated along with Australian aid with the assistance of the VTA/NAITA/NYSC/SLTHM best students in identify 40 innovative AUTHENTIC REGIONAL RECEIPES, prepare and present and develop contemporary menus to mark an identity to our national Sri Lankan cuisine which will be completed and launched during CAFE 2023.
We look forward to a great event of a ' Battle of the Chefs "
DSI obtains enjoining order against infringement of its AVI Brand
D. Samson & Sons (Private) Limited, widely known as DSI, is a leading homegrown brand and manufacturer of footwear, apparel and bicycle tyres across the country and has established a strong reputation for quality products in Sri Lanka since its inception. In 2006, DSI launched ‘AVI’, a local sportswear brand and, owing to its tremendous success, goodwill and reputation, in 2022, an AVI exclusive brand outlet was opened in
Action was filed in the Commercial High Court of Colombo by DSI through their lawyer Sudath Perera Associates, against an entity operating an e-commerce business on Facebook and Instagram under a purported name of “AVI_Clothing”. The action was filed for the infringement of DSI’s AVI trademark and brand on the basis of unfair competition and passing-off. On 27 th March 2023 the Commercial High Court Judge Priyantha Fernando, issued an enjoining order against the Defendant, AVI_Clothing, for engaging in the business of selling clothing with a brand name identical or confusingly similar to the AVI trademark and brand. The Plaintiff, DSI, pleaded that the Defendant has copied the mark “AVI” belonging to
the Plaintiff in a phonetically and visually similar manner with the deliberate intention of passing of its products as those of the Plaintiff.
The Plaintiff further pleaded that the slight insignificant changes in the impugned mark used by the Defendant are unnoticeable to the average consumers and deliberately adopted with the mala fide intention of the Defendant to usurp the goodwill and reputation of the Plaintiff’s AVI trademark.
The Commercial High Court having heard the submissions of the Lead Counsel for the Plaintiff issued an enjoining order as prayed for by the Plaintiff restraining the Defendant from continuing to use the name/sign/ mark “AVI” or any other variation thereof and from carrying out the business under the trade name “AVI_Clothing” and any other variation thereof and using any other trade name or trademark confusingly similar to Plaintiff’s trade name or trademark. Furthermore, notice was issued on the Defendant to appear in Court on 10 th April 2023. Attorneys-at-law Mr. Manoj Bandara and Ms. Nayomi Chethana, instructed by Sudath erera Associates, appeared for D. Samson & Sons (Private) Limited. (DSI)
Axiata Digital Labs’ ADL Heartbeat Initiative makes an impact
Axiata Digital Labs, the leading provider of innovative digital solutions and services, has once again proved its commitment to corporate social responsibility by contributing to the well-being of children in need through the ADL Heartbeat initiative. Axiata Digital Labs, along with its team members recently made a generous donation of essential and daily-use products to the Sarvodaya Suwasetha Nutrition Centre – a Children’s Home located in
Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
As part of its ADL Heartbeat initiative, Axiata Digital Labs is dedicated to positively impacting society by focusing on areas such as education, health, the environment, and disaster relief. The donation included essential baby items such as baby soap, baby oil, baby diapers, baby cologne, baby cream, assorted dry rations, and cleaning supplies. These items will go a long way towards satisfying the necessities of the children and will undoubtedly make a
a significant difference in their day-to-day life.
Speaking about the donation, the CEO of Axiata Digital Labs, Thushera Kawdawatta commented “We are honoured to have this opportunity to contribute to the well-being of these children through our ADL Heartbeat Initiative. As a socially responsible organization, we believe it is our responsibility to contribute to the local communities in which we operate. We hope that our contribution will create a positive influence on these children’s lives and bring them long-lasting happiness and a sustainable echo system.” Via the ADL Heartbeat initiative, Axiata Digital Labs remains committed to positively impacting society. The company believes its success to be evaluated not just by its financial performance, but also by the significant impact on the communities. The recent donation to the children’s home in Moratuwa is a glimpse into the company’s commitment to social responsibility, and it aims to continue improving the lives of those in need.
SLARDAR to Develop State-of-the-Art Racing Arena
The Sri Lanka Association of Racing Drivers & Riders (SLARDAR), the premier Motor Racing Club in Sri Lanka and Asian Motor Racing Club (AMRC), launch the ‘Sri Lanka Super Series 2023’ in partnership with Principal Sponsor Nippon Paints, Official Tyre Partner, Maxxis Tyres and Official Lubricant Partner Mobil. This is the first of such racing events hosted by SLARDAR after a hiatus of three years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the prevailing economic down fall. This year, SLARDAR decided to take steps to slowly restart activities to benefits both competitors and fans, starting with the’ Sri Lanka Super Series 2023’.
In collaboration with the Asian Motor Racing Club (AMRC), SLARDAR launched the ‘Sri Lanka Super Series’ back in 2017. This championship is unique as it is the only one to have ever presented its champions with brand new cars and motorcycles. In previous years, the SLARDAR played a pivotal role in creating and introducing nearly all the gravel tracks in the country, including Fox Hill Super Cross, Gajaba SC, Gunners SC, Sigiriya Rally Cross, Commando Super Cross, and Colombo Super Cross.
Additionally, at a juncture where the future of Motor Sports in Sri Lanka is questionable due to a lack of proper facilities, the SLARDAR has joined forces with Wijerathne Engineering (Pvt) Ltd. to develop the ‘Nippon Mahameruwa Racing Arena by SLARDAR’. The arena will be suitable for both cars and motorcycles and will feature a plethora of facilities including a Restaurant Area, a Swimming Pool, Training & Briefing Rooms, Accommodation for over 100 People, an ATV Track, a 4x4 Challenge Track, an Out Bound Training facility and more.
The arena will also serve as a testing ground for racing cars & motorcycles, and as a driver & rider training facility as well. Trusting the credibility of the SLARDAR, Nippon Paints has stepped forward as the Principal Sponsor for the facility along with Official Tyre partner, Maxxis Tyres. The ‘Nippon Mahameruwa Racing Arena by SLARDAR’, will be located in Nalla, Giriulla, in the North Western Province
Pics by Prabodha de Silva
Colombo Fashion Week clocks 20 years
The journey of reviving and building pride in the fashion design industry of Sri Lanka
A journey that started in 2003, completes an important milestone two decades later. From a handful of designers with little aspiration for the younger generation to pursue fashion as a career, to an eco-system that promotes sustainable fashion and design, it's been a journey of interesting ups and downs. From pre-war to post, there were opportunities that created pathways for young Sri Lankan designers to follow. Today. more than 80% of designers we see are the product of CFW design development platform.
Since 2012, Colombo Fashion Week CFW) has actively developed and followed the sustainable fashion paradigm, it started with the Ethical fashion day, the Responsible Fashion Summit and the sustainable tool, the Responsible Meter which was introduced in 2020. The efforts of the last 11 years make this platform one of the most sustainable platforms in the world. Over the years high profile designers fro:n Europe, Australia and Asia have shown here. It is also popularly known as South Asian Fashion
Week as it shows designers from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, to name a few- Tarun Tahiliani, David Abraham, Agatha Ruiz de La Prada, Gaetano Navarra, Rohit Bal, Gaurav Gupta, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Payal Pratap, Suneet Varma, Rizwan Beyg, Suket Dhir, Urvashi Kaur and they showed along important Sri Lankan designers like Dimuthu Sahabandhu, Amilani Perera, Chariri Suriyage, Indi Yapa Abeyawardhena, Darshi Keerthisena (Buddhi Batiks), KT Brown, Sonali Dharmawardena. This interaction with international design:s was also intended to encourage knowledge sharing with the fashion design industry of Sri Lanka.
With the aim of empowering the fashion design industry, CFW 2023 is set to take fashion to new heights. "In the last 20 years, among other things, CFW has brought Pride in Sri Lankan fashion, this aspect was missing when we started, today Sri Lankan designers are household names and their creations fill wardrobes. : A sustainable ecosystem has been created which gives hope and aspires the younger generation to pursue it. design as a career. Design entrepreneurship is what we are focused on with the goal to reverse brain drain. I am so grateful to all our- partners in buying into our vision and staying with us through thick and thin. Creative industries must flourish as they create soft power for i Lanka." Says Ajai Vir Singh, Managing Director of CFW Holdings. This year brings forward an environment that demands innovations and creativity to move to the next level, as the Sri Lankan economy looks towards revival after a year of turmoil. HSBC Emerging Fund has been instrumental in supporting 5 new design talents to sustain themselves along with the Italy Award, which created opportunities for new designers.
In this edition, there will be 30 Sri Lankan and international designers showcasing, such as Charini Suriyage, and Dimuthu Sahabandu,. Sonali Dharmawardena, Amilani Perera, Fouzul Hameed, Indi Yapa Abeywardena, Asanka De Mel.
SLT-MOBITEL, Creative Isle launch CAN Weekday Market
Supporting creative Microentrepreneurship
Colombo, Sri Lanka, March 01, 2023 With the growing popularity of the weekend market at One Gall Face, The CAN Market has now expanded to launch a weekday market to be conducted twice a month at the World Trade Centre, located in the heart of Colombo. This second venue aims to reach out to the working community at large.
Commenting on SLT-MOBITEL's involvement as the National ICT Solutions Provider, SLT General Manager of MSME Business Development, Sanjeewa Jayamaha said "We are engaged in several initiatives within the partnership as enablers of entrepreneurship towards supporting the creation of market access, capacity building and technology diffusion in the micro and small sector. I take this opportunity to wish the CAN Market every success.
Founder of the CAN Market initiative, Keshini Suraweera said "Over the last two years the CAN Market has successfully promoted and created new opportunities for local entrepreneurs engaged in micro businesses. It is a platform that has created not just B2C opportunities but in many instances opened B2B opportunities as well." "We are excited to welcome CAN Market to WTC Colombo, the largest business-to-business network under one roof, and provide an opportunity for our tenants and visitors to support creative entrepreneurs across the island." Stated Pravir Samarasinghe the Group CEO/ Director of Overseas Realty Ceylon PLC- the owner, manager, and developer of the World Trade Center, Colombo.
The CAN Market together with SLT-MOBITEL and WTC, invites you to come to experience a wide array of sustainable, local products in one location and support entrepreneurs from across the island. From Wednesday to Friday during the first and last week of every month, the CAN Market, WTC will be open from 9 am to 6 pm at the Lobby, opposite the Stock Exchange, and at the Ground
floor, near the main entrance.
From left: Swiss Ambassador Dominik Furgler, Nestlé Lanka Managing Director Jason Avanceña, Industries and Plantation Minister Dr Ramesh Pathirana, Environment Ministry Secretary Dr Anil Jasinghe and Nestlé Lanka Managing Director-Designate Bernhard Stefan
Nestlé commits towards a sustainable Sri Lanka
Continuing its journey of doing good for Sri Lanka, Nestlé Lanka is furthering its investment in the country despite volatility, with its strong focus on sustainability.
The company will be investing over Rs. 1 billion in a biomass boiler project at its state-of-the-art factory in Kurunegala, which will contribute significantly towards the company’s endeavour of achieving net zero emissions across the value chain by 2050. Planned to begin mid-2023, this investment project will be conducted under a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) agreement with Thermax Energy and Environment Lanka Ltd.
Nestlé strongly believes in conducting its operations sustainably in a manner which positively impacts not only people, but also the planet. Towards this end, the company has in place a comprehensive roadmap spanning across the entire value chain from farm to end-of-shelf-life, towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2025 and 50% by 2030, ultimately achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
As such, the construction of this biomass boiler is a significant milestone in Nestlé’s sustainability journey in Sri Lanka, resulting in an approximate 37% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in manufacturing.
Having started its operations in 1984, today, Nestlé Lanka’s Kurunegala factory manufactures over 90% of Nestlé products sold in the country. Standing by the country and its people for over 115 years, the company has become an integral part of Sri Lankan lives and contributes to the livelihoods of more than 25,000 Sri Lankan dairy and coconut farmers and out-growers and provides direct employment to over 800.
Over the years, Nestlé Lanka has consistently invested in the country and just last year, the company invested over Rs. 2 billion in a new Vacuum Band Dryer aimed at expanding the capacity of its manufacturing facility for malted food, i.e., Nestlé Nestomalt and Nestlé Milo.
A press conference was held on 9 February 2023 to announce the investment with the participation of Industries and Plantations Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana; Environment Ministry Secretary Dr. Anil Jasinghe and Swiss Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Dominik Furgler along with officials from Nestlé Lanka, including Managing Director Jason Avanceña and Managing Director-Designate Bernhard Stefan.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Guest, Industries and Plantations Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said: “During this unprecedented time of economic volatility, it is a pleasure to witness Nestlé Lanka consistently investing in the country, especially in green energy. Investments such as this is not only imperative for sustainable economic recovery, but also for a better tomorrow for our future generations.”
Sharing his thoughts, Guest of Honour, Environment Ministry Secretary Dr. Anil Jasinghe said: “Sustainability is important now more than ever and the efforts taken by Nestlé Lanka in this regard is truly commendable. Environmental-friendly alternatives such as biomass is of utmost importance in ensuring sustainable operations and I hope more corporates will undertake similar projects in the years to come.”
“Throughout our operations spanning over 115 years, Nestlé has never wavered in our commitment and endeavour of positively impacting Sri Lankans, be it with our continuous investments, tastier and healthier choices, contribution towards local communities or our initiatives towards a greener and cleaner Sri Lanka.
“It gives me immense pride to lead by example and embark on this project, which would result in a significant positive impact to the planet. I’m also delighted to note that, this project would help us reduce foreign currency outflow with the reduced use of fossil fuel in our operations.
“Staying true to our purpose of ‘Unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come’ we will work together with fellow Sri Lankans as we progress in our ambition of achieving net zero emissions by 2050” said Nestlé Lanka Managing Director Jason Avanceña.
Nestlé Lanka has been consistently recognised as a force for good in appreciation of its efforts towards doing good for Sri Lanka, most recent of which was receiving six awards at the Best Corporate Sustainability Awards 2022.
Accordingly, the company’s wins included Second Runners Up – Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2022, Top Ten Best Corporate Citizens, Sector Award – Manufacturing, Triple Bottom Line Award – Environmental Sustainability (Planet), Category Award – Environmental Integration, and Category Award – Financial Performance. Widely considered Sri Lanka’s highest corporate honour, the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards.
Pics by Chanaka de Silva
Women in Management, IFC Launch the “Top50 Women Global Economic Forum & Top50 Global Professional & Career Women Award 2023”
Advocating for Women’s Business Leadership in Sri Lanka
The "Top50" Women Global Economic Forum and Career Women Awards 2023 were introduced on February 8 at Galadari Colombo in cooperation between the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the government of Australia. This occasion, which will take place in Colombo from June 15–17, 2023, is a great chance to establish a global network.
The event also consists of a two-day forum- themed “Women Taking Center Stage for Economic Recovery”- bringing in eminent local and International speakers as well as stakeholders across government public and private sector, civil society, and international organisations to focus on the role the private sector can play in promoting gender equality and women’s business leadership.
Women are changing the world and “Top50” provides women with the platform to step out confidently into the important conversations about why women should also take a center stage in Sri Lanka’s as well as global economic recovery.’’
Although everyone in Sri Lanka is affected by the current economic crisis, it has particularly negative effects on women because they are disproportionately affected by crises. Therefore, establishing a robust and inclusive recovery depends on raising women's economic involvement and supporting women's business leaders.
"By recognizing the contributions made by women in the workplace and in communities, we can support and encourage the next generation of female leaders. This is demonstrated in Sri Lanka by the "Top50" awards, which are more important than ever as the nation attempts to recover resolutely from the crisis, according to Alejandro Alvarez de la Campa, Country Manager for IFC in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. "No nation can afford to disregard the value of women and the advantages of gender research for their nation, economy, and society.
"Australia is firmly committed to boosting women's participation and elevating their voice in leadership and decision-making in Sri Lanka and other countries. They have been a supporter of the Top50 Women in Management Awards for five years.
This year's panel of judges will be chaired by Kasturi Chellaraja Wilson, Executive Director/Group Chief Executive Officer Hemas Holdings PLC; Dr. Mariyam Shakeela, Honorary Consul of Belgium in Maldives, former Cabinet Minister in Maldives and CEO of SIMDI; Sarah Twigg, Program Manager of Women in Work Lanka at IFC; Santosh Menon, Chairman of FCB KI.LK; Dinesh Weerakkody, Chairman of Board of Investment of Sri Lanka; Prof. Selvaraj Oyyan Pillay, UUNIMAS Kuala Lumpur Learning centre @GIA; Dunston Pereira, CEO Private Office of HH Sheikh Ahamed bin Faisal Al Qassimi; Ngozi Oyewole, CEO of Noxie Limited and President Women in Africa; and Gowri Rajan, Director of Sun Match Company.
The nominations for the awards are open until 2023 and you can apply online via www.womeninmanagementawards.org
Seventh Edition of International Conference on Climate Change 2023
The 7 th International Conference on Climate Change 2023 (ICCC 2023), the latest edition of the event brings together leading global experts on climate- related topics on to one platform, successfully concluded recently. The event was held under the theme “Climate Action and Emerging Challenges: Land- and Ocean-based Solutions”. ICCC 2023 was organized by The International Institute of Knowledge Management (TIIKM) in collaboration with universities from Sri Lanka, Turkey, Thailand, Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, South Africa and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Sri Lanka.
The purpose of the ICCC 2023 was to provide a focal forum for experts to share their latest research findings, knowledge, opinions, suggestions, and vision, while also providing a variety of interactive platforms, such as panels, keynote forums by prominent researchers in the field of
climate change, group discussions, workshops, networking, and many similar experiences. The event united diverse researches, innovations and case studies from all over the world, in parallel sessions while offering many networking and publishing opportunities. With over consist of 100+
participants from 25+ different countries, the conference paved the way for experts to learn about the latest trends and challenges in the field.
The Keynote Speaker of ICCC 2023 was Prof. Mohan Munasinghe - 2021 Blue Planet Prize Laureate, Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and Founder Chairman of the Munasinghe Institute for Development, Sri Lanka. The key highlight of Day 1
was his Keynote Speech on “Integrating Climate Policies into Overall Sustainable Development Strategy - The Balanced Inclusive Green Growth (BIGG) Path”. Prof. Sarath Kotagama from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka delivered a plenary speech at the conference.
Day 01 concluded with the panel discussion on "Can We Achieve the Goal of Climate Action and Net Zero Targets, as Planned, with the Ongoing Climate and Economic Crisis?" which was moderated by Dr. Athula Senaratne - Senior Agriculture Specialist, World Bank, Sri Lanka. The panelists of this discussion were Prof. Amal S. Kumarage, Prof. Buddhi Marambe and Mr. H. K.
Conference Convener Isanka P. Gamage - Co-Founder & Managing Director of The International Institute of Knowledge Management (TIIKM), Sri Lanka stated, “Once again it was a highly informative and well-attended event where top global climate change experts were brought onto one platform to share their latest research and insights. During the past few Press Release decades, the world has gradually learned about what we truly value and what truly matters in the regional and global context. At the same time, we have had to relearn the power of quality research in order to produce knowledge that is applicable outside of the research setting. This conference has once again enabled us to understand the complexities of this all-important topic and understand where the world stands today in our battle against climate change.”
The conference also included 15 Technical Sessions that covered multiple topics including Natural Resources and Biodiversity in a Warming World; Climate Change - Mitigation, Measurements, Modelling, and Predictions I; Climate Change Economics, Law and Policy;
Impacts, Hazards, Risks, and Effective Adaptation To Climate Change I; Climate Change, Awareness, Green Initiatives and Products I; Global Warming, Agriculture, and Food Security I; Carbon Management and Climate Change Mitigation; and Technology Transfer, Law and
Innovative Solutions to Climate Change. Day 2 concluded with a Publication Workshop on “Tips for getting published in international Journals Experience as an Editor and Associate Editor” by Dr. Stacey Archfield - Research Hydrologist-Water Resources, USA and the Awards Ceremony.
Pics by Chanaka de Silva
Lakshman Kadiragama Memorial lecture delivered by Dr.A. K. Abdul Momen Min. of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of Bangladesh
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before I delve into the theme, it would be pertinent to put Bangladesh-Sri Lanka bilateral relations in perspective. The relationship is based on a multitude of commonalities and close people-to-people contacts. Last year, we celebrated the 50 anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic ties. We regularly exchange high-level visits and are engaged in bilateral discussions on sectoral cooperation including shipping, trade and commerce, education, agriculture, youth development, connectivity and so on. Our relationship is all about friendship, goodwill and good neighbourliness.
Therefore, it is comfortable for me to speak before you from a broader perspective involving the entire region's development aspect.
Now, why do we think of a holistic approach to prosperity? It is firstly due to the compulsion of the contemporary evolution of the global order. We are now going through one of the most significant phases of human history having already experienced an unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic. Just as we showed our capacity to tame the pandemic, another challenge came in our way--an armed conflict in Europe. This has not only slowed down our recovery from the havoc done by the pandemic but also caused a global economic recession due to an increase in energy and food prices and more
importantly, disruption of the supply chain and financial transaction mechanism owing to sanctions. Besides, we are also victims of rivalry between big and emerging economies and their strategic power play. All these necessitate the developing countries to get together.
The vision of shared prosperity becomes more relevant when we compare the development trajectory of South Asian countries. Indeed, we have made substantial progress. Some South Asian countries have already graduated to middle-income status while others are making their way. Yet, poverty is still high in the region. One predominant characteristic is that our economies display greater interest in integrating with the global economy than with each other. Regional cooperation within the existing frameworks has made only limited progress being hostage to political and
security considerations. The problems have their roots in the historical baggage as well as the existing disparity in the regional structure. In addition, there are a number of outstanding issues and bilateral discords.
All these realities have left us a message that for survival, we need closer collaboration among neighbours setting aside our differences; we must have concerted efforts through sharing of experiences and learning from each other.
In this backdrop, Bangladesh has been following a policy of shared prosperity as a vision for the friendly neighbours of South Asia. Guided by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, we are advocating for inclusive development in the region. Our development trajectory and ideological stance dovetail our vision of shared prosperity for South Asia. Let me tell you how we are doing it.
In Bangladesh, human development is the pillar of sustainable development. Our Father of the Nation. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his maiden speech at the UNGA in 1974 said and I quote, "there is an international responsibility ... to ensuring everyone the right to a standard living adequate for the health and the well-being of himself and his family". Unquote.
This vision remains relevant even today. In that spirit, we are pursuing inclusive and people-centric development in association with regional and global efforts. In the last decade, we have achieved rapid economic growth ensuring social justice for all. Today, Bangladesh is acknowledged as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. We have reduced poverty from 41.5% to 20% in the last 14 years. Our per capita income has tripled in just a decade. Bangladesh has fulfilled all criteria for graduating from LDC to a developing country. Bangladesh is ranked as the world's 5th best COVID resilient country, and South Asia's best performer.
