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Three Ambassadors recalled

Posted on 25 June 2017 by admin

 

Monday, June 26, 2017.

Three Sri Lankan Ambassadors have been recalled due to incompetence, Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake said.

The minister was replying to a question by a journalist at a press conference at Sirikotha yesterday. However, the minister declined to disclose their names.

“We want to take best out of our diplomatic missions. We cannot allow incompetent persons to hold those positions and enjoy their time at the expense of public money,” he said.

He said the Government aims to promote “commercial diplomacy” and attract more Foreign Direct Investment to the country. “Together with the President and Prime Minister, I will formulate a proper system to ensure optimal service from our diplomatic missions,” he said.

He said all Ambassadors in Sri Lanka including honorary consuls have been invited for a meeting chaired by the President and Prime Minister on September 4 to discuss how to carry forward the Government’s agenda.

Observing that Sri Lanka has 63 diplomatic offices abroad, the minister said those would be upgraded where necessary and some would be closed down.

Responding to a question by a journalist on gazetting the Development Lotteries Board and National Lotteries Board under the Foreign Ministry, Karunanayake questioned back why similar concerns were not raised when the Higher Education Ministry was amalgamated with the Highway, Transport Ministry was amalgamated with the aviation and when the President took over the TRC. He said he eliminated fraud and corruption in the two institutions and made them profit making institutions. 

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Cremation of Dr. Saman Kelegama on Monday, June 26th at Kanatte

Posted on 24 June 2017 by admin

Senior economist and author, Dr. Saman Kelegama passed away in Thailand on Friday. He was found dead in his hotel room in Bangkok. His remains were due to be brought to his residence at Guildford Crescent, Colombo 7. Funeral will be held Monday at 4 p.m. He was 58 at the time of his demise.

Dr. Kelegama was the Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) and Chairman, Singer Sri Lanka PLC. Dr. Kelegama is the son of the late Deshamany Dr. Jayantha Kelegama, a renowned Sri Lankan Economist and Civil Servant and Mrs. Padma Kelegama.

Dr. Saman Kelegama was married to Sirimavo, daughter of the late Dr. Seevali & Sita Ratwatte and is a niece of former Sri Lanka Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike. 

 

 

DR. KELEGAMA – SAMAN. Beloved husband of Sirimavo,​ loving father of Chandana and Jayathri,​ son of late Dr. J.B. Kelegama and Padma Kelegama,​ brother of Jayantha,​ son-in-law of late Dr. Seevali Ratwatte and Sita Ratwatte,​ brother-in-law of Ayomi,​ Lakmani and Nimal Welgama,​ uncle of Avika and Karishma. Remains lie at No. 23/​2,​ Guildford Crescent,​ Colombo 7,​ from 2.00 p.m. onwards on Sunday (25th). Cortege leaves at 3.00 p.m. on Monday 26th June for cremation at General Cemetery,​ Borella at 4.00 p.m.077958

 

Friday, June 23, 2017.

Economist Dr. Saman Kelegama passed away at the age of 58 today.

Dr. Kelegama was the Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS).

He joined the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka in 1990 and served as a Research Fellow until 1994, and was appointed Executive Director in 1995.

He received his secondary and primary education in Sri Lanka at Royal College, Colombo and St. Thomas' Preparatory School respectively.

He completed his master's degree in Mathematics at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), and completed his M.Sc. and D.Phil. in Economics at St Catherine's College, Oxford University, UK.

He was a member of the governing boards of the South Asia Centre for Policy Studies (SACEPS), Kathmandu, Nepal (since 2001), Postgraduate Institute of Management – University of Sri Jayawardenapura (since 2012), Social Policy Analysis and Research Center (SPARC), (since 2005), Gamani Corea Foundation (since 2012).

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Josephians clinch MILO President’s Trophy Championships

Posted on 24 June 2017 by admin

St. Joseph’s College, Colombo 10 rewrote history when they clinched their maiden Milo President’s Trophy championship beating Isipathana College by 19-13 in the final played under lights at Race Course International Stadium on Saturday (June24). Following is the match report courtesy of The Pappare.

Playing their first-ever major rugby final, Joes collected points through 2 tries and 3 penalties while the last year’s winners and league runners-up, Isipathana touched down twice and booted one penalty kick.

