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Cabinet Reshuffle finally takes place in Sri Lanka

Posted on 22 May 2017 by TSL

Colombo, Sri Lanka. Monday, May 22, 2017.

Nine Cabinet Ministers and one state minister were re-allocated fresh ministerial portfolios in the morning of Monday May 22nd what was the first major re-shuffle since the formation of the current coalition Government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe took office in August 2015.

President Sirisena himself was the first to make the announcement that nine cabinet minister and a State minister had taken oaths before him after accepting their new portfolios. President Sirisena like the US President Donald Trump took to Twitter and tweeted “Nine Cabinet Ministers and a State Minister took oaths in their new portfolios a while ago”.

Nine Cabinet Ministers and a State Minister took oaths in their new portfolios at the Presidential Secretariat today.

  • Mangala Samaraweera – Minister of Finance and Mass Media,
  • Ravi Karunanayake – Minister of External Affairs,
  • S.B. Dissanayake – Minister of Social Empowerment, Welfare and Kandyan Heritage, 
  • W.D.J. Seneviratne – Minister of Labour, Trade Union Relations and Sabaragamu Development, 
  • Mahinda Samarasinghe – Minister of Ports and Shipping, Gayantha Karunatilake -Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms, 
  • Arjuna Ranatunga – Minister of Petroleum Resources Development, 
  • Chandima Weerakkody – Minister of Skills Development and Vocational, Training, 
  • Mahinda Amaraweera – Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development and State MInister of Mahaweli Development,
  • Thilak Janaka Marapana – Minister of Development Assignments.

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IPL 2017: Mumbai Indians beat Rising Pune Supergiant in last ball finish

Posted on 21 May 2017 by TSL

Mumbai Indians 129 for 8 (Krunal 47, Unadkat 2-19, Zampa 2-32, Christian 2-34) beat Rising Pune Supergiant 128 for 6 (Smith 51, Rahane 44, Johnson 3-26, Bumrah 2-26) by 1 run.

Mitchell Johnson’s final over heroics helped Mumbai Indians seal their third Indian Premier League (IPL) title with a one-run win over Rising Pune Supergiant at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad.

Jaydev Unadkat’s off-cutters sent Mumbai Indians (MI) off-kilter so much they almost keeled over in Sunday’s IPL 10 final against Rising Pune Supergiant. And then Mitchell Johnson produced a last over so brimming with hostility that despite conceding a first-ball four, MI managed to win the title by one run off the last ball. 

Chasing 130 for their first IPL title, Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) seemed to be in control but the famed MI bowling attack never really let them break loose. 23 was needed off the last two overs and RPS took 12 off the 18th bowled by Jasprit Bumrah with an inside-out six helping skipper Steve Smith bring up his half-century.

Manoj Tiwary then hit Johnson for four but just when all seemed lost, the Australian pace ace struck off successive deliveries. Tiwary holed out to Kieron Pollard and Smith, having anchored the chase so well, was caught by Ambati Rayudu at the point boundary.

In his disappointment, the RPS skipper didn’t cross and that meant Washington Sundar had to face Johnson. He managed to scoot a bye and then Dan Christian took a two after Hardik Pandya dropped a stiff chance. The last ball saw a misfield but RPS were never going to run three to force a tie.

After a case of never giving up despite putting up a low score — RPS hit their first six in the 16th over — MI players huddled so hard after Sundar was run out that it seemed someone would get hurt. They are the only team to have won three IPL titles and Rohit Sharma the only player to have won this four timeAjinkya Rahane (44) and Smith had stabilised RPS’s chase after Rahul Tripathi’s early dismissal, a dodgy decision because replays showed Bumrah’s delivery would have missed the stumps. After Rahane went, skippers past and present, MS Dhoni and Smith, couldn’t take RPS home and then the jitters jeopardised chances of bowing out on a high.

It also meant that Pandya brothers, Hardik and Krunal, wouldn’t eventually be vilified for dropping catches. And that Krunal’s 47 and his eighth-wicket stand of 50 with Johnson would make the difference between victory and defeat.

