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More than 80% of vaccinated apparel sector workforce heads back to work



JAAF reassures workers about safety and protective working conditions

The Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) has reassured workers about safety and protective working conditions in their factories, and more than 80% of their workforce – the vaccinated members of the personnel – have returned to work, a press statement issued by JAAF said, yesterday.

The government has taken into consideration the measures implemented by the industry in mitigating the risk of transmission of Covid-19 including the Delta variant.

Following are some excerpts from JAAF’s press statement.

“The concerns being expressed about worker safety in the apparel industry are understandable and are shared by The Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) and its membership. The entire apparel industry is doing everything in its power to address these concerns by working in close consultation with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and other public authorities, in order to ensure that all possible measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of employees.”

“With the support of Minister Namal Rajapaksa, assistance by public health authorities and the Sri Lankan Army, 90% of workers have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and over 50% have received their second dose. Specifically in the BOI-operated facilities – which accounts for approximately 90% of the total workforce – more than 70% of employees have received their second dose. In the coming weeks, the entire apparel industry workforce will be completely vaccinated.”

“Workers are screened for any symptoms before they are allowed to enter factory premises. Factories ensure social distancing and have dedicated areas for people to eat, toilet facilities etc. Several plants also offer additional measures such as steam inhalations, sanitization stations, herbal and other healthy hot drinks etc. “Anyone with any visible symptoms is moved to a medical facility immediately for more in-depth testing. Temperature checks are also conducted randomly and frequently during the day on shop floors, and appropriate action is taken if necessary.”

“Plants adhere to the testing protocols issued by the Ministry of Health, which includes random testing and daily reporting to the MOH of these results. These are also discussed and shared with the local health authorities through an online mechanism that has been set up. Further, local health authorities are in close contact with plants to help ensure that the workplace is as safe as practically possible.”

“The industry has supported the establishment of 11 Intermediate Care Centres with close to 4,500 beds available for employees. Another two centres are under construction, which will bring the number of beds to 5,000. Individual factories are adding to this infrastructure.”

“The importance of the sector to its economy as a provider of jobs, a source of investment and as an export-earner is well-accepted. During this pandemic, the industry’s economic responsibility gains additional importance. Workers have responded magnificently in response to the protective measures that companies have taken. Hence more than 80% of the workforce – the vaccinated group – has returned to work.”

“We appreciate their determination and commitment to putting the economy back on its feet at this difficult time. For our part, we will do everything in our power to ensure they stay safe and protected, by pandemic-proofing workspaces, making sure they are all vaccinated completely and that the protective measures and healthcare infrastructure is available to them and their families” said Secretary General of JAAF, Tuli Cooray, in the press statement.

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Women led LPO services firm Velox Partners enters new office space in Colombo



Velox Partners is a 90% women led Legal Process Outsourcing firm now in Sri Lanka

Velox Partners, a tech-based legal process outsourcing (LPO) firm, expanded its presence into Colombo to augment its existing law firm. Velox commenced operations in January 2020 prior to the onset of the pandemic. Today, it has expanded its services across numerous verticals Commercial law, Litigation, Conveyancing and Company Secretarial Services, with Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) Services being the core. It is geared as a fully-fledged legal service provider servicing clients across United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Velox is female-led with over 90% being women comprising versatile and experienced lawyers. Their expertise bridges multiple disciplines of law with a local and global clientele. The two powerhouses leading the firm are its founding partners Lihini Fernando and Dakshika Perera whose collective experience spans over three decades.

Velox Partners saw Covid-19 restrictions and remote working as an opportunity to position the firm as a tech-based entity and launched its LPO arm. Providing back office legal services to law firms across continents was seen as a viable business model that is both functional and lucrative. Furthermore, the partners of Velox realized the potential of positioning Sri Lanka as a LPO Hub, where the LPO sector enables foreign remittance to the island nation to rebuild its economy. This also provided an opportunity particularly as LPO services can be offered remotely, without a physical office presence.

