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Friday, August 18, 2017

Organic Fuji Green Tea Hair Scrub
Organic Fuji Green Tea Hair Scrub
The Body Shop has announced its latest contribution for a healthy scalp and rejuvenated hair with the introduction of Fuji Green Tea Cleansing Hair Scrub in Sri Lanka. Fuji Green Tea Cleansing Hair Scrub is inspired by a blend of Japanese green tea, mint menthol, salt crystals and Community Trade honey from Ethiopia.
Apart from being exposed to heat, pollution, and myriad other external factors, one’s hair and scalp are also victims subject to the daily stresses of blow drying, and the damaging effects of numerous styling products which typically contain a cocktail of harsh chemicals. In order to restore damaged hair to its natural glory, it is favorable to move towards a hair care regimen which focuses on complete nourishment and care, as opposed to one which focuses solely on “shampooing and conditioning”.
Fuji Green Tea Shampoo
Fuji Green Tea Shampoo
Fuji Green Tea Cleansing Hair Scrub potently cleanses hair of any styling products, unclogs pores, and deeply conditions the scalp to restore hair to its natural state. Formulated using a silicon-free formula, this hair scrub enhances blood circulation to the scalp, thereby aiding the repair and regrowth of damaged hair.
In keeping with The Body Shop’s ethos of “Enrich, not Exploit”, all ingredients are 100% vegetarian, paraben-free, and have been sourced whilst being fully compliant to ethical trade guidelines. The Green Tea leaves utilized in the hair scrub have been sourced from the foothills of Mount Fuji and have been carefully handpicked from the Shizuoka region of Japan, thus ensuring the usage of nothing but the best.
The Body Shop in Sri Lanka has also introduced two more new products- the Fuji Green Tea Purifying Shampoo and the Fuji Green Tea Purifying Conditioner. These two products complement the Fuji Green Tea Cleansing Hair Scrub, further helping to round out a complete hair care regimen.
The Body Shop’s time tested hair care favorites are also available in Sri Lanka. The iconic Ginger Anti Dandruff Shampoo clears loose flakes and soothes the scalp. The Body Shop bestseller is made with a blend of Sri Lanka’s own ginger combined with birch bark, white willow extracts, and Community Trade honey.
As technicolour and platinum locks continue to dominate the trends, it becomes increasingly important to nourish dried out tresses. The Banana Truly Nourishing Shampoo made from Community Trade Ecuadorian banana puree, gently cleanses hair drenching it in an uplifting and tropical scent. Used in combination with the Banana Truly Nourishing Conditioner makes for softer and shinier locks.
The Body Shop’s Brilliantly Nourishing Coconut Oil is 100% vegan and formulated without silicones. It can be used as a rinse-off treatment, left on overnight for intense treatment or as a post shower leave on treatment making hair stronger, smoother and softer.
Paired with The Body Shop’s must have hair tools, the Oval Bamboo Pin brush for thick hair, volumising Styling Brush, Paddle Brush for long hair, detangling Wide Toothed Comb or Mini Bamboo Brush for travel, look forward to a good hair day every day.

The hair care products will be available at The Body Shop’s flagship store on Bagatalle Road, Colombo 03, and also at ODEL on Alexandra Place, Colombo 07.
About The Body Shop:
The Body Shop is an iconic British retailer of ethical cosmetics and toiletries. It was founded by Anita Roddick in 1976 with the belief that businesses should ‘enrich, not exploit’. A philosophy of creating the best quality cosmetics and toiletries without exploiting the planet’s resources or people has driven the brand, which pursued sustainability and ethical business long before it became fashionable.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sitting left to right - 15 Months old baby girl- Nethumi Shenaya
Rajapaksha Bomaluwe, 4 year old baby girl -Suwini Umeda
Shreemali Balasooriya, 5 year old boy Purna along with their parents
Standing left to right- Dr. Sunil Bhat, Senior Consultant and Head
of Paediatric Haematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow
Transplant at Narayana Health City, Dr. Shobha Badiger,
Consultant Paediatric Haematology and Oncologist,
 Narayana Health City

