Architect 2009 in March
The Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) will hold Architect 2009
to mark its 27th annual sessions at the BMICH from March 3-8.
It will start with the Council meeting of the south Asian Association
for Regional Cooperation of Architects (SAARCH) on March 3 which will be
attended by all presidents of the architect's institutes in the SAARC
Architect Jayantha Perera, President, SLIA will takeover the
chairmanship of SAARCH.
This will be followed with the inauguration of Architect 2009 Trade
Exhibition on March 4.
The keynote speaker for the ceremony will be Prof. Mohan Munasinghe
who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as the Vice Chair of the United
Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Architect Mubasha Hussein, Chairman of Architects Regional Council of
Asia (ARCASIA) will attend the ceremony.
The trade exhibition is part of the SLIA's contribution towards the
development of architecture as well as raising the standards of the
construction industry in the country.
The objective of the event is to further facilitate improvements in
the industry through the creation of awareness, having both prospective
buyers and sellers under one roof.
It will open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will be over 400 stalls,
catering to all housing needs, ranging from building material
manufacturers and dealers, contractors, furniture and equipment
manufacturers, a host of service providers as well as the construction
The Architect 2009 national conference, under the theme 'Doing more
with less,' will be held on March 5.
The keynote speaker at the event will be Architect Karan Grover, who
is internationally renowned as the first architect who designed a
Platinum rated green building outside the United States.
The rating is done by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED) from the US Green Building Council.
Lankan wins award in Delhi
Chairperson Ramya Group of Companies, Ramya Weerakoon was awarded the
LACAIXA , third IWEC Award at a ceremony held in New Delhi on February 5
It was hosted by the FICCI Ladies Organization in New Delhi.
Ramya Weerakoon receiving the award in New Delhi
This was a significant occasion in India wherein they have honoured
and felicitated 15 women entrepreneurs from USA, Europe, Africa and
IWEC is an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona within
the President Valls program which proposes collaboration between the
Chamber of Commerce of New York (Manhattan), Barcelona and FICCI Ladies
Organization to create and encourage the new companies and business
projects founded and led by women.
Ramya Weerakoon, who owns Tendywear (Pvt.) Ltd, manufacturers and
exporters of high fashion ladies and children’s wear and Ramya
Horticulture (Pvt.) Ltd, growers and exporters of ornamental plants and
foliage received the award as the Woman Entrepreneur in the Asian
Region. She is also the Chairperson of the Women’s chamber of Industry
and Commerce, Sri Lanka.
Weerakoon is a well-known businesswoman in Sri Lanka, who started her
career on a very small scale. Being the widow of a high ranking army
officer who was assassinated during the insurgency of 1971 and being a
mother of two daughters, she started her journey with manufacturing and
exporting Batiks in 1973.
Today she is one of the best exporters in the apparel and
horticulture sectors with a workforce of 2,500. Her determination drove
her to achieve high goals in life.
Weerakoon had been awarded and honoured on many occasions. In 1997
she was selected the Best Woman Entrepreneur of the year. She has
received awards locally and internationally.
As the recipient of this prestigious award, she said, “As I move on,
my vision of constant change will keep me expanding and upgrading our
To sustain a business these improvements are vital.
Also I derive immense pleasure from providing more employment and
improving the living standards of my employees, most of them women”, she
“I also gain absolute satisfaction and happiness by improving the
quality of life of my staff.
There are also those who benefit indirectly from our business - rural
folk whose lives are improved by the development of infrastructure in
the areas surrounding our factories and sites.
Another important venture of mine is facilitating schoolchildren in
rural areas by providing them with all their school needs.
These activities give me great fulfillment, as it is a realization of
my ambition to contribute towards the socio-economic development of my
Wins HR Leadership Award
Past President IPM Sri Lanka (Institute of Personnel Management) and
APFHRM (Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource Management) Janaka
Kumarasinghe, received the HR Leadership Award at the Global HR
Excellence Awards 2008-9 ceremony at the Taj Lands End Hotel, Mumbai,
India last week.
