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‘Miracle on the Kelani River happening very soon’

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Congratulatory Message by ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Sri Lanka

I am the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Sri Lanka, Santhush Woonjin JEONG.

Congratulations on Sri Lanka’s Independence Day! As ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Sri Lanka, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations on the 73 years of independence and to convey the best wishes for the welfare and everlasting prosperity to the people of Sri Lanka. I hope that the relations of friendship and cooperation between our two countries, which have strengthened year after year, continue to be strengthened to provide greater happiness to the people of both nations. The Republic of Korea celebrates together with you!

Sri Lanka commemorates the country’s peaceful path to independence 73 years ago.  While Korea and Sri Lanka had to overcome many hardships in the past, both countries have bounced back with vigour. Our two nations and people are examples of the resilience, steadfastness and hope even in the most difficult circumstances. Since the establishment of the diplomatic relations in 1977, Korea and Sri Lanka have come a long way together to form a cordial bilateral partnership. Korea and Sri Lanka have been truly good friends to each other on a whole range of issues, sharing common goals. It is my firm belief the common historical experiences shared by the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka have further brought our nations together. Korea-Sri Lanka relations have made great strides in recent years and have become multidimensional, spurred by a significant convergence of interests, mutual goodwill and high level exchanges.

Today, Sri Lanka has the potential to become the next economic powerhouse in Asia. The strategic location, rich natural and human resources of Sri Lanka are complementary with the state of the art technology and capital available in Korea. This combination creates the perfect synergies for our two countries to further the potential for businesses. Korea’s economic miracle, so called ‘The Miracle on Han River’ is a story of overcoming many hardships by the Korean people that led to the national development from poverty to prosperity. I believe that Sri Lanka will also be developed to “the Miracle on Kelani River” in the near future. Korea is the very country that can help Sri Lanka achieve its goal. Our relations have widened on multiple spheres in which development cooperation is of utmost importance. Sri Lanka is one of Korea’s principle ODA cooperation partners. The Sri Lanka office of KOICA has continued to assist and fund commercial and infrastructure projects of Sri Lanka, thus augmenting the development of Sri Lanka. Korea has been promoting projects in the various fields such as education, transportation, water resources, sanitation and regional development in Sri Lanka. As a reliable friend, Korea is a trustworthy partner of Sri Lanka to meet the current needs of national development. With these as a momentum, the bilateral ties are expected to widen and deepen further in coming years.

The engagement in labour cooperation has also been commendable in recent years. 23,000 Sri Lankan employees are presently in Korea. Around 520 million US dollars were transmitted by them from Korea to Sri Lanka in 2019. They greatly contribute to the economic advancement of both countries. Since COVID-19, the process of departure to Korea for employment has been suspended. However, last September I invited the first batch of Sri Lankan migrant workers who were going to the Republic of Korea post COVID-19 to express my appreciation for their contribution to uplift the economies of both countries.

Furthermore the cultural ties between Korea and Sri Lanka have also deepened in the recent years. The Korea Week 2020 organized by the Embassy on virtual platforms provided various cultural events including a Korean language speech competition which was held in December last year, discussions on K-wave, a Taekwondo competition etc. Riding this momentum, the embassy has organized various cultural events in the recent past and I must say that we are truly gratified and heartened to witness the enthusiastic response of the Sri Lankans, especially the youth, to these events.

Now the world struggles to confront the challenges presented by COVID-19, and I would like to commend our continuing close collaboration to protect our people and defeat this pandemic together. Also we have strengthened the public health cooperation between our countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the “stay strong” campaign, on December 8, 2020, the government of the Republic of Korea donated COVID-19 diagnostic kits amounting to the sum of USD 300,000 to contain and control COVID-19. The Korean embassy donated re-usable fabric masks to Sri Lanka Army, Police who have dedicated themselves to protecting people in Sri Lanka including Korean residents amid, COVID-19. These re-usable masks were manufactured by a Sri Lankan social enterprise which empowers women. The Republic of Korea will stand in solidarity with Sri Lanka to successfully combat the battle against COVID-19.

