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Jazz music tour organized across Lanka to mark European Day of Languages

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Eliane Amherd (L) and Amanda Ruzza

The European Union (EU), together with the Embassy of Switzerland, the Italian Embassy, French Embassy, Alliance Française, Goethe-Institut and the British Council, will be hosting a multilingual jazz music tour across three key cities in Sri Lanka, with the view of celebrating this year’s European Day of Languages, falling on Sept 26.

As part of the broader EU Campaign on a Peaceful and Inclusive Society, the multilingual jazz music tour will feature mainstream, pop rock, jazz fusion, jazz pop and Latin jazz. The tour will begin in Colombo, travel to Kandy, and conclude in Jaffna, sharing the diversity of linguistic heritage with the people of Sri Lanka, to encourage intercultural understanding.

The inaugural concert will be held in Colombo, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, on Saturday 24 September, from 6.30pm onwards. It is a free event open to everyone on a first-come-first-served basis. This concert will be followed by a jazz evening, in Kandy, on Monday 26 September, at 7pm, at the Slightly Chilled Lounge Bar and Restaurant. The final concert will be held at the Jaffna Public Library on Wednesday, 28 September, from 5.30pm onwards.

The event will feature performances by singer, guitarist and songwriter Eliane Amherd and bassist, bandleader, composer, and producer, Amanda Ruzza, in German, French, Italian, Portuguese and English.

Born in Switzerland, Eliane Amherd lives in New York and the city’s savvy multicultural energy has had an influence in the unique sound of her original compositions, which are jazzy, groovy and rooted in African, Brazilian and Latin music. A talented composer and lyricist and a graduate of The New School University for Jazz and Contemporary Music, Eliane performs as a leader or a featured artiste in New York’s premiere clubs and tours in North and South America, Canada, Europe and Asia, where she appeared in international Festivals in China, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Nepal and Mongolia. She plays guitar in several NYC bands and collaborated with greats such as Marcus Strickland, Bashiri Johnson, Bill Ware, Hagar Ben Ari, Randy Brecker, etc.

Born in São Paulo, Brazil, to a Chilean mother and an Italian father, Amanda Ruzza grew up in a house, humming with music. Amanda began playing bass and engaging in professional performance early. Eventually, in Brazil, she worked with distinguished Brazilian producers and arrangers, including Grammy Award winner Moogie Canazio, Maestro Jobam and Sony Music Japan’s Osny Mello. She is based in New York at present. Besides being a musicia, fluent in an array of styles, Amanda is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and English.



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Businesses can collapse due to electricity tariff increase next year– Patali

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Patali Champika Ranawaka

The Cabinet has approved increase in electricity tariffs in two stages in January and June 2023.

The disclosure was made on Tuesday (29) at a meeting of the Sub Committee on Identifying the Short & Medium-Term Programmes, related to Economic Stabilisation of the National Council.

The government increased power tariffs in August this year.

Parliament announced that although the electricity tariffs had been increased in the recent past, the CEB was still running at a loss.

The representatives of the government and private institutions related to the power sector were called before the Committee to obtain proposals for the purpose of solving the issues in the power sector.

In order to cover the current losses of the CEB, electricity tariffs had to be increased by about 70%, the statement issued by Parliament quoted CEB representatives as having said.

The statement quoted Chairman of the Committee, Patali Champika Ranawaka, as having said that if electricity tariffs were increased to cover CEB’s losses, businesses could collapse as a result.

It was also disclosed that the CEB currently owed nearly 650 billion rupees as outstanding debt to various parties including banks and electricity suppliers. The Electricity Board representative stated that out of the amount to be paid, nearly Rs. 35 billion were to be paid to the organisations that supplied renewable energy, and 75 billion rupees are to be paid to Thermal power suppliers. Thus, it expects to pay at least part of what it owes the suppliers from the 50-billion-rupee loan to be received. (SF)

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PMD claims President’s response misinterpreted

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe denied recent media reports stating that the Provincial Councils will be replaced with the District Development Committees.

Issuing a press release his media division said President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s response in Parliament on Tuesday has been misinterpreted.

Wickremesinghe’s media Division said that in response to a statement by former President Maithripala Sirisena, the President stated that the District Development Committees (DDCs) would be established within the Provincial Councils.

The DDCs would provide a platform for coordination between thegovernment, the Provincial Councils and the Local Government bodies for all executive decisions, the Media Division said.

“This will ensure the process is not duplicated and will reduce financial wastage. Apart from that, the president has not made any statement about the dissolution of provincial councils.”

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Kumudesh: Top bureaucrat demands service extension from Minister’s daughter to approve shady deal

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

A senior official of the Ministry of Health has asked the daughter of a Cabinet Minister to help him obtain a service extension in return for approving a controversial tender for medical supplies, President of the College of Medical Laboratory Science (CMLS) Ravi Kumudesh says.

Kumudesh told The Island yesterday that the Minister’s daughter was working for a company that supplied oxygen generators.

“The official told the Minister’s daughter that he would grant the tender to a company of his choice to ensure a comfortable retirement and if her company wanted to secure the contract he should be given an extension in service.”

Kumudesh said the money for the medical equipment was to be paid through the grants from the Global Fund. The World Bank is a major contributor to the Global Fund.

“Officials can grant these tenders to companies of their choice by changing criteria. They make small technical specifications to ensure that only one company qualifies. These officials are a law unto themselves.”

Health Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment.

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