June, 6, 2023
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) are pleased to announce the MoJo Lanka festival, a two-day event celebrating the power of mobile journalism and digital storytelling.
The festival will take place on June 24-25 at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
MoJo Lanka will provide a dynamic platform for journalists, storytellers, and content creators to explore the rapidly evolving landscape of mobile journalism. The festival will feature a series of panel discussions with a mix of national and international experts on key topics, including the powerful impact of citizen journalism, strategies to combat fake news, and techniques for growing an audience for digital content.
The festival is honored to host MoJo legend and #MoJoFest founder, Glen Mulcahy, as the keynote speaker. Mulcahy, whose work has contributed significantly to the global expansion of mobile journalism, will inspire attendees with his expert insights. U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung will provide remarks. Master classes by local and international experts will also be offered, providing participants with the chance to learn about the nuances of MoJo storytelling. Industry giants such as David Hayward, the editor of the first BBC newsroom to be staffed exclusively with video journalists, will join other esteemed industry professionals to discuss the increasing significance of mobile reporting. Award-winning mobile journalist and producer, K.C Saranga will deliver talks on shooting the perfect story.
“Mobile journalism is the biggest revolution in news. With a smartphone, anybody can assume the role of a cameraman, editor, producer, and publisher of instant news. We support this initiative to mitigate the growth of misinformation and disinformation that can damage the culture of good journalism. The United States is a steadfast supporter of journalistic integrity, a key pillar of every democracy and especially Sri Lanka’s democracy which boasts a long, proud, and resilient history. This is a stance we have maintained for the 75 years of close partnership between our two countries,”, said Gabriel Grau, USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives.
The USAID-supported Media Empowerment for a Democratic Sri Lanka (MEND) initiative has been a catalyst in promoting mobile journalism in Sri Lanka. The festival is a concrete manifestation of this, providing a platform for both budding and established content creators to network, share experiences, and showcase their work.
“MoJo Lanka is more than a festival,” said Jean MacKenzie, Chief of Party of the USAID-funded MEND program. “It signals a growing movement aimed at revolutionizing the way stories are told and heard in Sri Lanka. By leveraging the power of mobile technology and the vast possibilities for content creation offered by today’s cyber world, we are bringing fresh perspectives and new voices to the media landscape.”
The festival promises to be a transformative event that will not only highlight the best of Sri Lanka's journalistic talent but also inspire a new wave of digital storytelling in the country.
For more information about MoJo Lanka, visit our website - https://mojolanka.lk/.
April, 9, 2023
Japanese Ambassador Guest Speaker at the CMTA Breakfast Forum
The Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) the most senior automotive association in South Asia, recently concluded another Stakeholder Breakfast Forum, which was held at the Hilton Colombo Residencies. The event was graced by the Ambassador for Japan in Sri Lanka His Excellency Mizukoshi Hideaki as the guest speaker while several senior officials from Ministries, Government Institutions and other stakeholder organizations of the Motor Industry also participated.
Charaka Perera, Chairman of the Ceylon Motor Traders’ Association, addressed the gathering highlighting the need to regulate the motor industry to protect consumers, environment and the economy. Citing many non-essential imports done in the last few years, he suggested that the government should consider a quota system for all such industries and offer a quota for the automobile industry as well, which would also enable to reduce the exorbitantly high used vehicles prices. He stressed that efficient mobility is essential for the functioning of any economy and that 50% of the current vehicle fleet in the country is over 10 years old.
Perera said: “With all due respect these industries, I wish to highlight the import expenditure for the two calendar years of 2020 & 2021 of some of them. It was $421M to import finished clothing & accessories, $739M for Home Appliances & furniture, $310M for seafood $122M for cosmetics & toiletries and the list goes on.
The total forex outflow for these 04 categories alone was $1,592M for two years. Therefore, we believe that there should have been a quota system for most of these industries which could have allowed all of them to survive including ours. Considering the numbers I stated, the auto industry could have easily been allocated at least $400M, which would have been sufficient for the industry to manage our businesses without bleeding, save over 15,000 lost jobs and provide much needed government revenue” Concluding his address, he requested the Ambassadors support to regulate the industry and to support the establishment of an automotive component manufacturing & export industry in the country.
