TM Gihan Kehelella and TM Shabir Dole receiving the Golden Gavel Award from former District Director DTM Sarma Mahalingam
Amana Bank Toastmasters Club, identified to be among the flourishing clubs of the Toastmasters District 82, further strengthened its stake when it was awarded the prestigious Golden Gavel Award for the year 2019/2020.
The Golden Gavel Award, the highest honour for clubs in Toastmasters, is awarded in recognition of a club’s outstanding achievements in communication and leadership, having fulfilled stipulated goals set by Toastmasters International and District 82. In addition to the Golden Gavel Award, the club was also recognized with the Emerging Club Gold Award as well as the Smedely and Talk-Up Toastmasters Membership Development Awards for the year 2019/2020. Established in 2014, Amãna Bank Toastmasters Club has been at the forefront in the Toastmaster fraternity with many club and individual achievements since inception. The Club has been accredited with the President’s Distinguished Award for three consecutive years in 2017/2018, 2018/2019 and 2019/2020.
Commenting on the progress thus far, TM Gihan Kehelella (Manager – Operations Department), the Immediate Past President of the Club said, “It gives me great pleasure to have been able to lead a club as diverse as Amana Bank Toastmasters Club. I have to note that Amana Bank Toastmasters Club has been able to deliver great insights and productive outputs in terms of communication, leadership, integrity and punctuality that seem to be key values expected from a banker. I believe that the club would help nurture skills of the whole Amana Bank fraternity.”
The District Director of Toastmasters District 82, DTM Sarma Mahalingam commenting on the contribution made by Amana Bank said, “It is quite commendable to note the growth of Amana Bank Toastmasters Club throughout the years. I am pleased to have been able to witness the education, training and programming efforts of the Club. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the current club officers and the past committee for their work for bringing up the Club to where it is today. I would also like to acknowledge the support rendered by management of Amana Bank for establishing and fostering this Toastmasters club. I’m sure that the club will enable its members to improve their communication and leadership skills, thereby positively contributing towards Amana Bank.”
At individual level some of the key achievements from Amãna Bank Toastmasters Club members include DTM Shazuli Raheem (Manager – Service & Quality Assurance) and DTM Muhammed Humaidh (Customer Relationship Officer) been awarded the Distinguished Toastmaster Award, which is the pinnacle of educational achievements in Toastmasters. At an international level, TM Dilan Joseph (Manager – Digital Customer Experience) represented Division F at the Humorous Speech Competition of District 82 at Ovation 2019 held in India. In addition to these accolades, members have contributed in undertaking exemplary leadership roles in the district; DTM Shazuli Raheem as the Division Director 2020/2021, TM Shamil Aniff (Executive – Administration) as the Area F2 Director 2020/2021, DTM Muhammed Humaidh as the Area F5 Director 2020/2021 and TM Shabbir Dole (Relationship Executive) as the District 82 PR Creative Co-Chair, while TM Nuwan Fernando (Manager – Finance) served as Area F2 Director during 2019/2020.
New IPS report on ‘Elasticity Estimates for Cigarettes in Sri Lanka’
• New study finds that increasing taxes on cigarettes will have twin advantages of reducing cigarette consumption and increasing government revenue.
• Calculated tax and price elasticities of demand for cigarettes show that smokers are price sensitive: increasing cigarette taxes by 10 per cent will reduce consumption by 8 per cent.
• A simulation exercise shows that when cigarette taxes are raised in line with inflation and streamlined between 2020-2023, government excise tax revenue will increase by LKR 37 billion by 2023 and 140,000 premature deaths from cigarette consumption can be prevented in the future.
The Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) has released a report which provides a comprehensive assessment of Sri Lanka’s historical and current tobacco tax policies to assess whether they are in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended best practices. The new report ‘Elasticity Estimates for Cigarettes in Sri Lanka’ is authored by Dr. Nisha Arunathilake, Harini Weerasekera and Chamini Thilanka, and is part of a series of IPS research focusing on health and education.
According to the WHO, significant increases in tobacco taxes are the best means of controlling tobacco consumption. High taxes are an incentive for quitting tobacco, reducing consumption, and for not initiating smoking. The report finds that although cigarette prices have gone up over time, cigarettes are still affordable for smokers as tax increases have not kept up with inflation and income increases. Further, the tax structure is not streamlined, and tax policy changes have been implemented in an ad-hoc manner.
The report provides an estimate of price and income elasticities of cigarettes, and uses these to assess the effectiveness of tax increases on smoking prevalence in the country by conducting a simulation analysis. The results show that increasing cigarette taxes by 10 per cent will reduce consumption by 8 per cent. Finally, the study used the estimated tax elasticities to model the health and fiscal benefits of moving to inflation-adjusted and uniform excise tax system over 4 years.
