EU provides Rs 4.6 bn for southern coastal road
The newly rehabilitated southern coastal road stands as a landmark of post-tsunami recovery while promoting a long-term alliance between the people of the South and East of the island.
The main coastal and inland road from Matara-Wellawaya which spans 158 km was heavily damaged by the 2004 Tsunami. The rehabilitation has been carried out through the implementation of the highest international standards in keeping with the national requirements which includes road widening, road elevation, improvement of side drains and culverts, reconstruction of damaged bridges, construction of new bridges as well as the provision of other road amenities.

In completing this road section, the European Union has assisted the Tsunami Affected Areas Rebuilding Project (TAARP) initiated by the Government of Sri Lanka and helped connect Tsunami affected districts to the national and provincial road networks, thereby significantly increasing economic benefits while strengthening the social and cultural ties between communities.
The road was officially handed over by Ambassador, head of delegation of the European Commission to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Bernard Savage to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the presence of the Minister of Highways and Road Development and other dignitaries at a ceremony at the Temple Trees on November 26, 2009.

Prior to the handing over Ambassador, Head of Delegation ,Savage was quoted as saying the “the newly reconstructed 158 km of road is a gift to Sri Lanka in the spirit of friendship and solidarity from the people of Europe. This road will now serve as a link promoting economic, social and cultural exchanges and friendship between the people of the South and the East of the country”.
The Matara - Wellawaya road was rehabilitated in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank and the Road Development Authority.

In addition to the rebuilding of the Matara - Wellawaya road, which was totally funded by the European Union, a stretch of 78 km of road from Siyamabalanduwa to Akkaraipattu via Pottuvil was undertaken to be rehabilitated by the European Union (Rs 3.8 billion) with additional co-financing from the Asian Development Bank, which is now nearing completion.
The newly rehabilitated road is part of the European Union’s overall post-tsunami aid package to Sri Lanka, which is approximately Rs 24.2 bn (Euro 147 mn). The EU Tsunami aid programme covered not only affected districts in the South and East, but also provided support to the affected districts in the North.


Agility wins logistics for largest wind power project
Work on Sri Lanka’s largest wind-power project, planned for commissioning in May 2010, has got underway with logistics support from Agility Project Logistics, a global leader in project logistics services.
A contract signed in Colombo recently by Seguwantivu Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd., and Vidatamunai Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd., awarded Agility Logistics the complete logistics services encompassing the shipping, overland transport and delivery of all equipment for the installation of two wind power projects of 10MW each on the coast of Puttalam.

“Agility Logistics was chosen on the basis of the company’s global expertise in handling large scale turnkey projects,” said Manjula Perera, CEO of Seguwantivu Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd., and Vidatamunai Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd. “The first shipment of the two projects arrived in the Colombo Port in mid November, and the wind turbines have been ordered from Gamsea Wind Technologies of Spain.”

Agility Logistics Director/CEO Kelum Amarasekara said special trailers and engines sourced by the overseas offices of Agility had been imported for the land transport of the equipment and components of the wind mills for these two projects. “These projects are key to supplying environmentally-friendly power to feed the country’s growing power requirements, and Agility Logistics is particularly proud to be their logistics partner,” he said.
The land transport of equipment for the projects will be entrusted to a special team of technical staff brought down to Colombo for the purpose, Amarasekara disclosed.

Agility Project Logistics has more than 60-years of global experience in providing comprehensive project logistics service to international clients, especially in the Mining, Oil and Gas, and power sectors. Globally, Agility Project Logistics has handled more than 210 major projects in the past five years.

One of the world’s leading providers of integrated logistics to businesses and governments, Agility is a publicly traded company with $6.8 billion in annual revenue and more than 37,000 employees in over 550 offices and 120 countries. Agility Infrastructure group companies primarily focus on opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, providing infrastructure support in the areas of industrial real estate, customs optimisation, and airline services.


SLT amongst the Top Ten Best Corporate Citizens
Sri Lanka Telecom, the nation’s telecommunications powerhouse was recognised as being amongst the top ten companies adjudged as the Best Corporate Citizens in Sri Lanka at the Best Corporate Citizens’ Awards 2009, which was held at the Cinnamon Lakeside last Thursday.
The Awards was conducted by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce for the 6th consecutive year. Mrs. Leisha De Silva Chandrasena, Chairperson of Sri Lanka Telecom was present at the Ceremony to receive the award on behalf of the Company.

For over 150 years, Sri Lanka Telecom has succeeded in building and maintaining healthy relationships with all its stakeholder groups such as customers and suppliers, investors, government authorities and regulatory bodies, as well as the wider community, economy and environment within which the company operates. Within the last decade, however, the company has taken efforts to strengthen these relationships even more. Having taken CSR very seriously, the company has and continues to fulfill its responsibilities towards its stakeholder groups. Moving beyond its core business, the company has made significant contributions to life beyond the telecom world, reaching several audiences with meaningful support in many important areas of life.