This after an evening show that looked to be going wrong almost from when MI elected to bat. RPS bowlers got everything right and encapsulating the effort was Sundar, conceding only 13 in his four overs after opening the bowling with Unadkat.

And they were backed by some tigerish efforts on the field with Smith leading from the front. Smith ran out Ambati Rayudu when he and Rohit seemed to be rebuilding the innings after Unadkat had sent back the MI openers with off-cutters and, in the case of Lendl Simmons backing that with a fine catch, in the space of three balls.

Dan Christian then produced a run-out even more spectacular to dismiss Karn Sharma. Another good effort in the field from Shardul Thakur ensured there wouldn’t be a silver lining to Rohit’s form in this edition. Between the seventh and the 13thovers, RPS used spin for all but one over to choke MI. That RPS fell to an even better bowling effort tells you that not always does the ball play bridesmaid in T20.

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SRI LANKA, CHINA TO SIGN FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT

Posted on 13 May 2017 by TSL

 

By Zara Imtiaz – Courtesy: Sunday Observer.

PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prof. Maithree Wickremesinghe being welcomed at the Capital International Airport in Beijing last evening. The PM arrived in Beijing to take part in the ‘One Belt, One Road’ summit.

PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prof. Maithree Wickremesinghe being welcomed at the Capital International Airport in Beijing last evening. The PM arrived in Beijing to take part in the ‘One Belt, One Road’ summit.

Three weeks after signing a significant framework agreement with India to cooperate on economic matters, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will oversee a similar agreement with China during his current visit to Beijing.

To be signed between the Ministry of Commerce of China and the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, the agreement, initially drafted by the Chinese with revisions from Sri Lanka, was approved by the Cabinet last week, just before the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Sri Lanka and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe´s departure to Beijing yesterday. According to Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, Minister Malik Samarawickrema had already signed the Sri Lankan copy and had sent it to the Chinese Embassy before his departure to Beijing as per normal diplomatic procedures.

Titled the Outline of Medium and Long-term Development Plan for Investment, Economic and Technological Cooperation, the agreement envisages providing transparent legal foundations, institutional environments and favourable investment conditions for a number of priority areas, including agriculture, manufacturing, transportation infrastructure, public works, energy, electric power, information communication, tourism, and urban construction with a list of identified projects annexed to the agreement as priority projects.

These projects include:

  •  Central Expressway – Section 1 from Kadwatha to Mirigama
  • Kandy North Pathakumbura Water Supply Scheme
  • Talpitigala Reservoir Project
  • Polonnaruwa Integrated Development Project: East Polonnaruwa Water Supply, Agro Economic Centre Project, Section 4 of Central Expressway,
  • New Railway track from Kurunegala to Habarana via Dambulla
  • Waste water disposal systems for Chilaw, Puttlam, Maharagama and Boralesgamuwa
  • Upgrading of health facilities in selected hospitals
  • Lower Malwathu Oya Project
  • Thambuthegamuwa Water Supply
  • Katana Water Supply
  • Hambanthota Port: Operations, Shipyard, Operation of docks and rear oil tank area, Oil refinery, LNG receiving station and combined cycle power station, Industrial Park, Colombo International Financial City (Port City)
  • Ratnapura Expressway
  • Heda Oya Water Supply

The list includes an estimated cost for some of the items of US$2.76 billion.

This costs excludes the entirety of the Hambanthota Port projects, the Colombo Port City project, the Ratnapura Expressway and the Heda Oya Water Supply.

The agreement envisages a bigger role for commercial finance while acknowledging the ‘function of’ preferential loans. Funding for projects will be through preferential loans, joint financing, guarantees, medium and long term insurance and other forms, the agreement states. The agreement envisages policy support from China to improve Sri Lanka´s investment policy framework including support for investment policies relating to land, taxation, visas, working permits and to further improve the investment environment to attract more Chinese enterprises to invest in Sri Lanka.