Matching bone marrow cells sourced from across the world

Narayana Health City treats four Sri Lankan children suffering from thalassemia major, a life-threatening disorder, through unrelated donor bone marrow transplant. The doctors sourced matching bone marrow cells from unrelated donors from across the world and carried out the transplants at Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre, Narayana Health City. Patients included 15 months old Nethumi Shenaya Rajapaksha Bomaluwe, 4-year-old Suwini Umeda Shreemali Balasooriya, 5-year-old Purna and 10-year-old Mithun Dilesh Welgamage.
Thalassemia major is a rare genetic blood disorder wherein, the body fails to produce enough red cells and the ones that are formed also die soon resulting in very low hemoglobin levels. These patients need lifelong blood transfusion and lifespan is very short. Sri Lanka faces several challenges while dealing with complex cases, especially those who don’t have any family matched donors for transplant and Narayana Health City offered to help. The common treatment for thalassemia major is blood transfusion. However, the continuous transfusions can cause complications like iron overload and blood- borne infections. Bone marrow transplant is the curative option and hence the families of the four Sri Lankan children decided to opt for this treatment modality.
From left to right - 15 Months old baby girl- Nethumi
Shenaya Rajapaksha Bomaluwe along with her mother,
Dr. Sunil Bhat, Senior Consultant and
Head of Paediatric Haematology, Oncology
and Bone Marrow Transplant at Narayana Health City,
along with 4 year old baby girl -Suwini Umeda
Shreemali Balasooriya, 5 year old boy Purna,
 mother and grandmother of the children and
Dr. Shobha Badiger, Consultant Paediatric
Haematology and Oncologist, Narayana Health City
For Narayana Health City, it was a challenge to meet, as all previous attempts elsewhere to find matching bone marrow donors in the families of these children had failed. Fortunately, the team could find matching donors for all four children. While Suwini and Purna found saviours in Datri Registry (India), the other two found matching donors from German Registry (DKMS) in London.
Elaborating about the treatment, Dr. Sunil Bhat, Senior Consultant and Head of Paediatric Haematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant at Narayana Health City,  said, “Apart from finding human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matched donors for all the 4 children the biggest challenge was to ensure acceptance of the stem cells by the recipient’s system. In unrelated bone marrow transplant, unlike in related donors, the genetic makeup and immune systems in the recipient and the donor are very different. Hence the chances for complications both during and post-transplant are very high. Fortunately, in the case of these children their body responded very positively to the transplant and that has helped us to cure them of thalassemia major. He also pointed out that the chances of finding matched donors are far better from same ethnic background. As there are no unrelated donor registries in Sri Lanka, finding a donor for them is a challenge”
Over the years, cases such as these have propelled Narayana Health City to be the most sought-after health destination for both national and international patients. With its state-of-the-art facilities and experienced doctors, Narayana has not only become a center of excellence for heart problems, which it already has earned a name for, but a leading referral centre for a wide array of treatments including bone marrow transplant.
Sharing his joy, Mr. Jayantha Boolasooriya, father of Suwini Umeda Shreemali Balasooriya, who is the Secretary of The Thalassemia Society as well said, “Back home thalassemia major is considered as an incurable disease especially for children who do not have related donors. The children depend on blood transfusion and thereby succumb to fatalities very early in life. Thankfully, we happened to hear about the bone marrow transplant unit at Narayana Health City. We are grateful to Dr. Sunil Bhat and the entire team for not only curing my daughter but also the children of my friends from this dreadful disease.” Mr Balasooriya also emphasised the need for donor registry in Sri Lanka and having such expertise there in order to help more and more patients.

The Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre, Narayana Health City, is recognized world-over as a leading referral centre for both autologous and allogenic stem cell transplant. The unit has completed more than 775 stem cell transplants, including the complex transplants like Haplo-identical (half matched transplants) and unrelated transplants.

About Narayana Health:
With all super-speciality tertiary care facilities that the medical world offers, Narayana Health is a one-stop healthcare destination for all. Founded by Dr. Devi Shetty and headquartered in Bengaluru, Narayana Health group is the second largest health care provider in the country in terms of operational bed count. The first facility was established with approximately 225 operational beds in year 2000 at NH Health City in Bengaluru.  The Company today operates a chain of multispeciality tertiary and primary healthcare facilities across a network of 24 hospitals and 7 heart centres in India and single hospital overseas at Cayman Islands with over 5,600 operational beds across all its centres and potential to reach a capacity of over 6,900 beds (For details, visit Narayanahealth.org)

About Narayana Health City, Bengaluru:
NH Health City is located in Bommasandra, Bengaluru, which comprises of Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences (NICS), a superspecialty hospital for cardiology and cardiac surgery, and Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center (MSMC), a multispecialty hospital for cancer care, neurology and neurosurgery, nephrology, urology, and  houses what we believe, is one of India's largest bone marrow transplant units. NH Health City operates a stem cell bank.

