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‘Ceylon Holistic’ revolutionising Holistic Health Care in Sri Lanka



Ceylon Holistic is a pioneering digital healthcare platform, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka with a prime focus on Holistic Medical Systems such as Ayurveda, Traditional medicine, Siddha, Yunani and much more!

Born out of the COVID-19 pandemic, this digital clinic system was established to safely bridge the sudden disconnect caused between medical professionals and patients – especially those suffering from non-communicable diseases and the elderly who, as a high-risk group to the virus, couldn’t reach hospitals to continue their regular treatments. Ceylon Holistic is supported both technically and financially through HackaDev – the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka’s flagship youth and innovation programme which empowers Sri Lanka’s youth to be more innovative and entrepreneurial and take leadership in solving the most pressing development challenges in a sustainable manner, by providing them with opportunities and the necessary next-generation skills.

The HackaDev Enterprise Support Programme (HESP) is an initiative that is aimed at rebuilding enterprises and empowering entrepreneurs of the HackaDev alumni network affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the first cohort successfully implemented in 2020/21, it provided 06-months of comprehensive further development support to 15 enterprises. Curve Up was entrusted as the expert service provider to manage the seed funding and incubation support process of the HESP interventions, who were successful in providing necessary support and hands on guidance to entrepreneurs in their journey, contributing to the successful completion of the programme.

With a vision to promote holistic wellness – inclusive of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing – and to contribute towards building a healthier future, Ceylon Holistic provides a wide range of telehealth services including 24×7 e-Channeling, virtual consultations and medical advice, an online pharmacy, and personalised medicine deliveries. Apart from serving as a safe system amidst the pandemic, Ceylon Holistic is also a space for the integration of various medical systems primarily focused on promoting holistic wellbeing and creating awareness around the same!

“Holistic wellbeing has taken the centre stage amidst the pandemic as more people shift towards living balanced and healthier lives. People are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of cultivating wellness in every area of life – be it physical, emotional, mental, spiritual or social, and our brand has been able to create a crucial impact in this regard. We believe that Ceylon Holistic is creating a safe environment for people, connecting them to relevant health professionals at this critical period of the pandemic. Our platform is addressing the dire needs of the Sri Lankan community while also helping flatten the COVID-19 curve,” stated Dr. Umesha Withanachchi, Founder and CEO of Ceylon Holistic.

Commenting on the initiative, Ms. Kithmini Nissanka, Knowledge Management and Reporting Associate, Policy and Engagement Team, UNDP in Sri Lanka stated: “UNDP, through its HackaDev programme, is happy to have supported Ceylon Holistic in its journey towards creating a virtual medical consultation platform which aims to carry Sri Lanka’s traditional medicine and healthcare system into the digital age. While congratulating Dr. Umesha and her team on their successful entrepreneurial journey, HackaDev continues to support young people and their innovations like Ceylon Holistic, towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while promoting social innovation and entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka.”

Ceylon Holistic’s significant role as an impactful social enterprise also extends to Sri Lanka’s wellness tourism sector which faced several setbacks due to the pandemic. As Ayurvedic retreats lost continuity and medical professionals in tourism-related fields lost the platforms to connect with their patients, Ceylon Holistic took it upon itself to facilitate the necessary pathways for local and international practitioners alike – where they would be entitled to: the telemed facility to connect with patients; an expanded patient base apart from regular hospital/ private dispensary patients; a space to maintain the medical histories of patients; and a blog to publish articles and research.

In the hope of making knowledge more accessible and to encourage people to adapt to healthier lifestyles, Ceylon Holistic is highly committed to being an informative digital platform where one can find invaluable information, resources and awareness programmes from a combination of integrative medical systems. It also seeks to expand its global footprint by opening up its platform to holistic medical practitioners around the world, giving locals the opportunity to experience exotic therapies while also allowing foreign nationals to reach out to indigenous medical practitioners in Sri Lanka.

Ceylon Holistic is making great strides in empowering the health care system in Sri Lanka and is continually striving for a healthier future. Its ultimate goal is to help people make the shift towards a holistic lifestyle, which in the long term will play a significant role in preventing non-communicable diseases.

UNDP in Sri Lanka, together with its partners, are committed to empower young entrepreneurs through concrete and sustainable action, and looks forward to supporting many such HackaDev Alumni entrepreneurs in the coming years, to emerge from the significant socio-economic effects from the pandemic and build forward better.

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Technical Certificates of Completion for 64 out of 74 plots of Port City Colombo SEZ



Technical Certificates of Completion for 64 out of 74 plots of the Port City Colombo SEZ have been received by the Commission, a Colombo Port City Economic Commission semi-annual progress report for FY 2022 notes.

A press release by the Commssion said: ‘The Colombo Port City Economic Commission (the Commission), the Single Window Investment Facilitator authorised to assist investors, businesses, and residents in conducting their activities seamlessly and efficiently in Port City Colombo, is pleased to release its semi-annual progress report for FY 2022 from July to December 2022.

‘The Port City Colombo Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is designed to be a prestigious, strategically located city in the heart of South Asia, with sustainable high-quality public spaces and infrastructure, providing top-quality commercial, entertainment, medical, education and lifestyle. International destinations such as DIFC, DMCC, Labuan, Singapore, and Mauritius were studied for their regulatory frameworks, fiscal incentives, and operational efficiency to identify the most competitive processes and policies for Port City Colombo. The benchmarking study was done by global consultants such as Boston Consulting Group, PwC, KPMG, EY, Pinsent Masons, Zico Law, JLL, etc., for the SEZ’s thrust sectors, supported by market feedback on both fiscal and non-fiscal parameters.

