SLASSCOM People’s Summit to Engage, Coach and Lead People into a Hybrid World

The enormous scale of the Pandemic and it’s impact has caused much fear, uncertainty and anxiety across the globe that also culminated in a paradigm shift in the workplace. What was once a primarily in-office model has transformed into a remote-first working environment. For many companies, the novel coronavirus spurred a sudden and dramatic shift from the majority of employees working in the office to everyone working remotely.

Moving forward, employers should not expect work environments and practices to snap back to a pre-pandemic reality. As companies gear up for the return to work, some workforces will stay fully remote, some will return fully to the office, and others will embrace a hybrid approach.

This in turn creates the urge for businesses to increase employee engagement, voice empowerment, recognition, work life integration, well-being, coaching attributes as enablers to manage workforce in the hybrid world.

Sri Lanka Association for Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM)’s Annual flag ship event “People Summit” under the theme “Engaging, Coaching and Leading People in a Hybrid World” will share best practices in a hybrid world and beyond. To be held on 25th to the 27th of January 2022, it is slated to attract over 500 HR Professionals across Sri Lanka’s Technology Industry. The Summit consists of 12 speakers who are at the very top of their professional fields, who will conduct several riveting panel discussions on some of the most pressing matters for those in the IT /BPM industry.

Participants of the summit will have the opportunity to listen to subject experts on the theme Engaging, Coaching and Leading at the People Summit 2022. Key-note speaker David King CEO of Tribal Habits, will discuss on virtual engagements with employees in a Hybrid world and focus on digital detoxing to help improve employee wellbeing. Dr. Aditi Raghuram Founder and CEO of Birjendu Gupta & Associates will discuss how Digital Coaching, Individual Coaching and Team Coaching have changed due to prevailing pandemic. Dr. Michael Mol, who is a Global Speaker and Medical Doctor, will speak on leading a remote team, leading an organization and leading towards high performance. Nikhil Raval, Author of Target Gen Z Leadership & Learning Advisor Org Culture & Strategy Expert and Ted Speaker, will speak on “The Leadership Challenges and Opportunities of a Hybrid Working Model”.

Additionally, Pia Lauritzen, who is a Philosopher & Founder of, will speak on the topic “The four leadership hacks on how to use questions to ensure impact” and Alex Draper, CEO & Founder of DX Learning, will speak on “How to rapidly build psychological safety with a dispersed and diverse team”. Similarly, Sureish Nathan (Managing Director at DDI Singapore and Vice President of Asia-Pacific, Leadership Consultant, Executive Coach and Speaker), Ole Bent Rye (Founder & Principal OBR Coaching and The Hybrid Workplace Experts) and Sarah Bolton Howard (Change Leader, Global Strategist and Business Innovator) are also all slated to speak along the topics of “Leadership” in a hybrid workplace.

The event is organized by the SLASSCOM HR Forum and will be held in partnership with Sysco LABS as their Exclusive Strategic Sponsor and 99X as the Silver Sponsor.

Photo Caption

From left to right – Shehani Seneviratne-Board Director – HR Forum, Nuwan Dishan-HR Forum Head and Sharon Kern -HR Forum Co-Head

For more information go to:

MoU signed for Sri Lanka’s first ever smart phone manufacturing plant

COLOMBO (News 1st); Hypro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd (Chairman, Dhammika Samarawickrama) and Lodule International Ltd.(CEO, Byungehul Kim) signed a Memorandum of Understanding recently in Colombo for the first-ever Made in Sri Lanka Smart Phone manufacturing plant.

In attendance were the Secretary, Ministry of Industries, General Daya Ratnayake (Former Army Commander), Former Korean Ambassador and Foreign Economic Affairs Director-General, Dr. Saj Mendis and the Head of Human Resources Sri Lanka Cricket, Major Tanesh Dias.

Hypro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd is the SmartPhone Manufacturing Company under the umbrella of Micro E.I. Group of Companies (Pvt) Ltd.and will be the first-ever Made in Sri Lanka Smart Phone manufacturing plant.

Creating history in the Sri Lankan ICT sector, the island’s first assembled 4G enabled mobile smartphone, would be released to the market by Micro Electric International Pvt. Ltd Colombo by December 2021. It has been branded Hypro 4G, it was announced earlier.

For more information:

International Civil Aviation Day celebrated under the patronage of President

The 77th Anniversary of International Civil Aviation was celebrated under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, Katunayake this morning (23).

Seventy-seven years ago in 1944, after World War II, the Chicago Convention for the Regulation and Coordination of Aviation was signed by 26 nations. As a result, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was established.

