NICs: Dual citizens in dilemma
Until recently dual citizens could apply for a passport with all the necessary documentation and the original National Identity Card (NIC). However, now there is a requirement for dual citizens to get a new NIC before applying for a Sri Lanka passport. They say the old NIC is no longer valid. If there is a requirement to get a new NIC after obtaining Dual Citizenship, there should be a proper procedure to obtain a NIC for Dual Citizens. No such procedure exists today.
Dual citizenship is obtained following a proper application process and screening procedure followed by the payment of a fee. They are therefore eligible to receive a Sri Lankan passport. Most of the dual citizens are professionals working in other countries, some of them have served the government of Sri Lanka holding high positions, now residing in countries such as the USA, Canada, the UK and many other countries.
How can they follow the normal procedure to obtain a NIC as applied to Sri Lankans residents? In the normal procedure the application has to go through the Grama Niladhari and/or Divisional Secretariat of the area of your residence. Most of them do not have a residence in Sri Lanka, some of them have sold their properties long time ago. When they visit Sri Lanka most of them reside in hotels or with their friends and relatives. Therefore, there is no proper and legal procedure for them to apply through a Grama Niladhari or a Divisional Secretariat.
Thus, it is very clear that the procedure applicable to residents of Sri Lanka cannot be applied to dual citizens resident abroad. As such, it is more logical that a special procedure should be applicable for them to obtain a new NIC. There should be a procedure to obtain NIC’s directly from the Department of Registration of Persons by on line application and submission of necessary documents or certified copies.
There are large number of Dual Citizens of Sri Lanka residing in the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK affected by this new rule. While new Dual Citizens are unable to get their first passport, some others who got dual citizenship some years ago are unable to renew their passports because of this new unfair rule.
Attention of high officials of the government, more particularly the attention of the Commissioner General of the Department of Registration of Persons is needed to resolve this issue expeditiously.
A Concerned Dual Citizen from the USA
Dulux colours Architect 2023 exhibition with vibrant and engaging presence
Dulux -Sri Lanka’s, a leading manufacturer of paints and coatings – is celebrating the successful close of its participation at Architect 2023, also taking home an award for the ‘Best Trade Stall with Innovative Use of Colour’.
Organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects -and now in its 41st year- this year’s edition of the Architect 2023 annual trade fair took place from February 24-26 at the BMICH, and witnessed greater participation from leading companies and entrepreneurs actively involved in the various construction and architecture sectors; both locally and internationally, a company news release said.
“Dulux established a strong presence at the event with a spectacular exhibit themed Colour Futures ’23, featuring its 2023 Colour of the Year: Wild Wonder. Visitors to the stand were able to explore the four colour palettes, Lush, Buzz, Raw and Flow, inspired by the nature-influenced theme, with Dulux colour experts on hand providing unique trade insight, and also advising visitors on how best the shades can be implemented into their own work and living spaces,” it said.
“The popular mascot, “Dulux Dog” was also present to playfully engage with exhibition attendees and brighten up the vibrant Dulux stall even further. The Dulux exhibit proved widely popular among attendees to Architect 2023, due to its powerful display of colour in both interior & Exterior spaces. “
“Architect 2023 was a great opportunity for Dulux to learn from fellow trade professionals, and also to introduce visitors to the latest trends and insights from the global paints and coatings landscape,” said Upendra Gunawardhana, Head of Marketing at AkzoNobel Paints Sri Lanka. “We’ve maintained a strong long-standing relationship with the SLIA, and have every intention of being back again next year as well.”
ACCA reaffirms ComBank as Best among Sri Lankan banks for Sustainable Reporting
The Commercial Bank of Ceylon was declared the best among all Sri Lankan banks in sustainability reporting at the Sri Lanka Sustainability Reporting Awards for 2022 presented by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Sri Lanka.
