By having that insatiable need to Benefit All, we have set the wheels in motion to ensure that economic empowerment will trigger social inclusivity. Our products are all constructed on a platform based on these two fundamentals which would naturally fuel sustainable development. Being very aligned to the country’s vision of inclusive development, we have mapped our social responsibility agenda very much aligned to the macro development picture, engaging with our community proactively, to build a strong and sustainable foundation of social development.
Earmarked community projects are first identified at local level, with branches identifying and selecting projects aligned with our primary sustainability platforms: Preservation of Sri Lanka’s Heritage, Sustainable Empowerment and Professional Development.
Once the branch manager’s approval is obtained, the next step is to ensure that the project aligns itself to the guidelines of a localised project and the branch will begin implementing it. However, if the project is larger in stature, the proposal is submitted to the Marketing Manager and relevant cross functional team, who will discuss the project and its cruciality to meeting the sustainability objectives of the Bank. If approved, the author of the project is informed and close monitoring will be effected from the centre throughout the implementation of the project, while an end-report is requested once the project is completed. This end report will state the success of the project, the impact and the gaps if any encountered and serves as a learning tool for future activities.
As is customary, People’s Bank continued as the lead partner of the Esala Maha Perahera organised annually by Sri Lanka’s most revered Sri Dalada Maligawa in what has been called, Asia’s largest cultural pageant. A three-hour long pageant that travels the streets of the hill capital of Kandy with majestically caparisoned elephants, dancers representing all four main categories of dance prevalent in Sri Lanka and showcases the most prized possession from the Temple of the Tooth Relic which is the Relic of the Buddha’s tooth, forms an integral facet in Sri Lanka’s cultural calendar. It preserves age old traditions and legacies that have been handed down from the times of the Kandyan Kingdom and given that it is watched by an enthusiastic crowd of young and old alike, the pageant undoubtedly reaches out not only to those physically watching it but to the thousands who observe it via mass media, teaching the mores and values of Sri Lanka’s cultural and historic heritage.
The Bank extended its support to the Senkadagala Esala Maha Perahera. This event took place in one of the most religious places in Sri Lanka with a rich history spanning for over 2,200 years.
Being one of the most significant religious events in the Buddhist calendar, for the Vesak Festival in May this year, People’s Bank partnered the Presidential Secretariat and the Hunupitiya Gangaramaya Temple for the Buddha Rashmi Vesak Festival. The Bank enabled the addition of illuminations and decorations for the event where people could enjoy and learn about Buddhist philosophy, values and ordaining culture.
For Poson, which is celebrated in Sri Lanka as the
day on which Buddhism was brought to Sri Lanka,
the Bank assisted in decorating the Sithulpawwa
Raja Maha Viharaya in the Hambantota District.
A significant initiative embarked on this year is the assistance given by the Bank for the reconstruction of the Muhudu Maha Viharaya. An archaeological site and an ancient place of worship where Princess Vihara Maha Devi is believed to have landed in the island, the temple and adjacent sites had been destroyed due to the thirty years of war and with the Bank’s funding assistance, this site in Pottuvil can soon herald its proud history of over two thousand years.
Sri Lanka’s classical and folk music, which requires fillip to ensure it is preserved and enjoyed by future generations, was amply showcased when the Bank partnered veteran musician and trained vocalist Visharada Edward Jayakody’s solo recital celebrating his 60th birthday. This performance took the audience through a journey of 35 years of semi-classical, classical, folk, theatre and film songs.
The People’s Bank team has always been a multi-cultural multi-religious one and this has infused a refreshing aspect of unity and camaraderie, where team members celebrate each religious and cultural festival together with much aplomb. As an example, Thai Pongal a Hindu festival celebrating the harvest, Bakthi Gee for Vesak and Christmas Carols are all held with the participation of the team. In addition, the Bank has also supported pilgrims making their way to St. Anne’s Church Thalawila with the construction of a Pilgrim’s Rest.
Education is an empowering tool, one that surely brings with it economic advancement and social development. We do recognise this and have over decades, lauded those young students who have become high achievers, presenting scholarships to them to ensure they continue their education, which sometimes is a challenge considering the domestic environments they emerge from. While we have developed customised products for students, namely Sisu Udana, through this product we present Sisu Udana scholarships to make their dreams a reality.
A savings culture is also inculcated through this savings product and school banking units aimed at ensuring that students continue their education without disruption.
With the YES account, we extend higher education loans to young people, either aspiring graduates or professionals, enabling them to get the necessary financial assistance to continue their academic and professional careers. This is also prevalent in the Vanitha Vasana scheme, which presents women with the option, among others, to gain funding assistance for higher studies.
Empowering women takes on added focus at People’s Bank because we believe strongly in the capabilities and abilities of women. They are a strong force in the work environment and a significant factor in building rural communities. Each year, the Bank gets very involved in International Women’s Day programmes, which compliment the various products available in its portfolio aimed specifically at uplifting women. This year, to commemorate International Women’s Day, we introduced the Vanitha Vasana Wish Tree, to help women to make their dreams a reality. The 3 month period from March to May 2013 was declared as the Vanitha Vasana tri month savings period. Women who deposit money in their Vanitha Vasana account during this period stood a chance to win attractive cash prizes. The main ceremony was held at the People’s Bank Headquarters Branch under the patronage of the Chief Executive Officer/ Managing Director of the Bank. Special lectures were delivered by medical specialists at this event. Similar events were held in Jaffna, Gampaha and many other People’s Bank branches island-wide.
Sports is a great unifier of nations, cultures and people, instigating team spirit and camaraderie
which will eventually lead to a united people who will work together towards common goals, while contributing significantly to the national agenda. We also believe that extra-curricular activities hone professionalism in individuals and this guides us to partner various institutions and organisations in encouraging sporting development as a dynamic of professional development.
The Bank continues to encourage extra-curricular activities among its team unconditionally, while this year, we focused on the the racing circuit, to assist the Sri Lankan Forces in their endeavours to add value to the welfare initiatives and various Training and Development academies that need funding.
This year the Bank partnered the organisers of the Gunner Supercross 2013, the Fox Hill Supercross 2013, the Sigiriya Rally Cross 2013 and The Cavalry Supercross 2013. Some of these events also had the Bank disbursing personal loans including vehicle and computer loans to members of the armed forces, to develop their professional skills.
Defence professionals were assisted this year when the Bank extended its unwavering support to the Defence Seminar 2013 on the Post-Conflict Sri Lanka - Challenges and Regional Stability, where experts from various related fields discussed, disseminated, analysed and shared information on Sri Lanka’s post-conflict reconstruction, social integration, reconciliation and regional stability.
Aiding professionalism in various professions including media and entertainment, the Bank gave funding assistance to the annual Sumathi Awards 2013 which honours high achievers in the television industry. We also added our backing to the Journalism Awards for Excellence in association with the Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Press Institute to honour journalists who display a high sense of ethics and professionalism in their profession.
Young people, on the threshold of making their way into careers, were felicitated at the University of Colombo Colours Night which had the participation of 8,000 graduates, post-graduates, lecturers and administrative staff from seven faculties, the School of Computing, six institutes and the Sripalee Campus. Supported by the Bank, these young men and women are now equipped with tools that would take them into professional spheres, giving them the opportunity to actively contribute to meeting national goals, while also meeting their individual aspirations.
Social and economic inclusivity is the permeating ethos in our social sustainability foundation. While our products are constructed on the platform of ensuring sustainable empowerment, it is pertinent to mention that the very vision of People’s Bank is one of social sustainability. Hence, our engagement with the community is assuredly focused on this aspect.
Identification of community projects generally begins at local level, where our branches identify and select projects aligned with our primary sustainability platforms: Preservation of Sri Lanka’s Heritage, Developing Literacy, Empowering Women and Sports Development.
Once this is done and the Branch Manager’s approval is obtained, if the project aligns itself to the guidelines of a localised project, the branch will begin implementing it. However, if the project is larger in stature, the proposal is submitted to the Marketing Manager and relevant cross functional team, who will discuss the project and its cruciality to meeting the sustainability objectives of the Bank. If approved, the author of the project is informed and close monitoring will be effected from the Centre throughout the implementation of the project, while an end-report is requested once the project is completed. This end-report will state the success of the project, the impact and the gaps if any encountered and serves as a learning tool for future activities.
As is customary, People’s Bank took the lead in partnering the Sri Dalada Maligawa in its annual pageant, the Esala Maha Perahera which is considered Asia’s largest cultural pageant. This pageant, which traverses the streets of the hill capital of Kandy with majestically caparisoned elephants, dancers representing all four main categories of dance prevalent in Sri Lanka and showcases the most prized possession from the Temple of the Tooth which is the relic of the Buddha’s tooth, forms an integral facet in Sri Lanka’s cultural calendar and preserves age-old traditions and legacies that have been handed down from the times of the Kandyan Kingdom.
Vesak, which commemorates the birth, death and enlightenment of Lord Buddha and is celebrated in Sri Lanka with great pageantry, was added to when People’s Bank partnered the Dehiwala community at the Vesak celebrations. Similarly, in commemorating the day Buddhism was brought to Sri Lanka, Poson Poya, we were present at the very heart of Buddism in Anuradhapura at the Bakthi Gee programme.
The habits of the rural villages of Sri Lanka are fast disappearing. There unique mores and customs if not highlighted and preserved, could disappear from everyday life. By partnering the Capital Maharaja Group in partnering Sirasa Kadamandiya, People’s Bank hopes to create awareness among the people of Sri Lanka about the unique practices and traditions that prevail in rural village culture.
We are conscious of the multicultural multi-religious permeation prevalent in Sri Lanka and make every effort to create a unifying environment for all segments of the nation to live in united diversity. We celebrate and support all religious and cultural festivals, including Thai Pongal a Hindu festival celebrating the harvest, the Christmas season with the sponsorship of Christmas Carols, an annual event organised by the Christian Guild of People’s Bank which was held for the 34th year consecutively and supported the pilgrims making their way to St. Anne’s Church, Thalawila by constructing a Pilgrim’s Rest. This six-house Rest has all amenities and was declared open by the Bishop of Chilaw, His Lordship Devsritha Valence Mendis.
Jaffna culture was highlighted at the Art Festival which was organised by the branches in the Jaffna and Wanni regions at the Jaffna University premises which was most successful in creating awareness and appreciation of a culture and traditions that form an intrinsic part of Sri Lanka’s make-up.
