Sri Lanka Tourism continues to earn high media coverage at EXPO 2020 Dubai – The

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Destination Sri Lanka stood out last week, on the 3rd, 4th and 5th March at Expo 2020 Dubai, with four planned events earning high global media coverage. Sri Lanka Tourism is proud to announce, the total earned media exposure from this global event, which will conclude at the end of March after running for a period for six months, to be in the range of over USD 2 million, exceeding all expectations.
A high level delegation led by Prasanna Ranatunga, Minister of Tourism Sri Lanka, Malraj De Silva, Sri Lankan Ambassador to UAE, Nalinda Wijerathna, Sri Lanka Consulate General Dubai and Kimarli Fernando, Chairperson, Sri Lanka Tourism were at Expo 2020 and met industry persons at the highest level of representation. ‘Sri Lanka Tourism-Expo Travel Trade Business to Business Forum’ was on 3rd March at the Business Connect Centre, Abu Dhabi Hall with the participation of local tour operators and of over 45 UAE and Gulf based international tour operators. Ms Fernando made a destination pitch at this forum showcasing different facets of destination Sri Lanka and the way forward for Sri Lanka tourism, which was received with enthusiasm both by industry players and the global media

Yohani sings ‘You are my Paradise’
Social media sensation,‘Yohani’stood out as attracting the largest crowd,todate, to the Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre on the evening of 5th March. In the presence of over 2000 in the audience, Yohani passionately sang -‘Sri Lanka you are my paradise’ a song of positivity on Mother Lanka,to a bewitched audience which received the song with thunderous applause. Her authentic and unique style and her genuine love for her country captivated the audience and earned her rave reviews, making her the phenomenal youtube sensation that she is. Performing alongside ‘Yohani’ were Sri Lankan super stars Tehani Imara, Dinugi Herath and long standing brand ambassador for Sri Lanka Tourism, Alston Koch opening the evening’s performance with the climate action song ‘Sri Lanka Earth Lung’- a song dedicated specially to creating awareness on ‘climate change’ were all received with applause. Adding colour and vibrancy to the evening was the fusion dance performance by the Upuli Channa Dance Foundation.

‘Day of the Sapphire’
The ‘Day of the Sapphire Exhibition’ was also held on Saturday, 26th February 2022 at the Sri Lanka Pavilion, and the spotlight was on a long known Sri Lankan treasure – the globally acclaimed blue sapphire among a dazzling display of sapphires worth over a $100 million being exhibited. This included the Kufic Arabic a gem known to be over a thousand years old and originating from the 10th Century. Renowned jewellery specialist Helen Molesworth lead a walk-through of the exhibition, explaining the importance of each gemstone and its relevance to Sri Lanka.”Sri Lanka has not only produced gemstones of remarkable quality and variety, but has done so consistently over millennia, a testament to the continual global importance of the true ‘Island of Gems’,” she said.”The island’s most famous and revered gems are the sapphires of Sri Lanka, rightly so as much today as throughout history.”I am honoured to be part of this wonderful showcase of Sri Lanka’s finest sapphires – these miracles of nature from one of the most beautiful places on Earth.” Ms Molesworth said.

MOU with Emirates Airlines
Signing of the MOU with Emirates Airlines ensuring connectivity with Sri Lanka and other global destinations took place on Friday the 4thMarch at the Emirates Headquarters, making it a significant partnership of value to both parties. Emirates Airlines is an ever constant supporter of travel and tourism in Sri Lanka, especially during the height of the pandemic, ensuring connectivity with the destination and enabling the travel and tourism industry to survive and thrive.This MOU will further consolidate the relationship and build greater goodwill, facilitating integrated and aggressive joint promotions of tourism activity with a special focus on the Middle Eastern Market, a strategic tourism market for Sri Lanka. Renewing over 35 years of goodwill between Sri Lanka Tourism and Emirates Airlines. Ahmed Khoory, SVP Commercial West Asia & Indian Ocean of Emirates Airlines, and Kimarli Fernando, Chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism, were signatories to this venture.
Talking about the events, Chairperson Fernando says, ‘We are a small pavilion compared to other countries but the media attention and buzz we were able to create within the expo global village is amazing and we were able to beautifully capture this attention and convert into earned media publicity. This is an enormous gain for the country given the strain due to forex needs for planned promotions. So we very successfully navigate around our constraints and take the destination to the world through strategic media exposure and this was particularly so at Expo 2020 Dubai”

