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Tilak Marapana is new Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka

Posted on 16 August 2017 by admin

Tilak Marapana was sworn in as the Minister of Foreign Affairs before President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday.

Marapana, a President’s Counsel, is a former Attorney General who retired prematurely with the change of Government in 1994. He thereafter practised on the unofficial bar and enjoyed an extensive and lucrative practice when in 2001 he was appointed the Minister of Defence in the UNP Government headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe. 

Later, with the demise of Gamini Atukorale, he was also appointed the Minister of Highways, Transport and Civil Aviation.

In 2015, following the last General Election, Marapana was appointed as the Minister of Law and Order. Consequent to a speech made by him in Parliament in which he explained the use of firearms stored in a ship chartered by Avant Garde and following allegations that he could interfere with the ongoing investigations against Avant Garde, he resigned from his portfolio until the conclusion of the investigation. 

In May this year Marapana was once again appointed to the Cabinet as the Minister of Development Assignments, a new ministry set up to monitor all ongoing development projects, both foreign and local.

Marapana as the Attorney General led the Sri Lanka delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva on successive sessions from 1992-1994 and successfully prevented the passage of a resolution against Sri Lanka on human rights issues. 

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EDB Director General wins WIM silver award

Posted on 13 August 2017 by admin

 

Monday, August 14, 2017.

Women in Management (WIM) in partnership with International Financial Cooperation in Washington (IFC), presented the 'Top 50 Professional and Career Women – Sri Lanka 2017' in July at the Taj Samudra on the theme 'Beyond Parity – Developing Tomorrow’s Leader', to celebrate the achievements of remarkable women who inspire those around them through their astounding achievements in their careers, businesses and everyday lives.

The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) Director General Jeevani Siriwardena was was awarded Silver Category for Leadership Excellence in State and Government.

Women in Management (WIM) works to empower Sri Lankan career women and women entrepreneurs by connecting and bonding them by providing leadership and guidance in nurturing their knowledge and skills and inspiring them to achieve their goals and to act as conduits for the transformation of the role of women in career and business into a dynamic force.

 

 

Jeevani Siriwardena has been appointed the new Director General of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB).

She joined EDB as a Management Trainee in 1984. She counts over 20 years of experience at EDB in Product Management and over 10 years in the Market Development Divisions of EDB.

She handled the product and market development activities of the apparel export sector during its early growth phase and also led the development activities of the other industrial and agricultural product sectors.

Siriwardena has led several overseas marketing missions involving the private sector while also being a part of a number of presidential business delegations. She has extensive foreign market exposure, including in countries such as the US, Europe, South Africa, Japan, China and India. She also served as the Officer in Charge of the EDB-initiated Sri Lanka Trade Centre in Chennai for 15 months.

For a span of two years she worked as a visiting lecturer at the University of Colombo, prior to joining EDB.

She obtained a Bachelor of Commerce Special Degree (second class) in 1982 and a Master’s in Business Studies (Merit) from the University of Colombo. She is also an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.

Siriwardena had her primary education in Matara where her father served as the AGA and then entered University from Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo where she obtained colours for tennis and won the national junior and juvenile silver medal for badminton. 

At Colombo University she got colours for tennis, badminton and table tennis and captained the men’s and women’s tennis team of the University of Colombo in 1982, winning the Inter-University Challenge Trophy. 

 

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Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister attends ASEAN Meeting in Manila

Posted on 09 August 2017 by admin

By: Upali Obeyesekere – Editor, TSL.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, participated in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Canada Post-Ministerial Conference and the ASEAN Regional Forum Ministerial Meeting in Manila, Philippines, where she marked Canada’s strong engagement with ASEAN over the past 40 years as a Dialogue Partnerr. The annual Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN)-Canada Post-Ministerial Conference and the ASEAN Regional Forum in Manila, Philippines, from August 6 to 7, 2017.

