WP grows at
Dr. Sarath Amunugama
Administration and Home Affairs Minister and Deputy
Finance Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama recently addressed
members and guests of The Management Club (TMC) on the
theme "the Way Forward for Sri Lanka beyond the war".
Infrastructure Development in a post war era, he
commended TMC members for their contribution to economic
and social development in the country and for arranging
such a forum for interaction of ideas and sharing
that a UN study had shown that the Western Province (WP)
had a GDP growth rate of 12-14% which was even a better
than what countries like India and China had recorded,
while the rest of Sri Lanka has been lagging behind with
only the Central province recording a medium growth
elaborated on the importance of infrastructure
development as a catalyst for economic growth and
indicated that the labour intensive industries in the WP
has resulted in more people moving into these urban
areas thus necessitating vast improvements on road
networks transportation and such like compared to rural
the facilities that have been provided to remote
villages have always been insufficient though attempts
have been made for infrastructure development in these
areas even from the time of state council governance,
that power generation was one sector that was vital for
growth and that some where along the way Sri Lanka seems
to have missed out on her target of achieving a 10%
growth in electricity to achieve the anticipated growth
in the industrial sector. He also recognised the
important contribution made to this sector by small
power generation projects while the concentration had
always been on developing mega power projects.
indicated that a window of opportunity will open for
growth in the tourism sector, especially in the east,
once the conflicting situation is resolved and that the
government looks forward to promote public
sector-private sector partnerships in these areas where
the land will be owned by the state while the private
sector would bring in the managerial expertise.
The Way Forward
series of meetings have provided the opportunity for TMC
members and their guests to interact and network
regularly with personnel from different spheres while
learning from the experiences of distinguished
personalities who have excelled in their careers. A TMC
spokesperson indicated that they will continue the
series on a regular basis.
Rs. 116/10, to make further gains
Market expects rate cut
cut is expected when the Monetary Board of the Central
Bank (CB) meets on Wednesday to make their monthly
monetary policy review, market sources told The Sunday
expect the policy rate to be knocked down by a minimum
of 25 basis points and the penal rate to have a much
deeper cut,” a source said. This is in line with global
strategies where central banks the world over have been
cutting down on rates to entice banks to lend once more
to stimulate their economies in the light of the global
recession, he said.
overnight (O/N) reverse repo rate or the policy rate,
the rate at which commercial banks borrow from the CB is
currently at 11.75%, while its penal rate is 14.75%.
can go to CB’s concessionary window only thrice a month,
after which the penal rate will apply in the case of
fillip for a rate cut is falling inflation, with the
point to point change in inflation last month being
5.3%, and the other is the expected US$ 1.9 billion IMF
standby arrangement, they said.
Sources also expected Treasury (T) Bill rates at this
week’s primary auction to take a dip and attributed last
week’s staticism to the holidays. Secondary market
trading in T Bonds and Bills were also sluggish, with T
Bonds of 2012 maturity and beyond being traded at the
17% levels in sluggish trading, with expectations that
the rates would fall when the market re-opens for
However, despite the seeming sluggishness in the market
last week due to the Avurudhu holidays, the US dollar in
two way quotes which was being traded at the Rs.
115/85/95 levels on Friday morning, saw it gain by 15
Sri Lanka cents by the afternoon, to be quoted at the
Rs. 115/95/116/10 levels due to the State owned Bank of
Ceylon and foreign banks buying dollars from the market.
expected the dollar to make further inroads when
“active” trading once more resumes tomorrow after the
prior to the holidays too, State banks, which usually
act on behalf of the Government, were buying dollars
from the market, while the private sector per se was
quiet, the sources said.
was no government intervention, unlike in the recent
past, to shore up the rupee, the sources added.
Meanwhile, O/N inter-bank borrowing rates were at the
11% levels on Friday. (See also page 31 & connected
story found elsewhere on this page)
Debt to GDP ratio to rise
Lanka’s debt servicing as a percentage of GDP is to
maintain its last year’s status quo, then the budget
deficit has to be contained at Rs. 306 billion as
earlier estimated and the additional cost that has to be
met due to rupee depreciation on account of foreign debt
servicing should not exceed Rs. 100 billion, a Central
Bank (CB) official said.
as a percentage of GDP was 81% last year.
However, due to the global recession, with exports
falling, and thereby causing pressure on the exchange
rate, coupled with import costs being still higher than
exports so far for the year, and first quarter 2009 in
particular being bad, sources expected the debt to GDP
ratio to increase this year.
year’s debt service commitments are difficult to
estimate due to the volatility of the exchange rate,”
the sources said
Superintendent of Public Debt C.J.P. Siriwardena told
reporters on Friday that the rupee depreciation last
year caused the Treasury to cough up an additional Rs
131 billion in foreign debt service payments.
said that the rupee dipped by 4% against the US dollar
and 30% against the yen last year. Japanese aid to the
country comes in the form of yen loans.
Meanwhile, the country’s total interest cost on debt
payments last year amounted to Rs. 212 billion, of which
Rs. 182 billion was domestic and the balance foreign.
Siriwardena said that government debt increased by Rs.
536 billion last year as opposed to a Rs. 436 billion
increase in 2007.
total debt of Rs. 3,578 million last year comprised Rs.
1,963 million in the form of domestic debt and Rs. 1,615
million in the form of foreign debt.
Lanka’s economy is expected to grow by 2.5% this year,
down from last year’s 6% due to the global economic
Siriwardena said that
total foreign debt portfolio last year amounted to Rs.
1,615 billion, of which Rs. 643 billion comprised the
quantum caused by the rupee depreciation.
borrowed a sum of Rs. 689 billion from both domestic (Rs.
559 billion) and external sources (Rs. 130 billion) last
year. This year’s target is Rs. 840 billion, of which
Rs. 574 billion will be domestic borrowing and the
balance foreign debt, he said.
Many uses of Ginger
is widely used in
for culinary purposes and also as an important
ingredient in Ayurvedic preparations from time
However, although ginger is cultivated throughout
the country, farmers have not been able to provide the
volumes required to meet the national requirements of
has led to the necessity of importing a major portion
from South India-the main exporter of ginger. With a
view to rcducing this import cost and also provide
income generating opportunities to farmers, the State
recently provided the latter with financial assistance
to increase the production of this crop.
Consequently local production increased from 4,649
metric tons (mts) in 2000/01 to 5,081 mts in 2001/02 and
ginger imports dropped from 2,059 mts in 2002 to 359 mts
in 2004, with a saving on import costs from Rs. 84.5
million in 2002 to Rs. 40.4 million in 2004.
However, increased production alone will not provide all
the answers to the optimum usage of this crop.
is a perishable commodity and prone to post harvest loss
is necessary curing and handling procedures are not
Farmers need to be given specific recommendations on
post harvest handling procedures and harvesting
practices and on varieties grown in Sri Lanka so that
production might be optimized and targeted towards the
specific markets that they service.
these factors in mind, Industrial Technology
Institute’s (ITI’s) Food Technology Section embarked on
a project in 2006 to provide scientific data that will
assist producers and processors to upgrade the quality
of both fresh and processed ginger products to minimize
the loss due to post harvest handling and provide
technology for the manufacture of ginger based bioactive
processed products that have not been previously
manufactured in the country.
Optimising oleoresin extraction procedures will also
encourage and assist more sophisticated industries to
fetch better prices and expand their business.
project has now been successfully completed. Studies
revealed that there are three main varieties of ginger
commercially grown in Sri Lanka (i.e. local, Chinese and
most suitable stage of maturity of each ginger variety
for fresh consumption, storage, processing and curing
was identified. Farmers growing ginger for culinary
purposes might be better off growing Chinese ginger
while those growing South Indian varieties will need to
harvest crops later in order to obtain optimum prices
for roots with high oleoresin content. The development
of value added processed products will also provide
income generating and self employment opportunities in
ginger producing areas.
Technologies for curing ginger, together with a curing
machine were developed.
Studies confirmed that the quality of the cured ginger
sample was superior to the imported sample.
essential oil and oleoresin content of each variety with
respect to different stages of maturity at harvest were
determined, thereby enabling the identification of the
suitable stage of maturity to harvest in order to yield
the highest content of oil and oleoresin.
been established that fresh ginger used for culinary
purposes may be harvested early, i.e. :Approximately
months after planting, while ginger used for avurvedic
medicinal preparations and that used for gingerol
extraction needs to be harvested nine months after
planting or even later.
ginger peeler has been designed and fabricated by ITI
for commercial application. Some of the products
developed by the team include ginger ready-to-serve
drink, ginger milk, ginger tea and ginger crystals.
intends to transfer these technologies to the public,
contributing towards the development of agro-industry in
project team members were :Dr. I G. N. Hewajulige (tcam
leader), Dr. R. S. Wilson (Head, Food Technology
Section), K. R. Dayananda (Senior Research Officer,
Herbal Technology Section), P. N. R. J. Amunugoda, Ms.
A. M. C. U. Silva, Mrs. S. Perera, R. M. N. C. B.
Ranaweera, Ms. Ramya Pitipanaarachchi and Ms. Anira
“Mother’s Touch International Vocational Academy” was
the brainchild of Mrs. Geetha Kaduwela when she returned
home, armed with her qualifications and experience from
Kaduwela, a mother of five, says that she named her
institute Mother’s Touch to portray the ideals of a
mother’s touch to her students.
says she could see how her students view this with a
broad perspective and professionalism.
Mother’s Touch Academy conducts diploma courses on
Childcare Management, Early Childhood Development &
Education, Montessori Method of Education and Elder Care
and Children’s care, Learning & Development of City &
Guilds UK qualification.
Kaduwela believes in “staying up with the times” and
does so through coursework, assignments and updates from
the National Council of Family Day Care, Australia.
