Director of the Philatelic Bureau, H.V.D.I Abeywickrama hands over the first stamp and cover to Indrani Sugathadasa and to the Director General of the IBSL, Damayanthi Fernando
The 1st of September saw the entire insurance industry of Sri Lanka celebrate a day dedicated solely to their profession.
The launch of Sri Lanka’s first National Insurance Day took place at the Independence Arcade in a ceremony attended by leading members and related dignitaries of the industry.
The objective of such an event is to provide national recognition and significance to the task of raising awareness among the general public of the importance and value of Insurance.
Two years in the planning the event was organized by the Marketing and Sales Forum (MSF) of the Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) with the support of the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka (IBSL) and the approval of the Government.
Gracing the event as chief guest was. Indrani Sugathadasa, the Chairperson of the IBSL, while other dignitaries present included the Director General of the IBSL, Damayanthi Fernando, the Country Director of the Asian Development Bank, Sri Widowati, the Director of the Philatelic Bureau,. H.V.D.I Abeywickrama, Jeremy Bolling of the IBSL, the President of the IASL, Deepthi Lokuarachchi and the Chairman of the MSF, Hashra Weerawardena. Also present at the ceremony were members of the ADB, the IASL, CEO’s and other senior members of Sri Lanka’s Insurance companies.
Following the lighting of the oil lamp in a new and inspiring manner, Hashra Weerawardena stepped up on stage to welcome the gathering. “This journey began with a dream to get the entire Insurance industry together under one umbrella with the shared goal of spreading the message of Insurance to all Sri Lankans”, explained Weerawardena.
In honor of the historic event, a commemorative stamp and cover has been issued by the Postal Department of Sri Lanka. The first stamp and cover had been presented to President Maithripala Sirisena, on the 31st of August. At the ceremony, the stamp and cover was presented to the chief guest and other dignitaries by the Director of the Philatelic Bureau.
In her address, the chief guest, Sugathadasa thanked the IASL and the IBSL for the tireless work put in by both organizations to make the event a success. Sugathadasa also expressed her gratitude to the Sri Lankan Government and the ADB for their support.
According to Sugathadasa, the declaration of the 1st of September as National Insurance Day serves two purposes; the first being to spread awareness of the value of Insurance among the general public whilst the second purpose is to ensure the development of the industry itself. Widowati’s speech followed that of Sugathdasa. In it the Country Director of the ADB stated that her organization has and will continue to support Sri Lanka’s development in as many ways as possible. Deepthi Lokuarachchi delivered the final speech of the ceremony, in which he described his pride and honour at being able to witness such a remarkable milestone in the history of the country’s insurance industry.
Lokuarachchi stressed upon the need for innovation in order to promote Insurance awareness throughout the island. He expressed his belief that the declaration of a National Insurance Day will serve as a means of promoting the industry and its services among the general public of Sri Lanka. “For as long as Insurance exists in Sri Lanka this day will always be commemorated”.