Sri Lanka war-affected entrepreneurs to be recognised

July 19, 2012 (LBO) – Entrepreneurship awards by a Sri Lankan business chamber will include two new categories this year to recognise women running small enterprises in the former war zone and disabled entrepreneurs. Sri Lanka’s 30-year ethnic war which ended in 2009 left thousands of people disabled on both sides of the conflict and women widowed especially in the north and east which bore the brunt of the violence.

The new awards are part of the ‘Sri Lankan Entrepreneur of the Year 2012’ awards organised by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka and meant to honour enterprising business people.

“We have introduced a new category called the ‘Differently-abled entrepreneur of the year’,” FCCISL president Kumar Mallimaratchi told a news conference.

“Owing to war a lot of people become disabled. We as a chamber think it’s time we look at people with disabilities who are trying to rise as entrepreneurs.”

The awards will recognise entrepreneurial efforts irrespective of whether the entrepreneurs are civilian or former combatants and whether they are ex-military or former Tamil Tiger separatists.

The FCCISL was also partnering with Oxam, a global non-g