Education & HR

LBN EditorNovember 21, 2017


ATLAS has for decades been at the forefront of encouraging creativity and passion in children, encouraging them to reach and surpass their potential by opening their minds to new horizons. The market leader in school and office stationary and a household name for the highest quality stationary supplies, ATLAS strives to ensure that every child has access to the tools they need to ensure a fulfilling educational experience.

The presence of ATLAS at the Colombo International Book Fair once again reiterated the company’s commitment to ensure all children have access to quality educational tools. With a wide array of stationary supplies for all ages and interests, ranging from innovative colouring tools to attractive note books and other stationary and a wide range of office supplies the ATLAS stall was a sea of activity and colour, ensuring something of interest for every visitor.

Dedicated to active engagement within the community, ATLAS displayed its hands on approach by incorporating games and activities to ensure all visitors were able to actively participate at the stall. This year’s activities included a creative corner for toddlers, who were able to unleash their creativity and get as messy as they liked with a plethora of colouring and drawing supplies at their disposal. Older children enthusiastically participated in a ‘Hula Hoop’ game which saw children attempt to throw the hoop onto a target consisting of the new Splash bottle range of ATLAS water bottles.

ATLAS firmly believes that creativity and opportunity to explore a range of creative activities and media is vital to children’s emotional health and growth. ‘Creative activities that provide sensory stimulation are vital to a child’s healthy emotional and intellectual development, and are strongly advice for young children, says Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist of the Lady ridgeway Hospital for children, Dr. Sudharshi Senevirathne.

This year ATLAS also ensured the presence of renowned personalities in the field of creativity including Renuka Balasooriya, whose presence highlighted the heights that one can reach simply by engaging in and pursuing a vocation in the realm of creative aptitude.

The visitors to the ATLAS selling stall were able to purchase the new additions to the ATLAS range, such as lunch boxes, water bottles, the innov8 range of Premium Exercise books, Phone accessories and school bags. Aiming to ignite excitement, passion and laying a foundation for a better learning experience, ATLAS ensured all visitors had access to the tools required to enjoy their experiences to the fullest at the Colombo International Book Fair.

EditorNovember 19, 2017


The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKI) and the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) will host a joint lecture by Dr. S. Narayan, former Finance Secretary of India, on “India-Sri Lanka Economic Relations in Modi’s India.” The lecture will be held on Monday, 20 November 2017 from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM at the Lighthouse at LKI, 24 Horton Place, Colombo 7.

It will be followed by an expert panel discussion featuring Dr. Razeen Sally, Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and Chairman of IPS and Steven Enderby, CEO of Hemas Holdings PLC. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Chair of the Global Economy Programme at LKI.

Dr. S. Narayan served the Government of India in a number of capacities, including Finance and Economic Affairs Secretary, and Secretary to the departments or ministries of Revenue, Petroleum, and Industrial Development. Dr. Narayan has amassed nearly four decades of public sector experience, from 1965 to 2004, in both the central and state governments in India. He has also served as Economic Advisor to former Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and was responsible for implementing the economic policies of over 30 ministries. His policy expertise includes formulating macroeconomic policies, tariff and taxation policies, as well as initiatives for modernising capital markets. Dr. Narayan is a visiting faculty member at several institutions, including the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy in Mussoorie.

The audience will include a cross-section of policymakers, scholars and representatives from the private sector, think tanks, civil society, students, and the media.

LKI is a think tank which analyses Sri Lanka’s international relations and strategic interests, to provide insights and recommendations that advance justice, peace, prosperity and sustainability. It reflects the vision of the late Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar by promoting the country’s intellectual profile in foreign policy research and engagement. IPS is an autonomous institution that aims to contribute to socio-economic development through high quality, policy-oriented economic research.

EditorNovember 18, 2017


Two teams representing the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) were placed as joint winners in the ‘Finance, Insurance and Investment’ Category at the ‘Great HR Quiz’ organized by the Institute of Personnel Management (IPM). 2017 marks the third consecutive year a team representing the CSE has excelled in the competition following category wins in 2015 and 2016.

