Blending ,Ancient and Modern
to offer the very best of Energy Healing

Having celebrated the opening of her first showroom at No. 555/2/B/1 Kaduwela Road, Thalangama North, Battaramulla, Harshanie Hewamadduma Ritigahapola, the founder of Dimensions, was delighted to spare a few minutes from her busy schedule to share the story of Dimensions.

When asked how and why Dimensions came to be, Ritigahapola replied, “In the beginning, Energy Healing was simply a personal interest of mine, but as I began to look deeper into the art, it dawned on me, how little people actually know about the concept of Energy and its benefits. My first step was to buy the Biopulsar Reflexograph System. I began doing readings for my family and friends and eventually acquired a small working space where I could use the Biopulsar Reflexograph System to do Energy Readings for my clients. I began doing Reiki Therapy and using Crystals to heal the ailments and problems we came across”. Describing the process of bringing the ancient art of Energy Healing into the 21st century, Ritigahapola explained that modern Energy Healing and Reading have been in Sri Lanka for about 6-8 years. However, she realised that it was a mere niche minority that knew of, and made use of the art itself. She wanted to bring Energy Healing to a larger audience. According to Ritigahapola, many people in Sri Lanka have merely heard of the term Energy Healing, they don’t have an actual understanding of the art and its benefits. They know about Universal Energy in general but not about Energy Healing and Reading. Reiki Therapy entails the use of Universal Energy to heal via amplifying the person’s own energy. Thus they are healed by their own energy. This has been happening for thousands of years.
“The Biopulsar Reflexograph System has been produced by Auramed, a German company that has been conducting research studies on Energy for almost twenty years. This machine is the most advanced of its kind. The inventors have combined Energy Reading with Chinese Reflexology, Indian Ayurveda, and Ying and Yang Energy. Thus the Biopulsar Reflexograph System is the epitome of the blend of ancient and modern. Then there’s Reiki Therapy, which has been around for almost fifty years. Along with Reiki Therapy there are other techniques of Energy Healing such as Pranic Healing, Angels Reiki Healing etc. Dimensions also offers Colour Therapy, which is used to stimulate the reflexes of a problematic organ zone”, stated Ritigahapola when questioned about how Dimensions continues to blend the ancient and modern to better serve its clients.


Body energy

Ritigahapola provided a detailed explanation of the Biopulsar Reflexograph System and its operations. According to her, one of the main functions of the Biopulsar Reflexograph System is to provide a measurement of the Energy of all the body’s organs via skin resistance. The measuring is very precise and not harmful in any way. The grafts correspond to the pulse diagnosis and the results are based on the verification of a series of colours. The grafts show the entire network of the body in detail. The Biopulsar Reflexograph System is made up of a number of other software applications for various procedures including treatments, analysis, there is even software suitable for gyms and spas. These let the professionals at gyms and spas know which muscles need the most attention.
Speaking on what sets Dimensions apart from other businesses that specialise in energy healing, the company’s founder stated, “The aura-reading machines at Dimensions provide a thorough and precise reading unlike many other machines found in Sri Lanka, which measure a limited number of the body’s organs. At Dimensions, the Biopulsar Reflexograph System provides a reading of a total of forty-three organ zones. At Dimensions we try to teach people about Energy, it’s not just about Aura-Reading and selling bracelets and crystals. We aim to teach people about Energy and its benefits, as it is by improving their Energy levels that they can improve themselves. We also encourage people to be positive, as a positive attitude can make all the difference in the world. At Dimensions we also promote the Law of Attraction, which is linked to Energy Healing and personal growth. We take much care of our crystals from the very beginning. We buy our crystals from very reliable sources and we confirm the quality via a qualified gemmologist. We continuously charge them by using different techniques so that our clients get the best out of our crystals to manifest anything they desire and for positivity. Our crystals are kept in a sound room to amplify the energies of the crystals with sound vibration before we showcase it in our showroom”.

Read more
Fulfilling dreams

Fulfilling dreams

The NLB fulfils its national and social responsibilities

Although the National Lotteries Board (NLB) is a government organisation it operates as a business entity, much like a private sector organisation – by virtue of selling a product and having set targets. However, unlike private companies, profit-making is not a priority.“As a LKR 20 bn organisation, we are on a good footing,” says Deshabandu Dr Harsha Bandara, the chief financial officer of the National Lotteries Board. “Although there is a profit, our primary motivation is not that, but to contribute to the national economy.”

The NLB, he explains, provides funds to the Finance Ministry’s Consolidated Fund. Some of the funds are routed through the Consolidated Fund to other ministries as well, for various types of development work, towards social upliftment and to the country’s infrastructure development.“As a LKR 20 bn organisation, we are on a good footing,” says Deshabandu Dr Harsha Bandara, the chief financial officer of the National Lotteries Board. “Although there is a profit, our primary motivation is not that, but to contribute to the national economy.”Although the National Lotteries Board (NLB) is a government organisation it operates as a business entity, much like a private sector organisation – by virtue of selling a product and having set targets. However, unlike private companies, profit-making is not a priority.


“We are selling a product with a dream,” says Dr Bandara, “so to realise the dream we have to make sure that a substantial amount has to go out to the public by way of prizes. We have produced several prize winners. Society at large has dreams and we have looked to fulfil those dreams. That is why we have several products.”

Almost half the turnover goes towards prizes. In 2017 the NLB paid out about LKR 8 bn, and in 2018, it paid out LKR 9.8 bn as prizes, an increase of nearly LKR 2 bn in one year.

“It is a huge amount to pay out to the customers out of a LKR 20 bn turnover. In 2008, we produced around 40 super prize-winners (that is prizes over LKR 10 m) and many other prize winners of LKR 2m, LKR 1 m, LKR 100,000 and all the way down to the LKR 20 level.”