Meanwhile Mrs. Gayathri Kalutota Gonakumbura has just
disembarked from the USA, to serve her motherland and
has given weight to Mother’s Touch Academy.She is a
qualified Licensed Nurse (LVN) from California and will
be the Course Directress for the Eldercare Management
Diploma. The vision of “Mother’s Touch International
Vocational Training Academy is to train a World Class
Teacher and a World Class Caregiver to nurture a World
Class Citizen,” says Kaduwela.
Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) has decided to extend the
acceptance period for the mandatory offer to buy the
remaining ordinary shares of Union Assurance Plc until
May 4, 2009 due to the public holidays in April 2009.
Angola, around five times the size of the UK, lies on
the Atlantic coast of south-central Africa. It is the
continent’s second largest oil exporter after Nigeria.
four major ports along an expansive coastline, the
nation is a
transshipment point for the region. The country has
natural resources including oil, diamonds, gold, iron,
copper and uranium.
Meanwhile Emirates will start flights to Angola, its
17th African destination, beginning on August 2.
Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa recently came down on
commercial banks (CBs) for the high interest rate regime
prevalent in the economy, which, according to him, has
had hit the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in
particular, the lifeblood of the economy, hard, as that
sector is said to provide 80% of employment in the
reported in a daily of having had asked the Central Bank
of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to inquire why CBs continued to make
profits, while SMEs struggled to stay in business.
rates are a big problem for the SME sector. Why can’t
banks which continue to make huge profits use some of it
to provide relief to the SME sector?" he had asked CBSL
officers when they issued CBSL’s 2008 Annual Report to
him on April 6.
something I urge the CBSL to look into and regulate.
There should be more regulation on the part of CBSL with
regard to this problem," Rajapaksa is quoted to have had
had also said that when the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL)
initiated its agriculture policy about three years ago,
provisions were made in the budget for banks to provide
capital to the agriculture sector, which should amount
to 10% of each bank’s loan portfolio.
"It’s time for
the CBSL to look into this and find just how cooperative
they have been in promoting the development of the
agriculture sector," he is reported to have had said.
In reading the
President’s comments on the issue of high interest
rates, he should realise that it is the high
inflationary scenario that is plaguing the country’s
economy that has pushed lending rates up.
On the flip
side, offering high interest rates particularly on fixed
income instruments in a high inflationary economy, is
one way banks (to beat competition from finance
companies) entice savers to deposit their moneys with
them, which in turn is lent at higher rates by banks to
borrowers so that they can profit from this exercise.
The situation is
further aggravated with GoSL being the biggest player in
the market, i.e. its biggest borrower, thereby creating
an illiquid situation in the market, which only helps to
push up rates, while at the same time crowding out the
private sector from the market.
In this regard,
CBSL till a few weeks ago was selling Government debt in
the form of Treasury (T) Bills and Bonds to the market
at high yields.
of inflation is the prerogative of the CBSL and not of
CBs. In fact the two essential prerogatives of CBSL are
inflation targeting to ensure price stability and bank
supervision, which comes under the broad umbrella of
financial system stability (FSS).
under Rajapaksa in his capacity as Finance Minister. And
if CBSL has missed the bus in inflation targeting, the
cause for a high interest rate regime, then it’s the
CBSL and the President who has to shoulder the blame,
and not CBs.
The President in
this regard should take a leaf on economic management
from the brief two year period of the Ranil
Wickremesinghe regime of December 2001 to April 2004,
where inflation and even lending rates came down to the
single digit level as a result.
possible by that Government maintaining a tight fiscal
and monetary policy, reining in government expenditure
and by keeping the Government small, i.e. by giving
space to the private sector or to the market to operate,
without the government crowding them out as is the case
today, complemented by the immensity of goodwill on the
external side due to the ceasefire agreement, which was
translated into an influx of foreign inflows.
On the charge
that CBs are making high profits, if Rajapaksa cares to
look at recent CBSL statistics in relation to the
banking sector, he would note that bank profits in fact
have had come down last year, with some banks even
making a loss, the reason for the latter however being
not solely the economic condition of the country, but
also possibly due to bad management by some of those
In this regard,
CBSL Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told reporters
recently that they would strengthen the Corporate
Governance code for banks and would bring amendments to
the Finance Companies Act in order to strengthen FSS.
The main reason
for the fall in bank profits is due to a drop in credit
volumes caused by the high interest rate regime
prevalent in the economy which has been a disincentive
to borrow, compounded by the fact that banks on the
other hand preferred to lend to the government, i.e. by
subscribing to government securities that comes in the
form of risk free, gilt edged T Bills and Bonds, rather
than to the market, where in the case of the latter
there has been a rise in banks’ non performing loans due
to the present economic downturn.
But with yields
on government securities coming down, coupled with State
banks cutting down on their lending rates, CBs, in the
enfolding scenario, have no option other than to cut
down on their lending rates too, if they are to be
competitive vis-à-vis State banks and stay on in
was made possible with inflation declining, probably due
to the global economic downturn that had resulted in oil
imports, the country’s single biggest import, that saw
their prices fall by almost 2/3rds since July of last
year, coupled with the fall in prices of certain other
commodity imports as well, and in the domestic sector,
the fall in prices of essential commodities such as
Fall in import
prices would have had helped to ease pressure on
government buying foreign exchange (forex) to settle
petroleum bills, with a soothing effect on rupee or
money market rates as a result, due to the lessening of
demand pressure internally, caused by the easing of
pressure (supply side) on the external side, and not
necessarily due to good fiscal and monetary management
on the part of CBSL or the Government.
The full benefit
of falling commodity prices in the international market
has however not been passed on to the consumer with a
plethora of taxes being imposed to meet the revenue
shortfall of the government which is cash strapped.
But the point to
point inflation as a result (as measured by the new
Colombo Consumers’ Price Index) of falling prices was
reported to have had fallen to 5.3% last month (it was a
high of 28.2% in June 2008), complemented by the moving
annual average inflation declining to 18.6% last month
(from 22.6% last year).
GoSL continuing to be the biggest player in both the
forex and rupee markets, does not augur well for
inflation or interest rate targeting, even in the
context of a post war economy, unless there are foreign
inflows to do the balancing act, i.e. the availability
of external borrowings to ease pressure on the country’s
sparse reserves, and therewith the easy convertibility
of foreign exchange into rupees.
However, in the
context of the global recession, with liquidity being
tight, and multilateral donor agencies such as the World
Bank and the ADB having had already finalized their
country assistance programmes for the current period,
fresh inflows from such agencies are unlikely, with the
only hope therefore being the IMF’s US$ 1.9 billion
bailout package which is currently being negotiated.
There are talks
of a US$ 500 million aid package from Libya, the details
of which are however not clear.
On the context of 10% lending
to the Agriculture Sector, the President should look
inwards and first check whether the two GoSL CBs, namely
the Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank have had subscribed
to this Presidential decree, without faulting CBs as a
whole. In fact former Forbes & Walker Chairman
Chrysantha Perera recently told a forum organised by the
Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, that even a State bank had
refused to honour a directive from the Treasury
Secretary to provide working capital loans to the Tea
Sector, a sector which has been hit by the fall in
prices due to the global recession.
New Sahana Board
Foundation (LSF), the non-profit open source software
development organization announced recently the
graduation of Sahana, the disaster management software
system developed in the wake of the 2004 South Asian
tsunami. A new independent foundation is being set up to
take permanent ownership of Sahana and lead its future
LSF is engaged
in research and development of free and open source
software (FOSS). LSF’s objective is to provide
fellowships and internships to talented developers who
would like to contribute to FOSS. The goal is to brand
Sri Lanka as an open source development centre for the
world. In keeping with this goal, the foundation
incubates projects and graduates them once they become
"We are pleased
with the new direction that Sahana has taken. LSF’s aim
is to create economic impact. With Sahana LSF has been
able to build an ecosystem that has sustainability in
the software development industry in Sri Lanka", said
LSF Chairman Mano Sekaram. In four years Sahana is
accepted as the global de-facto disaster management
software system. It has been deployed in major disasters
around the world such as in Pakistan during the Asian
And in Indonesia
during the Yogjarkata Earthquake and in three other
disasters that occurred in the Philippines. As one of
the first global free and open source software projects
for disaster management, Sahana has received many awards
and accolades, including the Global Free Software
Foundation award for Social Benefit in 2006. At the LSF
and Sahana joint board meeting held recently, it was
decided to set up the new Sahana Foundation as a US
501-C3 non-profit organization with the vision of
building and sustaining a global community of open and
collaborative ICT for emergency management.
The Sahana board
and Project Management Committee members unanimously
appointed Global Crisis Services, Inc; President and CEO
Brent Woodworth as the Chairman of the interim Sahana
board which will be functional for six months. Founder,
Director Dr Sanjiva Weerawarana was also voted into the
Lack of improved
sanitation and water facilities are two of the four
defining characteristics of urban slums.
durable housing and sufficient living area.
Simple low cost
interventions to correct those deficiencies would go a
long way towards improving the lives of many slum
In 2005 slightly
more than a third of the urban population in developing
regions lived in slum conditions. In Sub Saharan Africa
the proportion was over 60%.
In Sub Saharan
Africa half of slum households suffered from two or more
shelter deprivations, lacking a combination of access to
improved water, improved sanitation, durable housing or
sufficient living area.
the lives of slum dwellers will require large
investments in this region.
countries in Northern Africa, Asia and Latin America,
vast majority of slum households suffer from only one
not only has the lowest slum concentration, but nine out
of 10 slum households lack only improved sanitation or
sufficient living area.
Homes of nearly
three quarters of slum households in Asia also have only
one slum characteristic, usually either insufficient
living area or non durable housing.