Yohan Wijesiriwardane, Co-Founder and incoming CEO and Sujith Subasinghe, PAYable’s late Co-Founder and CEO.
Yohan Wijesiriwardane, Co-Founder and incoming CEO
and Sujith Subasinghe, PAYable’s late Co-Founder and CEO.
Building on the success of its growing network of merchants and customers, Sri Lanka’s fast-growing startup, PAYable, announced the successful completion of a round of funding that will set the pace for a new wave of credit and debit card usage and e-commerce led growth in the Sri Lankan economy.
Launched just last year, the revolutionary PAYable cashless mobile payments platform has gained the trust and support of a diverse cross-section of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and entrepreneurs and has become the leading choice for major banks.
PAYable is a free mobile app paired with a free Bluetooth card reader that enables merchants to accept credit and debit card payments from their customers. A highly reliable, durable and compact card reader, PAYable can be paired with any Android or iOS smart phone or tablet to effectively convert it into a secure, flexible and simple to use mobile Point-of-Sales (POS) solution.
Built on the inspirational and visionary leadership of Sujith Subasinghe, PAYable’s late Co-Founder and CEO together with Co-Founder and incoming CEO, Yohan Wijesiriwardane, the platform is now enjoying rapid growth across Sri Lanka.
“It is a very promising time for us at PAYable particularly with the outstanding market success we have enjoyed, leading up to our most recent round of funding. We are inspired by the enthusiastic and overwhelming support our platform has received by everyone in our ecosystem - which includes our merchant end-user and their consumers, the forward-thinking banks who adopted our solution quickly, and guidance provided by our investors who are of the highest caliber.”
“We are committed to driving a revolution in cashless payments. We believe that the future includes a balance between older methods of payment such as cash and cheques, rapidly evolving forms of well-accepted methods such as cards, and emerging methods comprising wallets and other modes of peer to peer online (card-less) payments. Our technology and business strategy encompasses thoughtful considerations of all these factors, as well as what top Fintechs are doing to digitally transform banking and payments,” Wijesiriwardane said.
PAYable launched its first devices in June 2016, has since grown the number of Sri Lankan merchants accepting card payments by 25% in just over a year, and has directly facilitated transactions in excess of Rs. 750 million.
This rapid growth was driven by PAYable’s growing acceptance as the partner of choice by leading banks with others lined up in various stages of testing. The technical strength of PAYable’s platform has resulted in flawless performance when validated by the banks.
Having partnered with three of Sri Lanka’s largest private sector commercial banks and backed by substantial investments from Clarkeview Investments Limited, PAYable is now implementing a fully market-tested plan to expand its network of merchants to 20,000 by the end of 2018 and 100,000 by 2020. In addition to the growth of its merchant network, Wijesiriwardane stated that major expansions to PAYable’s service offerings are planned, including new products and instruments that will serve to further diversify the types of payments accepted through the system.
He stated that PAYable would continue to strengthen its well-rounded payment platform with innovations that win the loyalty of customers.  PAYable is a start-up that was incubated out of Ceylon Business Appliances Ltd (CBA), a 47-year old office technology company. CBA’s trusted relationships with banks and expertise in banking systems helped build the foundation of PAYable’s relationships with banks.
PAYable uses the industry’s best-in-class security protocols, such as the PCI DSS Guidelines, a global security standard developed by VISA, MasterCard, and other major card providers. It operates within a secure network that is comprehensively monitored and pressure-tested to maintain the highest standards of security for transaction and cardholder data protection.

More information is available at www.payable.lk or via telephone on 0117776777.
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

German_Brand_Award_LAMY_2017
German_Brand_Award_LAMY_2017

As part of the celebratory gala at the German Historical Museum in Berlin, Lamy writing instruments was one of the big winners of the German Brand Awards in the king class “Excellence in Branding”, as the “Product Brand of the Year” and the winner in the “Industry Excellence in Branding – Office & Stationery” category. The versatile German stationery brand is made available in the Sri Lanka by Trident Distributors the sole distributor of Lamy in Sri Lanka.

“Lamy brought the LAMY 2000 into the market in 1966 and set the starting point for an impressively large piece of brand work, which has now lasted over decades. Thanks to the model brand leadership, Lamy has matured purposefully into one of the cosmopolitan brands of global relevance and is, therefore, best equipped for the emergence of a new era” said Andrej Kupetz, the managing director of the Design Council and a jury member of the German Brand Award.

The process of digitalization and the accompanying changes have posed a real challenge to stationery manufacturers such as Lamy. Lamy has recognized this challenge as an opportunity. “If everyday communication is increasingly taking place digitally, writing by hand takes on new relevance,” explains Beate Oblau, Head of Marketing at Lamy, Germany. “It is and remains to be one of the most personal forms of expression, as distinctive as a fingerprint. Lamy’s vision is to keep the pleasure of the individual quality of writing by hand alive – with stationery that matches the particular lifestyle and underlines the personality of its respective user.”

LamyCollection
LamyCollection
In 2016 as Lamy was launched in Sri Lanka, celebrating the 50th-anniversary globally with the claim “not just a pen”.  Yasser Farook, Director of Trident Distributors speaking about the brand states, “The message that was launched internationally by Lamy, was the perfect approach as a Lamy is more than “just” a writing instrument. It can be a creative tool, with which we develop ideas and bring them to paper; a companion, which assists its user in important situations over years to come, or a design object, which is appreciated because of its special design. Therefore, “not just a pen” also incorporates the sum of qualities that distinguish Lamy and make it unique.”

