Archive | January, 2015


Crown Group James Packer pulls out of $400 Mn. hotel project

Posted on 31 January 2015 by admin

Australian James Packer’s Crown Group says it will not go ahead with a proposed plan to develop a $400 million luxury hotel and resort in Sri Lanka, following a decision by the government in Colombo to scrap tax concessions for the project. On Thursday Sri Lanka’s new government decided to cancel generous tax concessions for three foreign resort developments – including Mr Packer’s resort – and said it would not issue them licenses to run casinos. A spokeswoman from Crown said the company respected the decision and on that basis the project would not be going ahead. The concessions were given under the former government of Mahinda Rajapaksa but critics in Sri Lanka opposed the move to give tax breaks to foreign gaming ventures.

Speaking to politicians, Sri Lanka’s new prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government would withdraw the tax breaks for the developments with immediate effect. “We will not allow casinos on their premises,” he said. (ABC/AFP) –

Comments Off on Crown Group James Packer pulls out of $400 Mn. hotel project


SriLankan Airlines Air Hostess Dies In Tragic Doha Motor Accident

Posted on 31 January 2015 by admin

Ammendra de Kauwe is the SriLankan Airlines air hostess who was killed in a motor accident in Doha early on Friday evening.

She is a resident of Raddoluwa, Sri Lanka. the Air hostess’s boyfriend, Hilary Perera, who is also a member an Airline staff, has received injuries due to the accident.

officials confirmed that six passengers were onboard the jeep, which was on desert safari, at the time of the accident.

were onboard the jeep at the time of the accident.

Meanwhile, Neomi Aluthgamage, the wife of Sri Lankan Air Force pilot who was killed in a crash in Hokandara last month, also received serious injuries.

She is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Doha. Neomi Aluthgamage is a niece of former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.

Mohan Wickramasooriya, another SriLankan Airlines staff member, also received injuries due to the accident.

Comments Off on SriLankan Airlines Air Hostess Dies In Tragic Doha Motor Accident


Serena Williams beats Maria Sharapova to win Australian Open

Posted on 31 January 2015 by admin

•World number one wins in straight sets.
•Williams claims 19th Grand Slam title.
•Unwell American vomited during first set.
•Sharapova loses 16th straight match against Williams.

Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova to win her sixth Australian Open and 19th Grand Slam title. The American world number one served superbly to win a pulsating final 6-3 7-6 (7-5) after Sharapova fought back in the second set. Williams, 33, moves past Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert with a 19th major singles title. She has now beaten Russia’s Sharapova, the world number two, 16 times in a row dating back to 2004.

I have to congratulate Maria, she played a wonderful match and she really pushed me,” said Williams.

“She played so well and gave me a great final not only for the fans, but for women’s tennis. I’m really honoured to play her in the final.”

Despite feeling so unwell during a rain delay in the first set that she left the court to vomit, Williams hit 18 aces and 38 winners as she won in one hour and 51 minutes.

Seemingly unsure for a moment that an ace had sealed victory, she then shook hands with Sharapova and bounded over to the corner of Rod Laver Arena towards her player box.

It was a brilliant performance in a final that exceeded many expectations, bearing in mind the players’ head-to-head record.

BBC Sport’s Russell Fuller
“This was a match bursting with emotion and thunderous hitting, and contested by two great champions with a steely nerve. Sharapova came close to beating Williams at her own game in the second set, but if you are able to serve 15 aces in a single set you can expect to have the last word.

“Back-to-back Grand Slam titles have done wonders for Williams’ chances of at least matching Steffi Graf’s haul of 22. She still has the power and the force of spirit to overwhelm everyone else in the world, even if at 33 the clock is ticking – albeit too slowly for her opponents.”

Sharapova made a nervous start, double-faulting to drop serve in game one, while Williams appeared keener than ever to shorten the points, possibly because of her ailment.

The American crushed the Russian’s second serve and was not disrupted by a 12-minute rain break that led to the roof being closed.