People’s Bank has always had a pulse on the younger generation, instilling not only values but also ensuring that education becomes the central axis to their well-being. The products developed and the value additions like the Sisu Udana Scholarships, school banking units and mobile units are all aimed at ensuring that students continue their education without disruption. Another value addition this year was the concert, Sisu Udana Dayata Pipena Mal, which showcased young students talent, held at the Deyata Kirula Exhibition in Anuradhapura.
Another area of focus that has remained ingrained in the DNA of People’s Bank is the empowerment of women. Each year, the Bank gets very involved in International Women’s Day Programmes, which compliment the various products available in its portfolio aimed specifically at uplifting women. This year’s International Women’s Day Programme was held at the Janakala Centre. In addition, we were in Kalutara at the Soorya Mangalya 2012 to present prizes to the winners of the Vanitha Vasana Nena Guna Piri Liya Programme, felicitating those women who had won prizes in the special Vanitha Vasana Programme.
Believing strongly that sports is a great unifier of nations, cultures and people, while honing team spirit, the Bank has always encouraged extracurricular activities among its team and assisted the nation’s prowess at various sports. This year, the Bank invested funds to develop the sport of Netball, which also included the celebratory parade that marked the 8th Asia Cup Netball Championship held in Colombo. We presented a prize to the National Cycle Champion who won the Jaya Sri Udana Cycle Race which was conducted in collaboration with the Minuwangoda Municipal Council.
People’s Bank has been pursuing sustainable operations since it commenced business in 1961. For fifty years we have focused on creating social value for our diverse customers and for the country in general. One of the reasons why we were created was to use financial solutions to unleash opportunities for people who had been previously excluded from the financial services industry and to support development initiatives of the state. The primary reason for our existence is to
create value for the people of the nation.More recently, as environmental awareness has grown, we have reduced the negative impacts our operations have had on the environment and sought to integrate practices that have contributed to replenishing it. We are committed to the highest levels of transparency and integrity and comply strictly with all relevant laws and procedures. Our risk management strategy is geared towards producing sustainable outcomes for our many stakeholders. We have created an environment of mutual trust and respect where employees perform at optimum levels delivering value for themselves, their families, the Bank and the community.Our business strategy has evolved over the years and is today focused on creating sustainable economic, social and environmental systems and empowering our several stakeholders.
Forging and Sustaining Relationships
Building enduring relationships has been at the forefront of our activities.
Our products have been a conduit to relationship building and to supporting our many customers as they walk through the many phases of life. We have attempted to promote sustainable change in people’s lives and have encouraged people to contribute to sustainable change in their own lives. We have forged relationships not just with our customers, but with regulators, the Government and the community in general. Sustainable entrepreneurship is about forging relationships, about nourishing relationships and about creating ripples of change in different layers of society. For fifty years we have focused on promoting positive change and will continue to work with this philosophy over the next fifty.
Our diverse stakeholders continue to provide important feedback as we seek to make our operations more efficient and sustainable. Our customers, our employees, the public and several government agencies provide a sounding board to us and help us adapt and modify our business practices and products. Customer feedback is crucial since it helps us refine our products and ensure that they synchronise with customer aspirations and needs. There are many methods of engaging with stakeholders, both informal and formal and we continue to use a variety of methods to ensure we are in touch with people who use our products.
With a view to accelerating growth in the regions, the Bank initiated a
special credit programme for medium and micro entrepreneurs in different regions. Under this programme, many development loans were provided to medium scale business sector whilst over 1000 advances were provided to micro entrepreneurs during the past year. This special credit programmed was initiated to support the government's rural development goal of enhancing opportunities for 50,000 micro entrepreneurs and to empower women by creating income streams for them in the rural economy. The larger goals are to trigger employment generation, add value in the rural economy and to rid the rural community of informal money lenders who have exploited the rural poor of Sri Lanka. This special credit scheme is part of the Bank’s novel concept of creating 'Micro Finance Villages' in rural Sri Lanka. Through the Micro Finance Village concept, the Bank will provide sustained support to targeted industries and
entrepreneurs in different parts of the country. Concessionary financial support will be combined with other forms of strategic advice and support in order to trigger growth in regions and enhance the quality of rural livelihoods.
Special concessionary loans were provided to many rural entrepreneurs to purchase small trucks during 2011. The beneficiaries were identified in partnership with the Federation of Self-Employed, and the objective of the initiative was to enhance opportunities for self-employment among rural populations. The beneficiaries will use these trucks to operate food distribution services in their respective areas and help in enhancing food security among rural populations. Essential food products will be distributed among rural populations to ensure they have access to these products at prices that are reasonable and affordable. Healthy and economically active village communities will be important to support the country’s objective of more inclusive development. The benefits of post-war progress must be shared with all social groups and spread amongst all areas of the country if development is to remain sustainable. The Bank is committed to this goal and to enhancing opportunities for Sri Lanka’s rural poor.
Rebuilding the North:Building Prosperity and Pride
The Bank is a major partner in redeveloping the North and the East and in helping to revive the economies and social life in those regions. The Bank is committed to taking state-of-the-art financial services to those regions and to ensuring equal opportunity for people who suffered for many years because of the thirty year war. We will help people reconcile and contribute to building a nation of prosperity and pride. Having said this the Bank's presence was always felt in the North and the East even during the three-decade conflict period, showcasing our commitment to all sectors of the community, irrespective of such presence-generating returns. The other major initiative we completed during the year was the rebuilding of the Killinochchi Madya Maha Vidyalaya. Killinochchi Madya Maha Vidyalaya is a school with a long history but has been unable to function at full capacity because it was located in the centre of the conflict.
A block of land close to the sacred Madhu Shrine in the Mannar District was
selected and the Bank provided outright grants for financing the construction of the fifty houses on that site. Each house cost Rs. 1 Mn and is of approximately 560 square feet in size. The total cost of the project including pipe-borne water, electricity and sewage, came to Rs. 55 Mn. This is one of many contributions the Bank has made to uplifting life in those areas devastated by the conflict and in helping the populations of the North and the East return to lives of normalcy. Part of this money was contributed by our dedicated employees. The fifty families were selected from among the internally displaced, many of whom had been displaced several times over, and had been living lives of hardship for several years. The Bank contributed Rs. 1.7 Mn towards the redevelopment and enhancement of a school with a view to restoring some of its lost glory and re-establishing it as a centre of educational excellence in the North. Over 1,300 students have benefitted from this initiative as the school now boasts of better infrastructure and facilities.
Building Healthy Futures: The Redevelopment of the Buttala Hospital
The Buttala Hospital is located in the Uva Province and caters to approximately
25,000 families in that area. The hospital provides health care through its Out Patient Department to almost 400 people every day. It is one of the primary health care facilities for people living in the region. The Bank, in partnership with its subsidiary People’s Leasing Limited, supported a major refurbishment of the hospital. The refurbishment has strengthened existing health care facilities and added several new facilities. By investing in health care we know that we are helping to respond to medical emergencies while at the same time investing in sustainable futures for the people of our country. Access to health care has for long been seen as a basic
human right in this country and Bank will continue to help the government discharge its obligation in this respect.
In 2004, the Bank partnered with the Independent Television Network (ITN) and Lakhanda Radio to respond to the tsunami of that year. We set up the Tsunami Fund to provide relief to those affected. In 2011, we dipped into the Tsunami Fund once again to help those affected by the unprecedented floods of late 2010 and early 2011. Close to a million people were affected by some of the worst flooding in decades and the Bank contributed a sum of Rs. 2 Mn to the already existing Rs. 8 Mn in the Tsunami Fund, to help those affected by the floods.
The Bank partnered with People’s Leasing to construct a state-of-theart market Complex for residents at Lunugamvehera. The new building, built at a cost of Rs. 20 Mn, is a well-equipped facility with all the benefits with a feel of a modern market or 'pola'.
Projects in 2010
The Bank’s approach to Corporate Responsibility (CR) is built on the bedrock of sustainable development - a process for meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to likewise achieve theirs. Such an approach leads our activities into three main areas of focus, namely, economic, environmental and social - also referred to as the Triple Bottom Line representing Profit, Planet and People respectively - which are integrated seamlessly into our dayto-day banking business. As an organisation with a special mandate to partner with people from all walks of life, we are strong proponents of uplifting rural communities through our superior outreach in providing banking services in even the most remote parts of the country. Likewise, our strategic approach to CR is built around the communities we serve, with emphasis on empowering people to become value creating, competitive and self-reliant while nurturing local culture, arts and religion. Our main CR activities during the year under review are discussed in the paragraphs that follow.
With the dawn of peace following three decades of civil strife, the Bank takes its role in nation-building seriously, particularly in respect of the reintegration and revival of the economies of the North and East of the country. To support the resurgence in sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, livestock, cottage industries and other SMEs the Bank introduced several loan schemes on concessionary terms.The Bank initiated a programme to inculcate the savings habit among young schoolchildren through a special‘Sisu Udana’ savings scheme that provided incentives to parents who opened accounts for their children on the first day at school. At the launch of the scheme the children were also taught the importance of savings, with the objective of nurturing a savings culture in young minds for building a secure future.‘Necessity is the mother of invention’goes the adage. Out there in far-flung Mahiyangana our Branch Manager and his team went further in anticipating and satisfying the growing needs and expectations of customers through several innovative products and services. Redemption of pawned items is now done in just 5 minutes, thanks to the introduction of a dedicated mobile telephone line whereby a customer provides advance notice through SMS. Market segmentation led to the introduction of Prime Cards for prime customers to enjoy express lane service.Team Mahiyangana went further, taking employee empowerment to new heights. The provision of individualised Loan Recovery Card helped clients not only to better understand their repayment obligations, but also improved the Branch’s NPL ratio. A real win-win solution. The Branch innovated other simple but effective measures to educate their largely rural customers to learn about banking procedures, while at the same time simplifying and fast tracking processes within.The Bank’s Corporate Banking Division stepped into educate exporters in the Central Province on practices relating to exports and international trade. The event was organised by the Central Province Exporters Chamber and attracted more than 35 current and potential exporters. Going beyond developing SMEs and to reach the informal sector, the Bank introduced a novel loan scheme ‘Athamaru Naya’ targeting micro scale entrepreneurs at the Manning Market in Colombo. This scheme complements the Bank’s ‘Palm Top’ banking services introduced in 2008 that provides ‘any time - anywhere’ services to integrate micro scale entrepreneurs with mainstream banking. The inclusion of this important and yet often invisible sector augurs well for mainstreaming their contribution into the socioeconomic development of the country
As a proponent of responsible investment, the Bank embraces the concept of ‘green banking’ in its operations. It is wide in scope, ranging from the screening of projects that are financed to its own business processes, procedures and internal housekeeping. We have initiated steps in these directions through educating the community, creating awareness, offering incentives to environment-friendly projects and setting an example ourselves. An initiative that the Bank is working on is the creation of awareness among schoolchildren and the introduction of community-based projects to minimise or eliminate the use of nonbiodegradable polythene bags. Also in the plan is a series of activities to create awareness among customers and the broader community at large on aspects such as energy conservation at work and in the home, the importance of eco-friendly buildings and industrial practices, and the financial incentives that are available. The Bank is working closely with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding shortly to take our initiative on Green Banking forward, which will also coincide with our Golden Jubilee that we will celebrate in mid-2011.