Even in Sub
Saharan Africa there are slum households that lack just
one service, often improved sanitation. (Source: UN’s
2008 Millennium Development Goals report)
Peace in our
"I believe that
peace should be achieved through a political
Because this problem, what we have experienced and what
we are experiencing right now is a political problem.
And a political
problem should be ultimately solved with a political
solution. Maybe military intervention is required at a
certain stage due to certain background situations, but
finally we should seek a political solution," former
Defence Secretary Austin Fernando told Benchmark last
Responding to a
question on whether he felt the war was at an imminent
end, he noted that this appeared to be the case. But he
pointed out that with an end to the war, there was the
possibility of certain other difficulties arising
"because a defeated terrorist group will not be kind or
nice towards the Government that has defeated them".
talking about peace building, how to make peace, but the
peace building process should expand or go the next step
of state building or state reform. And that is more or
less a constitutional and legalistic situation. From
there onwards, it has to go on to nation building.
Because nation building has broken down, our legal
system and constitutional provisions have broken down.
So from peace building, go to state reform and then to
nation building," Fernando said on the widely-watched
business TV programme that is presented by LMD.
As to what the
government should do to address the grievances of
minorities, he noted: "Consider the grievances put
forward by the people who speak on behalf of the LTTE
and the Tamil community. They are thinking of violence.
And violence has to be wiped out. Then they are thinking
about respect. What does this mean? Respect for
language, culture, ethnic groups and areas which they
inhabit. Civil society, the
youth and women must be listened to."
added: "There are certain things which have to be done
to win the hearts and minds of the people. To do that,
one must understand why their hearts and minds are not
with us-the Government and the country.
opinion is that it has more to do with self-respect than
economics and such.
If you want to
win over the Tamils or Muslims, and if you want to win
over the Sinhalese in some of those areas, you must
understand their restrictions and the problems they
face. Do we respect the other man’s culture, religion,
ethics and traditions? Are we giving them equal
on TNL-on Sundays at noon, with a repeat at 9.05 p.m.
The programme is
also carried over DialogTV as well as on LBN and on
Bloomberg Channel on Mondays at 10 p.m. The weekly biz
show is produced by the wrap factory.
$ 4.7 bn., in
The global air
transport industry can expect losses of $4.7 billion in
2009, reports the International Air Transport
Association (IATA), revised from a December forecast of
a $2.5 billion loss.
revenues are expected to fall by 12% ($62 billion) to
$467 billion. In the post-9/11 decline, revenues fell by
7% ($23 billion) over the 2000-2002 period. Passenger
traffic is expected to contract by 5.7% this year, cargo
by 13% and yields by 4.3%.
passenger traffic was down 5.6%, with premium off 16.7%;
cargo traffic fell 23.2%.
revised its forecast losses for 2008 from $5 billion to
$8.5 billion. "This is a resilient industry capable of
catalyzing economic growth. But we are structurally
sick. The historical margin of this hyper-fragmented
industry is 0.3%. Bail-outs are not the prescription to
return to health.
Access to global
capital, the ability to merge and consolidate and the
freedom to access markets are needed to run this
industry as normal profitable business,"
Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO. As freight
traffic fell 22.1% year-on-year in February, Bisignani
said, "We may have found a bottom to the freight
decline, but the magnitude of the drop means that it
will take time to recover."
traffic fell 10.1% from February 2008; a 5.9% cut in
capacity was not enough to match the decline in demand,
said IATA, and load factor fell to 69.9%.
Organization warns that state aid packages meant to
forestall financial crises need to be implemented so
they do not violate global trade rules or discriminate
against foreign companies.
In the airline
industry, Boeing and Airbus have long waged a dispute
over illegal state subsidies.
France will guarantee up to Euro (€) 5 billion in loans
to allow bank financing of export contracts in the
aeronautical sector and maintain production during the
current credit crunch.
Export-Import Bank plans to increase guarantees for
sales of Boeing jets by nearly 50%, to up to $9 billion,
this year.(Washington Aviation Summary)
US$ 1.7 bn.
to defend rupee
Central Bank, in
the seven months to March 2009, has expended US$ 1,728.2
million of the country’s reserves on a net basis to
defend the rupee value at various levels vis-à-vis the
expended, on a net basis, last month alone was US$ 54
million.(Source: Central Bank)
and Sithum Walter, two of JWT Colombo’s emerging
creative stars were selected to represent Sri Lanka at
the Young Lotus creative challenge at Adfest 2009 that
concluded recently at Pattaya.
was initially made locally as young creative talent from
across agencies in Sri Lanka had to compete in an
intense local competition run by the Accredited
Advertising Agencies Association Sri Lanka (4As) before
they are chosen to represent Sri Lanka.
Walter emerged winners in the local competition and then
went to challenge other countries which included teams
from Australia, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, India,
Seoul, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and a host of other
nations at Adfest 2009 Young Lotus Workshop in Pattaya.
The teams were
asked to create a multimedia campaign that would
encourage young college graduates to consider a career
in advertising. The Sri Lanka team won with a surprising
campaign that said "our industry is terrible-You will
have to travel all over the world, work long hours, and
go to glamorous advertising festivals". It was based on
the clever insight that many youngsters are more likely
to respond to negativism and can be cynical of positive
It was a
difficult assignment, says Dentsu Inc Executive officer
and Global Executive Creative Director Akira Kagami who
was one of the judges.
"We looked for a
unique core Idea, good strategy and integrated
communication design. All the teams worked hard, but the
most impressive campaign came from the team from JWT
Colombo which explained what our industry really
Chief Executive Officer Thayalan Bartlett said, "We made
a conscious decision some time back to recruit young...
decisions Joseph and Walter bear testimony of the
decision and I’m delighted by their performance. They
have brought honour to Sri Lanka. Honour to JWT and
above all I am honoured to have them in our team.
the win by a team she identified and nurtured, JWT
Colombo Vice President and Executive Creative Director
Ms. Chandini Rajaratnam said, "I am elated. I remember
interviewing them fresh and enthusiastic. In just a few
years they’ve been able to compete in an international
arena and be the best of 13 teams which is commendable.
They just needed an environment that was conducive to
harnessing and honing their talent. I congratulate them
and wish them more successes in the future.
In a show of
support to Sri Lanka’s resilient tourism sector, Amana
Takaful Insurance (ATI) has offered a comprehensive
insurance plan for KumbukRiver, the Sri Lankan eco
resort which recently created history by being crowned
the world’s leading eco-lodge at the World Travel
Sri Lanka on the global map for all the right reasons
and at a trying time for the local tourism industry, we
thought it would be a good gesture to protect this eco
resort which has brought unprecedented fame to the
country", said Amana Takaful Life CEO/CMO Reyaz Jeffrey.
"It is not every
day that Sri Lanka produces a world-class brand and it
is just the kind of endorsement Sri Lanka tourism
needed. ATI is about partnerships that take care of one
another, bringing home to Sri Lanka a revolutionary
insurance product hailed as the world’s most rewarding
concept of insurance. So we thought of extending our
goodwill to a home-grown brand which has made Sri Lanka
proud," he said.
In a special
insurance package tailor-made for KumbukRiver’s
challenging and unique operation in an idyllic yet
far-flung location in Buttala, ATI now covers its
property, employees as well as, visitors-both
international and local tourists in search of a unique
travel experience. The 14-acre responsible tourism
initiative on the banks of Kumbukkan Oya, features among
its facilities a uniquely designed villa in the shape of
a 40ft elephant.
wonderful gesture by ATI to make a commitment to an
enterprise which has beaten the odds in pushing Sri
Lanka in the right direction. KumbukRiver is a
pioneering venture and serves as a watchdog in the
conservation of the area’s bio-diversity, especially
considering its close proximity to Yala. It’s a
magnificent gesture when a Sri Lankan corporate
volunteers its support; so we can continue to preserve
this international destination", says Dinesh Watawana,
Managing Director of the resort which won the travel
Advertising And Creativity School (SPAACS) held the
graduation ceremony for their first two batches at the
BMICH amidst media & advertising personnel, friends and
well wishers recently.
The Chief Guest
for the event was 4As President Ms. Laila Gunesekere
with Brand Partners Managing Director Philip Goodstein
attending as keynote speaker.
In his speech,
he highlighted on the career potential in the
He also spoke of
the responsibilities that new advertising professionals
must take on, giving them an insight to challenges they
will face in their careers.
students have successfully completed the course
‘Introduction to Advertising’ at SPAACS which focuses on
the basics of the industry. The course which was
completed over 10 weeks covered a spectrum of
advertising related topics.SPAACS was established as a
step towards bringing in new faces to the advertising
industry, while fine tuning the skills of those already
in it. Many of the students that graduated from SPAACS
have already secured jobs in leading advertising
agencies and advertising-related fields, while others
are undergoing internships in the same."Joining SPAACS
was a key turn in my life, as advertising helps open
your mind to the colours in between the black and white
of everyday life. On a personal perspective, I have
learnt a lot not only in terms of advertising, but
especially about marketing. What I learnt certainly
turned the tables around on my understanding of the
field," said Sankha Nandakumara, a student of the
recently concluded course.
The launch of
SPAACS was an innovative venture that will help students
gain a knowledge of advertising and its related fields.
It has proven to be a success, and this, the first of
many graduation ceremonies, is a clear indication of the
developments to come.
DFCC Bank (DFCC)
has won a mandate from Oman Development Bank (ODB) to
undertake a consultancy assignment to recommend a
roadmap for launching deposit products for the first
time in ODB’s 31 year history.
government owned and funded development finance
institution in Oman, ODB invited proposals from
international consultants to select a suitable
consultancy to handle the assignment, which resulted in
DFCC winning this contract.
