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Tilak Marapana is new Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka

Posted on 19 August 2017 by admin

Newly appointed Foreign Affairs Minister, Tilak Marapana assumed duties today at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Standing at extreme right is Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prasad Kariyawasam. FM received blessings of religious dignitaries and well wishers.

The Minister also serves as the Development Assignments Minister.

He assumed the post as the Foreign Minister following former Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s resignation.


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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Sri Lanka needs two wins for direct WC 2019 qualification

Posted on 18 August 2017 by admin

Sri Lanka needs two wins for direct WC 2019 qualification.

Saturday, August 19, 2017 – Courtesy: Daily News.

Sri Lanka's Nuwan Pradeep (C) celebrates with his teammates after he dismissed Zimbabwe's Solomon Mire during the second one-day internationals (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on July 2. AFP

Sri Lanka's Nuwan Pradeep (C) celebrates with his teammates after he dismissed Zimbabwe's Solomon Mire during the second one-day internationals (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on July

Five-match series against India:

Sri Lanka will be eyeing the chance to seal direct qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in an upcoming five-match home series against India which commences in Dambulla on Sunday.

The 1996 World champions will have to win at least two matches to secure a place in the pinnacle 50-over competition by staving off the challenge from the West Indies. The cut-off date for direct qualification is 30 September.

Sri Lanka is currently placed eighth with 88 points, 10 points more than the West Indies, which has an unenviable task in its aim of being among the seven top-ranked sides apart from host England to gain direct qualification.

The bottom four sides on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings will need to play a Qualifying event also featuring the top four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and top two sides from the ICC World Cricket League. The top two teams from this event will get to play in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Winning two matches will take Sri Lanka to 90 points while the Windies side will at best reach 88 points even if it wins its one-off ODI against Ireland on 13 September as well as all five matches of its series in England from 19-29 September.

However, a 4-1 win for India will see Sri Lanka finish at 88 points and the Windies could edge it on decimal points if it wins all its upcoming six matches.

The Windies side will go out of contention if it loses to Ireland as from there it will at best reach 86 points and remain behind Sri Lanka on decimal points, even if Sri Lanka loses 5-0 to India.

As for India, which is in third position with 114 points, only a 4-1 series win will ensure it stays ahead of England. Even a 3-2 win for India will mean it will slip to 113 points and behind England on decimal points owing to Sri Lanka’s low ranking.

Series scenarios:

India wins 5-0 – India 117 points; Sri Lanka 86 points.

India wins 4-1 – India 115 points, Sri Lanka 88 points.

India wins 3-2 – India 113 points, Sri Lanka 90 points.

Sri Lanka wins 3-2 – India 111 points, Sri Lanka 91 points.

Sri Lanka wins 4-1 – India 109 points, Sri Lanka 93 points.

Sri Lanka wins 5-0 – India 106 points, Sri Lanka 94 points.

As for the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings, India captain Virat Kohli goes into the series as the world’s top-ranked ODI batsman with 873 points and a chance to increase his 12-point lead over Australia’s David Warner.

Former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (12th), Shikhar Dhawan (13th) and vice-captain Rohit Sharma (14th) are the other leading India batsmen while pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar (13th), left-arm spinner Akshar Patel (20th) and Jasprit Bumrah (31st) are the leading bowlers in the side.

For Sri Lanka, all-rounder Angelo Mathews is the leading player among batsmen (27th) as well as bowlers (53rd) and the only all-rounder in the series among the top-five. Kusal Mendis (30th), Niroshan Dickwella (38th) and captain Upul Tharanga (64th) are its other leading batsmen.

India v Sri Lanka series schedule:

20 Aug – 1st ODI, Dambulla

24 Aug – 2nd ODI, Pallekele

27 Aug – 3rd ODI, Pallekele

31 Aug – 4th ODI, Colombo

3 Sep – 5th ODI, Colombo

MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings (as on 18 August):

Rank Team Points

1. South Africa 119

2. Australia 117

3. India 114

4. England 113

5. New Zealand 111

6. Pakistan 95

7. Bangladesh 94

8. Sri Lanka 88

9. West Indies 78

10. Afghanistan 54

11. Zimbabwe 52

12. Ireland 41 

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Former President Chandrika salutes Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe

Posted on 17 August 2017 by admin


Friday, August 18, 2017.

