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Swisstek Aluminium awarded landmark eco-friendly certification

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Swisstek Aluminium's Quality Assurance Manager, Daham Vidanagama and Manger - Market Development, Gihan De Silva receiving the award from the representatives of Green Building Council of Sri Lanka.

In a victory for both Sri Lanka’s environment as well as its corporate sector landscape, Swisstek Aluminium was recently awarded the GREENSL® Certification by the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka (GBCSL), marking the assurance that sustainability is at the heart of manufacturing its entire range of aluminium extrusion products.

The GBCSL takes the process from extraction of raw materials to the end of the product’s useful life into consideration when certifying companies under this standard, ensuring that only brands with the highest commitment to sustainable practises are recognised accordingly. In this regard, Swisstek Aluminium has also been taking several steps towards achieving more sustainable operations and setting industry standards; for instance, it completed a major solar panel installation at its primary factory last year, severely downsizing its carbon footprint.

Commenting on the company’s achievement, Swisstek Aluminium Chief Executive Officer Tharindu Atapattu stated, “Swisstek Aluminium appreciates that our efforts to make our operations more eco-friendly have been recognised at the national level – it is undoubtedly an honour. But at the same time, in the spirit of our business, we do not plan to stop here. Swisstek Aluminium will continue looking into ways to further ensure that Sri Lanka’s natural resources are preserved well into the future, and dispel the illusion that industry is tied to pollution. Our company has always maintained environmental friendliness as part of our greater vision, and we will continue to do so as we forge ahead.”

In addition to being a viable replacement for limited resources like wood that are used in buildings and furnishings, aluminium’s value as a sustainable product comes from how easily it can be recycled and repurposed once it has reached the end of its use – due to this, close to three-quarters of all the aluminium ever produced is still in use today.

In a country like Sri Lanka – which lost around 13.2% of its total forest cover between 2017 and 2019, and is still seeing further deforestation – such alternatives will play a vital role in ensuring that our national development does not come at the cost of our natural heritage. This ideal forms part of the foundation beneath Swisstek Aluminium, which seeks to maintain eco-friendly processes at all stages of its activities while steadily expanding within the industry, both locally and abroad.

Swisstek Aluminium Ltd., established in 2009, is a subsidiary of Lanka Walltiles PLC which comes under the reputed Vallibel One PLC Group. It has established itself as the leading environmentally-friendly manufacturer of anodised, powder-coated, and mill-finished aluminium extrusions in Sri Lanka, with a reputation for high-quality products, innovation, and commitment to excellence.

The company became the first aluminium manufacturer in Sri Lanka to receive the QUALICOAT – Sea Side Certification for Powder Coated Aluminium. It is also certified under ISO 9001:2015/SLS 1410:2011, and most recently, the GREENSL® Certification by the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka. Swisstek Aluminium has proved its quality and reliability in many industries, such as Hospitals, Apartments, Supermarkets, and Hotels, etc. representing both the public and private sectors of Sri Lanka, in addition to international clients.



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Manudam Mehewara Initiative by Dialog, MAS, Hemas & CBL reach 10,000 families, invites all corporates to Join its countrywide emergency relief mission

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Emergency relief is currently being distributed across all 25 districts

In a mission to provide emergency relief to the most vulnerable communities across the country amidst the ongoing economic crisis, the ‘Manudam Mehewara’ initiative reached its first milestone of aiding over 10,000 families in-need.

 Joining hands with like-minded partners including its execution partner Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement and independent auditor PwC Sri Lanka, Manudam Mehewara was initiated by Dialog Axiata PLC, MAS Holdings, Hemas Holdings PLC, and CBL Group with the end goal of providing emergency support to over 200,000 vulnerable families and communities across the country that do not have access to essential supplies and basic necessities. ITN, Siyatha, Swarnawahini, TV Derana and Vasantham are also supporting the initiative as media partners.

Emergency relief is currently being distributed across all 25 districts, and the Manudam Mehewara programme will conduct its relief efforts until a sustainable benefit transfer system is established through an effective recovery plan. Manudam Mehewara invites all corporates to join our shared mission to support over 200,000 vulnerable families across Sri Lanka.

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Ninewells Hospital raises awareness on thyroid disease in newborns to commemorate World Thyroid Day 2022

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Ninewells Hospital, Sri Lanka’s leading woman and childcare hospital in the private sector, commemorates World Thyroid Day on 25th May by emphasising the significance of early detection and treatment of Congenital Hypothyroidism among newborns in Sri Lanka.

