TM Gihan Kehelella and TM Shabir Dole receiving the Golden Gavel Award from former District Director DTM Sarma Mahalingam
Amana Bank Toastmasters Club, identified to be among the flourishing clubs of the Toastmasters District 82, further strengthened its stake when it was awarded the prestigious Golden Gavel Award for the year 2019/2020.
The Golden Gavel Award, the highest honour for clubs in Toastmasters, is awarded in recognition of a club’s outstanding achievements in communication and leadership, having fulfilled stipulated goals set by Toastmasters International and District 82. In addition to the Golden Gavel Award, the club was also recognized with the Emerging Club Gold Award as well as the Smedely and Talk-Up Toastmasters Membership Development Awards for the year 2019/2020. Established in 2014, Amãna Bank Toastmasters Club has been at the forefront in the Toastmaster fraternity with many club and individual achievements since inception. The Club has been accredited with the President’s Distinguished Award for three consecutive years in 2017/2018, 2018/2019 and 2019/2020.
Commenting on the progress thus far, TM Gihan Kehelella (Manager – Operations Department), the Immediate Past President of the Club said, “It gives me great pleasure to have been able to lead a club as diverse as Amana Bank Toastmasters Club. I have to note that Amana Bank Toastmasters Club has been able to deliver great insights and productive outputs in terms of communication, leadership, integrity and punctuality that seem to be key values expected from a banker. I believe that the club would help nurture skills of the whole Amana Bank fraternity.”
The District Director of Toastmasters District 82, DTM Sarma Mahalingam commenting on the contribution made by Amana Bank said, “It is quite commendable to note the growth of Amana Bank Toastmasters Club throughout the years. I am pleased to have been able to witness the education, training and programming efforts of the Club. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the current club officers and the past committee for their work for bringing up the Club to where it is today. I would also like to acknowledge the support rendered by management of Amana Bank for establishing and fostering this Toastmasters club. I’m sure that the club will enable its members to improve their communication and leadership skills, thereby positively contributing towards Amana Bank.”
At individual level some of the key achievements from Amãna Bank Toastmasters Club members include DTM Shazuli Raheem (Manager – Service & Quality Assurance) and DTM Muhammed Humaidh (Customer Relationship Officer) been awarded the Distinguished Toastmaster Award, which is the pinnacle of educational achievements in Toastmasters. At an international level, TM Dilan Joseph (Manager – Digital Customer Experience) represented Division F at the Humorous Speech Competition of District 82 at Ovation 2019 held in India. In addition to these accolades, members have contributed in undertaking exemplary leadership roles in the district; DTM Shazuli Raheem as the Division Director 2020/2021, TM Shamil Aniff (Executive – Administration) as the Area F2 Director 2020/2021, DTM Muhammed Humaidh as the Area F5 Director 2020/2021 and TM Shabbir Dole (Relationship Executive) as the District 82 PR Creative Co-Chair, while TM Nuwan Fernando (Manager – Finance) served as Area F2 Director during 2019/2020.
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Unlimited music streaming platform in Sri Lanka
SLT-Mobitel, the nation’s ICT and Telecommunications Service Provider recently partnered with Spotify, to mark their launch in Sri Lanka. Spotify is a paid premium music streaming app which allows subscribers to listen to music to their hearts content. Both, SLT-Mobitel Post-Paid and Pre-Paid customers will now be able to enjoy Spotify by activating a monthly recurring subscription or one-time subscription plan and access unlimited music streaming and downloading facilities.
The subscription charges will get added to the user’s customary billing, where payment will be deducted in real time. Starting from the payment date, the user will be able to access Spotify and download their favourite songs, for the next 30 days. Users who sign up for their first monthly subscription will receive an additional one month, courtesy of Spotify. The one-month subscription plan is not applicable with one-time subscription plans. SLT-Mobitel data rates, depending on the user’s respective broadband charges, will apply.
Spotify also has some exciting features that will provide SLT-Mobitel customers with the opportunity to listen to ad-free music, access millions of uninterrupted music under one platform, play any song they like, anywhere they go, and also be able to enjoy their music offline.
SLT-Mobitel customers can select their preferred premium package under four categories; Individual, Duo, Family, Student. Each category has recurring and non-recurring plans. After one month of free streaming, the package will activate once the offer period terminates. While both, the Individual and Student premiums are limited to one account user, the Duo package offers two accounts and the Family premium is accessible through six accounts. To view Spotify plans, users can log on to https://spoti.fi/3aLWvce
Sri Lanka using ‘sovereign power’ over economy: CB Governor
by Sanath Nanayakkare
Anyone conversant with the elements of a political economy would know that Sri Lanka is using its ‘sovereign power’ to manage the different dynamics of the economy in a sustainable manner, Professor W. D Lakshman Governor of the Central Bank said on Wednesday.