The Bank continues to support the arts, culture and religion of the communities in which it operates. The Bank’s Art Circle showcased the talent of in-house staff in the form of song, dance and drama amidst a large and distinguished gathering in February 2010 as part of its ‘Kala Ulela’ annual event. To mark our 49th anniversary the Bank constructed a ‘Dharma Shaala’ at the Lankarama Temple in memory of its founder-Chairman, the late Mr. Vincent Subasinghe. The building was handed over to the Maha Sanga at a well-attended ceremony that included members of the clergy, staff, customers and well-wishers who continue to endorse the Bank’s efforts in promoting and preserving the social, cultural and religious landscape of our country. With a diverse family of around 8,400 employees the Bank encourages religious observances through various in-house societies representing all four major religions practiced in the country. These events are usually timed to coincide with the Bank’s anniversary celebrations as well as special days on the religious calendar. To celebrate the country’s 62nd Independence Day the Bank introduced a programme under the theme ‘Birth of Freedom’ where all newborns during the period 01-07 February were awarded with an ‘Isuru Udana’ savings account with a free initial deposit. Going further in its efforts to reach out to the younger generation, the Bank marked the Universal Children’s Day by offering special incentives, including a lucky draw, for its ‘Isuru Udana’ and ‘Sisu Udana’ Children’s Savings Account holders. Promoting education among needy children continues to be on the Bank’s CR agenda. The Bank commemorated the 97th birth anniversary of its founder, Hon. T.B. Illangaratne, at a ceremony where 47 GCE (Advanced Level) schoolchildren from low-income families received scholarships to pursue higher studies. It is worth mentioning that the late founder, a former Cabinet Minister, championed the concept of taking banking to the grassroots of the country, and his brainchild People’s Bank, today has the widest outreach with over 11 million customers, or roughly 50% of Sri Lanka’s population. The Welfare Department and Sports Club jointly organised a Blood Donation Campaign to coincide with the Bank’s anniversary celebrations. This is an annual feature that attracts a large number of employees, customers and members of the public whose voluntary and enthusiastic participation demonstrates the value they place on such a worthy cause.
Projects in 2009
Having strengthened relationships with our stakeholders for nearly five decades,People’s Bank has continued to keep its pulse on the needs, wants and aspirations of our communities, as well as the impact that our actions have on the environment. We take our role of being a solid corporate citizen very seriously and conceptualise and design products and services that are aligned to this role. Ours has been a journey where we have been a strong partner with the citizenry of this country, an inherent trait that we have nurtured and improved upon, touching the lives of our stakeholders from the cradle to their twilight years, while also building stable foundations for the betterment of the nation.
Our social responsibility is built on the basis of sustainability. We help our communities improve themselves recognising the fact that when communities develop, that development cascades to economic development as well. We are strong proponents of uplifting rural communities who have immense potential to contribute towards nation building both in a social and economic sense.
Our CSR projects over the years are designed on the trusses of education, community building, the environment and the triad of arts, culture and religion. Each of these platforms deals with ensuring sustainability of the target community, who in turn will develop into holistic groups, founded on good morals, values and principles on the founding principle of a healthy united nation.
Aligned to the United Nations Millennium
Development Goals which are also embedded
in the country’s Ten Year Development Plan
which includes being food sufficient by the end
of the next decade, we partnered the national
programme on the theme, “Plant Today - Reap
Tomorrow’ which aims at planting three million
fruit and vegetable bearing trees and plants
to ensure food security for the future. At a
ceremony held at the Bank’s Staff Training
College and presided over by the Minister of
Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives
and Consumer Services, a large number of
plants was also distributed among the staff of
the Bank to launch the countrywide project.
With the influx of a large number of IDPs into
the Government-controlled areas to escape
the grip of terrorism during the war at the
beginning of the year, numerous families were
left asunder without basic requirements. A total
of Rs. 14 Mn worth of essential goods including
medicine and kitchen utensils contributed by
the staff of the Bank, were presented to the
displaced people, giving them a chance to gain
some normalcy into their disturbed lives.
In order to aid the displaced people even
further, the Bank, as part of its contribution
towards the Government’s Uthuru Wasanthaya
programme, opened a mobile banking service
and later a service centre in Vavuniya with
the facilities of an ATM, to ensure safety and
security of cash and gold in the possession of
The Bank was in the forefront of launching the
Uthuru Wasanthaya programme, being the first
to open five service centres on a single day
within the Jaffna region.
In addition, the Bank is making arrangements
to extend loans at reduced interest rates for the
development of sustainable entrepreneurial
ventures, lending a helping hand for the
purchase of agricultural equipment, start-ups for
small-scale industries and for paddy, vegetable
and fruit cultivation. These loans, under the
Reawakening North Loan Scheme, grant loans
at concessionary interest rates of 12% spurring a
new lease of life to the Micro & SME sectors.
As further impetus to helping the displaced
gain back their lives, the Bank contributed
Rs. 265,000 towards construction of houses
under the Uthuru Wasanthaya programme.
In yet another measure to bridge the divide
between the geographical boundaries in Sri Lanka
and to build togetherness, the Bank presented
Rs. 5 Mn to mark the recommencement of the
Yal Devi train, which began transporting goods
and passengers 33 years after it stopped running
Recognising the utmost sacrifice made
by servicemen who fought to protect the
sovereignty of Sri Lanka, the Bank joined the
efforts of building a welfare fund through the
sale of flags for these gallant war heroes.
The Bank’s Buddhist Society continued its annual
social responsibility project of constructing a
house each month for a deserving member of
society. Each house is valued at Rs. 500,000 and
is funded with Rs. 200,000 from the Society and
contributions of labour and building material by
well wishers. The houses are presented to the
absolutely underprivileged in society and are
selected purely on merit.
We strongly believe that women are the
foundation to overall development. It is they
who nurture future generations and possess
the inherent strengths and skills to develop
communities. Recognising this, the Vanitha
Vasana account gives women their due place in
society, at the helm of creating the future. This
year, on International Women’s Day, the Bank
launched the novel Vanitha Vasana Savings
Voucher to empower women further.
The Muslim Majlis of the Bank renovated the
Maternity Ward of the Base Hospital in Puttalam
in order to improve the hygienic conditions
prevalent within the ward. There was also a
presentation of gifts to the patients at the ward
which comprises sixty beds.
The Bank also donated bedside screens to two
wards at the Colombo National Hospital on a
request made by the Head of the Neurology
Department Consultant, Dr. Ranjani Gamage.
A series of events were organised to
commemorate tsunami victims by way of a
Sangha almsgiving for 35 bhikkus, a Paathra
Pooja for the Maha Sangha in Sooriyawewa and
donation of exercise books and school stationery
for the underprivileged students attending the
Daham Schools in the affected areas.
Especially aimed at children who have
undergone the trauma of war and displacement,
the Bank’s Piyum Vila programme in the North
and the East gathered further momentum with
the end to the war in mid 2009. Working with
thousands of children from underprivileged
families over the three years where sixty
successful programmes were conducted,
this year the Bank held eight programmes
in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces.
Piyum Vila nurtures young children to acquire
knowledge, skills and values that will contribute
towards building a civic-minded society. The
programme designed using modern learning
and counselling techniques assists not only
students but parents and teachers too, to
understand and gain insight into issues
such as co-existence, habits, values, civicmindedness
and coping with stress arising from
a competitive education system.
Having recognised the challenges young people
face in pursuing higher education avenues
due to the high expenditure involved, the Bank
presented fifty students with Sisu Udana
Kusalatha Pranama scholarships this year,
lending assistance for them to pursue their
educational ambitions. These students are
those who have excelled at national and district
levels achieving the highest marks in the GCE
A/level examination of 2008.
Eminent politician and equality champion, the
late T.B. Ilangaratne was commemorated on his
96th Birth Anniversary in order to create
awareness of the exemplary service he had
rendered to this country. Fifty Ilangaratne
Memorial Scholarships were presented through
the Ilangaratne Student Assistance/Welfare
Trust to students of low-income families,
enabling them to continue on their chosen path
A crying need for the Ganapathy Hindu
Vidyalayam was the requirement of book
cupboards to safeguard the valuable books
within the school’s library. The Hindu Society of
the Bank, on identifying this need, donated the
book cupboards to the school.
To ensure that students have a conducive
environment to further their higher education,
the Bank renovated the Vincent Subasinghe
Memorial Hostel, which provides accommodation
to a large number of medical students residing
therein and hail from the rural areas of the
island. The refurbishment is at an investment of
Rs. 5 Mn.
Arts, Culture and Religious Foundations
With future generations growing up experiencing
three decades of war, we strongly believe that
corporate citizens play a crucial role in creating
the right foundations for children to grow up in.
These foundations are made up of the trusses
of being appreciative of our long history and
the culture and traditions steeped therein and
being educated about religious principles,
morals and values. One of the annual events the
Bank continues to sponsor is the Annual Esala
Perahera in Kandy which ideally showcases
the best of Sri Lanka’s cultural and religious
heritage, making every Sri Lankan truly proud
of our inheritance and the legacy left behind by
numerous great leaders.
Projects in 2008
The People"s Bank has a history of care for people and environment, firmly embedded in its psyche. We recognize our role within community and environment, which goes well beyond being the Bank of the people.
Over the years, we've channeled our resources in to many areas of the life of the Nation, helping sectors of the community most in need of such help. We've made contributions to cultural and religious activities, to the sectors of health and education, and so much more.
During the year under review, the 47th Anniversary of the Bank was the celebratory spur for many of the projects which we will report upon in this chapter.