ODB which has
hitherto been offering term loans for development, has
been receiving operating funds exclusively from the
Bank was permitted to offer working capital loans to
businesses, provided the required funds for additional
activities are garnered from other sources.
leveraged its expertise gained as a DFI to provide
consultancy services both in Sri Lanka and overseas.
Recent overseas consultancy assignments include mini
hydropower development related work for the Philippines
Energy Department and Energy for Rural Transformation
DFCC CEO Nihal
Fonseka said, "DFCC is not a normal consultant who makes
recommendations based on third party experience. We are
an institution that having started life as a pure DFI
providing capital asset funding over 50 years ago, has
successfully made the transition in the last 10 years to
a financial services group that provides follow on
working finance, trade finance, forex, investment
banking and payment services while retaining our core
strength and position in development financing; a
transition that is important for the sustainable growth
We have walked the talk and
are happy at being given the opportunity to share our
experience with ODB."
Insurance General, recognized as the leader in the
insurance industry with outstanding results, recently
held their Annual Sales Conference and Awards Ceremony
2008, in which top performers were recognised and
Held under the
theme " Together we stand to serve our customers On the
Spot", focused on providing customers with an even
speedier and unparalleled service that borders on the
Over 500 sales
personnel were given awards based on a rewarding
criteria, in which the top achievers are graded as
Members, Certificate Members, Bronze, Silver, Gold and
going on to the Hall of Fame.
based on these membership categories, three members who
earned their places in the prestigious Hall of Fame for
the first time received brand new cars and a brand new
house, while a fourth member received an all expenses
paid world tour for the entire family.
The Chief Guest
at the event was Insurance Board of Sri Lanka Chairman
Udayasri Kariyawasam who in his speech referred to the
great responsibility the company has as the industry
He also said
that the company performs a key role in the Sri Lankan
Insurance Industry, acknowledging the role of Ceylinco
Insurance General as both an innovator and a catalyst
Insurance General Deputy Chairman Ajith Gunawardena said
that the company will go relentlessly forward unscathed
by whatever has taken place around them while he also
took the opportunity to thank the staff for their
support and loyalty.
Over 850 sales
personnel representing the entire branch network and
city offices of the company took part in the event. The
Ceylinco Insurance General team is recognized as the
largest sales force in the industry.
confirms them to be well motivated and dynamic in
providing an outstanding level of service to their
customers. Moreover the team is backed by the widest
network of branches in the insurance sphere in Sri
Lanka. In 2008, the company made a major investment in
upgrading its IT and technology infrastructure, making
Ceylinco Insurance General state-of-the-art in
Ceylinco Insurance General, announced an unprecedented
growth, with total premium income for the year standing
at Rs.11,793 million (Rs.11.8 billion), indicating
a14.5% growth, a Rs.1,443 million increase over the
previous year.Ceylinco Insurance was chosen as the
People’s Insurance Company for the 3rd successive year
in 2008 while the Ceylinco Insurance Brand remained
among the brands rated highest in the country, with a
ranking of AA-. In 2008, Ceylinco Insurance also bagged
the Gold Award for the Insurance Category at the
National Business Excellence Awards.
outstanding growth in the retail banking sector in 2008,
NDB Bank (NDB) shifted its operation at Piliyandala to a
more spacious and convenient location, offering
customers easy access and enhanced service.
The branch is
manned by a team of banking professionals offering
customers best-in-class service and the range of
innovative solutions presented by the bank.
In 2008, the NDB
Group reported a profit after tax of Rs 1.7 bn, an
increase of 4% over the previous year, whilst bank’s
profit after tax was Rs 1.2 bn, an increase of 8% over
the previous year.
Growth of the
bank will result in improvements and value additions
this year at many of its branches to ensure customer
convenience. The upgrade of NDB’s Piliyandala branch is
the first in a series of developments the bank aims to
carry out at some of its key branches islandwide.
"At NDB we
always keep the customer in mind; to serve them better
at all times. This was our key objective in effecting
this relocation," said NDB Vice President and Retail
Banking & Marketing Head Indrajit Wickremasinghe.
"Our new branch
will provide better access to customers together with
world-class services that we offer all Sri Lankans.
Reliability, outstanding customer service and an
extensive range of products and services are some of the
key strengths of NDB, and we promise to deliver the best
solutions at every instance."
NDB offers it’s
customers a comprehensive range of retail banking
products and services including Current Accounts,
Savings Accounts, Foreign Currency Accounts, Leasing
Facilities, Fixed Deposits, Personal Loans, Education
Loans, Children’s Savings Accounts, Housing Loans,
Bancassuarance, Travellers Cheques, Debit Cards, and
Western Union Money Transfers.
NDB is the
fastest growing force in the retail-banking sector in
the country. Maintaining the highest standards of
competence and probity, NDB is on track to achieve its
cherished vision-to be a World Class Sri Lankan Bank.
Office Automation (Pvt.) Ltd., (JKOA) recently announced
the islandwide launch of its environmental campaign, "Go
was made at a seminar jointly organised by JKOA and the
Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri
Lanka (FCCISL), with the patronage of the Central
Environmental Authority (CEA) at CEA Auditorium.
The ‘Go Green’
campaign was launched in 2004, making JKOA the first
company in Sri Lanka to introduce a scientifically
proven method for disposing of toner cartridges in order
to reduce its environmental footprint. This initiative
introduced a process to collect and dispose of empty
original Toshiba toner cartridges in an environmentally
process is carried out by certified plastic recycling
plants and the recycled plastics are used to manufacture
a variety of other products for domestic/industrial use.
Executive Officer Chandima Perera said, "We invite
interested institutions and individuals to join the ‘Go
Green’ campaign. Many more seminars are scheduled to
take place throughout the year, taking the ‘Go Green’
message to every corner of the country. As part of our
mission to create a less polluted world, we will give
rewards to the people and community at large."
He added, "We
are committed to plastic recycling and hope that others
too will follow suit in whatever ways they can. Many
economic and environmental benefits could be derived
through the systematic implementation of the latest
developments in plastic recycling technology, as case
studies show, and we should all make an extra effort
towards this end."
JKOA is the
leading provider of office automation equipment,
software solutions and services in Sri Lanka. The
company is the authorized distributor for Toshiba office
automation products such as Multifunctional Colour
Copiers, Notebook computers, Multi-media projectors and
software solutions. JKOA commands the dominant market
share in the respective product categories and sets
benchmark service standards in the industry.
For millions in
the world, jobs provide little relief from poverty
because their pay is so low.Employed persons living in a
household where each member earns less than US$ one a
day are considered the working poor.
In Sub Saharan
Africa, over half the workers fall into this category.
The number of
working poor is unlikely to be reduced without increases
Over the past 10
years productivity has risen by at least 4% annually in
South and East Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent
As a result, there were fewer
working poor in all three regions. In contrast, the
generally low and volatile changes in productivity in
Sub Saharan Africa have limited the decline in working
poverty in that region. (Source: UN’s 2008 Millennium
Development Goals report)
After the war
Lanka lives in the threshold of concluding a war which
prolonged for nearly three long decades. End of a
terrorist war which costed the country billions of
dollars and thousands of human lives will undoubtedly
set forth a new era of living, business opportunities
and economic conditions.
war’-Building: Human capital, organisation and economy
was the topical discussion at the CEO Forum organised by
CIMA The Chartered Institute of Management Accountant in
collaboration with SIM The Singapore Institute of
Management at a Colombo hotel recently.
guns cease to fire, are we ready for peace?’ was a
thought provoking question raised by Mourad Mankarios,
Principal Coach, SIM at the start of his address as the
keynote speaker at this Forum.
emphasised on the importance of being ready to take
charge of the controllable factors in pursuit of
capitalising on opportunities by development of the
talent pool of people and constant innovation to give
the extra edge in taking the organisation and the
economy beyond the spheres of war.
focused on inculcating strong values and exercising
transparency, as two vital aspects of leadership in
establishing a sustainable eco system. Mankarios, as the
former Chairman and CEO of Philips Electronics Singapore
Pte Ltd drew insight through his varied experience in
areas of operations, IT and regulatory framework working
in the Middle East, Africa, Netherlands and East Asia.
presentation was followed by a discussion with a panel
of business leaders bringing in their diversified
knowledge and experience to this forum. This session was
moderated by Colombo Stock Exchange Chairman Nihal
He noted the
importance of Foreign Direct Investments in achieving
the required level of development and expressed that
there’s a higher possibility of attracting the necessary
capital flow given the end of war. As a panel member,
Rohantha Athukorala, Director Economic Affairs,
Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process provided
insight pertaining to the current economic impact of
war. He indicated that the war has costed US $ 20 bn to
the economy. He also focused on the way forward in
positioning Sri Lanka in the Global market. Panellist
Jeevan Thiagarajah, Executive Director, Consortium of
Humanitarian Agencies, Colombo emphasised on the
importance of reconciliation and healing the hearts of
people to avoid best laid efforts being derailed.
Wickramasinghe, Chairman, Bank of Ceylon, another panel
member brought in his insight relating to development of
livelihood in the north and east via an agricultural and
a knowledge based economy by promoting professional
education and industries such as Business Process
Outsourcing. The discussion session concluded with
further insight from Mankarios, about the key learning
from the success story of Singapore.
value to the business community by facilitating
discussions of timely and relevant topics to business
leaders of the day remains a commitment of CIMA.