Sri Lanka became a member of the Organization on June 1st, 1948 and the ICAO currently has a membership of 193 countries.

On December 7, 1912, the first domestic flight took place at the Race Course Ground in Colombo, adding a new chapter to the history of aviation in Sri Lanka. The International Civil Aviation Day is celebrated in December each year to commemorate these events.

President Rajapaksa engaged in a cordial discussion with the employees of the Civil Aviation Authority and then visited the exhibition which showcased the creations made by the innovators on civil aviation.

A work by artist Ravindra Dissanayake was also presented to the President. Three short videos on “Aviation History and Journey”, “The Role of Civil Aviation Regulation and the Rolebof Civil Aviation in the face of Covid-19” and on the promotion of civil aviation have been created in view of the celebration.

President Rajapaksa presented awards to five seniors in the field of civil aviation in recognition of their contribution to the advancement of the civil aviation sector and to three students symbolizing a thousand students who won a competition organized by the Civil Aviation Authority via online in the period of school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as to several individuals representing various fields.

The Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority Upul Dharmadasa presented a memento to the President to mark his visit.

For more information go to:

Julie Chung confirmed as next US envoy to Sri Lanka

Julie Chung’s nomination as the next United States ambassador to Sri Lanka has been confirmed by the US Senate.

Confirmation for her came by voice vote as the Senate approved a flurry of nominations for overseas diplomatic posts.

Nominated by president Joe Biden in June for the position, the 49-year-old is a foreign service member, who previously served as acting assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs among other positions.

The Seoul-born Chung is fluent in Korean, Japanese, Spanish and Khmer l

For more information go to:

Queen’s Baton to arrive in Sri Lanka prior to Commonwealth Games

The Queen’s Baton will be taken across 72 countries ahead of the 22nd Commonwealth Games that will begin in Birmingham, England on the 28th of July 2022.

The baton is scheduled to be brought to Sri Lanka on the 3rd of January 2022 with an event held at Independence Square in Colombo.

It will be taken across several parts of Sri Lanka including Kandy until the 6th of January 2022.

Suresh Subramaniam, President of the National Olympic Committee said, for individual events, they have decided to only select athletes who can win. He said there are some team sports in which they are unable to win medals despite gaining a qualification and they assume that they will be allowed to compete because they have qualified. The final decision will be taken on the 31st of January. Subramaniam noted that it’s unfortunate to the teams that are selected only a month before the event and he decided that this can’t continue, so the pools will be selected six months earlier, as well as athletes, will be drafted into the team from those pools.

For more information go to:

Congresswoman Susie Lee meets with H.E Ambassador and Community Leaders from Nevada & California

On December 14th, 2021, H.E Ambassador Mahinda Samarasinghe, Hon Consul General, Dr Lalith Chandradasa, Sanje Sedara, the President of the Sri Lanka America Association & President of Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce, Keshini Wijegoonaratna, the Director of Project Management and Public Relations of the Sri Lanka Foundation International, Lucky Rajasinghe, Daya Gamage, met with the staff of the Congressional District office of the Congresswoman Susie Lee on a zoom meeting to discuss how Sri Lanka is preparing to handle the next wave of virus, and the economic impact Sri Lanka is facing due to Covid, and how US can play a role in the recovery process. The meeting was initiated by Sanje Sedara of Nevada.

Congresswoman Susie Lee from Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District is dedicated to serve the people of Sri Lanka to assist the prevention of the spreading of the Omicron virus by providing vaccinations from US for the booster shots. H.E Ambassador Mahinda Samarasinghe informed of the current situation Sri Lanka is faced with and how US could play a big part in the recovery process.

Sanje Sedara stressed the importance of working together and keeping the congress informed. He invited Keshini Wijegoonaratna to share additional information of urgent requests from the medical staff in Sri Lanka who are monitoring the situation of the Omicron Virus closely.

Congresswoman Susie Lee’s remarks in conclusion of the meeting was that she will work on the requests and to provide with further details of the current developments.

World’s largest natural corundum Blue Sapphire found in Sri Lanka

The largest single natural corundum as a single crystal (Blue Sapphire) in the world has been found in Sri Lanka.

With a weight of around 310 kilograms (1.550,000 carats), it has been named as the “Queen of Asia”.

The National Gem and Jewellery Authority says that the gemstone had been discovered in the Batugedara area and that it belongs to the Gemological Institute and Research Private Limited.

The “Queen of Asia” is currently located in Horana and was displayed to the media for the first time today (12).