The agreement also envisages the establishment of financial institutions and banks from the respective countries in the other and promotion of delivery of financial products and services to each other´s financial markets. Currently, both Sri Lanka and China has entry barriers in the financial sectors.

In a similar framework agreement signed in the last week of April in Delhi, Sri Lanka and India identified a number of other priority projects. These include:

A regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fired 500 megawatt capacity LNG Power Plant; An LNG Terminal / Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) in Kerawalapitiya/Colombo; a piped gas distribution system; retail outlets for supply of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to the transportation sector; and conversion of liquid fuel-based power plants to R-LNG fired power plants in Sri Lanka. A 50 MW (extendable to 100 MW) Solar Power Plant in Sampur. Upper Tank Farm in Trincomalee to be jointly developed by India (Lanka IOC PLC) and Sri Lanka (Ceylon Petroleum corporation or CPC). The land of the Lower Tank Farm, which is also in possession of Lanka IOC PLC, pursuant to the 2003 Agreement, to be leased to Lanka IOC directly.

A Port, Petroleum Refinery and other industries in Trincomalee.

Industrial Zones/Special Economic Zones in identified locations in Sri Lanka. Mannar-Jaffna and Mannar-Trincomalee Highways and Dambulla-Trincomalee Expressway under Indian investments.

The railway sector development including new projects of track upgradation and purchase of rolling stock, A Container Terminal in Colombo Port as a Joint Venture, which includes Indian investments considering that majority of transshipment in Colombo Port is related to India.

Agricultural sector and livestock development through techno-economic cooperation, water management, and promotion of agro-based industries. In the aftermath of the signing of the Indo-Lanka framework agreement, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay was quoted in Indian media as stating:

“The (Modi) government is internally focused on ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’ (development for all) and externally too in the neighbourhood, our vision to promote connectivity and development takes ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ to our external environment, and naturally to the neighborhood first. In this backdrop, with the objective to achieve greater economic, investment and development cooperation in a progressive manner…. the two governments signed this Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Economic Projects.” Sources indicate that the two framework agreements are the culmination of over two years of work on a strategy announced through the UNP´s election manifesto to create an ‘investment corridor’ linking Sri Lanka´s nearest neighbour and one of its biggest trading partners with the regional strategy of China´s one-belt, one-road initiative.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe elaborated his vision of the investment corridor during his visit to New Zealand in October last year, speaking on the theme of ‘Sri Lanka and its place in the world’.

Stating that with its two billion population, South Asia is a considerable market with growing significance, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe outlined the reasons for creating the North-South link, an investment corridor through Sri Lanka.

“Sri Lanka’s situation in the nautical corridor between the East and West is of import not only from a geostrategic perspective, but also from maritime economic and security perspectives. On the one hand, the Indian Ocean is a vast source of maritime economic resources, on the other; it is a maritime trading corridor through which nearly two thirds of the world’s oil is transported.

“In our perspective, the Indian Ocean remains key to Asian prosperity. An Indian Ocean order, which envisages at its core an ocean free of conflict despite competing economic interests – with lanes of communication, ease and safety of passage, freedom of navigation, secure and sustainable use of resources for the economic advancement of States in an equitable manner is imperative.

To fully tap this potential, Sri Lanka will engage in initiatives with regional players who have major economic stakes in the Indian Ocean,” the Prime Minister said. 

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SRI LANKA EMBASSY CONDUCTS “A DAY OF SRI LANKAN CULTURE” IN WASHINGTON DC

Posted on 12 May 2017 by TSL

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A Day of Sri Lankan Culture and Tradition in DC 

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Despite spring showers, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC was a hive of activity on Saturday as thousands of visitors thronged to the embassy premises for a celebration of Sri Lankan culture. The Embassy opened its doors to the public as part of the annual Passport DC Around the World Embassy Tour, an event organized by Cultural Tourism D.C., which provides embassies in Washington D.C. the opportunity to offer a peak into their cultures and cuisine.