Last year, we inaugurated the self-funded 'Padma Multi-purpose Bridge". A few days ago, we started the first-ever Metro Rail service in our capital. Soon, we shall complete the 3.2-kilometre Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel under the river Karnaphuli in Chattogram, the first in South Asia. Several other mega-projects are in the pipeline which will bring about significant economic upliftment. Our aspiration is to transform Bangladesh into a knowledge-based 'Smart Bangladesh" by 2041 and a prosperous and climate-resilient delta by 2100. We hope to attain these goals by way of ensuring women's empowerment, sustainable economic growth and creating opportunities for all.
The priorities of the Sheikh Hasina Government are the following: First, provide food, Second, provide clothes, Third, shelter and accommodation to all and no one should be left behind, Fourth, Education and Fifth, Healthcare to all. To achieve these goals, she promoted vehicles like Digital Bangladesh, innovation, foreign entrepreneurs and private initiatives in an atmosphere of regional peace, stability and security, and through connectivity. Bangladesh has become a hub of connectivity and looking forward to becoming a 'Smart Bangladesh'.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
When it comes to foreign policy, we have been pursuing neighbourhood diplomacy for amicable political relations with the South Asian neighbours alongside conducting a balancing act on strategic issues based on the philosophy of "shared prosperity. I can name a few initiatives which speak of our commitment to the fulfilment of the philosophy. Bangladesh, within its limited resources, is always ready to stand by its neighbours in
times of emergency-be it a natural calamity, or pandemic or economic crisis. We despatched essential medicines, medical equipment and technical assistance to the Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and India during the peak period of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We had readily extended humanitarian assistance to Nepal when they faced the deadly earthquake back in 2015. Last year, we helped the earthquake victims of Afghanistan Prior to that, we contributed to the fund raised by the United Nations for the people of Afghanistan
Further, our assistance for the people of Sri Lanka with emergency medicines during the moment of the crisis last year or the currency SWAP arrangement is a reflection of our commitment to our philosophy. These symbolic gestures were not about our capacity, pride or mere demonstration, rather it was purely about our sense of obligation to our neighbours. We strongly believe that shared prosperity comes with shared
responsibility and development in a single country of a particular region may not sustain if others are not taken along.
In addition, we have resolved most of our critical issues with our neighbours peacefully through dialogue and discussion. For example, we have resolved our border demarcation problem with India, our maritime boundary with India and Myanmar, and also our water sharing with India peacefully through dialogue and discussion.
For an emerging region like South Asia, we need to devise certain policies and implement those in a sustainable manner. I would like to share some of my thoughts which could be explored in the quest for our shared prosperity and inclusive development: First of all, without regional peace and stability, we would not be able to grow as aspired for. To that effect, our leaders in the region have to work closely on a priority basis. We may have issues between neighbours but we have to transcend that to leave a legacy of harmony for our future generations so that a culture of peace and stability prevails in the region. We can vouch for it from our own experience. In Bangladesh, we are sheltering 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. If remains unresolved, it has the potential to jeopardise the entire security architecture of South Asia. So, here the neighbourhood should support us for their own interests. Second, we need to revitalize our regional platforms and properly implement our initiatives taken under BIMSTEC and 1ORA. We are happy that BIMSTEC is progressing better, but we should endeavour to make it move always like a rolling machine.
Third, we need to focus on regional trade and investment. Countries in South Asia had implemented trade liberalization within the framework of SAFTA but in a limited scale. Bangladesh is in the process of concluding a Preferential Trade Agreement/Free Trade Agreement with several of its South Asian peers. We have already completed PTA with Bhutan; are at an advanced stage of negotiations for PTA with Sri Lanka and discussions for PTA with Nepal are on. In the same spirit, Bangladesh is about to start negotiations on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India.
Fourth, a well-connected region brings immense economic benefits and leads to greater regional integration. To maximize our intra- and extra-regional trade potentials and enhance people-to-people contacts, Bangladesh is committed to regional and sub-regional connectivity initiatives. Bangladesh's geostrategic location is a big leverage which was rightly picked up by our Hon'ble Prime Minister. She benevolently offered
connectivity in the form of transit and trans-shipment to our friendly neighbours for Sustainable growth and collective prosperity of the region. As for Sri Lanka, if we can establish better shipping connectivity which our two countries are working on, the Overall regional connectivity would be more robust.
Fith. We live in a globalized world, highly interconnected and interdependent. Our region has gone through similar experiences and history. Bangladesh believes in and promotes religious harmony. We have been promoting a "Culture of Peace" across nations. The basic element of a Culture of Peace" is to inculcate a mindset of tolerance, a mindset of respect towards others, irrespective of religion, ethnicity, colour, background or race. If we can develop such a mindset by stopping the venom of hatred towards others, we can hope to have sustainable peace and stability across nations,
leading to the end of violence, wars, and terrorism in nations and regions. There won't be millions of refugees or persecuted Rohingyas. Bangladesh takes special pride in it as even before Renaissance was started in Europe in the 17" century, even before America was discovered in 1492, in Bengal a campaign was started by Chandi Das as early as 1408 that says US NN OS; ORIA UA NIR"- humanity is above all and we still try to promote it.
Sixth, we have to look beyond a traditional approach to development and challenges and revisit the non-traditional global crises of recent times. We are experiencing food, fuel, fertilizer and energy shortages due to global politics and disruption of the supply chain; as littoral and island countries we face similar challenges of natural disasters; we have a vast maritime area which needs effective maritime governance; we need to curb marine pollution and ensure responsible use of marine resources. Our collective, sincere and bold efforts are required to minimize the impacts of climate change as well. In this context, I would like to share Bangladesh's understanding and position.
Blue Economy: Bangladesh is an avid proponent of the Blue Economy and responsible use of marine resources for the benefit of the entire region. We
are keen to utilize the full potential of our marine resources and have developed an integrated maritime policy drawing on the inter-linkages
between the different domains and functions of our seas, oceans and coastal areas. Bangladesh also values the importance of sound science, innovative management, effective enforcement, meaningful partnerships, and robust public participation as essential elements of Blue Economy. At this stage, we need support, technical expertise and investment for sustainable exploration and exploitation of marine resources. As the past and present chairs of IORA, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka should find out ways of bilateral collaboration particularly in Blue Economy in the Bay of Bengal.
ii) Controlling of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (1UU) fishing:
TUU fishing in the maritime territory of Bangladesh needs to be monitored and controlled. Our present capability of marine law enforcement in this
regard is limited. Here regional collaboration would be very useful. Marine Pollution: Marine pollution is a major concern for all littoral
countries. Micro-plastic contamination poses a serious threat to the marine ecosystem. Responsible tourism and an appropriate legal framework underpinned
by regional collaboration would greatly help.
Climate Change and Climate Security in the Bay of Bengal: We have taken a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to make the country climate-resilient. Our Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan were formulated in 2009. Bangladesh pioneered establishing a climate fund entirely from our own resources in 2009. Nearly $443 million has been allocated to this fund since then. Moreover, we are going to implement the 'Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan' to achieve low carbon economic growth for optimised prosperity and partnership. Green growth, resilient infrastructure and renewable energy are key pillars of this prosperity plan. This is a paradigm shift from vulnerability to resilience and now from resilience to
prosperity. As the immediate past Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, we promoted the interests of climate-vulnerable countries including Sri Lanka in the international platforms. Bangladesh is globally acclaimed for its remarkable success in climate adaptation, in particular in locally-led adaptation efforts. The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) South Asia regional office in Dhaka is disseminating locally based innovative adaptation strategies to other climate-vulnerable countries. To rehabilitate the climate-displaced people, we have undertaken one of the world's
largest housing projects which can shelter 4,500 climate-displaced families. Under the Ashrayan" project, a landmark initiative for the landless and homeless people, 450,000 families have been provided with houses. Keeping disaster resilience in mind, the project focuses on mitigation through afforestation, rainwater harvesting, solar home systems and improved cook stoves. In addition, the government has implemented river-
bank protection, river excavation and dredging, the building of embankment, and excavation of irrigation canals and drainage canals in the last 10 years at a massive scale. We feel, our national efforts need to be complemented by regional assistance. As the chair of CVF and as a climate-vulnerable country, our priority is to save this planet earth for future generations. In order to save it, we need all countries, especially those that are major polluters, to come up with aggressive NDCs, so that global temperature remains below 1.5 degree Celsius, they should allocate more funds
to climate change, they should share the burden of rehabilitation of 'climate migrants that are uprooted from their sweet homes and traditional jobs due to erratic climatic changes, river erosion and additional salinity. We are happy that "loss and damage" have been introduced in COP-27.
Seventh, South Asia needs a collective voice in the international forum for optimizing its own interests. Finally, and most importantly, South Asian leaders need similar political will for a better and prosperous region.
We hope that Bangladesh and its neighbours in South Asia would be able to tap the potentials of each other's complementarities to further consolidate our relations to rise and shine as a region. May I conclude by reminding ourselves what a Bengali poet has said, and I quote.
Don't be afraid of the cloud, sunshine is sure to follow. With this, I conclude. I thank you all for your graceful presence and patience.
Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu!
Bocuse d’Or 2023 Grand Final at Lyon, France
By Shivanthi Medagoda
The culinary journey from Ceylon to Lyon, France
Once again after a decade, our talented chefs’ from Sri Lanka enter Bocuse d’Or 2023 grand finals held in Lyon, France. The competition has been taking place since 1987. The culinary competition will be held on the 23rd of January.
Three talented, well experienced and trained industry pioneers team Sri Lanka Chef Mihishan Silva of Hilton residence together with Commis chef Siyathma Perera of Waters Edge Hotel, coached Executive chef Priyantha Weerasighe of Movenpick Hotel are the exceptions to participating in the Bocuse d’Or 2023 grand finale and representing the diverse flavours of Ceylon. The competition will be held among 24 nations, and our team of chefs from Sri Lanka really needs to spice things up and think out-of-the-box, thus representing a whole experience of our flavours to be showcased. The team will be travelling to France via Sri Lanka Airlines.
The president of Bocuse d’Or Sri Lanka, Rohan Fernandopulle said, "We believe this is an excellent opportunity to position Sri Lanka on the global map, promoting Sri Lanka as a tourist destination, and we are excited to portray the skills and talents of our young chefs.” Adding to this, Director-Dilmah Tea Tissaaratchy mentioned that “Dilmah has supported Bocuse d’Or Sri Lanka as part of the brand's commitment to innovation and tea gastronomy. Uplifting culinary standards in the country through the participation of chefs and their apprentices in the global contest initiated by the iconic Chef Paul Bocuse is key to strengthening the hospitality industry in Sri Lanka and creating opportunities for Sri Lankans in this sector.“
The platter topic for the 2023 Bocuse d'Or Grand Final, which will take place in Lyon on January 22 and 23, has just been made public. In addition to other elements, the 24 participating teams will have five and a half hours to cook a seafood feast for fifteen people.
The Bocuse d'Or is now much more than just a culinary competition; it is a centre of excellence and a breeding ground for talent where dedication, passion, skill, and innovation determine the best future chefs. Anyone looking to become well-known internationally will find it to be a fantastic launching pad. We wish our team of Sri Lankan chefs the best of luck!
Ambassador Sarath Wijesinghe President's Counsel presents volume 8i ( eight) of foreign policy perspectives on Human Rights to HE Saroja Sirisena High Commissioner to the United Kingdom on 5th January 2023
Buddika Chairman Surada Campus Ambassador Sarath Wijesinghe President's Counsel former Ambassador to UAE and Israel Hon Mahinda Yapa Speaker to Parliament Dhammika Sissabayaka Secretary General to the Parliament at the book presentation.
Pics by Prabodha de Silva
CEO. Neel Weedhagama, MARKETING MANAGER Vijai Kumar
MARLBO TRADING ANNUAL YEAR-END SALE- 1ST-3D DECEMBER 2022
Marlbo Trading Company operating since 1989 in the field of electrical and allied products will host their Eighth successive 'Annual Year End Sale from December 1st to 3rd from 9 am to 5 pm at its Head Office at No.24, Abdul Gaffoor Mawatha, Colombo 3, under health guidelines.
Marlbo had faced various situations due to Covid and the economic crisis, still, without any interruptions, they have been organizing the Year-end Sale. At the end of the day, the intention is to offer the overall benefit to the customers.
Discounts of up to 75% for selected items will be offered for some of their Testing & Measuring Equipment, Industrial Tools and Safety Products and various other Switch Gears during this three-day sale to upgrade the User's instruments and equipment. Terms and conditions will apply.
Maribo will offer a 'trade-in facility' where any used electrical equipment in any brand
purchased anywhere in the world under any condition will be traded at this sale. Special Bundle Offers IESL& IIESL Students' Annual Membership Fee will be waived for purchases above Rs.20,000/
IESL& 1IESL, Professional Annual Membership Fee will be waived off for purchases above Rs.100,000/
Free Martindale Socket Tester (CP501) for purchases above Rs.50,000/-
The main objective of the sale is to focus on supporting professionals and students of the electrical fraternity to update their equipment, making it affordable with very attractive discounts along with a total manufacturer's warranty. Also, the use of quality branded Instruments leads to obtaining proper measurements which will lead to the qualitative results of the work done. By this sale, the Company will
help the members of the electrical engineering field at all levels to buy quality branded products at affordable prices.
For easy purchasing, Marlbo has introduced an Online portal- namely, buymarlbo.com
Every year Marlbo have been adding new concepts at this event and it has been a new experięnce-and povides the opportunity to gather knowledge by participating and purchasing their products. They always have ample products and spares stored with them and high freight and air charges, escălating global prices due to the dollar appreciation would not affect their customers as Marlbo should be part of the escalating costs said M Maniymuthu, Proprietor, Marlbo Trading Company.
A long-established trading Company for over 30 years, Marlbo represents many world-renowned brands
in the field of testing and measuring instruments, power utilities and safety products such as FLURE ana
AMPROBE USA, DILO Germany, KYORITSU Japan, DV POWER Sweden, MICHAUD France and BAUR
Austria is known for its dependability, accuracy and durability.
At this sale, many world-renowned brands of testing & measuring instruments, such as Fluke, Amprobe, Kyoritsu, Sanwa and many other brands will be on offer. The Year-End Sale has been conducted very successfully during the past seven years, and have developed a great demand by the industrialists year over year. This is a clear indication that the members of the industry have benefited tremendously and Marlbo are confident that it has been a
great benefit to the members of the Profession. You may please log onto their website www.marlbo.net and bymarlbo.com, for more details.
Pics by Prabodha de Silva
FACETS Sri Lanka returns with its Premier edition in January 2023
Promoting the trend of coloured gemstones as centrepieces for crafted jewellery
Ceylon Sapphire is the highlight of the exhibition denoting 2500 year history of trade
Exhibition is from 7th to 9th January at Cinnamon Grand
FACETS Sri Lanka, among the most sought-after international gem and jewellery trade shows on the global gem procurement and sourcing calendar, is scheduled to make a comeback in 2023 after a hiatus of two years. FACETS Sri Lanka
Premier Edition 2023 will make this comeback from the 7th to the 9th of January at Cinnamon Grand with a grander promise of sparkle and glamour, from this island home of the Ceylon Sapphire.
At the media launch attended by the Chairman of the National Gem & Jewellery Authority (NGJA) Viraj De Silva, Chairman of the Export Development Board Suresh de Mel, FACETS Sri Lanka Chairman Altaf Iqbal and President Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) Ajward Deen among other heads of institutions, it was reiterated that the unique Ceylon Sapphire must hold pride of place in this exhibition and that given the popularity of Sri Lankan gems the world over, FACETS Sri Lanka etches a pathway to adding fillip to Sri
Lanka's foreign reserves.
FACETS Sri Lanka has the vision to take Sri Lankan gems into newer brighter spaces enabling foreign exchange revenue to be earned for the country, positioning itself to achieve USD 1 billion in exports in 2023.
"The Ceylon Sapphire's unique beauty and value have been renowned for over 2500 years and it has firmly placed itself among the world's most important gemstones," said Iqbal, a Director of the International Coloured Gemstones Association. While detailing the uniqueness of Sri Lankan gemstones, he also added that FACETS Sri Lanka would concentrate on creating international design trends where all artisanally crafted jewellery will place a coloured gemstone as its centrepiece. "If you look at some of the most valuable masterpieces among royalty around the world, for instance, it is a Sri Lankan gem that holds the centrepiece. We have to bring that trend back, bigger and better of course
President of SLGJA Deen noted that FACETS Sri Lanka is a unique exhibition that has always epitomized the quintessence of the industry. "Undeniably, this Premier Edition takes Sri Lanka's gems and jewellery beyond the stone and into the global space of placing Sri Lanka among the world's best. We are showcasing the treasure trove of gems on this little island, known as Ratnadweepa - or the land of gems as it was called from ancient trading times.
Pics by Prabodha de Silva
National Future Talent Initiative NFT
to sustain and accelerate the growth of the IT & BPM industry
Sri Lanka currently has around 600+ companies in its IT/ BPM eco-system that generates US$ 1.7 Bn in revenue The industry envisages further growth by 2025 and aims to establish 1,000 start-ups, create 200,000 jobs and grow industry revenue to US$5 billion.
The IT/ BPM knowledge-driven industries continue to have a high ask for a workforce with analytical and critical thinking abilities, providing in turn, rewarding job prospects AS per a recent IMF report, it is predicted that there will be a global shortage of more than 85 million tech workers, representing $8.5 trillion in lost annual revenue by 2030.
In the wake of this market landscape, The National Future Talent Initiative (NFTI) is being launched to encourage more people to join the IT/BPM workforce and to invite interested parties to join hands in creating a steady stream of talent entering this lucrative industry. This is a collective initiative supported by the Ministry of Education, 1CTA, FITIS, CSSL, BCS Sri Lanka state and non-state universities, professional bodies, other tertiary and vocational training institutions and donor partners and is incubated by SLASSCOM (the national chamber for the IT and BPM industry).
The key focus is to reach out to the country's very capable youth population to help them understand the future career prospects offered by the IT/ BPM sector. The National Future Talent Initiative (NFTI) is designed to work as an umbrella for all talent drives in the industry and provide the youth with a guided path to pursue a career in IT/ BPM that fits their interest. The industry has over the past few years launched many initiatives to increase the talent output.
We now feel it is time to bring these efforts together and enhance their reach. Therefore, these programmes will deliver results faster and more efficiently, sharing experiences or expanding their scope, reducing unnecessary duplication and making a bigger impact. " Ashique M Ali, the Chairman SLASSCOM said, announcing the rationale for the NFTI program.
Presenting further details of the goals of the programme, Madu Ratnayake, chair, NFTI steering committee said that the initiative aims to build awareness among 100,000 students and 50,000 potential BPO professionals of career opportunities in the knowledge industry to attract new talent.
Arjuna Nanayakkara, CEO, GTN Technologies and Head of Global Shared Services, GTN Group and steering committee member NFTI added "The IT/ BPM industries offer many career choices for those who have a passion for technology and problem-solving and are analytical-minded. It is for school leavers, fresh graduates as well as seasoned professionals.
The widening of the service portfolio that includes greater market penetration and evolution world-class delivery capabilities are testimony to the robust growth of the sector. Bolstered by these factors, a career in the IT/BPM industry promises many bright prospects, that would in to help to produce the requisite talent to drive the industry forward to generate much needed revenue for the country.
20,000 free e-tickets from SLIM - Electronic World Marketing Summit
The Electronic World Marketing Summit (eWMS) which was founded by Professor Philip Kotler in 2010 with the objective of creating a better world through marketing, will be held virtually on the 6th and 7th of November, 2022 with the theme ‘Marketing Changes to Meet Sustainability
The summit, which will be live-streamed for 48 hours, is set to be delivered by over 172 world-renowned speakers in business, marketing, digital and social media, branding, and all related areas across over 100 countries across the globe who will share their experience and knowledge
aiming to unite innovative minds from the corporate, public, non-profit and academia to explore ways to integrate marketing solutions to meet sustainability goals.
The role of the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) in eWMS was announced at a press conference, that was chaired by President of SLIM Nuwan Gamage, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of SLIM Sanath Senanayake, Chairman, University Grants Commission Senior
Professor Sampath Amarathunge, Past President of SLIM and AMF Rohan Somawansa, and Dr. Fahim Kibria representing Kotler’s Impact, held at SLIM Business School on the 3rd of November, 2022.
Speaking at the press briefing, the President of SLIM, Nuwan Gamage, stated: “Marketing professionals require motivation, direction, and leadership to move forward in these challenging times as all facets are now subjected to new means and expectations. eWMS is a chance to
rethink the sustainable future; what adjustments need to be done and what strategies and tactics could be used to guide businesses through this difficult period and to succeed. With this in mind, SLIM has arrived at a decision to offer 20,000 free e-tickets to local undergraduates
and post-graduates who are studying marketing to promote the best global marketing practices among Sri Lanka’s marketing fraternity.”
Rohan Somawansa, one of the Past Presidents of SLIM and AMF, who was instrumental in taking Sri Lanka to the global marketing fraternity, recalled that SLIM started communicating with Kotler Impact in 2011 to promote the brand ‘Sri Lanka’ in the global marketing field. As a
result of the affiliation with the AMF and its awards ceremony, SLIM nominated the winning organizations to present three eminent marketing professionals to represent the local marketing fraternity at this eWMS 2022. This selection primarily was based on their performance which assured an accolade at the awards ceremony, the professionalism of the respective speakers, the number of years of experience and recognition in the global arena that they represent to date.
The nominated speakers are :
● Dilshan Fernando, Chief Executive Officer of Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company, on how the
brand ‘Dilmah’ used sustainable marketing models to take the brand globally
● Nalin Karunarathne, Chief Executive Officer at Ceylon Biscuits Limited, on CBL’s global
marketing strategies that enabled the brand to span across over 65 countries
● Hemantha Perera, Director , Sales and Marketing of Basilur Tea Export (Pvt) Ltd., on
their journey through sustainable marketing efforts to become an award-winning
premium brand in over 80 countries.
Rohan Somawansa further added that these personalities will be able to have a positive impact on the developments in the overall marketing field in Sri Lanka. Representing Kotler’s Impact, Professor Fahim said that SLIM’s involvement with Kotler’s Impact goes back to 2011 and that helped to recognize Sri Lankan marketers at this eWMS. Senior Professor Sampath Amarathunga appreciated SLIM’s giving away 20,000 free e-tickets as a
golden opportunity for Sri Lankan University students to learn about global brands, their experience, research insights, global marketing strategies, etc.
For further information, please visit www.worldmarketingsummit.org/ewms-2022.