Earlier, amidst a packed crowd, Isipathana inside center, Randy Silva kicked off proceedings in this all important final against the wind. The Josephians showed intent and composure from the word go and scored in the first instance of entering the opponent’s 22’ when fly-half Chathura Senevirathne touched down in the fourth minute after taking a quick-tap from the five meter line. Sachith Silva failed to convert. (SJC 05 – IC 00)

The Isipathanians used the width perfectly and settled down early which helped them hit back strongly. In the 17th minute, number 8 Devin Gunarathne broke off a rolling maul deep inside Josephian territory, shrugged off two defenders and equaled the scores. Chamod Fernando could not add the extra points. (SJC 05 – IC 05)

As the game was played in stunning speed and intensity, full-back Chamod Fernando was yellow-carded in the 30th minute when he made a high tackle on Josephian winger Dilan Kavinda and both teams were down to 14 players in a few minutes when St. Joseph’s number 8 Gihan Perera was sent to the naughty chair in the for not rolling away in a ruck.

At the stroke of the half-time, St. Joseph’s received a 53-meter penalty when an Isipathanian player entered a ruck from the side. The Josephian first five-eighth, Chathura Senevirathne convincingly slotted over the penalty to help the boys in blue and white take a slender lead at the breather.

Half-time: Isipathana College 05 – St. Joseph’s College 08

After the lemons, Senevirathne restarted the game. Josephians still with 14 players had a golden opportunity when they entered the Isipathana ‘Red’ zone but Shan Akila knocked the ball forward, yards away from the whitewash.

As the game progressed to the 48th minute, the Josephian back line was caught off-side and Isipathana full-back Chamod Fernando leveled the scores by booting the 22-meter penalty kick. (SJC 08 – IC 08)

With both the teams committing several mistakes and conceding penalties, St. Joseph’s College stuck to their game plan by hitting the Pathana defense with their bulky forwards which enabled them to go ahead in the scoreboard in the 63rd minute when flanker Tharindu De Alwis barged over the try-line. Sachith Silva failed to add the extra points. (SJC 13 – IC 08)

Isipathana College missed out on leveling the scores in the 66th minute when Chamod Fernando’s try was disallowed by referee for a forward pass in the same phase as Isipathana failed to penetrate the strong Josephian defense.

With the game entering the final 10 minutes, St. Joseph’s received a penalty, 15-meters out after the boys from Havelock Town was penalized for hands in the ruck. Chathura Senevirathne bisected the posts easily to extend the lead. (SJC 16 – IC 08)

With the victory in sight for the Josephians, the blue & white brigade put the game to rest in the 77th minute when Senevirathne slotted over his 3rd penalty after an Isipathana player was penalized for a ‘neckroll’. (SJC 19 – IC 08)

In the last move of the game, Isipathana College replacement winger V.K Sabanayake planted an unconverted try near the far corner flag but it was too late for the Green Machine.

Full Time: Isipathana College 13 – St. Joseph’s College 19

Referee – Irshad Cader

Score break down:


St. Joseph’s College 19

Tries: Chathura Senevirathne, Tharindu De Alwis
Penalties: Chathura Senevirathne (3)

Isipathana College 13

Tries: Devin Gunarathne, V. K Sabanayake
Penalties: Chamod Fernando (1)

ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Chathura Senevirathne(SJC)

Chathura Senevirathne was adjudged Player of the Milo Knockout tournament for his all-round performance throughout the 3 matches.

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Members of Parliament attend Exchange Programme in Washington

Posted on 19 June 2017 by admin

The House Democracy Partnership (HDP) of the United States Congress welcomed members of parliament of four HDP partner countries, including Sri Lanka to an exchange programme in the second week of June.
 
A bipartisan group of members of Sri Lankan Parliament comprising State Minister of Agriculture Wasantha Aluwihare, Deputy Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment Anuradha Jayaratne, Keheliya Rambukwella, Buddhika Pathirana and Eswarapatham Saravanapavan participated in this programme.
 
The exchange programme allowed the members of parliament to share lessons and experiences with their peers on the parliament’s role and interacted with U.S. members of congress, congressional staff and U.S. experts on matters such as improving citizen security, social inclusion, peacebuilding, reconciliation and stimulating economic growth in post conflict societies.
 