“We at Sri Lanka Telecom, have long ago realised the importance of organisations embracing responsibility for the impact of their activities on all its stakeholders as well as the environment and wider community; not only that, but it is also important to work towards minimising adverse impacts on these groups whilst actively promoting the public interest and development of these groups. It is impossible for an organisation to function independent of the community within which it operates. Thus, throughout our long history and especially during the last decade, we have focussed more on taking corporate social responsibility to the heart of our business. We believe that an enterprise needs to be socially responsible not only to ensure long-term success; but we also consider it our obligation to be transparent and accountable in everything that we do – simply because we are a part of the community and society in which we operate. We not only owe this to our customers, stakeholders and the community, but it is also our privilege to do so,” said Mrs. Leisha De Silva Chandrasena, giving her views on Sri Lanka Telecom’s commitment and passion towards CSR. Sri Lanka Telecom has strived hard to keep CSR at the heart of business, and thus within the Company, CSR spreads across a wide area. It varies from serving remote areas, making colossal investments in building the telecommunications infrastructure, the manner in which business is conducted, selling and procuring, creating value for stakeholders, being engaged in stakeholder dialogues, conserving the environment, supporting initiatives which improve the quality of life of the community within which the Company operates.


CBL crowned for National Business Excellence
Recognised for achieving the highest standards of best business practice was Ceylon Biscuits Group (CBL), recipient of the National Business Excellence Award 2009, organised by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) and held at a glittering event on November 26, 2009 at the Colombo Hilton.
The impressive awards collected by CBL include:
• Overall winner of the National Business Excellence Award.
• Gold for ‘Business Excellence’ in the extra large category.
• Gold for ‘Business Excellence’ in manufacturing.
• Silver for the ‘Best Capacity Builder’.
“We are absolutely delighted with these awards” said Lakshman De Silva, Group Managing Director of Ceylon Biscuits Ltd. “CBL’s success reflects the hard work and support of everyone in the organisation. Many of the team have been with us since the early days when our product range was much smaller and has been an integral part of our evolution”.

De Silva noted that a progressive corporate culture, social responsibility and sustained growth as characteristics that best expressed the CBL corporate spirit. “As Sri Lanka’s leading Food Manufacturing Company we are dedicated to providing exceptional taste and nourishment to our valued and loyal customers, everyday and throughout the year”. He added that the awards were a recognition of CBL’s commitment to excellence at every level.

“The Group performance during the last 10 years have been phenomenal with group turnover increasing from just over one billion to nearly fifteen billion in the financial year just concluded and net profit also sky rocketing during the same period twelve fold. We attribute our investments in technology, in-depth understanding of the market dynamics, continuous introduction of innovative new products, and most of all, the unwavering dedication and steadfast commitment and loyalty of our employees for this impressive performance. We are extremely happy that NCCSL has recognised our commitment to all round excellence in business activity by rewarding us with this prestigious trophy for Business Excellence.”

The annual National Business Excellence Awards carefully examines the performance of an organisation in relation to its business and financial performance, global reach, knowledge integration, technological investments, capacity building, performance management, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. Outstanding results achieved by a Company on these are the factors that determine the awards.


Abans expands islandwide service to cater to unprecedented demand
The phenomenal growth of Abans market share for electric and electronic home appliances in Sri Lanka has created an urgent demand for the company to establish more service centres islandwide to cater to their ever increasing customer base.

Having over 300 showrooms and more than 400 authorised distributors covering almost every nook and corner of the country has created a demand for service centres to be established in the remotest towns and villages where recently a niche market has sprung up. Abans are making an accelerated effort to meet this demand by setting up more service centres and authorised service agents in remote areas in Sri Lanka. Presently fully equipped Service Centres are functioning in Colombo, Matara, Galle, Rathnapura, Negombo, Puttalam, Kandy, Ampara, Dambulla, Anuradhapura and Trincomalee and Authorised service agents in other towns and cities.
Abans Service Centres are equipped with the latest equipment to attend to all service, maintenance and repairs of valuable appliances sold by Abans Limited. They also undertake service and repairs of appliances of other brands not sold by them.

Highly skilled engineers and technicians with years of experience and specialised training in manufacturers’ factories abroad attend to service and repairs of electric and electronic appliances with utmost precision and accuracy, ensuring that the job is carried out to perfection. Abans Service Centres always maintain ample stocks of genuine spare parts for all makes of home appliances.
Abans are market leaders in Sri Lanka for home appliance and electronics and hold agencies for the world’s best brands such as LG, JVC, Mitsubishi, Electrolux, Hoover, Toshiba, Philips, Haier and more. The head office of Abans Service Centre is located at No. 506B, Galle Road, Wellawatte.