This year, the Bank initiated projects to repair 10 Provincial Hospitals and refurbish 2 wards at the Cancer Hospital, Maharagama.
Taking our initiative at the Cancer Hospital to illustrate the scope of our assistance the Bank and its employees combined to raise the financial resources to repair and refurbish Wards 7 and 8, where work included attention to ceilings, water supply, toilets, furniture, masonry, electrical work and the supply of a wide variety of equipment.
Of a total budget of Rs.700,000, the Bank raised Rs.200,000 whilst staff and donors from the area raised the balance Rs.500,000. In the process, our staff noted the parlous state of adjacent Wards 9 and 10 and the Bank is undertaking a similar exercise of refurbishment for them too.
Whilst financial resources went towards purchase of equipment and materials, the hands on work was accomplished by our staff.
Similarly, the Nuwara-Eliya Hospital, which is a key facilitator of surrounding rural hospitals in Udu Pussellawa, Kotmale, Hatton, Talawakelle, Lindula, Agarapatana and Walapane, was also found in need of refurbishment.
The Bank's Regional Head Office and several branches undertook the renovations, augmented by manpower from the Hospital.
The importance of a literate and intelligent emerging generation, equipped to take on the mantle of leadership in the years ahead is well recognized by the Bank. We are honoured to be able to play our part in their development and progress.
During the year under review, the Bank put forth several initiatives in this regard.
Our Kuruwita branch undertook the renovation of the library at Kandangoda Vidyalaya. Here again, the Bank committed both financial and personnel resources in successfully completing the project.
Our Ratnapura Town Branch undertook to provide 2 name boards for Bambarakotuwa Navodya Vidyalaya.
The Bank also provided much needed equipment for the gymnasiums of Anamaduwa Central College and Kottagamuwa School.
The People's Bank sponsored the Olympiad Junior Competition conducted by the Department of Education to recognize students excelling in Mathematics and Science.
Another project which received our sponsorship as 'Sisu Udana Funday Times all-island essay competition' run by the Funday Times, Children's supplement of The Sunday Times newspaper, to coincide with International Children's Day, 2008.
Children from grades 2 to 9 were eligible to enter the competition and finalists were chosen from all 25 districts.
Our goal was to further the language and creative writing skills of students from all over the country.
The Bank maintains a healthy interest and involvement in supporting many projects that contribute to good values in society, particularly in the field of arts and culture and religion.
The 'Arts Festival - 2008' was an event organised by the Arts Circle of People's Bank and was held at the Elphinstone Theatre, Colombo. This event had several high points.
A CD titled 'Pembara Geetha' featuring the lyrics and songs of our own employees under the direction of well renowned Professor Sanath Nandasiri was released at the event.
The Bank's very own dance troupe performed with distinction at its inaugural showing.
Awards and certificates were bestowed on Bank employees and their children who emerged winners of our Literature Competition for the period 2007/08. Winning entries were compiled in to a magazine, 'Kalahanda' and unveiled at the festival.
The Bank also took this opportunity to felicitate the 'greats' - Dr. Pandit Amaradeva, Dr. Premasiri Khemadasa, K. Jayatilleke and J.H. Jayawardene, who have all contributed immensely to the development of arts in Sri Lanka.
The Bank also sponsored a CD containing Sinhala, Pali Jayamangala Gatha & Narasiha Gatha sung by Visharada Nanda Malini which was launched at the BMICH, during the year in review. This CD will be distributed to temples island-wide and amongst the customers of the Bank.
Projects in 2007
A Stake in the Future More Valuable than Money
Children are the key to the future. Empowering young Sri Lankans is the most effective way forward for our nation on its journey to development. Our society recognises this: Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, reflecting the importance attached by policy makers to children and issues relating to them.
People's Bank is a financial institution, but we recognise that this particular stake in the future is far more valuable than money. That is why we put so much time, effort and expenditure into supporting and developing the children and youth of our nation.
Education, the royal road to opportunity and economic development, is one major area on which the Bank's CSR effort is focused. Its objectives are to foster knowledge, leadership and good financial habits among young people. Integrated with the Bank's other CSR activities in literature, religion, culture and sports, they constitute a strong force for the economic and social upliftment of Sri Lankan society.
From the Cradle: Child Welfare and Promoting the Savings Habit
For nearly half a century, People's Bank has supported initiatives for the social, economic and cultural development and integration of the child. A milestone in this campaign was reached in October this year when the Bank made the initial contribution to the National Child Development Fund (NCDF) on International Children's Day.
The NCDF was established by the Ministry of Child Development and Women's Empowerment to provide financial assistance to needy children so as to enable them to continue their education. Its beneficiaries are children whose access to education is hampered by poverty, natural disasters or the loss of a parent or guardian. The 2004 tsunami and the current conflict have increased the number of children who need such support, placing unprecedented demands on the Fund: hence our decision to be involved in this initiative.
We also carried out a number of other very significant child welfare events and activities in the year under review. One of the most significant of these grew out of the Bank's ongoing sponsorship of Sisu Udana Deyata Pipena Mal, a live children's variety programme, showcasing their talents and aired on the SLBC's Vidula children's channel. This year, Sisu Udana Deyata Pipena Mal presented a special programme in conjunction with Independence Day. The occasion provided the opportunity for an enthusiastic group of children from various parts of the country to unite in joyous, celebratory performance before a nationwide audience. Attired in colourful traditional costumes and decked with flowers and national flags, they sang and danced with flair and enthusiasm, choreographed, backed and supported by renowned artistes and musicians.
In the same spirit of celebration, People's Bank gave Independence Day its own unique touch with its annual Nidahase Upatha ('Birth of Freedom') programme. Under the scheme, all babies born during the period February 1-7 were awarded Isuru Udana gift certificates worth Rs 500/- each.
The programme reflects the importance placed by the Bank on savings for both parents and children. As a state banking institution, People's Bank considers it a duty to cultivate the national savings habit. Schemes and promotions such as Nidahase Upatha are among the ways in which we pursue this goal.
As part of the programme this year, senior officers of the Bank visited the De Soysa Memorial Hospital and the Castle Street Maternity Hospital to hand over Isuru Udana gift certificates to mothers and their newborns. Such gifts are invariably welcome, and are currently available in denominations of Rs 200/- and Rs 500/-.
The Isuru Udana account, designed for children ranging in age from newborn to five years old, encourages the saving habit by making the child eligible for a variety of gifts. The funds it contains may be transferred in due course to other People's Bank accounts, such as Sisu Udana, YES, etc., to suit the child's age. Isuru Udana thus creates a stable yet versatile foundation on which parents may plan and save for their child's future needs.
Another event, this time in October, was a joint programme organised by the Bank to celebrate International Children's Day. The event, Pipena Kekulu 2007, was held at Sathutu Uyana, Colombo. A number of entertainment programmes activities and competitions were held, and prizes and certificates were awarded to the winning children. All children attending, received a free Sisu Udana account.
Protecting Children from Cyberspace Predators
An important highlight of the year was the launch of the Bank’s Campaign to Crush Child Pornography on the Internet, also known as ‘B3CPI’. It tackles an issue of great concern to Sri Lanka, since there has been an alarming increase in the number of child victims exploited on the internet who are from our country.
The B3CPI was formed in early 2007 with the participation of all major banks in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Banks’ Association and the Central Bank. People’s Bank is one of the participants in this drive, which aims to tackle the problem of child pornography on the Internet through concerted, cross-industry action to detect and cut off funding for child pornography web sites. B3CPI, launched on Universal Children’s Day, is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka.
Supporting and Rewarding Educational Achievements
Education receives the lion’s share of People’s Bank’s CSR expenditure targeted at children and young people. In the year under review, the Bank launched a programme to support and motivate bright students in financially strained circumstances. Known as YES Future Stars, this savings account for 16 and 17 year olds, introduced in December 2007, makes account holders who have gained entry to a local university, eligible to apply for one of 100 scholarships made available annually. Although this programme is to be launched formally in 2008; as a practice session, twelve students who excelled at the GCE Advanced Level Examination in 2007 were awarded scholarships at a ceremony at Temple Trees under the patronage of His Excellency, the President Mahinda Rajapakse. In addition, students whoachieved first, second and third place at the ‘A Levels’ in the Mathematics, Science, Commerce and Arts streams were awarded attractive cash prizes, while seven of these students who are Sisu Udana account holders were also awarded additional cash prizes.
Students who obtained top results at the GCE Ordinary Level Examination at district and national level were also rewarded. 51 such youngsters, chosen by their certified exam results, each received a Sisu Udana Kusalatha Pranama scholarship at a special ceremony. This was the fourteenth such ceremony since the programme was first initiated.
At a more junior level, People’s Bank awarded Chagi Basuru Weerakoon of Taxila Vidyalaya, Horana a Sisu Udana account with Rs 100,000/- as a preliminary deposit-reward for his exceptional success at the Year 5 scholarship examinations in 2007. Basuru receivedhis prize for accomplishing the unprecedented feat of scoring the maximum possible mark, which was 200. The Bank also awarded Rs 75,000/- each to the second highest scorers in the examination, who scored 196 marks each.
Our support for education was also expressed through financial sponsorships, one of which enabled three outstanding students from the Law College to participate in the Commonwealth Mooting Competition, held in Kenya in September last year. These three young people had undertaken extensive research in International Trade Law and this was an opportunity for them to use their advocacy skills to the fullest. They, in turn, will no doubt impart the experience and knowledge they gained to their fellow-students in Sri Lanka through exhibition moots, moot courts and workshops organised by the Moot Society of the Law College.
Three other law students received sponsorships of Rs 100,000/- that made it possible for them to participate at the Oxford Intellectual Property LawMoot Competition in March 2007.
The Bank also sponsored Piyumwila, a series of seminars held to discuss questions and answers and tutorials relating to the GCE Ordinary Level Mathematics and Science syllabuses. The programme, held under the direction of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, is designed to develop the subject knowledge of students and aims to build a society that shares high moral values.
Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds
Giving sports a helping hand, People’s Bank also sponsored the Under 22 Boys’ Volleyball tour of Vietnam in October. Thus the Bank demonstrated its support for Sri Lanka’s national sport, encouraging young people’s interest and involvement in the game.
Supporting Faith and Culture
People's Bank has always been committed to promoting Sri Lanka's heritage and cultural institutions. One way it does so is through its role as official Bank of the Temple of the Tooth. In this role, the Bank presented the Temple with Rs 5 Mn to help fund a proposed International Buddhist Centre at Pallekele, now being built under the Temple’s patronage.
