Bharti Airtel rolls out first-of-its-kind Carrier Digital Platform for wholesale voice biz View(s):New Delhi – Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecommunications service provider, last week announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind carrier digital platform which will enable global carriers to do wholesale voice business with Airtel at the click of a button. The innovative digital platform [www.airtel.in/global-voice] will offer paperless sign-up, quick voice interconnects and real-time traffic analytics for global carriers across the world, the company said in a media release. To offer a unique model to global carriers, the platform will not only allow customers to buy voice termination services from Airtel but also enable them to propose sell rates for their target markets. Through real-time usage analytics, users can access various real-time online reports that will track key performance indicators (KPIs) including traffic, traffic rates, payment, etc for destinations of their choice. Airtel will soon also provision a single window on the digital platform for product discovery, on-boarding, billing, payment, enquiry, and support across multiple B2B products.
CB watches over rupee trends View(s):The Central Bank (CB), in a bid to curb volatility in the US dollar, has begun monitoring all bills and trades to ascertain the reason for a depreciating Sri Lanka rupee. While the CB has assured of sufficient foreign reserves in an effort to stabilise the market, money market dealers say the fluctuations are essentially due to a supply and demand scenario. However , it is learnt that the International Monetary Fund has urged Sri Lanka to refrain from using foreign reserves to defend the rupee. Since early May, the CB has been pumping dollars in to the market to curb volatility which hasn’t had much of an impact though. Dealers said larger quantities need to be used to contain the depreciating rupee otherwise the dollar rebounds.
CNN blitz gets “conditional” approval By Sunimalee Dias View(s): View(s):The Government this week approved the CNN blitz set to promote the destination but subject to certain observations by the Finance Ministry. The Finance Ministry has asked the Tourism Ministry to follow government procurement guidelines as it had not agreed with the amount that had been entered into by the ministry and CNN. Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga told the Business Times on Friday that the cabinet had approved the CNN campaign and that they would start airing the adverts and programmes in about two weeks. He also said that the digital campaign was taking time due to the procedures involved in the bureaucratic system. This has resulted in further delays for a campaign prompting industry representations on the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Board to request an urgent board meeting to discuss about this issue.
‘Achcharu’ – Sri Lanka’s political pickle View(s):While Kussi Amma Sera and Serapina have dominated these columns with their juicy gossip and ‘handy’ column ideas, this time it was the turn of another equally, belligerent woman to steal the show. “Hema-thenama (everywhere)… achcharu.”It was unclear, I was in a pickle (nope, achcharu) and since I had a puzzled look, KAS went on: “Mahattaya, Mabel Akka-ge achcharu adahas, apey ratey tattvaya gena. Apparently the trio had been in a heated conversation on rising prices based on the latest hike in fuel prices. It’s not rising oil prices, hesitantly passed to consumers which appear to be the problem. While the argument is that local prices should reflect overseas trends, governments present and past have not always followed this route.
Immigration officers threaten work-to-rule repeat if demands unresolved By Sandun Jayawardana View(s): View(s):Immigration officers warned they are prepared to resume their work-to-rule campaign next week, if the Government fails to follow through on its guarantee to address their grievances by Tuesday (22). Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration Officers’ Association (SLIEOA) President Aruna Kanugala told the Sunday Times, they called off their work-to-rule campaign on Friday (18), following talks with the subject Minister of Internal Affairs & Wayamba Development S.B. The 3 key demands made by the SLIEOA are the establishment of a Service Minute for the Immigration & Emigration Service, reinstatement of the Departmental Prosecution Unit and to attach Immigration & Emigration officers to Missions abroad. “We are now prepared to continue with our work-to-rule campaign next week, should the Government go back on its word to finally resolve these issues,” he insisted. The SLIEOA launched a work-to-rule campaign midnight Thursday, causing travel chaos at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), with long delays experienced at the airport’s Departure Terminal.
Gratiaen Prize: Three shortlisted authors share their writings By Yomal Senerath-Yapa View(s): View(s):As a storm raged outside, some of the shortlisted authors for the 2017 Gratiaen Prize came together for a convivial evening where they delved into their writings in particular as well as the craft in general, within the snug library of the British Council Colombo . These included reconstructing the story of the historical Ravana, villified into a demon in the Indian epic. Neshantha Harischandra, meanwhile, spoke of her mother’s village that was the inspiration for her novel, a House Down Queer Street. She had always known that her first novel would be about this village which so fascinated her during Avurudu visits. She read passages that fascinated with insight into the lives of a quaint village gentry or middle class of a bygone age.