The NLB runs, altogether, 11 lotteries, comprising nine passive lotteries and two scratch (instant) lotteries. The passive lotteries are products named Mahajana Sampatha, Vasana Sampatha, Govi Setha, Supiri Vasana, Jathika Sampatha, Niroga, Mega Power, Dhana Nidanaya and Sevana. The Sevana lottery has a passive ticket as well as a scratch ticket. The other scratch lottery is Samurdhi.

Of the nine passive lotteries, there are four draws daily, throughout the year, except for seven days. Of the 365 days in a year, the NLB only closes on seven days: five days for Sinhala and Tamil New Year and two days for Vesak.

“We work 358 days, even though Saturday and Sunday are holidays for the staff, selected people have to work on these days, because there are four draws, even during theose days.”

Social responsibility

The NLB sales network operates on the agency system, for which there are three levels – dealers, agents and sellers. Around 125 direct dealers operate throughout the island. The approximately 2,500 agents purchase lottery tickets from these direct dealers. Below the agents are the lottery sellers, of whom there are around 12,000.

“When you take these all into consideration, there are about 15,000 in the network. The tickets are sold to the customers through them, so we have to give them substantial commissions for this purpose. We pay out 17.5% to the agency network, distributed through the channel. Additionally, another 25 cents is also paid as commission to direct dealers. We pay directly from turnover, 16.5% on two products, Mahajana Sampatha and Vasana Sampatha, and 10% for the other lotteries to the Consolidated Fund.”

These 15,000 dealers, agents and sellers, together with their families, constitute about 60,000 people who benefit from the NLB’s sales activities. Their incomes depend on the number of tickets sold, but the sellers earn a minimum of LKR 1,000 per day, up to LKR 5,000 per day.

“They draw a satisfactory level of income for their day-to-day living,” he says. “This is the also only institution to provide mass employment opportunities to disabled people – of whom we have many among our agents and sellers. We look after them, because they find it difficult to find decent employment in any other sectors. Thereby we fulfil our social responsibility as a responsible institution in this country.”

Government’s share

“If you take the contribution to the state,” says Dr Bandara, “in 2018 we contributed LKR 2.4 bn to the Consolidated Fund. When you take the tax payments also into account, the total contribution including payments to the Consolidated Fund amounted to over LKR 4 bn.  So we have made a huge contribution to society.”

Of the passive lotteries, the contribution through the Consolidated Fund from Govi Setha goes to the Ministry of Agriculture; from Supiri Vasana to the Ranaviru Seva Authority, the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Social Services; from Jathika Sampatha to the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Labour; from Niroga goes to the National Kidney Fund; while the contributions of both the Sevana passive lottery and scratch lottery go to the Ministry of Housing Development. Contribution from Mahajana Sampatha,
Vasana Sampatha and Dhana Nidanaya directly go to the Treasury through the Consolidated Fund.

The lottery sales are also subject to indirect tax, that is value-added tax (VAT) and nation-building tax (NBT). The percentages deducted from these sales are not passed on to the customers. Dr Bandara explains that the NLB must bear the cost because the ticket price being LKR 20, if they added on these indirect taxes to the customers, they would have to sell the ticket at LKR 24 or 25, which is not practical, that a customer would like to pay.  So that extra percentage is borne by the NLB.

“Down the line,” adds Dr Bandara, “we have to pay income tax also. So when you consider all these, the bottom line is, you can’t think of profits.”

However, the NLB does make a substantial profit: in 2017 they made a profit of about LKR 140 m. The 2018 figure is yet to be finalised, as some tax issues remain to be resolved with the Ministry of Finance.

Read more
Consulting the public Stake-holder opinions and  feedback play a key role – PUCSL

Consulting the public Stake-holder opinions and feedback play a key role – PUCSL

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) regulates the economic, technical and safety aspects of the electricity industry. It is also the designated regulator for the petroleum and water services industry. It has also been assigned as the shadow regulator for the lubricant market.

“As regulators, public opinion matters to us in formulating regulatory tools or making a decision,” says Saliya Mathew, Chairman of Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka.

Transparent process

As part of its mandate, the PUCSL conducts public consultations on proposed regulatory tools and decisions, which may affect any stakeholder category and modify the tools and decisions then and there necessary as per the comments received.

The main goals of the public consultation procedure are to improve the efficiency, transparency and involve the public in policies and regulatory tools that the country is making.

“Not only that, public consultation paves the way for fast implementation. In a public consultation, we consult all the key stakeholder who will be affected or has any connection to the regulatory tool or the decision we are making. Because issues can be varied from one party to another. So, when a one-party listen to other parties’ concerns, the issues are heard and can be solved fast. Most importantly, the final decision or the regulatory tool will be accepted by everyone and will be implement in a fast manner,” says Damitha Kumarasinghe, Director General of PUCSL.

“If a decision or a regulatory tool such as, rules, methodologies, standards, policies are known to public and if they feel that they are part of the decision-making process, I think we are successful,” Mathew said.

He added, most of the policy decision fails to be implemented due to the unacceptability of the decision by the public.

“Consulting public goes a long way in implementing a decision. The public and stakeholders welcomes a decision which has receive their opinion about compare to a decision which is alien to them.”

Public participation in decision making

The mandate to consult the public is included in section 17 (b) of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka Act, and the Electricity Act, which explain the process of conducting the public consultation, says Director Corporate Communication, Jayanat Herat.

“We first prepare the necessary document which we call the ‘consultation paper’ and then we openly invite public and stakeholders to comment on the paper in written format. We also send the consultation paper to ministries, district secretariats, institutions and community leaders to get their comments. Then we ask the stakeholders to submit their comments orally in a forum where everyone connected in preparing the consultation paper is present. Once both procedures are completed, we refer the comments to an expert committee who will study the comments and make necessary amendments if needed. Once the Commission approves the final regulatory tool or the decision, we send it to the relevant institution to be implemented,” Herat adds.


