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Thursday, February 23, 2017

MV Hoegh Tracer
MV Hoegh Tracer

World’s largest car, truck carrier

MV Hoegh Tracer, the world’s largest car and truck carrier is scheduled to call at Hambantota port during the first week of March 2017. The ship’s owning company Hoegh Autoliners AS uses Hambantota port as a major transshipment hub for their cargo destined for various parts of the world.

The vessel is plying under MIAF service (Middle East, India & Africa Service).The ship ‘Hoegh Tracer’ is 200-meter long and 36-meter wide vessel capable of carrying 8,500 vehicles on her 14 decks having space of 71,400 square meters equivalent to 10 football grounds.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

BankTech Asia 2017 aims to gather 100 bankers to discuss the future of banking in this new landscape
BankTech Asia 2017 aims to gather 100 bankers to discuss
the future of banking in this new landscape
The fintech wave has arrive on the shore of many Asian countries, with banks and regulators alike from countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and India reacting to the disruption.

Sri Lanka being part of the global economy is not immune to this trend. Its financial services sector is on the fast track to entering this new era of banking with innovative initiatives like augmented reality, digital wallets and the National Payments Platform coming out of the local sector.
The organisers of the long-running BankTech Asia Series said that the event aims to bring together local and international senior level bankers to discuss and explore how the Sri Lanka financial services sector should navigate this new landscape.

“We’ve been present in Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines while the fintech conversation was still nascent and witnessed the trend explode into what it is today. We hope to take our experience in facilitating these conversations to Sri Lanka and help shape the future of the industry” – Vincent Fong, General Manager, Knowledge Group.
The organisers has identified remittance as one of the core areas that is ripe for disruption as it makes up 9%-10% of the country’s GDP. Based on the World Bank’s estimate, it is widely believed that 50% of remittances are done through informal channels which has exorbitant fees that can go as high as 10%-15% of the principle.

Another area that was identified for disruption is the digital payments space with only 2% of the population utilising the internet to buy things and pay their bills. There’s tremendous opportunity for incumbent banks or fintech start-ups to become to become dominant this unoccupied space
This two-day conference happening on the 21st and 22nd March 2017 in Taj Samudra Colombo will present various local and international experts from the industry as follows:

Local Experts
  • ·         Dr. P. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka
  • ·         Channa De Silva, CEO Lanka Clear
  • ·         Rajendra Theagarajah – Deputy Chairman, Cargills Bank
  • ·         Ajith Salgado, CIO, Sampath Bank
  • ·         S.Muralidharen, Board Member SLASSCOM (Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Company)
  • ·         Dr. Ganga Tilakaratna, Head Poverty and Social Welfare Policy, Institute Policy Studies
  • ·         Mangala Wickramasinghe, Head of Payment Cards & Electronic Delivery Channel Hatton National Bank
  • ·        Chandika Mendis – Executive Vice President & Head of Engineering, Virtusa Polaris
  • ·         Dinesh Fernandopulle – CEO, Synapsys
  • ·         Anthony Watson, Country Manager, VISA


International Experts

  • ·         Vivek Bhanot, Business Intelligence Director, VPBank, Vietnam
  • ·         Jasmine Ng, Head PMO, Group Digital, Maybank, Malaysia
  • ·         Jack C. Liu, Chief Strategy Officer, OKLink, Hong Kong
  • ·         Joe Cunningham, SVP Head Risk Asia Pacific, Singapore
  • ·         Ruben Tan, Chief Technology Officer, Neuroware, Malaysia

Monday, February 20, 2017

The British Council in Sri Lanka
(From Left) Sajeewa Meepage - Manager Schools Programme,
David Maynard - Deputy Country Director, Lucas Bak -
Branch Manager Kandy, Karen Fulton - Head Teacher - St. Joseph's

Responsible Education for the 21st Century.’ 

The British Council in Sri Lanka hosted media and guests at an event to celebrate UK-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue under the theme of ‘Responsible Education for the 21st Century.’ The event was held at the Mahaweli Reach Hotel in Kandy on Thursday 16 February.

This initiative is linked to British Council’s Schools Programme, which aims to connect the UK and Sri Lankan school sectors to enrich education, promote global citizenship and build international trust and understanding. The programme helps teachers bring awareness and understanding of global issues to young people by linking ‘classrooms’ and schools, between the UK, Sri Lanka and other overseas countries. 
Since 2012 the programme has supported over 300 links, delivered courses and online training to over 1000 Sri Lankan teachers and enhanced the leadership skills of 150+ other head teachers across Sri Lanka.


The British Council in Sri Lanka  addressing
(From Left)David Maynard - Deputy Country Director, Lucas Bak -
Branch Manager Kandy, Karen Fulton -
Head Teacher - St. Joseph's Academy

The focus of the 21st century skills training is embedding 21st century learning skills into local classroom practices. This was initiated in June 2015. The training offered professional development opportunities for Sri Lankan teachers and head teachers on six 21st century skills through class room based educational action research. These skills are; student leadership and personal development, citizenship, communication and collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and imagination, and digital literacy.

After completing classroom action research, teachers were eligible to apply for professional partnership and with a partner school in the UK. Over an 18 month period the British Council has trained 800 teachers and 250 head teachers via this course. The Central Province in particular was a keen partner, with 5 out of 11 successful partnerships.  190 teachers and head teachers received the above training from the central province.

Commenting on the initiative, British Council Country Director Keith Davies said, “We strongly believe that there is no substitute for a determined and accomplished teacher in the classroom. At a time when everything can be found on the internet, equipping our teachers with the right skills to communicate with the 21st-century student is vital. Our training has produced a strong cohort of teachers to take charge of the classroom with new learnings and vision.”


11 UK schools and 22 delegates participated in the event alongside their local counterparts, along with a group of selected head teachers, trainers and British Council School Ambassadors, from the Central Province who had successfully completed the training programme.

About the British Council:

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Asela Gunaratne 84 caps stunning series win for Sri Lanka
Asela Gunaratne 84 caps stunning series win for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka vs  Australia 2nd T20I

Sri Lanka beat Australia by two wickets. All-rounder Asela Gunaratne smashed a boundary off the last ball to secure a thrilling two-wicket victory for Sri Lanka against Australia in the second Twenty20 Internationals.

"Asela's was an amazing innings, We lost too many wickets early but Asela finished the game for us. Winning in Australia is a huge achievement. This is Asela's first tour to Australia and we are happy." Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga said. 

Australia will host the third and final T20 match at Adelaide on February 22.


Friday, February 17, 2017

EFL express
EFL Express, ExpoLanka Freight’s domestic
 operation opens its second center in Galle
EFL Express opened its second service centre in Galle this month. The domestic logistics provider has been based in Colombo since it was founded a year ago, and with this expansion hopes to bring its expertise to another key strategic location in the country.
EFL Express is a subsidiary of ExpoLanka Freight, a leading logistics service provider in the region. EFL is a prominent logistics company and one of the largest freight forwarders in Asia, with operations in 18 countries and business in four continents. EFL Express was established to service the domestic market for small and medium parcels just over a year ago. With initial operations based in Orugodawatte, the company quickly expanded its fleet to include a range of small trucks, three wheelers and bikes in addition to the over 1200 contracted trucks used by other EFL divisions.
The company’s overnight delivery service covers 70% of Sri Lanka, with business delivery in the main centres by 9.30 am the next working day. The service has proved to be very popular - on any given working day EFL Express will make 250-300 deliveries island wide. Customers can easily track their items via EFL’s live tracking feature. “Our clients are kept informed and in control when it comes to the delivery of their documents and parcels,” says EFL Express Director Niroza Gazzali. “EFL’s technology and infrastructure allows you to keep track of the progress as it happens, live.”
As EFL Express operates on a custom-built network designed by company engineers, it possesses the advantage of greater flexibility and influence when it comes to fine-tuning the system to better serve its busy clients. The idea is to introduce an agile and individualised service in which the customer’s parcel stays within the EFL Express chain until it is safely delivered to the recipient’s door. For this, the Express team developed apps in-house for use by both delivery agents and customers.
With the opening of the Galle branch, EFL Express is making progress with its mission to connect Sri Lanka. The Galle outlet will be followed by the opening of another branch in the Central Province, says Saif Yusoof, Managing Director of Expolanka Freight (Pvt) Ltd. “We have shortlisted a few key strategic locations to help us strengthen our role as a key domestic logistics provider for small and medium packages. He also added, “We’re proud to serve the local communities we work in, ensuring their business and personal delivery needs are met, taken on board and expertly provided. Our difference is simple- we don’t just deliver packages, we deliver reliability by connecting Sri Lanka.”

Samsung leader Lee Jae-yong arrested in bribery probe
Samsung leader Lee Jae-yong arrested in bribery probe
The billionaire heir to Samsung Lee Jae-yong has been arrested on suspicion of bribery. In a blow to the world’s biggest smartphone maker, Lee Jae-Yong, chairman at Samsung Electronics and the only son of Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, was formally arrested after the Seoul central district court issued a warrant on Thursday night.

Mr. Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and son of the Samsung group head Lee Kun-hee, is accused of paying nearly $36 million in bribes to PresidentPark's secret confidante to secure policy favors.

Those are alleged to include government support for a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015 that helped Mr. Lee, 48, inherit corporate control from his incapacitated father, Lee Kun-hee, the chairman.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Mr. Harin Fernando
Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure
 Mr. Harin Fernando

“Google is ready, but unfortunately in Sri Lanka things do not move the way that we wanted,” - Harin Fernando

Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure in Sri Lanka, Mr. Harin Fernando said a media briefing that Google was looking towards launching the Google Loon Project in another country as a result of the delay on the part of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and as a result of negative publicity given by those who does not want the project to go through.

“Unfortunately Sri Lanka might lose an excellent opportunity and I have already informed about this situation to both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe,” the Minister said. “Google might go for another country as they might think Sri Lankan people are not ready for such a project, 

On the 28th of July, 2015, an MOU was signed between ICTA, Google Loon and two of its affiliates Lotus Flare Holdings limited and Rama Co. for the purpose of formalizing working relationships and facilitating pilot project implementation.


Google Loon Project

Pervasive as the Internet seems, less than half of the world’s population has access to it, leaving some four billion people unconnected. This spring, engineers at Google’s Project Loon will shift to the next phase in a grand plan to bring Internet to everyone. The goal: a network of high-altitude balloons (Loon is a play off the word) that will rain 4G LTE signals down to anyone with a 4G device. With it, farmers in remote areas will be able to access weather data; rural children will be able to pursue online educations; and Google will have four billion more eyeballs on its search engine. By year’s end, Loon aims to have 100 balloons in the stratosphere, about 12.5 miles overhead.
The MOU on Sport Development co-operation was signed by the Australian Minister for Sport and Health Greg Hunt and Sri Lankan Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara.
The MOU on Sport Development co-operation was signed by
the Australian Minister for Sport and Health Greg Hunt
and Sri Lankan Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara.

Sri Lanka has no better friend than Australia

Sri Lanka and Australia signed several Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) on Sport Development co-operation and Economic co-operation at the Parliament premises in Canberra in the of the Prime Ministers of Sri Lanka and Australia -- Ranil WickremesingheSri Lanka and Australia signed several Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) on Sport Development co-operation and Economic co-operation at the Parliament premises in Canberra in the of the Prime Ministers of Sri Lanka and Australia -- Ranil Wickremesinghe and Malcolm Turnbull - after bilateral talks held at the Parliament House. 

The MOU on Sport Development co-operation was signed by the Australian Minister for Sport and Health Greg Hunt and Sri Lankan Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara. The MOU on Economic co-operation was signed by the Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Bryce Hutchesson and the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, Sri Lanka Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunghe.

Addressing media, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka has no better friend than Australia."We have worked together, we have been together in the most difficult times, and have stood with us during the internal conflict in Sri Lanka," 


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Barista Team
Barista Team

The Grand Barista Challenge honed in the coffee connoisseurs of Barista Sri Lanka Thuwan Suraj from Barista World Trade Centre wins Grand Barista Challenge

The Coffee-making experts from Barista Sri Lanka showed off their latte art and espresso cocktails, demonstrating skills and speed as they sought to be crowned the Grand Barista Challenge Champion 2016. In the annual challenge held for the fourth consecutive year; as coffee specialists and milk mongers gathered to sing the praise of their favourite beverage.
According to the senior team at Barista, the Grand Barista Challenge is all about baristas becoming better and better at their job. It’s about their time management, skill and supremacy over the grinding process, correct measurement, powder dozing and pressing of your espresso and overall flare.
 “We are very proud of Thuwan, who has competed in this challenge for the third consecutive year and has come out as the top Barista for 2016. He will be sent for further training to India, where Lavazza has one of two plants outside of Italy with world-class, fully automated manufacturing unit covering an area of 40,000 square meters.
coffee Art
coffee Art
The judges of the competition included Milza Richado (F&B Consultant at Galle Face Hotel); Kias Borum (Café Consultant); Damith Dalawalla (Training and Development Barista); Salinda Hewapathirana (Head of Product Development and Training – Lavazza Sri Lanka) and Jerom Romesh (Business Development Manager - Delonghi); who said that there has been a tremendous improvement year on year in the competition.
The Grand Barista Challenge was started in 2012 with the intention of creating a competitive and learning experience within the Barista Group. This year the six finalists that battled it out for the final spot where Romana and Thuwan from the World Trade Centre outlet; Woody from Pinnawala; Pasan from Ella; Chathura and Praveen from the Café Mocha outlet. This year's winner Thuwan was the first barista to present his three beverages to the judges on the day of the competition in a period of fifteen minutes, of which his signature drink was a milky coffee infused with mango.
Thuwan’s newfound triumph has brought pride to his team at WTC Barista; He is excited about his to India and the opportunity to represent Barista at the Barista Championship of Sri Lanka. “Most of all, I am looking forward to going to the roastery. Not all baristas are given the opportunity to see the place where some of the Lavazza blends are is being roasted for the regions specifications.”

 The six finalists were selected through an elimination process with over 60 applicants entering the challenge from across the Barista network of fifteen outlets in the Island. The applicants had to prove adept in many departments. They had to be skilled at the art of tasting coffee; brewing, in which the barista must brew a coffee using manual methods to the best of his or her ability; signature drink, in which a signature coffee-based cocktail is made; espresso blending; latte art; and handling orders, a skill was proven by making three drinks in fifteen minutes. Barista, the first coffee bistro in Sri Lanka opened in 2002 to serve Sri Lanka with the finest brew of authentic Italian coffee culture.
Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin celebrates 69th Anniversary of the Independence Day
Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin celebrates 69th
Anniversary of the Independence Day
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin celebrated the 69th Anniversary of the Independence day on 4th February 2017, at at the Embassy premises. Around 300 guests, including senior officers from the German Federal Foreign Office, journalists and members of the Sri Lankan Community attended the event.

Among the special guests were Ambassador Sabine Sparwasser – Director General of the Asia Pacific Division of the German Foreign Office and Frank Mückisch – District Councillor for the Division of Education, Culture, Sports and Social Affairs.The participants also enjoyed a traditional Sri Lankan meal organized by the Embassy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

No changes in visa policy - US embassy
No changes in visa policy - US embassy
The Embassy of the United States of America, in Sri Lanka announced that the new US administration has not made any changes to the existing visa policy regarding Sri Lankan applicants.

The US Embassy in Sri Lanka said, “US visa policy in regards to Sri Lanka has NOT changed. Rumors to the contrary are false.” Several media outlets circulated reports containing new regulations for Sri Lankan visa applicants following the Executive order issued by US President Donald Trump restricting travel for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.

accordingly, The Embassy of the United States of America in Sri Lanka rejected all media reports pertaining to the matter.


Sri Lanka Prime Minister awarded an honorary doctorate
Sri Lanka Prime Minister awarded an honorary doctorate 
Sri Lanka’s prime minister Ranil wickremesinghe was awarded the honorary doctorate in law at a graduation ceremony at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia for significant contributions in reforms in economy, education and human rights in Sri Lanka, he awarded on the first day of his official visit to Australia.

The award recognises his efforts to help Sri Lanka transition from a country traumatised by protracted, violent conflict toward a stable democracy.

Sri Lanka Prime Minister leaved on 13th FEB 2017 for Australia on the invitation of the Australian Government.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Australian government issues lowers travel advisory for Sri Lanka
Australian government issues lowers travel advisory for Sri Lanka
Australian government has updated their travel advisories its degree on Sri Lanka. up to level 1, which is the highest level in the Australian Travel Advisories. it is another positive turning point in the tourism industry.

The travel advisory is periodically updated by the Foreign Affairs and Trade Department in consultation with the Australian High Commission in Colombo, diplomatic missions of like minded countries and the relevant Australian agencies. With this step taken, more Australians will be encouraged to visit Sri Lanka, as a tropical country filled with natural resources, cultural heritage and plenty of historical sites.

The Australian travel advisory uses four levels of travel advice. Level 4 is considered as the lowest level in the advisory. It is indicated as ‘Do not travel’. The Australian travel advisory gives information and safety precautions on several fields. They are: entry and exit, safety and security, local travel, laws, health and additional information. 

Sri Lanka Tourism, as one of the major hubs that promotes and contributes immensely to develop the country’s tourism sector considers this as a great opportunity the country has achieved in the tourism industry. Up to December 2016, 74,496 tourist arrivals from Australia were reported, which is a 17.2 increase year-on-year.

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visits Australia
Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
visits Australia
Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will leave for Australia on a four-day official visit on the invitation of the Australian Government. the Government Information Department says the visit will also signify the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Australia.

The delegation is to hold bilateral discussions with the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and several other ministers in Melbourne and Canberra. Several bilateral agreements will also be signed between Sri Lanka and Australia during the visit. 

The Premier will be accompanied by Prof. Maithri Wickremesinghe, Ministers Vijith Vijithamuni Soyza, Arjuna Ranathunghe, Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva, Secretary to the Prime Minister Saman Ekanayake, Additional Secretary Saman AthaudaHetti, and the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Sandra Perera. 
Electric elevators, cable car service at Sigiriya Fortress
Electric elevators, cable car service at Sigiriya Fortress
Sri Lanka government has drawn attention towards installing electric elevators for the convenience of local and foreign tourists Sigiriya Fortress. Sri Lanka Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam who visited the Dambulla Cave Temple on an inspection tour saw that the murals at the temple were facing danger and instructed officials to launch a program to conserve the murals.
It is also intended to use electric motor vehicles for travel around Sigiriya to ensure an environment sans noise and air pollution. 
The minister later opened the new tourist ticket issuing center at Sigiriya.


Sigiriya 

Sigiriya rock rises 200 meters above lush green jungles, and is a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. Asia’s oldest landscaped gardens and ponds encircle this rock fortress, and at its summit is the renegade King Kasyapa’s “palace in the sky”. Fifth century ingenuity and skill produced a luxurious royal citadel with ramparts, moats, gateways, and a well laid out city, complete with bathing pools and gardens. 

On the climb up you could view the Mirror Wall, which still produces a glass-like reflection 1500 years after it was first created. Also on the way up you would see the famous Sigiriya frescoes – exquisite images of bare-breasted maidens painted on the rock face thousands of years ago. Located in the Cultural Triangle, Sigiriya is situated in the district of Matale.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Steven Mayes, Managing Director, JLL Sri Lanka
Steven Mayes, Managing Director, JLL Sri Lanka

“I’m very confident that Steven will work effectively with his team in Sri Lanka -Ms. Singh

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), Sri Lanka’s leading real estate consulting firm, announced the appointment of Steven Mayes as full-time Managing Director of its Sri Lanka operations. Mr. Mayes bring 35+ years of experience in real estate to JLL’s Sri Lanka business and will be based in Colombo. He is expected to advance the firm’s status as the leading real estate services provider in the country and explore new opportunities in an economy with significant growth potential.

JLL entered the Sri Lanka real estate market in 2012 to tap into a growing demand for organized commercial, residential, investment and managed real estate services. Outgoing Chairperson-JLL Sri Lanka and CEO-Business of JLL India Gagan Singh welcomed Mr. Mayes to the company, noting that his extensive experience in residential, office, retail and industrial transactions would help him advance the work done by the Sri Lankan team and expand presence in the country.

“With the maturity of working in an evolved economy and the experience of surmounting emerging market challenges, Steven has a great aptitude for business development, team building, nurturing relationships – and, most importantly, an ethical approach to business,” noted Ms. Singh. “I’m very confident that Steven will work effectively with his team in Sri Lanka to leverage the opportunities of this exciting growth market for JLL, and explore potential cross-border opportunities.”

Mr. Mayes is a British national with extensive experience in the UK and Middle East. He is transitioning to his role in Sri Lanka from a long spell as Director of Sales and Agency for a commercial real estate provider in the Middle East and North Africa. Prior to that, he was based in the UK, South Africa and Middle East in various roles of leading sales and marketing teams. His expertise in sales, coupled with a management style of leading from the front, will help Mr. Mayes explore diverse growth opportunities in Sri Lanka, whose economy is currently experiencing a boom in real estate.

“JLL Sri Lanka has established a strong client base and powerful relationships empowered by a very talented team,” said Mr. Mayes. “I look forward to strengthening our presence in the country, with growth opportunities certainly available. We will also continue to bring an ethical approach to everyday business as we tap into Sri Lanka’s positive economic environment to deliver sustained results.”

JLL is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients in more than 80 countries worldwide. The Fortune 500 Company operates from 280 corporate offices with a global workforce of 70,000 providing management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 4 billion square feet. In 2015, the company completed USD 138 billion in sales, acquisitions and financial transactions. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint a committee of experts on SAITM issue
President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint a committee of experts
on SAITM issue

SAITM issue

Sri Lanka president Maithripala Sirisena says that he will appoint a committee of experts to consult all parties and advise the government with regard to the private medical college (SAITM) in Malabe.The President said that the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) and Sri Lanka Dental Association (SLDA) have submitted their respective proposals on the SAITM issue “GMOA and SLDA submitted their proposals on SAITM issue.

Meanwhile, Deans of all 8 Medical Faculties have presented a series of proposals to the Government including solutions to the crisis surrounding the Malabe Private Medical College. Accordingly, the proposals include the temporary suspension of new enrollments, offering registration upon proper training and few others.

SAITM

South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine Ltd. or SAITM has been established under Companies Act No. 07 of 2007 and recognised with the authority to award Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree as of 30 August 2011 by the University Grants Commission. 6 The first batch of MBBS graduates from SAITM is expected to be announced in 2016. However, the Sri Lanka Medical Council had informed the Minster for Health by a letter dated 25 September 2015 that “The degree awarded by SAITM should not be recognised for the purpose of registration under the Medical Ordinance”. This decision is based on an inspection of the Malabe premises by SLMC earlier this year.
Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris celebrates 69th Anniversary of the Independence Day
Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris celebrates 69th Anniversary of the Independence Day
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris celebrated the 69th Anniversary of the Independence day on February 4, at Espace Saint Pierre in Paris. The National Anthem was sung in both Sinhala and Tamil by two groups of students followed by a two minute silence for all Sri Lankans who have sacrificed their lives on behalf of the country. The traditional oil lamp was lit by Ambassador Tilak Ranaviraja and a group of children representing the four main ethnicities in Sri Lanka; Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Burgher.

The national day messages of President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera were read out by the Ambassador and members of the staff.

Ambassador Ranaviraja in his remarks highlighted the importance of national unity for advancing meaningful reconciliation and economic development which are also the policy priorities of the Government. He invited the Sri Lankan community living in France to join in the development process of the country. Cultural performances featuring different dancing traditions of the country to display its rich cultural heritage made the event more vibrant. Guests were treated to a traditional Sri Lankan meal consisting of rice and curry at the end of the event.
Over 550 invitees from the Sri Lankan community were participated to the even.

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