As the winner in the ‘Banking’ category Commercial Bank was recognised for being one of the most transparent, accountable, and responsible entities in the country. The award was presented for the Bank’s 2021 Annual Report titled ‘Beyond a shape, beyond a colour’ which among other aspects, explores the Bank’s evolving operating context in which social and environmental concerns are brought to the centre of its corporate agenda.
Prepared in line with the International <IR> framework, this Annual Report also presents the Bank’s social and environmental impacts as per the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards: Core option. Additionally, it reports on the Bank’s contribution towards the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals.
The Report also features a dedicated section on ‘Business model for sustainable value creation’ and discloses information on loans screened through the Bank’s Social and Environmental Management System (SEMS), paper reduction and recycling initiatives, increased usage of renewable energy, and switching to energy-efficient appliances under the section on ‘Natural Capital.’ Indicators of value derived in this category include reduced energy consumption in gigajoules, number of facilities subjected to SEMS screening, number of new solar panel installation locations, number of internet banking and mobile banking users, and solar power generated as a percentage of energy consumption.
Commercial Bank’s high standards in comprehensive reporting area result of the Bank’s commitment to being a responsible financial entity and shaping its work ethics around sustainable business practices, the Bank said. Last year too, Commercial Bank topped the ACCA awards in the Banking category, in addition to winning the overall award for the Best Sustainability Report of 2020.
Notably, Commercial Bank’s 2021 Annual Report also won four awards including a Gold for ‘Interior Design,’ and a Bronze for ‘Interactive Annual Report’ at the 2022 edition of the MerComm ARC Awards which is the world’s largest annual report competition.
The Bank’s sustainability initiatives include lending to support sustainable and green operations, migrating customers to paperless banking, improving efficiency in the use of energy, water and other resources in its own operations and supporting community initiatives that help conserve habitats and the environment. Its support to a mangrove restoration project in Koggala and marine turtle conservation initiative in Panama are examples of its commitment to environmental conservation.
The Bank pioneered a mandatory social and environmental screening process for its project lending activities and was the first bank in Sri Lanka to venture into Green Financing. It also revolutionised digital banking by introducing features in its ‘Flash’ mobile application to measure and offset customer impact on the environment.
Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC prioritizes psychological wellbeing in view of Women’s Day
In view of the marking the International Women’s Day, Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC held an insightful event at their state-of-the-art factory premises in Kelaniya, highlighting the importance of psychological wellbeing and how Ex-Pack is taking up measures in ensuring an enabling environment for its 300 strong workforce, based on its wider DEI policies.
Various global studies have shown that women are impacted at much higher rates than men when it comes to mental illnesses. The session celebrated their achievements and life stories, and shared some eye-opening tips, facts, know how’s, to-dos, and various other influential factors including the dire need to change our perspectives on women’s roles, health and wellness. This also touched upon the emotional and social aspects of wellbeing too.
This year’s theme is centered on #EmbraceEquity, and Ex-Pack is no stranger when it comes to pursuing gender equality in an industry that has been traditionally dominated by male. As one of leading corrugated cartons manufacturer in Sri Lanka delivering end-to-end packaging solutions to both local and international clientele, and a subsidiary of Aberdeen Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, Ex-Pack actively encourages more female participation.
‘With this year’s theme being #EmbraceEquity, we take great pride in being an ambassador and role model in our industry. We go beyond just equal opportunities to pro-actively collaborate with everyone, to ensure that our talented women have every possible resource at their disposal and are given all the required support to succeed both professionally and personally,’ said M. Zulficar Ghouse, Managing Director- Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC
Ex-Pack has long been engaged with providing equal career opportunities, and both men and women
are respected, rewarded and compensated equally. The company also has an open-door policy for all employees. Women empowerment stems directly from the top leadership, recognizing that women and their strengths are crucial to both the company and the overall economy.
Showers in Western, Sabaragamuwa and North-Western provinces and in Galle and Matara districts during the afternoon
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