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John Keells Felicitates Staff Volunteers of the Group

28 Jun , 2018,
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John Keells Foundation felicitated high performing volunteers contributing to CSR initiatives of 2017/18 at its annual Volunteer Recognition Day held on 21st June 2018 at Cinnamon Lakeside. The event was graced by Chairman and Directors of the John Keells Group. Speaking at the event, Mr. Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman, John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) stated, “I take this opportunity to thank you profusely for the amazing passion and commitment that you continue to show. You are John Keells’ greatest ambassadors as the good work done by the Foundation and all staff volunteers continues to empower wider sections of society.”

Volunteers under the top 2 categories were felicitated at the event. A total of 840 staff volunteers in 1,398 instances accounting for 5,411 hours, was recorded in 2017/18 comprising of 21 Gold certificates, 71 Silver certificates, 168 bronze certificates and 580 recognized as merit winners.

Most projects carried out by John Keells Foundation (Foundation) – the CSR entity of the Group – function with the support of volunteers. Hence the Group’s volunteer network enables employees to go beyond their day-to-day work and make a hands-on contribution to community and environment development while the volunteer leave policy facilitates the release of staff for CSR activities with minimum restraint. Volunteers vary from project champions, trainers and trained assistants to those who engage in skill-based volunteerism and administrative support. Commenting on volunteerism at John Keells, Muditha Senarath-Yapa, Head of John Keells Research who champions the Foundation’s Science Promotion project and was a `gold’ recipient at the event, said, “As a volunteer, my greatest fulfilment was in observing children from rural areas learning to code a small robot to do simple tasks. It clearly shows that Sri Lanka is a country of very talented people. The day we learn to harness this potential is the day we change this country”.

Volunteer Recognition Day 2017

14 Jun , 2017,
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John Keells Foundation held its annual Volunteer Recognition Day at Cinnamon Lakeside on 12th June 2017. The event was graced by Mr. Krishan Balendra and Senior Management who awarded our high performing volunteers of 2016/17. A revised rating scheme was created whereby volunteers were ranked Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Merit based on the Volunteer’s role, number of instances and volunteer hours recorded, and the nature of engagement. Volunteers under the top 3 categories were felicitated at the event. A total of 1,008 volunteers in 1,954 instances and 7,649 hours were recorded in 2016/17 comprising of 2 platinum certificates, 31 Gold certificates, 69 Silver certificates, 266 bronze certificates and 589 recognized as merit winners.

Shramadana at Marcsri Sarana Sewa Niwasaya

21 Feb , 2017,
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The John Keells Foundation organized a Shramadana campaign at Marcsri Sarana Sewa Niwasaya, Kaluthara on the 18th of February 2017. 32 volunteers contributed to this worthy cause making the initiative a success. The main objective of the project was to clean and improve the appearance of the severely neglected home. There were 67 adults and 8 children living at the home.

Our volunteers cleaned the entire home and painted 3 sections, creating a vast difference in the appearance of the home. Our Volunteers also had a sing song session with the adults, uplifting their spirits and creating a fun and vibrant atmosphere.

Keells Super supported the initiative by sending a significant amount of their staff as volunteers and donating 3 months worth of sanitary items. The event was a great success, with one JKH Volunteer, Sushithma Fonseka saying “We never expected it to be such a huge task, however we manage to give it a new look” and the matron of the home thanked us by saying “thank you for initiating this project and for the effort put in to make our home a better place”.

KALA POLA – 2017

Feb , 2017,
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Kala Pola 2017

4 Jan , 2017,
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“Kala Pola”, Sri Lanka’s internationally acclaimed open-air art market,, Kala Pola will once again unleash a massive riot of colour toin Colombo as it opens on Sunday, 22 January 2017 along the pavementssidewalks of Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha in Colombo 07.

Presented by The George Keyt Foundation in association with the John Keells Group, it opens at 8.00 am and will continue until 9.00 pm the same night. The official ceremony will take place at 5.00 p.m. under the gracious patronage of Chief Guest H.E. Bryce Hutchesson, Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, which will be followed by a fascinating array of cultural entertainment, and will continue until 9.00 pm the same night.