Better life for street dogs by Daraz and WECare create
Sri Lanka’s largest e-commerce marketplace, Daraz signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with WECare, a UK charity organization on a mission to provide high-quality veterinary care for street dogs in Sri Lanka.
A collaborative effort of vets, nurses, and animal lovers from the UK, Sri Lanka, Australia, India, and Poland, WECare Worldwide focuses on the three key areas of neutering and vaccinations, treatment of illness and injury, and educating the community about the welfare of roaming dogs. Since its inception in 2014, the organization and its founder Dr. Janey Lowes have been working tirelessly to provide essential healthcare to street dogs in Sri Lanka.
Daraz’s partnership with WECare will enable the deployment of a fully equipped “Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return” (CNVR) vehicle which will aid in sterilization, vaccination, and treatment of injuries and illnesses of up to 13,000 street animals per year, islandwide. The mobile unit will also help the organization amplify its efforts to educate local communities on animal welfare and protection.
Commenting on the partnership, Daraz Sri Lanka Managing Director Rakhil Fernando said: “Animal welfare standards in Sri Lanka are inordinately low. Millions of street dogs in the country lack basic veterinary care, and if we care about animals and the well-being of the communities they live in, it’s important for us to do our part and support the incredible work of animal welfare advocates like Dr. Janey Lowes and the WECare foundation. Uplifting our communities and supporting their wellbeing ranks high in Daraz’s corporate ethos, and the partnership with WECare is another step forward that furthers our efforts in this direction.”
With this partnership, WECare worldwide will also join the Daraz Donates platform, which will soon enable all Daraz users to donate to the meaningful work carried out by the organization in Sri Lanka.
Sharing her views on the partnership, WECare Worldwide Founder Dr. Janey Lowes added: “We are so excited for this partnership with Daraz which will enable the launch of a fully-equipped, world-class CNVR vehicle in Sri Lanka. Street dogs are not stray dogs. They live freely and happily on the street, with most having a safe place to sleep and a reliable food source. What they lack is access to healthcare when they need it most, which is where we come in. Roaming dogs have been a part of Sri Lankan culture for generations. Our aim is to provide them with essential healthcare, timely vaccinations, and treatments whenever required so that they can return to their communities as healthier animals.
“Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release (CNVR) is the backbone of everything we do here in Sri Lanka. It’s the most humane, sustainable, and impactful way of reducing the roaming dog population while keeping the current ones happy and healthy. Our greater goal is to deploy several CNVR vehicles to serve the millions of street dogs in the country and this partnership with Daraz is a great push in the right direction for finding lasting solutions to manage the street dog population and eradicating rabies in both animals and humans.”
WECare is a charity organization set up in 2014 by the UK vet Dr. Janey Lowes during her holiday in Sri Lanka. After witnessing the plight of street dogs, she shifted her life to the Island Nation and has since not only dedicated her time to improving the lives of street dogs but has also encouraged many like-minded people to show kindness and love towards animals through education and volunteering programmes.
Founded in 2015, Daraz is South Asia’s leading e-commerce platform in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Myanmar. It empowers more than 100,000 active sellers with world-class marketplace technology to reach the fast-growing consumer class in a region of 500 million people. Through Daraz Express and Daraz Pay, it operates the most efficient and digitalized logistics and payments infrastructure in its markets. Daraz’s vision is to be a champion of South Asia, serving 100 million customers and businesses by 2030.
Hemas Launches Group Environmental Agenda 2030 Commits to protect Sri Lanka’s endemic species
With the firm belief that a responsible Sri Lankan corporate must care for and protect what is uniquely Sri Lankan, Hemas Holdings PLC launched their
Group Environmental Agenda 2030 ‘Haritha Mehewara’, a long-term commitment to protect and conserve the island’s critically endangered endemic species through necessary actions and interventions.
Being a global biodiversity hotspot, Sri Lanka is home to over 350 endemic species covering the gamut of plant and animal kingdoms. However, due to an increase in human activity leading to habitat loss, the animal and plant life that is endemic to Sri Lanka remains under threat.
Speaking on the Group commitment, Kasturi Chellaraja Wilson, Group CEO of Hemas Holdings PLC said, “As a truly Sri Lankan company we believe we need to care for and protect all that is Sri Lankan, so that future generations can also benefit from being part of this rich eco-system that we possess. Through our environmental agenda, we will work towards raising awareness and championing advocacy through partnerships to safeguard
our environment, actively pursue the use of natural resources in a responsible manner, limit the impact of our operations and reduce the use of plastic that are harmful to the environment. Our intention is to have all our initiatives and interventions resulting in the protection of endangered endemic species in Sri Lanka.”
As a key initiative of the Environmental Agenda, Hemas Holdings has partnered with Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) to understand and carry out necessary interventions to protect over 50 critically endangered species in Sri Lanka. Speaking on the partnership, Jehan CanagaRetna, President of Wildlife and Nature Protection Society said, “The future of our world’s wildlife and conservation will depend on us humans. Sri Lanka is no better. With global warming and severe climate change all over the world, it is important to protect what we have. Hemas in partnership with WNPS is
taking a bold initiative to protect our critically endangered endemics. This is a huge step in the direction we should be heading, and it is heartening to see a large Corporate like Hemas take the extra step to provide a future for the next generations. I hope others see this as a stepping stone to protect our world.”
Hemas Holdings PLC
Established in 1948 Hemas started with a simple intent: to help families live healthfully. This core belief has informed our growth for over 70 years. Today, we bring healthful living to life through our focus on Consumer Brands, Healthcare and Mobility. Woven into the socio-
economic fabric of Sri Lanka, Hemas has also expanded regionally with operations in Bangladesh, and West Bengal. In our onward journey, we will continue to invest in diverse and passionate teams, create meaningful offerings, cultivate trusted partnerships, and champion a more inclusive world, to create a positive impact for all our stakeholders.
The Panel – Image caption (L-R):
Kasturi Chellaraja Wilson – Group CEO, Hemas Holdigs PLC, Jehan Canageratne – President, WNPS, Prof. Sampath Seneviratne – Professor of Zoology, University of Colombo, Ishani Ranasinghe – Head, Group Sustainability and Corporate Communications, Hemas Holdings PLC
Daraz celebrates 6 years of revolutionising e-commerce in Sri Lanka
Gear up for the biggest anniversary Sale of the year
Sri Lanka’s largest and leading online marketplace Daraz celebrates its sixth year of revolutionising the local e-commerce industry of the Island Nation, bringing with it a host of offers and discounts to share the happiness with its customers.
Founded in Sri Lanka in 2015, the e-commerce platform has come a long way from being a Colombo-centred start-up with only 50 employees and 200 sellers to becoming a household name in the Sri Lankan e-commerce industry. As e-commerce worldwide underwent a period of major change in the last few years alone, Daraz’s leadership took on a pioneering role to leverage its resources and advanced, modern technology to spread the perks of this change into all parts of the country.
Since then, Daraz has grown into a fully-fledged company employing a team of over 1,000 aspiring and keen individuals and a growing seller community with 5,000 active sellers per week, all working beyond the traditional buy-sell concept to achieve a shared vision of making real change through the power of e-commerce. Over the years, Daraz has also been consecutively recognized, awarded, and admired as a Great Place to Work in Sri Lanka by institutions and more significantly, its employees and seller community.
This year’s celebration opens doors for one of the biggest sales of the year from 27th September to 3rd October 2022, with up to 75% off as well as up to a further 12% off on selected bank cards and 40-month instalment plans for a unique shopping experience.
Daraz users can avail themselves of a number of other mega deals, including flat Rs. 199 on shipping at Daraz Mart and flat Rs. 149 on shipping for a minimum spend of Rs. 4,500 on fashion and clothing. Be among the 25 lucky winners to stand a chance to win Rs. 30,000 by shopping for 3 orders for just Rs. 3,500, or collect vouchers for additional discounts.
Customers can explore more deals and discounts at Daraz Mall, the online marketplace’s premium brand channel, which offers easy access to a wide range of 100% genuine products from over 450 trusted household brands available in Sri Lanka with a 14-day return policy.
Coming on board as Co-Sponsors are Swisstek, Celcius, Spring & Summer, Signature, Brown & Company PLC, and Unilever. Meanwhile, Hemas, Nature’s Secrets, Ebsaw, Hontinga Store, Auoyo, TFO, LouisWill, HP, Phoenix, and ECO Products are stepping in as Brand Partners.
Daraz is South Asia’s leading e-commerce platform with a presence in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Myanmar. It empowers more than 200,000 active sellers with world-class marketplace technology to reach the fast-growing consumer class in a region of 500 million people. Through Daraz Express and Daraz Pay, it operates the most efficient and digitalized logistics and payments infrastructure in its markets. Daraz’s vision is to be a champion of South Asia, serving 100 million customers and businesses by 2030.
Starting bright and early at Mount Lavinia, “Beach Cleaning Day” was a joint effort carried out in collaboration with environmental organizations Clean Ocean Force and Wana Arana as well as the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA), the Central Environmental Authority (CEA), and Sri Lanka Police.
U Softo: Where comfort and longevity meet style
U Softo, the everyday wear footwear brand of D. Samson Industries (Pvt.) Ltd., is a staple
footwear brand in Sri Lanka that is synonymous with ultra-comfort, quality, and durability. The
wide range of stylish slippers and sandals has something for everyone, catering predominantly
to gents, ladies, and kids from the ages of 5 to 55.
Made 100% in Sri Lanka, U Softo integrates technology and innovation with modern designs suitable for any casual occasion and offers customers the best value for money. Durability is a key feature of U Softo slippers and sandals that avoids strap pull-outs, de-
lamination, and removed stitching, making it a long-term investment that is easy on the customer’s wallet. U Softo footwear gives ample support to the wearer’s arches, which in turn impacts the posture of the wearer and allows for long-term usage. U Softo sandals and slippers also give support around the ankles and toes to ensure relaxed wear, preventing from causing pain or discomfort.
From a busy day at work and a stroll in the park to simply handling long days of running errands back to back, U Softo footwear is designed with the perfect cushioning that is not only comfortable but also ideal for the health of the wearer’s feet and spine. Get your hands on a pair of U Softo at islandwide DSI Showrooms or via wholesale dealers!
Pics by Chanaka de Silva
70years of Indonesia and Sri Lanka Diplomatic Relations
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKI) in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia convened a ceremonial opening and hybrid seminar to raise awareness of seven decades of friendly and mutually beneficial diplomatic relations between the two Asian countries.
The Seminar was hosted in the Auditorium of the LKI on 10 th August and this event brought together many academics, practitioners, diplomats and other stakeholders who have contributed in cementing the strong ties between Sri Lanka and Indonesia. The seminar was launched by Dr. Dayantha Laksiri Mendis, the LKI’s Executive Director who welcomed the distinguished participants and guests. The main speakers were the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Her Excellency Retno L.P. Marsudi, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister, Hon. M.U.M. Ali Sabry. This was followed by statements by H.E Dewi Gustina Tobing, Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives of the Republic of Indonesia and Ms Aruni Wijewardane, Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka.
After the opening session, an interactive panel discussion moderated by Dr Dayantha Laksiri Mendis followed. The webinar focused on the multi-dimensional relations between the two countries in a friendly manner. The participants were H.E. Dewi Gustina Tobing, Ambassador of Indonesia to Sri Lanka, her counterpart, Her Excellency Yasoja Gunasekera , Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Indonesia , Prof. Kusnanto Anggoro, Executive Director of the Center for Geopolitical Risk Assessment of the University of Indonesia, Jakarta and Professor Chaminda Padmakumara, Head of the Department of International relations, University of Colombo. Prof. Kusnanto Anggoro has played an active role in reforming Indonesia’s security system, advising the Indonesian Government, and communicating with the Indonesian parliament and civil society in this field.
This event was designed to commemorate the 70 th Anniversary of formal diplomatic relations that were established on 6 th August 1952. However, there have been relations between the two countries in pre-colonial times, notably between the Sinhalese Kingdom and the Srivijaya Empire, both being Buddhist kingdoms.
Fairfirst Team MCA Premier League Champions
On 30 th July, cricketing fans were able to witness a nail-biter as Fairfirst Insurance successfully chased a victory target of 230-runs with just two wickets and nine balls to spare. Fierce competition was put forth by the Maliban bowlers; however, towards the end of the day, Fairfirst’s nerves of steel pushed them across the winning total amidst loud cheers and non-stop prepared music continued towards the late hours at MCA grounds. The phenomenal encounter
between two leading corporates in Sri Lanka ended on a high with Fairfirst Insurance crowned as Champions at the National Development Bank (NDB)-sponsored Mercantile Cricket Association (MCA) Premier League 2022.
The journey which led Fairfirst to the MCA Premiere League Championship is a great example of how friendship and engagement within an organisation can fuel its grit towards constantly pushing to be the best at what they do. For Fairfirst, this journey started in 2018 when they took
part in the MCA “G” Division and emerged runners-up in the tournament. In 2019, they were the “F” Division champions and in 2022 became the “E” Division runners-up. As records show, although they played in most finals, their nerves got the best in their ability to clinch the championship title. However, this time around the team was able to write their very own success story by gaining insights through hindsight as they became Champions in the Premier League Tournament packed with world-class talent.
In speaking about this grand win, Sanjay Siriwardena, Chief Sales Officer and Team Manager stated: “First of all, well played to the team for giving their all throughout the MCA series and finally achieving what they deserved. This win is a celebration of our togetherness as a company. And when the external environment is surrounded by doom and gloom, this victory gives each of us the belief that as a company, we can navigate turbulent waters
together and come out as champions.” Lakshan Perera, Fairfirst Cricket Team Captain, commented on this highlight, saying: “This win goes out to my team for making us the Champions at the finals. But there’s more to our journey; it doesn’t just stop here. We are at a stage of pushing through to the next tiers of the tournaments, and we believe we are more than ready to take it on in the spirit of success, togetherness, and fun.”
Appreciating the dedicated efforts of the cricket champions, Sandeep Gopal, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fairfirst Insurance, stated: “The way things are done at Fairfirst is defined by our brand values of Empathy, Authenticity, Transparency, and Social Responsibility. As a result, the talent and attitude of individuals are always prioritised over the traditional hierarchy which usually creates divisions amongst larger teams. “Our cricket team is the perfect example of this value-driven ethos as they represent how individuals from a varied set of departments, geographies, and demographics within the
organisation can come together and achieve incredible results. I am extremely happy and proud of each team player for making their love for cricket a valuable strength of teamwork, success, and a way of life. Well played to the team.”
Fairfirst Insurance serves individuals, businesses, and institutions across this beautiful island through a versatile workforce of 1,400 spread across their comprehensive branch network, affinity partners, and leading brokers in the market. Working as a close-knit team, pushing boundaries and embracing a fun-at-work culture enables them to be the best at what they do,
both on and off the field.
Bolt Gear 'Royal Rugby' 2022 Clothing Sponsor
Sportswear brand Bolt Gear is the official Clothing Sponsor for Royal College Rugby during the Inter-School Rugby Tournament 2022. The sponsorship revolves around the brand’s vision of encouraging the younger generation to live an active lifestyle.
The inter-school rugby season is a key annual event in the Sri Lankan school sports calendar, endorsing comradeship between some of the top schools in the country. Royal College boasts a 100-year history of playing rugby and has produced back-to-back champions in the last few years. Bolt Gear has been part of Royal Rugby for the last three seasons.
Commenting on this sponsorship, Bolt Gear Founder and CEO Shafraz Mansoor shared: “An active lifestyle helps everyone to look after their health and wellbeing, and this is the simple notion we aspire to instil in the younger generation. Our collaboration with Royal Rugby seeks to encourage producing an active younger generation.”
Royal Rugby Advisory and Management Committee Chairman Chehan Perera noted: “Bolt Gear is a brand that delivers on the promise of producing high-quality sports gear. We are excited to have Bolt Gear join as the official Clothing Sponsor yet again to continue supporting Royal Rugby, especially during the present economically challenging times, and we hope to continue such partnerships in the years to come.”
Also sharing his thoughts, Royal Rugby Head Coach Dushyantha Leuke said: “Bolt Gear has been a part of Royal Rugby for the past couple of years, going on to support the local school rugby scene. From the first XV jerseys to all the sporting gear made by Bolt Gear for Royal Rugby are of the highest international standards, allowing players of all teams to perform well.”
A subsidiary of United Trading Company (Pvt) Ltd., Bolt Gear (www.boltgear.com) was established in 2012 with the ambition of changing people’s lifestyle to one that improves health and wellbeing. The Bolt Gear range of products is for anyone who would like to take that first step of pursuing an active lifestyle. All products are made with breathable fabrics with meticulous attention to detail and ensures comfort and flexibility.
The brand caters to men, women, as well as kids, offering a range of high-quality products that are of great value for money. Over the years, the company has also been associated with international sporting bodies such as the International Cricket Council, Rugby World Cup, Wallabies, and All Blacks.
Daraz 'Buy1 Give 1' benefits over 1000 vulnerable families
In response to the crisis in Sri Lanka, Daraz launched a “Buy1Give1” program in May 2022. The aim of Buy1Give1 was to provide some relief to vulnerable communities while enabling consumers to transform everyday activities like buying groceries into high-impact, meaningful actions. Daraz is committed to creating a world full of giving, and to further strengthen this effort, Daraz partnered with the Foundation of Goodness to identify families in need and distribute goods collected through this initiative.
Commenting on this effort, Rakhil Fernando, Managing Director of Daraz Sri Lanka, noted: “Sri Lanka is facing an unprecedented crisis, and we need to work together to figure out new ways of empowering each other and lifting each other up. The Buy1Give1 model is practised in other parts of the world, as a means of transforming everyday actions into something meaningful, and that is what we are trying to do in Sri Lanka during this time. We also did not want to put any unnecessary pressure on our consumers and developed a way for them to be part of our initiative while meeting their own daily needs. We are also delighted to partner with the Foundation of Goodness on the distribution because it enables us to ensure that the items collected goes to families who need them the most.”
On 18th July 2022, Daraz officially handed over 8,800 goods worth USD 10,000 to the Foundation of Goodness. These goods will be added to the Foundation’s “Feed the Hungry” program and “Goodness Boxes”, which have already reached 23,000 families in Sri Lanka. The Foundation of Goodness estimates that at least 1,000 families will be able to benefit from the Daraz Buy1Give1 campaign.
Kushil Gunasekera, Founder and Chief Trustee of the Foundation of Goodness, said: “We are extremely privileged to have Daraz on board to donate items towards the Feed the Hungry program through their Buy1Give1 promotion at a time when it is needed the most. Any gift that is unconditionally granted, especially unasked, is always a singular act of generosity and compassion. We value immensely the kindness shown to alleviate the struggles and hardships encountered and applaud this magnanimous gesture. Daraz has demonstrated their community care by helping 1,000 families access meals and that depth of generosity is the real test of humanity.”
Daraz will continue to initiate new ways of supporting and building the Sri Lanka community through its e-commerce platform.
Daraz Sri Lanka is the largest online shopping marketplace in Sri Lanka and is home to a collection of wide-ranging products featured under groceries (Daraz Mart), consumer electronics, home appliances, fashion, sports goods, pet supplies, and much more. Daraz Sri Lanka is a part of South Asia’s premier online shopping marketplace Daraz, which has an active and growing presence in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Myanmar. Supported by cutting-edge technology, tailored marketing, data, and service solutions, Daraz Sri Lanka hosts a growing base of 2.5 million users, and over 125,000 registered sellers. At any given time, over 4.5 million products are being advertised and sold on the platform. Daraz’s logistics company, DEX, delivers more than 50,000 packages to consumers every day, and a majority of those 50,000-plus packages are sold by local sellers that operate on the platform. Daraz is focused on delivering excellent customer experiences, ease of purchase, comprehensive customer care, and hassle-free shopping and returns experience. Supported by the strength of the Alibaba Group, Daraz is transforming into the fastest-growing e-commerce platform in the region.
Daraz powers Lankan Lions as they take on Australia at the ‘Daraz Cup’ T20 series
Australia tour of Sri Lanka kicks off with Daraz Cup T20I series on 7th June
Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka is a much-anticipated cricketing event for the nation as it takes place after a prolonged pause of 6 years. Comprising a total of three matches, the ‘Daraz Cup’ T20I series will take place at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium and Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium on 07, 08, and 11 June 2022.
Cricket in the island nation has come a long way to become the essence that transcends all boundaries and brings Sri Lankans together to cheer in one voice for the country. As a brand committed to making a difference in the national sporting arena, Daraz is pleased to announce its role as the Title Sponsor for upcoming Sri Lanka vs. Australia T20 International series 2022.
Commenting on the title sponsorship, Daraz Sri Lanka Managing Director Rakhil Fernando shared: “We are excited to be powering the dynamic ‘Daraz Cup’ T20 cricketing encounter between Sri Lanka and Australia that marks a significant milestone on the sporting calendar of the nation. Supporting our young and dynamic National Cricket Team and encouraging our young athletes to make great strides in international sports is now a part of our DNA. As a youth-centric brand, we consider it our duty to help build confidence in our players to bring glory to our country, especially during this phase of difficulty and turbulence.”
Over the years, Daraz has played an active role in patronizing the most loved sport in Sri Lanka, the roots of which in then Ceylon dates back to the 1800s. In the recent past, the largest online shopping destination came on board as the Official Overseas Team Sponsor of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and partnered with SLC for the England tour of Sri Lanka in 2021. It also partnered with SLC for Lanka Premier League (LPL) and was live streaming on the Daraz App, co-sponsored the Test series of the Sri Lanka tour of South Africa in 2020.
Pics by Prabodha de Silva
CEB non-settlement of dues to the Renewable Energy sector put 7000 jobs at risk
By Chanaka de Silva
A protest by the workers of the Renewable Energy sector was held in front of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) head office in Colombo today (24/5/22). The Renewable Energy sector workers claim that the CEB has withheld monies due, to the tune of Rs. 23 Billion even though their workers have not suffered any cutbacks. Due to this 7000 workers and their families are on the verge of losing their jobs and homes, SE spokesman said.
Speaking to the media All Island Minihydro Power Generators spokesman, Ruwan Pranga said, the protest made by the workers of the renewable energy sector opposite the CEB is to stress the seriousness of their situation, that 7000 worker families are on the brink of being made destitute due to the non-settlement of housing and other loans. As banks are demanding the instalments on their housing loans which cannot be met, now the auctioning of their homes is a very real threat.
Even though their salaries and allowances have been reduced due to this situation we have kept the plants running and producing power as it is of national importance to the country. If this sector which produces 12 per cent of the power was to close down the government will have to fill this gap by importing Diesel to generate this power to fill the gap at the cost of Rs. 72.26 whereas we supply a unit of power at Rs 16.26 he said. If the situation is not put right soon we will have no other choice but to resort to legal action he said.
