WISTA Launched in Sri Lanka

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Monday, August 04, 2014
WISTA launched in Sri Lanka


Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (better known as WISTA),  was  launched  in  Sri  Lanka  on  the  03rd  July  2014,  at the  Hilton  Residencies  Colombo  amidst  a  large  and  distinguished  gathering  including  the  Chairman  of  the  Sri  Lanka  Ports  Authority,  Chairmen  &  Chairpersons  of  leading  Public  and  Private  Sector  Organizations  and  Institutes.

WISTA Sri Lanka will function under the Presidency of Ms. Shehara Jayawardana, and consists of a 20 member committee which, to date,  has been successful  in  attracting 49 eminent females from shipping and shipping related industries to join its membership.

"We are deligted to welcome WISTA Sri Lanka to our ranks“, stated WISTA President Karin Orsel.  "There is obviously a great deal of support and enthusiasm for this development both locally and regionally.“

Gracing  the occasion  was  Founder  Member  and  President  of WISTA  India,  Mrs. Sanjam  Sahi  Gupta  and  Founder  Member  and  Joint  Secretary  of  WISTA  India,  Ms. Sumi  Sahi.

In  her  keynote  address,  Mrs. Indrani  Sugathadasa,  Chairperson  of  the  Insurance  Board  of  Sri  Lanka,  commended  the  women  of  Sri  Lanka  who  have  already  ventured  into  employment  in  all  spheres,  and  emphasized  that  women  should  take  a  more  active  role  in  the  future  as  well.   Her  advice  to  the  younger  generation  was,  to  be  focused,  dedicated  and  committed  to  whatever  task  they  were  assigned  with,  quoting  several  instances  from  her  own  career  as  a  civil  servant  which spanned  over  35  years.   

A  very  informative  and  thought  provoking  panel  discussion  was  held  on  the  topic  of  “How to sustain and reach shipping excellence by promoting and strengthening social, economic and gender balance” with  the  participation  of  four  eminent  personalities  in  the  Shipping  Industry.   The  Panel  comprised    Mrs. Manouri  de  Silva,  the  first  female  Fellow  of  the  ICS  Branch  in  Sri  Lanka  and  first  female  General  Manager  of  the  Ceylon  Shipping  Corporation;   Dr. Parakrama  Dissanayake, Chairman/CEO of Aitken Spence Maritime Logistics  & Cargo and  Director - Aitken Spence PLC,  and  a  former Chairman/CEO of Sri Lanka Ports Authority;   Capt.  Nihal  Keppetipola,  Managing  Director  of  the  Sri  Lanka  Ports  Authority  and  Director  of  Jaya Container Terminals Ltd., [JCT Ltd.,]  South Asia Gateway Terminals [SAGT] , Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd., [CICT]  and Magampura Port Management Company (Private) Ltd.,  and  Past President of  Nautical Institute of UK (Sri Lanka Branch) and Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport  and  Mrs.  Sanjam  Sahi  Gupta,  Founder  Member  &  President  of  WISTA  India.

The  highlight  of  the  evening  was  the  felicitation  of  women  who  have  played  a  vital  role in developing the woman’s role in the Sri Lankan Shipping Industry which is known to be predominantly male.  These eminent women have contributed to the shipping industry in different ways; through their sheer commitment, passion, integrity and dedication to work.

Three eminent females in the fields of Entrepreneurship, Public Sector Service and Training & Development  were  felicitated.

The  Felicitation  Award  for  Entrepreneurship  was  given  to  Mrs. Norma  Nanayakkara,  an  astute  entrepreneur  and  well  respected  in  the  shipping  field.

The  Award  for  Public  Sector  Service  was  given  to  Mrs. Sriyani  Wanniarachchi,  Director – Finance  of  the  Sri  Lanka  Ports  Authority.  She  is  a  Graduate,  Associate  Member  and  Fellow  Member  of  ICASL.

The  Award  for  Training  &  Development  was  made  to  Mrs. Anoma  Ranasinghe,  a  Fellow  of  the  Institute of  Chartered  Shipbrokers  (UK),  Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) & a member of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries & Administrators (UK).  She is also a visiting Lecturer at the University of Colombo and  represents many professional bodies in Sri Lanka.

Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) is an international organization for women in management positions involved in the maritime transportation business and related trades worldwide. WISTA is a major player in attracting more women to the industry and in supporting women in management positions.  WISTA is active in 33 countries (called National WISTA Associations or NWAs) and has more than 2,000 individual members worldwide.

For more information about WISTA go to www.wista.net

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