The ‘Great HR Quiz’ was organized for the fourth consecutive year and attracted the participation of 64 teams from around the country. The quiz offered a unique opportunity for private and public sector employees to showcase knowledge and an understanding on the field of human resource management and beyond.

The CSE teams were represented by Renuke Wijayawardhane, Kusal Nissanka, Kaushal Siriwardena, Ruchira Jayasinghe, Nadeera Athukorale, Ashan Thareendra, Kassapa Weerasekara, Maleesha De Silva, Nushara Fonseka and Patricia Dyonisius.

EditorNovember 15, 2017


The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) appointed Ms. Teresa Folkes as the CIM representative to the Board of CIM Sri Lanka on the 09 October 2017.  She takes over the role previously performed by Mr. Chris Daly who has stepped down from the Board of CIM Sri Lanka and continues as Chief Executive of CIM.

Teresa has been on the Senior Management Team of CIM for over two years and reports directly into the Chief Executive. She is responsible for CIM’s Professional Development programmes, Knowledge Services and International Strategy. Most recently, Teresa has been working with the Board to develop the CIM Strategy plan and improve our monitoring and performance management processes.

Discussing the announcement Teresa said: “I am very much looking forward to taking on the role. Sri Lanka is a key region for the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and for over 12 years we have worked together to support marketers in the region. The country is still the largest international region for CIM, serving over 2,145 members. By working together, I am confident we can help drive Sri Lanka’s business landscape by empowering members to harness marketing knowledge and demonstrate world class competencies.”

Prior to working at CIM, Teresa held Executive Director roles at a Prince of Wales Charity (PRIME); leading on strategic business planning and budgeting, service delivery and ensuring assessment standards were achieved for their Membership, Personnel and Training certification and Education portfolios.  Before that, Teresa was at the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI), where her role involved leading and facilitating the international delivery network, which included an office in Japan and international channel partners in Asia and the Americas.

For more than 100 years, CIM has supported, represented and developed marketers, teams, leaders and the profession as a whole. There are 130 CIM study centres in 36 countries and exam centres in 132 countries worldwide. In the last year, over 7,500 people registered at over 230 UK CIM events. As the world’s leading professional marketing body, CIM’s mission is to create marketing advantage for the benefit of professionals, business and society with a focus on export, data and skills. It believes marketing is the critical factor in driving long term organisational performance.

CIM Sri Lanka is the first international branch of CIM comprising the largest number of members, both professional and students of CIM outside the UK. The regional institute has always campaigned for greater recognition and excellence in the marketing profession in Sri Lanka, through education, training and professional development.

EditorNovember 10, 2017


The much awaited all-island finals of Sir John Tarbet Junior School Athletic Championship 2017 was held from 8th to 10th November at Mahinda Rajapaksa Grounds, Diyagama and came to an exciting close with Janadhipathi Balika Vidyalaya Nawala emerging Overall Champions – Girls, while the Overall Champions – Boys was St. Joseph’s College Colombo.

The Runners up – Girls, was Sumana Balika Maha Vidyalaya, Rathnapura while Rahula College Matara became the Boys Runners up. The Best Athlete of the Year – Girls, was S. H.Sadini Kavisha (Vijitha Madya Maha Vidyalaya, Dickwella ) and the Best Athlete of the Year – Boys, was W. H.H.M. Abesekara (Siddhartha Maha Vidyalaya Balapitiya). The Championship was sponsored by the premier chocolate brand of Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL), Ritzbury, Sri Lanka’s No. 1 chocolate, for the fifth consecutive year.

This year, the Championship attracted the highest number of over 7000 participants from 200 schools and Athletes who participated successfully in the three preliminary championships held in Polonnaruwa, Hanwella and Nawalapitiya hailed from all provinces. Ritzbury has earned a fine reputation as a strong supporter of several sports in Sri Lanka, in addition to its focus on the Sir John Tarbet Senior and Junior School Athletic Championships.

