By Ambassador Santhush Woonjin Jeong
Ayubowan, Vanakkam, Annyonghasimnikka (Korean greeting)
I am the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Sri Lanka, Santhush Woonjin Jeong.
14th November 2021 marks the 44th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties between Korea and Sri Lanka. I would like to celebrate the meaningful day together with Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan people. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1977, our relationship has been robust. Korea and Sri Lanka have many common factors such as similar geographical location and historical experiences that have contributed to a deeper mutual understanding. Based on this mutual understanding and trust, our two countries have been continuing to establish solid cooperation in various fields such as agriculture, fabrics, culture, automobile industry, labour cooperation and become key partners in the fields of economy, trade and investment.
Since my arrival as the Korean Ambassador to Sri Lanka last year, I have made numerous efforts to elevate our relations on multiple spheres including education, labour cooperation, public health cooperation, ODA support, trade relations, cultural development and environmental collaboration.
This year has been remarkable in the field of education. Thanks to the growing interest in Korean language among the Sri Lankan people, Korean language has been officially adopted as a foreign language in the advanced level curriculum from 2021 and students can sit for the Korean language examination in the university entrance examination by 2023. This progress has been well backed up by conducting an online capacity building programme for Korean language teachers in the advanced level classes.
Korean language education has led to more job creation. I am glad that the Korean government recently decided to resume the entry of new Sri Lankan workers and workers from other foreign countries to Korea very soon. 23,000 Sri Lankan workers are presently employed in Korea, contributing to the economic advancement of both countries. They have transmitted around $520 million to Sri Lanka in 2019. The Korean government applies the rule of ‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’ to all the workers, regardless of their nationality. The EPS centre in Colombo has contributed to the facilitation of migrant employment and promotes the bilateral labour relations.
Elon Musk launches profane attack on X advertisers
In a profanity-laced outburst, Elon Musk has slammed advertisers that have left X, warning they will kill the social media platform.
At an event in New York, he accused companies that have joined an ad boycott of the site formerly known as Twitter of trying to blackmail him.Some firms have paused advertising on X amid concerns over antisemitism, including a post from Musk himself.
“Go [expletive] yourself,” the billionaire said in an interview.
The Tesla and SpaceX boss apologised on Wednesday for that post, saying it might be the “dumbest” thing he has ever shared online.
But it was his response to a question about an advertising boycott by companies including Disney, Apple and Comcast that caused a stir at the gathering of leaders from the worlds of business, politics and culture. “I don’t want them to advertise,” Musk said at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit. “If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising or money go [expletive] yourself.
Go. [Expletive]. Yourself. Is that clear? Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience, that’s how I feel.”
He was apparently referring to Disney chief executive Bob Iger, who spoke at the summit earlier in the day.
In the room with Musk was Linda Yaccarino, X’s chief executive, who has been charged with trying to bring back advertisers to the platform.Musk also said that advertisers could kill X. “What this advertising boycott is going to do is it’s going to kill the company,” he said. “The whole world will know those advertisers killed the company, and we will document it in great detail,” he added.
Ms Yaccarino has since reposted what she called his “candid interview”, adding her perspective on advertising that “X is standing at a unique and amazing intersection of Free Speech and Main Street — and the X community is powerful and is here to welcome you”.
Musk has been on a visit to Israel after he last month appeared to personally back an antisemitic conspiracy theory. “I’m sorry for that tweet… it might be literally the worst and dumbest post that I’ve ever done,” he said on Wednesday. The boycott isn’t just to do with that post, though.
Many advertisers had already decided to spend their dollars elsewhere.
ILO together with EFC launches pilot project to address employee grievances at the workplace
Five companies volunteer to participate in the project
By Sanath Nanayakkare
Grievance handling in Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to the process by which employee complaints, concerns, or disputes are formally addressed and resolved. The goal is to provide a structured channel for employees to express their concerns or report issues they are facing in the workplace for the benefit of the company, the management and the employees.
True to those values, the International Labour Organization (ILO) recently invited the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) to initiate a pilot project to launch Grievance Handling Guidelines that were formulated through several workshops conducted in 2019 in consultation with ILO constituents.
Giriulla Mills Ltd, HNB Assurance Ltd, HNB General Insurance Ltd, Cambio Software Engineering and Taj Bentota Resort and Spa, volunteered to participate in this project. They represented the manufacturing, finance, IT, and hospitality sectors respectively. The pilot project was formally launched on 20th September 2022.
EFC’s team of trainers visited these selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management to gain insights into their existing employee grievance handling systems.
They also gathered feedback from employees to assess their satisfaction with present grievance mechanisms. Based on the findings, EFC team developed customised grievance handling policies aligned with each organisation’s culture and specific requirements of each company to ensure practical implementation of the same.
All these grievance policies were designed in adherence to the Guidelines on Grievance Handling which were established for Sri Lanka in 2019 through workshops conducted by the ILO.
Following the development of these policies, four training sessions were conducted for the management teams of the participating companies. During these training sessions, the policies were presented in detail. The sessions also aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes employee grievances, the importance of addressing them promptly and the potential consequences if grievances are left unattended.
In addition to policy dissemination, the training sessions also focused on equipping managers with the necessary skills to effectively handle employee grievances. This included discussions on communication strategies, conflict resolution techniques, and the importance of empathy and active listening when addressing employee concerns.
Fitch expects SL to report broadly improved banking sector results in 2024
Fitch Ratings expects greater divergence in the performance of banking sectors in Asia Pacific (APAC) in 2024, with five countries set to report broadly improving results and three to see deterioration. These outlooks stand in contrast to those leading into 2023, when we projected a broadly stable performance for the vast majority of APAC banking sectors, with only our outlook on Sri Lanka judged to be deteriorating at that time.
The difference in outlooks is particularly marked between banking sectors in APAC emerging markets (EM) and developed markets (DM). All five of the countries where we expect an improving performance are EMs: India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. By contrast, we expect a deteriorating performance in the DMs of Australia and New Zealand, with China the only EM where the outlook is deteriorating.
Banking sector outlooks among many APAC EMs are generally supported by our robust economic growth projections. Growth should buoy loan demand and limit
the potential adverse effects on asset quality from interest rates, which we believe have largely peaked across the region. The markets where our (relatively short-term) sector outlooks are improving align well with our view on (longer-term) bank operating environment scores, which are positive in Indonesia and Vietnam, while the score on India was raised in 2023.
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