Helping hand from Wild Life and Nature Protection Society
In 2020, Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) initiated Sri Lanka’s first-ever Life Insurance Policy for the employees of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC). The program which continues in its second year has so far provided Life, Permanent, and Partially Disability Cover to 2,670 DWC employees. The cover is for LKR 500,000 per incident and for an employee to be covered, the incident would have to occur during active duty of the DWC employee.
DWC is the foremost government body mandated to protect Sri Lanka’s natural heritage. It was established in 1949 with the vision of “Conservation of Wildlife Heritage for Present & Future Generations”. The DWC protects Sri Lanka’s flora and fauna across 62 Sanctuaries, 26 National Parks, nine Nature Reserves, and three Strict Nature Reserves.
WNPS was instrumental in the formation of the Department of Wildlife Conservation over 70 years ago and the WNPS continues to support the DWC in their mandated tasks for the common goal of protecting Sri Lanka’s rich biodiversity, a WNPS news release said.
The WNPS initiative made possible by the continued financial support from Mercantile Investments, Associated Electrical Corporation, Don Carolis, Capital Alliance, Eco maximus and individual donors, it added.
A never-ending battle to save Sri Lanka’s wildlife
With increasing agricultural expansions and new development projects being rolled out in wildlife areas, the Human Wildlife Conflict in Sri Lanka has escalated rapidly in recent years. Sri Lanka’s Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) is said to be the worst in the world with an elephant a day falling victim to HEC and over 80-90 humans losing their lives annually.
The field officers of the DWC carry out a thankless job on the front-lines, with some field-officers working 24 hour shifts and often putting their lives on the line during poaching raids. Tragically eight departmental officers have died and 54 have been involved in various accidents during the last five years of service.
“WNPS is deeply grateful for the challenging and selfless work, put in by these brave field officers and hopes the Life Insurance Scheme will offer strength and peace of mind during their daily work. The scheme is set to continue in the coming years and the WNPS is committed to supporting the DWC towards the common goal of protecting Sri Lanka’s precious biodiversity,” the release concluded.
Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review
by Sanath Nanayakkare
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy review on 20th January 2022, with all eyes on dwindling foreign reserves and foreign currency exchange in the country.
In this context, First Capital Research has named 7 factors of concern that could be taken into account at the upcoming monetary policy review. They are as follows.
* Foreign Reserves USD 3.1 billion – Dec 2021
* Inflation CCPI 12.1% – Dec 2021
* GDP Growth -1.5% – 3Q2021
* Private Credit LKR 60.5 billion – Nov 2021
* 03M T-Bill rate 8.38% as at 12.01.22
Liquidity and CBSL Holdings LKR -364.0 billion and LKR 1.42 trillion
Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BOP) USD -6.5 billion and USD -3.3 billion for Jan-Oct 21
First Capital Research’s Policy Rate Forecast – Jan 2022-Apr 2022 notes that they believe the CBSL may highly consider tightening the monetary policy rates in this policy review but given the concerns over economic growth, there is a probability of 40% for CBSL to maintain its policy stance at current levels.
“With high frequent indicators improving in line with expectations, we have eliminated any probability of a rate cut. We expect a continued increase in probability for a rate hike in order to prevent overheating of the economy amidst the given fiscal and monetary stimulus,” they said.
As per First Capital’s view, CBSL either can choose to hike policy rates by 50bps or 100bps or hold policy rates steady, while a rate cut is off the table due to the high debt repayment and the high domestic borrowing requirement.
First Capital believes that there is a 60% probability for a rate hike due to the remedial actions required in achieving external stability.
However, there is also a 40% probability to maintain the policy rates at its current level in order to further improve the high frequency indicators.30%, they noted.
Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets
Multichemi International Ltd, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of products under dash, one of Sri Lanka’s leading detergent and household care brands, has begun exporting its products to several international markets in Asia and Oceania, with plans also to enter Africa. The dash brand includes a wide range of products in car care, household care, home fragrances and laundry care sectors. Multichemi International Ltd, which has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification, is a Sri Lankan pioneer in environment-friendly cleaning products, having launched the country’s first biodegradable, safe cleaning products over 28 years ago.
Amila Wijesinghe, General Manager of the Company said,”Having conquered the domestic market, we are now ready to capture the international market. We are confident that our products which are of high quality will receive a good demand overseas as well. The feedback we have received so far from our overseas customers is extremely encouraging. We are dedicated to taking our products to the international market, to bring in foreign currency to the country and help uplift the economy”,
Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO
Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has announced the appointment of Janaka Abeysinghe as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from February 1, 2022.
The incumbent CEO Kiththi Perera will be overseas on leave for a period of two years to pursue higher studies, according to a stock market filing by the company.
Abeysinghe joined SLT in 1991. In his present role, he leads the enterprise and wholesale business of SLT that provides integrated voice and data solutions to enterprises, government institutions, domestic telco operators and global wholesale carriers.
In his career at SLT spanning 29 years, he has held a number of senior positions, including general manager Enterprise and International Sales and has extensive experience in the areas of Enterprise Digital Services, Enterprise Communications Solutions, Data Communications, Business Development, Domestic and International Switching Operations and Global Wholesale Voice & Data Business.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA and a BSc degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with a First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa.
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