The live telecast of the Kandy Esala Perahera on national television was also sponsored this year by People’s Bank, which carried out a successful promotional campaign for the Bank in concurrence with the event and drew a large public gathering.
Other Social Development Initiative Activities of the Bank
Through the Tsunami Relief Fund jointly convened by People’s Bank, Independent Television Network and Lakhanda Radio, 100 low-income houses in Kalmunai Padirippu were provided furniture worth a total of Rs 4.5 Mn. Each house received four armchairs, a dining table with six chairs, a steel wardrobe, bed with mattress, dressing table, kitchen utensils, etc.
People’s Bank was a co-sponsor of the Sri Lanka Surgeon’s Walk held in July 2007 to raise funds for a building to house the proposed Surgical College. The lack of such an institution has obliged Sri Lankan doctors to spend large amounts of their own money in order to qualify overseas.
People’s Bank joined the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in a drive to inculcate the savings habit among school children in the Hambantota District. The programme involved a small change collection campaign and the launch of a Sisu Udana unit in the Veeraketiya Rajapakse M.M.V. of Hambantota. People’s Bank joined four other banks in this programme to promote the savings habit among the younger generation. The Bank offered several incentives to depositors and attracted the lion’s share of deposits among participating banks.
Felicitating Those Who Gave to the Nation
This year, People’s Bank commemorated the ninety fourth birth anniversary of the late T.B. Ilangaratne, who pioneered our establishment through the introduction of the People’s Bank Act in 1961. Floral tributes were laid at the statue of the late Minister by employees of the Bank, followed by a religious ceremony.
A ceremony of appreciation was also organised by the Bank to felicitate one of Sri Lanka’s brightest creative luminaries, Mr. Somaweera Senanayake, who has illuminated the fields of literature, media and the performing arts for 40 years. The ceremony was held at the BMICH; it was organised by the Telemakers’ Guild (TELEMG) and sponsored by People’s Bank.
The ceremony also marked the launch of Somaweera Senanayake Prathibha Prabha, a collection of essays by notable experts on Mr. Senanayake and his various contributions to the arts. It also coincided with the launch of the website of the Telemakers’ Guild and the Telemakers’ Directory. Mr. Senanayake was presented with a number of awards and mementos.
Finally, People’s Bank did not forget those members of the Security Forces who have made the supreme sacrifice in the ongoing conflict. The Bank issued flags in conjunction with the declaration of the War Heroes’ Commemoration Month (7 May - 7 June), proceeds from the sale of which will be dedicated to the welfare of the families of our war heroes.
The People’s Bank Buddhist Society
Activities in 2007
As usual, the Society was almost continuously active during the year under review. Among its most notable efforts were the following:
Organising and producing two highlights of the Bank’s year, the Inter-Bank Sports festival and a marathon held to commemorate the Bank’s forty-sixth anniversary,
Contributing to women’s and children’s health care by refurbishing paediatric and maternity wards at 23 hospitals around the country.
Helping some of the nation’s poorest citizens by implementing a housing project for low-income families in 11 different districts, and helping poor families attempting to build their own homes through donations of roofing sheets and tiles as well as items of household furniture.
The Society also hopes to build another 12 houses in 2008 for poverty stricken families with no shelter of their own.
Support for Education
110 schools and 11,000 schoolchildren and pirivena students in 20 districts received donations of school books to the value of Rs 3.5 Mn. The donations were made to the respective schools and pirivena libraries. The branches, zonal offices and regional offices of the Bank extended valuable support to this initiative by identifying needs and recommending suitable books for donation.
A donation of books was made to Ambalanthota Ruhunu Ridiyagama Janananda Vidyalaya and to the monks of Vidyalankara Pirivena.
Pirivenas and selected other schools in the Trincomalee District were provided with furniture worth around Rs 1 Mn.
Special seminars were held for rural students sitting the year 5 scholarship and GCE Advanced Level Examinations.
Numerous other schools and schoolchildren received donations of uniforms, hearing aids, water filters, books and school equipment to an aggregate value of Rs 0.8 Mn.
Support for Religious Education and Culture
Financial assistance was extended by the Society to support reconstruction efforts at several Buddhist temples.
Society members at People’s Bank branches around the country conducted a number of religious programmes. These included all-night pirith ceremonies as well as initiatives to repaint and repair devotional images of the Buddha. They also carried out dhamma preaching work and numerous other religious programmes in rural areas.
Society members also constructed ‘shrine rooms’ and donated statues of the Buddha to temples and schools.
Bank staff joined the public in celebrating Poson Poya, organising a number of religious activities and donating funds for the reconstruction of the right-wing observatory at the Ruwanweliseya dageba at Anuradhapura.
The Society organized and conducted workshops for Buddhist monks to inculcate leadership qualities in them, and to raise their awareness of the responsibilities of a monk.
Various measures were taken in support of dhamma schools and to uphold Buddhist traditions and culture. Specifically, uniform materials and furniture have been donated to a number of such schools, while ten dhamma schools in the Padaviya area and Padavi Sripura Division of the Anuradhapura District received water tanks and filters to provide them with clean water. This initiative was spurred by the high numbers of reported incidences of kidney disease among children in the area, caused by drinking contaminated water.
Other Generous Efforts
Nine wheelchairs were donated to handicapped persons, among whom were a child and five disabled war veterans.
Two deserving individuals were provided with free spectacle lenses. It should be noted that when selecting recipients of such items as hearing aids, intraocular lenses, artificial limbs, etc., particular consideration is given to individuals who have been unable to undergo required surgery due to unavailability.
A tree planting campaign was undertaken to raise awareness of environmental stewardship among schoolchildren.
People's Bank Christian Guild
The Guild undertook many important social responsibility projects at Bolawalana Children’s Home, where most of the resident children are orphans from underprivileged families. In addition to underwriting their educational requirements, the Guild was also able to make a significant contribution towards the provision of a well-equipped sickroom for the Home.
In February, Guild members donated a stock of educational items to the poor children of Vavuniya Convent.
In order to share the spirit of Christmas with our village brethren, a Carol Service and Christmas celebration was held in Negombo with the participation of the Chairman and Board of Directors. A donation of Rs 200,000/- was made towards the Gamata Natthal programme as a further gesture of goodwill.
The People's Bank Hindu Association
In accordance with Hindu tradition, Association members conducted Pooja and other rituals during Hindu festival days and at the appropriate auspicious times on special Bank occasions. Special Pooja were conducted for peace and harmony in the country at Sri Vinayagar Kovil, Bambalapitiya.
The Association plans to conduct classes for tsunami affected children at regional level. It also conducted special Pooja for tsunami victims at Thiruchendur Murugan Kovil, Batticaloa.
The People's Bank Muslim Majlis
The People’s Bank Muslim Majlis has a membership of around 300, each of whom contributes a monthly membership fee. The cost of projects undertaken by the Majlis are met entirely from these funds.
In the first corporate-social-responsibility project of 2007, the new Majlis Executive Committee organized a simple ceremony during Ramazan (October, 2007) in the Puttalam area at which a thousand copies of primary Qur’an recital books were distributed to students belonging to very poor families displaced from the North of the country some 17 years ago.
This was followed with another CSR project aimed at northern Muslim refugees in the Puttalam area, in which 17 children belonging to refugee families now living in camps below the poverty were provided with health care facilities at a private nursing home in Puttalam. The students also received gifts, food packages and copies of translation of the Qur’an. The Majlis plans to expand its activities to other areas in the year 2008.
Projects in 2006
Felicitation Ceremony for People's Bank employees who have served 25 years
The Grand Final of People's Bank Sisu Udana Vishishtayo
People's Bank celebrated the triumph of the most outstanding achievers from amongst the thousands of children who had applied for the second annual Sisu Udana Vishishtayo National Awards Scheme, at a spectacular award ceremony at the BMICH recently.
Held under the patronage of First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, the entire Sisu Udana Vishishtayo initiative was the culmination of commitment towards social responsibility, aiming to acknowledge and reward the inherent talent and skills of the future generation of Sri Lanka's youth.
Speaking on the uniqueness of the project, Dr. P. A Kiriwandeniya, Chairman of People's Bank said, "Sisu Udana Vishishtayo awards scheme was an initiative that extended to the length and breadth of the country. We wanted to unite the students to stand together on one platform, connected through their achievements and mutual respect for each other. A very valuable message being disseminated by us to children and adults alike is that while a holistic development is necessary for a nation to prosper and develop, a united effort in working towards a common vision is the ultimate key to coherent nation building."
The event was structured to not only recognize and reward, but to inspire the winners to achieve more. Rs.12,500 was awarded to the 140 district winners and Rs.25,000 was awarded to the 16 national winners who were selected, from the pool from the district winners. All winners received a trophy and a certificate. The prize money was doubled in the event of the winners having maintained a Sisu Udana Deposit Account with People's Bank.
The judging panel, which consisted of ten highly respected members of society, representing different professions and segments of society selected the 'best of the best' winners from the vast pool of highly talented schoolchildren in Sri Lanka. Another special feature was the investment of Rs.100,000 in 15 less privileged schools that had produced these outstanding and talented youngsters.
"We believe that we were reaching out to children who would otherwise never have had the opportunity of being nationally recognized and inspired to reach greater heights of achievements and success. It was also an objective to bring North and South, East and West, into the same platform as equal winners to foster and encourage mutual recognition and respect," said Asoka de Silva, CEO/General Manager of People's Bank.
An unforgettable evening for those present, the outstanding performances of some of the cream of Sri Lanka's school troupes, which were hand-picked by the Bank, was undoubtedly the highlight of the event. It was a cultural treat, with the audience being captivated by the performances of music, song, dance and drumming, by some of the best schools to felicitate individual 'best of the' best' achievers from Sri Lankan schools.
Bertal Pinto - Jayewardene, Sisu Udana Vishishtayo, Project Coordinator and Head of Finance, MIS and Risk Management stated, People's Bank has run this special project since 2004 and the satisfaction we have derived is in receiving a flood of feedback from all corners of our nation, expressing what the recognition meant to them. Our objective has been to encourage and inspire all school children to improve on their many talents and skills. We believe that these skills developments will lead to greater self-confidence and well-rounded personalities, who in turn will be stronger future leaders for our nation."
Social Welfare Services Carried Out Over The Previous 6 Months By The People's Bank Buddhist Society
School books, stationery and other educational material required for the year 2006 were distributed among 10,000 school children who were domiciled in areas intrinsic with numerous hardships and studying under varied financial difficulties and constraints, in 83 schools encompassing 16 districts in the island.
