The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China has announced that Sri Lanka would be among the countries in its outbound tourism pilot programme scheduled to commence from 6 February 2023.Countries listed for travel by the Chinese government are Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Russia, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand, Fiji, Cuba and Argentina.
Sri Lankan embassy in Beijing said that inclusion of Sri Lanka in this list reflected the close bonds between the two countries. The Embassy has consistently made representations to have Sri Lanka included in such a list, the embassy spokesperson said.
The tourism industry of Sri Lanka which suffered a catastrophic decline following the Covid19 pandemic now has the opportunity to recover rapidly. In 2019, 169 million Chinese nationals travelled outside the Chinese mainland. Today there is a tremendous pent up urge to travel among the Chinese and large numbers are expected to undertake vacation travel.
The Sri Lanka Embassy in Beijing is continuing its multi-faceted efforts to promote Sri Lanka tourism despite the limited resources available, including during Ambassador Dr Palitha Kohona’s visits to different provinces and cities. The electronic (TV) and the print media (including the national dailies) have been engaged on every occasion as well as the social media. The Embassy has also established working relations with over 12 leading travel operators. Talks are at an advanced stage to shoot a feature film highlighting Sri Lanka’s fabled tourist attractions, including its world renowned Buddhist sites, abundant wildlife, tea covered mountains, precious gems, pristine beaches, smiling hospitality, etc. The wildly popular electronic platforms of Douyin, Tiktok, Alibaba have also been engaged with clips promoting Sri Lanka appearing on them regularly.
The Charge de Affairs of the Embassy, K.K.Yoganaadan, welcomed the announcement of the Chinese government. He encouraged Chinese travellers to choose Sri Lanka as they seek a warm and hospitable destination away from the winter cold.
Ambassador Dr. Kohona, who is on holiday in Sri Lanka, said that the re-emerging tourism industry will be a welcome boost to the economy of Sri Lanka. He expressed his appreciation of the Chinese government for including Sri Lanka in the pilot programme. Dr Kohona will meet SLAITO on the 24th.
Tomorrow (03 October) is World Temperance day
Tomorrow (03 October) is World Temperance Day and the Department of Excise has announced that all liquor shops will remain closed.
Vehicle revenue permits could be obtained from home commencing October 7th
Minister of State for Technology, Kanaka Herath during a news conference held at the Presidential Media Centre today (02), under the theme ‘Collective path to a stable country’ announced that Sri Lanka will introduce the new motor vehicle revenue license system (eRL 2.0) on the 7th of this month. He emphasized that this program will be implemented in all provinces except for the Western Province.
With the introduction of eRL 2.0, vehicle revenue licenses could be obtained through the online system, a program jointly executed by the State Ministry of Technology and the Information and Communication Technology Association of Sri Lanka (ICTA).
President to honour senior journalist Edmond Ranasinghe tomorrow
The tribute ceremony for senior journalist Edmund Ranasinghe, the founding editor and editorial director of the ‘Divaina’ newspaper and one of Sri Lanka’s most esteemed journalists, is scheduled for tomorrow (03rd October) at 3:00 pm at the Presidential Secretariat. President Ranil Wickremesinghe will preside over this event, which marks the initiation of a program conceptualized by the President to honour senior journalists who have made significant contributions to journalism in the country.
In appreciation of Mr. Ranasinghe’s seven decades of dedicated work in the media, a book titled ‘Edmond’s Newspaper Revolution,’ compiled by the 93-year-old journalist himself, will be published.
The keynote speech at this tribute ceremony will be delivered by Mr. Upali Tennakoon, the former Editor-In-Chief of the Island and Rivira newspapers, currently residing in the United States of America.
Mr. Edmond Ranasinghe embarked on his media career as a journalist at the Lake House, ‘Daily News’ newspaper in 1952. In 1973, while serving as the News Editor and holding the title of Deputy Editor, he resigned from his position in protest of the government’s takeover of the Lake House.
In 1977, Mr. Ranasinghe was reappointed as the Editor of ‘Dinamina’ by invitation from Lake House and later he also took on the role of Editor at Silumina.
In 1981, he became the founding Editor of the ‘Divaina’ newspaper, revolutionizing journalism in Sri Lanka and elevating it to unprecedented popularity in a short span of time. In 2016, at the age of 86, Mr. Ranasinghe once again assumed the role of Editor at ‘Silumina,’ further showcasing his enduring commitment to journalism.
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