Sampath Bank joined hands with the Colombo International Book Fair organized by the Sri Lanka Book Publishers’ Association (SLBPA) as the official banker of the event for the 14th consecutive year. This longstanding partnership is a testament to the Bank’s commitment to helping nurture the habit of reading amongst all Sri Lankans.
In a bid to offer greater convenience to the over 450 exhibitors as well as the 1.5million plus visitors, Sampath Bank operated a branch as well as an onsite ATM and Cash Deposit Machine at the venue. Open from 9am to 9pm all through the 10 days of the fair, the branch offered an extensive suite of financial services. The branch proved to be of particular value to exhibitors, who were able to deposit their cash balance at the end of every day, get change money and do other transactions without having to leave the premises. Visitors too availed the services of the branch for everything from withdrawing additional funds required to purchase their favorite books to depositing any money left with them.
Members of MyBook Club, a novel initiative by Sampath Bank in partnership with the SLBPA and ITN aimed at nurturing and promoting the habit of reading amongst all Sri Lankans, were offered free entry to the Book Fair as well as discounts at partner bookstores.
“As a homegrown national bank that is committed to adding value to the lives of all Sri Lankans, we, at Sampath Bank, are delighted to partner with the Colombo International Book Fair for the 14th consecutive year. We believe that, over the years, this forum has played a significant role in promoting the habit of reading amongst the young and the old, alike, and consider it our duty to support such an endeavor,” said Mr. Tharaka Ranwala, Senior Deputy General Manager – Consumer Banking, Sampath Bank PLC.“We are also glad to have been able to offer our extensive suite of financial services to exhibitors and visitors at the event, through our onsite branch.”
As part of the partnership, Sampath Bank will be funding the publication of selected pieces of poetry penned on the ‘Ketapath Pawura’ or ‘Mirror Wall’ by visitors to the Book Fair.
Sampath Bank also sponsored the 11th ‘Swarna Pusthaka’ Awards, for the 8th consecutive year, as part of its commitment to supporting arts and literature in the country. The awards, held alongside the Book Fair, seek to recognize the best work of Sinhala fiction published in the preceding year. Five Sinhala novels, chosen through three rounds of judging, were shortlisted from 125 entries. Known as Sri Lanka’s richest literary prize, the awards come with a purse of Rs.1.25 million – Rs.750,000 to the winner and Rs 100,000 each to the five finalists – all funded by Sampath Bank.
Mr. Tharaka Ranwala, Senior Deputy General Manager – Consumer Banking, Sampath Bank PLC, was the Guest of Honor at the grand awards ceremony held at the BMICH. Saman Wickramarachichi received the 2018 Swarna Pusthaka Award which comes with a cash prize of Rs.750,000 for his novel ‘Appachchi Ewith’. Jayatilaka Kammellaweera, Darshana Shammi Wijethilake, Wimal Udaya Hapugodaarachchi, and Padmini Seneviratne received cash prizes of Rs.100,000 each for having made it to the final five.