  1. Identifying the Issue
  2. Draft proposed solution as regulatory tools
  3. Advertise in media asking stakeholders to comment
  4. Collect written comments on the draft regulatory tool
  5. Hold Oral Public Consultation where stakeholders will voice their view
  6. The study, Analyze and modify the draft regulatory tool then and there necessary
  7. Commission Approval for the Regulatory Tool
  8. Implementation of the Regulatory Tool

Effective decisions

The PUCSL has successfully concluded more than 34 Public consultations from 2015 – 2018. Among the effective decisions arrived through these consultations were introduction of a national standard for plug and socket outlets, guidelines for electric vehicles in Sri Lanka, national framework for licensing electricians, and guideline for lubricant products.

Apart from these, the 20-year national power plant plan (least-cost long-term generation expansion plan) also goes through public consultation as it will have a major impact on the people.

The public are given the opportunity to comment, both in oral and written formats, in the consultation process in order to capture.

In 2018, the PUCSL decided to go into every province in the Island in order to get a broader view of the issues specific to those areas and to get the involvement of people in communities in decision making.

“So, we went out-stations to get their opinions. We went around the whole country, to Jaffna, Colombo, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, everywhere. People were enthusiastic in the outstations, more than in Colombo. All the public consultations are open for anyone to walk in and comment. More than 1200 people came for the consultation that we held in Anuradhapura. More than 8000 people participated in our provincial public consultation process,” says Mathew.

The PUCSL with the collaboration of the Sustainable Energy Authority has already drafted a national plan for managing street lights in the country. The regional public consultation gave the platform for the public and other stakeholders to comment and give their suggestions on the proposed national plan. Sri Lanka has about 700,000 street lights and the cost of operating and maintaining the street lights are made by several institutions as Ceylon Electricity Board, Road Development Authority, Provincial Councils and so on. The distribution of streetlights also raised concerns in the consultation process.

The national plan for street light management aims to provide a solution for the quality, maintenance and installation of street lights, technical standards and for the energy costs of street lighting.

The regional public consultations also
identified the recommendations to prepare mechanisms for the issues related to electricity, drinking water and petroleum consumer in collaboration with related government institutions. According to concerns and suggestions received, PUCSL plans to upgrade the regulatory tools that have been already prepared for the electricity sector.

“Stakeholders opinion in regulatory mechanism plays an important role. Because we design regulatory tools for them and the industry to uplift the quality and make their life easier. In March we hosted public consultation on water fittings and on natural gas policy. PUCSL has lined up series of public consultation for coming months as well. With Public Consultations, we hope we will make regulatory tool that will impact the society and economy of the country,” Kumarasinghe said.

Read more


World-renowned Swarovski launches Gem Visions

The event “Art of Brilliance Sri Lanka”, in Colombo on 16 March, launched “Gem Visions”, a book representing the industry-leading trend and design service from the Swarovski Gemstone Business, the prestige brand for genuine gemstones and created stones, showcasing future trends for Sri Lanka’s jewellers. Gem Visions reflects the rich heritage of Swarovski and its position as the trend leader in the jewellery industry.

The globally-celebrated Swarovski group, to which Swarovski Gemstoness Business belongs, had its beginnings in Austria 1892, when Daniel Swarovski, a Bohemian glass cutter, perfected an electric cutting machine capable of producing beautiful, precision-cut, high quality lead glass crystals, using quartz, sand, and minerals, in secret proportions. Today, Swarovski delivers a diverse portfolio of unmatched quality, craftsmanship, and creativity.

Swarovski designs, manufactures and markets high-quality crystals, genuine gemstones and created stones as well as finished products such as jewellery, accessories and lighting. The company is run by the fifth generation of family members and has a global reach with some 3,000 shops in around 170 countries, more than 27,000 employees, and about EUR 2.7 bn in revenue in 2017. to the Group as a whole employs more than 32,000 people and generated revenue of about EUR 3.5 bn in 2017.


A welcome by Kurt Zbinden – Swarovski Gemstones’ Vice President Operations – Asia Pacific started the event. Porama Jeeradit, Swarovski Gemstones Business’ Communications and Marketing Manager for South East Asia, presented the upcoming trends.

During the event, Alex Lovell, MBE, Chair of Swarnamahal Jewellers, one of Sri Lanka’s leading jewellery houses, present in 14 locations islandwide, received the “Trusted Partner Award 2018”; while Ashadi Manufacturer & Academy, a leading handmade jewellery manufacturer, and an instrumental Swarovski Gemstones Business partner in Sri Lanka, also received due recognition.

A special showpiece, demonstrating the possibilities of a combination of the fine craftsmanship of Sri Lanka with the world-class quality of Swarovski Zirconia, had been commissioned exclusively and expressed through the exceptional brilliance offered by Swarovski patented TCFTM colour stones.

The showpiece emphasised Swarovski Gemstones Business’ belief that, thorough their authorised distributors, Devi Jewellers and Sri Vengada Gems & Jewellery, Swarovski’s high-quality gemstones, combined with local creative skills, can help build a robust and vibrant Sri Lanka Jewellery industry.

Swarovski Gem Visions

Swarovski Gemstones’ Gem Visions trend book for Autumn/Winter 2019, a lively, magazine-style publication, provides all the essential insight from the industry-leading Gem Visions trend and design service. Inside you will find in-depth, authoritative research and analysis of global megatrends, alongside Swarovski’s projected design directions, presented in context with influences, icons and inspirations. The trends and themes captured in Gem Visions are intended to ignite innovation, stimulate imagination and unleash creativity. You will discover a world of wonder, illuminated by a constellation of gemstones

Moonlight Collage

The Moonlight Collage theme for Autumn/Winter 2019 reflects the eclecticism we see in the jewellery world today, captured in three fantastical themes: Midnight Flowers, Cosmic Mythologies and Night Light. Within this inspirational mix, we embrace dark romance, mystical allure, the wonder of the cosmos, nocturnal nature, night-time in the city, neon lights and festive fireworks.