Speaking further to the media Prasanga said, that since 2015 there has been no increase in the RE sector’s supply of power to the grid been allowed. It seems that there is a hand trying to sabotage this industry. Even though the power is supplied at a much lesser cost than the that generated with Diesel oil there is no encouragement from the CEB to purchase from the RE sector. The money the RE sector is demanding is the money due for power already supplied and that the CEB has collected money from the public. With the salaries of these workers not being met on time, it has caused demoralization among them. This makes it extremely difficult to run proper maintenance of these RE facilities. At this rate, there is a real threat of these facilities closing down to being unable to provide the power presently given to the national grid. The present contribution of 1200 MW is 12 per cent if lost, will create further and severe power outages in the country.
Ultimate Social Media Plan - HUTCH including TikTok
HUTCH, the country’s fast-growing choice for mobile communication services has launched its latest social networking internet plan called ‘Non-Stop Super Combo’ including TikTok for social networkers in Sri Lanka.
This latest addition to Hutch offerings enables smartphone users in Sri Lanka for the first time unlimited access to the world’s fastest-growing social platform ‘TikTok’. TikTok has rapidly grown to over 700Mn users globally, and in Sri Lanka, it has exceeded a million users with mass adoption happening across all socioeconomic classes. Its rapid growth is driven by its rich ‘short video’ form it enables users to host no longer than 3 mins, and the ability to render those content back to users of matching interest using artificial intelligence
Whilst this new plan top introduces TikTok, the plan also includes unlimited access to many other world favourite social apps such as Instagram, Facebook, FB Messenger, Whatsapp, Telegram, Viber, Imo, and YouTube. The Non-stop Super Combo is available at a very economical monthly fee of just Rs. 439 providing absolute freedom for smartphone users never having to worry about high usage costs as they stay engaged across their multiple favorite platforms. HUTCH AGM Data, Digital & VAS, Yarthav Mathiaparanam, commenting on this latest data plan stated, “As a forward-thinking mobile communication service provider in the country, we continue to offer value and relevance through our services, with the introduction of TikTok combined with other Social networking apps, the enthusiastic social networker in Sri Lanka whom today use multiple data plans to access these applications can now enjoy an uninterrupted social networking experience by purchasing the Non-Stop Super Combo.
HUTCH offers this plan on both 4G and 3G networks for a seamless smartphone experience. Customers can subscribe to this plan onto their pre-paid or post-paid connection conveniently as an add-on by dialling *131#, via HUTCH App, or by recharging the pack value.
‘Buy one Give One’ initiative by Daraz
to support families in vulnerable communities
The unfolding economic crisis in the country has presented Sri Lankans with unprecedented challenges, including scarcity of essentials, escalating living expenses and deteriorating living standards. The impacts of the crisis are graver and more ominous for those in vulnerable communities, where families struggle to make ends meet amidst mounting financial difficulties.
As part of its commitment to give back to the community, Daraz Cares has come forward with a social initiative that pledges support for families in vulnerable communities. The initiative themed ‘Buy One, Give One’ will support Sri Lankan families faced with financial challenges with a pack of selected daily essentials. The selected items for the ‘Buy One, Give One’ initiative are, a 1kg pack of CIC Sudu Suduru Rice,a 500g of Orient Mysoore Dhal, a 300g pack of Maggi Coconut Milk Powder, 500g of Orient White Sugar, and 500 g packs of Sunlight Lemon and Rose Detergent Powder, which are all available for purchase via Daraz Mart.
The initiative will be implemented in a manner that, each time an individual purchase any desired quantity of one of the nominated items on the Daraz app, Daraz will donate an equal quantity of the same product to a family in vulnerable communities. Sharing his thoughts on the initiative, Daraz Sri Lanka Managing Director Rakhil Fernando noted: “Our country is faced by a crisis that has had a ripple effect on all layers of the society and it is a critical time for everyone to come together and support each other. The ‘Buy One, Give One’ initiative by Daraz Cares, was born out of this urgency and with cognizance of our collective responsibility as a brand to actively participate in driving change and supporting our communities. We wish to invite everyone with the capacity and aspiration to support fellow Sri Lankans during these difficult times to be a part of this national drive.”
Daraz Cares aims to create, fund and implement solutions for Sri Lanka’s urgent challenges and pressing development needs. Every day, Daraz strives to deliver on their promise to make it personal and promote generosity of spirit which translate to initiatives that aim to enhance and transform the experiences of sellers, buyers and the wider community. Daraz Cares provides everyone that visits the platform an opportunity to be a part of the meaningful work of the Company towards uplifting communities and driving change through the power of technology.
Daraz invites everyone to purchase a preferred quantity of the selected items via www.daraz.lk/dmart/ and become a part of the ‘Buy One, Give One’ social initiative.
Energy Saving Webinar Series Launched
Tuesday 17th May 2022, Colombo: The USAID Sri Lanka Energy Program is hosting a series of technical webinars on energy-saving technologies, including the planning, and deployment of such systems. Sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the first webinar on April 22 featured experts who discussed energy storage technology and market trends. Over 75 participants from the private sector, universities, and government agencies learned about cost trends, commercial technologies, and the integration and deployment status of energy-saving systems worldwide.
Additional webinars will feature prominent international experts who will speak on topics such as using battery energy storage systems, conducting cost-benefit analyses and strategic planning, understanding system safety, deployment, and operations.
Please register at https://web.cvent.com/event to receive information about participating in the webinars or contact Jinesha Kodikara, Renewable Energy Development Specialist on email@example.com.
8th consecutive Hutch Digital Vesak Dansala
Spreading the spirit and light of Vesak this year, HUTCH the country’s fast-growing choice for mobile communication services has again organised its Digital Vesak Dansala for the 8th consecutive year running.
During these challenging times, it is imperative that peace and harmony be widely spread amongst people throughout the nation. HUTCH is offering all its valued subscribers an hour per day of absolutely FREE communication across all its core channels be it Data, Calls or Messaging.
During this Digital Vesak Dansala, HUTCH will be offering FREE unlimited data, H-H calls & SMS for a period of 1-hourplus15 minutes of calls to other networks each day for 2 consecutive days. HUTCH customers can avail of this offer on both the 15th and 16th of May by dialling *322# or via the HUTCH Self Care App.
Hamdhy Hassen, CMO, HUTCH, commented on the initiative: “As the country currently faces unprecedented challenges and uncertainty, we understand that the people may not be unable to celebrate Vesak in its full capacity. In this context, we at HUTCH have again rolled out our Digital Vesak Dansala this year as our humble part to keeping people uplifted, hopeful and together in spirits of this blessed season.”
National Grid Risks Losing 1200MW as CEB defaults
By Chanaka de Silva
This was announced at a recent press meet held by the collective renewable energy associations, that the national grid is at the risk of losing a contribution of 1200 MW due the Ceylon Electricity Board defaulting payments due to the suppliers. The payments have been due since August 2021 they said.
Office bearers of the respective associations emphasized that at this critical juncture where the country is in a dire economic state, the renewable energy developers are hard-pressed to cease operations as they are unable to meet their critical payment obligations including paying employee salaries, maintenance, and debt obligations. The net effect of this would not just be that the country would lose this mass of clean energy, but it will lead to a severe economic crisis as the alternative will be to procure thermal power burning fossil fuel at an astronomically high cost of about Rs.90/- per unit as opposed to the average cost of Rs. 15.77 paid for renewable energy. This will exacerbate the forex crisis and be unbearable to the country at this juncture.
As a whole, CEB owes approximately Rs. 22 billion to renewable energy operators. This has brought the industry to its knees, posing a serious threat of not being able to pay salaries to about 7000 employees potentially leading to a severe social crisis.
Addressing the gathering Riyaz Sangani, Exco member, Biomass Developers Association said, the delay in payments has put the whole industry at risk of facing severe cutbacks. He further said that where he works in Uganda the Government on confirmation of the contract provides them with a 9months bank guarantee against the default of payments. Here the suppliers have no such facility he said. Presently they payout Rs. 500,000.00 to biomass suppliers per day. This money goes to the income of the farmers who subsidize their living with this income. Further, he added that at the same time, the banks have lent about Rs. 60 billion to the industry, and servicing these loans will come to a grinding halt soon. This can impact the banking system as well. On the other hand, there are about 550MW projects in the pipeline for impending financial closure and if those are not financed and developed, the country will turn to high-cost fossil fuels for power, further compounding its economic woes.
As renewable energy is both the cheapest and cleanest option available. However, these payment defaults will seriously discourage potential investors in the sector, completely halting the country's ambition to become a high renewable energy generating nation and also failing on its obligations to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).CEB’s current average cost of a unit of electricity delivered to consumers is estimated to be Rs. 60/-, as of 20th April 2022. The direct generation cost itself from CEB power Plants varies from Rs. 154 per unit (Kelanitissa Power Station) being the highest and Rs. 7.19 (Large hydro) being the lowest. Other renewable energy plants operated by private owners are at the lowest after the cost of large reservoir-based hydro plants and the recently commissioned 100MW wind plant in Mannar.
The CEB should focus on cost efficiency and promoting renewable energy by creating greater flexibility in decision making at the Sustainable Energy Authority, The Power Ministry, The Finance Ministry, The Attorney General’s office, and PUCSL for the sake country and its people. The future target of 70% of the power generated through renewable energy means will never materialize as delayed payments will have a negative effect on investors.
Therefore, the Renewable Energy operators urge the government to intervene and solve this issue urgently. If not resolved, this issue can bring in severe consequences, including 1250.9 MW being lost from the national grid, resulting in larger power outages.
From Left to Right Warna Dahanayake, Secretary, Small Hydro Powe Developers Association, Manjula Perera, Secretary, Windpower Association, Lasith Wimalasena, President, Grid Connected Solar Power Association, Riyaz Sangani, Exco member, Biomass Developers Association, Pathmanatha Poddiwela, Exco member of Small Hydropower developers association, Kushaan Jayasuriya, President, Solar Industries Association.
ලෝක මිහිකත දිනය වෙනුවෙන්, මව්බිම කැප කරයි.
ලෝක මිහිකත දිනය කියලා කියන්නේ මුලු ලෝකයම මහ පොළොව ගැන දැනුවත්වෙන, දැනුවත් කරන දිනයක්. ඒ දවසට ලෝකය පුරාම විසිරිලා ඉන්න පරිසරවේදීන්, පරිසර ක්රියාකාරීන්, මේ මහ පොළොව රැක ගැනීමේ වැදගත්කම ගැන කතා කරනවා. නමුත් ලංකාවේ අපිට ඒ දිනය ගැන ලොකු දැනුවත් බාවයක් නැහැ. පරිසර දිනය, ළමා දිනය, වැඩිහිටි දිනය, කම්කරු දිනය වගේ ජාත්යන්තර දවස් සමරන අපි, ඇයි මිහිකත දිනය ගැන ලොකුවට දැනුවත් නැත්තෙ?
ඉතින් TBWA Sri Lanka සහ Omnicom Media වෙළඳ ප්රචාරණ ආයතන විදියට, මේ වැඩේට හවුල් කරගන්නේ මව්බිම කියන පත්තරය.
ලෝක මිහිකත දිනයේදී ඒ කියන්නේ අප්රේල් 22 වෙනිදා මව්බිම පත්තරය එයාලගේ "Mast Head" එක අයින් කරනවා. මෙහෙම දෙයක් වෙන්නේ ලෝකේ පලවෙනි වතාවට. ඒ වෙනුවට හෙඩ් ලයින් එකේ කියන්නේ මෙන්න මෙහෙම කතාවක්,
“නැතිවේවි මවුබිම, රැක නොගත්තොත් මහ පොලොව.” මව්බිම පත්තරය මෙතනදි පාඨකයාව කතුවැකියට යොමු කරනවා. කතුවැකියේදී තමයි කියවෙන්නේ ඇයි අපි මිහිකත දිනය ගැන දැනුවත් වෙන්න ඕනි කියල.
EDEX Expo Returns
Pics by Prabodha de Silva
EDEX Expo, Sri Lanka's Premier and Largest Education Exhibition and Job Fair, returns after a break due to the pandemic, in a new and contemporary format, as a Hybrid Expo, on the 26th & 27th of March 2022 at the Royal MAS Arena, Colombo 07 and online, as a Virtual Expo. Dr Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne, Director General- National Institute of Education (NIE) will be the Chief Guest and ceremoniously open the event for its 18th edition.
Originating in the year 2004, the EDEX Expo has transformed from being a school career fair to a renowned global name in the education sector, continuing its mission to empower Sri Lankan youth to be globally competitive and reach the pinnacle of achievement. The EDEX Hybrid Expo takes it one step further, incorporating the latest technology, to adapt to the times and prevalent social requirements.
Leveraging on cutting edge technology, the virtual expo will offer a futuristic experience for students to explore their educational and career choices from the comfort and safety of their homes. EDEX has partnered with prominent Indian based technology service provider 'Floor', who has conducted several successful virtual events across the globe. Built on the state-of-the-art software-as-a-service platform, Floor's virtual solution enables one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many interactions and is fully compatible with PCs, laptops, tabs and mobile devices, without requiring to download any app. EDEX virtual stallholders will have access to 3 audio
visual rooms to connect with students, while also being able to publish videos, static ads, course content and promotions in the virtual stall space.
The EDEX Hybrid Expo 2022 will encompass a platform of both local and global key post-secondary educational stakeholders, comprising of over 47 education exhibition booths, representing a mix of local and foreign universities and institutes. The international presence will be enhanced with the participation of a number of reputed institutes from countries such as Canada, France, Japan and Pakistan.
The Expo will continue to also feature the Job Fair, Careers, Entrepreneur Zone, as well as its community-based projects under the banners of EDEX Nenapahana and EDEX Sithuwam. The EDEX Job Fair creates a conduit between job providers and seekers and will comprise stalls of reputed and leading corporates, representing many important segments in the economy. EDEXx Careers will conduct Seminars by leading Career Professionals, Psychometric Tests and one-to-one counselling sessions on Career Guidance and facing interviews etc.
The above event has been endorsed by the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Labour.
The Strategic Partners of the event are The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and the Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC).
The event's esteemed sponsor in the Platinum category for the third time is Sri Lanka Technological Campus (SLTC). Gold Sponsors of the Expo are CINEC Campus, Nawaloka College of Higher Studies, Java Institute for Advanced Technology, Imperial College of Business Studies & UTS College of Sri Lanka. Silver Sponsors are ACBT Middlesex University, IMC Education / AIC Campus, Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing.
Globally distributed British tech consultancy Codification expands operations into Sri Lanka
Accelerates hiring of engineering talent through Colombo office
Codification, a globally distributed digital transformation consultancy based in the UK, entered into the Sri Lankan market last year and has since accelerated hiring in the country. Having been impressed by the quality and capabilities of the talent Sri Lanka has to offer, Codification has been recruiting key senior personnel and moving major operational functions to Colombo, including areas such as engineering delivery and sales and marketing functions. The company also announced the launch of a new Sales Academy and a DevOps Academy in the country.
Speaking on expanding operations into Sri Lanka, Codification Founder and CEO Mr. Richard Smith stated: “Our aim is to become a globally distributed company with worldwide operations. We hire in Sri Lanka primarily because of the engineering talent that has emerged over the past decade. It’s also strategic when it comes to the location. We have customers in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, and have ambitions to follow the sun with a global workflow. Our hiring process in Sri Lanka has been quite impressive, because not only is the team extremely talented, but they have the soft skills required to drive our values forward as well.”
The global digital transformation market spending is projected to reach $ 1.8 trillion in 2022. By 2025, global digital transformation spending is expected to reach $ 2.8 trillion. As a hyper-growth start-up, Codification’s attempt to capture this market has seen them utilising the prowess of Sri Lanka’s high-quality engineering and business talent.
The company has seen exponential growth since launching its operations in Sri Lanka in June 2021, with its revenue growing 60% in 9 months. Riding on this success, Codification has made key senior management hires within the country, where they aim to use the wealth of the collective experience of some of Sri Lanka’s finest talent to expand its operations.
Commenting on talent acquisition for the expansion, Codification Head of Talent Acquisition Hinaya Akram noted: “Since launching operations in Sri Lanka in 2021, we have expedited the talent acquisition process significantly and we hired over 80 new team members from Sri Lanka. In 2022, as we expand rapidly, our goal is to double our numbers.”
Codification’s collective Sri Lankan roster now boasts of over 85 professionals. The company’s increased investment into engineering and business talent demonstrates its commitment to harnessing the talent of Sri Lanka’s best minds to become a global industry leader while providing opportunities on the world stage for local talent.
“At Codification, we believe in idea meritocracy – an environment where collaboration and discussion are encouraged – and through that, the idea that gains the most consensus wins. We’re committed to transparency and honesty within the organisation and we’ve created a culture where diversity is celebrated,” Smith added.
With significant investments in Sri Lanka, Codification also took steps to safeguard the financial security of its team members, where it has shown cognizance towards the adverse effects of the exchange rate-induced inflation in Sri Lanka.
To alleviate the negative effects and further demonstrate the commitment towards Sri Lanka, the company has decided to peg the salaries of its Sri Lankan roster to the pound sterling. As a consultancy service business, Codification hopes that this step makes sure their team members and their families are safe against the depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee and the increasing cost of living.
Codification is a remote-first digital transformation consultancy that specialises in cloud-native technologies, DevOps adoption, Kubernetes and DevSecOps consultancy, SRE, and IT governance, currently with a presence in the UK, Bulgaria, the Middle East, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka.
Codification has ramped up hiring in Sri Lanka and is welcoming applicants with expertise in platform engineering, container orchestration, configurations management, and cloud infrastructure management. Interested applicants may send their CVs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Huawei's new devices available for pre-order
(Pics by Prabodha de Silva)
Huawei, a global innovative smartphone manufacturer unveiled Huawei Nova 8i along with many other innovative products at an exclusive launch event held recently, adding yet another feature-packed device to the Nova line of smartphones that offer more value for a convenient price. The event was held at Hilton Colombo under the patronage of representatives of the Huawei Management Team along with Media Outlets.
Commenting on the newly launched smartphone Huawei Country Manager Chris Cai, said, “We are delighted to launch this smartphone to the Sri Lankan market. We firmly believe that it will be warmly embraced by our Huawei customer base due to its many novel features. Huawei Nova 8i is the latest feature-packed device in the Nova series and this elegantly designed smartphone is made to be beautiful in the user’s hand, becoming the best friend of our valued consumers. It accompanies and empowers them to enjoy a richer, more fulfilled life with its intelligence, unparalleled battery life, and the powerful camera performance.”
Huawei Nova 8i inherits all of the premium aesthetics and dynamic colours of the Nova series, bringing an outstanding visual experience and superior grip feel. The refined NCVM craftsmanship produces a magnificent display of colour and shadow, while the 4D curvature delivers precision-engineered rounded edges, for an ultra-smooth touch.
The highly anticipated features that define this device in the Nova series are the 6.67- inch Huawei edgeless display, 8GB RAM + 128 GB ROM, the AI Quad Camera setup which features a 64MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth camera to capture all the best moments in vivid detail. Discover a bigger perspective with the 120° ultra-wide-angle camera, where a mountain range, a magnificent building, or a large group photo – all can be stunningly captured in just one shot. Huawei Nova 8i captures gorgeous night scenes anytime, thanks to the built-in noise-reducing algorithm, therefore the views previously hidden in darkness can now be seen in all their glory.
The 4300mAh large battery interacts with power-saving AI algorithms offering power that lasts throughout a day and the 66W HUAWEI SuperCharge option, which is tested to charge up to 60% in just 17 minutes while fully charging in 38 minutes, brings more convenience to everyday users who are otherwise forced to charge their phones regularly for a long period.
With a total of 7 built-in antennas and a 180-Hz touch sampling rate, the Huawei Nova 8i ensures an ultra-smooth gaming experience with a strong signal – whether played horizontally or vertically. Plus, the Do Not Disturb mode makes sure that the gaming is uninterrupted even when there are incoming calls or messages. An innovative motion prediction engine works with cutting-edge GPU Turbo technology to enhance game fluidity and power efficiency, especially for high FPS gaming, helping one stay ahead of the curve and the competition.
It also has access to Huawei AppGallery which brings a host of unique features and safety in app downloads and storing personal data and information.
Alongside the new Huawei Nova 8i, Huawei introduces an all-new line of products such as the Huawei Watch GT 3, and the Huawei MateBook D 15. The Huawei Watch GT 3 is a true masterpiece, with an elegant 42 mm dial that catches the light on the 3D curved glass, giving a soft, water-like glow. It comes with durable battery life, wireless charging, Bluetooth calling, a personal AI running coach, 100+ workout modes, accurate heart-rate monitoring, route-back navigation, all-day SpO2 monitoring, Huawei App Galery, and the Huawei Assistant. Huawei MateBook D 15 has a 15.6 inch beautiful IPS FullView screen featuring an incredible 87% screen-to-body ratio and narrow bezels which have been reduced to just 5.3 mm. Designed with portability in mind, with a sleek metallic body laptop that weighs just 1.53kg and has a thickness of 16.9mm, it comes with a 65W USB-C charger, charging your laptop battery to 53% in just 30 minutes and it supports fast charging and data transfer for your phone. The power button on this has a built-in fingerprint reader, so you can power on and log in safely with one press, it has a TÜV Rheinland certified display, powered by AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor, fitted with a PCle SSD and packed with 16GB in DDR4 RAM.
DhanaMaga – Financial education is just a click away!
Asia Securities champions financial inclusion in Sri Lanka with a free, trilingual, short video-based Financial Literacy initiative
First-ever comprehensive private sector initiative to promote Financial Literacy in Sri Lanka
Asia Securities, a leading investment firm in Sri Lanka, launched DhanaMaga (ධනමග / தன மார்க்கம்) a trilingual financial literacy program aimed at helping Sri Lankans take control of their financial future.
DhanaMaga, the first of its kind online portal and mobile application was officially launched on the 21st of February 2022. The aim of this initiative by Asia Securities is to provide answers to all Sri Lankans on their money-related questions—from understanding how to finance small businesses and building personal financial plans, to understanding company financial statements and choosing suitable investment options.
On the importance of financial education in fostering financial stability, Asia Securities Chairman Dumith Fernando stated, “We at Asia Securities talk to business owners and individual investors every day. Therefore, we understand first-hand how crucial financial skills are in enabling people to actively participate in the economy and secure their personal financial future. Our Financial Literacy initiative, DhanaMaga, empowers Sri Lankans, from all walks of life, with the right resources to help finance a small business without putting themselves at too much risk or managing their money wisely by planning and investing for their families’ future needs. We are delighted to spearhead this initiative to build a strong foundation that will support the goal of the prosperity of all citizens of our beloved nation.”
