The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), the
premier chamber set up in Sri Lanka way back in 1839, which has
developed today into a strong confederation of regional and
sectoral chambers of commerce and industry, trade associations,
employer organizations and bilateral business councils, has
granted affiliated membership to the Business for Peace
The BPA, Sri Lanka’s regional business network
for regional empowerment, conflict transformation and Corporate
Social Responsibility, was established five years ago by the
regional chambers throughout Sri Lanka. The BPA is a ‘bottom up
initiative’, owned and managed exclusively by the regional
business community. The BPA, which operated informally in the
last four years, was institutionalised in September 2006 and set
up a secretariat in Colombo to co-ordinate its activities in all
parts of the island.
"The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has been
associating closely with BPA since its inception and we have
collaborated with BPA in organizing some important joint
projects. These projects have had a significant impact. The BPA
has also been represented in some of the CCC’s sub-committees,
including the Peace and Reconciliation sub-committee and the
Public Awareness sub-committee," stated Mahen Dayananda,
"Since the BPA has institutionalised itself, we
felt that it was fitting that CCC should also formalize its
association with BPA by granting affiliated membership to BPA in
the CCC," said Dayananda.
Dayananda commended BPA initiatives to network
the business community throughout the country, which led to
building business linkages and fostering of peace and
He said that the CCC placed importance on
addressing the current initiatives connected with the process of
peace and reconciliation and BPA’s efforts at regional level
complemented the efforts of the CCC in this context.
"The CCC is also collaborating with the BPA in
promoting the practice of CSR in the regions. We are working
towards the development of the millennium development goals. The
BPA is partnering us to create awareness in this regard and
implement CSR strategies in the regions," said Dayananda.
BPA Chairman H Wijeyanandana hailed the
formalization of the collaboration between BPA and CCC.
"Our network now comprises twenty five (25)
regional business chambers in all the provinces in Sri Lanka.
The membership of two of these chambers is made
up exclusively of women in business," he said.