Star-studded offers for Dialog Star Points at DSI

D. Samson and Sons (Pvt) Ltd is one of the top seven transacting merchants on the Star Points network. Whilst offering high quality footwear, DSI also provides customers with Star Points promotional offers that make shopping experiences at DSI showrooms even more worthwhile. As points earned by customers in 2009 are valid until the end of the year, DSI has made the choice easier on where to redeem points with unbeatable offers and, this year is no exception.

As the festive season dawns upon us, the time of giving is near. It is in this spirit that DSI’s promotional offers just keep getting better. The latest offer from DSI in collaboration with Star Points network allows customers to redeem 100 or more of their Star Points at any DSI showroom islandwide and enjoying discounts up to 40%. That’s not all. Star Point customers also stand a chance of winning Rs. 4,000 (Rs. 2000x2) of gift vouchers for two lucky customers everyday.
So redeem Star Points at any DSI showroom islandwide and get more than what is bargained for. This offer is valid at any DSI showroom near you before December 31. DSI spans across the country with an islandwide network of 180 showrooms.


Rajitha Kariyawasan replaces Ananda Hettiarachchi at Haycarb
Rajitha Kariyawasan, General Manager/Director of Ansell Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., is joining Haycarb PLC as Executive Director with effect from January 2010, the Hayleys Group’s multinational activated carbon manufacturing business announced this week.

Kariyawasan will succeed Ananda Hettiarachchi as Managing Director of Haycarb, when Hettiarachchi retires in February 2010 after serving the company for 26 years.
Qualified as an Engineer and a Chartered Management Accountant, Kariyawasan had prior to his appointment at Haycarb, served Ansell Lanka in several capacities over a 13 year period, as Cost Accounting Manager, Financial Accounting Manager, Financial Controller and Director/Manufacturing Manager before being appointed General Manager/Director in October 2004.

Educated at Royal College, Colombo, Kariyawasan obtained a First Class Honours Degree in Engineering from the University of Moratuwa. He is also a Fellow Member (FCMA) of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK, and a Six Sigma Black Belt trained and certified by Motorola University, Malaysia.
Kariyawasan, 41, also has extensive experience in financial valuation, company restructuring and privatisation, and has also worked in structuring of debt and equity and investment analysis.

Incorporated in 1973, Haycarb owns manufacturing operations in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia, and is the pioneer manufacturer of activated carbon in any coconut producing country. The company has marketing offices in UK, Australia and USA. Its product range covers standard, washed, and impregnated carbons in granular, pellet and powder form. Haycarb PLC reported a net profit of Rs 294 million for the six months ending September 30, 2009, on revenue of Rs 2,555 million.


Wolgan Valley Resort boosts Aussie travel market
Two months after its soft opening, Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, in the iconic Greater Blue Mountains, has been recognised as one of the world’s best luxury resorts.
The Emirates Hotels & Resorts property has been included as a member of the exclusive Leading Hotels of the World portfolio. Only five Australian properties hold this membership status to date, with Wolgan Valley the second only in New South Wales.

As the world’s foremost authority on hotel assessment and grading, the leading hotels of the world serves as the benchmark for the luxury hospitality industry, and only accepts its members following a rigorous and anonymous inspection process to arrive at the elite worldwide list. Just 450 of the finest hotels, resorts and spas around the world are included.

With sister property Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa in Dubai already a member, Emirates Hotels & Resorts now has both its properties included in the prestigious luxury hospitality portfolio.
Tony Williams, Senior Vice President, Resorts and Projects, Emirates Hotels and Resorts, said: “This is a great news for Emirates Hotels & Resorts, and for the Australian travel industry. We believe that the opening of our Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa is significantly boosting the luxury travel sector in Australia, and we are delighted that Leading Hotels of the World has recognised our contribution.”

Even at this very early stage, the resort scored high points across all areas of the inspection report, from room facilities and guest services, to housekeeping and food & beverage.
“As the sector grows, Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa will continue to partner with other Australian resorts of similar calibre in order to add further value to the international traveller experience,” Williams added.

“The hotels within the leading hotels of the world collection cater to the discriminating traveller, where first-class service is the norm rather than the exception,” said Philip Ho, Vice President, Asia Pacific of The Leading Hotels of the World. “For Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa to be accepted as a new member demonstrates the resort’s true commitment to quality, consistency and personalised service.”

Heralding a new era of luxury travel in Australia, Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa has taken up a leadership role in hospitality as well as conservation. The resort protects its surrounding habitats and indigenous wildlife species, while delivering the first-class standards, quality services and unique experiences expected from luxury resorts.


Odel goes to Moratuwa