DhanaMaga offers 100+ easy-to-follow, engaging videos available in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages that are suitable for any age, skill level, and stage of life. The videos can be viewed completely free via the www.dhanamaga.lk portal or by downloading the mobile application.
The self-directed videos also allow visitors to learn at their own pace, at anytime, anywhere. The video content had been reviewed for suitability and accuracy by an independent DhanaMaga Curriculum Committee comprising of key local experts with over 70+ years’ experience in financial regulation and education.
Chief Guest, Viraj Dayaratne PC, Chairman – Securities and Exchange Commission commented on the launch, “It is commendable that Asia Securities had the foresight and understanding to introduce a trilingual program to provide all Sri Lankans the knowledge to have an equal opportunity when it comes to investments and managing their finances”.
Online Service Facilities at Land Registries
With the recent implementation of the online service facility called e-Land Registry by the Registrar General’s Department, LankaPropertyWeb interviewed Attorney-at-Law Kasun Karunanayake on how the implementation of this system would impact and its practicality of it.
The resolution to have an online platform for issuing certified copies of deeds and certified copies of extracts was introduced for the first time in Sri Lanka from the 16th of December 2021. The service is accessible by Attorneys, Notaries, and the Public to get up to five copies of Deeds and five copies of Extracts by submitting one application through the system.
Expressing his views on the facility, Attorney-at-Law Kasun stated that “Since online payments take a significant role under this platform as the payments are made via Visa and Master Cards, it has led to open the doors for all the interested parties in the Property Industry and the General Public to apply Certified Copies of Deeds and Certified Copies of Extracts without physically moving into the relevant land registry.”
Certified copies of these documents however can only be obtained by the owner of the land for sale/his attorney or a representative who has an authorized letter granting power.
Generally, from the time the documents are requested and within seven (7) working days after processing, the interested parties can obtain necessary documents through Speed Post Service or by visiting the relevant land registry to collect them. Commenting on this Kasun said that sometimes if the documents are urgent for a matter like the execution of a Deed or Filing a Legal Action then the said time span may not be workable. In such a situation applying for the documents by visiting the Land Registries using the ‘One-Day Service’ may be beneficial to meet the urgent matters. Otherwise, the legal authentication affixed on the Documents under the On-line System is the same as what you obtain from the Land Registries by visiting there.
As per the current records of the Registrar General Department, at the moment most of the land registries island-wide have implemented this facility at the service of the General Public.
When asked about the possible practicality issues of the system Kasun said, “Deeds or folios of the Condominium Properties/Title Registration cannot be obtained from this system. Also, the service takes up to seven working days to get necessary information causing a delay.”
Vision Care celebrates Valentine’s with special sunglasses offer
Vision Care, Sri Lanka’s premier eye care solutions provider, is giving their valued customers the chance to declare their love in their own special way by purchasing a pair of branded sunglasses. From 9 th to 20 th February, all Vision Care showrooms will be giving a 20% discount on all brands of sunglasses.
Sunglasses are a must-have fashion accessory for a hot, humid country like Sri Lanka. It is the ideal gift to give to your loved one during the month of love as it is something they will always have with them and lasts a long time, reminding them of your love everywhere they go. The world-class designer brands available at Vision Care always bring an extra element of style and glamour to this special gift. You can choose from a wide array of top original, international
brands for men and women such as Ray-Ban, Vogue, Emporio Armani, Polaroid, Vintage, PolarSun, Carrera, Michael Kors, Prada, Bvlgari, Coach, Oakley, Gucci, Porsche Design and many others.
Vision Care is the most sought-after eyewear partner for Sri Lanka’s elite fashion events on account of its vast range of world-class designer brands and professional customer service. Its plush, centrally-located outlets offer an elevated shopping experience for customers who can choose from a stunning range of designer brands in a safe, hygienic environment. Vision Care remains the leading eyewear brand as it has kept a step ahead of evolving trends in the industry. It is a known fact that today’s well-informed shoppers select eyewear based on their personal preferences and moods and as a result all Vision Care outlets maintain a wide array of designer brands representing different styles and colours, backed by the expertise of its highly-trained staff.
Airtel commences 5G trials; records highest speeds in Sri Lanka
February 01, 2022: Airtel Lanka demonstrated the 5G readiness of its network as it conducted LIVE 5G trials over a commercial network and recorded speeds of over 1.9Gbps- the highest speed ever recorded in the country. "Sri Lanka is a market that has been defined by pioneering technology adoption and the investments we are making today into ramping up our 5G capabilities will lay the
digital foundations for Sri Lanka's next chapter of growth. As witnessed today, we were able to record the highest internet speed in the country, and will continue to break records as we move towards the future," Airtel Lanka Managing Director and
CEO, Ashish Chandra stated.
"Our high-speed network will have a huge impact on the lives of our customers by empowering them and is in line with our vision to provide to every citizen of our country a world-class network at the most affordable price. It is a proud moment for everyone at Airtel," he added.
Airtel 5G is fully equipped to deliver up to 10 times more speed, 10 times lower latency and 100 times concurrency compared to existing technologies. Building on the company's significant investments towards network upgrades, the commencement of 5G trials puts Airtel among the world's latest in mobile technology and network innovations.
Airtel announced that its world-class 4G infrastructure around the island is 5G ready, thus facilitating a seamless transition to the next generation of networking. Airtel was able to do this through trial frequency allocations in the 3500 MHz bands with the NSA (Non-Stand Alone) network technology.
This demonstration has proved the 5G readiness of Airtel's network across all domains.
United States Supports Free Online Mentoring Platform for Entrepreneurs
Colombo, Sri Lanka – The U. S. government’s Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a free online mentoring platform today to connect emerging entrepreneurs with experienced business experts. The platform, available to the public at www.yes.youlead.lk, connects aspiring entrepreneurs across Sri Lanka with more than 100 experienced business leaders and subject matter experts to help them navigate unprecedented challenges and support the long-term success of their businesses.
“Mentoring is very often the missing link in the success of many startups, especially for those owned by women or located outside the urban centers with limited access to networking opportunities and support facilities,” said Reed Aeschliman, USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives. “USAID’s YouLead project is strengthening entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka by giving business owners an online platform to discuss their plans and receive objective guidance from experts, free of charge.”
Through a partnership between USAID's YouLead project and the Sasnaka Sansada Foundation, this platform matches entrepreneurs with mentors who volunteer their time and expertise to help businesses succeed. To ensure long-term sustainability, a dedicated team is in place to onboard mentors and mentees, moderate the mentor-mentee engagement, and recruit reputed mentors onto the network.
Hasitha Wijesundara, President of Sasnaka Sansada Foundation, stated that “There is an abundance of entrepreneurial spirit in Sri Lanka, but many entrepreneurs lack the experience to see their ideas through and lose focus when dealing with the complexities of running a business. Through this mentoring platform, we will be able to better match eager entrepreneurs with experienced mentors and increase the success rate of startups in Sri Lanka through a structured process.”
According to Ms Deepa Liayange, Secretary to the State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research, and Innovations, “We need to disseminate the success stories of entrepreneurs, their best practices, and strategies they adapted to navigate through challenges as part of the entrepreneur training and educational process. Mentoring provides a one-on-one platform for this process, and we would like to thank USAID, Sasnaka Sansada, and all the mentors for collaborating to create this nationally accessible service for entrepreneurs.”
YouLead is funded through an $18 million, seven-year grant from the United States and implemented by the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) to improve vocational education and training, link youth to productive careers, and strengthen entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka. Sasnaka Sansada Foundation is a community organization that has helped increase the potential of Sri Lanka’s youth since 1997.
This project is one component of the longstanding partnership between the American and Sri Lankan people to support self-reliance and promote a healthy, educated, and employed population. To find out more about USAID’s work, please see www.usaid.gov/sri-lanka.
ව්යවසායකයින්ට නොමිලයේ උපදෙස් දීම සඳහා මාර්ගගත මණ්ඩපයක් සම්පාදනයට එක්සත් ජනපදයේ සහය ලැබේ
කොළඹ, ශ්රී ලංකාව - එක්සත් ජනපද රජයේ ජාත්යන්තර සංවර්ධනය සඳහා වන නියෝජිතායතනය (USAID), නැගී එන ව්යවසායකයින් අත්දැකීම් පරිපූර්ණ ව්යාපාර විශේෂඥයින් සමගින් නොමිලයේ ම සම්බන්ධ කරන්නා වූ මාර්ගගත (online) උපදේශක මණ්ඩපයක් (mentoring platform) අද දිනයේ දී දියත් කරන ලදී. www.yes.youlead.lk හරහා මහජනතාවට ප්රවේශ විය හැකි මෙම වේදිකාවෙන් ශ්රී ලංකාව මුළුල්ලේ පැතිර සිටින අංකුර ව්යවසායකයින්ට ව්යාපාර ක්ෂේත්රයේ අත්දැකීම් පරිපූර්ණ ප්රමුඛයින් සහ විෂයය ප්රවීණයින් 100කට වැඩි සංඛ්යාවක් සමගින් සම්බන්ධ කරමින් පෙර නොවූ විරූ අන්දමේ අභියෝගවලට මුහුණ දීම සඳහා ඔවුන්ට සහය දීමත් ඔවුන්ගේ ව්යාපාරවල දීර්ඝ කාලීන සාර්ථකත්වය සඳහා උපකාර කිරීමත් සිදු කෙරේ.
“බොහොමයක් ආරම්භක ව්යාපාරවල (startups), විශේෂයෙන්ම කාන්තාවන්ට හිමි ව්යාපාර හෝ, නගර මධ්යයෙන් පිටත, ජාල කරණ අවස්ථා සහ පහසුකම් වෙත සීමිත ප්රවේශයක් ඇති ස්ථානවල පිහිටා තිබෙන ව්යාපරවල සාර්ථකත්වය සඳහා බොහෝවිට ඔවුන්ට මගගැරී ඇත්තේ උපදේශනයයි. ” USAID හි ශ්රී ලංකා සහ මාලදිවයින් මෙහෙවර අධ්යක්ෂ රීඩ් ඈෂ්ලිමන් මහතා පැවසීය. “තමන්ගේ සැලසුම් ගැන සාකච්ඡා කිරීමටත්, ඒ සම්බන්ධ විශේෂඥයින්ගෙන් විෂයබද්ධ උපදෙස් නොමිලයේ ම ලබාගැනීමටත් හැකි මාර්ගගත මණ්ඩපයක් ව්යාපාර හිමියන් වෙත ලබාදීම හරහා, USAID හි YouLead ව්යාපෘතිය ශ්රී ලංකාවේ ව්යවසායකත්වය ශක්තිමත් කරනවා.”
USAID හි YouLead ව්යාපෘතිය සහ සස්නක සංසද පදනම අතරේ හවුල්කාරීත්වයෙන් මෙම වේදිකාව හරහා ව්යවසායකයින් සහ ව්යාපාරවල සාර්ථකත්වය කරා යෑමට උපකාර කිරීම සඳහා තමන්ගේ කාලය සහ නිපුණත්වය ස්වේච්ඡාවෙන් ලබාදෙන උපදේශකවරුන් ගලපනු ලැබේ. මෙහි දීර්ඝකාලීන තිරසාරත්වය සහතික කිරීම සඳහා, උපදේශකයින් සහ උපදෙස් ලබන්නන් සම්බන්ධ කරගැනීමට, උපදේශකයින් සහ උපදෙස් ලබන්නන් අතරේ සම්බන්ධය හැසිරවීමට සහ ජාලය සඳහා කීර්තිමත් උපදේශකයින් බඳවාගැනීමට ම කැපවූ කණ්ඩායමක් එම කාර්යයන්හි නිරත වේ.
සස්නක සංසද පදනමේ සභාපති හසිත විජේසුන්දර මහතා මෙසේ පැවසී ය “ශ්රී ලංකාවේ ව්යවසායකත්ව ආකල්පවල අඩුවක් නැහැ. නමුත් තමන්ගේ අදහස් සාර්ථකත්වය කරා ගෙනයෑම සඳහා බොහෝ ව්යවසායකයින්ට අත්දැකීම් ප්රමාණවත් නැහැ, ව්යාපාරයක් පවත්වාගෙන යාමේ සංකීර්ණතාවලට මුහුණදෙනවිට ඒ අවධානය ඔවුන්ගෙන් ගිලිහී යනවා. මේ උපදේශන මණ්ඩපය හරහා අපට උද්යෝගීමත් ව්යවසායකයින් අත්දැකීම් සම්පන්න උපදේශකයින් සමගින් වඩාත් හොඳින් ගැලපීමටත් ශ්රී ලංකාවේ ආරම්භක ව්යාපාර සාර්ථකත්වය අත්කරගැනීමේ අනුපාතය ව්යුහගත ක්රියාවලියක් හරහා ඉහළ දැමීමටත් හැකි වේවි.”
නිපුණතා සංවර්ධන, වෘත්තීය අධ්යාපන, පර්යේෂණ හා නව නිපැයුම් රාජ්ය අමාත්යාංශයේ ලේකම් දීපා ලියනගේ මහත්මිය පවසන අන්දමට “ව්යවසායක පුහුණු සහ අධ්යාපන ක්රියාවලියේ කොටසක් වශයෙන් අපි ව්යවසායකයින් ලැබූ සාර්ථකත්වය ගැන කථා, ඔවුන්ගේ යහ පරිච, සහ අභියෝගවලට මුහුණ දීමේදී ඔවුන් යොදාගත් උපක්රම ගැන මහජනයා අතරේ බෙදාහැරිය යුතුයි. පුද්ගල මට්ටමෙන් දෙදෙනෙකු අතර මේ ක්රියාවලිය සිදුකළ හැකි මණ්ඩපයක් උපදේශනය හරහා ලැබෙනවා. ජාතික මට්ටමින් ප්රවේශ විය හැකි මෙවැනි සේවාවක් සලසාදීම පිළිබඳව අප USAID, සස්නක සංසද, සහ උපදේශකයින් සියළු දෙනාටම ස්තුති කරනවා.”
YouLead යනු, ශ්රී ලංකාවේ තාක්ෂණික සහ වෘත්තීය අධ්යාපනය සහ පුහුණු වැඩිදියුණු කිරීමටත්, තාරුණ්යය ඵලදායී වෘත්තීන් සමගින් සම්බන්ධ කිරීමටත්, ව්යවසායකත්වය ශක්තිමත් කිරීමටත් එක්සත් ජනපදයෙන් ලැබෙන ඩොලර් මිලියන 18ක සත් වාර්ෂික ප්රදානයක් ඇසුරෙන් International Executive Service Corps (IESC) හරහා ක්රියාත්මක වන ව්යාපෘතියකි. සස්නක සංසද පදනම යනු 1997 පටන් ශ්රී ලංකාවේ තාරුණ්යයේ විභවය වැඩිදියුණු කිරීමට උපකාර කර ඇති ප්රජා සංවිධානයකි.
මෙම ව්යාපෘතිය, ස්වශක්තිය වර්ධනයටත්, සෞඛ්ය සම්පන්න, උගත් සහ සේවා නියුක්ත ජනතාවක් ප්රවර්ධනය කිරීමටත් ඇමරිකානු සහ ශ්රී ලාංකික ජනතාව අතර කාලයක් තිස්සේ පවත්නා හවුල්කාරීත්වයේ එක් අංගයකි. USAID හි වැඩකටයුතු පිළිබඳ වැඩිදුර දැනගැනීම සඳහා කරුණාකර පහත සබැඳියට පිවිසෙන්න: usaid.gov/sri-lanka.
Renewable Energy, The Only Solution to Sri Lanka’s Energy Crisis
Sri Lanka is currently facing an acute energy crisis, primarily due to the country’s reliance on imported fossil fuels. The solution to this is for the country to move on to more renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar, biogas, biomass and hydropower. Renewable energy also presents a host of other benefits both socially and economically as well.
In the backdrop of dwindling foreign currency reserves and capacity shortages, the only logical solution for Sri Lanka to take is to adopt renewable energy as the primary source of energy production. Renewable energy can be generated using Sri Lanka’s ample natural resources. This would also offer some relief to Sri Lanka’s diminishing foreign reserves as renewable energy does not need to rely on fuel imports.
With the price of Oil, Coal and Gas increasing globally, it is not sustainable for countries such as Sri Lanka which has to import fossil fuels to have larger exposure to non-renewable sources of energy. It is best to make the switch to renewable forms of energy sooner rather than later so that the country’s economy is not harmed.
Speaking at a press conference held recently, Riyaz Sanghani, Past President of Hydro Power Developers Association stated, “Our goal as the renewable energy sector is to help the government and the people overcome the current energy crisis in the country. We believe that the key to this is to increase co-operation between the government and the private sector. Only then will we be able to successfully overcome all obstacles and make the switch to renewable energy.”
There are currently a total of 294 private sector renewable energy development projects which have been commissioned. These projects have combined capacity of 718.334 megawatts (MW). The total number of projects needs to increase drastically, for the country to truly reap the full benefits of renewable energy.
One of the main issues which the renewable energy sector faces is the government approval process which can take years to complete. This process needs to be streamlined and implemented in as efficient manner as possible. Renewable energy developers also run into a myriad of challenges from the CEB that has delayed approval and grid connections, sometimes attributed to incorrect technical analysis. Bringing correct knowledge and international best practices to the CEB will smoothen these issues.
Another issue that has hampered the success of the renewable energy sector is the importation restrictions imposed on the sector, which has made it difficult to obtain the machinery necessary.
In addition to the immediate benefits which the country will receive, renewable energy sources also pose less of a risk to the climate and environment. This will help protect the environment and ensure that the country’s development will not be hindered by any environmental issues in the future.
There have been many local and foreign investors who have shown interest in investing in renewable energy for Sri Lanka. These investors need to be shown that it is a worthwhile investment and that hindrances will be minimal. Only then can Sri Lanka overcome its socio-economic woes and continue with its development.
From Left to Right Manjula Perera, Wind Power Developers Association, Secretary, Thusitha Peiris, Small Hydro Power Developers Association, President, Lasith Wimalasena, Ground Mounted Solar Developers Association, President, Chamil Silva, Bio Energy Developers Association, President, Kushan Jayasuriya, Solar Industries Association, President.
From Left to Right Waruna Dahanayake, Small Hydro Power Developers Association,
Secretary and Legal Advisor, Thusitha Peiris, Small Hydro Power Developers Association, President, Manjula Perera, Wind Power Developers Association, Secretary, Riyaz Sangani, Small Hydro Power Developers Association, Past President, Lasith Wimalasena, Ground Mounted Solar Developers Association, President, Chamil Silva, Bio Energy Developers Association President, Kushan Jayasuriya, Solar Industries Association, President, Prabath Wickramasinghe Small Hydro Power Developers Association, Past President.
MSI Unveils New 12th gen Gaming and Creator Laptop Lineup in Sri Lanka
The award-winning laptops powered by 12th Gen Intel® Core™ H series processor and up to GeForce RTX 3080 Ti at the “Gameverse” virtual event
MSI, the innovative computing manufacturer in gaming, creator, and business laptops, proudly revealed its new lineup of laptops equipped with the latest 12th Gen Intel® H series processors. MSI, a global leader in the gaming space, is the first brand to bring in the 12th Gen product lineup to Sri Lanka. MSI demonstrated their determination and vision for the coming era of the metaverse. The new laptops boasting the Meta-ready logo are equipped with Intel® CoreTM i7 or above processors and NVIDIA GeForce RTX ™ 3070 or above, for anyone who’d like to experience Metaverse-compatible performance.
The new gaming laptop lineup features a significant performance improvement over previous models, including up to 30%~45% increase in CPU performance. MSI also added innovations in thermal solutions: the Phase Change Liquid Metal Pad. The MSI-exclusive cooling helps fully release the power of the new 12th Gen Intel processors. It provides a solution that is as efficient as liquid metal, but safer and more reliable.
MSI’s Creator series is now a bigger family with panels up to 17 inches. The overall CPU performance is improved 45% with the new Vapor Chamber Cooler, and MSI has added features for content creators such as touch support for MSI Pen, Calman verified True Pixel Display, and collaboration with DTS for a rich, immersive surround sound experience.
The details of the new laptops are below.
The Sleek and Sophisticated GS77/66 Stealth laptops are a part of the award-winning Stealth GS series. They are lightweight, powerful laptops for gaming and professional use. The GS77 comes with a new “core black” color and a more durable zinc alloy hinge. At less than 21mm for Z height, MSI managed to enlarge the touchpad and keycap size for a precise and comfortable typing experience. It is also equipped with six speakers for crisp treble and powerful bass. Business gamers will benefit from the webcam lock switch and support for up to100W PD charging for better security and mobility.
MSI Raider GE series (GE76/66) is a real eye-catcher, retaining the panoramic aurora lighting which creates an alluring sci-fi ambience. The performance is even more astonishing; with the innovative thermal design by MSI, the Raider GE series performance can reach up to a total of 220W with GeForce RTX 3080 Ti via MSI OverBoost. The Phase Change Liquid Metal Pad increases performance by extra 10%, and with displays up to 4K with the support of Discrete Graphic Mode, gamers will have a fast and smooth experience with the MSI Raider Series.
The Vector GP Series (GP76/66) performance-based laptops were born with a new concept; the name “Vector” represents MSI’s expectation for the GP series to have all the power needed to move forward with a satisfying experience in gaming, engineering, or scientific computing. With Cooler Boost 5 Technology, the Vector’s performance can reach up to 210W via MSI OverBoost.
The Crosshair GL series is a collaboration between MSI and Ubisoft. The series features a futuristic design with exclusive sci-fi elements inspired by the feeling and mood of gameplay, and the comes equipped with Intel® CoreTM i9 processors and Cooler Boost 5 Technology. The graphic performance is at a maximized level - setting the Crosshair series apart from its competition. Crosshair GL Series comes in three variants: Crosshair 15, Crosshair 17, and also the limited edition Crosshair 15 Rainbow Six Extraction Edition that comes with an exclusive bundle pack.
The Creator Z17 is the world’s first 17-inch laptop to support pen touch, and features the 16:10 screen ratio with a thin bezel design and True Color Technology to be the perfect companion for creators to achieve more. The Creator Z16P has an extra 20% performance boost with Vapor Chamber Cooler, which generates 76% extra more cooling area, 65% more airflow, and decreases surface temperature by 2°C(3.6°F). With competitive performance and a CNC-milled aluminum chassis, the Creator Z Series laptops are NVIDIA Studio laptops – purpose-built for creators, inquisitive professionals, or consumers who enjoy high-quality, premium products.
MSI does not just innovate with its hardware, but also with the MSI Center software with the intention of creating the smartest laptops ever. MSI Smart Auto will auto switch the suitable modes depending on your usage, while Ambient Silent AI will detect ambient noise level (dB) to adjust the fan speed, giving you better performance with a relatively silent fan.