The gathering was then addressed by Ambassador Mizukoshi Hideki. In his address, Ambassador Mizukoshi spoke of the important need of economic and fiscal reforms conditioned by the IMF, as they would help restore the local economy sustainably. He further elaborated on Japan’s wide-ranging assistance to Sri Lanka and his perspectives on the promotion of Japanese investment in Sri Lanka, and the challenges faced by Japanese companies in doing so.
He said “I would like to congratulate Sri Lanka for the successful approval of the IMF facility as it marks a major step for the revitalization of Sri Lanka’s economy. In order to fully restore the economy in a sustainable manner, Sri Lanka needs to implement a series of fiscal and economic reforms agreed with IMF and Japan continues to support such efforts. Now that IMF EFF is approved, I hope that overtime the economy of Sri Lanka would be recovered and Sri Lanka would be ready to lift restrictions for imports of automobiles“
After his address, the Ambassador took part in a Q & A Session which was moderated by Mr. Yasendra Amerasinghe, the Immediate Past Chairman of the CMTA and answered several questions from the moderator and the audience on varied topics. The Ambassador mentioned that supporting the sustainable development including de-carbonization, filling the gaps of different standards of living in different regions, supporting the improvement of investment environment falls within the priorities of Japan for Sri Lanka. Regarding EVs, he commented that if the power is generated with coal, there is not much advantage in electric vehicles and that Sri Lanka should consider decarbonisation in power generation. But he also mentioned that a Japanese company is interested in making electric three wheelers in Sri Lanka as they are mainly for short runs.
Founded in 1920, the Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) is the only Ceylon Chamber of Commerce affiliated trade body that represents vehicle manufacturers through their locally appointed franchise holders (commonly called ‘agents’). The members of the CMTA collectively employ and train thousands of Sri Lankan citizens while bringing in international best practices in engineering and management, developing a talent pool that is trained and employable internationally.
[caption id="attachment_115150" align="alignnone" width="750"] Ambassador Mizukoshi Hideaki addressing the gathering[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_115148" align="alignnone" width="750"] CMTA Chairman Charaka Perera addressing the gathering[/caption]
March, 14, 2023
The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) Mobile App was adjudged as a winner, in the category of Business and Commerce, by the e-Swabhimani Grand Jury, at the e-Swabhimani Awards 2021 which was held recently.
The e-Swabhimani is an initiative of the Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka, aimed at recognizing excellence in digital application creation. Launched in year 2009, e-Swabhimani 2021 is the 11th consecutive year of celebration which local digital talents will be recognized and promoted in national and international platforms.
CSE Mobile App is a joint effort of Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) and commenced with the objective of identifying measures and mechanisms, required for the Colombo Stock Market to conduct its core activities digitally.
The SEC / CSE joint committee, consisting the representatives of both the CSE and SEC, launched a transformative digital offering through the CSE Mobile App, an end-to-end digital onboarding and online account opening feature.
As for the third phase of Mobile App developments, which took place last year (2022), the committee explored avenues, to bring in investments from retail investors, living outside of Sri Lanka, thus developed infrastructure to offer convenient registration and investment opportunities to foreign investors. Fourteen new features have also been introduced to the Mobile App during its third phase.
Today, the CSE Mobile App, operates in all three languages (Sinhala, English and Tamil) and provides a plethora of services to its’ users. The opening of a CDS account, educational content about investing and trading, convenient access to CSE stock market reports, corporate news, CSE digital services, all upcoming events such as dividends, capitalization of reserves, right issues and ability to subscribe to latest Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), are some of them.
Through CSE Mobile App’s CDS e-connect, a user could view individual account information and through ‘My CSE’ a user could access to company and market information.
