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Friday March 1st, 2024

Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka celebrates young movers & shakers in 35 Under 35 list

Cosmo introduced its first special edition for the year: The 35 Under 35 Issue, featuring a list of 35 incredible young women, under the age of 35. They are movers and shakers in their own right in various industries, from entrepreneurs to eco-warriors to creative pioneers to activists and more.

Azara Jaleel, Anya Ratnayaka, Anuki Premachandra, Achala Samaradiwakara and Aarthy Arun

Rathnakala Kumaragurunathan, Sabrina Esufally, Shalindri Malawana, Shana Dandeniya and Dr Shanika Arsecularatne

The goal of the list was to put the next generation of trailblazers front and centre with the intention to celebrate these women doing their thing and inspire everyone to not let fear hold them back from reaching their full potential. Cosmo’s cover stars are an epitome of these qualities. RukshikaSeneviratne, Sharanya Sekeram and Shana Dandeniya also feature in the 35 Under 35 list and are the brand’s first trio on the cover!

Anoka Abeyrathne, Anitra Perera, Stephanie Siriwardhana, Nadiya Fernando, Shiandra Gooneratne

Rukshika Seneviratne, Shehani Rasaputra, Savera Weerasinghe, Selyna Peiris and Sharanya Sekaram

Despite a lot of uncertainty, we hope that the stories of these dynamic women will offer inspiration, propel readers forward, push them out of comfort zones, encourage them to stand their ground and help ask the difficult questions.

Melissa Dharmadasa, Iromi Perera, Lakshini Fernando, Lonali Rodrigo and Bimanee Meepagala

Nabeela Yaseen, Bhoomi Harendra, Randhula De Silva, Niyoshala Kumar and Nishelli Perera

We approached compiling this edition to refute the notion that women can only be deemed “successful” in her profession over a particular age—20- and 30-something-year-olds rarely making the cut. But, we constantly see young women stepping up and taking the reins. As such, the objective of Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka’s 35 Under 35 list was to identify a group of young women under the age of 35 who are influential and leading the charge in exciting ways. We split the women into four main groups—builders, innovators, activists and rulebreakers.

Shifani Reffai, Tanaz Pestonjee, Thajithangani “Thaji” Dias, Yusra Aziz and Thyagi Ruwanpathirana

Here are the women who made into the 35 Under 35 list:


[Lankan women creating a name for themselves, scaling a business, non-profit or idea, and making an impact locally and/or internationally.]

Dr Shanika Arsecularatne, Director at Christell Skin Clinic

Randhula De Silva, CEO of Hatch and Director of GoodLife Accelerator

Shalindri Malawana, General Manager of Liquid Island

Tanaz Pestonjee, Head of Lifestyle Brands at Abans PLC

Niyoshala Kumar, Director of Beverly Street and Founder of Ayana Apparel

Melissa Dharmadasa, Owner of Bakes By Bella

Lakshini Fernando, Economist at Asia Securities

Nishelli Perera, Co-Founder and Director of Yeti Isotonic Drinks

Aarthy Arun, Employment Lead of the Women in Work programme at the International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Bimanee Meepagala, Vice President at NDB Wealth Management

Rathnakala Kumaragurunathan, Associate Director at Acuity Knowledge Partners

Nadiya Fernando, Founder/Director of You by The Wax Museum



[They’re introducing new things in Sri Lanka making their brand, business or industry better than it ever was.]

Lonali Rodrigo, Founder and Lead Designer of House of Lonali

Azara Jaleel, Editor of ARTRA

Rukshika Seneviratne, Co-Founder and Lead Designer of RUMPUNCH

Shana Dandeniya, Founder/Director of Café Kumbuk, Plus Nine Four and Quality Control

Anuki Premachandra, Former Communications Manager at the Advocata Institute

Shifani Reffai, Co-Founder of White Noise Media and Co-Producer of Shh The Talkshow

Shehani Rasaputra, Founder and CEO of Just Goodness

Savera Weerasinghe, CEO of Ananta Sustainables

Yusra Aziz, Founder of Podi Jobs and Co-Founder of WERK

Selyna Peiris, Head of Business Development at Selyn



[They’re the voices of change, bringing about social and political transformation against the odds.]

Sharanya Sekaram, Feminist Activist, Researcher and Writer

Bhoomi Harendra, Activist at National Transgender Network

Iromi Perera, Activist and Researcher at Law & Society Trust

Shiandra Gooneratne, Founder of Concrete Angels

Anya Ratnayaka, Wildlife Biologist

Nabeela Yaseen, Founder of Not Your Nangi



[They’re breaking down barriers, and tossing out the traditional in favour of the new and effective.]