Throughout the day visitors to the Sri Lanka Embassy were treated to an array of Sri Lankan food and beverages, including Ceylon tea, while enjoying live traditional music, dances and folk games. As in past years, the ‘sari corner’ generated much excitement among the visitors, as they tried on the country’s colourful traditional attire and posed for photographs. The visitors were also eager to have their names written in the age-old Sinhalese and Tamil scripts, as a unique souvenir of their visit. Many were also eager to learn what made Sri Lanka such a globally popular tourist destination.

Around the World Embassy Tour is Washington D.C.’s citywide international cultural awareness program that provides its residents and visitors an opportunity to explore the international culture that is a crucial part of the city’s character.  

 

Embassy of Sri Lanka

Washington D.C.

 

May 6, 2017

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Vesak blessings to all our readers

Posted on 09 May 2017 by TSL

A young Buddhist devotee donates alms on Wesak Day, known as Buddha's birthday, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, May 21, 2016. Wesak Day, one of the holiest days for Buddhists, offers an opportunity for all followers to come together and celebrate not only Buddha's birthday, but also his enlightenment and achievement of nirvana. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)

Buddha Purnima or Vesak is celebrated with religious fervour by the followers of Buddhism around the world. It not only marks the day when Gautam Buddha but also the day when he attained Nirvana (salvation) under the Mahabodhi tree at Bodh Gaya. The day falls on the full moon night in the Hindu month of Vaisakh. The date varies every year according to the Gregorian calendar but it usually falls in either April or May. On this day devotees preach the teachings of Lord Buddha, decorate Buddha’s idol with flowers, chant Buddhist scriptures, eat vegetarian food and donate food, money and clothes to people. Each country celebrate the birth of Buddha in a different way, here’s a peek at the major celebrations around the world.

 

What is Vesak Day?

The day of Vesak or Baisakha Puja is the day of worshiping or merit making for Buddhists all over the world.  On this sacred day Buddhist commemorate three great events, the birth of the Buddha, his Enlightenment and his Mahaparinibbana or passing away on same day of full moon day of this month.  Buddha’s main teachings is not to do any evil, cultivate good things and purify one’s own mind.  However, the core foundation of Buddhist teachings is called Four Noble Truths (Catu ariya sacca).

  • The fact that unhappiness exists     
  • The cause of that unhappiness       
  • The fact that unhappiness may cease      
  • The Way leading to the cessation of unhappiness 

These Four Noble Truths are the foundation of all the teachings of the Buddha.  The Way to end suffering is following the Middle Way. In his second sermon, the Buddha taught something unique: that Impermanence is a fact; that the experience of suffering is our reaction; suffering which we can reduce only if we develop selflessness / egolessness(non-soul identity) which the Buddha termed anatta. In November 1998 all the buddhist countries such as Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Nepal, India etc. proposed agenda for ‘International recognition of the day of Vesak’ to the United Nations. On 15th Dec. 1999 the UN’s General assembly adopted the resolution for the international recognition of the day of Vesak (Buddha Jayanti). Since, UN celebrates this day every year at its head office in New York and other regional centres all over the world. Presently, not only the buddhist but other faiths also celebrate this day with great joy by practicing moral ways and purifies the mind, which is the way (buddhamarga) to achieve real happiness and peace within.\r\n\r\nOn this auspicious day of Vesak Day every human being should take an oath to cultivate good, purify the mind for real happiness and peace and thus pay homage to the Buddha by practicing it.  May this holy day bring you good thoughts and good deeds always. Bhavatu Sabba Mangalam. May you be happy and peaceful!

 

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TOURIST ARRIVALS UP IN APRIL (2017)

Posted on 06 May 2017 by TSL

 

Picture: Thilak Perera

Picture: Thilak Perera – Courtesy: Sunday Observer.

Tourist arrivals picked up last month and accounted for a 7.6% increase over the previous year. April attracted 54,674 tourists and this figure was 50,821 in 2016. Up to end of April there were 160,249 arrivals which is an increase of 17.5%. The largest number of arrivals were from India – 110,891. China followed with 99,045. United Kingdom with an 11. 8% growth had 76,978, while Germany (54,256) Russia (43,861) and France (43,861) followed.