Image Caption: The CSE Chief Information Officer, Mr. Chandrakanth Jayasinghe and the Deputy Head of the CDS Mr. Nadeera Athukorala receiving the award from the Hon Minister and ICTA Officials
February, 28, 2023
HUTCH, the pioneering mobile telecom operator in Sri Lanka, has once again demonstrated its unwavering commitment to the people of the country during these trying economic times. The latest initiative focuses on three products, enabling customers to access the most affordable fixed-price options, eliminating the worry of excessive usage and spend. The packages look to empower people to save on their mobile bills and use the savings to pay their other increasing bills.
The three exciting cost saver products HUTCH introduces starts from the ‘Katha Nidahasa’ package offering people 60 days of unlimited calling within the HUTCH 072 & 078 network for just Rs. 123. The second “888” product provides customers, non-stop access to the six most popular social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger, YouTube & TikTok), plus 30GB of anytime data and unlimited calling to any networks all for just Rs.888 per month. Lastly, the 1499 package offers non-stop data and unlimited calls to any network and for just Rs. 1499 a month. The packages are available in both pre-paid and post-paid options and marketed with tax inclusive rate maintaining absolute simplicity and transparency to customers. .
Thirukumar Nadarasa, CEO of HUTCH said, “We understand that people are facing challenging economic circumstances as living expenses continue to rise and even basic products and services become increasingly difficult to afford. At HUTCH, we have always stood by the people, providing comfort and support especially during trying times. With our newest initiative, we once again step forward to help people control their telecom expenses offering smart fixed value solutions that can be experienced with consistency on our vastly expanded nationwide 4G network.
February, 20, 2023
Sri Lanka’s national Esports team for PUBG MOBILE qualified for the Grand Finals of the 14th World Esports Championships which were held recently. Sri Lanka's National Team travelled to Bali, Indonesia for the championship. The tournament included some of the world's best Esports athletes. Over 120 nations competed for a place in the Finals. The event included titles such as PUBG MOBILE, Dota 2, CS:GO, MLBB, Tekken 7, and eFootball 2023.
Mohammed Shihab Rizan represented Sri Lanka in eFootball 2023, and the four-member team for PUBG MOBILE consisted of Haseen 'Nrcxhaz3n' Suhaib, Thamara 'Susthy' Surendra, Pasan 'Doom' Rodrigo, and Harindu 'Amare' Amaratunga.
The PUBG MOBILE team consists entirely of players from team NRC, one of the most successful PUBG MOBILE teams in the country. They won the right to represent the nation by competing in the national qualifiers held last April. Before leaving the country, the team won another PUBG MOBILE event, carrying their winning momentum into the international competition. The squad was able to make it to the grand finals after a resilient display of skill and sportsmanship before ending their campaign at the knockout stage.
Mohammed Shihab Rizan is an eFootball pro. He played Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) for Sri Lanka in the Asian Games 2018 Regional Qualifier and he was the Sri Lankan flag bearer for last year's World Esports Championship opening ceremony competed against the best eFootball players in the world but did not succeed in making it to the finals.
Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, has been at the helm of uplifting Esports for over a decade by powering gaming competitions in Sri Lanka. In the recent past, Dialog's strategic partnership with SLESA has empowered the training and development of vital skills for avid local gamers and help bring structured Esports to all corners of the island. With the widest 4G coverage in Sri Lanka and constantly network optimisations, Dialog delivers on its commitment towards bridging the digital divide by enabling Esports to prosper in the rural peripheries of Sri Lanka. In the last 'Free Fire Tourney' organised by SLESA, the winning team emerged from the Moneragala district and was a testament to that commitment.
The Sri Lanka Esports Association was founded in 2010. The Ministry of Youth and Sports in Sri Lanka has recognized the association with its twelve member organisations as the regulating body for Esports in the country.
Gamer.LK, Sri Lanka’s premier Esports company is the Strategic Partner for the National Esports Team. At the forefront of Sri Lanka’s Esports industry, Gamer.LK’s consistent efforts in organising Esports tournaments and activities have caused a rapid growth in Sri Lankan Esports over the last decade.
Image Caption : Sri Lanka’s National PUBG MOBILE Esports Team Makes it to the Grand Finals of World Esports Championships 2022
January, 30, 2023
SriLankan Airlines has unveiled a new and improved mobile app that is designed for optimum user-friendliness. The enhanced app will afford customers greater ease and flexibility in managing their flight bookings, purchasing value-added services, enrolling for a FlySmiLes account and performing a variety of other tasks.