Midnight Flowers

Flowers will never fail to inspire, and as the nights grow longer we find delight in the darker side of nature, uncovering a new chapter in floral design. We highlight red carpet blooms, flower tattoos, and petal designs; explore sustainable jewels and conscious luxury; and trace the trends in wedding adornment. In jewellery design, Swarovski predict hanging blossoms reimagined as elongated earrings and bloom-like embellishments; intricate florals recreated in elaborate cocktail rings and pendants; and a growing trend for classic diamonds giving way to coloured gemstones in engagement and wedding rings.

Cosmic Mythologies

The night sky has enthralled us for thousands of years, prompting fascination and inspiration in equal measure. We gaze up and see lunar orbs and celestial bodies, and we delve into astrology and mysticism. This cosmic world inspires star-shaped motifs reworked in constellations; stars and crescent moons combined in a celebration of the night sky; spherical or disc-shaped designs orbited by delicate stones; and fascinating design notes, such as “floating” stones, moving parts, invisible settings and “window” effects, such as the beautifully intriguing Jewel rope, exclusively brought to the market by Swarovski

Night Light

There is undoubtedly something magical about night-time in the city. We explore expanding
megacities and life after dark; uncover glow in the dark jewels, neon lights and pyrotechnics; and highlight superstitions and celebrations for the festive season around the world. For winter romance, Gem Visions spotlights the lips-shaped Swarovski Zirconia Kiss Me Cut. As New Year celebrations ring out around the world, they predict fireworks and confetti captured in clusters and sprays of colourful gems. Meanwhile, they see neon lights inspiring vivid and expressive designs brought to life with brightly coloured metals and bold-hued stones.

Swarovski genuine gemstones and created stones

Alongside Swarovski’s trend analysis for Autumn/Winter 2019/20 is their exciting range of created and genuine gemstones in a variety of cuts and colours to cater for any design vision.


The five-sided Violet Cut and Pentagon Cut in Swarovski Zirconia lend themselves to cosmic themes. Their wide selection of Round Cuts in various genuine and man-made materials are perfect for “good luck” jewellery for the year ahead. The stunning Heart Cut taps into the trend for romantic rings, while the plethora of different precision-cut
stones can be combined to create explosive designs inspired by fireworks. For petal and flower-inspired designs, look to Swarovski Zirconia Leaf Cut and Swarovski Zirconia Bloom Cut. Gem Visions also shine a light on “gem-architecture”, and the master cutting at Swarovski that has revived classic cuts, including Pear, Marquise and Baguette, for contemporary design.


Swarovski Genuine Sapphires and Swarovski Genuine Rubies match the growing trend for deep, saturated colours, while classic jewel tones in Swarovski Genuine Topaz and Swarovski Zirconia
also offer this night sky allure. The brand-new Swarovski Genuine Topaz Royal Blue colour unfolds its rich shades like theopulence of deep blue velvet and instantly reminds of the finest blue sapphires.

For a contemporary take on jewel shades, opt for deep purple tones, such as Swarovski Genuine Topaz in Violac and Swarovski Zirconia Fancy Purple.

For contrasting monochrome, combine Swarovski Black Spinel with Swarovski Zirconia in White and if you are creating round-shaped “good luck” jewellery, choose Red, Blazing Red or Red Dark shades for added
symbolism. Golden shades bring warmth and cheer for the celebratory season, with Swarovski Genuine Topaz in Misty Rose, Peach and Honey and Swarovski Zirconia in Fancy Champagne leading the way into the New Year.

A short glimpse at the key messages of the season and matching gemstone materials, cuts and colours can be explored in greater detail at:



Read more
The importance of ISO 9001 Maintaining Steel Standards

The importance of ISO 9001 Maintaining Steel Standards

“When the engineers plan a certain building,” says Maheshi Hennayaka, “they plan for the minimum use of material to get the maximum output.”

Assistant Quality Assurance Manager at the Oruwela steel plant belonging to Ceylon Steel Corporation Ltd (CSCL), Hennayaka explains the need for maintaining standards. A product of Colombo’s prestigious Devi Balika school she read her first degree on a scholarship to South Korea, where she also gained a master’s degree in materials science.

With ever increasing demand for steel, it is paramount that high strength steel be used in construction. That is why Sri Lanka, going along with global practices, has moved to manufacturing RB 500. For the uninitiated, RB 500 means a ribbed steel bar for the reinforcement of concrete with a minimum yield strength of 500 Mega pascals.

Hennayaka observes that, merely by looking at a Quench and Self-Tempered (QT) bar, used for reinforcing concrete, you cannot tell what strength it may have. That is why when mega projects are undertaken stringent quality testing is carried out, batch by batch. One emphatic aspect of the testing methodology is to look into the consistency of the mechanical properties, brought about by the homogeneity of the material in use.   There must be consistency of the properties, and such consistency must be maintained continuously throughout the bar and batch after batch.

And that is the nub. Consistency is crucial in adhering to standards. “And that is what a good brand does. While in Mega projects testing is mandatory, for the one-time home builder the only assurance they have is to rely on a brand reputed for the use of quality raw materials and standards of manufacture. That is exactly what LANWA, the brand trusted by generations, delivers” so says Hennayaka with a prideful glint in her eyes.

When it comes to LANWA, that is certainly a claim that has the proud backing of the engineers, constructors as well as the general public.

Paying heed to standards, “In our company we have two types of certification, product certification and systems certification.”

Sri Lanka Standards Institute Assistant Director Eng. Sanath Perera confirms that the LANWA brand has SLS product certification for hot-rolled reinforcement bars as well as for hot rolled round steel bars for structural and general engineering, cold drawn mild steel for wire nails, plain steel bars for reinforcement. They have also obtained SLS certification for hot-dip galvanised pipes.

“For QT,” says Hennayake, “we have SLS 375 standard which is compulsory in Sri Lanka. By law, you definitely must have SLS 375 if you are to sell QT re-bars in Sri Lanka. It is equivalent to BS 4449 – 2005. The standards specify the rib geometry parameters, mechanical properties and the chemical composition. The yield strength has to be 500-650 megapascals (MPa) and the yield strength to ultimate tensile strength (Y/T) ratio has to be over 1.08. We have to maintain a minimum elongation of 14%.”

