Presents 39 awards and cash prizes worth Rs 2.45 million after competition covering speed, accuracy, efficiency, and safety
Six years after he began operating a Mega Gantry Quay Crane at the South Terminal of the Port of Colombo, Chathuranga Pushpakumara was adjudged the champion quay crane operator at Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT), winning the first competition of its kind in South Asia.
Pushpakumara, 29, from Attanagalla, Gampaha, was among 30 exceptionally-skilled quay crane operators recognised by CICT with 39 awards and cash prizes totalling Rs 2.45 million at the Company’s inaugural Quay Crane Championship Awards held recently.
The Championship Awards for Quay Crane operators was launched to commemorate the 150th anniversary of CICT’s parent company China Merchants Group (CMG) and is one of 150 competitions that will take place around the globe this year.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, CICT CEO Mr Jack Huang said: “Productivity and safety are the two core competitive advantages that CICT has over the other terminals in the region. Adherence to these aspects has made us one of the best terminals in Asia. On the other hand, our quay crane operators play a key role in the company’s productivity and safety aspects and therefore are pivotal to our success. We are delighted to be able to recognise and reward these skills in our employees through this latest championship awards which are aligned with CICT’s culture of appreciating best-performing employees.”
The CICT competition comprised of two rounds. While all 82 quay crane operators participated in the first round and were judged based on basic skills required to operate mega quay gantry cranes, 30 operators that qualified for the second round were judged based on advanced skills. Time, accuracy, efficiency, and safety while operating were the key criteria in both rounds.
Six quay crane operators who scored the highest in the second round of the competition were declared ‘QC Champion Stars’ and were felicitated with certificates, plaques, and cash prizes at the CICT Quay Crane Championship Awards ceremony. The QC Champion Stars included the grand prize Gold award winner of Rs 600,000, the two Silver award winners – Mr Akila Ushan and Mr Charith Sonal who were presented Rs 400,000 each, and the three Bronze award winners – Mr Asanka Lakruwan, Mr Dhanushka Ariyasena and Mr Dilan Jayanayaka who were presented Rs 200,000 each. The Champion Stars are all experienced quay crane operators, the Company said.
Additionally, three operators with less than three years of crane operating experience were presented ‘QC Shining Star’ awards. Mr Yojitha Bimal placed first in this category received a cash prize of Rs 200,000, while Mr Lahiru Jayawardana and Mr Chanaka Udayanga placed second and third were presented Rs 150,000 and Rs 100,000, respectively.
Meanwhile, the top 30 performers who qualified for the second round of the competition were also recognised with medals and certificates at the ceremony.
The awards ceremony was punctuated by colourful musical performances by a seven-person band from the talent pool of CICT. This is the first time that the Company showcased extra-curricular flair of its employees. The top performers were joined by their family members at the ceremony. All participants were treated to a special lunch following the awards presentation. The panel of judges for the first-ever quay crane operator competition consisted of senior mentors. The event is expected to be an annual feature in the CICT calendar, the Company said.
CICT manages the South Terminal of the Port of Colombo, the first and only operating deep-water terminal in South Asia, which is equipped with facilities to handle the largest vessels afloat. Since its inception in 2014, the terminal has incrementally grown the volume it has handled; from 686,639 teus in 2014, to just over 3.2 million teus in 2021.
CICT is the flagship overseas terminal of China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited (CMPort). CMPort is the largest and a globally-competitive public port developer, investor and operator in China with investments in Mainland China, Hong Kong and overseas. CMPort has a port network portfolio spanning 50 ports in 26 countries and regions. Guided by the vision “To be a world class comprehensive port service provider” and supported by its domestic, overseas and innovation strategies, CMPort strives to strengthen its core competencies in global throughput, port service and management.
Pan Asia Bank posts steady performance during FY 2023 –
Profit before Tax increases by 258% amidst external challenges
Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC reflected a steady performance amidst multitude of adversities emerging from challenging macro-economic conditions as the Bank reported its financial performance during 2023, which showed judicious portfolio management and prudency exercised in dealing with possible fallout on its asset quality in challenging times.
The Bank reported a Pre-tax Profit of Rs. 2,328 Mn for the year ended 31st December 2023, which is 258% increase compared to corresponding period last year, supported by improved net interest income, increased trading gains from government securities and reduced exchange losses.