The Sri Lanka Parliament and the House Democracy Partnership of the U.S. House of Representatives entered into a Collaboration Agreement to strengthen partnership between the two legislatures last September. Collaboration between the two legislatures is based on the principles of facilitating the exchange of information on the legislative systems of each country, sharing knowledge, and offering consultations on effective legislative management; and cooperating and assisting each other through training programs for the members and staff of the legislatures. 

HDP's work is supported by Washington-based partner organizations – the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, International Republican Institute, Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development. 

  
During their stay in Washington the parliamentarians also visited the Embassy.
 
 
Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington D.C.

 
June 19, 2017
 

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How Sri Lanka is coping with the Worst Flooding in a Decade

Posted on 17 June 2017 by admin

Courtesy: Global Voices – The island nation of Sri Lanka is currently facing the worst flooding and landslide disaster in a decade. Triggered by the southwest monsoon that typically arrives in late May, heavy rains caused the rivers Kalu, Kelani, Gin, Nilwala, and Attanagalu Oya to spill over their banks in 15 districts, located in the country's southern and western regions.

According to the May 28, 2017 advisory of the Sri Lankan Disaster Management Center, 126 people were killed and almost a hundred people went missing because of the floods and mudslides. Over 400,000 people have been affected since last Friday (May 26), and about 100,000 people were relocated to 304 safer locations.

The rains subsided on Saturday (May 27) and water levels in some areas began to recede. Health and sanitation are a huge challenge in the affected areas which continue to be inaccessible.

Below are some images and videos which show the extent of the flooding disaster:

Twitter users like Azzam Ameen and Sri Lanka Tweet have been updating about the flood situation regularly. Many are using the #FloodSL hashtag to monitor the impact of the disaster.

The government has stepped up relief efforts. More than 1,600 soldiers from the Sri Lanka Army has been engaged in flood and landslide relief operations in the affected areas. The airforce deployed five aircrafts for rescue operations and another five are being readied to transport emergency supplies to residents trapped in flooded villages.

Sri Lanka has issued a global appeal to UN, the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) and neighbouring countries to provide assistance for the affected people. An Indian naval ship carrying medical supplies with 125 personnel docked in Colombo, the country's capital, on Saturday and two more will arrive soon.

Various organizations and startups are also coming forward to help. Facebook pages like Help Flood Victims in Sri Lanka and 2017 Disaster Relief – Information Desk- Sri Lanka are providing important information about the flood situation and humanitarian relief. Some are using Twitter to campaign for flood relief:

Taxi hailing app PickMe (Sri Lanka) is asking people in distress to share their location via the app so that the Disaster Management Center will be notified.

Last year, in the aftermath of the disaster that cyclone Roanu brought, PickMe introduced a “flood relief” button that allowed users to call for a vehicle to pick up relief and donations which were forwarded to the Sri Lankan Red Cross free of charge. They also introduced an “SOS” button which led to over a thousand requests and 150 successful boat rescues for those trapped by floods and landslides.

The combined efforts of the government and ordinary Sri Lankans who are maximizing various social media platforms are bringing stranded residents to safety and sustaining them through relief operations. This has helped prevent the further loss of lives as Sri Lankans now face the long road to recovery.

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CEYLON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO HOLD ECONOMIC SUMMIT

Posted on 17 June 2017 by admin

 

Courtesy: Sunday Observer.

‘Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2017,’ organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, will be held on July 25 and 26 at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo.

The two-day summit, which will be held under the title of ‘Execute – Transform – Realize’ will have eight thematic sessions, focusing on economic transformation through policy reforms, domestic and global economic headwinds and also how Sri Lanka can adapt to changing scenarios and succeed in a competitive environment.

During the two days, over 40 resource persons, consisting of high profile Cabinet ministers, policy makers, business leaders and academics will take their seats to share insights and also make recommendations on how Sri Lanka can transform its economy to realize its true potential by the right execution of plans.

The economic event is being held at a time, where Sri Lanka’s economy is navigating through a period of transformation, amidst global turbulence.

Growth has moderated, amidst a fiscal consolidation effort that promises macroeconomic resilience in the medium term.