Still feeling the effects of a heavy cold that has dogged her over the last week, Williams headed off court – in contrast to Sharapova – but the top seed returned at the potentially dangerous score of 3-2, 30-30, to calmly produce an ace and a forehand winner.

Play mediaSerena Williams

Williams seals title with ace

Breaks of serve were swapped before Williams took the set in 47 minutes with a backhand and a scream.

Sharapova was looking at another one-sided defeat when facing break points early in the second, but showed why she is a five-time Grand Slam champion.

She served her way out of trouble and managed to cling on in a set in which Williams hit 15 aces and won almost 90% of first-serve points.

A gripping contest developed, with Serena escaping at 3-2, 0-30 thanks to three aces and a service winner.

Another game of three aces led to the American being called for hindrance after shouting “Come on” before the point had finished, and she mockingly mouthed “calm down” to herself after another winner soon after.

Serena’s Grand Slam victories
Years won

Australian Open
2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015

French Open
2002, 2013

2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012

US Open
1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014

Sharapova would not give in, saving a match point with a screaming forehand winner to make it 5-5, and seeing off a second in the tie-break behind a bold second serve.

Williams had a third opportunity, however, and after an apparent ace was called a let – much to her disbelief – she clinched it with another unplayable serve.

“I’ve not beaten her for a long time, but I love every time I play her as she is the best and you want to play against the best,” said Sharapova.

“I gave it everything. I love playing in the Rod Laver Arena, I’ve had some of my best memories and toughest losses but that is the life of a tennis player.”

Courtesy: Piers Newbery BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

Comments Off on Serena Williams beats Maria Sharapova to win Australian Open


Justice K. Sripavan new Chief Justice

Posted on 30 January 2015 by admin

Justice K. Sripavan took oaths as Chief Justice of Sri Lanka before President Maithripala Sirisena, on January 31. Following the retirement of the 43rd Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake today, the most senior Supreme Court Judge K. Sripavan was appointed Chief Justice of Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile a ceremonial farewell was held for CJ Shirani B today where she had said it is a momentous day as justice has been upheld and prevailed while also congratulating Justice Sripavan on his lawful appointment. After extending the deadline for de facto CJ Mohan Pieris to resign from his position on several occasions, the new government yesterday announced that the process adopted in the impeachment of Shirani B and the appointment of Pieris to fill the position was void and was not legal.

Justice Kanagasabapathy J. Sripavan will be appointed as the new Chef Just after the retirement of the Chef Justice Dr. Shirani Bnadarnayaka, reliable source informed the Sri Lanka Guardian. Sripavan was a former Deputy Solicitor General and judge of the Court of Appeal.

Justice Kanagasabapathy Sripavan had his education at Jaffna Hindu College from 1962 to 1972.After completing his higher studies His Lordship entered the Sri Lanka Law College in 1974 and completed his studies there in 1976.Jaffna Hindu College has produced several prominent personalities in the legal fraternity and the foremost among them was the former Chief Justice Desamanya Suppiah Sarvananda.

It was when Sarvananda was the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, another Old boy of Jaffna Hindu Collage, Sivapasupathy functioned as the Attorney General. It was a very rare privilege for Jaffna Hindu Collge to have two of its old students adorn Hulftsdorp as Chief Justice and Attorney General. So Justice Sripavan is a descendent of a rich heritage of Jaffna Hindu College which has produced a Chief Justice and an Attorney General simultaneously in the early eighties.

In 1976 Justice Sripavan, obtained a first class at the Intermediate examination for the admission of Attorneys-at -Law. He was enrolled as an Attorney-at Law on 23rd August 1977.From 1977 to 1978 Justice Sripavan practiced Law at the Unofficial Bar of Sri Lanka. On 13th February,1978 Justice Sripavan was appointed Acting State Counsel and made permanent with effect from 1st January 1979.On 3rd 1989 ,His Lordship was appointed Senior State Counsel .

Justice Sripavan also had the rare privilege of attending the Queen Mary & West Field College ,University of London.He also obtained his Masters of Law from the University of London in 1994.Justice Sripavan functioned as the Head of the Court of Appeal unit and handled a large volume of work both in the Court of Appeal and in the Supreme Court, including Bills and fundamental Rights applications.