This ductility, deformation due to tensional forces, is as important a parameter as the strength in a re-bar. One other test that ascertains this quality is the bend test. Failure of a bend test is when cracks appear on the surface of the bend.

Another important aspect of a re-bar is its rib geometry. There are two types of rib – longitudinal and transverse. The standards specify the height, the width the angle as well as the spacing of the ribs. All of it is designed to maximise the bond with concrete in extreme loading situations.

A re-bar may have high strength, but if it does not have the necessary elongation characteristics, the bar could not be bent into the required shape, and would crack easily. On the other hand, you can get the elongation over 23% (using mild steel it can exceed 30%) but it will not have the required yield strength. Both properties are necessary when designing reinforced-steel structures.

“You need to strike the optimum balance. How we get this yield strength and elongation is by quenching and self-tempering,” she says.

First the steel billet is pre- heated to a temperature of 1200C. This is done in order to create homogeneity in its micro structure. In metallurgical parlance it is referred to as the austenite phase. This pre-heated billet then passes through reduction stands, from 10 to 18 reduction stands, depending on the profile size. Emerging from the stands it enters the quenching chamber.

It is here that the entire re-bar transforms its sub atomic structure to bring out the desired outcome demanded by today’s colossal structures. Rapid cooling caused by water sprays “quench” the outer surface of the bar. Consequently, the micro structure of the steel bar, which until now was entirely austenitic, finds its outer crust transformed into martensite, leaving the inner core unchanged in temperature and structure. Once the quenched bar leaves the chamber with a tempering begins with the heat radiating from the core to the periphery. This is in essence the meaning of quenching and self-tempering.

“If only martensite structure were obtained,” Hennayake explains, “you would not get the necessary elongation, so you have to go through another process to obtain the elongation required. We use the self-tempering method. Once the QT bar is formed, it is still hot, even after quenching, only the outer surface is cooled. The core remains in a heated state. Using this heat, the martensite is relaxed a little, transforming it into tempered martensite, which is a high-strength structure, but it allows elongation to some extent. The core transforms into ferrite and pearlite, which are micro-structures allowing a lot of elongation. The cooling rate and time and the temperatures must be controlled very carefully, very precisely in order to maintain the yield strength and elongation as required. A minute change can have adverse effects.

However, in order get this kind of structural makeup the chemical composition of the billet has to be within the tolerances permitted by the standards.  Otherwise whatever is done in the production process counts for naught.

“The crucial elements such as carbon and manganese, can affect the properties of the reinforcement bar. The main thing is the carbon, which has to be within a certain range. Too much carbon and there is a tendency to corrode. When the carbon composition varies, the amount of martensite formed on the surface will also vary. That affects the yield strength and elongation. The parameters are related to each other and are very critical.”

CSCL have a very experienced team, who are veterans in the field. They carry out tests each and every time a parameter is changed, ensuring that the changed parameters do not affect the vital properties. Only when they have ensured that the properties are within the ranges specified by the standard will the quality assurance people allow production to continue. They ensure that every product which comes out of the mill to the warehouse is up to the standard. And to ensure strict adherence to the standards, they have adopted with ISO 9001 certification for quality management systems.

“ISO 9001 systems certification,” says Quality Assurance manager Eng. L.T.R. Bambarawane, Hennayake’s superior, “means that they have laid down everything we must   – .the processes and maintenance – and we work accordingly. It does not change. We have to follow it. We maintain checklists, reports, records, for consistency.”

Bambarawane studied at Ananda College leaving in 1975, graduating from Moratuwa University and going for training in the former Soviet Union and in Japan. A chartered engineer, he has over 40 years of experience in the field.

“We properly maintain SLS and British standards, according to the ISO 9001 system.” He says.  It covers all aspect of the production process, right down to the disposal of sub-standard items, specifying that rejected products must be stored separately from the products of acceptable quality, in order clearly to distinguish the quality parts from the rejects.

This means that the quality assurance process is transparent, and may be monitored by the authorities, in this case the SLSI.

SLSI’s Eng. Sanath Perera confirms that CSCL is certified to ISO 9001 – 2015, which is the most recent standard, although CSCL has been ISO 9001 certified for the past 10 years. In order to continue certifying the plant, the SLSI carries out annual audits, monitoring testing and also customer perception. Ironically, since CSCL has probably the best laboratory in the business, the SLSI uses their facilities to test parameters on a wide range of products.

The importance of ISO 9001 certification is that it ensures strict adherence to quality control throughout its production process, and guarantees the customer that the product they buy with such a certification can be assured of its quality and consistency of its standards. For the small-scale builder or the maker of one’s dream home, this is indeed a valuable tip.

In this regard, with over 60 years of uncompromised deliverance to the construction community of the nation, LANWA certainly is a brand that can be trusted upon.

Read more
Appreciating Crab

Appreciating Crab

Dharshan Munidasa has made a widely-available ingredient haute cuisine

Among the many strangely-named ministries of Sri Lanka, one name stands out. This ministry does not dabble with politics, but can boast of having the best ministers. Named after a Sri Lankan delicacy, The Ministry of Crab is perfectly nestled inside the 400-year-old walls of the Dutch Hospital in the Colombo Fort central business district, and is acclaimed as one of the best crab restaurants of the world. The ministry is the brain-child of “Minister” Dharshan Munidasa. Having lived much of his life in Japan, he creates a unique blend by mixing Japanese and Sri Lankan kitchen philosophies. The ministry is also supported and heavily influenced by “Ministers” Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara, famous former captains of Sri Lanka’s national cricket team.As in any entrepreneurial venture, inspiration comes from personal experience, challenges and the sheer determination to make a lasting and impressive change for the better. So does the tale of the Ministry of Crab. Let’s take a walk through some of the questions we asked Dharshan about how this all began and came to be.

