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Chemical fertilizer loaded long beforeimport ban, says Agstar

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A consignment of nearly 10,000 MT of Prilled Urea costing USD 3.97 million that arrived in Colombo on board MV Emesa on July 12 when the ban of the import of chemical fertilizer was in force had been loaded (in Indonesia) under approval from the National Fertilizer Secretariat on Mar. 6 (when there was no ban), Agstar PLC, the consignee, said in a Stock Exchange filing on Friday.

Thereafter, in or around Mar. 11, the vessel got stuck in the Malacca Strait due to sudden problems in her main engine plus various other technical issues and was unable to arrive in Sri Lanka on or around Mar. 15 as originally envisaged, it said. Eventually the vessel arrived in Colombo on July 12 when the import ban was in force.

The filing said that Agstar had informed “all authorities” about the situation by their letter of May 10.

It also said that it had taken immediate action to arrest the vessel and claimed losses due to substantial delay in its arrival. It is at present under arrest in the Port of Colombo. Agstar said it had paid all Customs and Ports Authority dues and the vessel berthed for discharge.

“Subsequently Customs detained the vessel and requested the Ministry of Agriculture for confirmation of the gazette notification of May 6 (relating to the ban on the import of chemical fertilizer),” Agstar said.

Its filing further said: “Please note that Import and Export (Control) Regulation No. 7 of 2021 issued on or after May 6 only applies to shipments that have a date in the Bill of Lading after May 6, 2021, (that is loaded on or after May 6). Consequently this Regulation has no bearing whatsoever to the above consignment as it was loaded on the vessel way back on Mar. 6, 2021, which is approximately two months prior to the date in the Regulation,” the Agstar filing said.

It further said it was in discussion with the relevant authorities to get the cargo cleared as Agstar had not violated any regulation.

“Further, the above cargo has been ordered with prior approval of the NFS and (is intended) mainly to meet Nitrogen fertilizer requirement in the tea sector,” the filing said. “The company has already obtained approval of NFS to supply the bulk of this cargo to meet the requirements of plantation companies and tea smallholders.”

Agstar said that in the event permission is not granted (“even with the above clear facts”) to clear the cargo, “the company will be compelled to make necessary arrangements to move the cargo to another destination in order to mitigate colossal losses.

It further said that at the moment it does not envisage any substantial financial impact.



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Sri Lanka Tourism introduces e-learning platform for all SLTDA registered tourist guides.

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As an initiative to uplift the reviving tourism industry in the country, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority in collaboration with Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (SLITHM) have introduced the continuous professional development (CPD) e-learning platform to all registered guides to enhance their knowledge and skills.

The launch of the continuous professional development (CPD) e-learning platform took place this week under the patronage of Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga, Secretary of the Ministry S. Hettiarachchi and Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando.

“Tourist guides play an important role in our tourism sector as they spend a lot of time with visitors from arrival to departure. It is important that our guides stay updated on their professional/technical knowledge and I hope this e-learning platform by Sri Lanka Tourism will help them enhance their knowledge and skills” Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando shared while the Minister congratulated all the officials who were involved in bringing this initiative to reality.

Knowledge improvement, obtaining expertise knowledge from veterans, develop active participation with guests, improve the link between Tourism institutions & guides are some key objectives of this e-learning platform.

If you are a registered guide with SLTDA, you can now sign up on https://sltda.gov.lk/e-learning/login and avail of the online courses.

A certificate of completion will be given at the end of the course from SLTDA and SLITHM.

 

 

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Impact of Climate Change on marine and fresh water resources and combating water pollution

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Trilateral virtual dialogue among Pathfinder Foundation, Russian International Affairs Council and Asian Confluence

The Pathfinder Foundation (PF) has initiated a trilateral dialogue involving Sri Lanka, India and the Russian Federation to discuss issues of contemporary relevance. The first trilateral dialogue will be held to day 4:30 PM SLST on the “Impact of Climate Change on Marine and Fresh Water Resources and Combating Water Pollution: Best Practices from Russia, Sri Lanka and India”.

For this dialogue, Pathfinder Foundation will be partnering with Russian International Affairs Council and Asian Confluence.

The distinguished panellists for the webinar are, Ambassador GlebIvashentsov, Vice President, Russian International Affairs Council, Ambassador (Retd.) Bernard Goonetilleke, Chairman Pathfinder Foundation, Ambassador. IFS(Retd.) Rajiv Kumar Bhatia, Member Governing Council, The Asian Confluence and Distinguished Fellow, Gateway House,Dr. Anastasia Likhacheva, Director, Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, Higher Schoolof Economics, Dr. B. V. R. Punyawardena, Chairman, National Steering Committee on Climate Change Adaptation, Governmentof Sri Lanka, Dr. Fraddry D’Souza, Area ConvenerandFellow, The Coastal Ecology & Marine Resources Centre, TERI Goa,India , Dr. Konstantin Zgurovsky, Senior Advisor, Marine Programme, WWF Russia, Mr. Sarath Premalal, Retired Director General of Meteorology of Sri Lanka and Prof. Vinay Kumar Dadhwal, Director, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Professor Indira Gandhi Chair, National Institute of Advanced Studies, India

Those who are interested in participating may kindly register at the following link; https://bit.ly/3AZbYAN Program details are available at https://bit.ly/3zdUkY3 . The event will also be live streamed on the PF Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pathfinderfoundation/

 

 

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Doc990 and MyDoctor partner SLVA to extend accessible veterinary services islandwide

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Sri Lanka’s premier digital health solutions service providers, Doc990 and MyDoctor are now enabling customers to access online veterinary services island-wide in partnership with the Sri Lanka Veterinary Association.

The national professional body serving and representing the interests of the veterinary profession in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Veterinary Association (SLVA), is dedicated to providing continued excellence within the profession of animal medicine and the provision of outstanding care for all animals while also actively creating public awareness of the contribution of veterinarians island-wide.

This collaborative effort with Doc990 and MyDoctor will bring pet owners, owners of farm animals and good Samaritans the ability to access remote video consultations with leading, specialist veterinarians of their choosing, without the hassle of physically entering hospital waiting rooms, transporting animals etc. This timely, contactless service will not only be convenient but also a relief to pet owners and caretakers in the backdrop of travel restrictions as a result of the ongoing global pandemic.

Customers can engage in video consultations with their chosen vet by downloading the Doc990 mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple Store. Through its widening network of hospitals and medical services, Doc990 strives to make health care accessible and convenient for all Sri Lankans.

 

 

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