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DateLine Friday, 26 December 2008

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ComBank’s e-Exchange users to win cash prizes

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon will distribute a whopping Rs. 1.2 million among 12 lucky recipients of remittances via the bank’s e-Exchange Instant Money Transfer Service during an extended festive season, the Bank announced this week.

Pradeep Banduwansa

The winners to be selected at four monthly draws will share this fortune, each winning Rs.100,000.

All customers who receive money through Commercial Bank’s e- Exchange service during the period between 21st December, 2008 to 15th April 2009 will be automatically eligible for the draws and three winners will be selected each month, Commercial Bank’s Senior Manager for e-Banking Pradeep Banduwansa said.

“With this promotion, our customers will be celebrating well beyond Christmas and into the National New Year,” he said.

ComBank e-Exchange is a sophisticated yet low cost real time on-line money transfer facility which is made available to remitters through a network of agents in over 50 countries worldwide. Those receiving money through this facility can collect the proceeds of the remittances from any of Commercial Bank’s 170 computer-linked branches islandwide.

Proceeds can be collected even on holidays through the bank’s Holiday Banking Centres and at any of the Super Market counters numbering 28 and even on Saturdays at the Saturday Banking Centres. Even non-customers of Commercial Bank can receive inward remittances direct or to their accounts with other banks in Sri Lanka.

Incorporated in 1969, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC owns a network of 170 computer-linked branches, supermarket banking outlets and service centres, and 335 ATMs in Sri Lanka.

The Bank was recently named one of the top 1000 banks of the world and ranked 155th in the world on soundness, by ‘The Banker’, a top-notch global banking magazine.

Snow falls at Excel World

Children at Excel World Picture by Sumanachandra Ariyawansa

The annual one and only spectacular snow show at Excel World is once again on show at the snow dome. This time the snow show commenced recently and will go on till January 14.

A launch was held in the snow dome itself to brief the media on the activities lined up which will underpinned other facilities-offered at Excel World. The theme for this year is named Winter Paradise in order to create the mood for the Christmas season focusing on amusement and excitement for the entire family in mind.

A giant pandal depicting the theme is positioned at the main entrance. The walk way leading to the Winter Paradise has come alive with many famous cartoon and Christmas characters leading to the snow dome. The huge 50 foot Christmas tree is once again on show.

Director/CEO of Excel World Ravi Wijenathan said Winter Paradise 2008 is an event for the entire family to enjoy the festive season for all communities who enjoy the spirit of Christmas and New Year, forgetting the religious affiliation.

“This year’s entertainments will be filled with live music, competitions while experiencing snow falls. The customers could dance and play with snow while experiencing the unique ambience and lighting in the snow dome.


Trinco Farmers trained

The Ministry of Agriculture of the Eastern Province, in collaboration with Oxfam GB and a district stakeholder steering committee decided to help implement proposals to strengthen producer organizations of market garden farmers. Some of the proposals will engage retail companies to integrate producers in value chains on fair and equitable terms.

These decisions were made at a workshop to present the findings and proposals for market garden (fruits and vegetables) sector development recently in Trincomalee.

Over 100 stakeholders from farmers themselves right through to senior decision makers from private sector companies, policy makers, development actors, and donors attended the event to build understanding about the inefficiencies in the value chain, and to identify effective ways to make a stronger contribution towards the development of the sector.

The value chain analysis established who the key players are, what impacts the value chain activities have on small producers particularly women, and highlighted drivers and barriers to pro-poor change in the sector.

Based on the analysis, fourteen thematic proposals were identified across the entire value chain, to be implemented by the district stakeholder steering committee, which has been formed to plan, coordinate, and lead on the market garden sector development related activities in Trincomalee.

The composition of the committee includes District Secretary, Deputy Director of Agriculture Department, Chairman of Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka, General Officer Commanding, Assistant Regional Manager for Eastern Province of People’s Bank, and Director of Rural Industries.

Market gardening is a source of food security for those who are vulnerable and living in poverty; It is also a source of primary and secondary income for 11,000 households in Trincomalee, however the average net income earned by a farmer remains below Rs. 3,500 per month.

Poor cultivation practices and post-harvest handling contribute to 40 per cent loss of production, and as a result, Trincomalee district maintains a net deficit in the production of fruits and vegetables.

Kelliewatte grabs ISO

Kelliewatte Tea Factory of Kotagala Plantations, managed by Lankem Tea and Rubber Plantations, has achieved an operational milestone with its Environment Management System (EMS) and Occupational, Health and safety Management system

(OHSAS) being certified compliant with ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001: 2007.

This is in addition to the certifications Kelliewatte Factory has already achieved, which are ISO 9001:2000, ISO 22000: 2005, Ceylon Quality Certification (CQC One Star rating) and Fairtrade Certification which is awarded by Fairtrade Labelling Organisation International (FLO).

With this achievement Kelliewatte becomes the only factory in the island which has been able to obtain the above mentioned certifications.

4 A’s re-elects Board

The Accredited Advertising Agencies Association (4A’s) concluded a very active and successful year by unanimously re-electing its Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting of the association held at the Trans Asia Hotel on December 16.

Laila Gunasekera was elected President.

Joining her on the newly constituted board are first Vice President Keith Wijesuriya BBDO/Swara), second Vice President Paddy Weerasekera (Bates 141) Secretary Sanith de S. Wijeyeratne (Minds Draftfcb),.

Treasurer Dilith Jayaweera (Sarva) and Directors Michael Holsinger (Triad) Alyna Haji Omar (Response Marketing) Alann Lopez (5th Elephant), Chalaka Gajabahu (Lowe LDB) and Thayalan Bartlett (JWT).

The Board also unanimously endorsed the President’s nomination of Rohan Rajaratnam as Advisor to the Board.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) - Jaya Container Terminal, JCT recently entered into a long term, exclusive Terminal Service Agreement with Emirates Shipping Line. Emirates Shipping Line is one of the growing shipping lines in the world, registered in Dubai Maritime City of United Arab Emirates and commercially headquartered in Dubai and Hong Kong. The line is using Colombo as their Hub port to serve the region. All Emirates Shipping Lines services are calling at SLPA/ JCT covering Far East, India, Gulf & East Africa. Chairman of SLPA Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama, Managing Director of SLPA Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, Chairman and CEO Capt. Vikas Khan and Vice President (Operations) of Emirates Shipping Line and Khawar Ahamed.



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