How did he get involved in the restaurant business (he studied engineering)?

“For me it’s pure hunger,” he says, without thinking twice, adding, “Wanting to eat better food”. “While I was in the University in the US as a student, the food was really bad. It was not only missing Sri Lankan curry only, good food in general. So I started cooking on my own, started with making a menu for a week corresponding to the grocery list.” Hence personal need and determination for good things gave birth to the Ministry of Crab.

What sets Dharshan Munidasa apart from others in the culinary business?

With a positive tone and without a doubt in his mind Dharshan replied “Wanting to create something better and new all the time. Never stopped learning. I learned how to grade crab from crab mongers in the Pettah, that’s about 20 odd years ago. At that time, you would never see any Sri Lankan restaurant owner going to the Pettah in the morning, to be taught by someone who is selling crabs out there how to choose crabs. So I think keeping the mind open and learning things every day is what makes me different”.  I was curious to know if he were still learning new things… to which he gave a resounding “OH yes, a lot! The seasonality of crabs. More than that, every time we want to design a new dish, a plate, we keep on learning”.

What inspired the Ministry of Crab?

“A long time ago we did a TV show on Sri Lankan crab. The first half was filmed in Sri Lanka and the second half in Singapore.” And he added “In that episode all I said was ‘Sri Lankans should wake up and appreciate Sri Lankan crab.’ Following the TV show, a friend suggested that Dharshan start a crab restaurant. They pursued discussions about this idea over drinks one evening, and the name “Ministry of Crab” came up. The idea caught on, so they looked for an institutional or ministerial building. Opportunity knocked at the Dutch Hospital where they were able to find a good place to start the Ministry of Crab. Darshan went on to explain “It was not easy to procure the crabs at first because no one in Sri Lanka served this crab; to get so many of that quality. We as Sri Lankans should be able to provide the best produce of our country in Sri Lanka. That how we created something unique with an ingredient that was always there, for everybody to see”

How does he source crab and other seafood to ensure quality and freshness?

“Pay the right amount. The moment you say ‘give me a good price’… you are competing with foreign currency, with a price level set outside Sri Lanka You need to match that or even pay higher because you need to head off Rupee depreciation. We need accept that we are a dollar-based ingredient restaurant even though we are in Sri Lanka. Accepting that is first thing and then everything else falls into place”.

How does he explain the success of his venture?

“I think first of all it’s a great partnership. Kumar and Mahela have been great partners in making this restaurant what it is. But also I think the success of venture is using the best crabs that Sri Lanka has, in Sri Lanka. We have taken the identity that Singapore used to enjoy, selling Sri Lankan Chilli Crab out there, and made it our own again. That is the USP [unique selling proposition] of this restaurant—the best crabs of Sri Lanka, available in Sri Lanka. Menu is simple, decor is simple, our building is great.  To be housed in a 400-year-old building is not easy, it is a privilege”. He adds, “The location, the Dutch Hospital, the crab, Kumar and Mahela’s cricket influence, my Japanese influence in the food, the philosophies of Japanese cuisine in the kitchen…maybe all that clicked together”

Indeed, the Ministry of Crab has earned its title as one of the top seafood localities in the food world. Dharshan reacts to that by saying “I think there is no reaction. We just have to make sure we keep on serving one by one each guest, making sure that what they order is presented properly, correctly and everyone enjoys what we do.  Dharshan adds a humble response, “Just because we win awards doesn’t change any of that. Eventually it’s about customer satisfaction, and they enjoy and they will come back”.

What is his business model for expansion, both domestically and overseas?

“Ministry of Crab domestically will not see another outlet. We have franchised ourselves in Shanghai, Manila and India. All these three countries have different reasons why we want to be there. Manila, primarily because they have same crabs in greater quantity than us. Shanghai because one of our biggest customer bases in Sri Lanka are Chinese guests. India being so close to us, it’s a shame if we don’t work in India.” He explains his future plans in this way “Going forward, this year we are opening in Bangkok and Maldives.  The Maldives is a special project, where it’s a huge marina and we hope to take our own staff there. It’s an opportunity for my restaurant staff to have foreign employment under our own wing”.

Does Dharshan think fondly about his second home, Japan?

“Well I used to go to Tokyo ten times year but now its pop ups of Ministry of Crab and so much to do that I have cut it down to about three”. As Dharshan mentioned there is more to look forward to. “We will be a Japanese restaurant also, a new brand, trying to make something new for this part of the world”.

Taking about Japanese culture Dharshan said “We appreciate nature a lot. In Sri Lanka you have access to nature much faster and much easier than in Tokyo. For instance, every day I drive past the Indian Ocean. Its clean. We deal with fishermen sometimes when we want produce. Not many restaurants can think of doing that. And sometimes with farmers. So appreciation for nature comes a lot from the Japanese culture. Living in Sri Lanka, being able to go fishing or just go to the beach and some of the things that really really make life connected to nature. And restaurants are connected to nature. We depend on seasons, we depend on what’s caught in this part of the world to what’s being imported to another part of the world. For instance, a chef in Dubai or Singapore will never see a big tuna, but in Sri Lanka we do. Those are things that make us lucky to have that many ingredients”.

He adds a very interesting and intriguing piece of information “Ministry of Crab has no freezer! Not many restaurants can boast a feat like that. That feature of this restaurant has brought in a lot of interest and has got traction as to how we even do it. Not many people can do a restaurant without a freezer”.

Indeed, the Ministry of Crab is not like any other restaurant, or ministry; it’s a ministry dedicated to serve you from the moment you enter till you come back again for more. For the food leaves an appealing unforgettable taste for which you will definitely come back again.

Read more
An Introduction to the Paradise Isle

An Introduction to the Paradise Isle

I love to talk about Sri Lanka. It has been a favoured destination of travellers for millennia. Today, we have over two million visitors coming to Sri Lanka.  Colombo airport is rapidly getting congested and there are plans to build a second runway and a second terminal.