Minister Freeland met foreign ministers and senior officials from all 10 ASEAN member states at the conference. On the occasion of the 50-year anniversary of ASEAN and the 40-year anniversary of ASEAN-Canada relations, this will be Minister Freeland’s first meeting with all ASEAN foreign ministers together. At the meeting, Minister Freeland will advocate for Canada’s regional security interests, defend human rights and gender equality, promote cooperation on countering violent extremism, support the rule of law, address the impact of climate change, and champion funding for humanitarian assistance. 

News Release

From Global Affairs Canada

August 7, 2017 – Manila, Philippines – Global Affairs Canada

 

Canada’s relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is founded on strong people-to-people ties and continues to grow through economic and security cooperation.

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today concluded her participation in the ASEAN-Canada Post-Ministerial Conference and the ASEAN Regional Forum Ministerial Meeting in Manila.

The meetings provided an opportunity for Canada to advance its interests in Asia and to promote regional cooperation and stability through multilateral institutions. At the ASEAN Regional Forum, the minister reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region and exchanged views with her counterparts from 26 governments on addressing key security issues, including the threat posed by North Korea and the rise of Daesh in Southeast Asia.

During her visit, the minister met bilaterally with counterparts and senior officials from Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and the European Union. These bilateral meetings offered Canada an important opportunity to advance priorities on regional and international security, economic issues, human rights, Canadian consular issues, climate change and other challenges.

Minister Freeland announced 12 development-assistance and security projects totalling nearly $13 million. Together, these projects will help ASEAN member states improve domestic and regional security, combat terrorism and prevent human smuggling. The minister also announced roughly $7 million in humanitarian assistance for the region, focused on providing immediate life-saving support to the most vulnerable, including refugees, internally displaced persons and people suffering due to armed conflict and violence.

In addition, Minister Freeland announced, on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, $10 million over five years to provide individuals from ASEAN member states, especially women, scholarships when undertaking short-term studies or research in Canada.

With the backdrop of the ASEAN Foreign Minister's Meeting Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland and Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vasantha Senanayake, met and discussed the Sri Lankan government’s peace and reconciliation efforts after a 26-year civil war ending in 2009. Canada is committed to supporting justice and the protection of human rights for all. Vasantha Senanayake, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka, had a bilateral meeting with Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada and exchanged views on measures to strengthen relations and enhance cooperation between the two countries.

 

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Usain Bolt’s thunder stolen by Justin Gatlin in final 100m race Legendary Jamaican runner takes bronze behind 2 Americans

Posted on 06 August 2017 by admin

Usain Bolt has ended his stellar 100-metre career without a world title in his final individual race. In a tight finish, Bolt was punished for his slow start and Justin Gatlin held him off at the line in 9.92 seconds. American sprinter Christian Coleman took silver in 9.94 seconds and Bolt took bronze in 9.95. Gatlin and Bolt both posted a season-best time.

"I think my body is telling me that this is it. I've done it all and I've tried my best. It's just one of those things, you got to know when to go and I think it's time for me to go," Bolt told CBC Sports' Perdita Felicien.

Gatlin bows

Gatlin knows what Bolt has meant to the sport, graciously bowing in admiration in front of him — even after beating him. The two men, never really friends, warmly embraced and spoke. Justin Gatlin, left, bends down to Usain Bolt after Bolt's final individual race. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

"Throughout the years, the rivalry that you see between me and Usain is a gentleman's rivalry. We've never had ill will towards each other." Gatlin said. 

"At the end of the day, we pushed each other. He's made me the runner I am today, the competitor I am today and he's also told me that I've pushed him."

 

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Journey to Valhalla flies away with the eighth annual Ontario Science Centre Innovation in Mas’ Award at the 2017 Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival

Posted on 04 August 2017 by admin

TORONTO, Aug. 4, 2017 /CNW/ – Last night, the Ontario Science Centre awarded the annual Innovation in Mas' Award to Sunlime Canada led by Dwayne Gunness for Journey to Valhalla at the Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival King and Queen Competition and Show. Journey to Valhalla was designed by David Amow and performed by Sileena Amow.

