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SHMA ties up with NYC to increase trained personnel in hospitality industry

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The Swiss Hotel Management Academy (SHMA) of A. Baur and Co. Pvt. Ltd., also known as Baurs recently signed an MoU with the National Youth Corps of Sri Lanka (NYC) to encourage and empower Lankan youth to equip them with required skills and talent to take on as tomorrow’s leaders in the hospitality industry.

NYC which comes under the purview of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs will now be a learning partner for the Skills for Sustainable Growth (SSG) project, a private and public sector partnership between Baurs and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the agency for international cooperation of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of Switzerland.

The MoU was signed recently at the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs’ auditorium with SHMA and Baurs represented by Rolf Blaser, CEO/Managing Director; Pavithra Samarasinghe, Director Finance and Compliance; Daniela Munasinghe, GM of Education and Tourism, Sureeka Fernando, SHMA Manager; Cheryl Arndt, Project Leader, and NYC by its Director Brig. Sujeewa Rathnayake, Add. Director Training and Development Saman Kulasuriya, Director Central Province Major. Ashoka Wijerathne, and Asst. Director Development Inoka Gunawardhana.

The event was graced by Minister Roshan Ranasinghe, joined by the Deputy Head of Mission Olivier Praz and First Secretary, Migration Doris Manor from the Embassy of Switzerland in Sri Lanka.

The SSG project aims to create 2,240 skilled young men and women by 2025 including increased female participation in hospitality education to 40%, with a two-third of its curriculum weighing towards practical on-the-job training coupled with internships and possible extension in various hotels. SHMA will also be opening a total of eight SSG centers by the end of 2025.



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President orders probe into notification issued by Department of Immigration and Emigration

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It has been reported that President Wickremesinghe ordered an investigation into the notification issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration requesting all  Russian and Ukrainian tourists to leave the country within 14 days.

According to the President’s Media Division (PMD), the relevant notification was issued without prior approval from the Cabinet of Ministers.

The decision had reportedly been taken as certain foreign tourists are running illegal businesses in the country.

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Contentious Chinese research vessel docks in Maldives

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Xiang Yang Hong 03 has previously visited Indian Ocean on several other occasions

A contentious Chinese research ship reached the Maldives on Thursday in the latest sign of the archipelago’s diplomatic reorientation towards Beijing and away from its traditional benefactor India.

Local residents said they had spotted China’s Xiang Yang Hong 3 at the Thilafushi industrial port near the capital Male.The 100-metre-long (328-foot) vessel was at an anchorage near Male on Thursday evening, according to the website Marinetraffic.

The Maldives’ pro-Beijing government said earlier the vessel was docking for a port call to rotate crew and take on supplies, on the condition that it would not conduct “research” while in its territorial waters.

Media reports in India had suggested that the vessel was conducting surveillance for Beijing.

India is suspicious of China’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean and its influence in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, which are strategically placed halfway along key east-west international shipping routes.Relations between Male and New Delhi have chilled since pro-China President Mohamed Muizzu won elections last year.

Muizzu has asked India to withdraw 89 security personnel based in the Maldives to operate reconnaissance aircraft by March 15.But the president has also insisted he does not want to upend ties with New Delhi by replacing Indian troops with Chinese forces.

Sri Lanka refused entry to Xiang Yang Hong 3 after two other port calls from Chinese vessels since 2022 raised objections from India.That included the ship Yuan Wang 5, which specializes in spacecraft tracking and which New Delhi described as a spy ship. (AFP)

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MP Harsha in Australia as “Special visitor”

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Harsha de Silva

Opposition MP and Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance (COPF) Harsha de Silva is currently in Australia as a special visitor.

Taking to ‘X’, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP said he had embarked on a nine-day visit on an invitation extended by the Government of Australia.

“My engagements with policymakers, academics, scientists and investment managers began in Melbourne and will continue in Adelaide and then public officials and politicians in Canberra,” he added.

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