Congenital hypothyroidism (CHT) is a condition affecting infants from birth, and refers to an absent thyroid gland or a thyroid gland that is present but is unable to produce adequate thyroid hormones. On average, 1 in 4,000 babies are born with a severe form of CHT in Sri Lanka, while milder forms can be seen more commonly. If left untreated, the condition can affect brain development as well as normal growth in children and adolescents. Conversely, if detected and treated early, the damaging effects of CHT can be reversed and prevented completely.

“As Sri Lanka’s leading private sector childcare health service provider, we want to draw attention to the serious implications of Congenital Hypothyroidism on World Thyroid Day this year. Congenital Hypothyroidism is a condition which has a detrimental impact on postnatal development. For this reason, early detection and treatment is vital and should ideally begin within the first two weeks after birth,” said Dr. Vibash Wijeratne, Chief Operations Officer and Director, Ninewells Hospital.

In 2021 Ninewells Hospital unveiled a Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) testing facility to support Sri Lanka’s national program for screening newborns for CHT and the country’s vision for a healthier population. Since then, the hospital has carried out over 8,000 tests in 2021 and over 2,000 tests between January and May of 2022.

With the unveiling, Ninewells Hospital became the first in the private sector to introduce a TSH screening machine and became one of the only two hospitals in the country to offer this screening service.

“The screening for CHT is a simple process that is performed using a heel prick test. At Ninewells, the test report following the screening is issued within a short span of three days which is unprecedented in the country. This allows healthcare providers to begin immediate treatment to avoid development impediments in newborns and infants,” Dr. Wijeratne also said.

Ninewells Hospital is Sri Lanka’s premier women’s and children’s hospital in the private sector, providing a variety of specialty services such as Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Paediatrics, and Fertility. The hospital, which is backed by the Access Group of Companies’ visionary leadership, continues to push boundaries and raise the bar for women’s and children’s healthcare in Sri Lanka.

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SL plunges into worst economic contraction in the wake of dramatic currency collapse – CBSL Governor

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Sri Lanka will witness the worst economic contraction in its history, as it reels from a currency collapse of the rupee from 200 to 370 to the US dollar and interest rates contracted above 20 per cent, Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe said.

“Sri Lanka is going through severe fuel shortages and power cuts after the credibility of a soft-peg was broken by mis-targeted interest rates in the course of targeting an output gap (printing money to boost growth) under the Keynesian ideology, Weerasinghe said while addressing the Press Club of the Sri Lanka Press Institute. The event was held at the Colombo Hilton on Monday.

Weerasinghe added: “At this juncture we cannot make normal imports for the next three to six months. Industries are saying there is no raw material. Only essential imports can be made on a priority basis in order to maintain day- to- day activities.

‘Sri Lanka’s economy contracted 3.6 per cent in 2020 amid the Coronavirus crisis and it also contracted 1.5 per cent in 2001, after a soft-peg crisis amid a civil war.

‘The latest failure of the unstable peg with the US dollar came after the Central Bank printed over two trillion rupees over two years to mis-target interest rates, leading to a steep collapse of the currency and a correction of the interest rates back to around 20 to 25 per cent.

‘The economic crisis has also spilled over into a political crisis and social unrest.

‘The rupee’s 2022 fall to 380 to the US dollar from 200 to the dollar is the worst currency crisis created by the soft-pegged Central Bank in its 72- year- old history.

‘The money printing Central Bank created its first economic crisis and output shock in 1953, bringing down growth to 0.7 per cent after triggering a now famous “hartal”.

‘An Exchange Control Act was also enacted in 1952 as the printed money from the newly set up Central Bank scrambled to go out, in a phenomenon that was repeated multiple times over the next 70 years and dragged the country into 16 IMF programs.

‘The unstable Central Bank was set up by a US money doctor in 1950 in the style of Argentina’s BCRA, abolishing a Currency Board that had kept the country stable through two World Wars and the Great Depression, where money printing above the external anchor was outlawed.

‘The worst recorded crises in the country include the 1948 uprising against the then colonial administration which took place after the British railway bubble burst, commodity prices fell and the then colonial government upped taxes. However, there is no information on the economic contraction that year.

‘Sri Lanka’s citizens burnt the houses and property of the elected ruling class on May 9, after the unstable peg collapsed in a botched float where interest rates were not allowed to go up before the float and a surrender rule pushed the rupee down.

‘Interest rates were allowed to go up after my appointment as CBSL Governor and the economy is now slowing and the headlong crash of the rupee peg has slowed.’

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