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SLIIT ‘Brain Busters with SLIIT – Season 3’ concludes inspiring and motivating students to become futuristic leaders



SLIIT with an aim to enrich lives through education recently concluded the most anticipated and compelling Grand Finale of ‘Brain Busters with SLIIT – Season 3’, inspiring and motivating students to become futuristic leaders.

As the most looked-forward and novel TV Quiz Programme in the school calendar, the ‘Brain Busters with SLIIT Season 3’ Grand Finale witnessed W.H. Mandara Indusarani and B.W. Shavindu Akash of Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda taking the prestigious crown with G. Sathindu M. Kurugala & Hiviru Hansaka Senenayaka of Royal College, Colombo 7, emerging as the First runner-up and Akithmee Senaratne and Kulani Karunaratne of Lyceum International School, Nugegoda, as the Second runner-up.

SLIIT senior management including Prof. Lakshaman Ratnayake, Chancellor/Chairman, Prof. Lalith Gamage, Vice Chancellor/CEO, Prof. Samantha Thelijagoda, Pro Vice Chancellor, Research & International, Uditha Gamage, Chief Student Services and Outreach Officer, Asangi Jayasinghe Director, Research Enterprise & International Relations, were present on the occasion and presented awards to the winners and representatives from the schools.

Commending the winners, Prof. Lalith Gamage, said ‘ I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the winners of the Brain Busters nationwide competition, organized by SLIIT in collaboration with TV1. This event was a great success, and I commend all the participants for their hard work and dedication. At SLIIT, we strongly believe in promoting education and innovation, and events like Brain Busters play a pivotal role in realizing this vision. By encouraging students to think critically, solve problems and develop emotional intelligence, we aim to nurture well-rounded individuals and responsible citizens. We are proud to have been a part of this program and look forward to organizing more innovative competitions in the future

The Grand Finale panel of judges comprised Mr. Uditha Gamage, Mrs. Asangi Jayasinghe and Prof. Shiromi Karunarathna from Faculty of Engineering, SLIIT. The winners school received handsome cash prizes of Rs 200,000, Rs 100,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively. All finalists also received prize money from the winning competition rounds in addition to impressive trophies and certificates.

During the initial rounds, over 5000 students from schools across the country participated. Importantly, this year, the TV competition’s structure was changed to a two-member team representing each school and with additional TV quiz rounds in each Episode.

After the competitive preliminary rounds, 54 young talented individuals comprising 27 school teams competed in the semi-final TV rounds, held during January 2023. The finalists for the Grand Finale were selected from the three highest scoring school teams based on their performance.

Prior to the TV rounds, SLIIT organised a full-day quality workshop for the students to enhance their skills and knowledge, and to provide a stronger foundation to their learning. Asangi Jayasinghe, Project Chair for ‘Brain Busters with SLIIT’,for all 3 seasons led the sessions which also included a motivational session delivered by Prof. Samantha Thelijjagoda.

Explaining the programme, Asangi Jayasinghe said, “‘Brain Busters with SLIIT’ is not purely a quiz programme. Today, it is designed as a quiz plus motivational initiative offering students access to workshops and skills building sessions. The entire programme is prepared in a manner to motivate students to look into different areas including Sri Lanka’s and world history, appreciate world literature, understand the advances in technology and prepare for future challenges.”

She added, “Students have the opportunity to experience motivational sessions, gain information and knowledge on global success stories of Sri Lankans and others delivered by our Deans and Professors. Today, ‘Brain Busters with SLIIT’ offers students insights to live a balanced life, helping them grow and inspiring the youngsters that sky is the limit especially vital for outstation students.”

The Grand finale took place at Stein Studios Ratmalana while the ‘Brain Busters with SLIIT’ TV quiz programme was telecasted weekly on Saturdays on TV1 Channel of the Maharaja Group.

‘Brain Busters with SLIIT’, the nationwide general knowledge TV quiz commenced in 2018, to promote the academic achievements of students through friendly competition. The competition helps to expand the horizons and general knowledge of schoolchildren island wide while inspiring them to develop their critical thinking skills and creativity. Over the years, the Quiz covered a wide range of topics on Current Affairs, Science & Technology, Art and Literature, History, and Geography, Sports to test the children’s knowledge.