Suspension lifted, but SriLankan not using facility for four of five neo planes; why? The CAASL investigated and immediately withdrew ETOPS certification. However, on May 11, CAASL restored ETOPS certification. When asked, SriLankan Airlines said it will provide an answer next week. More than 900 SriLankan departures were late in February, with 280 of them leaving the airport over an hour behind.
“Cricketers are willing to be the game changers” – Pramodya Wickremasinghe By S.R. A disgruntled Wickremasinghe said, “There is a large gathering of high-profile ex-national cricketers who want to have a say in the fate of the game. The only significant income generating move made by the present SLC administration was only the Nidahas Trophy where the Lankans even could not enter the final of a Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India Triangular. But, at the same time, did the minister of sports effect any legislation for a cricketer retiring the game to get involved? He said that what they need is a voice in cricket because the game is gradually slipping down to the point of no return.
US firm GE engines for Railways View(s):General Electric (GE) Transportation has been selected to provide 12 diesel locomotives valued at US$ 48 million to the Sri Lanka Railways, a senior official said. The US Company GE had been selected from among several US, British and Chinese bidders, Railways General Manger S.M.Abeywickrema said. The Railways Chief said the selected locomatives were the best of its kind and would be compatible with the existing rail tracks in the country. The 3000 horsepower engines would serve both passenger and cargo trains, he said. Initially one engine would be brought down and after a three month trial period, the other engines would be purchased, he said.
May 19, 2018 18:56 UTC
No greater sacrifice than this View(s):We enjoy peace today because of the sacrifices the war heroes made during the 30-year war. As the nation remembered them yesterday in ceremonies to mark the ninth anniversary of the defeat of the separatist rebels, a proud mother sits in silent contemplation at the foot of the memorial for the fallen soldiers at Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte. Pic by Indika Handuwala.
May 19, 2018 18:56 UTC
SportIsipathana College fought back to draw against Trinity College in their Cup Segment match of the Singer Schools Under-19 Rugby League Championship played at Havelock Park today (19). At halftime Trinity led 12-6 but Isipathana played better after the turnaround to save the match. Trinity collected their points from two tries, a conversion and a penalty while Isipathana's points came from four penalties.
May 19, 2018 13:07 UTC
NewsIn today's News Sri Lankan security forces made great sacrifices in the march to peace: MinisterSri Lanka achieved peace due to the great sacrifices made by the war heroes in the armed forces, going to the extent of sacrificing their own lives, a top Minister said on Friday at the opening of a Chinese trade exhibition in Colombo. He was speaking to the media at the conclusion of the opening Ceremony of the China Guangxi Products Exhibition Sri Lanka on Friday at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC) in Colombo. Ma Jixian, Deputy Director General, Department of Commerce, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomus Region, in his opening remarks said that in 2017 bilateral trade volume between China and Sri Lanka reached US$4.4 billion. In 2017, trade volume between Guangxi and Sri Lanka totalled $45.73 million with a potential to grow. Yang Zuoyuan, Economic and Commercial Counsellor, Embassy of China in Sri Lanka also addressed the opening ceremony.
May 19, 2018 04:41 UTC
SportIn today's News Sri Lankan security forces made great sacrifices in the march to peace: MinisterSt. Peter's College continued their unbeaten run in the ongoing Singer Schools League Rugby Championship, when they beat Kingswood College by 20-10 in a Cup Segment match at Havelock Park today (18). At halftime both teams were locked even at 7-all after a great contest but the Peterites gained momentum to emerge victorious and remain unbeaten,They scored from two converted tries and two penalties. The visiting Kingswood side scored from a converted try and a penalty.
May 18, 2018 15:56 UTC
Sri Lanka achieved peace due to the great sacrifices made by the war heroes in the armed forces, going to the extent of sacrificing their own li... Features & AnalysisIn pictures : AsymmetryThe cast of Silent Hands recently presented Ric Robinson’s Asymmetry, a story of human relationships that ...'Superman' star Margot Kidder dead at 69Margot Kidder, best known for her role as Lois Lane in the "Superman" films of the 1970s and 80s, has di... In Pictures: 'Fun Home'Captured here are images from the musical ‘Fun Home’ written by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron was pre...“Chaos by SMS” this weekend“Chaos by SMS” is back by popular demand. First staged in November last year, the play was an instant hit...
May 18, 2018 11:03 UTC
NewsColombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake has instructed the Colombo Municipal Commissioner to suspend all fines charged through parking meters. "With regard to the recent complaints on parking meter fines. Pending council approval I have given instructions to the commissioner to suspend all fines charged relating to parking meters," Mrs Senanayake said in a tweet. The Mayor's instructions come after several motorists publicly complained that they had been levied exorbitant fines by the company managing the parking machines within the Colombo city limits.
May 18, 2018 09:00 UTC