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Today marks the 50th year of the founding of the National Savings Bank (NSB). To celebrate this milestone, a Walk will be launched on March 19 by the NSB head office in Colombo, its regional offices and branches all over the country, among a series of other events, focusing strongly on the need for thrift among Sri Lanka’s citizenry.
An NSB press release said: The 16th of March, 2022 heralds the dawn of the Golden Jubilee of Sri Lanka’s Safest banking institution, The National Savings Bank popularly referred to as the NSB. As the institution that inculcates savings tin the nation, the NSB has metamorphosed from it’s frugal beginning to become the country’s premier savings institution and thereby becoming a national icon so much so that, today the Till logo along with the acronym “NSB” are synonymous throughout the nation to reflect safety and stability to all our stakeholders. The five decades of growth that the NSB has achieved today is in fact a reflection of the generations of trust placed by our invaluable patrons upon us culminating in NSB becoming the savings giant of Sri Lanka.
Chairperson’s Message
It is with great pride and pleasure that I as the Chairperson of the National Savings Bank, the safest bank in Sri Lanka, steer the NSB through its 50th Anniversary Celebrations. In the journey spanning five decades, the NSB has grown from strength to strength whilst serving the people of this nation with consistency and consideration. I take this opportunity to thank all our honoured guests present here today, for the unstinted support given to us in dispensing with information to the public. I reiterate our desire to continue working with the distinguished guests throughout our journey to greatness. I am honoured to be part of the National Savings Bank at its Golden Jubilee Celebrations and thank all those who celebrate with us.
General Manager / CEO’s Message
The year 2022 is most significant in the history of National Savings Bank (NSB)having completed 50 years in provision of an excellent and continuous service to this nation. While we celebrate our Golden jubilee, we reflect on our deep roots spanning almost two centuries, that has kept us in touch with the people through generations and being chiseled in the annals of history as a distinguished institution. It is my honour to serve in this great financial institution that has molded generations of savers who are the lifeblood of this nation. As the General manager/ CEO, I express my profound appreciation to all out stakeholders and distinguished guests for their continuous faith in our abilities as the safest bank in Sri Lanka and invite all to celebrate with us this momentous occasion.
In celebrating the 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee of the National Savings Bank, we would be remiss not to appreciate our stakeholders and in view of this, the NSB will host:
❖ Women’s Day Celebrations centered upon empowering women’s contribution to the National Economy on 5th March, 2022 with a variety of Media contents
❖ The Agroforestry Initiative focusing on the banks projects and the impact realized for society on the 12th of March, 2022 by giving impetus to home gardening and cultivation.
❖ An Appreciation of all NSB stakeholders for placing their “Trust” in NSB throughout generations of successive savers on the 19th of March, 2022 by conducting a walk initiating from the Head Office and all regions and branches of Sri Lanka to raise awareness on Thrift.
❖ Inaugurating the Digitalization of NSB and the Emphasis upon Inward Remittances to strengthen the National Economy on the 26th of March, 2022

The Polish television TVN Discovery Group & National Geographic Traveler Magazine, one of the two predominant commercial TV broadcasters in Poland visited Sri Lanka on 03rd March 2022 to participate in a seven days FAM Tour around the country within the period of 03rd – 09th March 2022.
Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) in collaboration with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Poland organized this FAM Tour which covered a media promotion in which the TVN channel expected to produce their newest strands of three chapters, each documentary called “City/Region in See You” and “Good Morning TVN – TVN Discovery”.
Upon the arrival of the TVN Media Crew, they met with the senior management of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau: Director General Ms. Dammika Wijesinghe, Managing Director SLTPB Ms. Padma Siriwardana, and Director Marketing Mr. Dushan Wickramasuriya and Assistant Director (Poland Market) Masitha De Thabrew.
During the FAM Tour, the TVN Media Crew visited the Colombo Lotus Tower, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Eco Park, Kandy, Galle and Bentota, for filming purposes. In addition, the Media Crew covered a tea plant factory, a saree shop for documentary and they hosted a cooking demo event at the beachside of the down south.
Since the purpose of this FAM Tour was to highlight Sri Lanka as a most beautiful vacation destination, the TVN Media Crew did a great job filming each selected location around the country with assistance of sightseeing and other stakeholders to this project. Furthermore, the outcome of this FAM Tour is to promote Sri Lanka as a safe and secure beautiful travel destination among Polish travelers and thereby attracting more visitors to Sri Lanka from Poland.
The documentary of Sri Lanka will be on aired on TVN Discovery Polska in April 2022. This media promotion will provide massive opportunities to enhance the brand image of Sri Lanka along with showcasing our cultural heritage, adventure, culinary, handicraft, hospitality, transportation, recreational services and many other tourist draws in Sri Lanka Tourism.
By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Investor sentiment remained depressed with CSE activity dipping to a new low yesterday because of investor worries connected to an impending IMF bailout, stock market analysts said.
If the government goes for IMF recommendations, it will likely jack up the tax rate, especially Corporate Tax, to increase government revenue and would cut down costs in certain sectors. This would affect several corporate sector entities, market analysts added.
The Cabinet of ministers had given Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa the go -ahead to seek International Monetary Fund assistance, a government minister said, as the soft-pegged rupee suffered the worst currency crisis in its history. However, the Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal insists on going for a home- grown solution, analysts said.
Further, stock market investors are also adopting a -wait- and- see approach to a probable interest rate hike, which could compel people to go for fixed income earning instruments, such as Fixed Deposits, analysts explained.
Yesterday, the Index plunged sharply during the first 10 minutes of trading and thereafter gathered a short-lived positive momentum followed by a ceaseless downward trend. Amid those developments both indices moved downwards. All Share Price Index fell by 280 points to end at 10284.30 and the S and P SL20 dropped by 104.28 points to end the day at 3512.50 pints. Turnover stood at Rs 1.66 billion with a single crossing. The indices remained in negative territory due to price declines of major blue-chip companies during the day.
The crossing was reported in HNB (Non- Voting), which crossed 659,000 shares to the tune of Rs 84.7 million and its shares traded at Rs 128. In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs 340 million (1.3million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 122 million (11.4 million shares traded), Dialog Axiata Rs 121 million (10.7 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 110 million (2.3 million shares traded), Access Engineering Rs 83.2 million (4.1million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 74.5 million (93000 shares traded) and LOLC Finance Rs 64.5 million (3.9 million shares traded). During the day 90 million share volumes changed hands in 21000 transactions.
It is said that high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Access Engineering, Royal Ceramics and Hayleys. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, LOLC Holdings and Dipped Products, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, SMB Leasing nonvoting and Dialog Axiata.
Exterminator IPO oversubscribed yesterday, which was a small IPO to raise Rs 60 million. The company will issue 10 million shares at a share price of Rs 6 to raise Rs 60 million.
Yesterday, the US dollar was quoted at Rs 269.99, with the free float of the rupee against the dollar initiated by the Central Bank. Until last week the Central Bank controlled the rupee and imposed a ceiling of Rs 203.

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