The new app provides greater autonomy for Customers through added features that are exclusive to the app. Customers will be able to choose their in-flight meal; reserve seats; change travel dates and sectors; buy value added services such as excess baggage, travel insurance and duty-free items; and check-in for flights well in advance.
The ability to manage flight bookings, even while on the move, remains entirely with passengers who will be empowered to exercise greater control in shaping their journey independently and dynamically. Customers’ in-app experience is inclined to be further enhanced with the new ‘My Trips’ feature. My Trips will organize and present important information that a customer requires for an upcoming flight in a timely fashion on the app’s homepage.
The homepage includes other up-to-minute information on the flight schedule and allows users to search and stay on top of the departure and arrival times of flights. Customers can also stay updated and not miss out on the latest deals and promotional fares.
Additionally, registering for a FlySmiLes frequent flyer account is made easy with the revamped app. Enrolled members will have the added benefit of being able to redeem miles for air tickets via the app.
Richard Nuttall, Chief Executive Officer of SriLankan Airlines stated, “Mobile is a priority for SriLankan Airlines. The past three years have seen a massive increase in the use of mobile. Our guests are now increasingly managing their lives through their smart phones as they offer ever new levels of convenience and personalization. The SriLankan app provides these advantages and more, as we create the best user-experience yet for customers to manage their travel with us.”
“SriLankan Airlines has reached another milestone in its innovation roadmap with the new app, which allows passengers to book an entire trip with just a few taps. The app will evolve with each new wave of technology and as we continue to make strides in the realm of digitalization, where the sky is truly the limit,” added Chamara Perera, Group Head of Information Technology, SriLankan Airlines.
SriLankan is currently working on introducing more features to the app in the coming months, creating extra reasons for customers to select the app as their preferred platform to book flights. The app is available for Android and iOS users through Google Play and App Store.
December, 16, 2022
Taking yet another bold step in its digital transformation journey, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) has signed up with LankaPay to launch the mobile device based digital signature solution enabling signing and approving of documents. Sri Lanka Insurance is the first institution in all of Sri Lanka to implement the mobile-based digital signature solution. In recent years, the insurance giant has accelerated its digital transformation strategy to deliver seamless and speedy solutions to customers while deriving higher internal efficiencies as it rapidly digitalizes its operations.
Mr. Chandana L Aluthgama, CEO of Sri Lanka Insurance stated that “This is a significant step towards our digitalization journey at SLIC. Having such a digital management system will improve both internal efficiency and overall business value proposition to our customers and will further allow us to deliver more personalised, convenient, and transparent interactions. Demand has grown significantly over the years across our customer base, moving beyond the younger generations who have long valued the convenience of online services. We will continue our journey to launch innovative offerings in order to meet our stakeholder expectations for a fully digital and streamlined experience.
Mr. Channa de Silva, GM/ CEO of LankaPay Pvt. Ltd. Stated during the occasion “It is really encouraging to note progress made by SriLanka Insurance (SLIC) as the first Sri Lankan entity to move forward with LankaSign Digital signatures on mobile devices for both internal and external document signing purposes. When most Government entities are still grappling with manual paper-based processes, SLIC is straight ahead in adopting new technologies for efficient delivery of services as well as providing convenience to their customers. Even private sector organizations can learn from SLIC as how technology can be used to succeed in the current different business environment.”
Digital certificates provide a secure digital signing mechanism It is a unique digital code, generated and authenticated by public key encryption which is attached to an electronically transmitted document that helps validate the signature holder and authenticity of the contents. LankaSign is the only Certification Service Provider (CSP) in Sri Lanka that issues digital certificates. This CSP, operated by LankaPay, was established with the concurrence of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka CERT. Also, Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) has legally recognized LankaSign Digital signatures. LankaSign certification process is complying with international standards such as ISO 27001:2013.
