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CIPM to host World HR Congress 2021 from December 6 – 8 in virtual mode

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Officials at the head table (L to R): Priyankara Seneviratne-Hony. Secretary CIPM, Dhammika Fernando-Chairman World HR Congress 2021, Jayantha Amarasinghe-President CIPM, Prof Ajantha Dharmasiri-Co-Chairman, World HR Congress 2021 and Chairman-Technical Committee World HR Congress 2021, and U. A. C. Obeysekera-CEO, CIPM

CIPM Sri Lanka – the Nation’s leader in human resource management together with the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA) and Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource Management (APFHRM) announced that the world’s most premier people event “World HR Congress 2021” will be held from December 6 to 8 2021 as a virtual conference experience in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The theme of the congress “Exalting People Professionals Amidst a Planetary Pandemic: Explore, Expand and Excel” is aptly selected as the people factor is at the pinnacle of limelight amid the planetary pandemic. The 3 value-packed days will deliberate on digitalization, disruption, diversity, and diligence regarding the distinct dimensions of human resource management with a select panel of world-renowned speakers lined up to share insights and thought-provoking ideas enabling thought leadership in the new world of work. The prospectus, registration, numerous sponsorship opportunities available, and more information can be found at https://wfpmacongress.com/ which is the dedicated website for Word HR Congress 2021.

“We take pride in hosting this prestigious people event in Sri Lanka. In a world disrupted by the pandemic, we need resilience as well as inspirational leadership to proceed into the future. New expectations and challenges have emerged in a new world of work and life. Innovation, best practices in people engagement, and trust are critical to achieve sustainable growth and rebuild our future. The World HR Congress 2021 is the apt place to deliberate the challenges and opportunities to strategize the New HR Agenda” said Jayantha Amarasinghe-President, CIPM Sri Lanka.

“The World Congress is an opportunity to bring together the continental federations and the national associations of 93 countries which make up the WFPMA. As the premier federation of people management associations, we are a globally recognized authority to support the people management profession throughout the world. Blending thought-provoking speakers with networking opportunities, this is a ‘must-attend’ congress that presents some of the best and brightest minds in the global people profession who will share the latest practices, research, and innovations to develop your knowledge and help you shape your organization’s future” said Bob Morton – President, WFPMA inviting people professionals and business leaders to participate in the Congress.

The virtual conference will consist of 4 plenary sessions, 4-panel discussions, and 4 rounds of concurrent technical sessions. The line-up of 21 experienced international panel of speakers, presenters, and panelists includes Johnny C. Taylor, Jr – President and CEO, Society for Human Resource Management-USA, Peter Cheese – CEO, Chartered Institute Personnel Development-UK, Sunita Bhuyan-Violinist & HR Practitioner on Wellness, Prof. TV Rao – Chairman, TVRLS-India, Paul Mills – Chief People Officer Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, and Dr. Archana Arcot – Assoc. VP HR Business Leader, Infosys McCamish-USA amongst many more experienced speakers.

“The World HR Congress is being held at a very crucial juncture of mankind. We are dealing with many complexities on top of this pandemic, juggling with people, planet, and profits. The new industrial era has already dawned, and we are on the brink of the next big thing, the 5th industrial revolution, where the human and machine will dance together as technology will help humans to vastly increase labor productivity and to align return on investment with purpose. However, it will require intentionality and moral clarity. Now that we are grappled with the corona pandemic, we shall overcome by getting used to the next normal where the world of work is challenged the most. The World HR Congress 2021 premier people event will explore, expand and excel in what matters in the new world of work and life” said Dhammika Fernando-Chairman, World HR Congress 2021 and Immediate Past President-CIPM Sri Lanka, President- Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource Management, Board Director- WFPMA.

“Despite the doom of a devastating pandemic, we see the boom of people factor in corporates with a deeper realization of the value of human wellbeing. World HR Congress 2021 invites people professionals to engage in a cutting-edge learning endeavor towards expansion” said Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri, Co-chair of the World HR Congress 2021, who as a Past President of CIPM was instrumental in receiving the hosting rights during the previous World HR Congress, held in Chicago, USA in 2018.

With the impressive line-up of speakers and panelists sharing insights and experiences, networking opportunities with like-minded professionals to share best practices in people management in the new world of work, the World HR Congress 2021 provides a rare opportunity for people professionals and business leaders to mitigate the risks and challenges in a new world of work.



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Sri Lanka Tourism commands attention at World Routes 2021

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Sri Lanka made a huge splash at the 26th World Route Development Forum (World Routes 2021), which took place in Milan, Italy, recently. By making its presence felt at the forum, Sri Lanka pitched its destination for global airlines to consider it as one of the top holiday destinations for the upcoming winter season and beyond. Sri Lanka Tourism officials were able to directly engage with decision-makers from the global route development community, including world’s air services, while taking advantage of dedicated in-person and virtual event days combining extensive meeting opportunities, exclusive industry insight and first-class networking opportunities.

The Chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism, Ms. Kimarli Fernando, expertly leveraged on the platform provided by World Routes 2021 to highlight Sri Lanka’s 5-year global campaign and growth potential. Her keynote presentation was followed by a panel discussion and a Q&A session with attendees in collaboration with Major General (Rtd.), G.A Chandrasiri , Chairman, Airport and Aviation Services. Through the duration of the Forum, Sri Lanka Tourism was present on all social media platforms for driving brand awareness, pushing Destination Sri Lanka to the front and centre of global travel and tourism operators present.