සහන රැසක් දෙන එයාර්ටෙල් Freedom packs –
කොවිඩ් 19 ගෝලීය වසංගතයත් සමඟ සන්නිවේදන තාක්ෂණය කෑම, බීම, ඇඳුම් මෙන් මිනිසාගේ මූලික අවශ්යතාවක් බවට පත් විය. ඒ අනුව ජංගම විදුලි සංදේශ ක්ෂේත්රය ප්රමුඛ සේවයක් බවට පත් විය. කෑම, බෙහෙත්, අධ්යාපනය මෙන්ම බොහොමයක් වෘත්තීන්හි පැවැත්ම විද්යුත් සන්නිවේදනය මත පදනම් විය. එහෙත් බහුතරයක් දෙනාට විදුලි සංදේශ සේවා පරිහරණයේදී අපහසුතා රාශියකටම මුහුණ දීමට සිදු විය. ඉන් පළමු වැන්න අධික වියදමයි. දෙවැන්න සේවා ප්රමාණවත් හෝ ගුණාත්මක මට්ටමකින් ලබා නොදීමයි. මේ කාලීන ගැටලු දෙකටම පිළියමක් ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමට එයාර්ටෙල් සමාගම සමත් වී තිබේ. ඒ එයාර්ටෙල් Freedom packs හඳුන්වා දීමත් සමඟයි.
ජංගම විදුලි සංදේශ ක්ෂේත්රයේ නව සන්ධිස්ථානයක් හඳුන්වා දීමක් වන මේ මඟින් පාරිභෝගිකයාට සහන රැසක්ම දීමට හැකි වී තිබේ. එයාර්ටෙල් 4G සේවාවක් ලෙස ව්යාප්ත කරමින් සිය සන්නිවේදන සක්යතාවන් දියුණු කරමින් freedom pack හඳුන්වාදීම නිසා කිසිදු ආකාරයකින් බිඳවැටීමක් (buffer) වීමකින් තොරව සේවාවන් දීමට සමත්වීම අනෙක් විශේෂත්වයයි. එයාර්ටෙල් freedom packs හි විශේෂත්වය නම් තමාගේ සන්නිවේදන අවශ්යතාව අනුව මාසයටම එක් වතාවක් පමණක් රීලෝඩ් කරමින් ඩේටා භාවිත කිරීමට මෙන්ම ඇමතුම් ගැනීම සඳහා පහසුකම් දීමයි.
මෙවර උසස් පෙළ විභාගයට පෙනී සිටින ශිෂ්යාවක් වන නදී භාග්යා එයාර්ටෙල් පරිහරණය කිරීම අරඹා ඇත්තේ පසුගිය මාසයේ සිටයි. ඇයගේ අත්දැකීම මෙසේයි. කොවිඩ් නිසා රට වසා තිබූ කාලේ පැවැත් වුණු පංතිවලට සහභාගි වීමට ගෙවුණු අවුරුද්දක් දෙකකට ආසන්න කාලයේ විවිධ ආකාරයේ ජංගම විදුලි සංදේශ සේවාවන්ගේ සහාය ලබා ගත්තා. ඒත් මගේ අත්දැකීම නම් නිවෙසේ කිහිප දෙනකු එකවර අන්තර්ජාලය ඔස්සේ වැඩ කරන විට සීමා සහිතව ගෙන ඇති ඩේටා නියමිත කාලයට පෙරාතුවම අවසන් වීමයි. මේ නිසාම කිසිදු කටයුත්තක් කර ගැනීමට නොහැකි අසරණ තත්ත්වයට පත් වූ අවස්ථා බොහෝයි.
මගේ පංතියේ ගුරුවරයෙක් තමයි ඩේටා ගැටලුවට සහනදායි විසඳුමක් දෙන එයාර්ටෙල් 599 freedom pack පැකේජය ගැන අපිට විස්තර කළේ. ඒ අනුව මමයි මගේ යහළුවෝ කිහිප දෙනකුම 599 පැකේජ් එක සක්රීය කරගත්තා. මාසෙටම යන්නේ ඒ 599 විතරයි. දවසට GB (ගිගා බයිට්ස්) එක බැගින් මාසෙට GB 30ක් ලැබෙනවා. මේ පැකේජ් එකේ විශේෂත්වය අසීමිත social media ෆේස් බුක්, වට්ස්අප්, මැසෙන්ජර් විතරක් නෙවෙයි සීමා රහිතව යූ ටියුබ් මාසය පුරාම පාවිච්ච් කරන්නත් පුළුවන්. ඒ විතරක් නෙවෙයි අපි දාන reload වලින් සෑහෙන්න ප්රමාණයක් ඉතිරි කරගන්න පුළුවන් කියලා මේ පැකේජ් එක use කරද්දී මට තේරුණා. පාඩම් වැඩ කරල මහන්සි වෙලාවට මඟ ඇරුණු ටෙලිනාට්යයක් නැති නම් බලන්න හිතන් හිටිය හින්දි චිත්රපටයක් එහෙමත් දැන් බය නැතිව බලනවා. මාසෙටම 599ක් දැම්මම බය නැතිව කැමති දෙයක් කිරීමේ නිදහස මේ පැකේජයෙන් ලැබුණා.
අපේ යාළුවෝ වැඩි දෙනෙක් එයාර්ටෙල් භාවිතය පටන් ගත් නිසාම අසීමිතව ලබා දී තිබෙන එයාර්ටෙල් වෙතින් එයාර්ටෙල් වෙතට දුරකතන ඇමතුම් ලබා දීමේ හැකියාවත් වැදගත් පහසුකමක් වුණා. ඊට අමතරව අනෙකුත් ජාල සඳහා ප්රමාණවත් ඇමතුම් කාලයක් ලබා දී තිබෙනවා. ඕනෑම ජාලයකට sms 50ක් සහ එයාර්ටෙල් වෙතින් එයාර්ටෙල් සඳහා sms 1000ක් යැවීමටත් පහසුකම් ලබා දී තිබෙනවා. මේ පැකේජය අධ්යාපනය මෙන්ම තොරතුරු ගවේෂණය සඳහාත්, විනෝදකාමීන් සඳහාත් හිසරදයකින් තොරව භාවිත කළ හැකි බව මගේ අත්දැකීමයි.
එමෙන්ම පාරිභෝගිකයින් මේ වන විට මුහුණ දෙමින් සිටින ආර්ථික ගැටළු සැලකිල්ලට ගෙන එයාර්ටෙල් විසින් 179, 118 හා 59 ආදී වශයෙන් prepaid weekly packs ද හඳුන්වා දී තිබෙනවා. මාසෙටම එකවර රුපියල් 600ක් ගෙවීමට අපහසු කෙනකුට සතියට 179ක මුදලකට ලබා දෙන පැකේජයේත් මේ පහසුකම් සියල්ල හිමි වෙනවා . 4G තාක්ෂණයට අනුව ක්රියාත්මක වන ඒ පැකේජය දිනකට GB එක බැගින් සතියට GB 7ක් ලබා දෙනවා. සතියක් පුරා ෆේස් බුක්, වට්ස්අප්, මැසෙන්ජර්, යූටියුබ් අසීමිතව භාවිත කිරීමේ හැකියාවත් ඊට ඇතුළත් ඊට අමතරව වෙනත් ජාලයන්ට ඇමතුම් ගැනීමට විනාඩි 75ක්ම හිමි වෙනවා. ඒ නිසා සතියකට 179ක් ගෙවා පහසුකම් රැසක් හිමි කර ගැනීමට ඉන් අවස්ථාව හිමිකර දී තිබෙනවා. එයාර්ටෙල් freedom packs සන්නිවේදන තාක්ෂණයේ නව ප්රවණතාවක් බව නොඅනුමානයි.
විශ්රාමික රජයේ සේවකයකු වූ ගාමිණී කුමාර දැක්වූයේ මෙවන් අදහසක්. ‘’සතියක් සඳහා එයාර්ටෙල් 179ක් රීචාජ් කිරීමෙන් අනතුරුව ඕනෑම ජාලයක් සඳහා ඇමතුම් ගැනීමට මිනිත්තු 75ක කාලයක් ලැබීම මට බොහෝ සෙයින් ප්රයෝජනවත් වුනා. විශේෂයෙන්ම මට නිතරම හමු වන්නේ නැති මගේ යහළුවන් සමඟ සම්බන්ධ වෙන්න මට අවස්ථාව ලැබුණා. කෙටි පණිවිඩ 50ක් හිමි වෙනවා. සතියක කාලයකට වැය කරන මුදලට ප්රමාණවත් සේවයක් ඉන් ලැබෙනවා. ඊටත් අමතරවයි 1GB ලැබෙන්නේ’’
මේ freedom packsහි විශේෂත්වය වෙන්නේ ජංගම දුරකතන භාවිතකරුගේ භාවිතයේ ප්රවණතාවට අනුව freedom lite යනුවෙන් එක් පරිශිලයකු සඳහා පැකේජ දෙකක් හඳුන්වා දීමටත් කටයුතු කර තිබීමයි.
විශ්වවිද්යාල ශිෂ්යාවක් වන කල්පනි දිසානායක දැක්වූයේ මෙවැනි අදහසක්. ‘‘මම පාවිච්චි කරන්නේ එයාර්ටෙල් freedom packs 999 පැකේජ් එක. ඉන් ලැබෙන 60GB ප්රමාණය මගේ සියලු කටයුතුවලට ප්රමාණවත්. සමාජජාල භාවිතයට සීමා රහිත පහසුකම් දී තිබෙන්නේ 4G සේවාවත් සමඟයි. ඒ නිසා අධ්යාපන කටයුතු සමඟ ගීත ඇසීම, අවැසි සිනමා පටයක් රස විඳීමත් දැන් මම බාධාවකින් තොරව කරනවා. ඇත්තෙන්ම මේ පැකේජ් එක නිසා මට ඩේටා ඉවර වෙයි කියන බය දැන් ඇත්තේම නැහැ. මට කලින් ඩේටාවලට මේ වගේ දෙතුන් ගුණයක් වැය කරන්න වුණා. නමුත් එයාර්ටෙල් සේවාවට මාරු වීම නිසා ආර්ථික වාසියක් වගේම මානසික නිදහසක් ලැබුණා.‘‘ යනුවෙන් ඇය පැවසුවේ විශ්වාසයෙන් යුතුවයි.
සොෆ්ට්වෙයාර් නිෂ්පාදන සමාගමක සොෆ්ට්වෙයාර් ඉන්ජිනේරුවකු ලෙස සේවය කරන කවිඳු බණ්ඩාර එයාර්ටෙල් freedom packs පරිශීලකයෙක් ඔහුගේ අදහස මෙසේයි. ‘‘මේ සේවාව මට හඳුන්වා දුන්නේ මගේ කාර්යාලීය යෙහෙළියක්. කොරෝනා කාලේ අපි රජකාරි කටයුතු කළේ නිවෙසේ සිටමයි. ඩේටා භාවිතය මෙන්ම ඇතැම් ජාල වෙතින් දෙන සේවා වේගවත් නොවීම නිසා මම රාජකාරි කටයුතු කිරීමේදී මහත් අපහසුතාවන්ට පත් වුණා. ඒ තත්ත්ව මඟ හරවා ගත්තේ එයාර්ටෙල් freedom pack භාවිත කිරීම ඇරැඹීමත් සමඟයි. අමතර ඩේටා අපේක්ෂා කරන පාරිභෝගිකයන් වෙත හඳුන්වාදී ඇති top up සේවාව නිසා සහනදායි මුදලකට අඛණ්ඩ සේවයක් ගැනීමේ පහසුකමත් හිමි වෙනවා.‘‘ අන්තර්ජාල භාවිතය පමණක් නොවේ ඇමතුම් හා කෙටි පණිවිඩවලට මා සමාජමාධ්ය පරිශීලනයට පමණක් සීමාවන පාරිභෝගිකයන් සඳහාත් රුපියල් 59, 199, 399, 599, 999 ආදි වශයෙන් මට්ටම් කිහිපයකට සේවා දීම නිසා අවශ්යතාව අනුව සේවාවක් තෝරාගැනීමේ හැකියාවක් පාරිභෝගිකයාට හිමි වී තිබේ.
Strategic diversification by Taprobane Seafoods
Cements its pioneering status in the industry
Taprobane Seafoods, Sri Lanka’s largest and most integrated seafood company is gearing up to announce a host of new strategic initiatives. The company is introducing new shrimp services by leveraging on its first-mover status as the pioneer of SPF Vannamei, a shrimp variety that is disease-free and in line with the Government of Sri Lanka’s law of 2021 to ensure only shrimp coming from disease-free broodstock could be farmed in Sri Lanka. The company owns the only hatchery that brings down broodstock from Hawaii for breeding and has recently been awarded a hatchery on the East Coast by the government. The expansion by the company into shrimp farming will provide more employment opportunities in Sri Lanka, thereby increasing export revenues to develop the national economy.
Adding value for the shrimp farmer, the company launches Taprobane Aqua Services, a one-stop shop for all aquaculture products and services. The building in Chilaw represents Collaboration, Innovation and Acceleration, showcasing Taprobane’ blueprint to drive a sustainable and eco-friendly shrimp sector through controlled intensification. The benefits to the farmer will be reducing middlemen and paying direct to farmers, thus ensuring good prices; working with the government on policies, regulations and infrastructure (for example, electrification, cannel dredging and roads); helping older generation farmers move more quickly into utilizing new technology; shifting mindsets and onboarding farmers on to new production and platforms; working with the government to change the lingering sentiment that shrimp farming is bad; protecting our environment, and 100% transparency within our sector to ensure human rights are being protected.
Diversifying further, Taprobane launches Taprobane Feed, in collaboration with Skretting, a Norwegian company and a world leader in aquaculture feed, which will pack the feed sold by Taprobane. ‘’Taprobane Group, and its integrated approach, plays the pivotal lead that Sri Lanka needs to embrace the Vannamei shrimp farming opportunity in the right way. Vannamei shrimp farming is a global and competitive industry that requires technical capabilities, some certain level of investments, serious traceability, and sustainability engagements that Sri Lanka has all potential to cope best with and become a major source for top quality products. Skretting, the global leader in aquaculture feed, feels excited to join forces with Taprobane Group in building this level of exigence that Sri Lankan prawn farmers will be proud of’’, said Marc Le Poul General Manager, Nutreco Vietnam & Skretting Excellence Asia.
In yet another strategic move, Taprobane has entered a partnership with UTE (Caterpillar) to offer farmers, equipment on lease or purchase for aquaculture. One of the main cost components of farming is electricity and Taprobane’ expansion of its shrimp farming business, will be supported by a UTE salesperson at the location where farmers can lease or buy heavy machinery, generators etc., when renovating existing earthen shrimp ponds.
Commenting further, Timothy O’Reilly, Managing Director of Taprobane Seafoods said: “As a pioneer and first-mover in aquaculture, Taprobane Seafoods’ vision for its growth and expansion also encompasses how Sri Lanka can develop this industry as a niche export segment that earns valuable foreign exchange for the country. The series of initiatives we have taken as we enter 2022 reflects Taprobane’ blueprint for building the future of the Sri Lankan Shrimp Industry whilst ensuring diversification and value addition in our operations.”
UTE-CAT Chief Marketing Officer, Anasuya Gunasena commented “As a company with a 74-year old history, UTE provides comprehensive solutions across a multitude of industries with the many parts of the company’s operations coming together in one strong brand to enable its smooth journey forward. We have established market leadership across numerous industries we serve. UTE enjoys a close relationship with CAT from the early days of the company. Over the years we have also forged partnerships with many other world-leading brands, and currently host an impressive portfolio of international market leaders.”
Swadeshi Industrial Works PLC obtains enjoining order against Lanka Sathosa & ReeBonn Lanka
for distributing/marketing and manufacturing Sathosa Kohomba soap for the second time, violation of its intellectual property rights
The Swadeshi Industrial Works PLC, manufacturer of the market-leading Swadeshi Khomba soap for almost eight decades recently obtained several enjoining orders in respect of ‘Sathosa Kohomba’ soap manufactured by ReeBonn Lanka Pvt Ltd. and marketed/distributed by Lanka Sathosa Ltd, for violation of its intellectual property rights. The Honorable Commercial High Court of Colombo Judge M.A.R Marrikar was pleased to issue the said enjoining orders on 15th December 2021.
Swadeshi instituted action against Lanka Sathosa and ReeBonn Lanka on the basis that they were manufacturing, marketing and selling “Sathosa Kohomba” in violation of the registered trademarks owned by Swadeshi, as well on the basis of the Law of Unfair Competition.
The Colombo Commercial High Court upon being satisfied of the submissions of counsel for Swadeshi, Romesh de Silva PC, issued several enjoining orders which included the prevention of the Reebonn Lanka and Lanka Sathosa from in any way or manner manufacturing, distributing and selling a product which is identical or similar to its personal care product “Swadeshi Khomba” soap.
Swadeshi Khomba is a registered trademark. Furthermore, Swadeshi Khomba has gained tremendous reputation and goodwill amongst the public over a period of 80 years. Swadeshi Khomba contains natural Kohomba oil which has been trusted for generations for an authentic ayurvedic herbal therapy. Swadeshi Khomba enhances the natural beauty of the skin, is mild, yet cleans deep and gives natural protection from germs. Fully (100%) vegetarian, not tested on animals and produced cruelty-free, Swadeshi Khomba is recently accredited by the Vegetarian Society, UK. Swadeshi Khomba range comprises of herbal beauty bar, herbal transparent bar, herbal baby care range, herbal shampoo, herbal body wash, herbal handwash, herbal hand sanitiser and herbal talc, reinforcing the natural protection and cleaner, soothing skin. Swadeshi Khomba is also a registered product with the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), Sri Lanka.
Swadeshi, a 100% Sri Lankan company has claimed many industry firsts to its name including the most recent Covid-19 safety management certification. The pioneer and market leader in the herbal soap and herbal personal care category in Sri Lanka, Swadeshi Industrial Works PLC, an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, was incorporated in 1941. Swadeshi is renowned for its trademark herbal care products: Swadeshi Khomba, Rani Sandalwood and Swadeshi Khomba baby, which have been warmly embraced and trusted by Sri Lankans over the years. The company has a rich history of 80 years and is now venturing into global markets backed by its years of trusted excellence.
The Swadeshi Industrial Works PLC was represented by President's Counsel Romesh De Silva with Attorneys-at-law Shanaka Cooray and Vasanthakumar Niles, instructed by D. L & F De Saram – Attorneys-at-law & Notaries Public.
Pankaj Tripathi takes ownership of LPL Kandy
The Lanka Premier League (LPL) Kandy-based franchise has new owners as Vernost Marketing Technology Solutions CEO Pankaj Tripathi and Safexpay Founder and CEO Ravi Gupta have stepped forward to co-own the franchise in the upcoming second season of the premier T20 tournament of the country to be held from December 5 to 23, 2021. The Kandy franchise was named Kandy Tuskers in last year’s LPL and has been renamed as Kandy Warriors for the new season.
Expressing his views, Pankaj Tripathi stated, “We are ecstatic to be a part of the Lanka Premier League as the co-owner of the Kandy Warriors. The LPL has caught the imagination of cricket fans from around the world and we wanted to be a part of the amazing competition in the upcoming seasons. We are eagerly looking forward to engaging with the fans and having a cracker of a season.”
Welcoming the new owners, Anil Mohan, Founder and CEO of Dubai-based production giant IPG, the official promoter of LPL, said, “It’s a huge honour and privilege for me to welcome the new owners of the Kandy franchise. I am certain that their passion for the game will bolster the Kandy franchise and also attract more fans to the Lanka Premier League in the upcoming seasons.”
The inaugural edition of the LPL was held in 2020 and was played in a bio-secure bubble at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota from November 26 till December 16, 2020. It reached a cumulative audience of 557 million people through TV, digital-social space, and traditional media outlets. This year there will be five teams participating in LPL.
Vernost Marketing Technology Solutions consults and helps customers build, manage, develop and support complex and new generation business applications for End-Customer and Trade. With a proven expertise in designing, developing, and managing solutions in the domains of Customer Engagements, Digital Payment, Online marketplace, Travel Commerce and Digital Distribution, the company has been one of the earliest adopters and has an established practice on AI, Blockchain, Commerce, Analytics and Cloud.
Rainforest Alliance Director for South Asia. Dr Madhuri Nanda
Pix by Prabodha de Silva
Rainforest Alliance - to strengthen sustainability footprint
The Rainforest Alliance convened a reception in Colombo recently that brought together key organisations and individuals to share its work and explore potential opportunities to collaborate and partner in Sri Lanka. The Rainforest Alliance is committed to creating a landscape-level intervention in the region to address critical sustainability challenges and Sri Lanka is indeed a key priority country for the organisation given the scale of impact it has generated in the tea sector.
Speaking at the event, The Rainforest Alliance Director for South Asia, Dr Madhuri Nanda stated, ‘Our ongoing work in Sri Lanka needs to be consolidated and partnerships curated to work towards a common agenda for sustainable development for the country. Although the Rainforest Alliance certified members and many in the plantation sector know about the value we bring in terms of sustainability, we feel the need to raise more awareness about our mandate for Sri Lanka and join forces with more like-minded organisations as there is indeed strength in a collective approach when it comes to sustainability.’
The Rainforest Alliance has been working in Sri Lanka for over a decade creating a positive environmental and social impact on 150,000 Hectares of land and 200,000 Metric Tons of produce by bringing them under sustainable agriculture practices. About 65,000 small farmers are already part of the Rainforest Alliance certification system in the country. Jointly with the businesses, Rainforest Alliance has been engaging with farmers to train them towards sustainable agriculture practices and address issues such as deforestation, watershed conservation, biodiversity conservation and human-wildlife conflict. Our Sustainable Agriculture Standard promotes climate-smart and regenerative agriculture practices, alongside management of human rights issues in the plantations, for instance, child labour, forced labour, gender rights, and other rights-based issues.
The Rainforest Alliance also believes that the private sector is increasingly conscious and willing to actively engage and contribute towards meeting sustainability challenges and objectives, but lacks the trust and confidence from local communities and rights holders in some cases. The government also needs academicians with technical knowledge to guide the formulation of policies and for informed decision-making based on empirical evidence. The communities need inclusion and a seat at the table to amplify their voices towards policy formulation, beyond token representation. The farmers, especially smallholders, require training and handholding to transition to sustainable agriculture practices. Such larger ambitions can only be achieved via a transparent multistakeholder approach that would also benefit Sri Lanka towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17 - partnerships for goals. Climate adaptation for an island nation such as Sri Lanka is critical. Priority must be given to building resilience in the communities, and especially smallholders, who are among those most negatively impacted by the climate crisis. To navigate such challenges demands a proactive approach from all stakeholders to collectively join forces and bring greater impact on the ground.
