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CEAT inflates radial tyre production to 600,000 units a year



Adds another 84,000 radials in most wanted sizes in Phase 2 of 2021 expansion plan

Radial production increased by 32% since March

CEAT Kelani Holdings has announced a production increase of 84,000 radial tyres per year for passenger cars and vans, in its second expansion in this segment within the past four months.

The expansion will see Sri Lanka’s top tyre brand take annual radial tyre production to 600,000 – an increase of 16 per cent over current production of 516,000 radials, and further ease pressure on supply attributed to government-imposed restrictions on the import of certain sizes to conserve foreign exchange.

The production increase comes with the addition of two more tyre presses and a tyre building machine at the CEAT Kelani manufacturing complex in Kelaniya, supplementing the two new tyre presses commissioned in March this year under Phase 1 of the expansion plan.

With monthly radial tyre production ramping up to 50,000 units in the most in-demand sizes, availability is expected to improve for tyres that fit many makes of cars and vans including Suzuki Alto, Maruti Suzuki Alto, Maruti Suzuki Omni, Tata Ace Ex2, Hyundai- Eon, Mitsubishi Minicab, Toyota HiAce, Nissan Vanette, Lanka Ashok Leyland Dost, Tata Winger, Nissan Urvan, Kia K2500, Suzuki- Super Carry, Maruti Suzuki, Super Carry, Piaggio Porter, Toyota Town Ace, Toyota Lite Ace, Suzuki Wagon R, Daihatsu Mira ES, Nissan Dayz, Nissan Note, Honda Freed and Toyota Avanza.

Besides the volume increases they provide, the new presses installed under the expansion project are hydraulic, significantly improving the uniformity, ride and handling parameters and the overall aesthetics of the radial tyres they produce.

Commenting on this latest expansion, CEAT Kelani Managing Director Mr Ravi Dadlani said: “The CEAT brand supplied nearly half of Sri Lanka’s pneumatic tyre requirements for several years before the pandemic. The disruption of transport logistics worldwide due to the pandemic combined with the temporary import restrictions on certain categories and sizes of tyres, required us to accelerate production to help meet the domestic shortfall. As a result, we have increased radial tyre production by as much as 32 per cent since March this year, which could be considered an admirable response to the situation.”

CEAT Kelani Holdings increased capacity utilisation across all its manufacturing plants last year, to supply the additional domestic requirements of truck, bus, three-wheeler, car, and van tyres in the absence of imports. In August last year, the Company increased production to supply 100 per cent of the passenger bus and goods transport sectors’ tyre needs through domestic production, potentially saving Sri Lanka Rs 11 billion a year in foreign exchange.

CEAT Kelani also achieved an 85 per cent increase in the production of tyres for the ‘two-wheeler’ segment over just three months between June and September 2020 and pushed production of tyres for motorcycles and scooters from 27,000 units a month in June 2020 to 41,000 per month in July and August and 50,000 per month from September 2020 onwards. This was expected to result in a further saving of Rs 350 million a year for the country.

The CEAT brand has been ranked the most valuable consumer brand in the country’s ‘Motor’ segment in the 2021 Brand Finance rankings and as one of the top five brands in Sri Lanka overall in terms of brand strength score.

Sri Lanka’s largest pneumatic tyre manufacturer, CEAT Kelani Holdings is considered one of the most successful India – Sri Lanka joint ventures in the manufacturing sector. The joint venture’s cumulative investment in Sri Lanka to date totals Rs 8 billion and its manufacturing operations encompass tyres in the radial (passenger cars, vans and SUVs), commercial (Bias-ply and radial), motorcycle, three-wheeler and agricultural vehicle segments.

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SJB complains of sexual harassment of its female MP; Speaker denies allegation



By Saman Indrajith

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena yesterday in a statement said that an allegation made by SJB Matale District MP Rohini Kumari Wijeratne pertaining to an issue of verbal sexual harassment was not true.

Raising a point of order MP Wijeratne said that she regretted over some government MPs singing lewd songs about SJB Ratnapura District MP Thalata Atukorale while the debate on the no-confidence motion against Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila was in progress during the last sitting week of parliament.

MP Kaviratne said it was a violation of MP Atukorale’s Parliamentary privileges. “There are only 12 female MPs in this Parliament. This house is not there to criticise women or to discuss the wives or mistresses of MPs. Its objective is to make decisions on issues faced by the public,” she said.

MP Wijeratne said that she also regretted that Speaker Abeywardene’s failure to prevent a female MP being subjected to verbal sexual harassment in the House. “You have a wife and a daughter but you were sitting there laughing. “You were laughing when MP Athukorala was being verbally harassed. I as a female MP regret your silence and express my disapproval,” MP Wijeratne said.

Speaker Abeywardena said he would inquire into the allegation.

Later issuing a statement, the Speaker’s office said that MP Wijeratne’s allegation was untrue.

The statement said that there had been no occurrence of such an incident while Speaker Abeywardene was in the Chair. Therefore, the Speaker had no involvement in such an incident as alleged by MP Kaviratne. “It is regrettable that MP Kaviratne made such irresponsible remarks without perusing the Hansard and video records of parliament sitting sessions. The MP should have perused the records before making such an allegation. Without doing so the MP has made remarks misleading the public and bringing disrepute to the House,” the Speaker’s statement said.

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As COVID-19 cases rise, Minister wants all hands on deck



Health Minister declaring open the Centre

All health workers had been vaccinated, and they had to report for work, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Minister of Health yesterday said at a ceremony to open a Covid-19 treatment unit constructed at the Mulleriyawa Base Hospital.

The unit was constructed with the help of the Sri Lanka Air Force. Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana was present on the occasion.

The centre has five wards with 160 beds. The estimated cost of the construction was close to Rs. 200 million, however the Air Force was able to construct it at a cost of about Rs. 35 million.

The Minister of Health said, “As the number of patients increases, hospitals have to be maintained and hospital capacity has to be increased. The presence of healthcare workers is needed to treat people. We have given both

doses of the vaccine to everyone in the health service. Therefore, they have acquired immunity. We have also taken steps to vaccinate their family members.”

Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena, Director of Mulleriyawa Base Hospital Dr. Priyantha Karunaratne, Director of Civil Engineering Services of the Air Force and a number of Air Force personnel and health staff were present on the occasion.



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AG ’s Dept tells Supreme Court CID is probing Aranthalawa Bhikku massacre



By Chitra Weerarathne

Senior State Counsel Dr. Avanthi Perera yesterday told the Supreme Court that the Criminal Investigation Department was investigating the 1987 Aranthalawa Bhikku massacre, where a number of Bhikkus were gunned down by the LTTE.

A Bhikku who survived the massacre filed a fundamental rights violation petition, requesting that the assailants be brought to justice.

Dr. Perera added that the investigation report would be submitted to Court on October 12, the next date of calling of the case.

The bench comprised Justice Priyantha Jayawardene, Justice Achala Wengappuli and Justice Janak de Silva.

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