Assurance (UA), one of the leading composite insurers in
Sri Lanka believes in true Corporate Governance.
the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility, Union
Assurance PLC started its 9th Phase of the Crime
Prevention programme together with the Sri Lanka Police
(SLP) in Trincomalee by installing crime prevention
This is a
unique project UA started together with the SLP to
minimize the crime rate in the country by erecting
display boards with telephone numbers of the relevant
police stations to encourage citizens to call and inform
the authorities when they detect crime. This also helps
motorists to identify the relevant police area they are
in, while driving.
initially started out from the Western Province in 2005
and gradually extended as an islandwide project covering
Western, North Western, Southern, Central, Sabaragamuwa,
North Central, Eastern, Uva and Northern Provinces as
well, with over 300 crime prevention boards having been
mounted islandwide.UA, being in the business of
protection, goes a step further through this initiative
to be in line with its brand promise "We will take care
of you for life."
recently announced it will partner Epic Lanka
Technologies to introduce the first CDMA credit card
swipe terminals, also known as point of sale or PoS
terminals to Sri Lankan businesses, achieving another
Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two companies
will result in the launch of PoS terminals that can be
used with CDMA connectivity, as opposed to conventional
fixed lines currently required for such machines. This
will enable merchants all over Sri Lanka to transact
electronically taking advantage of Lanka Bell’s CDMA
technology will also create the opportunity for banks in
Sri Lanka to expand their electronic business
capabilities islandwide while improving their credit
card and debit card reach by being able to provide
merchants in the remotest parts of the country with the
ability to perform electronic transactions.
Epic will be
responsible for the sale, software application
developments and maintenance of the equipment, while
Lanka Bell will provide the connectivity.
of CDMA PoS machines will mean a new dimension in
convenience to merchants," said Lanka Bell Managing
Director Prasad Samarasinghe. "Businesses can set up and
run a PoS terminal much faster, and there is also the
ability to support field sales units with this new
Chairman/Managing Director Nayana Dehigama said: "We are
pleased to have Lanka Bell as our connectivity partner
for the new PoS terminals with CDMA technology. A high
quality connection is important to ensure an
uninterrupted service, which is why Lanka Bell is the
exclusive service provider for this groundbreaking
Chartered Bank (SCB) recently partnered with Sri Lanka
Insurance (SLI) to provide bank’s customers with
"exclusive" benefits from the motor insurance brand
"Formula Plus" (FP).
partnership will enable SCB clientele to enjoy benefits
of FP motor insurance solutions through the bank’s
service network. The offer comes to SCB customers with
competitive rates coupled with a personalized service
offered to FP policyholders ensuring customer
convenience at every customer contact point.
enjoy benefits such as the option of obtaining an
"accurately" assessed claim within 24 hours or having
their vehicles repaired to manufacturers’ specifications
at Formula World Collision Repair Centre free of charge
in addition to other benefits such as personal accident
that this breakthrough Bancassurance partnership enable
us to provide customers with benefits which will add
value to their motor insurance requirements. SCB is
always looking to provide its customers with the best
propositions in the market under one roof. This is
another example of such an effort," said SCB Sri Lanka
Consumer Banking Head Anvirvan Ghosh Dastidar.
(General) Suren Galagoda commended SCB for making the
right choice in selecting SLI as their insurance partner
and pointed out that SLI is the first insurance provider
in Sri Lanka to receive a global rating for stability
from an internationally recognized rating house, Fitch
He added, "SLI
is happy to partner with SCB and we hope that this move
will enable more people to enjoy the benefits offered by
FP motor insurance.
Plc has declared a Rs. 1.25 interim dividend. Excluding
dividend (XD) date: April 23, 2009 and payment date: May
Lanka Tiles plc
has declared a Rs. 1 interim dividend for the financial
year 2008/09. XD date: March 17, 2009 and payment date:
March 27, 2009.
Merchant Bank of
Sri Lanka plc has declared a Rs. 1 first and final
dividend. Shareholders’ meeting: March 30,2009; XD date:
March 31, 2009 and payment date: April 6, 2009.
Hotels plc has declared a rights issue at an issue price
of Rs. 20 a share and in the proportion of 1:1. EGM &
provisional allotment: March 24, 2009; X rights from
March 25, dispatch of provisional letter of allotment:
March 3, 2009; Splitting: April 8, 2009; renunciation:
April 23 and trading starts on: April 6, 2009.
Factories plc has declared a Rs. 3 interim dividend. XD
date March 23, 2009 and payment date: April 2, 2009.
Plantations plc has declared a Rs. 1 first and final
dividend of Rs. 2 per share for the financial year 2008.
AGM: March 31,2008; XD date: April 1, 2009 and payment
date: April 7, 2009.Associated Electrical Corporation
plc recently informed the Colombo Stock Exchange that
they have received permission from the Securities &
Exchange Commission to delist from the Board.
companies controlled by the Selvanathan brothers Mano
and Hari were involved in inter-company transactions on
connection Carsons Management Services (Pvt.) Ltd.
informed the Colombo Stock Exchange that Carson
Cumberbatch PLC’s holding of 5,205,506 ordinary shares
of Shalimar (Malay) PLC which accounts for 75.01% of the
voting rights of the company was sold to GoodHope Asia
Holdings Ltd., a fully owned Carson Cumberbatch
subsidiary incorporated in Singapore
3,482,497 shares of Selinsing PLC held by Carson
Cumberbatch (50.18%), 54, 216 shares of Selinsing held
by Mylands Investments Ltd. (0.78%) and 472,324 shares
of Selinsing PLC held by Watapota Investments PLC (6.8%)
was bought by GoodHope Asia.
GoodHope Asia bought 3,590,438 shares (51.3%) of
Indo-Malay PLC held by Carson Cumberbatch, 1.13% (78,960
shares) of Indo-Malay held by Mylands Investments and
0.52% of Indo-Malay (36,000 shares) held by Weniwella
Investments on March 6.
Management also informed that 472,324 shares (6.8%) of
Selinsing PLC held by Watapota Investments PLC were also
sold to GoodHope Asia.
total of 3, 705,082 shares of Good Hope PLC held by
Carson Cumberbatch (53.92%); 106,835 shares of Good Hope
PLC (1.55%) held by Mylands Investments Ltd. and 30,852
shares of Good Hope PLC (0.45%) held by Weniwella
Investments Ltd. were bought by GoodHope Asia.
9,733,607 shares (24.14%) held by Shalimar (Malay) PLC
in Equity One PLC was bought by Carson Cumberbatch,
increasing its stake in the company to 94.59%.
Pan Asia Bank (PAB)maintains
consistent policy in developing its human resources (HR)
through continued staff development programmes and
believes that it is crucial to invest in training during
achieving its objectives in developing its HR, the most
valuable asset of an organization, the Bank in
co-ordination with CIMA Sri Lanka division conducted a
Master Course: "Financial Aspects of Selling" as part of
an ongoing programme to develop the skills and uplift
service standards of its young and enterprising outfit.
It was conducted
by Marketing & Management Consultant Prasanna Perera.
covered various aspects connected to staff development,
mainly focused with emphasis on various aspects of
selling the bank’s "innovative" financial products and
customer service of which the bank boast of "first class
Banking," the two essential ingredients in today’s
context of competitiveness and excellence in service.
The bank as a
policy sets training sessions to its entire staff
irrespective of their grade or position. These
productive sessions has equipped the Bank staff at
various levels to understand and cater accordingly to
the specific needs of the Bank’s customers to ensure
service delivery, an important tool in attracting
customers and enhancing business opportunities.
Mastercourses have established a name for itself and
offer professional training solutions to accounting,
finance and other professionals.
cover a wide range of current topics and techniques,
relevant and applicable to all sectors, both corporate
Mastercourses are conducted for the benefit of its
members, passed finalists and their business associates.
Assurance’s top life achievers toured Bangkok for a five
day visit recently.
The tour was
offered based on their business performance, with
customer retention in 2008 also been taken into
consideration to be qualified for this tour.
selected 52 participants were insurance advisers, team
leaders and the sales management team.
General Manager Life Distribution Nalaka Dharmaratne
paid tribute to the winners for their contributions and
business achievements in the life business. Assistant
General Manager Sales Force Administration J.M Niyaz
said that tours of this nature motivates the sales staff
to benchmark themselves against their own performance
year over year since the organisation each year raises
the bar to qualify for this type of tour.
Penal rate cut
by 175 bps
fall in inflation from July 2008 demonstrates that
inflationary pressures in the economy have dissipated
significantly. The year-on-year change in the new
Colombo Consumers’ Price Index declined to a single
digit level of 7.6% by end-February, from 14.4% at end
2008. The declining trend in inflation is expected to
continue and inflation is expected to remain at single
digit levels during the remainder of the year,
benefiting from the containment of demand pressures in
the economy and healthy developments in both
international and domestic supply conditions, the
Central Bank (CB) in a statement said. Average inflation
in 2009 is also expected to be comfortably less than
10%.In line with the developments in inflation and
inflation outlook, the CB has revised its monetary
policy stance, allowing for a gradual relaxation of
market interest rates.
In line with
such policy stance, the penal rate of interest charged
on reverse repurchase transactions with the CB was
reduced by 250 basis points (bps) in two steps and the
Repurchase and Reverse Repurchase rates were reduced by
25 bps each. The Statutory Reserve Requirement (SRR)
imposed on rupee deposit liabilities of commercial banks
was also revised on three occasions, starting October
2008, bringing it gradually down to 7% from 10% to
improve market liquidity.
In a move to
signal to the market its desire for a further reduction
in market interest rates, the Monetary Board has decided
to reduce the penal rate of interest charged on reverse
repurchase transactions with the CB by a further 175 bps
to 14.75% with immediate effect. Any shortage in market
liquidity will also be addressed by the CB through its
open market operations. In addition, the CB has also
decided to remove the margin requirements imposed in
late October and early November 2008 in relation to
opening of Letters of Credit (LC) for certain
non-essential items and in respect of imports on
Documents Against Acceptance (DA) terms, with immediate
effect. The deposit requirement against the opening of
LCs on the importation of motor vehicles which was
increased to 200% in November 2008, has reverted to 100%
with immediate effect.