LankaSign digital signatures are intended to address the difficulties in obtaining physical signatures. Traditionally, LankaSign digital certificates are provided via Hardware Security Modules for desktop-based signing requirements. LankaPay also has launched seamless integration of third-party applications and issuance of LankaSign certificates for integrated applications extending support for mobile platforms. API based integration allows third party applications to be integrated using LankaSign digital certificates provided via LankaSign API.
SLIC serves a loyal customer base of over two million individuals with average monthly claim settlements exceeding Rs.1.8 billion which also includes the largest claim ever paid in Sri Lanka of Rs. 39 billion. As the most profitable insurer in the country, SLIC has embraced digitalization, thus paving the way for the rest of the industry.
SLIC is recognized as one of the Most Respected Corporates in Sri Lanka and has received three Brand Finance accolades as The Most Valuable General Insurance Brand in Sri Lanka, The Most Loved Insurance Brand in Sri Lanka and the third Most Loved Consumer Brand, competing with numerous multinational household brands most popularly used in Sri Lanka. SLIC is the only internationally rated Sri Lankan Insurer certified by Fitch AA (lka) rating and also certified as a Great Place to Work by GPTW in 2021.
Photo caption :
LankaPay Managment From the left:
SLIC Management| From Left to Right
December, 15, 2022
Sri Lanka’s fastest growing telco, Airtel Sri Lanka announced the launch of 'Airtel Smartphone Bonanza', providing customers a chance to win a cool smartphone worth Rs. 50,000 every day until 31st December 2022. The promotion was formulated with the intent of supporting customers at a time when importation of smartphone devices have reached a virtual standstill.
Every Airtel customer who recharges over Rs. 300 on a daily basis will be eligible for the lucky draw, with winners being picked daily at random electronically from a pool of eligible customers the following day.
“Airtel Sri Lanka is focused on seeking out every opportunity to deliver maximum value to our customers. Especially given the economic hardships that many are facing, our response has been to bolster our network, re-design our products, and realign our entire business in order to place ever more value in the hands of our users. The launch of the Airtel Smartphone Bonanza is the latest in this series of value-driven market innovations that we are introducing, and we warmly invite all our customers to participate and take their chance at winning,” stated Airtel Lanka, CEO and Managing Director, Ashish Chandra.
Airtel will announce daily Airtel Smartphone Bonanza winners every week on the Airtel Life social handles, while the Airtel team will also reach out directly to winners with a congratulatory phone call.
Airtel Sri Lanka has been part of implementing many industry-firsts in Sri Lanka’s telco space, and was the first to introduce unlimited on-net calling and now the first to introduce unlimited calls for any network in Sri Lanka. With the launch of Airtel Freedom, the company offers its users the ultimate convenience for all their voice, SMS and data needs, offering even greater savings compared to the competition. With the introduction of freedom Unlimited, Airtel Sri Lanka undoubtedly serves as a clear trendsetter for the country’s telecommunications industry.
December, 8, 2022
Committed to the national priority of uplifting skilled labour of youth in the national labor force, People’s Leasing & Finance PLC (PLC), the pioneer Non-Bank Financial Institution (NBFI) in Sri Lanka, partnered with the Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka (VTA) recently to award 50 vocational scholarships on Hybrid Automobile Technology to 50 deserving youth, enabling scholarship recipients to commence their vocational study programme at the VTA Center of their
PLC jointly with the VTA hosted the inaugural programme for the First Batch of youth on 25, November 2022 at the VTA in Narahenpita under the patronage of Damith Malavithanthila, Deputy General Manager – Recoveries and Loan Management Unit of PLC and Chulangani Perera, Director General of VTA. Hishan Welmilla, Manager - Marketing, Communication and Sustainability of PLC, Shanthi Edirisinghe, Director - Training of VTA, VTA and PLC representatives participated in the event.
“There is a severe shortage for skilled labour in the field of Hybrid Automobile Technology. It is indeed a privilege for these beneficiary youth to receive their scholarships to pursue their preferred vocational study today. You must be devoted to successfully complete the vocational study programme offered in collaboration with PLC and pave your way towards a successful career in the field of Hybrid Automobile Technology.” Chulangani Perera, Director General of VTA emphasized to the beneficiary youth, expressing her views on the initiative.
