For over 30 years, Women In Need (WIN) has spearheaded the fight to stop violence against women and girls in Sri Lanka, giving a voice to the countless number of victims whose stories of abuse have been silenced. In October 2021, WIN secured support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to continue its work through a five-year project titled “WIN AGAINST VIOLENCE” (WAV) in six districts – Anuradhapura, Badulla, Batticaloa, Colombo, Jaffna and Matara. WIN launched the activity in Colombo on 26 September 2022. The State Minister of Women and Child Affairs and Social Empowerment, Ms. Geetha Kumarasinge, and a host of other dignitaries including representatives from the Government of Sri Lanka, USAID, civil society, police, and healthcare attended the event.
WAV aims to ensure concerted and cohesive action to address and prevent sex and gender-based violence (SGBV), through strategic interventions, advocacy efforts, and strengthened partnerships with WIN’s network of stakeholders. Activities will include the continued provision of essential services to survivors of SGBV such as counseling, legal and emergency shelter support; and strengthening of divisional level forums to address SGBV. Under the project, WIN will also establish safe cities for women and girls in selected areas, and a summit on gender equality to mobilize stakeholders on issues related to women’s rights and gender.
Speaking at the event, State Minister Ms. Geetha Kumarasinghe stated, “In this unprecedented economic climate, most women are presented with a unique set of issues that have handicapped them and their families; and made them more vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence. We often hear of instances when mothers are forced to make heartbreaking decisions to ease their troubles. It is in times like these that we are reminded of how important it is to empower women to stand on their own feet and become financially independent. We need a complete change in attitudes towards women and gender-related issues. I am honoured to be a part of this event organized by WIN. The organization has been supporting survivors of violence and empowering them to reclaim their lives for the past three decades.”
Executive Director of WIN, Ms. Savithri Wijesekera added, “The WAV project takes a holistic approach to address sexual and gender-based violence. The project will ensure the relevant state officials, NGOs, and CSOs are working collaboratively towards addressing gender-based violence. The safe cities will be places that women and girls can navigate comfortably and safely whether they are accessing public transport or whether they are in the comfort of their homes. We will also raise awareness on gender-related issues among youth and open a new center in Ratnapura.”
Kevin Dean, Office Director – USAID, Governance and Vulnerable Population said, “Regardless of the form that GBV takes, it is a human rights abuse, a public health challenge, and a barrier to civic, social, political, and economic participation and development. We are excited to collaborate with WIN which is committed to empowering Sri Lankan women through providing counseling, legal advice, shelter assistance, and care packages.”
BOI reports FDI inflows of US$ 713 million in first nine months of 2022
Signs 123 agreements to the value of US$ 1.9 billion in first 11 months
The Board of Investments of Sri Lanka (BOI) has attracted foreign direct investment at record levels notwithstanding a spate of global and local volatilities with total FDI inflows amounting to US$ 713 million in the first nine months of 2022, which is 71% of the 2022 full-year target of US$ 1 bn, revealed State Minister of Investment Promotion Dilum Amunugama.
Further, as of the first eleven months, BOI has inked a total of 123 agreements to the value of US$ 1.9 billion, which consists of US$ 1.5 billion in new projects and US$ 400 million in expansions.
New projects are from countries such as India, Japan, Norway, Hong Kong, the UK, the USA, and Singapore. Out of 41 new projects, the majority are for the manufacturing sector including apparel followed by ICT, Tourism, Infrastructure, Utilities, Services, and Agriculture sectors while most of the expansions of existing projects are from the manufacturing sector including apparel followed by logistics, telecommunication, ICT and Agriculture sectors.
Meanwhile, the export revenue of BOI enterprises topped US$ 7.9 Bn for the period from January to November 26, 2022.
Taking a look at the statistics related to merchandise exports, data from BOI Research & Policy Advocacy Department highlight that all export items except food, paper, and horticultural products have shown a significant increase in the given period compared to the corresponding period in 2021.
Accordingly, wearing apparel (excluding leather gar.) exports grew 8 % to US$ 4591.86 million in 2022 compared to the US$ 4261.48 million recorded in 2021, while rubber exports grew 3 % to US$ 1,052 million.
Also, other manufactured products (N.E.S.) exports grew 112 % to US$ 477 million, while PVC products grew 20 % to US$ 100.54 million.
In addition, export earnings from Jewellery & Lapidary increased by 16 % to US$ 134.99 million in 2022 while Leather Products (Including Leather Gar.) grew 72 % to US$ 16.32 and Footwear exports grew 146% to 2.6 million.
Apparel exports show the highest earnings in 2022 while footwear exports show the highest percentage in terms of growth.
The BOI has always been the forerunner of Sri Lanka’s export industry contributing over 65% to the country’s overall export earnings and 85% to the national industrial export earnings.
Canisius Fernando re-elected CNCI Chairman for another term
The Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) had its 61st Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 25th November 2022 at Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo. Thilaka Jayasundara, Secretary, Ministry of Industries was the Chief Guest while Chaminda pathiraja, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Industries was the Guest of Honour. Canisius Fernando, who had been the Chairman – CNCI for the past year was re-elected Chairman for another term at the AGM.
Fernando counts decades of experience in the private sector holding very senior and responsible appointments in reputed organizations in the country.
He has obtained his initial Degree in Management followed by a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Queensland in Australia. Currently he is holding the position of the Chief Executive Officer of Aqua Packaging (Pvt) Ltd. In addition to his responsibility as the Chairman CNCI, he also holds the honorary appointment of the Chairman of “Indexpo Certification Ltd” which is a Certification Body initiated by the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries together with the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka.
Ceylinco Life continues green mission with new branch in Minuwangoda
Steadfast in its commitment to a greener environment, Ceylinco Life recently laid the foundation for its newest eco-friendly branch building in Minuwangoda, which will be the first of the Company’s branches to adopt a new low-cost precast concrete technology.
The new building will be built to the environment-friendly specifications adopted for all new branches on Company-owned land, and upon completion will be the 47th property to be owned by Ceylinco Life and the 32nd branch to operate in a Company-owned building.
The two-storey building at No 101, Veyangoda Road, Minuwangoda, will have 3,270 square feet of office space and seven dedicated parking slots.
As per the green mandate of Ceylinco Life, this branch will be powered entirely by a 20kW solar power system that results in zero consumption of electricity from the national grid, will have its own rainwater harvesting facility and a waste-water recycling system, minimising the use of pipe-borne water.
It will also be purpose-designed to make optimal use of natural light and will be fitted with energy-efficient artificial lighting and air conditioning systems. The precast construction method will also ensure minimal timber is used in the construction, the Company said.
Coordinated assistance program supported by multilateral financial institutions is required for Sri Lanka’s recovery – WB, ADB, IMF, AIIB
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