SLIIT has announced that the ‘Brain Busters Season 4’ competition is expected to commence shortly. Interested schools can look forward to another reverting season and are invited to forward their team applications via email to or contact 0117 544 801 for more information.

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Cabinet approves rationalization of VAT exemptions and abolition of SVAT System




The Cabinet of Ministers granted concurrence to the resolution forwarded by the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to remove most of the releases from Value Added Tax (VAT), further retaining releases that ease the pressure on low – income families to secure the fundamental sectors of the economy as well as the releases for sectors such as education, health and agriculture, as well as to revise the provisions applicable for the Value Added Tax (VAT) act so that the Simplified Value Added Tax (SVAT) methodology can be canceled with effect from 01.01.2024 by introducing a more formal methodology for repaying the Value Added Tax (VAT) and to instruct the Legal Draftsman to prepare a draft bill for the purpose.

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Venora Lanka Power Panels to set up assembly plant in Australia



Sagara Gunawardene

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Sri Lanka- based, export- oriented manufacturer, Venora Lanka Power Panels (Pvt) Ltd, with a state of the art electric panel factory at the Export Processing Zone, Biyagama, will set up an assembly plant in Australia.

“Once we set up the electric panel assembly plant in Australia, we will export all our panels from Sri Lanka and that plant will do 30 percent value addition to the product to supply that market, the company’s chairman/ Managing Director, engineer Sagara Gunawardena told The Island Financial Review.

Gunawardena said that the company is a value- addition assembly plant and he would be investing AUS $ 2 million for the project to be set up in Melbourne and hire 100 engineers and other professionals. He explained that the venture has enormous potential.

Venora Lanka provides power panels to mega projects in Sri Lanka and exports to Bangladesh, Maldives, Kenya, Ethiopia, Seychelles and Myanmar. Panel assembling is strictly in compliance with IEC 61439 standards, it was explained.

Gunawardena added: ‘I firmly believe that, being a truly customer focused organization, every employee and every process in the organization has to be aligned behind delighting customers. Therefore, at a time when the country is facing a major dollar crisis, my company would be aiming at bringing dollars into the country, while providing employment for local professionals, especially engineers.

‘At Venora Lanka we do not try to change customers’ mindsets. Instead, we take time to understand what they really want and focus our brand on delivering that. Venora is values- driven first and cost- driven second – creating a unique brand proposition.

‘Since the US dollar rate has come down, it is our concern that importers and suppliers do not change their prices, which is really affecting the manufacturing sector.

Company sources added: ‘The company has several wings of operation, such as local and overseas projects, switch board assembling, telecommunication infrastructure installations, earthing, lighting and surge protection, incorporating world renowned brands.

‘Venora Lanka Power Panels is the first Sri Lankan company to receive the licence, in accordance with the UK Trade Mark Act 1994, to use the trade mark “Best Enterprise”. It won a global award at the event, ‘Golden Awards for Quality and Business Prestige’, held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2015.

‘Within a short span of time, with the perfect blend of progressive thinking and expertise, Venora Group has expanded to consist of, Venora International Projects, Venora Telecom, Venora Industrial Solutions and Venora Lanka Power Panels (BOI approved). Further, Venora has established its overseas presence through Venora Engineering Kenya and Venora Engineering Myanmar.’

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Share market moves into positive territory; indices up



By Hiran H. Senewiratne

CSE trading got off to a positive note yesterday but during the last session of the day the momentum slowed. However, the market is now moving towards positive territory following the Central Bank announcement of a downward trend in interest rates, market analysts said.

Amid those developments the market witnesses improvements in both indices and in the turnover.

The All- Share Price Index up by 12.8 points and S and P SL 20 rose by 6.97 points. Turnover stood at Rs 710 million with one crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH which crossed 430,000 shares to the tune of Rs 60.2 million; its shares traded at Rs 140.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; JKH Rs 212 million (1.5 million shares traded), Access Engineering Rs 44.7 million ( three million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 34.5 million (264,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 28.6 million (5.3 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 23.8 million (4.7 million shares traded), Capital Alliance Rs 22.9 million (615,000 shares traded) and First Capital Holdings Rs 19.2 million (574,000 shares traded). During the day the 31.4 million shares volumes changed hands in 9000 transactions.

Yesterday, the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 285.16 and the selling rate Rs 298.85.

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