ComBank pays tribute to history with restoration of Galle Fort branch in centenary year
History and nostalgia came to the fore when the Galle Fort branch of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon was reopened in its original location this week in one of the last events of the Bank’s 100th year.
The Bank’s chairman Dharma Dheerasinghe, Managing Director S. Renganathan, Chief Operating Officer Mr Sanath Manatunge and members of the corporate management graced the occasion when the early 19th century edifice at No 22, Church Street was formally declared open following a refurbishment that restored its colonial grandeur.
One of the oldest buildings owned by Commercial Bank and one of the oldest buildings in the southern province, this building is listed as being the property of a George Henry Boggar, who is recorded as its first owner. It was also once a hotel named ‘Old Mansion’ and was the home of the Galle branch of the Mercantile Bank of India (MBI) when in 1973, the Commercial Bank of Ceylon acquired three branches of MBI and came into possession of this heritage building.
The building’s refurbishment was carried out in consultation with the Galle Heritage Foundation and the Department of Archeology, preserving the old structure wherever possible.
Oil prices rise as Saudi Arabia pledges output cuts – Opec+
Oil-producing countries have agreed to continued cuts in production in a bid to shore up flagging prices.
Saudi Arabia said it would make cuts of a million barrels per day (bpd) in July and Opec+ said targets would drop by a further 1.4 million bpd from 2024.
Opec+ accounts for around 40% of the world’s crude oil and its decisions can have a major impact on oil prices.
In Asia trade on Monday, Brent crude oil rose by as much as 2.4% before settling at around $77 a barrel.
The seven hour-long meeting on Sunday of the oil-rich nations, led by Russia, came against a backdrop of falling energy prices.
Total production cuts, which Opec+ has undertaken since October 2022, reached 3.66 million bpd, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.
Opec+, a formulation which refers to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, had already agreed to cut production by two million bpd, about 2% of global demand.
Manpower services agency wins accolades for its contribution to foreign employment sector
Its MD says. ‘go abroad only if you can work hard’
Siraj Manpower Services, one of Sri Lanka’s leading foreign employment agencies, was honoured with the Three-Star Award at the ‘Golden Awards’ 2023, organised by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). This award ceremony was organised to honour foreign employment agencies that have made a significant contribution to the development of the foreign employment sector, which is a major source of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka. Siraj Cafoor, Managing Director of Siraj Manpower Services, was presented with the award at the award ceremony which was held at the BMICH in Colombo under the patronage of Minister of Foreign Employment and Labour Manusha Nanayakkara.
Having been established in 2002, Siraj Manpower Services (www.sirajmanpower.lk) has earned a reputation in the field of foreign employment by winning the trust of customers for more than 20 years. It has been offering job opportunities in the Middle East countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia as housekeepers, drivers, sanitation workers, labourers and also jobs related to the apparel industry. All these workers are entitled to approved salary scales certified by the SLBFE.
“We always stand for the safety of workers who go abroad through our organisation. We work to solve the problems that arise in relation to the contracts that the workers have entered into. I must mention something special to those who go abroad for employment. That is, you should keep in mind that you go abroad only to work. Go abroad only if you can work hard. You have to remember that you are going abroad to earn some more money and achieve the advancement of your family.” said Siraj Cafoor.
Direct flights between Istanbul and Katunayake to commence from August
A special discussion between Turkish Ambassador – Demet Sekercioglu and Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation – Nimal Siripala de Silva took place last week at the ministry office. The aim of the discussion was to seek authorization to commence direct flights from the Turkish Capital Istanbul to Katunayake, Sri Lanka. The Chief of Turkish Airlines’ South Asia Office Fathi Bozkurt was also present during the discussion.
Currently, Turkish Airlines connects with Sri Lanka through a route that includes a stopover in the Maldives, resulting in an additional travel time of one and a half hours. The delay caused by this routing is not favored by travelers, as emphasized by the Ambassador.
The Chief of Turkish Airlines requested for time and space to be allocated in order to initiate direct flights between Istanbul and Katunaike, thus providing convenience for Turkish tourists and travelers who prefer visit Sri Lanka.
The Minister announced that the request would be forwarded to the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka and the Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited. The aim is to establish direct flights between Istanbul and Katunayake starting from August this year.
Turkish Airlines, a renowned airline with a fleet of over 100 aircraft, offers flights connecting Europe’s Vancouver and New York. The Chief of Turkish Airlines said that the new service would not only benefit European travelers but also encourage them to travel to Sri Lanka.
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