“PLC is committed to develop the entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills of the youth and local communities. There is a scarcity in the market for hybrid automobile technicians. There are also many job opportunities in this field worldwide due to the emerging global shift towards positive climate action through green technologies. We believe that our collaboration with VTA in this initiative is a timely action” stated Damilth Malavithanthila, DGM – Recoveries and Loan Management Unit of PLC.
“Vocational scholarships offered by PLC today is a great opportunity for the youth to become specialists in their preferred area of interest. As you complete your vocational programme, PLC is further prepared to offer you the customized financial solutions coupled with financial advisory for you to initiate your start ups with confidence.” he added.
PLC is the flagship subsidiary of the People’s Bank, which is one of the largest state-owned banks in the country. Commencing operations in 1996 as a specialised leasing company, People's Leasing was listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange in 2011. PLC is also a diversified non-bank financial powerhouse with six subsidiaries in allied areas of specialisation including an overseas venture in Bangladesh.
Photo Caption: Symbolic presentation of vocational scholarships by PLC to the first batch of youths identified through VTA.
November, 30, 2022
Gamer.LK in partnership with Tencent to host PUBG Mobile National Championship with a prize pool of LKR 10M
Tencent, the creator of PUBG Mobile and one of the world's largest game publishers, has partnered with the Sri Lankan Esports agency Gamer.LK to host the PUBG MOBILE National Championship for South Asia (PMNC) with a prize pool of LKR 10 million, the largest prize pool Gamer.LK has hosted to date.
This event will give Esports athletes from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Bhutan, and Mongolia the opportunity to compete in the official PUBG Mobile Esports ecosystem, as well as qualify for the upcoming PUBG Mobile Pro League South Asia.
Tencent has decided to extend its partnership with InGame Esports due to the quality of work delivered for previous campaigns such as the creative marketing campaign run for PUBG Mobile Pro League South Asia 2022, and the company reached a milestone when it was awarded the opportunity to organise PMNC South Asia with a prize pool of Rs 10,000,000 to the top teams in the competition—the largest Esports prize pool Sri Lanka has ever seen.
The prize money contributes to the advancement of casual competitive gaming to the level of serious Esports competition. With tournaments such as these, people will explore the idea of playing professionally with less reluctance, as the opportunity cost of giving up their former careers for a low-paying sport will be much less severe.
“We’re happy to partner with Tencent to bring over 15 years of Esports experience in the region to the official PUBG MOBILE Esports roadmap. Esports is one of the most widely played sports in the South Asian region, and this event allows aspiring athletes from Sri Lanka and beyond to showcase their skills and make their way to the global Esports arena where prize pools and careers are even more lucrative.” said Gamer.LK & InGame Esports CEO Raveen Wijayatilake
InGame Esports is one of South Asia's leading providers of comprehensive Esports and gaming services. InGame Esports also runs tournaments, leagues, influencer campaigns, and immersive metaverse experiences for companies around the world that want to connect with young people more deeply through games and gamification. InGame Esports also conducts franchised leagues, such as the Sri Lanka-based Esports Premier League, whose brand ambassadors included some of the world's most prominent Cricketers.
PMNC South Asia will be the largest tournament organized in Sri Lanka outside of the Esports Premier League and will be a significant milestone in the company's aspirations to expand the industry in this region to a new level. Sri Lanka will be able to use this chance to expand its services and skills in the Esports industry and become a global Esports powerhouse as a result of the growing interest and proficiency in technology and gaming.
InGame Esports is South Asia’s holistic Gaming and Esports Agency with more than 15 years of experience in organising and promoting Esports in the region. InGame Esports is the first Esports company in Sri Lanka, which was recently certified as awarded one of 2022’s Great Places to Work (GPTW) awards, making it also the first Esports company in Sri Lanka to receive the award. Since its founding, InGame Esports has actively worked towards the growth of the Esports industry in Sri Lanka.
Image Caption : Gamer.LK in partnership with Tencent to host PUBG Mobile National Championship with a prize pool of LKR 10M