Kala Pola has, for over the past 24 years, attracted thousands of visitors from all parts of Sri Lanka. There are also the large numbers of resident and visiting expatriates from around the world who throng the event and purchase a variety of Sri Lankan art on offer, in a fun-filled ambiance of music and entertainment.

Kala Pola Artist Catalogue 2017

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World AIDS Day 2016

1 Dec , 2016,
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Each year, John Keells commemorates World AIDS Day towards creating solidarity amongst our group employees and the general public. Our aim is to reduce the spread of HIV whilst also encouraging testing and non-discrimination against those living with HIV and AIDS.

Several awareness sessions are held through the week, while internal staff were engaged through a HIV & AIDS Poster competition and quiz.

Poster competition entries can be seen below;

Union Assurance Poster – 1st Place

Cinnamon Bey Poster – 2nd Place


3rd Place – Joint winners – Cinnamon Lakeside, John Keells PLC and JayKay Marketing Services respectively




Other entries – John Keells Computer services, Ceylon Cold Stores and John Keells Automation respectively


16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

30 Nov , 2016,
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The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is taking place from 25 November to 10 December with the theme of “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All.” School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) can be a serious barrier in realizing the right to education. It is estimated that 246 million girls and boys are harassed and abused in and around school every year.





John Keells commemorates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: a Public campaign at the main Bus Stands in Colombo

28 Nov , 2016,
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John Keells Foundation (JKF), the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of John Keells Group (JKH) initiated a public awareness campaign against sexual harassment, targeting commuters of public transport, in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women falling on 25th November.

Over 100 staff volunteers from across JKH actively participated in the campaign carried out at four of Colombo’s busiest bus depots in Colombo – Pettah Central Bus Stand, Bastian Mawatha Private Bus Stand, Gunasinghepura Private Bus Stand and the Borella Bus stand, to paste stickers inside the buses and hand over information cards throughout the day, with the cooperation of the Sri Lanka Transport Board and the Western Province Provincial Road Passenger Transport Authority.

This campaign targeted to paste 1,150 stickers in Sinhala and Tamil, with the warning that Sexual Harassment is a punishable offence under the Penal Code along with the emergency hotline of Sri Lanka Transportation Bureau to report harassment (1955) and underlining our individual and collective responsibility to build a society free of harassment. Approximately 30,000 information cards were distributed amongst commuters. Parallel to the public campaign, an internal campaign involving awareness posters, a staff pledge board and pinning of the white ribbon were undertaken across the John Keells Group.

Speaking on the public campaign, Ms. Carmeline Jayasuriya – Head of Operations CSR, JKF explained that “this initiative was carried out as a part of John Keells Foundation’s Project WAVE (Working Against Violence through Education), which is an ongoing long-term initiative on preventing gender-based violence and child abuse through education and awareness designed to progressively encompass the employees of the John Keells Group, various vulnerable communities associated with the Group’s business locations and the public. While the bus campaign was the first initiative within our public phase since the launch of the project in November 2014, awareness sessions have been conducted in all sectors of the John Keells Group including Head Office, Leisure, Consumer Foods & Retail, IT, Transportation and Financial Services as well as external communities such as lawyers, police officers and school children and reached over 13,000 persons. We are extremely proud and appreciative of the overwhelming response we received from our staff volunteers in implementing the public awareness campaign successfully. The encouraging response we have received from the bus authorities, drivers, conductors and commuters has amply demonstrated the need for continuing similar campaigns in the future.”

Cinnamon Colomboscope 2016

1 Aug , 2016,
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Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts with together with the European Union National Institute for Culture organised the fourth edition of “Cinnamon Colomboscope”, a contemporary and multidisciplinary arts festival which attracted more than 3,000 visitors. This year’s theme was titled ‘TESTING GROUNDS: Art and Digital Cultures in South Asia and Europe’, curated by Dr Susanne Jaschko, a leading a renowned expert in the field of media arts. The festival consisted of film screenings, audio- visual performances, the main exhibition and an online exhibition. Through a series of workshops, artists’ talks and thematic conversations, the festival fostered valuable knowledge exchange between Sri Lankan and foreign artists, local and international technology specialists and the audience.