Newly-built houses were donated to 5 families who were in dire penury with no roof of their own over their heads. The Districts of Matara, Ratnapura, Badulla, Puttalam and Hambantota have been picked out for this purpose.
A series of programmes imbued with liberality (dhana) morality (seela) and meditation (bawana) embolden on the upliftment of spiritual enlightment have been successfully conducted.
Books were donated to libraries in less-privileged schools with the view of inculcating the reading habit among school children and thereby to enhance their knowledge and skills.
Schools and temples have been provided with statues of the Lord Buddha enabling the students and villages in remote difficult areas to observe day to day religious rituals and rites.
The children who were orphaned by terrorist activities prevailing in a part of the country over the years and found refuge at the Etambagaskada Children’s Home have been donated with food and provisions while arrangements have been made to remit financial aid monthly so as to avail them with medical facilities too.
Various books written on Buddhism have been donated to be used for the education of Bikkhus resident in arduous areas in the island.
A Hearing Aid was donated to a student who was experiencing difficulties in pursuing studies due to hearing disability.
Wheel chairs for the disabled relevant aid for the handicapped and spectacles for those who had problems of eye sight have been donated having ensured that they really deserved such aid.
A “Dansal” was conducted in the foreground of the Head Office building of the People's Bank on Sri Chittampalam A. Gardiner Mawatha, Colombo 02, Sri Lanka.
Contributions have been made in support of cultural pageants conducted by temples and monasteries to uphold the Buddhist tradition and culture of Sri Lanka.
Assistance and support have been extended throughout to the Daham Pasal (schools where Buddhism is taught) in the island for assimilation of spiritual development of the Buddhist children. Religious programmes have been conducted in various parts of the island for spiritual development of the adults as well.
45th Anniversary of the People's Bank
The 45th Anniversary of the People's Bank was ceremoniously commemorated in high esteem with priority placed upon religious activities. In felicitating this occasion, an all night Pirith Chanting was officiated at the Head Office of the Bank on the 30th of June 2006, followed by alms offered to Maha Sangha over 50 in number on the 01st of July with the patronage of the People's Bank Buddhist Society.
This meritorious occasion headed by the Most Venerable Dr. Welimitiyawe Kusaladhamma Nayaka Thero, the Chancellor of the University of Kelaniya and the Head of the Vidyalankara Pirivena, Peliyagoda with the Ven. Dr. Bellana Gnanawimala Nayaka Thero, the Maha Nayake of the Sri Samagri Dharma Maha Sanga Sabha, Kotte, was attended by the Maha Sanga who dwell even in most arduous remote areas in the Island.
The religious ceremony held in a highly deferential manner to which the Casket of Sacred Relics was escorted over a glorious procession from the Sri Sambuddhaloka Vihara, Fort, was participated by the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer/General Manager, the Corporate Management and thousands of other members of staff of the People's Bank. The prime objective of this meritorious event was to invoke blessings upon the entire population in the Island
Further, with the patronage of the People's Bank, Buddhist Society, three new houses were built during the anniversary month of July 2006, to mark the 45th Anniversary of the People's Bank. These houses were donated to three families who were leading arduous lives under dire financial difficulties in the Districts of Puttalam, Matara and Ratnapura. Many, including Dr. P. A. Kiriwandeniya, the Chairman of the People's Bank and members of staff participated at this occasion
People's Bank Refurbish 45 Children's Wards
The Bank has made arrangements to launch a CSR Programme coupled with the 45th Anniversary to refurbish the Children’s Wards in 45 hospitals in the island. The Bank will finance Rs.100,000/- to each Hospital for this purpose and the staff members of the relevant Regions will actively participate in the event. The list of the 45 hospitals is given below and the programme is scheduled to be launched on 22nd and 23rd of this month.
List of Hospitals Where Children’s Wards to be Refurbished (CSR Project)
Name of Region
Name of The Hospital
Date July 2006
1. Base Hospital Ampara
22 + 23
2. Base Hospital Kalmunai South
22 + 26
1. General Hospital Kekirawa
2. Base Hospital Tambuttegama
1. Government Hospital Passara
2. Base Hospital Mahiyanganaya
1. Base Hospital Batticaloa
1. Base Hospital Chilaw
2. Base Hospital Marawila
3. Base Hospital Puttalam
1. Teaching Hospital Karapitiya
1. Base Hospital Gampaha
In due course
2. Base Hospital Watupitiwela
1. District General Hospital Hambantota
2. Base Hospital Tangalle
1. Teaching Hospital Jaffna
1. Base Hospital Horana
2. Base Hospital Panadura
1. Base Hospital Gampola
2. Base Hospital Nawalapitiya
1. General Hospital Kegalle
2. Base Hospital Mawanella
3. Base Hospital Karawanella
1. Base Hospital Kuliyapitiya
2. Base Hospital Dambulla
3. Base Hospital Nikaweratiya
1. Base Hospital Matale
1. Government Hospital Morawaka
2. Base Hospital Kamburupitiya
1. District General Hospital Monaragala
1. Base Hospital Nuwaraeliya
1. General Hospital Polonnaruwa
2. Rural Hospital Bakamuna
3. Rural Hospital Aralaganvila
1. Base Hospital Balangoda
2. Base Hospital Embilipitiya
3. Base Hospital Kahawatta
1. Base Hospital Trincomalee
2. Base Hospital Kantale
Western Zone I
1. Lady Ridgeway Hospital Colombo (New Unit)
Western Zone ii
1. Cancer Institute Maharagama
2. Base Hospital Awissawella
3. Government Hospital Wethara
1. Base Hospital Vauniya
2. Base Hospital Mannar
People's Bank appointed Official Banker to the Dalada Maligawa
People's Bank has been appointed as the Official Banker to the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. As the official banker to the temple of the sacred tooth relic, People's Bank will handle all funds and donations made by devotees to the Sri Dalada Maligawa. The bank will also install two PET machines at the entrance to the sacred temple providing banking convenience to the thousands of devotees and pilgrims who visit the sacred site.
"Since our inception way back in 1961, we have very successfully reached the people of Sri Lanka through our vast branch network, which is in fact the largest in this country. We created savings products for each age group and persuaded people to save for a better
future.We even inculcated the habit of saving among the farming community and the daily wage earner, reaching out to people in remote areas where banking was considered as something beyond their reach.Through our island wide branch network we educated them on the benefits of saving. In the same manner, we were always mindful of our duties and obligations to our customers and to society" said Asoka de Silva, CEO/General Manager of People's Bank.
Having gained the trust of many a Sri Lankan, today People's Bank has over 9 million loyal deposit account holders and has recorded over LKR 225 billion in deposits. "The fact that we are a "People's" bank has helped us to win the trust of many Sri Lankans who have continued to bank with us during the last 44 years. We believe that our involvement and contribution towards society development has also helped us earn the respect and trust of our large customer base. On the other hand, the Sri Dalada Maligawa has thousands of devotees who make donations towards the sacred temple, to be appointed as the official banker to the Maligawa proves our strengths and capabilities among the local banking sector" Mr. de Silva further added.
With its core banking project off the ground, People's Bank's vast branch network has seen many a positive change with customers experiencing convenience and improved service standards at over 200 branches which have been linked to the new system. The bank will provide the Sri Dalada Maligawa and its thousands of devotees and pilgrims with an efficient and convenient banking service through its branch office in Kandy.
20th April 2006
Projects in 2005
Christmas Celebrations at Peoples Bank
The Christian Guild and the employees of People's Bank celebrated Christmas with a difference this year, bringing together all Christians from its vast branch network across the island. Keeping the spirit of Christmas alive and spreading joy and harmony among the members of the "People's Bank Family", the Christian guild of the bank organized a festival of carols which was held at St. Joseph's College in Colombo. His Lordship Rt. Revd. Marius Peiris, Auxiliary Catholic Lord Bishop of Colombo delivered the message, while the Sri Lanka army band and a specially trained 35 member choir consisting of People's Bank employees presented the Christmas carols and drama making it an evening to be remembered
The People's Bank festival of carols brought together Christians from all corners of the island, under the theme "Unity and Equality amongst all Sri Lankans". Dr. P A Kiriwandeniya - Chairman People's Bank, Asoka de Silva - CEO/General Manager, Special Invitees, Members of the Corporate Management of People's Bank, Representatives of the Buddhist Association, Muslim Majilis, Hindu Society, Employees and their families participated in this evening of celebration. The festival of carols was followed by a Christmas party for the children of the People's Bank staff. Spreading the message of love and sharing especially among the less privileged during this season, the bank also invited the children of St. Josephs' Convent Girl's Home - Bolawalana and Pollonnaruwa to join in the evening of celebration.
The main highlight of the People's Bank Christmas programme was the special Christmas party which was held at St. Joseph's Convent Girl's Home in Bolawalana. The Christmas party concluded with live band music and a fellowship dinner with over 175 children participating in the celebrations.
People's Bank Sponsors Top Student Athletes
Stepping up its contribution towards youth development, People's Bank has now come forward to support three outstanding young school athletes who were adjudged as National level winners at the "Sisu Udana Vishishtayo 2004" awards. The bank recently announced a special sponsorship scheme in order to nurture and harness the talents of these eminent youngsters, who have shown much prowess and promise in the field of athletics. This special sponsorship scheme has been formulated with a view to motivate these young athletes to achieve their fullest potential, while providing them with funds for this purpose.
This attractive sponsorship scheme includes a monthly allowance of Rs.3,000 to be utilized towards the health and training requirements of these performers. People's Bank will also provide the three athletes with Track kits, T-shirts and caps. Meanwhile, special performance based cash awards are also on offer in order to encourage and recognize their performances at both national and international level. Under this scheme, achievements at national level will be rewarded with attractive cash prizes of Rs.10,000 for the overall winner while the 2nd and 3rd placements will receive Rs.5,000 and Rs.2,500 each. If any of these athletes are successful in setting new records at schools level, People's Bank will then award an additional Rs.10,000 in honour of the achievement.
