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People’s Bank and UGC tie up to grant loans to undergrads

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People’s Bank has entered into a partnership with the University Grants Commission (UGC) to grant loan facilities to undergraduates of all universities under easy repayment plans.

The special loan scheme has been introduced to fulfill a promise given by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his election manifesto “Saubagye Dekma” to empower all university undergraduates with the latest technology.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) announcing the partnership was exchanged between Sujeewa Rajapakse, Chairman of People’s Bank and Senior Professor Sampath Amaratunge, Chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC) at the People’s Bank Head Office last week.

Ranjith Kodituwakku, Chief Executive Officer/General Manager of People’s Bank, Dr. Priyantha Premakumara, Secretary of UGC, Ubayakula Ranaweera, Head of Finance/Accountant of UGC with K. B. Rajapakse, Senior Deputy General Manager -Retail Banking, G. P. Renuka Jayasinghe, Deputy General Manager – Process Management, Quality Assurance and Retail Banking and Lionel Galagedara, Deputy General Manager – Channel Management, were also present.

With this historical partnership, all Sri Lankan undergraduates will benefit through a concessionary loan scheme to purchase laptop computers which suit their respective education areas. The loan facilities will be granted to purchase laptops with specifications that are pre-approved by the University Grants Commission at a more concessionary interest rate with easy repayment plans.

The undergraduates are privileged to pay only the interest component during the university course, while repayment of the loan capital will begin after they have graduated from their respective universities.

Sujeewa Rajapakse, Chairman of People’s Bank said, “We are pleased to introduce this special loan scheme for undergraduates of all universities in the country. We are confident that these laptops will assist them to pursue their studies, while providing them access to global knowledge to be always updated in their respective field.”

Senior Professor Sampath Amaratunge, Chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC) noted,, “Today, we marked another milestone in our university system in the country, I hope this strong bond with the largest bank with a widespread branch network will provide all the undergraduates a great opportunity to complete their degrees while creating financial discipline in their life.”

 



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Hyundai hands over ‘The Suites’ and ‘The Offices’ at Cinnamon Life to John Keells Properties

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Cinnamon Life, John Keells Properties’ iconic mixed-development project, is ever closer to redefining Colombo’s skyline with the completion of its plush residential tower ‘The Suites’ at Cinnamon Life and the state-of-the-art office tower, ‘The Offices’ at Cinnamon Life.

With its construction now complete, the 196-unit apartment building and the 30 storey office tower were ceremoniously handed over to John Keells Holdings (JKH) Chairman Krishan Balendra by T.H. Kim – Project Director of the Contractor HKN (a joint venture between Hyundai, Keangnam and Nawaloka).

Speaking at the event, Balendra said the completion of ‘The Suites’ and ‘The Offices’ at Cinnamon Life heralds a new beginning for the city of Colombo.

Noting that the apartment buildings and the offices are a key feature in its mammoth integrated development project, the JKH chairman said, once completed, Cinnamon Life will rival anything that the South Asian region has to offer.

“John Keells Holdings first conceptualized Cinnamon Life in 2010. Operating Cinnamon Grand and Cinnamon Lakeside, two large five star hotels, we knew that Colombo didn’t have the facilities to host large regional events. Cinnamon Life with its 800 roomed hotel, multiple banqueting and conferencing spaces and retail space is now positioned to host some of the biggest events in the region, particularly in South Asia,” he said.

“It’s the largest private investment in Sri Lanka to date, and with its completion in the next year, we expect that Cinnamon Life will position Colombo as the leisure, entertainment and retail epicentre of the South Asian region,” he added.

Balendra further added “These are challenging times, not just for us but for the world as a whole. With the right attitude, however, no challenge is insurmountable and as we, together with HKN, have ably demonstrated with the completion of these two towers.”

Sector Head of John Keells Properties and Executive Vice President (JKH), Nayana Mawilmada who also spoke at the event said Cinnamon Life, once completed, will rank amongst Asia’s most celebrated pieces of architecture, not unlike the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. “As an incredibly iconic and unique signature structure, Cinnamon Life is going to fundamentally change the way Colombo is perceived,” he said.

“I think on many fronts this project will take us to the next level. That was the founding philosophy of Cinnamon Life. Taking Sri Lanka out to the world is an ambition that is at the heart of the project. It’s incredibly exciting today to be at this point where we’re now in the home stretch. I think Cinnamon Life is going to be transformational in ways that many of us don’t anticipate,” he said.

A ‘city within a city’, Cinnamon Life aims to be the lifestyle capital of Colombo and promises to deliver a vibrant lifestyle experience at every touchpoint. In addition to the 800-roomed luxury Cinnamon hotel and the premium residential apartments, the property will boast one of the city’s premium retail and entertainment malls, modern office spaces that meet the highest of international corporate standards, among a number of other state-of-the-art amenities and attractions.