As Digital technology plays a significant role as Sri Lanka seeks to reimagine its future and find its unique position in an increasingly globalised, business-driven world. As in all other fields, the arts too responds to the changes brought on by digitisation. 10 Sri Lankan artists were commissioned to conceptualize and produce artworks that use electronic and digital media. The participation of local artists was sponsored by John Keells Foundation towards providing valuable exposure for Sri Lankan artists to contribute towards a world class arts festival.


DeGenerative Processes II - Asvajit Boyle and Lalindra Amarasekara


DeGenerative Processes II - Asvajit Boyle and Lalindra Amarasekara


Detail of 'Séance' - Ali Miharbi


From Vendetta to Bend-Data- Muvindu aka Bo Sedkid


Emerge + Tech- The Collective of Contemporary Artists (CoCA)


Foundation- Kavan Balasuriya and details of 'My Ramadan'


Always Take The Weather With You - Rohini Devasher


Revery - Imaad Majeed


Nuclear Powered Toothbrush- Zihan Karim


Illume Illusion- Malaka Dewapriya


Crystal Computing- Ivar Veermäe

Cinnamon Colomboscope Arts Festival takes on Digitisation

26 Jul , 2016,
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EUNIC Sri Lanka together with Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts presents the fourth edition of Cinnamon Colomboscope, a contemporary and multidisciplinary arts festival that takes place in Colombo. This year, the festival will be titled Testing Grounds: Art and Digital Cultures in South Asia and Europe and will be held from 25 August to 1 September.

Digital technology plays a significant role as Sri Lanka seeks to reimagine its future and find its unique position in an increasingly globalised, business-driven world. As in all other fields, the arts too will respond to the changes brought on – among others – by digitisation. This year, Cinnamon Colomboscope will provide ‘testing grounds’ for a new liaison between contemporary art and digital technology in Sri Lanka.

The main venue for the festival will be at the General Post Office, Fort; an iconic colonial building erected in 1895 and unused for the last 20 years. Visitors will be able to engage with audio-visual, responsive and interactive installations as well as image-based artwork in an extensive exhibition. Over 50 Sri Lankan and international artists will contribute to this year’s programme including screenings of experimental films, audio-visual performances and an online exhibition that can be accessed from anywhere. Through a series of workshops and public conversations, the festival will foster knowledge exchange between Sri Lankan and foreign artists, local and international technology specialists and the audience.

Cinnamon Colomboscope 2016 will be curated by Susanne Jaschko, a renowned expert in the field of media arts who can Susanne Jaschko, Curator, Cinnamon Colomboscope 2016look back on an impressive list of international art events and exhibitions. “Testing Grounds,” she explains, “will be experimental in nature, and rich in contrast. For most local and South Asian artists, working with electronic and digital media is a new and widely unchartered field, while artists in Europe have been working with new media for over 25 years. Cinnamon Colomboscope will create an awareness of the impacts that digital technologies have on our societies and cultures – among which are data privacy and ownership issues – which need to be addressed in Sri Lanka.”

Established in 2012, Cinnamon Colomboscope is a festival that evolves and changes shape with a new curator each year.

Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is the title sponsor of Cinnamon Colomboscope and this event is organised by EUNIC Sri Lanka comprising the Goethe-Institute, British Council and Alliance Française de Kotte. The festival is supported by contributions from the John Keells Foundation, Cinnamon Life, Art TV, Swiss Embassy, Dutch Embassy, Turkish Embassy, German Embassy Teheran and the University of Quebec. The festival is held in venue partnership with the Postal Department.

The detailed program for the festival will be announced soon. Please visit the website www.cinnamoncolomboscope.com  for updates on the program.