In the event an athlete is selected to represent Sri Lanka at the SAF, Asian Games, World Championships or Olympics, People's Bank will undertake the provision of the return air ticket or US$ 200 as "out of pocket" expenses if the air ticket is provided by the athletic association or the Ministry of Sports. Athletes who excel at international level will also receive special cash awards from People's Bank. A first place winner at international level will receive Rs. 50,000 while the 2nd and 3rd winners will be awarded Rs.25,000 and Rs.15,000 each. An athlete who is placed 4 th -8th at any international games will also be awarded a cash prize of Rs.10,500/-. Apart from these attractive cash awards the People's Bank "Vishishtayo" sponsorship scheme also includes a rewarding Rs.50,000/- to 100,000/- for any new Asian World record and Rs.25,000/- for a new Sri Lankan record set by any of theses athletes.
Miss Menaka Nilmini Kalupahana of Sumana Balika Vidyalaya Ratnapura, Miss Nelum Kularatne of Elapatha Maha Vidyalaya Ratnapura and Miss Subashini Rasnayake of Senanayake Central College Madampe are the three outstanding athletes to be identified and honoured as the "Sisu Udana Vishishtayo" brand ambassadors under this scheme. These student athletes will be the beneficiaries of the "Vishishtayo" sponsorship scheme which will be in force for an initial period of two years commencing September 2005.
A record holder in 100m & 400m hurdles at national schools level, Miss. Nilmini Kalupahana was also the winner of the Jilska Flamer Caldera Challenge Trophy for the most outstanding hurdler in the year 2004. Miss Nelum Kularatne is a veteran in the 800M & 1500M and has established new meet records at National Schools Level. Determined to achieve her goals and seemingly unruffled by the scarcity of resources Miss Subashini Rasnayake has forged ahead in the field of athletics emerging a winner at the All Island National Schools Games & AAA Junior National Championships in 2001 and 2004 and is a current National School's level record holder for the 400M.
The signing of the agreements between People's Bank and the three athletes took place recently at the People's Bank Staff Training College in Colombo in the presence of the Chairman of People's Bank - Mr. P. Amarasinghe, CEO/General Manager - Mr. Asoka de Silva and Members of the Corporate Management.
12th September 2005
People's Bank Felicitates Young Achievers
The People's Bank Officers Association recently hosted the 5th "Abinandana Pranama and Sahurda Pranama" to felicitate the young achievers of the year 5 scholarship, the G.C.E (OIL) and G.C.E. (AIL) examinations among the children of the People's Bank staff. Over 47 children were awarded certificates and cash prizes at a special awards ceremony which was held at the Auditorium of the People's Bank Staff Training College in Colombo late last week. Meanwhile, the immediate family members of seven deceased employees of People's Bank were also presented with cash awards of Rupees Five Hundred thousand each.
The "Abinandana and Sahurda Pranama" ceremony organized by the People's Bank officers association was held with the distinguished patronage of the Chairman of People's Bank -Mr. P. Amarasinghe, the Acting CEOI General Manager -Mr. T. Karunasena, the Corporate Management Team, Members of the Officers Association and other union representatives. Mr. J.R.P. Suriyapperuma was the guest of honour at the event.
15th March 2005
People's Bank To Provide Housing Grants For Tsunami Affected Families
Supporting the government in its efforts to re-build the Nation, the state owned People's Bank has taken on the giant task of facilitating the disbursement of a special housing grant to help in the reconstruction of houses that have been destroyed in the recent tsunami disaster. Under this nation re-building program which is being initiated by the treasury in collaboration with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, People's Bank will provide a grant of Rs. 250000 for the reconstruction of houses that have been totally destroyed by the killer tidal waves.
Further, families whose homes have been partially damaged due to the recent disaster will be provided with a grant of Rs.100,000 to facilitate the reconstruction process. Under this project the housing grant of Rs. 250000 for totally destroyed houses will be disbursed in 4 installments while the grant of Rs 100000 for partially damaged houses will be disbursed in two installments.
This housing program was announced early this week at a special meeting with the representatives of People's Bank and the Bank of Ceylon and officials of the Central Bank, which was organized by People's Bank on the request of the Secretary to the Treasury Dr. P B Jayasundera. Commenting on the role People's Bank has played so far, in supporting those affected by the tsunami Dr. Jayasundera said "I must commend People's Bank for taking a lead role in the nations re-building process. Within a short period of6 weeks, People's Bank has successfully disbursed Rs. 650 million reaching out to around 130000 affected families in the disaster stricken zones. As a state bank People's Bank has shown its commitment and capabilities to the entire nation and is an excellent example for other commercial banks who are still computing their investments. If not for the state banks none of these affected areas could have been reached and helping these people would have been an impossible task".
In order to ensure the speedy disbursement of these funds and to fast track the re-building process, People's Bank will provide a dedicated service that will support the housing program throughout its branch network in the affected zones. All branch offices in these affected regions will be kept open this weekend in order to facilitate the provision of these housing grants.
"We are committed towards this task and will do our best to ensure that these funds are disbursed on time and to the proper beneficiaries. The next two months are crucial and we have to work very hard if we want to make this program a success. We hope to complete this lending program before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year so that all those who have been affected by this disaster will be back on their feet once again and in a position to enjoy the season" said the CEO/ General Manager of People's Bank, Asoka de Silva.
This lending program will help address the housing issues that have escalated since the killer waves devastated the nation. According to current estimates over 100000 houses have been fully destroyed or partially damaged in the recent disaster.
This interactive meeting with the Branch Managers of the two state banks on the "Nation re-rebuilding" program was initiated with a view to iron out the issues faced by the branches when disbursing these loans. During this discussion Dr. Jayasundera also expressed the government's commitment to strengthen the state banks. "We are committed towards making these state institutions commercially independent and leading banks in the country. Privatization is not on the agenda. The entire shortfall of People's Bank capital will be recapitalized. We have already worked out a funding arrangement and have given instructions to the treasury to recapitalize People's Bank so that People's Bank will have a decent balance sheet which can be taken to international markets or any other place. We sincerely request the Management and staff of People's Bank to make sure that People's Bank will remain a solid bank in the country" Dr. Jayasundera further said.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Mr. Sunil Mendis, the Asst. Governor Ms. Rose Cooray, the CEO/General Manager of People's Bank -Mr. Asoka de Silva, the General Manager of Bank of Ceylon -Mr. S N P Palihena, the Corporate Management and the Managers of the branches in the affected zones also participated in the discussion.
21st February 2005
People's Bank Buddhist Association Donates Books to Student Buddhist Monks
The Buddhist Association of People's Bank donated books and stationary to 100 Buddhist monks studying at pirivena's in deprived areas of the country, at a ceremony which was held recently at the Head Office in Colombo. The association also organized an alms giving for over 125 members of the Maha Sangha. Photograph shows The Chairman of People's Bank, Mr. P. Amarasinghe and the CEO/General Manager Mr. Asoka de Silva participating in the ceremony.
People's Bank Refurbishes Ward At Ragama Hospital
The employees of the People's Bank Gampaha/Chilaw regional office recently initiated another social responsibility project with the support of the bank. The team undertook the refurbishment of ward No: 16 of the Colombo North General Hospital in Ragama which was completed with an investment of Rs. 800000. While the bank made a contribution of Rs. 200000 towards this worthy cause the balance funds totaling to Rs. 600000 was donated by the employees of the regional office.
The refurbished unit was handed over to the Hospital Management early this week by the CEO/General Manager of People's Bank - Mr. Asoka de Silva, in the presence of the DGM - HR & Est of People's Bank, Mr. T. Karunasena, the Director General of Health Services - Dr. H A P Kahandaliyanage, Director Teaching Hospitals - Dr. Palitha Maheepala, Director Colombo North General Hospital - Mr. Mahanama Rajamanthrie and Asst. General Manager People's Bank - Mr. P Rajapakse. The Management & staff of the People's Bank Gampaha/Chilaw regional office and staff of the hospital were also present on the occasion.
Since its inception in 1961, People's Bank has contributed continuously towards social development with investments in projects that benefit the nation. The bank also encourages its employees to undertake such projects that would help uplift the living standards of the community and constantly supports these initiatives through the provision of funds in order to help fast track these projects. The bank has also initiated several projects to help the victims of the recent tsunami disaster.
People's Bank, ITN and Lakhanda radio to furnish houses in the tsunami stricken zones
The Board of Trustees of the People's Bank, ITN & Lakhanda Radio "Disaster Relief Trust Fund" yesterday announced a special program to help "re-build" the nation. Under this plan, selected families in all zones that have been affected by this tragedy will be provided with furniture and other household items to the value of Rs. 40,000/= per household. Each household will be provided with sitting and dining room furniture, beds, wardrobes, cooking utensils, cutlery and other essential items. The "Disaster Relief Trust Fund" which was initiated by People's Bank with a contribution of Rs. 25 Million and a day's pay from its employees and the employees of ITN & Lakhanda Radio has so far received generous contributions from the public and now stands at Rs. 64 million. Some contributor's also donated valuable jewellery as a way of expressing their concern and showing their commitment towards this worthy cause.
The cash and jewelry contributions received by ITN towards the "Disaster Relief Trust Fund" were also handed over by the Chairman of ITN, Mr. Newton Gunaratne to Mr. P. Amarasinghe, Chairman of People's Bank in the presence of the CEO/General Manager of People's Bank, Mr. Asoka de Silva at the People's Bank Headquarters in Colombo . Mr. T. Karunasena - DGM HR & EST, Mr. Bertal Pinto Jayawardena - Head of Finance and Mr. S. Kariyawasam - Actng. DGM - Branches represented People's Bank while Ms. A.M.C. Jayaweera - General Manager ITN and Mr. Vipula Ratnasiri - DGM Programs of ITN also participated at this meeting.
This project will be implemented across all affected zones and is a joint contribution between People's Bank, ITN & Lakhanda Radio to help fast track the "re-building" process. Further contributions towards this effort could be made to the "Disaster Relief Trust Fund" A/C No: 204-1-001-8-0136222 at any People's Bank branch across the island. All contributions to this fund will be acknowledged by an official receipt.
People's Bank Renews Its Pledge To Serve The Nation And Its Masses
The commencement of work for the year 2005 took place on a very quiet note at the People's Bank Head Office on Monday morning, with the Management & Staff participating in special religious ceremonies to invoke blessings on the country and those affected by the disaster. The hoisting of the National Flag by the Chairman of People's Bank Mr. P. Amarasinghe and the hoisting of the People's Bank flag by the CEO/ General Manager, Mr. Asoka de Silva took place at 9am on Monday at the People's Bank Head Office in Colombo .
Two minutes silence was observed in honor of all those who lost their lives in this tragedy. The ceremony concluded with the Management and Staff of People's Bank renewing their pledge to serve the nation and its masses with honesty and commitment.
