Archive | September, 2012


Cricket commentators are the best tourism ambassadors for Sri Lanka

Posted on 27 September 2012 by TSL

The Twenty20 ICC World Cup Cricket event is watched by millions of fans throughout the world. As well know, Sri Lanka is the host country and it is a pride for Sri Lankan expatriates to listen to the wonderful comments made by the Cricket commentators like Tony Greig, Nasser Hussein and others. During the game, the television is focused on the natural beauty that surrounds the island nation of Sri Lanka. From a tourism promotion perspective this exposure is god given and probably well earned. It is also "free" publicity that is liberally given by the foreign commentators who spontaneously praise Sri Lanka for its splendid island beauty and the warm hospitality that is extended to the players, fans and not to mention – the commentators.

This writer was watching the Sri Lanka Vs. New Zealand game today and was quite excited with Tony Greig and Nasser Hussain talking freely about Pallekelle Cricket Grounds in Kandy and its surroundings. Curator Anurudha Polonowita must be congratulated for preparing the Pallekelle wicket according to international standards and giving Sri Lanka due credit for rising to the occasion.

It is pretty clear that the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority is aware of the tremendous opportunity Sri Lanka has by hosting international events such as the ICC T20 World Cup. Besides the free 'on-ground' publicity and exposure there is much needed revenue coming in as well with thousands of fans visiting the island during the world cup event.

It truly is a beautiful island, and let us keep it that way going forward!

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Sri Lanka Embassy in Tokyo promotes tourism

Posted on 26 September 2012 by TSL


The Sri Lankan embassy in Tokyo organized a high profile “Sri Lanka Promotional Seminar” consisting of over 150 officials and personnel engaged in the spheres of tourism and travel trade, leaders of corporates and industry of Japan, senior bureaucrats and technocrats of the Japanese government and other invitees.The seminar was held at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and was graced by Disaster Management Deputy Minister Duleep Wijesekera, SriLankan Airlines chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe and Sri Lankan Ambassador to Japan Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda.

Speeches were delivered by authorities in the fields of tourism, investments and other commercial activities, such as tea and ayurveda. The Sri Lanka Promotional Seminar was held as one of the events of a series to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Sri Lanka.

Ambassador Karannagoda delineated the opportunities and economic vistas of Sri Lanka as well as the tourist potential of the country. The ambassador said today Sri Lanka has absolute peace and political stability with the rule of law and a fully functioning democracy entrenched with virtues and values as well as increasing commercial and business potential to foreign investors.

SriLankan Airlines chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe said Sri Lanka is well poised and well positioned to be an economic and aviation nerve centre as well as a Tourism hub in South and Southeast Asia. Wickramasinghe projected the unique touristic features and sites Sri Lanka possessed. He underlined the importance of connectivity and integration between and among the cities and the countries to promote and augment commercial and trading activities as well as tourism. He said a number of reputed travel and tourism magazines and journals have chosen Sri Lanka as one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world.

Comprehensive presentations were made on exports of Sri Lanka to Japan, Tourism, and Economic perspective of Sri Lanka by leading Japanese businessmen based in Sri Lanka.

New World Securities Chairman T. Igarashi, who has been in Sri Lanka for over two decades highlighted commercial and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and increasing opportunities in the realm of tourism and travel trade.

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‘Ministry of Crab’ quite a hit with T20 cricketers and fans!

Posted on 26 September 2012 by TSL

Colombo: Sri Lanka’s star batsmen Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara are renowned for dishing out great knocks in cricket. Now the pair are also being celebrated for serving up some really tasty culinary dishes. The two icons of Sri Lankan cricket have joined forces to start a restaurant called Ministry of Crab in Colombo.

The restaurant was created at an old Dutch hospital, which was built in 1677.

A T20 World Cup volunteer guided me to the restaurant, declaring while giving me directions to it: “If you are a seafood lover, do not miss Jayawardene and Sangakkara’s restaurant.”And anyone I asked about directions to the restaurant proudly informed me that it is owned by Sangakkara and Jayawardene. When I arrived there, I was greeted by Dharshan Munidasa, who is the co-owner and partner of the restaurant. Munidasa gave me his card that had an imposing picture of a crab stating: “A Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, and Dharshan Munidasa Restaurant.”


Why is it called Ministry of Crab, I wondered? Munidasa, who is one of the finest chefs in the country and also owns Nihonbashi, a Japanese restaurant, said: “The name had to be powerful. Jayawardene and Sangakkara are great lovers of seafood and I have known them for a long time. Sri Lanka is one of the leading exporters of crab and we thought that a restaurant based on crab would be ideal.”