As a result of
the reduction in interest rates and the injection of
additional liquidity, domestic interest rates have
indicated a clear decline. Yields on Treasury bills have
declined by 140-190 basis points since end 2008. The
Average Weighted Prime Lending Rate also declined to
18.27% in the second week of March 2009, the lowest
level recorded by it in 2009 thus far. CB expects that
the further relaxation of its monetary policy stance
would encourage financial intermediaries to expand their
lending portfolio, enhancing the flow of credit to the
economy at lower rates. This would promote domestic
demand and support economic activity.
The release of
the next regular statement on monetary policy will be on
April 22, 2009.
Winners for 3rd
"A" team emerged winners at The Trade Finance Quiz 2009
organized by the Trade Finance Association of Bankers
that was held recently at a Colombo hotel.
Finance Quiz is an annual event and Seylan Bank has won
it for the second consecutive year and have been the
winners thrice out of the five times the event has been
held so far.
commercial banks entered teams along with a team from
the Central Bank of Sri Lanka totalling 24 teams in all.
billion people remain without improved sanitation-more
than a billion in Asia and another half billion in Sub
there were 54 countries where less than half the
population used an improved sanitation facility, three
quarters of those countries were in Sub Saharan Africa.
world’s population now live in rural areas.
rural dwellers represent more than 70% of the population
without improved sanitation.
areas, improvements in sanitation have failed to keep
pace with population growth.
countries in Sub Saharan Africa, only 16% of the poorest
quintile of the population have access to improved
sanitation compared to 79% of the population in the
quarter of the developing world’s population live
without any form of sanitation.
15% use sanitation facilities that do not ensure
hygienic separation of human waste from human contact.
defecation jeopardizes an entire community, not just
those who practise it, because of an increased risk of
diarrhoeal diseases, cholera, worm infestations,
hepatitis and related diseases.
defectation is declining in all regions, it continues to
be practiced by almost half the population in South Asia
and more than a quarter of those living in Sub Saharan
Of the 1.2 billion people who
practise open defecation, more than a billion live in
rural areas. (Source: UN’s 2008 Millennium
Development Goals report)
Otara’s latest venture
personalised fitness training to health and body-shape
conscious individuals has become the latest project of
Ms. Otara Gunewardene, Sri Lanka’s celebrity fashion and
style entrepreneur with the launch of ‘Otone,’ a
personalised fitness training facility.
Odel’s landmark Alexandra Place outlet, the new facility
which opened on March 6, is designed to cater to the
individual needs of fitness seekers of all ages, and is
equipped and furnished to provide personal fitness
training including aerobics, cardio kick boxing,
massage, boot camps and children’s fitness programmes.
programmes at Otone include general fitness, weight
loss, body toning, sports conditioning, performance and
corrective exercises. Its group exercise classes include
‘Otone Kick out,’ a high calory-burning total body
conditioning workout, ‘Otone Boot out,’ a motivation
group workout using simple accessories such as cones,
tyres, ladders and obstacles and utilises one’s own body
weight and ‘Otone Sporty Kids’ to get children out of
harmful lifestyles and improve their coordination,
flexibility, speed and balance.
"Being fit and
staying in shape has always been an essential part of my
life. However, I discovered that working out on my own
did not give me results. Working out with a trainer with
a programme tailor made for me was what changed the
shape of my body and gave me the results I wanted. This
is what I’m sure many others realize as well and that is
why I have come up with this concept," said Gunewardene,
founder and CEO of Odel. "The most important aspect of
this facility is its privacy and its personalized
services which are uncommon with other standard gyms."
"Keeping fit can
be tedious and boring, but our approach will be to make
it fun and unconventional, achieving results together
with physical and mental balance," Gunewardene added.
She said that
once it becomes interesting, people will not look at
fitness training as a hassle but take it as an enjoyable
daily activity which will help them to make a difference
to their body shape.
To be run by
Ranil Harshana, a fitness specialist, the new facility
at Odel which occupies 2,100 square feet of space, can
offer performance training and general or specialized
training to adults and children. It also offers group or
individual training covering eight year old children to
business executives, college level athletes to Olympic
athletes. Otone uses simple yet effective functional
equipment such as medicine balls, speed ladders, tyres,
punching and kicking bags, free weights, power plates,
speed chutes and other sports conditioning equipment to
The experts at
Otone will also show customers how to use locations and
objects in their own homes as fitness aids to maintain
group activities like ‘Otone Kick Out,’ ‘Otone Boot out’
and ‘Otone Sporty Kids,’ the new facility will provide
speed training as well as balance training, helping to
build up strength, fitness, health and body shape.
Harshana, Otone will also help people with postural
problems and those needing rehabilitation after illness
or accidents. "Otone can takeover when a physiotherapist
completes treatment and can also provide customers with
access to experts in sports medicine as well as
Rheumatology," he said.
Harshana who has
10 years experience in the fitness industry possesses a
Diploma in Fitness and Nutrition from the American
Council on Exercise and is also certified in personal
training and group fitness and fitness therapy. He has
received specialized certifications in sports
conditioning, performance enhancement and corrective
exercises from the American College of Sports Medicine,
National Academy of Sports Medicine, International
Sports Science Association USA, and Performance Training
A former fashion
model and the founder and CEO of Sri Lanka’s unique
department store Odel, Gunewardene is also the owner of
‘Backstage’ and ‘Six Runs’ brands.
Backstage is a
brand name encompassing a wide range of trendy women’s
jewellery and fashion accessories that has fired the
imagination of Sri Lankan women. Six Runs is a brand for
an extensive range of items including sports and casual
wear and fun accessories at value-for-money prices.
A unique feat of
communal amity on a large scale was achieved recently,
when some 2,400 people from all over Sri Lanka met for
an overwhelming full-day outing at Leisure World theme
park, thanks to Ceylinco Life Family Savari promotion
conducted by the life insurance leader.
The second phase
of the 2009 Family Savari brought together policyholders
from 600 families for a once in a lifetime experience of
novel water-based amusement activities.
participants, including those from the north and east
enjoyed the day, clambering on to rides, slides and
chutes or plunging into pools in a stimulating
environment made possible by the Family Savari
promotion. They were also able to interact with
cricketing icon Muttiah Muralitharan, a Ceylinco Life
Brand Ambassador, who accompanied them on the outing.
families selected for the outing through a draw,
Ceylinco Life Deputy Chairman R. Renganathan said: "Ceylinco
Life has united people from the North, South, East and
West at one exciting place. We are happy to share our
success with our policyholders through this type of
He said that
Ceylinco Life policyholders can look forward to more
such life-long memories in the future as the company
enhances its prizes to policyholders year by year.
all expenses fully paid day outing for such a massive
number of persons and arranging transport to and from
the theme park was not a small task, but the ability to
execute this programme successfully demonstrates the
company’s strength and capacity," Renganathan added.
The first phase
of this year’s Ceylinco Life Family Savari presented 20
lucky winners with a four-day tour of Singapore and
Malaysia which included a cruise on the Malacca Straits
on the ‘Star Virgo’ luxury liner.
The upward trend
in interest rates since the launch of NAMAL Flexi Income
Fund (NFIF) has helped us to deliver increased return to
investors than expected, said NAMAL Chief Executive
When the fund
was launched the one year Treasury (T) bill rate was
around 14.50% and this rate peaked at 19.96% in December
2007 and declined thereafter. We think the current
limited bank credit to corporate sector would increase
the appetite for corporates to seek funds more from
capital market instruments such as debentures,
commercial paper and trust certificates. A fund of this
nature can match investor needs with that of the
corporate borrower. "Currently interest rates seem on
its decline and our Flexi scheme can provide the
opportunity for investors to lock in their capital for a
fixed period to generate better returns compared to
other forms of savings" he said. The first close ended
fund in Sri Lanka, NFIF pays quarterly dividends to
investors as proposed in its initial offer in March
2007, NFIF paid two dividends of Rs 0.43 and 0.46 in
2007 and four dividends of Rs 0.40, 0.46, 0.48 and 0.45
in 2008 and one dividend of Rs 0.41 in year 2009.
Development Bank (CDB) recently launched a Personal Data
Assistant (PDA) base recovery online monitoring solution
to enhance the productivity of its recovery field
The total PDA solution
consists of Credit and Investment Marketing Module,
Recoveries Module and Collection Module.
year’s edition of Sri Lanka Advertising Awards, the
Chillies, will again be preceded by Chillies Week 2009,
a series of creative opportunities, offering local
creatives interaction with the worlds’s advertising
first seminar will be held on Tuesday at Taj Samudra
Colombo, with Dentsu Japan’s Creative Director Ms.
Masako Okamura and JWT India’s Vice President &
Executive Creative Director Senthil Kumar, highlighting
how creativity manifests in their respective cultures.
Chillies Week 2009, kicks of with a “Brief to a Grand
Prix”, a workshop conducted by Cannes Lion Grand Prix
winner Agnello Dias tomorrow at the same venue, with the
main event being held at SLECC on May 2, with other
programmes thrown inbetween, during the course of that
Poor 1st qtr. ’09
first quarter ended March 31, 2009 is going to be poorer
to corporates on a year on year basis due to the
downturn in the global and local economies, market
sources told The Sunday Leader.
results are however not out as yet.
based their statements on account of the fall in both
exports and imports and also the hit taken by the
construction industry, coupled with the downturn in the
banking and financial services sector due to the high
inflationary and interest regime that beset the economy.
tourism sector is already down.
4th quarter ended December 31, 2008 was also bad for
corporates, but they said that it was difficult at this
juncture to say whether first quarter (1Q) 2009 would be
better than 4Q 2008.