Hence, executing transformational strategies will be essential to realize the economy’s true potential, a media release from the Chamber said.

The event is supported by some of the best corporate firms in the country. Sunshine Holdings PLC is the Platinum Sponsor, Standard Chartered Bank enters the fray as the Gold Sponsor, Fonterra Brands, the Silver Sponsor and Dialog Axiata, the Telecommunications Partner of the event.

Whilst Janashakthi Insurance, Prima Group, and Nestle Lanka join in as the strategic partners. OMD of OmniCom Media Group is the communications partner. 

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Press Release: Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake briefs Diplomatic Corps

Posted on 16 June 2017 by admin

 

 

 

 

 

On the direction of H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena and Hon. Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Hon. Minister Karunanayake directed the Foreign Ministry to respond to the emergency needs of the flood victims in coordination with the Ministry of Disaster Management.  The Ministry Emergency Response Unit, activated on 26th May 2017, to coordinate international Search and Rescue and Disaster Relief measures, launched an appeal to the INSARG (International Search and Rescue Group) through the UN. The Foreign Ministry also appealed to countries in the region to obtain the services of Emergency Rescue Teams.

In response to Sri Lanka’s appeal, India immediately dispatched its naval ships “INS KIRCH”, “INS SHARDUL”, “INS Jalshawa” along with Search and Rescue teams and emergency relief materials. Pakistani Naval Ship “ZULFIQUAR” called at Colombo port as well with rescue teams and relief materials. Three Chinese vessels “Chang Chun”, “Jing Zhou” and “Chao Hu” which were originally on a goodwill mission to Sri Lanka and visited Colombo port on 1st June 2017, have changed their mission focus to relief measures.  A Humanitarian Assistance Chinese Flight with relief materials is   due to arrive on 3rd of June 2017 at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA)While Australia donated ten Zodiac inflatable boats to Sri Lanka, Japan handed over essential relief materials to the Disaster Management Ministry and offered the services of an Emergency Disaster Relief expert. Israel donated a consignment of relief goods. The EU, Norway, the US, Thailand and several other countries have offered assistance to Sri Lanka while Singapore, the Maldives and Nepal announced cash donations. 

Acting upon Sri Lanka’s appeal, the UN coordinated the international deployment of Search and Rescue (SAR) teams. 17 SAR teams, including India, China, France and Australia, were placed on alert to handle any adverse situation. The UN Agencies have also deployed their teams in disaster areas to work with the respective line Ministries and Agencies. The Foreign Ministry also directed its Overseas Missions to coordinate relief activities with Sri Lankan expatriates and community members.

Minister Karunanayake, at his first briefing session held for the Diplomatic Community and Honorary Consular Corps on 31st May 2017, thanked the countries for their generous and timely assistance. He also expressed his gratitude to the countries that sent messages of sympathy and expressed support for the people of Sri Lanka at this difficult time.

The Minister highlighted the challenges that lay ahead of Sri Lanka in handling the post flood recovery, reconstruction of affected areas, as well as building capacity for the Prevention and Mitigation of future disasters. He underlined the cooperation and assistance that Sri Lanka would expect from its bilateral and multilateral partners in implementing projects in these areas.

Minister Karunanayake reiterated that under his stewardship, Sri Lanka will pursue the policy of “Friendship with all and enmity with none”. Acknowledging the success made by the country in the area of Foreign Relations with its partners, under the stewardship of former Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, the Minister assured the Diplomatic Community that he would strive to build on the success of his predecessor. Minister Karunanayake further affirmed that he would seek to translate the prevailing positive climate into securing economic benefits for the country by focussing more on commercial diplomacy through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

State Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Vasantha Senanayake also addressed the Diplomatic Community and expressed his desire to work with them very closely.

 

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Colombo
1st June 2017

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Canada notes strength and depth of relationship with Sri Lanka

Posted on 14 June 2017 by admin

Canada has noted the strength and the depth of its relationship with Sri Lanka.

The High Commission of Canada, as Patron of the Sri Lanka Canada Business Council (SLCBC), hosted the 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the SLCBC. A key stakeholder in strengthening the existing bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Canada, the SLCBC operates under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and engages with the High Commission of Canada to further enhance trade ties between the two countries.

