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CICT rewards its champions at South Asia’s first quay crane operators’ competition

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CICT's quay crane operators honoured at the awards event with their mentors.

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.



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OKLO adds new feature to Ceylon Tea SmartAuction platform

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OKLO Private Limited, a leading Sri Lankan solutions provider for the Ceylon Tea e-Auction platform, recently added an all-new segment for factories in its SmartAuction platform. This new feature provides over 650 factories with the chance to value and grade teas within the system, printing final catalogues, real-time and post-sales reports, and viewing their tea variants being auctioned live. For the first time, a live auction participation option has been instigated for all stakeholders and factories in the country’s 150 years of auctioning history. The availability of this platform would now allow the tea-producing community to benefit from newly added or enhanced functionalities similar to other stakeholders.

With tea being the most significant commodity to be auctioned in Sri Lanka, it is also one of the most significant contributors to the local economy. As Ceylon Tea has already garnered a worldwide name, the branding has enabled Sri Lanka to be placed on the map as an influential tea-producing entity. At the same time, this functionality can also be utilised by other organisations that market commodities such as rubber, spices and coconut. Being present via an e-Auction paves the way for more competition among buyers and sellers.

Regarding the inclusion of their new feature, OKLO Private Limited, Managing Director – Thilanka Withanage stated, “Since the Colombo Tea e-Auction went live on the OKLO SmartAuction platform, the team has been releasing advanced features and functionalities to all stakeholders. With the release of the latest version, all Sri Lankan tea factories can now have complete access to the platform, similar to all other stakeholders. Our objective is to maintain consistency in the face of tech innovation and uplift our nation’s ascent in the digital realm. We will continue utilising our nation’s talents and build cutting-edge, practical, impactful products that will set innovative strides.”

Sri Lanka Tea Factory Owners Association, Vice Chairman – Pasindu Pieris shared his views on the newly enhanced platform. He said, “This state-of-the-art solution from OKLO provided to the tea sector amalgamates all aspects related to dispatching tea from the factory to the point where it is sold at the auction through competitive bidding. Now, we can see our tea variants being sold at the auction right from our factory premises. The platform offers transparency and traceability while improving efficiency throughout the supply chain.”

OKLO is a Sri Lankan Technology Solutions Provider with current solution offerings in the Travel and Trading sectors. It was founded in 2011 and has been expanded to become one of the key players in the Travel IT sector, catering to some of the largest blue-chip companies such as Walkers Tours, Cinnamon Hotels, Jetwing Travels etc.For more information, email info@okloworld.com, call +94777320383, or visit www.okloworld.com.

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CSE trading marked by ‘a degree of sluggishness’; main indices decline

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE trading activities reflected a degree of sluggishness yesterday as most stock market investors are adopting a wait- and- see approach due to ongoing IMF discussions on bailing out the Sri Lankan economy, coupled with issues that surfaced in the coal purchase agreement between the Browns Group and a Chinese company relating to coal power generation, stock analysts said.

Amid those developments both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 31.8 points and the S and P SL20 declined by 19.1 points. Turnover stood at Rs 3 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in JKH, which crossed 150,000 shares to the tune of Rs 21.5 million with its shares trading at Rs 143 and CIC Holdings 241,000 shares crossed for Rs 20.5 million; its shares traded at Rs 85.

In the retail market top six companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Lanka IOC Rs 394 million (1.4 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 237 million (one million shares traded), Richard Pieris Rs 146 million (4.4 million shares traded), ACL Cables Rs 138 million (1.3 million shares traded), JKH Rs 129 million (910,000 shares traded) and First Capital Holdings Rs 112 million (7.2 million shares traded). During the day 150 million share volumes changed hands in 30000 transactions.It is said that high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Expolanka Holdings, Sunshine Holdings and Lankem Developments.

Mixed interest was observed in Lanka IOC, ACL Cables and Royal Ceramics, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments. The Capital Goods sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to ACL Cables and Royal Ceramics), while the sector index gained 1.23 per cent. The share price of ACL Cables moved up by Rs. 6 (5.69 per cent) to close at Rs. 111.50. The share price of Royal Ceramics recorded a gain of Rs. 1.70 (4.10 per cent) to close at Rs. 43.20.

The Food, Beverage and Tobacco sector was the second highest contributor to market turnover (due to Lankem Developments), while the sector index increased by 1.07 per cent. The share price of Lankem Developments appreciated by Rs. 1.50 (4.12 per cent) to close at Rs. 37.90.

Expolanka Holdings and Lanka IOC were also included among the top turnover contributors. The share price of Expolanka Holdings decreased by Rs. 2.25 (0.99 per cent) to close at Rs. 224.25. The share price of Lanka IOC closed flat at Rs. 290.50.Yesterday the Central Bank- announced US dollar buying rate was Rs 359.18 and selling rate Rs 369.93.

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Airtel Lanka records 1.7mn customers switch to Freedom Packs

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One year after the launch of Airtel Lanka’s industry-disrupting prepaid packs ‘Freedom’, the company announced a staggering 1.7 million users have switched to Airtel Freedom, as at the end of August 2022.

“We serve around three million customers in Sri Lanka, aided mainly by this unprecedented adoption of our Freedom packs. The overwhelming customer endorsement reaffirms our strategy of bringing simplicity and value through our products.” notes Airtel Lanka Managing Director/CEO Ashish Chandra.

Powered by Airtel’s world-class 5G-ready mobile broadband network, the telco has reimagined the overall offering and experience for customers, with a strong focus on ensuring value for money, and an advanced network experience. These factors undoubtedly resonate with most users, who are either data-heavy or call-heavy users.

Airtel Lanka’s initial innovation in facilitating unlimited, affordable access to the internet through Freedom Packs continued to evolve, with the telco introducing new world-class features to both its prepaid Freedom Packs and postpaid Freedom Plans

Airtel also disrupted the local telco market with the entrance of the Freedom Unlimited Rs.749 package, which is aimed at prepaid users. For a very affordable cost, users can now make unlimited calls to any network, with unlimited access to favourite social media platforms such as Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and stream superior quality videos on YouTube for 30 days in addition to receiving additional 30GB anytime date.

Airtel was also the first telco to introduce unlimited calls for any network for a postpaid customer through Unlimited 1098. Priced at Rs. 1,098, an Airtel user has access to unlimited calls to any network, 40GB anytime data and SMS facilities. Additionally, Airtel is also the only telco to offer data rollover service for postpaid customers, allowing up to 200GB to be carried onto the next month’s billing cycle, saving data and expenses for the end-consumer.

Airtel Lanka has been part of implementing many industry-firsts in Sri Lanka’s telco space, and was also the first to introduce unlimited calls in Sri Lanka, on calls made to the same network. With the launch of Airtel Freedom, the company offers its users the ultimate convenience for all their voice, SMS and data needs, offering even greater savings compared to the competition. With the introduction of Unlimited, Airtel Lanka undoubtedly serves as a clear trendsetter for the country’s telecommunications industry.

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