‘Port City Colombo SEZ Regulations for the registration, licensing, authorisation and other approvals of Authorised Persons, were published by extraordinary gazette in September 2022, bearing number 2299/46. The SEZ’s Regulations for the registration and licensing of Authorised Person Fees, were also gazetted in September 2022, bearing number 2299/47. The registration of offshore company regulations were gazetted in the month of November 2022, bearing number 2306/54.

‘Agreements have been signed between the Commission and the Registrar General of Companies and Controller General of Immigration and Emigration in order to streamline services offered to Authorised Persons.

‘Sectoral Progress Highlights:

Banking – The Minister of Finance issued licences under the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act to four (4) banks during the first half of 2022. The Commission has since received requests from three (3) more banks during 2022. Additionally, 10 Financial and Banking Regulations were also drafted under Sections 44 and Sections 45 of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act No. 11 of 2021 and are awaiting review with the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka.

Security – The Sri Lanka Police opened a Post on-site for visitor protection, with water access control and lifeguard services being handed to the Sri Lanka Navy. CCTV networks were also installed in public areas.

Social Infrastructure – In addition to an internationally-reputed hospital and school, the Commission has identified the need for a world-class university within Port City Colombo and modified the Master Plan accordingly.

Commercial Infrastructure – With the retail mall infrastructure complete, the commencement of the interior work has begun. The mall will showcase premium merchandise, with an array of cuisine options and entertainment, and is set to commence operations by Q2 of 2023.

Immigration and Visa Arrangements – In collaboration with the Department of Immigration and Emigration, the Commission has introduced three (3) new visa categories for Port City Colombo. These 3 visa categories are – the Investor visa for ten (10) years, the Employment visa for up to five (5) years, and the Resident visa for five (5) years. Port City Colombo visas allow supplementary benefits, such as visas for the spouse, kids, and other support staff members, which can be obtained under the primary visa applicant. The visa fee is USD 200 per year for each applicant. Visas are renewable as required and applicable only to Foreign Investors.

Master Plan Implementation – A planning committee consisting of key stakeholders was created to expedite the approval of building plans submitted under the Development Control Regulations (DCRs) for each plot of the Port City Colombo SEZ. The DCRs provide a clear framework for the development of buildings, land use, green spaces, utility networks, and sustainability measures, among other factors.

Preliminary designs for the Marina Development and Villa Project have been submitted by two investors, with several more plots in the final stages of discussion for lease.

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New wealth tax proposals exert negative impact on shares



By Hiran H. Senewiratne

CSE trading activities yesterday were somewhat negative because investors were worried about the impact of the IMF-inspired new wealth tax proposals on citizens, market analysts said.

Apart from profit- takings, the effects of the new direct tax system on citizens created some confusion for stock market investors, analysts said. This was also highlighted by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament yesterday.

Amid those developments both indices moved downward. The All Share Price Index went down by 77.4 points and S and P SL-20 declined by 24.6 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.5 billion with one crossing. The crossing was reported in First Capital Holdings, which crossed one million shares to the tune of Rs 33 million; its shares traded at Rs 33.

In the retail market, top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; SLT Rs 428 million (4 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 115 million (651,000 shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 98.7 million (716000 shares traded), Lanka Hospitals Rs 57.2 million (440,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 51million (7.5 million shares traded), Capital Alliance Rs 50.40 million (1.5 million shares traded) and First Capital Treasuries Rs 46.2 million (two million shares traded). During the day 69.9 million shares volumes changed hands in 21000 transactions.

Yesterday the rupee appreciated against the US dollar. The buying rate was Rs 312.61 and the selling rate Rs 330.16. Further, the price of gold also reduced due to the rupee appreciation.

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Dialog, Sri Lanka Air Force & EWIS provides digital education to Ravaneswaran Tamil School, Trincomalee



Dialog Axiata PLC recently joined hands with the Sri Lanka Air Force and E-W Information Systems Ltd to re-furbish the computer laboratory of the Ravaneswaran Tamil School in Kanniya, Trincomalee and upgraded the facility with digital educational tools and equipment. This worthy cause was initiated and directed by the Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) and the Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC.

Dialog provided Magicbit Pro units with full pluggable and sensor modules to explore creativity with technology. Magicbit is an innovation platform and a STEM tool made for Internet of Things (loT), Robotics, Electronics and Programming. Dialog, furthermore, provided Nenasa TV facility and a pledged support for fully paid student broadband facility. Nenasa TV is a Public-Private-Partnership with the Ministry of Education; an initiative to support grade 1 to 13 students through eight dedicated TV channels in Sinhalese and Tamil. The content aired on each channel is provided and strictly monitored by the Ministry of Education.

The Sri Lanka Air Force in China Bay swiftly provided the labour for all civil work and assisted in repairing computers which needed attention, in a span of a few days. E-W Information Systems Ltd provided brand new desktop computers and sourced some of the hardware required to restore the remaining machines, together with Dialog.

Thamotharampillai Sivanantham, Principal of Ravaneswaran Tamil School, expressed his views on this occasion “Our children had an IT laboratory, but with hardly any usable equipment. Still one of our students won the Regional ICT award in 2022. I am very positive our students will fully benefit from the new ICT equipment and internet services. Additionally, our facility was beautifully restored in just a few days. On behalf of the school administration, parents & students I would like to thank Dialog, Sri Lanka Airforce and EWIS for coming together and providing us this service”.

The students and the school administration were overwhelmed by this generosity, a need for many years. Dialog also offered teacher-student training in the use of the technology and will continue to provide service and support on connectivity and together with the SLAF and EWIS would continue to monitor the progress achieved by the school through the provided technology and pledged further assistance in time. This worthy cause was executed parallel to the 10th edition of the Commanders’ Cup golf tournament in Trincomalee, which was sponsored by Dialog Enterprise.

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