"For the eighth consecutive year, the Ontario Science Centre proudly continues its partnership with Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival by presenting the Innovation in Mas' Award," said Maurice Bitran, Ph.D., CEO and Chief Science Officer, Ontario Science Centre. David Amow's design truly represents the intersection of art and science, and engaged the jury with his innovative approach and dedication to developing mas' culture."

Created in 2010 to highlight the innovation involved in costume-making, the Innovation in Mas' Award honours the designer whose creation best exemplifies the application of principles and practices of innovation that include risk-taking, problem-solving, daring perspectives in material use, mechanics and engineering; along with demonstrated consciousness of the values of community collaboration for future generations and evolution of this unique craftsmanship.

This year's jury, chaired by Vishnu Ramcharan, Community and Visitor Engagement Specialist, Ontario Science Centre comprised:

  • Walter Stoddard, Senior Scientist, Programmer-Researcher, Engineer, Ontario Science Centre
  • Francis Jeffers,  Founder, Visions of Science, Executive Director of the  Canadian Multicultural Inventors Museum and Henry Jerome Award recipient
  • Charmaine Lurch Visual Design Artist, Illustrator, Educator, Cultural activist, M.A. Environmental Studies.
  • Candice Dixon Textile – Fashion artist , Costume Design and Fabrication, Ontario Arts Council grant recipient 

"The skills, attitudes and practices of innovation – creativity, risk-taking, collaboration – were consistently evident at all of the Mas' camps we visited," added Stoddard. "Building a collaborative and inclusive environment dedicated to the advancement of Toronto Mas' culture helped to secure the Innovation in Mas' Award for David Amow and his team. They demonstrated innovation in creativity and efficiency in the new materials used in their design."

The jury awarded an honourable mention to Curtis Eustace for his creation Santi Manitay: Spirit of The Ancestors from the band Celebration Time produced by Louis Saldenah Mas K Club led by Louis Saldenah.

The Innovation in Mas' Award, a unique, custom-designed trophy, will remain at Sunlime Canada Mas' camp until the Science Centre's Community Day celebrations on September 2, 2017, when the designer will receive a commemorative copy of the trophy for permanent ownership.   

The Ontario Science Centre, a Centennial project, has welcomed more than 51 million visitors since it opened in 1969, implementing an interactive approach now adopted by science centres around the world. Today, the Science Centre is an international leader in free-choice science learning and a key contributor to Ontario's education and innovation ecosystems, offering lifelong learning through hands-on, engaging experiences. The Ontario Science Centre is an agency of the Government of Ontario funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. As a publicly assisted organization, the Science Centre relies on generous individuals, corporations and foundations who share a commitment to science and education for additional operating support. For more information about the Ontario Science Centre, please visit OntarioScienceCentre.ca

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SriLankan Airlines achieves superior level of on-time performance 2017

Posted on 03 August 2017 by admin

Aug 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka's national carrier, SriLankan Airlines has recorded a consistently superior on-time performance during the first six months of this year, in comparison with its peers.

The latest statistics by the global flight data tracker Flightstats.com ranks Sri Lanka's national carrier as the 5th most punctual among 40 of the world's leading airlines.

SriLankan's flights were on-time 86.49% ahead of the time, far ahead of the average 78.33% achieved by the 40 airlines Flightstats monitors. These include many of the finest carriers in the Middle East, Europe, Far East, Australia, North America, South America and South Asia.Captain Suren Ratwatte, CEO of SriLankan Airlines, said: "We are delighted with the performance of every member of our team at SriLankan, who have raised the bar of professionalism to an extraordinary level in order to achieve such a consistent and long-term success. I feel certain that our passengers, who benefit most from this effort, would be absolutely delighted, as they know that they can count on SriLankan to be on-time, all the time."