Meanwhile, the signing of the "Disaster Relief Fund Account" trust deed between People's Bank, Independent Television Network and Lakhanda Radio also took place last afternoon at the People's Bank Head Office in Colombo . People's Bank Chairman - Mr. P. Amarasinghe, CEO/ General Manager - Mr. Asoka de Silva, DGM HR & Est - Mr. T. Karunasena and Head of Finance - Mr. Bertal Pinto Jayawardena signed the agreement on behalf of People's Bank, while Mr. Newton Gunaratne - Chairman of ITN, Ms. A.M.C. Jayaweera - General Manager and Mr. Vipula Ratnasiri - DGM Programs signed on behalf of ITN and Lakhanda Radio.
At the time of the signing of the trust deed People's Bank handed over a further contribution of Rs. 800000, which had been collected from its employees of the Regional offices in Gampaha and Chilaw and the sports club. Meanwhile, several People's Bank customers also joined in with their contributions which will be utilized towards the rehabilitation of those affected by the tsunami killer tidal waves that devastated the country. "The People's Bank, ITN and Lakhanda Radio "Disaster Relief Fund" will be utilized to help rebuild our country by assisting some of those who were severely affected by this national disaster. As a state institution, People's Bank is glad to be a part of this initiative" said Mr. P. Amarasinghe, Chairman of People's Bank.
Lakhanda "Disaster Relief Fund Account" has so far received contributions to the value of Rs. 43.5 million. The setting up of this "Disaster Relief Fund Account" follows the initiative taken by People's Bank to set up an "Emergency Crisis Management Center" which was operational since Sunday the 26th of December. People's Bank initially contributed Rs. 25 million towards this fund while the employees of the bank contributed a further Rs. 7 million. ITN and Lakhanda employees also joined in with similar contributions to help the nation regain itself. A further Rs. 7 million was contributed by the staff of People's Bank which was utilized for the provision of immediate relief measures to those affected by this national disaster.
Projects in 2004
Sisu Udana Vishishtayo Awards
Encouragement and recognition were the two ideals that People's Bank held aloft when we introduced the Sisu Udana Vishishtayo Awards this year. We have always believed that children make up the future leaders of a country and these leaders must be honed and nurtured to become truly responsible, high achieving socially acceptable citizens of Sri Lanka . These future leaders must lead our nation that has within its shores a mix of ethnicities, cultures, religions and mindsets that need to be guided towards collating the synergies that exist towards the betterment and upliftment of the nation.
Hence, our objective was to pick the best student achievers from across the island and to give them due recognition. In addition to this was the fact that recognition given to outstanding achievers would not only encourage those winners but would also encourage other students to aspire to greater heights. Educationists and academics working with these students will also have a purpose in unearthing and sharpening the genius that lies within these students.
Recent performances in the international and local arena in both sports and other extra curricular activities have displayed that Sri Lanka 's students are more academically inclined but not attuned to other challenges that are posed in a constantly changing world. It is our belief that well-rounded personalities are built through academic knowledge as well as through participation in team activities and through the development of the varied skills and talents that are inherent in almost every individual. A well-rounded education includes both academic as well as involvement in extra curricular activities.
It was our endeavour and corporate social responsibility to encourage the growth of well-rounded personalities by recognising extra curricular achievements amongst our school children. This initiative by the Bank was unique in that while many recognise and reward academic achievement, no corporate has ventured into launching an island wide award system to recognise and reward the outstanding all round achievers in the schools of Sri Lanka .
Construction of 200 Wells
Reinforcing our philosophy that we are a Bank that's committed towards national development, People's Bank partnered the Government of Sri Lanka in constructing 200 drinking water wells in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka with an investment of Rs 2.25 million.
The Game Wewa Linda project, under the Human Disaster Management Council of the HE The President's Office completed in October this year, will eliminate the problems of drought, which this region is constantly facing.
It is believed that the 200 wells within this project will supply adequate drinking water to all the families in the North Western Province , while also maintaining a three-month reserve of water in the event of drought.
We also rehabilitated two tanks at a cost of Rs 2.5 million in order to alleviate the water problems that exist in some areas, under the National Plan.
Scholarships to Students
Acknowledging that the young students of this country will one day be the future of our nation, we believe that a good education is a priority. With poverty levels though improving, still remain a worrying factor among most families especially in the rural areas, the Bank decided to grant 2,210 educational scholarships worth Rs 36.64 million to Sisu Udana Account Holders in September this year, to give them wider avenues of educational and knowledge development.
Ruhunu Aruna 2004. The south of the country has for long struggled with intermittent problems, both man-made and natural. However, through it all, there were entrepreneurs who have bravely worked through many hardships. Through the Ruhunu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, People's Bank decided to give the business sector in the south a helping hand, partnering the chamber in setting the pace of development and technological advancement that would cut across the entire spectrum of industrial activity in the south. The trade fair and exhibition opened avenues for further business expansion and gave entrepreneurs more exposure on brand image, visibility and methods of effective marketing.
This was yet another initiative which the Bank felt would be helpful in showcasing the magnificence of Sri Lankan handicraft under one roof, when Shilpa 2004 took place at the BMICH with over 140 stalls under the aegis of the Ministry of Small and Rural Industries. The legacy and craftsmanship of Sri Lanka was brought together, from textile weavers to handicraftsmen in the micro, small and medium sectors. The Bank has always believed that our local craftsmen have to be assisted and given opportunities considering the abundance of talent that they display in the handicrafts and local textiles that we see.
The innovative and beautifully crafted products for both the local and export market, the creativity and durability brought out by the weavers and industrialists from all parts of the globe to vie for the Presidential and National awards enabled the Bank to assess Sri Lanka's forte in craftsmanship and assist those taking part to veer their abilities and crafts into a sustainable business venture.
With our focus on micro, small and medium sectors having gathered further momentum, the Bank initiated Mahajana Vega, a loan scheme meant to uplift the businesses in these sectors towards sustainability. The highly concessionary loan scheme assists entrepreneurs through a very simple process of applying for a loan with only two guarantors to start up or develop their business.
The Bank assists entrepreneurs who are in cattle farming, commercial agriculture, retail trade, services and a host of other manufacturing areas. Also, at no extra cost, the Bank imparts an additional service of advice and consultation to these entrepreneurs in business start up, developing technical and technological know how and assistance in sales and marketing.
4th SAARC ENT Congress
It is no secret that Sri Lanka has a dearth of medical specialists and this was highlighted at the 4th SAARC ENT Congress, which deduced that Sri Lanka has only fifty specialists in this field. Held in September and hoping to assist this medical malady in the best way we could to create awareness and also to have a core think tank for dissemination and sharing of information in this field, People's Bank joined hands with the College of Otorhinola Ryngologists and Head and Neck Surgeons of Sri Lanka to provide a discussion forum on various diseases of the ear, nose, throat, head and neck found in this part of the world, methods of presentation and treatment.
The Congress also initiated the formulation of guidelines for the early detection of serious life threatening diseases and modifying management practices that would suit this region for best results. Strategies for the prevention of diseases like deafness and cancers of the head and neck region were also discussed.
Focus on Culture and the Arts
People's Bank remains focused on Sri Lanka 's rich cultural and artistic heritage, a legacy that is centuries old and has sustained this land through years of servitude even during colonial times.
Hence, the Bank over this year, has partnered some of Sri Lanka 's renowned musicians who have contributed towards national enhancement by giving of their talents to enrich Sri Lanka .
People's Bank was proud to be a part of the fifty-year celebrations of a multi award-winning doyen of Sinhala music, Pandith Amaradeva whose prowess as a singer, director and composer to date remains unmatched. Internationally recognised for his music, Pandith Amaradeva is today a household name and has award winning music scores in Sinhala films with an immense numbers of songs and collaborations that would put him on par with any internationally renowned artiste. We in Sri Lanka and at People's Bank were honoured to support this great artiste.
Twenty Years in Music - Navaratne Gamage
A truly gifted musician, composer and music director who has enriched Sinhala music culture for the last twenty years, People's Bank partnered Navaratne Gamage when he celebrated twenty years of music. Throughout his career as a musician, he has excelled in singing, directing and composing for solo artistes, stage dramas, tele dramas and films, being the recipient of the Bunka International Award in 2003 and a multiple award winner at the State Drama Festival, Youth drama Festival and the Sumathi Tele Awards.
Master Sir Gee Prasangaya
In honour of Sangeetha Visharada Neela Wickramasinghe for filling the hearts of millions of music lovers both here and abroad, People's Bank was honoured to be a part of the Master
Sir Gee Prasangaya which saw a host of Sri Lanka 's celebrated musicians take to the stage to honour Wickramasinghe who counts 37 years in music. Pandith Amaradeva, Sangeeth Nipun
Sanath Nandasiri, Victor Ratnayake, Bandara Athauda, Kamal Addararachchi, Kapila Herath and Dayan Vitharana pooled their talents to make this an unforgettable evening. A further social objective was met that day when the proceeds of the concert were channelled towards building a house for an artiste who has given immense service to Sinhala Music.
Wedigama Village development and upliftment program
This is a long-term development project that was started by the staff members of the Chief Accountants division in 1992. This project involved working with an economically underprivileged village that had experienced multiple hardships. The village has been developed over a period of time to its present state and is currently cared for by the members of the staff of the Finance and Management Accounting Division and the Reconciliations Department, where the village has been strengthened to meet the challenges poised by the regular drought, crop failures and other hardships that has previously been faced. The Village now has a pre-school, temple, houses with more permanent structures including water supply schemes and proper sanitation facilities. An annual visit is made by the staff to provide all the needs of the children including educational facilities.
Highlights of Milestones of Social Responsibility Projects
Sponsorship of the Kandy Dalada Maha Perahera over the last 10 Years.
"Sisu Udana Kusalatha Pranama" Scholarship Scheme for GCE O/ Levels All Island & District Best Result Holders since 1993.
Vincent Subasinghe Memorial Hostel to University of Colombo .
(Staff members of the bank donated one day's salary for this project)
Donated a Children's Ward Named "Singithi Suwa Medura" to the General Hospital Colombo. (Staff Members of the Bank donated a day's salary for this project) donated Rs.5,000,000/= to the Cancer Hospital at Maharagama.
Sponsor and official Banker of the 50th Independence Day Anniversary Celebrations in 1998.
Series of felicitation events for Sri Lankan artistes and sponsorship of various art and cultural events