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We will be operating tomorrow – BoC & People’s Bank Chairmen



The Chairmen of the People’s Bank and the Bank of Ceylon both emphasized that their respective banks are ready to serve their customers tomorrow (01).

They expressed their confidence that it is the responsibility of all public servants to support the government’s program to build the country’s economy, and that bank employees will do the same.

These issues were revealed at a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat today (28) regarding matters in the banking industry.

The discussion was attended by the heads of state banks and trade union representatives, as well as the Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of the President’s Staff, Sagala Ratnayake, and the President’s Secretary, Saman Ekanayake.

There was extensive discussion about how to keep the banking operations running so that government programs are not disrupted and customers are not inconvenienced.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayake pointed out that it is not a good situation for the country to send the message to the international community that the banking system is inactive at a time when the government has taken extensive measures to create financial stability in the country.

Although it is a common tradition to issue circulars containing arrangements such as handing over the keys on the day of the strike, handing over the keys to safes containing gold, etc., when bank employees take union action, this has not occurred in relation to the joint bank union action scheduled to take place tomorrow. This was revealed during the discussion.

Accordingly, the Chairmen and the main management of the Banks agreed that the steps will be taken soon.

Ronald Perera, Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon, added that the banking system’s support is required for the government’s economic development program, and he urges all bank employees not to neglect their responsibilities to the country.

Sujeewa Rajapaksa, Chairman of the People’s Bank, stated that steps have been taken and are currently being discussed to address issues with current tax collection.

He also stated that it is everyone’s responsibility to help improve the country’s future by cooperating with understanding at this time when the entire country is experiencing economic difficulties.

Commenting further Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon Ronald C. Perera said :

This country is now in a very difficult economic situation. In this situation, several trade unions have announced a strike tomorrow. As Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon, I request that our employees return to work tomorrow because the Bank of Ceylon provides excellent service to its customers. If the bank is closed for even one day, the entire country will suffer greatly.

Furthermore, trade unions demand that the government should make decisions on tax collection and tax rate reductions. As a result, we have discussed this matter with the government. These issues, we believe, will be resolved in the near future. I strongly urge the employees to report for duty on behalf of the bank and its customers.

People’s Bank Chairman Sujeewa Rajapaksa further said :

Several trade unions have organized a strike for tomorrow. As Chairman of the People’s Bank, I request that you report to work as People’s Bank employees. People’s Bank makes a significant contribution to the economy of this country. We serve a large number of people and customers, as well as economic operators. As a result, we ask that you report to duty as usual and complete the necessary tasks to keep the service running. At this time, we ask that you refrain from acting in a way that will harm the government, country, or economy.

President’s Economic Senior Advisor Dr R H S Samaratunga and Director General of Trade Unions Saman Rathnapriya were also present at the discussion.


Dialog, Axiata Group & Bharti Airtel to merge operations in SL




Dialog Axiata PLC, Axiata Group Berhad, and Bharti Airtel Limited have signed an agreement to merge their operations in Sri Lanka.

Dialog will acquire Airtel Lanka, with Bharti Airtel receiving ordinary voting shares in Dialog as part of the deal.

The deal has been approved by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL).
The statement issued in this regard is as follows :

Dialog Axiata PLC (“Dialog”), Axiata Group Berhad (“Axiata”) and Bharti Airtel Limited (“Bharti Airtel”) (collectively “the Parties”), signed a Definitive Agreement to combine their operations in Sri Lanka. Under this agreement, Dialog will acquire 100% of the issued shares in Airtel Lanka, in consideration of which Dialog will issue to Bharti Airtel, ordinary voting shares which will amount to 10.355% of the total issued shares of Dialog by way of a share swap. The transaction is subject to the approval of Dialog’s shareholders and is pending the completion of specific conditions outlined in the Share Sale Agreement, including clearance from the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and completion of other applicable legal, corporate and regulatory compliance procedures.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) has granted its approval for the proposed merger, underscoring its vision to advance the adoption of telecommunications services across Sri Lanka.

This consolidation will enable the merged entity to garner economies of scale and reduce duplication of infrastructure, achieve synergies in technology and capital expenditure leading to enhanced high speed broadband connectivity, voice and value added services, cost savings and operational efficiencies.

Vivek Sood, Group CEO and Managing Director of Axiata Group Berhad said, “The merger between Dialog and Airtel Lanka is aligned to Axiata’s strategy of market consolidation and resilience. The merger will create value for the shareholders of Dialog Axiata PLC and Axiata Group through achievable synergies. We have the utmost respect for Airtel Lanka and its employees and look forward to working together as we integrate the two companies.”

Commenting, Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, CEO Telecommunications Business and Group Executive Director of Axiata, added “This merger brings together the strengths of two leading telco groups and bodes well for the Growth and Sustainability of Sri Lanka’s flagship Telecom Sector. We look forward to the new frontiers in Customer Experience and innovation the company will deliver to Sri Lankan Consumers and Enterprises.”

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO Bharti Airtel Limited Said, “We are happy to merge our Sri Lanka operations with Dialog. Given the scale and unique propositions they offer, we are certain that our customers will continue to enjoy cutting edge services on a seamless network.”

“It is a privilege to welcome the team at Airtel Lanka to the Dialog family and together we take a significant step forward in our commitment to delivering superior telecommunications services in Sri Lanka”, remarked Supun Weerasinghe, Director/Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC.

“The integration of Dialog and Airtel Lanka operations will unlock new opportunities for innovation and growth, and this will lead to benefit consumers.” Ashish Chandra, Chief Executive Officer, Bharti Airtel Lanka (Private) Limited.

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WhatsApp makes it easier to find chats




WhatsApp is making it easier to find chats by introducing new features, US technology news website ‘The Verge’ has reported. 

Meta is launching new filters that will appear at the top of your chat list: All (the default view), Unread (just messages marked as unread), and Groups (group chats and Community subgroups), it notes.

The filters start rolling out from Tuesday (16) and will become available to all WhatsApp users “in the coming weeks.”

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Indigo launches Mumbai-Colombo direct flights




Indigo has expanded its connectivity to Sri Lanka adding Mumbai-Colombo direct flights from today (12), Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Pvt) Limited said.

Accordingly, Indigo will operate flights three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

At present, Indigo operates to three destinations in India from Colombo (Chennai twice daily, Bengaluru once daily and Hyderabad six days per week). With this new route expansion, this will increase to four destinations, and it will contribute immensely to the development of travel, trade and tourism between Sri Lanka and India. 

With the new addition, Indigo will operate 30 weekly flights to Colombo from four main cities in India.

“AASL recently had successful negotiations with Indigo to commence flight operations between Jaffna and Chennai, India. Accordingly, Indigo will commence direct flight operations between Jaffna and Chennai from June 1, 2024 onwards with daily flight operations. This connectivity will boost travel and trade in the Northern Province, strengthening the cultural and religious bonds between the two nations”, Eng. Athula Galketiya, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Pvt) Limited (AASL) said.

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