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Nation branding way out – SLIM

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The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) says that nation branding will be the solution for the prevailing economic crisis.SLIM President Nuwan Gamage addressing a press conference in Colombo yesterday said that the country could face the challenges of the economic crisis by paving the way for a knowledge-driven economy.

Gamage said that Sri Lanka, following the recent economic crisis, has dropped from 68 to 74 in the Brand Finance index. The SLIM has plans to lead the nation’s efforts towards economic prosperity, and its mission to establish marketing as the driving force that enhances business and national value. “Aligning with SLIM’s vision and mission, we are focusing on a five-pillar strategic approach. The five pillars are future-proof education, entrepreneurial marketing, sustainable marketing, digital marketing ecosystems, national-level research, and advocacy.

Gamage said that the Dominican Republic and Bhutan had recorded rapid developments in a short period of time through nation branding. “We have many strengths which are unique to this country and we must promote those to our advantage. Our approach should be two-fold. We need strong short-term and long-term plans to ensure economic stability. In the short term, we need to look at the way our debts are structured. For that, we need to ensure political stability. Secondly, we need to develop a strong economic policy framework for the country – this should focus on entrepreneurship development. Micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) are the lifeblood of any economy, but the MSME sector in the country has totally collapsed. We need to establish this immediately and have a strategy in place to promote them for more exports, aspiring to establish an export-oriented economy.

Next, we should have a strong foreign policy. One sector we can focus on developing is the tourism sector. Furthermore, we ought to develop a one-window policy for FDIs with a specific focus on assembling and semi-knockdown operations, while fully utilising our harbours, opting for fuel bunkering as a service hub for global shipping lines, and paying special attention to alternative energy, LNG, solar, and wind. Even exploring our natural resources, such as fuel deposits in Mannar basin is vital. Further, restructuring loss-making public enterprises or privatising some are plausible options.

We believe in the need to build and promote Sri Lanka to the rest of the world as a place people and businesses can not only visit, but also invest in and live in peacefully. It is a crucial part of revitalising Sri Lanka’s economy and enhancing the country’s reputation on a global scale.

President of SLIM Nation Branding project Kavi Rajapaksa said that nation branding could help the country to recover fast from its present crisis. “We have many talented marketeers who could join the SLIM’s effort to rebrand Sri Lanka. We see that many members of our talented younger generation are now looking for avenues to migrate. We need to develop trust and confidence for them to live here and contribute to our motherland, because if not, the next big crisis faced by our country in the future will be a severe lack of skilled professionals,” she said.



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Embassy officer arrested at BIA remanded

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The Embassy official who was attached to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oman who is accused of being involved in a human trafficking racket was arrested by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and remanded till the 13th of December when he was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate

The official was arrested on his arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning (29 November).

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Easter Sunday terror attack suspect hacked to death

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By Norman Palihawadane

A 38-year-old Easter Sunday terror attack suspect was hacked to death yesterday morning (28) in Mattakkuliya.

The victim, Mohamed Badurdeen Mohamed Harnas, was a resident of Safiya Avenue, Mattakkuliya, police said.

A suspect in the Easter Sunday terror attacks, he had been released on bail.

The suspect was rushed to the National Hospital, Colombo, after three individuals, who arrived in a car around 10. 00 am, attacked him.

Two persons attacked the man while the other was keeping the car engine running, according to eyewitnesses. The attackers thereafter fled in the same car.

Harnas was pronounced dead on admission to hospital.

Further investigations in this regard are currently underway.

The victims family members said that Harnas had been taken into custody, following the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, but later released as there was no evidence of his involvement in terrorist activities.

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Rail service between Mahawa and Jaffna to be suspended for five months

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Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that the railway services between Mahawa and Jaffna will be suspended for a period of five months in 2023.

The Minister said that operations will be suspended from January 15, 2023.

The Minister said it was to repair work on the railway line.

He said so in response to a question raised by Vanni District MP Selvam Adaikalanathan.

“We are focusing our attention on the request made by you. We have to halt railway operations between Mahawa and Jaffna for five months from January 2023. Train services have been continuously operating to Jaffna, but now we have faced a situation as we have not been able to carry out any repair work thus far,” the Minister said.

Assuring that this issue can be rectified in five months, Minister Gunawardane said that, thereafter, a good railway service can be provided for this route.

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