The High Commissioner of Canada, Shelley Whiting, speaking at the event stated that ‘the Sri Lanka Canada Business Council has been a longstanding partner of the High Commission in promoting Trade. I look forward to innovative initiatives that will showcase the Council’s activities in Sri Lanka and add value to its membership’. She further noted the strength and the depth of relationship between the two countries, the market potential in Sri Lanka and the country’s growth and the opportunities to further trade ties.

Addressing the members, the newly elected President Harith Jayasuriya, Director/Chief Marketing Officer, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd thanked Chandev Abhayaratne, the outgoing President, for the immense contribution made towards the growth of Sri Lanka Canada Business Council during the last 2 years.

Jayasuriya highlighted the Council’s main objectives as to promote Bilateral Trade, Investment, Technical & Economic Co-Operation, Tourism and Services between Sri Lanka and Canada. He further stressed the need for SLCBC to take leadership in promoting investment and trade initiatives between Sri Lanka and Canada.

The AGM was followed by a networking reception for the local business community, stakeholders in the government and international organizations. The key note address of the evening was delivered by Ms. Jeevani Siriwardena, Director General of the Export Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka on the agreement between the EDB with Canada’s Trade Facilitation Office (TFO). TFO is a non-government organization in Canada working to source products from developing countries, such as Sri Lanka, and supporting small and medium scale enterprises. The presentation focussed on the nature of the agreement, opportunities such as market orientation programs and market visits, and how Sri Lankan companies can avail themselves of the benefits of the agreement.

The membership of the Sri Lanka Canada Business Council is comprised of approximately 60 companies across diverse sectors such as logistics and tourism, imports, exports, manufacturing and services amongst many others. The primary focus of the Council is to facilitate trade between Sri Lanka and Canada, encourage partnerships, exchange of information between the two countries and promote investments. The Business Council also engages with partner organizations in Canada to promote the socio-economic conditions in Sri Lanka.

The event is supported by the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) of the Canadian High Commission in Sri Lanka. The TCS is the Canadian government’s network of Trade professionals that promotes Canadian goods and services, facilitates innovation and R&D, as well as builds networks between Sri Lanka and Canada.

Courtesy: Colombo Gazette.

 

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SriLankan Airlines further strengthens its presence in India

Posted on 13 June 2017 by admin

 

New services to Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Coimbatore

Colombo June 13, 2017: SriLankan Airlines will further strengthen its position as the largest foreign carrier into India with the launch of services to three more cities – Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Coimbatore – in July 2017, increasing to 14 the number of cities in the vast Indian market. Accordingly services to Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Coimbatore commence on 8th, 12th and 16th July respectively.

SriLankan currently operates 108 flights per week to Chennai, Trichy, Trivandrum, Mumbai, New Delhi, Gaya, Madurai, Varanasi, Kochi, Bangalore and Kolkata.

SriLankan Airlines’ Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Siva Ramachandran said: “We are leveraging on our vast network in India to offer travelers to and from India increased opportunities to connect to our destinations throughout the Middle East, the Far East and the Indian Ocean region. The new routes would allow more Indian travelers to enjoy the experience of Sri Lanka’s many tourist attractions. The island’s tourism industry has witnessed a tremendous rate of growth in recent years, with over 2 million visitors in 2016, a growth of 14% over the previous year. India, the largest tourism market to Sri Lanka, accounted for 356,729 visitors to the island in 2016, and 110,891 in the first four months of 2017.We are also commencing daily non-stop services to Melbourne from October 29th this year, which will provide rapid connectivity between Australia and key Indian cities in our network.”

Indian travelers would also be able to enjoy seamless connections to the popular island resort nation of the Maldives, where SriLankan is also the largest airline. It is also the only airline operating to Gan Island in the southern part of the island chain, as well as to the capital Male.

The addition of Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Coimbatore will increase SriLankan’s global route network to 104 cities in 48 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.

Coimbatore will be SriLankan’s fourth major destination in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, where it already serves Chennai, Madurai and Trichy. Hyderabad is the capital of southern India's state of Telangana and is a major centre for the country’s technology industry; while Visakhapatnam is a port city and industrial centre in the state of Andhra Pradesh, on the Bay of Bengal.