Followon www.facebook.com/LamySriLanka/ and www.instagram.com/lamysrilanka/  to see the latest collections in-store or call the Lamy hotline on 0117232770.

The German Brand Award, the Design Council, and the German Brand Institute honour successful brands, with consistent brand leadership and sustained brand communication. An independent jury made up of brand experts from various fields decides who receives the award. The German Brand Award, initiated by the Design Council, strives to promote the competitiveness of German companies. The German Brand Institute, which was founded to strengthen activities in the field of brand leadership, is commissioned with the implementation of the competition. 

As an independent family business, Lamy has been associated with Heidelberg since it was founded in 1930 and guarantees consistent high quality, “Made in Germany” designer writing instruments defined by timeless modern aesthetics and perfect functionality. Its story began over 50 years ago with the LAMY 2000: in 1966 and the model established the clear and unmistakable design which still defines the style of all the brand’s products today.


The company continues to set trends and has inspired writing enthusiasts around the world with its innovative colors and surface finishes. In this way, Lamy continues to reinvent itself and proves that a writing instrument is a genuine lifestyle accessory which expresses the pleasures of writing by hand and highlights the individuality of the owner.
SAP Hybris Cloud launch Group Pic- Representatives ofJKOA, SGIT (JKOA’s strategic SAP partner) and Itellegence (JKOA’s implementation partner).
SAP Hybris Cloud launch Group Pic- Representatives ofJKOA,
SGIT (JKOA’s strategic SAP partner) and Itellegence
(JKOA’s implementation partner).
Leading office automation solutions provider John Keells Office Automation (JKOA) launched the SAP Hybris Cloud for Service customer support module on 6th August at its Colombo headquarters. The module is the result of an agreement signed between JKOA and SAP Hybris in a move that will significantly enhance the JKOA customer experience by enabling real-time interaction between clients and after-sales service providers. The launch was attended by senior management from JKOA, SGIT (JKOA’s strategic SAP partner) and Itellegence (JKOA’s implementation partner).

SAP Hybris Cloud for Service has been recognized globally for its functionality, user-friendliness and reporting mechanisms. With this portal, JKOA is opening up its customer support operations to the end user who then has the ability to engage in real time with the seller for the services they require. This self-service system equips the JKOA customer with the right tools they need to manage their requests, while also allowing them to track repair status and other information on their product, eliminating the usual wait times and dependency on call centers.

“Customers want convenience and reliability because their daily business operations depend on the functionality of these products, and that’s exactly what the SAP system is enabling,” noted Priyanath Fernando, Head of Services JKOA / AVP John Keells Group. “We have been looking for means to enhance their user experience and this certainly addresses a gap in the market. It’s also a very effective way for our service providers to extend their services from anywhere in the island.”

The system tracks availability of field engineers based on territory and assigns the closest engineer to the customer, thereby reducing wait time. Automated billing will also ensure that the job is completed quickly. For the customer, the system will include an automated breakdown assignment option, on-field estimates, repair tracking systems and social media integration.  This social media integration will allow customers to track jobs, provide feedback and monitor progress in real time with remarkable ease.

In addition, the system is integrated with advanced software such as Paper Cut for solutions and preventive maintenance, leading to the lowest down time on machines. The app developed as part of the system can create onsite estimates, and provide immediate real-time access to inventory with immediate customer approvals and repairs.

JKOA has already tested the SAP Hybris Cloud for Service customer support module and recorded significant improvements in efficiency and effectivity. “We were pleased to note that the system delivers on all its promises,”said Fernando. “We have no doubt that the launch of this system will revolutionize the landscape for after-sales services in Sri Lanka.”


JKOA is a fully owned subsidiary of John Keells Holdings PLC, a leading conglomerate in Sri Lanka. 
Deepak Mupro
Deepak Mupro
MUPRO is a 50-year-old engineering solutions company which has been selected to provide World class fire fighting pipe supports system, to the prestigious South Asia’s iconic residential skyscraper Altair in Colombo, Sri Lanka and will have country’s best ecosystem to control fire and mitigate the danger. MUPRO are world leaders and have also designed support systems for Radio Tower (Frankfurt), Eiffel Tower (Paris) to name a few.

MUPRO has Reichs-Ausschuss für Lieferbedingungen (RAL, German Certification), Factory Mutual (FM, US), Underwriters Laboratory (UL, US), European Technical Assessment (ETA, Europe) certifications and has its own technology, which has designed a unique support systems  for fire fighting pipes at Altair, which closes the gap between the installation of pipes which carry water and is ready to install as per International Standards and sets an example of dynamic vertical engineering. 