For more information please contact Jehan CanagaRetna - Consultant, Rainforest Alliance, Sri Lanka on 0777775159
5000 ELECTRICIANS TO GET NVQ3 AND LICENSE
45,000 ELECTRICIANS TO GET NVQ3 AND ELECTRICAL LICENSE NEXT YEAR
THE SECOND PHASE OF THE NVQ3 FREE ACCELERATED PROGRAM FOR ELECTRICIANS BEGINS TOMORROW IN ANURADHAPURA
The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the electricity sector regulator, commences the second phase of awarding a free National Vocational Qualification Level 3 (NVQ 3) Program for Electricians tomorrow.
The PUCSL launched this programme in March last year and more than 2000 electricians have obtained NVQ3 under the programme and qualified for the electrician license. NVQ3 is the minimum qualification for obtaining an electrician license. PUCSL has scheduled to offer NVQ3 qualification for 1,500 electricians this month and the third phase of the program will begin in November this year with a plan to offer the qualification to another 2,500 electricians by December this year.
Commenting on the launching of the second phase, Janaka Ratnayake, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka said,
“There are about 45,000 people engaged in the electrical profession in Sri Lanka. More than 95 per cent of these do not have a recognized qualification and due to that, they cannot move forward in their respective profession. Also, the lack of standardized electricians is a threat to the electrical safety of households. The minimum qualification to obtain the license is the NVQ 3 qualification. We launched this program to provide free NVQ3 to all electricians as a solution to all these problems. Our goal is to offer NVQ3, free of charge, to all experienced electricians within next year.”
PUCSL also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Vocational and Tertiary Education Commission (TVEC), the Vocational Training Authority (VTA) and the National Apprenticeship and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) to award NVQ 3 for electricians. According to these MoUs, the examinations and course fees of the NVQ 3 are borne by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka on behalf of electricians. A special feature of this program is that the electricians will be able to qualify for NVQ 3 under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL based Evaluation) system within four days.
The PUCSL together with the Construction Industry Development Authority of Sri Lanka (CIDA) has planned to award electricians the professional license after obtaining NVQ 3 level, Rathnayake said.
“In the future, regulations will be imposed where electricians will be required to obtain electricity licenses. The National Electrician Licensing framework has already been introduced for electricians and career advancement under four different grades were introduced through the framework. Many organizations, including PUCSL and CIDA, jointly prepared this framework. PUCSL plans to offer NVQ3 level, free of charge for all the electricians in Sri Lanka and therefore all the electricians can easily obtain the professional license once they are qualified. We are planning to issue the electrical professional license at the district level from this month.” Mr Rathnayake added.
TIME TO FOCUS ON THE BILLION-DOLLAR TRADE FAIR & MEETINGS INDUSTRY- NEW SLAPCEO PRESIDENT
Sri Lanka Association of Professional Conference, Exhibition & Event Organisers (SLAPCEO) held it’s virtual AGM on the 30th of June 2021. The following members were appointed to the mainboard: . Imran Hassan (President) - CDC Events & Travels, Ms Janice Hakel-Ranasinghe (Vice President) - Kairos Events & Weddings, Ms. Nadeeka Leeniyagoda (Secretary) - Aitken Spence Conventions & Exhibitions, Dr. Shaffaath Amidon (Treasurer) - M & S Travels Solutions, Mr. Nalin Ariyaratne (Immediate Past President) - Jetwing Events Pvt. Ltd. Along with Mr. Aasim Mukthar - Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Nadun Egodage – Beyond Boundaries Global Pvt. Ltd, Ms Esther Goonatillake - Columbus Tours Pvt. Ltd., Devanthi Ambuldeniya – BMICH and Irfam am Aariff – Eventistry Pvt Ltd., as board committee members.
Imran Hassan, the new president of SLAPCEO says, now is the best time for Sri Lanka to strategically focus on being ready to open up to this industry. Like Singapore and Dubai the Trade fair, Meetings & Destination Events industry can play a huge role in giving the Sri Lankan economy the much needed boost it requires. Sri Lanka should focus her marketing strategy in breaking into the Billion-Dollar Industry of Trade Fairs, Meetings and Destination Events, which has long been neglected. When Sri Lanka re-opens its doors to the world this needs to be one of the key factors in Sri Lanka’s marketing strategy.
Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning is one of our significant assets in this industry. We should focus our attention at making it a global hub, such as Dubai and Singapore. They recognized the value of this industry decades before and have taken it to the next level of a global meeting hub to the world. Sri Lanka also has all the characteristics needed to become the meeting/business Centre to this part of the world. With our friendly relationships with our neighbours and convenient accessibility and connectivity, we have much to offer. Our close proximity of just 40kms from one of the biggest markets in the world - India, is another huge advantage. We have always been a service-oriented economy, from Tourism to ICT with service-oriented Human Resources.
Sri Lanka has trained professionals who are currently involved in the Trade Fairs, Meetings and Destination Events Industry and most of these professionals are employees of the member companies of the SLAPCEO who are very much engaged in the services of the Trade Fairs, Meetings and Events Industry with relative international connections. Sri Lanka also has a government body focusing on this industry namely - Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) which is the main government agency to promote Sri Lanka as a hub. The sad part is that while we have been having the basic requirements and infrastructure since 1976 the Inception of BMICH hosting of events such as the non-aligned Nations Conference and UFTAA we have not built on this and caught up with the world due to many reasons such as the war and political instability. Now Sri Lanka has to play catch up with countries like UAE, even though Sri Lankan were pioneers in this field.
Some areas we need to focus on are infrastructure facilities, strategic marketing plans, policy and training in order to achieve our goals of becoming the central hub in this part of the world. This will not only give our Tourism Industry a boost but also ensure that Sri Lankan businesses will benefit through the connections, investments and the joint ventures that will come through Sri Lanka. As you may understand, we are not only just speaking of the Trade Fairs, Meetings and Events Industry but of taking a major step towards the direction of economic prosperity. The Port City holds great opportunity to boost this industry in Sri Lanka, if we focus our attention strategically in this area. We intend to meet with the government authorities and share our views and plans with a view of getting it included in the national plan for the next decade. We will also strive as an industry to collaborate with other tourism associations to achieve our goals. We intend to meet with the authorities of the tourism industry and especially with the new finance minister to share our plans. We will also share our views with the media through a Press Conference shortly.
Daraz donates Rs. 2 million to ITUKAMA COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund
Daraz showcased their perseverance in combatting the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic through their donation of Rs. 2 Million and the supply of PPE kits to the ITUKAMA COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund.
The donation was handed over to Honorable Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksha at the Temple Trees on 19th July 2021, in the presence of the Minister of Youth and Sports, and State Minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development, Namal Rajapakse and State Minister of Provincial Council and Local Government, Minister Roshan Ranasinghe. Representing Daraz Sri Lanka were Managing Director, Rakhil Fernando, Chief Operations Officer, Darshika Attanayake and the Head of Administration, and Procurement, Malith Ranadewa.
The ITUKAMA project is a fundraising initiative for the COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund established by His Excellency, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to support the mitigation of the spread of COVID-19. Initially established with a donation of Rs 100 million from the President’s Fund, the fund aims at securing the safety of those in the health sector and other essential service providers while facilitating the aid of those made vulnerable by COVID-19. It simultaneously supports the improvement of Sri Lanka’s long term vigilance and preparation for future health emergencies.
Daraz has played an active role in supporting the community through a series of CSR initiatives spearheaded under Daraz Cares, since the onset of the pandemic and will continue to do so by aiding the government of Sri Lanka.
DARAZ OLYMPIC GAMES PARTNERSHIP ACROSS SOUTH ASIA
South Asia’s leading e-commerce platform added to Alibaba’s partnership with the IOC ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Singapore, 15th July 2021: South Asia’s e-commerce powerhouse and market leader, Daraz, has announced it will join as part of its parent company, Alibaba’s twelve-year worldwide deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Through this agreement, Daraz will bring together the power of sport and e-commerce to deliver a positive impact across the region and further deepen Daraz’s commitment to being a champion of South Asia.
Leveraging this partnership across Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar, Daraz will work with each local National Olympic Committee to inspire and uplift communities.
Daraz’s Founder and CEO, Bjarke Mikkelsen, said the company’s addition to Alibaba’s Olympic partnership is a fantastic opportunity not only for Daraz but also the people of South Asia.
“Sport is a powerful equalizer. It doesn’t discriminate and brings people together right across the world, from all walks of life. For a company like Daraz the foundation of our business has always been about using the power of commerce to break down barriers and improve accessibility for both consumers and local entrepreneurs. I believe this ethos sits alongside the values of the Olympic Games perfectly.
We have a deep understanding of each market we operate in across South Asia, and we understand the daily challenges, especially during COVID-19, that many have had to endure. Therefore, we want to use this partnership to inspire everyone to live their dreams and show them that nothing is impossible,” says Mr Mikkelsen.
Timo Lumme, Managing Director at IOC Television and Marketing Services said, “South Asia has a strong sports tradition and the addition of Daraz to the Alibaba partnership will give us an opportunity to connect more people in the region with the Olympic values”.
In the spirit of the new partnership, Daraz plans to extend its support to the region’s participating athletes who have demonstrated dedication to following their dreams. As one of the brands included in the IOC’s partnership with Alibaba, Daraz looks to tell athletes’ stories and inspire local communities, while focusing on the concept of “Delivering Dreams” across the region.
Communiqué PR bags Bronze
Communiqué PR – Sri Lanka’s very own public relations and strategic communications consultancy – was recently recognised by The Globee Awards as a Bronze Award winner in the ‘Startup of the Year’ category at the 13th Annual 2021 Golden Bridge Business and Innovation Awards.
The coveted Golden Bridge Awards annually recognises and honours extraordinary achievements – in business and innovation – across every industry worldwide. All organisations operating anywhere in the world – whether small or big, public or private, for-profit or nonprofit – are eligible to participate in the awards under a wide range of categories that have been updated to reflect the changing roles and responsibilities of businesses today.
The 13th edition of the Golden Bridge Awards witnessed the participation of businesses and companies from all corners of the globe, with over 85 judges presiding over the selection process. The judging criteria took into account every aspect of the business including organisational performance, products and services, creativity and innovation, workplace management, public relations, customer satisfaction programmes, and much more – resulting in the much-awaited announcement of the Grand, Gold, Silver and Bronze winners of the 2021 edition.
Commenting on the company’s noteworthy achievement, the Director of Communiqué PR Krishanthi Dhayalan, stated: “Winning the Bronze award has left us elated yet humbled, and we are deeply indebted to Globee Awards for the grand opportunity to participate in this prestigious global event. As a startup that just turned two, we are filled with a tremendous sense of appreciation for the incredible journey that has led to this very moment, and are absolutely fired-up for what is yet to come!”
She further added: “We are extremely grateful for the continued support and patronage of our wonderful partners, clients and friends without whom this accomplishment just would not have been possible! As more and more people become aware of the crucial importance of PR in the current global environment, you can be assured that Communiqué PR is out there to revolutionise the industry and provide value every step of the way!”
Communiqué PR is a Sri Lankan public relations consultancy that is solely dedicated to providing strategic and tailor-made communications solutions for all its clients. Its offerings are centred around modern PR (a confluence of traditional and digital PR), ongoing media relations and influencer relations, reputation building and brand positioning, crisis management and response, and so much more!
The company is best known for its creative approaches and breakthrough campaigns, and is sincerely committed to empowering clients to seamlessly navigate the ever-evolving world of PR. The creative, dynamic and innovative individuals at Communiqué PR strive tirelessly to analyse and craft clever and proactive strategies that exceed expectations.
Daraz – the Official Digital Partner of the Sri Lankan Olympic Team
Daraz, South Asia’s leading e-commerce dynamo, has announced its Olympic Games partnership to support the National Olympic Team of Sri Lanka. Accordingly, Daraz Sri Lanka will be working closely with the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka to support and help inspire the local Olympic athletes, under the theme of ‘Delivering Dreams’.
Understanding not only the value of sports, but the importance of perseverance, Daraz aims at inspiring Sri Lankans of all ages, encouraging them to pursue their dreams. By providing a platform via which they can tell their stories, Daraz is supporting our national athletes to follow their dreams. For the youth of the country, Daraz will facilitate their support by delivering dreams across Sri Lanka, as they strive towards self-fulfillment, helping them understand that nothing is impossible.
Commenting on this partnership, Managing Director of Daraz Sri Lanka, Rakhil Fernando stated, “As Daraz grows from strength to strength in Sri Lanka, we have a duty and responsibility to the people of the country to inspire them to pursue their dreams, and help them go from strength to strength. As we bridge the arenas of sports and e-commerce, we hope to deliver the dreams of aspiring athletes in achieving their goals with the true Olympic spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”
By being the platform that connects the spheres of sports and e-commerce, Daraz has the potential to truly inspire, especially through their new role as the Official Digital Partner of the National Olympic team.
Rise in Land Prices in Western Province from 2018 to 2021
According to the annual Land Price Index released by LankaPropertyWeb, Sri Lanka’s number one real estate platform, in the Western Province (except Colombo Municipality area) the overall land price values have increased by 74% from 2018 to 2021. The company also revealed that, on an annual basis, the increase in average land prices between 2018 and 2021 was 15% (Annual Effective Rate). As a result, if an investor were to invest in property and hold it for 4 to 5 years, his initial investment would multiply largely over time.
When compared with the fluctuations in interest rates for fixed deposits, these values are a major contrast proving further towards the profitability of the real estate industry in the country.
Data: Central Bank of Sri Lanka and LankaPropertyWeb
Between the first quarters of 2019 to 2021, fixed deposit rates have reduced from 11.41% to 6.29%. While the land price acceleration in the Western Province slowed down from 22% in 2019 to 18.56% in 2021. This is especially significant given that in most countries across the world, the real estate market has experienced major downturns with the spread of COVID-19.
During the last 4 years, growing demand for land in the suburbs was also witnessed with price increases being reported from Kolonnawa, Hanwella, Peliyagoda and Welampitiya in the Colombo district. Cities such as Kelaniya, Dompe and Kadawatha in the Gampaha district showed price increases as well, providing further evidence to the changing patterns of Sri Lankan property buyers.
Among these cities, however, what topped the list in fluctuation during the 4 years was Ingiriya in the Kalutara district. The land prices in the city had experienced a 246% increase from 2018 to 2021. This is an annual average increase of 51% with a 109% increase between 2020 to 2021.
The record of Ingiriya was followed by Angoda (195%) that ranked 2nd and Kolonnawa (183%), which had the 3rd highest land price fluctuations from 2018 to 2021. The data further revealed that on an annual average basis the increase in land prices in the former between 2020 to 2021 was 69% while the latter was at 4%.
Commenting on this the Head of Research at LankaPropertyWeb, Tharindu Jayarathne said, “When we analyse the land price movements for the last 4 years, it is inevitable that the demand has driven away from district capitals to suburbs which have development agendas. Most prices are tagged with infrastructure development prospects.”
With the changes in infrastructure taking place across the Western Province, people’s motive to shift towards the suburbs of Colombo and other parts of the province has continuously risen over the years. Budget proposals towards housing development plans, highway construction projects and transportation convenience of non-durable products like vegetables, has led to certain cities experiencing triple-digit appreciation during the 4 years.
In Colombo, this was recorded in Angoda, Kolonnawa, Hanwella, Peliyagoda, Wellampitiya, Hokandara and Homagama. While in the Kalutara district, triple-digit land price increases were seen in Ingiriya and Wadduwa. In the Gampaha district Kelaniya, Dompe and Kadawatha showed similar patterns as well.
Besides the increasing trend in prices, lands in certain parts of the country still remain quite affordable and under a price of less than LKR 1 million. However, these lands also experienced an appreciation of over 100% per perch since Q1 of 2018.
Hanwella in the Colombo district and Dompe in the Gampaha district showed hikes of 168% and 156% during the 4 years with an annual average rate of 39% and 37% respectively, in the ‘under 1 million per perch’ segment.
A highlight in this data is that lands in Homagama also fall into this category of ‘Under LKR 1 million. The land price data showed a fluctuation of 103% from 2018 to 2021 and an annual average of 26.62% (Annual effective).
As of this year, the government announced that over 8 development projects are to be commenced in Homagama. These projects include a wholesale exchange centre in Meegoda, a granary in Dodagama, a sports city in Diyagama, a knowledge city and mega supermarket in Homagama, a biodiversity city in Barawa, an apparel town in Ingirya-Dodagama and an export city in Kahathuduwa. This is further expected to drive land prices in Homagama to increase in the near future.
Land Prices in Colombo Municipality on an average increased by 8% from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021: LankaPropertyWeb
The average prices in the Colombo municipality between 1 - 15 have recorded minor fluctuations when compared to the rising demand for lands in the suburbs. In Colombo 1, 2, 4 and 5, land prices have increased slightly while Colombo 3, 6, 8, 9, 12, 14 and 15 have reduced when compared with the 2020 average per perch prices.
2 years ago, the land prices in these areas were higher and in demand. But with the changing patterns of Sri Lankan house buyers property prices have impacted largely.
While most price fluctuations during the 4 years were recorded from cities in the Western Province, Kandy in the Central Province, Galle and Matara in the Southern Province, and Kurunegala in the North-Western Province also showed changes in land prices. From 2018 to 2021 land prices in Kandy increased by 45% while in Matara the records revealed an increase of 12%.
A full list of the land prices for Q1 2021 can be viewed at https://www.lankapropertyweb.com/house_prices.php#lands-wp
International Association of Pageantry appoints Representative in Sri Lanka
The International Association of Pageantry (IAOP) recently announced their appointment of Chanaka Perera as the Exclusive Representative/Partner in Sri Lanka. The IAOP is self-regulating ethics and regulatory body for the pageant industry, with its head office based in the United States (US).
Pageantry is a cultural icon in many countries, and the IAOP serves the international pageant community by promoting industry ethics, self-regulation, and best practices, thus providing consumer protection for pageant systems, suppliers, and participants following the Code of Ethics. With numerous international pageants registered under the IAOP system worldwide, IAOP members and participants are asked to provide safe environments for empowering fair competition and protecting participants while maintaining the integrity of the pageant industry. As the IAOP is also involved in the vetting of judges for pageants, maintaining ethical standards throughout the pageant is definitely a priority.
Dr Rollan Roberts, Chairman of the IAOP commented on the appointment of the new Exclusive Representative/Partner in Sri Lanka saying, “I’d like to welcome Chanaka Perera and his organization in Sri Lanka to the IAOP membership family. We are so thrilled that those in Sri Lanka are committed, under his guidance and leadership with the IAOP, to honesty, integrity and ethics in pageantry. We believe that this is the best way to support and empower women through this profession. We are so grateful to the Sri Lankan government, the organization and to our partnership, as they aim to ensure fair, honest and ethical pageants throughout Sri Lanka.”
The IAOP acting through Chanaka Perera has agreed to take pageantry in Sri Lanka to new heights, keeping with the Code of Ethics and advising the Sri Lankan government on the International Systems and Guidelines in place to ensure fairness and integrity within this prominent industry. Educated in England and Australia, Chanaka Perera is a known entrepreneur with involvements in the pageantry industry. Therefore, his expertise in the area as well as his emphasis on ensuring that the system upholds transparency and equal opportunity, promise great hope for the future of Sri Lanka pageants. The IAOP is also interested in exploring the opportunity of promoting Sri Lanka as a pageant destination in the US. Through affiliation with the Supporting Women Association of Pageantry in Sri Lanka (SWAP), it is hoped that every competitor will be facilitated the opportunity to flourish and grow through empowering pageant experiences.
In addition, the IAOP works tirelessly with national and regulatory governing bodies on with the aim of fulfilling Sustainable Development Goal #5 (SDG5) as per the United Nations (UN). SDG5 focuses on achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. As such, the IAOP hopes to provide a foundation by which women and girls might step into the spotlight of empowerment and enable them to take their futures into their own hands.
Commenting on the partnership, Chanaka Perera, stated, “Pageantry is an extremely influential industry, especially in Sri Lanka where many young women either enter pageants in order to make a difference, or watch pageants religiously. These pageants function as a platform by which to empower women, and it is our responsibility to ensure equal opportunities, fairness and integrity throughout these competitions. I understand the importance of maintaining the ethical conduct at every stage of the pageant and am grateful for this role assigned to me by the IAOP. I look forward to the partnership with the IAOP, working with Rollan Roberts who is also a well-known entrepreneur, adviser and the Head of Transform Africa. My aim is to ensure that local pageants meet IAOP standards so as to promote Sri Lanka as a pageantry destination. The IAOP has indicated their willingness to work with the Sri Lankan government to enhance the local pageantry profession. Thus, we hope to facilitate an environment in Sri Lanka that promotes the empowerment of women and girls, while showing the world the wonders of the destination that is Sri Lanka.”
Daraz now the Official Overseas Team Sponsor of Sri Lanka Cricket
Colombo, 24 May 2021;
The culture of Sri Lanka is steeped in cricket and transcends the boundaries of age, gender, race and religion and we as a people, thrive on it as our lifeblood. Daraz takes great pleasure in announcing their role as the Official Overseas Team Sponsor of Sri Lanka Cricket for 2021.
Daraz will be the Official Overseas Team Sponsor of Sri Lanka Cricket for the remainder of the year 2021, which will include high profile series against Bangladesh, England, South Africa and Scotland, promising excellent entertainment eagerly awaited by many across the country. The Daraz Group, a subsidiary of global e-commerce giant Alibaba, view cricket sponsorships as one of the key pillars of Daraz’s brand strategy. In response to our customers' love for the game in many of our markets, Daraz also sponsors the national cricket team of Bangladesh. As such, marking a first in Cricket in the region, both teams at the upcoming Sri Lanka – Bangladesh ODI series, will be sponsored by the same company. This is indicative of the continuous prosperity and growth of the largest online shopping platform within South Asia, as they continue to improve the e-commerce infrastructure in the region.
Sharing his thoughts at the sponsorship, Rakhil Fernando, Managing Director of Daraz, stated, “It is our vision to see Daraz grow from strength to strength and ingrain itself in the fabric of culture within the markets we operate. This sponsorship is a testament to that plan and vision. Us sponsoring the Sri Lanka cricket team as they represent our country overseas solidifies our support and commitment to Sri Lanka”. The Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka Cricket Mr Ashley De Silva observed, “By partnering with Sri Lanka Cricket, Daraz has made an excellent movie, which I am certain will benefit their brand immensely”.
This is not Daraz’s debut cricket sponsorship. Having most recently partnered Sri Lanka Cricket, during the England Tour of Sri Lanka, which took place in January 2021, as well as the Lanka Premier league which took place in November and December 2020. Daraz also co-sponsored the test matches of the Sri Lankan tour of South Africa in December 2020 at Centurion and Johannesburg, South Africa.
