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CILT, Sri Lanka Chairpersons update

12th May 2020

Dear Member,

Covid-19 has impacted our lives and livelihoods. In response CILT locally and globally engaged in activities to meet the Covid-19 threat, supporting the national response. With the easing of curfew restrictions our lives are slowly returning back, but to a new normal. As a result of this enforced curfew, CILTSL was not able to hold its Annual General Meeting and our usual engagements. As a leading professional body we contributed by way of engaging in activities, which the situation demanded. Here is a note on the activities and engagements executed during this period, as most of you were not in a position to engage and contribute with us. We acted responsibly during this period positioning CILTSL in the minds of the community despite the restrictions.

CILTSL Secretariat

Since the curfew was imposed on 16th March, we had to adopt the movement restrictions introduced by the Government and abide by the rules. In view of this, the day-to-day functioning of our CILTSL Secretariat office had to be closed and our team worked from home adapting to a new way of doing business, interacting with our membership remotely. All membership queries and day-to-day business activities were continued, adapting to this new environment. I am happy to inform that we did manage to virtually run the office and all its services within these constraints with an acceptable service level. During this period the first council meeting in the extended term was held virtually via Zoom on 1st April with the second meeting being scheduled for 14th May.

Activities and Engagements (16th March – 12th May)

I would like to take this opportunity to apprise you all on some of the work that was under taken by the institute.

Virtual Viva-Voce

Processing of new membership applications were done through video conferencing to conduct the viva-voce interviews with CILT panel processing them and submitting for approval. The applicants and the panelist found this new experience to be convenient and even suggesting that the virtual viva-voce to be continued in future as well. We will take this suggestion forward.


CILT SL donated PPEs and medical devices for the front line medical staff at the Colombo National Hospital and the 512 Army Brigade in Jaffna.

WiLAT Exco also made a contribution to the Family Health Bureau, which is the focal point of maternal and child health in Sri Lanka to successfully equip the maternal care unit for diagnosed COVID-19 mothers at IDH hospital with supplies.


CILT jointly conducted a webinar with European Chamber of Commerce (ECC) on “ Supply Chain Realities during Covid-19” and 120 participants attended the inaugural webinar. Another followed this on the theme “Rethinking Tourism” which drew an audience of 200. Both webinars were live streamed on face book.

WiLAT organized two webinars during this period, the maiden webinar being on “The Role of Logistics and Supply Chain Industry during the Covid-19 & the Life of the Back Stage Crew” on 23rd April and another to motivate the membership on “Reset Thinking” by Mr Sanjeev Jayarathnam, motivational speaker on 5th May. Two other webinars are scheduled during May.

CILT too conducted a motivational talk on 28th April to “Reboot yourself” by Mr. Ruki De Silva, CEO of 361 Degrees and 57 participated at this lively discussion. Few more programs are planned over the coming weeks.


Daily News interviewed Chairperson on the current Covid-19 crisis and the article was published on 20th April.


CILT launched an Ideathon for the first time to tackle supply chain, transport and logistics challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic situation. The entire competition was held virtually from 22nd April to 2nd May 2020 with 53 submissions received within 3 days and a worldwide participation from 7 countries. The team from CILT, WiLAT and YPF worked virtually to conclude the CILTSLideathon2020 successfully. The panel of judges led by Mr Diren Hallock, Chairman DRH Logistics and Past Chairman CILT, consisted of industry leaders and the winning ideas will be

pitched to investors and CILT would like to reach out to our membership and corporate partners to invest in these ideas. CILT will also initiate an incubator in the future to support these ideators.

Global Best Practice Sharing

During the crisis, our global Institute took many steps to equip our members and fellow professionals with the tools and understanding needed to meet the challenges they face from where ever they are. CILT created a global best practice network to share learnings in dealing with the impact of the virus, 
use these networks to explore ways to adapt to the changing needs of transportation and the supply chain globally, provide countries with information on how to respond to local situations through best practice solutions and utilize effective electronic communication tools to link meetings and experts across the CILT community. 
All information can be reached via

Chairperson CILTSL participated at the first ever CILT Global best practice sharing webinar that was organized by CILT International sharing the Sri Lankan story with CILT Egypt on 22nd April. Global WiLAT also initiated a Covid Chat series and Ms Niroza Gazzali, Vice Chairperson WiLAT SL shared her experience on “Working from home” on 30th April and Mr Thilakarathne Banda, Additional Secretary to Ministry of Transport Services, will be speaking on “Passenger transport for a safe return” at the webinar on 21st May. I am sure the members would have found the Covid-19 bulletins and the local and global best practice sharing webinars useful

Concept Paper to the Government

As a progressive institute we contributed towards the government’s efforts to curtail the Covid-19 epidemic by submitting a concept paper which was initiated by Capt Lasitha Cumaratunga, Immediate Past Chairman CILT to the Covid-19 task force on “Managing the movement of people to minimize the threat of virusfor their consideration and implementation.

Other Engagements

CILT was also approached by NHRDC (National Human Resource Development Council) to assist them in a survey to assess sectoral labour impact during the Covid-19 crisis for international trade and logistics. We hope you would support us by filling in the survey questionnaire, which has already been circulated. Also CILT was invited to be part of the CMA Covid-19 SME Task force to support SMEs on supply chain management advisory services. CILT also will jointly work with PIM (Postgraduate Institute of Management) on a NSF (National Science Foundation) research project to improve food supply chain management. This we consider as a key opportunity to contribute to the national agenda. The initial concept paper had been sent for necessary approvals.

I sincerely hope that the spread of the Covid-19 virus will diminish in the days ahead and our secretariat will continue to operate remotely till the end of the month and will be at your service. Stay safe and together we shall overcome the challenges ahead of us. I wish you good health and happiness. We are Stronger together!

Yours sincerely,

Gayani de Alwis CMILT


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