The support system moves across all the 68 floors, consisting of two towers with a unique design of one tower leaning onto another. The technology enables the towers to hold on to 5.5 lac litres of water which moves across the towers during the time of fire and is sturdy in nature.
Currently, the product line is flown down from Germany and soon MUPRO plans to have its own plant in India by 2020.

Deepak Shewani, Managing Director, MUPRO India says, “Altair is a unique project with requirements that stretch beyond the ordinary – it is exclusive MUPRO’s technical know-how and credentials gave us the confidence that we would be the right fit. The organization's overall involvement in planning dynamic vertical designing supportive network, savvy strategies in tall structures, combined with their solid neighborhood nearness, makes us stand apart from others."

About MUPRO:


With more than 50 years of market presence and experience in the sector, MUPRO is one of the leading providers of support, vibration control and fire protection systems. The products are designed in Germany. Ever since our company was founded in 1964, permanent improvement and extending of our product range based on innovations which offer real added value have made us one of the leading suppliers of support technology. Today, MUPRO is also a concept for progress and quality worldwide.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Oceanpick, Sri Lanka’s producer of oceanic barramundi; supported Sri Lankan chefs as their Seafood Sponsor when they entered the Bocuse d’Or competition, a biennial global culinary competition and a title coveted by chefs around the world. Oceanpick’s operations in Trincomalee also provided the freshest seafood and a grand prize for the best seafood dish at the national level Bocuse d’Or, which was held at the BMICH.

Bocuse d’Or is considered the most prestigious culinary event in the world; created by French culinary legend Paul Bocuse in 1987, It has 3 stages (national, regional and global) and brings together culinary talent from around the world to test their mettle by having them prepare culinary masterpieces live. A jury comprised of the world’s most well-known and respected chefs choose the winner.

At the national event, 24 local hotels presented their finest culinary talent. They were competing to be Sri Lanka’s nominee for the regional and global Bocuse d’Or events. The winning team for Best Seafood Dish was Jetwing Beach, while Waters Edge walked away as overall winner, qualifying them to participate in Bocuse d’Or Asia which will be held next year. Both hotels already use Round Island’s premium quality barramundi in their hotels.

Five star quality: National Bocuse d’Or chefs compete using fresh Round Island Barramundi
Five star quality: National Bocuse d’Or chefs
compete using fresh Round Island Barramundi
Round Island by Oceanpick was the main Seafood Sponsor for the national Sri Lankan Bocuse d’Or competition this year. 24 teams were given the chance to use the freshest quality Round Island barramundi. Not only does Oceanpick produce fresh, premium quality seafood; they also offer a sustainable and commercially viable alternative to stagnant and possibly dwindling wild capture fishery.

This sustainably sourced fish tastes distinctive. “You can immediately tell the difference,” says Chef Buddhika Samarasekera (Head Coach of Bocuse d`Or Sri Lanka, Finalist Bocuse d`Or Lyon 2013 and the Executive Chef of the winning team from Waters Edge). “There is this flaky, intensely delicious taste-it’s almost like tasting the ocean, but without any of the muddiness or brine.” He added that he looked forward to using Round Island’s produce in different preparations as he advances further in his career.

The competition was adjudged by a panel including Chef Otto Wiebel, the former Director of Kitchens for Swissotel, The Stamford Singapore and Fairmont Singapore and Co-Founder of F&B consultancy Otto Scott; Australian Chef Scott Webster; 3-Michelin starred Chef Bruno Menard from Singapore; Sabrina Yin and Chef Michel Saelen from Sri Lanka. They observed and tasted the final dishes prepared by the 24 teams who competed in batches of six on the day, eventually come down in favour of Waters Edge-Sri Lanka (Gold), and Chef Chamaka Perera and commis chef W. Dinesh as winners.


Chef Bruno Menard commented ‘’I often use Barramundi in Singapore and Round Island’s quality is on par with what we find in the global market.” He also added, “What makes Round Island unique is its convenience and freshness because we can get the fillets in the same size range.’’ Chef Menard is also the President of the Singapore Bocuse d’Or Academy and an international culinary advisor. 
(From Left): APEX Managing Director Deshani Gamage, British Council Country Director Keith Davies, and Hon. Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, State Minister of Public Enterprise Development
(From Left): APEX Managing Director Deshani Gamage,
 British Council Country Director Keith Davies, and
Hon. Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena,
State Minister of Public Enterprise Development
The British Council in Sri Lanka expanded its Partner Teaching Centre in Matara recently. The institution is partnering with the Apex Business Academy in order to offer a range of teaching services that will facilitate students to discover the English language in new and diverse ways.

The launch event was attended by Hon. Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, State Minister of Public Enterprise Development and Keith Davies, Country Director British Council. The Vice Chancellor University of Ruhuna, Professor Gamini Senanayake, the principals of Rahula Vidyalaya, Sujatha Vidyalaya, St. Mary’s College Matara, S. Thomas’ College Matara, and Mahinda Rajapakse College were also in attendance.