With the Sri Lankan Government declaring this a growth decade, Sri Lanka Tourism has been aligned to the government’s vision as enshrined in the 10 pillar strategy document. Over the last two years, Sri Lanka Tourism has advanced the industry across various factors to bring prosperity to all stakeholders and to ensure Sri Lanka tourism fulfills its potential. Concurrently, with a high vaccination rate, Sri Lanka has opened up to fully vaccinated tourists, offering them a safe and exciting stay.

One of the key pillars has been connectivity and the efforts made have been fruitful – with several European and regional airlines resuming direct flights, new routes being established and increased frequency of flights to Sri Lanka which will boost tourism for the upcoming peak season.

Apart from elaborating on the strategy, Kimarli Fernando engaged in an absorbing Q&A session with global airline industry stakeholders. During her keynote speech she elaborated on Sri Lanka’s biodiversity, UNESCO sites and other cultural and nature offerings. One of the highlights of her speech was tourist investment. Tourism has been attracting substantial investment despite the challenges emanating from the pandemic. Between March 2020 – June 2021, the Government of Sri Lanka has attracted over US$950 million in investments, received 64 project proposals and approved 38 projects to the value of $102.38 Million. These ventures will be executed under the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA). In order to attract strategic investors, the Investor Relations Unit was launched as a single point of contact for all tourism investments. In addition, the Government of Sri Lanka is extending a host of financial incentives and fast-track processes to get projects off the ground within the shortest possible time.

Given the recent tie-ups with France tourism operators and a similar push in more key western markets, the brand awareness of Sri Lanka is growing in strategic markets.

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ComBank wins Daraz award for ‘Best Engaging Overall Cards Base’

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The Commercial Bank of Ceylon was presented the award for ‘The Best Engaging Overall Cards Base’ at the recent ‘Payment Partner Performance Awards 2021’ of Daraz, South Asia’s premier online shopping marketplace.

The Bank was awarded this title for empowering the Daraz platform by generating the highest number of transactions by both credit and debit card bases and the highest number of unique buyers’ engagement during the financial year 2020-21. This is the second consecutive year that the Bank was honoured with this award.

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been an Internet Payment (IPG) service provider to Daraz from 2018, and has since partnered with the online retailer to power ‘Daraz 11.11,’ the world’s biggest online sale.

The two organisations are working together to offer diversified and unique offers to customers with a view of offering them attractive value additions, the Bank said. Commercial Bank cardholders can enjoy periodic discounts at Daraz with the offers structured by the Bank, and the convenience of Easy Payment Plans of up to 60 months.

Launched in 2012, the Daraz eCommerce site has an active presence in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Nepal. The marketplace has over 2.5 million products in diverse categories such as consumer electronics, household goods, beauty, fashion, sports equipment, and groceries. It was acquired by the Alibaba Group in 2018.

Commercial Bank Credit and Debit Cards offer year-round promotions covering a wide variety of services. Commercial Bank was the first bank to offer loyalty rewards for both Credit and Debit Card holders under its Max Loyalty Rewards Points scheme. The Bank was also a pioneer in extending promotional discount offers which were traditionally only offered for Credit Cards to its Debit Cards.

Commercial Bank cards are the fastest growing cards in Sri Lanka and enjoy market leadership in Credit and Debit Card cumulative point-of-sale usage. The Bank offers a variety of Credit Cards in the Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers of Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay Cards, as well as Visa Signature, World Mastercard, Visa Infinite, UnionPay Asia Prestige Platinum and UnionPay Asia Prestige Diamond Cards in the premium segment. The cards are equipped with ‘Tap ’n Go’ NFC technology and are backed by a strong NFC Point-of-Sale (POS) network.

Sri Lanka’s first 100% carbon neutral bank, 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 11 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches and 931 automated machines in Sri Lanka. Commercial Bank is the largest lender to Sri Lanka’s SME sector and is a leader in digital innovation in the country’s Banking sector. 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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Banks’ Chief Internal Auditors’ Forum appoints new committee for 2021/22

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Seated from left - Varuna Koggalage (Committee Member), Numair Cassim (Vice President), Charitha Jayawickrama (President), Nirosha Perera (Secretary), Dulan Abeyratne (Committee Member) Standing from left - Dhanjaya Dayananda (Committee Member), Chandima Samarasinghe (Outgoing Secretary), John Premanath (Outgoing Vice President), Maduwantha Liyanage (Immediate Past President/Committee Member), Jayan Fernando (Committee Member). Absent from picture - Committee Members Kushlaini Allis and Gamini Jayaweera

The Chief Internal Auditors’ Forum of Banks appointed its 5th committee recently. The inaugural committee meeting was held on 17th November 2021 subsequent to the AGM held on 3rd November 2021. Charitha Jawawickrama of Sampath Bank was appointed as the President, Numair Cassim (Amana Bank) as Vice President and Nirosha Perera (Union Bank) as Secretary. Others in the committee include Varuna Koggalage (Seylan Bank), Dulan Abeyratne (HSBC), Dhanjaya Dayananda (SDB), Jayan Fernando (DFCC), Kushlaini Allis (NTB) and Gamini Jayaweera (NSB). The outgoing committee included Maduwantha Liyanage of BOC (Immediate Past President), John Premanath (Commercial Bank) and Chandima Samarasinghe (Cargills Bank).

The Forum was established to build strong relationships amongst the Licensed Commercial Banks and Licensed Specialized Banks in dealing with new developments and challenges pertinent to the industry. It also supports Internal Audit professionals to enhance comradeship and encourages participation of Banks to share knowledge and industry best practices. Since re-establishing in 2015, the forum has become an integral body that supports and assists Banks with regard to common audit related concerns in the industry.

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