Janaka Kumarasinghe receiving the award.
He has been recognised for promoting Human Resource Management (HRM)
in Sri Lanka and internationally.
As the President of IPM Sri Lanka during 2002/3/4 he was instrumental
in making IPM Sri Lanka the President of APFHRM and a Board Member of
WFPMA (World Federation of Personnel Management Associations).
The Asia-Pacific HR Conference in Colombo, the Indo-Sri Lanka HR
Professionals Exchange Program, the IPM Gold Medal, the HR Service
Providers Exhibition, and the Young HRM Minds Awards were some of his
concepts implemented through the IPM team to promote HRM. Also during
his tenure as the President IPM he rebranded the Institute of Personnel
Management Sri Lanka as IPM Sri Lanka and made the institution more
known to Sri Lankans by these activities and organised a larger and
diverse annual conference and took IPM study programs to the
At present he is an executive committee member of OPA Sri Lanka and
the Secretary General of APFHRM.
A consultant in HRM, he is a Director of Kent Ridge (Pvt) Ltd and a
visiting lecturer in HRM at the University of Colombo and Moratuwa and
the Open University in their MBA/MSc programs.
Chilaw Plantations makes profits
The Chilaw Plantations Ltd (CPL) has made a profit of Rs153 million
within six months after being taken over by the Government from Wayamba
Plantations Pvt Ltd.
Director Plantations Strategic Enterprise Development (SEMA) Dr Sunil
Jayasekera said that this is a remarkable achievement which proves that
public enterprises also could be managed to be profitable given the
policy framework and proper management. He hoped that the CPL would make
a profit of Rs200 million this year.
This was revealed at a press conference organized by SEMA in Colombo.
The CPL made only a profit of Rs400 million for 16 years under the WPPL
but within a short period of time it has been able to settle the private
management agent fees of Rs124 million plus bonus of Rs 12 million to
workers last year.
The CPL which was set up under the Companies Act of 1982 was handed
over to the WPPL under the privatization program in 1992 and it has been
a profit making company with a high quality yielded lands of 11,555
acres on Puttlam, Chilaw, Gampaha and Colombo.
The company was able to settle all the bills in the first year itself
while securing the jobs of all 950 workers giving better benefits. The
profits were distributed only among the top management earlier and it
was limited to a maximum of Rs40.000 by the new management.
The Ministry of Public Estate Management and Development with the
Strategic Enterprise Development Agency has implemented a five-year
development plan to increase profits and to introduce an incentive and
reward scheme to its employees.
HNB water sanitation project to Jaffna
With the latest research highlighting bowel diseases as one of the
most critical health issues in the country, HNB embarked on an ambitious
safe drinking water and sanitation program, which was extended to
include Araly in the Jaffna district.
The villages of Araly South in the Jaffna District, which house about
500 families, mostly farmers, had only one well, which was insufficient
to meet their needs for fresh water. There was also the danger of
intrusion of salt water to this source of fresh water due to over
irrigation, a common problem in that part of the country.
With the assistance of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board
another fresh water source was identified and HNB arranged to have this
source deepened to a fair sized well connected to a water tank.
A water tank and a pump room were constructed and a pump was
installed to serve the needs of these villages.
Through this project a farmer community of more than 500 families in
three Grama Sevaka Divisions in Araly will now get safe drinking water.
The first water and sanitation project was initiated by HNB last year
where the bank was instrumental in providing the people of Siruthopu, a
village in Mannar to have access to a proper source of safe drinking
Today more than 75 families benefit from the well and tank that was
built along with six taps in a central area of the village providing the
much-needed solution to the dire water and sanitation problems faced by
the people in the village.
This project was initiated with the guidance of Deputy General
Manager, HR and Administration, J. R. P. M. Paiva, who is heading the
CSR initiative of the bank to provide safe drinking water.
The Hatton National Bank plans to initiate similar projects in
Anuradhapura, Puttalam, Vakarai and Kataragama in the near future.