Velox has serviced clients in over 14 jurisdictions worldwide providing solutions on the ethos, ‘Beyond Legal’. Velox believes in combining business efficiency and tech enabled processes to differentiate itself from the conventional law firms.

Lawyers at Velox are solution providers guided by industry expertise. The team comprises professionals based in Australia, the United States of America, Singapore, and Sri Lanka which enables them to draw cross country perspectives in providing services. Velox is now poised to use their multiple years of experience across continents to provide smart legal solutions.

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Estonian TV crew gets a taste of Sri Lanka for the first time



Meeting with SLTPB officials

Sri Lanka Tourism, under its Scandinavian market promotions hosted a Media FAM with 4 Media personnel from Kanal2 TV from Estonia. The tour started off on February 28 and ended on March 8. The purpose of hosting this tour was to receive more high-end tourist arrivals from Estonia, as well as the other Scandinavian markets including Lithuania and Latvia.

Subsequently, this tour was hosted in collaboration with the Sri Lanka embassy in Sweden which contributed to make this tour a success. The FAM Tour covered all the main tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, including wild life, Ayurveda, Boutique hotels, and also cultural attractions.

All these attractions were filmed and the destination will be promoted on air via Kanal2 TV, through the TV show ‘’ Kaugele Siit’’ (far from here). The first episode of this programme is scheduled to be telecast for 45 minutes. This travel programme has 420,000 followers as their audience. Kanal2 TV was also the official Media partner for the Winter Olympics 2018, a Sri Lanka Tourism press release said.

The release adds: ‘The visitors were quite impressed with the 8-day tour which they had, enjoying every moment of their tour. They were equally mesmerized with the warm hospitality which they received from the Sri Lankans, which they are mostly renowned for. They enjoyed the traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, and the variety of dishes which they tasted. Nevertheless, they had the opportunity of exploring every attraction of the paradise island to convey the message to their fellow Estonians, that Sri Lanka is a unique travel destination which has everything in store for the enthusiastic traveler.

‘They also had a cooking demonstration by courtesy of Siddhalepa Ayurveda Resorts & Spas Wadduwa, and also a Yoga treat at the same venue. Visiting the Turtle Hatchery at Kosgoda , the Elephant orphanage at Pinnawala, going through a safari at Eco park was also another amazing experience which they had during their stay.’


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The Academy of International Business signs Memorandum of Understanding with the University of the Pacific



More than 50 students graduated this year from AIB

Academy of International Business Sri Lanka (AIB) held its second graduation at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall with over fifty graduates successfully passing out. At the recent graduation, the business academy signed its MOU with the University of the Pacific.

The signing of the MOU is a major milestone for the business academy. The courses offered are DBA, MBA, and BBA top-up programs through AIB. Prof Liam, Rector – of the University of Pacific, expressed confidence that the program delivered by AIB will be very beneficial.

The event was graced by passed graduates, teachers, and lecturers, the ceremony was hosted by the chief guest and the regional director of ABE(UK) Dr Praveen Mahendran. “The ABE(UK) is one of the long-standing professional awarding bodies from the UK and AIB is proud to be associated with ABE and approved by the awarding body.

Hard work, competency and capability are the values that produce results, through the AIB and its programs these are achievable. Every student is encouraged to show their full potential”.

The distinguished guests were the Vice President of the BNI Pioneer Chapter, Dilan Fonseka. He emphasized, the importance of students gaining experience in entrepreneurial skills and business development by enrolling at BNI. AIB is a member of BNI, which creates multiple opportunities.

About the Academy of International Business: AIB is recognized for its management programs, digital marketing, marketing, and English language programs such as IELTS, and PTE. It’s widely popular among students in search of pursuing business and management courses.The Director of AIB Sri Lanka, Chrishankar Janathanan, expressed the institute’s commitment to providing the best quality education. It’s not only a center that is simply cornered to the education sector but also has focused its efforts on recruitment services and digital agency services.

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