For more information:

Ambassador Appointed of Sri Lanka to the United States, Mahinda Samarasinghe assumes duties

Ambassador Appointed of Sri Lanka to the United States of America Mahinda Samarasinghe assumed duties at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C. on 2nd December 2021. Prior to his appointment as the Ambassador to the US, Ambassador Samarasinghe was a former Member of Parliament under His Excellency the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Government, and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Chief Organiser for the Panadura Electorate in the Kalutara District. He was a senior politician having served country as a parliamentarian for 27 continuous years. He has also held national executive office including as a Cabinet Minister for over 19 years, in addition to earlier serving 6 years as a Provincial legislator and Minister.

Upon arrival at the Embassy in Washington D.C., Ambassador Samarasinghe was welcomed and greeted by the staff. His assumption of duties was marked by a simple ceremony which commenced with the lighting of the ceremonial oil lamp by the Ambassador and the other staff. Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Samarasinghe thanked the staff for the warm welcome and expressed his optimism that the relations between two countries would be further strengthened and expanded encompassing all areas of the interest during his tenure. Further to that he mentioned the relationship with the USA is very important to Sri Lanka in different areas concerned. He also requested all staff to increase their efforts and dedicate themselves to serve motherland with commitment and dedication. Ambassador also emphasized the importance of keeping all Sri Lankan community engaged at all time with the promoting of Sri Lanka’s image and interest in the USA.

He has been the Minister of State for Public Administration and Home Affairs (2019 – 20), Minister of Ports and Shipping (2017 – 2019), Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training (2015 – 2017), Minister of State for Finance (2015), Minister of Plantation Industries &the Special Envoy of the President on Human Rights (2010-2015), Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights (2006 – 2010) and Minister of Employment and Labour (2001-2004).

After obtaining a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) degree from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Ambassador Samarasinghe served in the Sri Lanka Overseas Serviceas the First Secretary in the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Canberra, Australia, and later as Counsellor to the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ambassador Samarasinghe also held important offices in the national legislature including those of Chief Opposition Whip and Chief Government Whip. In addition to chairing theSub-Committee on Fundamental Rights, Language and Citizenship Rightsof the Steering Committee, Constitutional Assembly, which formulated constitutional reform proposals in 2016 and functioning as the Chair of the Parliamentary Select Committee to Investigate the functioning of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka from 2002 – 2004, he has served on and led several parliamentary committees dealing with a wide range of subjects.

On the international plane, Mahinda Samarasinghe has represented Sri Lanka at various international forums, institutions and organizations, including the Inter-Parliamentary Union serving as the President of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Most significantly, he led Sri Lanka’s delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva – to Special and Regular Sessions of the multilateral body (2006 to 2014) including to the successful adoption of the Universal Periodic Reviews of Sri Lanka in 2008 and 2012 before the Council.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington D.C
3 December 2021

U.S donates nearly 200,000 additional Pfizer vaccines to Sri Lanka

Nearly 200,000 additional Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses arrived in Sri Lanka today (December 02) as a donation from the United States.

This gift demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the United States to support Sri Lanka in the fight against COVID-19, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said in a statement.

“As the pandemic continues and new variants emerge, the United States continues to partner with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization to vaccinate as many people as possible and build a world that is safer and more secure against the threat of infectious disease.”

The United States has now donated 2.6 million vaccines and over USD 17.9 million in emergency supplies and critical services to Sri Lanka.

Additionally, the U.S. Government’s Agency for International Development, USAID, is working in partnership with the Sri Lankan government to effectively distribute, administer, and safely transport these vaccines. U.S. assistance has reached millions of people in Sri Lanka to control the spread of COVID-19, address urgent health needs, and mitigate the pandemic’s negative economic impacts.

The United States has delivered more than 240 million COVID vaccines to over 100 countries free of charge as part of its commitment to donate more than 1.1 billion vaccines worldwide. These vaccine donations will save lives and help slow the spread of COVID-19. The United States is proud to work with Sri Lanka and countries around the world to end the pandemic and build back a better world.

For more information:

Consulate Office of Los Angeles Urgently Request Your Corporation!!!

Sri Lanka Consulate office of Los Angeles is updating the database of all the Sri Lankans living in the United States.

All of the information received will be complied in to a directory to be kept in the Consulate Office under the supervision of the Consul General, Dr Lalith Chandradasa, and will be used only with the Intention of providing better consular service to the Sri Lankan’s living in USA.

We would appreciate if you could take the time to log in to the link below to complete the information requested and submit as soon possible.

Your corporation is greatly appreciated.

See link below to complete the information:

For more information contact:

213-387-0213 (Office ) 
  213-823-4847 ( Mobile )