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‘Wewata Jeewayak’ CSR programme commences 8th tank restoration project

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As a bank that takes pride in its Sri Lankan roots, Sampath Bank has always appreciated the immense value generated by the tank (Wewa) systems in and around the country and its ‘Wewata Jeewayak’ programme is a committed endeavour to restore the traditional irrigation networks that were constructed by the ancient kings of Sri Lanka.

The ‘Wewata Jeewayak’ programme is a part of Sampath Bank PLC’s community capacity building initiatives that aims to provide sustainable solutions to ensure a dependable supply of water for dry zone farmers to cultivate their paddy land and harvest both the Yala and Maha paddy seasons, annually. Through the project, the Bank aims to promote organic farming as a viable means of maintaining a sustainable livelihood through agriculture. Furthermore, this project contributes to the Bank’s triple bottom line as it enriches the lives of the community in the area, improves the water capacity of the tank and develops the surrounding eco-system and empowers agri-entrepreneurs by making them financially inclusive.

A structured undertaking to rebuild the tanks that have suffered neglect and ruin due to the passage of time, the ‘Wewata Jeewayak’ programme has seen the restoration of seven tanks to date namely; Udamaththala Wewa in Lunugamwehera (2001), Ilukpelassa Wewa in Thanamalwila (2002), Konketiara Wewa in Hambantota (2002), Dematawa Wewa in Panduwasnuwara (2014), Halmillakulama Wewa in Nochchiyagama (2017), Ambagahawewa in Kahatagasdigiliya (2018), Dhanyawa Wewa in Divulankadawala (2018) and has just broken ground on its latest project, the Kindagalla Wewa in Bibile.

Located in the Kokunnewa area in the Monaragala district, the Kindagalla tank has a surface area of 15 acres and currently provides water to 62 acres of paddy land, benefitting 60 farmer families. Post restoration the tank will supply 262 acres of farming land with water, thereby directly benefiting 260 families. The restoration work will be executed under the supervision and technical expertise of the Agrarian Development Department in Monaragala with the villagers forming most of the labour force.

The ground-breaking ceremony was preceded by several cultural and religious observances in order to invoke blessings upon the project. The ground breaking was conducted to the chanting of Pirith by religious leaders from the village temple and saw the participation of representatives of Sampath Bank, several government officials from the area, customers, members of farmers associations, village leaders as well as members of the community.

Speaking about the Bank’s ‘Wewata Jeewayak’ programme, Thusitha Nakandala, Group Chief Human Resource Officer of Sampath Bank PLC said, “It is challenging for the villagers to shoulder the entire burden of renovating and reconstructing these tanks. This task requires a lot of responsibility and such a meticulous process may affect the lives and livelihoods of the people residing in the area. Right from the inception, we have been working with government authorities and local communities to restore tanks around the island. Together with technical support from the Department of Agrarian Development and Department of Irrigation, we are very proud to be able to restore these tanks, thereby uplifting the lives of the people in the area and enabling a return to a historic and effective irrigation system.”

Currently, the tank’s bund has been damaged and its height is not enough to maintain the required water capacity for both seasons. Furthermore, the tank’s spill has been damaged, thereby greatly reducing its water retention capability. The restoration work which includes excavation of the tank and rebuilding of the tank bund and spill, is estimated to take approximately three months.

Sampath Bank’s CSR activities display a strong commitment to serve the community and generate sustainable benefits for the country and its citizens while supporting the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations. The Bank considers CSR to be an ingrained aspect of its operations and has constantly gone above and beyond the natural obligations which govern its activities in the ordinary course of business. With proven expertise and professionalism in banking and finance, Sampath Bank’s CSR efforts will be central towards economic development and the growth of individuals and society at large.

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‘A supermarket in your pocket’

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For large corporates, understanding the pulse of one’s stakeholders assures longevity and relevance. From serving a few to serving many, Cargills has undergone numerous changes as a corporate entity throughout its rich history of over 175 years. Reflecting on its journey thus far, Cargills transformed from a primarily wholesale and retail business to a pivotal player across multiple sectors within the food and beverage industry in Sri Lanka.

From introducing the first bona fide supermarket, Cargills Food City which revolutionised modern retailing in the country, to acquiring long-standing food brands and elevating them to new heights, Cargills has never shied away from diving into new ventures.

At its core is a deep intrinsic understanding of its stakeholders, from farmers to customers across all 25 districts. While the looming pandemic in March 2020 sought to disrupt the normal, this same understanding, a pulse if you will, directed a new norm.

Like many other businesses, Cargills was compelled to adapt. While it has a wide network of supermarkets across the island which were in fact operational during this time, there were no customers to be served due to the imposed lockdown. Almost overnight, the Cargills Rewards website was transformed to a new system for customers to order their groceries. It was a simple solution, that leveraged its supply chain to help facilitate hyperlocal delivery for customer’s within a 5km radius of its outlets.

Furthermore, container trucks carrying well displayed groceries were dispatched to neighborhoods, pioneering Asia’s first mobile supermarket, ‘Cargills 2 Home’. This ingenuity was driven by the top brass, who too feel the pulse of their stakeholders and so brought the supermarket experience to the customer’s home.

(Cargills)

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Raddella Holdings launches first biotech insulin manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka

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Raddella Holdings introduce yet another revolutionary first with the launch of Sri Lanka’s first and only biotech insulin manufacturing plant. The recently concluded groundbreaking ceremony was held on September18, at the Koggala Export Processing Zone. The landmark event was attended by a host of dignitaries and guests including the State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply, and Regulation – (Prof.) Channa Jayasumana, Minister of Tourism – Prasanna Ranatunga, Minister of Plantation – (Dr.) Ramesh Pathirana, State Minister of Rural and School Sports Infrastructure Development – Thenuka Vidanagamage and many more.

The operation of the new plant will involve a joint venture between the Premium International Injectable Company (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Raddella Holdings and the State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC). All new products manufactured as a result of this venture will be done under the SPMC brand name, with full government supervision.

The biotechnology manufacturing plant is a Rs. 3.5 billion, 100% local investment, which will employ over 200 specialized and highly trained professionals. All technology used in manufacturing will be state-of-the-art and conform to the highest tier of European standardization. This new plant has the capacity to meet 100% of projected local demand for next 15 years. The surplus produced thereafter will be exported and provide a valuable source of foreign revenue.

The new plant will utilize world famous SCADA systems to monitor and control the plant, all equipment, and the entire manufacturing process. This will guarantee the highest level of quality control, where all records of manufacture are completely automated and thus tamper-proof. Other quality control methods include adhering to the European Union Goods Manufacturing Practice (EUGMP), Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), while also complying with the strict standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The extensive planning for the plant happened over the last two years, in this time all designs, technology transfers, and specialist training have been completed, with all approvals and certification having been obtained. With construction completed soon, the plant will commence operations shortly.

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AIA Insurance Platinum Sponsor of Sri Lanka’s Most Admired Companies

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AIA Sri Lanka is proud to partner as Platinum Sponsor, The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) in presenting ‘Sri Lanka’s Most Admired Companies Awards 2020’.

This is the third year of the prestigious Awards ceremony for which AIA has been the Platinum Sponsor. The awards are intended at recognizing companies that are a cut above the rest in terms of not just their financial performance but also on the value they create in a sustainable and ethical way for their employees, customers, investors and the general community.

Companies that have been in business for over 5 years as at June 30 2020 and are 30% or more of Sri Lankan ownership are eligible to enter this Awards competition which is open to both listed and unlisted companies in Sri Lanka. (AIA)

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