Deflation meaningless to jobless
deflationary economy is of no use to a consumer who does
not have a cent in his pocket, a market source told The
Sunday Leader when it was pointed out that the Central
Bank (CB) told reporters that deflation has entered the
source was referring to the retrenchment that was taking
place, or is about to take place in some blue chip
companies as a result of the economic downturn.
Superintendent of Public Debt C.J.P. Siriwardena said
that according to the basket of goods used by the Census
and Statistics Department to determine inflation, it was
in fact deflationary conditions that were currently
pervading the economy.
Inflation is when prices rise over a pre-determined
period of time, while deflation is the reverse of it.
Meanwhile the stock market, led by retailer hype over
war wins made gains at Friday’s trading, albeit on thin
volumes, with this trend expected to continue in the
week beginning tomorrow, complemented by falling
interest rates, sources said.
Investors who depended on fixed income instruments to
give them a return, will now be looking at the stock
market, in the context of falling rates, they said.
said that the reason for fixing MRPs was to prevent
black marketers, prevalent during the Avuruddhu season.
“Though our prices are reasonable, still the masses are
seemingly reluctant to do their shopping in supermarket
outlets,” said Guneratne. They are apparently over-awed,
and therefore prefer doing their shopping from petti
kades (corner stores), he said.
instance, when we open up outlets in rural areas,
consumers enter our premises after removing their
slippers,” added Guneratne.
first IMF tranche of the US$ 1.9 billion standby
arrangement applied for by the government is expected
either this month or the next, informed sources told The
however said that the government having to divest its
stake in Sri Lanka Telecom was not part of the IMF loan
the sources did not rule out the possibility that part
of those proceeds may be used to settle Ceylon Petroleum
Corporation’s oil hedge liabilities, estimated at some
US$ 800 million.
of the offers received by the Central Bank (CB) to buy a
1/3rd equity stake in Seylan Bank for US$ 50 million,
were offers made by parties who said that they will be
coming in with foreign collaboration, informed sources
told The Sunday Leader.
however declined to give the number of offers received,
when requests for proposals closed last week.
However, Sampath Bank made their offer independent of
any collaboration, they said. Commercial Bank did not
make a bid. When asked whether Hatton National Bank also
made a bid, they refused to give an answer.
Bidders who pass CB’s technical evaluation will be asked
to make firm offers this week.
Unconfirmed reports said that cash rich John Keells
Holding plc (JKH) was also interested in Seylan, but it
was not clear whether they submitted an offer. JKH’s
associate company is Nations Trust Bank Plc.
Weighted average yields (WAYs) of Treasury (T) Bills of
182 and 364 day maturities remained unchanged at 15.88%
and 16.40% respectively week on week (WoW) at
Wednesday’s T Bill primary auction, while that of the 91
day maturity moved down marginally by seven basis points
WoW to 14.09%.
auction was for the re-issue of Rs. 4,500 million worth
of maturing T Bills, with the Central Bank ultimately
accepting offers worth Rs. 5,290 million from the
ICTs are general purpose technologies, even linking the
poor. Sri Lanka has a 55% mobile penetration rate and a
20% fixed line penetration rate.-Dialog Telekom CEO Dr.
Hans Wijaysuriya at an international telecoms forum that
was held in Colombo recently.
It would be
helpful for the people who are allegedly at the
receiving end of various injustices from private
hospitals, if an ombudsman is appointed to deal with
complaints made against such, a lawyer said.
Weerasooriya, Insurance Ombudsman, speaking at a seminar
recently said that there around 196 private hospitals.
He added that
there are 15 insurance companies in the country and all
these companies agreed to work with the ombudsman.
Ombudsman is a
player on alternate dispute resolution.
In Sri Lanka
several ombudsmen operate, such as Parliamentary
Ombudsman, Financial Ombudsman, Insurance Ombudsman, Tax
Ombudsman and Tourism Ombudsman.
proceedings of the ombudsman there are no lawyers and no
legal rules and no rules of evidence.
are "just, reasonable and equitable."
that except one case, in all other cases insurance
companies agreed with his decisions and payments were
accordingly made. An ombudsman saves lot of time.
He said that
people are not aware of the relief that could be brought
in by the ombudsman.
The seminar was
organised by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce &
Industry of Sri Lanka.
Authority USA (FAA) has proposed to seal records on
aviation bird strikes "to encourage continued voluntary
reporting of wildlife hazard data."
data could produce inaccurate perceptions of the
bird-strike danger, FAA said, and cause under-reporting
Hazard Database is said to contain more than 100,000
reports of strikes that have been voluntarily submitted
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has long recommended
mandatory reporting and says the database grossly
underestimates the magnitude of the problem and lacks
critical information, such as the species of birds in a
strike. A comment period on the FAA proposal ends April
4th Maritime HR
and Crew Development Conference organised by Active
Communication International (ACI) and which will be held
in Dubai from April 21-22,’09, will highlight topical
issues relating to acute shortage of skilled crew
especially for the tankers and offshore sector.
crisis is now at a critical point and is affecting
different aspects of the shipping industry.
The lack of
skilled crew has resulted in safety and environmental
concerns as well as inhibiting the growth of shipping
conference, delegates will have the opportunity to hear
from their peers on the latest HR and crew management
strategies to overcome these challenges.
will also have the opportunity to join interactive
discussions where issues such as safety, environmental
protection and realistic solutions to the manning crisis
will be discussed.
The expert panel
of speakers comprises leading HR, Crew & Operations
Management senior executives from global ship owning and
ship management companies which include Kersi N. Deboo
of Anglo-Eastern Maritime Training Centre, Bjorn
Simonsen of OSM Crew Management, Ali Shehab of Kuwait
Oil Tanker Co (K.O.T.C), Khaled Jamil of Qawareb Ship
Management L.L.C and Eduard Tkalcic of OSG Ship
Management, Manila Inc. amongst many others.
has just released a new information booklet entitled
presents a broad overview of various aspects of the
Society’s involvement with this dynamic and vital part
of the marine industry.
In addition to
introducing the role of the surveyor in building better
ships and some key activities of the Society, the
booklet also outlines the history of the development of
bulk carriers and explains about the various types of
bulk carriers in use today.
Bank Plc (NTB) recently announced the launch of the
Nations Auto Sweep Account-a proposition that combines
the flexibility of a current account and the benefits of
a savings account, said a statement.
NTB DGM Consumer
Banking Ms. Renuka Fernando said, "We are delighted to
launch this new solution that transfers the surplus
funds in the current account to a savings account that
earns interest – so that the accountholder gains the
maximum benefit from both these accounts."
Institution of Naval Architects’ booklet "Guidance on
the Safety Role of the Naval Architect" provides
information and guidance to all naval architects on
safety management and associated methods.
The booklet has
been revised to reflect the latest developments in ship
published in 1993 as "Guidance for Members Concerning
Safety Assurance", this revision reflects the latest
developments in ship safety.
Mills Pvt Ltd.’s "Seven Star" Atta Flour is high in
nutrition and yet the most economically priced flour in
the wholesale market, said a statement.
Its high bran
content makes it a fibre-rich food from which Rotti,
Naan,Chapathi, Parata, Poori, and Pittu may be made, its
CEO/Director Sathak Abdul Kadar said.
Officer Suren R. A. Abeywickrema also made his comments
in this regard.
Institute of Marketing Sri Lanka Region (CIM SLR) in
partnership with MAS Institute of Management and
Technology (Pvt) Ltd (MIMT) ventured into Kurunegala
Education Head Ajith Medis, Education Services Manager
Mrs. Ranmal Ekanayake, Student Affairs Executive Mrs.
Priya Kodithuwakku, Marjan Manzil, Mrs. Ayin Shah Jahan,
MIMT CEO Chandan de Silva, MAS Holdings’ Corporate
Branding and Strategic Sustainability Director Ravi
Fernando, nearly 100 students and school teachers
representing Maliyadeva Boys College, Kurunegala; St.
Joseph’s Balika Maha Vidyalaya, Kegalle; St. Mary’s
College, Kegalle and Babul Hussain Central College,
Warakapola participated at this event.
Recovery Management-Knowledge & Experience Sharing"
session was organized by Suntel with the collaboration
of Information Technology Professional Association in
Katunayake Export Processing Zone (ITPA-KEPZ) and
conducted by Prof. Gihan V. Dias, an industry
objective of this event was to raise the awareness
levels on Disaster Recovery Services. Other topics
discussed were: Theory of Disaster Recovery Management,
Data Duplication, Importance of Disaster Recovery Hot
Site and Important points when selecting a service
provider for Disaster Recovery.
Remittances down 8%
remittances declined by 8.4% year on year to US$ 228
million on a net basis in January 2009.
OSV (Code of
Safe Practice for the Carriage of Cargoes and Persons by
Offshore Supply Vessels) Asia-Pacific Conference will be
held during Singapore Maritime Week from April 22-23,
2009 in Singapore.
It focuses on
design and commercial trends for OSVs, sessions on
Anchor Handling Tug Supply Vessels (AHTS) and crewing
vessels and will discuss engineering and operational
from ship owners and operators, exploration managers,
shipyards, naval architecture firms and classification
groups will give delegates a holistic view of building
and operating these workhorses of the sea.
It will feature
leading industry speakers such as George Horsington,
General Manager, Swire Production Solutions
Representative from Dolphin Offshore; Jon Corner, Senior
Vice President-Commercial, Inchcape Shipping Services;
Nazery Khalid, Fellow-Centre for Economic Studies and
Ocean Industries, Maritime Institute of Malaysia;
Arnstein Eknes, Business Director for Offshore Support
Vessels, DNV; Surendera Agarwal, Managing Director and
Chief Operating Officer, Neilsoft and Commodore Naresh
Kumar, Director -Technical, Hindustan Shipyard.