Jordana Narin – Courtesy: Daily News.

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga with Prof. Maithree Wickramasinghe at the ‘Encounter Ranil’ exhibition opening yesterday. Picture by Sudath Malaweera.

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga with Prof. Maithree Wickramasinghe at the ‘Encounter Ranil’ exhibition opening yesterday. Picture by Sudath Malaweera.

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga saluted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for his 40 years of public service in front of a crowded audience at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall yesterday.

Speaking at the inauguration of “Encounter Ranil,” a photographic exhibition celebrating 40 years of public service by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Bandaranaike Kumaratunga noted that she and Wickremesinghe had a history of working together, even as members of opposing parties who often disagreed.

“Destiny threw us together twice in my political life to work together. Once was when the UNP defeated my party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, while I was President and then Ranil became the Prime Minister in 2001, and I was President. It was the first and only time until now that the two parties, or any two parties, were called upon to work together – the President from one party and the Prime Minister from the other.”

The second time, she said, was when “destiny brought us together again for the great movement of January 2015,” upon the election of the “Yahapalana” government.

Speaking of her relationship to the Prime Minister at that instant, Chandrika Bandaranaike said, “I still cannot understand or comprehend how two people, two leaders, who were so much in opposition against each other, aggressively opposing each other, two parties that were so much in opposition against each other, killing each other, bloodshed, and all these kinds of things, could suddenly in a very short period of time come together and decide to put an entire history of what happened for decades behind us, and decide to work together. I must salute Wickremesinghe for the extreme sacrifice he made during that exercise, for that exercise, for the success of that operation.”

She expressed admiration for the way he conducted and carried himself throughout.

“One thing I had noticed about the Prime Minister is that he was at all times, even at the most difficult times, when we were opposing each other – our two parties, not personally — he was most courteous, calm, and never lost his cool.”

She also commended the way he dealt in the face of hardship.

“He took all the setbacks and allegations thrown at him, even from within his own party, with great cool and calm…I have seen him from the sidelines, we have all watched him meet many challenges from within his own party, challenges to his leadership, challenges which were very serious at some times, with a lot of cool and understanding.”

She ended on a strong note, stressing that her respect for the Prime Minister is beyond the personal and the partisan and connected to her larger vision for Sri Lanka’s future.

“I have been accused by some members of my party of being a supporter of Ranil. I am not a supporter of any individual politician,” Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said.

“I am a supporter of what I believe is right. I am a supporter of the vision that brought together President Maithripala Sirisena, who made huge sacrifices on his part to make January 8 possible. I am a supporter of the vision initiated for us by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.

I am a supporter of this Government. I am a supporter of good governance, of human freedoms, of democracy and democratic institutions, of truth, of reconciliation, of building a society which will have lasting peace, which will reject hatred against others,” she said. 

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SriLankan Airlines climbs to 8th place globally for airline fuel efficiency

Posted on 14 August 2017 by admin

Colombo, August 09, 2017:

SriLankan Airlines has climbed to eighth position globally in IATA fuel efficiency ranking amongst 51 airlines in the same business model, following the implementation of a wide range of fuel efficiency and conservation measures over the last 22 months to reduce fuel burn.

The 2016 ranking of airlines by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has placed SriLankan eighth with an efficiency rating of 34.86Ltr/100RTK (liters per 100 revenue ton kilometers). The IATA benchmark for the year 2016 is 35.26Ltr/100RTK. This is a significant improvement over its performance in calendar year 2015 when it ranked 15th with a rating of 36.25Ltr/100RTK.

Fuel Saving Initiative by the Pilots

Due to the efforts and skills of its Pilots, Srilankan Airlines achieved a saving of over US$2.3 million, when comparing the planned Fuel burn-off, against the actual in 22 months from August 2015 to June 2017. Fuel is the largest cost component for any airline, and with increasing fuel prices the actions of our pilots help in reducing our operational costs.  