SriLankan's consistent performance over the entire first half of 2017 resulted in it being ranked in the top ten of these airlines for four of the last six months, with on-time ratings of 81.52% in January, 85.88% in February, 83.67% in March, 85.21% in April, and 85.36% in May.

The high on-time performance is particularly impressive when taking into account the congestion and stresses that arose during the runway re-surfacing at Colombo's Katunayake airport, which is SriLankan's home base, during January to April 2017.

SriLankan's Ground Handling division, which has a policy of never compromising on the safety, security and global award-winning service levels to its passengers, is the sole provider of services in Colombo.

Its performance has led to consistently favorable comments from its airline customers as well as passengers. SriLankan GH handled approximately 9.5 million passengers on over 57,000 flights of all airlines at BIA during the financial year 2016/17.

SriLankan's efforts are on-time performance are choreographed by a Punctuality Improvement Committee that oversees the performance of its airport passenger service staff, cargo handlers, pilots, aircraft maintenance personnel, flight despatchers, security staff and many others.

It is extremely challenging for any airline to achieve such high levels of punctuality. Many of the elements that effect performance are beyond its control such as weather, air traffic control issues, customs and immigration control formalities, bird strikes, airport congestion, etc. The airline industry defines a flight as being 'on-time' if it arrives or departs within 15 minutes of its scheduled time. Airports and airlines are rated for flights arriving and departing throughout their hub airports and global networks on this basis.

SriLankan won a host of awards for service in recent times, including 'World's Leading Airline Operating to the Indian Ocean Region in 2016' at the World Travel Awards; and 'Best Full Service Airline in Central and South Asia' for the second consecutive year at the Future Travel Experience Asia Awards 2016. Its route network presently covers 105 cities in 47 countries with a sophisticated all-Airbus fleet that has been modernized recently with the induction of brand new A320neo, A321neo and A330-300 aircraft. As a member of the oneworld global airline alliance, SriLankan connects its passengers to over 1,000 cities in 160 countries in the oneworld network.

 

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Canada’s economic growth blows past expectations

Posted on 28 July 2017 by admin

 

Loonies

Canadian dollars in Vancouver, on Sept. 22, 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jonathan Hayward).


Courtesy: The Canadian Press.

OTTAWA — Economic growth in the country blew past expectations in May, powered by the energy sector.

Statistics Canada says real gross domestic product grew by 0.6 per cent for the month.

Economists had expected an increase of 0.2 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.

Goods-producing industries rose 1.6 per cent, driven by a 4.6 per cent increase in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector.

The oil and gas extraction subsector grew 7.6 per cent, with non-conventional oil extraction rising 13 per cent due to a rebound in activity after a fire at the Syncrude Mildred Lake upgrader in mid-March that curtailed production.

Conventional oil and gas extraction gained 3.2 per cent.

Service-producing industries increased 0.2 per cent, led by finance and insurance services.

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England win Women’s World Cup in thrilling finish

Posted on 24 July 2017 by admin

 

Pic: Reuters

Courtesy: Reuters.

England won their fourth Women's World Cup when Anya Shrubsole took six wickets to clinch a nine-run victory over India amid delirious scenes at a packed Lord's on Sunday.

The home side looked in danger of defeat as India chased down their total of 228-7, but an astonishing spell of seam bowling by England's vice-captain turned the game on its head in the most nail-biting of finishes.

India were coasting on 191-3 when Shrubsole took the key wicket of Poonam Raut, lbw for 86, and the inexperienced middle order collapsed to 219 all out in the 49th over.

Apart from her wickets, Shrubsole also played a key role in the run out of Shikha Pandey, collecting sharply in the covers and throwing back to wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor, when India were still in the game needing 14 off the last three overs.

As a youngster, Shrubsole once watched her father Ian play club cricket at Lord's and she said to play a starring role in England's victory was a dream come true.

