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Switzerland – US support for SL migrant workers

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Launching the Safe and Resilient Migrant Workers (SRMW) project at the embassy of Switzerland in Colombo on March 2 (L-R) Madushika Lansakara, National Program Manager, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Dr. Dominik Furgler, Swiss ambassador to Sri Lanka & Maldives, Alaina Teplitz, US ambassador to Sri Lanka & Maldives, Reed Aeschliman, Mission Director, US Agency for International Development Sri Lanka & Maldives, Nirosha Hapuarachchi, Director Migration Skills & Guidance YouLead.

The Swiss and U.S. governments have joined hands to initiate the Safe and Resilient Migrant Workers (SRMW) project in Sri Lanka. Designed to provide much needed guidance and skills development for Sri Lankan migrant workers, SRMW will be fully integrated with the U.S. Agency for International Development supported USD 18 million youth employment and entrepreneurship project, YouLead.

YouLead’s work over the past three years on career guidance and vocational skills development, combined with more than ten years of experience by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) working to improve the overall well-being of migrant workers, makes the two partners an ideal match. The Swiss contribution of $1.5 million over three years will provide guidance and skills training for thousands of migrant workers, as well as helping returned migrant workers assess their skills learned overseas and link them to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in Sri Lanka.

SRMW, part of SDC’s ‘Safe Labor Migration Program Phase IV’ was formally launched on March 2, at the embassy of Switzerland in Colombo, by ambassador Dr Dominik Furgler of Switzerland and ambassador Alaina Teplitz of the United States.

The project is designed to make overseas employment safer and more rewarding, both financially and professionally, by providing better occupational information and by increasing the skill levels of Sri Lankans who go abroad for work. It will also work to help reintegrate returning workers into meaningful productive opportunities in Sri Lanka. SRMW comes at a particularly important time as more than 50,000 migrant workers are returning home due to the pandemic—many of them without employment prospects. The activity will focus its efforts in Kandy, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Puttalam and Vavuniya—all districts with large numbers seeking work overseas, while actively influencing national policy initiatives for improved skilled migration.



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HNB joins CBSL to promote ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign in Kandy

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HNB PLC once again joined the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to promote the ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign to raise awareness and encourage the public in the Kandy district towards a cashless payment ecosystem.

HNB, together with other financial institutions and telecommunication partners, participated in the day-long event held at the Kandy City Center. The bank raised awareness regarding its LANKAQR integrated HNB SOLO payment app while onboarding merchants during the promotional campaign.

“During the early stages of the pandemic we witnessed many of our customers and members of the public seamlessly adopt our cashless and contactless payment app HNB SOLO. With COVID and the subsequent launch of the ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign the number of users of these types of systems have increased exponentially.

“Given that the mutual vision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and HNB is for a financially and technologically empowered Sri Lanka, HNB is proud to serve as an enthusiastic partner to roll out LANKAQR island-wide. The fact that we now have merchants in the cultural capital of Sri Lanka making this shift is another major milestone in this digitalization journey,” HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne said.

 

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ComBank’s ATM network sets new records for cash dispensed during festive season

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The automated teller machine (ATM) network of Commercial Bank of Ceylon dispensed a record Rs 8.818 billion on 9th and 10th April 2021, shattering the previous records for the highest and second highest cash disbursements for a 24-hour period, as Sri Lanka’s leading private bank facilitated the celebration of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

The disbursements of Rs 4.498 billion on April 9 and Rs 4.320 billion on the following day represented a substantial increase over the single-day values recorded in previous years.

In total, Commercial Bank dispensed Rs 41.748 billion via its ATM network between 1st and 15th April 2021 at an average of Rs 2.783 billion per day, reaffirming the indispensable role it plays in the lives of Sri Lankans, as well as the reliability and robustness of the network. On seven of these 15 days the network dispensed more than Rs 2 billion a day, and on five days disbursements exceeded Rs 3 billion a day, the Bank said.

Comprising of 890 ATMs, the network processed 2.434 million transactions over the 15 days at an average of 168,988 transactions a day, while on 9th April, the number of transactions processed totalled 233,990 at an average of 9,749 transactions per hour or 162 transactions per minute.

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 10 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches in Sri Lanka. 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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‘Ceylinco VIP Cyber Tharu’ to showcase Sri Lankan talent

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Ceylinco General Insurance has announced an online competition with a novel concept to showcase Sri Lankan talent by providing a platform for them with the opportunity to win handsome cash prizes.

“This time, our effort is to organize an online competition that provides an opportunity for Sri Lankan people to display their talent and also to identify hidden talents whilst rewarding them. There will be five overall winners whose prize money will be over Rs. 1 million and each category winner will get Rs 100,000/-. Ten randomly picked voters too will receive handsome cash awards,” said Patrick Alwis, chairman CEO of Ceylinco General Insurance.

The guidelines and the criteria of the competition were announced recently through a dedicated website and other social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, twitter, You Tube as well as LinkedIn. Contestants can perform under five categories, namely, singing, dancing, instrumental performances, fashion modelling and funny videos / Standup comedy. Individuals over 18 years could perform under the individual category whilst the group category will have no age limit.

Under the group category either families or a group of friends could take part. Each entry will have to be specially recorded for this competition. Prior to recording the performance, they should download the image of the logo and have it displayed prominently in the background. Performances could be recorded using a smart phone or a video cam.

 

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