SriLankan’s fuel saving efforts are driven by a specialized Aviation Fuel Department in the Flight Operations Division, which constantly seeks new and innovative methods to reduce fuel usage whilst maintaining the highest safety standards and monitors the implementation of existing fuel conservation measures. These include many IATA recommended initiatives, Airbus and Industry best practice recommendations, at the planning stage and inflight. Flying on direct routes whenever possible, optimizing flight levels to fly at the most fuel-efficient altitudes, maximum usage of engine reverse thrust when landing, taxi-in with single engine after landing and optimizing the usage of auxiliary power unit, are some of the techniques used during flights. The Aviation Fuel Department provides a fuel report to every Captain on a monthly basis, which gives them a better understanding of their fuel uplifts and savings, for possible improvement.

All other stakeholders such as Inflight, Engineering, Cargo, Product Development, Flight Dispatch and Ground Services have contributed towards these achievements by improving their processes at the planning stage.

Fuel Tankering by Flight Dispatch

In addition to savings from fuel efficiency measures, Srilankan also achieved a saving of US$2.7 million during this same period using a process called “Tankering” by Flight Dispatch, another section attached to Flight Operations.

Fuel Tankering is a method by which airlines reduce their purchasing of fuel at airports where fuel prices are high and instead carry fuel from airports with lower fuel prices. Tankering is extensively used on flights to Maldives, where fuel prices are the highest in the network. This means the fuel load required for the return trip from the Maldives to Colombo will be carried out of Colombo.

Some South Indian destinations, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand are some of the destinations where Tankering is practiced, as fuel prices at these destinations are low, hence additional fuel is brought in, to minimize fuel uplift for the next flight from Colombo, where fuel price is higher.

The extra fuel burn due to the increased weight as a result of extra fuel carried, engine wear are some of the factors that are carefully monitored and considered by Flight Dispatch when Tankering.

Apart from achieving significant savings for the airline, the increase in fuel efficiency also directly enhances environmental conservation, an area in which SriLankan has long been a pioneer in the global air transport industry.

SriLankan currently operates to an online network of 41 destinations, and codeshares with other airlines to a total of 105 cities in 47 countries. As a member of the prestigious oneworld alliance, SriLankan also offers its passengers connectivity to over 1,000 cities in 160 countries that are served by its oneworld partner airlines.


Corporate Communications

SriLankan Airlines

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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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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 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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Prescription (Special Provisions) Act No.05 of 2016

Posted on 02 August 2017 by admin

Prescription (Special Provisions) Act No.05 of 2016.

The Government of Sri Lanka brought into operation the Prescription (Special Provisions) Act No. 05 of 2016 on 26th April 2016. The aim of this Act is to provide special legal provisions for persons who could not initiate legal proceedings to recover their immovable properties as a result of terrorist activities in Sri Lanka during the period from 1st May 1983 to 18th May 2009.

The period of operation of this act expires on 26th April 2018.

Any person who wishes to claim immovable properties through the provisions of this Act, such claim should be submitted before 26th April 2018.

Trilingual electronic copies of the Act are available on the official website of the Ministry of Justice of Sri Lanka at Copies are attached.

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Collection of Biometrics from Passport Applicants Applying through Sri Lanka Diplomatic Missions

Posted on 02 August 2017 by admin

Collection of Biometrics from Passport Applicants Applying through Sri Lanka Diplomatic Missions

Kindly be informed that all passport applicants, applying through Sri Lanka Missions overseas from 1st November 2017, will be required to provide their biometric information (fingerprint and digital face image) to the Department of Immigration and Emigration, upon their first entry to Sri Lanka after obtaining their passports. At present biometrics are not collected from applicants who submit passport applications through Sri Lanka Missions overseas. Mandatory collection of biometrics of passport applicants in Sri Lanka was initially introduced a system of on 15th August 2015. This system is being extended to all passport applicants in order to strengthen the integrity of the passport issuance process. Necessary facilities will be available at the Department’s Head Office and branches in Sri Lanka including at airports, to complete this process to minimize inconvenience caused to the applicants.

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Sri Lanka gets new Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted on 29 July 2017 by admin

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US, Prasad Kariyawasam has been appointed as the new Foreign Secretary.

Current Foreign Secretary Esala Weerakoon has been appointed as the Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism Development.

Kariyawasam joined the Sri Lanka Foreign Service in 1981 and has served as a diplomat in Geneva, Riyadh, Washington, New Delhi and New York.

He also held the position of Director General of the Economic Affairs Division at the Foreign Ministry and served as an Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The appointment was made by President Maithripala Sirisena.

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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
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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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