Korea will continue to be with Sri Lanka as friend. While our level of cooperation today is unprecedented, there is always more progress to be made. As the ambassador of the Republic of Korea like the meaning of my Sri Lankan name “Santhush”, I would really like to carry happiness to Sri Lanka. I love Sri Lanka. I love Sri Lankan people. I will closely work with all of you to achieve our common goals. I wish all our Sri Lankan friends a very happy and memorable Independence Day.!

Let’s stay strong together!



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HNB joins CBSL to promote ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign in Kandy

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HNB PLC once again joined the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to promote the ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign to raise awareness and encourage the public in the Kandy district towards a cashless payment ecosystem.

HNB, together with other financial institutions and telecommunication partners, participated in the day-long event held at the Kandy City Center. The bank raised awareness regarding its LANKAQR integrated HNB SOLO payment app while onboarding merchants during the promotional campaign.

“During the early stages of the pandemic we witnessed many of our customers and members of the public seamlessly adopt our cashless and contactless payment app HNB SOLO. With COVID and the subsequent launch of the ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign the number of users of these types of systems have increased exponentially.

“Given that the mutual vision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and HNB is for a financially and technologically empowered Sri Lanka, HNB is proud to serve as an enthusiastic partner to roll out LANKAQR island-wide. The fact that we now have merchants in the cultural capital of Sri Lanka making this shift is another major milestone in this digitalization journey,” HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne said.

 

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ComBank’s ATM network sets new records for cash dispensed during festive season

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The automated teller machine (ATM) network of Commercial Bank of Ceylon dispensed a record Rs 8.818 billion on 9th and 10th April 2021, shattering the previous records for the highest and second highest cash disbursements for a 24-hour period, as Sri Lanka’s leading private bank facilitated the celebration of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

The disbursements of Rs 4.498 billion on April 9 and Rs 4.320 billion on the following day represented a substantial increase over the single-day values recorded in previous years.

In total, Commercial Bank dispensed Rs 41.748 billion via its ATM network between 1st and 15th April 2021 at an average of Rs 2.783 billion per day, reaffirming the indispensable role it plays in the lives of Sri Lankans, as well as the reliability and robustness of the network. On seven of these 15 days the network dispensed more than Rs 2 billion a day, and on five days disbursements exceeded Rs 3 billion a day, the Bank said.

Comprising of 890 ATMs, the network processed 2.434 million transactions over the 15 days at an average of 168,988 transactions a day, while on 9th April, the number of transactions processed totalled 233,990 at an average of 9,749 transactions per hour or 162 transactions per minute.

The first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 10 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches in Sri Lanka. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.

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‘Ceylinco VIP Cyber Tharu’ to showcase Sri Lankan talent

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Ceylinco General Insurance has announced an online competition with a novel concept to showcase Sri Lankan talent by providing a platform for them with the opportunity to win handsome cash prizes.

“This time, our effort is to organize an online competition that provides an opportunity for Sri Lankan people to display their talent and also to identify hidden talents whilst rewarding them. There will be five overall winners whose prize money will be over Rs. 1 million and each category winner will get Rs 100,000/-. Ten randomly picked voters too will receive handsome cash awards,” said Patrick Alwis, chairman CEO of Ceylinco General Insurance.

The guidelines and the criteria of the competition were announced recently through a dedicated website and other social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, twitter, You Tube as well as LinkedIn. Contestants can perform under five categories, namely, singing, dancing, instrumental performances, fashion modelling and funny videos / Standup comedy. Individuals over 18 years could perform under the individual category whilst the group category will have no age limit.

Under the group category either families or a group of friends could take part. Each entry will have to be specially recorded for this competition. Prior to recording the performance, they should download the image of the logo and have it displayed prominently in the background. Performances could be recorded using a smart phone or a video cam.

 

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