DFCC Bank and AIA virtually recognise CEO Club award winners
Launched in 2018, the ‘CEO’s Club’ Awards organized annually by AIA Insurance for DFCC Bank staff, has since been held in grand style each quarter. The event is intended at recognizing and celebrating DFCC’s staff on their exceptional achievements in providing protection to the bank’s customers by introducing AIA’s insurance solutions.
Despite the limitations posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the management of both DFCC and AIA were determined to continue the tradition of much deserved recognition for the DFCC staff who have excelled in providing insurance solutions to customers. As the first ever virtual AIA-DFCC CEO’s Club Awards Night, the event was held on Microsoft Teams. This pioneering event connected fifteen locations simultaneously, taking digital adoption to a new level, to celebrate award winners.
AIA CEO Nikhil Advani congratulated the winners, while commenting on the long-standing partnership between AIA and DFCC; “AIA are pioneers in Bancassurance in Sri Lanka and DFCC is one of our most valuable partners. Together over the years we have created a strong bond, driven by the common goal of providing protection and financial security to our customers. We are constantly defying odds and challenging the status quo and that is why we were able to take digital to the next level and ensure that these merited recognitions and celebrations took place, uninterrupted.”
DFCC CEO Lakshman Silva also applauded the winners and commented; “DFCC Bank, one of the oldest development banks in the country and now a full-service commercial bank, has had many trail-blazing initiatives. We entered into a partnership with AIA with the objective of enhancing our customer value proposition- and over the years have complemented each other, bringing exceptional value to customers. It was great, that together we were able to overcome the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and create an opportunity out of it, in creating a first of its kind digital event. This is what great partnerships do.”
Fifty-four CEO’s Club winners from across the island were recognized at the virtual Awards Night, for their achievements in 2019, with six others getting special recognition for their contribution as well. The top ten performers were Samitha Jayathilake ( Kottawa Branch) , Chamindu Anjana (Hikkaduwa Branch) , Dilini De Silva (Moratuwa Branch), Dinusha Jayathilaka (Anuradhapura Branch), Nuwan Abeywickrama (Kiribathgoda Branch), Anjalina Kumarihamy (Piliyandala Branch), Dilanka Jayawardena(Kaduwela Branch) , Lahiru Madushan(Central Sales Unit ) , Paskaranathan Ghengatharan (Kotahena Branch) and Lakshman Thambiraja (Batticaloa Branch ).
Tokyo Cement and Chevron Lubricants quarterly results boost market
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
The CSE turned positive yesterday with the releasing of impressive second and third quarter results by two investor favourite counters, Tokyo Cement and Chevron Lubricants, stock market analysts said.
It is said that Tokyo Cement’s second quarter results recorded Rs. 2.1 billion profit, which was a 183 percent increase compared to the corresponding quarter for year 2019, while Chevron Lubricants recorded Rs. 803 million in profits, which was a 29 percent increase compared to the corresponding quarter the previous year. Therefore, Chevron Lubricants announced a dividend of Rs. 3.50 per share for its shareholders yesterday.
Tokyo Cement’s impressive growth plus Chevron Lubricant’s dividend announcement removed the negative sentiment from the share market, which witnessed negative sentiments as a result of the government’s announcement of the three day Covid 19 curfew from today, market analysts said.
Amid those developments, the market experienced a day full of fluctuations and both indices moved upwards, i.e., the All Share Price Index was up by 126. 39 points and S and P SL20 went up by 51.82 points Turnover stood at Rs. 1.64 billion with a single crossing reported in JKH. The latter’s 1.26 million shares crossed for Rs. 157 million and its share was traded at Rs. 130.50.
In the retail market top five contributors to the turnover were, Tokyo Cement (Non Voting) Rs. 234.7 million (4.4 million shares traded), Tokyo Cement (Voting) Rs. 176.6 million (2.8 million shares traded), Expolanka Rs. 162.6 million (9.1 million shares traded), Dip Products Rs. 117.9 million (382,000 shares traded) and Chevron Lubricants Rs. 78.2 million (900,000 shares traded). During the day 55.1 million share volumes changed hands in 16138 transactions.
Further, two finance companies are going to merge to meet the co-capital requirement of the Central Bank, which is, Rs. 2 billion; they are Nation Lanka Finance and Sinhaputhra Finance. With the merger the surviving entity would be Sinhaputhra Finance. At present both companies are struggling to meet co-capital requirements of the Central Bank. Once the merger happens they will be able to meet the requirement, stock market analysts said.
Sri Lanka rupee was quoted at 184.25/40 to the US dollar on Thursday while bond yields were largely unchanged, dealers said. The rupee closed at 184.25/35 against the greenback on Wednesday. Bond markets were dull with little activity, dealers said.
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