Stephanie Siriwardhana, Activist, Singer and Entertainer

Thajithangani “Thaji” Dias, Principal Dancer at Chitrasena Dance Company

Anitra Perera, Managing Director/Coordinating Principal of Alethea International School & Alethea School

Achala Samaradiwakara, Co-Founder of the Good Market

Sabrina Esufally, Director Business Development and Innovation at Hemas Manufacturing Pvt Ltd

Anoka Abeyrathne, Founder of Sustain Solutions

Thyagi Ruwanpathirana, Sri Lanka/ South Asia Regional Researcher Amnesty International


Download a free copy of the magazine here and visit for more on the list.

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Sri Lanka’s RAMIS online tax collection system “not operatable”: IT Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s online tax collection system RAMIS is “not operatable”, and the Ministry of Information Technology is ready to do for an independent audit to find the shortcomings, State IT Minister Kanaka Herath said.

The Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS) was introduced to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) when the island nation signed for its 16th International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme in 2016.

However, trade unions at the IRD protested the move, claiming that the system was malfunctioning despite billions being spent for it amid allegations that the new system was reducing the direct contacts between taxpayers and the IRD to reduce corruption.

The RAMIS had to be stopped after taxpayers faced massive penalties because of blunders made by heads of the IT division, computer operators and system errors at the IRD, government officials have said.

“The whole of Sri Lanka admits RAMIS is a failure. The annual fee is very high for that. This should be told in public,” Herath told reporters at a media briefing in Colombo on Thursday (29)

“In future, we want all the ministries to get the guidelines from our ministry when they go for ERP (Enterprise resource planning).”

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government said the RAMIS system will be operational from December last year.

However, the failure has delayed some tax collection which could have been paid via online.

“It is not under our ministry. It is under the finance ministry. We have no involvement with it, but still, it is not operatable,” Herath said.

“So, there are so many issues going on and I have no idea what the technical part of it. We can carry out an independent audit to find out the shortcomings of the software.”

Finance Ministry officials say IRD employees and trade unions had been resisting the RAMIS because it prevents direct interactions with taxpayers and possible bribes for defaulting or under paying taxes.

The crisis-hit island nation is struggling to boost its revenue in line with the target it has committed to the IMF in return for a 3 billion-dollar extended fund facility. (Colombo/Feb 29/2024) 

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Sri Lanka aims to boost SME with Sancharaka Udawa tourism expo

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is hosting Sancharaka Udawa, a tourism industry exhibition which will bring together businesses ranging from hotels to travel agents and airlines, and will allow the small and medium sector build links with the rest of the industry, officials said.

There will be over 250 exhibitors, with the annual event held for the 11th time expected to draw around 10,000 visitors, the organizers said.

“SMEs play a big role, from homestays to under three-star categories,” Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman, Chalaka Gajabahu told reporters.

“It is very important that we develop those markets as well.”

The Sancharaka Udawa fair comes as the Indian Ocean island is experiencing a tourism revival.

Sri Lanka had welcomed 191,000 tourists up to February 25, compared to 107,639 in February 2023.

“We have been hitting back-to-back double centuries,” Gajabahu said. “January was over 200,000.”

The exhibition to be held on May 17-18, is organized by the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators.

It aims to establish a networking platform for small and medium sized service providers within the industry including the smallest sector.

“Homestays have been increasingly popular in areas such as Ella, Down South, Knuckles and Kandy,” SLAITO President, Nishad Wijethunga, said.

In the northern Jaffna peninsula, both domestic and international tourism was helping hotels.

A representative of the Northern Province Tourism Sector said that the Northern Province has 170 hotels, all of which have 60-70 percent occupancy.

Further, domestic airlines from Colombo to Palali and the inter-city train have been popular with local and international visitors, especially Indian tourists. (Colombo/Feb29/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes at 309.50/70 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 309.50/70 to the US dollar Thursday, from 310.00/15 on Wednesday, dealers said.

Bond yields were slightly higher.

A bond maturing on 01.02.2026 closed at 10.50/70 percent down from 10.60/80 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.90/12.10 percent from 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 12.20/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2029 closed at 12.30/45 percent up from 12.20/50 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 12.35/50 percent up from 12.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 12.55/13.00 percent up from 12.50/90 percent. (Colombo/Feb29/2024)

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