“Some critics are saying that we adopt a so-called modern monetary theory. That’s not the case. In fact, Sri Lanka is using its sovereign power in a number of economic aspects to honour its external debt repayment commitments as well as to reduce its debt burden in the medium term as well as achieve resilient growth in the medium to long term, he said.
“We make policy decisions to boost our gross foreign reserves, meet our external debt servicing, to facilitate monetary expansion, to boost our GDP growth, to strengthen our current account balance and manage our domestic and external economic variables in a sustainable manner. This is not a modern monetary theory. This is an age-old tool used by central banks around the world when the circumstances demand it, he said.
“Certain trade-offs will be necessary when dealing with an economy which has a big fiscal gap to bridge. There are efforts to push Sri Lanka towards the IMF again which would in turn have influence on our policymaking. We have taken policy measures to stabilize the economy and we have adequate reserve levels to meet our debt repayments. Meanwhile, we are in negotiations with overseas central banks and multilateral agencies to further boost our reserve level and it would materialise within a matter of weeks,” he noted.
“One of the tools the Central Bank has introduced is in respect of repatriation of export proceeds into Sri Lanka and conversion of such proceeds into Sri Lankan rupees in order to strengthen the foreign exchange situation of the country,” he said.
The Governor made these remarks while delivering the keynote speech at a webinar organised by the Veemansa Initiative led by its Managing Director Luxman Siriwardene – the former Executive Director of Pathfinder Foundation.
The webinar revolved round the topic ‘External debt situation in Sri Lanka: Are we heading for a resolution or crisis?’
Professor Sirimal Abeyratne, Prof. Sumanasiri Liyanage, Dr. Nishan de Mel and Dr. Ravi Liyanage were the other speakers on the panel.
CSE on the rebound; indices close positive
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
CSE produced signs of a rebound yesterday with both indices closing positive, though turnover remained low. Central Bank Governor W.D Lakshman’s recent statement on managing foreign reserves gave some boost to the market yesterday, stock market analysts said.
The index experienced a zigzag movement within the early hours of trading; thereafter, it recorded a slight up-trend as it reached its intraday high of 7,439. Later, the market witnessed a down-trend at mid-day, followed by a sideways movement and closed at 7,372, gaining 43 points during the month of February, market sources said.
It is said the banking sector dominated turnover with a contribution of considerable parcel trades in Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank and HNB.
Further, the Commercial Bank’s impressive quarterly results during the recent turbulent period also built investor confidence. Commercial Bank was able to register a18 percent net interest income when other banks were reporting a decline. Its share price increased by Rs. 3 or 3.5 percent. On the previous day, its shares started trading at Rs. 85 and at the end of the day they moved up to Rs. 88. Due to the positive growth results, the bank announced a Rs. 4.40 dividend per share, plus a Rs. 2 script divergent for every share.
Further, Sampath Bank shares also appreciated in both crossing and retail. In crossings its shares appreciated by Rs. 1.At the end of the day they moved up to Rs. 154.50. In the retail market, its shares moved up by Rs. 2 or 1.3 percent. Previously, its shares fetched Rs. 154 and at the end of yesterday they moved up to Rs. 156.
Amid those developments, both indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by 104.48 points and S and P SL20 rose by 67.78 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in Sampath Bank, where 3.9 million shares crossed for Rs. 602.2 million, its share price being Rs. 154.50, HNB 375,000 shares crossed for Rs. 39.4 million, its shares traded at Rs. 105, Pan Asia Power 9.5 million shares crossed for Rs. 33.2 million, its shares traded at Rs. 3.50 and Access Engineering 1.2 million shares crossed for Rs. 28.2 million; its shares traded at Rs. 24.
In the retail market top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Expolanka Rs. 450 million (10 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 205 million (1.3 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 199 million (34.9 million shares traded), Sampath Bank Rs. 191 million (1.2 million shares traded) and Dipped Products Rs. 137.7 million (2.8 million shares traded). During the day 101 million share volumes changed hands in 18046 transactions.
During the day, Expolanka, the biggest contributor to the turnover, saw its share price appreciating by Rs. 6.20 or 15 percent. Its share price quoted on the previous day was Rs. 41 and at the end of trading yesterday it moved up to Rs. 47.
Sri Lanka’s rupee quoted wider at 193.50/195.50 levels to the US dollar in the spot next market on Thursday while bond yields remained unchanged, dealers said. The rupee last closed in the spot market at 194.50/195.00 to the dollar on Wednesday.