The British Council is renowned for its English language teaching programmes across the world and in Sri Lanka. The institution works primarily in the areas of arts, education, and society, making notable strides over the years with programmes designed to make learning fun and intellectually stimulating. The British Council’s language programme is its flagship initiative; a wide range of courses to meet the needs of every type of learner-young and old-means that many Sri Lankans have mastered the basics and the many idiosyncrasies of the English language within the British Council’s learning spaces.

Hon. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana
Hon. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana
The newly refurbished venue at No. 104/1B, Rahula Road, Matara is inclusive of the newest classroom facilities, a fully equipped mini British Council Library, computer lab, café, and a waiting area. The courses are designed using the latest interactive and communicative teaching methods with carefully planned lessons to improve confidence and ability. Students’ progress is regularly assessed in all areas of spoken and written English based on classroom activities and take home assignments.

With this reopening, the Apex Business Academy reaffirms its partnership with the British Council. In line with the launch, an acquaintance programme was held for parents and students on 23 July. During this programme they were comprehensively briefed on courses offered by the British Council, and offered a platform to identify which course best suited their needs.

British Council Country Director Keith Davies
British Council Country Director Keith Davies
“British Council learners are highly motivated,” says Keith Davies, Country Director. “They are curious about the world around them and use the English language as a tool to communicate, learn and advance in their personal and professional lives. Our teachers recognize this curiosity and our classrooms are designed to facilitate a stimulating learning environment.” He also added, “We’re very glad to be able to reiterate our commitment to the South by bringing a world class learning experience to Matara.”

“We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with the British Council in this venture. We believe that by bringing the world’s leading English experts to the South, we are enabling students to have access to quality English education which will help them in all aspects of their life,” stated Deshani Gamage, Managing Director, Apex Business Academy.


Registration for the new term in Matara is now open. Contact the center on 0711993751 for more details. 
Dr. Zeeshan-Ul-Hassan Usmani, Director at SAKS Analytics and world renowned data scientist speaks at a seminar on “Data Driven Excellence” by SAKS Analytics.
Dr. Zeeshan-Ul-Hassan Usmani, Director at SAKS Analytics and
world renowned data scientist speaks at a seminar on
“Data Driven Excellence” by SAKS Analytics.
The scale and diversity of Sri Lanka’s economy make it an ideal candidate for the deployment of advanced data analytics according to world renowned, Pakistani-born, data scientist and recently appointed Director at SAKS Analytics, Dr. Zeeshan-Ul-Hassan Usmani.
Addressing a gathering of Sri Lanka’s most innovative pioneers and aspiring practitioners in data analytics at a seminar organized by SAKS under the theme: “Data Driven Excellence”, Dr. Zeeshan elaborated on the many varied applications of data science to real world problems with a view to driving innovative, cost effective, and ultimately, highly practical solutions to seemingly intractable day-to-day obstacles.
Drawing on his trailblazing work applying analytics to non-traditional data sources in order to determine commercial analytical value (CAV) across an extremely diverse spectrum of fields spanning real-estate to garments, counter-terrorism to education, and health and insurance sectors, Dr. Zeeshan pointed to potential applications of his techniques at a national level through the SAKS Analytics.
SAKS was an entrepreneurial idea of Founding CEO, Jeevan Gnanam, who saw the need for quality offshore services for companies that were looking at expanding their business services into overseas markets.
Over the course of the seminar, participants were provided a wealth of information on the fundamentals of data science and walked through multiple case studies where analytics, social media analysis, and data science had been successfully utilized in order to accurately predict demographic behaviors and converted into commercial and social growth opportunities. 

SAKS Analytics is a subsidiary of SAKS Global & the St. Anthony's Industries Group - One of Sri Lanka's largest and oldest conglomerates. SAKS Global is a Business Services firm that provides a range of Accounting/Bookkeeping services, Research & Analytics and Contact Center Services. Deploying cutting edge technologies to generate new opportunities for growth and improvement, SAKS Analytics currently caters to a diverse variety of clients in the US, UK, and Australia.

