NewsTwo more directors have been appointed to the board of SriLankan Airlines. Mr. Wijesinghe is currently the managing director of Alufab, a Hayleys Group company now controlled largely by businessman Dhammika Perera. Mr. Wijesinghe also holds board seats in 17 companies. He joined Hayleys after leaving Sri Lankan in 2008 when the Emirates management contract was terminated by the former government. Oxford-educated Arjuna de Silva, 52, is a physician by profession and has also been director of the Consumer Affairs Authority.
May 19, 2018 19:07 UTC
Mathews, who will be 31 next month, has not featured for Sri Lanka since January 17 owing to a hamstring injury sustained on national duty in Bangladesh. We did everything possible from sprint training to gym training, weight training to rehab to capacity running, you name it. Mathews has been a vital cog in the Sri Lanka team ever since he made his international debut. He has contributed immensely as a bowler, particularly in the ODI format—an advantage Sri Lanka enjoyed during his prime. Sri Lanka endured a rough patch in 2017 but Mathews—the limited-over skipper—believes that, in Chandika Hathurusingha, Sri Lanka has found the perfect mentor to turn fortunes around.
May 19, 2018 19:07 UTC
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.
The sad fate of our majestic elephants View(s):Changes in land-usage patterns have resulted in a continuous contraction of the habitat available to the elephant. Today, the rising elephant population and the continuously shrinking of land availability, has led to food scarcity among the growing numbers of beasts. The food scarcity has led herds roaming in villages and destroying crops. Elsewhere villagers pointed to jak trees and other crops damaged by elephants in their search for food. The growing elephant population is leading to a rising number of clashes between man and beast.
‘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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
Relive those disco nights with Boney M. hits View(s):Remember Daddy Cool, Brown Girl in the Ring and Rivers of Babylon? Boney M. were the disco-kings of the late ’70s with their toe-tapping beats blasting at every party. Boney M. first broke into the music world with “Daddy Cool” when late summer 1976, they appeared on the German TV show Musikladen. In 1980, Boney M. released a greatest hits album, The Magic of Boney M. – 20 Golden Hits, which also contained two new songs, “My Friend Jack” and “I See a Boat on the River”. Enjoy your favourite Boney M. songs from the past with Boney M, featuring Liz Mitchell – the band’s original lead vocalist accompanied by the full 8-piece band, live in Sri Lanka on June 16 at SLECC.
HRCSL painstakingly vets 204 troops for UN peacekeeping By Namini Wijedasa View(s): View(s):The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka is now vetting a list of 204 military personnel nominated by the Sri Lanka Army for UN peacekeeping missions. The HRCSL was conducting an “additional tier” of vetting for 49 Sri Lankan officers who have already been deployed to UNIFIL, he replied. The Commission is also undertaking the vetting of the remaining 101 military personnel who are scheduled to be deployed, he said. “We are working together with the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure that the screening arrangements with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka comply with UN policy,” he said. According to the UN, Sri Lanka is the first nation to be granted the opportunity to vet military personnel for peacekeeping operations by a national Human Rights Commission.