Today Ministry of Crab is a popular haunt for all cricketers around the world. India’s star batsman Virender Sehwag, who loves the sweet and succulent crabs from the restaurant, told Munidasa on his recent visit: “Many Indian cricketers have started restaurants and almost all of them have closed down. They focused on the owners and partners instead of the food. It is the food that plays a vital role in getting customers to come back again and not the name and fame of the owners.”

Indeed, Munidasa strongly believes in quality. The restaurant has been designed by architect Dr Carlo Andrenelli, who was also present at the restaurant when I visited. He said: “This is a 16th-century building, and so I made minimum changes. With a beautiful courtyard I made sure that, even without air conditioning, one can enjoy the food through natural cross-ventilation.”

Though chicken dishes are also available at the restaurant, seafood lovers flock there for the restaurant’s popular chilli crab and baked crab. Jayawardene and Sangakkara make sure they visit the restaurant whenever they are in the city. In fact, Jayawardene addresses Munidasa as his new coach, and tells everyone: “Try out this restaurant and you will be bowled over.”

On the restaurant’s website,, Sangakkara says: “It is realisation of my dream to be part of a culinary experience that I hope will enthrall your taste buds and leave you happy and wanting more.”

By K.R. Nayar, Chief Cricket Writer for Gulf News





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Canadian Experience Class: Creating Jobs across Canada

Posted on 14 September 2012 by TSL

New, Innovative and Fast Economic Program Attracts the World's Best and Brightest

Ottawa, September 14, 2012 Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today that Canada has welcomed its 20,000th permanent resident through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) immigration stream, reflecting the success of the government’s efforts to attract as well as retain the world's best and brightest skilled workers.

The Minister was joined at the announcement by Gaurav Gore, originally from India, who was recognized as the 20,000th permanent resident admitted under the CEC. Mr. Gore earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Toronto. He is applying his education as well as his experience as a business consultant with a major bank in Toronto.

We are working hard to attract and retain the best and brightest students from around the world. Gaurav is an excellent example of the benefits of welcoming highly educated and skilled people to stay as well as work in Canada. Mr. Gore completed a challenging, competitive university program. He is now building a successful career, contributing to our economy and helping create jobs for Canadians here in Canada. Guarav is exactly the sort of skilled worker that Canada hopes to attract and retain through the CEC program, said the Minister.

As a student, I saw the wealth of opportunities that are available in Canada, said Mr. Gore, a Personal and Commercial Digital Channels Advisor with BMO Financial Group. I felt welcome. I wanted to stay, pursue a career here, and contribute to the economy as well as to the country. I was happy to discover that it was possible through the CEC and that I could use my skills immediately upon graduating.

Canada's universities are pleased to see the success of the CEC in helping international student graduates become permanent residents. The graduates contribute their knowledge, talent and global perspectives to our communities and to our economy, says Paul Davidson, President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. These graduates contribute to economic growth and innovation in Canada and help Canadian businesses connect with new international markets.

The CEC, Canada's fastest growing economic immigration program, offers a pathway to permanent residency for international student graduates as well as others with skilled work experience in Canada. Those who are eligible may apply from within Canada and expect a quick decision. In the past, a brilliant student graduating from our top universities who wanted to stay in Canada and help create jobs would have had to return to their home country to wait at the back of a seven or eight year queue. They may have spent several years waiting in the immigration queue and may have been required to leave the country before applying for permanent residence. The goal of the CEC is to ensure that Canada retains talented and motivated people who have already shown that they can put their skills as well as their experience to work, grow the Canadian economy, create jobs and integrate easily into Canadian life.

The Canadian Experience Class is a sound program that responds to the needs of employers. The program contributes to economic growth,” said James Knight, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. Equipped with diplomas as well as degrees, international students become Canadian citizens, excellent employees and community members.

In order to make the CEC even more responsive to Canada’s labour market needs and economic goals, CIC is proposing changes that will expedite the transition to permanent residence of those already working successfully in Canada. With the proposed change, all applicants will require 12 months of Canadian work experience gained in the 36 months preceding their application. Some applicants currently require 24 months of full-time work experience. This change will make the program more flexible for international student graduates. It will provide them with more time to launch their careers as well as gain the necessary experience to apply for permanent residency through the program.

Minister Kenney concluded by saying that, International student graduates have educational credentials that are recognized by Canadian employers as well as official language skills that are important factors for success. The proposed changes to the CEC will make it easier for them to stay here, contribute to Canadian innovation as well as to the economic development that will help ensure Canada's future prosperity.

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