The Sri Lankan economy has experienced some positive signs of gradual economic recovery and a measure of stability in macro-economic factors compared to the previous year, with the appreciation of LKR against USD and the IMF bailout followed by the Domestic Debt Optimization (DDO) announcement. The multiple economic scenario models used regarding collective impairment in 2022 were continued in 2023 to ensure that adequate buffers were in place to absorb any potential credit risk that could arise in the future. The allowance for overlays applied in previous year was continued and maintained during 2023 too. Meanwhile, the Bank managed to end the year with healthy credit quality matrices due to improved credit underwriting standards and concerted collection & recovery efforts despite the contraction in the loan book during 2023 which impacted the Bank’s Stage 3 Loan Ratio adversely.
Furthermore, the Bank increased impairment provision buffers held regarding investments in International Sovereign Bonds of Government of Sri Lanka (SLISBs) further during 2023 with the expectation of possible adverse outcomes of the on-going government External Debt Restructuring (EDR) programme. The Bank recognised an impairment charge of nearly Rs. 2 Bn regarding International Sovereign Bonds during 2023.
The interest income for the year 2023 rose by 39% due to the high interest rates that prevailed during the period under review compared to corresponding period of the last year and the re-pricing effect of facilities in response to the market conditions. Further, the growth in interest income was supported by the increased interest income from Rupee denominated securities of the Government of Sri Lanka (T-Bills & Bonds) due to increased investments and high interest rates offered on such new investments compared to the previous year. Consequently, the net interest income increased by 9% in 2023 compared to the last year. (Pan Asia Bank)
SLT-MOBITEL celebrates the season of love with exciting giveaways
SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT Solutions Provider, celebrated Valentine’s Day with a series of heartwarming promotions and networking activities, spreading love and joy for customers across the country.
Connecting hearts from all around the world on social media, SLT-MOBITEL invited participants to share their loving memories for a chance to win movie tickets. Customers were also given the opportunity to dedicate romantic ringing tones to their loved ones by dialling special codes.
As part of the Valentine’s Day celebrations, SLT-MOBITEL also offered a special promotion, providing a special screening for the glamorous movie ‘Sihinayeki Adarey’, powered by SLT-MOBITEL. Furthermore, customers were treated to a surprise bonus of 10GB of free data upon recharging their SLT-MOBITEL mobile numbers with Rs. 500 or more through any banking app.
Taking love to the hill country, in a special engagement event at the Kandy City Centre, fans were able to participate in activities and interact with the ‘Sihinayeki Adarey’ cast including Hemal Ranasinghe, Sheshadri Priyasad, and many others.
Through these exciting promotions, SLT-MOBITEL helped spread love and joy this season while enhancing the customer experience with exclusive activities.
To discover more of SLT-MOBITEL’s Valentine’s Day promotions, visit https://www.facebook.com/SLTMobitel.
Call for Proposals: Saman Kelegama Memorial Research Grant 2024
The Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) is inviting proposals for the Saman Kelegama Memorial Research Grant 2024. The grant is an annual, merit-based grant awarded to an outstanding undergraduate studying in a Sri Lankan university. It aims to promote policy entrepreneurs among undergraduates by encouraging policy-relevant, rigorous and innovative socio-economic research.
The grant was established in 2018 to honour Dr. Saman Kelegama’s legacy of independent research and public policy engagement in socio-economic development in Sri Lanka and the wider South Asian region. Dr. Kelegama was the Executive Director of the IPS from 1995 to 2017.
Fourth-year undergraduates studying economics or a related subject in a University Grants Commission approved university or higher education institution in Sri Lanka are eligible to apply. Proposals must be written according to the guidelines provided and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before the submission deadline of 30 April 2024.
HOW WILL THE WINNER BE CHOSEN? The quality of the proposals will be judged for its policy relevance, feasibility, originality and creativity. Three finalists will be chosen and invited to present their proposals at the IPS, where the award recipient will be selected.
OUTCOMES OF THE GRANTS – The recipient will be expected to produce a Policy Discussion Brief within six months of receiving the grant. The research report can be written individually or jointly with an IPS senior researcher.
BENEFITS OF THE GRANT – The beneficiary will be awarded a one-time research grant of LKR 200,000 to carry out the proposed research and a three-month internship at the IPS. The recipient will be able to seek guidance from senior researchers and benefit from IPS resources to complete the proposed study during the internship. To enable students from all over Sri Lanka to benefit from this opportunity, the terms of the internship will be flexible. The internship can either be a fully in-house internship at IPS, or it can be an in-house plus online internship. In the case of the second option, the in-house component of the internship should be at least six weeks. To encourage research dissemination, an additional subsidy will be provided for presenting the research findings at local conferences and workshops.
30 April 2024 – Deadline for Submission of Proposals
01 June 2024 – Announcement of Finalists
23 June 2024 – Announcement of the Winner
Further information is available at: https://www.ips.lk/saman-kelegama-memorial-research-grant/
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