The other four top countries of origin were Australia (24,929), Maldives (24,632), USA (20,615) and Ukraine (16,778).

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SriLankan Airlines announces initial results 2016/17

Posted on 04 May 2017 by TSL

Colombo May 4, 2017: SriLankan Airlines marked year of transformation in its recently ended financial year, carrying the highest number of passengers ever in the airline’s history. Based on draft un-audited accounts, the total operational revenue increased to LKR136.68 billion from LKR129.48 billion in the prior year. However, difficult market conditions resulted the airline to record an un-audited Net group loss (before finance and one-off charges) of LKR6.49 billion (USD15.12 million) for the year. This is an increase from the LKR2.90 billion (USD3.15 million) loss recorded in the prior year – but a significant improvement from the deficit that had been budgeted for the year. The year was profoundly challenging for airlines worldwide, with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimating an 8% global decline in air fares in USD terms. Despite these challenging conditions, SriLankan managed to control the decline in its average fares to only 3% in USD terms year-over-year – a satisfactory performance in relation to many leading airlines in the world who have seen significantly higher fare declines.

The depreciation of the Sri Lanka Rupee against the US Dollar had a significant negative impact on the airline, as a majority of costs in the global airline business are USD denominated. The impact of this was further exacerbated by the relatively high price of jet fuel in Colombo, where the largest share of the airline’s fuel uplift takes place. In the face of these challenges, the airline accelerated its cost reduction efforts, enabling a reduction of its Unit Cost (CASK) in USD terms.

During the last quarter of the financial year, the airline’s financial performance was further significantly and adversely affected due to the very necessary runway re-surfacing project at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport – which required the airline to cancel over 600 flights during the period.

A significant improvement in performance was recorded at the airline’s Strategic Business Units – with key performing units such as SriLankan Catering and the ground handling entity recording profit improvements.

The airline successfully completed the integration of Mihin Lanka’s operations into the SriLankan network during the year, marking a seamless transfer conducted in a relatively short time frame. At the end of the year, SriLankan was serving 36 international destinations from its hub in Colombo, with an operating fleet of 24 aircraft.

It has already announced plans to add three new destinations in India from Summer 2017, thereby becoming the largest foreign airline into India by the number of cities served. Meanwhile the primary shareholder, the Government of Sri Lanka, is undertaking an initiative to select a suitable strategic partner for the airline.

 

Corporate Communications

SriLankan Airlines

www.srilankan.com

 

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Sri Lanka to unveil massive incentives for large investments

Posted on 04 May 2017 by TSL

 

investing

May 04, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s proposed Inland Revenue Act plans to include investment incentives which provide massive depreciation allowances for investors.

The government said this depreciation allowance will be applicable for companies that incur expenses on depreciable assets other than intangible assets during a year based on the amount of investment, employment generation and the geographical location.

Accordingly, 150 percent depreciation allowance will be granted for investments with over 2,000 million US dollars and those investors also get 25 years for unrelieved losses.

Investments between 100 million and 2,000 million US dollars will get 150 percent depreciation allowance with 10 years to claim unrelieved losses.

Investments between 50 million and 100 million US dollars will get 100 percent depreciation allowance with 10 years to claim unrelieved losses.

Investments for port development with over 2,000 million US dollars will get 100 percent depreciation allowance with 25 years to claim unrelieved losses. No corporate tax will be applicable for them until the investment allowance is fully absorbed.

Two hundred percent depreciation allowance will be granted for investors bringing in investments in the range of three million US dollars for a period of three years for the Northern Province.

Hundred percent depreciation allowance will be provided for investments in other provinces in the range of three million US dollars for a period of 3 years.

The government has promised to bring this new legislation to Parliament by June, with fiscal consolidation reforms being part of an IMF support programme.