Christina Fine Gemstone Jewellery is looking at new export markets
this year, in addition to their exports to USA, France, Italy, Germany,
Australia, Singapore, and Japan.
Managing Director, Christina Fine Gemstone Jewellery, Punsiri
Wijepala said that there is a notable drop in sales due to the global
recession. "Gem and Jewellery is a luxury and is one of the first to be
dropped by a customer," he told Daily News business.
Christina is also celebrating the second anniversary of the company
and to coincide with it will be launching bridal jewellery. "Christina
has earned reputation for their superior handcraftsmanship and for
calibrated sapphires and stone studded jewellery," he said.
"In Sri Lanka, we mainly target tourists and the up market clientele.
In recent times, we see a strong demand from Sri Lankans and due to this
feedback we have decided to launch a series of new products at
affordable prices to the masses," he said.
The new products include rings, pendants, and earrings that are fast
moving designs. Jewels are set with stones and diamonds in yellow gold
(22k and 18k), white gold, Platinum and Silver.
A customer at the shop. Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe
"We are promoting exclusive bridal items for the upcoming June
wedding seasonal period according the need and requirements of the
customers. Most people in Sri Lanka are interested in yellow gold and
there's a trend in youth that they like white gold and silver jewellery,"
Managing Director Wijepala is also a member of the International
Colour Gem Association for 16 years. Christina has won 23 local and
international awards for technology and quality which include New
Millennium Geneva 2002 Switzerland, Sri Lankan Entrepreneur of 2002,
Silver Award Sabaragamuwa Province Federation of Chamber of Commerce and
Industry of Sri Lanka, National Bronze Sri Lankan Entrepreneur of 2002,
National Chamber of Exports of Sri Lanka Award 1999 Gold Award and Best
Displayed Stones, Second Runner-up, Ceylinco Exhibition and Convention.
There are three branches of Christina in Bambalapitiya, World Trade
Centre and Horana.
Christina is an associated company of Wijaya Gems (Pvt) Ltd., which
supplies colour stones to Christina Jewels.
Christina will also participate at the Bridal Fair 2009 at BMICH on
March 28 and 29.
Zam Gems has opened their sixth international franchise outlet in
Doha, Qatar intensifying their strong intentional presence.
Zam Gems Qatar show room
“This is our first venture into the Middle East and we intend to
expand into other states as well. Our aim is to expand our international
network, to have a chain of show rooms world wide and to make Zam Gems
synonymous with fine jewellery,” said Ahsan Refai, Managing Director of
“At present the Middle East nationals purchase diamonds and white
gold jewellery, while the demand for beautiful and vivid coloured gem
stones is constantly increasing. Zam Gems Qatar WLL has introduced a
range of exquisite jewellery and top quality gemstones.
Among them are the rare Alexandrite, Sapphires and Star Sapphires,
Rubies and Emeralds, as well as an exciting variety of the normally
referred semi-precious gem stones the Aquamarine, Tourmaline, Amethyst
and Citrine, Topaz, Peridot, Quartz, Zircon and several more. Most of
the jewellery will be studded with diamonds to make it more attractive
and to add value and sparkle” added Refai.
The potential in the Middle East is excellent, both from the locals
as well as the expatriate community living in Doha. The jewellery is
manufactured in Sri Lanka and exported to Doha, thus bringing in foreign
The show room is ideally located at the Landmark Mall that is an
impressive Qatari castle, designed to meet the international standard.
The show room is in a prime location, which also features many foreign
chain stores and banks. More than a mere shopping mall, Landmark Mall is
a leisure time destination, which also offers a wide variety of
entertainment opportunities for the whole family.
Today Zam Gems has a total of thirteen outlets, seven in Sri Lanka
and six franchise shops overseas in Japan, Malaysia, the Maldives and
now in Qatar. The Head Office in Colombo and the main branch in Kandy
are equipped with Gem Laboratories, Lapidaries and a jewellery-manufacturing
factory. Refai attributes the company’s success to their emphasis on
high quality and customer satisfaction.
