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DateLine Sunday, 30 September 2007





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Government Gazette

Mawbima Lanka - Ape De Presidential Awards ceremony on October 23

The first Mawbima Lanka - Ape De Presidential Awards Ceremony will be held on October 23 at the BMICH under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Thirty-one public and private sector manufacturing organisations have been selected for the Ape De awards, chairman Mawbima Lanka Foundation and Master Divers and Managing Director Palawatta Sugar Company Ariyaseela Wicramanayaka said. Mawbima Lanka is a non-profit organisation committed to create awareness among Sri Lankans and increase the use of locally manufactured products and services. "Our long-term objective is to increase the demand for locally made goods and services.

The Ganne Ape De logo and its advertising campaign will help local entrepreneurs to improve sales", he said. At the awards ceremony the Mawbima Lanka foundation will award the selected organisations and their brands the right to use the Ganne Ape De logo in recognition of those organisations or brands being truly Sri Lankan. Wickramanayaka said award-winning organisations were selected by an expert committee from the Ministry of Industrial Development, an independent overseas industrial expert and a senior academic. "India and Malaysia developed their economies through patriotism and determination. Mahatma Ghandi's motto was "Be Indian - buy indian", he said.

Wicramanayaka said that Sri Lanka should minimise import of products that could be produced locally. He said it is sad that Sri Lanka, instead of increasing the local production capacity spends a huge amount of money on importing food and other items. Today "foreign exchange is drained out due to the import of mobile phones. According to statistics of mobile phone companies the number of mobile subscribers is over six million. One company has 3.1 million subscribers. Sri Lanka spends Rs 52,000 million to import food items such as milk powder, flour, sugar and canned fish while spending much more to import mobile phones, he said.

The reason for the depreciation of the rupee is the growing import bill. If this trend continues, making Sri Lanka a developed nation would only be a dream, he said.

He said that the motivation to use locally produced items should come from the people. "People should have a sense of patriotism and determination to make local products sustainable by using them, Wicramanayaka said.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service

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