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H’tota Port increases bulk cargo handling productivity by 100%

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The Hambantota International Port (HIP) has recorded its highest discharge levels of bulk cargo recently, when a shipment of gypsum consigned to Insee Cement was unloaded at a rate of 24,000 Metric tons per day by port operations.

The HIP in a statement issued yesterday (21) quoted Thusith Gunawarnasuriya, Director Procurement & Logistics of Insee Cement as having said that this was an extraordinary achievement for a Sri Lankan port in terms of speed and efficiency. “As the No. 1 cement manufacturing company in Sri Lanka, we import raw materials in large vessels. But once these vessels arrive in the country, it is up to port operations, in this case HIPG and HIPS, to discharge the vessels quickly. Quicker the cargo is discharged, the more benefit not only to us but also the country because for each day the vessel remains in port we pay vast amounts in detention and demurrage — something to the tune of US $ 75,000. Therefore, when we are able to discharge two-and-a-half days earlier like we did this time, the cost saving is significant. Yes, it is an advantage for our company, but it is also a considerable saving in foreign exchange for the country.”

Gunawarnasuriya said the handling speed at HIP has increased 100 percent from just about a year ago, when the port could discharge only around 12,000 MTs per day. He says the almost doubled productivity coupled with excellent service levels is nothing short of remarkable.

Sylesh Peerez, Senior General Manager Operations of Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) attributes the port’s increased efficiency to a high level of productivity, streamlined operations combined with excellent coordination. “Apart from that, our team’s execution was flawless. There are a lot of constraints in handling an operation like this as it involves unloading via cranes, loading material onto trucks etc., which means we have to ensure minimum impact on the environment, health and safety of those involved in the operation etc. Achieving this level of productivity amidst all these constraints is a milestone for HIP and we believe is a first by a Sri Lankan port.” Sylesh Peerez said the way they optimized and increased their resources, efficient planning of manpower such as stevedoring, and the higher levels of communication between the logistics provider and the port also contributed to the success of the operation. “We were able to complete a very labor intensive operation notwithstanding strict adherence to COVID protocols,” he added.

Lance Zuo, General Manager, Commercial and Marketing of HIPG asserted HIP was fast approaching its goal of becoming a fully functional multi-purpose port. He said the port was firing on all cylinders, which involves continuous training and testing of its systems for optimum efficiency which is part of the DNA of all CM Port operations across the globe.



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Shocking 17,500 video clips of Lankan children being sexually abused

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By Norman Palihawadane

There were over 17,500 video clips of Sri Lankan children being sexually abused, on the Internet and action had been taken to arrest those responsible, Police Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said yesterday. The Sri Lanka Police had sought the assistance of international law enforcement agencies and the Internet service providers to track down the persons involved in uploading those video clips and child sex trafficking via internet, the SDIG said.

Crimes against children in Sri Lanka were rising at an alarming speed, the SDIG said.

The police would conduct a special awareness programme together with the National Child Protection Authority to curb the alarming trend, he said.

The first programme was held recently in Nuwara Eliya where it especially focused apprising police officers attached to that Division.

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Private buses to insist that inter-provincial commuters carry proof of vaccination?

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

A limited number of Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and National Transport Commission (NTC) buses and trains would maintain limited inter- provincial operation from 01 August, State Minister of Transport, Dilum Amunugma said.

The State Minister said that certified documents issued by the respective depot superintendents and the letters of approval by the NTC were mandatory, he added.

“The buses and trains will be permitted to operate only in the morning and in the evening for office workers,” Amunugma said.

The State Minister added that passengers should behave responsibly when using the inter-provincial transport services and understand that those services were only for commuters engaged in essential services.

“The Delta variant is spreading rapidly. If one infected passenger travels in a bus, all other commuters will contract it” he warned.

The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) has decided to make proof of vaccination compulsory for inter provincial travel from 01 August

LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said they had written to the President and Transport Minister asking for permission to enforce it.

Wijeratne said that all bus operators in the Western Province should ensure they were inoculated by August 15.

 

 

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TNA Leader complains against appointing Sinhala officers to Tamil areas

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By Dinasena Ratugamage

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader, R. Sampanthan had written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, objecting to the appointment of Sinhala government officers to the Northern Province, former TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah told journalists on Wednesday (28.)

The President and the Prime Minister are appointing officials violating democratic principles, Senathirajah said after a meeting of party activists at Karachchi Divisional Secretariat Office, Kilinochchi.

“A lot of Sinhalese are appointed to the North and the East. They must appoint Tamils. These appointments undermine our struggle for a just language policy,” he said.

Senathirajah said that it was customary to appoint Tamil officers to Tamil majority areas. However, this tradition was being violated increasingly in recent times, the former MP said.

“The TNA has nothing against Sinhala government officers. However, appointing Sinhala state officers to majority Tamil areas is a great injustice to the people. So, our leader has written to the President and the Prime Minister asking them to stop this practice,” he said.

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