Manik Sooriyaarachchi Scholarship for Female Entrepreneurs
The Australian High Commission would like to announce the launch of the Manik Sooriyaarachchi Scholarship for Female Entrepreneurs. This Scholarship has been established to commemorate Ms Manik Sooriyaarachchi, who tragically died, along with her daughter Alexandria, in the 2019 Easter bombings.
Manik was an Australian citizen and an alumna from the University of Swinburne in Melbourne. She was an active member of the Australia-Sri Lanka Alumni group and an entrepreneurial businesswoman who returned to Sri Lanka to contribute to the country’s economic development.
To mark the contributions Manik made as a female entrepreneur and as an Australian alumna, the Manik Sooriyaarchchi Scholarship for Female Entrepreneurs has been established. The Scholarship will fund a Sri Lankan female entrepreneur to undertake a business entrepreneurship degree at graduate certificate level at one of Australia’s top universities. It is anticipated one scholarship will be offered each year for the next 5 years. The Scholarship will fund course fees and travel and living expenses up to AUD 55,000.
Australian High Commissioner David Holly launched the scholarship on 21 April, the second anniversary of the bombings.
Applications will be sought from female businesswomen and entrepreneurs with at least 5 years professional experience who have a clear proposal for expanding their current business or creating a new business in sectors that will expand employment opportunities for Sri Lankans. We encourage female Sri Lankan entrepreneurs and businesswomen to take this opportunity to undertake professional development in Australia.
More details on the Scholarship can be found at https://australiaawardssrilanka.org.
Acme Group Upgrades Food Safety Management Systems
ACME Group has recently upgraded its food safety management systems in line with the latest version of International Food Safety Management System (FSMS) certifications of ISO 22000:2018 and FSSC 22000 Version 5, for their flexible packaging manufacturing facilities in Piliyandala and Pannala respectively. The certifications were awarded by SGS International Certification Services, UK through its local office, SGS Lanka Ltd.
ACME manufactures packaging materials in the form of printed/laminated reels, pouches, sheets and lids converted out of Aluminium Foil, BOPP, LLDPE, Nylon, Polyester and Paper for the packaging of a wide range of products such as Confectionery, Milk Powder, Biscuits, Snacks, Beverages, Tea, Noodles, Soya Nuggets, Processed Meat Products, Pharmaceuticals, Detergent Powder, Agro Chemicals, Cigarette Foil as well Garments etc.
The Piliyandala factory of ACME is the country’s sole manufacture of Aluminum Foil based flexible packaging items wherein the company has successfully entered export markets. ACME’s list of customers includes and is not limited to market leaders such as Maliban Biscuits and Maliban Milk, Ceylon Biscuits, Ceylon Chocolates, Fonterra, Dilmah, Prima, DSI, CEAT Tyres, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Wijaya Products, Uswatta Confectioneries, Pelwatta, Cherish, Ariya Milk Products, Lanka Milk Foods, Hemas and State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (SPMC).
In addition, ACME Group holds the prestigious International Quality Management System (QMS) certification of ISO 9001:2015 for both their flexible packaging manufacturing facilities in Pililyandala and Pannala. ACME ensures that their products are in high quality and food safe by aligning their systems in line with said international certification systems.
The management of ACME is proud to declare the upgrade of its Management Systems (QMS/FSMS) especially as the Group has increased its manufacturing capabilities in terms of both quantity and quality, which has resulted in increased customer satisfaction and confidence, notwithstanding the unfavourable business environment of the country and the world at large caused by the recent Covid 19 pandemic. As the country’s foremost flexible packaging manufacturer, ACME Group has the ability to comply with what is required by the latest version of international standards (QMS/FSMS) since it has the benefit of the services of country’s most experienced labour force relating to flexible packaging.
AYA pioneers addressing women's health concerns
By Shivanthi Medagoda
Fems, a brand, owned by Hemas Consumer, announced taking the lead in addressing pressing concerns of women’s reproductive health issues at a recent press meet held in Colombo.
Fems AYA pioneers a nationwide initiative in addressing menstrual health and hygiene concerns of women islandwide. The initiative by Hemas AYA aims to educate women on health and hygiene and to provide equal access to high-quality napkins for every woman, was launched in line with the International Women's Day celebrations. Fems joined forces with the ARKA initiative, Dilmah's Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation, Sarvodaya Women's Movement and Sarvodaya-Fusion to educate a wider audience of Sri Lankan women on menstrual health and iron out the long-held myths and misconceptions. This initiative intends to educate women on the health benefits of using sanitary napkins. As research has found out that the majority of women are non-users of sanitary napkins.
Addressing the launch, Dr Sudarshani Fernandopulle, State Minister of Primary Healthcare, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control said, "I am proud to see a leading private sector company like Hemas stepping up to lead a social endeavour that bridges a long-felt knowledge gap together with organizations that share a similar interest.
The Arka Initiative is an organization working on sexual and reproductive health issues in Sri Lanka. It is led by a group of young doctors, psychologists, lawyers and researchers. One of the main objectives of the Arka Initiative is to educate and equip young women with the necessary knowledge and tools they need, to ensure menstrual health and hygiene. The partnership with MJF Foundation enables Fems to educate more than 10,000 plantation residents, with the due support from the ARKA initiative. The Dilmah's Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation continuously engages in charitable initiatives to uplift the lives of Sri Lankans and extend support to various communities such as the students with special needs. Fems intends to expand this awareness campaign to rural villages through the Sarvodaya Women's Movement which is a large network of women spread across the island. The Movement's years of experience in tackling women's issues and empowering women by uplifting their knowledge add the necessary momentum to drive this initiative forward. Sarvodaya-Fusion who works on ICT for development initiatives will be instrumental in conducting online awareness sessions on healthful living for women in this digital era.
Responding to a concern raised that how this product “AYA '' manufactured by Hemas FMCG goods compare with other related sanitary napkins in the market? Managing Director, Hemas FMCG Sriyan De Silva Wijeyeratnre, said that AYA done by Fems is manufactured using a soft cotton top sheet to provide maximum comfort to the user and also clearly stated that their main concern is providing sanitary napkins for a very affordable price than the ones existing in the Sri Lankan market.
As many women facing financial difficulties don’t spend on napkins, also they don’t have access and knowledge on the need for sanitary napkins. Aya product is a cost-effective sanitary napkin for a woman facing their monthly difficulties. Costs are hoping to start from LKR 100 for 10 napkins. Fems is a leading brand in the local market introduced by Hemas FMCG and they have all the necessary machinery that is required to launch this new product and the manpower to produce their new product to the local market in the upcoming month. Ladies facing their monthly difficulties will have a good option and mainly an affordable napkin. On World Women’s Day, Hemas launched "AYA" addressing to talk and make a different along with our partners to bring a good change and care about their menstrual health and hygiene to empower women to continue their lives without trouble.
Joining together with Arka Initiative, MJF Foundation and Sarvodya Women’s Movement Fems will launch a new product that will be both cost-effective and available islandwide. The product will also be manufactured to the highest standards and quality, De Silva Wijeratne said.
Cathay Pacific Cargo Develops Solution for Vaccine Distribution
The new quality-assured solution facilitates the fast and effective import and transhipment of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide Cathay Pacific Cargo has built on its many years of experience in transporting pharmaceutical shipments to develop a vaccine solution specifically for the fast and
effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the globe.
Cathay Pacific Director Cargo Tom Owen said: “With our 20 dedicated freighters and cargo bellies of passenger aircraft supporting our extensive freighter network, we stand ready to assist with what will be the biggest humanitarian response to a situation involving civil aviation that anyone has ever seen.”
Cathay Pacific Cargo is progressively rolling out Ultra Track as a key part of the vaccine solution. The next-generation track-and-trace system monitors information
including temperature, GPS location, and humidity, using low-energy Bluetooth readers. This gives shippers and forwarders near real time visibility, and ensures
vaccines will remain within their transportation temperature ranges.
Operations Control Centre
In addition, shipments using Ultra Track will also be monitored by the newly established Operations Control Centre. Based in Hong Kong, and staffed by
dedicated cargo professionals 24/7, the team can instruct ramp and cargo terminal staff to take proactive steps to ensure the various storage requirements of vaccines are maintained. Owen said: “Ultra Track will allow forwarders to monitor the condition of their vaccine shipments in near real time. It will be progressively rolled out through the first quarter of this year, and we will be offering the service free of charge for any COVID-19 vaccine shipments.”
CEIV Pharma accreditation
The combined approach follows on from airport-wide recertification of IATA’s CEIV Pharma accreditation (the internationally recognised quality-assurance
scheme for pharmaceutical shipments) at Hong Kong International Airport. Cathay Pacific Cargo, the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal managed by Cathay Pacific
Services Limited (CPSL) and ground-handling subsidiary Hong Kong Airport Services (HAS) have all been re-certified, offering a complete level of quality
assurance at every stage of the import and transhipment journey.
Airport Authority Hong Kong General Manager Aviation Logistics Alaina Shum said:“Hong Kong International Airport advocates and supports the airport community in its CEIV Pharma recertification, which helps to cement its status as the world’s leading and busiest cargo airport.” The Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal is being expanded to offer more temperature-controlled capacity. While it is currently able to temporarily hold and transit 6.6 million doses of vaccine a day, there is more to come. Cathay Pacific Cargo’s Owen says: “We have just expanded so that it can handle more than seven million doses, and there will be more cold storage coming online soon. This new cold room storage will be able to handle a further 1.6 million doses.” “With the vaccine being so valuable and in such limited supply, it’s critical that we get it right at every stage of the journey. We are confident about meeting the challenge, and we stand ready to play our part.”
India to approve first set of vaccines for Covid 19
India is at the cusp of authorizing the first set of Covid-19 vaccines announced Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday and expressed the need for an expeditious vaccination drive to cover the target population estimated to be around 30 crores.
While chairing the 22nd meeting the Minister made the announcement to the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Covid-19 through a video-conference as India crossed the one crore infection mark.
He was joined online by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of State Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, Member (Health) NITI Aayog Vinod K. Paul, Advisers to the Prime Minister Amarjeet Sinha and Bhaskar Khulbe.
Appealing to diligently maintain a Covid 19 appropriate behaviour, the Vardhan said we should follow coronavirus guidelines even at a time "when the country is at the cusp of authorizing the first set of vaccines".
Expressing deep gratitude to all Covid warriors, who have been steadfast in their duty throughout the pandemic, Vardhan informed his colleagues of the progress made by the country`s public health system has brought encouraging results so far. Confirmed by the fact that pandemic growth has dropped to 2 per cent and the case fatality rate is amongst the lowest in the world at 1.45 per cent.
"India`s Recovery Rate has peaked to 95.46 per cent, while the strategy of testing 1 million samples has decreased the Cumulative Positivity Rate to 6.25 per cent," he added.
Observing the fact that despite festivals in October and November, Vardhan said no new surge of cases was observed in this period due to comprehensive testing, tracking and treatment policy implemented on the ground.
Sujeet K. Singh, Director (NCDC), presented a detailed report on how the data-driven graded government policies have helped India achieve significant control over the pandemic.
Singh presented a granular analysis of the trajectory of the pandemic in each state pointing out critical parameters like positivity, RAT and RT-PCR per cent breakup, the concentration of cases in particular districts and other trends like a fatality, and fatality within 48 and 72 hours of hospitalization. Along with the data on the total dedicated Covid-19 facilities in the country.
Through a detailed presentation, NITI Aayog member Paul apprised the GoM on three critical aspects of vaccination; the process of a pre-clinical and clinical trial of all vaccines, the details of the six vaccine candidates undergoing trial in India (in terms of composition, manufacturers and technical partners, numbers of doses, conditions for storage and efficacy) and the composition of target populations in India, in terms of age, occupation and co-morbidities and how they compare with other countries and WHO`s recommendations.
He briefed the GoM about requests for vaccines received by the Ministry of External Affairs from 12 other countries. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan noted the importance of Health Seeking Behaviour among the population as a key driver in checking fatality.
Explaining the paradox of some states and Union Territories reporting very high cases but minimal fatalities while others reporting low cases but comparatively high fatalities, Paul said that this phenomenon results from people not coming forward for testing even if they are symptomatic in the second category of states.
Fairfirst Insurance awarded at Sri Lanka’s Brand Leadership and Best Employer - Awards 2020
Fairfirst Insurance Limited was awarded the prestigious Sri Lanka’s Brand Leadership and Best Employer Awards recently, held over a virtual event. Endorsed by global professional platforms, CMO Asia, Employer Branding Institute and World HRD Congress, seek to recognize and award professionals and companies together under one roof.
Been awarded Sri Lanka’s Brand Leadership Awards for the 3rd consecutive year, Fairfirst went onto receiving three titles: Best Brand Award, Best Use of Social Media in Marketing and Banking, Financial Services & Insurance Sector. Their wins authenticate a moment of bright optimism in striving for the best, continuous and outstanding brand building & marketing capabilities. Fairfirst’s communication efforts revolve around the core values of empathy, authenticity, transparency and social responsibility thereby, ranking them amongst the top brands in Sri Lanka yet again. And it is a true testament to the company’s aspirations in achieving brand excellence by providing a service that is on par with global standards to its customers.
Fairfirst was also awarded the Best Employer Brand Award for the 2nd consecutive year under the title of Best Employer Brand in developing talent and cultivating competencies for a future-ready organization. This has helped them to attract talent, retain talent and develop talent - all in the scope of celebrating leadership goals at Fairfirst. This being yet another recognition that reaffirms a milestone surpassed in their journey in being the best that comes a few months after been recognized as the only Sri Lankan Company amongst 22 global companies listed in the ‘2020 Top Insurance Workplaces in Asia-Pacific’ by Insurance Business Asia”.
Commenting on this recognition, Chief Marketing Officer Fairfirst Insurance, Mr. Sasith Bambaradeniya stated, “Our core values of Empathy, Authenticity, Transparency and Social Responsibility are a testament to a brand that is sensitive, sensible and successful. We are also a brand that creates a design-led thinking culture combined with empathy that reinforces failing – but failing quickly and cheaply - and thereby learning quicker to provide our customers with a peace of mind against the uncertainties we face, especially in the life of the new normal.”
Adding on, Head of Human Resources, Fairfirst Insurance - Manjari Kumarage said, “Our utmost priority remains in crafting an environment where our belief in each other and our hard work-culture makes it possible for us to nurture the goodness in what we do. Staying true to our values and being optimistic is what we always strive for.”
Fairfirst Insurance Limited, is part of the global Fairfax Group. The Group is a leading property and casualty insurer, reinsurer and investment manager, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Fairfirst is today among the top general insurance companies of Sri Lanka and is recognised as the only Sri Lankan company amongst the 2020 Top insurance global giants in Asia-Pacific. Fairfirst serves individuals, businesses and institutions across this beautiful island through a versatile workforce spread across the comprehensive branch network, affinity partners and brokers in Sri Lanka.
Huawei Maximizing Wireless Network Value for a Golden Decade of 5G
At the 2020 Global Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF), Huaweis Executive Director and President of the Carrier Business Group Ryan Ding gave his keynote speech " Maximizing Wireless Network Value for a Golden Decade of 5G". Ding said that the coming decade will be a golden age for 5G's progress around the world and that the whole industry must have faith in 5G, build the best 5G networks, and make the most of them for shared value. 5G is developing much faster than previous generations. Currently, there are more than 100 commercial 5G networks worldwide, and budget 5G mobile phones have dropped to CNY1,000. This is driving up the number of 5G users around the world, and leading carriers are already benefitting from 5G data plans. They are seeing an increase in the ARPU of 5G users through multi-metric service packages and
upgraded services like 5G messaging and enriched calling.
To further develop 5G and encourage more people to embrace 5G, carriers need to build the best 5G networks possible. They need to provide coverage across all scenarios such as for dense urban areas, suburbs, and indoors so that users always have access to 5G services. Carriers also need to improve 5G connectivity to deliver a consistently superior experience to users. In addition to the consumer market, the industrial market will become a new revenue stream for carriers. 5G is being applied in more and more sectors over the year since it was first deployed. Many industry applications have become increasingly commoditized and can be replicated on a larger scale. Carriers are also exploring how to use 5G to enable vertical industries.
Unlike consumers who care most about data speeds, industry customers have a variety of needs, and so it is crucial that carriers maximize network value by nurturing new capabilities. To meet these diverse needs, the telecom sector needs to provide fundamental network capabilities, highly reliable network services, and flexible networking solutions necessary for industrial 5G applications. The telecom sector will also need to make improvements from end to end, ranging from network planning, construction, maintenance, and optimization to operations. This will help reduce the costs of deploying industry applications. Ding emphasized that developing industrial 5G applications is an industry-wide effort, rather than just carriers' responsibility. Accelerating this development is only possible when telecommunications integrates with other industries. In the recently
frozen Release 16, 3GPP added an improved standard for broadcasting services and 5G functions like location and ultra-low air interface latency. Upcoming releases, including Release 17, will address additional industry needs.
At the end of his speech, Ding stated that the next decade will be a golden age for 5G. The whole industry needs to have faith, build the best networks possible for consumers, and nurture new capabilities for industry customers to maximize the value of wireless networks for a golden decade of 5G.
At the 2020 Global Mobile Broadband Forum, Huawei will share insights into global industry trends and hot topics with carriers, regulators, partners, and media analysts from around the world. They will explore how innovation in ICT technologies such as 5G and AI can be mutually beneficial to industries and society at large.
Ocean Lanka Enters into Partnership with Cotton made in Africa (CmiA)
Ocean Lanka Pvt Ltd, Sri Lanka’s largest weft knitted fabric manufacturer, announced that it has entered into a partnership with Cotton made in Africa (CmiA), one of the world’s leading standards for sustainably produced cotton. The recent partnership will see Ocean Lanka further increasing its
sustainable cotton portion, which is ecologically and socially progressive.
Cotton made in Africa is an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation, which operates on the principle that partnering retailers and brands pay a license fee for every product bearing the CmiA label. CmiA then reinvests the licensing revenue towards training smallholder cotton farmers in sub-Saharan Africa,
thereby improving their living conditions. “In 2009, we made a commitment to source more sustainable cotton. As of today, over 40 per cent of
fabric and yarn we use is already sustainable. The partnership with CmiA will allow us to further increase that proportion, putting us well on our way to reaching at least 75 per cent by 2025,” Dr. Austin Au, Managing Director of Ocean Lanka said.
“Ocean Lanka maintains a proactive stance in bettering the textile and apparel industry and reducing the environmental impact. The partnership with CmiA is an expansion of our responsible fabrics portfolio, which includes; organic cotton, GOTS certified organic cotton fibres and BCI cotton. It is important that all our stakeholders partake in our journey - only this way can we achieve long-term success and trust,” he added.
Samsung Sri Lanka infuses the joy of giving and receiving with its ‘Nattal Wasi Malla’ seasonal offers
Attractive price discounts up to Rs.3,500
Free Samsung battery packs and Data bundle offer on selected models
06th November 2020 Colombo: Sri Lanka’s No. 1 smartphone brand, Samsung is ushering in the joyous spirit of Christmas with a fantastic seasonal promotion - 'Nattal Wasi Malla' - to reward customers with attractive price discounts on their favorite Samsung smartphones, unmatchable free data bundles up to 6 months and free Samsung battery packs worth Rs.4999/- for a memorable holiday season.
In Samsung’s Seasonal ‘Nattal Wasi Malla’ promotion, customers can select from an array of the best-selling Samsung smartphones at amazing price discounts available up to Rs,3,500. Free Samsung battery packs worth Rs. 4999/- are being offered with the Samsung Galaxy A71 (6/8+128GB) which is priced at Rs.85, 490 upwards and A51 (6/8+128GB) priced at Rs.66, 790 upwards. As an extended value addition, customers can enjoy the upgraded memory variant of 8GB for A51 and A71 at the introductory price of 6GB! The price discounts are also extended to Galaxy A11, A21s, M21, M11, A01 and J2 Core smartphones. Not only that Samsung Sri Lanka further strengthens the promotion offering a free unlimited data bundle for Galaxy M31, M21, M11, M01 and M01 Core up to 6 months. This timely seasonal promotion by Samsung is one not to be missed considering the fantastic offers customers are getting.
As Sri Lanka’s most popular smartphone brand, Samsung smartphones appeal to all ages, but the youth and Millennials have been especially captivated by the features of the Samsung Galaxy range, which support their lifestyle and aspirations. Samsung’s seasonal promotion offers a great opportunity to infuse joy and happiness into the lives of loved ones in the true spirit of Christmas giveaway. Given the current country situation, Smartphones empower people to stay connected to loves ones from anywhere in the world while also facilitating their work from home or online learning needs, making it the best Christmas surprise one could gift this holiday season.
This offer can be availed at island-wide authorized dealers of John Keells Office Automation and Softlogic Mobile Distribution, easily identified by the Samsung logo placed outside the shop. The promotion will also be carried out at authorized partners - Softlogic Retail, Singer, Singhagiri and Damro, and Network Partner Dialog and through the online portals; Samsung E-Store, Daraz.lk and MySoftlogic.lk. To add to the brand’s value further Samsung Sri Lanka provides TRC approved products only.
For further information, customers can reach out through the Samsung customer hotline, Monday to Sunday 8.30am to 8.30pm, or post their inquiries on Samsung Members, which offers 24x7 assistance providing real-time solutions through its Live Chat
The Wolf is back
Big Bad Wolf online Book Sale Sri Lanka 2020
By Shivanthi Medagoda
Big Bad Wolf, book sale this year offers free island-wide delivery and discounts ranging from 50%-90%.
This year one can simply order online from the comfort of one's home or via their website either through your laptop, PC or mobile. The website has added features that have categorized the interesting books for our beloved readers said Big Bad Wolf Co-founder, Jacqueline Ng There will be online assistance till the 20th of October if you find any difficulties trying to purchase books online via the website or any related issues after purchasing.
Speaking at the online launch Big Bad Wolf, Partner, Dipak Madhavan said, this year will be a hassle-free book shopping experience by Big Bad Wolf SL 2020 in which readers no longer need to wait in traffic, queues, and worry about safety. The changes brought about by the corona pandemic has created the necessity to host the book fair online between the 1st to 4th October 2020. Around the clock with great offers. We all are going to miss the browsing throughout each exciting book at the fair. Once you complete the order, books will be shipped from Malaysia directly to you within 20 working days. Free islandwide delivery and international shipping is available this year for all orders above LKR 8000.00
Responding to a question from the media, Big Bad Wolf Co-founder Andrew Yap said, Particular books will have a certain number of pages that can be viewed online. However, this option is only available for a limited number of books at the moment. You can add to the cart the book that you wish and continue checking out their website for more interesting and exciting books. The w