Nation World  


Tourist arrivals cross 750,000 mark this year

Achieving another remarkable milestone in the country’s booming tourism industry, Sri Lanka Tourism welcomed the arrival of the 750,000th tourist in year 2011 at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Thursday, November 24th evening. This is the first time ever the tourism industry has received the number of arrivals exceeding 700,000 mark in any given year making it a groundbreaking figure in tourism records. A team of officials from Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau and representatives from Ministry of Economic Development welcomed the guest Mohomad Albordiny and wife (Palestinian) who arrived in Sri Lanka via QR 302 flight from Doha at 4:15 p.m.
During the year 2010, total number of tourist arrivals recorded was 654,476 as opposed to 750,000 so far, which is a 34.2 per cent annual growth. This year has seen a huge contribution from Latin American, Caribbean and western European countries including Austria, Belgium, Denmark , France, the Netherlands, UK and Germany. These regions alone have attracted 250,847 tourists sharing a major portion out of the 750,000 arrivals recorded so far.
Sri Lanka Tourism offered a special gift and a complimentary package to the tourists who arrived on Thursday keeping its promise of rewarding the 750,000th tourist and similar rewards were available for the 250,000th 500,000th and 600,000th tourist who visited Sri Lanka in the year 2011.
At the beginning of year 2011 Sri Lanka Tourism launched their marketing campaign named as “Refreshingly Sri Lanka – Visit 2011”,with the aim of showcasing Sri Lanka as an Island of new found freedom ; a place where the visitor can experience everything that is refreshing under the sun. With this new branding, Sri Lanka tourism promoted 8 segments encapsulating 8 wonderful experiences which a tourist can enjoy within eight days such as: Pristine, Heritage, Bliss, Thrills, Festivities, Essence, Scenic beauty and Wildlife. These eight experiences were further stretched into twelve sub-themes to promote each month of 2011, including beaches, sports & adventure, MICE, people & culture, religious tourism, weddings & honeymoons, body & mind wellness, heritage, nature & wildlife, community & education, culinary and shopping & entertainment.
Sri Lanka Tourism’s aim with this campaign was to amalgamate domestic and international markets alike into one cohesive platform to develop these products by the end of the year, promoting Sri Lanka as a destination that can offer refreshing experiences for anyone who visits it. All promotional activities and events in the next couple of years will be aimed at achieving the target number of 2.6 million tourists by 2016.



The National Physical Plan prepared by the Building, Engineering Services, Housing and Public Utilities Ministry to cover a period up to the year 2030 was presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by the Minister Wimal Weerawansa recently at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Exhibition Centre, BMICH. Present at the event were Prime Minister

D. M.Jayaratne, Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Jayaratna and other officials


‘Sirasa TV Thilina Devi’
The first prize presentation ceremony of ‘Sirasa TV Thilina Devi’, the new prize scheme for daily drama viewers, was held at ‘the Stein Studios’ on 17.11.2011.

Ms. Nedra Weerasinghe, Group Director of the Capital Maharaja Organisation Ltd.; Susara Dinal, Channel Head of Sirasa TV and members of the senior management of MTV were also present at the event to give away valuable prizes including cold coins and gold pendants.

It was announced that viewers who watch Sirasa TV dramas from 7.30 pm to 9 pm stand a chance to win a valuable house, cars and daily gold coins through ‘Sirasa TV Thilina Devi’ prize scheme.


Members Evening of CCC Import Section
Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama, Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority will address the members of the Import Section of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) at their Annual Members Evening scheduled to be held on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 6.30pm at the Cats Eye Ballroom, Ceylon Continental Hotel.
An event of this nature would undoubtedly benefit the membership to interact with senior officials of the relevant government institutions and representatives of other organisations.
The Import Section of the Chamber established in 1935 with a vision ‘to be the most influential and effective voice of the importers in the business community’ has completed 75 years of service to the importers in Sri Lanka. This prestigious association is the only direct trade section functioning under the aegis of the CCC, an institution with a history of over 170 years.
Those willing to participate could contact the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on 5588871 or 5588880.



Sangakkara to deliver Keynote Address at HIV/AIDS Forum

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in association with the Standard Chartered Bank and National STD/AIDS control programme of the Ministry of Health is organising a colloquium on corporate responsibility towards HIV and AIDS awareness to mark the World AIDS Day, a day when the world unites in the fight against HIV. The Forum will be held on December 1, 2011 from 7.45 am to 9.30 am at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Auditorium and the event is aimed at creating awareness amongst corporates on how to deal with HIV and AIDS in the workplace.

The keynote address will be delivered by the former captain of the Sri Lanka cricket team Kumar Sangakkara on HIV and the workplace.
Dr N. Edirisinghe of the National STD/Aids Control Programme of the Ministry of Health will also address the forum along with the CEOs of the Chamber and the Standard Chartered Bank.
Information on the Forum can be obtained from the Ceylon Chamber on 5588877 or 5588882.

National Water Conservation Week

The Ministry of Health has designated December 5 to 9, 2011 as the
National Water Conservation Week and organized a series of lectures for the media to highlight the importance of water conservation from its source to end-use at the Education Office of the Health Ministry during that period under the patronage of the National Water Conservation and Drainage Board and UNICEF.
Lectures will be conducted both in Sinhala and English mediums.

Christmas carols on Dec. 2, 3

The L. G. Singers will begin their Christmas season with an evening of carols at Bethel Chapel of the Seventh-Day Adventists, Alfred House Gardens, Kollupitiya at 6.45 pm on Friday, December 2.
The service will include 16 carols presented by the singers.
On the following day, Saturday December 3 at 6.30 at the same venue, the Bethel Chapel Choir will be presenting ‘Emmanuel’.
The service will include the Christmas story and music from John Rutter, Graham Kendrick and other modern composers.

Vesak 2011 film festival awards on Dec. 2

The ceremonial distribution of certificates to winning film makers of the International Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi Buddhist film festival will be held at 3pm on December 2, 2011 at the cinema of the National Film Corporation.
Chamal Rajapaksa, Speaker of Parliament will be the chief guest along with T. B. Ekanayake, Minister of Cultural Affairs who will be the guest of honour.

Help Save his Life

P. W. Janaka Pathmakumara, aged 20, of No. 30/7, Badurawila, Udukawa, Denipitiya, Weligama, is suffering from a severe kidney disorder and doctors recommend an urgent kidney transplant in order to save his life. Janaka is currently receiving treatment at the Colombo General Hospital and his parents are finding it extremely difficult to obtain the funds required for his operation and medicines.
As such, they appeal to those who can to make their kind contributions to account No. 077-2-002-6-0010511 opened in the name of Janaka’s brother, P. W. B. Mahesh Jayasanka, at People’s Bank Branch, Weligama.