  1. Overall Champions – Girls: Janadhipathi Balika Vidyalaya Nawala
  2. Runners up – Girls: Sumana Balika Maha Vidyalaya, Rathnapura
  3. Overall Champions – Boys: Joseph’s College Colombo
  4. Runners up – Boys: Rahula College Matara
  5. The Best Athlete of the Year – Girls, was S. H.Sadini Kavisha (Vijitha Madya Maha Vidyalaya, Dickwella)and the Best Athlete of the Year – Boys,  H.H.M. Abesekara (Siddhartha Maha Vidyalaya Balapitiya)

EditorNovember 9, 2017


Microsoft partners with 65 schools and 300 innovative educatorsand countingto bring education into the digital era

The prevalence of internet connectivity, the ubiquity of mobile computing, and the disruptive change brought by social and multimedia have transformed the way we live, learn, and work. This is especially true when it comes to education, which has great potential to benefit from the advantages of today’s technology – both in transforming how students learn, and in preparing them to enter the workforce of the digital future.

Transforming the classrooms

Educators have been facing pressure to digitalize their entire curriculum in the last decade. It has given rise to a steep learning curve, especially for accomplished teachers accustomed to more traditional approaches.

“There are many teachers who would like to branch out more into digital learning. But they simply lack the technical experiences they need to feel confident and prepared to lead a classroom using technology. To make matters worse, it can be difficult for public schools to allocate funds to invest in technology,” says Yashinka Alles, Education Lead for Microsoft Sri Lanka & Maldives.

To help local schools transform in Sri Lanka, Microsoft has partnered with the Western Provincial Department of Education, Headstart, Commercial Bank, and Dialog to launch Project Smart School. Its mission—transform the learning environment of a traditional secondary school into one that is smart and enabled by the latest technology.

Since the program’s launch in 2016, a total of 65 public schools from the Western province have found ways to create a digital learning system. “The progress in technology adoption and change in instructional approach has been amazing,” says Yashinka.

For example, at one public school―Gothami Balika Vidyalaya Colombo—87 courses were created using the Learning Management System (LMS) provided by, a software application integrated with Microsoft Office 365 that delivers educational courses and training programs. As a result, the school now boasts approximately 55 courses that are taught using technology—daily. Further, at Bandaranayake College Gampaha, teachers in artistic subjects, such as drama and dancing, have also begun developing their own digital content and incorporating it into their curriculum.

Since the launch of Project Smart School, more than 1,000 teachers have been trained by the program on the effective use of technology in teaching and learning. Of this group, those who went on to complete Microsoft’s Trainer Academy were further recognized as official Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Trainers.

In Sri Lanka alone, Microsoft has recognized 300 teachers and 10 schools through the Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEE) and Microsoft Showcase Schools competitions, which were conducted alongside the Smart School Project. The recognized educators and schools will participate in the upcoming Bett Asia Leadership Summit on 15-16 November 2017, as well as at the Global Educator Exchange held by Microsoft in March 2018, where they will have the opportunity to engage with other innovative educators and learn about projects that have successfully integrated technology in the classrooms across the globe.

The winning schools for the Microsoft Showcase Schools competitions 2017:

  • Bandaranayake Central College, Veyangoda.
  • Bandaranayake College, Gampaha
  • Dhammananda Maha Vidayalaya, Moronthuduwa
  • Gothami Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo
  • Mahinda Rajapaksa College, Homagama
  • Taxila Central College, Horana


The most innovative teachers for the Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEE) 2017:

  • Roshan Kumar from Bandaranayake Central College, Veyangoda
  • Anuradha Buddhika from Bandaranayake Central College, Veyangoda
  • Surani Maithripala from Gateway College


Looking forward with Microsoft

Today, Microsoft is announcing its plan to take Project Smart School a step further with the aim of incorporating technology into more public schools by the end of the year.

“We believe that every child deserves a quality education where effective and creative learning can be delivered. Through our products, services, and programs, we’re working to empower educators through technology to transform the way students learn in the new digital economy,” Yashinka concluded.

EditorNovember 9, 2017


Professor Keiichi Tao, visiting professor of Ritsumeikan University recently delivered a series of lectures at the Lanka Nippon BizTech Institute (LNBTI). Professor Tao has been engaged in annual visits to the university and conducts lectures on business related topics that are useful for ICT professionals to understand business environment.  He is also the director of Odawara Engineering Co., Ltd, and an auditor of SCALA, METATECHNO, and APC, all internationally recognised engineering companies.