The vast experience and academic qualifications he received both locally and abroad had contributed to a greater extent in the appointment as a judge of the Court of Appeal on 29th May 2002.So His Lordship Sripavan remains an exemplary figure to this generation of students of Jaffna Hindu College.

Comments Off on Justice K. Sripavan new Chief Justice



Posted on 30 January 2015 by admin

AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa has been crowned as the best ‘Luxury Beach Resort’ in the Indian Ocean at the prestigious annual Luxury Hotel Awards 2014 held in South Africa on the 6th of December 2014. This globally recognized award enhances the reputation of AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa as among the best luxury properties in the world and the best luxury beach resort in the Indian Ocean. The World Luxury Hotel Awards is positioned as the pinnacle of achievement for luxury hotels worldwide. Winners are purely judged on service delivery and effective management voted for by International tour operators, travel agents and hotel guests who get the opportunity to cast their valuable votes annually, making the process fair and unbiased. The World Luxury Hotel Awards cited AVANI Bentota’s “persistence to deliver outstanding and exceptional service”. Guided by the logo of excellence, guests booking a holiday at the AVANI Bentota Resort will now be sure that their expectations will be exceeded by the warm and friendly staff at the hotel.

Located on the best beach strip along Sri Lanka’s western coastline, AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa, is a designer hotel offering the ultimate in elegance and the inimitable Dutch-colonial charm. The resort was originally designed by the renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. Although the refurbished property reflects a contemporary chic, it has retained Bawa’s signature style. AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa has 75 rooms and suites ensconced within a distinctive frangipani garden designed in a captivating fusion of colonial and contemporary inspired styles. The resort’s three bars and two restaurants offer specialty dining experiences, accompanied by private dining options on the beach, at the BBQ area, or at any location of your choice in the resort. During the past year, some of the facilities of the hotel has been revamped in order to provide the guests with a superlative holiday experience. The main restaurant, Breeze has entirely been redecorated and the number of covers it can accommodate has also been increased. A new sports bar has also been introduced. “The Loft” is the third bar of the resort which was introduced recently and is the ideal venue for a sundown cocktail, or for drinks and tapas, either pre or post dinner.

Commenting on the award, Mr Ranil de Silva, Managing Director – Serendib Leisure Management Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be awarded the highest honour as ‘Best Luxury Beach Resort’ in the Indian Ocean at the 2014 World Luxury Hotel Awards. This accolade is a testimonial to the highest level of personalized service offered to guests at AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa. The ‘AVANI’ experience was designed to be a one-of-a-kind unique offering, with a distinct identity to spearhead a new ethos in Sri Lanka’s hospitality sector. Backed strongly by holding company, Hemas, Serendib Leisure properties have built up a reputation for a superlative service offering. And our strategic launch of the ‘AVANI’ brand, in collaboration with our overseas partner, Minor International, the Thailand-based hotel group, which operates the Anantara brand of hotels, is bearing fruit. AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa will remain uncompromising in its pursuit of perfection in every aspect of its offering, be it delectable cuisine, sterling accommodation, world-class service or unrivalled ambience.”

About Serendib Leisure and Hemas

Serendib Leisure owns and manages a wealth of hotels and resorts in several strategic tourist locations within Sri Lanka, including the AVANI brand. Other hotels in the chain are AVANI Kalutara Resort – Kalutara, Club Hotel Dolphin – Waikkal and Hotel Sigiriya – Sigiriya. The holding company of Serendib Leisure, Hemas is one of Sri Lanka’s top diversified listed conglomerates, with a focus on three key areas – Wellness, Leisure and Mobility.



Former Transport Director of Presidential Secretariat ordered not to leave country

Posted on 26 January 2015 by admin

Could not account for 246 Presidential Secretariat vehicles.

Offence punishable under Penal Code and Public Property Act

The Controller of Immigration and Emigration has been ordered by the Fort Magistrate to prevent Transport Director of the Presidential Secretariat Keerthi S.P. Samarasinghe from leaving the country, as he was yet to account for 246 vehicles gone missing from the Presidential Secretariat.

Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage yesterday issued Order preventing Samarasinghe from leaving the country following a request made to Court by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to this effect.

The CID commenced investigations into the complaint made by K. Ranjith, an Acting Officer attached to the Presidential Secretariat. The CID acted based on the ongoing investigations. According to the complainant the Presidential Secretariat had 555 vehicles and only 309 vehicles have been handed over so far. There are 246 vehicles to be handed over and following the failure on the part the Transport Director to account for the remaining vehicles, the complaint was made to the Criminal Investigations Department. This is an offence punishable under both the Penal Code and Public Property Act.

The CID in making its submissions to Court had pointed out that in the event the Transport Director were to leave the country, this would hamper the investigation and hence prayed Court to issue Order prohibiting the officer from leaving.

The Magistrate who issued the Order preventing the said officer from leaving the country directed the Court to duly communicate the Order to the Controller of Immigration and Emigration.

Courtesy: Daily News

Comments Off on Former Transport Director of Presidential Secretariat ordered not to leave country


Proposal to change Sri Lanka Presidential term to five years

Posted on 26 January 2015 by admin

The committee involved in drafting constitutional changes is to propose a five year term for the President in future, President Maithripala Sirisena said. Speaking at an event in Polonnaruwa today, the President said that the committee met this week to discuss the constitutional changes, which includes abolishing the Executive Presidential system. Sirisena said that he had proposed at the meeting that the Presidential term be reduced to four years and not kept for six years. However the committee had felt that having a Presidential election every four years will not be wise and a consensus was then reached that the Presidential term be limited to five years.

President Maithripala Sirisena said that he was keen to ensure a President remains in power for a short term and agreed to the proposed five years. Accordingly, once the constitutional changes are passed in Parliament before April this year, Sirisena will be President only for five years after which a Presidential election is held. Sirisena says he had already decided not to seek re-election as President and will step down after one term in office. (Colombo Gazette)

Comments Off on Proposal to change Sri Lanka Presidential term to five years


SriLankan Airlines new Chairman Ajith Dias assumes duties

Posted on 26 January 2015 by admin

Colombo January 26, 2015: SriLankan Airlines’ new Chairman Mr. Ajith Dias assumed duties in the presence of Minister of Ports and Shipping, Arjuna Ranatunga and State Minister of Aviation, Faizer Mustapha, at the SriLankan Airlines Office in Colombo today.

Hailing from the apparel industry, Mr. Dias is a co-founder of Brandix, Chairman of Barista Sri Lanka and Jewelex Trading Ltd.

Speaking at the event, Minister Ranatunga assured the Airline’s management that the new government will ensure smooth operations of the national carrier with decisions and policies adopted strictly on commercial basis. He requested the Airline’s senior management team to make every effort to achieve profitability.

Addressing the gathering, State Minister Mustapha also emphasized that there would be no political interference on the administration of SriLankan Airlines and requested the members of the management team to use their expertise and dedication to achieve the targeted operational success.

Corporate Communications

SriLankan Airlines

January 26, 2015

Comments Off on SriLankan Airlines new Chairman Ajith Dias assumes duties


SriLankan receives first new A330-300

Posted on 19 January 2015 by admin

SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, took delivery of its first A330-300 becoming a new operator for the type. The wide-body aircraft arrived at Colombo International Airport, having flown from Toulouse, France, and joins the airlines’ existing fleet of A320, A321, A330-200 and A340-300 aircraft. SriLankan will take delivery of a further five A330-300s.

“We have a reputation as a global leader in service, comfort, safety, reliability and punctuality; all of which are qualities reflected in selecting the A330,” said Kapila Chandrasena, CEO of SriLankan Airlines. “The addition of the A330-300 to our family will enable us to drive our offering to new heights.”

SriLankan Airlines and Airbus embarked upon a long-term, strategic partnership in 1993 when the airline began operating the A320 and A340. It has since grown to be an all Airbus operator, and is now an award winning carrier, expanding and diversifying its wide range of products and services to drive the country’s ongoing boom in tourism and economic development.

