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The Kilinochchi Railway Station, rebuilt by the Corporate Social Responsibility Trust of Commercial Bank of Ceylon as a demonstration of the Bank’s commitment to the people of Sri Lanka, was ceremonially declared open by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday 14th September 2013.
The Commercial Bank’s reconstruction of this important station along the northern railway line is an acknowledgement of the major part Kilinochchi has played in the economic activities of the Northern Province as one of the major agrarian cultivation destinations in the Island from pre-historic times.
Located in the heart of Kilinochchi town, the station has been built with access for disabled people as well. The Bank also has constructed ladies’ and gents’ rest rooms and wash rooms with disabled access and built the station to standards stipulated by Sri Lanka Railways.
Commercial Bank has also installed an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at the Kilinochchi Railway Station in a gesture of support to the commuters who will use the northern railway line. The new ATM is the landmark 575th ATM of the Bank and provides 24-hour access to funds held in any of the 232 Commercial Bank branches and service points in Sri Lanka. This ATM machine was also declared open by His Excellency the President.
The President boarded the Yal Devi train from Omanthai, resuming train services after 23 years along the newly reconstructed track which is 63 kilometres long, for the 40 minute journey to the newly built Kilinochchi railway station. The Chairman of Commercial Bank Mr. Dinesh Weerakkody, Chairman of the Bank’s CSR Trust Mr. Lakshman Hulugalle and the Chief Operating Officer Mr. Jegan Durairatnam were among the dignitaries who boarded the train for this historic journey.
Minister of Transport Hon. Kumara Welgama, Minister of Traditional Enterprises and Small Industries Development Hon. Douglas Devananda, Deputy Minister of Transport Hon. Rohana Dissanayake, Governor of Northern Province Mr. G A Chandrasiri, His Excellency Y.K. Sinha, the High Commissioner of India and management of Commercial Bank participated in this ceremony.
Commenting on the Bank’s role in reconstruction of Kilinochchi railway station Mr. Weerakkody said: “It is a momentous day in Sri Lankan history when we see the South and North connected once again through the railway network. It signifies a significant step forward in rebuilding relationships between those residing in the North and the rest of the country. We take pride in partnering this initiative which should speed up the socio-economic development of the entire country. We are honoured and privileged to be here alongside His Excellency the President whose presence at this opening confirms the government’s vision for peace and stability.”
“Commercial Bank aims to create a “better future” for society and believes that projects which enhance communicating and enhance infrastructure such as this venture are vital for fast-tracking the development of the country.”
Commercial Bank currently serves the Northern Province with 13 branches. The Bank has donated fully-equipped IT Labs to schools in Kilinochchi and Vavuniya, donated computers to the Jaffna University and provided critical care equipment to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital in past CSR initiatives in the region. This project is the Bank’s biggest CSR project in one location.
Among the principal activities supported by the Commercial Bank CSR Trust are the donation of IT education facilities to rural schools, the grant of annual scholarships and laptops to undergraduates, supporting health projects around the country, English education programmes for rural children, welfare activities for war heroes and preserving culture and heritage.
The largest private bank in Sri Lanka, Commercial Bank is the only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the world’s top 1000 banks for three successive years. The Bank has been adjudged ‘Best Bank in Sri Lanka’ for 15 consecutive years by ‘Global Finance’ Magazine and has won multiple awards as the country’s best bank from ‘The Banker,’ ‘FinanceAsia,’ ‘Euromoney’ and ‘Trade Finance’ magazines.