During his five-day lecture series, Professor Tao focused on topics such as Economics, Finance and Business processes , and introduced macroeconomic parameters such as GDP growth, Interest and Currency rates, Inflation and their dynamics related to Sri Lanka and Japan. Students also got the opportunity to learn on how a company works with regards to equity, stakeholders, organizational structure, business processes and social responsibilities.

The lecture series concluded with a case study, which required students to critically evaluate a poorly functioning company and give recommendations for improvement, operationally and financially.

The LNBTI is a higher education provider started by the prestigious and trusted Metatechno Inc., Japan and hSenid Software International where respected and qualified lecturers from both Japan and Sri Lanka teach at the institute. Apart from its superior curriculum, one of the unique advantages of studying at the LNBTI is the opportunities for students to live and work in Japan because of the strong ties with Japan.

In addition, Metatechno and hSenid International provide internship opportunities for students of LNBTI during their final year of study. Metatechno Inc. Japan specializes in developing Embedded Software for Electronics and Computing devices manufacturers around the world. hSenid Software International is an application and service provider for the telecom, financial, and enterprise markets.

In addition to learning from the best lecturers and studying Japanese under native Japanese speakers, students benefit from graduate transfer programs and 50% scholarship schemes offered by LNBTI, the latter being awarded under its LNBTI Japanese Scholarship Scheme for Information Technology and Software Engineering.

For more information, call 0773360000

EditorNovember 8, 2017


 Well-known business professional, Deepal Sooriyaarachchi has recently been conferred the title of ‘Accredited Master Coach & Mentor’ (AMC/M) by the International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring (IAPC&M).  Based in the United Kingdom. IAPC&M provides accreditation for professional coaches, mentors, training providers and corporate in-house programmes across the globe that pass their vigorous criteria and commit to honour their exacting industry standards for the protection of the end user.

Deepal was awarded his accreditation after the IAPC&M validated his wealth of training, authenticated his certification and practically assessed his professional experience in the areas of coaching and mentoring as practiced throughout his career that expands nearly three decades.  Consequently, he is the natural choice when contemporaries seek coaching, and or mentoring, personally and or professionally. Now that the highest industry authority in the world has endorsed his capabilities, Deepal will obviously continue to provide these services while enriching the management development work he currently engages in.

The IAPC&M uses a rigorous assessment process to maintain such high standards when accrediting anyone, be they a practitioner, senior, master or fellow coach/mentor.  Deepal supplied over forty testimonials, reflective case studies and conducted several live coaching sessions as well as being interviewed before achieving his AMC/M status.  Ongoing CPD is also a fundamental part of accreditation.

Deepal currently focuses more on mentoring very senior managers mostly in the C suite and to business leaders. Deepal is a marketer by profession with a passion for developing people. He counts over three decades of industry experience. He was the Managing Director of AVIVANDB Insurance (Currently known as AIA) before embarked on full time consultancy work. He also served as the Commissioner of the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission for three years afterwards. He currently functions as a consulting partner of Results Based Leadership Organization USA: co founded by Prof Dave Ulrich and also as an independent Consulting partner of MAGI Research and Consultants in India. He also serves on a number of leading boards as an independent non-executive director. A prolific writer Deepal has authored over 15 books in Sinhala and in English published in Sri Lanka and UK as well. He is a much sought-after speaker, trainer and a management consultant. Deepal has conducted training programs, consultancy projects, and professional presentations in eleven countries across all five continents in the world.

Deepal is specially known for his ability to draw from the ancient wisdom of Asia especially Buddhism to modern day business and management issues.  Which is reflected very much in his articulation of his people development philosophy. While speaking to us following his accreditation as a Master Mentor and a Coach, he spelled out his philosophy as follows.