"It was an amazing game from start to finish," she said. "It was a fitting final for what has been a great World Cup."

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Miss England finalists turn up the heat in Sri Lanka

Posted on 21 July 2017 by admin

You beauties! Glamorous Miss England finalists descend on Sri Lanka for a steamy beach shoot ahead of Birmingham finals.

  • Excited contestants for the prized Miss England crown have descended on Colombo, Sri Lanka, this week
  • Stunning hopefuls will compete in the infamous Beach Beauty round this week before touring the country
  • Sri Lankan beauties will join their British counterparts as the 2017 contest partners with Miss Premier Ceylon

iaras, stilettos and a host of diamanté – clad beauty queens have descended on Sri Lanka as they prepare for the Miss England final.

Glamorous entrants wearing sequin-festooned gowns touched down in Colombo this week where they will take part in the much-anticipated Beach Beauty shoot ahead of the ceremony in Birmingham next month.

Beauty queens from all over the country are vying for the crown of Miss England 2017, and they are due to tour the country for two weeks culminating with the final showdown, back in the UK in July.

The competition is run alongside local contest Miss Premier Ceylon, which will feature Sri Lankan catwalk queens, and girls from both countries teamed up for a series of glamorous group photos on Tuesday.

L-R entrants Cheraleigh Van Zanten (Miss Hippodrome), Jennifer Atkin (Miss Yorkshire, Maisie Hobbs (Miss Nottinghamshire), Zoe-Lea Dale (Miss Manchester), Elizabeth Grant (Miss England), Olivia Green (Miss Genting Stoke), Rachel Pitman (Miss Hertfordshire), Paris Summer Allen (Miss Rugby) are all vying for the crown of Miss England and Miss Premier Ceylon
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4644938/Glamorous-entrants-arrive-Miss-England-pageant.html#ixzz4nU08w8Nf
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Miss England hopefuls wowed in a series of stunning beachside snaps, as the competition for the coveted title begins to heat up.

The beauties were joined by reigning Miss England Elizabeth Grant, as the girls took in the beauty of Sri Lanka’s beaches and set pulses racing with their photo shoots.

The glamorous girls touched down in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo recently, where they indulged in some retail therapy while also getting to know the 

Earlier last week the girls took part in a traditional catwalk contests, as well as a charitable ‘Eco Round’.

However the highlight of the trip was clearly the beach shoot, where all the girls showed off just why they had progressed so far in the competition, wowing with their stunning beauty.

The winner of the Miss England title will join Miss Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to compete for the Miss World crown, which has an impressive first prize of $100,000 (£78,000). (Courtesy Daily Mail)

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Mangala Yapa, Dumindra Ratnayaka appointed to BOI Board

Posted on 18 July 2017 by admin

Top professional Mangala Yapa has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the BOI along with Dumindra Ratnayaka re-appointed. Last week the Chairman and Board of Directors of the Board of Investment resigned for President Maithripala Sirisena to reconstitute the Board. Ratnayaka is so far the only member from the previous Board to be re-appointed.

Others in the previous Board were Upul Jayasuriya PC (Chairman), Buddhi Keerthi Athauda, Manoj Cooray, and M.A. Neeth Udesh.

Yapa is the Managing Director-designate of the Agency for Development, Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade. He was previously the CEO/Secretary General of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and a longstanding Managing Director/CEO of Colombo Dockyard. Ratnayake is the former CEO of Etisalat Lanka, successor to Celltel, the pioneering mobile telecom company in Sri Lanka. He is now Chairman/Senior Consultant at Martin & George Ltd.

Former Etisalat CEO Dumindra Ratnayake will function as Board of Investment Chairman. In addition John Keells Group Deputy Chairman Ajith Goonawardene and former Ceylon Chamber of Commerce CEO and Colombo Dockyard MD and CEO Mangala P.B.Yapa have been appointed Directors.

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