Freedom to develop
economic turmoil is having an unprecedented impact on
airports across Europe, says Airports Council
International (ACI) Europe, which released a paper that
calls for five urgent measures: 1) ensure economic
regulation and incentivize airports to modernize and
develop infrastructure; 2) Give them more flexibility to
financially support vital regional air routes; 3) Reduce
the "astonishing" costs of security and make it more
efficient; 4) Get rid of economically nonsensical
national taxes on aviation and 5) Commit to full and
prompt aviation liberalization.
catalysts for job creation," said Director General
Olivier Jankovec. "They can do a great deal for economic
recovery, but for that to happen, they now need to be
given the freedom to develop."
Tourism down 32%
and tourism earnings, each declined by 32.4% year on
year to 38,468 and US$ 30 million respectively in
Risk Management Conference organised by Active
Communication International (ACI) conference which will
be held in London from April 28-30,’09, will address the
most topical risk management and safety issues currently
faced by the maritime industry and examine how the
industry is managing those risks to maintain onboard
safety standards and drive profitability.
two days participants will hear from industry peers and
discover how modern risks are being managed to achieve
lower costs, ensure business continuity and increase
productivity, thus achieving competitive advantage.
The expert panel
of speakers comprises senior representatives from global
ship owning and ship management companies which include
John Dobson of Alphaship, Francesco Messineo of Salerno
Port Authority, Jaime Veiga of European Maritime Safety
Agency (EMSA), Les Chapman of RTI Forensics and Volker
Heil of CMA Ships UK Ltd, amongst many others.
Stripped of powers
Company PLC (TFC) informed the Colombo Stock Exchange
recently that the Monetary Board has stripped its Board
of executive powers. Those are Lalith Kotelawala, Mrs.
Padmini Karunanayake, S. R. Wijesinghe, A. R.
Gunewardena, Ms. Mala Sabaratnam, K.A.S. Jayatissa, Y.
B. Ratnayake and T. N.M. Peiris. They will however
continue to serve on the Board.
K.J. Yatawara, T. B. Ekanayake, Mrs. N.C. Rupasinghe and
Mrs. V.W. Dissanayake have been appointed as key
executives. Lankaputhra Development Bank headed by its
chairman Sarath De Silva has been appointed as managing
Rs. 60 mn. project
procure over Rs. 60 million worth of computer related
furniture from a private company under a scheme to
propagate ICT in the country this year.
targeted areas in this venture are schools. The supplier
is Metropolitan Office (Pvt.) Ltd (MOL).
Associated at an
event held in this connection were: MOL Senior Marketing
Manager M.I. Fakhir, CEO Ivor Maharoof, Education
Ministry’s Secondary Education and Modernization Project
II and Education for Knowledge Society Project Project
Director Anura Disanayake and Procurement Specialist
Mrs. L.S. Senanayake.
revealed that 60% of the coconut kernel is wasted by the
traditional method of scraping and extracting coconut
milk, Renuka Group Marketing Director Shamindra Rajiyah
Renuka Group is
the largest coconut milk products exporter from Sri
Lanka and available in over 52 countries.The
organisation has over 700 employees and provides
indirect employment to over 2,500 farmer families.Renuka
is the only coconut product manufacturer with its own
Bank (DVB) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) with Union Assurance PLC (UA) where customers of
the latter are provided with making their insurance
premium payments from any of DVB’s branches. This
agreement is part of yet another initiative by DVB to
expand its range of financial services.
UA CEO Ms.
Marina Tharmaratnam and DVB Managing Director L.G.
Perera spoke at this occasion. Others involved at this
event included DVB Director/COO Lakshman Silva and UA
Deputy CEO Dirk Pereira.
and Technology Award 2008 under the category of "Value
Addition to Local Biological Resources" was bestowed on
the Industrial Technology Institute’s (ITI’s) research
team from the Materials Technology Section who devised a
method to produce a natural wood preservative using
cashew nut shell liquid.
The team led by
Lal Motha comprised Saman Weeraratne, Dineth
Samarawickrama and Sarith Kasun de Alwis.
of the devised method was transferred to the Cashew
Corporation at a ceremony held at ITI last year.
ceremony was organised by the National Science
Foundation and was held at the Presidential Secretariat
Ordered to sell three airports
Commission ordered BAA, a unit of Spain’s Ferrovial, to
sell three of its seven British airports within two
which said it may appeal can retain Heathrow, Aberdeen
and Southampton and either Edinburgh or Glasgow, but
must sell Gatwick and Stansted to different buyers.
"We expect that
the new airport owners, with the operating capabilities
and financial resources to develop them as effective
competitors, will have a much greater incentive than BAA
to be more responsive to their customers," said
Christopher Clarke, Chairman, BAA Airports inquiry.
A sale of
Gatwick is underway; confirmed bidders are: Global
Infrastructure Partners, a fund with General Electric
and Credit Suisse as founding investors, which already
owns London City Airport and Citigroup unit Citi
Infrastructure Investors, with Vancouver Airport
Services and John Hancock Life Insurance, bidding
jointly as Lysander Gatwick Investment Group. A third
group made up of Manchester Airports Group and Canadian
pension funds, reportedly is also bidding for Gatwick.
times call for innovative technological developments and
operational experience, those are the topics which the
International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) is
looking for in publishing its Call for Papers for the
2009 IMCA Annual Seminar to be held from November 4-5,in
Rio de Janeiro.
The event will
include separate Marine, Diving and Offshore
Survey/Remotely Operated Underwater (ROV) sessions with
presentations on commercial/contracting issues and
parallel workshops on a variety of issues, as well as
the associated exhibition.
Kolitha on Board
Insurance, the market leader in the sphere of insurance
in Sri Lanka, has appointed lawyer Kolitha Dharmawardena
as an independent director to its board effective from
Ceylinco Insurance , announced an unprecedented growth,
with total premium income for 2008 standing at Rs.20
billion, indicating a 16.5% year on year growth.
Ceylinco Insurance was once again chosen as the People’s
Insurance Company at the Power of People Awards by the
Sri Lankan public, for the third consecutive year, while
the Ceylinco Insurance Brand continued to enjoy a rating
of AA- from Brand Consultants UK, for the second year
running. Moreover, Ceylinco Insurance also bagged the
Gold Award for the Insurance Category at the National
Business Excellence Awards in 2008.
Vice President and Executive Creative Director Ms
Chandini Rajaratnam was awarded the ‘Zonta Woman of
Achievement 2009’ for advertising.
She was one of
20 women who were decorated for their contribution in
their respective fields.
$ 700,000 grant aid
provided grant assistance of US$ 700,000 (Rs.80 million)
to Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) in order to
accelerate de-mining activities in the conflict affected
areas of Mannar and Vavuniya, so that the resettlement
of IDPs will be further facilitated.
Japan has so far
contributed about US$ 18 million (Rs. 2,050 million) for
mine clearance activities through INGOs as well as for
the establishment of the Relief, Rehabilitation and
Reconciliation Ministry’s De-mining Unit.
In top 100
Corporation, a global information technology (IT)
services provider has been included in the 2009 Global
Services 100, a list of the top global providers of
business and technology services.
"A company that
figures in this list bears testimony to the fact that it
can serve global customers from multiple locations,"
said Global Services Editor Ed Nair.
offices in the USA and the UK, and global delivery
centres in India and Sri Lanka.
With a third of
Sri Lankan schoolchildren suffering from some form of
malnutrition, Fonterra Brands Lanka recently launched
the Anchor Kiri Shakthi Jaya Shakthi campaign which aims
to improve the country’s nutrition standards.
simultaneously in four schools in Biyagama, Anuradhapura,
Ampara and Hambantota.
At the main
launch which took place at the Biyagama Kanishta
Vidyalaya, free milk was distributed among the
21.6% of Sri
Lankan pre-school kids are underweight and 18% are
stunted as a result of inadequate nutrition. As much as
29.9% preschool children suffer from anaemia3 while 36%
suffer from Vitamin A deficiency that affects eyesight.
If malnutrition continues unabated, the nation would not
only face a higher cost of healthcare, but it would have
an effect on gross domestic production (GDP). It has
also been estimated that iron deficiency contributes to
a 5% loss in GDP in developing countries leading to
reduced worker efficiency.
Berhad’s subsidiaries and affiliates have launched an
initiative to enhance customers’ data roaming experience
by offering a daily unlimited data roaming plan.
Cheapest in the
region, it’s offered by Dialog Telekom-Axiata’s local
subsidiary, and it can be used with Axiata’s network of
mobile operators: Celcom in Malaysia, XL in Indonesia,
M1 in Singapore, Aktel in Bangladesh and Hello in
Bank PLC (NTB) now provides estatements.
NTB DGM Consumer
Banking Ms.Renuka Fernando said, "We hope our customers
will opt for an e statement as opposed to the standard
monthly paper statement."
The Bank will
donate Rs.100 to the Wild Life and Nature Protection
Society for every customer who chooses to go green.
Sri Lanka was
selected location of the week recently by The Location
Guide website; a resource website for location filming
worldwide. The ‘Home Page’ of the website was adorned
with a scene of Talawakelle and is a working still of
‘NESTEA’ TV commercial.
launched at the Beijing Olympics and the bottle has a
graphic of our island and the product "Tea Of The
World." (Sri Lanka Tourism)
Civaro, a joint
venture company between Hayleys Advantis Ltd. and CJ
Patel and Company, an FMCG distribution in Fiji, began
operations on April 3.
Publications (Pvt) Ltd.
24, Katukurunduwatte Road, Ratmalana Sri
Tel : +94-75-365891,2 Fax : +94-75-365891