CASA conducts 54th Annual General Meeting

Monday, 7 September 2020 00:19 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

2020-2021 Executive Committee

CASA Chairman Iqram Cuttilan presenting a token of appreciation to Minister of Ports and Shipping Rohitha Abeygunawardena

CASA Vice Chairperson Shehara Jayawardana presenting a token of appreciation to Ministry of Ports and Shipping Secretary U. D. C. Jayalal​

CASA Treasurer Shano Sabar presenting a token of appreciation to SLPA Chairman General Daya Ratnayake

CASA, the voice of the shipping industry held their Annual General Meeting on 26 August at the Shangri-La Hotel. 

Minister of Ports and Shipping Rohitha Abegunawardhane graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping U.D.C. Jayalal, Secretary Ministry of Defence Major General (Retd.) Kamal Gunaratne, Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs Admiral (Prof.) Jayanath Colombage, Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman General Daya Ratnayake, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Sri Lanka Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva Army, 

Senior Officials of the Sri Lanka Navy; Director General of Customs Major General (Retd.) Vijitha Ravipriya, Director General of Merchant Shipping Ajith Seneviratne, South Asia Gateway Terminals Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Romesh David, Hambantota International Port Group Chief Executive Officer Ray Ren, and Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Jack Huang graced the occasion.

Officials from industry stakeholder associations and companies, terminals, ports and a large number of CASA members attended the AGM and the reception that followed. 

Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd. Managing Director Iqram Cuttilan was elected as Chairman for a second term, McLarens Shipping Ltd. Group Joint Managing Director Shehara Jayawardana was elected as Vice Chairperson for a second term. Hayleys Advantis Ltd. Group Director M.I.S. Sabar will also continue a second term as the Treasurer being elected so. 

In his speech CASA Chairman Iqram Cuttilan congratulated the new Minister and the State Minister on their appointments to overlook the key ministry which is the heart of the Sri Lankan economy. 

“The Minister is no stranger to the shipping industry having been a former Project Minister of Ports,” he added.

Cuttilan said CASA has been the representative body of the shipping industry and has played a pivotal role in the industry in Sri Lanka. The leadership given by the past Chairmen and the Executive Committees for the past several decades has been the strength of the association. “Whilst the shipping industry has been facing numerous challenges during the past decade, 2020 has been an exceptionally tough year for the lines,” CASA Chief said. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic affected the whole world shutting down most countries and affecting cargo movement. Overall cargo movement saw a big dip between April and July. This affected cargo volumes carried by lines resulting in shipping lines having blank sailings, withdrawing certain services resulting in a large number of vessels idling,” he revealed. 

According to him cargo which was discharged at ports lay idle as consignees could not clear cargo due to the lock down in most countries. This caused congestion in most ports including Colombo. Lines were called upon to grant demurrage waivers etc. to consignees which further financially burdened the shipping lines. 

Cuttilan also conveyed CASA’s sincere appreciation to SLPA Chairman General Daya Ratnayake for the proactive measures taken to facilitate the clearance of import cargo. He also thanked the management and staff of the JCT, SAGT and CICT Terminals, Customs, Immigration, Police and other authorities for working nonstop under trying conditions to facilitate the movement of cargo, handle cargo operations and handle all the vessels that called at the Port of Colombo without causing any disruptions or delays. 

CASA’s appreciation was also extended to the support rendered by Admiral (Prof.) Jayanath Colombage, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, Rear Admiral Y.N. Jayaratne, the Navy and the officials of the Health Ministry to carry out the transfer of Sea Marshalls without interruption. In addition gratitude was extended to the Commander of the Army and his team for the support rendered in the exchange of ship’s crew.

The newly elected CASA Ex-Co is as follows:

Chairman Iqram Cuttilan, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd

Vice Chairperson Shehara Jayawardane, Jt. Managing Director, McLarens Shipping Ltd

Treasurer Shano Sabar, Group Director, Hayleys Advantis Ltd


Asha Shipping Ltd.

BTL Lanka Ltd

Ceyline Agencies Ltd

Ceylon Shipping Corporation Ltd

Hemas Maritime Ltd

Malship (Ceylon) Ltd.

Marine International Agencies Ltd

Setmil United Cargo Ltd

Simatech Marine Lanka Ltd

The Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents, well known by the acronym CASA, is the voice of the shipping industry of Sri Lanka and has served the industry with unwavering focus and dedication since the association began as the Ceylon Shipping Committee in 1944.

Its members represent all international shipping lines who call Sri Lankan Ports due to its very strategic location in close proximity to the main international shipping lanes. 

Members of CASA are involved in vessel agency, husbanding services and act as manning/crewing agents for leading ship owners and managers. CASA members also provide various other services to ship owners/managers in the ports of Sri Lanka and at off port locations.  Through regular dialogue with stakeholders; Government institutions, regulatory bodies and other government and private sector agencies, CASA seeks to effect an interchange of ideas and information, represent and advocate the views of the association in all official fora and shape the future of the industry by investing in education and training for its members and working with maritime training academies to train Sea Farers.

Pix by Upul Abayasekara

Chief of Defense Staff and Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Secretary Ministry of Defense Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne, Minister of Ports and Shipping Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Ministry of Ports and Shipping Secretary U. D. C. Jayalal, SLPA Chairman General Daya Ratnayake and Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage