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Sri Lanka officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. Known until 1972 as Ceylon, Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest across the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait, and the Maldives to the southwest.


Sri Lanka Web Server is Sri Lanka's latest e-commerce & news web site. With a wide variety of information coverage it’s primary goal is to provide a world class service to Sri Lankans and Foreigners alike. Basically focusing mainly in promoting inbound tourism, e-business and highlighting the on going development activities in the country in our journey towards becoming the Wonder of Asia within a few years.


Developing Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Export Sector records a five percent growth

The export sector, a key driver of the economy rebounded from last year’s sluggish pace to record a five percent growth during the first quarter of this year as against the corresponding quarter last year. Revenue from exports rose from US$ 1,739 million in the first quarter last year to US$ 1,823 million this year.
This is a noteworthy increase given the slow economic recovery in key markets in Europe and other export markets, Chairman, Export Development Board, Bandula Egodage said.
Merchandise export income rose seven percent to US$ 11,118 million in 2014 compared to US$ 10,394 million in 2013. Merchandise export revenue excludes revenue from Information Technology exports.
The main contributor to exports is the apparel sector which accounts for around 40 percent of exports to the EU region. Textiles, tea, cinnamon, rubber based products, fish, ceramics, processed and fresh fruits and vegetables and ornamental fish are some of the main export items from Sri Lanka.
“Sri Lanka has some of the best entrepreneurs who could carve a niche area in the global market with value-added products,” Egodage added.

Courtesy : development.lk

President launches program to electrify rural Sri Lanka

President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday launched a rural electrification program to provide electricity to 12,850 families in rural areas of the country.
The ‘Soorya Mangallaya Aluth Avurudhu Eliya’ program was symbolically launched under the patronage of President Sirisena today at the President’s Office.
The program, implemented under the ‘Vindulamu Lanka’ rural electrification scheme, seeks to provide electricity to the families before the New Year.
The enforcement of 758 Rural Electrification Schemes and Power Extensions, for which work has been completed in each district, symbolically took place today at the President’s Office. The Government has spent Rs. 1.975 billion on the program.
Speaking at the event, the President noted that the supply of power to the village was a massive investment made on the behalf of the future generation.
“The real objective of development should be to bridge the gap between the town and the village. With the provision of electricity to villagers and with rural children receiving new technology, the village communities will have the opportunity to win over the world,” the President commented.
The President added said that that the aim of the development programs of the present Government was to eliminate the poverty of rural residents and provide them with the facilities presently being enjoyed by people in urban areas.
Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, Secretary to the President P.B. Abeykoon and Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy B.M.S. Batagoda were among those present at the occasion.

Courtesy : development.lk

Sri Lanka Govt. allocates Rs.450 mn for national schools

Sri Lanka's Education Ministry has allocated Rs. 450 million for 352 national school for 2015.
Accordingly, a national school with 3,000 students or more will receive Rs 1.5 million and a school with less than 3,000 students will receive Rs. 500 for each student. A school with 300 students will receive Rs. 100,000, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said.
Addressing the media at the Education Ministry on Wednesday (08), the Minister pointed out that the allocations will be utilized to uplift of teaching and learning processes, teacher training, teacher capacity building programmes and subject based extra curricular activities.
About 40 percent of the allocations can be utilized for maintenance and renovation activities of school buildings and instruments, the minister further said.

Courtesy : development.lk

Academic Cooperation Agreement deal to be inked

The Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) of Sri Lanka and the National Defence University(NDU) of Pakistan are set to sign an Academic Cooperation Agreement (ACA), the Government Information Department said The agreement will be formally inked during the visit of President Maithripala Sirisena to Pakistan.

The ACA is a proposal of Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

The aim of the initiative is to extend the scope of collaborations, bi-lateral exchanges and share expertise on related educational activities.

Courtesy : development.lk

National Centre to uplift households headed by women in Kilinochchi

The government has taken a decision to establish a National Centre for the uplift of households headed by women in Kilinochchi. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has initiated this decision on a request by the people of the North to establish this centre in their area since many women who lost their husbands live in Kilinochchi.

The persons who suffered the most due to the war are women and children. In the North alone, there are nearly 50,000 families headed by women. They are made destitute due to their inability to provide food, accommodation and educational needs to their children. The Rs. 35,000 loan provided to them to develop a livelihood is not sufficient.

It was revealed that the loan is used for the sustenance of their day to day lives.

Banks too hesitate to grant them loans. Hence, the necessity to provide them more help to generate income for their livelihood. The spread of illegal liquor and drugs, household abuses and subject to sexual violence and abuses are serious problems the women face in the society today.

There is a also a shortage of women police officers to record complaints and take legal action against the offenders-as a result justice is delayed or not served.

The Prime Minister is of the firm belief that the creation of this National Centre for the Households headed by women in Kilinochchi will lay the foundation to solve a problem that has bothered a segment of the society.

Based on the report presented by United Nations on families headed by women, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe appointed a committee to make recommendations to uplift the levels of social and economic conditions of such families.

He has nominated attorney Shanthini Abimanasingham as the Chairperson of this Committee.

The Ministries of Women Affairs, Policy Planning and Economic Affairs, Children and Youth and Cultural Affairs will jointly provide resources to implement this programme, while the Rehabilitation Ministry will provide assistance.

Courtesy : development.lk

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 18-pct in March 2015

Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 18 percent from a year earlier to 157,051 in March 2015, with Western European arrivals recovering after a lull during election in the island and China performing strongly, official data showed.

Total arrivals were up 13.6 percent from a year earlier to 478,838 in the first three months of the year.

Arrivals from China which surged in February to 27,425 during the Chinese New Year becoming the top generating market during the month, continued to grow strongly up 81 percent to 13,975.

In the first three months of 2015, Chinese arrivals were up 84 percent to 53,135 only second to India with 64,781. Indian arrivals during March grew 16.6 percent from a year earlier to 21,838.

Growth in the Western European market which slowed to 11 percent in the peak winter season month of January amid Presidential elections in Sri Lanka recovered to grow 27.4 percent to 57,094 in March.

Arrivals from UK, traditionally Sri Lanka's second largest generating market after India, grew 36.9 percent to 16,191 in March, just ahead of China, but total arrivals during the at 44,813 placed it at third place.

German visitors rose 22.9 percent to 15,294 with the quarterly total up 17.5 percent to 38,725.

Russian arrivals fell 20.6 percent to 7,106 and visitors from Ukraine fell 54.6 percent to1,502 due to continued economic woes in the countries. Visitors from Japan fell 10.7 percent to 3,393 and from Malaysia 23.3 percent to 1,765.

Courtesy : development.lk

Sri Lanka Tourism Strategy - China 2015 launched with private sector

The marketing strategy by Sri Lanka Tourism to the market China for 2015 was launched with a private- public partnership in the presence of the Deputy Mission in Charge of the Sri Lankan Embassy of the People Republic of China with the top 65 photographers from Shanghai Photographic Association capturing the beauty of Sri Lanka under the theme " Sri Lanka - beauty in my eyes".

Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Rohantha Athukorala speaking on the occasion said, "Today is unique as we have the key stakeholders from the private sector who operate the market China at the launch where together, we will firm up the Marketing Plan for China and continuously work together to make an impact to the market place"..

The Chinese Embassy of Sri Lanka Deputy Head of Mission Ren Faqiang Commented "I like the aggressive but focussed strategy of the Sri Lanka Tourism Tourism in the China market. It is well thought through and more over accountable for delivery of results, Already you are having access to 5 key markets and now that you are focussing on testing a market development programme on the Shi-shuan province is commendable given the accessibility for direct air travel between Chengdu and Colombo" .

The Chairman SLTPB Rohantha Athukorala voiced " if we can build the new markets in china like Sichuan province which has 90 million people and 2 million who travel overseas to come to Sri Lanka, we operate 7 flights a week from the current 5 will be ideal so that specific hotels can be targeted in line with the interests and requirements of the target group. As at end February the tourist arrivals from China registers a growth of 85.7% over last year and is poised to be a the number 2 market in the Sri Lankan portfolio.

Founder of ASMET vetaran tourism expert Mervin Fernandopulle mentioned that the need for translators is key and it must be fast tracked if we are really going to make the experience positive to a Chinese traveller. Respected tourism personality and Managing Director for Jetwing Hotels Shiromal Cooray mentioned "for the first time we see the detail marketing plan for the Chinese market and as the GSA for Air China in Sri Lanka I am pleased at the focused development strategy that we are working to build the business in China".

The market head for China at the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chinthaka Liyanarachchi stated in the Marketing Plan that a combination of above the line and below the line advertising, travel trade meets ups, focussed one to one meetings with the travel trade and media visits by Chinese journalists to current and new tourism products in Sri Lanka will be high lighted so that focused deals can be linked with the private sector participants. Separately, join promotions with Air China and screen based marketing will also be implemented quipped the Director Marketing for Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Madhubani Perera.

To make the launch event unique Sri Lanka Tourism on the recommendation of the foreign ministry flew down 65 key photographers from China in partnership with the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka of the People's Republic of China where 650 photographs were captured during a 12 day tour of Sri Lanka and the best photos were uploaded to Chinese digital media WE CHAT and WEIBO. Earlier during the year Sri Lanka tourism launched the one million tree stories project with Miss World Rolene Strauss that reached one hundred million Chinese.

Courtesy : development.lk

Special development project for Galle

A special project for the development of Galle District cities such as Galle, Hikkaduwa and Weligama, has been initiated under the Strategic Urban Planning Programme sponsored by the World Bank, Project Director Champika de Silva said.

He was addressing the Galle District Coordinating Committee (DCC) meeting at Halle De Galle.

As the initial phase of the project, planned by the Moratuwa University, Moragoda Canal Development, the drainage system within the Galle Municipality, upgrading Gamini Mawatha and Havelock Road and expansion of Oruppuwatte market area are in progress, the Director added.

The meeting which was the first Galle DCC under the new government, was co-chaired by Vocational Training and Skills Development Minister Piyasena Gamage, Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilake and Southern Province Chief Minister Shan Wijayalal de Silva.

"Much publicity was given for Galle town development. The subject was discussed at all forums while assurance was given for the speedy commencement of the project. Nevertheless, nothing significant was carried out in respect of Galle urban development," Media Minister Karunathilake said. "All propaganda seemed to be for mere political promotional purposes," the minister added.

"A new political culture has emerged in the country now. We should shun all political and personal differences to work for the masses. Let us all get together and cooperate to develop Galle," the minister urged.

Southern Provincial Councillor and Galle District Parliamentarian Manusha Nanayakkara, Southern Provincial Councillors Wijepala Hettiarachchi and Asoka Danawansa also spoke.

Courtesy : development.lk

Free Wifi access from Monday

Sri Lankans will be able to enjoy free Wifi internet access with up to 100 MB of usage at selected 26 public locations across the island from Monday(30), Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

It said that the service would be expanded up to 1000 public spaces across the island by the end of August.

The ministry said that it had not established any restrictions on the free Wifi service.

“At the beginning there will be no barriers for the Wifi users, but after analysing the service with the time, our technicians will take necessary technological methods to control the service,” the ministry sources said.

The 26 public locations are: Fort Railway Station, Pettah Public and Private Bus Stands, the Temple of the Tooth Kandy, Floating Market in Pettah, Colombo Law College, Colombo Public Library, Dehiwela Zoo, Colombo Racecourse, Colombo Police Head Quarters, Galle Railway Station, Jaffna Railway Station, Fort Dutch Hospital, Galle Face Colombo, Battaramulla Foreign Employment Bureau, Colombo Museum, Karapitiya Hospital, Rathnapura Museum, Polonnaruwa Base Hospital, Matara Bus Stand, Polonnaruwa Railway Station, Matara Railway Station, Mirijjawila Botanical Garden, Jaffna Public Library, Kandy Railway Station and Peradeniya Railway Station.

Courtesy : development.lk

Bangladesh High Commissioner meets Sri Lankan President

Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Tarik Ahsan paid a courtesy call on the newly elected President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirissena at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo recently.

During the meeting, the Bangladesh High Commissioner conveyed the greetings of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the Sri Lankan President and reiterated her invitation to him to visit Bangladesh at a mutually convenient time. The High Commissioner lauded the steps taken by the new government of Sri Lanka under President Sirisena for promoting compassionate and good governance for all Sri Lankans. He sought the support of President Sirisena in the efforts for advancing bilateral cooperation between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He focused on the areas of cooperation in trade, pharmaceuticals, shipping, culture and people-to-people contact.

President Sirisena conveyed his regards to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and good wishes to the people of Bangladesh. He recalled the commonalities of history, culture, values and ethnicity between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and expressed satisfaction at the close cooperation between the two countries bilaterally and multilaterally. He assured the High Commissioner of his government`s full cooperation in further strengthening the bilateral relation. The President recalled his visits to Bangladesh in 2013 and 2014 in the capacity of Health Minister of Sri Lanka. He expressed his intention to visit Bangladesh in near future.

Courtesy : news.lk

President praises Vietnam’s rapid agricultural growth

President Maithripala Sirisena said Vietnam’s rapid agricultural and industrial growth is a good example for other developing countries such as Sri Lanka to emulate. He said that Sri Lanka would like to follow the successful Vietnamese methods of utilization of modern technology to enhance agricultural growth. The President made these observations when the Vietnamese Ambassador, Madam Phan Kieu Thu paid a courtesy call at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.

Ambassador Thu conveyed the Vietnamese Government’s congratulations to President Sirisena on his Presidential election victory. She also expressed deep appreciation of the successful implementation of the good governance programme.

Madam Thu said that a Vietnamese ministerial delegation would visit Sri Lanka next month for the Meeting of the Sri Lanka Vietnam Joint Commission on Trade and Commerce. She expressed hope that the meeting would result in further expansion of bilateral trade and investment.

The Vietnamese Ambassador briefed the President about the increased cooperation between the two countries in education, trade, tourism, agriculture and industry.

She extended an invitation on behalf of the Vietnamese President to President Sirisena to visit Vietnam. The President said that he has an extremely busy schedule this year and promised to consider a visit to Vietnam in 2016.

Courtesy : news.lk

Sri Lanka launches third ICT survey with PwC

As ICT exports are projected to top $1Bn this year, Sri Lanka has launched the latest ICT Value Survey to find the national hi-tech exports it achieved in 2013/14-and all the ICT exporters are encouraged to actively take part in it. “We have recognized the ICT industry to be a key player in our exports. We a looking for $1 billion exports this year” voiced Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on Wednesday (18) in Colombo.

Minister Bathiudeen was acknowledging the update on ICT exports by top EDB officials on the latest ICT Value Survey.

The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), for the third time, has embarked on the survey of the ICT/ BPM export industry to capture the ICT export values for the years 2013 and 2014. The survey is expected to demonstrate the progress made by the industry and to highlight its growing significance as a top export revenue generator for Sri Lanka. This survey will specifically focus on the export value of the ICT sector for the years 2013 and 2014. While focusing on the capacity available for the industry, the survey also concentrates on the existing global markets.

The survey will be conducted in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

“Sri Lankan President’s 100 Day program aims at export promotion and GSP Plus recovery” stressed Minister Bathiudeen, and added: “We have recognized the ICT industry to be a key player in our exports development. We are looking for $1 billion exports this year. The 2013/’14 ICT Export Value Survey will show us the latest exports value. I urge all the ICT exporters of Sri Lanka to join and support us to find the accurate volumes.”

Mr. Bandula Egodage, Chairman and Chief Executive of EDB, stressed: “To evaluate the progress of ICT/BPM exports, we need to continuously measure the growth of it and its contribution to the country’s economy. The government has recognized the industry to be one of the key players in the Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Export Development Board expects that this survey will be instrumental in facilitating the industry to reach its highest potential. The results of the survey will be useful to assess the current status of the industry in relation to its competitors as well as be the basis for Government policy decisions in the future regarding the ICT industry”.

During the last five years, Sri Lanka’s global brand position improved significantly. AT Kearney ranked Sri Lanka among the top 25 destinations in their global ranking in the last three consecutive rankings. Gartner ranked Sri Lanka among its top 30 global locations. IBM, Tholons and several others ranked Sri Lanka at the top of their respective leader boards. To receive the “Outsourcing Destination of the Year” award from the National Outsourcing Association (NOA), UK twice in a row, was a true validation of the tremendous progress that Sri Lanka has achieved.

When such ICT initiatives are carried out by EDB, EDB is supported by the ICT/BPM industry, the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka, Board of Investment, SLASSCOM, FITIS, Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Institute of Chartered Accountants, Faculty of IT – University of Moratuwa and School of Computing – University of Colombo.

In 2013, Sri Lanka ICT export revenues stood at $719 Mn. The sector saw growth of 123% over the last five years. London Stock Exchange and HSBC are among recipients of Lankan ICT support. Sri Lanka’s IT/BPM sector vision 2022 is to earn $5Bn in revenues, with 200,000 direct jobs and 1000 start-ups.

Courtesy : news.lk

Switzerland ready to support Sri Lanka's national reconciliation

Switzerland is willing to open a new chapter in bilateral relations with Sri Lanka and ready to extend its full support for a national reconciliation programme Visiting Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation, Federal Councilor Didier Burkhalter told President Maithripala Sirisena.

The visiting Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs made this pledge Tuesday (17) when he met Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat.

Mr Burkhalter said that the Swiss government is very happy with the measures taken by Sri Lankan government so far to build up national reconciliation and empower democracy in Sri Lanka.

In talks with President Sirisena and other top government representatives Mr. Burkhalter also discussed possibilities of boosting bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Switzerland.

President Sirisena appreciated the Swiss government's role as a neutral state in helping peace moves throughout the world.

Mr. Burkhalter has also held talks with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and representatives of the government and of the Tamil population in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.

Mr Burkhalter expressed his appreciation for the peaceful elections in Sri Lanka and for the reforms the new government has introduced.

Open and comprehensive dialogue between all parties concerned was an essential prerequisite for building trust, said Mr Burkhalter. He also welcomed the Sri Lankan government's willingness to work more closely with the international community and the UN to investigate and punish human rights violations.

Concerning bilateral relations, Mr Burkhalter said that a "new era" could be starting between Switzerland and Sri Lanka, in terms of economic ties and cooperation in other areas.

At today's meeting with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, Mr Burkhalter discussed options for expanding trade and economic relations.

The trade volume between Switzerland and Sri Lanka is currently around CHF 300 million per year. Many Swiss companies are present in Sri Lanka, and Mr Burkhalter met representatives from several of them while in Colombo today.

Mr Burkhalter also met Tamil National Alliance (TNA) seniors R. Sampathan, and MP M.A. Sumanthiran and discussed the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka.

The Swiss Minister will visit the Akkarai project village in Jaffna, tomorrow. Switzerland supported its reconstruction following the civil war, as part of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation's (SDC) humanitarian reconstruction programme. In total, Switzerland is helping some 5,000 families to build houses, 20% of them are households headed by women. Thirty-five of the supported families live in the Akkarai project village.

In Jaffna, Mr Burkhalter will also meet the Chief Minister of Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, and the Governor of Northern Province, H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, for talks.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ajith C Perera, Secretary to the President, P B Abeykoon, and Foreign Secretary Chitranganee Wagiswara were also present on this occasion.

Courtesy : news.lk

Sri Lanka Tourism taps high potential Czech Republic Market

With the overall tourism numbers in Sri Lanka growing by 11.6% as at end February 2015, identifying the high potential of generating quality tourism numbers to Sri Lanka will be key is the new ethos of the Tourism hierarchy.

In this clear strategy, the Sri Lanka promotion Bureau selected a key market in Central European -Czech Republic to be the catalyst in driving the quality traveller as predicted by the UNWTO trends of tourism that was announced recently. With this objective the much acclaimed key travel and tourism fair branded Holiday World Travel Fair staged in Prague was selected to be used to reach Central European segment of business by the Sri Lankan Tourism promotion bureau with the industry members said the chairman Rohantha Athukorala.

We also want to test Digital marketing in this market where using tools like trip advisor analytics we can find the people who have researched Sri Lanka as a tourism destination and how we can track them to be linked to the private sector business. This is the newest form of destination marketing that Sri Lanka is challenged with. We have no option but move with the global trends as we must note that the world market is very competitive and the company that is closest to the consumer gets the booking he said.

Sri Lanka Tourism contingent was represented by the engineering background Managing Director of SLTPB Milanka Gajanayake and Market Head of Czech Republic Jagath Perera. The Major travel companies in Sri Lanka like Exotic Holidays International, Deluxe Vacations (Pvt) Ltd, Jetwing Travels and Raffles Leisure (Pvt) Ltd participated for this years show with a single minded idea on how we can convince people of Czech Republic to travel to Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan delegation had a hard sell approach to the trade and an absolute consumer end demand generating discussions with top tour operators of Czech Republic. Some of the discussions centred around commencing charter flights to Sri Lanka whilst some said let's keep innovating for new marketing campaigns so that with the direction Sri Lanka will benefit.

Czech market generates nearly 12,000 tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka annually and has the potential to be twenty thousand this year said Chairman Athukorala. Holiday World is unique outlet where one can access with all possible features related to the tourism package trips and getting into a valet of a typical traveller where multiple countries are visited like Maldives and Sri Lanka.

As the UNWTO Secretary General commented that using all forms of digital communication and not only can act on a feedback loop but also develop new elands that can blossom to a strong relationship. The latest trends reveal that there is growth in the number of visitors attending the fair every year and the conversions from sales leads is a good ROI based evaluation that we are in the process of finalizing together with the bid proposal.

Attendees include hospitality and leisure industries with an higec tighten interest by travel trade members, business travel decision makers, leisure and holiday travelers, travel trade members, and cooperate and business travel decision makers and travel planners. Sri Lanka Tourism visions is to develop the Czech Republic Market which will lead to visitor journalists programmes and many other creative ways to reach the digital consumer commented Athukorala.

Courtesy : news.lk

Swiss Foreign Minister called on President

Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (17).

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ajith C Perera, Secretary to the President, P B Abeykoon and Foreign Secretary Chitranganee Wagishwara were also participated to this occasion.

Courtesy : news.lk

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera meets Indonesian Special Envoy

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met Indonesian Special Envoy and Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs at the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday (17). The Indonesian Ambassador to Sri Lanka and other senior officials were also present. Indonesia is the world's fourth most popular country and South East Asia's largest economy.

Courtesy : news.lk

Foreign Minister meets his Maldivian counterpart

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met Maldivian Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon at the Foreign Ministry on Monday (16).

The Sri Lankan and Maldivian Foreign Secretaries and other senior officials, including the Maldivian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, also attended the meeting. Foreign Minister Maumoon met Foreign Minister Samaraweera earlier this month in Geneva.

Courtesy : news.lk

Sri Lanka and India sign four bilateral agreements

President Maithripala Sirisena and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, currently on a two-day state visit to Sri Lanka presided over the signing ceremony of four memorandums of understanding at the Presidential Secretariat today.

The (MoU) memorandums of understanding signed today are:

1. Agreement between Sri Lanka and India on Exemption from Visa Requirement for holders of diplomatic and official passport holders

2. Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on Co-operation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters

3. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Youth Development between the Ministry of Youth Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India

4. Memorandum of Understanding between Sri Lanka and India for the Establishment of Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Auditorium in the University of Ruhuna

Courtesy : development.lk

Japanese grant to improve educational environment of Kilinochchi Primary School

The Government of Japan has provided US$ 185,425 (Rs.24 million approx.) grant for the ‘Project for Improving Educational Environment of Kilinochchi Primary School under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP).

The project aims at construction of a two-storied building and improving sanitation facilities. It is also expected to improve the teaching skill of teachers by conducting a series of teacher’s training programs while conducting training programmes for parents in realizing children’s right to receive education under the proper environment.

Japan provides its assistance to this project under the focus of ‘Development of Emerging Regions’ enshrined in the Country Assistance Policy for Sri Lanka. The Government of Japan believes that recovery of livelihood and economic growth of the people who live in poverty ridden areas, need to be complemented by addressing core issues like infrastructure rehabilitation.

An integrated approach in this nature will pave the way to reconciliation, durable peace and inclusive development in all parts of the country in the long run

Mr.Guido de Vries, Country Director at ZOA Sri Lanka said that through these grants it will be possible to ensure that children aged 0-5 years receive good quality early childhood care and development (ECCD) education and children aged 6-11 years receive good quality primary education through Child Friendly School Framework (CFS).

The Grant Contract was signed between Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan and Mr. Guido de Vries Country Director at ZOA Sri Lanka today (16) at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo.

Courtesy : development.lk

Modi flags off Talaimannar train service

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today flagged off a train service at the north-western Sri Lankan town of Talaimannar – the closest point to India – restored after decades of civil war, completing the reconstruction of the entire Northern Province Railway Line.

Accompanied by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Modi also unveiled a plaque inaugurating Talaimannar 1650 Pier Railway station.

Modi flew in here by an IAF chopper from the ancient holy town of Anuradhapura where he offered prayers at the sacred Mahabodhi tree. He is on his way to Jaffna, a former war zone in the island’s Tamil-majority Northern Province.

The newly-constructed 63-km railway track between Madhu Road and Talaimannar Pier is the last segment of the 265-km long, prestigious Northern Railway Line Reconstruction Project which is being executed by IRCON International Ltd., a Government of India owned company.

It is designed with a speed potential of 120 km per hour.

The completion of the rail projects in the northern region is a big step towards providing safe, time and fuel efficient, comfortable and environment friendly transport service to the people of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan officials said that after commissioning of the new section, the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to restore rail track connectivity in the Northern Province after a lapse of 25 years has been fulfilled.

This will also fulfill the long-cherished dream of the local Tamil people for having direct rail connectivity to Colombo that will also help in the reconciliation efforts of Government of Sri Lanka, they said.

Courtesy : development.lk

Sigiriya is a town with a large stone and ancient rock fortress and palace ruin in the central Matale District of Central Province, Sri Lanka, surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, and other structures.

Nuwara Eliya is a city, located in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The city name meaning is "city on the plain (table land)" or "city of light".

Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka.

An orphanage for elephants has been set up by the department of National Zoological Gardens, at Pinnawela, 90 km. from Colombo. It was established in 1975 and several animals brought here at the inception are now mature enough for breeding, which is the ultimate aim of the institution.

98 km. south of Colombo, Hikkaduwa is the place for underwater delight. Site of the famed coral gardens; glass bottomed boats can be hired with the other accessories such as goggles and flippers and you can explore the fantasies under your feet. kindly do not purchase or encourage sale of corals.