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.
Union Assurance launches HEALTH 360 ‘most comprehensive’ health insurance
Union Assurance HEALTH 360 was launched on October 13th as a health insurance solution that covers a wide range of health protection needs for the entire family. It offers benefits across three generations covering the policyholder’s spouse, children, and parents with a wealth of benefits.
Union Assurance HEALTH 360 is designed to help consumers manage the rising cost of health care, especially given the unforeseen nature of a family’s health needs. With a HEALTH 360 solution, consumers now have the liberty to obtain the best treatment for their loved ones and themselves, without holding back owing to limitations in affordability.
Commenting on the launch of HEALTH 360, Jude Gomes, the CEO of Union Assurance, stated, “Your family is your most precious asset. No amount of money or belongings can replace their wellbeing. Today, we face numerous health issues, making it increasingly unpredictable, and difficult to manage the health and wellness of our families without support. We are in an age where 83% of Sri Lankans suffer from non-communicable diseases, with 35% of these being heart related. 4.7 Mn people are hospitalized annually, with 25,000+ individuals being diagnosed with cancer every year. Such expenses can put a serious dent in one’s savings. A good health protection plan like HEALTH 360 gives you access to the best treatment, locally and overseas, providing you a reliable safety net when you need it most.”
Union Assurance HEALTH 360, gives consumers the ease of a single solution for the entire family’s health needs with comprehensive coverage for hospital charges, surgery, medication, maternity services, physicians, dental and optical services etc. It offers the highest age limit for a health rider covering up to 75 years, with a cover limit up to Rs. 60 Mn per year. HEALTH 360 offers a unique, in-built critical illness cover, outpatient and Ayurvedic hospitalization cover, including coverage for vaccinations and investigations.
Union Assurance is a part of the John Keells Group, one of Sri Lanka’s largest listed conglomerates. It is among the most awarded Insurance companies in Sri Lanka, completing over three decades of success with a market capitalization of Rs. 16.6 Bn, a Life Fund of Rs. 45.3 Bn and a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 300% as at June 2021. Set to empower the Sri Lankan Dream, Union Assurance offers Life Insurance solutions that cover education, health, investment, protection, and retirement needs of Sri Lankans. With 76 branches and an over 3000-strong workforce, Union Assurance continues to invest in people, products, and processes with a customer-centric focus to be responsive to emerging changes in the Life Insurance industry.
ComBank first to link Import & Export Control Department for online payments with LankaPay
The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has become the first Bank in Sri Lanka to link the Import and Export Control Department (IECD) to a digital platform with LankaPay, enabling customers to pay their license fees to the department conveniently, without having to leave their desks.
Online real-time payments to the IECD via ComBank Digital are now possible for the Bank’s individual as well as business customers and can be accessed on www.combankdigital.com and its iOS and Android mobile applications. The platform is secured with industry-level security standards to provide a convenient, swift, and safe digital banking experience to its customers, wherever they are, the Bank said.
To use this online payment option, customers simply have to visit the ‘Billers’ section on the platform, select the desired biller and make the payment. Once the payment has been successfully completed, the customer can download a cyber receipt as payment confirmation.
“Technology-enabled access is now much more than just a matter of convenience, as the disruptions caused by the lockdowns necessitated by the pandemic have shown,” Commercial Bank Managing Director S. Renganathan said. “Using technology can be the difference between keeping a business alive or going belly-up. At Commercial Bank, we are exploring every possibility offered by technology to help our customers continue their business operations.”
CSC and Sail Lanka Yachting Group join hands to promote nautical tourism
Sri Lanka, an Island Nation strategically positioned in the Indian Ocean, has a tremendous untapped potential in maritime tourism industry especially in the area of cruising, yachting, coastal tourism and shipping for leisure around the country. By developing growth strategies of this industry a greater potential is evident to attract local and foreign tourists, benefitting and enriching the local economy with foreign currency.
Wineendra Weeraman, Chairman, Ceylon Shipping Corporation Ltd., since assuming his duties, was eager and ambitious to embark on a passenger transport service along the Coastal belt of the Island Nation and also amongst neighboring countries like India, Maldives etc.
Pioneering the yachting industry in Sri Lanka as well as a game changer in the global yachting industry and Sri Lanka’s tourism sector, Pierre Pringiers, the former Consul of the Honorary Consulate of Belgium in Sri Lanka, is the mastermind behind the iconic group “Sail Lanka Yachting Group”, which was launched in 2014. Sail Lanka Yachting Group designs luxury catamarans, manufactures catamarans using the latest technologies and exports internationally. ‘Sail Lanka Yachting Group’ also charters luxury cruises around the country envisaging to launch in Maldives in near future.
Wineendra Weeraman, the Chairman of Ceylon Shipping Corporation and Kaushal Rajapakse, the Managing Director of Sail Lanka Yachting Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the CSC premises on 11th October 2021 to fasten the business relationships between the two entities envisaging to strengthen it with an agency agreement that will be executed in due course.
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