The flight schedules are as follows:

From

To

Departure

Arrival

Days of operation

Colombo

Hyderabad

0700 hrs (local time)

855 hrs
(local time)

 

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday

Hyderabad

Colombo

0950 hrs
(local time)

1145 hrs
(local time)

 

 

From

To

Departure

Arrival

Days of operation

Colombo

Visakhapatnam

0710 hrs (local time)

0910 hrs
(local time)

 

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday

Visakhapatnam

Colombo

1010 hrs
(local time)

1215 hrs
(local time)

 

 

From

To

Departure

Arrival

Days of operation

Colombo

Coimbatore

1330 hrs (local time)

1435 hrs
(local time)

 

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday

Coimbatore

Colombo

1535 hrs
(local time)

1645 hrs
(local time)

 

Corporate Communications

SriLankan Airlines

www.srilankan.com

 

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State Minister/Finance Eran Wickramaratne lays red carpet for investors

Posted on 02 June 2017 by admin

 


 01

  • Follows Mangala in wooing private sector 
  • Ranawaka calls on foreign investors to support Megapolis Project
  • Ravi K assures signed and sealed projects have State protection

 By Charumini de Silva

Newly sworn-in State Finance Minister Eran Wickremaratne on Wednesday wooed existing and potential foreign and local investors, inviting them to benefit from new business opportunities in Sri Lanka by banking on sound macroeconomics, fiscal management and a strategic geographical location.

Wickremaratne appeared to be on the same page as Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who during the inauguration pledged to pursue trade agreements with a commitment to Sri Lankan interests and pledged to work with industry stakeholders. 

Wickramaratne closely mirrored this message at the packed ‘Sri Lanka Investment & Business Conclave 2017: Growth through Partnerships’, organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) in Colombo.

“We are doing things to basically liberalise the economy, take it forward with more investor friendly policies,” he added.

In terms of sectors, he said tourism, education, manufacturing, BPO/KPO and logistics had a tremendous investment scope while noting that agriculture and fisheries were underinvested areas.

Noting that Sri Lanka has 12 export processing zones (EPZ) across the island, Wickremaratne noted the way forward was to create more zones  under a public-private partnership basis which not only allows foreign investors manufacturing opportunities but also allows them to partner in the zone as well.

He said Colombo will be one of the most liveable cities in South Asia which is cleaner, orderly and comfortable where lifestyles can be enjoyed. “Relocation, head offices, regional offices — I think in Sri Lanka there is a wonderful opportunity.”

The Minister also said that leading economies like China and India have recognised the strategic location of Sri Lanka to be a great logistics hub in this part of the world, whether it is in the air or sea.

Furthermore, he stated that if foreign investors were planning to expand into knowledge-based areas there were sufficient professionals such as doctors, lawyers, engineers and accountants in Sri Lanka as the country boasts of the most literate workforce in the region.

Commenting on the booming tourism sector, Wickremaratne said there is tremendous potential to develop ancillary services. “Tourism is not just hotels but recreation, theme parks and ancillary services.  There is a lot of scope there and Sri Lanka is open for it.”

While the Government aims to be the most competitive economy in the South Asian region, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka emphasised the urgency to boost the country’s economy with proper investments in physical, social and economic infrastructure.

In this context, he said the strategic policy framework of the Government would primarily revolve around key elements of strengthening governance, equitable economic growth and infrastructure development and improving competitiveness.

 “Foreign investment is an important element in Sri Lanka’s economic growth. A liberal and reformist investment climate, fast-growing economy, fast implementation of infrastructure network, global and local political recognition, strategic location and a transparent system of procurement are the positive factors which suggest that the investor community will consider Sri Lanka for investment,” Ranawaka added.

He called on foreign investors to support Colombo’s Megapolis Project and to be a part of the development process of the country.

Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake assured that once the investment projects were signed and sealed they would not be taken away despite governmental changes.

“One thing we will guarantee it is that this is rock solid. What is given will be never be taken. That is the level of consistency, coherency we can give to foreign investors,” he added.

Karunanayake said the new foreign policy is basically commercial diplomacy that is brought in to ensure Sri Lanka pushes its exports from the current $ 11 billion to $ 20 billion with product and market diversification.

“I am sure with the motivation that we put into our local and foreign investors, we will be able to see a much more robust approach before too long,” he stressed.

 

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