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Maldivian yacht builders establish facility in Hambantota Port 

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From left: Assistant General Manager, Port Investment Services HIPG Lalith Ekanayake; Senior General Manager Port Investment Services, HIPG Tim Xiao; CEO, HIPG Ravi Jayawickreme; CEO, HIPG Johnson Liu; Minister Namal Rajapaksa; High Commissioner of Maldives in Sri Lanka Omar Abdul Razzak; President SHY Ali Hussain Didi; Director SHY Ahmed Zareer; CEO SHY Mohamed Nasheed; Corporate Executive Sea Limousine Maldives Shifag Athif.

Sea Horse Yachts (Pvt) Ltd. recently entered into an agreement with the Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) to set up a state-of-the-art yacht building facility at the port. The agreement was signed by Johnson Liu, CEO, HIPG and Ali Hussain Didi, President, Sea Horse Yachts (Pvt) Ltd. at a signing ceremony held this week in the presence of Sports and Youth Affairs Minister and State Minister of Digital Technology and Entrepreneur Development Namal Rajapaksa and High Commissioner of Maldives to Sri Lanka Omar Abdul Razzak, the HIPG stated in a press release issued yesterday (10)

The initial investment for the facility which will be located within the Hambantota International Port is set at approximately USD 58 million (Sri Lankan Rupees 11.5 billion) and production is set to commence by early 2022. The project is expected to generate over 200 direct employment opportunities and an additional 300 indirect employment opportunities.

The newly incorporated Sea Horse Yachts Ltd. (SHY), is a premium luxury yacht builder, located in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. SHY will be managed by a highly experienced team of experts from Sri Lanka, closely supported by British, European and South African innovators and designers. The company is privately owned by boating enthusiasts from the Maldives with extensive knowledge and experience in marine transportation and luxury yachting. They have a long history in boating and life at sea and will engage with international partners to establish the state-of-the-art yacht building factory in Sri Lanka.

 Sports and Youth Affairs Minister and State Minister of Digital Technology and Entrepreneur Development Namal Rajapaksa speaking at the ceremony said, “The objective of our government is to promote Sri Lanka as a maritime and aviation hub in South Asia focusing on transshipment and manufacturing. This project is a landmark for the Yacht industry and for Yacht manufacturers as Sri Lanka has a rich history in boat building dating back to the times of our kings. Island nations such as Sri Lanka and the Maldives have always built their economies around trade and our proximity to ancient maritime routes which are still used to this day. We look forward to strengthening these and developing them to cater to the needs of a modern world. Ventures such as this will pave the way for the next generation of youth, providing them with the knowledge and the tools to build an entirely new industry and a new era of boat building! I hope it will serve as a catalyst to spark in our youth the entrepreneurial drive to take Sri Lanka to the next level.”

High Commissioner of Maldives to Sri Lanka Omar Abdul Razzak who was at the ceremony said it was noteworthy to mention that according to history, the first connection between Sri Lanka and Maldives made hundreds of years ago was.



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Central Bank urged to save collapsing local industries

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The National Freedom Front (NFF) has requested the immediate intervention of the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal to save micro, small and medium scale industries badly affected by the current economic downturn caused by the Covid-19.

The NFF parliamentary group comprises six members, including one National List.

Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa, on behalf of the SLPP constituent parties, has warned of steep increase in unemployment, drop in the contribution made by small and medium scale industries to the national economy and the further widening of the gap between the rich and poor.

Party sources told The Island that the NFF had decided to take up the urgent matter because, in spite of repeated promises, those who had been severely affected were yet to receive assistance. Minister Weerawansa has urged the Central Bank to restructure loans obtained by affected industries and also extend the moratorium.

Weerawansa has in a letter dated Oct.18, told Cabraal that according to a survey conducted by the Industrial Development Board, micro, small and medium enterprises suffered serious setbacks. However, of the loans made available through the banking sector, a substantial segment had been disbursed among major players, the Minister said, while pointing out that in other countries in the region more than 50 percent of total loans were made available to micro, small and medium industries.

Unfortunately, here in Sri Lanka they received approximately 15 percent of the total given as loans, the minister said.

Minister Weerawansa said that though industries suffered, almost all state and private banks had recorded much improved performances with significant profits.

The Minister said that following his intervention with the cabinet of ministers, the government agreed on a plan of action to deal with the situation. It would be the responsibility of the Central Bank to implement the agreed proposals, he said.

(SF)

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So far no side effects among Pfizer vaccinated 15,000 A/L students

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

Over 15,000 GCE AL students had been vaccinated with Pfizer and there had not been any side effects, Colombo District Director of Health Dr. Dilip Liyanage told the media yesterday.

He said that the Ministry of Education had given them a list of 20,688 that needed to be vaccinated.

“We would like to assure parents that there is no need to worry. Over 15,000 children have been vaccinated and there have been no problems so far. Trust the health professionals and vaccinate your child at the first opportunity you get,” he said.

Dr. Liyanage added that children who missed their chance to get vaccinated on weekdays, can get vaccinated at the MOH office near their home.

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Govt. approves prohibition of cattle slaughter

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The government has approved the prohibition of cattle slaughter. The decision was announced at the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Information Department yesterday (19). The government said the relevant laws and regulations, including those passed by Local Government authorities would be amended for that purpse.

The Legal Draftsman has drafted Bills to amend the following acts and ordinances.

• Authority 272 of the Cattle Slaughter Ordinance No. 9 of 1893

• Act No. 29 of 1958 Concerning Animals

• Municipal Councils Ordinance – Section 252

• Section 255 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance

• Ordinance No. 15 of the Urban Council Act of 1987

The Attorney General has certified that the said Bills do not clash with the provisions of the Constitution.

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