“Combining the highest levels of reliability, superior economics and great passenger appeal, the A330-300 will fit seamlessly into the SriLankan Airlines’ fleet,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. “We are very proud of our two decades of partnership with SriLankan Airlines and that they have built their success on our aircraft.”

Comments Off on SriLankan receives first new A330-300


President Maithripala Sirisena appoints slate of Secretaries to the new Ministries

Posted on 19 January 2015 by admin

President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed the following Secretaries to the new Ministries today (19) while Mr. E.M.S.B. Ekanayake has been appointed as Secretary to the Prime Minister and Mr.Sumith Abeysinghe as Secretary to the Cabinet of Ministers.

Secretaries to the new Ministries are as follows :

1 Defence Mr. B.M.U.D. Basnayake
2 Mahaweli Development & Environment Mr. N. Rupasinghe
3 Policy Planning, Economic Affairs,Child,Youth & Cultural Affairs Prof. K.Liyanage
4 Public Order , Disaster Management & Christian Affairs Mr. T.M.K.B.Tennakoon
5 Home Affairs & Fisheries Mr. S.D.A.B.Borelessa
6 Food Security Mr. P.H.J.B. Sugathadasa
7 Foreign Affairs Mrs. C. Wagiswara
8 Buddha Sasana, Public Administration, Provincial Councils, Local Government & Democratic Governance Mr. J. Dadallage
9 Plantation Industries Mr. A.M. Jayawickrema
10 Finance Dr. R.H.S.Samaratunga
11 Urban Development, Water Supply & Drainage Mr.K. Hettiarachchi
12 Power & Energy Dr. .M.S. Batagoda
13 Health & Indigenous Medicine Dr. D.M.R.B. Dissanayake
14 Irrigation & Agriculture Mr.B. Wijayarathne
15 Highways, Higher Eucation & Investment Promotion Mr. U.R.Seneviratne
16 Lands Dr. I.H.K Mahanama
17 Housing & Samurdhi Mr. P.H.L. Wimalasiri Perera
18 Justice & Labour Relations Ms.W.F. Kamalini de Silva
19 Mass Media & Parliamentary Affairs Mr. K.Paranavithana
20 Tourism & Sports Mr.M.I.M Rafeek
21 Ports, Shipping & Aviation Mr.L.P. Jayampathy
22 Industry & Commerce Mr. W.H.Karunarathne
23 Plantation Infrastructure Development Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy
24 Resettlement, Reconstruction & Hindu Religious Affairs Mrs. R. Nadarajapillai
25 Education Mr. Upali Marasinghe
26 Foreign Employment Mr. G.S.Vithanage
27 Social Services,Welfare & Livestock Ms. D.K.R. Ekanayake
28 Women’s Affairs Mrs. W.S. Karunaratne
29 Muslim Religious Affairs & Posts Mr. Abdul Majeed
30 State Ministry of Culture Ms. H.D.S. Malkanthi
31 State Ministry of Education Mr. D. Nanayakkara
32 State Ministry of Aviation Mr. D. Saranapala
33 State Ministry of Power & Energy Mr. H.M.B.C. Herath
34 State Ministry of Fisheries Mr. Nimal Dharmasiri
35 State Ministry of Children’s Affairs Mr. S.S. Miyanawala
36 State Ministry of Higher Education Mr. P. Ranepura
37 State Ministry of Defence Mr. A.P.G. Kithsiri
38 State Ministry Plantation Industries Ms. R. Wijialudchumi
39 State Ministry of Youth Affairs Ms. N.D. Sugathadasa


Comments Off on President Maithripala Sirisena appoints slate of Secretaries to the new Ministries

Advertise Here
Advertise Here



“What Matters To You, Matters To Us" .


In the world of online advertising, the success rate of creating brand awareness is 91%. Call 416-445-5390 or email and let us offer you introductory rates and get you going! Our audience is primarily South Asians expat community and the Sri Lankan expat community globally.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5 other subscribers




“E-Mail " .