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Ontario Government Release 2017 Budget

Posted on 27 April 2017 by TSL

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, right, delivers the 2017 Ontario budget next to Premier Kathleen Wynne at Queen’s Park in Toronto on Thursday, April 27, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Ontario Government Release 2017 Budget
Province Introduces a Balanced Budget for a Stronger, Healthier Halton

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    APRIL 27, 2017

 

Today, Finance Minister Charles Sousa released the 2017 Ontario Budget: A Stronger, Healthier Ontario, which includes significant investments in health care and education. Ontario’s first balanced budget since the global recession — thanks to a strong economy and responsible fiscal management — introduces free prescription drug coverage for everyone aged 24 and under, makes important investments to reduce wait times and improve access to care, reduces fees and increases access to licensed child care, helps students and makes life more affordable for Ontario families.

        These investments will have a significant positive impact on Halton residents. Our community is growing rapidly and Ontario’s commitments in crucial services like health care and education will help to support that growth.

        As a leader in economic growth, the Province is set to balance the budget this year and maintain a balanced budget for the next two years. A balanced budget means more funding for the programs and services people rely on most.

Strengthening Ontario’s Health Care
       
        The balanced 2017 Budget launches OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare, a new drug benefit program that fully covers the cost of prescription medications for everyone aged 24 and under, regardless of family income. This program — the first of its kind in Canada — will ensure that young adults have access to universal drug coverage and parents never have to choose between paying for their children’s prescription drugs and providing other essentials.
Ontario is increasing health care investments by $11.5 billion over the next three years.

        The 2017 balanced Budget plan includes a new $7-billion booster shot to health care, to improve access to care, expand mental health and addiction services, and enhance the experience and recovery of patients. It dedicates $1.3 billion to further reduce wait times, including a three per cent increase in hospital operating funding this year.

        Ontario is committing to several new major hospital projects across the province, adding to the 34 underway. An additional $9-billion capital investment over 10 years will provide faster access to care and help to meet the needs of the growing aging population.
 
        The Province is expanding home and community care programs with an additional investment of $250 million this year. Family and friends caring for loved ones will be better supported through access to respite care, education and training, and a new Ontario Caregiver Tax Credit. An additional $58 million will be dedicated to long-term care this year, a 2 per cent increase in our investment.

        Ontario’s new Dementia Strategy will improve and better coordinate services for those living with dementia and their caregivers by providing more than $100 million over three years.

Improving Education
       
        With an additional investment of $6.4 billion over three years, the balanced 2017 Budget reflects the government’s commitment to help learners reach their full potential and will reduce class sizes. The Province continues to construct new schools and renew existing ones to create nurturing environments where children can learn and grow. The Province is providing almost $16 billion over 10 years to help build and improve schools.

        The government is rolling out the new Ontario Student Assistance Program, which means free tuition for more than 210,000 students in postsecondary education starting this fall.
 
        Ontario is also investing nearly $190 million over three years towards Ontario’s Career Kick-Start Strategy aimed at creating 40,000 new opportunities for students and graduates to obtain practical experience and help them get jobs sooner after graduation.
 
Making Life More Affordable
 
        To make everyday life more affordable, the balanced 2017 Budget is strengthening the public services that matter most to people while lowering costs.
 
        The Province is helping 100,000 more children gain access to affordable, quality licensed child care. In 2017–18, Ontario will invest an additional $200 million to provide new fee subsidies and funding for providers to help 24,000 more children up to four years old access quality child care. The government will continue to work with schools and municipalities to fund the expansion of licensed care that is convenient, flexible and in line with local parents’ needs.
 
        The government is also taking action to make housing more affordable for homebuyers and renters with Ontario's Fair Housing Plan. This plan introduces a comprehensive package of measures to help more people find affordable homes, as well as increase supply, protect buyers and renters, and bring stability to the real estate market.
 
        In addition, Ontario is providing an average annual benefit of $130 to about 65,000 seniors through the Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit.
 
        The government is delivering on its commitment to balance the budget this year, building on a successful track record of prudent fiscal management, which has made Ontario an economic leader in Canada and the world.
 