Monday, July 31, 2017

A remote session with Serverless Inc. Lead Front-End Engineer Nik Graf, who joined from Vienna, Austria.
A remote session with Serverless Inc. Lead Front-End
 Engineer Nik Graf, who joined from Vienna, Austria.
99X Technology held Sri Lanka’s first-ever technical meet up on the open source web framework Serverless earlier this month. The event saw some awesome cutting-edge globally trending tech insights shared with an eager audience.
Serverless: A new technological trend that has been changing the way developers think about writing web applications. It’s a free and open source web framework that has been gaining popularity globally in recent times. The meetup last week was to bring to the Sri Lankan IT community the new developments surrounding the Serverless framework, which is also gaining traction fast locally.
The speakers featured a mix of the local and global, with sessions by Serverless Inc. Lead Front-End Engineer Nik Graf and 99X Technology Associate Technical Architect Ashan Fernando, and the Meetup was seen as a great way of bringing together people with shared interests in open source technologies and frameworks.
99X Technology Associate Technical Architect Ashan Fernando addressing the gathering
99X Technology Associate Technical Architect
 Ashan Fernando addressing the gathering
Held at 99X Technology, the Meetup kicked off with Serverless Inc.’s Nik Graf who conducted a remote session from Vienna, Austria, delivering an insightful introduction to Serverless Architecture, exploring the benefits and challenges associated with using it. In addition to being the perfect icebreaker for professionals who were new to the framework, the session gave other participants the vital opportunity to clarify issues they had faced while using Serverless in their work.
Ashan Fernando from 99X Technology reached out in his session to the participants who had already started using Serverless in their work, by relating his personal experiences with which the audience connected well. The session grew to an interactive forum with great takeaways for the Sri Lankan IT community.
Given the welcome by the local IT community and embracing of the concept of this gathering, it was decided by 99X Technology to proceed with more meetups of this nature with a view of powering knowledge sharing across the industry. Being a thought leader in the local IT sphere, many more events are lined up by 99X Technology for the coming months with international speakers.

About Serverless

A free and open-source web framework, Serverless enables developers to build the web, mobile, and Internet of Things applications exclusively on event-driven infrastructure such as AWS (Amazon Web Services) Lambda. It is powered by a fully-remote team of developers across the world.

About 99X Technology


Headquartered in Sri Lanka with offices in Oslo, Norway, 99X Technology has been adjudged one of Asia’s best workplaces and is a regional leader in agile software product engineering and technology innovation. Its expertise has been proven through a 150+ portfolio of sought-after software products developed since 2000, serving a global audience by partnering with leading ISVs across Europe and Australasia. It has been ranked as a Great Place To Work for in Sri Lanka for five consecutive years.
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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Jetwing Beach dish
Nominated on behalf of Sri Lanka for the Global
Bocuse d’Or event, Jetwing Beach is awarded “Best Seafood Dish”.
Oceanpick, Sri Lanka’s producer of oceanic barramundi; supported Sri Lankan chefs as their Seafood Sponsor when they entered the Bocuse d’Or competition, a biennial global culinary competition and a title coveted by chefs around the world. Oceanpick’s operations in Trincomalee also provided the freshest seafood and a grand prize for the best seafood dish at the national level Bocuse d’Or, which was held at the BMICH.

Jetwing Beach receiving best seafood dish
Jetwing Beach receives the award for Best Seafood Dish
thereby qualifying to represent Sri Lanka at the Global Bocuse d’Or event.
Bocuse d’Or is considered the most prestigious culinary event in the world; created by French culinary legend Paul Bocuse in 1987, It has 3 stages (national, regional and global) and brings together culinary talent from around the world to test their mettle by having them prepare culinary masterpieces live. A jury comprised of the world’s most well-known and respected chefs choose the winner.

At the national event, 24 local hotels presented their finest culinary talent. They were competing to be Sri Lanka’s nominee for the regional and global Bocuse d’Or events. The winning team for Best Seafood Dish was Jetwing Beach, while Waters Edge walked away as overall winner, qualifying them to participate in Bocuse d’Or Asia which will be held next year. Both hotels already use Round Island’s premium quality barramundi in their hotels.

Round Island by Oceanpick was the main Seafood Sponsor for the national Sri Lankan Bocuse d’Or competition this year. 24 teams were given the chance to use the freshest quality Round Island barramundi. Not only does Oceanpick produce fresh, premium quality seafood; they also offer a sustainable and commercially viable alternative to stagnant and possibly dwindling wild capture fishery.

Sri Lanka’s Round Island team (Fazly farook, Marina Stephanie
 and Shabir Ahamed) alongside Michelin
 starred Chef Bruno Menard from Singapore.
This sustainably sourced fish tastes distinctive. “You can immediately tell the difference,” says Chef Buddhika Samarasekera (Head Coach of Bocuse d`Or Sri Lanka, Finalist Bocuse d`Or Lyon 2013 and the Executive Chef of the winning team from Waters Edge). “There is this flaky, intensely delicious taste-it’s almost like tasting the ocean, but without any of the muddiness or brine.” He added that he looked forward to using Round Island’s produce in different preparations as he advances further in his career.

The competition was adjudged by a panel including Chef Otto Wiebel, the former Director of Kitchens for Swissotel, The Stamford Singapore and Fairmont Singapore and Co-Founder of F&B consultancy Otto Scott; Australian Chef Scott Webster; 3-Michelin starred Chef Bruno Menard from Singapore; Sabrina Yin and Chef Michel Saelen from Sri Lanka. They observed and tasted the final dishes prepared by the 24 teams who competed in batches of six on the day, eventually come down in favour of Waters Edge-Sri Lanka (Gold), and Chef Chamaka Perera and commis chef W. Dinesh as winners.