The beaches are well-known throughout the world. Then of course, we have, in addition to the beaches, the green highlands, covered by tea, where the very air carries the fragrance of tea. From there you go to Kandy, the last citadel of the Sinhalese, unique, with a legendary past.

From Kandy you would go further north to the Cultural Triangle, where you have ancient capitals at Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura.

No wonder Lonely Planet lists Sri Lanka as the top destination for 2019. Then, of course, we the BBC which listed Sri Lankan cuisine as the most favoured food trend in the world. Today, there are many five-star and six-star hotels available for the traveller. There are other establishments also, but the five-star and six-star hotels in Sri Lanka are legendary. One of them, the Mount Lavinia Hotel, is probably over 200 years old. The Galle Face Hotel has a similar history. There are many modern hotels also.

I would love to see you coming to Sri Lanka and experiencing it for yourself. It is a place you will not regret visiting. In fact, you will go back with memories that will last a lifetime. You may want to come again to this place.

Read more
THE Investment Magazine/RIU  Real Estate Update

THE Investment Magazine/RIU Real Estate Update

Recognising the strategic importance of the commercial real estate sector, RIU is planning to launch its latest edition of the Commercial Real Estate report. A wide range of extensive primary data collection has been mobilised in compiling the report which include; surveys, surveillance, and in-depth interviews with multiple respondent groups. The following segment is the second part of this series. This is an exclusive sneak-peek into some of the interesting insights that will be carried in the report.

The RIU is of the view that the retail sector will continue to play a major role in the country’s economy in years to come. Underpinned by a booming tourism sector that has induced job creation in hospitality and construction sector along with a middle class that is growing and aspiring for higher living standards, the lifestyle of the urban middle class is evolving. This will induce the demand for consumer and lifestyle products to new heights.  A T Kearney predicts that the retail sales will grow by 70% to USD 51 bn by 2020.

Supply of the retail space is expected to escalate exponentially from 2020 onwards. Until 2014, it is evident that the retail mall supply has only increased marginally. As the developers saw the potential for retail space, many large scale developers embarked on retail space as part of their mixed development projects. Many large scale projects that are already underway will be added to the existing stock from 2020 onwards.

As indicated in the above graphic, a massive supply of retail space in Colombo 01 & 02 is expected to enter into the market. In addition to this, it is also predicted that there will be a heavy supply in the Colombo 07 area. And, all of such supply is connected with the premium retail space.

More information on RIU’s latest Commercial Real Estate Sri Lanka Report can be found via phone:+9411 5305533, email: info@riunit.com, web: www.riunit.com or our facebook page riusrilanka.

Read more
NDB International Women’s Day Special

NDB International Women’s Day Special

NDB Becomes the First Sri Lankan Company to Obtain Gender Equality Certification

EDGE – Economic Dividends for Gender Equality – is the leading global standard for gender equality and has assessed NDB’s policies, practices, employee’s experience and the organisation’s numbers in five different areas: equal pay for equivalent work, recruitment and promotion, leadership development training and mentoring, flexible working and company culture. As a result, NDB is the first company in Sri Lanka to obtain EDGE Gender certification joining more than 200 leading companies, in 50 countries and 23 industries.

NDB Group CEO Dimantha Seneviratne says “This exceptional recognition not only positions us as the employer of choice for both women and men, but it also makes us one of the most trusted and reliable partners for our customers, as multiple and diverse teams within our organisation consistently deliver first-rate results.”

“As a Bank, NDB takes every effort to provide constant encouragement to women’s professional development and propel financial guidance for Sri Lankan women with a determination to grow their lives” the Group CEO continued. “At NDB, we are proud that women make up 39 % of our overall workforce and 41 % among our senior management. Obtaining the EDGE Gender certification was a natural next step for us towards further improving and positioning ourselves not only as a ‘Women’s Bank of Choice’, but also as an ‘Employer of Choice’.”

Research shows that banks with a diverse workforce tend to have a better understanding and reach of the women’s consumer market, translating to women’s higher financial inclusion,” said Amena Arif, IFC’s Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives. “We are thrilled that NDB, an IFC Banking on Women client and partner, has become the first Sri Lankan company to obtain the EDGE Gender certification, enabling it to deliver greater business impacts and serving as a role model for others to follow.”

Supported by IFC, a licenced partner of EDGE Gender Equality Certification, NDB’s workplace gender equality performance was assessed and evaluated against global and industry benchmarks. This included a review of NDB’s company statistics, HR policies and practices, as well as a survey of the over 2000 strong workforce. Following in-depth interviews, including with NDB’s HR professionals, the corporation has developed a set of follow-up actions that will continue to promote gender parity among NDB’s workforce.

NDB has made continuous efforts to empower women through various initiatives, significantly through SME and micro finance.

NDB Araliya Assists Women to Pursue their Goals

Among others, NDB’s offering includes NDB Araliya, introduced as a proposition to assist all Sri Lankan women from housewives to salaried women in business to receive both financial and non-financial aid to achieve their goals. Araliya is now more than just a women’s savings account. It has become a proposition consisting of specialised bundle offering support to fulfil the dreams, goals and aspirations of all Sri Lankan women.

Women in Sri Lanka form approximately 51% of a total estimated population of 21 million. However, out of the total economically active population of 8.5 million persons, only 33.4% are women. Understanding this need for more women in the workforce, NDB Araliya has become a proposition consisting of specialised product offerings such as Current Accounts, Business Loans, Credit Cards as well as non-financial services offering to fulfil the dreams, goals and aspirations of these women.

NDB Araliya proved itself to be more than just a savings account. Araliya provides all Sri Lankan women from housewives and salaried women to women in business with financial and non-financial assistance to achieve their goals as well guidance to improve their entrepreneurship knowledge and skills if so needed.

At the time of its launch, NDB Araliya was positioned as the strength behind every woman in Sri Lanka, offering a savings account for women and insurance schemes for the account holder and her family. Today, Araliya serves to be the platform in which women entrepreneurs can receive financial and business education including financial literacy and financial budgeting to help them better understand the functioning of the financial services offered by the Bank and to teach them successful strategies regarding the management and marketing of their business.

