High-level guests grace first anniversary celebration by WISTA Sri Lanka

Associations, Conferences, Seminars, Forums, Events, HR, News, People and Places, WISTA - Women in Shipping — By on August 4, 2015 at 6:16 AM
WISTA Sri Lanka team with WISTA International board member Sanjam Gupta and Sri Lanka minister Rosy  Senanayake.

WISTA Sri Lanka team with WISTA International board member Sanjam Gupta and Sri Lanka minister Rosy Senanayake.

A year of island-wide activity by the new WISTA Sri Lanka has been marked by celebrations at the organisation’s first annual meeting, which was attended by top-ranking guests.

The event in Colombo on July 22 was graced by government representatives including the Minister of Shipping, Ports and Aviation Arjuna Ranatunga, and State Minister of Children’s Affairs Rosy Senanayake; WISTA International board member and WISTA India president Sanjam Sahi Gupta (a director of Sitara Shipping, Mumbai); other maritime industry heads; and many WISTA members.

Mr Ranatunga  is known globally – as the  captain  of  the  Sri  Lankan  cricket  team  that  won  the  World  Cup  in  1996; while on the global stage, Mrs Senanayake was the winner of the first Mrs World competition, but more importantly is a long-standing campaigner for the rights of women and children and an advocate for Sri Lankan trade.

WISTA Sri Lanka’s Shehera Jayawardena receives a memento from international board member Sanjam Sahi Gupta

WISTA Sri Lanka’s Shehera Jayawardena receives a memento from international board member Sanjam Sahi Gupta

The Sri Lankan branch of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) recorded with pride a year during which its members worked closely together, canvassed  other women to consider careers in shipping, helped each other network, took part in community service, and supported each other in an industry that remains very male-dominated.

Keynote speaker was Mrs Senenayake who delivered a powerful address on the subject of working women in Sri Lanka.

Sanjam Sahi Gupta with Sri Lankan Minister of Ports and Shipping, Arjuna  Ranatunge.

Sanjam Sahi Gupta with Sri Lankan Minister of Ports and Shipping, Arjuna Ranatunge.

President of WISTA Sri Lanka Shehera Jayawardena together with her sub-committee heads enlightened guests about WISTA’s journey through the past year. The organisation has been able to achieve and contribute to the industry as well as to the community through events such as a visit to Colombo Port, a shipping careers drive for schools island-wide, seminars related to the maritime industry, and corporate social responsibility projects such as an event at the Balika home for children.

Female achievers in the maritime industry were felicitated at this occasion in the following categories: service in the international arena, Dr Ruanthi de Silva; entrepreneurship, Vera Wickramasinghe; and operational excellence, Dilkushi Rajapakse.

Participants reported that the event was a great success, with invitees entertained by dance acts – and by a ship evacuation drill performed by students of Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College, Sri Lanka’s largest private higher education organisation.

Another big WISTA date in the region has been set: the third annual meeting, in Mumbai, of WISTA India, will be on September 11 2015.

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