Chef Bruno Menard commented ‘’I often use Barramundi in Singapore and Round Island’s quality is on par with what we find in the global market.” He also added, “What makes Round Island unique is its convenience and freshness because we can get the fillets in the same size range.’’ Chef Menard is also the President of the Singapore Bocuse d’Or Academy and an international culinary advisor. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Red Cross
Red Cross

Red Cross scales up dengue prevention, mitigation & awareness, as the death toll surpasses 300, with over 105,000 people affected


As the number of dengue cases tops 105,000 in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are rapidly scaling up emergency assistance to help contain one of the country’s worst-ever outbreak of dengue in recent times.

The Ministry of Health reports that the number of dengue infections is at 105,153 since the start of 2017, with over 301 deaths. The number of cases this year is already nearly double the number of dengue infections recorded in all of 2016, when 55,150 people were diagnosed with the disease.

Accordingly, the Sri Lanka Red Cross has allocated 50 million Sri Lankan Rupees (approx.) through the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund of the IFRC, to scale up dengue awareness activities in the next few months. These funds will aim to support over 310,000 people in severely affected districts of Colombo, Gampaha &Kalutara.

“Dengue is endemic here, but one reason for the dramatic rise in cases is that the virus currently spreading has evolved and people lack the immunity to fight off the new strain,” says Dr Novil Wijesekara, from the Health Department at the Sri Lanka Red Cross.

Compounding the crisis, recent monsoon rains and floods have left pools of stagnant water and rotting rain soaked trash—ideal breeding sites for mosquitoes. 

Ongoing downpours and worsening sanitation conditions raise concerns the disease will continue to spread. Teams of Sri Lanka Red Cross volunteers have been supporting a large-scale government effort to stem the outbreak—providing patient care at hospitals and going door-to-door with public health inspectors to raise awareness about the disease, its symptoms and how to prevent its spread. Volunteers have also been helping authorities to identify and clean sites where mosquitoes are breeding.

In coordination with government partners, Red Cross teams are set to expand patient care at six priority hospitals and improve or install water and sanitation at nine medical facilities.

Additional teams of volunteers will be trained to identify and eliminate vector breeding sites, and then deploy to 72 vulnerable communities to lead household, school and community information and clean-up campaigns.


“The size of this dengue outbreak is unprecedented in Sri Lanka,” says Jagath Abeysinghe, President of Sri Lanka Red Cross. “It will require a united front in support of the government’s prevention and control programme and committed community action to tackle it.”
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Rachini Rajapaksa
Rachini Rajapaksa
The CFA Society  Sri Lanka announces the fifth consecutive Capital Market Awards, which will be held on Tuesday, August 01st, 2017. The award ceremony recognises and rewards professionals who have established industry benchmarks and spearheaded governance and ethics to advance the domestic capital market. The theme of this year’s event will be to “Sharpen Your Investment Edge” focusing on consumerism and macroeconomic fundamentals driving the consumer sector in Sri Lanka.

CFA Institute is a global financial body that sets professional standards for investment management practitioners and broadly engages other finance professionals through their interest and interactions with the investment management industry. The annual award ceremony is a much-anticipated event amongst the finance community. Speaking about this year’s awards, Rachini Rajapaksa, President, CFA Society Sri Lanka said, “We are pleased to hold the Capital Market Awards this year for the fifth consecutive time. We as CFA professionals like to ensure we set global standards and advocate for professional excellence that ultimately benefits society. This annual award ceremony enables us to reward and recognize local organizations and individuals who contribute to uphold the standards by adopting global best practices.”

Mifnaz
Mifnaz
Mifnaz Jawahar, the Capital Market Award Chairperson said, “The speakers at this year’s event will include Sharang Pant, Managing Director Nielson Sri Lanka and Ruvini Fernando, CEO of Guardian Fund Management. They will focus on enlightening the audience with an educational discussion on consumerism and more specifically on the macroeconomic fundamentals driving the consumer sector in Sri Lanka, highlighting how Sri Lanka is positioned against its peer nations.”


The previous year’s winners at the Capital Market Awards include NDB Bank Plc as the Best Investor Relations team; NDB Securities as the Best Stock Broking Research Team; JB Vantage Money Market Fund as the Best Unit Trust Fund; while the Best Equity Research Report went to Vajirapanie Bandaranayake of Bartleet Religare. This year once more, the ceremony will present all four awards. A rigorous evaluation process by an eminent panel of judges for each category is in place, with the judges commending on the marked improvement in the standard of submissions by participants over the years.
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