NDB has made continuous efforts to empower women through various initiatives significantly through SME and Micro Finance. As a Bank NDB takes every effort to provide constant encouragement and propel financial guidance for Sri Lankan women with a determination to grow in their life.

NDB has also joined a select group of leading employers in Sri Lanka who, as part of the IFC-led SheWorks Partnership foster action and learning around a variety of employer-supported strategies, approaches, and policies to boost women’s private sector participation in the country. The SheWorks Sri Lanka initiative aims to demonstrate that corporate performance can improve from closing gaps between women and men in the workplace.

About NDB

NDB Bank is the parent company of the NDB Group, one of the fastest growing financial services conglomerates in Sri Lanka, with the strategic mission to be the dominant leader in the financial services and banking sector. From its inception, the group which includes NDB Bank, NDB Investment Banking, NDB Wealth, NDB Securities, and NDB Capital has been a catalyst in the development of the nation, strengthening and empowering entrepreneurs, corporates and individuals from all strata of the economy. Our customers across all group companies have benefited from the product and service offerings of the NDB group.

About EDGE Gender certification

EDGE Gender Equality Certification is the leading global assessment methodology and business certification standard for gender equality. The EDGE Gender assessment methodology was developed by the EDGE Certified Foundation and launched at the World Economic Forum in 2011. EDGE Gender Certification has been designed to help companies not only create an optimal workplace for women and men, but also benefit from it. EDGE stands for Economic Dividends for Gender Equality and is distinguished by its rigor and focus on business impact.

The methodology uses a business, rather than theoretical approach that incorporates benchmarking, metrics and accountability into the process. It assesses policies, practices and numbers across five different areas of analysis: equal pay for equivalent work, recruitment and promotion, leadership development training and mentoring, flexible working and company culture. EDGE Gender Certification has received the endorsement of business, government and academic leaders from around the world. For more information, visit http://edge-cert.org/.

Read more
Marina Square

Marina Square

making history at the heart of tomorrow’s colombo

It is a well-known fact that the world’s emerging cities are formed and reshaped, based on and around major infrastructural developments – just as Colombo city emerged in history, around the then Port of Colombo, which goes back to the colourful Silk Route days. During this time, over 2,000 years, Colombo Port emerged as a major hub in the Silk Route, attracting Indian, Greek, Persian, Roman, Arab and Chinese traders and creating a vibrant, multicultural dwelling place in areas known today as Colombo North.

The interracial and interreligious fusion over a few millennia has created a unique, vibrant and harmonious culture that is evident to this day in Colombo North, which is now being transformed into Uptown Colombo with the onset of “game-changing” infrastructure developments in this area. The New Kelani Bridge, the Elevated Inner-city Expressway Network and the development of the Port City are certain to change the landscape of tomorrow’s Colombo. The best location to live in tomorrow’s Colombo will be based on how close you are to the Port City and the access points of the Elevated Expressway Network. Three industry giants, who understand this, have come together to bring about a gilded investment opportunity, in the heart of tomorrow’s Colombo. Access Engineering, China Harbour Engineering Company and Mustafa Singapore are regional giants in the industries of construction, infrastructure development and retail. The contributions and value addition brought in by these industry giants is not just their capital contribution: more importantly, their collective experience in building and their collective purchasing power contribute to their ability to develop a technologically-advanced, completely value-engineered and cost-efficient mixed development complex in uptown Colombo. One of the primary concerns of investors in projects such as this, is the transparency, reliability and financial stability of the developer. This is one area that the investors in Marina Square need not be concerned about as the credentials and the industry standing of the developer are impeccable.

The Marina Square Uptown Colombo development embraces and amplifies the concept of urban luxury throughout the residential units, as well as the common facilities made available to homeowners. The expansive, over two acres (0.8 ha) of landscaped walking/jogging tracks, garden spaces, and nooks and corners to hang out with friends and family, add to the experience of urban luxury. The infinity pool, the club house, games room, unprecedented kids play area and the fully equipped gymnasium are all designed with the discerning city dwellers in mind. Even the commercial element situated within the complex is designed, for the convenience of the residents of Marina Square, epitomising the concept of Urban Luxury. The commercial area, consisting of a food court, retail outlets, wellness services and selected office spaces, is there to supplement and complement the needs of the residents in Marina Square Uptown Colombo.

The ocean-front location of Marina Square offers magnificent and breathtakingly captivating views of the ocean, city and mountains from within most of the condos in the complex. Marina Square Uptown Colombo is undoubtedly the best location to watch the future of Colombo City unfolding with the Port City Development taking shape over the next few decades. With the Port City close at hand and access to the Inner-city Elevated Expressway just a mere kilometre away, Marina Square is truly at the heart of tomorrow’s Colombo.

Marina Square Uptown Colombo is designed with five individual towers to provide for optimal natural light and air circulation. It offers 1068 Condo units in 21 different layouts, with 1 to 4 bedroom units to choose from, including some condos with their own private gardens. Each tower consists of 36 floors, and the wide selection of condos is sure to meet the needs of any potential investor. Marina Square offers options for those looking for a city-centre home with all the conveniences at hand, those looking for a city condo as a second home and those simply looking for a rewarding investment.

Marina Square offers an affordable, value-for-money investment opportunity for an Urban Luxury lifestyle in the heart of tomorrow’s Colombo that you should not miss out on. Over 25% of the Condos have already been sold and the investment opportunity is currently offered to Sri Lankan and Sri Lanka-based investors. The company plans to take this investment opportunity to overseas markets in the latter half of this year.

The construction of the project commenced in 2018 and, currently, the project is at the final stages of completing piling and finalising agreements with the main contractor. The project is expected to be completed by 2022.

More information on the project can be obtained through the Hotline 076 305 0000 or by visiting www.marinasquare.lk

Read more