Designed by renowned Sri Lankan-British designer, artist and writer Cecil Balmond, Cinnamon Life spans 4.5 million square feet and will be not just Colombo’s but the entire subcontinent’s ultimate lifestyle and entertainment hub.

The residential apartments are priced at USD 395,000 upwards. For further information contact +94-112-152152 or visit www.cinnamonlife.com.

 

 

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HNB partners Hayleys Agri for offers on Kubota, Agrotech, Farmtrac agriculture machinery

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(from left) Hayleys Agriculture Sales Manager Sunil Gamini, Hayleys Agriculture General Manager Sumith Herath, Hayleys Agriculture Director Lushan Abesekara, Hayleys Agriculture Director Amjad Rajap and Hayleys Agriculture Managing Director Jayanthi Dharmasena with HNB Deputy General Manager- Retail and SME Banking Sanjay Wijemanne, HNB Head of Micro Finance Vinodh Fernando, HNB Head of Personal Financial Services Kanchana Karunagama, HNB Head of Leasing Niluka Amarasinghe, HNB Assistant Manager- Leasing Roshan de Silva and HNB Business Development Executive- HNB Leasing Mahesh Ratnayake.
 
HNB PLC, renewed its partnership with leading agricultural machinery and equipment supplier Hayleys Agriculture, to offer customers convenient leasing solutions and attractive benefits for Kubota, Agrotech and Farmtrac range of machinery.
 
 The partnership which offers HNB customers special rates on tractors, transplanters and harvesters was inked at a ceremony held at Hayleys Head Office. HNB Deputy General Manager- Retail and SME Banking Sanjay Wijemanne and Hayleys Agriculture Managing Director Jayanthi Dharmasena graced the ceremony as guests of honor.
 
 “Last year was especially challenging for us all. However, we have continued to work tirelessly to provide our customers with the best possible deals available in the market. As such, we hope that entrepreneurs in the agricultural industry will make use of this offer to strengthen and expand their businesses,” HNB Head of Personal Financial Services Kanchana Karunagama said.

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Virtusa sponsors first virtual IEEE Sri Lanka robotics workshop

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The Arduino compatible ZUMO 32U4 robot interfaced using ROS during the workshop

Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ GS: VRTU), a global provider of digital strategy, digital engineering, and IT services and solutions that help clients change and disrupt markets through innovation engineering, sponsored the first in a series of ‘Workshop’ branded events organized by IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) Sri Lanka Section Chapter in partnership with IEEE Sri Lanka Section.
 
 Anchored to an alliance that goes back a number of years, Virtusa and the IEEE RAS Sri Lanka Section Chapter moved away from the traditional ‘Meetup’ to host a full day virtual workshop, offering a unique opportunity for participants to engage with robotics and automation experts on a virtual platform. An introduction to Robot Operating System (ROS) – the workshop explored the fundamentals of ROS including robot theory, perception, navigation and manipulation, followed by hands-on sessions on ROS basics, as well as moving and manipulating robots online.
 
 “Moving away from the physical auditorium set-up to a virtual platform, we were extremely thrilled with the participation we saw during the full-day workshop,” commented Dr. Peshala Jayasekara, Senior Lecturer – Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering, University of Moratuwa, lead presenter at the workshop. “Over 120 students, undergraduates, postgraduates, academia and industry stakeholders enthusiastically engaged and invested their day to successfully complete the workshop with an IEEE Technical Sponsorship, one of the highest recognitions in the world.”
 
The significance of robotics and automation largely depends on the broader collaboration between researchers and end-users of various domains – market potential that Virtusa continues to explore. Servicing multiple industries with intelligent engineering automation among a growing solutions portfolio, Virtusa promotes robotics research and application to generate greater impact by developing solutions to end-user driven challenges.
 
 “Robotics, particularly intelligent automation is rapidly changing the new norm of the IT industry,” Misnad Haque, Director – Technology at Virtusa elaborated. “From automated IT quality assurance to autonomous spaceflight, the opportunities to develop and nurture these bots are limitless. Events like this bring together like-minded humans – and perhaps robots too in the future –facilitating innovation through knowledge-sharing as well as experiential platforms that organizations like Virtusa can provide.”
 
 “Our aim is to host an IEEE Sri Lanka Robotics Workshop each year among other events, so that we can work together with expert resource personnel who are on par with global robotics trends and insights,” stated Prof. Chandima Pathirana, chairman of IEEE RAS Sri Lanka Chapter. “With Virtusa’s continued sponsorship and support, we are proud to say that this session delivered on the promised level of exposure and knowledge on robotics, and we look forward to inspiring the growing group of robotics enthusiasts in Sri Lanka.”
 

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