“In late nineteen eighties I stayed in a Zen monastery in Japan for a few weeks. During this stay I had the opportunity of taking part in the traditional tea ceremony conducted by Zen monks. Explaining various steps of the tea ceremony the Abbot of the temple clarified the reason for bowing to each other when offering and accepting tea. According to the Zen belief every human being has the same potential to become an enlightened person one day, the highest level of mental development. This is called the Buddha Nature. Therefore when one person offers she does so to a person with Buddha Nature. When receiving the other person also consider that a person with Buddha Nature is presenting him. Hence both of them respect each other’s ultimate potential or the Buddha Nature. My attitude towards developing people was significantly conditioned by this unique experience. For me coaching and mentoring is a spiritual experience”. My coaching and mentoring practice built on four principles.

  • Every individual has immense potential and my duty is to help that person discover that potential and the path to realizing it. There is a bigger reason why I got the opportunity to coach or mentor this person, so I give it my best
  • My Task is to help the person discover the brilliance within him/her little by little, Moment to Moment
  • Build my practice on the four cornerstones of Metta (Loving kindness/ friendliness) Karuna (Compassion) Muditha ( Unselfish Joy) and Upekkha ( Eqanimimity)
  • Using the skill of mindfulness throughout the process

I am humbled by this recent recognition of my competencies by the International Authority for Coaching and Mentoring and gives me greater encouragement in doing what I love, developing people. I have been helping many young professionals who are at thresholds of assuming greater responsibilities in their careers. Compared to their predecessors today’s executives have to shoulder greater responsibilities much earlier in their life and they are constantly challenged to perform in an environment that is constantly changing. This poses extreme pressures on them and they need extra help to face them. The assistance of a professional coach or a mentor can mean a lot. Sometimes it is that extra perspective, reassurance is all what is needed for a person to move to the next stage. In a world where there is very little time to observe, reflect and learn from the phenomena it is nothing but common sense to have a professional help from an experienced coach or a mentor.”

EditorNovember 8, 2017


UltraTech Cement Lanka (P) Limited, a part of the Aditya Birla Group world recently partnered eminent sport media personality Harsha Bhogle and his wife Anita, for a ‘Live Chatathon’ interactive session for the benefit of their staff, suppliers and business partners  at Hotel Taj Samudra, hosted by BBDO. With millions of followers around the world, Harsha Bhogle and his wife Anita, a ‘quant’ researcher, have combined their learning from sports and business to improve professional and personal lives of their audiences as motivational speakers. Apart from the invitees, the programme was shared live on social media and was viewed by thousands of Sri Lankans online.

In this programme, Santosh Menon, MD of BBDO, Sri Lanka, interacted with the duo with an objective of eliciting inspirational and informative answers, which would be relevant and useful for invitees in the contemporary context. Stakeholders who witnessed the session expressed their delight at the beneficial insights offered by the expert duo. Harsha and Anita Bhogle have written ‘The Winning Way – Learning from Sport for Managers’, which helps managers discover their passion for excellence. They shared some of their key insights at this animated session.

Commenting on the event, CEO of Ultra Tech Cement Pvt. Ltd, Mr. Keshav Hegde said, “We were pleased to host sports media personality Harsha Bhogle and his wife Anita for the interactive sessions they conducted with the participation of all our stakeholders. This event builds on our track record to organize motivational programmes for stakeholders that not only help to drive innovation, but also for them to derive professional and personal tips to enhance their lives. Ultra Tech Cement is committed to the well-being and enhancement of its stakeholders as we consider them to be our key asset. We believe that this session encouraged new inspirational thinking to change mindsets for the better. Sustainability remains a focus area for the company and the group and such motivational sessions reflect the socially responsible nature of our brand.”

UltraTech Cement Lanka (P) Limited is part of the Aditya Birla Group, which is a US$42 billion premium global corporation from the league of Fortune 500 with operations across 36 countries and anchored by an extraordinary force of over 120,000 employees, belonging to 42 nationalities. It is a ‘metal to telecom’ conglomerate with global leadership in many of its businesses across six continents. UltraTech Cement is India’s largest cement company and world’s 4th largest cement company. In Sri Lanka, it enjoys a glorious track record of operating a bulk cement terminal since 1999 with an USP of supplying superior quality cement with consistency from a single source, i.e. UltraTech Cement Limited’s own plant, Gujarat Cement Works, in India.

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