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Lakpahana – From our hands to yours for over 48 years

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‘Lakpahana’ is a store located in Colombo 07, across from the Colombo Race Course that owes its identity to the ambition of its founder Deshamanya Mrs. Siva Obeyesekere. Starting out as a store depicting rich cultural arts and crafts, it preserves skillfully and elegantly designed handicrafts. Lakpahana has a wide variety of hand made products that are 100% Sri Lankan. It gives the rural Sri Lankan craftsman the opportunity to market their products locally and abroad.

Today with the change in social, trends, handicrafts have taken on a new dimension, they are now not only artifacts of beauty but are utilitarian objects absorbed into modern day living. Most handicrafts use traditional motifs, colours and designs for decoration. The demands for new designs for the existing range of handicrafts and complete new innovations adopting traditional techniques and motifs are constantly increasing. The craftspeople of ‘Lakpahana’ make crafts preserving the aesthetic grace of age old traditional handicrafts and absorb new thoughts and ideas to cater to the modern market. They strike a balance between tradition and modern day trends by combining two or more materials, finding new uses for existing handicrafts and by introducing modern art in the way of colours, motifs and techniques.

Finding new utility value for traditional crafts or by adding value to the existing range these crafts have been transformed into articles for modern day living use.

Recommended by Trip Advisor, a member of the World Craft Council and with many UNESCO Excellence Awards for its crafts, Lakpahana truly is representative of Sri Lanka’s rich craft heritage.

 

Wooden Items

The wooden containers with decorative lacquer work, which earlier was a thing of ornamentation, has now been converted into an item for packaging tea, coffee, spices and various other items. Traditional lacquer work is an intricate process of painting with the finger nail or thumb nail, it is aptly called ‘niyapothu vada’ (finger nail work) and hails from the Matale district of Hapuvida in South Matale.

In recent times modern, lighter shades are combined with modern form of art. A good example, is the mats made of reed and rush woven with the traditional motifs named ‘Makara’ (a mythical animal), ‘Sinha’ (Lion), ‘Hansa’ (Swan), elephant and lotus used along with the bright colours of red, yellow, black and green as well as conventional stripes and circles.

 

Dumbara Mats

Dumbara a picturesque & fertile valley is to the north of Kandy at the foot of the ‘Hunnasgiri Hill’ has been the home of traditional ‘Dumbara’ mat weavers who for ages have practiced the art of mat weaving, using hana (hemp). The hana plant (Agave Sisalana) growing wild in the Dumbara valley provides the raw material for mat weaving. In addition to the traditional colourful mats. Dumbara craftsmen also make cushion covers, hand bags, shopping bags, letter and shoe holders, fans, screens, table mats, coasters, file and book covers, purses and other products to meet the demands of contemporary society.

Amongst the wide range of traditional handicrafts are masks, lacquer work, silverware, pewter, silver jewellery, brass work, handloom textiles, lace embroidery items, educational toys, coir rugs and mats, bamboo items, paper pulp and elephant dung items, coconut husk items and hand sewn hankies.

Therefore LAKPAHANA is a store waiting to be discovered especially for these looking for a special memento that has a Sri Lankan identity.

Searching for the most delicious and freshly made traditional treats? Head over to Lakpahana and indulge. Choosing from a variety of items such as stuffed veralu, coconut toffee, kalu dodol, cadju puhul, narang kavum and unduwel. The items are made fresh on a daily basis. Everyday favourites such as murukku, macaroons, marshmallows, aasmi, kokis, kavum and mung kavum are available in addition to neatly wrapped packages of love cake, bibikkan and jaggery cake. Lunu dehi as is a popularly known, is an integral part of Sri Lankan cuisine and even culture. These are just perfect for the festive season or even as a gift. Cake orders can be placed too. Sugar and jaggery alpal, tala bola, coconut and milk toffees stock the shelves in addition to the other yummy treats. Lakpahana also has freshly prepared lamprais for lunch every day. Other items available at Lakpahana include jars of bees’ honey (50ml/100ml), lime pickle, seeni sambol and dried fish pachade.

Lakpahana is open from 9.30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sundays & Holidays.



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Pan Asia Bank posts steady performance during FY 2023 –

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Aravinda Perera- Chairman & Naleen Edirisinghe - Director CEO of Pan Asia Bank

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)

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SLT-MOBITEL celebrates the season of love with exciting giveaways

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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.

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Call for Proposals: Saman Kelegama Memorial Research Grant 2024

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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 tharakam@ips.lk 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.

Important Dates

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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