“Strict quality control is always maintained. Every gemstone is
examined in detail and graded by our experts before being approved for
use in design and manufacture,” he says.
“We visit and participate in international gem and jewellery trade
fairs in the U.S.A., Switzerland, Malaysia, Japan and Singapore, and our
marketing team is kept up to date with the latest trends and market
demands, which enables us to always design and produce items that are in
vogue and currently in demand in various markets the world over,” he
Zam Gems Qatar WLL was declared open by Fuad M. Al Siddiq, Head of
Project Investment Section, Ministry of Economy and Commerce in Doha.
Excellent growth at HNB Assurance
HNB Assurance PLC has reported a 25% growth in its turnover and a 33%
growth in its profit after tax according to the financial results for
the year ended December 31, 2008 released to the Colombo Stock Exchange.
The Company which is rapidly emerging as the fastest growing insurer
in the country achieved a combined turnover of Rs. 1.84 billion during
General Insurance contributed a Gross Written Premium (GWP) of Rs.
924.7 million while Life Insurance contributed a GWP of Rs. 914.2
million. The growth rates achieved from general and life insurance stood
at 31% and 19%.
While achieving a commendable rate of growth in its turnover, the
Company also ensured that its profitability is also sustained by
achieving a profit after tax of Rs. 164.5 million.
General Insurance business accounted for Rs. 64.5 million of this
profit while Rs. 100 million originated from the Life Insurance business
as a transfer of surplus.
The company has also allocated adequate funds to offer handsome bonus
declarations to its life policyholders up to a maximum of Rs. 40 per Rs.
1,000 sum assured.
The company also declared a dividend of Rs. 1.25 per share to its
shareholders, which is 25% higher than last year. Another noteworthy
milestone achieved by HNB Assurance PLC in 2008 was the Life Fund
crossing the one billion rupee mark to reach Rs. 1.36 billion at the
Commenting on the 2008 performance, HNB Assurance PLC Managing
Director Manjula de Silva said that the company is pleased with the
outstanding results achieved amidst a very challenging environment. He
also expressed confidence that the company would be able to maintaining
its excellent track record in spite of the even bigger challenges it may
encounter in the year ahead.
Richard Pieris distributes school books
Richard Pieris Tyre Company, a subsidiary of the Arpico Group
recently distributed books and other educational equipment to the
children of Gangodawila Girls’ Home.
Children of the Company’s factory staff were also presented with
books they required to start the new school year. The presentations were
made by Director and General Manager of Richard Pieris Tyre Company,
Pushpika Janadheera at the company premises in Nawinna.
A student of Gangodawila Girls’ school receiving her books from
the Chief Guest.
Over 600 children were benefited from Arpidag’s CSR endeavour under
the theme “Our helping hand to uplift learning.” This is the third year
in succession that the Company has presented exercise books and other
tools of learning that schoolchildren need.
Children at the Training School in Gangodawila, as well as children
of employees at Richard Pieris Tyre Company and Arpidag International
Company factories in Nawinna, Kurunegala, Weligama and Kandy were also
among the recipients.
Richard Pieris Tyre Company pioneered tyre retreading in Sri Lanka
and is the market leader marketing over 50,000 retreads a month and is
the biggest tyre retreading company in South Asia.
Arpidag Rebuild Tyres designed and produced by the Company are
renowned for maintaining high quality standards while being cost
effective, which is the prime reason for the Company’s success.
The popular Arpico Rebuilds are considered value for money products
that ensure milage. The Company imports and markets Birla Tyres from
India. Arpico Tubes marketed by the company are also imported from India
while Arpico flaps are produced locally.
The newest product from the Company is the locally produced superior
quality Arpi Three Superstar three-wheeler tyres that have proved to be
a boon to the nation where the public turn to three-wheelers, especially
for urgent travel.
Over 800 guests, including parents attended the presentation.
Janadheera said, “Our Company is committed to lending a helping hand to
ensure the progress of the families of our own employees as well as our
Improving education uplifts not only the individual child concerned
but the entire nation and helps to raise educational standards in our