QUOTES                                                                   
 
“A balanced budget is more than just the bottom line number. It’s about finding new ways to help you and your family. It’s about creating opportunities and providing the supports people need to succeed. This balanced budget is dedicated to providing young people with free prescription medications, providing free tuition and helping businesses grow. We are delivering on our commitment to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities for success.”
— Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance
 
“This is a budget that puts Ontario families first. Halton’s younger residents will benefit from our government’s new universal pharmacare for children and youth, the first of its kind in Canada. Seniors will benefit from a new transit tax credit and dementia strategy. And the whole community will benefit from increased funding for health care, investments in licensed child care, more affordable housing for homebuyers and a significant reduction on their hydro bills. This budget is a demonstration of our government’s commitment to the well-being and success of Ontario families.”
— Indira Naidoo-Harris, MPP Halton
 
QUICK FACTS
 

  • The Province’s investment in public infrastructure of more than $190 billion over a 13-year period, which started in 2014–15, is the largest infrastructure investment in the province’s history. It is supporting projects such as building child care spaces, schools, hospitals, public transit, highways, and roads.

Over the last three years, Ontario’s real GDP growth has outpaced that of all G7 countries. Exports and business investments are increasing, household incomes are rising and the unemployment rate continues to decline — and has been below the national average for 24 consecutive months.

 

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SriLankan Airlines bags a gold at the Golden City Gate Awards 2017

Posted on 26 April 2017 by TSL

 

Colombo April26, 2017: Sri Lanka’s National Carrier and oneworld member airline, SriLankan Airlines won a Gold Award for its destination video “Epic Journey of Sri Lanka on SriLankan Airlines” at the Golden City Gate Awards Ceremony at ITB Berlin recently.

 The video captures the cultural vibrancy and the ecological beauty of the country through extensive aerial videography; offering the viewer a novel perspective of the island experience. Elaborating the cultural festivities that bring communities together, the video effectively touches upon the aspects of devotion and the continuity of rich traditions that are as old as the history itself.

 SriLankan Airlines, Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Siva Ramachandran said, “Our intention was to create a unique and all-encompassing visual experience of Sri Lanka which could offer an inspiring perspective of the country even to an experienced traveller. We are extremely pleased that our efforts were recognized at the Golden City Awards 2017 and this will certainly motivate us to conceptualize and create more unique content which will help us take Sri Lanka to the world.”

 “Epic Journey of Sri Lanka on SriLankan Airlines” features a collection of Sri Lanka’s most iconic places, mostly set against the lush greenery, the aquamarine Indian Ocean and the sunny skies.  While portraying the country as a hotspot for adventure sports such as surfing and hot air ballooning, the video goes beyond a stereotypical destination video by unveiling the modern luxuries the island has to offer the discerning traveller.

 Throughout the journey, the Airline element has been preserved through the subtle appearance of SriLankan Airlines’ cabin crew members, clad in the iconic peacock-motif Kandyan sari, seamlessly blending with the spectacular landscapes, thus portraying the Airline’s role as the messenger that carries to the world an invitation to explore an island that contains multitudes.

 At a time when travellers continue to refer to visual content produced on experiential travel, the Airline believes that “Epic Journey of Sri Lanka on SriLankan Airlines” will be instrumental in inspiring more travellers to immerse in the Sri Lankan experience. In this creative endeavor, SriLankan Airlines was aptly assisted by Leo Burnett Solutions.

 Every year the Golden City Gate Awards Ceremony recognizes and rewards the creative efforts of the global tourism industry, expressed through various mediums.  The artworks are judged by an international jury based on a point system and each submission is evaluated for its creativity, innovativeness, design, structure, authenticity and whether it encourages the audience to visit the destination. Other Gold award winners include, Dubai`s #BeMyGuest with SRK, DestiNATIOn Canada, Welcome to Singapore and Turkish Airways.

Corporate Communications

SriLankan Airlines

www.srilankan.com

 

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