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SLT-MOBITEL’s ‘The Embryo’ to build digital solutions for Sri Lanka



Pioneering Group R&D initiative driving multi-channel innovation pipeline

SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT Solutions, Telecommunications and Mobile Services Provider, recently established ‘The Embryo’, the SLT Group’s pioneering Research and Development initiative. The Embryo comes with the aim of driving a multi-channel innovation pipeline to build cutting-edge digital solutions to serve the nation, using the valuable knowledge and skills within the SLT Group and collaborating with Academia, Industry, Integrators and Entrepreneurs.

‘The Embryo’ initiative will be driven through three main pillars; namely the Intrapreneurship Studio, the Entrepreneurship Studio and the Venture Capital Studio. It will serve vibrant eco-system partners to work in a range of verticals spanning health, education, environment, agriculture, tourism, finance, and otehrs creating breakthrough technological innovations. The initiative will employ the aid of state-of-the-art technologies. such as 4G, 5G, GPON, Cloud Computing, Open RAN, Intent Driven Network, IoT, Open Source Applications, Blockchain, Analytics including AI / ML / DL, Hyper Automation (RPA / DPA), Open Digital Architecture (API, Micro services, Zero touch Networking) and Developer Platforms.

The initiative creates a platform for the next generation of innovators to tap into the wealth of knowledge and skills of the Group, establishing a strong partnership that fosters the growth of innovative digital products and services.

‘The Embryo’s Intrapreneurship Studio has already commenced its programme. It will drive innovation by supporting the Group’s employees to be the entrepreneurs with their inherent skills, to define technology of the future. Empowering and encouraging in-house teams within the Group, the Intrapreneurship Studio provides the impetus to harness their talents, and set in motion a new wave of entrepreneurship and a robust platform for the Intrapreneur programme.

The Entrepreneurship Studio is designed to provide an attractive opportunity for early-stage tech entrepreneurs to gain access to funding, mentoring and to build connections in the tech ecosystem, enabling them to reach an impressive scale. The first programme of the Entrepreneurship Studio was launched in May 2021 and is currently progressing at the mentoring and coaching stage. The selected Entrepreneurs receive mentoring and coaching from high-calibre experienced resource persons, participate in workshops, and boot camp sessions. Furthermore, they have the opportunity to present their solutions which have been enhanced through mentoring, at a Demo Day.

Ensuring the start-ups are not stifled by a dearth of investment capital, ‘The Embryo’s third pillar, the Venture Capital Studio aims to drive innovation through a partnership formed for co-financing. Nurturing these businesses, this programme will provide the capital injection that start-ups critically need by creating strategic partnerships to drive value creation.

‘The Embryo’ has also undertaken to use technological innovations to address pressing social challenges affecting the nation. Through the ‘The Elephant Decoder Hackathon’, ‘The Embryo’ aims to address the growing human-elephant conflict by seeking disruptive and practical solutions to help curb this recurring issue.

With the aim of expanding the partner eco system for innovation and research, ‘The Embryo’ has entered into Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with leading academia in the country. Among these are the University of Moratuwa, University of Peradeniya, University of Ruhuna, University of Kelaniya, University of Colombo School of Computing and the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University. ‘The Embryo’ is also collaborating with prominent Academia by operating Research and Development centers within their premises and hopes to expand this footprint. These ties will be strengthened with the inclusion of other leading academia in the country, in the future.

Through ‘The Embryo’, SLT-MOBITEL aims to continue to drive the nation’s aspiration towards being a technology-based smart nation building a strong eco system with the participation of all stakeholders.

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Oil prices rise as Saudi Arabia pledges output cuts – Opec+




(picture BBC)

Oil-producing countries have agreed to continued cuts in production in a bid to shore up flagging prices.

Saudi Arabia said it would make cuts of a million barrels per day (bpd) in July and Opec+ said targets would drop by a further 1.4 million bpd from 2024.

Opec+ accounts for around 40% of the world’s crude oil and its decisions can have a major impact on oil prices.

In Asia trade on Monday, Brent crude oil rose by as much as 2.4% before settling at around $77 a barrel.

The seven hour-long meeting on Sunday of the oil-rich nations, led by Russia, came against a backdrop of falling energy prices.

Total production cuts, which Opec+ has undertaken since October 2022, reached 3.66 million bpd, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

Opec+, a formulation which refers to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, had already agreed to cut production by two million bpd, about 2% of global demand.


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Manpower services agency wins accolades for its contribution to foreign employment sector



Siraj Cafoor, Managing Director of Siraj Manpower Services receives the award

Its MD says. ‘go abroad only if you can work hard’

Siraj Manpower Services, one of Sri Lanka’s leading foreign employment agencies, was honoured with the Three-Star Award at the ‘Golden Awards’ 2023, organised by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). This award ceremony was organised to honour foreign employment agencies that have made a significant contribution to the development of the foreign employment sector, which is a major source of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka. Siraj Cafoor, Managing Director of Siraj Manpower Services, was presented with the award at the award ceremony which was held at the BMICH in Colombo under the patronage of Minister of Foreign Employment and Labour Manusha Nanayakkara.

Having been established in 2002, Siraj Manpower Services ( has earned a reputation in the field of foreign employment by winning the trust of customers for more than 20 years. It has been offering job opportunities in the Middle East countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia as housekeepers, drivers, sanitation workers, labourers and also jobs related to the apparel industry. All these workers are entitled to approved salary scales certified by the SLBFE.

“We always stand for the safety of workers who go abroad through our organisation. We work to solve the problems that arise in relation to the contracts that the workers have entered into. I must mention something special to those who go abroad for employment. That is, you should keep in mind that you go abroad only to work. Go abroad only if you can work hard. You have to remember that you are going abroad to earn some more money and achieve the advancement of your family.” said Siraj Cafoor.

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Direct flights between Istanbul and Katunayake to commence from August



A special discussion between Turkish Ambassador – Demet Sekercioglu and Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation – Nimal Siripala de Silva took place last week at the ministry office. The aim of the discussion was to seek authorization to commence direct flights from the Turkish Capital Istanbul to Katunayake, Sri Lanka. The Chief of Turkish Airlines’ South Asia Office Fathi Bozkurt was also present during the discussion.

Currently, Turkish Airlines connects with Sri Lanka through a route that includes a stopover in the Maldives, resulting in an additional travel time of one and a half hours. The delay caused by this routing is not favored by travelers, as emphasized by the Ambassador.

The Chief of Turkish Airlines requested for time and space to be allocated in order to initiate direct flights between Istanbul and Katunaike, thus providing convenience for Turkish tourists and travelers who prefer visit Sri Lanka.

The Minister announced that the request would be forwarded to the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka and the Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited. The aim is to establish direct flights between Istanbul and Katunayake starting from August this year.

Turkish Airlines, a renowned airline with a fleet of over 100 aircraft, offers flights connecting Europe’s Vancouver and New York. The Chief of Turkish Airlines said that the new service would not only benefit European travelers but also encourage them to travel to Sri Lanka.

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